Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 70.3 Worlds, Eh!

7 Sept 2014-
Coming off of a decent 3 weeks of back-back-back racing in July/August, I was looking forward to getting settled back into Boulder and put in solid work. I was able to get 4 weeks in before departing for 70.3 Worlds, and was really happy with how those weeks went. I got in a few big 5-6hr rides with close to 8K feet of climbing, and felt great on all of those rides. The swimming was coming along quite well and swimming with the masters group at Rally Sport was really helping my swim. 

We traveled up to Canada on Thursday and then drove two hours from the airport to Mont Tremblant. It was absolutely beautiful once we got into the country side and I was really looking forward to seeing what Mont Tremblant. Mont Tremblant did not disappoint, it was stunning. Made me wish I lived out in the North East in the summers so that I could head up there and train. Unfortunately with the move or England I don't think I will be back there anytime soon. Hopefully one day I can head back over there to race again. 

Swim- 27:52

I got a pretty good start, it was a little rough the first 400m but then it cleared up a bit and I found some good feet here and there. At the turn buoy about half way through a guy came around me and I got on his feet and stayed there until the exit of the swim. It was quite a long run from Swim exit to T1, and once there I decided to put knee warmers on as it was in the low 50s. I also put on some gloves and already had toe covers on my shoes. 

Bike- 2:11:32

I was quite surprised to get out on the bike and see a lot of packs. Since I started about mid way through all of the waves I had quite a few people ahead of me on the course.  I stayed to the left and slowly started passing people. Once out onto the freeway the packs were even bigger and I was quite disappointed. I passed the groups a few times but then they would pass me back. When that would happen I would just go to the back and sit 7 meters off hoping for a draft marshall to show up. 

I only saw two marshalls throughout the day, one at 30K and another at 70K. In between the 30K and 70K point I would ride by groups and I started using a new tactic. Rather than yelling at athletes for drafting I would look over at them and say "Watch out a motto is coming a motto is coming". Then just ride by them. They would sit up, soft pedal, grab their brakes. It was ridiculous to see how blatant some of the people were drafting, especially for a world championship. The worse part is the penalty tents were empty and penalties were not being given out.

The hardest part of the course was the last 20K and I knew that going into the race. I had pre ridden it on Friday because I thought I made a crucial error of not being able to switch my cassette and I was stuck with an 11-23. Looking back I think it turned out to be a "great mistake" and it forced me to ride that section a little harder than I would have normally and helped move me up in the age group.  

Just before entering T2 I saw my wife and she told me I was sitting in 5th or 6th (I was actually in 5th). 

Run- 1:23:24

The run course was quite hilly so I settled into a comfortable pace and just tried to stay consistent.  Around mile 3 a group of 3 guys ran by me like I was standing still. I let them go and didn't try to run with them. I stopped once for a short pee break but other than that I felt really good. I thought I had a bit left in the tank with about 5K to go so I picked up the pace and tried to push on through the final hills. 

I felt really good on the run and actually negative split the run, so was really happy with that. 

Overall I was really happy with how the day went. Not quite the placing that I wanted. I was shooting for a top 5 in my Age Group, but ended up 9th. I was more pleased with being 18th Overall and with having the 3rd fastest amateur bike split (really 2nd, as the fastest is a convicted doper/x-pro cyclist that should not be allowed in our sport.)
Thanks to TrainingPeaks for doing a great analysis of my race, you can read about it here:

Huge thanks to everyone that has continued to support my journey in this sport. My wife has been by my side these last 2 years and continues to believe in me and has been a great supporter of my goals. Without her support this wouldn't be possible, as having a strong "team" in your corner is a huge key to success in this sport. 

