Training Log (Mar 17-23)

Last week was really quite weird. After coming off my best week of training of the year I was excited to keep the momentum going as we lead into Ironman Oceanside 70.3. First half of the week went great then Wednesday I got horribly ill. I didn't mention it to anyone but my coach and of course my wife that tried to take care of me in bed. I hate it when people come up with excuses prior to a race, it's as if they have already defeated themselves. It's a sign of self-doubt. I had no intentions of bringing this up until I remembered that I have this blog to write... It really was a weird illness. I woke up with a big stomach ache which turned into sweats, chills, nausea, and was just left feeling really achy and weak. No fever, no vomiting - just HORRIBLE. I thought maybe I had food poisoning but with no fever or vomiting I am left confused and am just tacking it up as a bug that I got.

So the week was a bit of a wash when it came to training. I had to take two days off and even up till Monday I am left feeling very weak and tired. Flu season is going on in full effect out here and as much as I eat healthy, sleep 8-9 hours, wash my hands, sanitize and avoid others that are sick - it can be impossible to avoid, especially when you have two little ones running around! The good news is I have until Saturday to get well. I have a positive spin on the whole thing and look at it as forced rest and recovery which will make me even stronger once I toe the line... er buoy on Saturday.

Here's what last week looked like. I'm also going to post this week's workouts leading up to the race so you can see how we approach race week. Next week will be my Oceanside race report. [hr]

Monday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 90 mins/ 4k
500 wup, 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50 on 50
Long Main set all on 1:40b:
12x25 Sprint

Post workout notes: As always, on Mondays I'm always a little bit tired from the weekend of training and having fun with family/friends. Workout went as planned but had zero sprint in me at the end.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds / ISM Bike Ride: 75 mins / 20 miles / 16 mph

Flanny’s workout: No concern for watts or speed today. Settle into a good groove and stay down in the aerobars.

Post workout notes: Usually on recovery days I'm around 85-90 watts, today I was pushing over 100 and felt easy. Just a good shake out ride.[hr]

Tuesday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Track workout: 1hr / 7.86 miles Workout file HERE.

Group workout:10 min wup, plyos, 800 of jogging curves, striding straights.

Main set: 3x400 @ mile pace, 2x800 @5k pace, 1 mile @10k pace, 2x800 @5k pace, 3x400 @mile pace c/d

Post Workout notes: It's been awhile since I've done any speed work or running in a group setting so this was welcomed. My legs were pretty beat up and tired to start the workout but the back half I felt a lot better and faster. Always fun to be on the track![hr]

Wednesday-Thursday - Sick.[hr]

Friday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy 3k wetsuit swim: 50 mins / 3k

Post workout notes: This time of the year is great because I have access to three pools. One community pool (where I do masters) and two HOA pools - one heated and one not heated (but still maintained). So I'm able to get in some wetsuit swims and not burn up and also get used to that freeze shock we all get when we jump into Oceanside harbor each year. One thing I'm trying to work on is proper wetsuit fit. I do my best to try and get as much slack in the shoulders but I still get that wetsuit shoulder fatigue. I also have a bad habit of kicking too much with a wetsuit on. I have no idea why, but it's something I'm trying to work on and limit myself to a 2-beat kick, just like I do in the pool so I can conserve more energy for the bike and run.

Rudy Project Recovery Run- 37 mins / 4.3 miles / 8:36 pace

Flanny’s Workout: EZ run back

Post workout notes: Back from the dead. Still feeling effects, bloated, tired...etc[hr]

Saturday: 2 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE:  2hrs / 31 miles / 15 mph

Flanny’s workout: Zone 2 w/ 30 minutes of climbing (that doesnt mean kill the climbs

Post workout notes: Felt like garbage most of the ride and got a flat for the first time in a year but things started getting better the last 30 minutes and started feeling a little bit better.

Rudy Project Brick Run: 20 mins / 2.85 miles / 7:43 pace

Flanny's workout: I want you to set up a practice transiton and quick change to the run after your ride. First mile at race pace and then shut it down.

