Friday, April 30, 2010

Back to training... over 25 mph?

Now that the high of my success at Du Nats has waned, it's time to really refocus on my training.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty easy, recovery days. I ran 5-8 miles Monday and Wednesday and swam twice, and by Thursday I had no soreness at all... just in time for a time trial!

Yesterday's time trial was the 6-minute, all out sprint, which I last did March 30, when I averaged 23.7 mph in a 20 mph wind. Conditions were similar yesterday, with a 15-20 mph headwind for half of the Gtown Rec Loop, so I was expecting, being tired from Du Nats, to either put in a similar or slightly slower effort.

Did a 3 mile warmup and started the TT. Right away I felt strong and fast. I refrained from looking at my speedometer for fear of being disappointed. But even with the headwind, I was flying up the hill on that portion of the loop, and the tailwind helped me on the other side.

6 minutes later, I came to a stop, breathing hard... and excitedly looked at my speed average... 25.2 mph!! That's 1.5 mph faster than I rode just a month ago! And only a few days after Du Nats. That's probably also the fastest I've ever ridden for at least 6 minutes... previous best was 25 mph flat. I've broken the barrier. My legs are getting stronger and stronger, and it's exciting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Duathlon Nationals Race Report -- Scotland, I'm coming!

*NOTE* Click on this link to watch the race in simulation format. Just type in my name or bib number, 2147.

Woke up at 5 AM Sunday, my heart fluttering around in my chest. I slept enough but woke up 10 separate times during the night, a typical race-eve sleep. I was excited. Gulped down a cup of oatmeal and ate a banana in 3 bites. Snapped my helmet and bike shoes to my backpack, pulled on my race suit and I was ready to go.

Michelle, her friend Carrie and I arrived at the race site around 8... the race had begun, but not our waves... we still had at least an hour until go time. Our bikes were pre-racked from the day before so all I had to do was lay down my shoes, helmet, grease my chain and pump up my tires. Bike was ready to go. I did my warmup, 10 minute run with agilities.

9:15... it was time for Michelle to do her thing. Gun went off and she set out with her wave of 30-34 year old women. Next was my turn.... 9:30. GO TIME!

I lined up 3 rows back with my wave of 18-29 year old men. I knew there would be some guys faster than me and a lot slower than me. I needed to make sure I didn't get overly excited and go out with the fastest guys. Ready? I am. GO!

The run started out FAST... very fast. Naturally... the first half mile was totally downhill. I stayed controlled though, just around sub-5 pace. But once the downhill ended, lots of guys were keeping the sub-5 pace. Really? That many fast runners? That can't be! I said "Relax, Andy... do your own thing," and this proved to be sound advice. The bikers started to slow and kept slowing. I started passing, but I wasn't increasing my speed. Perfect. They were tiring... I was barely breathing. I counted at least 15 guys in front of me. I was averaging a fine pace, a tiny bit slower than I planned, mid 5:20s. I climbed the hill into transition, picking off a few West Point cadets and threw myself into transition, feeling good. Run 1... DONE! 16:43. Good.

Slapped on my helmet, strapped my shoes IN transition to avoid a repeat of Doylestown. Ran my bike out of transition, READY to show the results of my bike training. However, right away there was a problem... my aero drink bottle had popped loose of its bracket and was rattling in my aerobars... and then I hit a small but sharp speed bump... and the bottle flew OUT of the bars, straight into the air! I instinctively put my hand out and caught it just as it was about to fly behind me, and stuffed it back into my bars. It was loose, but I could keep it in place with my forearms... nutrition crisis averted. Now, time to race.

I went for the first 2-3 miles more or less alone... waiting for the bikers to catch me. And they did. BUT... but... they weren't getting away. I was responding! I wasn't letting them break away! I've never held on to superior bikers before... but I was now. I looked at my speedometer... 23+ mph average! I started feeling confident, very confident. I was in a pack of good bikers... and was LEADING them! I was pulling them along. I told myself, "This is the result of my training. I'm here to fight and I'm here to win," and kept the effort level at max. The first lap ended... I was feeling fantastic. I still felt aggressive and strong. I was pushing the hills and hanging on on the flats. This was becoming the ride of my life. Never before had I rode this long at over 23 mph and never had I been so competitive and bloodthirsty on the bike. I wanted to crush the 8-9 guys in my bike pack. People were cursing and spewing accusations and obscenities at each other. It was a hellstorm of competitiveness and I was feeding off of it.

