Monday, December 29, 2014

Texas State Road Race and Army Ten Miler Race Reports

Well, since I guess I forgot to do these two reports, guess I'll double down and knock them both out.  There probably won't be much detail and no pictures, but to make this complete, I figure I'll knock these out nonetheless.

27 Sep 14 - Texas State Road Race Championships - Military Division (cycling) (9th in Div)

Well I race my bike, oh once in a blue moon, but since this was a "home" race, I figured I should race it and test the endurance (yeah, that's what I thought).

Luckily it wasn't too sunny for the race, and have to give a big thanks to Big Jimmie for the quick tune up on my road bike, it helped a ton.  Well the race was one lap, 33.5 miles, on the Fort Hood loop, which I've ridden a bunch of times, so the hills weren't a shock, but the pace out was fast.  Like a dummy, I forgot to start my watch, so the first 6 miles weren't recorded (note to self: start it before the race and let "auto-pause" do the rest).  I stayed with the main pack, which consisted on CATs 1-5 and two race groups, the Military Open, and the Open, so it was hard to see who was who.  The main group was about 10 folks, which "broke away" at mile 5 and I hung with them until about mile 16-ish, and needed a breather and got dropped.  I still had about 40-50 behind me, so I wanted to concentrate on not getting passed anymore and try for a top-10 overall (I failed, but ended up top 10 military), but I ended up getting passed by 3 more folks before the end of the race.  Even though it wasn't too long of a race, 33 miles just smoked me completely.  I was so tired, I didn't race the next day.  I think I just wasn't ready for racing yet.  Lessons learned: More base miles on the bike, make sure I eat on the bike, no matter the length of the ride.  In the end, that means more bike mileage for 2015!

12 Oct 14 - The Army Ten-Miler (ATM) ( 1:11:35 / 138 in AG / 1390 Overall / 27K entered)

This race I was more focused on, as I was apart of Team Hood-Masters and I didn't want to let them down.  I started training a bit late with the team, but caught up with most of the training by the race time.  The race itself was my second time in DC and 4th 10 miler overall, so I knew the distance and the course, despite changing a bit, I felt ready to break the 70 minute barrier (my PR to date was 1:17:14).  Both me and Levine (a teammate) paced together keeping our pace right at the 7 minute per mile pace (actually under 7:00 to "bank time") and we were on schedule but at the 8 mile mark, Levine started to drift a bit and I kept calling for him to move up and he gave the "Go ahead" call, so I put my head down and drove on for the last 2 miles.  The final mile was confusing, as I didn't run the end to see where to "go" at, and before you knew it, you were in the finishing chute.  I was a bit mad that I was at 71 minutes, and also that I missed in the top 1000 overall, but that will give me more motivation for next year.  But overall, I set a PR and helped the Men's Master's team to 4th place in our division, so it wasn't that bad.

So there you have it, my 2014 racing season in the bag.  Tomorrow, I'll recap my races and hopefully preview my 2015 season (spoilers: I'll race more!!)

Thanks for reading, and here's a picture, for the heck of it!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fort Hood Tri the DU Race Report 2014

"And...comin' in hot boss!" My classic "sidecar" style dismount heading into T2
This year has been a "blah" year of racing, mainly with that timing thing, and also, while excellent race production (Tri Waco and Tri Aggieland), prices have been expensive.  Well, when a free duathlon drops in your back yard (took me 10 minutes to get to the site), it a "ya-gotta-do-it" race.
This race was my 2nd duathlon (which du's will be getting more of my attention next year), and loved the format; 5K run, 12 mile bike, 5K run.  And I got to debut the new trisuit (a Sugoi! And in the Lion's colors too).  Not too bad, so let's get to the report, shall we?
Got to the site nice and early and walked over and picked up my race number, went back to the car, got my gear and made my way to transition.  The transition was set up by the lake (the last few years this was a triathlon, but the last two have had low water in the lake, so it's a DU!) and it was fairly empty.  I read that the last few years had a bunch of folks, but I think the cool temps (58* at the start with wicked winds) scared a bunch off, but it beats hotter than dog doo!  I set up my spot, right on the end of an empty rack with my bike shoes, 2nd run shoes (a tip I HIGHLY recommend, so after your first run, kick the shoes off and you have a 2nd pair ready for ya!), helmet and glasses on the bike and that's it.  Nice and minimal!  Just took a quick ride up the hill (a nice steep and long hill right out of T1) to get the gearing right, and a bit of jogging to keep the legs warm and that's it!

RUN #1 : 20:50 (3rd in AG / 9th OA)

I just wanted to take it easy and save myself from nuking the legs too early.  I started at the front, but because you had to funnel through the start / finish chute, I got through and eased a bit up and just ran controlled and what felt like not fast at all.  I just kept the leaders within sight and on the rolling out and back run, that is exactly what I did.  I knew I had at least one older runner (ended up with two in my age group, which was the rather large 40-49 Men's group) ahead, I just wanted to keep everyone within striking distance.  Of course the young college kids from Baylor's Tri Team, roared out to a lead, I just let em!  I came cruising in to T1 and only saw a few bikes gone.

