Monday, October 29, 2012

An Experience at First Half Ironman

I raced my first half Ironman on Sunday in Austin, Texas. This was quite the adventure!

I had no legitimate expectation for this race except to finish and to get a feel for what these longer distances had to offer. I also wanted to measure my nutrition-intake accurately, so as to avoid bonking and what not!

The swim—7:30 am start time. In-water start. 1.2 mile, counter-clockwise, triangular-shaped loop in the Walter E Long Lake.

The interesting factor that morning was the cold. It was 40-45 degrees. Happily, the water temp was 71 but we didn’t have that buffer when we got onto the bike soaking wet! For that reason, I chose to throw on a cycling jersey and arm warmers in T1. I also had booties on my bike shoes. NONE of that helped. Within 2 minutes on the bike, I was frozen solid and everything was numb. I didn’t complain or get discouraged because I knew everyone felt the same way. I exited the water, 14th in 26:57.

The bike—A single, 56 mile loop. Interstates and back country roads. Very rolling.

I started out at what felt like a good clip. A few riders came up on me and I hung with them for several miles before I thought my front tire was going flat. Turns out it wasn’t and by the time I realized, those guys were gone. I kept on pace and hit my nutrition as necessary. I felt pretty drained at the end of that ride and my eyes were completely bloodshot, not sure why… I hit T2, 19th in 2:26:31.

The run – 3 loops. Rolling with a fair amount of turns. On dirt and roads.

I jumped off the bike and felt good in the first 3 miles. My feet didn’t regain feeling until the 3rd mile but that didn’t stop me from running hard out the gates. For good measure, I carried a gel the entire length of the run. The wind really started to pick-up and it seemed it would hit us at the worst parts of the course. After the first lap, my output went downhill from there. At that point, I wasn’t looking to run anyone down. I was simply looking to finish! I took that gel at the 12.5 mile mark when I was forced to a shuffle because every part of my legs was on the verge of seizing. At one point, I kid you not a butterfly passed me on the run! I crossed that tape happy I didn’t DNF, 19th in 4:21:05.

I had intended to be very conservative in my efforts so as to avoid running out of gas, so to speak. However, in each of the three disciplines, I got overly excited and went out too hard, subsequently paying the price for it later on. I’m glad I finished my 2012 season with my first 70.3. Do I wish it was a better result? YES. Will I always get the results I desire? NO. Nonetheless, it was the experience I was going after and I now know what it feels like. I also have a newfound respect for that distance and for those who race it!!

A BIG thanks goes out to my amazing sponsors. I love your support and really can’t succeed without you. Thanks very much for a successful 2012!! Zico, Champion Systems, Xterra Wetsuits, Skechers, Kask Helmets, Gu.

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

6th at Galveston, 12th at Herbalife!

5i50 Galveston—

I traveled with teammate Chris Foster to Galveston Island, Texas for the first opportunity to earn points towards the 5i50 Race series for 2013. Upon arrival, the conditions were hot and windy but that was to be expected for this location. Temperatures were in the 90’s and the wind was UP, but we anticipated both to be a bit subdued at race time (7:30am).

The water temp was 83 so no wetsuits, but I was able to wear my Xterra Velocity speedsuit, which helped tremendously. It was an in-water start of a small but quality Pro field. I was in a good position through the first half of the swim but started to fall off the pace. Perhaps the water temp got to me, but I didn’t have that UMPH in the second half. Out of the water in 8th, 19:28.

Out of T1 I put one guy in my rear view for good. On the bike it took a bit to get going on this out-and-back, FLAT course. I was also trying, for the first time, a bottle mounted between my aero-bars. I rather liked that! My new aero position is pretty extreme, at least for what I’m used to, so my shoulders and neck were screaming – I was frequently having to shake out my arms. I stayed in contention on the bike in 7th, 59:02.

I posted the fastest T2 split on the day and headed out on the run ready to reel some guys in. Also for the first time, I chose to run with a visor which I figured would keep the sun out of my face and thus help keep my core temp down as the outside air temp sky-rocketed. That was a mistake. My visor was lined with a fleece-like material and I felt constricted and over-heated the WHOLE time. I couldn’t abandon the visor either or else I would have received a stand-down, 1-minute penalty. I pressed on as best I could, catching one guy with a few miles to go, and finished 6th, 1:55:09.

