Sunday, September 29, 2013

Galveston 5150

I was excited to race Galveston 5150 especially after the swim I had in TriFecta (2nd out of water in age group wave). I wanted to able to compare it to the guys in Galveston. But unfortunately, rain combined with the considerably high winds made the race officials cancel the swim. Which it really wasn't that bad, no worse than an ocean swim. WTC, harden up just a bit, ok.

This was also the first time Rylan would get to see me race too, I was pretty excited about that. We took him to Pleasure Pier before dinner to ride some fun rides and we had dinner at Bumba Gump's.

After TriFecta and suffering another painful bout of stomach cramps we are trying to go gluten-free to see if it helps. I guess I've had too many pasta dinners over the years.  I believe it is helping already, my running has gotten significantly better since. I feel significantly "lighter" but I'm not.

Since the swim was canceled, we started on the bike one at time in 5 second intervals. It was definitely a different format than I was used to and we had to start out with our shoes on. I had a very good mount as I was trying to get in a legal draft of the guy who took off before me. The bike is along the seawall coast. Flat and fast. We had a very generous tailwind on the way out sailing our carbon cost more than your car bikes 29-31 miles an hour (some people probably sailed more than that), only to be faced with a heckuva headwind on the way back.  This is the first time I've raced in Galveston where we didn't get the tailwind on the way back. The group I was competing in it was a yo-yo the entire ride going back and forth.

On the 2 loop  10k run course around Moody Gardens, I finally felt good on the run. Quick effortless turnover starting out as I ran in "control" the first couple of miles. I was passed early on by a pro Rodolfe Von Berg finishing up his last loop once he passed me I was able to keep him close as I found the motivation to stay with him, but I was caught by up-and-coming, young Daniel Vertiz, who also in the "Elite-Amateurs" and would go on to have the fastest run split of the day. It wasn't until the last two miles that I had some stomach cramps but they weren't as intense as they have been. So, we are staying on the gluten-free thing for further experimental testing.   I would ended up 20th overall and 6th out of the "Elite Amateurs".

It was really great to have the support from Calley and Rylan especially seeing them on the run course.  Rylan, actually took most of the athletic photos from this weekend. Praise God that my running is coming back around and I know where I need to work on the bike to get stronger.

After the race my Aunt Veronica met up with us, who I haven't seen since I was a young boy. I also played in the beach with Rylan we stopped to visit my grandparents on my dad's side. What a great trip!

Next,  Lifetime Dallas October 6.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TriFecta Triathlon

Hell's Gate at Possum Kingdom Lake
I've been reading, reading a lot actually. Mostly business/leadership type books, but these books also can be put into translation for triathlon or any other athletic event. I'm currently reading two books right now that I would recommend Orrin Woodward's book "Resolved" and " The Magic of Thinking Big" by Daniel J. Schwartz. Reading these books built my confidence up coming into the week of TriFecta.

Pre- swim warmup Business face is on.

I've been swimming a lot this year, but have been seeing very little return but keeping at the grind. Finally, though I saw something that came out of nowhere this weekend as I led the age group swim wave well past the first turn. I could feel people on my feet throughout I wasn't too worried about it. I was pretty excited because I never lead anything that was in the water regardless of what level of competition it was. I am used to getting run over soon as we start.  On the back stretch I ended up losing position but not my much, I caught him through transition. 

Coming out 2nd of the water in the age group wave.

Through transition I mounted my bike like a rookie, I never saw the mount sign. I just kept running down the street finally I said I must have passed it but mistimed my jump on the bike and had to stop and get it on. The bike was harder than we expected with false flats, rollers, and one steep climb just before halfway through. At the halfway point I knew I wasn't too far behind the pros that started just 4 minutes ahead of me. On the way back in, I didn't think the signs were marked correctly, there was sign that said right up ahead and I ended up turning into this boat dock thinking that's where I shoes were after making the turn I realize that wasn't correct so had to spin out of there get back on the road. Once I saw T2 and came in set my bike on the rack and the pole popped out, volunteers had to come hold my bike so I could put my shoes on.

