Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kona World Championships 2009

Here we go! This is gonna be detailed so first the overview: Total time was 10:09, Swim - 59, T1- 6:30, Bike 5:20, T2-5:30, Run - 3:37. That was good enough for 43rd in 25-29AG and 344th Overall.

The history that must be given before I get into the report is that this was my first year of training with some ridiculously talented athletes, my first year of masters swim and my first real effort to try and elevate myself to the next level. That being said... I couldnt have done it without the help and support of my partners, Nick you have no idea buddy!

This years plan/ goal was to raise my base fitness significantly to give myself a shot at qualifying for Kona next year... little did I know that christmas was to come in June 2009 instead of 2010.

My family jumped at the opportunity to go to Hawaii and watch me race as soon as they found out. Dad, Mom, Brother, 3 Uncles, 1 Aunt and a cousin were in attendence. The house we rented on Alii drive was about 4 miles south of the pier. It was really nice to be away from the chaos down by the pier, well as much as you could be (if I had a dollar for every runner and biker that passed our house the week before the race I wouldnt have to work anymore).

The first night on the island my brother and I went for a nice hour long tempo run and I ran into a fellow tri clubber, Phillipe Krebs, who is a very strong and balanced triathlete running the other way. We chatted a bit and wished eachother well. Rory and I got back totally drenched in sweat, and with a new apprecation for the climatic adjustment we were going to have to make.

Sunday- The Golden boys headed down to the pier for the first Kailua swim. It was incredible to see how many euros were over there, and they love wearing their speedos. Swimming in 79 degree water filled with fish and 50ft of visibility was almost like cheating, it was so enjoyable. After we finished up there I got dropped off at the pool to go for round 2 with Kate to do another 2500m. Around 1pm we jump in Rochs car for a run in the energy lab. It felt ok until I got to about mile 7 on the way back to Kailua and thats when I started to understand the magnitude of what you must endure on race day coming back from the energy lab. Roch was driving the sag wagon which really makes you feel like youre a big deal :) So 14 miles later I got back to my front door and jumped straight into the sweet little lagoon pool we had at our house. Then it was off to the shorebreak to bodysurf with Rory for the rest of the day.

Monday-Wednesday - Was pretty much a combonation of AM swims midday runs and afternoon snorkeling and bodysurfing. Oh I almost forgot, tuesday I rode with Kate and one of her training partners from Waikoloa to Hawi and back. It was a great little sneak preview, however the weather on tuesday was cool and calm so it was a bit misleading.

Wednesday night I had the enitre SD training crew over for Opah, Chicken and Salad dinner. It was really nice finally getting everyone together for a dinner that I had been promising them since probably May. Needless to say everyone scarfed down the good food and I was left drinking beers by myself as everyone else was on their good behavior. Patrick was extremely tempted but restrained himself. (Great self-control Pat, wish I had more) Once everyone was stuffed they headed off to get some much needed rest.

Thursday morning was the underpants run and I must say there were all shapes and sizes present. I hung out with Bob Babbit, Brian Long and ran into Ian and Tawnee along the way around Kailoa. What a fun way to keep the mind loose and see a few outfits that wont be leaving my memory anytime soon. I headed over to the race registration and saw my good friend and now mechanical efficiency coach Jessie doing some film work. She and I talked a bit, I definately have to thank her for some of the balancing exercises, my body is feeling much stronger during all three events. The remainer of the day was spent chillin in the water with the fish and hangin at magic sands watching the tourists lose their bathing suits in the shorebreak. Not a bad day!

Friday -Today is the last little rust remover before the big dance. AM swim, diving 60ft down at the expresso boat for free goggles, 60min bike ride with Pat talking about his year, expectations and some race strategy. The afternoon i went for a short run and then took my bike to check-in. Kona Brewery was dinner and it was top-notch! Black sand Porter Float, Pipeline IPA and a Coconut Ale followed by some tasty pizza and fish. With a kick ass week in the bank its time to go to bed and see what its like to mix it up with the best.

Race day - 330 AM - Pops has my blueberry pancakes and cheese, onion, bell pepper, and chicken omlette ready to go. Thanks G! Just what I needed to get this day rollin. My family is just nuts, my brother and one of my uncles volunteered to be paddle boarders for the swim portion of the race and my other uncle volunteered to be in transition all day! Mom, Dad, Suzy, Dave and Connor would be spectating the first portions.

