Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First TTT=WIN.....But What is This Weekend Really About??

31 May 2011- Hwaseong TTT-

This past Saturday the team I rode for during the TDK reassembled to take part in a Team Time Trial(TTT). We added a few other people to form a strong 7 man team that we felt had a good shot at being the top team. The event allowed all Time Trial gear, so I of course used my P3, Rudy Wingspan Helmet and a borrowed Skin Suit. My buddy Zach Garrett rides for the U.S. Military Cycling team so I got a cool Stars and Stripes skin suit to show off. Peter (AKA Honey Badger) likes our as he calls them, "Captain AmeRICA" suits and laughs at us when we put them on, this weekend though since 2 of us had them on he felt left out and admitted that he wanted one of his own. This weekend meant a lot more to me than just going out to win a race.

I took the opportunity to sport the red, white and blue and take it to the top spot on the podium. I took great pride leading our team to a victory and making sure we pushed the pace. We started with 7 riders but only had to finish with 4. By the second lap we were down to 5 riders, we made some adjustments on the fly due to the wind. By the 2nd lap our team manager Jeremy was holding a sign that said "47" BACK", I was thinking crap we are down 47" already. Then it grew as each lap went on, I was a little baffled as I thought we were putting down a solid effort. On lap 6 Honey Badger heard on the radio that we were "UP 2 minutes", so there was some confusion, but we ended up winning by almost 2 minutes and showed some of the teams from the TDK that our finish of 2nd at the TDK was no fluke.

As for the rest of the weekend I got in some solid training and had a pretty relaxing weekend. Sunday I got out for a 5 hour ride, and ended up being solo. It was a good opportunity to reflect on things and appreciate everything I have been blessed with. As I was riding I was able to think about Memorial Day and what it really means. Being on Facebook quite regularly I was able to see quite a few peoples post about their weekend plans and what they were going to be doing. It ranged from: weekend get-aways, BBQ's, lake trips, drinking, partying, family get togethers. Then throughout these posts there were the occasional "Thanks to the Troops", "Thanks for those that served", and so on.

The one thing that I ask is that if you enjoyed this weekend and had a great 3 day break but for some reason it went by too fast and you were wishing you had one more day off, remember why you had the extra day off in the first place: MEMORIAL DAY. I am sure many of you know why we had the day off and actually appreciate those that have served and that are serving. Freedom isn't free and it is something that I took for granted growing up, but take a minute to remember why you had that day off and don't take the freedoms we have for granted. There are many people down range, away from their families, in a hospital or dead because they paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we could enjoy our 3 day weekend. Thanks to all of those that continue to support our troops, we really do appreciate it!

Alright now that I am off my soap box, here are some pictures from the weekend along with some power data for you cycling nerds!

1st Place out of 20! 54:16, strong cross wind, won by almost 2 minutes!

Duration: 54:16
Work: 853 kJ
TSS: 75 (intensity factor 0.91)
Norm Power: 282
VI: 1.08
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 2938 262 watts
Cadence: 29 197 94 rpm
Crank Torque: 0 1807 235 lb-in

Click Power Chart to englarge...

Peak 5s (1301 watts):
Duration: 0:05
Work: 6 kJ
VI: n/a
Min Max Avg
Power: 353 2666 1301 watts
Cadence: 46 151 82 rpm
Crank Torque: 648 1807 1127 lb-in

Peak 10s (803 watts):
Duration: 0:10
Work: 8 kJ
Min Max Avg
Power: 71 2666 803 watts
Cadence: 46 151 69 rpm
Crank Torque: 115 1807 786 lb-in

Peak 20s (624 watts):
Duration: 0:20
Work: 12 kJ
Min Max Avg
Power: 71 2666 624 watts
Cadence: 46 151 76 rpm
Crank Torque: 115 1807 618 lb-in

Peak 30s (542 watts):
Duration: 0:30
Work: 16 kJ
Min Max Avg
Power: 71 2666 542 watts
Cadence: 46 151 82 rpm
Crank Torque: 115 1807 526 lb-in

Peak 1min (413 watts):
Duration: 1:00
Work: 24 kJ
Min Max Avg
Power: 7 2666 413 watts
Cadence: 46 151 83 rpm
Crank Torque: 8 1807 405 lb-in

Peak 2min (344 watts):
Duration: 2:00
Work: 41 kJ
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 744 344 watts
Cadence: 75 105 89 rpm
Crank Torque: 0 683 324 lb-in

Peak 5min (291 watts):
Duration: 5:00
Work: 87 kJ
TSS: 7.8 (intensity factor 0.965)
Norm Power: 299
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 792 291 watts
Cadence: 82 110 96 rpm
Crank Torque: 0 705 260 lb-in

