Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Big Move!

As the headline suggest I recently went through a move and unfortunately I'm not talking about a "big move" to the top of the 70.3 Pro rankings :) but fortunately I am talking about a move closer to family!  This last week Erin and I packed everything we owned in a Penske truck and made a 20 hour drive north to Dubuque, Iowa.  So in the spirit of change I thought I'd do a couple Top Ten lists.  The Top Ten things I'll miss about San Antonio (with pictures) and the Top Ten things I'm looking forward to in Dubuque, listed in no particular order :)


1) Warpathers: This winter a group of friends got together to help motivate each other to train for upcoming spring races.  The results were some of the best winter/spring training I've had with just aweome people!  Thanks Warpathers (Sean, Melissa, Brian, Katie, Robbie, Carlos, Apryl, Ron, Tiffany, Mark, Jess, Chris, Lorena,  you will be missed!

Katie, Brian, and Apryl representing the Warpathers at IM Texas

Carlos, Sean, and Melissa tearing it up at a local Jack and Adams Race

Several Warpathers joined Masters to work on our swim, Thanks Coach Susan and MOST swimmers!

2) Winter Biking:  San Antonio has got to be one of the best places for winter riding in North America.  The weather is just great.  I'm already planning this winter's training camp. 

Mid Ride at a hill Country Overlook
Winter Coffee Rides!

3) Mexican Food: By far the best I've ever had!
Feasting at Costa Pacifica!

4) Hollywood Park:  A super neighborhood to live in filled with great: running, riding, homes, landscaping, wildlife, and neighbors (Neal and Shirley, Mike and Grace, you will be missed!)
Entrance to Hollywood Park

5) Music: It amazes me that you can go to one of the several Dance Halls in the area and see big name country artists almost any night of the week.

Gary Allen live at John T. Floore Country Store

6) The People:   One of San Antonio's best features is the great people. I've made several life long friends and they will all be missed!
Celebrating Erin's Birthday withfriends!

7) Ammenities:  Shopping, Food, History, Music, Entertainment; you name it San Antonio has it!

8) Races:   A race every weekend with great race venues.  I earned my Pro Card while racing in Texas!
Collecting a check for the win at Houston Tri and the overall TX3 Series win!
 9) Diversity:  San Antonio is really a melting pot of different cultures with strong Spanish, Mexican and German heritage. Today people from all over the world with very different backgrounds call San Antonio their home!

Two of my closest SA friends. Carlos from Mexico and Robbie from Ireland

10)  Our Home: Erin and I bought our first house in San Antonio.  It was just perfect for us and will be tough to replace.

Front of our house this spring.

lots of fun to come!

A picture of the Mississippi River from Dubuque.

1) Family:  It is going to be great to be so close to our family!

2) Cycling:  The bluffs around the Mississippi are just amazing to bike on, plenty of hills!

3) Camping:  We love camping and there is a plethora of camp sites in the tri-state area.

4) Skiing:  We've missed being able to cross country ski throughout the winter and it looks like Dubuque has some great Cross Country skiing and even some downhill.

5) Racing:  A myriad of great triathlon racing throughout the tri state area!

6) Traffic: There is none!

7) Views:  The scenery is just breathtaking!

8) Sweet Corn:  Just had some last night, nothing beats Iowa sweet corn!

9) Change:  We are looking forward to the excitement of being in a new place and meeting new people!

10) The Seasons:  Iowa scenery changes so much throughout the year.  Looking forward to Fall leaves, Winter snow, Spring plantings, and the green Summer!

