Friday, September 9, 2011

Avia Austin Race Report

This Labor Day I got the chance to race the Avia Austin Race. I was excited to race as I recently had a good training block and was ready to burn a good race. I raced this event last year and was excited to see gains I made this year reflected in times. I knew this would be a competitive race as Austin harbors a ton of Pro triathletes and the Race was offering about $5000 to draw a lot of them out.

Erin and I took off Sunday afternoon for Austin. We took care of the usual pre-race stuff and I got a chance to sit down with my coach Zane Castro to go over the race plan. After that Erin and I were off to dinner with training partner Robbie Wade ( and his fiancée Heather. We even got to see the legendary bats of Austin (literally thousands of bats flying out from under a bridge). Then I prepped the bike for racing and I headed to bed.
Monday morning started off with temperatures a little cooler than normal which was most definitely welcomed with all the heat we’ve been having. I knew in this race it was going to be important for me to get out quick as there were several guys in the race I could out swim but they have killer closing runs. I had a solid swim and came out of the water around 9th in around 22 minutes with over 30 guys in the Elite/Open wave. The fastest swimmers were 3 minute in front of me so I knew I had my work cut out.

I made it through transition smoothly and was out on the bike. The bike was a three loop course with hills and plenty of turns. This course definitely makes it a challenge to settle into a rhythm. I passed around 4 people on the bike and ended up finishing in just over an hour and improving my position.

Out on the run it took me a mile to really get into rhythm. The course had a couple out and backs which I like, it gives you the opportunity to gauge where your competition is. By mile two of the run I had passed two guys in front of me but by mile four running studs Robbie Wade and Joe Thorne closed on me and went by. I tried to respond but didn’t have it in the legs. A little over a half mile before the finish there is an out and back and at the turn around I could see Derek Yorek was closing on me fast. I picked it up a notch and waited for him to catch me. He passed me with about a ¼ mile to go and I made my move to latch on. I kept stride with him to the finish but he had a little more in the tank then me. He out kicked me to finish about five feet in front.

When the dust had settled it turned out 3 guys in front of me accidently went off course and were disqualified This bumped me up to 6th place which made Derek’s out kicking me at the end sting a little more because 5th place was the last money spot. Overall I was happy with my performance. I still thinking I’m just starting to scratch the surface on what I’m capable of doing. A big shout out to James Bonney for the overall win, Robbie for finishing in the money (4th) and D’ Ann Arthur for taking the overall women’s title. D’ Ann is another one of Zane’s athletes and is having a heck of a year!

Congrats to all the Trisition Area Troopers out there (Orissa, Brian, Carlos, Luis, Vish, Charanya, Bonni, Raul, Matt, and many more)! I saw a ton of Orange and had a blast cheering everyone on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Race Reports!

Hello Everyone! I’ve got a little catching up to do since my last blog so bear with me J The last month has been great with several races that I’ve gotten the chance to play at! I’ll break down the races and give you a quick recap.

Marble Falls Triathlon- July 17th- This triathlon took place on a scenic and challenging course through the Texas hill country area surrounding the city of Marble Falls. One of my Tristion Area Race Team members, Orlando Gonzales, raved about this tri last year. Orlando’s brother, Mario, is the race director and does a heck of a job putting on a race. The race had a nice small town feel to it, but was professionally run. The race draws some pretty talented triathletes from both Austin and San Antonio due to its location. I got a good warm-up in and headed down for the swim start. It was a triangle swim, with the long side of the swim headed into the sun, which always makes sighting a challenge! I worked my way through the start of the swim pack and came out at the lead with about 2 other guys. I moved to the front in Transition and hopped on the bike to head out for a nice hilly ride. I managed to get back to T2 in 1st. On the run leg I struggled a little but held pace and crossed the finish line first. The race format had men age 39 and under starting first and men 40 and older starting a few minutes behind. This is a mental challenge as even when leading the race you are not sure if you’re winning. I waited at the finish for the 3 minute time difference and officially won; up and coming triathlete Mark Saroni took 2nd place with one of Austin’s local studs, Paul Terranova, rounding out the podium. Erin had a great race taking 4th overall and Trisition Area Team mates Amy McGrath (2nd overall), Chris Rulon (8th Overall), Orlando Gonzales (1st in his AG), and Phil Johnson (3rd in his AG). Here’s the link to an article in the local newspaper . The race website is definitely check it out next year!

