Soma 70.3 Race Report

Wow, what an experience. I learned so much from my first 70.3 over the weekend and I want to make sure I document everything about it. So warning, this is a long post! There are some things I know I did wrong, others I nailed and overall I am so glad that I did the race because I really wanted it under my belt before tackling Ironman 70.3 CA next March. Not only did I get to take part of an amazing race, but Amy and the kids came out with me and we were able to stay and see some good friends for four days.

The Slice dolled up with an 808 and 1080

We rolled out Friday morning-ish and the kids actually handled it pretty well compared to last time we went out there and I almost got a ticket. We just threw on a bunch of Disney movies and they slept a lot. By the time we got to the Shirley's is was about 5pm and Eric and I headed out for a ride right away before it got dark. I had the Zipps on the Slice that Mike let me borrow and boy were they fast! The roads out in AZ are amazing. Most of them are newly paved because of the heat damage which causes them to constantly have them repaired. We put in a few race pace efforts and my legs felt surprisingly good after a 6 hour drive. After the ride we cleaned up and hit up Loco Patron with some more friends for a few beers.

The next day Eric and I headed down to the EXPO while the Amy, Kim and the kids went over to the fire station that was having a fair going on and then they hit up the Botanical Gardens near by. It was hot. 100 degrees hot. I was starting to get a little concerned about the next day because I really haven't spent a whole lot of time training in the heat. I sat in on the "Athlete meeting" grabbed some swag, went for a quick ride, checked in my bike and then Eric and I went on a quick little run. After that we just headed back to the house and relaxed. Kim made an amazing dinner (chicken, rice, veggies) and it was lights out at 9pm.

EXPO, Athlete talk
Wake up call was at 4:30am. I ate my typical oats, peanut butter, honey and banana cereal and started sipping on EFS and water. Eric volunteered to get up early with me, not go out with the guys the night before and cheer me on before going to a long Cardinal game...Great friend! I think he's hooked now to do it next year with me! We headed out at 5am and I was surprised how relaxed I was. Usually I'm pretty amped up for a race, but for some reason this race didn't intimidate me at all. I think a few things happened here.
1. I had put in a lot of open water swims. I've always felt unprepared and a little intimidated by the swim. This time (even though this was my longest swim in a race) I felt ready to tackle the swim.
2. For some reason since the race is a lot longer, it calmed me. I feel like sprints and Olympics are so short and intense, your margin for error is so little. I knew if I had some issues in any of the disciplines, it wouldn't make or break my I thought.
3. I was very mentally prepared for this race. I knew it was going to be a long day and I visualized out every scenario I possibly could have going in.

Just before the start
As soon as I got to transition, I set up, got body marked and headed out for a 15 minute progressive warm up. I got back, stretched a bit, took in a caffeinated gel and before I knew it I had my wetsuit on and dove in to get in a 10 minute warm up before they forced everyone to get out for the national anthem. The water was 73 degrees and I had a full suit, so it felt very comfortable to say the least. It's the best I'd ever felt going into a swim. I was calm, confident and excited to race my first 70.3! My wave (39 and under) was set to go 3 minutes after the pros. I never saw where they took off from, so after the cannon went they let us in and after a few strokes, they were yelling for us to get to the start which was like 200 meters away! Everyone just starts b-lining it over to the start..."30 seconds until the start of the 2nd wave!" I heard the announcer yell. Great, looks like I'll be swimming long today. I was probably only about 50 meters away from the "official starting line" but regardless it got the heart rate up in a hurry and I had to swim through back of the pack traffic. Not the best way to start my first 70.3, but learning experience #1.