So for now it is so long San Antonio thanks for all you have given the Andersons and a hello to Dubuque we are looking forward to new adventures!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

New Orleans 70.3 Race Recap

I love 4am wakeups, not!
I have mixed feelings about New Orleans.  I seem to never race great there but always seem to have fun.  I decided I wanted one more crack at 70.3 before switching over to short course for a few months and New Orleans is within driving distance and I was hoping to capitalize on some fitness gains from Texas 70.3 just two weeks earlier. The last two races San Juan 70.3 and Texas 70.3 were good races but I didn’t put it all together.  Mostly because some lower leg issues have forced me to cut way back on my running.  I really feel I can swim 26:00ish, bike 2:13ish, and then run 1:18ish with transition times that puts me right at 4 hours total.  Sub 4 hours would be an awesome race for me.  Spoiler alert! I didn’t break 4 hours in New OrleansL but let’s talk about the race anyways.
I took off on Friday after work with training pals Carlos Miranda and Robbie Wade.  We decided to drive about 5 hours crash for some sleep and then finish the drive the next morning.  I did get awesome sleep and by 12 o’clock on Saturday we were in the Big Easy.  We went through all the normal pre race hoopla to get ready for the next day; pro meeting, pre-race workout, hotel check in, bike prep, etc.  I had two new equipment changes for this race I was excited to try out.  My Mizuno Wave Ronin 5’s had arrived a couple weeks earlier and I received my HED Jet Disc and HED Jet 7 wheels the week before.  Well lets just say they both rocked!

Transition set up and ready to roll!
So here is the race report.  After setting up my equipment in transition I headed over to the swim start.  I was a little nervous about the swim as it was being held in a small harbor.  They were having us swim an “M” shaped course and I thought sighting was going to be a challenge (read last year’s NOLA 5150 experience here to find out why).   Well my swim start was a disaster; the race official false started us with about 75% taking off early and 25% sitting there wondering what the heck was going on.  Unfortunately I was in the 25% and had to play catch up.  I made it to the 3rd pack but missed the 2nd pack.  I chose to swim comfortably in the 3rd pack vs. try over work myself to maybe make it to the second pack.  I came out of the water with 4-5 other guys in around 26:20 not a bad swim but not as good as my Texas 70.3 swim.    I was into Transition in 16th  Place.
I made good work in transition and came out with the 3rd pack on the bike.  I was happy to have guys to work with.  Unfortunately the pack I was in didn’t work well together and it was showing in my bike splits.  At mile 30 I decided to push hard and see if I could separate myself.  I had a good push and broke away from the other guys and made up some good time.  I came off the bike in 12th place but now for the real test, the run.
I was anxious to see how my run would hold up, I knew New Orleans was a pretty fast course and was hoping that would help with my lack of run conditioning.  The plan was to go out at 6 minute miles and work the times down after the first few miles.  The first mile I came through at 6:05, every mile after that I settled between 6:15 and 6:25. By mile 2-3 I had a few guys roll past me.  I never faded but never really got going.  I ended up running a 1:22 well above what I’m capable of running but about 2 minutes faster than Texas 70.3.  Unfortunately I had 3 guys moving much faster than me go by between mile 10 and 11.  I ended up in 18th place on the day with a 4:04:41, a new personal record for the 70.3 distance.  I’m happy I went and raced, I’ve got even more racing experience to add to my race bag and some valuable lessons learned. 

Highlight of the trip, after the race me and few other guys caught the event bus back to the transition area.  One of those guys was runner-up on the day Trevor Wuertle.  Super nice guy saw me drooling over his beer and shared it with me, mmmm.  For a hilarious recap of his race check it out here you won’t regret J

Up next I’ll be blogging about the Kemah Triathlon I competed in this past weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ironman Texas 70.3 Race Report!

