Race Week: Training Log (April 21-27)

It's RACE WEEK! With the job of qualifying for 70.3 World Championships out of the way and IMCDA still two months away, I jumped at the opportunity of racing Wildflower. There's zero pressure to perform well, so what are we going to do? We're going to take risks! Every single 70.3 I've raced has been on a conservative approach - which is smart since I was so new to the sport. With this being my fourth year in triathlon, I think it's time to put on my big boy pants and actually take some risks and race aggressively. There's no doubt that this course can really hurt you if you're too aggressive but I really don't have anything to lose. I'm not tapering or taking this race too seriously. It's all about having fun with team mates and racing harder than I ever have before.

Why risk a blow up when this is my last race heading into the most important race of the season? Well, my confidence is sky high right now. There's no doubt that I'm in the best shape of my life. I've also matured as a triathlete a lot this year and I know what I am capable of. My once hesitant confidence at my chances of qualifying for Kona are now a distant memory. I now believe that as long as I execute come race day at IMCDA, I'll be standing on the podium and collecting my Kona slot. Flanny mentioned that I'm ahead of his expectations with my fitness and I still have two months of solid training to build into the race.

So really, the goal at Wildflower this weekend is to put myself in such a deep/dark place that once I start to suffer at IMCDA, I'll remember the battles that I won at Wildflower.

Here's how last week's training looked like. Work was super busy so I really had to manage my time well and be disciplined on the hour.

Monday: 1 workout

Bike Tempo Session Data HERE 1:40/ 30 miles / 18.4mph

Flanny’s workout: 1.5-2 hours depending on available time. 2 x 20 minutes @ 70.3 Race Watts on 5 minutes easy. Stay aero as much as possible.

Post workout notes: (in notes) [hr]

Tuesday: 1 workout

Run Track Workout, Data HERE: 1:10 / 8.5 miles

Flanny's Workout:
15 min WU
2 x 2 mile on 2 min rest
(first one I want at 6:30 pace, second one I want at 6:15 pace)
2 x 800 on 1 min rest
(I want both at 6:00 pace.....NO FASTER)
This workout should not be too hard for you.
Easy CD for the remainder of the run.

Post workout notes: (listed in data file). [hr]

Wednesday: 2 workouts

Masters Swim: 90 mins / 4000 yds
500 wup, 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50 on 50
Main set:
5x200 on 3mins
500 pull (buoy/paddles)
5x200 on 3 mins
500 with fins

Post workout notes: I hit all of the 200's between 2:50-55. For not swimming since Friday, this was a really good workout for me - basically 2k at race pace.

Bike Tempo Session DATA HERE: 2hrs / 35 miles / 17.7 mph

Flanny’s workout: 2 hours today with 3 x 20 minutes at your 70.3 race watts on 5 minutes easy riding between efforts.

Post workout notes: (listed in data notes).[hr]

Thursday: 2 workouts

Morning run: 41mins / 4.5 miles / AVG 9:07 pace.

Flanny’s Workout: Easy morning run.

Post workout notes: 5am run's are always hard for me to warm up. Just an easy slow run.

Afternoon run: 1:22 / 10 miles / AVG 8:12 pace.

Flanny’s Workout: Evening Run 1:20 Z2+

Post workout notes: Hit the trails, felt pretty tired after a long day at work but started coming around towards the end. Good double run day, it's been awhile since I've done that.[hr]

Friday: 1 workout

Masters Swim: 90 mins / 4000 yards

700 wup, 10x50 on 50
4x500 @1:35 pace (odds swim, evens paddles)
500 drill (changing every 100)

Post workout notes: Another early wakeup call as I played golf with some clients for the rest of the day. Starting to love the longer intervals.[hr]

Saturday: 2 workouts

Wetsuit Swim: 31:36 / 2000 yds / AVG 1:34/100 
Post workout notes:
Was scheduled for a long ride/brick run but woke up to nasty rain and wind so I made a quick call to Flanny and we just swapped Sat/Sun's workouts. I have access to a non-heated pool so I knocked this out and was 3 seconds faster per 100 then I was the week before Oceanside. Good to see some progress.