Entering T1
Swim (1.2 miles): 38:28 (1:49 pace)
19th out of the water out of 58 in my AG
There was a lot of your usual thrashing for the first 400-500 meters or so and then I finally settled it. I found and fixed a lot of the flaws with my swim over the past month and it's really improved my stroke. I felt very calm and in control the whole time. My sighting was great and didn't struggle with my typical zig-zag issues that I'm normally used to. Before I knew it, it was time to make the turn back to the start. I told myself once I made that turn that I'd pick up the pace the rest of the way in. I started passing quite a few people and actually got settled into my first "pack." I've always read about these...ha. We were all kind of working together and I knew I was on pace to have a decent swim. It wasn't until about 500 meters to go that I saw another cap color (from the wave behind us). I took it as a good sign, because normally I'm getting passed by a ton of them and rarely see any of MY cap color in sight! The last 300 meters I started to struggle. My legs even started cramping. Are you kidding me!? I slowed way down and just let my arms do the work the rest of the way in. The weird thing is, I only use a 2 beat kick - pretty much use it solely for balance, so I thought it was pretty strange that I was cramping up. As soon as I exited the water they had wetsuit strippers which was awesome! They tore it off quickly and I started making the 150 meter run to transition. As I passed by Eric yelled out my split time, "37:25" as I passed by and was fine with that. It was right about where I'd predicted my time weeks back.

T1: 1:30
I was in and out pretty quick here since my wetsuit was already off. I threw on my Garmin 300, stuffed my Tri top with three Powerbar Latte Gels, 1 flask of EFS Gel and three Margarita shot bloks. I had 2 bottles of EFS loaded up in my bike, ready to go.

Bike (56 miles) 2:30 (22.4 mph)
5th fastest bike split
I was excited to get on the bike. In every triathlon I've done, I'm so used to just hammering right out of the gate and riding hard the entire time. I felt like this distance allowed me to relax a bit, especially at first while I gathered my bearings from the swim. I waited a bit to take in calories, which was some good advice I'd received. Especially after swallowing a little bit of that nasty lake water, no need to piss off the stomach...yet. I slowly got up to speed and into a rhythm. The bike course was three laps each 18.6 miles and change. My goal was to simply lock into 50 minute laps which was going to give me a 2:30 ride time. The course was filled with numerous U-turns and sharp corners. Very hard to stay in a rhythm when you keep breaking it. Add a nice head wind and heat for most of the course and the flat course everyone talked about wasn't as fast as you'd expected. However, I was also very mentally prepared for this. One thing I didn't expect was how much drafting was going on. It was kind of hard because of all of the U-turns and narrow roads to not get stuck behind someone, but I remember a lot of legitimate drafting (full on packs) going on...bummer, hate seeing that. I stayed on top of my nutrition...and now that I look back on it, maybe too much. I know one thing I did wrong was not take in enough water. During the whole race I only took in about a 1/2 bottle of water. I only took in liquid calories. Since that's all I do in training, I thought I'd be ok---but with the heat, I now know this was part of my problems to come. I went through the first lap in 49 mins, second lap in 48 and after starting the third lap I was feeling amazing. I really felt like I was in control, my heart rate and perceived effort were low and I was having a lot of fun! I was enjoying racing on the bike. I had multiple battles going on with different guys throughout the whole race, something I am not used to. I even chatted it up with some guys as they went by me or I went by them.

Hurting but smiling coming in!
With about 8 miles to go I stood up out of a U-turn to get back up to speed and this is when things got ugly. My quad and hamstring on my left leg cramped up. I immediately sat back down and got back in position. They went away, but I started to get a little concerned. I decided to bring my speed down a bit, take in some liquids and try to get my body in run mode. I felt like they went away and as I passed by my cheering squad towards the end of the ride I gave them a thumbs up and a smile. I was ready to tackle this run and win the thing. I knew I was towards the front just because of the quality of riders I was with. I figured there's no way any of these guys can run with me so I was pumped to get out and handle it. I cannot emphasize how good I felt here both mentally and physically. I felt like I was on cloud nine. The heat, the pacing, none of it was going to stop me from absolutely killing this race.

T2: 2:09
As I went to take my shoes off just before transition, the evil cramps came back again. I decided it would be best to get off my bike first to avoid crashing! As soon as I arrived, my whole cheering squad witnessed the ugliest dismount and run to my rack ever. I was cramping all over the place. Both legs were seizing up and no matter what I did, they got worse. I REALLY slowed down and took my time in transition. Every time I bent down to change my shoes or put on my race belt, the cramps would come in full force. Still, I was very positive. I was 100% sure that I just needed to "loosen up" a bit before I got my running legs under me. A volunteer saw how much I was struggling in transition and came up and asked if I was alright, I said "I'm fine! No big deal!" and slowly hobbled away.

