Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tackling Rockman 2013!

The past couple weeks have been quite busy. Edgerton hosted the one and only Patch Adams on Sept. 27 and 28 for the Sterling North Book and Film Festival. I was privy to his visit at the Ronald McDonald House in Madison on the 27th, and later that evening at the red carpet author’s reception. He is a very caring, comedic and serious man.
Unfortunately, I did not make it to the book and film festival. Instead, I was in Watertown participating in the 3rd annual Rockman Challenge. The triathlon begins with a paddle on the Rock River (2 miles this year), a 15.5 mile bike course, a 5K run, quarter mile military style obstacle course and 50 meter sack hop to the finish. Your reward? A finisher medal and chicken dinner!
The past couple years my goal was just to survive. And after my canoe rental was not there in year one and my borrowed trick kayak submerged in the middle of the lake, it was rough. But I was determined to finish. That first year I spent 4.5 hours completing the course.
Last year, my canoe rental was actually there and that alone shaved a half hour off my time. Although taking time off is always a good thing, I was disappointed with my 3 hours, 56 minutes finish.
During the past year, I have taken steps to a healthier lifestyle. I’ve found a nutrition plan that works for me, and I have shed 15 pounds. When I began this year’s Rockman Challenge, all of that work became apparent. Despite the fact I had not paddled any kind of boat in a year, I found myself moving much quicker on the lake. The bike portion - well a huge part of it no doubt was my road bike versus the mountain bike the last two years - but even that was easier. I pedaled up hills instead of disembarking and walking, and I was biking a mile in 4-5 minutes versus 6+ minutes last year.
Sack hop to the finish baby!
The run and obstacle course were the same. The 5K run is always the hardest. My muscles need warming up from all the biking. I had run/walked two of the three miles before my muscles finally warmed up and running was comfortable. The third mile I finally hit my stride. The obstacle course felt harder this year, probably because I was pushing myself harder.
When I finally crossed the finish line, my time was 2 hours, 51 minutes, 15 seconds - a full hour and 5 minutes faster than last year. Granted, the paddle and bike courses were each a mile shorter this year, but I figure that only accounts for 24 or 25 minutes - the other 40 minutes were personal improvement.
Talk about neon swag!
Looking towards next year, I plan to train a lot more for the race. My road bike is relatively new - I brought it down in June - and I think also figuring out what speeds for going up and down hills will help. Next year, I am aiming to slice another 30 minutes off my tri time.
Although I plan to do the Rockman Challenge again next year as an individual, it would be great to make it a group event. I encourage anyone interested in triathlons or looking for a fun, personal challenge to check out the race.
Much thanks to the Watertown Challenge Association for continuing to host this event, and to Rutabaga for the amazing canoe/kayak rentals!

Hope to see you there in 2014!

(How about that Rockman T-shirt? I am planning to don my race shirt for the Glow Run in Madison next May!)

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