Thursday, October 31, 2013

Austin 70.3=Mission Accomplished

27 Oct-

14 short days after Kona I entered the water at Decker Lake in Austin.  I showed up to the race with one goal and one goal only, that was to qualify for the 70.3 Worlds.  After just having a great race at Kona (read here) I was still riding the "fitness wave".  I hadn't done much training the week after Kona and then had a few short sessions the week of this race.  My legs were feeling pretty good, the mind was pretty "worn" out, and overall my body was "ok".  I have struggled in the past with what I call "post race depression", it normally hits after a great results or accomplishing a big goal for the year.  I experienced this very mildly after Vegas this year, but was able to bounce back quite quickly.

I have found the best way to deal with this is to surround myself with other athletes that are training.  I try and set my workouts up with others so that I am forced to go train.  It holds me accountable and doesn't give me an excuse to just lay in bed all day or just sit around and do nothing.  I know my body, and I know I should have been out training and just moving, not necessarily putting in a huge week or high intensity, but just out and about.  The morning after Kona I went out for a ride, a friend wanted to so I did it.  Felt fine, felt great, was great to be out on the Queen K on a beautiful Sunday morning.  Then I get back to TX and Barrett and Lauren were out of town and I didn't have anyone to train with in the middle of the day.  So I sat around for a week, did very little and tried to comprehend what had happened at Kona.  Still hasn't set in actually, but needless to say I found a few people to train with the 2nd week and things were fine.

I talk about this post race depression because I believe a lot of athletes deal with it.  It is not the typical depression that one would think of, I mean most of us have just accomplished our biggest goals when this happens, yet we go into a state of "confusion" and being lost.  I think I have found my way to work around it, and that is to ensure I have workouts set up with others.  It doesn't effect my day to day mood, it doesn't effect anything other that the lack of motivation to go train, but if I know someone else will be there I will show up.

Enough about all that craziness, lets get to the race, going to try and keep it short as I don't think it is all that interesting of a race.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 30:36

Our Age Group had 233 individuals in it, so instead of one wave they split into 2 waves.  I was in the second wave and had a decent start.  We hit traffic pretty early on and then it just kept getting more and more congested.  I tried to swim an inside line and avoid as many swimmers as possible, but if left me swimming alone.  I was fine with that and took the risk.  I was not happy with my swim time, but I ended up 6th in my Age Group, so was fine with that.  I had friends on the course telling me where I was as this day was all about placing and had nothing to do with time.  They told me I was out of the water in 5th (so they were close) and 3 minutes down, which was about right.

Bike (56 miles)- 2:13:30

Once on the bike I pretty much had to remain on the left side of the road due to the amount of athletes on the course.  I got into a good rhythm and just settled in.  It was a little sketchy on some parts of the course with riders everywhere, but I just remained patient and ensured I didn't take any risk.  I felt like I was riding pretty good and I was happy with where my power was.  I was told to hold back on the bike a little bit in an effort to save the legs a bit for the upcoming IMFL.  I passed Joe Thorne, the eventual age group winner around mile 35-40.  I had looked at the start list but he was not on it, I think he signed up late like me, because I was not on the start list that was posted online either.  I recognized the Durata Training Kit and asked him his name, he said Joe and I immediately knew it was him.  He ran a 2:43 marathon at Kona in 2011 (See here), and had just recently beat me in Vegas.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to put enough time into him in 20 miles so just kept pushing along at the same effort as before.  The roads cleared up around mile 45 and I had very little traffic to navigate around which was nice because between mile 45-50 gets really tight on the course.

I pulled into T2 and was feeling pretty good.  Just as I was getting my shoes on and starting to run out, Joe was racking his bike.  I knew there was no shot that I could run with him, even if I wasn't 2 weeks off of Kona and fully tapered.

