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Old July 23rd, 2013, 02:33 AM   #41
Jim
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I think the main thing they still need to work on is course navigation. My wife was skating in the 10k (8 weeks after giving birth) and once again the course workers tried to direct them in the wrong direction. This has been the case for the half marathon every year she has skated it. We both know the course well so she correctly navigates it every year. Others, who don't know are often misdirected and consequently do not skate a 10k, a half, or a marathon but something different. This year was especially bad since the tried to direct the 10k crowd backwards up the horse shoe against traffic from the marathon and the half. This could have had very bad consequences and bad injuries. I know the course workers are volunteers and I appreciate what they do, but there has to be improvement in this area.
The intersection you're talking about was near the finish. There was a line of cones across the road which made it look exactly like 10K skaters were supposed to turn right. There were a couple of course workers just standing there looking important who didn't say anything when I turned right. It all seemed wrong so I yelled back at them asking if I was getting it right and they said no, I was supposed to go straight through the line of cones.

I understand why the cones were there. They prevented skaters from the north from turning left, but what about skaters coming from the east? They were faced with a line of cones across the road and that does not seem like something you find on a race course. I'm somewhat familiar with the place so I didn't get lost but what about the first timers? Hell, that might explain why some of the times were pretty slow....like as long as 1:45 to skate a 10K.

The simple solution is signs. How long does it take to write FULL, HALF, or 10K with a directional arrow on a piece of cardboad and staple to a stick?

Other than all that, I had a great time!
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Old July 23rd, 2013, 04:47 AM   #42
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As far as turn out goes, they really need to separate this event from indoor nationals. Having the two close together only worked the two times that indoor nationals was in or close to Illinois. This year they were in NM which is way too far away for people to do both. I suspect this influences the turn out of the pro pack as well. I don't know if there would be an increase in the quad folks but there is no way they could have made both since quad nationals were run on Saturday.
That's why I wasn't there. There was not a flight late enough on Saturday that I could be sure of making my last event on quads (and awards). I was pretty exhausted on Sunday from a full week at IDN, but I would have tried the full marathon. I live in northern Indiana at this point, and I have family in Chicago. I was actually pretty excited about the opportunity to skate Chicagoland until I figured out there was just no way to make it work.
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Old July 23rd, 2013, 07:13 PM   #43
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I totally agree that the schedule conflict with IDN is a problem. It seems like it would impact the Advanced group more than the Elite groups. The Elite group guys can correct me here, but I get the feeling some of them were glad not to see Justin Stelly...

Regardless, this course has a bad reputation for the road conditions. There is that nasty spot out on Central that takes up basically the entire lane, there is the whole section of the turn around on Central which is just a mess, now the tar snakes on Lakewood, and the holes/gravel/sand on the turn around on Lakewood. I didn't think the tar snakes were that bad, actually, but I am used to pretty terrible training conditions. They could stand to just repave the roads, that would be step one, and would go a long way to fixing the problem. I don't think Hoffman Estates cares, though, for this kind of event.

We had a guy go down in the second pack in the advanced group in the turn around on Lakewood. The sand/gravel and the wet spot there took at least one person down behind me on lap two.

I am working on editing my race video. If you want the view from the back of the advanced pack (27th out of 45), I will get it posted to YouTube in the next day or so.

My race was similar to ThePerambulator. I came out of the start thinking if I was out front on the first set of hills. I should have pushed through, because I think I may have been able to keep up. I got dropped headed around the corner going to the Lakewood section. However, I did get to pull the advanced pack. That was a neat experience, but I sort of sacrificed a better race result for it. I just wanted to avoid the crazy of last year. Also, I only skated once the week before the race, due to some issues with our house and fighting a head cold. I am trying to figure out how best to keep training with such a short turn around for the MN half. Clearly, I need to work on my endurance/recovery, diet, etc.