Tempo Long run, DATA HERE: 1:27 / 11.3 miles / AVG 7:44 pace 

Flanny’s Workout:
30 minutes Z2
30 minutes Z3+
30 Minutes Z2

Post workout notes: (posted in workout notes).6:30's never felt so easy (ok, except in college :)[hr]

Sunday: 2 workouts

Bike ride, DATA HERE. 3:30 / 61 miles / 17.5 mph

Flanny’s workout: Within today's session I want 3 x 30 minutes at Z3 watts with lots of rest between efforts. Stay down and aero for as much of this as possible. We don't need a huge climbing day today so keep it reasonable.

Post workout notes: Notes attached to the power file above.

Brick Run- 20 mins / 2.75 miles/ 7:16 AVG pace. 

Flanny's workout: Easy 20 min run off bike.

Post workout notes: Running is feeling effortless right now.[hr]

Totals (3 swims, 3 rides, 5 runs)
Swim: 10,000 yds /3:32
Bike: 127 miles / 7:09
Run: 37 miles / 5:00
Total hours: 15:41

Hours had to go down a bit this week with it being such a busy week commuting to San Diego 4 out of the 5 days, running a trade show at the convention center for two days and golfing all day Friday. Overall very pleased with the progress and my fitness going into Wildflower.

Wish me luck!!

Here's some more pictures from the weekend, cheers!

[gallery columns="2" ids="2808,2807,2806,2805,2803,2802,2801,2800,2809"]

Training Log (April 14-20)

Consistency has been the name of the game and last week was no different. I'm executing every single workout that Flanny is throwing at me right now and I'm starting to see noticeable differences in my fitness for all three sports. Hours have slowly increased and the good news is I'm not feeling any more fatigued that I was before. I feel like as a coach and athlete we are in sync which is sometimes hard to do - and from it comes an overwhelming confidence that what I do each day is the right thing.

The world famous Wildflower triathlon festival is next weekend and I'm really excited to race. Sometimes when you get signs of great fitness you start looking around for a race and I feel like this is the perfect race at the perfect time in my build up to IMCDA. What's even better is Wattie Ink and Wildflower triathlon partners up each year - so we are treated like kings there. Can't wait to hang out with team mates and race hard!

Here's last weeks workouts:

Monday: 3 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yds
500 wup, 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50 on 50
Main set:
6x200 on 3 mins
10x100 pull on 1:30 (5 w/paddles, 5 w/buoy)
200 c/d

Post workout notes: Tough day today in the water, barely made the 200's on 3 mins.

Bike Trainer ride: 1hr / 14 miles / 14 mph

Flanny’s workout: Recovery ride

Post workout notes: Easy recovery ride on the trainer, felt good to chill.

Rudy Project / Powerbar / Herbalife Steady State run: 55mins / 7 miles / AVG 8:01 pace.

Flanny’s Workout: Lets get in 60 minutes of steady running on soft surfaces focused on quick turnover.

Post workout notes: 3 sport day. Felt good to run and drop the pace down a bit in the middle and then cruise in. [hr]

Tuesday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Track Workout, Data HERE: 1:03 / 8.42 miles

Workout details:
3 x 400m uphill @ 5k effort / easy jog back to the bottom
1 mile @ 15k pace
3 x 400m uphill @ 5k effort / easy jog back down
1 mile @ 10k pace

Post workout notes: (listed in data file). [hr]

Wednesday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Flanny Swim: 90mins / 4000 yds
500 wup, 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50
Big Main set - 150's on 2:20
50 FAST on 1 min
2x50 FAST on 1 min
3x50 FAST on 1 min
4x50 FAST on 1 mi
5x50 FAST on 1 min
Post workout notes: 
I made all the sets and was even finishing the last 50's on 35. Big confidence builder today

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Tempo Session Data HERE: 2hrs / 36 miles / 18.3mph

Flanny’s workout: 2 hours today with 3 x 20 minutes at your 70.3 race watts on 5 minutes easy riding between efforts.

