Sunday, December 5, 2010

OnUrLeft Sports Christmas Party

This weekend I was in Houston celebrating the OnUrLeft Christmas party, it was great meeting all the club members and having all the sponsored athletes there. We have some amazing and determined and a lot of crazy people in our group. What a night it was! Lots of food to go around, the patties were huge. Ya know how we do it in Texas! It only took just one burger to fill me up and a hotdog, but only because I was pushing it with the hot dog. I am also excited that I won a free Cap Tex Tri entry in Austin next year on Memorial Day. Looks like I gotta harden up and get ready to race big boys in short course. I also got to take home a lot of HEED and KT Tape. I am stacked up with an electrolyte drink for the year and if I get injured I can use some KT Tape to put me back together. The night ended.....:) with a game of twister. It let me know I need to do more yoga and improve my flexibility. Next week I start getting back into it with the training and the diet, and finishing out the last week of the semester. For now though, here are a few pictures from the party in no particular order.

I didn't get a picture of Angie but she is an amazing lady in our group. She crashed in IMFL when she got clipped by a guy and broke her pelvis. She was determined to get back out there and finish before she knew it was broke, but OUL raised the "charity" amount (which is a lot) for her to compete in Ironman Texas next year in just under 4 hours when when it got announced.

Me and Stephen. This might be our first picture together without any lycra or spandex on.

Stephen and Michael w/ Ron who won "the mostly likely to run w/o a shirt." Michael is straight thuggin' dawg.

Aaron with the Rebecca, the wife that keeps everything together.

All I want 4 Christmas is U!
(note to self: when you want the Christmas tree in the picture stand beside it and not in front of it. )

So it got a little rowdy! Not sure what is going on here.

One of the most amazing ladies you will ever meet. Gabrielle Vasquez-Baumeyer. She just completed one of her dreams by completing Ironman Arizona and at the same fundraized for Team COCI, which stands for Cherish Our Children International.

Greg Johnson is another remarkable person. He was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer this summer and has a nasty scar on his back from it. Regardless, the man is determined and is signed up for Ironman Texas this May.

Here are the OUL Sponsored athletes minus Michael Barney, there is no telling where he is at.
Left to Right is the only woman sponsored athlete the amazing Wendy Hammerman, Stephen Milford, Ryan Lindsey, Grant Glauser and me with our boss Aaron Palaian.

Me and Barney! What a guy!

Me and Matthew....its onurleft dude!



Monday, November 29, 2010

New 2 Me Car: 2010 Chevy HHR LT

After over seven years with my 1999 Toyota Corolla that I got back in 2003 as a freshman in college, it was time to part ways after another expensive repair came up. So I got a 2010 candy red Chevy HHR LT and I like it a lot. It should work well for my lifestyle and still get some good gas mileage. With help of my parents I picked it up in my hometown at EXCEL Ford of Carthage.

On a parting note with my Corolla I had some great memories in that car from road trips to a variety of track, roadracing and triathlon racing all over the southern region from Texas to Florida and a small handful of steamy make out sessions.

Here are a few of pics of the new ride! I also need a name for her so drop a line with your suggestion. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ironman 70.3 World Championships

This past weekend I competed in the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida this weekend. I traveled by car with my Timo from Tyler, Tx, but who is from Finland. Going into the race I had a few goals in my mind with my first goal is to always go out have a good time. I had a few sub goals under that though which included coming into the top 100 overall and top 10 in my age group. My time goal was to break 4:10.

Me and Timo Sunday afternoon somewhere on a Florida beach near Shalimar, FL!

The swim was the most competitive swim I had ever been. The 18-24 and 25-29 age group males were combined at the start, therefore there was an abundance of testosterone floating around out there in the choppy ocean waters. I was thinking I should have went out for 8th grade football when I was asked too, I think itwould have helped as I was getting kicked, wacked in the head, and people grabbing my feet and trying to swim over me. I came out of the water in 32:18, which is very close to my swim time at Austin and this was heckuva a lot rougher swim. Coming out of the water a yellow and black Brian Loncar jersey and though heck naaaw!!! I wasn't going to let Travis start the bike ahead of me so I was so fast in T1 Travis didn't even see me go by him.

On the bike there was lots of drafting and honestly there was no way to avoid it...well you could avoid it but then you would be out of the hunt because everyone else is also drafting. I felt like I did more than my fair share of work in the pack I was in. I averaged 25.47 for the whole ride but it should have been easily over 26. I saw lots of people that had wrecks out there. Timo was one of them who crashed hard around mile 35 when two riders in front of him went down he went over on top of them slicing his thumb open on probably a bladed spoke. He ended up having 12 stitches on this thumb. He is one of tough dude! He didn't complain very much though, but the nurse said he passed out when she stuck a needle in him.

