Dates: June 16, 2013 (SF Half Marathon), and June 9, 2013 (Folsom International Triathlon)
Photos: Nick (SF Half Marathon) and Sarah (Folsom International Triathlon)
Sarah and I had a pretty fun month of June with a couple of races – Sarah raced in the San Francisco Half Marathon and I raced in the Folsom International Triathlon (Olympic Distance). We both scored great weather and had a blast!
SAN FRANCISCO HALF MARATHON
Sarah had been training since January for the Half Marathon. She did the First Half Marathon course – starting at the Ferry Building, going along the Embarcadero, crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge and ending up in Golden Gate Park.
Ultimately, Sarah did awesome and I think she has the racers bug! We are already signed up to do the Big Sur Half Marathon together in the Fall. She really impressed me and impressed herself. Sarah ended up 2132 out of 6002 participants in the First Half Marathon, 785 out of 3097 women and 279 out of 1088 in the woman 30-39 age group. She ended up with a total time of 2:10:03 and an average pace: of 9:56.
Sarah gearing up, picking up the packet the day before!
I drove Sarah over to the Ferry Building and drove back our place to get my bike. I ended up biking the course (or roads next to it), so it was very fun to be able to cheer Sarah on the entire race.
Sarah a little nervous before the early morning start. This would be the longest she had run in her life!
Every time I saw Sarah, she looked super happy!
Sarah running along Crissy Field, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
I ended up catching Sarah as she came across the Golden Gate Bridge through the Presidio.
The course heads across Baker Beach before heading into Golden Gate Park.
I missed the finish and Sarah by one minute! I was bummed as I got caught at a traffic light on my bike on the way to the finish. Still, I caught Sarah right after. She was so pumped!
Sarah is already running and training for the Big Sur Half Marathon in the Fall!
FOLSOM INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON
Early in the month, I had participated in the Folsom International Triathlon, an Olympic distance event that involves a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and a 10K run. The event was held in and around Nimbus Flat State Park and similarly there was great weather.
My primary goal for the race was to work on my half ironman distance pacing – as I am going to be participating in the Vineman 70.3 Race next weekend (a half ironman distance). Therefore, I wanted to use the Olympic distance of the Folsom race to really work on heart rate pacing.
I think my strategy worked out perfect as I felt absolutely fine after the race and really did feel like I had a ton of energy left in the tank – that will obviously be critical for the half ironman distance.
I was also pleased with my results – I ended up with a total time of 2:37:37, with the following splits: (i) 31:15 swim, (ii) 2:31 T1, (iii) 1:17:54 bike, (iv) 1:26 T2 and (v) 44:31 run. I can definitely make up some time on the transitions, but I was taking them pretty relaxed given I was more focused on pacing during this race rather than trying to get an awesome time. My swim was a bit slow, but I was more trying to really conserve energy for the run.
Within the Olympic distance age group division (meaning, excluding the elite/professional division), I ended up 12/29 in my age group, 52/188 of male participants and 63/325 overall participants.
Sarah got a shot of the my group about to start the swim – we treaded water at the starting line. The water temperature was perfect, and very clear as well.
I felt good coming out of the swim as I really concentrated on an even, relaxed pace for the swim.
Starting off on the bike. The course was one big loop and very flat. Unfortunately, it was also pretty windy with a headwind most of the back-half of the course. I was just concentrating on maintaining my heart rate at a specific zone and racing my own race.
Given how flat the course was and the headwind, I was definitely getting smoked by some folks on super aero triathlon-specific bikes with deep wheels, aero helmets, etc.. While I definitely passed some folks, I was having a hard time cutting into the wind, and I think I could have improved my time with a more aero setup on this course. Yet another check into the “I should get a tri-specific bike setup” column. While improving the engine, so to speak, is definitely the number one priority, on these super flat courses I think having a triathlon bike makes a difference.
I will also be interested to see how I feel getting off my road bike for the half ironman distance next weekend. Beyond just the aero benefits, the other benefit of a triathlon-specific bike is the geometry which puts your legs into a different position that uses less of your hamstrings. Therefore, I have read that a triathlon-specific bike sets the rider up better for the run after because the triathlon-specific bike geometry focuses on using a different set of muscles than are primarily used on the run. Unfortunately, my road bike set-up cannot really mimic that geometry so I suspect that my legs are definitely going to feel rough next weekend heading into the half marathon run after riding 56 miles on the bike!
Coming back from the bike course, I was still feeling really good as I had maintained my heart rate the entire race in my aerobic zone.
After a quick transition, I was off for the 10K run. I felt good and was able to negative split – meaning increase my pace each mile of the run.
During the last two miles, I really pushed it hard given I had saved a bunch of energy the rest of the race. Sarah got some shots of me basically sprinting the last 500 yards or so.
Sprinting into the finish – feeling great!
I really enjoyed the race – it was very well organized, had good food after and was efficiently run. The course was fun and pretty easy (i.e., very flat). I hope to do this race next year as well. It worked perfectly for my goal of using it to train for my half ironman pacing. Also, it was good to get a race in during very hot temps given my age group at Vineman 70.3 next weekend is the last to go unfortunately! It is going to be so very hot by the time I get to the run next weekend – something I am just not used to…. It’s gonna be rough!
Fortunately, I know Sarah will be there to cheer me on.