Tag Archives: sprint

It’s Been a Week of Hills!

GiroMaybe it’s been 2 weeks of hills, I’m not really sure at this point as everything is running together.  There have been both physical and mental hills that have brought me up and down, but it’s all part of becoming an Ironman right?  You learn to juggle the demands of your work, social, and training lifestyles as volume pick up and move you to what you once thought those limits are.  Slowly as you approach them you start to feel that you get that anxious feeling in your gut and you press on.  You slowly move past your previous limits and the confidence builds as you start to explorer the space you didn’t know existed.

So last Saturday I swim buddied at the San Diego Triathlon Classic.  I was supposed to race in this race but after careful thought with my Ironman training it just wasn’t a good fit.  Especially since I had a 105 mile ride from Solana Beach up Mt. Palomar the following day.  So putting the pride aside I went and rode with this great girl who is also training for IMAZ at a slow pace for a few hours (probably not the brightest thing cause of the 105 mile ride the next day).  Either way we had fun and it was great time…… I guess you might call it an Irondate!  Then later that night I got my run in… again this was not a good idea.  The upside was I ate a TON of carbs!

WP_20140906_003My athlete Rhonda who just did her first ever triathlon back in May finally reached the podium Saturday as well.  She took 3rd in the Athena division which she earned.  The Tri Classic was her A race and she even surprised herself.  You can follow her journey on her Facebook page “Living Instead of Existing”.  She didn’t know it at the time but I decided to stay and watch her finish and cheer her on going across that finish line.  I’m proud of her her finding this new found love of not just triathlon but being competitive.  As I’ve been a mentor for her the goal for this season was for her to just have fun and enjoy the sport, clearly it is.   Next season will be pushing a bit more (like I haven’t done enough of that) for some possible podium spots in the Athena Masters and also increasing 1 or 2 races to Olympic distances in her preparation for a 70.3 early 2016 with possible IMAZ 2016.

palomarSo now to Sunday’s fun…it really wasn’t much fun.  It sucked and it sucked a lot.  Started at 6Am 1 whole hour early and I knew there would be hills and a damn mountain so I used my road bike (I think I should have kept to my tri bike).  My road bike is an aluminum frame which I refer to as a tank.  I’ve had that thing for almost 5 years and never once had to change a tire or tube.  I put thousands of miles on it and it truly is a tank.  I knew I was going to be slow and I knew it was going to be a 9+ hour ride.  Yes you see that big mountain in the middle of the elevation chart that was a 7-8% grade for 11+ miles?  I had to ride up it and the gearing on my road bike in it’s easiest gear was a lovely 4 MPH avg going up it.  I’m not going to lie I wanted to quit going up and just go downhill.  My brain was telling me to quit and just turn around but my legs just kept peddling up even as I saw friends of mine going down.  I stopped and let my HR go back down since the sun was beating down on me and climbing up hill keeps me in my Z4 and Z5 for long periods of time.  On these stops I made the mistake of looking at my map on my phone and talk about the longest mile.. I thought to myself man I’m going 4 MPH this is going to take me 15 damn minutes to get to the top this is just dumb and why did I do this.   It was about this time that my legs wouldn’t let me turn around that I finally caught up to my buddy Marcus and I thought to myself that if he can do this than so can I.  Finally made it to the top with him and another guy named Steve.   10702229_715504185206710_5231643471898073495_nWe caught the girls just before they went down it was a fun quick reunion (I hated all of them at this point because they beat me and weigh half of what I do.)  It was at this time where mother nature decided to shower on us.. A LOT!  Yeah that wall of rain was what I went through on the way down.  My friend Carrie happened to snap this picture as she was going up and I was going down.  At the end of the day we all got across the finish line we got our medals we endured mother nature’s 100+ heat and flash flooding.  Congratulations to everyone we made it out alive and our legs truly do hate us now.