Off the bike, I made sure I started out quite conservatively as compared to Austin. I stayed calm. I liked the two loop run course as we had to run this big bridge. Going up the bridge I took my coaches advice and counted the light post inside of the median to help me keep my mind off running uphill and it helped me get up there faster. I am sure people thought I was crazy as I was counting out loud and talking to myself during the run. "Alright baby that's 10, onto the next 11. You got this." "Harden up baby, don't let up now." I finished the last 3 miles of run faster than I started the first 3 miles which surprised me. I ran the last 3 miles as if I was originally from Gun Barrel City, on meth. I finished the run in 1:21.57. When I crossed the finish line I heard the announcer say "William Ritter, from Gun Barrel City, Texas. You gotta watch out for them guys from Gun Barrel City."

In the end the final results of the day concluded with a place of 89th overall, 17 th in my age group, with a total time of 4:10.29. My fitness got better as the season went along as this was the first 70.3 in quite sometime where I did not puke or need an IV.

Here I am playing around on Pensacola Beach Monday morning. Timo talked me into putting on my wetsuit and playing in these huge waves. I tried to get out for enough to ask these surfers if I could borrow their board, but the waves were hitting me so hard, I decide I better come back closer to shore.

Here is a sunset over the beach near Shalimar, Florida near a restaurant we ate at that night.

The Clearwater beach on pre race day.

Wow what such a fun trip. I thank the Lord for letting me travel safely with no car problems and glad I didn't lose Timo anywhere and that his injury wasn't any worse than it was. I owe a big thank you to our great homestays for this trip. My friends Kelly Caton in Shalimar, Florida and Tammie Wonning in Tampa, Florida were nice enough to put up with us stinky athletes for a few days. Also to Shirley Green and Courtney Hill and ETMC Olympic Center CCL members who put together a huge card together with money in it :) to help the expense of travel. It took me by a complete surprise (see facebook for pics of this). A big thanks to my sponsors this year! ONURLEFT, BLUESEVENTY, BROOKS, MONAVIE w/ Rep. Brandon Perry, and RETIBOL VRIL. A huge thank you to my coach BRENT POULSEN for coaching me to a successful season and more to come. I can't say thank you enough for the encouraging messages and comments I've received from many people. I am enjoying the off season right now taking a break from the training, staying up 10pm some nights when I have the energy, and eating all the wrong things.

You can check out the rest of my pictures on facebook.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Super Saturday and Suffer Sunday

With it being two weeks out from the Ironman 70.3 World Championships we had organized an unorganized super training weekend in Fort Worth with some of the fastest local triathletes in the DFW Metroplex. These athletes included my coach Brent Poulsen, Korey Sessions, Travis Thomason, Pedro Trinidade, Austin Saylor, Eric Trelz and Cam Mencio (Lubbock). The ages ranged from 23-37 years old.

We started Super Saturday morning with 3 hours in the saddle and I could tell my legs were fatigued from earlier this week as it was one of my hardest weeks. I knew during the warm up it would be a rough day. I got dropped from the group on the first interval. Then I saw Cam on the side of the road looking at his bike, found out he has too much power in those legs and broke a spoke. Then on the way back, I asked Cam if he was alright and he sounded positive, like he had it figured out, but what he said was "I need to borrow your phone" I was like "ok, great" and kept riding. Pedro then caught up to me and asked about Cam. I was like I think he is ok, he said something but I couldn't understand him. After we got off the bike me and Pedro did our sets long run intervals off the bike which was tough. Cam eventually was able to get a ride back in.

After biking and running, next it was swimming for me since I missed a swim this weekend. I did 4,000 meters and the main set was something like 22x100's. I told Brent I had trouble counting that high. Anyways, he laughed and I got close to puking in the pool. But I got the work done. As Philly says, "Get that fitness".

Our festivities for the afternoon included drinking lots of diet coke, watching the movie "Red" which was incredible. I think I like Bruce Willis because he is bald. We then ate at Genghi's Grill again and Carley (Brent's wife) made us some delicious gluten free cupcakes and gluten free pumpkin-pecan pie. We tore that up. We watched the Texas Rangers went Game 3!!! Then me and Eric went to one of his friends house gathering for a short period. I was debating on just going as myself as my face looked like I had smashed up against the wall as I was sooo tired. The picture below is our costume. He is the Karate Kid and I am a Rock Star.

Suffer Sunday was starting with a 90 min progression run. Let me tell you Austin, who is 36 years old can throw it down. Then it was followed quickly by a 2 hour ride around the Trinity Trails and the Benbrook area. I couldn't wait to get this ride done as my legs were beat. We met this girl Becca who caught the end of our ride and she was chatting away, mainly with Austin and his mad skills. Turns out she is a smart girl applying to med schools for internal medicine.

