04:21
:14

Galveston 70.3

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 2 ish weeks ago, I raced Galveston 70.3. Racing this year is being thrown off a little bit by a whole lot of fun I get to have this summer in the form of the Washington State Bar Exam. I’d rather not have to take this beast more than once so I decided to get a 70.3 and a half marathon out of my system this spring before going into hiding and getting my nerd on. On top of getting back into the swing of training this spring, my internship, a class at Seattle U of Law, and another independent research project, I had to take the MPRE (the Ethics portion of the Bar Exam) the weekend before Galveston. Needless to say, I never had any time to actually think about racing in Galveston. The training got done because training as a study break keeps me mentally sane, but as far as focusing on the actual race goes…well, I just kind of felt like I was showing up. I knew I was fit but I also told myself to have no expectations. I actually race better when there is no stress, I’m having fun, and I don’t even feel like a race is about to happen the night before…and that’s exactly where I was. If Tremblant happened, great. If it didn’t happen…no big deal (ß signs I have grown as an athlete over the years). Life will go on. I contemplated a fall ironman and I also contemplated a fall open marathon but plans after this spring were still up in the air.

Swim: My swimming has been better than ever this spring and unfortunately my Galveston swim does not reflect that. It was SO choppy and because of this, there were never really any organized packs. The cannon went off and everyone just scattered in the waves. People were bobbing all over the place and I just struggled trying to keep a straight line, which never happens). Overall, I just felt like I didn’t have a sense of direction or where we were on the course. In the grand scheme of things, I still came out with a decent time on the day relative to other times so it is what it is.

I never go to wetsuit strippers. I’m usually all about doing it myself…mainly because I’m always afraid that my kit bottoms are going to come off when they pull off the wetsuit and the whole wearing no underwear thing would just make that awkward. I decided to wear the one-piece suit this time so no worries here!

Bike: I had a minor brain fart in the early hours of race morning and left my “real people food” in my hotel room. What I’ve learned from ironman racing is that I need to mix solids into my racing on the bike because my stomach appreciates it a whole lot better than the “gelatinous substance only” diet by the time I get to the run. Unfortunately I had to go with the “gelatinous substance only” diet on this one. I still had plenty of fuel but my stomach did not quite appreciate that on the run like I said it would (More on that later). I ended up splitting a 2:33, which was a bit of a break through for me mentally and physically. We also got POURED on for a good portion of the ride and had a headwind on the way back. Being a bit of a weaker cyclist (thank you skinny distance runner legs. Quad monsters, I envy you guys), I was worried about riding this course in a storm but I kept a bit higher cadence than usual and had a great ride! Instead of feeling like I was just going through the motions in the last 10-15 miles and wanting off my bike, I felt like I was still being competitive and for that I was happy with myself.

Run: I found out this week that I had the fastest female AG run split of the day. What?!?!?! I mean, I know its only 1/3 of the puzzle and people don’t remember those things, but I thought it was pretty cool…even though it wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies out there when trying to run my way back into the mix. I really like the three loop run course in Galveston too. I’m really big on compartmentalizing my runs because I do a lot of training alone. Breaking things down in chunks really helps me get through the rough days. The following, as is now tradition for me, is a summary of the run in bullet points of things I was thinking during this run:

  • Mile 1, 2, 3 – gave myself a pep talk on not getting too excited. I failed.
  • Mile 4 – I can’t feel my toes. This is so annoying.
  • Mile 5 – I’m having a little less fun now. How many laps do I have to do?
  • I have to go to the bathroom. Should I stop? – The ONLY time I’ve stopped to use a port-o-potty was in the last open marathon I ran and I still kept that mile 18 under 8 min. I decided not to stop. Risk it, and just clinch sphincter instead (am I even allowed to say that on here?…We all know this stuff goes on in this sport. The hashtag #spincterclinch was officially born after this race).
  • I looked down at my stomach while adjusting my number belt that was riding up. I noticed how extremely attractive my ironman gut looked. I heart mid race bloating. I should’ve named it like it was a food baby or something. Thank goodness I wore a one piece tri suit.
  • Mile 6 – I saw my favorite Canadian training pal, Shelley “Baller McBallerson” Thompson (she went 4:49 for 2nd F 50-54). I pinched her bum. She’s one fast mamma!…I then told her all about how I had to go to the bathroom. She’s used to that from me. TMI is my middle name.

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That’s Shelley in the middle there behind the great shot of my awesome 5 head. I’m not so good at the selfie thing.

  • Somewhere around mile 7 or 8 – I saw Mary Eggers. Biggest smile ever! That cheered me up! We waved at each other at a turn around and I was back in good spirits. Love her!
  • Start of Lap 3 – Ok. I got this. I can do anything for 4+ ish miles.
  • Mile 12 – I seriously thought I was going to throw up in my mouth. I could feel it in my esophagus.
  • Finish – Classic Sam pose. Hands on knees and didn’t move. I didn’t throw up and #Sphincterclinch ing was a success as well (that word is making me uncomfortable).

