Sunday, May 30, 2010

TTT State Championships!

Yesterday, I participated in the Team Time Trial State Championships (TTT) for cycling. I had never done anything like this before and it was a ton of fun.

Fellow TTS athlete, Drew Haberkorn (recent triathlete pro card recipient, but deferring until ’11) and I joined forces literally for the first time and competed as a two man team. We had ridden together prior to this event once, in a practice session specifically for this race!

The course was set out by Lake Los Angeles, in the raw desert! It was basically a large box with four 90 degree right turns. All flat, less one minor rise and some light wind.

Drew and I worked together to get the job done and wound up placing 4th overall, mere seconds off the podium. For the 23.5 mile course, we split a 50:11 – roughly averaging 28mph! Of the 3 teams that beat us, two were pros and the winner wound up less than 90 seconds ahead of us. So for our first ride together and for our first TTT or even plain TT, 4th is pretty damn good!

Thanks to my TTS skin suit, American Classic wheels, and of course my SuperCharge potion from NPN, I was able to find that finish line!

In training mode for the next several weeks, so check back later for training updates and what not. Thanks again for the support!

Talk soon!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rolling With the Punches

Oh Ixtapa, Ixtapa, Ixtapa...

Saturday was a hot, unrelenting day in Southern Mexico. So unrelenting in fact, the swim was canceled due to the abnormally large surf! The triathlon was turned into a duathlon - 3K run, 40K bike, 10K run. Not your conventional duathlon as the long run is normally before the short run, but as a triathlete, you roll with the punches and take on the conditions for what they are.

On one hand, I was excited because the duathlon basically took out my weakness - the swim; and emphasized my strength - the run. On the other hand, I had traveled down and prepared for a triathlon, not a duathlon. Needless to say, there was nothing I could do about it and again, I just had to roll with the punches.

I'll tell you right off the bat - it was not a good day. I guess in triathlon lingo, you would call it a complete BONK. I came into T1 with the lead pack of 5 or so. Since I didn't have time the day before to inspect the bike course, all I knew was that the road conditions were tough, lots of speed bumps, and rolling hills. After a grueling bike, I came into T2 with the leaders and headed out onto the run. Through the first of four laps, I remained in contact, and then the BONKing started happening! I might as well have been running the course backwards, because that's what it felt like as probably 15 guys passed me.

I wound up finishing 22nd in a time of 1:48:29. It is very hard to pinpoint why my second run was so disastrous. I don't like making excuses for my sub-par performances, but results like this don't occur for no reason. What I will say affected me the most was the fact that it felt like we were running in an oven! I had heard that temperatures got up to 36 degrees Celsius (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit). For me, it was so hot that I felt claustrophobic in my race suit. No amount of water from the aid stations could cool me down. It was an uphill battle and I was rolling backwards. While I had a terrible day at the office, I wasn't the only one, as there were 19 guys who wound up succumbing to the conditions and were not able to finish the race. I certainly felt like stopping a few times on the run, but I kept moving forward one step at a time and eventually found that finish line.

I have four weeks before my next race. During that time I need to return to the drawing board and figure out what I need to tweak in my training.

Thank you for all the support, as usual. I can't do this without you. Check back later for training updates, and perhaps an answer to how/why I BONKed so hard!

Sorry about the length! I needed to vent somehow..!

Race results:

Talk soon!


Friday, May 21, 2010

ITU Ixtapa Manana!

On the eve of yet another ITU race, I find myself in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. On the flight down, I happened to sit next to a family friend who was heading down for a surfing excursion. I soon found out from him that Zihuatanejo was currently getting hit with a 10-18 foot swell (which would explain the hoards of surfers on my flight)!!

I’m staying at the host hotel right in the center of it all and that has proved to be a good decision, as it is quite chaotic down here and it makes my job a whole lot easier to figure out where to go.

A pretty good sized pro field (roughly 60 competitors) and a somewhat unconventional bike course, at least for the ITU standard. Instead of the usual 8 laps of 5km, it will be 2 laps of 20km, so this should make for yet another fulfilling ITU experience!

I have to get to the athlete briefing but I wanted to drop you all a line first. Gun goes off tomorrow at 10:30am (8:30PST) and I will be sure to write a post-race report as soon as I get a chance.

Wish me luck! Talk soon!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ocean Swims are BACK!

There is simply nothing like starting off your day with a plunge into the Pacific Ocean. After much anticipation (at least by yours truly), the exciting Wednesday morning Ocean Speed Circuit swims have finally returned! A number of crazed, sleep deprived triathletes and swimmers alike, braved the 57 degree waters last week, and then again this week. Only this time, we were greeted with a playful school of dolphins, yearning for us to come and join them out by the turn-around buoy!

One might ask, "why in the hell would someone get up at 5:30 so that they could go jump in sub-60 degree ocean water by 6:30?!" And I might respond, "because it's what we do. There's no rhyme or reason, it's just part of the multi-sport lifestyle!"

A friend of mine aptly put it, " man, when you dive through that first wave and that cold water hits your face, it is quite a shock! It takes about 3/4 of a lap to get warm!"

Yes, perhaps the first couple (more like 5 or 6) Wednesday swims, the sheer thought of jumping into the water barely before sun rise sends a shiver down your spine. But, as the season begins to change from late spring to early summer, the water gets warmer, the crowd of crazed individuals becomes vast and more enthusiastic, and what we're doing down on the Santa Monica beach at the crack of dawn soon lends a response to the question, "why in the hell?!" -- BECAUSE IT'S WHAT WE DO!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

EFA Race Report!

Just finished Escape from Alcatraz on a picturesque day in the best city in the world! While I didn't quite reach my goal (top 10), I finished 12th in a time of 2:09:29 and was really pleased with my overall effort.

The swim was super fast this year and I attribute that to the current, NOT to my 40K yard swim weeks! Came out of the water only 4:30 back from the leaders this year, as opposed to 9 minutes last year. My new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit got a little caught up on my timing chip in T1 but I was quickly off to the races in no time!

Despite the fact that most of my training has been focused on the swim, my bike split was roughly 75 seconds faster than last year! The run was a little funky for me for some reason. I was basically two minutes slower than last year and that is probably due to a couple of reasons. One, my runs have not been quality-oriented as of late, because of the emphasis on my swim training. Two, last week in Florida I felt like I lost a lot of steam in the latter half of the run and I didn't want that to happen today so I went out probably too conservatively. And three, I felt like the beach portion of the run this year was A LOT tougher than last year, especially the first part of the dreaded sand ladder. Speaking of which, I was 1 SECOND away from winning the sand ladder time bonus! Just my luck!

All in all, I feel really great about my performance today and every race I'm creeping up on the winners slowly but surely!

Results can be found here:

Next up for me is another ITU race in Ixtapa, Mexico on the 22nd of May. Till then!

Oh! Thank you all for the kind supportive notes prior to the race and for the congratulatory notes after the race! It is truly motivational!

Talk soon!