Wow! I just finished up a whirlwind trip to Galveston to race Ironman Texas 70.3.  This is a great race and only four and half hours down the road from San Antonio.  I had a ton of friends there which made it feel like a home town race!   So first I want to thank all my peeps for cheering like crazy while I was out there, you make these races fly by whether or not I’m flying by ;)
Three weeks prior to Texas 70.3 I raced San Juan 70.3.   I learned a lot at San Juan, made some adjustments to my training and was excited to see if training was going in the right direction.  Race morning I woke up bright and early, ate breakfast, and headed over to transition about 5:30 am.  I was nervous and excited; there were about 40 pros on the start list that would be fighting it out for their share of the $15,000 purse and 500 70.3 worlds’ points.    I got everything set up in transition grabbed my Xterra Wetsuit and headed over to the swim start to warm-up. 
After a short warm-up we lined up for the male pro start.  If you want a good laugh watch the beginning of an in-water start for the Pro men and woman.  It basically consists of one side of the line inching forward then the other side moving forward until we are about ten meters past the start line and officials are screaming at us to back up.  We back up and then repeat the process for the next 3-5 minutes leading up to the gun.  Eventually we got semi lined up and we were off.  At San Juan I was in the second swim pack for the first 400 meters until I dropped off and was swimming by myself.  The goal for this race was to stay with the second pack longer than 400 meters.  Race officials had the buoys laid out every 100 meters.  So I did my best to attach myself to the swim pack and hang on.  Before I knew it I was at 400 meters and still in the pack, YES! About 300 meters later I was still hanging on and felt in rhythm, YES!! At about 1200 meters I was still in the pack and determined to hang on the entire swim, YES!!! Well I’m glad to report I exited the swim for the first time ever in the second pack of a Pro field. A big thanks to Susan Ingraham my masters swim coach and Xterra Wetsuits for your great products! My swim Time was 25:30 a new 1.2 mile PR.
As I ran through transition I took too much time and missed the pack heading out on the bike.  Note to self: practice transitions and include different variables! No worries, I hopped on my Guru (bike), settled into a rhythm, and started plowing away.  About 2 miles in a guy rode up on me, He went by quick and I decided to let him go, checking my watts on my power meter he was pushing harder than I wanted to play that early on in the race.  Another mile down the road I made my first pass and was feeling pretty good.  That’s basically how it went for the bike leg.  I’d ride about 5-10 miles and a rider would go by and a few miles later I’d pass someone.  At the start of the run at San Juan my legs were fried, so I planned to take it a little easier the back half of the bike to allow myself to feel a little fresher at the start of the run.  I finished the bike in 2:13:43 averaging a little over 25 miles per hour.
Once in T2, I slipped on my shoes grabbed a couple of cliff shots, and was out on the run.  My legs didn’t feel fresh but were in much better shape than the start of run at San Juan.  The plan was to go out conservative the first 3 miles and then drop the pace to about 5:45-50 after the first couple miles.  The first four miles went as planned; I hovered right around the 6:00 per mile pace and was feeling solid.  By about mile 5 my pace had dropped 30 seconds but the effort felt the same. I just didn’t have the conditioning in my legs yet.  I spent the rest of the run fueling and just trying not to fall apart.  I managed to hold it together and crossed the finish line in 17th place.  I ran a 1:23:19 averaging 6:19 miles, a ways off my sub 1:20 goal but much improved from San Juan.  Overall time was 4:06:47 and new half Ironman PR for me!
Reflecting back on the race I’m very happy with the result.  It was far from perfect but was definitely a step in the right direction.  The season is just beginning and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.  Next up is Ironman New Orleans 70.3 on April 21st.  I’ve got two weeks to work out a few more kinks and look forward to performing in the Big Easy!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