The Steubing Ranch crit- July 23rd- I’ve been wanting to do some road races for quite some time now and finally pulled the trigger a few weeks ago. Road racing is a completely different animal than racing the bike leg of non-drafting triathlon. Bike World hosts a crit every other Tuesday. I decided to give it a go. Those that don’t know a criterium is a circuit race where you complete a small loop several times until the bell lap which you race out for the win. I raced the Category 4/5 race which is 30 minutes long. My plan going in was to sit back a little at the beginning and get a feel for how guys are racing and practice some handling and then open up at the end. I ended up pulling quite a bit of the race and then with about 6 laps left I got into a small breakaway with 4 other guys. We kept the pressure on and with 2 laps to go it was just me and another guy left. On the back stretch of the loop there is an S-curve that shoots you into the 200 meters to the finish. Coming out of the S-curve I took the inside line and hammered winning the race. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed this format of racing. I’m thinking I’ll be doing a few more crits before the year is over.

Texas State Time Trial Championships- July 30th-31st- I’ve been wanting a good test to see where my cycling fitness is at this year, the Texas State Time trial Championships were only 40 miles south of San Antonio this year and offered a great opportunity for a time trial test. It’s a two-day event and I decided to race the 40K individual time trial on Saturday and then the 40K team time trial on Sunday. I was excited about the team race, as I had a good crew of guys to be racing with. On Saturday morning I made the drive to Lytle and saw something I haven’t seen in about 3 months, rain! It was a light rain, just enough to make turns while racing interesting. Luckily there were only two turns and a turn around on the course. I started 4th in the CAT 5 division. The plan was to take it out at a couple beats below my threshold and then let it go on the way back. I passed the 3 guys in front of me before the Turn around and then let it go for the return. We had some good wind on the way out but the tail wind felt great on the way back. I ended up winning the CAT 5 division with a 56:12 averaging 26.5 mph. Best of all my average power was up about 10 watts since the last time I tested showing training is paying off.
On Sunday Chris Rulon, Mark Saroni, Robbie Wade, and I got together for the team time trial. Mark is a CAT 3 racer so this was going to allow the other 3 “triathletes” riding with him to race CAT 3. All of us usually have a pretty strong bike leg in triathlons so I thought we might have a shot for the win if we could figure out the technique of rotating cyclist around to maximize the aerodynamic advantage. The rules allow you to finish with only 3 riders. The plan was to stay together on the way out and then pick it up on the way back. If someone couldn’t keep pace on the way back that was fine, they would just hold on as long as possible and then fall off and we would finish with three. We lined up and had a good start getting tucked behind each other pretty quickly. About a mile in I was at the lead about to rotate back when I heard Mark yell “Robbie flatted!” This was a major bummer; Robbie was probably our strongest cyclist and now we only had 3 to rotate the work load for the remaining 95% of the race. We did a good job adapting our game plan and still got a pretty solid effort in. We ended up finishing in 6th place for the CAT 3 division with a time of 54:09 averaging 27.5 mph. The kicker was we were only 46 seconds out of 2nd place! All in all it was a fun weekend!

Next up Bridgeland Triathlon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Captex and Kansas 70.3 Race Report

I’ve got two recent races to catch everyone up on, Capital of Texas Tri (31 May) and Kansas 70.3 (12 June).