As for changing the venue, I didn't hear that rumor. I did hear one of the leaders of Rainbo talk about doing another race earlier in the year next year, though. Even if it were just a half marathon, that is a great idea, provided it doesn't snow in May/June... A new course for this event wouldn't be a bad option, either. I know Team Rainbo isn't practicing AT&T much anymore because of the conditions. I guess we will have to wait and see.
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Old July 23rd, 2013, 08:02 PM   #44
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Post it up! It is always interesting to see the same race from different points of view.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 01:31 PM   #45
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Link to my race video follows. For some reason, my Garmin didn't track any heart rate data. That gauge is dead as a result. It is working fine now. I don't know what happened, but I was in a hurry to get to start line, so that may have had something to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CYuBVvIg8
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Old July 24th, 2013, 03:45 PM   #46
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Yep, we got dropped at pretty much the exact same place in our respective races. Kinda felt like I was going to have a heat stroke.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #47
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Yep, we got dropped at pretty much the exact same place in our respective races. Kinda felt like I was going to have a heat stroke.
I think your race had the harsher conditions, at least, at the start. It wasn't terribly hot or humid at the start of the advanced/rec division race. By the end, it wasn't terrible, but certainly not comfortable. That little hill after the right turn off central is deceiving. One of the many things that makes it such a hard race. Glad to know I am not the only one that got caught there.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 05:31 PM   #48
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Link to my race video follows. For some reason, my Garmin didn't track any heart rate data. That gauge is dead as a result. It is working fine now. I don't know what happened, but I was in a hurry to get to start line, so that may have had something to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CYuBVvIg8
We need to work on your hills. Your flat land speed looks pretty good, but you slow way down on the hills. You got gapped on the previous couple hills leading up to the one where you got dropped. I suspect this is a technique issue and not a cardio issue.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #49
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We need to work on your hills. Your flat land speed looks pretty good, but you slow way down on the hills. You got gapped on the previous couple hills leading up to the one where you got dropped. I suspect this is a technique issue and not a cardio issue.
I am certainly open to suggestions. Determining whether this is a fitness or form issue is one of the reasons I wish I had HR data from the race. The points I got gapped I didn't have any energy in the tank to push and catch up. I also noticed on reflecting on the race and reviewing the video that I may have been sacrificing technique to match the cadence in the line, which may have been making me work harder. Since I train basically alone these days, I get into a set cadence that works for me, and it seems like breaking that cadence messes me up. Just a thought. There are yet still hills to deal with this season, so what do you suggest for the hills?
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Old July 24th, 2013, 07:03 PM   #50
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Really appreciate the video!!! I don't mean to belittle your efforts in any way... I think I can learn a whole lot more watching your race than the pros with nothing but empty road ahead!

I wish I could better judge how closely you draft. The wide angle makes it difficult to know just how tight you are. One thing I think I see is when you get behind someone who is leaving a big gap... everyone suffers. If someone is near the front of a line but is gapping they are making the people out front work harder and the people behind him work harder too. Should other skaters who can draft closer be moving ahead of him for the betterment of all? Having said that... I know I'd be pretty darned scared on that course because of all the cracking, etc. Holy Cow!

What Kufman just said is very important for ME to learn... knowing when to ramp it up and GUT IT OUT so that I can hold onto the line. I tend to quit just before things let up. I need to work on my mental toughness.

I was hoping to participate in this race this year... but the wife made plans for us and two other couples to go hiking at Starved Rock State Park (not to far from Chicago!) Maybe next year...
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Old July 24th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #51
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I am certainly open to suggestions. Determining whether this is a fitness or form issue is one of the reasons I wish I had HR data from the race. The points I got gapped I didn't have any energy in the tank to push and catch up. I also noticed on reflecting on the race and reviewing the video that I may have been sacrificing technique to match the cadence in the line, which may have been making me work harder. Since I train basically alone these days, I get into a set cadence that works for me, and it seems like breaking that cadence messes me up. Just a thought. There are yet still hills to deal with this season, so what do you suggest for the hills?
How do you feel that you didn't have the energy? Did you legs lock up or was your heart beating too hard and you were out of breath? Or both? When you tried to match cadence with the pack, were you slowing your cadence or making it faster?

