Sunday, March 27, 2011

Singapore 70.3-Hot/Humid and FAST

20 Mar 11- Singapore 70.3

Well I have decided to turn this into a 2 part blog. The first part will be about the race and the second part I will write about my travels and fun in Singapore. But first off, thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes and good luck leading up to the race. Getting older is never fun, but especially the years that you have to age group up. This is the first time I have had to experience this and well instead of racing in a "small" young age group there were 98 people entered in my age group. The biggest AG field I have had to compete against. The one disadvantage I will struggle with throughout these next couple of years is I am "young" in the age group and some of the guys will have been at the sport for quite some time by the time they are in there late 20's. All this means is I will have to train harder and of course smarter, so with that being said I stepped up 2011 with some changes which I have already mentioned. Having a coach was the biggest change, and looking below at the race report I hope that you can see the big difference in the swim, bike, and a small change on the run.

Swim- This past winter has been a big change for me. I have been swimming quite a bit and showed up hoping for a good swim "time". I knew it would be a little skewed and slower than expected due to the fact that it was a non wetsuit swim. I made sure and prepared for the non-wetsuit swim and hooked up with Kiwami USA and had an Amphibian speed suit made, I need all the help I can get when it comes to swimming. I had a good start and found some clean water. There were a couple waves that started ahead of us but there was a 5min gap. About 600 meters into the swim is when I hit the first part of bad traffic and had to start swimming through people. It was a 2 loop course and I came out of the first looped and looked down and saw 18:30 on my watch, man was that a heart breaker. I felt like I was exerting a lot of energy and swimming "strong", but the time was reflecting that. I went out for the second loop and it was really congested. I was climbing, crawling and just trying to flat out avoid people. For some reason it must have been a different race for a lot of people because I missed the message that it was the 1.9K breast stroke world championships. I feared getting kicked the whole time and really started getting concerned about taking a low blow and being in a lot of pain. I swam cautiously for the last 1/4 of the swim and tried to avoid people at all cost. Ended up coming out of the water and my watch said 38:XX.
Official time- 39:17-69th Overall Amateur/9th Age Group

Bike- The off season also had a strong focus on the bike. I knew it was going to be flat and feared there would be a lot of drafting going on. Being at Clearwater in 2009 I knew if I was surrounded by others drafting I would join in, luckily I was never caught by a pack or approached a big pack. I am proud to say that I rode a clean race and was never behind anybody by 7 meters for longer than 20 seconds, those are the drafting rules. YES, I did slingshot A LOT of people but that is legal. I would often wave as the groups of people going in the opposite direction went by in there packs of 10-30 riders. It pissed me off to see it, but I knew ahead of time it was going to happen. I passed a few 4-5 persons group on the last lap and asked them to get a little closer to each other because there was only 1 meter and that at ½ a meter you get a better draft. They just looked at me like I was crazy for riding solo. I thought that is how triathlon was suppose to be ;) So moral of the story is my bike strength has came a long ways since November 2009. I rode faster than I did in Clearwater by 27 seconds, but I rode solo this time instead of in a pack. I felt strong and confident on the bike and really watched my watts and nutrition. I believe those were two key factors too why I ended up with the fastest bike split in my age group, yep 1st out of 99 :).
Official Time- 2:16:05-24th Overall Amateur/1st Age Group

Run- And the one thing I have just tried to maintain over the winter and not put a big focus on. Well it is the one thing that bit me in the behind. Because I didn’t concentrate on it? NO, because I was unprepared for the heat and it got to me. I still had the fastest HIM run split to date and was still happy with how I ran. The one thing I was depending on was to get some cola within the first couple K as advertised but couldn’t find any at the stops. Luckily for the first 10K sponges were abundant and I was able to get my body temp down. The last 10K however sponges started running out and it was a battle with the heat. I sucked it up for the last 7K and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and getting to the finish line. Around 5K in the run the guy that took second in my age group ran by me. He thought he was a wise fella and asked me how old I was (the ages weren’t on our calf like normal) and I told him I was 25. He said “good” I am 30, I was happy because he was really moving. Not even 10 seconds later Whit Raymond, the announcer, say “There goes Preddy, he will be on the podium today in the 25-29 AG, he is a fast 25 year old”. That got me pretty heated, I mean great tactics on his part but shit lying straight to my face about how old you are? Funny thing is I was starting to run him down towards the end and I didn’t even know it, he finished 25 seconds up on me. So in finish chute there he was waiting for me and said congrats and good race. I chuckled and said thanks and then in a jokingly way “Yeah good race you 25 year old ASS HOLE, can’t believe you lied to me. Well played my friend”. No hard feelings he just taught me a new trick ;)
Official Time- 1:35:44- 24th Overall Amateur/6th Age Group

I was really happy with the outcome of the race and couldn’t of asked for anything to go better. Other than the heat, but I believe I perform well in the heat so I can’t complain about it too much. The guys that came up from Australia and who were from Singapore definitely had an upper hand as they have had the heat to train in, as where I had only seen one weekend over 50 since November. I can’t thank everyone enough who has supported me throughout this journey. From family to friends to training partners, it has been one heck of a journey and I can’t wait for this upward slope that it is on to continue upwards.