That's pretty much how Super Saturday and Suffer Sunday goes. If you interested in coming out next time and think you can hang, let me know. In two weeks is Ironman 70.3 World Championships. I'll competing in my age group 25-29. I can't wait to get there and have a good time. Thanks to Eric for letting me and Cam crash at his place and eat all his food again and Carley for making the awesome cupcakes and Pumpkin pie

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ironman 70.3 Austin

Friday night Timo and I, were about 3 miles from our hostess house in Leander, Tx. It was 12:30am and I was starting get tired after a couple of swerves of trying to stay in the lane, after the second time, I saw the blue and red lights in my rear view. I knew what I was getting pulled over for. The officer asked questions like if I had been drinking or texting. I wanted to tell him I was so far behind the 21st century that I don't even have texting on my phone. Then he asked if we had meth, then I wanted to say no, but I am from Cedar Creek Lake, then he proceeded with asking if we had steroids. I almost laughed. He also asked what we were up to and what we were doing. I told him we were 3 miles from the house. Fortunately, I kept the conversation straight and got off with a verbal warning.

Pre-Race morning me, Timo, and Jenn we were staring at a tri-spoke wheel that Timo was borrowing from Cam. Where does the air go? I called Cam "Hey buddy, where does the air go on this thing." "Oh just peel back the white sticker". Apparently, a white sticker on a black surface was too much for all three of us to figure out. Timo, had to get some work done on his bike and me and Jenn proceeded to "soft pedal" down the high way. Then I did a pre race swim putting on my wetsuit my arm sleeve just rips. I was pissed!!!! But, there is a positive, my buddy Eric Trelz just happened to be getting out of the water the same time I was about to go in and I told him what had happened he actually had another wetsuit with him, so I got to borrow his. Later that night we hung out with Cam and his family and had a wonderfully cooked spaghetti dinner with beef and we saw the Rangers whoop up on the Yankees.

Race morning started with the National Anthem while a parachute guy held up the huge American flag and landed at the end of the song.

Me and my buddy Travis from Dallas were hanging out before start. I find it good to be loose and joke around with your buddies. I also met some guys from Connecticut and California, they were crackin' me up.

I had my fastest (legit) swim time of 32:24, the swim continues to make improvement. I have knocked off around 3-4 minutes since the beginning of the year. I didn't draft off anybody very long. I found this one guy speeding along by me, I got on his feet but he was zig zagging really bad. Then I found another guy in the middle of the swim but lost him towards the end. I felt sluggish but midway through started feeling better. I got out of the water and felt like a chain smoker trying to run up the hill into transition. I was literally worried about my legs there.

Starting the bike.

The bike course I thought was so much fun minus the bumps. It had lots of rolling hills, turns, and a few steep climbs. I built into the bike, unlike I did at Prairie Man where I basically hammered from the start. I did average near 25 mph the the first hour, the last hour got hard as I tried to maintain some speed. It was more crowded than it should have been because people don't stay to the right of the road. I found out of you say On ur left then their name, it gets there attention better. I finished the bike course in just under 2:16. for a 24.7 mph.

The run was hard!!!! It was 2 loops and it was hilly. I came out of T2 not looking at my watch but running with what felt comfortable, it would later turn out to be 5:45-6min pace. That slowed quick later, especially once we hit the grass. Half of the run was cross country, which was fun and offered a good challenge. There was a huge hill on the back side that slowed me way down. However, I was running my best ever off the bike on the road. I did the first half of the run averaging a 6:21 pace but blew up the last half and only averaged 7:01 pace. I managed to find a sprint at the end of the run and sneak under the 4:20 barrier and finished in 4:19.49.

Half way through the run taking in a gel.

At the finish I was hanging on Jenn trying to catch my breath the official photographer wanted one of those finishing photos. I told Jenn I gotta get out of here. I knew I was about to puke. However, I realize my fitness has been getting better as the year goes along. It took a lot longer for me to puke and I don't think it was as much either, although that is arguable. Instead of needing 2 or 3 IV bags, I only had one.

It was fun weekend. My traveling buddy Timo finished 1st in the college division with a time of 4:16. My coach Brent Poulsen finished 6th among the pro's and Eric Trelz set a PR of 5:35. The day before they got rear ended by lady going 50 mph and then again when she hit the gas instead of the brake. Brent spent most of his pre race day in the hospital with as stiff neck. Thank you to Cam and his family for hosting us and letting us eat all their food. Thank you to Jenn and Tiffany for coming out and supporting and also to the many other volunteers. All those sponges I stuffed in my shorts and top saved my run. Thanks to my generous sponsors OnUrLeft Sports, Retibol Vril, Blueseventy, MonaVie (Brandon Perry) and Brooks I.D. and Brent Poulsen for the excellent coaching. Most important.y thanks to Jesus for keeping my friends safe and letting us have good races!

So, In a few weeks me and Timo are doing this little race in Clearwater, Florida.

Rock on!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Ritter wins triathlon

This was in the small town local paper that came out over the weekend. A big thanks to Eston Williams for getting the information out of me to get to the press. Eston "Send me an email about your win." Me, "Ok you got it!" Later in the day I check my email. "William don't forget to send me the information." I think in my head, "Oh yeah, I just forgot". The picture that was run was actually from the Clear Lake tri a few weeks back, since I didn't have any from Stonebridge and the newspaper wanted a picture. Also is mentioned the Stonebridge women's champion. Every competitive woman triathlete needs to be on the look out for up and coming Elizabeth Meraz, better known as Liz Raz!!!