So confident at this point...ha
Run (13.1 miles) 6th place starting the run
As I made my way on the run course, I was limping pretty bad and saw Eric and I told him, "Dude, all I need is a mile under me to loosen these legs up, I'm fine!" Literally about 200 meters later my whole left leg completely locked up. I screamed for about a minute, the cramp wouldn't let go! There were some spectators that just fled from the scene when I started screaming. Whenever I'd try to stretch it or walk on it, then my other leg would cramp up. I was a total train wreck. I slowly started on my way again, desperately taking in more shot bloks, gels, and anything I could get my hands on at the aid stations. I eventually settled into 8 minute pace for about 800 meters, walk, then start up again. But each mile the cramps got worse and to add insult to injury because of me trying to save my race with taking in tons of calories and salts, my stomach started getting very angry with me.
At mile 4 I had never been so happy to see a porta-pottie. It saved me from what could have been a very embarrassing day. I continued to limp along now at 10 minute pace and we went down underneath a bridge and I smelled one of the worst smells I ever have. It smelled like I put my head in a sewage tank. It's funny when I look back at it now, but as soon as I smelled that, seconds later I was "Brraaaahhh, braaa, belch...yuk." Threw up everything I had in me...Horrible! Love the Hurt right?? Believe it or not, I still figured I'd get through this. I knew it was just a rough patch. So stubborn..I understood throwing up and diarrhea are very common in 70.3's and I was committed to finishing this thing. However, when I hit mile 5, things continued to get worse for me. My leg cramps became so bad that I was limited to just walking and then when I'd try to take something in at the aid station, I would instantly throw it up. Dizziness, goose bumps...This was not just a rough patch, body was shutting down. So when the first lap ended, I walked myself straight over to the med tent and called it a day.

This was my first DNF ever and it didn't come without a fight. I really feel like I made the right decision. Did the cramps come from lack of water and salts? Lack of training? Heat? Probably a little bit of everything. The winning time was 4:42 in my age group. All I had to do was put together a 1:30 (6:52 pace) 1/2 marathon and I would have won the damn thing. Oh well, not going to let it get me down. I took away a lot of positives from this race.

1. I'm mentally stronger then I was when I ran competitively

2. I'm on the fast track for great success in triathlon

3. I'm very hungry for success at this distance.

4. I love this distance.

Me and the boys, well earned beers!
After the med tent, I walked back over to the ole' porta potty for one last date and then finally met up with my family/friends. I was able to take in some water and finally I just passed out under a tree for a 1/2 hour. I was out of it. As soon as I woke up I felt like a new man. I even considered getting back out there and finishing, but I already turned in my timing chip. Relax! Once we got back to the house I passed out again, ate a bunch and then later we hit up Four Peaks Brewing Co again; something my wife and I have been craving since we last visited. They had a great Pumpkin Porter that was probably the best I've tasted and we just grubbed on a lot of food, watched the world series and I finally let go of the fact that I didn't finish. Overall I had a good 1st year of triathlon and am excited about what next year holds. Some exciting things in the works right now and look forward to a week completely off before I slowly start building back up for 2012!

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone for their nice comments, it means a lot. And most of all thanks to our amazing hosts, the Shirley's for taking in four more into their already full household. It was fun!

Mental Strategy

Check out my article titled "Mental Strategy" that was published over at Tri Swim Coach. Make sure you check out his website too, I've learned a lot about swimming from it and it's a very helpful tool whether you're a newbie or an experienced swimmer.

I'm a big believer in the mental game and although I feel like I have some talent, most of my past/current success was/is due to me being mentally tough and training my mind just as hard as I train my body.