Herbalife Triathlon—

Back-to-back race weekends can be good and bad. Good, because you can keep that racing-momentum going. Bad, if you’ve sustained “battle injuries” from the previous race. The water in Galveston was particularly salty and despite the copious amounts of body glide administered to my neck, I chaffed up probably about as bad as I’ve ever done in my career. My feet were also pretty cut up, I guess in-part due to not having raced in 7 weeks and in-part due to all the liquids that flowed into my shoes during the race, thereby increasing the friction! Needless to say, these “battle injuries” weren’t going to heal in time and I was just going to have to live with it! This tri was conveniently in my hometown and I was happy about waking up in my own bed on race morning. At the same time, though, I wasn’t my usual nervous, edgy self the day before the race and my overwhelming nonchalance unnerved me. I also slept well the night before the race…weird…

The wetsuit swim took place in BIG surf down at Venice beach. I positioned well through the surf and thought I had done so again after the first turn buoy, but I soon realized that I felt too comfortable in my swim pack, which meant I wasn’t going fast enough! In an effort to distance myself from that pack, I got a bit off course, due to the large swell which hindered my vision of the buoys. Instead of swimming a straight line to the next turn buoy, it ended up being more like a crescent-shaped route which added more swimming distance..ugh. Coming in, that pack of 4 or 5 guys was able to hang with me. At the last minute I was able to catch the white water of a LARGE wave and rode it into shore, putting 10 seconds between myself and the rest of the group. I hit the beach, 16th in 21:41.

I had the fastest T1 time on the day and hit Venice Blvd. ready to roll. Maybe because I lived here, but I hit a rhythm on my bike WAY earlier than I normally do. I started eating up the road and I was also surprisingly comfortable in my position. I had raised the sit a smidge and that seemed to help! All encouraging, I kept pace and towards the end of the ride I was able to catch training partner, Mauro Cavanha, which was a surprise for me. He’s a strong biker! I was really pleased with my bike leg, 15th 59:58.

Out of T2, I noticed another training partner, Damon Barnett just up the road ahead of me and that too was encouraging because he had a great swim and a good bike and I was surprised to see him so close! I set out to reel him in, turned onto Grand Ave. and saw the behemoth of a hill that I would have to tackle TWICE! Grand Ave was a straight road that went up and it’s summit seemed to get lost in the clouds…for dramatic purposes ;-). It was basically up and down, up and down and you were done. The first time wasn’t bad. The second time? SUCKED. I caught Damon after the first lap and was able to reel in a couple more, but it was painful. I hit the tape, 12th 1:55:23.

The Pro field this past weekend was the biggest and deepest they had ever had and I was happy with 12th. I had a good strong second-half of the season and I was pleased to have finished my Olympic distance racing with that result. I say Olympic distance racing, because I’m not done YET! I have my final race of the season in a month, on Oct 28th in Austin, TX – my first 70.3! Better dial in my bike position or else that’ll be a long 56 miles!

As usual, thanks to all my incredible sponsors. I was very happy to see Champion Systems, Zico and Skechers there this weekend! Also thank you to Gu, Xterra Wetsuits and Kask Helmets.

5i50 Galveston results. Herbalife Triathlon results.

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


Friday, September 21, 2012

5i50 Galveston

Back at it again!

I have a flight and a quick drive to yet another 5i50 triathlon in Galveston, Texas. Since the 2012 HyVee 5i50 Finale already went down, the potential points earned in Galveston this weekend will go towards the 2013 season. It’s the first opportunity to rack up points for next season and I’m all over it! My road to the 2013 HyVee Finale begins Sunday!

Don’t know much about the course or the competition, except that the bike course is a flat out-and-back stretch with a fair amount of cross-wind. I’m looking forward to debuting my new Skechers minimalist shoe, the GoBionics -- I think they weigh UNDER 5 ounces which is unheard of!

I have a traveling companion this trip, Sirius teammate, Chris Foster. The guy’s on fire this year and it’s been an eye-opening experience training with him. I’ve had a good training block as of late and I’ll be looking to extend my top-10 streak to 4 races in a row this weekend.

That’s all for now. Talk soon!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Top 10 at Giant Eagle Tri

I arrived in O-hi-o heat-seeking some crucial 5i50 series points. I shared a home stay for the second weekend in a row with my Kiwi-mate, Tommy aka ‘Sheep Shagga’ Francis. Apologies to fellow Kiwis for my random meaningless words –a direct result of Tommy’s lingual lessons..!

Back to business—an interesting triathlon because it was a point to point race. The swim was 2-laps up at Alum Creek State Park – I’ll get back to that in a sec – and we rode from there to T2, which was a straight-shot, 40km away in downtown Columbus. This made pre-race logistics a little tricky as we had to check-in at the mandatory race briefing up at T1 and then drop our T2 belongings off at T2 after… Happily, our home stay was AWESOME and willing to drive us to and from. Thanks Rick!

I said I’d get back to the swim—2 laps in a rectangular fashion. Water temp was a balmy 78 and the sun was just starting to peak over the tree-line as the horn sounded. Literally 30 meters to the first left turn buoy (pronounced “boy” according to Tommy), ugh. Someone on my right was CLOBBERING me so I instinctively took two strokes with my right hand balled up in a fist hoping I would connect to send a message but didn’t – he was lucky!