I heard someone say that after 6 hours of straight exercising something happens to you.  They are right and it’s different for everyone and for me it was interesting that it was my legs that kept me going forward and not quitting when everything that I read and listed to told me it would be my body that was telling me to quick and it would be my mind telling me to stop.  I felt that urge to want to keep going, that confidence that you can do this.  You can finish it.  People still call me crazy and say that this is not normal behavior.  I would have said the same thing 3 years ago as well.  But for me this is becoming the new normal and I like it.  One of the best choices I made in my life was losing weight and getting outside of my comfort zone of inside the bar.

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Sprint Sprint Recap: First Place 120+

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Two sprint triathlons and two first place finishes!  There was a lot of competition out there and after looking at the official results we got 1st place in the 120+ division but 2nd place overall the relays.  Yes the older guys can still get it done!  We have the Mission Bay Sprint Triathlon coming up in October to defend our 1st place overall finish there.  I swam a 7:42 and Chris cycled a 28 minute ride while Jeff powered through a 21 minute 5K.  Our total time was 1:00:29.  It’s always good to get a podium finish but this race was a whole lot more to me than just getting first.

.There were so many first time triathletes there that I see from Thursdays BOWS group and it was awesome to see them getting out there and finishing their first ever triathlon.  As I found each of them I was slowly giving words of wisdom from my experience and knowledge that I have learned from other triathletes as well.  It’s not always about winning first it’s about the reward of knowing that you helped someone overcome their obstacles to reach their finish line and accomplish something that they might not have been able to otherwise.

Giving Back, Looking Ahead

Here are some pictures from my first triathlon back in 2010.  My how times have changed.

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It’s hard to believe that it was 4 years ago I tried my first triathlon and I just had the basics.  I had desire, motivation, and excitement.  I remember this race like it was yesterday.  I remember worrying about everyone looking at me like who’s this fat guy in no wetsuit.  I felt like a beginner swimming in a sea of seasoned triathletes.  I was intimidated.  Those feelings helped spur me into volunteering for the Tri Club’s Beginner Open Water Swim (BOWS) group.  It’s beginning triathletes who are new to open water swimming and/or triathlon.  It’s been very rewarding every time I’m out there and can’t wait as the years go by..   Arnold once said that one of the secrets to success is to always find a way to give back.  He’s right, I can’t wait to see this group complete their first or any triathlon.

I’ve started following more people trying to lose weight on Facebook while sharing my story and how I’ve kept it off.  This has been a great way to inspire others that no matter how hard it seems, it’s possible.

Looking Ahead:
As I move towards that Ironman staring me in the face in November time is flying by!  Before I know it I will be on flights to different cities and racing across the United States.  It’s like a dream but it’s something that I’ve earned and worked hard for.  Life is short so you have to enjoy it.  I’ve begun looking at races for 2015 starting with IMOO in Wisconsin come September and who knows what else.  I’ll be doing another 70.3 just not sure which one.  I’m always looking ahead, but enjoying what’s in front of me.   I know I haven’t even completed my first full Ironman why on earth would I do another?  Well cause I want to.  It’s important to have personal goals and not to get too caught up with waking up every morning to just go slave away at work and then come home to exhaustion every day.  You have to wake up everyday and want to live.  We’re all stuck working but work should support how you want to live and not the other way around.  So go out and work to live, not live to work.

SEAL Sprint Race Report

I signed up for this race as a warm up race for Oceanside.  Something to get my feet wet into the excitement of a well known race in San Diego before heading into Oceanside.  The day before the race my coach had our final race simulation for Oceanside which I was not expecting.  Saturday started with a 1.3 mile ocean swim, 56 mile bike on the front side of the Oceanside course and then I just did a 4 mile run.  I reached my goals for the simulation and I can tell already if the sun is going to be out like it was on Saturday (83 degree’s and no clouds) then the run will be challenging just trying to keep cool.  I’ll have to adjust my salt tab intake accordingly.  Racing on tired legs, this should be fun.

