07:01
:14

Jim Bridger 10 Miler

Posted in Racing by
Montana isn't exactly the triathlon hotspot, but one thing that is very popular - trail running.  We're lucky to have unique and challenging races like the Bridger Ridge Run, and this past weekend, the Jim Bridger 10 miler.  In case you were wondering, everything around here is named after Jim Bridger, the original mountain dude back in the 1800s.  Towns, mountains, businesses, dogs, cats, children; everything is named Bridger. What is the Jim Bridger Trail run? Ten miles, over 2000 ft of climbing, and a couple of stream crossings along the western slopes of the Bridger mountain range, just north of Bozeman.  If that isn't hard enough, this years race had the added challenge of mud, rain, hail and lightning. It's a race that goes back 20 years and Bozeman seems to harbor just enough crazy people to keep it going. [caption id="attachment_13208" align="aligncenter" width="300"]JBrun map The route[/caption]   Anyone who has trail run with me knows that I'm probably going trip and eat it at some point during the run. I scalped half my forearm running with Andrew Hodges on a flat easy trail just a week prior. I wore gloves to protect my hands, and went with an old orange running shirt, so my nice Castelli Timex wear wouldn't  get damaged during my autopsy. I didn't have a full face helmet, so I just went with a Timex Ironman hat. The race starts with 2 miles of dirt road before hitting single track for the remainder of the race. The traditional "meathead surge" lasted its usual 1/4 mile, before some guys that looked like serious athletes made their way to the front, although the pace was still rather easy.  After about 1 mile, we turned right onto Middle Cottonwood road, which began the days climbing. I got impatient and moved the to front and set the tempo up the long gradual climb to the  trail head. Not an attack by any means, but it was enough to cut some fat and break away with two other guys. Just two other normal guys....   [caption id="attachment_13209" align="aligncenter" width="300"]race start Me, left of center, in bear hunting attire[/caption]   Once the three of us entered the woods, the trail was wet, slippery and muddy. Myself and "some dude" in a US Ski Team shirt (as I later found out,  3 x Olympian Andy Newell) were able to distance ourselves a bit after a stream crossing, but I was in the rearview soon there after.  The trail became extremely steep, with ankle deep mud at times, and I found myself slipping and sliding, while Andy powered off ahead of me like a mountain goat.  It felt like we were a few obstacles and some biceps away from a Tough Mudder. Within a few minutes, he was out of sight, and I was on my own in second place.   [caption id="attachment_13210" align="aligncenter" width="300"]JBrun Climbing up middle cottonwood [/caption]   The toughest part of this race, besides the steep trail, mud, and elevation, is that almost all 2000 ft of climbing comes at once. There's no downhills to recover on, its run up the mountain, run down the mountain, and hope your Achilles and quads don't explode.   I fought the mud, and tried to stay out of sight from my chasers (note to self : blaze orange shirt was the wrong color. wear camo next year), but at one point I could see 3 guys not far behind. The climb was steep and neverending. Maybe I should have pre-run this section of the course, but in this situation, I think ignorance was bliss. At 50' into the race, I crested the top of a ridgeline  onto the only mid race downhill besides the long descent to the finish. It also started to rain. I'm not a great downhill running , so adding water to the mix didn't help.  I managed to stay upright and began the final climb to the top of Sypes Canyon trail for the final ~3 mile slip n' slide to the line.  The bad news was that I could hear heavy footsteps closing 20-30" behind me. It was either a hungry bear, or another runner. I pushed hard on the final hill, but my lead only lasted  about 3/4 of a mile down the descent before being overtaken by the other member of my early trio, Dan Campbell.   [caption id="attachment_13212" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Top of Sypes Canyon Top of Sypes Canyon, all downhill from here[/caption]   Coming into this race, I had absolutely zero ambitions of a top finish, but now I was in third and willing to take some risks to stay in the top 3.  The rain was coming down heavy, and Dan soon dropped me as the trail became a muddy creek bed.  I was cold, and could barely see anything, but was bombing downhill on the adrenaline rush from what was turning into an epic adventure. In the last mile, one final short uphill up and around some cliffs gave me a clear glance over my shoulder to see an empty trail and 3rd place securely in my hands.   [caption id="attachment_13213" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Last little lump before the finish Last little lump before the finish[/caption]   I crossed the finish line at the Sypes Canyon trail head in 1:22:59, just under 3 minutes back from the win, with no blood making an exodus from my body. A little google searching after the fact, and it turns out that not only was the winner an Olympian, but 2nd place Dan Campbell went to the Salt Lake Olympics for Biathlon as well. Getting crushed by two dudes that went to the Olympics - I can't feel too bad about that.  I really enjoy these grass roots events where you can have fun  racing, versus being lost in the crowd at a big city event. With all the elite skiers that come out of this area,  you never know who is going to show up.  This race was quite an adventure and I can't wait to partake again next year. I better start working on my abs for the finish photo.   [caption id="attachment_13214" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Shirts on if you didnt go to the Olympics Shirts on if you didn't go to the Olympics[/caption]   More pictures and the story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle HERE -Mike
06:30
:14