Post workout notes: (in notes)[hr]

Thursday: 1 workout

Rudy Project / Powerbar / Herbalife Long run: 1:40 / 11.5 miles / AVG 8:42 pace 

Flanny’s Workout: z2 long run

Post workout notes: Super fun single track trail run today with 900ft of climbing and some hike sections. Really enjoyed it[hr]

Friday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 85 mins / 3800 yards

No idea what our set was, just have the time/distance haha. I know we just did a lot more 150's

Post workout notes: Just remember it was a really tough workout.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride: 1:35 / 23 miles / AVG 14.5 mph

Flanny’s workout: Depending on the time available today I want you to get in 1.5-2 hours of Z2 riding.

Post workout notes: Swim smashed me so I did more of a recovery ride, legs felt better towards the end[hr]

Saturday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE. 4:04 / 74 miles / 18.1 mph

Flanny’s workout: Within todys session I want 2 x 20 minutes at Z3 watts. Focus on IM Nutrition as discussed and report back intake and how it went.

Post workout notes: Notes attached to the power file above. [hr]

Sunday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Run- 50 mins / 6 miles/ 8:14 AVG pace. 

Flanny's workout: 50 min easier run James. Dont worry about pace.....chill run.

Post workout notes: Easter/family day. Nice and easy. [hr]

Totals (3 swims, 4 rides, 4 runs)
Swim: 11,400 yds /4:10
Bike: 147 miles / 8:38
Run: 33 miles / 4:29
Total hours: 17:17


Questions / Comments always appreciated!
For more info/pictures and James’ website visit:

Training Log (April 7-13)

Last week kicked off my "official" Ironman training for IMCDA. After a week of recovery from Oceanside I'm back into a great consistent routine and most of all, my attitude about the sport and training are at an all-time high right now. I feel like my maturity for each discipline has grown exponentially over the past few weeks. What was once a hesitancy about my chances of qualifying for Kona on my first go are now becoming a confident, "I will have a great race and qualify if can continue to stay focused, stay consistent and BELIEVE."

You always hear people say they are excited to do an Ironman. I'm excited to RACE an Ironman. The distance and idea has always intimidated me until now. Here's why I say that. I'll break down each discipline individually to give you an idea of what our plan for is in our build towards IMCDA and where I am at physically and mentally.

Swim: Flanny and I decided to actually bring my swim volume down a notch. Although this may gain some criticism - I truly believe it is the right call. I noticed I was swimming the same whether I swam 10k/week or 15k/week. Some call this "maintenance mileage" - basically I'm not getting any faster or slower. I believe with the level I am at and the experience I have, I won't really see any improvements unless I get up to the 18-20k/week range. So we brought it down to 10k/week (3 swims a week vs. 4-5 swims a week). This gives me two additional workouts a week where I can do a bike or run. HOWEVER, my workouts in the pool are a lot more focused, intense and include more paddle work to gain strength which is key in long course.

Takeaways: I've noticed more energy in my bike and run workouts leading to more quality sessions. I've also noticed that I sustain pacing deep into the latter parts of 3500/4000 yard days when normally I would fade. I contribute that to paddle work and really focusing on keeping form when fatigue sets in.

Bike: Time for volume to go up! We'll start incorporating back to back long rides on the weekends with some tempo work and recovery rides during the weekdays. My SRM Power meter has really helped take my cycling to the next level. I'm really starting to learn how to use it. Not just chasing watts but studying output when out of aero, out of the saddle, speed, wind....etc etc. There is a lot to it and it's been fun seeing speed improvements with just simple adjustments in my riding style. This really is what IMCDA all comes down to - How well I ride, and a big part of that is how smart I am and the SRM plays a huge part of that.

Takeaways: I'm closing long rides better and running off the bike even better. I'm seeing power numbers; speed, energy and recovery time all go up. I had no idea how big of a tool a Power meter could be until now.

Run: Run volume will also increase. I'm already starting to see some gains because of it. For the past 3 years in triathlon I've always kept my mileage between 15-25 miles a week which is very low but with my running background I've been able to get away with it in most cases. Well, I have no doubt that my true running ability will start to show with the higher mileage.