Long straight-away to the next left turn buoy, another 30 meters to another left turn buoy and we were headed back to where we started. Here’s where it got interesting. The race directors wouldn’t allow for the buoys to be placed outside of the lake’s swimming zone, SOOO on the way back, I rounded the buoy and all of a sudden, I saw several swimmers standing waste deep in front of me!? TIME TO DOLPHIN DIVE! Thanks to my weekly ocean practices with Team Sirius, I was a whiz and started passing folks left and right! I kid you not, I dolphin dove the entire 400 yards back to the start of lap 2! By that time, my positioning was awesome and I was able to maintain that position, thanks to my Xterra Velocity speedsuit (4th on the right in the race start pic). Sure enough, we rounded that last buoy and started dolphin diving again! I passed another handful of swimmers and exited the water in 8th, a mere 36 seconds back from the leaders!!

I had a fast T1 and was out on the bike mashing down on the pedals in my new John Cobb-bike fit. One thing we adjusted was the position of my arm pads. We shifted them forward which in turn shifted my weight distribution off of my elbows and onto my forearms. This way, I could better utilize the bigger muscles in my back to help propel me forward. NOT USED TO THAT. Within several miles, my forearms/shoulders were on fire! Got some work to do there! Also by that time, the gents I had dolphin-dove past caught up to me. Happily though, I was better able to hang with that group – clearly a testament to my new bike position, despite my pissed-off forearms!

I came into T2 in 15th and shot out onto the run. At the only turn-around point of the course (roughly 2 ½ miles in), I could see I was sitting 12th. I attempted to press on the gas but found I was ‘running on fumes’ after my efforts on the bike to stay in contact with that pack. I didn’t have my usual sting on the run but was able to overtake 3 more racers and cross the tape, 9th in 1:49:50. Funnily enough, prior to the race I had said to myself, “based on last year’s results, if I break 1:50:00, then I should hit top 6.” Well, I broke 1:50:00 but not quite 6th! No worries though – 3 consecutive finishes, 2 top-10's and 1 top-5 ain’t too shabby!

A long, fun and successful July finds me coming home for a good month, ready to hit some hard training! Good timing also, as I’m severely rooted (Tommy)! Pics and results will come in due time so check back later for updates. Thanks for all the support!

As usual, have to give it up to the sponsors: Skechers, Xterra Wetsuits, Zico, Champion Systems, Gu, and Kask Helmets. You all rock! Thanks for everything! Race results can be found HERE.

Let’s get into it, Ketcha, to the line!!


Friday, July 27, 2012

1 More 5i50 -- Giant Eagle!

Wow, back at it…en route to Columbus, OH for the 5i50 Giant Eagle Triathlon! I feel like I should have just kept my bike in its box from Muskoka..! Not really though, because I’m happy to say I’ll be riding a new position, thanks to John Cobb and Cobb cycling!

John Cobb, a no-bullshit Texan who loves all things cycling-related, flew to LA for two short days to fine-tune Team Sirius athletes’ bike fits. For those who don’t know John, he’s a bike seat manufacturer and fit guru who played a pivotal part in Lance’s success from the young age of 19! There from the beginning! I’m so appreciative to have him tweak my set-up given his preceding reputation. Thank you a ton, John!

Some may think that changing my set-up right before an important race isn’t the brightest idea. I say nay-nay. In fact, I’m going for broke this weekend and when I expressed my reluctance about changing my position to John, he simply said, “what’s the big deal, it’s only 40k..” He later said the same thing to teammate Damon Barnett about his 70.3 this weekend – “what’s the big deal, it’s only 2 hours in the saddle.”…

NONETHELESS, I’m going to leave it all out on the course because I have to! I’m sitting right on the cusp for the 5i50 Finale qualifying spots and I need to produce another 5th-type performance to better my chances.

Don’t know much about the course except that it’s a popular triathlon and the field is good quality, headlined by Mr. Greg Bennett. Last I heard, the water temp will be in the high 70s to low 80s. No wetsuit, but you can believe I'll be wearing my Xterra M - speedsuit! I’ll check in later when I know more and of course produce a full blow-by-blow post-race!

Thanks for checking in, talk soon!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Once Discovered, Never Forgotten" -- 5th in Muskoka!

Alright, let’s start this post off with a BING, BANG, BOOM (Siri!) -- 5TH AT MUSKOKA 5i50!! Yea!! Muskoka's motto: "Once discovered, never forgotten." My sentiments exactly!

I carried my momentum from NYC 5i50 north to Ontario and tallied some much needed points for the series!