Lap 2 ended, 1 to go. I was feeling fresh still... last year, at this point, I'd be struggling and wishing the bike would end. I wanted 3 more laps!!! At the same time I felt a 5K waiting in my legs. I knew that despite my aggressiveness on the bike I had a good 5K left in me. "ZeroZeroTwo, let's get this bike done and not lose any placement." And that we did. I cruised through the hills and gave the last flat everything my quads had left -- I won't be using those muscles on the run, after all. I led the pack into transition, capping a fantastic ride... 1:01:08, 23.2 mph... a personal speed record by far.

Hopped into transition, got into the wrong bike rack aisle. I saw my rack 2 aisles away. I found some open space under the racks in between so ZeroZeroTwo and I ducked under and ran straight to my rack. Threw off my helmet and glasses, racked ZeroZeroTwo and slipped back on my Brooks flats. Off I go, time to catch some bikers!

I immediately surged past some of the guys I biked with. They were no longer a concern. The group of 4-5 ahead were my target... about 1/4th of a mile at least. I could catch them, I knew it. I was averaging low 5:20s to the first mile... made a turn and there they were, still in a pack of 5. I quickly came upon them and working together, they made a rookie/biker mistake of trying to surge to keep up with me more than 1.8 miles away from the finish. Goodbye, I'll be on my way. I never saw them again.

Continued my pace, not looking behind. I knew no one would catch me. I was tired, but not dead. I knew one guy, who appeared to be a runner, was 15-20 seconds back. I kept pushing. I reached mile 2, mid-high 5:20. Final stretch coming up... one mile to go. I knew I had qualified for Worlds at this point, and saw no one in my wave ahead of me. How high was I? No matter, just finish. I started to feel a small pain in my quad with a steep hill ahead. Finally looked behind me... as I expected, a guy 20 seconds behind. I thought... get a great time or prevent a possible injury and hang on to my placement? I decided the latter... wisely. I wouldn't be caught. I eased up and coasted to the finish... Run 2, DONE, 17:01...

FINISHED! I pumped my fist viciously as I crossed the finish line. I knew it. I qualified for Worlds, and I placed high.... 24th overall, 7th in the 20-24 age group. Epic. I thought on my best day I would be maybe top 40 overall, top 10 age group. Not once in this race did I want it to end. I just wanted to beat people. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee a 23+ mph bike. Without a doubt, my best overall race ever. Michelle had a fantastic race too, 6th overall, 3rd age group, in a much tougher than expected women's field. She too qualified comfortably for Worlds. Superpower effort on her part.

Bring it, Columbia.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Oh boy! The waiting game!

4 good workouts this week, no pain, just anxiety over the fact it's still several days until race day.

Monday, good brick-y thing, run-bike-run-bike-run-bike-run (run at 5K race pace, bike at race pace) on Richter Farm Rd and Darkstar (AWESOME) Rd. Runs were 800m, bike was 3.1 miles of rolling (read: windy and hilly) road, resulting in some slightly lower than average speeds. But I was able to keep up with Dirk for the rides, which is a great sign for me. Overall, I felt like my legs responded perfectly between the running and biking.

Tuesday, easy ride, nothing special. Loosened up legs from the super duathlon-y brick-y thing on Monday.

Wednesday, sharpening track workout that Michelle devised... 4x (600m @ 5k pace, 200m @ jog) with a bunch of strides before and after. The 5k efforts felt EASY and controlled, just how they were supposed to feel.

I swam for endurance this AM and will run sometime in the afternoon.

So my body's ready. My mind is almost there. I just have to not get fired from my job for continually almost missing deadlines and forgetting simple things.

ZeroZeroTwo is ready... are you?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yankees visit the Confederacy

Michelle and I visited Richmond on Saturday, the site of the USAT Duathlon National Championships. I've heard all sorts of things from people... brutal course... not-so-bad course... hilly, short, technical, you name it.
Got there and was greeted by Civil War veterans (both of the Union AND Confederacy) packing heat... muskets with bayonets and revolvers and swords. Terrifying. Especially since Michelle and I weren't supposed to be amongst them. We were just trying to find 2nd Street. We managed to escape alive, but we felt their stares that emanated through their war-ravaged, fully-bearded faces.