Takeaways: With the extra consistency and volume, I'm seeing quicker/effortless recovery runs and it's also given me the ability to work on perfecting my form and efficiency. We'll be smart about the ramp up in volume and I'm excited about the prospects of crushing that marathon at IMCDA.

Here's last week's workouts: [hr]

Monday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yds
700 wup
8x50 on :50
10x100 on 1:40(50ez/50 fast)
500 kick with fins
800 pull (1:30 pace)

Post workout notes: Mondays always feel like a time to shake out the cobwebs since I hadn't swam since Friday. Good workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Tempo Session: Power File HERE 1:56 / 33 miles / 17.3 mph

Flanny’s workout: We now turn our focus to Ironman. Your current speed and strength will serve you well at Wildfllower but we need to start focusing you on the full distance. This will consist of LOTS of tempo work as our quality. VO2max work is now a thing of the past and Threshold will be an ocassional treat but not used as we have been to date.

2 hours today with 3 x 20 minutes at your 70.3 race watts on 5 minutes easy riding between efforts.

Post workout notes: (listed in power file)[hr]

Tuesday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Track Workout, Data HERE: 57 mins / 7 miles / 7:47 pace

Workout details & notes: (listed in data file). Still felt a little tired from the race and being sick. Just stayed smart and cruised through the intervals.[hr]

Wednesday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Flanny Swim: 1hr / 3000 yds
400 Swim
400 Pull w/ Paddles
15 x 100 best avg you can hold on 15 sec rest
200 Kick
6 x 50 as 1 fast 1 easy on 10 sec rest
200 CD

Post workout notes: 
Held 1:30's for the 100's, felt good.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Trainer: 1:34 / 25 miles / 16.4mph

Flanny’s workout: Simple Zone 2 ride as recovery.

Post workout notes: Just threw on some Netflix and enjoyed the recovery ride.[hr]

Thursday: 1 workout

Rudy Project / Powerbar / Herbalife Long run/ Tempo Session Data HERE
90 mins, 11.6 miles, AVG 7:44 pace 

Flanny’s Workout: 30 min of Warm Up, 45 minutes building from low Z3 to mid Z3, 15min Easy to finish it out.

Post workout notes: (listed in Data file)[hr]

Friday: 1 workout

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 75 mins / 3500 yards

500 wup, 4x100 on 1:40, 4x50 on 50
Main set (x2):
8x25 on 30
4X50 on 50
2x100 on 1:30
200 on 3:00
500 fins and paddles
300 c/d

Post workout notes: Loving the burn from the paddle work.[hr]

photo 3Saturday: 2 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride, Power file HERE. 4:37 / 71 miles / 15.4 mph / 6k+ of climbing

Flanny’s workout: Lets knock out a good Long Session today with a short run off the bike. Get in some solid climbing and make sure nutrition is a focus and reported.

Post workout notes: Notes attached to the power file above. This was a point to point ride with the infamous Palomar mountain climb right smack in the middle. The climb is 12 miles long with 4k of climbing. Fun workout!

[caption id="attachment_2782" align="alignleft" width="300"]Quick stop at the Julian Pie Company! Quick stop at the Julian Pie Company![/caption]

Rudy Project Brick Run- 25 mins / 3.4 miles/ 7:27 AVG pace. Data File HERE.

Flanny's workout: Controlled 30 min Z2

Post workout notes: (Notes listed in data file)


Sunday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride:  2:05 / 33 miles / 16 mph

Flanny’s workout: No concern for watts or speed today.

Post workout notes: Just a nice cruise through wine country. Legs felt surprisingly good and really enjoyed the ride. Threw in some sprints to open the legs up a bit too.[hr]

Totals (3 swims, 4 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 10,000 yds /3:30
Bike: 164 miles / 10:14
Run: 22.5 miles / 2:53
Total hours: 16:37

Few more pics from the weekend!