The race—it did not start out well and I’ll tell you why. Triathlons based in Canada, despite being a part of the 5i50 race series, go by the tune of their own drum or rather, the ITU drum. In other words, anything you wear in the water must be worn during the entirety of the race (assuming it’s a non-wetsuit swim which it was)! There was no pre-race meeting the day before, so you can imagine how dismayed I was to find out the morning of, in transition, that I couldn’t wear my Xterra Wetsuits speed suit in the swim! To add insult to injury, I chose to wear my two-piece Champion Systems race suit, which I normally wear for Olympic non-draft races, because I assumed I would also be wearing my speed suit! Let’s just say the top piece of my uniform was like a parachute in the water! Swimming up-river didn’t help either..! To add further insult to injury, they chose to put all elite-age groupers and pros in the first wave but because pros and age-groupers have different water temperature requirements for wearing wetsuits, all of the age-groupers were in wetsuits!! This day was starting off WONDERFULLY…!

I exited the water in 20th, totally demoralized. I just had the worst swim of my season and I was frustrated about ALL OF THE ABOVE but I chose to forget about it and continue on. It took a bit to get into a groove on the bike, but once I did, I started putting people in my rear view, for good! At the 20k turn-around point, I was sitting in 10th and having seen the other riders not to far up the road ahead of me, I had a newfound motivation. I kept pressing and made sure my last 10-15k was a solid effort heading into T2.

I started the run in 9th. The legs took a few km’s to wake-up, but I eventually moved into 8th around the 3k mark. Almost halfway through the run, I caught a glimpse of 5th, 6th and 7th up the road. At this point, 5th had about a ½ mile on me so it was no easy task ahead. It was a two-lap run course and by the second lap, age-groupers were just heading out onto the run which meant my 5th, 6th and 7th guys were now lost in a sea of competitors! I put my head down and pressed on nonetheless, eventually catching 5th with about 1k to go! I crossed the line in 2:01:48 and en route, posted the fastest run split of the day! Certainly could not have done that without my Skechers GoRun’s!

I’m elated about my first top-5! I’ve put in the work as of late with Coach Siri and Team Sirius and it’s starting to pay dividends! Again, this was a triathlon of attrition. I was met with adversity in the beginning and could have easily thrown in the towel. Siri, always tells us – “Never give up until you cross that finish line. If you have a bad swim or a bad bike, what can you do RIGHT NOW in this race to turn that around and change the result?” I literally used that as fuel for the last two races and it’s worked out. TO THE LINE!

As usual, a HUGE thanks to all my sponsors: Skechers, Zico, Xterra Wetsuits, Champion Systems, and Gu! Thank you to Siri and Team Sirius for making me work! Keep it up!

Looking forward to carrying this momentum to the great state of Ohio for the Giant Eagle Tri next weekend! It’s the final stop in the 5i50 series before the finale. I’m still on the cusp so I need another strong performance in Ohio to try and sneak my way in!

Race results can be found HERE.

Thanks for checking in, talk soon and…let’s get into it – to the line!


Friday, July 20, 2012

5i50 Muskoka?! Canada!

Back at it again, trying to pick up crucial 5i50 points! I’m en route to the inaugural Muskoka 5i50 Triathlon. Muskoka is known for its 70.3 race but has never held an Olympic race, let alone a 5i50. For the very few of you who have never traveled to Muskoka…it’s located about a 2 ½ hour drive north of Toronto. To answer your question, YES, I have a LONG day ahead of me!

As I said, I’m chasing those critical series points in order to snag a spot at the Hy-Vee finale on September 2nd. They have yet to produce a start list but I have to assume it will be competitive considering it’s the second to last race of the series before the August 6th cut-off date.

Training has been going well as of late. I’ve hit some hard swims with Team Sirius, as well as a number of solid BRICKs. It would be nice to ride that wave of momentum from the NYC Tri two weekends ago! According to the elevation readings, it looks like this is a pretty rolling course with no huge surprises.

I’ll be sure to put in an update immediately following the race. Thanks for checking in.

Let’s get into it! Talk soon.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Success at 5i50 NYC Tri!

I love the overwhelming sense of camaraderie one gets out of competing in a triathlon. That's what ultimately got me hooked. Of course I love to compete and push my body's limits but it's the unconditional support and encouragement one gets from fellow competitors and spectators that is so invigorating.

Running through Central Park at this weekend's Aquaphor 5i50 NYC Tri, 500 people must have cheered me on and I don't think they knew what was happening! They were simply out for their morning jog or strolling with their dog. They saw these people running like crazy with bib numbers and inherently poured on the support. Additionally, I'm always impressed by super Pro performances but what's just as impressive to me are the age-groupers and how they go out and have the time of their lives. It becomes an event to share with friends and family members and yet another one of life's challenges to overcome!

This is all so prevalent at the NYC Tri which is why I don't hesitate when I decide to make the 3,000 mile jaunt across the country -- I have to be a part of it!

This popular tri was stacked with triathletes from all realms of the sport -- the likes of Oly distance star B Collins, ITU veteran M Chrabot, bike specialist D Thompson, Ironman World Champ runner-up P Jacobs, and up and coming HAUS J Jones.