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 I ended up finishing in 4:40 and 3rd F 25-29. That’s way more than I ever expected from this race given how stressed out and semi sleep deprived I was the two weeks before the race with studying for the MPRE. I also got my 70.3 World Champs spot in Mont Tremblant! I pretty pumped about this because I’m not signed up for an Ironman this year because of the Bar exam so it gives me something to look forward to after that’s all done. I was going to do Lake Stevens just because it’s a home race but I’m gonna nix that (I wasn’t signed up for it yet anyways), do 70.3 worlds and take a stab at a sub 3 marathon sometime in November (suggestions on a race for that, anyone?) and get back to the Ironman racing thing next year. Hey, the way I look at it is that a little bit of down time/less racing is sometimes better in the grand scheme of things to help hit the mental and physical reset button. Last year was a big year with IMTX and Kona for me and I was a little bit exhausted after all was said and done after October. Life is really good right now and I’m just having a lot of fun doing this sport and being part of the Timex Family.

Big thanks as always to Tristan and Timex. Without him/them, we couldn’t do what we love to throughout the year. Also, Trek, Shimano, Blue Seventy, Challenge, Skins, Nathan and Power Bar. You guys are the best!

I also need to say how much I love being on this team. Being on this team is about so much more than race results. We are a family and each and every one of us truly gets excited about what everyone else does and I love that. The positivity is contagious and all my teammates motivate me to be a better athlete and overall person each and every day and for that I want to thank each and every one of them.

Up next…BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 4th!

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04:20
:14

Indoor Triathlon Series

Posted in Fun by

Easter Sunday was the 4th and final event of the 12 annual t2coaching Indoor Triathlon Series at the Fort Collins Club. Each event consists of a 15 minute swim, 15 minute bike and 15 minute run.  Everyone wins a prize donated by SBRsports, FeeturesTimex, PowerBarBlueSeventy, Steve Cathcart/Runners Roost, Endurance House, Sport About and Rocky Mountain Orchards.

 

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These events prepare the first time triathletes and well as those with experience an opportunity to test their fitness before the outdoor events start in May.

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The CSU Triathlon Team provides volunteers to count laps in the pool, around the track, and record distance on the bike and run for each participate.

CSU Tri teamThank you for your support, best wishes for a successful 2014 season!

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04:20
:14

70.3 Puerto Rico – Stay in the moment

Posted in Racing by

I was really looking forward to opening up my 2014 racing season down in Puerto Rico. My off-season strength and training blocks had gone very well and I was eager to get outside and race. My one concern was the lack of outdoor training I had accumulated since racing Kona back in October. Due to our brutal winter in the northeast, I came into the race with one outdoor bike ride and four outdoor runs. So I was looking forward to some warm conditions and testing my indoor fitness gains. I was fortunate to have my support crew with me. 70.3PRsupport

Race morning started out very smooth with some beautiful conditions: 78 degrees and partly sunny 70.3PRracemorning

Swim: 28:52
I made sure to get in a good warm up with my Blue Seventy skin suit: http://www.blueseventy.com/products/pz3tx. I was definitely ready to go by the time my wave went off. I was able to catch some feet to the first turn buoy, which helped set my tempo for the rest of the swim. I was happy to come out of the water with the 37th overall and 4th age group time. After a 1/3 mile run to T1 I was eager to test out my new Trek Speed Concept: 70.3PRbikeprerace

Bike: 2:15:07
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My coach, Paul Regensberg, had prescribed a gradual build in effort for the bike and run sections since this was the first race of the year. So my goal was to stay in the moment and just flow below my normal race pace. The combination of the slightly lower effort and my nutrition game plan allowed me to come off the bike feeling very fresh. I was able to move up to 9th overall and 1st in my age group. 70.3PRbikefinish

Run: 1:24:35
I felt fantastic heading out onto the run section. However, my coach’s advise kept me focused on a smooth turnover. I managed to stay relatively cool and keep my internal temps low with the help of my Skins compression arm sleeves. 70.3PRrun2. The only problem I encountered on the run was a bit of cramping that started 2.5 miles into the run. In hindsight, I had gone into the run a bit low on my sodium intake. So I shortened my stride and used my 4 salt tabs strategically. I was able to keep the cramping at bay and I crossed the finish line feeling the freshest I’ve ever felt after 70.3 miles of racing.
Finish: 4:13:17/ 6th Overall/ 2nd Amateur
70.3PRawards

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04:18
:14

Racin’ Cajun!