T1 : 0:34 (3rd in AG / 9th OA)

Just a quick little T1, kicked the run 1 shoes off, put on the bike shoes, glasses, helmet and run that bike out.  Only 7 seconds behind the #2 T1 (a female had a 16 second T1, yikes!), so I didn't lose much time in T1.  Only thing that slowed me down was someone put their bag and bike pump on my shoes, so it took me a second to chuck the bag and pump to the fence (lucky we weren't closer to the lake!).

BIKE: 37:11 (1st in AG / 2nd OA)

Well I started out 9th on the bike and picked off one on the climb out of the lake area.  Uggh, that climb was murder!  Once on top of the hill, you hit North Nolan Road and it was my usual riding area that I have ridden countless times, except it was a race!  I could see all the others ahead of me and none too close, so I just started to crank out the power and hunt them down.  And the hunt was on!  The wind was out of the north so in effect you had a slight headwind as well as a sidewind.  But since I *STILL* have stock wheels on my tri-bike, it didn't bother me none!  I bridged up to a group of three, including one in my AG, and by the turn around at the 6 mile mark, I was in 5th with the Baylor tri guys riding in a nice draft pack, taking turns at the front.  You all know I hate drafters, and even though the race wasn't USAT certified / sanctioned, at least play fair!  But before we made the turn into the park area (one mile to T2), I did a Roy Orbison / Linda Ronstadt on them (you know, blue bayou?) like they were standing still.  I passed the last two in the last mile, including the #1 rider, so in effect, I rode to the front of the race.  Nice!
T2 : 0:29 (2nd in AG / 14th OA)
Well it was still a fast T2 and I got my gear on and ran out of T2 with the lead. 
RUN #2 : 21:07 (2nd in AG / 4th OA)
I knew I'd have to nail almost a negative split 5K to not lose too much ground, as I knew I had at least two speedy college kids with fresher legs (thanks to drafting) coming out of T2 soon, so I put as much as my legs could hold into the first mile or so.  But about the mile mark is where I got passed by the eventual winner and 2nd place, I went into defense mode and was ready to challenge anyone else that came up.  At the turn around I got to see that 4th place was about 30 seconds back, so I wasn't out of the woods (ended up beating 4th by 19 seconds), so I kept the hammer down.  Which was not much!  All the effort to bike to the front was hurting and while my cardio was good, my legs got heavier and heavier.  But I finished up hard and held off 4th (which he ran his 2nd 5K faster than his first, yikes!).  Not to be sour grapes, but still only finished about 1 minute down to the guys who didn't have to work on the bike, but hey, whatever.  But I did win my age group by 19 seconds, so not too bad.  Those Army Ten Miler workouts I've been running have really helped the speed, guess next year I'll put more speed workouts in, instead of just running.
That's me, reppin' the "D"!
OVERALL 1:20:14 (1st in AG / 3rd OA)
I can't complain based off of the amount of running I have done in the last month or so, but it was quality runs that have helped, as well as concentrating on the bike too.  So more tools for my tool bag for training next year.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely done, this weekend is Texas State Road Race Championships and I'll give the Military Open (Sat) and Men's 35+ CAT4/5 (Sun) a try, and still fence siting on doing the Austin 70.3 at the end of October, as well as the Army Ten Miler in DC, which will be my 4th 10 Miler, but only the 2nd in Washington, so hoping to PR there too.
Well, I guess it's back to training for me!  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tri Waco Race Report

Well, I can say that I did NOT die doing the Tri Waco Sprint, but it wasn't my best race by a long shot!  After 3 weeks of vacation (translation: not much working out!), I opted to race the sprint instead of the Olympic, which would have been a waste of a race, but a hella good "long workout".

I'll start by saying that Tri Waco is one of the most well put together races I have been a part of, and this being my 18th triathlon, so I've seen a lot.  Just want to say "Well Done" to the Tri Waco folks, I'll be back next year (and hopefully in the Olympic).  My only gripe is the "no race day packet pick up", but going up to Waco isn't that bad as say, Austin, but still a little annoying!


Well, I got a bit of a late start, getting into Waco only 30 minutes before transition closes, and I normally like to get there, set up my spot, and take a quick ride to make sure everything is good to go, but wanted to make it a bit better for the wife, so not much of a warm up!

SWIM: 08:38 (8th in AG / 68th OA) 400 meter swim

I started in the third wave with all the 40-49 athletes, both men and women, which was cool since my neighbor and her crew was in my wave, so we chatted before the swim.  The swim was a deep water start in the Brazos River (no current, just warm and murky).  I started out well but kept bumping into traffic from my wave and the other two waves ahead.  This made for a LOT of heads up swimming, which really isn't that efficient.  Uggh!  Plus I think the swim was a bit long, but not much I could do about that.  The exit out of the water was interesting, you actually got pulled out of the water because the slope was so steep.