The swim start was EARLY -- 5:50. This meant my wake-up call was 3:45 or 12:45 my body's time! The Hudson River swim was down current and FAST. It was made even faster by the fact that I was equipped with my Xterra Velocity speed suit. Actually, the swim was brutal because there was so much debris in the water. Big chunks of wood and trash, made it painful at times. The whole time I was waiting to knock my teeth out! Nonetheless, I had the best swim of my career and not obviously because of the 12:23 swim time but because of my position upon exiting. I came out of the water in 9th, right in the thick of it. I shot down the boardwalk to transition and was able to maintain my position despite having to remove my speedsuit. At that time I also noticed my timing chip was no longer on my ankle..guess I swam right out of it..!

The bike wasn't too great. I couldn't find a good rhythm and nor could I keep pace with several riders who eventually left me by a couple of minutes. I came into T2 on the heels of an Aussie Pro. We exited transition together and he took off at a break-neck pace that I couldn't match. He would gap me by as much as 200 yards and I wondered if I'd ever see him again over the ensuing miles..?

Halfway through the run, I had only overtaken one racer and was feeling pretty demoralized. I was tempted to put it into cruise control when I rounded a corner and caught a glimpse of another racer and the Aussie Pro! That was all the motivation I needed. I lowered my head and pressed on the gas. I overtook both of them with a little more than a mile to go. I figured I had done what I needed to do until my friend and fellow, former Bruin runner started yelling at me that there were two guys 3-400 yards up the road that I could catch. By now there was about a half a mile to go and I figured there was no way. I pressed and pressed and the gap was rapidly diminishing. I pressed some more going into the finishing chute and was able to take them both out in a sprint to the line!! 9th!! I had just run the 2nd fastest run split on the day on a very hilly course, and more than two and a half minutes faster than my split last year!

This race was a perfect example of never giving up. I turned a mediocre 15th into a great 9th because I pressed right to the line. I could have easily thrown in the towel halfway through the run or after the bike even, but I didn't and it paid off! As a result, I earned some much needed 5i50 series points and am slowly but surely climbing that ladder into the top 30!

I have two more 5i50s this month, one in Muskoka, Canada and one in Columbus, Ohio. I'll be looking to build on this momentum! I want to give a BIG shout out to the people of New York. At every inch of the run, someone was cheering me on and it was so encouraging! Love the Big Apple! Thanks also of course, to all my amazing sponsors for helping me cross that line. Simply the best! Skechers, Zico, Xterra Wetsuits, Champion Systems, Kask helmets, and Gu Energy Labs.

Results can be found here.

Thanks for checking in, talk soon!


Friday, July 6, 2012

5150 Aquaphor NYC Tri -- Bring it!

I think we're over Kansas right now en route to The Big Apple for the Aquaphor NYC Triathlon! This is easily one of my favorite races of the year! The swim is fast but grueling (especially when a barge goes by and kicks up a major wake which subsequently bounces off the adjacent wall and hits us again); the bike is deceptively tough with it's roley-poley-ness; and you can't get much better than a run thru Central Park!

Not sure about the field but being a popular triathlon, legit peeps are bound to show up! Training has been going well and I'll be ready to tough-out the expected hot and humid conditions on Sunday. I have to assume it won't be that bad since we jump in the water at 5:50! For those who aren't good with time zones, that's 2:50 my body's time! OUCH.

If you're interested in following the race live and you don't have a dinosaur phone, check out and download there athlete tracker app for both iPhone and Android. You can even "favorite" certain athletes to get more immediate splits during the race!

As usual, I'll post a report after! Let's get into it!


Monday, June 18, 2012

A Baker's Dozen at Escape From Alcatraz

This blog post is far overdue. I apologize about that!

On the 10th, I competed at the renowned Escape From Alcatraz triathlon. Having missed last year’s race, I was very excited to be back. As usual, the field was stacked with the likes of Potts, Docherty, Atkinson, Godoy, O’Grady, and Fleischman to name a few. The horn sounded and we plunged into the frigid bay waters. Happily, my Xterra Vendetta wetsuit kept me warm and buoyant so the initial shock of sub-60 degree water temperatures was not nearly as bad.

Normally it’s been a swim with big chop, but this time it was lake-like glassy. However, the current did not possess its usual strength, which resulted in slower swim times. Nonetheless, my Xterra wetsuit kept me in contention and I exited the water in 34th, a far better swim than I’ve ever had at EFA! For the first time, I decided to do the ¾ mile run to transition BAREFOOT and man was that painful!! It was like the pins-and-needles feeling you get after your foot falls asleep meshed with running across a bed of scalding hot coals (not that I’ve ever done that before)! At the same time though, I did shave 15 seconds off my T1 time – no PAIN, no GAIN!