I was excited for Captex being it was located in my backyard, Austin Texas. This race was added to the Lifetime Fitness Series. The $50,000 prize purse this year brought in some of the best competition. I was looking forward to racing head to head with guys like Hunter Kemper, Andy Potts, and Matty Reed. Unfortunately the swim portion was a little bit of a mess. About half way through the Pro men’s swim we had a race support show up on a jet ski and route us in the wrong direction. Everyone followed the jet ski except Andy Potts who kept going on course. The long story short Potts came out of the water with a 2:30 lead and everyone else was chasing. I had a great start to the swim hanging on the lead pack longer than normally but after the chaos I fell off pace. Once out on the bike I struggled to get into a rhythm and fell further behind. My run came around nicely though and ended up with a 10K PR. I ended up 20th out of 22 Pro men for the day. Lessons learned, always follow Andy Potts on the swim because he is probably going the right directionJ. It was great to see all the Trisition Area Orange out there and a big thanks to Marco and Lorena for having the TA tent and some beer ready for us afterwards! Congrats to Andy Potts on his win, the guy is red hot this year.

For the Kansas race this was my second 70.3 of the season and I was excited to race. I had a little bit of adversity the month leading up fighting off injury and a chest cold the week before. This race was going to give me a good feel of where my current fitness is at and help me build into the second half of the season. Friend and pro triathlete Robbie Wade ( rode up to Kansas with me, I was glad to have him along as 12 hours is a long drive by yourself. We got to the race site Saturday around noon and got a pre race brick in to warm up the legs. Once warmed up we hit the pro the meeting and then off to get some food and rest before the race. The weather man was predicting thunderstorms the morning of the race so I went to bed hoping for clear skies.

Luckily it stormed through the night but pretty much cleared off for the morning. I got a little warmup in threw the wetsuit on and headed over to the start line for the swim. There was plenty of wind that morning and it showed in the chop on the water. Before I knew it we were off and fighting for position. I lost contact with the lead group pretty quickly and found myself with a couple other guys chasing. The swim was an out and back rectangle. I lead the 3 man group I was in to the first turn and then decided to drop back and draft a little. I noticed we were drifting off course pretty far and actually cutting the first Buoy. I kept waiting for the lead guy to pull right to go towards the other turn buoy. I decided to cut the group and head for the turn buoy by myself. Once I hit that buoy it was back to shore. The lead female pro Leanda Cave caught me with about 300 meters to go and there were two other gals on my feet the rest of the way.

I was happy to be out of the rough water and back on dry land. I grabbed my bike and was off chasing. Within the first two miles Jared Milam went by me followed shortly by Chrissie Wellington. I dug a little deeper and then shortly after went by Jared and Chrissie and then was off racing. By mile 5 I had caught Leanda Cave and kept moving. I knew there was a couple fast bike/run guys behind me in Robbie Wade and Matt Russell, this kept me motivated to keep riding hard. I spent most the bike going back and forth with Leanda (very impressive biker) and Jared. I came off the bike feeling pretty good and excited to try and run down some people.

The plan was running 6 minute miles from the start to mile 10 and then try to pick it up the last 3.2 miles. Initially on the run I was having some cramping issues but was able to keep my 6 minute pace. By mile two I was feeling good and things were looking up. Mile three went fine and then by mile four I started to fade. I didn’t blow up all at once but gradually my pace got slower. This was probably due to the fact that I had almost no running in the 4 weeks leading up to the race resting my shin splints/calves. When all was said and done I finished 19th out of 24 pro men and was enjoying some food and a massage. My time of 4:17:37 was a little disappointing but once my run is up and going again I think this will take care of itself. Robbie finished the day 17th and we both headed back to Texas that night. Overall was a good race to build off of. Now I’m in the middle of a solid training block with August-October being chucked full of races. I’m looking forward to doing a couple of local races this July.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not so Easy in the Big Easy

I was super excited for New Orleans 70.3. This race had a stacked pro field with over 30 competing. This year I’m trying to get a feel for where my strengths are and at what distance in triathlon. New Orleans was my first 70.3 of the season and gave my Coach and me great feedback on where I’m at. Friend and fellow triathlete Carlos Miranda decided last minute to race and joined Erin and I for the 8.5 hour trek on I-10. We left Friday after work and drove straight through finding a hotel on Bourbon St. to put us up for the night until we could move to the race hotel the next day. It was pretty hilarious trying to navigate at Midnight through the small New Orleans side streets to find our hotel. If you haven’t been to Bourbon Street before it’s party central for New Orleans and Friday night it was hopping. We got some strange looks unloading Tri Bikes and had some even stranger conversations with party goers in the elevator ride up to our room.

