Monday, June 23, 2008

Bigfoot and Disney

Training has been going at a steady rate. Athletes I coach are going well, and the summer is finally linking some great weather together for us to train in.

I have hired a new coach this year. I am asked at times if I have a coach, and I absolutely do. Today I did a race here locally, the Bigfoot Triathlon put on by Running Away. They did an amazing job. The course was very tough though, and there were some really good athletes in the field. What made the course for me harder was the training we put in the week of the race, to include a 5 hour ride the day before. Some people do not like to go into a race tired, but I don’t mind. Sure it makes for some questionable performances at times, but racing is fun, and is simply the best way to get experience and put a flashlight on your weaknesses.

Anyway, today at Bigfoot as I was trying to run through the wooded cross country course, I could find every excuse to slow down, or just “bag” the effort. If a coach does nothing else but help you to believe in yourself and push yourself through some low points it is almost worth it on its own. I knew I would have to report my results back to my coach, and I wanted him to be impressed with me.

With athletes we coach we have them prioritize their races. Today was the lowest priority, a “C” race. Please understand I race as hard as I can for all the races, but with the lower priorities it is just a situation where less, if any rest is put in for the event. I was able to get 2nd overall today and the athlete who won was simply the better athlete today and deserves the win.

Here is how my race went:

Well, I should start with Saturday.

Saturday I got to meet up with Paul W, one of the nicest guys I have gotten a chance to train with and very talented as well. We brought Yuri along for the ride who has continued to make huge progress over the past 18 mo. going from 340 pounds to riding 4 hours plus the day before an Olympic race is good stuff.

Sunday- Race day

Swim went well, I was able to get a good start and share the lead with another swimmer. Admittedly he did most of the work as he was too strong for me to stay in front of for long. We came out in 20 min, which seemed to be within 45 seconds of the fastest overall swim for the day – good start.

The bike was almost a DNF. I used Red Bull as I had no other nutrition left with me. When I opened the water bottle it shot into my mouth, distracting me just enough to have me veer off the road. A near miss with a pothole, a mailbox a moving car later I was finally up to speed. I had a good split. Today I averaged just a bit over 300 watts.

The run was brutal. I tried to think of positives thoughts and forced myself to stop scripting what I would say when someone in my wave eventually passed me. Up down through the woods to grand mother’s house…

My run as always still needs work, but I hung in there and finished strong.

It is always so helpful to see others on a 2 loop course and get re energized when new athletes are running with you on the second loop.

From the race to Disney World with the kids! Back in a week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I went o Eagleman 70.3 with the hopes of having a great race. I have had injury issues this year and other setbacks with work, schedules, etc. and was looking to put a solid effort in.

Traditionally I never do well in the heat, and the day was scheduled to be 115 degrees. I tried to use all the information Cheryl taught me about metal outlook ,and concentration and decided I would do the only thing I could do – my best effort for the day.

The swim is pretty much the same for me every race. I end up towards the front, never really out of it because of the swim, but never really put people to bed because of a great swim. Same thing happened here. I swam a 26:42 which put me in the top 4 or 5 in my AG coming out of the water. Sure there was contact and I got kicked and all the other stuff, but you all as triathletes understand that and to tell you that happened would be like telling you the water was wet.

The Bike- I decided today that all my training has left me fit enough to do what needed to be done on the bike. I have been using a new coach this year myself and have learned heaps from him in regards to mental outlook come race day as well as how to strategically race. We came up with a plan that dictated that I go for it on the bike and try to hang on for the run. With my Achilles injuries this springs we new the bike was my best weapon. I got passed 5 miles in by a guy who was flying. I had to maintain between 320-350 watts on average to follow him (not drafting). To use some motivation is absolutely an advantage, but nothing illegal about that. We went through the half way point after going back and forth with each other in 1:03! He eventually dropped off the pace and I could feel my stomach shutting down so I slowed up the last 10-15 miles as well to try to get ready for the very hot run. I ended up with a solid 2:16 bike split. I averaged just under 270 watts I believe.

The transition I saw no reason to rush. I drank some fluid, put socks on and grabbed a bottle of Infinit for the run (smart move).

On the run my friend Christian passed me about 3 mins in. He had won the age group last year and was looking strong again. I knew by the fact there were no other bikes in T2 he and I were number 1 and 2. I also knew if I wanted a Kona spot I had to be second place or higher.

When Christian passed me I told my self to be patient, and not get panicked. He was either having a great day, or would blow up. I needed to focus on my business and control things I had control over. It was so hot on the run. I was running what I felt was pretty slow. There were no real mile markers on the course so it was a guess as to where we were at pace wise but I was guessing about 7:30-7:45 pace. Every aide station I would take on water and dump ice cold water all over myself. I forced 3 gels down in addition to the infinit which really seemed to help a lot.

At the turnaround I was there in 45 min which meant I was actually running 7:00 pace. That surprised me a bit, and Christian was only about 45 seconds up on me. I tried to look really solid to put some doubt into pursuer’s minds, but the next guy behind me was only 90 seconds back. To be honest I thought that was pretty close and wasn’t sure if I could hold him off. I picked it up for a mile but paid dearly for it and slowed don from mile 9-12 pretty good. I actually felt better for the last mile and was able to finish in second place even though I ran a 51 min split home.

It was rough conditions. My critics know I have trouble with heat and it felt especially gratifying to gain my spot in conditions I know some thought I couldn’t. It could have easily gone either way. I ended up with a 4:25 which put me 18th overall (6th Amateur) but min. could have been stacked on at several points in the race.

I had a lot of self talk about form and integrity with myself. Form to keep economy good. Integrity because I tried to talk myself through things exactly as I would have any athlete I coach do. I owe a lot to all my support team who helped me. Some of you were on the course and I tried to use that as motivation to maintain good rhythm when I saw you.

All of the finishers out there really endured some very tough conditions. The athletes who beat me I am so very impressed by.

Great job to all finishers! See you in Kona!