We first tested out the run course. It was pretty confusing the first time through. Rumors of lots of turns and gravel turned out to be true. But it wasn't hilly. A few light rollers and a steep downhill start, but other than that, pretty flat (heh, that rhymes). I can see how times were pretty fast last year, as we measured it to be a little short.

We couldn't ride the course, as much of it takes place on busy highway/bridges, so we drove it. It looks tough. Plenty of false flats, rollers, and probably the worst of all... highway entry ramps: steep, curving hills that empty onto flat or false-flat roads. I'll need all the acceleration I can muster. But the hills work to my strength, which is on uphills. I can really gain and separate on people on the bike when the course is hilly.

So basically, everything that everyone has said about the course is true. It's technical, it's hilly, it's short, brutal on the quads but really not so bad. I'm looking forward to it even more now.

Friday, April 16, 2010


After the SLEDGEHAMMER of a track workout that I did on Wednesday, I decided to forego strength Thursday AM and instead sleep in until 6:08. It felt good.

In the afternoon I met with Michelle for a POWER bike interval workout at Gtown Rec Circle. 4x7 minutes at zone 3 HR, 60-70 rpm (which means lowest gear on flats, and POWER up the hills). Last time we did this, I was averaging low 23s for the first two and high 24s for the second two. I wasn't listening to what my Garmin was telling me in terms of HR then, so I wanted to do this workout adhering closely to my HR measurements. For the most part I stayed within the 161-170 bpm range and came out with some awesome speed readings:

24.5 (Had a little trouble keeping HR down)
24.8 (Had some road bikers doing intervals in front of me... so I picked up the pace a little to pass them and spit on their faces)

I don't remember Michelle's exact speeds, but she was between 22.5 mph and 23.2 mph for all 4! That's a big improvement for both of us, as neither of us have been within the ranges we hit today for that long in a workout. Our power output has increased a LOT over the past couple months.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hammer Time

After a few weeks of moderate / recovery track workouts, I finally had a 2 week window between races/bricks that I could put in a SLEDGEHAMMER POWER track workout.

Michelle and I met at MC a little early to avoid the crowd with a plan for 6x800 cutdown starting at 5K pace. Warmed up for a mile and did 3 striders and started the workout... In Dirk fashion, here were my splits:

2:28 (4 seconds too fast...)

We didn't do a 6th because we were pretty exhausted after 5 (attributed to our recent races). I bet the too-fast first 800 also wore us out. Michelle ran consistent, despite also going out too fast for the first one, and finishing at a 5:00 pace.

A good workout in all, this shows I'm ready to smash my mile PR later in the summer and will make my current 5K pace feel easier at Du Nats.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Modest start to the week

I haven't been sore at all from Doylestown, thank goodness. Just as I hoped, it has affected me as much as a typical SuperBrick... legs are tired but no pain. I can resume training as usual, and I won't feel the effects at Du Nats.

Monday I rode (maybe a little too hard?) with Michelle and swam in the AM. Again, it was hard. I was struggling to reach a fast pace and hold it... my shoulders were a little bit sore from biking with the old glasses (I recently got new larger lenses to solve this problem... so far it's working!) and the pool was still too warm. It made me worried about Columbia... the questions returned.

Tuesday Michelle and I lifted in the AM and ran in the PM through the rain at Schaefer Trails. It was a relaxing and VERY therapeutic run. It felt good to be back on the trails. It helped clear my mind of Doylestown and adjust my focus SOLELY on Du Nats. More on that...

This AM I had a bounce-back swim... an endurance workout with some power intervals mixed in, about 2 miles total, and I felt great. No more shoulder/trap soreness and my endurance returned. IT'S ABOUT TIME. Unlike Monday, I felt ready for Columbia as my body remembered that it doesn't hurt THAT much to swim long and fast.

Du Nats is only what, 10 days away? I'm so motivated for this race. I'm ready to die on the course if necessary.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A realization & pictures

I took almost a whole day off from training yesterday after the duathlon, skipping a probably NEEDED swim but going for a leisurely recovery ride with the always intrepid Michelle, who had just raced the race of her life earlier in the day. It was a good ride, but thoughts of the skipped swim and so-so bike ride the day before at Doylestown started clouding my thoughts.

