Sunday, September 11, 2011

Max Muscle Sprint Triathlon

my Rotary's Max Muscle Triathlon - Sprint triathlon individual results

Max Muscle Sprint Triathlon
September 11, 2011
Klineline Pond/Salmon Creek Park, Vancouver, WA

Total Time:  1:30:28  (8/13 age; 16/67 overall)

Last triathlon of the 2011 season.  Even though I have not been specifically doing triathlon training this year, it has been important to race as much as I can to gain experience and employ appropriate race strategies for given situations (remember when I forgot my liquid nutrition for the Rev 3 half-iron distance event?).  This event is a lot of fun and put on by some great people at Max Muscle nutrition stores in Vancouver.  Plus it is in my ‘backyard’ at the local park less than 2 miles from my house where I do most of my training runs and open water swims.

Swim:  750m 14:45 (1:58/100 yds), 5th out of 67

This was the cleanest I have ever seen Klineline Pond.  I could actually see the bottom up to about 10 feet.  They started all of the sprint distance men first.  Finally a starting official that doesn’t give a bogus countdown… just sound the flippin’ gun and get us going.  I despise countdowns.  Anyway, off we go.  Since I didn’t do any form of warm up, I wanted to just take it easy and enjoy the swim.  I immediately had to protect myself from getting kicked and hit from the guys to my sides and in front of me.  But I have been through this a lot so it didn’t freak me out.  I started stroking and got moving.  I was right next to this guy for about 200m.  We kept bumping into each other and I saw that I wasn’t going any faster than he was, so I stopped for a moment and then tucked in behind him to follow his draft.

We got to the first turn buoy and I looked up and could still see the leader just about 20m ahead of me with about 7 guys in between.  What?  Are ya kidding?  I am in the lead pack!  This has never happened before.  Let me see what I can do for the rest of the swim….

I dug deep as we rounded the turn buoy, cutting it very close to reduce the distance.  I then focused on smooth gliding strokes and a good technique.  From photos from previous events, I notice I pick my head out of the water too far, so I tried to keep my head down.  I quickly zoomed by 3 guys.  Cool!  We went another 200m to the next turn buoy and I could still see the lead guy about 40m ahead now but just 2 guys between him and me.  I came around the next turn buoy and quickly passed the next guy, I was now in 3rd down the backstretch.  I swam hard and was getting tired but didn’t care what it was going to do to the rest of my race, I didn’t want to get passed.

My hand touched the bottom of the pond and I got up.  Whoosh!  I am dizzy.  I wanted to take off running right away, but had to walk a few steps to get my bearings.  I came out of the water in 3rd place, but was quickly passed by 2 guys before I got to the transition timing mats.  Still pretty cool for me!


Into transition and my head was spinning.  Ugh!  I got to my bike and I was seeing spots.  I tried to take off my wetsuit, but I almost fell over.  I needed to slowdown and hold onto my bike while I peeled it off.  Then I fumbled around with my shoes, bib, GPS and everything else.  Ugh.  I entered transition in 5th and left in 10th.  Not good!

Bike:  12 miles 43:56 (16.4 mph) 18 of 67

A challenging but great course.  We headed out and had to climb a hill outside the park.  Then a few rollers with an awesome downhill followed by a steep uphill.  I got up to 43 mph on my bike.  Ooooh baby!  My heartrate was redlined at 152 bpm for quite awhile.  I tried to get it under control but could only get it down to 138 for a short period. 

Much to my surprise I wasn’t getting passed very much.  Usually I am toasted numerous times and it is disheartening.  I got passed just a couple of times before the turnaround.  As the riders went passed me the other way, I counted and figured I was in 13th place overall at mile 6.  I dug deep and didn’t want to get passed again.

Got passed a couple of times on the huge, and I mean huge, hill out of Salmon Creek.  Many riders were walking their bikes, I was in my granny gear, standing up grinding away.  Two guys come flying by me up the hill.  Goodness sakes!

Into transition and I am already dreading the 5K run.  Slam my bike onto the rack, change out my shoes and then fumble with my helmet and hat.  Then grabbed the American flag I had on my bike and headed out on the run.

Run:  5K 29:03 (9:20/mi) 32 of 67

The run continues to be my slowest discipline.  Today’s time was cruddy because of poor triathlon execution during the swim and bike, which I knew was going to happen, but come on, a 9:20 pace for 3 miles?  I should have been able to do 9:00 for sure.  But I was really tired and it was hot.  I had guzzled all 24 ozs of my water during the bike.  I was so parched I had cottonmouth.  The aid station wasn’t until the turnaround.

My initial pace was pretty good at about 8:30.  I even passed a couple of guys!  All right!  But then I had to slow down about mile 1 and it seemed like everyone was passing me.  I got to the turnaround and hung out at the aid station for about a minute guzzling water.

I was carrying the American flag and I got lots of cheers and compliments, “nice flag!’ “love that flag”  “never forget” etc.  Pretty cool.

Came into the park for the big finish.  I raised the flag above my head, I could hear people cheering and clapping.  Then I could hear the announcer Tracy shouting out “here comes Mike Rudolph, our resident Ironman with his American Flag.  Mike you’ve got someone closing fast on your heels!”  I turn around to see a guy sprinting up to me as we had 100 yards to go!  I gesture like “oh my goodness” and took off sprinting.  We were in a dead run and I barely held him off before the finish!  I turned and gave him a high 5, “Hey, I wasn’t planning on that,” I declared! 