I got into transition around 530am and pumped up my tires. As I was doing this I noticed tons of people blowing their tires due to pumping them up too high. Weird. I ran into Nick in transition and we talked a bit. I saw Brian, Charissa, a fellow Bear Naked athlete and then watched Pat put his game face on and prepare for battle. I really respect the way he can turn it on like a switch. I walked with Nick over to his wife, Pat getting lubed up and Paula as they dropped para troopers out of a plane over the transition area.

At that point we gave each other some encouragement and hugs and it was off to get busy. As we all made our way into the water I could feel this energy building inside of me, it was like nothing Ive every felt before. I saw Pat halfway down the steps and he gave me a handshake wishing me goodluck. As I dove into the water and started swimming towards the swim start I could feel my adrenaline just raging.

THE SWIM - (59 MIN.) I positioned myself front and center for the swim start and figured I could pull off a 55 without too much trouble. After a cannon blast and about 1500m of the most physical, high contact swimming Ive ever done I began to realize 55 was just not gonna happen, no open water, no room to stroke, just bumping, hitting, pulling, pushing. I got to the turn around bouy and decided to just take the outside clean water and not even bother with the BS going on at the bouy line. I got into a rhythm finally and started passing alot of swimmers on the way in and some ding dong locked onto my feet for the whole thing, not even polite, just hitting my feet with about every 4th or 5th stroke. LAME! But part of the job title. I got to the steps and felt relatively good. Part one over and we are not all that far off the plan.

T1 - (6:30) - I know what youre thinking... did I order a steak while in there? NO but I did get tons of sunscreen, redbull, gas-x, 2 gu rocktanes, a nice huge handfull of vasoline for the unit and my armpits. I saw pat in T1 and he heckled me for taking my sweet time... haha I had to laugh. He definately keeps me on my toes. I got over to my bike and as I hit the mount line I saw Pat just pedaling. Maybe I can catch up to him... Hah good joke, he was off like a rocket.

THE BIKE - (5:20) - 200W avg. VI - 1.06. Out on the Queen K and I felt pretty fresh, I was holding 205 Watts avg. and a VI of 1.07. on my way up to Hawi. The downhills were where I was making most of my progress on the field. The uphills I took pretty conservatively. I was getting all my nutrition down and feeling level. I saw all the pros coming back as I got near the turnaround, and the chopper was following them overhead. As I entered the special needs station I called out my number and I was met empty handed. NO bag. BUMMER! The volunteer offered someone elses and I had to decline, it was just an unfortunate event. On the way back I really started to fly, small tailwind and slight downhill = 35-40MPH, love it. I saw Paula and Karla twice on the bike and they were cheering like mad. I also saw Nick getting near the turn around and I yelled at him. Up until this point I was proud of my fluid intake and I didnt even spring a leak till mile 90. At this point I was in a full tilt head wind going 13 MPH and thats when the heat really started taking effect. The mental battle had begun and all I could focus on was keeping the crank turning. The crowds back in town were nuts, cowbells, cheering, screaming, you name it. I saw my support crew at the four corners and then I was at the dismount line, happily not bricking at all. 2nd leg of the bike 195 Watt avg. and a VI of 1.05.

T2- (5:30) - Again taking my sweet time, I got all my redbull, gas-x, gu and some lube for the tube. So far so good, no Mechanical, no GI issues and still absorbing nutrition.