[caption id="attachment_2787" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Grillin and Chillin! Grillin and Chillin![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2785" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Rewarding beers after a great week! Rewarding beers after a great week![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2788" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Beer from my sis in law from Germany. Delicious! Beer from my sis in law from Germany. Delicious![/caption]



Training Log (Mar 31-April 6)

Post Ironman Oceanside 70.3 race week was all about celebrating with
some beers, soaking in a good result and getting ready for “official” IMCDA
training to begin. However, the beers had to wait until later that week. Last
week ended up being very Deja vu from last year's race. After swimming in the harbor last year I woke up the next day with a sinus infection. Sure enough, this year - I woke up with a nasty sinus headache. I think it's important to mark sick days in your training log so you can reference patterns that may occur over the years. Obviously there's something in that water that does not agree with me and my sinuses. The difference this year was I have a coach! Last year I took a few days off, took some meds and jumped right back into training, only to relapse three days later and ended up being out a whole week with a full blown sinus infection. After I looked at my training log and conversing with Flanny, we really ramped up slowly getting back into the swing of things last week which paid off as I only took two days off.

Either way, this is the second time in a month that I've been sick which points to a pretty weak immune system. I started taking some electrolyte tablets that have extra minerals I may be lacking (esp. Iron) in hopes that it will boost my immune system a bit. I'd be interested in any feedback any of you have besides eating healthy, getting enough sleep and washing hands often (which I do all three really well and often) on how to boost the immune system. It may just be that I'm around a lot of different environments (kids, work, friends...etc) and I train a lot so it's just part of the process. If you have any suggestions, please comment!

So last week was low key. Just recovering from the race, being sick and then slowly ramping up training the smart way:

Monday & Tuesday: Sick [hr]

Wednesday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Trainer: 1:35 / 20 miles / 12.9 mph

Flanny’s workout: Super easy z1 ride

Post workout notes: Just watched Breaking Bad on Netflix and got the legs moving.[hr]

Thursday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Recovery Run- 40 mins / 4.5 miles / 8:53 pace

Flanny’s Workout: 30-40 mins Z1 super easy

Post workout notes: Some aches and pains from not running for five days but felt fine otherwise.[hr]

Friday: 2 workouts

BlueSeventy Masters Swim: 1hr/ 3k

Post workout notes: I went to Masters but just did a long warm up a few slow sets and then shut it down.

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Trainer Ride:  1:35 / 22 miles / 13.9 mph

Flanny’s workout: Another easy z1 ride

Post workout notes: Same as Wed. Just slow easy, watched some shows to get the legs moving.[hr]

Saturday: 1 workout

SRM / Speedfil / Reynolds Bike Ride: 2:38 / 43 miles / 16.2 mph

Flanny’s workout: Longish Ride Z2

Post workout notes: Still easing back into it. Stayed on the flats and just enjoyed the ride.[hr]

Sunday: 1 workout

Rudy Project Run- 90 mins / 11 miles / 8:40 pace

Flanny's workout: ez z2 long run

Post workout notes: First time in a long time that I enjoyed a long run. I actually posted that on Facebook and had a lot of comments that it was too short or too slow and they were right haha! It was nice to have a long run with no purpose or no goal but to just put time on your feet. The weather was perfect and the run refreshing. Just what I needed to start a new week.[hr]

Totals (1 swims, 3 rides, 2 runs)
Swim: 3,000 yds /1:00
Bike: 85 miles / 5:50
Run: 15 miles / 2:15
Total hours: 9:05

I always like to have a takeaway from the week of work. Did I get better physically and mentally? This week was all about recovering from the race so getting sick actually happened at a good time (if there's such thing). The plan was a low key week to get me ready for the "official" start of Ironman training. The plan worked and I'm really motivated right now to get knee deep into training for IMCDA. This week allowed my race accomplishment to sink in and in a way grow a love for the sport again.


Questions / Comments always appreciated!
For more info/pictures and James’ website visit:





2014 Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

It's been a crazy week on so many levels. Some personal stuff, getting sick the week before the race (see post on that HERE), and the actual race itself. Everything just happened at once but my coach gave me probably the best advice I've ever received before the race. Flanny said I'm prepared physically to have a great race but my performance will have everything to do with how I perform mentally. It actually took a lot of pressure off because I trust his judgment on my fitness and it was up to me to prove that mentally I can stay strong for 4 1/2 hours and 70.3 miles despite all the challenges against me.

