Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bicycles Plus

I just moved to the Dallas metroplex recently and Bicycles Plus  has been very supportive and nice enough to offer me a sponsorship with them. I owe Craig and the team at Bicycles Plus a HUGE THANK YOU!!! They are family owned and have been in business since 1994 with 3 locations in the metroplex including Dallas, Flower Mound, and Coppell. They offer the best bicycles and sponsor and hosts a variety of events. I plan on coming out sometime and learning some good routes once I have everything set up again. Come join a group ride, fuel up, and get your bicycle serviced at Bicycles Plus, or better yet just buy a new bike!!! The team has been extremely nice and I am looking forward to representing them. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Texas

What another epic weekend of racing. This time it was the Ironman 70.3 Texas on Galveston Island. I was looking forward to some hard racing and  getting my slot early for the WC's 70.3 in Vegas. I left early Friday morning with Lance. We made our first rest stop at Woody's somewhere in some little town. That was a mistake as I gained 10 pounds eyeing grandma's homecooking of pecan pies, peanut patties, home cooked bbq and other types of country cooking there. Jenn tells me I am a fat man in a skinny man's body. We made it to expo about noon and immediatley started running into everyone we knew. As a fierce competitor like myself the goal at these expos is to get in and get your junk and get out and get off your feet. Well we made a visit at the "recovery pump" and sat there for a little bit, they are very similar to the norma tech. After a few minutes in those my legs felt really good, then a quick visit to the K-Swiss tent. I had to make a switch to one of the KSwiss racing shoes as my Brooks have been killing my feet too much. I didn't want to through another 13 miles of pain and suffering I had last weekend. The KSwiss show is a million x's lighter, more breathable, and don't soak up a ton of water. This year for the trip we had a stay at a beach house with the Moxie Multi Sport crew out of Austin and a nice dinner with some friends at Mario's. 

Karmen Marcom-Koke Photography

Saturday morning Lance the shirtless guy in the middle and one of my very top supporters and very good friend was in the Lone Star sprint. He did a fantastic job finishing 5th in his age division. 
Karmen Marcom-Koke Photography

Lance and I post race. So proud of how far he has come. One of the toughest racers I know who can dig down deep when the going gets tough. 

Karmen Marcom- Koke Photography

While we waited on Lance's race, we worked on lacing up my new Kswiss shoes and my first ever fan came up to me checking them out. 

I did my standard race prep aftewards and was feeling ready to let it rip. I did some cycling along the seawall and it nearly knocked me over. I pulled up a red light with another cyclist that was competing and asked if her if she would swap her front wheel with me. Turns out she was a former Canadian pro. I can't remember her name but she was super nice. Then it was a long waiting game as our beach house was a good drive out and we couldn't check our bikes in until 2 pm. Jenn, Lance, and I set up shop at the extremely large HTFU tent. Mark and Max were very nice and let me park my bike there while we waited, to allow me to  keep me off my feet and out of the sun. Max is also one of the owners of RTS bikes (Ride to Success!), that are just now being introdued into the USA. 

What is your moxie? 

Chris Lieto, one of the Ironman champions and top American was hanging out and signing autographs and spreading the message about his charity "MORE than sport." Check out it  sometime. He is all around nice guy. 

 For dinner that night, instead of going out and socializing.Lance and I daringly went from one of the fittest places in Galveston to the Wal-Mart which revealed too much of the opposite. We hand-picked spaghetti, garlic bread, and plucked a turkey to provide dinner for our crew at the beach house! Thanks to Alisia for helping me cook...ok she pretty much cooked it all, I ate Julio's chips and salsa while we waited. 

The dinner table. I didn't think of taking a picture of the food until after I had eaten it all. 
Sunday morning brought another super early morning of racing. I was feeling good and ready to rock n roll. 
This my pre race routine of lubing my body up.

Karmen Marcom- Koke Photography

The swim was eventful at first to stay the least. One our roommates for the weekend and also a very funny comedian Kevin Russell was in the same group as I and he was doing some freak dancing while we waited on the deck. I was in the mood to join in but decided I didn't want to waste the energy doing so, but it had to be one of the funniest things I've seen pre race. Others looking around didn't know what to think. We got in the water and we're off. I am getting smashed in the face and almost got my goggles knocked off. I finally look up and realize I am swimming way left and everyone else is swimming straight, not the way I had visioned my start. Once I corrected myself I was good to go. Out of the water  in 32:35 with a few dolphin dives on the ramp I was able to block out a few people beating them up transition. 

Karmen Marcom-Koke Photography

Moments before the epic rookie crash! 

