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!