[caption id="attachment_2752" align="alignright" width="300"]Armed w/the best sponsors! Armed w/the best sponsors![/caption]

Two-three days before the race is when I finally started feeling like myself again and just tried to wrap my head around giving everything I had on race day. Race check-in went smooth, The Bike Shop once again had my Slice ready to go and during my last few workouts I finally felt some pop in my legs, something I hadn't felt in a long, long time. With us living 30-40 minutes away from the race I was able to sleep in my own bed and get to the race in plenty of time to get my new 2014 Wattie Ink kit - thanks DustyKarin and Chris for all the support! Race morning I didn't have the usual pre-race anxious bathroom pit stop which told me mentally I was already heading in the right direction. I was relaxed and really ready to embrace the day. It was all about hanging out in transition with friends and then chillin with my fellow team mate Mo until my wave went off, which happened to be one of the last wave starts...

AG 35-39: 333 Athletes

IMG_79771.2 Mile Swim: 35:57 (AVG 1:51/100 pace) 84th out of the water

So a couple of things going against me here which didn't help since the swim is my weakest discipline. A lot of people make the big mistake in triathlon of judging performances by time when place is the only thing that matters. Especially since triathlon courses are rarely measured accurately or held accountable for the correct distance. For this particular race the swim course was long. To give you perspective last year 52 athletes in my AG broke 30 minutes for the swim. This year it was 11. Yes, I looked it up. This race was an important gauge of fitness for me leading into IMCDA so I needed to do my homework. I know I'm not a 36 minute swimmer and the fact that only 11 broke 30 minutes tells me this swim was 3-5 minutes slow. Distance wasn't the only thing that slowed our wave down. We had a lot of traffic to navigate, the chop picked up and we had horrible sighting issues when we made the turn back home with the sun directly in our eyes. Excuses? Nope. Again, gauging fitness accurately is important and you have to include all of the variables to make an educated guess of fitness. Just like science class! I did my best to draft, navigate traffic, kick as little as possible and keep my level of exertion as even as possible. All this said, when I exited out of the water and saw my time, my heart sunk. I couldn't believe my eyes and I really thought my chances of cracking the top 10 in a very tough and talented age group would be impossible. By the time I got through transition and onto my bike - my mind shifted to "I'm going to do whatever it takes to crack the top 10..."

[caption id="attachment_2740" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Pissed off about the swim... Pissed off about the swim...[/caption]

T1: 3:24

Long run to T1 from the boat dock, stuff my wetsuit into the bag and got outta there.

IMG_798756 mile Bike: 2:31:00 (AVG 22.3 mph) 1800ft elev. 9th fastest bike split in AG (passed 69 to move up to 15th place going into T2)
SRM Power file HERE.

For the first time ever in a triathlon I got on the bike and had some pop in my legs. I can't believe how much the SRM power meter helped me too. Our target watts was 230 (I ended up averaging 218). Since it's pretty much impossible to stay right on target watts the entire ride I tried to stick as close to 220-230 the whole time because I knew I would go over that quite a bit with the climbs. I was actually surprised my normalized power was 218 as I was afraid I was going to be more like 238! I really didn't want to ride too hard as I knew I could make up a ton of time on the run with some good legs as opposed to hitting more watts and making up just a little bit of time. My only struggle during the ride (which you can see in my power file notes) was trying to pee on the downhill's. There's about four of them on the ride and it took me until the fourth long downhill to finally go. Sorry if this grosses you out but if you want to podium in Ironman, you have to pee your pants haha. Last year I had no issues going twice but I guess I was a little shy this year and it cost me a lot of time and speed (possibly a podium) because I didn't pedal at all on all of the downhill's.