So I became gloomy and thought some dour thoughts. Have I really made improvements on the bike? Is my endurance good enough for a 40K race-pace ride? Will I really make the jump to the next level this season? Is this the sport for me? A moment of weakness indeed!

Duathlon Nationals is in 2 weeks and Columbia is in 6 weeks. I need to get my mind in the right place. I wasn't planning on going all out at Du Nats, as I want to be brimming with fitness and energy for Columbia, but perhaps, as Dirk often notes, I need to race too, not just train. Racing well can really give a significant confidence boost. I felt it after the half marathon, the MD Invite 5K... but having held back quite a bit at Doylestown, I don't know what I can do. From today I will approach Du Nats like it's my last race of the season... I won't hold back and will attack it like it is a Famous Dave's chicken tender basket.

Doylestown Duathlon pictures:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Doylestown Duathlon race report

Dirk, Robbie and I, with Wiggy in tow, blasted up to Pennsylvania (plenty of traffic) to participate in the Doylestown Duathlon... a 5K-"30K"-5K small-but-well-attended race that attracted some top talent and age-groupers seeking a tuneup for Du Nats (I needed the practice too!). I was convinced by Dirk and Robbie to sign up as an elite rather than an age grouper to get some good practice and competition.

We had a comfortable pre-race evening thanks to Wiggy's parents' hospitality, and I was well rested for race day. It was cold and windy, but nothing I haven't trained in before. I felt ready but nervous as it was only my second duathlon. We got to the race site to discover that we had a hilly race ahead... the run course was rolling and the bike was too, with some sharp climbs and descents. Dirk and I did some strides and had to rush our preparations as we were slightly disorganized - it's been a while since we had a multisport race!

I lined up with the elites and we set off. I let Dirk and Robbie pull the fast elites with them and I hung back at 5:30/mile pace. That's about tempo for me now, and I felt quick but smooth. I took another elite with me, coming into T1 in 16:52... I planned on 17:00, but close enough! Quickly got my bike and helmet on and ran out for the ill-fated bike start...

I got on my bike, shoes pre-clipped into the pedals. I had only practiced this minimally and was really going at this transition technique trial-by-fire. Turns out I should've practiced! I started up the hill out of transition, with my shoes un-strapped and as I was trying to pedal, my right shoe came loose from the pedal, my bike came to a halt and ZeroZeroTwo and I collapsed to the ground!!! What a shock! I got up, shaken, and tried to gather myself together. I threw my tire levers and gel, which had fallen out of my bento-box, to the side of the road in frustration, slapped my shoes on and tried to get back on the bike... forgetting that I hadn't adjusted my gears to an easier cog. I couldn't get my shoe in the pedal again because I was trying to pedal too hard, and I fell AGAIN. COME ON, DAMNIT! I finally settled down, manually shifted to the proper gear, and got started after a 90 second or so delay. Of course, the bike ride went great. I was averaging at least 22 mph on a hilly course, and came in under an hour for 34km. In fact, I felt AWESOME on the bike. If I hadn't lost all momentum from my falls, I probably would have had a pretty quick bike ride... Frustrating.

Fortunately my bike ride was good enough that I lost little or no ground to the age groupers who I had to stay ahead of. I was completely alone on the ride, as the last elite was with me when I had my first crash. No age groupers in sight behind me. I came into transition wanting to finish the race and cancel out my delay on the bike. I racked, got my flats on, and shot out of transition.

My goal for the final 5K was 17:15, just a little slower than my plan for the first 5K. But I found out right away that I had a lot more leg left than I anticipated. In previous triathlons, the same effort on the bike exhausted me... but now I felt FAST. I was excited. I started really pushing it. I was getting down to 5:30s! I thought I'd be at 5:45s! I saw Robbie, who was crushing the race and well on his way to a comfortable win, and Dirk, who had gotten lost on the bike ride (it was poorly course-marshalled), was behind me after the bike but running fast. I couldn't let him catch me! I lengthened my stride and sped up. I was cruising!! I got to the finish and looked at my watch... 16:49! My 2nd 5K was faster than the first! Awesome.