San Juan 70.3 Race Report

One of the many great things about the sport of triathlon are the challenges that come with training/racing and the process of adjusting your training/racing to meet these challenges.  This year I decided to challenge myself by putting an early season half Ironman on my schedule and thus forcing myself to focus my training a little earlier and increase training volume over last year.  I decided to make it a fun race, something epic, so I signed up for San Juan 70.3!  This past weekend I made my way to Puerto Rico feeling good about my training and excited to be back racing after five months off.   The following is a quick recap of my trip.
Carlos, Robbie and I arrived at the San Antonio Airport on Friday at 4:50 am.  After some research we decided flying with our bikes would be the most reasonable way to get them to San Juan.  The real challenge was hauling the big boxes around with our other luggage.  We looked ridiculous, but after some extended time getting through security we made the flight depart time and arrived in San Juan on schedule.  Kudos to Carlos for negotiating some great bike transportation costs! 
The first night we settled into our hotel and relaxed, recovering from a day of travel.  Saturday was all about race preparation.  We scouted the course and worked in a short bike and swim on course.  Next was the pro meeting.  Ironman.com had the following to say about the Men’s pro field:
The third edition of the Jeep IRONMAN 70.3 San Juan features a stacked professional field of 50 men and 24 women competing on Sunday. In the men’s race, defending champion Tim O’Donnell is also in for a tough race. Former IRONMAN world champion Farris Al-Sultan, Richie Cunningham, Max Kriat, Andrew Starykowicz, Dirk Bockel, Michael Lovato, Bert Jammaer, Paul Mathews and Matty Reed along with a host of others are in San Juan to try to dethrone the two-time champ.
The pro meeting revealed that the majority of the start list showed up and I had my work cut out if I was going to earn any points to qualify for 70.3 Worlds.  After the pro meeting it was off to packet pickup and then pre race prep. We found a nice little local restaurant to eat at and then it was off to bed- nervous as all get out!
4:30 came early the next day and I was up and off to transition. There are a few perks to racing pro and being able to avoid mandatory bike turn in is one of them.  It’s great to be able to ride your bike to T1.  After setting up in T1 and double checking my setup I walked to the swim start to begin my warm-up.  Thirty minutes and the boom of a cannon later we were off in a washtub start to swim 1.2 miles.  This winter I joined Masters of South Texas (MOST) a local swim team coached by Susan Ingraham.  Susan has been great, whipping my form into shape!  I doubled my time spent in the pool and was excited to see if it had paid off.  The first 400 meters went great, I lined up to the far left just behind Faris Al-Sultan and prepped for a crazy start.  I was able to stay in the pack the first 400 meters.  I can remember thinking, this is great just stay on their feet.  About 2 seconds after that thought I popped my head up to sight and saw I had slipped back 10 meters.  I put in a good surge to try and latch back on but it was too late, the pack was gone.  The remainder of the swim I was by myself, behind the first two packs but ahead of the 3rd pack.  When I exited the water I looked down to see a time of 27:30, my goal time was 28:00 minutes.  I was disappointed I fell off the pack that ended up swimming 1-1:30 faster than me but excited to have swum under my goal time.
The run from swim exit to T1 was long, about 500 meters.  This makes for an interesting dynamic because it causes your heart rate to be sky high at the beginning of the bike.  My goal for the bike leg was sub-2:15.  Bike training has been great this year.  I’ve been training Tuesday and Thursday morning with a group of friends aka “The Warpathers”.  The consistency this has brought to training has been great, not to mention all the fun we have!  The bike went as planned, and I hit my goal watts on my power meter.   The only downside was I spent almost the entire ride biking by myself.  I did pass a few guys but never reached the pack in front of me.  All the racers did get the kitchen sink thrown at us with a mix of rain, wind, and hot weather.  We even had the occasional two foot iguana on course to dodge around!  I finished the bike in 2:12:06 about 3 minutes under goal pace.
My plan for the run was to start conservative and then finish strong.  I knew it was going to be a tough run course and thought a lot of people would be blowing up on the second of two loops.  By starting conservative I hoped to be chasing those unfortunate souls down.  The goal was to run sub 1:20.  Well lets just say by mile one I was adjusting that goal from 1:20 to 1:30.  Straight away on the run I was having problems with cramping and by mile 3 my entire quad had locked up!  Just as I was grabbing my quad and groining in pain the medical truck drives up and asks if I need a lift?  My answer was, “Hell No” and I forced myself to get back to running.  I had to put aside my pride and desire to run people down and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  I did manage to negative split my run although I was about a minute per mile off goal pace finishing with a 1:29:28.
Overall I’m pleased with my race.  It was the first race of the season and I PR’d my 70.3 time finishing with a 4:13:29 and finished as the 26th Male Pro.  I learned a ton, know what I need to work on, and am hungry for my next race.  I’ve set the next challenge and have adjusted my plan to achieve it.  Galveston 70.3 coming up on April 7th and I need to get my run put together!
Post race I got to kick back, relax, and enjoy some great Puerto Rican culture.  I’ve got to thank my travel companions Robbie Wade and Carlos Miranda for putting up with me for 4 days.  They both had outstanding races and are on their way to triathlon glory this year!
Thanks for reading and keep Tri-ing!

Wes Anderson