T1: 02:13 (3rd in AG / 24th OA)

Yikes, this was THE longest run to T1 ever, you had to run up the zig-zag ramp up from the river to street level, then across the grass and down the street to your bike.  I may be overestimating here, but it was like a quarter mile, easy.  But changed on thing up, I put on socks, which I think was a good way to go so my T2 would be faster.  Got my glasses, helmet and shoes/socks on, grabbed the bike and rolled out!  It helped that this was the first time with my new Garmin 910XT in multisport mode, so got that covered.

BIKE: 34:46 (4th AG / 22nd OA) 12.4 miles

The bike was an out-and-back affair on mainly blocked off streets with very little hills or rises.  After I got on the bike and up to speed, I hit my lap button (missed about a minute of the bike leg).  I immediately got aero and started to pick off the swimmers from the 20s and 30s that I didn't catch in the water or transition.  I was constantly calling "on your left" as I passed, and drank water as it was starting to get hot (more on that later).  I swear I passed about 50 people and felt strong the entire time. 
I got momentarily passed for a minute while I refilled my BTA bottle, then got back down to business and passed him back, leaving him in my dust.  I got to the turn around and took it a bit wide, almost going in the grass, but shook it off and put the hammer back down.  Almost the entire ride I felt good, except towards the end, which I feared I might have over cooked myself on the ride, but came into T2, nailed the flying dismount and headed to my rack.  Overall, still felt good on the bike, but still needed more miles to get faster, because I should have had a top 15 bike split, but I'll take what the day gives me!

T2: 01:13 (2nd AG / 38th OA)

Putting on the socks in T1 made me some T2 money, as I racked the bike, put on my running shoes, and grabbed my belt and was gone.

RUN: 26:02 (1st AG / 20th OA) 3.1 errr 3.5 miles

This run was advertised as a 5K, but the Garmin don't lie!  3.5 miles guys, just putting that out!  I wanted to take it easy coming out of T2 because I thought I toasted my legs, but as I got in a groove, I was feeling great, except for a full bladder.  Ooops, too much water on the bike!  I thought about stopping but I felt I could gut it out, so I kept rolling.  Just after the mile mark, I got passed by one of the only people to pass me, a 50+ year old.  Yikes, I just got geezered!  To be fair, I'm sure everyone said that as I passed them, but oh well!  Just after the first climb, there were spectators cooking bacon on the grill at the top of the ramp.  Really, really smelt SOOOO good.  But I continued to catch and pass folks, but the sun was poking out more and more and starting to get toasty and with a full bladder, I really didn't want anymore water, so at each water station, it went on the head.  As we hit the river walk area, you could see where you had to finish and I thought, Oh crap, we have to climb up there! As we were on the river level and had to climb one more ramp to get to the suspension bridge which you finished across (very cool finishing chute to say the least!).  Just before I got to the ramp, I got passed by another 50+ year old, and I tried to keep with him, even though it didn't matter since he started 4 minutes behind me, but the two 20-somethings I was running with didn't figure I had 8 minutes into them.  But we hit the climb, and I let them go a bit as the stomach started to protest a bit, so I slow-sprinted the length of the bridge and after passing the finish line, tossed a little water up!  Yup, puking on the finish line was back!  But it was very short lived and just water, so wan't too bad for everyone around!

OVERALL: 1:12:55 (4th AG / 19th OA)

Not too bad, but I don't think I was as prepared for this race as I normally would have been, and the first time in a while I didn't podium in my AG (I wasn't too far back of both 2nd and 3rd), but I know next time, I'll be ready.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gull Lake Sprint Triathlon Race Preview

Well, here is another race preview of a race that is coming up soon (June 28th, 2014), so I'd figure I'd better get this out there for folks to look at before race day.

Sadly, I'll be in town for this race, but the sad part is that it is the same day as my wife's twin sister's wedding, so no mas for me!  It's a shame since I LOVE this race, not only because it was my first ever triathlon, but also since I was last year's Master's Champion (and 2nd place overall; cough, cough, minor brag! ;) ), but it pains me to miss this well run, well executed event.  But enough with the blah-blah, on with the preview!

The Race:  The sprint race consists of a 500 yard swim in Gull Lake, followed by a 10 mile out and back ride, culminating with a true 5K, out and back run.


Make sure you park ONLY in the designated area, just follow the signs!  Last year the race director, Jim Mishler, had volunteers out to help folks to the correct parking area, and while it is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away, it isn't that bad of a walk / ride (just make sure you wear your helmet on the bike!).

All in all, well planned parking all around, so just follow the cars and park where you are suppose to!


Exiting the transition area
This TA is an all grass area, with more than enough room (as long as you don't hog rack space!) for all the athletes.  Note, this year the map appears to have just two entrance / exits (last year there were two as well) but slightly different locations.  Since it is first come, first served, get there early not only to get your packet, and a good parking spot, but to get that good rack spot near the bike in/out exit.  So once you get there early, you can get out and pre-ride the first 2 miles of the bike, check for the potholes (unless it was repaved).