Race Day:
I woke up at 5AM and I had everything from the day before still in my car so I didn’t have to spend much time loading things up.  Got down to the venue and had a pretty good feeling going into the race.  My legs felt good and not really totally wasted (I wonder now if I pushed it hard enough during training).  This was a small field of racers judging by the transition area but I’m ok with that.  I prefer smaller fields, just means less crowded on the course.  Got everything setup into what I think is a great transition setup.  Warmed up said hi to some of my fellow TCSD racers and started down towards the water.  This is a LONG run from the bay to T1 and I hate long runs like that.  I was in wave 2 which was Males 39+ with Clydesdale, Clydesdale Masters, and the relay people, this wave was HUGE!  Now this was my first beach entry start to a triathlon and I stuck to the right side.

Swim:
The horn goes off and it’s a mad dash to the water, at first I was a bit irritated with all the people it was crowded and everyone was swimming everywhere.  It was a good thing too so that I can use it as experience come Oceanside and IMAZ.  The swim was a bit rough as the sun was right in our faces where the buoy was to turn right so sighting was a bit hard.  Once out of the water there was a long run up to T1 where the timing mat was (this explains my 12 minute 500M swim).   Had a quick T1 considering I need to work on getting out of my wetsuit faster.

Bike:
Been working on my bike mount so that I don’t have to completely stop and I nailed it this time and was able to maintain a 21.6 MPH average on the whole course.  It was flat and fast the way I like.  I could have pushed a bit harder but I didn’t want to kill my legs (I should have pushed it and gone all out).  I need to really get my head out of the whole go slower part of sprint triathlons.  My overall time was 34 minutes on the bike when it should have been closer to 30.  T2 went really well and I was out in no time.

Run:
The first almost 2 miles of this run is in the sand so I already hated it.  I ran 3.4 miles in about 28 minutes and averaged an 8:29 average which is by far one of my best performances.  Again though I kept looking at my Garmin and kept telling myself that I needed to go slower so that I could finish and not blow up.  I crossed the finish line not gassed and I felt that I didn’t go all out at all.  Looking back I was not happy with the race at all and it was all myself to blame.

Takeaways:
I need to really get my head out of going slow for sprint triathlons.  It’s a sprint, it’s all out or go home for me these days.  I need to realize that I’ve got potential and I need to stop viewing myself as the fat guy on the race course.

Run Training Starts and 10K Yards Swimming!

With my Half Ironman Coach all signed up we came to an agreement on some extra run training so that my run times would improve from my tank slow half marathons.  I didn’t like her response at all… “The way to build up running is frequency”.  Yup even more running, the thing I dislike the most!  Oh well, if that is what it is going to take then it’s what I have to do.  So just how much running in the first week you might ask?  Monday 9 miles, Wednesday 6 miles, Saturday 12 miles, now Saturday I cut it short at 10.5 miles since my leg was clipped by a car.  I will say that my run on Saturday just 2 weeks from my Las Vegas Half Marathon seemed to go really well and I was running a 10 minute mile pace.

Sunday marked the start of the USAT National Club Challenge and it starts with the swim.  So what did the Triathlon Club of San Diego (TCSD) do?  We started with a 100 x 100 Yard Swim.  Let me tell you that is was not easy to swim for 3 hours and 10 minutes.  I had 30 second rest’s between my intervals towards the end but I started strong and ended strong.  It was fun to get out there and see some new faces and old ones.  That’s one thing I’m finding out about the TCSD community is that there is always people to meet.

So the first week of run training went fairly well I would say.  Saturday night I was on track to have a 2:15 half marathon till the car clipped my left leg and I ate crap on the street.  Thankfully I’m ok but during the run I felt really good while keeping a 10 minute mile.  Tomorrow I got some more running and then more running this week.  I’m pretty sure that if I can keep this up that I’ll be able to hit a 2 hour half marathon come Oceanside which should put me around a 5 hour finish.  Not good enough for Kona but that isn’t my goal….(Yet).   Going to start taking up the TCSD’s JCC swims Monday and Wednesday nights as it’s been recommended that I join a Masters Swim Program.  It’s been recommended by a few people.  I have a pretty solid swim as it is but when it comes to getting in the volume and distance it will help.  Till then it’s just focusing on the 4th sport in triathlon and that’s recovery and staying healthy.

