Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 Race #2: Snake River Sprint Triathlon

OK, before you read this race report, you must agree to view the following video one, and video two featuring my adorable brand new baby twins, River and Terran Greenfield!

Now that we've stared at two scowling babies and my stinky crotch, it's down to business. The second race of this season, the Snake River Sprint Triathlon, is similar to the Vancouver UBC - a bit unorthodox due to it's early date. The swim actually takes place on a Friday night, then you are seeded in the next morning's bike/run according to your swim splits. This is because the only body of water in Lewiston, the Snake/Clearwater river is just a bit cold, like suck-your-genitals-up-into-your-body cold.

I am the defending champion of this race, and was confident going in that I could repeat. Lewiston, ID was bitter cold on both Friday and Saturday, making for snowy and chilly race conditions. Nothing like time trialing your bike through a snowstorm! I considered wearing my snowsuit, but was concerned about the puffy legs getting sucked into my chain. ;)

The swim was smooth. Friday night I showed up, signed in, and waited my turn to swim. My 500m was a 6:13, and since I was aiming for a 6:15, I was happy with it. Later this season, once I've laid down my speedwork, I'll be fine to break 6:00, but for an early season race, this was a good time for me. I swam very hard, and was proud of myself for not peeing in the pool, which I will occasionally do when I swim that hard.

The next morning, I headed out to the bike/run portion. Upon arriving at the race, I found out that there were a few swimmers faster than me, including some young girl racing on a team division that swam 5 minutes and change. Humbling. I swear, kids are doping at younger and younger ages.

For this race, pre-race breakfast was a chocolate Bumblebar and a yam. Yum. I slammed a GU gel prior to the bike time trial and used GU sports drink from a CeeGees water bottle during the bike event, mixed at about 200 calories in 6oz, since I didn't want much fluid volume but wanted a dense sugar solution to keep my blood levels elevated. I also load with Millennium Sports Kreaceps and Citruvol for 3 days prior to the race, and took Hammer Gel race caps, Impax enerprime, and Impax Delta E to amp up the volume a bit more. Afterward, of course, I refueled with Wicked Fast Recoverease branched chain amino acids, since I've got a killer bike camp to coach next week (check it out at - I'll be blogging while I'm down there hopefully).

The bike was fast, and I passed everyone but first place, who I rode into transition directly behind. This guy, Michael Berquist, is known for being a very speedy short courser, and I knew it'd be tough to out-run him, so I was a bit apprehensive about not being in front of him on the bike. Since Michael is stationed at Fairchild air base, he was unable to make it to the swim the night before and "phoned in" his swim time (which incidentally was 25 seconds faster than mine), so I was surprised on race morning to see him there (and surprised the race director actually allowed this, since the rules clearly state that if you cannot swim, you are given a slower "default" swim time). Not that it's Michael's fault that the race director let him break the rules, but I did feel a bit strange that I had to drive down the night before, swim in a foreign pool, sleep in a hotel room, and get up the next morning to race, while he stayed home and called in a swim time (unverified by race officials) from his home pool. This seems unfair to me.

Michael outran me by about 20 seconds, and although I beat my last year's time by 2 minutes, I ended up with a 2nd place overall and 1st place division. I was happy with the showing for a quick weekend race, and a big shout out to my sponsors, especially Wheelsport East, who is busting butt to hook me up with a carbon time trial bike for this race season (keeping fingers crossed that it gets here in time for Ironman!). I have to admit that I have a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth after this race about the first place guy not actually racing against me in the pool, but life goes on, and there are bigger and better races coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Ben Greenfield

Sunday, March 9, 2008

1st Race of 2008 - TriBC

Wow. TriBC is a big race! I'm sitting here on my computer at 1pm, the race "officially" began at 7:30am, and there is still wave after wave of triathletes hitting the pool, like little lemmings in bike shorts.