SWIM (500 yards):

The swim is in Gull Lake and prior to getting in the water for the race (you are free to get your warm up swims in until announced) where they will count you into the water.  This is for safety, but there are boats and you are not too far from shore the entire time.  The swim is a easy to follow, clock-wise swim with two turns that are clearly marked.  The start is a semi-deep water (depending on how tall you are, it was deep water for me!) with a count down.  I believe that it was a three wave start with a 40 and under Men, over 40 Men, and all Woman waves, just pay attention to what your bib says (I didn't and started in the wrong wave, and had to get my time adjusted correctly, oops).  But the swim is nice, and last year I didn't wear my wetsuit, but three years ago I did, just how well your body works in the water.  Jim swam recently and says the water is "not bad" and crystal clear, so looks like the harsh winter didn't do too much to it.  After exiting the water, you have a little up hill run to T1 where you cross the pavement, but the pavement isn't too bad, just watch out for sticks and shell fragments, but those are few and far between.  Just jog on up and get your gear and run to the mount line!

BIKE (10 Miles):
Out on the bike (Note many stayed left, please stay right as much as possible!)

My Strava results from last year:

The bike is an out and back affair, which I'll break it up into three different sections (just repeat on the way back).  The first section is the Mount Line to corner of "B" Avenue / 40th street.  This consists of rolling hills and bad pavement.  The potholes are patched most of the time, but are all marked, with the "best" lines near the double yellow.  But be aware, you should be riding to the right as much as possible as not to get a "blocking" penalty.  But once you turn onto 40th Street heading north, it gets a bunch better.  First section is about 1.5 miles.

The second section is 40th Street to the "S" curve.  During this section, just put your head down and push the pace.  This section is mainly flat and very straight, so this is where you can "look at your stem" and push it.  This section is about 1 mile long.

The third section is the "S" curve to the turn around, and it is 2.5 miles in length.  This section has some shade and some rollers, but another fast section as you get to blow through Hickory Corners with police protection!  Once north of HC, you head to the turn around at Gilkey Lake Road (with more police!), but watch the turn around, lots of loose rocks.  Now, you just repeat the three sections in reverse.  After you get close to the park, get ready for the mount line, as it is almost time to run!

RUN (3.1 miles):

Here is my Strava info from last year:

The Strava data is a little off, I fumbled with my watch as I was running out of T2, but the race was a nice 5K out and back with multiple waterpoints at each mile.  The elevation was slightly rolling, but no major hills and very shaded, so that should set you up for a good run off the bike, given if you didn't cook your legs on the bike!  Plus you can judge how far up (or back) others are of you since you get to pass them on the road.  The traffic control is good with people if they are driving the road and dead center, slow, and with their flashers on!  Good stuff.


After the race, you can jump in the lake to cool down, visit the vendors near the finish chute, cheer on your buddies, and grab something to eat.  The awards ceremony was pretty fast, results were up quickly, and it was just a nice day to be at the park!  Overall, this is one of the oldest tris in Michigan(even though it was put on the shelf for many years), I am glad that it was brought back in 2011, and taken back over by Jim Misler in 2012, because this is a must do race, and it pains me not to be able to race this year (especially being at home for it too!), but I am sure it'll be another great one.  If you have this weekend open (28th of June, 2014) you owe it to yourself to do this classic race!  You won't be disappointed!

Training Week 24 (Jun 9-15 2014)


Well what a difference a week makes.  My bike still works, still loving the swim (so far) and my run, well could be better, but still, I'll take this week over last few weeks!  But there be a storm a' brewin' with me going on vaca shortly, so we all know working out while not home, but we'll see how this shakes out with wedding week (not mine), but I might need long runs or rides to keep my sanity!


SWIM: 4500 yards
BIKE: 75 miles
RUN: 24 miles


SWIM: 4116 yards (01:26:) 2 Swims with 910XT, nice long ones!
BIKE: 78 miles (4:58) 4 Rides, was nice to get out and ride again
RUN: 7.2 Miles (0:55:12)  2 runs, Not bad, just wimped out too much this week
TOTAL :  87.54 Miles (7:20:00)

NEXT (this) WEEK:

SWIM: 4116 yards (if it ain't broke...)
BIKE: 35 miles (one here, one in Michigan)
RUN: 21 miles (gonna squeeze a few during the road trip)

No wonder why I was so tired this week!  But I gotta pump up some run and swim numbers before I head out of town, so we shall see how this week happens, might be good, might be ugly.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Training Week 23 (Jun 2-8, 2014)

So I must have yawned alot this last week!  I ended up spend most of the week putting up and taking down tents in the hot sun, so most of my "training" was strength training!  Now, since I have run out of excuses, time to get busy!