Post workout notes: Treated this as transition practice and also experimented with eating solid food 15-20 minutes before to see how my gut would react to race pace. Hit that first mile in 6:17 and didn't feel so great. Both in my gut and in general. Still recovering from sickness.[hr]

Sunday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Long Run: 90 mins / 11 miles / 8:11 pace

Flanny’s workout:
30 minutes Warm Up
45 minutes low Z3 building to high Z3
15 minutes Cool Down

Post workout notes: This was a tough workout both mentally and physically. When you're not feeling well and you know you're fit it can be quite frustrating, especially after some time off. I'm just not quite recovered yet.[hr]

Totals (2 swims, 2 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 7,000 yds /2:20
Bike: 51 miles / 3:20
Run: 26 miles / 3:30
Total hours: 9:10

Very light week overall. We would have approached this week a lot differently if I didn't get sick. The goal was to just get well and play each day by ear.[hr]

Race week (Mar 24-30)

Monday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 1hr / 3200 yds.
500 wup, 4x100 @1:40, 4x50 @50
Mainset (all on 1:30b)

Post workout notes: Felt like crap the entire swim. Just worn out with a deep fatigue. Had to skip a 50 here and there, something I rarely do.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds / ISM Bike Ride: 80 mins / 21 miles / 15.8 mph

Flanny’s workout: Taper Ride ......Z2+ Ride for 75 min w/ 8 x 1 min Z4 on 3 min easy

Post workout notes: I went into this ride not knowing what to expect. After the first 30 seconds or so in z4, I knew it wasn't in the cards so I toned it down to z3. By the end of the ride I felt a lot better.[hr]

Tuesday: Tempo run

Flanny's workout: 10 minutes at race pace and no faster. Settle in and relax. Get 15 min of WU and then get the tempo in.....relax and run easy afterwards.[hr]

Wednesday, 2 workouts:

1hr swim:
400 choice
3X100m kick
9X100m descending 1 to 3 (3 times) on 15 sec rest
500 pull
200 cool down

1hr recovery ride:
w/ 4 x 90 sec at race pace.[hr]

30 min easy run. Super Easy Day
30 minute run w/ strides at completion.
Remember to get as much sleep as possible[hr]

30 min pre race ride and 15 min venue swim if possible.[hr]

Race Day![hr]

1 hr active recovery spin or swim.[hr]

I have high expectations for Saturday. There have been a few setbacks over the winter but for the most part I've put in some solid training and there's no doubt that Flanny has me ready to race well. My bib number is #2365, feel free to track online. If you’re out on the course look out for the best looking kits on the course – all the Wattie Ink’ers! We are rocking black and orange this year and I’m excited to race in the custom made kit made by the W factory by Wattie himself. Made in the USA!

Thanks LAVA readers for all of the email encouragement and comments I have received, it means a lot! Wish me luck. Step 1, a test, for a KQ starts Saturday!

Training Log (Mar 10-16)

Last week was the best week of training I've had all year. I executed each workout to plan, had the best swim of my life and mentally overcame each day despite some personal stuff (not divorce or work related!) from the week before. It's crazy how much momentum affects me. I'm either on the upswing or downswing in training, rarely in between. Right now I'm definitely on the upswing and it couldn't come at a better time with Ironman Oceanside 70.3 next week. I'm going into the race as a different athlete than I was a year ago. I'm used to going into these races as a great runner with a decent bike and a poor swim. The swim takes everything out of me, I underperform on the bike and then I do my best to salvage a run with whatever I have left which often leads to unpredictable and poor results.

Now I go into Oceanside with confidence in my swim, something I'm not used to. I also go in with the best bike fitness I've ever had thanks to Flanny and my SRM. I'm actually least confident about my run but I know that me as an average runner is still better than most triathletes out there. I have a feeling that this breakthrough I've been waiting for; for so many years has finally arrived and I can't wait to toe the line and compete against a really good 35-39 field.

Here's last weeks numbers:

Monday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yds
800 wup, 4x100 @1:40, 4x50 on 50
6x150 on 2:30 w/last 50 sprint
6x100 on 1:40 w/last 50 sprint
12x50 on 55 w/last 25 sprint
c/d to 3500

Post workout notes: After that horrible 75 mile ride from the day before (and one to many beers), I struggled on this workout. It was really hard to change gears and actually sprint.

Rudy Project Recovery Run: 51 mins / 6 miles / 8:34 pace

Flanny’s workout: Monday Funday.....Lets get right into it with 50 minutes of Z2+ depending on the legs. Consistency is the name of the game so run as you feel today. If you are good....get it up a bit.

