We had a very busy day on Saturday around my house, so I didn’t get to watch much of the Ironman World Championship online. However, thanks to the 6 hour time difference, I was able to see the last hour or so of both the men’s and women’s races after I got the kids to bed.
When I caught up with things, Marino Vanhoenacker was leading the men’s race after turning in a crazy fast bike split of 4:35:15 (24.4 mph average). Marino had a lead of around 6 minutes when I started watching…but several guys were gaining on him. This usually happens. Guys that have the fastest bike splits rarely hold on in the run. By mile 15 of the 26.2 mile marathon, Marino stopped and eventually dropped out of the race. This opened the door for Pete Jacobs and Andy Raelert. Jacobs built a big cushion and there was no way anyone was catching him. It was cool to see him realize this soon enough to enjoy the last mile or so of the race. Pete Jacobs, as I predicted he might do, won the race in 8:18:37 and kept the title in Austrailia (that’s six winners in a row from down under!).
The real race was for second place. Frederik Van Lierde, I’ll call him Freddy, caught up to Andy Raelert with a few miles left after being previously passed. They battled it out until Raelert pulled away with about a mile to go. Former champs Craig Alexander and Chris McCormack didn’t fair so well. Alexander was with the lead pack on the bike until the half-way point. He faded and was unable to make up the ground on the run. He finished 12th. McCormack had a good swim and was holding his own on the bike before dropping out around mile 50.
|Cave (right) passing Steffen.|
The women had a more exciting battle. A lead group of Amanda Stevens, Leanda Cave, Mary Beth Ellis and Gina Crawford dominated on the bike. Caroline Steffen battled up to the front despite her and several other girls getting 4 minute penalties. Steffen lead on the run, but was being hunted down by Cave and Ellis…and of course Mirinda Carfrae. Cave looked good on the run, catching Ellis pretty early. As expected, Carfrae was running faster than anyone else. She eventually caught Leanda Cave, who was in second behind Stefffen at the time. I fully expected Carfrae to cruise past Cave and then run down Steffen. Funny thing happened. Similar to the battle between MACCA and Raelert in 2010, Carfrae caught Cave, but then couldn’t complete the pass. To my surprise, Leanda found an extra gear and left Carfrae behind. She surged on and eventually caught Steffen with about 3 miles to go. Leanda Cave went on to win in a time of 9:15:54. Steffen held on for 2nd with Carfrae finishing 3rd.
I had planned all summer to start trail running after triathlon season was over. I finally made it out last week and bought some trail running shoes from my good buddy Swag. I love Asics running shoes (I currently have three pair that I regularly use), so I went ahead and stuck with the brand. I bought the Asics GEL-Scout. With my new shoes securely laced up, I head off to Jefferson Memorial Forest on Sunday afternoon to hit the trails for the first time ever. I briefly looked at a map online, but since I wasn’t planning on going too long, I didn’t have an exact course planned. I couldn’t get my GPS watch to locate any satellites (I assume due to the dense tree cover), so I’m not 100% sure how far I went…I think it was just shy of 3 miles. The trail I chose was called the Yost Ridge Trail. It’s considered a “moderate” trail, but with it’s uphill start, my heart rate was jacked quickly. I tried to maintain a strong pace, but with the constant up and down of the trail, it was difficult. All in all, it was fun…but tough. I have a whole new respect for guys like Troy Shellhamer, that run 50-100 mile trail races. My plan is to try and get in a trail run once a week all winter and maybe even do a trail race or two. We’ll see how it goes.
We get most of our fresh produce delivered, but I do buy some stuff in stores. All fruits and vegetables have little stickers on them with a Price Look-Up (PLU) code. I also like to use the self check-out line if I only have a few items, so I have to type in the produce code. I have bananas memorized (#4011). What you may not have realized is that besides identifying the price of the food for the cashier, these codes have a second function. They tell you how the produce was grown.
The last four digits tell you what the food is, and are all in the 3000-4000 range. The digit before the last four is what is important. If there is only four digits, it means that the food is conventionally grown (using pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers, etc.). If there is an “8” before the last four digits, it means that it is genetically modified (PUT IT BACK!). If there is a “9” before the last four digits, it means that it was organically grown (BUY IT). Keep in mind that PLU codes are for use by stores and suppliers, so not all produce will have the stickers. For example, a conventionally grown Golden Delicious apple (my favorite) will have a code of 4021. If it’s organic, the code will be 94021.