Lastnight, stayed at Ramada Inn on Granville St. in Vancouver. Justin, my co-worker who I travelled up with, agrees with me that this might be the "red-light" district of Vancouver, evidenced by the plethora of porn-shops, clubs, bars, hookers, and, of course, screaming ambulances, police sirens, and drunken voices keeping us awake into the wee hours of the morning. It was like trying to sleep on the couch of a frat house living room on a Saturday night. Not that I've ever had to do that.

So needless to say, I was a bit groggy on Sunday morning when we packed up the car and headed to University of British Columbia (UBC) for the race. So groggy, in fact, that I left the Zipp 606's leaning against a white pick-up truck in the parking lot of the hotel. 30 minutes later, as I stood in the parking garage of UBC, I realized my mistake. This is a $2000 wheelset. It does not belong to me.

I said some really nice things, like, "Oh Darn" and "Fudge", then hopped back into the car to race back to Ramada with 1 hour to race start, leaving Justin at UBC to go check-in my wheel-less bike. That must have left some head scratching at bike check-in.

Drove 70mph through residential zones back to Granville St. As I pulled onto Granville, a car flashed it's lights at me. I didn't have mine on. I stopped and peeled the dead squirrels, rabbits, and reflective running vests off my windshield, then kept going. ;)

At 7am, breathless, I arrived back at the race, Zipps in hand. Apparently hungover Vancouver prostitutes have no use for an aero wheelset early on Sunday morning.

This is a weird race, because they send you into the 50 meter pool one-by-one, and you trip the timing mat with an ankle chip as you start the swim. You literally zig-zag through the pool, swimming under lane lines, up to the 1500m mark. I tucked in behind some fella in a Blue Seventy Point Zero 3 Speedskin and hung on for dear life, drafting for the entire 30 lengths. I downed a gel while running 300m in bare feet to bike transition. The swim felt easy, because I'm a draft wuss. Official swim time: 24:34

Aside from the unique swim, the rest of the race is pretty orthodox. 40K bike, technical, lots of twists and 180 degree turns. I came out of the pool in 6th and had a very long transition onto the bike (hey - I haven't shaken off the off-season rust quite yet!) With a light sprinkle from the sky, I was nervous about sliding my bike off the road on every corner, but had to ride hard to stay in the running. I managed to avoid crashing and passed 2 dudes. My non-gloved hands were blue when I got off the bike, and not because I ran over a Smurf. That was in the car when I was driving back to the hotel. It was freakin' cold! (mid-40's) Official bike time: 1:02.42

I came off the bike in 4th and proceeded to run my first hard run of the season. I have done zero speedwork so I knew this 10K was going to hurt. You know you're in trouble when you have to start "counting steps" at 1/2 mile to stay focused. The guys in front of me were flying and there were some very fast looking UBC triathletes behind me, so I was kinda uncomfortably sandwiched. My legs died at about 5 miles, but I managed to fight off an up-and-coming UW Husky in the last 20 meters to finish the run in 3rd. Official run time: 36:51

Official age group and overall placing: 1st age, 3rd overall

I hurt. Going to go check out the ITU 2008 World Championships bike course across town, then drive 7 hours back go Spokane!

Over and out,

Ben Greenfield

P.S. For you nutrition junkies out there, pre-race meal: two packets Perpetuum, 6 Impax Enerprime tablets, 2 Impax Delta-E's, 1 Impax Prost-Elan, 3 Millennium Sports Cordygen5, 1 Hammer Gel Race Caps (yeah, I ate my sweet potatoes the night before). During the race: 300 cal HEED on the bike, 1 GU coming out of the swim.

P.P.S. For you tri-junkies out there, Blue Seventy goggles, VO2 max suit on the swim, with long sleeve bike jersey pulled over it on the bike, Giro Transition 2 helmet, Specialized 2007 Transition Elite bike, Zipp 606 wheelset, CeeGees Aero Bottle and Aero Pads, Asics Magic Racer shoes.