Posted in Racing by
2 things that I did not count on “The Big Easy” being were hot and windy…My purpose for being in New Orleans the weekend of April 11th-13th was more than just a race. My wife and I were celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary and we were looking for fun. We lucked out as the city was having its annual French Quarter Festival and the streets were packed!
NOLA ghost tour

NOLA ghost tour

We arrived Friday afternoon and I went straight to the expo to pick up my race pack. It was very good to see that Timex was well represented with a number of watches available for sale. After 8 years of racing this whole expo thing has become second nature and I was out of there in less than 10 minutes! We found our hotel, unpacked and got dressed for dinner. Marietta and I are big Food Network fans so we sought out the city’s most acclaimed chefs. Friday night our destination was La Petitie Bakery. The chef is Justin Naveiller and we have watched him on a show called Top Chef. The menu was incredible and I and something I had never tried before…I figured if I was going to race fast on Sunday I better eat something that was fast as well. My choice, RABBIT! It was incredible, and the best thing I ate all weekend.
Eatin' sum Rabbit!

Eatin’ sum Rabbit!

There was no jumping on my bike Saturday morning for a ride, we were in the middle of the city and there was barely room to walk. Marietta and I found the hotel workout room and I got an hour on the elliptical trainer, just enough to get a good sweat. After a shower, we hit the streets. Marietta had booked a spooky ghost tour for us at 1:00 and we explored the various tombs of this ancient city rich with history. This was probably not the best idea for a pre 70.3 activity, but then again racing was not the only thing I was doing in NOLA!
That night, we made our way to one of Emeril Lagasse’s places called NOLA. The service here was impeccable, the best I have ever seen. These guys worked in 3 person teams and they were on us like white on rice. It didn’t hurt that the food was spectacular once again. Marietta even ordered some fancy drink that went along perfectly with her meal. I ate so much I felt like I needed a dolly to roll me out of there! We walked back to the hotel and prepared for bed. I never sleep well the night before a race and this night was no exception. I might have slept for 2 hours, but that didn’t matter the alarm was buzzing and it was time to jam.
The race site was about 10 miles from the hotel. We arrived and Marietta dropped me off after configuring our finish line plan. Marietta has been to enough of these races to know that the best time for her to be near is the last half of the run. She was able to get a great long run in herself while I was on the bike. I set up my transition under the dark sky and made my way to the swim start. I saw my new teammate Helen Phipps in transition who had driven over from San Antonio. We pulled on our wetsuits and prepared to enter the water. This swim start was very unique, sort of a group time trial. We walked to the end of a dock and then jumped in 10 at a time.
My wave went first after the pros and I positioned myself in the very first group. I tried something that I’ve never done before (and I will do it from this race forward.) As soon as I hit the water, I swam as hard as I possible could to the first buoy. My plan was to create some space and get away from the pack or run out of breath trying. I was delightfully surprised that I had indeed broken away and then swam into a more steady pace. I had a fantastic swim and was 15th out of the water. I swam right at 30 minutes for a 1:28 100 pace.
Almost home!

Almost home!

The transition from water to bike was a long one and I started to peel my wetsuit as quickly as I gained my footing. I ran to my bike and was thrilled to see that most bikes were still on the rack. That was incredibly encouraging but my excitement was quickly stolen away. As soon as I jumped on my bike, the wind hit me and the sun came out in full force. I cannot remember a dry spell throughout the entire 56 miles. At one point I looked down at my computer and saw that I was going 17 mph. To add insult to injury, little did I know it but I was working on a nasty sunburn. I never wear sunscreen while racing but this one was enough to change my mind forever. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I had to stop twice, get off my bike and pee. What the heck? I felt like my bladder had shrunk but those stops absolutely killed my momentum. I finished the bike in 2:34 and had fallen from 15th to 25th place.
Yep, forgot the sunscreen..

Yep, forgot the sunscreen..

After a faster transition that the first, I headed out on the run. The run is why I love triathlon so very much. This run was point to point but there was absolutely no shade whatsoever. I started to go to work on the field. I passed 5 guys in my age group within the first 2 miles. I was running steady but felt composed. I sipped cola as I went through each aid station just to make sure I had enough to make it home. I made it to mile 9 and I had passed another 8 in my age group, but then the wind picked up and the sun beat down. The next 3 miles were absolutely brutal, I felt like I would never make it. I just focused on each stride and tried to keep myself in the moment. Relief was born as I rounded the last turn just beyond mile 12. Ahead of me, was a very long stretch that contained the finish line at the very end. I just kept running, wind in my face, shoulders burnt to a crisp but with a smile plastered firmly on my face. I saw Marietta within the last 500 yards which made me go a little bit faster! I crossed the finish line with a run time of 1:30 and an overall of 4:40:12, which was good enough for a 7th place finish in the 35-39 age group. I made my way through the chute and collapsed into a kiddie pool filled with ice. The incredible feeling of contentment came to mind; it was by no means my best race, but it was a good race and the 2014 in on the board.
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04:07
:14

Interview with Athlete on Fire

Posted in Fun, Racing, Training by

Scott Jones of Athlete on Fire, approached me at the Studio I train at and the next thing I knew; we were doing a podcast.  I am very honored and appreciative of the opportunity I have had to share my story and hopefully a little inspiration for someone out there! Podcast

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