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:28:23

I was surprised that Joe didn't come storming by me within the first 1/2 mile, that is what I expected.  Then came mile 1.5 and he came flying by.  I told him congrats and off he went to run 12 minutes faster than me.  Yes, he ran a 1:16 on a course that most would define as a tough run course.  I came around to start my second loop and got a split that 3rd was 5 minutes back.  Half way through the second lap I got another split that he was 3:30 back around mile 8.  Having this information during the race was really helpful as I was able to hold back a bit and not have to go too far into the hurt locker.  Don't let me fool you though, I was not doing great by any means from about mile 7 on.and was just trying to get through the day.  I ended up finishing 2:08 ahead of 3rd.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 30:36 / 6th out of 233 in AG /

Bike (56 miles)- 2:13:30 / 1st out of 233 (2nd Amateur) in AG /
For the power gurus:

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:28:23 / 10th out of 233 in AG /

Total- 4:16:36 / 33rd out of 2219 Overall / 7th out of 2,070 Amateurs / 2nd out of 233 in AG

Overall I was happy with how the day went, like I said I didn't come to Austin with a time goal in mind.  I came to get a 70.3 Worlds slot and that was accomplished so overall it was a good weekend.  It was great having all of the Team RWB Members out there flying the Eagle and volunteering.  It was also great to see so many familiar faces from Fort Worth out racing and volunteering.

Thanks again to everyone for all of the support.  These past few weeks have been amazing and it would not have been possible without all of the amazing support.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

 Pushing it on the bike

 Out on the run
Caroline Gaynor the "other" Co-Director for Team RWB Triathlon and myself at the RWB Dinner.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kona '13: 3rd Time's a Charm!

12 Oct-

If you missed the last blog it is the preview to Kona.  It can be found here:

This was my third year coming to the big island, and I believed that this was the year that I could make my biggest gains on this race.  It is a race like no other, not because the course is "tough", but because the environment is like no other.  I landed on the big island with some confidence after 70.3 World Champs and felt like I had more experience this year since it was my third year on the island.

I got in mid morning Saturday and quickly put my bike together to head out for a quick ride and run.  I headed out Sunday morning for a longish run and then just relaxed.  I had what I thought was allergies flare up on Thursday prior to leaving and they just kept getting worse.  I was constantly draining my nose of snot which then turned into mucus, which then people labeled me as "sick" and I just kept telling myself it was "allergies".

Monday was a good long ride out on the Queen-K and just cruised along at a very conversational pace.  Chris Avery, an AF Academy graduate was out on the island spectating the race and he joined me for the ride.  We had a great time out there just enjoying Hawaii and talking about triathlon and the Air Force.  I woke up Tuesday in the middle of the night with a sore throat and even more congestion.  At this point I realized I was "sick" and it wasn't allergies but I just kept telling myself I would get better.  I medicated with Nyquil, Dayquil, Sudafed for the next 3 days but still no luck, other than the sore throat was gone.

Moving on through the week I had an awesome opportunity to stop by the IM Expo stage on Wednesday and talk on stage for a few minutes about World Bicycle Relief.  They were attempting to raise 100 bikes in 30 minutes, so $13,400.  Specialized, SRAM, and IM Foundation were matching the first 10 bikes that were donated and then SRAM would continue to match the whole week of Kona.  In the 30 minutes the 100 bikes were met and it was an amazing event to be a part of.  Pro Triathlete Jordan Rapp does an Annual Charity Challenge, and this is the 5th year.  You can find out more about it here, and although it is already over you can keep an eye out for it next year or just go to the above link to contribute to WBR.

Wednesday night was the Slowtwitch Gathering and I had a great time there with friends and family.  They always have a great event with many giveaways and free beer and food, only problem no beer for me :( I actually didn't drink for the 5 weeks leading into the race.  It is the quickest way for me to get down to race weight, cutting alcohol out of the "diet".

Thursday we had the underpants run followed by a quick military athletes gathering at Lava Java.  Always great to get together with everyone as we have a great community of triathletes.  That evening was the Welcome Banquet where once again all of the military athletes sit together and enjoy the show.

Friday I had a few short workouts and then bike check in mid day.  Then that evening we did our potluck dinner, which is now an annual "event", we have decided next year we will have a give away ;)  My little sister is quite the swag monster and she decided to donate items accquired throughout the week to the "give away".