Official recap below of all race times:
S- 39:17-69th Overall Amateur/9th Age Group
B- 2:16:05-24th Overall Amateur/1st Age Group
R- 1:35:44-24th Overall Amateur/6th Age Group
Total- 4:34:49-19th Overall Amateur out of approx 1500/3rd Age Group out of 98

The bike all race ready!
Transition area setup and ready to go.

Very cool shot, don't know why I was the center of attention but it was titled "Start Stopwatch" on Flickr.

Wish I could say the Kiwami Amphibian made me "fast" but it sure did put me further up in my AG out of the water than I expected!

Under the Amphibian I had the Kiwami Konami. Great one piece for a hot day, Kiwami did an amazing job on the custom work on both suits!
Out on the bike........
I guess i was feeling good at this point......
A little more painful at this point.
And its over.........
I think I should of finished 2nd, would of had a cute girl to share 2nd with ;) The first place guy didn't show up, and that is "Preddy" all dressed up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Singapore 70.3 Pre-Race

19 Mar 2011-

Well first off I now am officially 1/4 of a century OLD, yes I said old. I was reminded of this when I skyped with my mom this morning, as it was still my birthday back in the states. So with that comes age grouping up, I guess you can say I am becoming a big boy and having to race with the men now and not the college/young guys. Believe it or not as you age group up in triathlon it gets tougher until you reach the 45-49 age group, and even then things still aren't easy. So tomorrow will be the true test of how this age grouping up thing goes.

Over the past couple months I have been coached by Scott DeFilippis, a Pro Triathlete on Team TBB( The team started an online coaching service late last year and I jumped on board in December. I realized to continue to progress in the sport and be successful I needed more structure and someone to keep an eye on my training other than myself. I use to just go out and run or go out and ride. And then the mediocre tossing and turning I was doing in the pool, I guess you could call that swimming. I had first realized what structure could do for me when I sat down with Elissa when I was back in Turkey and laid out a marathon plan. Having an experienced athlete/coach sit down and lay things out for you makes a huge difference. After that I realized that a coach for triathlon was a step I needed to make.

With the change in place a lot of pieces to the puzzle have fallen into place. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great athletes and people that have helped me in many ways. A CAT 1 and CAT 3 cyclist are both at Osan right now and I have been lucky enough to ride with them on a consistent basis, thanks Zach and Aaron for putting up with a tri guy! I was also lucky enough to come across a great swimmer that has helped me with my stroke and then just constantly kicking my ass day in and day out in the pool. Unfortunately Traci is going to be gone for the summer and not be able to continue to help me, but she will be back in the fall and we will pick up where I left off. Over the past 4 weeks an AF Marathon/Cross Country team member was TDY to Osan. It was nice getting in a few runs with Jason and showing him the ropes of Korea and how awesome the racing is. Can't wait for him to get back out here so we can terrorize the Korean running scene. Thanks for the ass kicking Jason! Then of course having Scott as a coach has been the biggest change. Knowing that someone is there that reviews your plan and your workouts and puts things into place to help you improve is awesome. I still have to put in the work, but having a structure plan with a purpose is the thing that has helped the most. Then knowing that he is checking my workouts makes me accountable for putting in the work. With all of this happening I believe I am in the best shape I have been in, and I am here in Singapore ready to prove to myself that the hard work has paid off.

The plan for tomorrow is to go out and execute the race plan. I have been putting a lot of time in the pool, but I still am just trying to survive the swim and then get out and have a solid bike and run. The humidity has been bearable here, I thought it would be a lot worse. I think I will be alright considering the heat/humidity, but you never know what race day can bring. I just plan to go out tomorrow and to give it my all that is really all that I can guarantee. I can guarantee that and that I am racing for more than myself, I am racing with a purpose. Since I have started racing for more than just myself the races have been more meaningful and satisfying.

Today marks a special day, it is a good friend of mines birthday. She is no longer here with us, but I miss her quite a bit and think about her from time to time. It seems like it was just yesterday that myself and April were headed to watch our friends play in the HS Football All Star game. When we were headed out Patterson we got too a bad accident just before Mchenry. The road was closed and they made us take a side street. I remember telling April that it had to of been a really bad accident, and more than likely a fatal since they had shut the road down. Little did we know that it was one of the nicest, most caring people in our senior class. We had just graduated a month or so prior and had been fortunate enough to not lose any of our close friends through all of HS. We didn't find out till we got to the game that it was Kristina, and it hit all of us really hard. It was one of the hardest loses I have been through, other than my Grandpa. So tomorrow I will race for "K", also known to me as beautiful. We would always see each other at school and I would call her beautiful and she would call me handsome, just our little nicknames. My buddy was dating her and he didn't mind as we always managed to put a smile on each others faces.

I will also be racing tomorrow for my boss's son. My boss left work on Wednesday to head back to the states to be with his family. His kid had come down with bronchitis or pneumonia, not exactly which one it was but if I remember he is only 6 or 8 and one of his lungs had filled up with liquid and had then collapsed. I have not got an update since I left, but I continue to pray for his child and his family. I can only hope for the best and will race hard tomorrow for both of these people.