Post Workout notes: Legs didn't feel any better that night. Just felt tired and slow so I didn't force things and just cruised. [hr]

Tuesday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Threshold Session: Power File HERE
1:32 / 29 miles / 18.9 mph

Flanny’s workout: 30 min WU 10 min Z4 Threshold 2 min Rest 15 min Threshold 2 min Rest 20 min Z4 Threshold Remainder in Z2

I want you hitting mid to upper Z4 zone for each of these. Dont blow your load on the first one.

Post workout notes: I did this workout outside for the first time. In the past I've done these threshold intervals on the trainer but I just can't seem to ride as hard (as I've mentioned in the past). I put out my best numbers for these intervals and was pleased with how I felt.[hr]

Wednesday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy / Flanny Swim: 1hr / 3100 yds
800 Choice warm up
2x100 pull @ 1:50
2x50 pull @ :55
2x150 pull @ 2:45
2x50 pull @ :55
2x200 pull @ 3:40
2x50 pull @ :55
20x25 swim @ :30 (All FAST!)
600 w/Fins (100 swim/50 kick)
200 cool down

Post workout notes: 
Felt good to get some pulling in as my legs were pretty smoked from yesterday. Feeling stronger in the water.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Trainer: 1:20 / 19 miles / 14.5mph

Flanny’s workout: Simple Zone 2 ride as recovery to set you up for a good session of speed tomorrow.

Post workout notes: I was very close to bagging this workout because of a massive saddle sore from forgetting to wear chamois on Tuesday (sorry TMI). I just decided to do this on the trainer sitting up as to not agitate it anymore.[hr]

539215_10152295984864171_2134166510_nThursday: 1 workout

Rudy Project / Powerbar / Herbalife Track Workout File HERE
70 mins / 9 miles

Flanny’s Workout:
15 minute Warm Up
4 x [1 mile @ 5:50-6:00 pace, 60 seconds rest between miles]
1 lap easy after miles
2 x [800 m @2:30-2:40, 60 sec rest]
Cool Down remaining time

Post workout notes: My splits are listed in the link above. As usual, I felt terrible during the warm up and then the intervals seemed way too easy. I felt like I could do the set over again. Good workout and good confidence builder.[hr]

Friday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 90 mins / 4k
500 wup, 4x100 @1:40, 4x50 @50
4x100 (1:10-15 pace w/20 secs rest)
2x50 on 50
3x100 (1:10-15 pace w/20 secs rest)
2x50 on 50
2x100 (1:10-15 pace w/20 secs rest)
2x50 on 50
100 (1:10-15 pace w/20 secs rest)
2x50 on 50
400 pull (1:15-20 pace)
300 pull (1:15-20 pace)
200 pull (1:15-20 pace)
100 pull (1:15-20 pace)
6x50 sprint on 1 min
10x25 sprint on 30

Post workout notes: So the fast boys forced me in their lane and what a difference it made! I was hitting most of my 100's at 1:12 (with my pr from a year ago a 1:09) and my pulling felt a lot stronger. This was a break through workout for me and made me realize that I may be faster than I think in the water and that maybe I've just been lazy and content with being an average swimmer.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride:  1:47 / 33 miles / 18.5 mph

Flanny’s workout: No concern for watts or speed today. Settle into a good groove and stay down in the aerobars.

Post workout notes: Just trying to ride with others as much as I can so I hooked up with some friends for a nice evening ride after work. Love the time change![hr]

1184939_10152292931209171_532398611_nSaturday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE. 4:18 / 68 miles / 15.7 mph / 5k of climbing

Flanny’s workout: Long Ride Z2 with 3 x 20 minutes high Z3 Watts on 10 minutes back in Z2. Start the efforts after the first hour of riding.

Post workout notes: Notes attached to the power file above. I'm starting to do a little experimenting with nutrition and trying to incorporate some real food during intervals to see how it would settle. We are getting some decent heat out here already so also trying to adapt to drinking more and riding in hotter conditions - something I failed at last week. Great ride and felt really strong on the climbs.[hr]

Sunday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Run- 1:40 / 13.2 miles. Workout File HERE.