Saturday morning came bright and early with a 0400 wake up.  I guess I can start the actual "race report" now.

Swim (2.4 miles)- 1:01:40

Probably my favorite swim course of all time.  I love being able to see the bottom of the ocean the whole time.  I didn't see any photographers, turtles, or dolphins this year like years past, but still it is an amazing view for the swim.  I started right in the center, there was a big orange triangle buoy out there.  I swam out to it, went to grab on to it and lo and behold Hines Ward is out there next to it.  Talked to him for a few minutes and then with about 5 minutes to go I made my way around the buoy and about 3 rows back from the start "line".  The swim was pretty crazy like always but eventually things calmed down for a bit and then at the turnaround got a little crazy again.  The swim back was not bad, I swam on some feet, then some open water then back onto some feet.  I looked at the clock as I exited the water and was really happy with how I swam.  I wanted to swim 1:02, which would have been a minute faster than last year, so I was right on target.

T1- 3:13

Got into T1, got out of my Kiwami Amphibian quickly, which I wore over my Kiwami Konami.  I then had a helper assist with getting my new Castelli T1 Stealth top on over the Konami one piece.  It is quite a struggle when you are wet but we eventually got it on.  I then ran to my bike and out of transition I went.

Bike (112 miles)- 4:41:43

I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me on the bike as I come out of the water a bit behind my age group leaders.  I took it pretty easy the first 10 miles through town, then once on the Queen K, I put my head down and got to work.  I knew it was going to be a long day with the tailwind going out and the headwind on the way back so I rode pretty hard the first hour then backed off and tried to remind myself to save it for the head wind coming back.  The "packs" were not that bad the first part of the ride for me as I was constantly on the left passing people.

I encountered the first group right before making the left off the Queen-K and headed up towards Hawi.  I ended up getting swallowed up by them and just sat 7 meters off the back.  Once we got going up Hawi, I put my head down and passed a majority of those guys that were in the pack.  Special needs was a little hectic as the lady with my bag was distracted talking to someone and completely missed me so I had to come to a complete stop.  She ran to me and I got my bottle and headed down from Hawi.

On the way down I wasn't really passing people just kept the legs moving and once it started to flatten out, I ended up with 2 guys behind me and I sat up front pushing about 260 watts.  A few minutes later I looked back and a group of about 30 guys came right by me like it was a Sunday group ride.  I went to the back and once again sat 7 meters off the back.  This was at mile 67, at mile 77, Ken Glah joined the party and the group swallowed him up and out the back he came to join me.  We chatted for a bit and saw a ref standing on the side of the road with NO moto.  We looked at him in confusion and pointed at the group and he just gave us the UHHHHHHH..... "Sorry I can't doing anything."  Finally at mile 82, 2 motos showed up and started handing out penalties, then 3 miles later, side of the road ref showed up and started giving out penalties.  Shortly after that, the penalty booth came up and off went about 10 guys to serve their time.  At that point the "group" was shattered and I started passing guys again.  Then we hit a pretty solid head wind and I started passing a few more guys.  The last 20 miles were pretty lonely into town and I had very few people to pass or be passed by.

I came off the bike feeling really good and knowing that I had a really solid ride.

T2- 2:39

I made it quickly into the changing tent and then came the assistance of a volunteer to get my Castelli T1 Stealth top off.  It was a lot easier coming off then geting on, other than I forgot to unzip it a little bit and that caused it to get stuck for a few seconds.  I grabbed my gel flask and salt tabs and out onto the run I went.

Run (26.2 miles)- 3:14:26

As I started the run I ran past the timing clock and it read "5:49", and it sunk in that I was really having a great race and if I ran like I knew I could, I had a chance at sub 9.  I thought to myself about 2 years ago when I ran 3:11 and I knew I was in better shape.  I had to really try and throttle back the first few miles, but then just kept running how I felt.  Coach said just run by feel.  The first few miles were clicking off around 6:50's, then I got realistic and throttled back.  I hit my first "rough" patch up Palani.  I walked for about 30 seconds half way up and then hit the aid station at the top and walked again.  I felt better once out on the Queen-K, I had just seen Jason Patrick Lester going up Palani.  Last year he saw me about mile 22 and I was in rough shape then.  I remember what he told me about holding ice and remembered that it worked to cool me down.