You can view the article over there by clicking HERE

Game Time

Well the week is finally here. The fruit of all of my labor over the past several months will be exposed this weekend in Arizona at the Soma Triathlon. I'm definitely not putting pressure on myself to have this crazy fast race, I'm just excited to compete in my first 1/2 ironman. I really don't know what to expect, I've never raced over 4 hours before (unless you count my first marathon I did when I weighed in at 180 pounds!) but I'm glad I'll have one under my belt before I RACE Ironman CA next year. In the weeks leading up to the race, I've had some great quality days, but not as much quantity as I hoped for. The volume has creeped below 10 hrs the past 3 weeks now because of work and personal things but I still think I have a good 1/2 in me because of the months and months of good volume. It's in the bank, time to cash out!

Last weekend I decided to jump in the Dirt Dog Series Cougar Challenge 8k. It's a local cross country race that is open to both club teams and college teams. It was pretty weird lining up against both Cal State San Marcos and Cal Baptist (2 teams I ran for). I even chatted it up with a few guys that recognized me. It's good to see that Cal Baptist is actually starting to build a decent team again since they dropped the program back in 2003? Since the race was at Cal State I decided to bring my bike to the race and just ride home while Amy and the kids drove home. I had this idea last year but never went through with it. It's only 30 miles so I just figured it would be a good way to spin the legs out and cool down from the race.

Team BSK/Running Center/FLEXR

The gun went off and we sprinted out. I just smiled as we bumped and jostled into position. It totally took me back to my high school and college xcountry days. Although I'm definitely more of a track guy, I do have an appreciation for xcountry. All of the smells, sounds and even the pain associated with xcountry brings back great memories. As it is with most xcountry races, everyone went out really fast. I kinda just settled in the middle of the pack and kept my self in control by glancing at my Garmin occasionally. Because I'm racing this week, this race was more of just a "tune up" for Soma. I just wanted to open the legs up a bit, put in a solid 5k and see how I felt. I went through the first mile in 5:21 and felt amazing. It was a 3 lap course and I wanted to make sure I hit that first lap easy and then just cruise to 5k. Here were my splits:

5:33 (16:45 for 5k)

Shutting it down and having fun!
I hit 5k sub 17 which was my goal and then kinda just shut it down. I was feeling OK, but it was that part of the race where I would've had to really dig really deep and hammer for 2 miles for a good finish result/time. I opted to save it for this week, which I was glad I did. The point was to go out, get a good workout in and have fun. I still ended up going about 12 seconds faster than I did last year and placed 13th in the club race and was the 6th man on team BSK. We dominated and won the club race. After the race, I stretched a bit and then it was time to get on the bike and head out! I quickly ate a bagel, chugged some EFS and rolled out. I just took Twin Oaks Valley out to the 15 and just took the frontage roads (hwy 395) all the way home. There was some good climbing, but I felt really good and strong. I started picking up the pace a bit with about 10 miles to go and passed a big cycling team. As I went by, the guy that was leading the group broke off the group and got on my wheel. I guess the competitiveness got the best of me cause I started hammering. He stayed right on me for about 1 mile and then we hit a steep hill. I got out of the saddled and hammered even more. The power was there, I dropped him and felt very strong. I am ready for Soma. Bring it on!

Of course he wanted the biggest one!
The rest of the week was chill. That night, Amy and I hit Peltzer farms with the kids and some friends and then I was off to the Temecula Valley Tri club meeting/BBQ. Mike gave some great tips on swimming and John from The Bike Shop who is thee best mechanic gave some tips and info on upcoming 100 mile training rides. I'm excited to get in on some of those rides. Then, last night I had an amazing open water swim with my new Aqua Sphere Kayenne's. It's amazing how clear these goggles are. My last pair was so scratched up and worn out, I could hardly see out of them. Any little thing is going to help me in the 1.2 mile swim this weekend. After the swim, Mike hooked me up with his Zipp wheels for the race. He's going to let me borrow them for the weekend and I can't wait to see what kind of difference it will do in my bike split. From what I hear, it will take quite a few minutes off of my time. Thanks Mike!

We head out early Friday morning to AZ. I'm excited to see old friends, race and drink some well earned beers Sunday night. I'm going to teach my hi-tech wife how to twitter this weekend so that she can send out updates during my race on Sunday. Follow along and wish me luck!