Peak 10min (281 watts):
Duration: 10:00
Work: 168 kJ
TSS: 14.9 (intensity factor 0.945)
Norm Power: 293
Min Max Avg
Power: 64 832 281 watts
Cadence: 82 110 94 rpm
Crank Torque: 53 740 254 lb-in

Peak 20min (269 watts):
Duration: 20:00
Work: 322 kJ
TSS: 28.5 (intensity factor 0.924)
Norm Power: 287
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 2666 269 watts
Cadence: 46 151 96 rpm
Crank Torque: 0 1807 238 lb-in

Peak 30min (264 watts):
Duration: 30:00
Work: 474 kJ
TSS: 41.3 (intensity factor 0.909)
Norm Power: 282
Min Max Avg
Power: 8 2938 264 watts
Cadence: 56 197 93 rpm
Crank Torque: 9 1259 239 lb-in

The 2 Teams, one of 7 and one of 4. 5 Americans, 3 Koreans, 1 South African, 1 Irish, 1 Belgium. Quite a diverse group of guys!

Leading the group in the Awesome Red White and Blue, Stars and Stripes!!

The 5 finishers on our 1st place team!
On the podium, holding the bike that I will hopefully be on next year ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yeosu Tri

8 May 2011- Yeosu South Korea-

Well with the race being on Mothers day and all and me being away from home I figured there was no need to stay around base. So instead of sitting in my room and being sad about not having all the great motherly figures that are in my life around and not getting to spend the day with my Mom, I packed up and headed South. One of my friends was suppose to go with me, but with it being mothers day he was put in a sticky situation and ended up staying home with the family. I don't blame him one bit, that is one thing that I value more than anything is FAMILY, they come before everything, well except my faith. So since I have started racing each race with a purpose, I raced this race for all the Moms out there, especially my mom, step mom, and grandmas!

The interesting thing about this race is that it was the first Olympic Distance race I did way back when in 2008. So I was looking forward to this race. I talked with coach about racing with it and we disagreed on it and he wanted me to get a big weekend in. So I convinced him to let me race it and we would still go big and just push right through it. So what did that mean? Well it meant a 20 mile run on Friday, and then getting up at 430am on Saturday to get in a 4 hour ride before heading down there. The somewhat crappy part about the early morning ride was that it ended up being somewhat miserable with rain and being wet, but luckily it was in the 60's. I even conned two buddies into joining me in the misery, so it ended up not being too bad. Came back from the ride and rushed to the train station to sit on the train for 5 hours.

I showed up to the train station and they told me the next train was "Sold Out", well luckily I knew what time it was leaving and bought a ticket for the next "available" train. The funny thing is I knew I was not going to be using a seat anyways since I had my bike. So I snuck on the early train and just hung out in the food cart. After about 2 hours a lady came by and asked me for my ticket, I showed her my ticket and she gave me the "O NOOOOOOO". Then the fun began, she informed me I was on the wrong train, and I played dumb American. Then she tells me you are in luck though it is headed to the same location. I ended up having to pay a "fee", but it was cheaper then what I originally would of payed to ride that train anyways. That train was faster than the next one by about 30 minutes, it had less stops. So in all actuality I save a couple dollars got there about 2 hours earlier and had somewhat of a stress free trip down there.

I met up with some friends from Seoul who had traveled in a big group down there. We all stayed at the same hotel and it was the exact same place I stayed in 2008, what a coincidence huh? This is the first time I have ever had problems with the Korean Tri Federation. I never pay in advance and always just pay at the race, well except for the one race last year where I was able to race AG Elite. They did away with that this year so I am not able to race for free anymore :( At registration it turned into a big ordeal that none of us had paid and kind of made pre-race day a little bit of a nightmare. I mean all in all it was my fault, but when I have been racing here since 2008 and have never had a problem it was a little strange.

Onto race morning I woke up and got a little bit of food down and as usual was able to take care of the pre race ritual. It is one thing I wake up every race morning fearing I won't be able to accomplish the pre race mission, but still haven't failed yet. Considering the past couple days of training I was feeling a little sluggish but figured once I got in the water I would wake right up and the body would start going.


