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.