LifeTime Tri: Oceanside. Race Report

imageI originally signed up for this event because it was in Oceanside.  I figured since I signed up for the Oceanside 70.3 this would be a good intro course to get a feel for the course.  This was also my first split transition so I figured that if I was going to screw up and forget something this would be the perfect race to do it.  I wasn’t putting any pressure on me to get a podium finish.  I wanted to focus mainly on the run and some of the things I learned from the clinic the weekend before.  I also wanted to focus on the transitions and the area.  Little did I know I was going to take first place in Clydesdale again and I beat the 2nd place guy by a full 10 minutes.  I thought about dropping down to my age group of 35-39 and weeks leading up to the event I completely forgot I entered in Clydesdale.  My finishing time would put me 9th of 14 which isn’t bad.  It really just shows that I really have to improve my run.  I was 74/125 people with my run and 55/79 males with my run.  With my main goal of moving into the Age Group ranks and out of Clyde’s I need to get my runs down to 7 minute miles for more than 1 mile.  I don’t care if I’m over 220lbs and able to run 7-8 min miles I’ll drop down to the more competitive 35-39 Age Group.  Sigh the only downfall is that it was my last triathlon of a spectacular triathlon season where I exceeded my expectation.

The Race Report! – Finishing Time – 01:17:40 – 31/125 Overall. 

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This was just a sprint so I didn’t really do much preparation and it really showed come race day.  Saturday I got my packet and we got a cool little backpack and some usual swag.  I’m a swag whore, I won’t lie.  Then I saw the 2 transition bags and started putting my gear (minus wetsuit) into each bag as I needed.  I figured I’d just put my wetsuit in the T1 bag in the morning before leaving (fatal mistake).  I felt good about it all I had everything in their proper bag and confident in my game plan for race day.  I wanted to have fun and enjoy the last race of my triathlon season.  Got to sleep at a decent hour and got a pretty good nights sleep.  Alarm goes off, I had a few scoops of PB&Co Maple Peanut Butter and got the 2 transition bags in the car along with my bike on the rack.  I had the final thought of just bringing my usual transition bag just incase.  It was cold and foggy coming into Oceanside and didn’t think anything of it really since I’m a big guy and produce a lot of heat once I get moving.  Checked my T2 that I left overnight and everything looked great.  Rode down to T1 and got all checked in and racked the bike and as I’m pulling everything out I realize I forgot my wetsuit!  I accepted the fact that I had to swim this in my shorts and tri-top and then it donned on me that I had my Lava Pants from Xterra in my regular bag that I use for the pool, but it was back in my car which was only a mile from the start.  But when you might not make it back in time to T1 before it closes it puts a certain dash in your step.   So on the return run I did this in my shorts and tri-top with bare feet since I left everything in my car since I couldn’t put them in my dry clothes bag.  Thankfully I made it back to T1 right as they were closing and they let me grab my cap and goggles.  I should note that I asked a USAT Official if they were legal to use and they said yes.  I was saved, to not have to kick through the race.  As the waves started the fog started to come in really heavy and they delayed the start because of visibility was maybe 10-15 feet in front of you.  We couldn’t see past the first buoy, and during this wait the cold really started to get to all of us.

The Swim! Swim Time 6:51 :52 /100M 11/125 Overall

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The initial shock of getting in the water was rough so I started to swim and instantly got used to the water temp.  I was happy and warm, and kept thinking just keep moving to stay warm.   Then the gun goes off and we are outta there.  I stupidly started towards the back of the pack fully knowing that I’m going to swim over some of them.  I really focused on long powerful strokes with the high elbow catch position and felt really calm through most of the swim.  I found a solid pair of feet to draft off of which was nice for a change.  Every time I tapped his feet he kept speeding up which was good till the first turn around.  Since everyone was still somewhat in a pack I didn’t want to go too fast out of the gates.  After we turned the first buoy I turned up the jets a bit and moved through the ranks.  I paid attention to not wanting to use too much energy (at this point I realized I forgot my APX in the fridge) since I didn’t have anything in the system and nothing to drink on the bike (Fat stores don’t fail me now).  Out of the water in 6:51.. Looking back I probably spent a good 5-10 seconds making my way through the start and pack.  Since all the swim times started at the same time I need to start these things at the front of the pack.  I’m wasting too much time getting through everyone when I’m much faster than they are. 