I jumped on the bike and started powering away. About 2 miles in, I hit the first of many hills on this undulating bike course. Out of the saddle, I caught up to two other competitors and started going back and forth with them for the ensuing 5 miles. We made it out to Golden Gate Park and just before the turn around I put these two racers in my rear view for good and began focusing on the racers ahead. Since I wasn’t making up as much time as I wanted, I took some BIG risks on the downhill sections that I wouldn’t have normally taken but it seemed to help. I came into T2 in 19th.

Going into the run, I knew I had work to do so I went right to it. I worked the flat sections hard, I ascended efficiently and I let my legs go on the down hills. Prior to EFA, I’ve been trying a lower cadence on the bike in BRICK workouts and it has seemed to positively affect my running. My run leg at EFA confirmed this as I posted one of the faster run splits on the day and about 30 seconds faster than my run split from two years ago! I wound up reeling in 6 guys and crossing the line in 13th, with a time of 2:13:44.

Considering my offseason was slightly delayed by GMAT courses and business school applications, I feel I’m now starting to round into shape nicely. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season! Up next is 5i50 NYC on July 8 – another great race!

As usual, I have to give it up to my awesome sponsors! Skechers, Zico Coconut Water, Xterra Wetsuits, Gu Energy Labs, Champion Systems, Kask Helmets, and Evolution Physical Therapy!

Results can be found here. Thanks for checking in. Talk soon!


Let’s get into it!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Escape From Alcatraz!

I arrived in SF last night with the Mrs. and the smaller of our two dogs. Every time I return to this city, it reaffirms how much I love it and how much I miss living here. We couldn’t be welcomed with better weather for Escape From Alcatraz! I’m very excited to be back after missing this race last year due to my bike crash. This race is the epitome of what a triathlon should be – a tough, long swim; a very hilly and technical bike; a grueling run. It really separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls. Besides, what a landmark to start from? Alcatraz!

I finished up my pre-race workouts earlier today with fellow Pro and pal, Jason Pedersen. It’s supposed to be mid-70s tomorrow and pretty pristine conditions. Don’t know yet what the water situation will be but I do know it will be brisk!

Looking forward to busting out my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit for the first time in a race this season! I’d be absolutely nowhere in this race without it!

Bout to head off to the Pro meeting which is always crucial at this race because they’re going to tell us whether we swim a 35-minute split or a 25-minute split! Hoping for the latter! If you all have the capacity to do so, come check this race out tomorrow morning. It’s about as good a venue as it can get and the general camaraderie is second to none!

If you can't make it, you can track the progress of the race in a couple of ways. Check it out here, to see how you can do that. I even think they have an iphone/android app as well..! I’ll put up a full race report following the race. Let’s get into it!

Thanks for checking in, talk soon.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Texas Messed with Me..

Tough race today. The climate was unbearable - almost triple digit temperatures. I was in good position during the first lap of the swim, washing maching-galore, and then got on the wrong damn feet! Ugh. Before I realized, there was a 15-20 yard gap that I couldn’t close. Annoyed, but pressed on nonetheless and chose to HAMMER the bike.

I shot out of T1 and blew past a handful of riders whom pretty much called it a day inside the first two laps. I picked up one or two others and started working well with fellow American, Nick Sterghos. The gap to the main pack was minimizing but we were expending far more energy in this heat than what was sustainable, at least for me. Toward the end of the fourth or fifth lap (can’t remember), I felt a sudden rush of dizziness and fatigue and almost went down. Half with it, I pulled over and chose to forgo any potential crash/disaster. My day was done and all I was worried about at that point was somehow lowering my body temperature, because it was through the roof!

I spent the better part of the next hour covered in ice packs and taking in liquids as I haplessly watched the race go on. Despite this unfortunate result, I was happy to see fellow Team Zico athlete, Joe Maloy and former TTS training partner, Jason Pedersen, finish 3rd and 6th respectively! Good on ya!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching the best in all sports, it’s that you can’t dwell on the past. What’s done is done; learn from your experience and move-on to the next race, because there WILL be another race. And with that, I am now in prep mode for next weekend’s Escape From Alcatraz! I didn’t get to race EFA last year and I’m super excited to be doing so this year! One thing’s for certain, I won’t suffer heat exhaustion in SF!

A BIG thank you to all my sponsors: Zico, Xterra Wetsuits, Skechers, Champion Systems, Kask Helmets, Gu Energy Labs and Evolution Physical Therapy. Sorry for not being able to get it done today, but will seek retribution! Also, a BIG shout out to Team Sirius and the crew! The best!

Talk soon.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking a Bath at Dallas ITU

The Pan-American Cup in Dallas takes place this weekend and it looks to be my lone ITU race of the season. I love ITU-style racing-- the competitiveness, the strategy, the international camaraderie. This year however, I've chosen to focus on the 5i50 Race Series and really prepare for next year's ITU season. Again, I love ITU-style racing and couldn't give it ALL up! Besides, a new event in Dallas will be fun and hopefully it sticks, for the sake of the American ITU circuit-- few and far between!

