Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
GOALS Adventure Racing Association kicked off it's 5 year anniversary season with The Savage Adventure Race. The event, held in Brandywine Creek State Park, DE, was a new location for this 6 hour sprint race. In keeping with the spirit of adventure racing and Earth Day, this race directly benefited the environment, by raising funds for the Friends of the Brandywine Creek State Park.
105 teams took to the starting line, as team representatives wound their way down and up a narrow trail to get their passports from an awaiting volunteer. Tension filled the air, as teams scampered to see if they would bike, canoe, run, or complete team challenges first. The teams would then rotate sequences. Teams that went to the team challenges first encountered a razor scooter course, knot tying challenge, and team stretcher carry. Most teams were quick to get through these, and were on their way to foot, bike or canoe. We knew it would be a tough race course when teams came running back from the initial opening activity with bloodied legs from the terrain. The "rolling" hills of northern Delaware were also deceptive, in that there was a lot more elevation change in the course than many teams anticipated.
A missing CP flag (stolen ,blown away, tampered with?...the mystery continues) on the canoe section, left the opening canoe teams on a hunt for the non-existent. Volunteers were soon notified, and word got to the rest of the race course as they came to that section. Time credits that first handful of teams for their search efforts. The wind proved to be an additional challenge to the paddle section on the Brandywine River, leaving many teams struggling to paddle the loop upstream, then down again. This added to many teams race times, especially the 2 person teams, making the course longer in time than originally anticipated. That's the beauty of adventure racing...you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you. Storms threatened the skies in the afternoon, but fortunately only a few teams were affected by the inpempending thunderstorms. Mother Nature once again!
The bike section proved to be more challenging than many teams anticipated with lots of ups and downs and ups and downs. Along the bike section, teams encountered volunteers who stopped them to take the Adventure Jeopardy Challenge. Teams had answer questions from a choice of categories, in order to advance in the course.
The winning over all team was a Masters Male Team of 2,Team Trail Creek Outfitters, with a finish time of 4:21:40. Team GOALS ARA (Coed 3) followed with a time of 4:23:26. Team Satori (Male 3) came in 3rd over all with a finish time of 4:32:07. All teams should be congratulated, it was by no means an easy race course.
From teams with wigs to teams with kids, it was great to see so many returning racers, and so many new faces. We hope that the new faces have caught the adventure racing bug!
A special thanks goes out to all the volunteers and the park who made this race possible. Thank you to Trail Creek Outfitters, The North Face, Fuel Belt, Hammer Nutrition, REI, and Trail Runner Magazine for their prizes.
The top 10 finishers in the coed/3 division are on their way to eligiblity to compete in the GOALS ARA Championship in the fall. Championship race is open to coed/3 teams who place in top 10 in any 2 GOALS ARA 2008 season races.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Later in the ride, we went by Fisher's Greenhouse. (This isn't really training related, but its a cute story about riding a bike by an old friend's house). Fisher's dad, Willie, had a greenhouse in Gratz when we first moved into our house many years ago. I swear I kept him in business for 2 years straight. I bought every herb from him he got in -- in multiple quantities. I was there so much I grew to know some of his kids -- Miriam and Allen, and of course his dog Rosie would follow me around. Miriam's least favorite job in the Greenhouse was separating sweet potatoe plants. Willie was my buddy. He loved to talk plants and herbs and so did I. That year (I think it was 1994), I was 2nd place in the Patriot News "How Does Your Garden Grow" Contest and I mentioned Fisher's Greenhouse in the Article and he claimed that brought him a lot of business (he was grateful). We shared plants (I grew herbs at the time he didn't have -- Sweet Annie was a huge hit!), and I helped him out when times got tough for him when he had his heart attack and his wife had brain surgery. He shut down the greenhouse, and moved down the valley. We'd see Willie every now and then, but not much. Now, he's about 3 miles from me (again!), working with his son who now has a greenhouse. Willie was out watering his grass and I just had to stop and say hi. A half hour later, we left with big smiles on our faces as we laughed at how Willie was trying to sell us his miracle cure -- GoJi Juice. He swears it cured his arthritic thumbs, and his wife is feeling much, much better (she was partially paralyzed and in a wheel chair, and is now walking around and doing quite well). Rick and I (well, more me) get a kick out of Willie. He's about as friendly as they come. Willie is Amish. It felt sorta awkward standing in an Amish family's kitchen in skin-tight spandex drinking GoJi juice. Rick said did I think Willie, his wife and young grandson thought we were in our underwear. Ha! Willie's an elder, and his wife Anna is as sweet and quiet as can be. I'm proud to have Willie as my friend. He said I should stop again when I ride bike by his place -- and I think I will!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
- Head - forehead in the water, not the entire head. You should be able to see your hand enter the water all the time. Think of a "V" at your forehead - like the hull of a boat.