The Bike! Bike Time – 39:23 18.94 mi/hr (20Mi/Hr Goal). 22/125

I had a solid transition to the bike.  The only different thing was that I had to put my lava pants in the T1 bag.  As I was running out with my bike I realized I forgot rubber bands for my shoes!  This wouldn’t usually be a problem except I couldn’t feel my feet it was so cold.  I spent another 5-10 seconds getting that first foot on top of the shoe and on my way.  Getting out was a bit rough with some speed bumps here and some sharp turns here and there but once we hit the 76 things really started to go well.  The course got straight and I could deal with the fog, but hit a false flat (I should say downhill) because what seemed like I should have been coasting it got a bit harder to pedal and I was slowing down.  Since downshifting a couple gears to pickup my cadence hit a solid pace of about 17-18 MPH which for me was slow but I couldn’t feel my feet and it felt like I was pedaling with stubs like a pirate.  As the sun started to appear as we went east I could start feeling my legs and feet again and I was able to pickup the pace to 22-24MPH which felt solid throughout the whole bike portion.  I slowed down a bit more than usual coming down the last bike straight way cause the road sucked and didn’t want to get a flat in the last straight way (I know my back tire needs to be replaced, but I didn’t want to do it on race day).  Nailed my dismount with my shoes still clipped in and I heard a crowd support say I was like a flying gorilla (I laughed inside).  Foggy again and feet where cold I finally hit a GU and some water, and hit the run!  Overall

The Run! Run Time – 28:37 9:13 min/mile. 74/125 Overall.

Here it is, my weakest part of triathlon.  Coming off the bike my feet were frozen and my calves started to cramp a bit right off the bike (realized I forgot my salt sticks) but the legs still felt good and I really focused on keeping my head up and not over striding.  I was cruising at a 9:15 min/mil pace and I felt really good about it, my head was up my ankle on my left side wasn’t going beyond my knee (at least when I checked).  As I was running I noticed that Marc was coming down the hill behind me (I thought he would have beat me out of the swim and the bike, he’s a small guy and fast), my 8 minute dinged and I walked about 30 seconds instead of the 1 minute.  I felt good about things why should I stop it’s only a 5K.  Then we started to hit some up hills at the pier and going up another hill down the street which slowed my pace a bit but over all I felt really good.  I was still cruising a 9:35 pace thanks to that 30 second walk bit which I shouldn’t have done.  Down the final stretch Marc finally passed me and I picked up the pace to a 9:12 min/mil and got across the finish line.  Little did I know that Andy Potts was the one giving me my medal which was really cool!

The Wrap up! – Great Race!

WP_20131020_003Once across the finish line I felt great. Ian Kelly happened to see me coming across telling me that it was a strong finish (I didn’t know my time yet) which was really cool. I still had plenty of gas in the tank and wondered that I should have done the International Distance but who cares I felt great I had fun and I made costly mistakes that probably contributed to a combined 5 minutes tacked to my time.  It was great to see some friends racing and meet Marc who I know through a mutual friend at work (we spoke on Facebook and both belong to the Tri Club) so it was cool to meet him and his son.  Also met a few other guys like Randy who ripped his shorts on the bike the poor guy.  I have to say that everyone I have met through the triathlon community has been awesome!  Finally I got my time print out and sure enough I had gotten 1st Place in Clydesdale but the best part was I felt great.   The LifeTime Tri Oceanside race was fun, it was fast, and it really was well put on.  I can’t wait to do it next year.  