SWIM: 1600 yards
BIKE: 90 miles (Uh, yeah right)
RUN: 16 miles


SWIM: 2854 yards (01:21:) 2 Swims with 910XT
BIKE: 0 miles (got rained out Sunday)
RUN: 6.1 Miles (0:48:46) 1 run (Felt good for first 3.5 miles)
TOTAL :  8.1 Miles (2:10:00)

Well time to rebuild.  I have a 5 mile road race in 4 weeks and a triathlon in 8 weeks (ish), so if I want the most bang for my bucks, I need to get my rear in gear!  And like I said, I have no more excuses (even though my lunch swim was lightning'd out)! So I'll leave you with this!

Topeka Tinman Short Course Preview

At Topeka Tinman, 2013 (Note transition in background)
Well, since the Topeka Tinman triathlon is almost upon us, for all my Kansas friends (and anyone for that matter), here is my race preview (keep in mind, this year the course is slightly different, which I'll bold in red the changes)


First you have to get to the race site, you take SE Croco Road down from I-70 about 2 miles or so (you'll pass some ball fields on the right, that means you are close!) and look to the right for SE East Edge Road (it has gates and maybe some police) and you'll park in the designated (read: grass to the left) parking area, which is about 1/3 of a mile to the race area, so get all your gear in your bag!

Transition Area:

Last year, it was in a parking lot area near the lake, and you rack by your grouping of numbers, so if you get there early, you might get an aisle rack spot!  I did, but the wife hated getting there 2 hours early!  Nice metal racks, not flimsy, just remember to keep your area clean (put your bag out of the way by the fence) and hang a towel on your spot when you take a warm up ride!
2014 Tinman Shortcourse
Swim (400m):

Last year, the swim was in a counter-clockwise direction, with a beach start.  Despite that, you could almost run down the beach a bit before actually getting in the water, but looks like they changed that this year, so no cheating!  The swim was fairly straight-forward, swim to the bouy, turn left, swim about 200-250 to the next turn buoy, turn towards shore (and the big inflatable) and out of the water.  Water was nice and in the 70s (can't remember how warm), but I wore just my one-piece trisuit, but a few wore wetsuits (not sure why for a warm-ish 400m swim, but hey, it's all good).  After exiting the water, you have about 200-300 meter run up hill (watch for acorn shells), across the closed road and into the transition area proper.

Bike (13.1 miles):

Looks like the bike has a changed slightly this year, as it goes out the north-east side of the pennisula and returns on the same road, but other than that, looks about the same to me.  Here is a link to my Strava for the bike, so you can see the elevation (and a bit more detail)  The big thing about this bike is paying attention to the wind direction, last year it was from the south, so the outbound leg, you had the wind in your face, but when you came around the turnaround block, you got a nice push heading back north.  The only real hills (not that bad) were on 37th Street, and a bit in the park (which you get twice!) but nothing to get you out of the saddle too much, but pre-ride it after you get transition set up just to be safe!  Should be a moderatly fast and flowy bike route!

Run (3.1  miles [Last year measured 3.25]):

After you come screaming back in to transition, loose your helmet and bike shoes, it is time for the run!  The bad news, that hill you just rode down/up, you get to run it now (twice!).  Here is my last year data from Strava -->  The run is mainly on the sidewalk that runs next to the road that you just rode on, with lots of hilly moments.  Last year it was humid and really sapped my will to run, but I still lived to finish it.  Only remember one water point, at the turnaround.  This is an out and back and it looks like they kept it very close to the same route as last year, will be interested to hear if they got it to the 3.1 miles or not.

Afterparty:  A nice area to hold a race, with a large playgorund for the kiddos, a covered pavilion for eating post race chow (pizza and soda last year, as well as water and fruit)  Overall, I enjoyed the race, and the location, so if you happen to have the 21st of June open, you get some good racing and good competition, you might as well race here!

I'll post more pictures when I get them in!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Training Week 22 (May 26 - Jun 1, 2014)

Uggh, another stinker of a week.  But things will be looking up as work calms back down, so pools are open and the roads are calling my name again!


SWIM: 4000 yards/meters/whatever (more on this later)
BIKE: 75 miles (Uh, yeah right)
RUN: 32 miles (see above)


SWIM: 1860 yards (00:38:46) 2 Swims with 910XT
BIKE: 28.4 Miles (1:38:50) 3 Rides (one Long and two "commutes")
RUN: 6.1 Miles (0:46:50)  1 run (Nice Memorial Day run)
TOTAL :  33.5 Miles (3:05:00)

Now on to the rant:  It seems that the military has an issue with standardized pool lengths (i.e. either 25 m or yds, or 50 m or yds), so the pool I am in now is a nice outdoor pool with a few lap lanes, but it is a 45m (44.8m) / 49 yd pool.  Really?!  Who the "F" does that?  So I've been counting in meters, which royally screws me up, so going to go with the tried and true yards, and just have to subtract 2 yards per length, so one lap (two lengths) will be 98yds and not 100yds.  I am so glad my Garmin can count yardage for me, it hurts my head!  Ok, rant over!

But looking ahead, going to start working on swimming 3-4 times a week (at lunch) and get back in to my ride and run, now that work is calming back down, but then I'll have to contend with a vacation, which for me means I slack a bit more, but maybe not this time around!