From there on out I got mutliple cups of ice at each aid station, a few went down my back and a few pieces into my hands and mouth.  Around mile 13 I caught Natascha Badmann and started running with her for a bit.  She was pretty fast through the aid stations where I took more time and loaded up on calories and ice.

I had been wanting the military title pretty bad over the past 2 years.  Rob Hilton, a Marine had one the title the past 2 years and I knew it was going to be a tough battle this year.  Luckily as I was leaving the energy lab he was entering, we smacked hands through there and said good luck to each other.  I had seen everyone else on the course except him up to that point.

I had a few rough last miles, but once I could see the downhill on Palani the legs just opened up.  I ran hard down the hill made the left and kept my momentum up.  I saw my mom with about a mile to go and asked her to find a US Flag to cross with.  At this point I knew I had won the military division and I wanted to keep my tradition of crossing the Kona finish line with a US Flag going.  I was looking for a flag the last mile as I was running and did not see a single one.  I saw plenty of British and Aussie flags but no US.  I got to the finishing chute and my step dad had a US flag waiting for me, luckily a local shop had one hanging from their roof.  I took old glory and had a pretty emotional run down the finishing chute.

After seeing the results later in the day I missed out on 5th place in my Age Group by 5 seconds, I had no clue there was someone in my Age Group that close up the road.  Ali'i gets really crowded with fans and has a few curves to it, but like I told a few people I would rather finish 6th flying Old Glory across the line then finish 5th empty handed across the line.  I don't get called up on stage, I don't get an umeke for my Age Group, but I do get the honor of representing my country, the US Air Force, and Team Red, White, and Blue by crossing with Old Glory, and that means more to me than 5th place in my Age Group.

Swim (2.4 miles)- 1:01:40 / 34th out of 97 in AG /

Bike (112 miles)- 4:41:43 / 5th out of 97 in AG /
For the power gurus:

Run (26.2 miles)- 3:14:26 / 9th out of 97 in AG / Garmin got screwed up and lost file.  After talking with someone from Training Peaks it seems my watch had too much data on it and could not hold everything.

Total- 9:03:41 / 67th out of 2,134 Overall / 34th out of 2,049 Amateurs / 6th out of 97 in AG / 12th American / 6th American Amateur


People have asked what my clothing selection and nutrition was so here it is:

-2 Instant Packs of Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
-2 Bananas
-1 OSMO Pre Load Drink (300mg Sodium)
Pre Race-
-1 OSMO Active Hydration Drink
- Forgot to take a Gel
-1 OSMO Active Hydration Drink
-5 Hammer Fizz Tabs w/ water in A2 Speedfil bottle
-2 Insulated bottles filled with 1000 calories (started with one, one at special needs)
--4 scoops of Perpetum (first bottle Orange Vanilla / second bottle Cafe Late)
--2 Hammer Gels (Orange and then Cappuccino)
--4oz EFS Liquid Shot (Vanilla and then Kona Mocha)
--2 Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffles
-- 6-10 Honey Stinger Chews
-6 Hammer Salt Tabs
-2 6oz gel flask (1 at special needs)
--4oz Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot, 2oz Hammer Cappucino
-12 Hammer Salt Tabs
- 8-12 cups of coke
- 100? cups of ice
- 5-8 cups of water
- 1 handful of pretzels
 Post Race-
-1 IV bag :)

Gear Selection-
Swim- Kiwami Amphibian as outter layer and Kiwami Konami underneath
Watch- Garmin 910XT