Saturday morning we all got up and headed over to the race course for a 45 minute bike. The wind was pretty wild and the water was wilder with monster waves. After the bike we got some food and headed over to packet pickup. I hit the Pro meeting at 3 pm, it was pretty cool to see 50 pro men and women sitting in the room, it really showed just how deep the field was. Saturday we caught some good food at Dragos in the Hilton and settled down for the night. My wife Erin’s Birthday was Saturday but we decided to celebrate Sunday after the race.
Sunday morning we got up bright and early to head over to transition and get prepped for the race. I started to get my bike settled in and things set up when an announcement came over the loud speaker. Due to high winds the swim portion was going to be cancelled for the race! This immediately created a buzz among the Pros and different athletes were lobbying for how they felt the race should be adjusted. First we were all going to line up to do a time trial start with 3 seconds between, then we were going to run the outskirts of the transition area and grab our bikes for a mass start, and finally they put it to a vote. The vote ended with us doing a time trial start with 30 seconds between us to help break up any packs. I conversed with my coach, Zane Castro, about the change and how this might adjust my race plan. While swimming is not my strongest leg I was disappointed not to swim. I was looking forward to seeing my overall time and comparing with last year for improvements. I also need more swim starts to work on this leg and pack swimming.

After I warmed up I grabbed my bike and headed over to the start where they were calling off our names to line up. I started 9th of 31 men just behind fellow University of Iowa graduate TJ Tollakson. They sounded the start and we were off one rider every 30 seconds. When it was my turn to go I executed a flying mount brought my bike up to speed and was off in good shape. The plan was to take the first half of the bike conservative and then work the second half hard. With 25 mph winds I didn’t want to burn up right away. Things were going to plan; I held my position until about mile 5 when Massimo Cigana of Italy went by. That’s how it went for the first half of the bike, about every 4-5 miles someone went by. Mile 22 I passed Bryan Rhodes and kept pace until mile 28. At mile 28 I kicked it up a notch and passed John Flanagan. I was pass halfway and started to work the bike a little harder. No one came by the next 10 miles which I took as a good sign things were going in the right direction. About mile 40 my legs got heavy and HR dropped, I was zapped. The next 16 miles I spent fueling for energy and getting passed as I had fallen off pace. I worked to keep my head in the game knowing this is a long race and a lot can change.
Transition went well enough and I was off running. Within the first half mile my left quad was tightening and I was fighting off a cramp. I ran by Cesar Valera and just did my best to keep my pace up. With the exception of the nagging quad the run didn’t go too bad. I held it together and passed a couple more guys before the finish and was closing fast on two more before I ran out of real estate. I finished with a 1:19:06 run and 3:41:17 overall time, this put me 25th out of 31 pro men. A big congrats to Sebastian Kienle of Germany, the man was an animal on the day winning a race full of former Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champs. Erin had a pretty good day finishing 7th in her age-group and averaging 22 mph on the bike! Carlos also did very well, he did two 70.3s on back to back weekends dropping about 16 minutes off the bike/run he did the previous weekend at Galveston.

The post race party was good and later that night we had a blast celebrating Erin’s Birthday. We had some great New Orleans Cajun food, a little gambling at Harrah’s, a few drinks, and caught some live Jazz. What a night! Now I’m looking forward to a solid 5 week training block to get prepped for Cap Tex in Austin. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kemah Race Report

First off I want to congratulate the Onurmark Productions for an outstanding race. I’m not sure I can say I’ve been to a better run race. The Staff kept everyone very informed in the weeks leading up to the race and the race plan was very well thought out and executed. The race definitely had a big time feel to it. Now onto the race report!

Erin and I arrived in Kemah Saturday and started preparations for the next day’s race. I thought preparation went well. I got a little surprise at the Pro meeting. As I found out that with the new wetsuit rules USAT established we wouldn’t be allowed to use our wetsuits like the age-groupers. This was a bummer as I don’t own a swim skin and my race uniform is definitely not ideal for swimming (i.e. big parachute pocket on the back).