Also, I'm not racing the Lake Pflugerville Sprint for two reasons; 1) Too much of a layoff from real hard training and wouldn't want to waste my money on just a "blah" race with cruddy fitness (If I race, it's to win) and 2) I missed the registration period, so maybe it's a sign as well!

So, I'm going with Plan B, get back to where I was about a month ago, lean and mean and get ready for racing in July.  I think this might help prolong my fitness into the fall since the racing season here is longer than Kansas, and it'll help my peak later in the summer.  So I think Plan B might help, if not, hey, might need a coach for next year!

Alright, time to wrap up this late offering, and get back to work!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Training Week 21 (May 19-25 2014)

Yup, this about describes me right now!

Well another week down, and another lost to training.  Before I reveal the numbers, let it be known my mother came to town and the wife and I played tour guide (plus Central Texas had wicked nasty storms all weekend), so I lost 4 days or so of training, but got to see my mom!  I'll take that any day!


SWIM: 0 - Pools are open now; just need no more lightning to swim!
BIKE: 30 Miles - Easy week, 1 ride
RUN: 30 Miles - Another Large week; 5 runs


SWIM: 0 (Lightning storms all weekend)
BIKE: 2 Miles (00:08:00) 1 rides (Pre-rode PT course, that's it!)
RUN: 8.3 Miles (1:02:00) 2 runs (One was a 2 mile PT Test run)
TOTAL : 10.3 Miles (1:10:00)

Year to Date:

SWIM: 13.7 Miles
BIKE: 933 Miles
RUN: 249 Miles

Well this week will be better (promise) and weather pending, first swim at Fort Hood!  Looking to ease into lunch swims right across the street from work on Mon-Wed-Friday's, so barring weather, it'll be on.

Also, re-looked my race calendar, so I hope to hit 90% of the races posted on my front page, and I'm going to hold off on my first XTERRA until July, so I'm going to give Lake Pflugerville a try (no pun intended!).

One more thing, I realized that I need to revisit some of my race reports and include a course preview and my thoughts, in addition to the existing, boring race reports I have on there.  Going to go back and revisit the Kansas one to help out my friends at Manhatten Tri Club, so folks can get the "lay of the land" on the courses I did last year, and help them out a bit, so I'll have to figure out how I want to lay those out (imbed them in the race reports, make them seperate, or what), so that is something I'll have to work on.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Training Week 20 (May 12-18 2014)

Well, it's been a while since I reviewed my training, which I need to do weekly, since to me, talking it out can help motivate me to keep at it, so here it is:


SWIM: 0 - Pool opens soon here!
BIKE: 75 Miles - Moderate week (no "long rides") 3 rides
RUN: 29 Miles - Large week; 5 runs


BIKE: 55.3 Miles (3:04:42) 2 rides
RUN: 20.7 Miles (2:42:27) 3 runs
TOTAL : 76 Miles (5:48:09)

Year to Date:

SWIM: 13.7 Miles
BIKE: 931 Miles
RUN: 241 Miles

Not bad, but swimming will be bigger once the pool opens here (24MAY), so looking forward to getting wet again, so I can do those workouts at lunch, so actually can't wait to get some yardage / meterage in!  As far as run and bike, just need to program some longer runs / rides in and keep it up. 

And now, a totally unrelated picture for the week:

I don't mind if I do!  Thanks Putin!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fallen, Never Forgotten 10K Race Report

Me rockin' the Eagle #TeamRWB

Well I finally found out where I placed in this race now that the race results are posted now!  But this was the first edition of the "Fallen, Never Forgotten" Race at Fort Hood, and overall, the folks who put it on did a pretty good job!  It featured a 10K and 5K (competitive, chip-timed race) as well as a 3K and 1 mile fun runs/walks for anyone, and for $15 bucks, you can't beat that!  So with that, on to the race report!

I ended up toeing the line with 165 others in the 10K wave (5K was about 5 minutes behind us), and I wanted to make sure I didn't go out too hard, like a lot of folks did, I lined up in the "2nd" row or so of folks.  We had a countdown and the Corps Command Sergeant Major fired off the starter's pistol and we were off.  It seemed that everyone thought this was a sprint and not a 6.2 mile run, but after about 800 meters I was about 20th or so, but I was running my pace, my race!  I cruised thru the first mile at 6:24, a bit fast, but I was riding the wave!

The second mile I settled in and started to pick off folks who were fizzling out and felt good.  I arrived at the first water point to find... it was unmanned!  What the fudge!  Water was there, cups in the wrappers, but no one pouring.  Hmmm hope this was a one time thing.  At least it wasn't hot out, just the first 3 miles were into the wind.  Which I drafted (ran behind someone taller than me, which wasn't hard) and let them work a bit harder in the wind.

