Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Solid Training Day!

Today’s training schedule:
6:30am Ocean Speed Circuit swim (4 – 500yd loops, ea. w/150yd run in btwn.)
10:30am Moderately paced 7.5 mile run (at 5:43 pace)
5:20pm 35 mile bike ride, which included a little over 7 miles of Bike Hill Repeats (BHR)

Today’s swim was freakishly cold, arguably the coldest of the season. One reason why we LA triathletes plunge into the Pacific Ocean at the crack of dawn on various days of the week, is because the water temps are quite manageable, normally ranging from 65-72 degrees. As a result, EVERYONE was completely taken by surprise, particularly those that tend to brave these swims sans a wetsuit! Despite the bone-chilling temps, it turned out to be a great swim workout and a beautiful early morning at the Santa Monica beach.

After a second breakfast, I hit the roads for my 7-8 mile run with the total intention to cruise. Normally I define “cruising” to be a 6:00-6:15 mile pace. For some reason today, my “cruising” pace was upped to 5:43s and I have no real explanation for it other than the fact that I was wearing a new pair of K-Swiss Keahou IIs that I had yet to try. Nonetheless, it was a great feeling run and I was pleasantly surprised!

I had lunch, ran a few errands, wrote a few emails and was ready for my BHRs. I headed North on PCH to Temescual Canyon where my BHRs commenced. After a well executed 7.5 mile workout on the hill, where I focused on my circular petal strokes, I was finished with my day and ready to head home.

Looking back on the day, I feel great, felt great, and I remind myself that its days like these I need in my training regimen in order to help me get to where I need to go. I hope everyone’s training is up to par!

More training updates to come in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for checking in!

Talk soon.


Monday, July 19, 2010

I Found Some Carrots!

This morning I raced in the Nautica NYC Triathlon and had quite the rewarding result, finishing 7th in a star studded field!

Coming off a mediocre performance last weekend in Minneapolis, I was determined to take advantage of the swim that favored the weaker swimmers due to the positive current in the Hudson River.

The night before, my fiancee told me to swim harder than I ever have, and I did just that! Due to the slight wind and the various boats passing by, it made for tough, choppy conditions.

I quickly found myself in a full-on fight against the Hudson River! Pounding through wakes, I noticed I was actually passing other swimmers! In my post-race analysis, I realized that this type of swim called for A LOT of aggression and if one wasn't ready for that, then it was a bad day for them!

I exited the swim in 12th (out of 16) and quickly picked off 3 other racers on the half-mile run to T1. During the bike, I was able to pass two more competitors, but then subsequently got passed by 4 other riders. I headed into T2 in 11th and was determined to catch at least one competitor to get that coveted top-10 finish!

Sure enough, within the first mile I had moved into 10th, but I wasn't finished! By the time I had reached the 5-mile marker, I was sitting pretty in 8th and could see 7th place about 150 yards ahead of me! I dug deep, hit the up-hills hard, and secured 7th with a little less than a quarter-mile to go!

I crossed the tape in 1:54:15, roughly 1:25 out of the top 5. In all, I had an awesome swim, an OK bike, and a good run. I was really pleased with my performance and I think it was a good recovery from my result the weekend prior.

Up next will be another ITU race in Canada on the 22nd of August, followed by a second Alcatraz triathlon on the 29th.

Thank you all for the support during my 11 day trip, I truly appreciate it!

Results can be found here:

Talk soon!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

On the Eve of the NYC Tri

Tomorrow morning at the early hour of 5:50, I along with thousands of other crazed triathletes will plunge into the Hudson River. Without a doubt, the most common question anyone will be asking themselves is, “when was the last time I got a tetanus shot?!”

Sure that thought will be in the back of everyone’s mind, but in any competition, once that gun/horn/whistle/shriek goes off, adrenaline washes it all away!

I’m not entirely sure who’s in my portion of the race, but I try not to let that ever bother me. Come race day, it’s important to focus your energy on yourself and beat that competitor within first and foremost. Racing IN Manhattan is such a unique experience and I couldn’t be more excited!

The swim is downstream, making it more difficult for the faster swimmers to escape the desperation of the slower swimmers to keep pace (like me!), and the bike is deceptively tough (so I’m told) with some ups and downs and a punishing hill at the turn around point in the Bronx. The run is one reverse loop (clockwise) through Central Park, which is also rolling.

Should be a lot of fun tomorrow, especially since I have some familiar faces in the crowd helping me cross that finish line!

