Friday, July 25, 2014

X-1 Audio

My friend Ginger Spansel introduced me to X-1 Audio earlier this year and I've been using their sweat proof Momentum Earbuds on the bike trainer since. 

X-1 Audio recently expanded their Brand Ambassador line I applied and was accepted! It's the same team that sponsors two long time and successful triathletes Greg and Laura Bennett. 

I usually always have the music or a song stuck in my head. The power of music can bring can inspire and/or effect our emotions us in multiple of ways and music can also lead us to worship.  When I listen to music on the bike trainer my top choices on a playlist would include:

1. Lecrae - Christian Rap
2. Trip Lee - Christian Rap
3. Skillet - Hard Christian Rock
4. Thousand Foot Krutch - Christian Rock
5. Kutless - Christian Rock
6. Linkin Park - Rock
7. Drowning Pool - Metal/Hard Rock
8. Three Days Grace - Hard Rock
9. 116 Clique - Christian Rap
10. Flame - Christian Rap

As you see I love to listen to of Hard/Metal Rock, Christian Rock and Christian Rap. Believe it or not the beats of the Christian rap music these days is far superior to the secular ones you hear on the radio and mtv today, with cleaner lyrics also.   I also heard Randy Travis released an new album called "Influence" and "Influence 2" so that maybe next. 

I'm excited to be part of this new team. The athletes on this team come from a wide variety of endurance and extreme sports.  I am eager to try out some of the other and newer products pretty soon including the waterproof headphone ipod shuffle to mix in my swim workouts. You can view my team bio here

I'm looking forward to representing Team X-1 Audio with my athletic endeavors. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kansas 5150

This time my Dad and I made a first time ever Father/Son road trip to Kansas 5150 for the weekend. Since the crash in Lubbock, my road rash took longer to heal than I thought would. Thanks to my N.P. I got a hold of some prescription cream but later had to go on antibiotics too. I ended up skipping out on a super fast field at the Shadow Creek Ranch sprint near Houston last week. 

Saturday morning we had big breakfast at the Global Cafe in downtown Lawrence of the main strip on Massachusetts St. This restaurant is where all the cyclist, yo-gist, and hippies go. After that we went to the Clinton State Park Lake for an easy packet pickup trip and got in a short open water swim and bike ride on the course. 

Race morning there were all these moths around transition and several at the edge of the lake as we walked in for the swim. I was in the amateur elite division and we were a small group of just 12 guys. Most of these guys could really swim in the 20-22 min range for 1500 meters. I had pretty bad swim and shouldn't have been that slow. It was barely wetsuit legal and honestly too hot. I would love to see USAT lower the wetsuit rule down to 76 degrees. I exited the water in just over 27 min. 

I had no idea how fast I was going on the bike as I was running a straight chronograph mode on Calley's Timex watch I'm using right now until I replace mine. Some would agree the bike course was long but that's ok with me. I finished the "40K" ride in over an 1:07. 

I felt really solid on the run and felt I was running fast on the two loop course. However my split was 36:44. Putting me 10th in the amateur elite division.  

These weren't the results I was looking for I swam, bike, and ran slow while the other guys were simply much faster. It's ok, I've been mostly on a taper mode since Lubbock and due to the crash. Time to suck it up and prepare for the next one. I'm thankful that God helped my Dad and I travel safe and my leg is pretty  much healed up. My Parents and Wife for always supporting me and my support from the Cobb Mobb by Cobb Cycling, Extremus, and X-1 Audio Teams!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fresh15 Monday Motivational 7.21.14

The Fresh15 a local road race, but one of the very best and well managed road races to do in the East Texas area are introducing local runners every Monday. I was the first one to go. The Fresh 15k is in March, if you can make it out. You won't be disappointed. 

"We are proud to present our FIRST ever #MotivationalMonday piece, spotlighting local triathlete William Ritter."

More about William....