That Juicy Double

Posted in Racing by
Back Camera Over the winter I signed up for Boise 70.3 and Boulder 70.3 thinking they were 2 weeks apart. WRONG!  No big deal, I've done back to back 70.3s. In fact, my two fastest times at the distance are only 7 days apart. I rolled into the epicenter of triathlon around noon on Saturday, did a little ride, dropped off the bike, and then sampled some of the local culture (purchased gluten free goods at Whole Foods in compression socks, Newtons, and my Boise 70.3 shirt). The triathlon and cycling scene in Boulder was a little overwhelming, especially coming from Bozeman, where a "triathalon" would be something like skiing, fly fishing, then floating the river. Transition closed around 6:30, so I threw my wetsuit on and got fired up!  Yeah!  Whoo! Then, I waited until 8:15 to actually start the race in wave 15. I killled time in the porta potty line, for lack of anything better to do. I had a good start, but didn't feel quite as peppy as I did in Boise. For whatever reason the swim was a lot more congested than the week prior and I was constantly running into people. My 30' swim time was a little faster than Boise, but I wasn't goin' like a turbo' Vette. Onto the bike, the first 15 miles were the scariest I've ever experiened in a race (other than at the now defunct Compton 70.3). The course took us out onto a major road, with open traffic, and a relatively small shoulder. A nice road for riding under normal circumstances, but with hundreds of people on the road, riding 2-3 wide at times, the only place to make a pass (or ride faster than 15mph) was out in traffic. It was sit in slow bike traffic, or risk getting hit by car traffic - a decision that can become cloudy amidst the adrenaline of a race. I passed conservatively, but still had two very close calls that nearly ended my day/life/existance.  I ride on roads in Montana with 70mph speed limits so I'm no baby about traffic, but this was ridiculous.  A few cones on the road would have made a world of difference... or what about those girls that start all the street races in the movies? A few of them too. I was about to just call it a day when we made a right turn onto a road with a much larger and safer shoulder. After 15 frustrating miles, I became afflicted with the "hate hammer" for the next hour or so, and rode a little too hard, given we had a nice tailwind. The back nine was  nicer, with quieter traffic, and less race congestion - or so I thought, until some bro in a  purple Ford Focus waxed my arm before powersliding into a subdivision. I faded a little in the closing miles, but ended up riding 2:13.  I felt like I had a sub 2:10 bike split in me on the day but lost too much time amongst course congestion. I tore out of T2 with a 5:30 something opening mile, and felt pretty darn good. Like last week, the first lap was all about sub 6:30's, which I had no trouble holding. I caught another guy in my AG around mile 4, which required another sub 6 min mile. I wanted to just sit on him and rest for a min or two, but decided to just make my move on the small down/up that was right infront of us. I didn't actually expect my slight surge to work, but it did, and I never saw him again. First lap highlights included another close call with a car that decided to run a controlled intersection. There were also a couple  big training groups just out running the course that I had to manuever around....I geuss there was no where else to train in Boulder today, huh? I got to mile 7 and someone back in Boise hit the slow motion button. Cruising 6:15s became slogging 6:45s, but I mamanged to not get passed by anyone. I held on for 1:25 run, about the same as the week prior, which I am happy with. Overall time of 4:12 was a little slower than the sub-4:10 I was shooting for, but thats OK. -Mike Boudler result  
06:27
:14