Some more pics from the week:
Future track stars
Love having my family at the finish
Getting ready to head out after the race
Scarlett riding the pony w/mom
Little man is growing!
Scarlett in training

Emotional Week

We love Grandpa!

This week had a lot of ups and downs. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was exhausted. Without trying to get too personal on this blog, Wednesday night my dad went into the hospital for chest pains, the next day we find out he needs a 5 bypass surgery! I never even heard of 5. I've heard of quadruple bypass surgery, so I guess this was worse than that...It hit our family pretty hard and it was pretty hard to come to terms with. Apparently, Coronary Artery Disease runs in my family now -because my grandpa had it too. To make a long story short, he had the surgery Friday morning and it was a complete success and he is recovering very well and fast. The power of prayer is amazing. We had dozens of churches and literally thousands of people praying for him. He is a very loved man and it wasn't time for him to go! My dad is a big reason why I got into sports. He put me into soccer and baseball at 5 years old and I just stuck with it until I eventually switched to endurance sports in high school. I always gave it my all and most of it was to just try and impress him. He's my hero and I'm so glad he pulled through this gnarly surgery.

Hammering on the trainer
As far as training goes, the week had it's ups and downs. Tuesday I had a great 16X200 meter track workout. But is wasn't just the work I put in that helped me --Brian Scott (worlds qualifier) a local stud triathlete ran with me and we pretty much talked the whole workout about training, nutrition, gear, etc.  I learned so much from him and appreciated the help. I need it! Wednesday I was on the trainer and the rest of the week was a blur. By the time Friday night came I had to make a decision on whether or not I was going to race this little TCSD sprint triathlon race. I was emotionally drained, but now that my dad was doing well - I figured putting myself in pain would be a good distraction from reality. My buddy Ryan was already planning on going down, so it made my decision that much easier.

Ryan and the bikes!
I woke up at 4:30am and headed down to meet up with him. He just got a new Cervelo and was going to borrow some Zipp wheels, so he was stoked to race! The race was down at Fiesta Island and included a 700 meter swim, 13 mile bike and 4 mile run. It was a beach mass start and as usual I got smacked around in first, but eventually found some clear water and sited WAY better to the buoys this time. My open water swim practice has done wonders for me in just a short 3 weeks. I didn't really get into a rhythm until we made the turn around and I started passing people. With about 300 meters to go, I see Ryan and his pink swim cap swimming right by me. We swam together for the next 200 meters or so until he left me. I thought I had a pretty decent swim, but I probably came out in 30-40th place way back...

700 meter Swim: 14:11 (1:51 pace)

T1: 1:12 (my fastest yet!)

The bike was 5 laps around fiesta island, which is flat and fast. I still don't rubber band my shoes to my pedals and I paid for it here. After the race I discovered that my cleat is wearing out and part of the rubber was hanging over my shoes, which made it very difficult to clip in. So I'm wobbling all over the place trying to get clipped in after transition and I see Ryan go by me wobbling to get in his shoes too. Rookies!! I finally get in and take off. I started passing quite a bit of people, but after the first lap I had no idea where I stood so I just kept hammering. I started cramping up a bit (didn't take in any salt...stupid) so I would just get out of the saddle and try and work it out once or twice a lap. I got passed by Ryan's friend (and dad to the eventual winner) so I let him go by and then I eventually passed him back up with 2 laps to go. The bike felt decent but I didn't like how short it was. It felt like I couldn't get into a rhythm. Despite that I had the fastest bike split on the day.
13 mile bike: 32:25 (24.1 mph)
T2: :52