Along with her, I would like to think my family, friends and my coach, Scott DeFilippis who has been not only a coach but a great friend and mentor over the last 4 years.   Lastly, but very important, all of the companies that have been standing behind me and supporting me the last few years. Thanks to: FRS Healthy Energy, Honey Stinger, Kiwami, HED Cycling, Zoot, Arundel Bike Products, Clever Training, ISM Saddles, and Team RWB for all of the continued support!
 The greatest race sherpa ever!
 Coming down the final hill
 Ryan McCready and Brett King, two awesome guys and great friends!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Catching Up: Update Part 2

9 October-

Update Part 1 can be found HERE.

I left off with the departure from Ft Worth and heading up to Boulder.  Hila was in from Japan for a month, so we packed up what I had left that the movers didn't take, and put it into the car.  Pretty tough packing for 4 months and only being able to jam it in the car.  We made it up to Boulder in 2 days, after making a quick stop in Colorado Springs to visit with Hila's mother.

With Atlantic City going poorly due to being sick I talked with my coach about a back up plan to try and qualify for my pro card again.  I found Challenge New Albany and decided that was going to be the race to do.  After a few weeks in Boulder we headed out for New Albany, via car.  Driving from Colorado to Ohio wasn't all that bad.  I had already planned on driving out to Milwaukee for Age Group Nationals so it was just a week ahead of schedule.  I was going to spend 10 days in Milwaukee and fly in and out of there for New York City to guide Aaron again.

I ended up having a really good race at New Albany and won the overall amateur race and placed 15th Overall.  So mission accomplished and no pressure the rest of the year worrying about where to qualify.  We drove up from New Albany to Milwaukee and luckily were able to meet up with some friends and family along the way.  Always great to catch up with people while out on the road traveling.  After getting up to Milwaukee the month with Hila came to an end and she got on a plane back to Japan.  Luckily, this would be the last time we would be apart for more than a few weeks at a time, as she was getting ready to depart from the Air Force as well.

A few days after Hila left I headed over to New York for a short 2 day trip, I think I was actually there less than 48 hours.  I went out there to guide Aaron in the NYC Triathlon, and it was a great event.  We set a course record in his category by 5 minutes, well we actually just broke his course record.  It was a pretty humbling experience for me, my ultimate fear with guiding happened.  Aaron was in top shape since Paratriathlon Worlds was right around the corner, and he was dragging me around the run course, yet we still ran 37 flat 10K, on a really hilly course.  I never want to slow Aaron down so this was really hard for me, but luckily he still won so in the end it was alright.

Once back from NYC I stayed in Milwaukee and raced AG Nationals.  The day went pretty much like I expected, came out way behind in the swim, biked through the field to the top 5 and then was run down by a few guys.  When it was all said and done I was 25th Overall and 8th in the Age Group, until I was given a 2 minute penalty for dropping my swim cap on the transition run, yep you read that right, dropping my swim cap, along with about 50 other people.  I ended up 40th and 12th in my Age Group after that.  Still a great day and put down the 3rd fastest bike split, which I was really happy with.

After the race I loaded up the car and headed back to Boulder the following day.  Made the drive straight through which made for a long day.  Once back in Boulder I spent 28 days there training for 70.3 worlds, and put in a really solid block of training.  Hila left Japan for good and met me in Boulder for a few days before we headed off to Canada.

I will do a race report for 70.3 worlds, so that will be the next post.  Once back from 70.3 worlds we drove from Boulder to California, making a quick stop at Interbike for a few hours.  Although we were really rushed while there it was still a great experience and I look forward to going back in the future.  Once back in California we had a few days to getting our wedding ceremony final preparation done, and once all of that was good we had the big party!  One of the most memorable nights of my life, and I was glad we had all of our family and close friends there to celebrate with us.

After the wedding we spent some time in Tahoe and in San Francisco.  Hila then departed for England to get started on her DPhil (PhD for those of us in the US) at Oxford.  I had a week left in California to train before I departed for Hawaii.  No problems at all traveling out to Hawaii.