No Regrets

Posted in Fun, Racing, Training by
daphgrad I was told by some wise friends to make sure I keep a clear calender for the weeks leading up to High School Graduation. I didn't quite understand why, but trusted those who had gone before me. The one thing I committed to when my oldest started her Freshman year is that I would have no regrets when I look back in four years over the time I would have spent with her and each of my girls and my involvement in their lives as teenagers. I planned my race schedule accordingly. I raced two races in April. I raced Lifetime Marquee with much success and took a happy 2nd place there. I was pleased with where my fitness was for this season opener. I have been coaching myself and working twice a week with Chris Smith of Empowered Performance on strength. We have been targeting my hammy/glut issues that I have struggled with since a severe injury back in 2009. Next up was St. Anthony's race. My goal here was to go top 5. Fitness and taper was spot on, unfortunately, I under prepared for the heat on the run and at mile 2, I was forced to slow the pace to keep the HR manageable for the duration of the race. I wasn't too disappointed as it was a good to know my taper were a success and I felt on fire during the swim and bike. I managed a 13th place finish which qualified me for the 5150 HyVee US Championships. At this point, May was right around the corner and I pulled the plug on structured training. I was in graduation mode full force with my daughter, requirements deadlines, family arriving and party planning. Wow! I was truly lucky to get one workout in some days, but I just went with the flow and did what I had time for. All came together and Graduation came and went with many emotions for this Mamma. We then decided to be jet setters (as client Tom Stone would say) and head to Italy and Croatia for three weeks. IT WAS A BLAST! Once again, just ran when the schedule allowed and we even snuck in a 4 hr Bike Tour of Rome and swimming in the Adriatic Sea! Regardless to say, I am a little unfit now for the end of June. I am really trying to jump start and regain my fitness quickly for August races that seem to be coming very quickly. Doing this amongst the summer schedule with the girls and some more travel sprinkled in, is calling for more early morning sessions than I like. As long as I have Sunshine on my side, I'll be good :) As I sit and reflect as College for my first is literally less than 2 months away... And as my second just had Senior Photos taken, and as my third is already running with HRHS Cross Country preparing to be a freshman  this fall; I can look back and truly say thus far, I have no regrets. I plan to say that two more times. As a parent, you are either there, or not. I have chosen to be there.
06:23
:14

70.3 Syracuse: Perfect racing conditions

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I like to use the month of June to race as much as possible. So 70.3 Syracuse was my 3rd race in three weeks (70.3 Eagleman and Pat Griskus Olympic were the first 2). I was feeling some pretty good fatigue during the week, but I was hoping a couple of light days just prior to the race would do the trick to get my form back on track. I traveled up to the race with my friend, Chris Swift. We had a great weekend handing out Timex swag and talking to other athletes about all the multisport options that Timex watches offer. 2014_Syracuse_RV Race morning came with ideal racing conditions. It was in the mid 60's with just a slight wind. The temperature did not get above 80 degrees until later in the afternoon. My only concern was the fact that my swim wave was the 17th to start (3rd from last). I knew I would need to be extra careful navigating through 2,000+ athletes throughout the day. However, I was very excited to finally use my BlueSeventy Helix! eaglemanblueseventy Once my swim wave was released, I just focused on navigating the crowded course in the safest way possible. 2014_70.3Syracuse_swimstart I had a relatively uneventful swim except for one of the guys in my wave that decided that he was going to spend the first 600 meters swimming back and forth in front of me. One minute he was to my left, then he came right across me heading to my right. I literally stopped in place as I was so frustrated. Finally I just decided to push as close to the buoys as possible. It was thicker with athletes there, but I was able to lose my off-course competitor. I came out of the water in 27:34 (53rd OA/3rd AG). 2014_70.3Syracuse_bike My goal for the bike segment was to build my effort. The first 11 miles are pretty hilly and I wanted to make sure that I settled into my proper race effort. It's always very easy to spike the effort to high at the beginning of the bike as the adrenaline is flowing and the legs are fresh. My second goal for the bike was to take more electrolytes than I had at 70.3 Eagleman. So I really paid attention to my intake throughout the entire bike. The combination of the weather, a slight tailwind on the 2nd half of the bike, and patience netted me a 5 minute improvement on the previous year's bike split. I came into T2 in 2:18:06 and had moved into 15th place overall and 1st in my age group. The run course is a 2 loop out and back format. I had a similar run strategy, so I just focused on trying to get my cadence up and settle into my rhythm. I had to ditch my strategy as I was returning from the first turnaround (about mile 3.5). I was shocked to see Dave Slavinsky (2x ITU Duathlon World Champion) gliding up the hill towards me only 2:42 back. Dave is an exceptional runner. I knew that I would need to run really well to hold him off. I had made one big mistake at the beginning of my run. I had not taken any electrolyte tabs and my left quad started to seize up. I immediately bit into a salt tab and had the same wonderful experience that I enjoyed during 70.3 Eagleman, ugh. It did work again, fortunately. I knew that I would need to be very attentive to any future cramps but I needed to run as fast as I could. My first turnaround split had been at 6:49 pace uphill. I was able to drop my pace down to 5:43 pace on the return to the run start. When I saw Dave again, my spread was 2:29. The 2nd half of the run is always were it can all fall apart, so I just tried to stay within myself and keep my form together. I ran the out section at 6:17 pace this time. However, when I saw Dave my spread was down to 2:15. I had 5k left to run. I made a deal with myself that if he was going to catch me, he would have to run a sub 5 minute mile in order to do it. I ran the last section at 5:47 pace and crossed the finish line with a 1:20:41 run split. I had managed to hold Dave off and cut 5 minutes off of my previous year's run time. Final Results: 4:09:27/1st Amateur/10th Overall 2014_70.3Syracuse_awards
06:15
:14