I’ll be sure to deliver you all a full race report as soon as I get a chance! Good luck to everyone racing at Strawberry Fields this weekend!

Talk soon.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

13th? Where Were the Other Racers?

Yesterday I competed in the Life Time Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I finished 13th in an incredibly stacked pro field that featured athletes like, Matty Reed, Greg Bennett, Craig Alexander, Matt Chrabot, Cameron Dye, and David Thompson. While they had all toed the line, I might as well have just raced by myself because that’s what I did!

The swim was in beautiful Lake Nokomis – calm, 80 degrees and the course was one big inverted triangle. When I thought I was getting a leg up on the field by wearing a speed suit, I got to the start line and noticed everyone was wearing one! Normally, in a race like this, I’m able to maintain in contact with a few swimmers, but miraculously, I got dropped within the first several hundred yards and the next slowest swimmer was 2 minutes ahead of me! Mind you, this isn’t because I had a bad swim by any means, I actually thought I had a good swim – felt great, evenly balanced effort, and was able to dip under 22:00 for the first time in a triathlon (21:50). It’s just that when I’m going up against a field where the average swim time for this race was 18:25, it kind of puts me in a hole right off the bat!

Out onto the bike, I started putting out a pretty good effort in an attempt to slowly reel my competitors back to me. Apart from passing a few DNF’s, I was never able to make contact with the field who had built up such a large lead out of the swim. Again, it wasn’t because I bonked on the bike, but rather I felt like my effort was solid and I was working well through the rolling hills.

I got off the bike after having split a 1:02 and headed out onto the run, not sure of my place or time back from the other racers. So as usual I took off in anticipation that I would slowly start to come up on a few struggling competitors. It never happened! And again, not because I had a bad run (I split 33-mid and it was one of the faster splits), but just that EVERYONE brought their A-game today and it happened to be that I found a ridiculously talented field that I couldn’t quite crack! Being stuck out in no man’s land, I was racing no one other than myself and never really found that extra gear because I didn’t have any carrots on the course. In fact, my only carrot was the finish line.

I was able to cross the line in just under 2 hours (1:59:52) and I have to say despite the place, I feel pretty good about my result. As I said before, I might as well have raced by myself, because that’s what I did.

At the end of every race, I try and analyze ever facet of it so I can learn from my experience and utilize my new knowledge the next time I toe the line. I would say that this was about as good a field as it gets and I knew going in that I had quite an uphill battle. But as a pro now, I want to race against the top fields because I want to know where I need to get to in order to truly compete in this sport. This is my first year as a pro and it’s only customary for me to get my butt kicked! I’ve been doing this sport for less than two years and to be able to even hold a candle next to guys like Reed, Alexander, and Bennett who all have been doing this for 15+ years, is inspirational in itself for me to continue to work hard and come back next year and show them what I have to offer then!

Race Results:

I’m next heading to NY where I will be getting ready for another Life Time race next weekend (July 18).

Thank you all again for the “good luck” notes and the congratulatory remarks, it truly means a lot and I carry that with me as fuel during my training and racing.

Check back soon for a mid-week report and then of course all my coverage before and after the NYC tri!

Talk soon!


Friday, July 9, 2010

LTF Tri Tomorrow!

Wow, it’s been so long since my last post, I almost forgot how to do it!

I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday morning EARLY, for my first Life Time Fitness triathlon this Saturday!

I know there's always talk of this "Southern hospitality", but I have to tell you, the people here in Minnesota are incredibly friendly! I had a couple of friends in college from MN who were great guys as well, but I didn't think everyone from here was like that?!

I rode the course yesterday and was able to take in the surrounding neighborhood, which is very nice! It's a pretty straightforward bike course although there seems to be quite a bit of cracks and potholes in the road. I'm told, however, that the potholes are a standard thing in Minnesota! At one point, I came across a pothole so big, that if I fell in, I don't know I'd be able to get out! The swim and run are based at Lake Nokomis, a beautiful lake that's about 80 degrees!

I feel pretty good going into this race. As of late, I've tweaked a few things in my bike training that seem to be working out and my run quality has returned as well. As far as my swim, it’s the same as usual – TONS OF YARDS.

The competition is pretty top notch - Matty Reed, M. Chrabot, G. Bennett, Craig Alexander - although a small field (16 or 17 competitors). On an ideal day, I’d like to crack the top 10, but I’ll have my work cut out for me!

Gun goes off tomorrow at 7am (5am PST). It’s a good thing I’ll be done by 9 (hopefully), because it’s hot here!

Wish me luck! Talk soon.