THE RUN - (3:33) - 1st half 1:45:09, 2nd Half 1:48:26. The first few miles were pretty darn good I felt ok and I was getting a good turnover and wasnt super hot. Brian passed me at mile 3 and gave me a pat on back, he looked really strong. I was about a half mile past the turn around when I saw this 6 foot 7 giant coming the other way, Nick asked how far away the turn around was and I said Im less than a mile from you. By the time I got to the hill at Palani (appx mile 10) I saw my whole family and my brother ran along side me for a few paces to give me encouragement and tell me what position i was in. The run out to the energy lab was pretty average. I felt tired and just held onto the 8 min pace that I was going. The chopper was headed toward me which meant that Chrissy was probably on her way to a three-peat. I saw her coming and yelled to her, she smiled as usual. Just before the energy lab I saw Kate and Pat coming the other way, they both looked pretty composed and were STILL looking great, even if they didnt feel that way. On my way into the energy lab I felt the temp rise a bit and just focused on keeping good form. When got to the special needs station, I parked it, leisurely drank my redbull as Nick came by the other way reporting he was having nutrition issues. With the tank full and just over 6 miles to go it was time to finish this thing. I got out of the bathroom at mile 21 to be greeted by non-other than the great Brian Scott. He was really battling and not having any luck with his nutrition. We ran together for a few miles and then he let me loose. I told him I needed to get off the road. The last 2 miles went by so fast, and the run from Palani down to the finish was like nothing else. The streets were lined with people 5 rows deep and the finishing chute was so loud. I was fist pumping, high fiving and then saw my whole crew to the right on my way to the arch. When I got to the arch my whole body when numb and I was overwhelmed with emotion as I made my way through. Almost a years worth of hard work and sacrafice was down being paid with interest as I got medaled and leid.

I met up with my family in the finishers area and we all hugged and talked. Ian, Karla, Nick and a few other racers that I bonded with out on the course. Upon meeting up with Nick he let me in on the great news that he was the proud owner of a brand new P2C frame. It couldnt have happened to a better more deserving guy.

This may sound like a broken record but I just have to thank my family, training partners and friends. You have all contributed to my success and I can only repay you by sharing it with you and letting you know that without it I wouldnt be where I am today. To be continued...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SOMA Half Ironman 2009

So at this point, I had a great trip to IM Kona and brought back some incredible memories with me. Fast forward one week off and one tune up week and I find myself driving out to Arizona for my last triathlon of the year. I was a little nervous about having enough in the tank to truly compete after such a big effort. However my body was responding pretty nicely and during the last few days before the race I seemed to be springing back.

My dad and I spent most of the 5 hour friday night drive out to Tempe, AZ choppin it up about anything and everything. Once checked into the hotel we noticed a pretty badass fish and chips place right next door and had some late night grub... only to be sitting outside hearing the faint sound of T-pain in the distance and some people gathered outside a place called the Bears Den. If you know me then you know that I dragged my dad in there for some cocktails and local beers. Off to bed around 1am fit as a pig.

Saturday morning I woke up and went for an easy hour run and then refueled for the swim session in the early afternoon. I did this race in 2007 and it was 97 degrees all day of the race and it made it pretty miserable. Saturday was only high 80s so I was pretty stoked. The swim in tempe town lake was refreshing as the temperature seemed to be a bit cooler than I expected. By great high school friend Dennis was there doing his first Half. Dennis, G, and I went and swam a quick 1K. There were some Tempe locs talking about Four Peaks brewery so you can guess where my dad and I went... and ordered some killer beer sampler and a few more pints before heading back and getting some sleep.

Race morning:

Kickin it off proper with some Dennys grand slam and a few cups of java it was time to get physical!

I met up with Dennis in transition and then just focused on the fact that my last real training swim was in Hawaii and that this one was probably gonna hurt a bit more than normal.

Swim- (27:41) (1:23/100m)
I started in the front and held a pretty good pace thru the halfway point. The second half I could tell I was fading because I started getting passed up by some swimmers and really didnt have any juice left to push. The water was dead calm and a really comfortable temperature. The last turn bouy couldnt have come sooner, my arms were cooked.

T1- (1:03) Redbull, gas-x, gu rocktane. GO!

Bike- (2:22:41) (Pave 235W, Pnorm 245, VI 1.05, 23.7 MPH)
To be completely honest I was kind of excited about the bike segment because I had such a good bike split back in 2007 I just figured I would kill it. The bike course is really flat and rewards those who can stay glued to their aerobars. The wind was pretty calm maybe just 5-8 mph out of the southwest, so it wasnt a major factor. There were alot of guys drafting which I thought was pretty lame but what can you do. My nutrition on the bike was pretty average, 2 bottles of carbo pro, 2 gatorades, 2 gu rocktanes, 4 saltsticks. The first two laps were pretty painful, I really felt rusty and flat. I tried to keep an even power output and not waste too much energy on a few of the cyclists passing me by. Lap number three was a very lucky lap... as I was finishing across the final bridge I noticed my back tire was about 50% flat and so I limped the last mile in on a flat rear tire (not recommended if you value your race rims) and racked my bike in T2.