3 Weeks Till Tri-Rock & Then Some!

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I have 2 more weeks of hard training till my taper then I go into an almost solid 2 months of different races.  Here is the breakdown starting with the Tri-Rock.  Tri-Rock Sept 22nd, Tiki Swim Sept 29th, Swim Leg Mission Bay Tri Oct 6th, Lifetime Triathlon Oct 20th, Bike the Coast Nov 2nd, Las Vegas Half Marathon Nov 17th, Father Joe’s Turkey Trot Thanksgiving.  I’m feeling really good about all of them.   I’m going for a podium finish in everything but the Bike the Coast, Las Vegas, and the Turkey trot.  I think I can get top 3 overall with the Tikiswim based on my training times.  I feel like it’s a late start for me in the race season though but I’ll take it.

With my last 2 weeks of training before my taper I can really feel things coming together and I can really see some solid improvements and confidence in my abilities.  My swim has got faster with less effort, my cycling has improved to where on the flat tri-rock course I’m pretty sure I can put in an average of 22-24 MPH but realistically as long as I can push out 22 MPH I should be in good shape.  My run has steadily been improving to where my 5K time started at 11 min. miles are now down to 9 min. miles.  I’m still pretty confident that I’ll make a top 5 finish for the Tri Rock’s intermediate distance.

Friday night I decided that I wanted to swim 2 miles round trip and gauge my time for the Tikiswim where I think I can place in the top 3 overall in the 1.2 mile.  I swam it casually from La Jolla Cove to La Jolla Shores and did 1.8 miles in 48 minutes (it helps when I start my Garmin 910 when I actually start instead of 1/4 mile in)!  But I got into a rhythm and I was off to the races.  It also sparked my interest for doing more swim type races next summer!

inlandride

Saturday was a whole new challenge, a 50 mile inland bicycling ride with the Tri Club of San Diego.  I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive at first, I had never in my life rode that far.  I figured it would take me 4 hours to do so.  I figured it would be a good test ride for the Oceanside 70.3 not so much the hills (which I grossly underestimated) but to be on the road for 50 miles and how I could handle it mentally and how the bike would hold up.  Halfway through the ride I made a wrong turn and completely lost the group and couldn’t seem to catch up to them.  But that was ok I was out of water and electrolytes so I made a stop at Jamba Juice for some water and a pick me up.  Rested for 10 minutes before going back out on the road back.  For the most part being alone for the last 30 miles was truly a mental test for me, cause my Bluetooth headset shut off to I guess it can’t hold a charge past 2.5 hours of straight play.  Every time I saw another hill in the distance to climb all I could do was sigh in disbelief that it didn’t get any easier.  Finally after I finished the 51 total miles I realized with all my quad cramping that there was no way I could finish a 13.1 mile run in the amount of time needed.  So I know where I need to improve.  But overall I’m glad I didn’t need to call anyone to come get me.  It was a huge personal hurdle that I jumped over.

These last few weeks I’ve been training on the treadmill cause the streets here in Pacific Beach are crawling with tourist and people not paying attention so I can’t really focus on meeting the training needs when I’m concerned with my own safety.  My legs have been sort for the last few weeks so it makes me think that if I had just done this at the start of my 16 week program I would have had more gains.  But it’s too late to worry about that now.  I just need to focus on what’s ahead.  I’m hoping by next years triathlon season is here I’ll have my run down to a 7 minute to 8 minute mile.

Ok, so why so many races so close to each through the end of November?  Well, I’m a short distance racer and I love it, but I decided to branch out and do some single sport races like the Tikiswim and the Bike the Coast.  So many people do running events but I needed to branch out, so it just happened that the race days for those 2 fell with plenty of time in between the others.  Then the relay race Oct. 6th is with some TCSD members and a 500M swim is a walk in the park for me so it will replace a training day.  The lifetime triathlon at a signup cost of 70 bucks I couldn’t pass up for a preview of what Oceanside will dish out to me come March so it will be my last triathlon this season.  The Las Vegas Half was fun last year and the course is super flat so it’s a good way to close up the year in Vegas!