This weekend, I'll spend in Fort Worth training with my coach and pro triathlete Brent Poulsen and we both are gearing up for Austin 70.3 and the World Champs 70.3 in Clearwater.

Ritter wins triathlon
Monitor Staff Reports
McKINNEY–Olympic Center trainer William Ritter won the Stonebridge Ranch Triathlon race in McKinney this past weekend.
Ritter, who works at the East Texas Medical Center-Cedar Creek Lake facility in Gun Barrel City, finished first among 194 male runners, clocking 2:02:43, about two minutes ahead of Dallas resident Shawn Bonsell (2:04:34), who led the Masters age group.
Ritter competed in the Open age group. There were 261 competitors entered in the triathlon, including 66 women.
Plano resident Elizabeth Meraz (competing in the 30-34 group) was the first-place female runner, clocking 2:26:03, about three minutes ahead of Dallas resident Nikki Bertrand, running in the 25-29 age group.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stonebridge Ranch

Praise God! For a super weekend of racing and good times w/ friends and so forth. I was at the Stonebridge Ranch tri hosted by Play Tri in McKinney this weekend. The 1500 m swim seemed a bit long to me or it could have been all the zig zagging I did. I couldn't swim straight that day to save my life. But I have a hard time swimming straight in the pool, so what did I expect anyways? The 4 loop bike course was eventful, the wind picked it seemed like on each loop and it got more crowded each time I went around. I had to slow it down more than usual because I felt my hamstring give a twinge and thought I better back off, but later as I moved more forward in the saddle it didn't bother me. I need to work on staying in that aggressive position. I also almost lost control going around the second turn, so after that I took some of the turns a little easier. I still had the fastest bike split of the day in 25.1 mph, if you exclude the relay teams. I got passed as if I was sitting still by a relay team they averaged over 27 mph on the bike, I tried to hang back with them, but I kept getting blocked off by people riding over on the left side of the road. Coming off the bike I thought I was the lead, but then found out I was 2.5 minutes down in T2 (This is where you come in Adam). So, surprised of how good my legs felt after that and no hamstring issues at all on the run. I worked on a quick cadence with my legs and that seemed to work well. I stayed consistent with my pace almost the entire way on a curvy path with several sharp inclines. I caught the guy leading, Adam, maybe after 2 miles in the run. I finished the 10k in 35:57 or 5:48 a mile, although, I know I started my watch late in the run, but I think that could be slight short, I do know though I picked it up a lot the last half mile. Overall it was a very fun day!!! I think my overall time was 2:02:34 and it was my first win at the olympic distance. As always it was great meeting new people too! Congratulations to all the racers out there, especially to Liz Raz for winning the womens side at the olympic distance and Korey Sessions and Ashley Johnson for winning the sprint.

This weekend was a big weekend for racing. Congrats to the other competitors that did the USAT Age Group National Championships in Alabama, Augusta 70.3, and The Houston Triathlon.

I owe a super thank you to Derek Bender for connecting me with some awesome hosts! Shane & Tracy Hernandez and their 4 young boys opened up their beautiful home to me and my buddy Lance. Tracy cooked the most awesomest dinner. Me and Lance watched her cook the whole time while I asked her simple of questions of why she was doing this and that. The food was way better than Olive Garden, we had spaghetti and home made sauce that included a hint of red wine, carrots, celery, and Italian beef. We also had a Caprice salad which I never had before and dessert was chocolate coated strawberries. Then after a couple of embarrassing matches, I beat the 14 year old Garret at a game of ping pong and showed him who was boss ;) If you need a dedicated physical therapist then Shane is your guy check out

Thanks also to my generous sponsors and supporters. As always thanks to Jesus Christ for blessing with me abilities, passion, determination, and health. Brent Poulsen for the hard core coaching and aways keeping me on my toes and sore after hard sessions. Blueseventy, Brooks, Monavie (Brandon Perry), and OnUrLeft Sports. I have also been working with someone else and will release some details on that soon!!!! But, next up in less than 3 weeks I'll be racing Ironman 70.3 Austin.
Here are some pictures before my swim today at the Shorrock's house on Cedar Creek Lake. The water nice and refreshing today, good for recovery.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fight to the Finish Line

This is a story about my friend and hero Kami Nedbalek and her battle with lung cancer. She was one of the people there in the beginning when I first began my triathlon journey in the Tyler, Texas area.

Posted: Sep 16, 2010 8:51 PM CDTUpdated: Sep 16, 2010 10:44 PM CDT

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Kami Nedbalek prides herself on finishing the race. Competing in Lubbock two years ago, she couldn't reach the finish line.