  • How long have you been running? I've been running since 1996. My PE teacher would have us run laps around the playground field and I would usually start last and try to catch everyone. I entered a few field day competitions and won the 800 meter by a split second. I was always a shy kid growing up and so I missed the opportunity to be on the 7th grade junior high team, but my mom talked to the principal and I signed up for the Marine Corps 5k. I was 12-years-old at the time and can still remember my time  - 21:21. After that I joined the Longview Running Club and the Carthage Bulldogs Junior High School Team.
  • What motivaties you to continue even when it's hard? I'm super competitive and love the daily grind of what training brings.
  • Do you have any tips to share with newbie runners? Start very easy at first and get your bones and muscles adapted first before adding too much. A run/walk plan is great to build up your endurance. Example: 10 minutes of 1-minute jog/2-minute walk. Total time would be 30 minutes. Don't rush the process, everyone is different.
  • Do you have any rituals that help you prepare for race day? I used to be more ritualistic but not so much anymore. I do ice baths about once a week at the end of a hard week and try to get in an epsom salt bath in the middle of race week. I also try to incorporate some light stretching and foam rolling about every day.
  • William graduated from UT Tyler in 2007 with a degree in Health & Kinesiology. He was the 5th man on a very fast cross country team in 2006, having run at East Texas Baptist University prior to UT Tyler. He moved back to Tyler this year and recently married his best friend, Calley Borocz, in March. William says, "I love the tight-knit community here."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Palo Duro Camping Trip

Last weekend my Wife and I made a camping trip to the Palo Duro Canyon out near Amarillo, Tx. We did some hiking and mountain biking. Thanks to Jonathan Johnson for letting me borrow his Trek mountain bike so Calley and I could both mountain bike.  We had an excellent time --- but we did call our trip short due to the stinging  horse flies that come out during the day.  

These are the most aggressive flies ever and they showed no remorse. They chased us on our bikes biting us on our legs and even on the rear through our clothes. 


The scenery was pretty amazing out there. Driving out there it is super flat then all of sudden you enter this massive canyon.   


The first day there we did some exploring and climbed into this little rock cave and about an hour before sunset on this little trail we came across probably 6-8 tarantula's.   

Believe it or not these little critters are super fast! 

The next day we did the Lighthouse trail a 6 mile hike. At the very end of it you are literally crawling on your way on these rocks to get to the top. We survived it! 

The Rock Garden trail would become my nemesis as I attempted to try to mountain bike up trail. It was labeled as a "difficult" trail. How bad can it be? I've mountain biked in some woods in Tyler before and did ok. This was something else it was so steep there were plenty of times I couldn't pedal any  more and the front tire would lift up and I would have to jump off or crash. The switchbacks were so sharp I couldn't make those. The Rock Garden Trail is a little over 2 miles long, I made it up just over a mile before I thought I might die out here if I don't turn around --- going down was somewhat easier, but only somewhat. I did more walking than riding this trail.  I went back to ride with Calley after that and we chose "easier" trails to say the least we didn't know what we were in for as it turned out to be pretty rough. Calley did have a better crash record than me 0-3. I lost control hitting some sand, then I ran into a small tree, finally a horse fly bit me on the butt and I lost control trying to swipe it off and fell over in this slice your hand bush. We couldn't drink enough water, gatorade, and nuun out there it was so hot. I saw a temperature of a 105 degrees. 

We did  have a full moon both nights out there which still made it scenic at night. 

The next day I would go pay the Rock Garden back with a run up the trail. Steep it was my average pace the whole time was 9:02 per mile. The Rock Garden would still knock me down as I tripped over a rock coming down and landing on my "bad" side.  

We did get some other animals and critters:  

This was a very sick bunny we found limping across the one of the trails. Calley has a good heart and tried to save it but it was too late and we had to lay it to rest.  

 We only saw one horned frog the whole trip.

A dragon fly did a face plant into the mud. 

One of the many lizards we saw. Some of these had some very long tails.  

 Overall, we had a great time! I can't wait for our next camping trip. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Buffalo Springs 70.3

Cobb Mobb departing from HQ. My flip flops broke just before this.

Coming off Kansas 3 weeks ago, I was once again ready to race. We had a good road trip to Lubbock where seven of us stayed in a house together. Ryan & Cori Moore who both had a great races were nice to carry my bike with them as we were loaded down. When left alone with these two  my bike "The Spanish Beauty" becomes a freak. 