As I left transition someone yelled at me that I was 4th coming off of the bike. Sweet! The plan for the run was to just leave it all out there. I had no idea how it would go, but if I blew up, I blew up. My feet were super numb coming out of transition and I felt something in my shoe. It felt like some rocks or mud because the transition area was in a dirt/mud area. Great...I decided to just rough it out and kept trying to jiggle the rocks out from underneath my feet. I settled into my pace pretty flawlessly. The run course was 2 loops of 2 miles. I passed 2nd and 3rd place within the first 1/2 mile. Then I saw some guy run out of the bathroom and wondered if that was 1st place. I passed him pretty quickly and had no idea if I just took the lead, so I just hammered. My first 2 mile split was 11:14 (5:37 pace) and they said I was in 2nd so I picked up my pace even more. Because of the loops you really couldn't see that far in front of you, so I had no idea where this guy was. I really wasn't feeling any fatigue or cramping so I just laid it out for the last mile and ended up splitting 10:11 (5:05 pace) for the fastest split on the day. When results came out I was stoked to see that I ran faster than I originally thought.
Run: 4 mile run 21:25 (5:21 pace)
2nd place overall 1:10:09

You can see my finish video here although it's kinda crappy quality.

Kicking it in at the Cougar Challenge (last year)
The guy that won was an 18 year old kid that just got back from the Duathlon World Championships. He had the full on national jersey and everything, so I didn't mind losing to him. He beat me by almost exactly one minute and almost all of it in transitions and the swim...Need to get better! As soon as I finished I pulled off my shoe cause by now those rocks were killing me...come to find out, since this was a "Halloween" themed race, some of the TCSD volunteers put candy in every one's shoes during the bike leg. So I ended up with some sweet tarts (including the package) in my shoe  pretty funny. Apparently in their April Fools race they hide every one's this was the better of the two I guess!

By the time Sunday rolled around, I was exhausted. I even passed out on the way home from my brother and sister in laws house. I rarely have Amy drive, but I was done. A long week and I'm glad it's over. My dad is doing well, my family is healthy and my fitness has now gone to a new level. Life is good.

Saturday it looks like I'll be jumping into the Cougar Challenge 8k. I don't get as sore from these races like I used to, so I figured it will be a good "tune up" race for Soma in a few weeks. Last year I ran high 27's, so this year I'm hoping to go sub 26 or maybe low 26...We'll see, should be interesting.

Soma Prep

So I have a little less than three weeks before my first 70.3. I've basically geared most of my training/pacing around this distance all year and I'm excited to finally see what I can do. I was late signing up for 2011 Ironman CA 70.3 this last year as well as Vineman 70.3 (I now know Ironmans sell out fast!), which I think was a good thing. Being so new to triathlon I'm glad I have a solid year under my belt now before I tackle my first which is the Soma Triathlon in Tempe, AZ. The race runs along the same course for the most part as Ironman Arizona. From what I hear (from past participants) is the swim seems a bit long, the bike ride is flat with lots of turns and the run is flat and fast. Now I'd much rather have a swim that runs short, a hilly bike ride and a tough run course, but I'll take it! I'm also pumped to take the family out for a little get-a-way weekend and stay/see some friends over there. Hopefully I won't be up till 3am drinking and dancing the night away 2 days before the race like last time I was there! I'm just stoked to ride my bike with some friends and then race!

I had a decent training week last week (besides the swim):

Swim: 1hrs 25 mins (3,500 yards)
Bike: 6hr 10 mins (116 miles)
Run: 3hr 25 mins (25.5 miles)
Total: 11hr 0 mins

The quantity wasn't there last week but the quality was. I'll break it down:

Monday: Easy run in the am, Open water swim at Vail lake in the pm. I can't tell you how much this open water swimming has already helped me and I've only gone twice! It's teaching me to swim straight, sight and how to swim with heavy currents.

A windy/choppy day at Vail lake
Tuesday: San Diego Track Club Workout. We met at the lake for the last time (we're moving back to the track). I put in a 2.5 mile warm up, then did a 1 mile time trial before doing 10xhill repeats. I really didn't know what to expect for the mile. David wanted us to predict what we thought we'd run and then run it without looking at your watch. I really wasn't in the mood to "go all out" so I just put down 4:50 thinking it would be a piece of cake. Everyone else was sandbagging it (cough..Sergio...) so I just took off and tried to put in a good effort solo. I felt pretty good for the most part. I decided to finish up strong the last 400 meters and got that all-so-familiar feeling of running this distance in high school and college. Miss it! I finished in 4:45 and was quite surprised with the time. I imagine with a little speed work and some competition I could go sub 4:20....Back to focusing on being a triathlete....After the mile we did some hill repeats and called it a day.

