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Race Result

Racer: Kevin Kunkel
Race: Rock and Roll Half Marathon - Va Beach
Date: Sunday, September 4, 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Race Type: Run - Half Marathon
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 1:33:29
Overall Place: 444 / 16217
Age Group Place: 57 / 1070
Comment: Tri training doesn't help run race performance. Period!

Race Report:

I've some mixed feelings about this past Sunday's Rock'n'Roll 1/2 marathon. If you haven't done it, you must. One would have to look long and hard for a race better organized and managed. I've run it 3 of the 5 years they've held the race and it seems to get better every year. It truly is a first rate race in the (reasonably) local area. This year the elite fields were stacked with a large number of Olympic medalists and former world record holders. Too bad I'm still reeling from my lackluster performance.

I have to admit due to some injuries my run training is a far cry from what it's been over the last several years when I focused on marathon training. I took up tri training as a way to lessen the burden on my body and do something new. I was told my many that my running wouldn't suffer that much. That's a load of crap! I used to train 55-65 miles a week just about all year long. I'd run a fall marathon along with Boston every year. Since I took up tri training this year I've managed to run anywhere from 20-35 miles a week--definitely not enough. It's hard finding time when biking takes so long. With this year's season nearly complete I'm left with a couple observations. one, my weight is harder to control, with running the pounds would melt away. Second, I thought all the aerobic base gained through swimming and cycling would at least help my ability for endurance running.

In the past, a half-marathon would be a good, hard workout stressing my lactate threshold. It also serves as a useful tune-up for determining overall marathon fitness. This wasnít the case for me this time around. Everything started well, I was hydrated and warmed up. I managed to get in my comfortable Ĺ marathon pace 6:40s for the first couple miles and it felt pretty easy. If I managed this pace throughout I would be about 5 minutes off my PR and doing pretty well since I havenít been running that much. I comfortably held that pace for the first 2-2.5 miles. Then I had to make an unscheduled pit stop for a little GI distressónote to self: a greasy calzone is not the best night before meal. After that stop I couldnít seem to get back on pace. I managed to hold around 7:00 until the last couple miles when I slowed by about :10-:15 seconds. What I found strange is that I had the leg speed but no endurance: the exact opposite of what I thought Iíd have having done all this tri training. I ended up coming in a very slow (for me) 1:33. Iíve run marathons at a faster pace! Worse yet, I was, and am still, very sore. I feel as if Iíve run a hard marathon. I still canít walk well down stairs forward. You marathoners out there know what Iím talking about. This is not going to bode well for this Sundayís Reston triathlon but I will still give it my best.

Maybe some of you out there can help me out. This really has me discouraged about staying in the triathlon fold. As a runner exclusively, I worked out 8-9 hours a week max, lost weight, and was in peak shape. Iíd recover from a Ĺ marathon like this in a day or two. Itís been three and I have a hard time getting out of bed. I hope this is just because in my first year of tri training Iíve bitten off more than I can chew and that with time and work it will get easier and my body will better adapt, because right now Iím quite discouraged. Iíve pretty much decided that a marathon is not in the cards for me this year. I will make Reston my ďBĒ race and will focus on ending the season up strong down at the Outback Biglick in a couple weeks. I hope some of you out there will give me some hope and promise for better things to come.