This was my first race against the big boys and there were a lot of them. Names like 2-time Ironman World Champ Tim Deboom, 70.3 world champ Terenzo Bozzone, Ironman champ and worlds runner-up Chris Lieto, Andrew Yoder, Brian Fleischman, and many more talented triathletes toed the line. I wasn’t too happy with the end result for the day but learned many valuable things along the way to put in my toolbox. All in all for my first race I’ll take it. Here is the blow by blow.

I woke up at 3:45 am, with a night of surprisingly good sleep. Erin and I got ready and ate our traditional oatmeal and peanut butter breakfast. We then made the short walk from our hotel to the transition. I started running through my pre-race ritual of checking equipment and warming-up. Then Erin and I headed over to the Paddle boat for a nice mile ride out. We ended up sitting on the boat for a little over an hour, any warm up I had definitely was gone. They got the boat into place and then all the pro men lined up for a dive start. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as I watched all the men around me piss themselves prior to the start (apparently 90 minutes without a bathroom while your drinking water like crazy is a little much).

They signaled the start and we were in the water battling. First 100 meters went well I was in the mix of the pack and feeling good. There was quite a bit of chop in the water, decent sized waves, and a strong side current that made it difficult to swim straight and sight. I over corrected on my sighting and fell of the hip of the guy next to me. Next thing I know I’m heading to the right and the pack is to the left. I had a split second to make a decision on whether to chase the pack or continue right to the Buoys. I decided to continue right (mistake #1). I got out of the water in a little over 24 minutes on a swim that was about 150-200 meters longer than the planned 1500 meters.

I ran into the first transition to see only two bikes left, with one of them being mine. I knew I had my work cut out for me, so I grabbed my bike and was off with a smooth transition. During the last part of the swim 2 Pro women had past me, I caught then within the first 2 miles off the bike and then started the lonely ride of trying to work my way back up to the main pack. Shortly into the bike I looked down at my computer for a Heart Rate check to realize I forgot to wear my HR strap (mistake #2). This really messed with my bike plan as I wanted to redline most the way on the bike but not over. To top it off I my computer wasn’t reading speed either. So I focused on keeping my cadence fairly high and pushing what I thought was an appropriate pace. By mile 3 I hit a nasty seam in the road and lost my water bottle (mistake #3). I got to ride the other twenty-one miles without fluids. I was watching my watch as I saw other pros on the course and with the exception of the first few it seemed like I was maintaining pace but not gaining. The last few miles of the bike I had the wind to my back and really pushed this section averaging about 31 mph. I rolled into T2 with a 58:40 bike averaging 25.4 mph.

After a smooth transition I was off on the run. The first couple miles I just tried to keep my head down and pace up. I came through the first 5K with a 17:45 including a short wrong turn (mistake #4). Right at the 5K mark I caught Pro Dan MacKenzie. I made sure to put in a good surge when I passed to minimize any chance of him latching onto me for the last 5k. At about the 4 mile mark I caught Matt Russell out of the corner of my eye, he looked to be running pretty good. I set myself up mentally for a battle the last couple miles. About the time Matt was closing on me I made another wrong turn (I missed the turnaround, mistake #5) and he yelled at me to bring me back on course. I turned around and tried to close the 10 seconds he just put into me. The last 1.5 mile was over and back on a bridge connecting an island to Kemah. The long uphill fried my legs and a good chase for Matt never materialized. I coasted in the last half mile making sure Dan didn’t close back in on me.

My end result was 12th out of 13 Pros that finished, in a time of 2:01:24. I definitely know I have a better race in me than that and as you can see I have a few mistakes I need to fix for next race, but that’s all part of the process. Andrew Yoder had an outstanding race taking the overall win with Terenzo Bozzone, Chris Lieto rounding out the top three. Only twelve more days until New Orleans 70.3 race and I’ve got a lot of work to do yet. My goal for this race is to improve off of Kemah. The field will be just as tough and much deeper with 40 Pros slotted to race this event and a nice race purse of $50,000. I’m looking forward to seeing how I stack up in the longer distance event. Until then, I'm wishing everyone luck in their own adventures.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blue Norther' Duathlon Race Report