"We started to swim and I'd take a few strokes and I couldn't breathe," said Nedbalek. "I did the whole swim that way stopping and stopping. And biking I had a tightness in my chest, like something was really wrong. I didn't know what it was."

After a friend told her to see a doctor, Nedbalek Kami reluctantly agreed. The news wasn't good. Her lungs were filled with 12 cancerous tumors.

"It was such a shock," she said. "I was kind of like I want to do the Iron Man (Triathlon) and I want to see my grandchildren some day. I just thought I never thought about life, just having a few years left. I remember feeling so defeated when I didn't finish that race. That's the first one I hadn't finished. I had friends at home tracking me. It was a long drive home from Lubbock. But now I definitely know it was a blessing."

Nedbalek says the triathlon she couldn't finish saved her life. Despite cancer treatment, asthma and knee surgery, she keeps on competing.

"Why not do something that keeps you healthy and helps your body fight?," she said. "When you're out here training it takes your mind off of all those other things and lets you sort of get away from things."

Two years after finding out she had cancer, Nedbalek's prognosis looks good. The tumors are shrinking and her competitive fire keeps on growing. She'll be in the field for the Rose City Triathlon Saturday morning.

"One of the fun things for me is seeing newcomers complete something they didn't think they can do," said Nedbalek with a smile. "I just love being in the race, even if I'm behind everybody else."

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

OnUrLeft Sports and Update

I am grateful to announce a sponsorship with OnUrLeft Sports a Houston, Texas based company. OnUrLeft Sports is the most comprehensive multi sport team, offering a variety of services which include monthly coaching and a variety of performance testing, and nutritional guidance. I'd like to thank the owner Aaron Palaian for this opportunity.

The sister company OnUrMark Productions puts on simply the best triathlons including the Gateway to the Bay and the Bridgeland sprint triathlon. This weekend is also the debut of The Houston Triathlon which is expected to sale out any day now. Currently on 27 spots left!!! Be sure and check them out!!!

This week I had to find a new place to swim on the lake since someone ran their barge into a bridge that crosses over from Gun Barrel City to Seven Points where I usually go swimming. The bridge is closed now and anyways I owe a huge thanks to Steve and Jane Shorrock for "opening" up their boat deck to me and allowing me to get that needed open water swimming in. They are super cool and allowed me and my friend Candice to ride on their jet skis all over the lake this weekend for a couple of hours. We are both super sore right now. I wish I had brought my camera on the jet ski, but I was kinda scared about dropping it in.

Some of you may know, I dropped out of Prairie Man half-irondue due to a slight pull in my hamstring at the end of the bike last weekend. It was my first time to drop out of a race due to physical (in)abilities. Well, praise God for some healing because all seems to be good now! I didn't do much this week as I was starting to go crazy mid-week. I did some icing, epsom salt baths, massage, ultra sound, and gentle stretching. The massage lady, Ginger, made me hurt really bad, every time she would go over my calves my feet would cramp up. It's hard being patient.

Well since all is good now, I'll be at the Stonebridge triathlon in McKinney this weekend. It's time to get my booty in shape. Not sure how well it's going to go but regardless can't wait to give it a shot.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Prairie Man Half Iron

Not much to write about tonight, so I'll do my best to keep it short and sweet.

In Grand Prairie, TX (DFW) at Joe Poole Lake.It was a very hot and humid day. The water was unusually calm. I had my best swim time for 1.2 miles, 33:01 with the 13th fastest swim time in the half iron. Many people say the race director Jack always have long swims. Coming into T1 my zipper on my speed suit got hung up. It took me awhile realize it was already over half way undone, so I was able to get out of it. I got off to a strong start on the 4 loop fast bike course, but every loop I saw that my average was gradually falling. On the last last loop of the bike course my hands were starting to cramp and I could feel as though I was almost getting shaky, then coming into the park I caught a big cramp under my left butt cheek (the hamstring insertion point). I was barely able to get off the bike. I finished the 56 mile bike in 2:17.08 for a 24.5 mph average. Starting to run didn't go so well as I was still feeling the cramp and it was getting worse the legs not wanting to go. After several attempts at giving it a go I made it to the 1 mile mark in 11 minutes and decided to call it day.

Afterwards I could barely lift my knee to my waste without some intense discomfort and a guy did some A.R.T. on me afterwards and after a couple of minutes I had full range of motion back. Now it's just sore. I hope that's it at least.