Flanny's workout: Lets get this in since we didn't have the opportunity last week. 30 minutes Zone 2 getting warm and into a groove.
3 x 10 minutes at 6:00 pace with 2 minutes easy between the efforts
Finish out the run at Zone 2 and drop in some run drills at completion.

Post workout notes: This was the 4th hard day in the row with some sort of intensity so my legs were pretty beat up and energy low. I was still able to execute the intervals. I always like to duplicate my run intervals on the run profile of my next big race. With Oceanside being flat as a pancake, the track was perfect for this. With my tired legs, Flanny was able to duplicate what I will be feeling like in a few weeks in the half marathon. It felt exactly like a 70.3 and I was able to run through the workout like an audition. I got through it and was very pleased with the overall week.[hr]

Totals (3 swims, 4 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 10,600 yds /3:45
Bike: 149 miles / 8:58
Run: 28 miles / 3:43
Total hours: 16:25

[caption id="attachment_2725" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The man Sean "Wattie" Watkins and I The man Sean "Wattie" Watkins and I[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2723" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Post ride heaven in your mouth Post ride heaven in your mouth[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2724" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Chillin with family Chillin with family[/caption]

Questions / Comments always appreciated!



Training Log / FTP Test (Mar 3-9)

Last week wasn't the best week for me on the training front. It was a mix of a few days of recovery from the race, a poor FTP Test and then a frustrating weekend of training. Trust me, I realize every triathlete has these kind of weeks; it's part of the sport. However, my goal of this blog is to be REAL. To tell it like it is and not sugar coat anything. What good is any blog if you don't? I think too often blogs, articles and social media paint this perfect picture of the successful pro or age group triathlete. That everything comes easy, that they love the sport every day and that workouts and life are always PERFECT. Sometimes you can get caught up into that. After all, we all need to stay positive right? Nobody likes a "Debbie Downer" and we tend to try and avoid those people. The only problem with that is when the sport does get tough or your job gets stressful or personal life gets in the way of being the ideal triathlete, discouragement can set in.

My real challenge at making this Kona run is to just stay positive and FIGHT every single day. Doing the actual workouts is the easy part! Juggling being a good husband, father, employee and a hopeful top level / KQ material triathlete is no joke. I know what I signed up for but that doesn't make things any easier. It's hard to believe that I'm a short 3 1/2 months away from IMCDA. The real challenges lie ahead as we get ready for Ironman Oceanside 70.3 and then dive deep into IM training. I know I'll be on the rivet everyday of this balancing act. Every single decision I make on the hour can affect my family, work, and triathlon life - and I'm prepared for that. Making calculated decisions with my time and efforts so I can stay consistent these next 3-4 months is going to be key.

With over 17,000 hits to my blog in a short 2 1/2 months and 1,600 hits per article for the Lava Magazine website, the tri world is watching. My goal is to give a detailed play by play each week. All the ups, all the downs and everything in between. Here's how last week went down: [hr]

Monday: 1 workout

BlueSeventy Recovery Swim: 40 mins / 2000yds500 wup / 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50 on 50
200 w/buoy/paddles
200 w/fins
100 butterfly
200 w/buoy

Post workout notes: This workout was all about recovering from the race. Just some pulling and active recovery.[hr]

Tuesday: 2 workouts

Rudy Project Recovery Run: 37 mins / 4.5 miles / 8:20 pace

Flanny’s workout: 30-40 minutes with no care of pace or distance

Post Workout notes: Since I didn't run hard at the race I really wasn't sore, just really fatigued. Losing a lot of fluids can really take it out of you.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds  Bike Ride: 1:09 / 17.5 miles / 15.2mph

Flanny’s workout: Depending oun how the legs feel today we go 90 minutes Z2+

Post workout notes: I was limited on time with work and family business so I had to cut this ride 20 minutes short. Legs are still tired but better than yesterday.[hr]

Wednesday: 2 workouts

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Trainer FTP TEST: 1:17 / 25 miles / 19.5mph

Flanny’s workout:

Today we are going to do our bike power test to identify your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and Threshold HR. This will allow us to set up Training Zones and fitness benchmarks. This can be done on a trainer with a power meter and HR monitor.

Warm-up 15 minutes. 3 x 1 minute hard 1 minute recovery 5 minutes easy 5 minutes ALL OUT 10 minutes easy 20 minutes ALL OUT 15 minute cool down. The most important part of this test is the 20 minutes all out. Make sure you hit your lap button at the beginning and end of the 20 minute effort.