Finish:  1:30:28 8th out of 13 in Age (M40-44) and 16 out of 67 overall.

Oh brother!  I was tired.  My right ankle was very sore from overuse during the Hood to Coast relay a few weeks prior.  I was spent.  It was great to see Wendy there at the finish!  Yay!

Overall a good day, although my execution wasn’t very good.  I still had a great time and am glad that I did it.  I look forward to next year when I get to do Ironman CDA in June. 

Thank you all for your support

Quote: “There’s no such thing as a successful triathlon with a great swim split followed by crappy bike and run splits!  A successful triathlon requires great discipline, patience and execution of all 3.”

Monday, September 5, 2011

Camping at Mt. Rainier--Labor Day Weekend

Wow! Had an amazing time camping with Wendy's family at Cougar Rock CG in Mt. Rainier National Park. It has been 14 years since I had been to MRNP and in total, I think I've been there just 4 times my whole life. Cougar Rock CG is located between Longmire and Paradise on the south side of the mountain. The weather was absolutely fantastic, couldn't have asked for more perfect weather!

Headed out Friday with Wendy, Brandon and Erik with the truck loaded down with all of our equipment.  Arrived at the park about 5pm or so and found our spot.  CRCG is a very nice campground with lots of trees.  It has flush toilets and cold water for drinking and doing dishes.  It also has an amphitheater and evening programs. 

Attended the evening program which showcased various trails and hikes around the park.  The Ranger was informative and funny.  We were able to pick up some map sheets for trails in the local area.

Camping is often all about the nighttime campfire.  We enjoyed roasting marshmallows to make s'mores, hot dogs and PB&J pockets on the pie-irons we brought along.  This is so cool.  Ooo---eeeey, gooooo-eeeey goodness!  The kids found a way to wedge a piece of chocolate in a marshmallow and then roast it on the fire.

The night was pretty chilly, but the air was crisp and clean when we awoke.  Made up a nice breakfast of "Wendy's Eggs."  Wendy's eggs have ham, cheese, green onion and Fox Point seasonings.  Erik and I love her eggs.  They are so good.

After organizing we decided to head to Paradise.  Again, the weather was gorgeous, the sky was blue, the sun was warm and the views of the mountain were just breathtaking.  Along the way, we stopped along the road to take in some views.  After some pictures we went to go get back in the truck...."Dad, would you please unlock the door?"  Uh oh!  I had locked the keys in the truck!  3rd time in my entire lifetime and the previous two times were just last year!  Am I losing it in my old age????  We are in the middle of nowhere without cell service.  I recently became a member of AAA, but I wasn't about to wait for hours for an unlock.  Ugh!  After my previous experiences, I knew I could force a wedge in the top of the door between the weather stripping and the jamb.  Then insert a rod like a coat hanger and push the unlock button.  But, what do I have for tools?  I found a rock, but it wasn't rigth enough.  I dug through the back of my truck and found two sturdy tent stakes.  Okay, this will work for the wedge, now what to do about the rod?  We started using a stick but it was too flimsy.  We thought some more and some more.... Erik came up with the idea, "what about using the antenna?"  Of course!!!  I unscrewed the antenna and was then able to insert it into the hole formed by the tent stakes used as wedges.  After some monkeying around, we all jumped around like excited girls on Christmas when the unlock engaged and the truck's alarm started sounding as I freed the door!!!  Hah, hah!!!

We went up to the lodge where we met the rest of the gang.  We showed them pictures of the ordeal, in order and they all got a kick out of the story.

The gang all went on a short hike through the meadows of Paradise.  We found some nice flowers, oh they were beautiful and also a waterfall.  We found some snow fields and of course had a snowball fight!

Later Saturday night we had a surprise 40th Birthday Party for Curtis! 

Sunday morning Wendy and I got up at 5:45 and headed up to Paradise for the sunrise.  Mmmm, wow!  It was so beautiful.  We made it over to Reflection Lakes where I took an awesome photo of the mountain and of a waterfall.  We'll just see if these make it to my portfolio some day.

Later that morning we made bacon, eggs and hashbrowns.  Mmmmm, more yummy goodness.  We tried making eggs on the pie-irons and wow!  They are fantastic.  I am thinking that next time, we should try to cook all of our meals on the fire.  So many possibilities with these devices. 

At the end of our camping loop, there were lots of large trees that had fallen over the years and had made a great playground where people could walk along these logs as they hung about 10 feet off the ground.  It was so beautiful and fun.  Makes me wish Aaron and Lauren were there, they would have had a blast!

We then headed down to Longmire and took in some sights down there.  One of the best times was looking at the suspension bridge and then eating ice cream on the bench outside of the General Store.

Dinner was chicken kabobs.  Mmmmm, had these earlier in the year and they are really good.  In the afternoon, we played Yhatzee.  Later at night some folks played multiple solitaire and Uno.  I was pretty tired so I went off to bed. 

At night, the stars were so magnificent.  The sky was lit up from one end to the other with the Milky Way Galaxy.

What a super fun time camping with everyone.  I especially loved meeting and visiting with Beth and Dave (Aunt and Uncle) Cousins David and Britta and her husband Neil.  Also can't forget David's son Zeke who is 5 and reminded me of my little ones.  Of course we always have fun with Maija, Curtis and Daisy Mae and the Sternbergs--Aaron, Becky, Jordan, Hannah and Marly and Lily, and Gene, Cathy and Sofie.  We had 4 camp spots all next to each other.  What a great weekend!

These storage bins rocked!!!