70.3 Eagleman: Enjoying the racing

Posted in Racing by
I am definitely a numbers person. I'm a big believer that heart rate and power data can make a big difference in how athletes execute their race plans. I love to get as much data as I can during a race and analyze that data afterwards. However, sometimes it's just nice to race. I headed down to Maryland to participate in the 70.3 Eagleman with my two friends: Chris and Jay Swift in a pretty nice ride:eaglemanrv2 After hanging in these great digs, it was time to start some racing. There was an announcement race morning that the swim would be non-wetsuit. I was pretty surprised by the announcement. The spring weather had been so chilly that I had never thought that it could be a non-wetsuit swim. I had not even packed my Blue Seventy skin suit(rookie mistake). While I was disappointed that I would not be able to race in my Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit: eaglemanblueseventy, I knew my Castelli Trisuit would perfcastellitrisuitorm. Once our swim wave got started, I settled in quickly and found some feet to follow until the first turn buoy. It got really crowded around the buoy and I lost my escort at this point. So I navigated the remainder of the swim solo. I came out of the water at 29:55, which put me in 4th place in my age group. I was in and out of transition quickly as I had a method to my chaotic setup: eaglemanbiketransition My new Trek Speed Concept 9.9 is so much fun to ride and extremely comfortable. I quickly dialed in to my heart rate and power numbers. As the ride progressed, I had to keep reminding myself to stay in the moment. My thoughts usually wander during the bike segment and I tend to flake out a bit. Coach Paul Regensberg had called for a steady effort on the bike, without any major efforts, so my legs would not be smashed for the second half of the run. I kept this mantra throughout the bike and came off in: 2:13:01. I had moved up into 2nd place in my age group. However, I did not know this at the time. I came out onto the run and saw my friend Chris Swift: eaglemanrun I asked him how I looked. He replied: "great". I mumbled, that's not what I'm asking, but it was to late. I was off onto the run course. My goal was to settle into the run and build my effort. I didn't want to push hard to soon. My legs were also feeling a bit crampy. I tried to focus on my cadence and rhythm, but my left quad seized up on me at mile 2. I quickly bit into one of my salt sticks and covered my tongue in the fantastic tasting powder, ugh. My quad released, but I shortened my stride to be safe. As I continued on down the road, the cramping came on two more times. I repeated the same pleasant experience with similar results. I always love seeing the older age groups out on the run course. They love the competition and always give me updates on my age group. As I ran past a 60yr old male at mile 3, he yelled that there was one in front of me and he was 41. I had no idea how far up the road he was, but at least I knew where I stood. I ran by my teammate Pierre-Marc DoyonPierre-MarcDoyon at about mile 5 and he told me that the guy I was looking for was up ahead in orange. He seemed to have a decent gap, so I just tried to run steady. My cramps had subsided at this point, so I was looking forward to just racing. I hit the split on my Timex Run Trainer 2.0 as I saw him passing and then again at the turnaround. He had about 36 seconds on me. On the return trip back to the finish line, I could see the man in orange slowing at each aid station to get fluids. I felt good and just kept the same pace. I figured I was pulling about 10 seconds/aid station back on him. I saw my teammate Dave Harju running in the opposite direction at the 9.5 mile mark. He yelled that I was 25 meters back. It took me another .5 mile to close that gap. As I made the pass, we had a brief discussion about the number of Kona slots in our age group (there were 2 as we had 401 athletes in our division). I felt pretty good into the finish. I had managed to run 6 minute pace on the 2nd half of the run and I finished with a run time of: 1:20:03. Final Results: 4:05:43 (Course PB) 1st Overall Amateur/ 13 Overall - Heading back to Kona! 2014eaglemanawards EaglemanAwards2014 Love racing with my teammates! eaglemteampic

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