What I need from you at the end of this test. 1: Average Power (Watts) for the 20 minutes 2: Average Heart Rate for the 20 minutes.

Post workout notes: For the Power File, click HERE. My FTP is 240 watts / pushing 3.75 watts per kilo (weighing 141 pounds). Two things. 1. I don't think I was quite recovered from the race. 2. I struggle riding hard indoors on the trainer. However, we needed a base number to work off of and this was the best time to squeeze it in so we are not worried about it. Already proving I ride better outdoors, just a few days ago I had Lactate Threshold intervals. I did them outside with a 10, 15 and 20 minutes with 2 minute rest in between. My last (20 min) interval, my Normalized power was 263 watts. Now, I'm really new (as in 1 month) to a power meter so I'm out of my element talking about this stuff but I'm pretty sure I'll be re-testing soon and numbers will raise drastically.

With a Masters swim just 20 minutes later, I relied on a Powerbar Harvest bar to hold me over till after the swim. This saved me!

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 1hr / 3k
500 wup, 4x100 @1:40, 4x50 @50
5x150 @2:15
200/300/200 on 1:30b
c/d to 3k

Post workout notes: 
Come to find out riding hard and then swimming hard shortly after is a tough thing to do!  Got though it albeit drafting most of the way, thanks lane mates![hr]

Thursday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Recovery Run- 40 mins / 5 miles / 8:00 pace

Flanny’s Workout: Z2

Post workout notes: Work was long and stressful. All I wanted to do was to get back home with my family and the last thing I wanted to do was run. I know a lot of us go through the same thing from time to time. I laced up anyways and as usual, I left the workout less stressed and more refreshed; something my family benefitted more from instead of me coming home still stressed out.[hr]

photo 4Friday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy 3k Time Trial: 49:30 / 3k / AVG 1:38/100 yds.

Post workout notes: I did this in my HOA pool that had no lane lines which simulates some good open water chop. I was a little bit bummed with my time. I really feel that I should be able to hold 1:30's, but as Flanny brought to my attention, my turns suck and you put me in a wetsuit and competition in the open water, my times will be closer to what I'm looking for. That's why I have a coach!

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE:  1:51 / 33 miles / 18 mph

Flanny’s workout: Optional ride if you have time.

Post workout notes: I slipped this in after work and my legs finally felt like they were coming back to life.[hr]

Saturday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Run- 1hr / 4.5 miles / 13:20 pace

Flanny's workout: 1:40 run: 30 minutes Zone 2 getting warm and into a groove.3 x 10 minutes at 6:00 pace with 2 minutes easy between the efforts. Finish out the run at Zone 2 and drop in some run drills at completion.

Post workout notes: On the training front, this was a very frustrating day. On the family note, this was one of more enjoyable days I've had. Amy had a trail race that she was doing with her sister and the kids. The plan was for me to go out, cheer her on and do my workout out on the trails. She was sick so I ended up taking the kids on this crazy trail run that had a lot of hills and soft sand. It was a great workout but nothing even close to what I had planned for the day. Afterwards I took my daughter to a bike race and then my son that night to get him cleats for soccer season - very special father/kid time and I loved it! I'm really looking forward to them getting into sports. This was one of those days where I put away my triathlete hat and spent time with my family which was no doubt the right choice.[hr]

Sunday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE. 4hrs / 76 miles / 18.7 mph

Flanny’s workout: Long Ride Z2 with 3 x 20 minutes high Z3 Watts (180-215) on 10 minutes back in Z2. Start the efforts after the first hour of riding.

photo 5Post workout notes: This ride was pretty frustrating. It was smooth sailing on the way out. I noticed it was getting a lot hotter than usual. I normally take in a bottle of fluids for every hour. The wind was also kicking by this point. I stopped, grabbed a cola and some fluids and headed back. Right around 3 hours I started running into some trouble. I felt like I was eating and drinking enough but probably not. I started getting dizzy, chills...etc. I know I needed to stop. So 20 minutes from home I stopped and grabbed a burger, a ton of water and of course a 22 ounce IPA. After two sips, it was the fastest I've ever been buzzed in my life! No doubt, it went straight to the blood - which was much needed. I had sort of a mental meltdown and just hated triathlon and everything about it. It wasn't the workout that spawned it - I've been through plenty of workouts where I ran into trouble. After talking with Flanny, I think it's just been an accumulation of things over the past several months. Getting into a groove, chopping my fingertip off. Getting into a grove, race a poor half marathon. Getting into a groove, get sick, puke all race, etc, etc, etc... It's just been awhile since I've had things swing my way.