I ended up 6th overall, beating all of the age groupers, 6th and 4th on the runs and 14th on the bike. In all, a good day placement-wise and a great sign of things to come this season. My run post-bike has really improved big time, and my bike is somewhat competitive, finally (despite falling down twice!). Dirk and Robbie had amazing efforts as well (mid-15 5Ks and FAST bike rides). I'm not as excited about my bike as I was a few days ago though...

And finally, a huge FIST PUMP for Michelle, who was just seconds and inches from breaking 60 minutes in her FIRST 10 mile race. Unbelievable, for someone who was sweating getting under 61... I think its time for her to start running with the elites!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Running season ends as multisport season begins!

Tomorrow is my first multi race of the year, the Doylestown Duathlon (5k-30k-5k). It's more a tuneup for Du Nats, but its a race nonetheless and several anticipated age-group rivals will be racing. It'll be a good practice and scouting opportunity for me. I'll want to out-race people, but I need to remember that this is only replacing a brick, and I absolutely CAN NOT leave it all on the race course... I need everything I have for Du Nats. I'll leave the race to Robbie and Dirk, who are sure to go 1-2! Instead, I'll focus on my transitions, pacing and my aforementioned potential rivals.

Still, I'm ready to race... the benefits of months and months of quad-searing rides and workouts will be on display tomorrow. I'm going to try to get 17s for my 5Ks, maybe high-16s, and try to ride at least 23 mph, depending on the course and conditions. It appears it will be chilly and a little breezy... 10 mph winds and low 40s (which will feel like mid-30s with the wind). But as Michelle and I discussed, weather won't be a problem... we've trained together in WORSE conditions.

Don't forget, readers of The Chicken Tender Runner, to give Michelle a good luck shout as she will be going for sub-61 (maybe sub-60) at the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on Sunday, for just her first 10-miler!

No excuses! I'm ready for this.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

25 mph and more lava swimming

Yesterday afternoon I met Michelle at the Gtown Rec Park loop for a power bike workout: 4x7 minutes at 60-70 rpm cadence, meaning lowest gear. Unlike spinning, this workout forces you to push hard on the pedals and FORCE yourself forward. It's tough on the quads. It was also hot and dry out, so we had to contend with that, but WE ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE!!!!

"Will YOU accept the challenge?" Thor asks.

Keeping my HR around tempo pace or slightly higher, I averaged 7 minute interval speeds of 23.8, 23.5, 25 and 24.5! Those last two are some of the fastest intervals I've ever ridden! It helped that some smarmy road bikers were out there bragging to each other about their racing exploits. I don't always have the luxury of chasing people during workouts, so it was nice to catch up to and pass those road bikers and their logo-emblazoned jerseys. Now I know how Michelle feels whenever she sees me, a smarmy triATHAlete, in front of her! Oh, and she rode well too, reaching 23 mph on her last interval! Record!!

This AM I accepted the challenge again of Mt. Etna/St. Helens/Kilauea/Krakatoa/Vesuvius (aka Germantown Indoor Swim Center) and churned out a tough swim (6x50 descend and 300 WARMUP.... 4x300 race pace, 50kick, 4x150 race pace, 50kick.... 300 cooldown). It WAS hard, as the water was still LAVA hot.

Kind of like this:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brick Track

After my body recovered from that sufferfest in Mount Etna/St. Helens/Kilauea/Krakatoa/Vesuvius (aka Germantown Indoor Swim Center), I headed to the Northwest High School to meet Michelle for a new brick workout... on the track! Bikes were set up on trainers just outside of lane 8, and it was a GREAT day. There was a gentle breeze to cool us off and the atmosphere decided to create thin veils of cloud to block the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays from further damaging my already crisply burnt skin from Mount Etna/St. Helens/Kilauea/Krakatoa/Vesuvius (aka Germantown Indoor Swim Center).

Brick called for a 15 minute bike warmup into tempo HR pace, followed by a 400m run at 10k pace as part of the warmup. The main set consisted of 4 sets of 5 minutes biking (2 minute spin, 3 minute race pace) followed by a quick transition into an 800m run at 5K pace (5:00/mile). GREAT duathlon training! Michelle and I didn't wait up for each other as that would defeat the purpose of quick transitions and keeping the intensity up. I was consistently keeping my 5K pace under 5:10/mile pace, which is where I wanted it to be considering the workout and conditions.