Some of the crew I meet with every Tuesday night
Wednesday: 2000 yard swim in the am, 35 miles and 3000ft of climbing in the pm, then a good beer. This is the 2nd time I've been impressed with Widmer Bro's IPA's. This one was their "Nelson Imperial IPA" and it hit the spot. Try it!

Packs an 8.6% punch!

Thursday: Day off. My sister and bro in law had their first baby. A boy! It was awesome visiting with them.

Baby Eli!
Friday: 6.5 mile steady state run in the am.

Saturday: I planned Saturday to be a big training day. With Soma about three weeks out, I knew this needed to be a big weekend to benefit from the workout. I really wanted to see what it would feel like to run right off the bike after a good solid bike effort. Matt and I hooked up for a ride that was flat as can be. We basically chilled all the way out to Lake Elsinore to warm up and then once we made the turn around it was on! We both took turns pulling each other and we were flying. At one point I looked down at my Garmin and we were going 32mph. We averaged about 25-30mph all the way home which only took about an hour. Granted it is easier to do this while drafting, but regardless we were putting in some work. I love going fast and as we came up on the 2:40 mark we were sitting at 54.5 miles for the day. This kind of got me thinking about a 2:35 goal on the bike for Soma. I understand I'll be a little wiped out from the swim, but this ride was definitely not a race pace effort (1st half of the ride). Coming in from the ride I knew my legs would give me a good 1/2 marathon at this point.
Our route
2nd half is where we put the work it
Brick run: Right after getting off the bike I treated it as a transistion: In and out. I also experimented a bit. I powered down a Cliff bar as I was heading out on the run. From what I read, I understand that it's pretty hard to digest solid foods when going 70.3 pace. Now, I normally wouldn't do this before the run (ideally about 10-20 mins before the run) but I just wanted to see how my body would handle it. I had no idea what my pace should be for the race, so I mapped out a 10k on half dirt/half concrete and went off of feel. I rarely do brick workouts I just seem to not have any problems running off of the bike. But in this case I really wanted to see what kind of legs I'd be dealing with after a solid 55 mile ride. Here's how it played out:

10k in 70.3 1/2 ironman race pace
After powering down that Cliff Bar and taking in some fluids I settled into my 1/2 marathon race pace. I kinda figured it would be around 6:45 pace so I did that for a few miles and my heart rate was right about what it would be in the beginning of a real half marathon (only about a minute faster pr mile). So I decided to pick it up a bit and dropped down to 6:20's/6:30's and heart rate went up about 10 beats. This also has to do with the heat too. At this point it was about 93-95 degrees. After finishing up I knew I had another 7 miles in me at that pace (even with the heat). Overall I was pleased with how I felt coming off of the bike and I know with better nutrition, race atmosphere and competition I'll shape up to have a nice 70.3 debut. However the work wasn't over! That night Amy and I went to my buddies wedding while our cool neighbors watched the kids. The wedding was a blast but combine my big workout day with drinks, dancing and a late night by Sunday I was pretty beat!

My phone takes crappy pics...Pictured is my hot wife!!
Sunday: pm bike ride - 25 miles chill. Then fun with the kids!

Went to the pumpkin patch!
So to hold myself accountable I've decided to post my race predictions (broken down):

1.2M Swim: 36:00 (1:51/100)
T1: 2:00 (standard for me)
56M Bike: 2:35 (21.6 mph)
T2: 1:15
13.1M Run: 1:27 (6:38 pr/mile)

Total Predicted time: 4:41
Goal Time: 4:30

I feel the swim time is pretty realistic since this is my first time racing that distance. The bike time is very calculated and I think even conservative when I compare it to the workouts I've been posting the past few months on the bike. The run is also conservative. I honestly think I could run sub 1:25 off of the bike, but I've never done it before so I'll shut up till I do!

Sorry for the geeked out numbers post, this probably bored my wife to death.

Thanks for reading...and...Get out and train!