This was my fifth time to do this race, regardless how well you came off your last race this course deservers a lot of respect and it can and it will humble you. As expected this course is hilly, windy, and hot. It turned into one of the most toughest years. People were melting and having epic blowups. Our swim was with the 25-29 and 30-34 year old age groups. That is a lot of high testosterone starting at the same time. I got off to a decent start or so I thought. I jumped on Seth Cooke's feet for maybe about 10 seconds.  My swimming rhythm has been coming along well. I do wish I had started out more aggressive. The lake temperature was 75 degrees which got warm quick with a wetsuit. Our age group was the last age group wave to go and they were sending the waves off really close together, so the course became really crowded and somewhat hard to get around some other swimmers. I finished in 32:17 a second best half iron swim for me, but it felt worse.  It was a lot more crowded than Kansas was.  I still need to work on staying on those faster feet at the beginning. This put me in 16th with the 30-34 males.

The bike the course takes a hard left and it's straight up a steep hill as soon as you start. Since I know it gets hot here I'm sipping on my water and sports drink every 10 minutes and taking water at the aid stations on the bike when I could catch some water.  My goal was to get a strong bike in but not to over-bike it. The wind here was tough averaging 18 mph with high winds 30 mph with gust of 35 mph. Out here there is nothing to protect you from the wind, no East Texas pine trees out here.  On a flat section about 23 miles into the bike or about an hour into it we were experiencing a strong crosswind pushing us and I was riding about 25 mph when all of sudden and for no real explanation flew off my bike and skidded into the ditch. I'm not sure if I hit something or if the wind blew me off. I quickly gathered myself passed everyone who just rode by  me. Not long later after this bizarre crash my hands started cramping then my adductors and finally the quads by the end of the ride. This maybe due to most of my blood was going to my banged up right leg. The bike course also contained two staircase like climbs and descents. Going down was fun as I was being about aggressive as I could be and almost ran over someone as I was testing my brakes and almost didn't make a tight turn with a fence on the other side of the road. My bike was just under 2:37, one of my slowest bikes ever but it still put me in number 6th in my age group with Seth Cooke, my buddy just up the road. I was thinking if I could pull out a solid run I would be able to catch him, but Seth is super strong and knows how to suffer a lot. I knew because of history (Prairieman Half Iron 2010 - DNF) with cramps in my legs like this only an hour into the bike this run coming up was not going to be pretty.

My initial plan for the run was not to run any faster than a 6:15 starting out as I paid the price in Kansas for going a little fast even though it felt comfortable and my heart rate was reading low numbers it added up quickly after the huge hill there.  I was already rethinking that coming off the bike with the leg cramps I was having a 6:30 would be acceptable today. When I actually started running I wasn't anywhere near that and I knew it was about to be a long day, legs didn't want to go and I was having a hard time keeping my breath under control. I definitely respect more people who run half marathons in over 2 hours now.

Just after this pic was an epic blow up. 
 I kept trying to run but it wasn't working out today.  I came close pulling a DNF but for some reason kept going forward. My boy Phil Royston caught me almost near the halfway point on the run and I stayed with him the rest of the way. At first I thought I was helping him out then by the end of it he was helping push me. As I also struggled with my calves cramping up. It got pretty bad by the last mile or two and I was pretty determined to finish with Phil. We crossed the line together and gave each other a fist bump. Phil finished 7th in his age group and I finished 12th in mine. I never saw him after that the rest of the time I was there.

running to the finish with Phil. 
Stacy McKinney caught one of my finer moments at the race. Once I finished I got treatment on my leg and an IV.

While this one didn't go to plan I'm ready to fight next one....just kidding. I'm working on trying to get my  road rash healed up so I can get back out there to fight another one. The next planned race is Shadow Creek Ranch sprint tri with my boy Jeremy and then Kansas 5150.  Praise God, this crash (again) wasn't serious as it could have been a lot worse.  Thanks to the Cobb Mobb team by Cobb Cycling and the Extremus Team for backing me up. Also my Wife for always supporting me and who is taking care of my road rash too and pouring that lovely hydrogen peroxide all over it as she gets to watch me scream like a little girl.