Most importantly, when I was running, I wasn't tired and my legs weren't hurting. I had a little cut on the back of my heel which stung somewhat, but other than that, both my biking and running were not compromising each other like they did last season. Michelle looked the same, meaning our training is paying off (I make this observation nearly every post when something goes well).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lava swim

It's warm outside, and that's great. But one would think that perhaps, with it being warm outside, that a pool operator of an indoor or outdoor pool MIGHT lower the water temperature to make the water a little more refreshing. That, readers of The Chicken Tender Runner, was not the case today.

I hopped into the pool this morning for a strength workout for swimmers... 2200m of pull, kick, and buoy swimming. When I belly-flopped into the pool, I was immediately struck by how warm the water was. BAD! If its warm when I haven't even warmed up, its going to feel like LAVA when I'm actually swimming. And LAVA it felt like. I pushed through the sets, but it truly felt like I was freestyling through an active volcano that had just erupted and released phoenixes and devils into the sky. It was hot. And I was suffering. My arms felt heavy and tired, I felt dizzy near the end, and I still had 300m left to swim! I felt like a BURNT CHICKEN TENDER. I decided that rather than die, I would just get out of the pool and step into a really cold shower. And I did. Whew.

Sunday I met with the MAN of The Netherlands, Dirk, for an "easy" ride. It wasn't hard, just when I ride with Dirk, I tend to push the pace a little harder. OUT OF FEAR. We cruised through Beach Drive and added a hilly loop. 22 miles or so, several minutes over an hour. It felt good. We were as usual the fastest people out there. We agreed that probably no one else out on the roads train as hard as we do. It's a good feeling to have.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rest of week and time trial

Wednesday I met with Michelle at MCRRC track to do a Pacers workout... 2k cutdown to 5K pace, followed by 12-8-8-4-4 at 5K pace, getting a little faster after each set. The cutdown was a bit, uh, all over the place, but found my pace for the main set. Michelle wasn't ever too far behind and even tried to make a race out of it on the last 4, speeding up 3 seconds to finish 5 behind me. ROCKIN!

Thursday, strength in the AM, and we convened in the PM for Schaefer Hills, but only 3 of them. We were both feeling the heat, as neither of us have done many workouts in 65+ weather. But we flew up the hills on all 3. My legs felt awesome, like I could have done 2 more. Once we're used to the warmth I see 5+ hill set workouts.

Friday I had a strange run... in the AM! I rarely ever run in the morning except for races. I had to do a TT of sorts, 1 mile controlled followed by 1.5 miles all out. I didn't warm up correctly and started the controlled mile cold (started at 150 bpm when I should have been at 179 bpm), and came in at 5:00. My legs felt beat... they shouldn't have. Did a recovery lap and started the 1.5 mile set... 7:37... slower than 5 minute pace. Not good. I should have been at slowest 7:30. I need to take my warmups more seriously...

Saturday brought the most anticipated workout of the week... and outdoor bike time trial!!! I haven't been able to really test out my speed for longer than 10 minutes because of the poor weather we had over the winter. This TT was to be 30 minutes of ALL OUT biking! A good test of what I can do.

Michelle and Dirk joined me at the Gtown Rec Park loop... hilly but car-less, best we can ask for in this area. We warmed up, strapped on our new sleek aero helmets and started. I spent the first 10 minutes ahead of Dirk, nearly 10 seconds... I thought, wow, either I'm going too fast or Dirk is going too slow. Usually, and as was the case here, its the former. I went for the first 10-15 minutes at 24 average... but as I wore down, Dirk shot past me as I tried to hang on. My speed was still fine, maintaining 23 for the final 15 minutes. I sprinted as hard as I could through the last lap, hitting 30 minutes at the TOP of a hill! Damn! If I had only had another downhill...

Looked at the speedometer... 23.5 mph!! I bet it could have been faster had I not shot myself onto the course like a rocket and had it been a flatter course. Hey, though, 23.5 mph through hills bodes well for Columbia. Dirk got something over 24.3 mph, as was expected by me... but the real star of the day was Michelle, who clocked in at 22.2 or .3 mph! Holy cow. And she said she was up to 23 mph on the last two laps. I feel bad for the bike specialists at Du Nats... not only is Michelle one of the best runners, but also now one of the better bikers.

A successful day for all, in addition to a learning experience for me.