Well now that the sad part of the blog is out of the way, I have been enjoying Singapore. Yesterday I got out for an easy ride and rode along the coast. I also found a local pool and swam there twice. It was an interesting experience as it had no lane buoy lines and they would not let me use paddles. Other than that it was a very nice pool and only about 0.80 cents to swim there. Today I went down to transition area and checked the bike in and got an easy swim in. It wasn't too far from the hotel, maybe 8-10K so just a short ride. I have found free internet in the hotel, from someones router close to the hotel, but they turn it off during the day for some reason so I am using internet at an internet cafe. Only $1.50 an hour so very reasonable compared to the hotel where they want $2 for 15 mins. It has been nice to just relax and be completely stress free.

Well if you have read down the blog this far then you can find out about tomorrows race ;) You can track the race at, bib number 364. Race starts at 0820 Singapore time which is: 420pm West Coast time, 720pm East Coast time, 720am Korea time.

I will add some pictures tonight when I get back to the hotel. Thanks again for all the continued support, with out great family/friends I would not be who I am today or where I am today. Thanks again!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First race of 2011, within seconds.......

20 Feb 11- Seoul Korea-

Well to start off the 2011 season I set out to run a half marathon up in Seoul. One of the best days weather wise to have race for this part of the year, so the day started out great with awesome weather. The morning was a little chilly and down in the 40's but by the end of the race I think we may have reached low 50's with a light wind. Training has been going good up to this point, thanks to having a great coach and structure in my training. I will blog more about how the whole being coached online is sometime in the near future.

I went into the race with a plan that coach had laid out and if executed properly I could PR by a few seconds. I looked at this as being a little optimistic for this early in the season and wanted to just put in a solid workout, which meant executing the plan. I went out nice and "slow" for the first 5K and sped up throughout the remained of the race. I ran with a Korean lady who normally wins the female overall title at a majority of the half marathon races. I stuck with her till the half way point, just by coincidence. This is when I started feeling good and was able to drop down to where I needed to be. I missed my mark at the 15K split by about 25 seconds, and knew the next 5K was where I was going to make some money on people. I had paced right and felt good going into the last 5K. Then came the wall, no not the normal wall that hits during a marathon but the wall of people.

Korea is known for having many races on one course, remember back to when I got lost ;) Well they had a 10K, 1/2 Marathon, 32K and Full Marathon all on the same running path along the Han River. The 32K/Full went out the opposite direction but ended up coming back in our direction on the same out and back section we had ran on. So we had 32K/Full runners head at us and then the best part was the 10K runners who were say 55:00 to 1:05 pace 10K'ers running with us. All on what you could possibly squeeze 4 people in each lane and maybe one skinny guy down the middle. Well in Korea I wouldn't consider myself skinny, so trying to squeeze down the middle lane was where the fun began. For the last 5K I had to fight traffic in both directions and avoid hitting people coming at me and avoiding to run over people moving with me, but at a slower pace.

Lets just say the last 5K I did not run the pace I needed to to execute the plan, could I of if there wasn't a human traffic jam for the last 5K? Who knows, but what I do know is that if I would of seen someone from my race within striking distance I would have ran them down. So to the next point, the course was so crowded I had no clue where anyone was. I knew I was sitting in the top 10 but couldn't see anyone identifiable in front of me from my race. There was way too many 10Kers to identify if there was a half person ahead. Long story short, I missed 5th place by 6 seconds and 4th by 26 seconds. Could I of ran down 4th? Who knows, but I am pretty sure I would of caught that guy that was 6 seconds up. What did I miss out on? A pretty cool trophy and a $200 fuji digital camera :( What to do differently next time, run hard the whole way so you can't complain about missing top 5 by 6 seconds.

Time- 1:20:34
Pace- 6:09min/mil

Everything is about the experience and what you gain from it, so missing that by 6 seconds was a great learning experience that I will remember for awhile. Below are some pictures of the race courtesy of Michael Onofray, who was kind enough to take pictures and cheer us on instead of tearing up the race course. Congrats to my new friend Jason Brosseau on his first race in Korea and his first win in Korea! He runs for the AF Marathon and Cross Country Team and is out here for a few weeks working. It is amazing how small the AF is as we both have a lot of the same friends and know a lot of the same people.

Pre Race pics
Trying to look over and see if a guy that was running "fast" was a 10Ker or half marathoner. He was only a 10Ker.
Coming down the finishing chute. Olypmic Stadium track!

Drinking some Hammer Recoverite and working on my tan. Some French dude later told me to put my shirt on because it wasn't poper. Where in the world are people not tanning in February, I thought 50 degrees and sunny was ideal temps for it ;) Needless to say I respected my elder and put my shirt back on. He did however beat me in the race and is probably in his 50's. When I congratulated after the race he acted like he didn't understand me, but he sure spoke clear English when telling me to put my shirt on.

Post race talk with Norah the Great! She told off the French dude when I was grabbing my shirt to put back on. Wish I would of stuck around to listen to him get chewed out by her. Thanks Norah for having my back!