- Elbows up - makes you naturally turn on your side and be thin in the water. Think small space to glide in the water. No big bodies in the water.
- One goggle in the water to breath. Move your head to breath as little as possible -- only enough to the mouth just barely out of the water for a breath.
- The pull - think of your arms around a barrel and pull the barrel back along your side.
- Arms entry - in front of you -- not across the front of you. Always keeps your arms straight in front. Across the side will make you wiggle.
- Timing - Pulling arm pulls as the entry arm enters. This is harder than it sounds
Dry land drills -- one of them is pictured above. Surgical tubing on a paddle-like board to practice pulls. Another is lying on your side on the floor and "zipping" up the side of your shirt. Wall touches - reach to the wall like you are doing a stroke, then pull back (correct form) with the other arm. The focus is keeping the arms straight in front of you to eliminate the crossing over the center line. When you cross over, you wiggle and lose the straight line and forward moments. I'm a BIG wiggler. (ha!). Candy and Andy are incredible athletes and I couldn't help but be impressed with not only their knowledge of the sport, but their genuine interest in helping people. It was obvious they enjoy what they do and were the bestest of instructors. I learned tons and can't wait to get in the pool on Tuesday and practice.
Prior to the Swim clinic, Candy and Andy gave a talk in the morning on Xterra racing in general. They spent a lot of time on training ideas and suggestions. I thought it was interesting that THEY put an emphasis on Swimming (they are swimmers), contrary to Melanie McQuaid's emphasis on biking (she's a biker). Hmmm... Here's a summary of the AM talk and training for Xterras:
- They never do weight training. It's all sport specific training
- Bike training is 80-85% on the road.
- Quality training, not quantity.
- Running - no need to log miles upon miles. Train for time. Maybe its only 30 minutes, but if good, quality interval training, that's all you need. One endurance run a week - doesn't have to be super long (an hour for Xterra races).
- 3 workouts on the bike, 3 workouts on running and 3 workouts swimming is all that's really needed in a week.
- 3 weeks training, 1 week cut back and resting a little.
- Swimming in the AM is fine, bike or run in the evening is good too. (two in one day ok).
- They always do a day of swim/bike/run together.
- They seldom train in open water - all swim training is in the pool.
- They use perceived effort for training - not Heart Rate monitors. Too many folks get fixated on what the HR monitor says and worry about that rather than the training.
And some side notes - bike style (hard tail vs full suspension) is personal preference. Pressure is personal preference.
The race promoters from Xterra Trimax (RB Winter) was there, as was the PA Xterra Trail Run series guru, Don Morrison. 13 folks in all attended the AM talk. Special thanks to Xterra Ambassador, Sue Ann Clarke for pulling it all together.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
- I mentioned earlier the focus - short (sprint and olympic distance) multi-sport. Xterra and Adventure racing mostly.
- Now that I know ANY race I do -- even if I term it "for training" -- is going to wipe me out, it was easy to cross off some races to open some weekends for easier training (and flexibility with kayking/gardening/etc).
- Kayaking and road bike rides with Mr. Brown are EZ days (recovery!), thus, once he tells me what and when he has planned in a week, I can adjust the harder days to the day before these ez days - niiiccceee.
- Non-race weekends are just like the sidebar training plan says -- 3, 4 hours of any combo of swim/bike/run/paddle. If I'm tired, I'll only do one day. The key is one, good, long endurance day each week.
Bottom line? I'm gonna attempt to do two hard workouts during the week (bike,swim,run combos), ez days in between the hard workouts, then endurance on the weekend, totalling about 10-12 hours a week. Every 4th week is a rest week with training hours cut to 60-70% of the norm. I think this will work!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
K-1 WOMEN WHITEWATER
Kristan Wyland 59:17
Sara McConnell 59:37
Chaterine Grigor 1:01:24
Jill Wiest 1:03:27
Janet Jastremski 1:04:04
Megan O’Riley 1:07:07
Mary Whitehead 1:07:52
Andrea Muller 1:15:25
Full results can be found at Tussey Mountain Outfitters Website