The 56 mile bike was a very simple route. Get out of Moody Gardens and bike down the seawall and turn around and come back. My legs were feeling good on the bike, I was holding a high cadence vs last weekend of grinding the gears too much. The winds were a stiff cross wind and some head wind going out. Going out I managed to avg 22.63 miles out and coming back was nice, but scary when I saw one of my training mates Cam not far behind me. Coming back I held over 26 mph and hitting over 30 mph on a few long sections. The last 10-15 mile of the bike I was fatiguing though and just trying not to slow down too much. Coming back off the seawall the roads are rough leading into Moody Gardens. I hit a bump really good and a bolt broke on my left extender, nearly knocking me off my bike then. I rode the bullhorns the rest of the way and as I was getting ready to dismount when something happened, maybe my shoe it the pavement really hard popping my bike up and I lose control as I think I had jumped off already I fall all over my bike and diving into the pavement. Bloody and all, I bounced back up and attempted to roll my bike into transition but it doesn't move so I carry it over my shoulder and park it in my spot. I finished the bike and crash with a 24.33 mph average. One of the volunteers came up to ask me if I was alright as I was putting on my racers and I said "I don't know yet" . Regardless of the situation I started the run. 

Karmen Marcom-Koke Photography

Yep, that is blood on my back. 

Heading out bloody and all I maintained composure ready to hammer 13.1 grueling miles.  The first 3-4 miles I control my effort by not starting out too fast, the pace felt super easy at the time. The first split taken I averaged a 6:09 pace, but then I could feel the pain in my feet starting to set in from my crash. I guess I tripped over my bike pretty good. Then I also had stomach problems where I was regurgitating the cytomax and powergels I had consumed. I tried to man up and run hard but the harder I ran the more upset my stomach got and the more pain in my feet. I was debating to drop out, but got someone to login on ironman live and tell me what position I was in. Chopped away at a few more places, to make top 5, then found out I was 6th in my age division, then found later a buddy (won't mention names ;) had miscounted his laps and that bumped me back up to 5th for the trophies. I finished the run less than steller in 1:36. My time was just under 4:30. 

We stayed for the awards. 

Chris Lieto, first overall male and US Pro Champion! 

Me and Lance after the awards cermony! 

I would like to thank everyone who made this an epic trip.  My awesome buddy Lance Vernon, Cam Mencio, Mark Mulch, Stephen Milford, Michael Barney,Bo and Dennis, Moxie Multisport out of Austin, Blake, Alisia, Jeanine, Nicole, and Kevin! Karmen for all the pictures and Mark G. and Max for letting us hang out at the tent all day and my coach Brent P. My sponsors for all their helpblueseventy, and ONURLEFT Sports, Matt Embry and Shirley Greene. Certainly not last, my Lord Jesus, for keeping us safe on the road and not letting me have any worse injuries than I already do. Also to everyone who sent me comments on facebook and emails. Next depending on a few things, I plan to race the McKinney triathlon the first weekend in May. 

Thanks everyone for reading this long post. Until next time, Cheers! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Kemah Triathlon

I'm not going to say too much about this one, except that it goes down as one my worst races in the books. I didn't have my arms or legs. I felt good in the water and thought I was swimming fast (for me). But turns out I was getting smashed by the amateur elite women, so props to them. I think I did too much zig zagging. The bike was ok. It was very flat, but very windy. There were times I was moving at 32 mph and other times barely breaking 20 mph. Once we hit the run, I completely lost my legs, had a huge side stitch, and a bloodied blister that was hurting really bad on every turn we took. Reflecting back, I was dissappointed at first, but after thinking about it I didn't have the best pre race week as I could have. I'm not the one who makes excuses for myself, I really forgot about these things and thought I would be fine as I took care of these obstacles immediately. I ended up spraining my ankle a little bit, and getting sick a few days before missing a few workouts. I apparently wasn't recovered and maybe dehydrated. On the bright side, I had a couple of bad races opening up last year and it all worked out fine later in the year. It's always good to get the kinks out before the really big ones.

Thank you to Lance who not only had to wait on me for a long time to get ready but drove the whole way and didn't get the ideal rest the day before, he never complained and he rocked out for one of his best races. Also to my buddy Stephen Milford and Brad Pigage letting us crash their place. And always to my Lord for keeping me humble and grateful for all other people and things I have in my life.

Finally, a  huge shout out to OnUrMark Productions, Aaron Palaian, and the volunteers for putting on a first class event.  I am looking forward to this weekend, as I try to regroup this week and do my best at Ironman 70.3 Texas.

Me and Lance after he rocked out to one of his best triathlon races. 

Some of us guys at Olive Garden.