This last weekend I had the pleasure of doing my first duathlon of the season. My wife always asks why I don’t race more duathlons as I have more of a background in running (not enough as you'll read below) than cycling and swimming, but to me there is something about doing all three events that peaks my interest more. With that said duathlons are challenging and push the legs to a new level! I was using the Blue Norther Du as my preseason tune up before I race TX3 Kemah. It’s always great to knock some of that early season multi-sport rust off before the real deal. The Blue Norther was a 5K run, 14.4 mile bike, and a 5K run.
The race was just 45 minutes down the road in Seguin and usually pretty competitive, drawing some local pros from Austin. Erin and I woke up at 5:30 am, loaded the bike (pictured), ate breakfast and got on the road. I love the atmosphere of smaller local races. You show up rack your bike and get to chatting with familiar faces. After setting up my gear and getting a good feel for the layout of the transition area, it was off for a quick ride on the bike and then a 1.5 mile warm-up jog. During the warm-up I replayed the game plan in my head. 16:45 first 5k, zone 4-5a on the bike, and everything I had left on the run.

Before I knew it we were toeing the line waiting for the start. Within the first quarter mile the lead pack had narrowed down to about 10 of us. At the half mile mark I did a pace check and we were running about a 4:55/mile clip and 10 was now 7. Knowing this was much faster than the 5:24 pace I had planned for the first 5K, I eased off the pace and let a gap form. The 5K was a two loop and after the first I was sitting in 7th place and thinking to myself dang I haven’t ran with this many fast guys in a long time. At the Austin Half Mararthon last month I finished 9th overall out of 10,500 and here I’m sitting 7th out of 150. Towards the end of the 2nd loop I caught Antonio De Silva a pro from Brazil and headed into T1 sitting in 6th.

After a smooth T1 I was off on my bike and chasing like crazy. Within the first 3-4 miles I had raced myself into 2nd place and setting my sites on 1st. It seemed like I was gaining ground on the hills and then loosing it on the descents. I rolled into transition in 2nd place. Racked my bike and decided to give it my best on foot. The last 5k was pretty uneventful. 1st place put another 40 seconds on me and I had enough of a gap on Antonio I didn’t have to kill the pace the last two miles. After the race I shook hands with the winner who turned out to be Matt Russel, pro triathlete and 2009 Elite USAT Duathlon champ. Matt’s a very talented triathlete/duathlete and hats off to him on an outstanding race. He recently moved to Austin and I am looking forward to more races in the future.

I’d like to thank the Seguin Sunrise Lions for hosting a great race and wanted to give a shout out to my Tri-Sition Area teammates; Chris Rulon 1st Masters, My wife Erin 3rd overall, Ron Mortenson 3rd 25-29, and Orlando Gonzales 1st 50-54. We ended up winning the friendly team competition between Austin Tricyclists, Tri Solers, Tri Amigos and us in a very close contest. I’m hoping that we continue these team competitions and expand on them in the future as it adds another great dimension to the sport. Way to go team!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter Gains to Racing Gains

If you're like me winter can be a challenging trianing time with little daylight and low motivation. This year I mixed it up a little on the cycling end. I had the pleasure of getting my tail handed to me every Tuesday night in Chris Aarhus' "Winter Gains Class" held at Trisition Area's shop. I highly recommend taking a look at this class next year to keep those legs moving. The class takes the good things about a spin class (the people and instructor to motivate you and make it fun to be cycling indoors) and combines it with what triathletes need (workouts that create/reinforce sound technique, fitness, and actually build from one week to the next). So thank you Chris, Carlos, Erin, Michelle, Mick, Vish, Corwin, Dawn and the rest of the regulars for giving me a push each week; I'm looking forward to seeing good results. Those result leads me to the next half of this blog title, "Racing Gains".

I'm excited to start heading into the next chapter of my training plan where I start to race. This weekend I'm planning on racing The Blue Norther Du. This is my first time racing the Blue Norther but I've heard great things and am excited to kick off my multisports season in Seguin. My approach to this race is to practice and fine tune racing for my bigger events coming up in April. Nothing simulates racing better than racing! Once April hits I've got a full serving of races until August where I'll regroup a little and hopefully finish out the season on a high note in the Fall. That's really my goal this season is to continue to improve and climb the pro ranks, no where to go but up! Hope to see you all at Blue Norther this weekend and best of luck for a great race!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Return to Racing!

