Saturday, March 07, 2009

Weekend Training and Racing Report

This weekend has been a great two days of training. The Snakebite team managed to get about 10 of us to ride on Saturday. I had my BimActive going on the phone and the results are shown below, love that elevation profile. The actual elapsed time was 3 hours but once I took out the stops the 2:45 ride time matched my bike computer.

It was a great time to reconnect with old and new friends. This was definitely going to be a fun group ride. I had a hard trainer ride the Thursday prior and a 15k run on Sunday that I needed to keep some legs for.

I enjoyed riding with Linda and was able to catch up with the family. Patrick and I worked the front of the group, especially when we knew a county line or city limits sign was to be contested. I managed to sneak in three sprint wins at Bath Township, Akron and Peninsula. I was a sneaky little bastard for all of them since I usually can't out power some of the guys.

We managed to have awesome weather in the upper 60's and avoided any rain along the way. The only time we got wet was from road spray. I have pics and video that I will post later.

Route:--Elev. Avg:984 ft
Location:Strongsville, OH, Elev. Gain:-4 ft
Date:03/07/09Up/Downhill: [+3480/-3484]
Time:03:09 PMDifficulty:4.7 / 5.0


70 F temp; 64% humidity

70 F heat index; winds SW 15 mph

Distance: 46.24 miles

Speed:16.8 mph

Pace:3' 34 /mi


Elevation (ft)

Posted from

Sunday was race day. Well....kind of race day. I'm not in prime racing condition, at least not where I usually am at this point of the season. So I wanted to use this as a hard training effort. I recently read an article in the April issue of Running Times about Go Zone Racing. It's a great article about how to approach a race, break it up into four parts and mentally tough it out when the going gets hard. This will be my mental focus this season.

In order to keep it a mental race I didn't take any electronics with me. No watch. No heart rate monitor. No phone with BIMActive. I wanted this to be all about perceived effort and racing smart. This race was also a battle with the elements. Saturday was a beautiful day to ride with the rain staying away and temperatures getting close to 70. Sunday the rain came in and the temperature was in the high 30's. It was going to be a wet and sloppy run.

I took it hard but conservative for the first half of the race. I was comfortable. I was managing my pace well. I kept those in front of me in sight and slowly picked several off. Just after mile 5 I put down a PowerGel and grabbed two waters at the aid station. Turning onto Lake Road, it truly is along Lake Erie, we would finally have the wind at our backs. This was the start of my Go Zone. If I was going to gain any ground on the people in front of me this would be the perfect opportunity.

I focused on staying loose and keeping my breathing under control. I increased my leg turnover, or tried to keep it, around 90RPM. Quick turnover equates to more speed. Half way along Lake Road I passed the runner in front of me. She would cross the finish line as third overall female. When the race course turned off Lake Road I was within striking distance of two more runners. I finally recognized John Z in front of me and another woman. John is a very good runner at age 50. I passed the female just as we turned east into the wind and then started working on catching John.

Halfway to our next turn I made my pass and re-focused on my pace so that I would keep the intensity all the way to the finish line. Around mile 8 I saw the last person I had a chance to catch. I didn't think it was going to happen but I was shortening the distance between us. At the final turn I realized it was Dave G. We finished 1 - 2 in our age group last year at this race, I just wasn't going to be able to get him. I finished strong in 1:05:xx and took third in the age group. I was very excited by the finish time because I was really expecting something closer to 1:10:00.

I was most pleased with "how" I ran a race. I executed my plan perfectly. I didn't loose my mental focus and kept the intensity high during the tougher part of the race. I'm also happy that I am actually on par with where I was last year. Maybe my half-marathon in April will have some good unexpected results as well.

I manually put the race into BimActive to show the course and my stats.

Game On.

Route:--Elev. Avg:609 ft
Location:Avon Lake, OHElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:03/08/09Up/Downhill: [+150/-150]
Time:08:30 AMDifficulty:2.8 / 5.0

Weather:Rain Fog/Mist

38 F temp; 100% humidity

38 F heat index; winds NE 7

Distance: 9.26 miles

Speed:8.6 mph

Pace:7' 00 /mi



Posted from


iRuniFly said...

Great job! I have also found that how I run the race is sometimes even better than what my time is.

Cyndi said...

Nicely executed race! I read that RT article as well and it's nice to see it put to the test.

Congrats on the great finish ~ well done!