After just before the three mile mark, we turned south and got out of the wind for a bit, and I passed two more guys.  By then, the leaders were WAY long gone, so I just worked my pace and kept plugging away.  I managed to get caught by one of the guys who I passed and didn't repass him for another mile or so, but after that, I had one other guy up ahead to get after.

I kept putting in mini-surges but couldn't get up to the last guy as I ran out of race to catch him, missing him by about 15 seconds.  Ended up with a nice 42:25 and 8th overall (2nd in AG), and not too bad for my first 10K in a long time.

But in the end, all the other water points were "Self serve", so if they can fix that for next year, that'd be great!  I think it is a great race to do, on the 10K you pass all the memorials on post, but I didn't really stop and reflect at them, and the bibs were neat as well, you could right who you were running for, so I put in three guys I was running for; MAJ Doug "Mosey" Sloan, MAJ Chris Galloway, and SFC(R) Kevin "Diesel" Brynn, three friends I've had throughout my career.  I thought that was a nice touch for the race.

Well, I'll let this RR fire off into the ocean of the 'nets, so until next time!

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Fort Hood Bunny Hop 5K

Since I don't have any photos from the race last Saturday, I figured Rambo giving me two thumbs up would work just as well!

Well the Bunny Hop 5K is a monthly run put on by Fort Hood MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation), and this was my first one here at Fort Hood.  I've done a few while at Fort Bragg, but I'll tell you, Hood has got them beat hands down.  Both are cheap (read:free!) but Hood offered awards 3 deep in each AG, which I don't care as much as the thought of kids getting awards (they had multiple age groups for the kids, and they turned out in droves!), so I was happy to see so many younguns getting out and running 3.1 miles (I never did that at that age!).  During the awards ceremony, they announced that they had over 500 people running (some walked, some had strollers, but besides the point), that's a lot of people!  Good to see!

Since I hadn't done too much speed work, I figured this would be a good workout for me to push just hard enough, but not too hard, and I was right on the money. I finished up with a 20:32, so not too bad.

The course is the same course they use for most of the 5Ks throughout the year, and it isn't an easy, flat one!  My garmin says only 33 feet of gain, but they are punchy little climbs.  You start in the parking lot, and head out to Old Ironsides, head down the hill, back up a slight hill and hit the first turn just short of 62nd street, over to Hell on Wheels, back up a slight rise and down the hill to 78th Street, back up Old Ironsides (up the gradual hill) to 74th and a nice flat .1 of a mile run to the finish chute.  My garmin recorded the run at 3.15, but that's close enough for government work!

Overall, I finished in 8th, and 1st in my AG, so had a good workout, and it was neat to see all the kids getting their awards, and the ones who didn't, I overheard that they wanted to run more to get faster to win a trophy next month.  That was refreshing to hear! (Soapbox time: I had the "everyone gets an award" mentality, but military kids seem to have the right mentality that if they want something, they need to work hard, or harder for it.  Bravo parents, you're doing the right thing!)

So this one's for the kids!
See you next time!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tri Aggieland Race Report

Well, I'm back again for this year of racing, and finally getting around to writing again.  So, a little recap before I talk about the race this last weekend; moved to Texas, got settled, got active again with biking and more running, saw my swim fitness take a nose dive since there are ZERO indoor pools to use around here it seems, contended with the craziness of a second Fort Hood shooting (I was off post when it happened) and getting adjusted to the area.

But as it seems, getting back into racing shape pretty well with my solo runs and group rides with the various cycling groups here in the area, which is a nice change, plus the weather is a nice change of pace, with warmer weather earlier in the year, so I am ahead of last years mileage, just need to keep putting in the miles!

Well at the beginning of the year, I wasn't looking at doing this as my first race of the year, just happened this way!  I found this race and since it was only about two hours away, the wife and I decided to make it a short weekend trip, to include a trip the George Bush Presidential Library there on campus at Texas A&M.  Other than the weather (dreary and wet), it was a nice trip.

SWIM:  07:38 (5th AG / 57th OA)

The race was on the campus of Texas A&M at the natorium (fancy speak for pool building) with the swim in their nice 50 meter pool.  Nice!  The swim was a 400 meter, serpentine swim, meaning that traffic was only one way, so no head to head collisions!  Since I hadn't swam since January, I seeded myself a little aggressively, to help motivate me to get the lead out at a 07:45 for 400 meters.  This is under my 400m PR for the swim by about 25 seconds, but would get me towards the front of the pack.  Still with my seeding, I was #115, meaning that I was MOP, seeding wise.  It didn't bode well that a swimmer that was seeded in the 60s needed to be rescued by the lifeguards.  Awesome!  But hats off to #69, who stopped and made sure that the person in need was ok and got her hanging on the lane line, so that was seriously selfless!

After that, the folks near me in line were critiquing the wave starts, since it looked like you HAD to start on the deck, but just no diving.  As we got closer to our 10sec separation for the start, we discovered that you could do a water start.  So getting the extra push from the wall is ALWAYS a good thing.

