Friday, May 30, 2014

Tyler Half IM, First Tri of the Season

30 March-

I wasn’t planning to do this race and was going to focus on Galveston 70.3.  Then I found out Galveston didn’t have $20K in Pro Prize money, and only had $15K.  Since I am still racing amateur you are probably wondering why I even care.  Well one way to qualify for your pro card as a USAT member is to finish top 3 overall amateur at a race with more than $20K in prize money.  So once finding out that it did not fit into that criteria I talked with my coach and we decided to see how back to back half’s would go.
I was a little worried on how my bike fitness would be.  I had gotten a big week of training in at camp in Tucson, but other than that I hadn’t had many great workouts that gave me confidence.  I was actually a little discouraged with how I rode at camp, but thought this race would be a good test to see where I was.  There were a few pros in the field “elite wave” as the race had less than $5K in prize money.  They started all of the male and female “elites” together at once.

I started out next to Chris McDonald, not sure why as I going to lose his feet fast.  And sure enough, by about 100m he was gone along with most of other elites.  I swam most of swim by myself and I lost 2:46 to Chris and 1:40 to Clay Emge (who won our AG in Kona).  I was fairly happy with how my swim went and didn’t have too many problems sighting.

I knew I was a bit down on Clay, but wasn’t sure by how much.  I started out of T2 riding pretty hard and caught one person fairly quickly.  Then there was someone quite a ways ahead that I could tell I was slowly reeling in.  The about 35 minutes into the race I heard a loud horn.  Didn’t know what it was at first, then after the second time it sounded I figured out it was a train.  I thought to myself, surely the course doesn’t go across tracks.  Sure enough about 30 seconds later I came around a bend and there were the tracks.  Then the gates started coming down, and then there I was stopped at the tracks. 
They had a guy there with a clipboard and he jotted down my number and started a stop watch.  He told me Clay had just went by and at that point was only 30 seconds up the road.  After being stopped for 1m40secs the train had passed and off I went.  It took me until about mile 40 or 45 to catch Clay.  I tried to get him to come with me but he was having issues with his rear wheel so was dealing with that.
Coming back into T2 someone informed me that Chris was in the lead about 15 minutes up the road.  And that 3rd place was about 10 minutes up the road.

Knowing where everyone was and that I had Galveston the following weekend I thought I would run hard until the turn around and see how much ground I could gain.  At the turn around I was about 5 minutes down on 4th and 10+ minutes down on 3rd and I knew it only paid 3 deep.  I figured the odds were pretty good that 2 guys were not going to blow up.  I decided just to take it easy the last 2-3 miles, but continued to push on till that point.  I ended up running the last ½ mile with one of the sprint finisher who was struggling, but with a little motivation we made it across the line together.  The run course was one of the more difficult courses that I have raced on and I was happy with how my run went.

Overall I was happy with how the day went and was really happy with where my power was on the bike.  For this early in the season I can’t complain about how things went.  I think it was a great prep for Galveston and it will be interesting to see how back to back weekends of half IM’s go.

Swim (1.2 miles)- 27:57

Bike (56 miles)- 2:27:06
For the power gurus, Training Peaks file:

Run (13.1 miles)- 1:32:41

Total- 4:31:15 / 5th in Elite / 1st Amateur

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cowtown Half Marathon-

23 Feb-
After returning from deployment I was only home for 3 days before departing for Japan to visit my wife.  I hadn’t seen her since Thanksgiving and this was the longest we had gone from being apart.  Once arriving out there we got struck with a 23” snow storm and had travel delays from Tokyo to Misawa, Tokyo actually got hit with 12” which pretty much shut down the city.  Needless to say over the 10 days in Japan I spent very little time running.  I was jet lagged, tired and honestly just wanted to lounge around and spend time with my wife.

Coming back from Japan I wasn’t due to arrive into DFW till Saturday night at 10pm, with a race start of 7am.  When I arrived to the terminal at the airport I was actually able to switch to a direct flight that got me into town 6 hours earlier.  That made it possible for me to attend the Team RWB pre race dinner and get together at RAHR and Sons Brewery.  It was a great time and it was great to be able to hang out with some RWB people who I hadn’t seen in quite some time and meet some new RWB people.
After getting back from the dinner I was able to unpack and get to be around 11pm, unfortunately I got about 4 hours of sleep and was up at 2am.  First time that has happened in a while, so I just stayed up and cleaned up the house and took my time in the morning.

I wasn’t really sure how the race was going to go since I just gotten of a flight less than 16 hours prior to race start and had barely slept, but I had talked to my coach and we setup a solid race plan going into the race.  I had put in some solid efforts while deployed and knew I was in pretty good run shape.  Unfortunately the course was really hilly and I wasn’t sure how bad that was going to affect my time.
Here was the plan that I had setup ahead of time before the race.  I had it programmed in to my Garmin and was going to try and follow it.

Since I was starting out a little slower and slowly increasing my pace throughout the run I was able to run with some of the marathoners for a bit.  Then there were some people just out in front of me that were in the half.  It was actually the first place female and a younger guy.  I caught them around mile 6 and ran with them for a few miles.  Then around mile 10 we hit the “big” hill on the course.  I felt good up the hill and that is where I started to pick up the pace for the final 5K push home.  With a mile to go I caught another guy that was struggling a bit and tried to motivate him to run with me.  He ran with me till about ¼ mile to go then dropped off.

I was really happy to have a PB for the ½ Marathon distance by 2 minutes, even more so considering it was a hilly and not “fast” course.  Huge thanks to my coach, Scott DeFilippis for keeping me focused while deployed and laying out some solid run workouts.

7th out of 7,057- 1:16:57
1st out of 339 Male 25-29
Strava File (

The Plan / The Execution (click to enlarge)