On the run course, I started out feeling great but didn't think the course was marked too well and the volunteers may have needed more coffee. Arrows were pointing to the right when I should have went straight and where I was supposed to make a turn to get on the trail I didn't know I was supposed to turn until the last second. I ended up knocking down a few chairs and nearly taking out the volunteers. The first 3 miles of the run was more challenging then anybody thought it was there was a asphalt hill steeper than the hills on the Buffalo Springs course and the trails had some steep inclines and full of rocks to watch out for. It felt like I as Xterra trail running. Through the trails I knew Jose wasn't too far behind in there but I was confident I could still hold him off. But after two miles through I was having to manage stomach cramps, actually I had them on the bike but got them to go away for awhile. Once we exited the trail I knew he was there, I held him off for almost another mile, but couldn't respond to him once he caught me.

Finishing as the 2nd amateur and 2nd 25-29 male. 

Top 3 25-29 males (Jose on the right)
I thank God for a great race! The biggest weakest for me is of course the swim, this maybe the first sign of progress I've made in awhile, if ever. It's probably the first race where my swim has ranked higher than the bike or run. Next week will be a better test of that though.  I'm actually working to eat gluten-free to hopefully eliminate these stomach issues I've been having in every race so far this year. Calley has was super supportive, she made the weekend a lot more fun! This weekend we are going race Galveston 5150.


Thanks to the SO PRO Stacy McKinney for taking the picture. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Houston Towne Lake Triathlon

Coming into the Houston Triathlon I had a couple of solid blocks of training over the last two months. I was ready. Here is a picture of me at dinner the night before at Chili's. Calley had used the beans that I didn't eat for decoration. 

Pre Race dinner art. 

Swim Start

Going into the swim, I thought I was having my best swim yet and maybe I was. I got off too a good start. Nothing too significant to write about here but this was a first for me when the water got really shallow in the last straight away and I had to run and dive back in.

Coming out of the Towne Lake swim. 
Running into transition I could see the new rookie pro Scott Wilkinson just heading out. I knew then I wasn't as far back I though and was still in the mix. The bike was mostly flat since it is in Houston at sea level. I took me awhile to get my legs moving but once I did I thought I was moving pretty good. I lost my water bottle early in the ride when I hit a bump when I was looking down. So, I was doing mostly without fluids over half the ride. Which this was short race so I wasn't worried about it. I was pretty excited to get in on the bike. I knew I was well under sub 1 hour for 40K. I thought at the time was pretty well until I saw results with some guys out splitting me by 2 or 3 minutes.

Houston Towne Lake bike

I haven't had a solid run off the bike all year this season, which is quite unusual except I've been swimming a lot more than usual too. As the saying goes regardless how well your training is going it doesn't matter until it happens on race day. I started out with good turn over but the speed of the legs weren't there. I struggled through the run but I was still thinking positive thoughts. With a couple of miles to go a couple of guys were starting to run up on me, they must have been in the sprint tri, but I reacted is if they in my division and was able to run a little faster based off that.

I finished 7th overall and 6th male. Former Pro Michelle Leblanc dominated the race on the women's side. OnUrLeft Austin Parker crushed the men's race. I think Scott Wilkinson must have had some technical difficulties, I never heard what happened.

Houston Towne Lake Finish

I thank God for a good race, even though it wasn't the end result I was shooting for there were still some positive that came out of it. Also, I had this amazinggirl Calley here shown below who was out cheering for me the whole time. Also, I have great team of people behind me Team Extremus, Revolution Multisport, CR Massage, Karbon Speed, and Tri It Wear. TriFecta is next at Possum King Lake a gem of a location out in the middle of no where 90 minutes west of Fort Worth.

Calley and I just before the start.