So here we are, 6 months later, on the big island of Hawaii, and in 2 short blog posts you are all caught up on what has been a busy and hectic 6 months.
Post race at Challenge New Albany with Hila, and Ryan
Guiding Aaron at NYC, we broke 2 hours and broke his old course record.
 At Interbike with Hila

 And we got married again :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Catching Up: Update Part 1

8 October-

So for anyone out there that actually still follows my blog, you probably noticed I got way behind this year.  This is the first time that I am actually going to skip over race reports and just fill you in on "life" and what has been going on.  If you want to catch up on what races I have done since Galveston and the exact results and splits, those can be found here: .

Where to start....Well after Galveston I went back to what was "home" at the time of Fort Worth and got a few weeks of training in before heading to California for my brothers wedding and Wildflower Triathlon.  It is always good to be home and I was able to get in some good training before Wildflower, as well as spend some time with Hila (the wifey) as she flew in for my brothers wedding.  We also took care of some "wedding" planning (We are already married but were planning a small ceremony for our family and friends in September.)

After my brothers wedding and our own little wedding planning adventures it was off to Wildflower.  The legendary race in my opinion which should be on every triathletes to do list.  I was feeling pretty good for the race and had some great training going into it.  I am not quite sure what happened on race day, but I had what I would call an off day.  Power was super low on the bike and I came off the bike and hit a wall around mile 3.  After a few miles I got going again, but ended up being passed by a guy in my age group with 2 miles to go.  Unfortunately he got a drafting penalty and I still ended up winning the age group, although still not a great race for me in my opinion.  Hard to say that, but this year I wasn't focusing on age group wins, I wanted overall wins at the local / regional races, and top 5's in my age group at 70.3 worlds and Kona.  So  I was a little disappointed with my overall placing at Wildflower.  After Wildflower I headed back to Texas for a few weeks before returning to California for Military National Champs and a big training block before Challenge Atlantic City.

While back in Texas I moved out of my apartment and started the process of departing from the military.  I also headed down to Austin to the CapTex Triathlon to guide Aaron Scheidies.  It is always a great time to have Aaron around and be able to race with him.  Such an inspirational guy and has a great outlook on life.  I then departed for California after CapTex and headed to Southern California.  With this being the last race I would participate in for the Air Force, it was a bit of a bitter sweet.  I was really excited for the race and felt like I was in the best shape I had been in when showing up to Pt Mugu.  The race played out just how I expected, except I wasn't quite expecting to come off the bike in 3rd and hold onto for 5th place.  With it being draft legal this was a great result for me.  Unfortunately it was not a Military Worlds year, which meant the top 6 did not get to go on and represent the USA at Military Worlds.

It was great time down in Pt Mugu with all of the military tri peeps and after a good night of celebrating I was headed north to spend a few weeks at home.  I got in a great training block while home, and even had Brett King a fellow AF guy join in for a few days. In the process started to get a little sick just before leaving for Challenge Atlantic City.  Since I was home on leave I didn't go to the doctor just thinking I would get over it.  After about 7 days of feeling like crap and just arriving to New Jersey I headed into an Urgent Care.  They diagnosed me with Bronchitis just 3 days before the race and I started an anti biotic.

I was stubborn and still decided to race.  I just planned to take it easy on the bike and see how things went on the run.  The bike ended up going fairly well, and the first 15K of the run was good as well.  Unfortunately at mile 13 I made a stop in the bathroom and that was a first, never had that happen during and IM.  Then shortly after that I felt zapped of energy and decided to call it a day to forgo putting myself in a bigger whole.

I packed up from New Jersey and headed back to Texas for the final out processing of the military and to head up to Boulder for the summer.

That is enough updating for now, check back in a few days for a new update.............Here are a few pictures from this update
 Derek, Ace and myself.  All 3 of us were out in Korea together, just missing our buddy Aaron Mundy.
 Aaron and myself after a hot day at CapTex Triathlon
 The Good ol' AF Tri Team.  Going to miss this group!
 Wildflower Podium.  Surrounded by those fast Every Man Jack Tri guys.

Before my brothers wedding.