For me, the cadence of the pack is too fast. I would prefer to take longer more powerful strides vs the quick fast strides that most of the pack was doing. I did find a few people that I could skate well with. On hills, I do make my cadence faster with less glide because gliding on a hill is just going to make you slow down. I understand the training by yourself thing. I have only skated with others twice this year (one of them was the race on Sunday).
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Old July 24th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #52
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How do you feel that you didn't have the energy? Did you legs lock up or was your heart beating too hard and you were out of breath? Or both? When you tried to match cadence with the pack, were you slowing your cadence or making it faster?
Heart was pounding and my legs were weak. One of the reasons I wished my HR monitor was working so I had a better idea. I generally also prefer the slower cadence with longer strokes. I notice the change in my technique when matching cadence because of the way my skates feel when they leave the ground. The push doesn't feel as effective.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:23 PM   #53
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Heart was pounding and my legs were weak. One of the reasons I wished my HR monitor was working so I had a better idea. I generally also prefer the slower cadence with longer strokes. I notice the change in my technique when matching cadence because of the way my skates feel when they leave the ground. The push doesn't feel as effective.
Sounds like cardio. Have you tried doing hill sprints? It is another form of interval drill. Generally, you go for 15 to 20'ish seconds as hard as you can up a hill and then rest for a minute. Starting out you will want to try maybe 6 reps of this and gradually build up over time. Indoor skaters do this sort of drill to work on their starts but I find it useful for building power and working on hill technique. The easier the hills are, the less you will work to get up them. The best skating I have ever done outdoors came after a winter of doing crazy amounts of interval training indoors.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #54
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Sounds like cardio. Have you tried doing hill sprints? It is another form of interval drill. Generally, you go for 15 to 20'ish seconds as hard as you can up a hill and then rest for a minute. Starting out you will want to try maybe 6 reps of this and gradually build up over time. Indoor skaters do this sort of drill to work on their starts but I find it useful for building power and working on hill technique. The easier the hills are, the less you will work to get up them. The best skating I have ever done outdoors came after a winter of doing crazy amounts of interval training indoors.
I spent a lot of time this year working on intervals, including some occasional lactate threshold intervals. Since the beginning of the year, intervals have been an integral part of my training plan. I have been doing hill skates also, as there are a lot of hilly routes around here. However, I haven't been doing sprint hill climbs. Most of the hills here are big, such that you wouldn't be able to make it up the hill in 20 to 30 seconds. I think I will incorporate sprints in the hill routes and sprint them as long as I am able, then rest for the remainder of the climb. I have always struggled with cardio. I am not predisposed to endurance. I think going into Northshore, I need to build harder intervals into my work outs. Thanks Kufman.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #55
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I spent a lot of time this year working on intervals, including some occasional lactate threshold intervals. Since the beginning of the year, intervals have been an integral part of my training plan. I have been doing hill skates also, as there are a lot of hilly routes around here. However, I haven't been doing sprint hill climbs. Most of the hills here are big, such that you wouldn't be able to make it up the hill in 20 to 30 seconds. I think I will incorporate sprints in the hill routes and sprint them as long as I am able, then rest for the remainder of the climb. I have always struggled with cardio. I am not predisposed to endurance. I think going into Northshore, I need to build harder intervals into my work outs. Thanks Kufman.
Sounds perfect. If you can get multiple sprints on one hill, that works well too. The timing is somewhat important. 20 on, 40 off. Usually a 2:1 duty factor is used for intervals of this sort. It is better to do 20 good hard seconds and then rest than 35 sort of hard and rest too long.

I know what you mean by not being an endurance person. For the first few years I skated, I could do about 3 fast laps indoors.... too bad my shortest race was 5
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Old July 25th, 2013, 02:48 AM   #56
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Full race video from Pro Open in all its glory:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx32-...ature=youtu.be

Pretty boring for most of it since I got dropped about 6 miles in. Highlights include some friendly car passengers at 1:07:49 and a Great Blue Heron flying us in at 1:27:22. And a guy loses his glove 90 seconds in and is amazed by it for some reason
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Old July 25th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #57
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And a guy loses his glove 90 seconds in and is amazed by it for some reason
If you knew Peter Doucet, you'd understand. He's still recovering from a concussion, but he finished 2nd at Chicago a few years ago. He may be best known for his 2nd place finish in this commercial.

I'm partial to 59:50, but the later commentary of "not going to happen" proved accurate.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #58
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I have always struggled with cardio. I am not predisposed to endurance. I think going into Northshore, I need to build harder intervals into my work outs.
I once heard that you should train 50% longer than you race. That way you aren't stretching yourself to the limit during the race and pushing yourself just that little bit harder than you train. You should also taper your workouts 1-2 weeks before a race. There is a definite art to tapering, but when you do it right you feel like you have so much more energy on race day.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #59
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Link to my race video follows. For some reason, my Garmin didn't track any heart rate data. That gauge is dead as a result. It is working fine now. I don't know what happened, but I was in a hurry to get to start line, so that may have had something to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8CYuBVvIg8
Did Youtube make your video funny or did you use some strange video settings when you compressed it? It looks choppy or low frame rate or something. I know my video took a quality hit when I uploaded it. Not sure what Youtube did to it.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 07:33 PM   #60
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Did Youtube make your video funny or did you use some strange video settings when you compressed it? It looks choppy or low frame rate or something. I know my video took a quality hit when I uploaded it. Not sure what Youtube did to it.
It may be the compression settings on the converter. I edit everything in a raw format, so the final edited video is 47.5 gigs. I use a converter to compress it down, and I think the codec I used this time around messed it up. The converted video from the editor looks the same, oddly, but the original video is fine. I may try redoing the edit and the encode to see if I can get a better final product.

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I once heard that you should train 50% longer than you race. That way you aren't stretching yourself to the limit during the race and pushing yourself just that little bit harder than you train. You should also taper your workouts 1-2 weeks before a race. There is a definite art to tapering, but when you do it right you feel like you have so much more energy on race day.
I have heard this, also. However, that doesn't seem reasonable for marathon training. Also, it doesn't seem like most marathon skaters or runners train much beyond the marathon distance. I would love some input from the Elite skaters, though.
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