T2- (1:20) Gu rocktane, gas-x, 2 saltsticks.

Run- (1:28:01, 6:40 min/mile) This run course is really really flat and circles the tempe town lake twice. There were many volunteers at the aid stations and quite a few college kids getting involved as well. The run started out pretty bad, the best way to describe the feeling was RUSTY. By mile 5 a few of the leaders had passed me and I was just doing damage control. Around mile 6 and the finish of the first loop I had to spring a leak and not knowing what position I was in I just jumped in a portapottie rather than piss on myself for nothing. Probably a mistake but it had a great outcome. After the piss break I felt really fresh and started dropping 6:30s and 6:20s for the next 5 miles. My strength was rising and my feet got light again. About this time I saw one of the navy guys who passed me back at mile 4., and then at mile 12 I saw the other one. He looked really strong and I didnt want to give him a chance so I punched out a 5:52 final mile feeling the best I had all day.

Final time- (4:20:47, 4th Overall, 1st AgeGroup)

Summary- This is such a fun race for so many reasons. Heres a few... SD Tri Club shows up in big numbers, the course is fast and challenging, lots of people from the town turn out to cheer, the brewery at four peaks and restaurants are really good AND its only a moderate drive. I will probably be doing this race quite a few more times, its just that much fun.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Workin on the BALANCE...

So right now Im about 7 weeks out from Kona. The rebound from ironman is not really taking place. All my hard efforts have really taken alot out of me. I actually felt better the first 3-4 weeks after the race than I do now. Im wondering when I will get the spring effect. The nice thing is my efforts under an hour seem to be limitless. But over 5 hours they seem to be flat. Regardless of what happens this weekend Im gonna spread it on come monday morning and just charge the next 6 weeks.

In the past 7 weeks since the race, which by the way still seems like I just did it last month, I have been reconnecting with friends, family and some long lost surfing. The socialization has been great, Ive been making up for lost time I suppose, but keep in mind I have no regets.

The rest of the year is just going to be off the charts! Im approaching Kona as a "C" race. So let me explain. My whole family is coming out to watch me and we will be staying on the island for an entire week. Rather than get caught up in all the hype and BS that goes on race week, Ive decided to make the most of the rare opportunity to have my whole family together on vacation. Shortly after Kona I will be doing the SOMA half ironman in Arizona as more of a "B" race and my middle school best friends first Half Ironman. Then from that point on I will be ramping up the running program to get myself prepared for the Rock n Roll Marathon in December to try and qualify for the Boston marathon. However all these activities/ races will be based around having a good time first and a good finish second. At least thats the way I would like to approach the race... haha I know when I line up for the start it will be game on for sure!

Then to finish off the amazing race season Im treating myself to a trip that Ive been waiting to do for 10 years... Another epic off the charts surf trip. This time its the Caroline Islands, yay-yeah! It will be nothing but 15 days of gettin shacked, exploring, diving and whippin out the skimpy to get ultra bronz-a-fied!

Well the south swell is filling in tomorrow so it will be surf, bike, run, race check and then who knows what...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back into the groove

So I kicked off this weekend proper. Saturday I went surfing up in Oceanside with my friend Willem and we scored some pretty fun chest high hollow surf. The Oceanside surf monkey race was going on and I saw one of my training partners (Patrick) running off to carry his relay team to victory before suiting up. Then when stripping down I ran into another training partners wife and her friend biking by. At this point I was thinking to myself "gotta get on the bike!" So I headed home and got the P3 on the road. Todays bike ride wasnt the longest but I sure did push hard. 3.5 hours of pedal smashing for 248W average power. Needless to say when I was going back up torrrey pines hill on the way back to my condo the legs were crying. I did some stretching and foam rolling and ate 2 horses. Haha not actual horses... more like cows in the for of new york strips.

Then Sunday I got up and joined the ranch run for a nice tempo run, not many of the regulars were there... maybe they went biking instead. After the ranch run I jumped in the pool at Solana Beach boys and girls club for Katies signature sunday workout. I felt really weak in the pool but I was hitting 1:23/100m with surprising ease. Toward the end of the swim I was just tweaked. 3700 meters down, one more thing to do. I went and got a biomechanics analysis done by Jessi to try and pin point some of my weaknesses. Wow 90min with her was so eye opening. I think alot of the elite racers are where they are because of the elimination of weakness, not so much the presence of super human strength. Im really looking forward to this week, it should be really action packed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday riding and swimming.