I owe a huge thanks to Lord from keeping from risking further damage. Bo, my buddy who let me stay at his house and to Lance Vernon who tuned up my bike to get all the gears working and for gluing some new tubular tires on my wheels. Next if I'm ready, I'll be doing the Stonebridge olympic in two weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Clearlake International

What a trip this past weekend was for the Clearlake triathlon just south of Houston. I made it to packet pickup just in time. I had a flat (in my car) on I-45. I am driving along and I'm thinking to myself this road sure is bumpy (similar to that of what my friend Tracy though the night before the McKinney tri). I thought it might be the road, but then looked at other cars and none were rattling as bad as mine was, so I decided I better exit and I pull over in a run down looking motel parking lot to change it. I looked around the area and decided this wasn't the "good" part of H-town. I debated whether or not I should call someone (since I don't have the coolest phone) to help me find the nearest tire shop or just change it myself. Since this was the first time I actually had to change a tire myself without supervision. I've been fortunate to have been able to locate a place before it got too bad in previous times. I proceeded to empty my trunk out which was a job itself and get the jack took me a few minutes to get it all together but once I figured it out, I was good to go. I need to ask Brent about doing more strength training, because my arms about gave out taking them lug nuts on and off. But the guys, at Wal-Mart the following day when I went to get a new tire, said I put a 180 pounds of pressure on those nuts, enough to hold a tire on a duele. I called my dad after I changed the tire and told him I was a mechanic now.

Oh yeah, so the triathlon went alright. I got off to a great start on the swim. I positioned myself behind the eventual winner Bradley Pigage (won his 4th consecutive race) and got off to a smokin' fast start. However, that only lasted so long before I found myself in the back of the invitational wave. I was drafting off this one guy and it must have been his first race in the elite group. I'll admit I was tapping his feet a bit too much, because the pace wasn't challenging enough and at the same time, it would have been too much for me to go around him so I sat right there and Ryan Lindsay was drafting off me. The guy was kicking hard and I knew he wanted me off of him, but its a race and you can draft in the swim, so I'm going to do that. Then starts to zig zag all over the place, then suddenly stops in front of me. In my head, I'm like, "Whoa, dude that is not a nice way to race." Ryan then gets around me and I miss his feet, I tried to keep him in sight hoping I could pull him back in but was unsuccessful. I enter T1 past my spot right back up, I had visually remembered how I placed my helmet so I could see it coming into transition. I found my helmet on the ground and not on my bike where I had put it and my new oakleys were missing, I spent several seconds looking around then got my game back together and took off on my bike. My swim was nothing impressive 26.47, some say it was about 2 minutes long though.

I had a real good bike and my fastest average bike split of 26.2 mph, a total time on the 25 mile route in 57:14. The course was flat and wind on are side for much of the beginning portions until we turned into a headwind and had some chip seal rode. Although I heard traffic was controlled better this year and nobody was a hit by car (Brad). There was a couple of intersections that were quite dangerous. One I never saw a police officer, but fortunately I had the green light. Then the next one probably could have been coned off better, had us making a left turn and traffic was on our left. How the heck am I supposed to get over when there is this big truck on my left blocking me? I surged just in time and showed that (blank spot here) that I can ride and cut in front of him and made the left turn, as a cop is running out into the intersection.

I some how had the fastest T2 of 30seconds! And my mom always complains about how slow and clumsy I am. The following picture is me running towards transition. I think the guy behind me is mad at me because, he stopped suddenly in front me as I am still rolling in and I slightly clipped his bike I think.

After a hard bike I found myself in the fight for the top 3 spots with the exception of Brad we were right there together. Ryan L. and Stephen Milford were just up the road in front of me. I caught Stephen first but unfortunately he had to pull out due to a strained muscle in the back. I caught Ryan soon after, before the halfway point of the run, I was feeling it was getting slower, we made the turn around I could Ryan not far behind, so that was motivation to me that I needed to suck it up a bit. I finished the 10k (6.2 mi) course in 36:50. Not bad considering how bad I felt, I used to do that on a day feeling good.

Picture of me and my house mates for the weekend Bradley Pigage and Stephen Milford.
Here is me and Aaron Palaian, owner of OnUrLeft Sports. He talked to me after the race. OnUrLeft and OnUrMark Productions puts on the some of the best put on triathlons I have been to including this year which include Gateway to the Bay and Bridgeland. I'll mention more about OnUrLeft Sports soon!

I'd like to give a few shot outs to few people. First is Jesus Christ for protected me in some of the worst traffic in the United States and a good race!!! Stephen and Brad for the homestay. Aaron Palaian from OnUrLeft Sports. A big congrats to all the competitors out there. It got quite hot as the day went along. I'd like to mention and ask for prayers for my riding buddy, Jim McCan, a 64 year old and one of the toughest road racers I know. He had a bad crash at the Hotter and Hell 100K road race in Wichita Falls, Tx, where a dude decided to swerve in front of him and take him out.

