Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BSLT 70.3 RR

"That was such and epic fail" -Katy Perry

No, nothing especially bad happened Last Friday Night.*  Sunday morning, on the other hand, was a different story.

We (Denny M, Jackie A, Whitney G, and I) arrived (much to the ladies' chagrin) at Buffalo Spring Lake nice and early and after a surprisingly short wait to park were headed down the steep hill to transition.  This left plenty of time for warm-up, set-up, and all other imperative pre-race procedures.     

Despite recent high temps in upper 100s and an expected high of 110F on race day, the water temperature was only 74.  So with wetsuits allowed, I neoprened up and headed to the lake.  After a little warm up, we received a last minute clarification on the buoy rules and lined up for the start. No cannon, just a, "Ready, GO!" and we were off.

I had a pretty good sprint off the beach and was soon swimming full speed ahead. Within a minute, though, something was off and the pack was pulling away from me. Naturally I tried to pick up the pace as there was no reason for this to be happening.  All off the sudden, though, my shoulders were burning and I was close to hyperventilating. So yeah.... not exactly the best situation 2min into a 4h race! So I tried to mitigate the damage while also maintaining an honest pace.  I found some feet for a bit, passed that guy, but then saw what looked like quite a few people further ahead than they should've been only 1/3 of the way through the swim.  It was hard to tell the actual number, though, so I just tried to stay positive and hope it was only a small group.  Coming out of the water, there were more bikes missing than I wouldve liked, but with the Orca having saved my legs, I was looking forward to a strong ride.  

Out on the bike, wow... it was windy.  So the wind, combined with the flat farmland, made me feel right at home! (Well, couldve used some humidity...)  After a few miles, the two guys that followed me through the water joined me on the bike and the three of us were riding together. 20mph into the wind, 30mph with the wind, and somewhere in between when there was a crosswind.  Most of the time, though, I was focused on getting enough to drink and not falling over. Then..... it happened.  Somewhere around halfway through the ride, I heard a nice loud hiss, looked down, and saw the result of my front tire spewing air.  So I stopped, pulled over, and grabbed my...... oh, wait, there was nothing behind my seat where my saddle bag shouldve been!

So, I waited. A truck came by and he radioed the roaming mechanic and I waited. I saw Timex teammates Jackie A, Chris T, Tim H, Denny M, and Christine A all roll by and I waited.  Then I saw the front pro guys on their way back and I waited some more.  Finally, I got my new tube, and was back on my way.  With wind and looming hills and my place 30+ min behind the last pro guy I certainly was ready to call it a day.  But I didnt go all the way out to Texas just to splash around a bit and ride 30miles.  Plus, the RD decided, due to the heat, to shorten the cut-off times by 1h (he also condensed the start times) so I knew there would be plenty of others who wouldnt have the opportunity to finish.  I on the other hand, had no good excuse not to finsh.  

I finished the ride, and headed out onto the run.  Admittedly, motivation was waning, but I put on the shoes, and got my butt in gear.  Those first few miles were tough, as I was on pace for a PW, and dropping certainly wouldve been easy.  But I got some great encouragement from Jackie when I passed her around mile 4.5, as she seemed genuinely surprised I was still racing. Then, the worst part by far... the out and back from mile 5 to the turnaround which was wide open and straight into a headwind.  I was passing people, but really wasn't sure whether I was moving forward, or was just moving backwards slower than they were.  

I finally got to the turnaround and was loving the tailwind, which made the return trip so much easier.  Of course it also helped, mentally, to know that I "just" had to get back to the finish.  I did, and immediately headed to the lake to cool off.  

So yeah, I was DFL in a PW.  But it is what it is, and just gets me pumped for Muncie in a couple of weeks. 

*Friday night, on the contrary, was a huge success. After a quick post flight run, Denny, Whitney, Jackie, and I went to Freebird's World Burrito in Lubbock.  The food there was very similar to and almost as good as Chipotle, with a much more "indie" feel.  So if Chipotle is too "corporate" for you, definitely check out Freebirds, as it is easily a step above Moes, Qdoba, Salsaritas, etc.  