This morning I met up with a few of my good training partners to ride the swamis loop. I was a little out of sorts... I had some great beers and margaritas last night. (Totally worth it!) Our group was chuggin along at a good clip up until Elfin Forest. At that point Kim and I let loose, I tried to really let it all out of the system. Since IM CDA Ive really been able to push some good wattage numbers. When we got to the chicken farm we all went sprinting to the stop sign and this time 715w would get me there first. We regrouped at the church and rolled back to Solana Beach for masters.

Masters was busy today and there were alot of cameras at this one lane in the pool. I figured they were filming a commercial or something. It turns out this guy was on his way to finishing his 101 Kilometer non-stop swim which is a new world record. He finished around 11am, and he had been swimming since 5am the previous morning! For those of you not metricly oriented, that means he swam 62.75 miles IN A POOL!?!

I surfed all afternoon in some playful surf and ate a killer dinner at Las Olas. Great day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday funday in San Diego

Today started out as good as it could. Woke up, knocked back a few cups of Jo, and killed 6 blueberry muffins that I made last night. Then it was off to Carlsbad to swim buddy at the Triathlon at Tamarack. The swim was a 1000 meter swim and I was only able to help two people get thru the race because both were swimming so slow that all the waves passed them by. However they really proved alot to themselves by sticking it out. My new friend and fellow swim buddy Beth was at the race to help out as well and we had some good laughs during the last swim lap. Job well done, and time to go to some swimming for myself.

I met up with Shelby around 11am and we headed down to the cove and swam to La Jolla Shores. When we got there we ran over to the Shores hotel and grabbed a few towels. The water was about 70F and the weather was amazing! Shelby got the great idea to run over to Surf Diva and get some foam boards and go surfing. We both grabbed these 8'0 Gordon and Smith soft boards and headed down to the surf. I couldnt figure out why but many of the women on the beach were fixated on me after I dropped my towel on the sand. (On second thought maybe it was the fact that I was wearing a 70's disco print speedo in southern california) Brad Golden = no shame. We headed out speedo and all and caught a few really fun 2' waves on these wacky boards. After scaring most of the people who watched me surf in my 70s banana hammock, i decided to call it and we dropped the boards off and swam back to the cove. On our way over there we swam over like 30 nurse and leopard sharks and it was pretty awesome to watch from 12 feet above. (Shelby would beg to differ) haha. So for some reason we got back to the cove much faster than we got to shores. I wonder why...

Such a good day today. I love La Jolla in the summertime. I gotta go get some food for the week, I cleaned out the fridge this weekend. Big time training starts tomorrow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The beat is on!

So its been about three weeks since IM CDA and I went out with the swamis ride this morning to see if the body can handle some abuse yet. The ride started off pretty good, about 60-70 in the peloton. I was riding in about 4th-6th position most of the start, there were lots of people that were jumping in along the way. Starting up the first hill surge I looked down to see 430 Watts and was able to hold onto the tempo up to the Rancho Santa Fe rd. stoplight. During the longer climb into San Elijo hills there were two guys that went off the front but nobody chased. And they right hander at Elfin Forest rd would bring a pretty hard charge from the front 20 riders, and thats where the intensity would stay thru elfin forest. About 2/3 of the way thru the forest I took a good 2-3 minute pull rotation with one other guy trying to chase down the two sprinters. Just by the time we got to the final straight away we caught them only to have a good sized group sprint by us towards the stop sign. My legs just couldnt go much more, so I would settle for 5th on the first sprint. Regrouping at the church everyone refueled and got into a little chatter. Back on the bike and onto del dios for a few good pulls and another exciting sprint to the stop sign in Rancho Santa Fe, I tried to sneak up on the outside but i was in one gear too low and the lead riders saw me and just went for it, I upshifted and tried to hammer out of the saddle but I was too late, I would settle for 3rd. At this point I was quite happy with the way my legs were responding so I continued to ride hard and lead out for a few more short climbs on the way back to Encinitas. What an awesome feeling knowing that Im recovered and ready to take on the next build phase for Kona. Time to go run and then head to Viggaluchis for dinner to refuel.