It was a 2 loop course that you never had to exit the water. So if you were a really bad swimmer you could of just exited on your first loop with a decent swim time of low 20's. I guess they trust the Koreans and us foreigners, its hard to believe since the bike courses are always a draft fest. Anyways the first loop I had some clear water and actually found some feet to draft off of for about 1/2 of the lap. The second loop was somewhat of a nightmare with a lot of people out on the course so it was more of a maze and just trying to find clear water. I came out of the water 4th in my AG, which wasn't bad at all. Luckily I had some friends spectating and they were able to give me some splits. I was down about 1m30s to "The Honey Badger" from the TDK aka Peter Tuhoy. The goal was to come out close to him so we could "work" together on the bike knowing that it is Korea and how you get in the draft or you just see the trains go right on by.


I should of just considered this as the additional mileage for the run, more to come on that. But the transition was probably close to a 1/2 mile trot, I took my splits from my garmin and adjusted them to there splits, since they didn't time T1 and T2, and it was 3:47 for T1.


Well when you take 461 people onto a 4 loop bike course what else do you expect, a DRAFT FEST. I was pretty much solo for the first loop, I had passed a few of the people that came out of the water ahead of me, the 30-39 AG had a few people in our wave and there was a few of them that got out ahead of me. I hammered the first lap trying to catch Peter, and sure enough at the end of lap 1 we were together. We did some good work together but the 2 guys that were out of the water a little bit ahead of him were still up the road a bit on us. By the time lap 4 started Peter was getting a little tired, and he was riding a road bike with clip ons as well as a compact crank. The course and some rolling hills, so on the down hills he struggled to hang on. I knew I had to drop him or else he would come off the bike thinking he could run with me, and when you give him the thought he will somehow pull it off. He hasn't been running much and was just focusing on the TDK, but knowing him if he was with me he would of given it everything. So the other portion of the plan was to get away from him and create some separation headed into T2. Luckily I was able to get away and stay away.

T2- Not near as long as T1, but still a good jaunt out to the actual run course. I had a decent transition and the legs actually felt good.


Like I said surprisingly the legs felt good. I was told that the other 2 guys were 1:30 and 3 minutes up the road. I knew I had some work to do so I just kept focused and tried to reel the in. I pushed hard and just couldn't bridge the gap. I had some very solid miles though (well only 5 of them since the course was short) 6:17/6:22/6:04/6:06/5:43. I ended up crossing the line in what I though was 3rd, but of course in Korea some weird things happen. More to come on that.........

The biggest disappointment was that the bike and run courses were both short. The bike was about 5K short and the run was 2K short. The sad thing was I knew the bike was going to be short, but in 2008 the run was at least legit.

Here are my Overall placings and splits with Pros Included from the KTF. There were a total of 13 Pro Men that started the race!:

Swim-23:31/18th Overall/8th Amateur
Bike-54:55/4th Overall/2nd Amateur
Run-32:07/7th Overall/3rd Amateur
Total-1:50:31/7th Overall/2nd Amateur

My times adjusted w/ T1 and T2:
Bike-51:08-24.5mph/avg (20.9 Miles)
T2- 1:36
Run-30:29-6:07min/mil avg (5 miles)

So the interesting thing was at awards they called me up as 1st Place in my AG. Then the official results came out a few days later and I was listed as 2nd. Then there was no results for Peter or the Korean guy that "won" the race in the Amateur Division. According to Peter the 2 guys that beat me have been down in Jeju training to become pros this year and that is why they were not put in the results at the race, but not sure why the one guy was in the "official" results, maybe he didn't make the cut to become a Pro, not sure how the Korean system works.

Overall though I am extremely happy with the results considering how hard I had trained that week coming into the race. Always looking at the big picture and staying focused for the #1 goal of the year, IM CHINA..................O wait if you hadn't heard IM CHINA WAS CANCELED! Luckily I was able to re arrange some things and I am coming home early 5 June-30 June, as opposed to 23 June -11 July. I will now be home before my first IM and will hurry back to Korea to do IM Korea on July 3rd. You may ask why I wasn't just doing IM Korea in the first place, well they didn't announce it till March 18th, my birthday. I had already had IM China planned and paid for so there was no turning back or switching plans as I was already committed financially. More to come on how all of the cancellations and financial burden this cost me in another blog, this one is already WAY to long!

Here are some pictures from the race weekend:
My little corner of the train. The Cervelo and a bunch of beer, can't really think of a better trade off........

What? I am really only 1m30s back on Peter? You sure that is right??????
1st Lap solo.....Imagine that riding solo in a tri ;)
Hammer down trying to catch Peter.......Out on the run, the course got crowded on the second loop.....
An extra medal, cool trophy and of course the typical Korean Certificate(which I left in Mr. Yu's car :(, will get it back sooner than later). And then the bonus, 10lbs of Kimchi! Mr. Yu's wife was much appreciative of it, they wouldn't take gas money so Kimchi was a good trade off!