Monday, June 20, 2011


S: 26,900 yds
B: 8h 8min
R: 4h 2min

Total: 19h 15min

Whoa, a week of training... go figure!  Well, a few days, anyway. The first part of the week was recovery from Eagleman, but then I did get in a few quality workouts on the back half.  After two weeks of traveling, it was certainly nice to be home for the weekend and to get some training done.  This weekend, though, I'm back at it at BSLT 70.3 next Sunday in Lubbock, TX.  Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

Another week, another race. After two races the weekend before last, I was back in action on Sunday with Eagleman 70.3 in Cambridge, MD. When Paulo proposed adding this race to the calendar a couple of weeks ago, I was admittedly a bit apprehensive, as I thought two half IMs on back to back weekends might be a bit much. However, I was feeling pretty good by the middle of the week, so I was fired up to race by the time Friday rolled around.

Onto the race! A quick "GO!" and we were off on a beautiful morning in the warm water of the Choptank river. The water was relatively smooth, considering this is a notoriously choppy swim, and I got out to a good start.  Things settled down relatively quickly and I noticed I was swimming next to Richie C, so I figured I was in a pretty good position. As we approached the end of the swim, all I was thinking about was a fast transition so that I could get out, ride hard, and stay with the group.

Out on the bike however, the legs had other ideas. The guys I came out of the water with punched it hard.  I tried to maintain contact, but the legs just werent there.  I was riding what felt like hour TT pace, but only losing time. From there, things didnt exactly get much better, as I threw up a few minutes after every gel I took. I didnt think I had swallowed that much water during the swim, but I cant think of any other reason for the otherwise (seemingly) random vomiting.

Heading out onto the run, I wasnt really sure what place I was in, but was still hopeful I could pick some people off. I felt OK running 6:05-6:15 pace, but when I tried to dip under 6, my hamstring really started screaming. Then, around mile 8, I felt the blister under the ball of my left foot tear.  This wouldnt have been too big of a deal except I had already gone through a couple of layers of skin the previous week, so I was now tearing through a couple of more layers. For about a mile this was really painful, but then it thankfully subsided enough for me to keep running an even pass a guy in the last mile.

Crossing the finish line, I still had no idea about my place, but eventually determined I had ended up 10th.  So all in all, not too bad.  It wasnt a great performance, but at least I got some much needed points for 70.3 Worlds.

This is where I would link to the results, but they seem to be MIA...

PS After the race I was privileged enough to crash at Alyssa's house in Baltimer, after the obligatory post race hamburger and ice cream, of course.  AG is an epic ultra-runner/triathlete baller, and was even gracious enough to drag my sorry butt to the airport at 5AM on Monday morning so that I could make it into work on Monday. Thanks Alyssa!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Nashville Kids Triathlon

..........Picking up from yesterday, pretty soon after the Rock 'N RollMan Half, George and I were back in the Ford Edge heading north on I-75 towards Chattanooga before heading west on I-24 towards Nashville.  We arrived just in time for me to be introduced as a Celebrity Big Kid during the packet pick up for the race the following morning.

I awoke Sunday morning to some sore legs, but was ready for a fun day with the kids. Timex Teammate Bruce Gennari was there as a Big Kid as well and we started the day off by helping the not-so-big kids set up their transition areas, which was pretty entertaining because with kids from ages 6 through 15, some of the bikes didnt have either tire on the ground and were instead just hanging from the racks.  Additionally about half of the bikes were pink with white seats so it was a was pretty funny sight; certainly not the not your typical transition area!

The kids started according to their age group, with the 6-7 yr olds first, and 8-9 yr olds second.  I was helping at the swim start and then moved to the transition area, where it was great to see the unabashed excitement on their faces.  It was also pretty cool to see the competitiveness; some of these kids were really getting after it!

After the 8-9 yr olds went off, the Big Kids had to race. My feet torn up and my left glut/piriformis was still really tight courtesy of the half the day before, but how could I not race for the kids??  Thankfully I managed to pull out the victory while rocking the speedo the whole way.