Next up in less than two weeks I'll be competing in Jack Weiss' race of Ironhead Race Productions, the Prairie Man half Ironman. I have heard despite how flat the race is, it can be one of the hardest half ironmans, so cheers to that, it should be a good one to do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Take on the Heat

I took part in the 3rd of 4 races of Play Tri's North Texas Tri Series this weekend. Take on Heat which benefited The Colony Fire Fighters it started as a 350 meter pool swim. I was #61, but people were nice enough to let me move up and I started in front of my buddy and home stay Bender. The plan was to let him pass me then I draft the rest of the way. It took him about 2 laps to catch me but when he did I had to really work to stay on his feet and I was almost getting a bit sick to my stomach by the end of the swim, my swim wasn't impressive but it was 18th fastest. The bike was 2 loops and more technical with lots of turn at the beginning of each loop. I've never rode well technically before, but today I did thanks to Austin Saylor who I had to work hard to stay legally behind him. We went back and forth, but he did most of the work because I never could pull up close enough to him to go around him until the very end where I just smashed it as hard as I could and passed going into transition. I finished the bike with a 25.3 mph bike split. Finally, on the run my legs felt good like at Bridgeland and I could see Ahmed way up ahead so that was giving me motivation to keep pushing. My garmin is messed up again and I think possibly for good this time so I would "manually" count out loud how many seconds he was up on me, it was like 45, 29, and eventually I caught him near the 2 mile mark, but Ron Tribendis was still up ahead and I finally caught him, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to by the end of the run or not. In these pool swims you never know who is where really on the course. It felt like I was running faster but I still finished with the top run time of 17.34, about 5:39 average mile. Overall it was a good race with NO mechanical issues (besides the Garmin).

As you can see there were only two guys in the race. Me and Austin.

Some of guys were lucky enough to be with some of the beautiful ladies of the Frisco Triathlon Club.

Thank God for a good race and for remaining alive with DFW traffic! and Thanks to Bender for letting me stay with him again and Lance for gluing on a tubular tire on for me this week. Up next I am doing my 4th race this month in the Houston area again, the Clearlake international distance triathlon. It should be more good times with some of my homies Stephen and Brad.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bridgeland Triathlon: Overcoming Murphy's Law

What could go wrong did go wrong, known as Murphy's Law. I stayed with my buddy Anthony, which was close to the race site. When we were about the load up the bikes, we put air in our tires and a malfunction to my disc wheel where the stem broke on the tubular...uggh trying to remain calm, I happened to carry my training set with me and put that rear wheel on which isn't as aero at all and I have a heavy set tube in their too. I had actually had a dream about this happening earlier in the week, but I didn't carry my training set with me, so in the dream I wasn't able to compete. Then also my garmin malfunctioned, it wouldn't come on. It has been forever (if ever) since I've raced without a watch.

The swim was 500 meters, and for me, I had another good swim. I had a guy I found to draft off but he may have cost me more time than he saved me. He was zig zagging all over and then started to go off course, I didn't follow him then. I ended up swimming most of it without and help and still managed to come out of the water and gaining, just behind Stephen Milford for the second week in a row.

Trying to mount my bike and get caught up to Stephen my chain popped off,I felt like Andy Schleck and this other fast cyclist guy goes past me and Stephen is already way up the rode. I avoided saying any kind of 4 letter word in front of a bunch of people, at least out loud. I would spend the whole 14 mile failing to chase them down. At the first turn around I see Stephen way in front and he looks at me and I just shake my head. I got out biked big time, but still managed to avg 25.0 mph without the disk, the course was fast!!!

Needless to say, I was looking forward to getting off the bike and getting to the run. I was 7th off the bike. Not knowing what to expect, I was surprised how good my legs actually felt running. I enjoyed the run course especially the gravel trail sections, reminding me of the Trinity trails. I got to work on the run and finished in 3rd place, by catching Stephen by mile 3. He tried to hang with me and I was hoping he wouldn't, so I had to increase the pace a little more and held him off. If things went right and I had gotten off the bike with Stephen where I should have been makes me wonder how close to 2nd I could have been. Oh well what's done is done.

This race I learned no matter what obstacles are thrown at you it's best to remain positive and deal with it and do what you can do. My buddy Brad Pigage in the middle of the picture just won his 3rd race for the 3rd week in a row. He is going to seek his pro card at the Age Group National Championships in September. I like to give a shout out to my good friends Rachel and Brooke for waking up super early and making it out to cheer us on and my new friend Tammy for coming out! Thanks to my buddy Anthony Limon for letting me stay at his place and play with his little greyhound dogs. I thank God for teaching me a good lesson today about determination and not giving up physically, but, most importantly not giving up mentally.

This month is a busy month of racing. I have next weekend off from racing, but in 2 weeks I'll be at the Take on the Heat sprint triathlon for races 3 of 4 of Play Tri's North Texas Tri Series. I am looking forward to it as it was my first triathlon in 2007, when I had no clue what I was doing.

Thanks for reading this, I realize I got more wordy than I intended.

Monday, August 2, 2010

30th Annual River Cities Triathlon

I raced in Bossier City this weekend in the 30th annual River Cities triathlon. RCT is the largest and one of the most competitive sprint triathlons in the south! It was a lot of fun and fast competition, including legend Dave Scott. I had a good swim for me, came out of the water right behind my buddy Stephen Milford. He wasn't expecting me that close. I was ready beat down on the guy that kept pulling me under, by my leg early on in the swim. The bike was fast, but got off to a slow start, managed to average 25.2 mph, I got to experience what it was like racing semi ITU style. Me and Stephen set the pace of our pack and everyone else pretty much latched on, we did most of the work going back and forth. Our pack had built up to what looked like 10 guys by the end of it. T2 definitely was crazy and rushed with guys trying to take an advantage with a lead out on the run. LSU cross country runner Mark Primeaux dominated the run by going under 17 min off the bike. I had some awful stomach cramps on the run, but managed to come back some on the last mile to take over 4th place with just over a quarter mile to go, for an 18:04 5k run. There was no way I was going to let that Aggie beat me.