I was lucky enough to catch a ride back with my buddy Mr. Yu. We stopped and had eel, it actually was not bad at all. He told me it gives you lots of "stamina" and I am pretty sure he was referring to the stamina that is needed in bed and not in a triathlon.........Can't say I can tell you if it is true or not, what kind of girl would be interested in a guy that commits 20+ hours a week to training and all of his other time to a college degree?? ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

TDK Reflections........

9 May 2011-

Well it has been 2 weeks since the TDK ended and that has given me sometime to reflect on the whole experience. First off I want to say thanks to everyone for their continued support through the 10 days. It was amazing to see all the comments on FB and on here and know that a good group of people were following. It was an amazing experience to say the least, and I feel very fortunate to of been a part of the whole experience.

So with this being my first road racing experience I came in with no expectations. I had a few friends tell me that I was going to do great and surprise myself, so I had a feeling things would be alright. I don't think my coach was to fond of the idea being that road racing is notorious for crashes and with 9 days of racing something was bound to happen. Going into the race I had told myself I wasn't there to win, podium or go all out for just a higher finishing position. I was there to help the team and benefit them in anyway that I could. I just wanted to get 9 solid days of riding in my legs and not have to worry about work or anything else. I feel this was accomplished and luckily I kept it upright for 9 days and was not involved in any crashes.

I think all in all the whole experience was amazing. Although it seems the cycling world is a little more drama field than the triathlon world, well triathlon is drama free, so that is the one thing that was a little irritating. It is funny how whiny and fussy grown men can get over the littlest things, and then being around a testosterone field van and team of cyclist for 9 days doesn't make things much better. But some great friendships were made and lifetime experiences were had that will never be forgotten.

I can't wait until next year, and this just might become the main goal for early 2012 as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Thanks again for all of the continued support! A big thanks also goes out to my leadership for allowing me the time off work to go and race and represent the AF. Many ask how I get so much time off of work, a former boss once told me "Brad, as long as you come to work and bust your @$$ and make me 'money', I will do everything I can to support you. But you have to remember, the MISSION comes first". With that being said one thing I learned early in life with racing Quartermidgets and seeking sponsorship was what my Dad told me "What is the worst thing they can tell you when you ask for Sponsorship? NO! But if you don't ask you will never know". So with that being said, I ask for a lot of time off from work to compete in some big race around the world. Not to blow my own horn, but I believe I am allowed to do what I do because I show up to work I produce quality work and I am rewarded for it. Some also ask how is it that I get Permissive TDY for this and not charged leave, well luckily the AF is great about promoting its image. With physical fitness being one of the hot items, they don't mind allowing us to do things like the Tour de Korea, IM China, AF Marathon and so on, because it brings a good image to the AF and also promotes a good neighbor program when overseas. So I am fortunate to have such an understanding and supportive group of leaders who have continued to support me throughout the past couple of years.

Since I didn't really post results throughout the TDK here is a recap of each stage-

10 Days, 9 Stages 24 hours of total saddle time, 487 miles of racing and then because I am a goof ball Triathlete 3 hours 46 minutes of running with 27 total miles, but couldn't find a single pool :(

Stage 1- 116th/150 -33:13 off of leader (Gave up wheel and waited for support van. Would of been around 25th, -6:17, that is the group I crested the mountain with and then had to stop on the descent.)
Stage 2- 43rd/147 -0:08 off of leader
Stage 3- 63rd/149 -2:55 off of leader (First main pack, 4 man break got away. Lead out Elmer from 1K to 12th Overall)
Stage 4- 77th/130 -3:59 off of leader (Stopped to pull GC rider back to peloton after he flatted. The gap was too big and we were in 2nd group)
Stage 5- 72nd/130 -3:49 off of leader (Just flat out got dropped)
Stage 6- 45th/124 -9:21 off of leader
Stage 7- DNF (border line hypothermia day) 36 of 111 DNF'd
Stage 8- 44th/132 -3:21 off of leader
Stage 9- 34th/146 -0:24 off of leader

And some pictures that I may have or have not posted throughout the TDK:

On the sea wall setting the pace for the peloton......
Amazing scenery.........
Cherry Blossoms in full bloom...
The day we finished in Gunsan (where Kunsan AB is)
The Team......My mentor who is 30 years older and kicked my butt!
You know you have been in Korea to long when you eat cookies with chop sticks!

And all good things have to come to an end. This couldn't of been possible without the efforts put forth by our team manager Jeremy Moon. The guy put up with a lot of shit, and I joked around a lot with him, so when I was being serious I had to state up front that I was being serious, because I guess my sarcasm gets lost in translation. Looking forward to next year buddy!