Of course, its adversity - what do you expect in triathlon!? The difference for me is, in order for me to be at my best I need to be consistent and be right mentally. I can't have one or the other, they need to be synced and they both rely on each other. For me to be right mentally, I need momentum...i.e. success. I'm convinced that Oceanside is when things are going to turn around. I'm VERY motivated to throw down in that race.

I have a lot to prove.

Totals (3 swims, 4 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 8,000 yds /2:30
Bike: 151 miles / 8:18
Run: 14 miles / 2:18
Total hours: 13:05

[caption id="attachment_2711" align="aligncenter" width="225"]photo 3 Future soccer star![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2710" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Future tri star! Future tri star![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2709" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Love my family. Love my family.[/caption]


Desert Tri RR - Training Log (Feb 24-Mar 2)

Well my first triathlon of the 2014 season is in the books and it didn't quite go as planned...That's one thing I've learned about triathlon - that this "not going as planned" happens often and the real challenge is how you get through it DURING the race and how you respond to it AFTER the race. My coach always tells me that I'm too hard on myself but I have to say for this race - I'm proud of how I got through it and my attitude about it all. It was one of the harder AND easier races I've ever done. Let me explain.

[caption id="attachment_2702" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Love the Desert! Love the Desert![/caption]

The big "storm" of 2014 hit SoCal on Friday before the race. The rain was dumping which was much needed in a long drought we've been facing. Amy woke up not feeling so well on Saturday and with the rain pouring outside she decided that it would be best to stay home with the kids. So I headed out solo and as soon as I got out of Temecula heading east, the rain went away completely and the sun was shining. I was in high spirits going into this race. I had just finished up three solid weekends which included a half marathon, a hard century ride/relay run, capped off with Wattie Ink / BDR Training camp last week. I don't know what it is but I've been recovering really well lately -almost giving me an invincible feeling each morning. No matter how hard I went the day before I've been waking up without any soreness or mental fatigue - something I've NEVER experienced as a triathlete. So needless to say I was ready to start the season off with a bang and had high expectations of proving I'm ready to lay down this year.

[caption id="attachment_2699" align="alignright" width="300"]New Asics Gel Noosa TRI's! New Asics Gel Noosa TRI's![/caption]

Woke up and went through my usual pre race routine:
1. Sweet potato with sea salt, and a banana with almond butter 2-3 hours before race start.
2. 10-15 minutes of meditation. Just a chance to visualize the race one more time, prepare my body for discomfort / mentally prepare for the race and enjoy the day.
3. 10 minute bike warm up to make sure all systems go
4. 15 minute run warm up, stretching, light plyometrics, 5 strides
5. Take in pre race energy in T1. I've mentioned it before, T1 and swim start is my favorite part of triathlons. You can literally feel the glow and excitement from other athletes. You get to see a lot of friends, the sunrise is in full effect, the water looks amazing and there's no other place you'd rather be.
6. 10 minute pre race swim. I just like to get in the water, pee like 3 times (like everyone else does), put in a few 50 yd efforts, familiarize myself of where all the buoys are and just soak it all in. Again, no place I'd rather be.
7. Find the right place for me at the swim start. Depending on the race, I always have a plan of where I want to line up. For some reason I chose a terrible spot, especially since the plan was to go out fairly conservative then finish strong. I lined up 2nd row, middle which ended up being a bad choice!

Here are the details and I'll also include previous years splits for comparison.