Stephen Milford (7th), Brad Pigage (1st), Me, and our awesome host Ms. Roeten!

I'd like to thank Debbie and Rachael Roeten for hosting me and my buddies (Brad Pigage and Stephen Milford) and their smelly shoes, who they have never met before and to Scott and Terry Harkey for cooking an awesome pre race dinner for us. I stopped by my mom's house the afternoon before the race, and she must think I am skinny or something, she kept trying to feed me. I ate good food at her house too!! Thanks to the good Lord for keeping us all safe out there in a weather advisory heat wave. Big shout to Brad for winning!!! Me and Stephen are were so nice to Brad, before we confirmed all the travel arrangements to make sure Brad was even in the race to start with.

This weekend I get to to do it all over again with another sprint triathlon in Cypress, Texas, the Bridgeland tri. It is managed by OnUrLeft Sports.

Legend Dave Scott was there handing out the awards.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peach Pedal Crash!

This past weekend was a training weekend in the Fort Worth area. Me and Brent did a 4.5 hour brick with a 4 hour ride in the Pedal Pedal tour. We got off to a very fast start with the front group and hitting around 30 mph about the time a dog ran out onto the road and caused us to slam our brakes my rear slid out and Brent hit it and we both went down. Fortunately, the crash wasn't as bad as it could have been. I have mostly superficial wounds while Brent is more sore and hopefully just bruised up. The other good news is the bikes are o.k. I know you were wanting to know. We still got back on our bikes and finishes strong.

The back of Brent's arm is banged up

I love it when Norma rubs my legs

Brent is pissed, broke his custom made Oakley jawbones

Moments before the start.

Some of my battle wounds on my leg.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Derek Bender Photography

Last month at the Play Tri Festival, Derek Bender chose to use me as a sample for his new photography business. Instead of being disappointed by a few random photos from an event, Derek Bender offers a unique service where he will follow a single athlete or a small group around and photographing them on their day! Not just a couple of photos either, but a large amount (he shot over 400 of me). He can also do slideshows, books, or anything you want. If you like the work you see of the sample slideshow he did for me then send him an email to discuss your next event. Derek is a super cool dude and fun to work with and easy to get long with. Check out for other work.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake

It was tough weekend in Lubbock. The plan was to race tactical and conservative. You don't want to blow up on this course and with the heat. I got off to a good start on the swim. By the first turn I found myself right behind Tyler Johnson, I got on his feet for awhile and somehow lost him and then later I saw him just up ahead again, so I kept him in sight and another guy comes along and I jump on his feet to the end. I rushed to T1 and found Tyler still getting his helmet on. My swim was a 28:06, but I am sure this a few minutes short.

On the bike the hills were tough, but I didn't push as hard as I could up them, but kept the effort steady and controlled and still out climbed most people. I sat (legally) behind Tyler for the first 10 miles. I kept a steady conservative effort on the bike for the most part. At mile 45 I found Weslie Anderson, who beat me at Galveston by 20s. I sat behind him for a few minutes before going by and tried to reel in David Jones from the Richardson Bike Mart, that guy is solid strong!!! He brought me into T2. I biked the course in 2:26.25 with a 22.97 mph average.

The 13.1 mile run was long and painful. I didn't have no legs for the run. I have never walked so much in a half marathon before. I kept looking back thinking Tyler or Weslie would catch me, but apparently there were lots of people having a much harder time than I was. David Jones caught me again with about 4 miles to go but I wasn't able to go with him. My run time was a 1:36.32 for a 7:22 mi/pace. I ended up 51st OA and 5th in my age group an overall time of 4:33.34. Buffalo Spring 70.3 was a humbling experience.

Congrats to Bo and Bryce for finishing their first 70.3 along with my new friend Sarah. A shout to my coach Brent Poulsen who killed it for 8th overall in 4:o6 and a run time of 1:20 on a very tough course. Also to Brent's fiancée Carley for looking over an economics paper I had due for school. Thanks to Cam for letting us at crash at his house. Thank Jesus! for letting me survive the race and the long drive.

Here a few pics from the weekend.

The finisher's shot.

Before our Saturday morning prep ride. Notice how big my rear has gotten since I've been riding bikes.

Team dinner at Chili's.

Me and Brent before our prep ride. Notice how he is decked out his K Swiss gear and I went with a t shirt and aviator sunglasses.

Me and Cam ran into Terenzo Bozzone, who ended up 2nd overall.