Strong field in Dallas: comprised mostly of Americans, Canadians and Mexicans. It will be a true clash of the Pan-America’s! Straight forward course-- 2-lap swim, 8-lap bike, and 4-lap run. The only variables I see are the expected 95 degrees on Saturday and to add insult to injury, a 2:30pm race start! Also, the water temp is a cool 84…like swimming in a bath! Wish I could don an old skool speedo for this one, much like my pal and first running coach, Kiet Tran, did in Morgan Hill a few weeks back!

Course inspection tomorrow. A full recap will follow Saturday’s race.

Thanks for checking, let’s get into it!

Talk soon.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

14th at Stacked 5i50 Columbia Tri

My 2012 season continued earlier today (very early today) at the 29th Columbia Triathlon. This race is particularly special, 1 because this triathlon gives 100% of its proceeds to charity, 2 because it’s regarded as one of the toughest triathlons in the United States, and 3 because it’s the next stop in the 5i50 series with critical points on the line!

The latter was cause for another stacked field and thus an up-hill battle (literally and figuratively) to grab those valuable points. Side note—points are valuable and needed to qualify for the HyVee Finale in September that boasts a $1,000,000+ prize purse!

The conditions were ideal, and the day started off with a non-wetsuit swim. Too bad, because I was really looking forward to rocking my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit! No worries – I got to wear Xterra’s Velocity-M Speedsuit instead and it worked great! I found the feet of friend and training partner, Chris Foster and was able to exit the water in a solid position.

It took a bit for me to get my riding legs under me and frankly, it kind of felt like that for the remainder of the 40k+ bike course. There were so many Ups and Downs on that course I was never really able to get into a good rhythm. What I do know though, was that my new Kask K.31 Crono TT helmet really allowed me to take advantage of the fast descents.

The run was much of the same as the bike—lots of hills without finding that rhythm. Nonetheless, I was able to overtake a handful of guys and cross the tape, 14th in 2:03:51. Despite no rhythm, my Skechers Go Run felt fantastic and I’m really looking forward to seeing what these babies can do as I begin to find my running legs this season! All things considered, I’m glad I secured some valuable 5i50 points and it’s another step forward as I iron out the kinks and continue on my 2012 journey!

Up next will probably be my one and only ITU race of the season in Dallas on June 2nd, closely followed by my favorite-- Escape From Alcatraz!! As usual… Let’s Get Into It!

A big shout out to the rest of my sponsors who never let me down, EVER!! Zico Coconut Water, Champion Systems, Evolution Physical Therapy, and Gu Energy Labs!

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon!


Friday, May 18, 2012

5i50 Round 2 and Something New!

Getting ready for another 5i50-- Columbia (Maryland) to be exact! Another VERY stacked field and another early season race to iron out the kinks.

Speaking of kinks (not really), I’ve had some very recent changes to my coaching! I’m super excited to announce that I’ve decided to join the Sirius Athletes squad under the guidance of none other than Siri Lindley!! I felt I was at a turning point in my career, particularly before I start business school in the fall, and if I wanted to take my career to the next level then I felt Siri & Co. would be who to do it! It’s only been 1 week and there is definitely a transitional period from what I was doing to what I am and will be doing, but I already feel right at home.

I love the hands-on coaching I get from Siri, not to mention enough 7am-energy to power a city block! I’ve also realized in this short week that my training intensity has paled in comparison in the past. I think that’s both good and bad. Bad, because this transitional period is going to be a lot tougher than previously thought! Good, because it will really bring out the best in me. Being able to chase athletes around like Chris Foster and Leanda Cave, to name a few, is exactly what I need in order to bend my boundaries.

The camaraderie and dedication within her group is immense and I’m really excited to see where this takes me!!

I’m boarding now, so I’ll check back in with all of you in Maryland! Let’s get into it!

Talk soon.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bitter-sweet St. Anthony's Result

ALRIGHT, as I had mentioned, the 2012 St. Anthony’s Triathlon pro field was BEYOND stacked. We’re talking Bennett, Reed, Dye, Collins, Osplay, Hayes, Odonnell, Bozone, Atkinson, Matthews, Yoder, and that’s not even a quarter of the field!! A world-class field to say the least! For crying out loud - all we were missing were Potts and the Brownlee's!

I finished 28th and with a result such as this, you can do nothing but look at the positives. My swim continues to improve and thanks to Xterra Wetsuits and my crazy fast Velocity M-speedsuit, I came out about 2:10 down from the 1st pack. To put it into perspective, in 2010 I raced here and came out of the water more than 5 minutes back! I also came out just behind Jordan Jones (most recently the triathlete who nipped L. Armstrong at the tape at the 70.3 Champs – big Ups) who has regularly whooped me in the water.