After the "older" kids had their races, it was time for everyone's favorite part of the day... the awards!  I say this sarcastically as at most races, the only people who stick around are the people who are receiving awards and even they usually arent all that excited to be there, and then jet as soon as their names are called.  Not so with the kids!  They were genuinely thrilled to get to go up on stage and receive their awards.  In addition to trophies, Bruce and I were placing Timex hats on each of the award winner's heads, which really got them pumped!

All in all, I thought it was a really successful event.  Almost 300 kids raced and I didnt see a single one disappointed. Rounding out the day, Bruce, George, and I went to lunch at Chipotle... cant beat that!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Coliseum Rock 'N RollMan Half Race Report

I raced this weekend, but dont have too much to report.

Friday afternoon I headed down to Macon, GA for the Rock 'N RollMan Half.  Why Macon, you ask? Well, $1000 was up for grabs to the winner, so I was looking forward to a good race. This, however, this didnt quite pan out.

I arrived at the race site on the morning of the race and heard the announcer say the water temp was a balmy 86 degrees. This, combined with the predicted high air temperature of ~100F, meant it was going to be a warm day from start to finish. I was then thrown a bit of a curve when the valve on my tube in my rear tire broke, necessitating a tube change.  I switched out the tube without too much trouble, taking care to ensure the tube wasnt pinched as I certainly didnt want a pinch flat right after starting the ride. Finally, with the start fast approaching, I headed down to the lake.

I got a pretty good start and soon enough Nina Craft and I were swimming together with no one else in sight. I swam behind her for a while, then moved ahead after a little over the half way point, only to have her stick right on me.  I felt like were holding a solid pace, but nothing extraordinary.  Fortunately though it was strong enough to create some separation from everyone else, and we exited the water at almost the same time.

I had a pretty quick T1, and was out on the bike first. I was out on the road all alone and wanted to keep it that way. The bike course was challenging but fun with plenty of hills and decent road surfaces most of the way. I checked behind me a couple of times at the end of long straightaways, but never saw anyone so I just focused on pouring it on keeping up with calories and hydration. The miles ticked away and before I knew it I was rolling into T2.

Starting the run, I was feeling pretty good. The first half of a mile of the run course overlapped with the bike course, and I still didnt see anyone, so I figured I had a pretty decent cushion over 2nd. So I just wanted to stay comfortable and make sure to not blow up.  Of course "comfortable" is a relative term when you have to run 13 hilly miles in 90F heat after biking 56!  So it turned into a long run by myself, not counting the encouragement from my buddy George at miles 2, 6, and 11, but before I knew it I had made it to mile 11.  This was near the 2 mile mark on the way out, so when I turned back to the park I got to see people heading out on the run. I cruised in from there, crossed the finish line, and, just like in FL, went straight to the med tent for bandages on my blister- covered feet.

Results: http://www.setupevents.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=event_results&id=2407

Speaking of people heading out on the run... I have much respect for anyone who finished this race! With a smaller field and brutal conditions (tough course, hot weather) this was certainly one of the hardest half IM courses I've done.

Unfortunately I couldnt stick around for too long post race as that evening I was due in Nashville, TN for events for The Kids Triathlon where I was volunteering as a celebrity big kid, but that will have to wait for another day!  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


S: 30,200 yds
B: 9h 35min
R: 5h 24min

Total: 23h 24min

OK, so I'm a little late on the update, but things have been a bit busy around here. Last week was rough, as I managed to fall asleep upon arriving home from work on not one but two occasions.  This is especially tricky on biking days because as soon as I wake up I have to rush around to get out the door to get the workout done before the sun sets.  Then on Friday my hamstring/piriformis acted up enough to necessitate a shortening of the tempo run.  Thankfully though after some serious Trigger Point rolling that evening, it didnt impede any other workouts the rest of the weekend.

This week will be starting and ending with travel, but at least the latter will involve a traversing of AL-GA-TN in the brand new Ford Edge.  Saturday I'll be racing Coliseum's Rock 'N Roll Man half iron and then Sunday I'll be helping out at the Nashville Kid's Triathlon.  Should be a fun weekend!