Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cap Tex Tri Weekend

Down in Austin this weekend on Memorial I got to compete in the Cap Tex Triathlon which consist of a 1500 meter swim in Town Lake, 40k crazy bike course near the Capital and a 10k run all in downtown Austin. I stayed at Papa Joe's a.k.a.'s Mark Saroni's grandparents house (guy on right) also Keith Yoho stayed as well. He was the overall winner in the sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run). Leaving for Austin around noon on Sunday I had a hard time trying to stay off my feet when I got there. I finished out my workouts with a 20 minute easy ride down the Capital of Texas Highway, it was my first time to ride in Austin and it's true about what they say that Austin drivers are courteous of their bicyclists. Then me and Mark went to the expo to pick our packets off and hand over our bikes and review the swim and transition area.

Mark and I were both in the invitational wave that started off at 7:00 a.m. As always I was nervous about my swim and I find out at the last minute that the swimmers in the elite wave are very fast. I bought some new goggles a couple of weeks ago so I could see this time unlike Galveston and I got right in a pack and started drafting and holding on as long as I could. I was letting other people site me. I figured they could site better than I could so might as well let them do it. I started with the third pack in the swim and they dropped and I was by myself for awhile and finally the last pack caught up to me and I held on to the very end of the group until the end of the swim. I came out of the water with a new PR on the swim in 23.29. Thank goodness with help of several people I was able to improve over the last month, if not I would have brought up the rear of the swim real bad. I finished 35th out of 38 elites (including women).

Out into T1 my wetsuit zipper was stuck. I was running through transition yanking on it wandering what I was gonna do next. I almost asked a spectator to help me out, regardless if any penalty was given. Figured a penalty would be better than a dnf, but then I saw an official and asked him to help me. He struggled a little with but finally got open for me. After that I got my wetsuit off easily because I caked my legs with lotion and body glide since I got big calves I have a hard time getting the wetsuit down over them. The bike out part was long seems like we were running to the mount line forever.
This photo is probably when I realized I might not make it to the bike.
The bike out part of transition. My glasses were fogging up so I pulled them down just a little.

On the bike was a 4 loop course which totaled 40k (about 25 miles). There were lots of turns which consisted of a couple of 180s. It was hard to build some speed up since we had to turn so much. There were only a couple of straights where I could really get going but then have to slow down. I didn't really start to feel good on the bike until the last loop and by then it was too late, but I hammered that last loop the best I could. I even helped the first overall female Peggy Yetman prevail by letting her stay with me ;) we took turns going back forth and neither of would drop back. I didn't want to get beat by a 41 year old woman. I finished the course in 1:02.26 about 23.8 mph which put me 18th out of 38 elites. The top guys were going over 25 mph on this course.

Up out of aero way too much because of all the turns.
The run went ok, it was a 2 loop course and it got hot and humid. I had some side stitches the first 4 miles or so. I could see Mark was way uphead of me early in the course, then coming back the second time around Mark was maintaining the distance but I could tell he was tired. I tried my best to hammer away the last 2 miles and he started to come into site and I kept giving myself self talk motivation. I finally caught him with probably less than a half mile to go and I knew I couldn't slow down now, I chased another guy down and used my former cross country/track speed to edge him out right at the line. I finished the run in 37.08. Not my best 10k at the end of triathlon but hopefully it will come down later in the year. Which put me 6th overall out of the 38th elites on the run section. Now you know I was up against some serious competition since I usually rank in the top 3 on the run.
As an end result I finished with a PR under my new triathlon Coach Brent Poulsen in 2:07.14 14th overall out of the elite wave and 19th overall out of the whole thing against 1300 other competitors. With a PR on the swim. I was hoping to go under 2.05, but with the technical bike course and stitches on the run and long transitions it didn't happen but we'll have a couple more chances later this year in the intermediate triathlons. After the race a few of loaded up on some mexican food at Chuy's near downtown Austin. Thanks to everyone helped me out this time! Much thanks to Jesus Christ for my abilities, Papa Joe and his wife, Mark Saroni, Brent Poulsen, Chuck Burr, Kelly Harris, and Michael Dawdy.

After the race we stayed around and watched the Men's ITU (draft legal) Pan American Cup Series race. (We missed the women's) New Zealander Callum Millard pulled off a victory with a run away surge at the end to beat USA's Kevin Collington.

Watching the swimmers draft as they swam in Town Lake under that famous bridge in Austin.
Out onto the bikes they come.

Here is one of the chase packs.

Local pro triathlete from Austin Brandon Marsh on the run course. Typically known for the non draft races.

Callum Millard from New Zealand wrapping up a victory in downtown Austin.

I don't race again for another month. This week has been focused on recovery before we begin another build before my next race at BSLT Ironman 70.3 where I will attempt to qualify for World's 70.3 in the 25-29 male age group.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday with Mr. Harris

I am starting to find out that this swim technique stuff never ends. There is always something that could use some work. This morning, after I work, I met up with my Homeboy Mr. Harris at the fascinating Baylor Tom Landry Center. We met up with Mike Dawdy, who is an ex-pro soccer player, a wicked fast triathlete in all 3 disciplines, and the head trainer. Even though I had improved A LOT since the swim clinic in Fort Worth there is still a few things I need to work on. Mr. Harris learned a lot as well. I felt bad for him after he swam a good 100m then right when he finished MIke said "Give me another 50". I was like crap, I hope I don't have to do that. After the ride we did an easy cruise on our road bikes around White Rock Lake. My jersey zipper had came off probably sometime in the washer and I didn't realize it until time to put it on, so I had to ride in a cotton t shirt, I was fine with that it was just an easy ride and I hardly broke a sweat. We also had a drafter come along and sit behind us for awhile on like mongoose mountian bike. I wanted to drop him and put the hammer down, but I could hear Coach Brent's voice in my head and decided that would have been a bad idea. After our ride we engaged in some fine BBQ that I ate too much off which carried me for several hours afterwards.