Swim - 1200 meters / 21:43 (Avg 1:39/100yd)
2013: 20:09
2012: 21:56

The water this year was the cleanest I've ever seen it. You could actually see your arms in the water and it didn't have that horrible fishy smell that it normally has. It even tasted good - which is odd. However, it didn't feel very good with copious amounts in my belly. At the swim start I got thrashed around a little more than usual and drank some water. No big deal, nothing out of the ordinary as I've swallowed water before in the nastiest of lakes. I started out fairly conservative and gradually increased my effort and pace as the race went on - something my coach and I have been working on. It was working by the time I made the turn to head back to shore ~500 meters in I started passing a lot of guys in my age group that went out too hard. We also started passing athletes from previous wave starts. I tried my best to navigate through the traffic but in one instance I had a wall of 5 swimmers in front of me. Instead of going all the way around I decided to just plow through them. I've done this before with no issues but on this occasion I ended up swallowing A LOT of water that stopped me in my tracks. I immediately started throwing up. Have you ever thrown up while trying to tread water? It's almost impossible as your body kind of controls you with the contractions. I felt like I was going to drown! I was a disaster; goggles fogged up, snot and puke everywhere, swimmers running right into me. I was just trying to gather myself and move on.

I finished the rest of the swim with a few if-y burps but actually finished strong, something I've never had before and was definitely one of the few positive take-aways from the race. Even though I was about a minute down from last year, I easily lost a minute with my issues...

T1: 1:37

[caption id="attachment_2703" align="alignright" width="200"]UE_KCDD14KM01571_109 Rolling into T2 after a BRUTAL ride[/caption]

Bike - 40k / 1:02:23 (AVG 23.9 mph)
2013: 58:24
2012: 59:28

As soon as I got out of the water and stood up I could tell my stomach was not happy and my heart rate seemed through the roof. I threw on my Rudy Project sunglasses, hopped on my ISM saddle and as usual I took a few minutes to gather myself, get some Herbalife Prolong down the hatch and then lock into my pre-planned SRM wattage plan. About a minute after I took some fluids in it came right back up. I was in aero position and throwing up literally swerved me off the road and into the dirt. It scared the sh*t out of me and thankfully I was able to recover and get back on the road as a fellow racer went by asking me if I was getting some cyclocross training in. I gave him a look and then moved on. About 5 minutes later some acid came up which was quickly followed by some more puke and swerving on the road. Sorry if this is TMI, just telling you like it is. 

The rest of the bike was the same story. Losing all those fluids had my heart rate sky high and my wattage very low. I'm so stubborn that I refused to let this take me down and I pressed on. I just tried to stay as aero as possible and keep cadence high as there was no power in my legs. I was only able to average 180 watts which is what I average on my long rides! I am actually very pleased with my bike split despite what I was going through. I know a lot of people would have pulled the plug at this point. I still managed to average ~24 mph for the ride and I contribute a lot of that to my new Reynolds race wheels. It was my first time racing in them and not only did they handle fine in the dirt but also on these huge potholes and they gave the beautiful "hum" that I love hearing once you get going fast.

T2: 1:16


[caption id="attachment_2697" align="alignright" width="180"]First lap struggling... First lap struggling...[/caption]

Run - 6 miles / 41:50 (AVG 6:58 pace)
2013: 32:10
2012: 34:02

Immediately leaving T2 I dry heaved annoying loud in front of everyone. It was very embarrassing and kind of funny. I felt absolutely horrible but I pressed on. I couldn't keep any fluid down, nor was there any left so the dry heaving commenced. Finally by the 3rd mile I figured out how to make it subside and that was settling into a 7:30ish pace. The heaving went away and the rest of the race was just this weird feeling like I was on a training jog cheering on all the competitors that passed me. I knew I was no longer in the race and I had peace about it. I was proud of how I fought through this and I know this is going to help me once I race the real challenges in Ironman. I crossed the line, had a few more dry heaving spells - said congrats to a few team mates (congrats to David Lipke and Dusty Nabor 1,2 - two great friends and I wish I could have joined them on the podium!). I quickly packed up and went straight back to the hotel to clean up and collapse. I was toast. I made it home, slept for 3 hours then slept for 13 hours that night, took a 2 hour nap the next day and finally started feeling normal again!

[caption id="attachment_2698" align="aligncenter" width="200"]2nd lap, at peace, cruising and proud that I fought through a tough day 2nd lap, at peace, cruising and proud that I fought through a tough day[/caption]

Results: 2:08:51 / 9th AG, 78th Overall
2013: 1:54:02 / 1st AG, 14th Overall
2012: 1:57:56 / 2nd AG, 22nd Overall

photo 3