Frame- 2008 Cervelo P3C
Gruppo- DuraAce 7800
Bike Computer- Garmin Edge 800
Cockpit- 3T
Bottle Cages- Arundel Mandible
Pedals- TimeiClic
Shoes- Specialized S-Works Road Shoes w/ no socks
Suit- Kiwami Konami One Piece w/ Castelli T1 Stealth Top
Helmet- Rudy Project Wing57
Glasses- Infite Hero Oakley Radar Paths

Suit- Kiwami Konami One Piece
Shoes- Ali'i 6.0's
Glasses- Infite Hero Oakely Jawbones
Watch- Garmin 910XT

Special thanks to my mom, step dad, and sister who made the trip out to Kona for the third year in a row.  Then everyone that could not attend but was following the race all day long, I can't thank you enough for all of the emails, text messages, FB messages over the past few days.  It is amazing the amount of support and people I have in my corner, and like I always say, I would not be here with out all of you!!

Lastly, I can't thank my sponsors/supporters enough: FRS Healthy Energy, Honey Stinger, Kiwami, HED Cycling, Zoot, teamTBB, Fort Worth Cycling, Arundel Bike Products, Clever Training, ISM Saddles, and Team RWB for all of the support! 

Some more photos from throughout the week:

 Out at the parade of nations on Tuesday
Clay Emge, the winner of our Age Group at the Slowtwitch party

Military Athlete Gathering on Thursday. 5 other guys were all under 10 hours!
Team AF! Scott, Hila, Sam, myself, and Randy

Best shaved ice ever!  O and photo bombing my little sisters face!

 Running down Ali'i
 At the finish area
 Up on stage getting our umeke's!
 My Rockstar Teammate Sam Morrison!  This is the first time the Air Force has swept female, male, and team for the military division.  We both also set the fastest times ever posted in the military division.  Sam also WON her Age Group, was the 3rd Overall Amateur Female!  Watch out for her, she will WIN an IM one day!!

 Out on the Queen-K Sunday after the race with Cam Loos.  Our buddy Eric was driving by and got this great shot.

If you made it all the way down to this point thanks for reading the whole thing.  Or thanks for skipping through it and looking at the pictures ;)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Kona '13 Preview: Is the 3rd Time a Charm?

11 Oct-

Crazy how fast time can go by when you are having fun.  Here I am on my 7th day in Kona and the race start is less than 15 hours away.  I had planned on doing this short recap of the past 10 weeks a little earlier in the week but caught up doing some other things.  So here we are the night before the race and I am just relaxing before our annual potluck dinner and typing up this short blog.

I had done the same thing last year and let you see how my last 10 weeks had been going so thought I would do the same.  If you want to read about last years build up it can be found HERE!

Also, the a local blog in the DFW area posted a short write up about the race and had asked me a few questions about the race.  Thanks Debbie for taking the time to interview me!

Article Link:
Looking at the below charts I am really happy with how things have been.  Although I haven't had as many "total hours" I think I have put in a lot of quality sessions this year and am happy with where I am at going into the race tomorrow.  Coming off of Vineman and then building up to 70.3 Worlds was a huge confidence boost and I am happy with how the season has went thus far.  Tomorrow is the big day to really show how hard I have worked and how much everyones support has helped me progress as an athlete and person.  I look forward to laying it all on the line tomorrow and thanks for all of the support.

My expected goals are:

Swim- 1:02-1:04
Bike- 5:00-5:08
Run- 3:05-3:15
Finish- 9:13-9:33

I would really like to be in the top 10 of my Age Group, like Vegas, but I cannot control who shows up, so we will just see where my best effort puts me :)

Link to pictures from the week:

Now a look into the past 10 weeks of training..........

10 weeks 17 hour average
10 weeks 17.5 hour average

(Click Images to Enlarge)

 Swim 2012
Swim 2013

Bike 2012

Bike 2013

Run 2012

Run 2013
 Total 2012

Total 2013

Pie Chart 2012

Pie Chart 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Quarter 3 Update

7 October-

Below is a link to my 3rd Quarter Update.  You can view it on Google Docs, but it is not high quality.  For high quality please download full version.