This Monday I'll be in the invitational wave at the Cap Tex Triathlon down in Austin set to go at 7:00 A.M. The training has been going real well lately with some good workouts last week. This week has been more of a recovery week in preps for Cap Tex. Thanks to everyone who has supported me, God Bless Ya!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Direction

For me to take triathlon to the "next level" Brent Poulsen is helping me reach my goals as Coach. Brent is a professional triathlete from Canada that resides in Fort Worth and hisself is coached by the well known Lance Watson from LifeSport. He is competing in Florida 70.3 tomorrow morning in Orlando. He also knocked out two teeth last week in a bike crash in Fort Worth along the Trinity Trails.

You can view Brent's blog and inquire about his coaching by clicking the Orbea Ordu bike picture on the right and send an email to him. His teeth are fixed too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

East Texas Triathletes in USA Triathlon Life

My small town tri club out of Tyler/Longview and surrounding areas in East Texas is featured in the current issue of USA Triathlon Life (Spring 2009/Vol. 12/Issue 2) for the efforts in the Rose City Triathlon last year which won the South Mid West favorite "small" triathlon (400 or less people).

(I'm on the far right, blue shirt.)

A club I got to be a part of in the beginning of August 2007 which had 18 members now has surged quicky to a current club roster of 101 members. The Rose City Triathlon played a huge role in the East Texas area of bringing out new triathletes.

The 2009 Rose City Triathlon registration has started and you can register or check out the RCT by clicking on the following link.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

I drove to Carthage, Texas (Home of the 2008 3A State Football Champs) late Saturday night for Mother's Day from Fort Worth without talking to my mom for a few days beforehand to let her know I was coming in. I think she forgot I knew it was Mother's day Weekend. All in all it was a good day, while I tried to rest the legs from training, Mama fed the belly with great mexican food. I have the best mom in the world who has done more for me than I deserve.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tri Swimming Coach

This weekend in Fort Worth at Benbrook Lake my buddy and Lance went to a swimming clinic by Chuck Burr from There were some things that I knew and a few things I didn't know. My stroke felt really good when practicing what we were learning, until I swam into this pole and hit my eye. I don't think that was the sighting drill. It was Lance's first open water swim and he did really well for his first time.

I did wreck the Spanish Beauty for the time first time this weekend but nothing serious. I was riding in the Trinity Trails and part of the trails were closed and it turns out there was a very good reason why. I lost control on some gravel/dirt and fell right over going super slow and fell into a pile of rocks and dirt. I am glad no one was around.

Stay tuned for more announcements this week.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Falling Short

I wasn't even going to write this but I wanted everyone to know I fall short too. This was going to be an advancement from the last workout I did of a 3 hour ride with intervals in the middle followed by a 15 minute easy spin and a 30 minute time trial with 6x1 mile repeats. This time around I was attempting 8x1 mile repeats. I don't know what it was today but I only got in 2x1 mile repeats. The first one was 5.27 and the second one was 5.30. A half lap into the third one it felt like my legs just shut down, I tried to give a go but it wasn't happening. Just one of those days I guess. It could have been a variety of things such as the heat, humidty, hills, or the apple I ate. I rode a hillier route and it felt like it was all up hill when I got on hwy 19 for 8 miles to Athens. The rode 2709 before 19 has a bunch of steep rollers that hurt. Then I got on the loop around Athens it was fairly hilly too and it turned to some bad chip seal, man that was rough, but thank God for carbon fiber. I then hammered the time trial maybe even better than last time. I came back a minute faster from the turn around. I had a hard time going initally on the ride today and it started sprinkling at the beginning but then it stopped. Then near the end of the ride the rain picked up and it started thundering but not that bad. I also did a 45 minute hard threshold ride yesterday that probably didn't help the situation. I think I need Lance back out there watching too, it's more motivating to have someone holding you accountable. I would perfer a pretty girl to watch and help me get through those mile repeats but I'll take what I can get ;) I'm going to go through my training log and see what I did differently leading up this workout before.

Earlier this week we got in some good quality swim workouts, bike, and run workouts. The most mentionable is the 3x2 miles in 11.00 (5.29, 5.31), 10.55 (5.28, 5.27), 10.44 (5.20/5.24). The last one hurt the most of course.

Next week I have an open water swim clinic to go to since it's my weak part I figured I better go. It's lead by Chuck Burr and here is his link

Outside of triathlon life a couple of buddies I went to college with that live out here started a bible study this Wednesday. We listened to Pastor Matt Chandler from DFW on a podcast. It was about being real and honest with yourself and everyone else. Next time we are starting a series in 1st Peter. We are supposed to read/listen ahead so I need to do that soon.