Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring is Here....that means chances of Hero Dirt goes up!

Little bit of #braap time yesterday at Bacon Ridge to end the week and roll into the weekend!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

February 2017: Training Ramblings.....Racing Is Here!

February was the start of race season! A couple of races were on tap for the month...the Little Patuxent River 10km on the 5th and two weeks later the Monster Cross 50 mile MTB race.  As you would expect neither were "A" races but it is always good to get out and race and get some motivation through the winter months.

The Little Patuxent River 10km was brand new for 2017 and I had never run the trails there so had no idea what to expect.  The course surprised me and I am sure this race will continue to grow (if they can, as it sold out early this year!) as it was awesome. It was a cold day and the Parvilla Pom-Pom made its first race appearance of the season. I went out hard, probably too hard based on the 5:45min that beeped away as we went through the first mile, with the field quickly splitting until there was just two of us left at mile 2. Gradually over the next 4 miles I was able to pull away and take the first win of the year.  The last mile wasn't pretty and showed that I need to a) run longer and b) work on race pace.  Sarah also raced the 10km and posted a new PR for the distance, she is going to have a good year!

Just two weeks later and after a red-eye home from a work trip to San Francisco, I was lining up at Pocahontas State Park (just south of Richmond) for the Monster Cross 50 mile MTB race. It is very much an early season classic of the local MTB scene and in my infinite wisdom I had entered the Pro/Elite field which was stacked with a who's who of the best in the region. We had lucked out with 70 degree weather and dry, dusty trails, which meant one thing.....speed!  


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Wow, it was a fast day and so much fun! Perhaps the most fun race I have done. It was just go,go,go from the beginning, pretty much a road race on dirt.  If you lost the group you were with you would quickly lose minutes.  I managed to embed myself in the 2nd main group on the trail (the first group of 10 had split the field early and as expected were led by pro Jeremiah Bishop) and we motored through the first 25 mile lap in 1hr 22mins (yup, 19mph). The 2nd lap didn't get any easier and one by one riders were popping off the back until there were only 10 of us left and it was everyman for himself the final few miles. I managed to sneak a few places in the last couple of miles to roll across in 2hrs 47 mins and 14th place. To say I was pleased was an understatement! It showed that training was going well and more importantly the bike legs are there for the season to come. 



It took a little while to recover from that race so the total mileage and hours for the month were lower than I would have liked (plus the week in SF was poor for training) but the racing showed that I have the fitness to build on.  The road racing season begins in March as does the Xterra Atlantic Trail Run Series and then before we know the Xterra Triathlon season will be upon us. Lots of good stuff to come this season....



What I am drinking this month:
Rise Up Coffee: Costa Rica Organic Las Lajas: From the Chacon Family, they specialize in a kind of coffee drying called ‘Honey Process’. Essentially the outer skin is removed from the coffee cherry, but mucilage is left on the bean. The end result is an interesting mix of ripe fruit flavors and an intensely sweet cup.

February 2017 Total: 465miles/34hrs 54mins/2327 TSS
Swim: 7.33m/3hrs 42mins/ 250 TSS
Bike: 388m/22hrs 04mins/ 1364 TSS
Run: 69.0m/8hrs 37mins/ 700 TSS

Saturday, March 18, 2017

“It was the equivalent of coming home and my girlfriend saying, ‘I’m leaving you.’”

The 2017 MABRA season starts next weekend and for two racers, it won't be the same!

Back in 2009, two triathletes found themselves on the same road racing team, it was the start of a great friendship that will last forever! Gradually both triathletes found the lure of the road too much and they found their physical traits to be pretty well matched for success....one a diesel, the other a rocket! Both knew their roles and were willing to sacrifice for overall team success, dare we say a match made in heaven. Banks & Hogan....ABRT's Renshaw & Cavendish!

The proof was in the pudding.....
Win....Tysons!

Win.....Black Hill!

Win....Kings Way!

Win....Carl Dolan!

Celebrating the win....work done!
Then one day it happened....the partnership dissolved at the end of 2016. Hogan left for a rival team and Banks staying at ABRT didn't follow.  With that news, Banks told the local media that: “It was the equivalent of coming home and my girlfriend saying, ‘I’m leaving you.’”

What will the 2017 season bring for both riders? Only time will tell......perhaps it will be the new lease of life that both riders need. There is clear respect between the riders but now on opposing teams it will be game on once the flag drops....As Banks states though "there will always be time for a beer after"


Monday, March 13, 2017

Xterra Brandywine Creek 12km Trail Race.....2nd Overall.

For the 2nd year we headed back to Brandywine Creek State Park to open up the Xterra Atlantic Trail Race Series

 Jeez was it cold, with a start temperature in the low 20's and the wind building. After a 2nd place overall in 2016 I knew the course (Hilly and rocky) I was hesitant if I could better that. The main goal of the early season has to been to build the bike so run mileage has been much lower than typical. However, I felt pretty good and group of four of us quickly made headway through the course and it became apparent that one of us would be left off the podium. With about 2.5km I put in an effort that split us ever so slightly and coming into the final two hills there was two of us with one just a little back and the 4th (Mike Welch - fellow triathlete) just slightly dropping off. Up the final two hills it came back to three with me running in 2nd and just off first. A rapid sprint down the final hill to the tape left me in 2nd just one second back from the win and 25secs under my 2016 time.  Strava race file here   Sarah nailed the 5km to win her Age Group and knock 3 minutes off her 2016 time.

 A great workout, good race and faster than last year's time....It was also the first race out on the new 2017 version of the Salming Running T3 trail shoe. In tricky conditions - frozen ground, snow, ice and a little mud with a good selection of roots and rocks, it was flawless! I can't wait to race the Xterra season with this shoe #nonnonsenserunning

 Let me know if you want to try Salming Running and I'll shoot you an awesome discount code! Next race in the Xterra Atlantic series is at Seneca Creek on April 10th.