[caption id="attachment_2743" align="alignleft" width="300"]Coming into T2 Coming into T2[/caption]

Another goal on the bike this year was to close strong. In the past two years I've always struggled after making that final turn to head back to transition. It's a false flat and usually you have quite a bit of headwind and you're tired. This year I made up a lot of ground on this stretch and power numbers were strong. All of Flanny's ridiculous trainer work helped big time here and I ended up passing a lot of people along that stretch. My time goal was to break 2:30 which I may have done if I had my urine issues handled...

T2: 1:24

In and out of there. Only thing that slows me down is putting on socks for long course, which I have to until I find a shoe that doesn't tear me up for weeks after.

[caption id="attachment_2744" align="alignleft" width="300"]Love the new kits! Love the new kits![/caption]

13.1 mile Run: 1:25 (AVG 6:33 pace) 3rd fastest run split in AG (passed 7)
Run file HERE.

So they changed the run course this year. One of the cool things about the run course in the past is that it's always been 12.5 and it makes you look fast (again, times don't mean sh*t in triathlons) but this year to decrease run traffic and make it truly a half marathon they switched up the beginning of the run course. Past two years I ran 1:23, 24 and now this year 1:25. So technically this was my best half marathon off the bike ever because it was the full distance. The first mile I kind of felt like garbage but then miles 2-6 felt amazing and effortless. I just locked into a pace and it felt fairly easy. I was only taking in cola and water and I think that's where I screwed up. I hate taking in nutrition on a run, my heart rate is sky high and I hate breaking up momentum. Miles 7-10 started to hurt and then that last three miles the wheels fell off and all of my 6:2x's became 6:4x's and I just did my best to stay focused, keep my form intact and finish strong.

[caption id="attachment_2745" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Running up a wall Running up a wall[/caption]

This was a very emotional run for me. There's a lot going on in life right now and I broke down about four miles in and then again at the finish. Its weird how competing hard and giving it everything you have can make you very venerable to life's challenges. My buddy Dusty said it best. "Sometimes we race for more than just the clock."

4:37, 8th in AG, Qualified for Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mount Tremblant Canada. [hr]

Here's coach Robert "Flanny" Flanigan's coaches evaluation of my race:

Oceanside was going to be a make or break day for James. In the weeks leading up to the race he started to show uncharacteristic signs that he was cracking. After a successful training camp with him in San Diego he ran into an emotional wall that started with a unexpected result at Desert Tri and strung into a few weeks of training that was not what I have come to expect from James. We circled back and managed to get him in a better mindset after some good sessions and a fresh perspective on training. We had some great momentum rolling when he was hit with some personal challenges that would have broken most athletes. We worked together daily to make sure that his focus was in the right place (and that wasn’t necessarily training and racing). The day before the race we reviewed our race plan one last time and I stressed the importance of racing his race….no matter what.

James was in a good place mentally the night before the race and if he could pull off a good result in light of all that was happening around him, I knew he would have what it takes to see his seasonal goals become a reality.

James came out of the water slower than we expected but was able to shake off that result and get to work on the bike. He executed the ride just as planned and set himself up for a solid run performance on the now honest 13.1 Oceanside course.

The result of this race, the time, placing, and Worlds Qualification were not the standout result of this day. James showed the ability to be mentally tougher than most any athlete I have worked with and that will be the take away from this race that we build on.

I can't thank Flanny enough. He's been instrumental in keeping my head screwed on straight, getting me to perform at my best and being a great friend.

I thank my warrior of a wife for all of the support with all we've been through along with our two amazing kids. I truly couldn't do any of this without you or them!

Thanks to my amazing sponsors: Wattie InkHerbalifePowerbarBlueseventyRudy ProjectSpidertechReynoldsISMSpeedfil, and my personal sponsors SRM, OG's and The Bike Shop!


So now I have the 70.3 qualifier in my hip pocket if for some reason I don't qualify for Kona at IMCDA. I have to admit, I wasn't too optimistic about my chances at Kona until I raced Oceanside. I did my research and a lot of the competitors in front of me and behind me are really really fast. I'm unhappy with my time ONLY because it doesn't justify how good of a race I really had.

The confidence is there now, now it's just time to do the work.