This Past weekend I got to race for the first time in 2011 at the Austin Half Marathon. Let me tell you nothing motivates you to train harder than racing. It felt great to be out competing against other athletes. There is something about the buzz circling the crowd at a race that excites me and the high you feel afterwards has no comparison. Though this was a training race it was still an important race for me for a couple of reasons; 1) I've been working with Coach Zane Castro the last few weeks and it should provide him with some valuable data for planning future training, 2) I'll be focusing on the 70.3 distance this year and wanted an idea of the pace I'm capable of running.

My training on Saturday was lighter than normal with a 30 minute run and 45 minutes swim, which was a good thing as I was hurting a little from a tough 2:30 ride on Friday. I also was fighting a bug all week that I was hoping to have cleared out by Sunday's race. I talked race strategy with Zane Saturday night and then got to bed early. I didn't have ideal sleep Saturday night as I woke up several times throughout the night but I've had worse so I'll take it.

Sunday morning I got up threw down some oatmeal, peanut butter, walnuts, and Gatorade for breakfast and then headed over to the race course. My wife, Erin was in cheer mode today which always makes racing fun. I got a good warm up in and positioned myself in the center front of the crowd for the start. Gun went off and I was racing! The first few miles were faster than I had planned but were mostly downhill so I was alright with that. I had positioned myself in the 3rd pack of guys. Before I knew it we were in a strong head wind fighting for positions. I was trying to position myself behind a few guys letting them break the wind for me. After mile 4 I did a watch check and my pace had dropped a little slower than I hoped. I made a small break to bridge to the next group in front of me. I planned this break so that I wouldn't have to fight the wind by myself. From mile 5 to the finish I consistently picked off runners and ended up finishing 9th out of 10,523 in a time of 1:16:30 for a 5:46 pace. This was about 30 seconds faster than my goal time on a hilly windy course, so I was pretty happy.

Looking back on my race I gained a much better feel of my pacing and know I should be able to push harder and faster yet. I have a lot of training in front of me and this should only produce better results. I need to get in a position where I can run that 1:16:30 off the bike and am confident I'll get there. Next on the race schedule is the Blue Norther Duathlon and I'll be making my Pro Debut at The Gateway to Bay triathlon in Kemah, TX. Thanks for reading and best of luck with your training!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 here I come!

To say that I'm excited for the 2011 Triathlon season is an understatement. 2010 was a challenging year in the sense that it was full of constant change. I'm very blessed to be able to say most of this change was for the good. The big list of changes include a move to San Antonio, my wife graduating from college, buying our first house, getting our new puppy, a new Job, and making many new friends. Now looking at 2011, I believe this will be a year of firsts. My first race as a professional triathlete, my wife's first Ironman, new sponsors, a coach, and many more. I believe when looking at the changes of 2010 and the firsts awaiting in 2011; I'm in a wonderful situation that could allow for great growth and success. Take me moving to San Antonio; I've been outside for many 3 hour rides the last few months, back in Iowa I'd be trying to motivate myself through a trainer ride. A new job has allowed me to have all my weekends for training and racing which contributed largely to me being able to qualify for my elite racing card. Lots of opportunities this year and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of them.

I've posted my tentative race schedule for 2011 under the "2011 Tour" tab and am looking forward to some of the challenges these races will present both in the form of logistics and awesome competition. Check out the races and let me know if you're attending, It would be great to chat with some friendly people in transition.

My big goal for 2011 is to progress into a legit Pro. A guy that can toe the line in any race and have a chance to score some prize money. My approach this year is going to be not worrying so much about my big goal but focus on the little ones, most importantly the work out that lies 1 or 2 hours in front of me. I'm confident if I can knock down these everyday little goals the big one will fall into place.

Good luck to everyone as you pursue your own goals this season and look forward to seeing you out on the race course or beer tent afterward :)