Out onto the bike, I was able to pick off several riders once I found my rhythm. My bike split wound up being more than 2 minutes faster than my 2010 split – pleased with that! Out of T2, I started a bit conservatively because I know my run fitness isn’t yet there and I didn’t want to go out hard and then die. This tactic worked great, as I was able to really warm up to a quicker pace and pick off some guys. I even had a little speed left at the end – found the tape first in a three-way sprint! Additionally, my new Skechers GOrun shoes were light weight, comfy and really effortless when I needed to get into sprint mode! I crossed the tape in 1:54:38, more than 5 minutes faster than 2010, yet 6 places lower – should give you another idea of how crazy this field was!

A bitter-sweet result. I still have A LOT of work to do and I've got a good three weeks at home to get ready for another hotly contested 5i50 in Columbia, MD on May 20. One of my goals for the season is to continue to chip away at that bike deficit!

A big thanks to all my sponsors: Xterra Wetsuits, Skechers, Kask Helmets, Gu, Zico, Champion Systems, and Evolution Physical Therapy!! Looking forward to more 2012 action! Let’s get into it!

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


Friday, April 27, 2012

'12 Season Opener - St. A's!

I've touched down in St. Petersburg, Florida for the first race of my 2012 season – the coveted St. Anthony’s Triathlon. I’m very excited to get the season going as I’ve had an interesting off-season. It got off to a bit of a late start since I was recovering from my psoaz injury from DuaWorlds, but once I healed up, things started progressing in the right direction!

As usual, I've worked hard in the pool and feel I’ve reached a new level in my swimming. I also linked up with Faster Fit Studios in AZ to conduct some wind tunnel testing. I got legitimately dialed in, having shed over 400 grams of aerodynamic drag!

One unrelated thing that also happened over the off-season was that I got into business school! Starting in September, I will be a member of UCLA’s Anderson FEMBA 2015 class!! I chose to pursue an MBA program on a part-time basis so that I could continue my full-time triathlon career. Anderson is the perfect fit since it’s my undergrad alma mater and I already train on-campus on a regular basis. Really looking forward to the next couple of years!

Back to this weekend’s race— the 45 participant Pro field is regarded as being arguably the deepest field of the year. I just came from the Mad Dog's tri club pasta dinner and there were a number of pros from a variety of countries - Canada, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, and Australia to name a few - quite the international "championships"!

Not only is St. A’s a very popular triathlon, but it also marks the first 2012 event of the lucrative 5150 race series and crucial points are on the line in qualifying for the series finale in September. The way I see it, you can’t find a better measuring stick to gauge where your fitness falls this early in the season than a pro field like this!

Gun goes off Sunday. A full race report will follow. Let’s get into it!

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

2012...Bring It On!

Wow, have I been MIA for some time! So sorry about that! Life’s been crazy during the offseason, but I’m getting ready more than ever to crush the 2012 season! It got off to a bit of a late start but training has been going well and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and toeing the line yet again!

Things have been changing at GOHHGO (ha). Sponsors have come and gone. I have parted ways with K-Swiss and New Performance Nutrition. They were terrific companies at the start of my career and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their amazing support. I wish them the best in their future endeavors.

The NEW sponsors! –

I’ve signed on with Kask Helmets! After last year’s bike crash in which my helmet cracked like a walnut, I needed to find a helmet that would keep my noggin safe. Kask helmets are incredible. Not only are they safe, but stylish (I’m going to look like a rocket ship in my TT helmet) and crazy comfortable! Looking forward to doing great things in Kask Helmets!

I also signed-on with Gu Energy Labs! I already use Gu's to begin with so why not make it a more formal relationship. My products of choice? Chocolate Outrage Gel is a classic but Mint Chocolate is awesome! Also, the Recover Brew and Electrolyte Tablets work and taste great! Grapefruit? Who knew?!

I may have one or two more sponsors coming down the pipe-line so I can’t reveal them at this time obviously but I’ll be sure to let you all know as soon as I know!

This year’s race schedule is going to be a good one! Still working out the kinks but it looks like the season opener will be St. A’s on April 29. For the most part I’ll be hitting a fair amount of 5i50’s to try and qualify for the 5i50 season finale at HyVee. Barring any hiccups like last year, I’ll also be hitting the usual suspects – Escape From Alcatraz, Kelowna ITU, NYC. I even have some road races and swim meets?? Crazy I know, but have to get it done to break into that upper echelon!!

Check back soon for more sponsor news (hopefully!) and race schedule updates. And yes, GoHHGo Giveaways will be coming back!! Stay tuned!

Hope everyone had a great off-season and I look forward to what this season has in store!

Yup, LET’S GET INTO IT! Talk soon.