Well it was finally my time to get in and it was a little chilly, but not bad.  I got my countdown, and was off.  Since I was used to swimming in a 50 meter pool back in Kansas, this didn't phase me as much, I just got into a rhythm and ticked off the meters and concentrated on catching and passing folks.  I ended up passing about 8-10 folks, and was feeling good.

T1: 01:24 (3rd AG / 28th OA)

I climbed out of the pool and got the leg wobble and made my way outside, were it was a crisp, 52* and overcast, but from the swim and the jog to the transition area kept me warm.  I did make a nice rookie mistake, I left my Oakleys in my bag, so I stopped over there to unzip it, grabbed them and headed over to the bike to continue my T1.  Helmet on, shoes on and run to the exit and mount line, so overall, I can be faster, just need to remember everything next time.

BIKE: 33:12 (21.7 mph - 3rd AG / 16th OA)

With the road a bit rain-slickened and a funky gusty wind blowing, I wasn't as aggressive as I normally am on the bike, as this bike was a two loop, roughly square course.  I was aero in the straightaways, but eased up in the corners and turns and avoided the paint/tape that was on the road like a plague!  I settled in and hammered on passing a few of the faster swimmers / slow bikers in the first mile or so until I hit the headwind/cross wind (it was swirling and very annoying, so you ended up with two legs of headwind it seemed.  As I was heading up a slight rise, I was passed by another guy not in my AG, but as he passed me, I decided to push a little harder to catch up with him.  It took me about 3 miles to get within striking distance to pass him, but for some reason he rode just about on the yellow line, so after catching up to him, I yelled "ON YOUR RIGHT!" and passed him safely.

I know that I shouldn't have passed him on the right, however, when he's blocking, I'm not going to cross the centerline (even though the traffic was blocked off on the entire course), just bugs me a bit.  I finished up the first lap and started to hammer on the 2nd lap, which was more of the same, passing people, wind from funny directions, and one guy who passed me (which I passed him back later).

I finished up my 2nd lap and took the lane to the transition, hit the dismount line and did my standard running dismount (which folks were talking about after the race, very cool!) and rolled hot into T2.

T2: 01:01 (8th AG / 94th OA)

Well, despite a cool looking dismount and all, it still took me a little time, luckily the times were all right around my time (but a top ten time was :30 and under), but I just seem to lose "free time" in T1/T2.  I got the socks and shoes on, grabbed my Garmin and race belt and started my dash to the exit

RUN: 20:21 (6:33 pace - 2nd AG / 19th OA)

Luckily the course was twisty at the beginning, which gave me time to reset the Garmin (next time, need to set up multisport) and get my race belt on then start the real running.  After a short twisty section, you drop down into the tunnel (which the slopes on both sides constituted the only hills on the course) and you run under the railroad tracks and a street and surface on the other side near the football stadium.  The course takes you through campus and all the scenic spots, like the Alumni center, Kyle field (under construction), the indoor track center, golf course, etc, etc etc.  I just kept the foot on the gas and looked ahead to pass as many folks as I could.  The run was not too bad, just need to work on my foot speed a bit more and transitions more.

Overall, it was a wet, cold mess of a race, but I enjoyed myself.  Not a great start to the season, but not too bad.  I did like the display screens where you can check your race stats by punching in your number on the key pad.  Very nice touch.  I did sneak into the locker rooms and took a long hot shower, which felt good since I didn't bring any long pants for after, but it felt goooooood!

I ended up 14th overall, and 2nd in my AG, so not too bad, just need to get to work some more.  I'll update this with pictures when I get them, since part of the 90 buck price tag was free pictures, two shirts, and a hub cap of a finisher medal (I like it, it looks like a giant stop watch, but it's huge!).  So not too bad for the bucks.  Now I just have to find my next race this year as I am just planning this as I go now!

Check back later for race photos!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Yup, I'm a slacker.  Well let me rephrase, I'm a blogging slacker.  I've been busy getting ready to move to more warmer climes (namely Texas) and swimming my butt off (13 and a half miles this month!), so I get a pass on not blogging, right?  C'mon!

Well I am about a week out to my move, which means tons of paperwork, movers, and probably no exercise!  Ugggh!  I've been hitting the pool 3-4 times a week, but that is going to dry up (no pun intended), it is still arctic frigid outside (and I have HTFU a few times and run in sub 20 weather), so running has been little to none, but all that will change soon!  Texas, home of warm weather, low winds (most of the time) and good roads (I hope!).  I need to get a pedallin' here, especially with NOLA 70.3 coming up shortly.

So, at least I've been swimming and feeling good, so I'm not going to bomb this season.  In other news, it amazes me what people get paid to do.  Like this picture here, someone actually build a track like this.
Hill workout AND track workout.  Brilliant!!

This is why the runners get the inside lanes!
This is a real track in Alicante, Spain.  At first I thought is was a photoshop, but they actually built it this way.  It looks very cool, and I can see my old track coach telling me that we'd be taking the day off from hill workouts just to run on this!
Ah, well better get back to getting out of here, the clock is ticking and time waits for no man!
See you all later