Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report

3200 miles were driven and 140.6 miles were raced and it will go down as the two best weeks of my life. Granted, I did not qualify for Kona but as many of my friends and team mates have pointed out, the journey is what made the whole experience special, not necessarily the race and it is so true. Even my dream wedding and honeymooning in Australia for two weeks 10 years ago did not compare to the epic road trip I did with my wife and two kids topped off with a "dreamlike" vacation from the vacation in Las Vegas with some amazing people. Wow. Where to begin! Since this is a triathlon blog, I'll stick to the race...

We left Wednesday night to stay in Vegas for a night to avoid the dreaded SoCal traffic. We then headed to Park City, UT the next day to stay with some friends and get a quick glimpse of the beautiful mountain resort town. Thursday we drove to Yellowstone, saw Old Faithful and then drove to Missoula, MT for the night. Between Montana and Yellowstone, we saw some of the most beautiful parts of this country I've ever seen and I've been to every state except five. Breathtaking! Friday we finally arrived in Coeur d'Alene and although it was beautiful it didn't compare to what we just witnessed the day before! The city of Coeur d'Alene seemed like the whole good side of the street/bad side of the street. We were very unimpressed until we got around the resort and Ironman check-in area which was amazing.

Friday and Saturday was very low key. Check in, pre-workouts and getting around were very easy and simple. I was able to spend a lot of time napping, hydrating and staying off my feet. Come Saturday night I felt very rested and very hungry to leave it all out there the next day.

Ironman2.4 mile swim: 1:21:02 (2:05/100 yd pace) 141 out of 316 in AG

The day before the race I swam in the lake Coeur d'Alene choppy waters and wasn't so concerned. I've swam many times in Vail lake (local) which is always choppy and over the past month I've swam at La Jolla cove which can also be choppy. Well race day the wind was kicking pretty good. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the lake. We basically had to swim straight into it, make the turn home and then do it again. I told Flanny the day before that if he saw a 1:15 swim split to not be alarmed because I knew it was going to be a slow swim and I was not going to fight through it and potentially ruin my race. It was a "self-seeded" start so I ended up going in the second wave (1:00-1:15) group. There's no delay in between the waves, it's just a rolling start. It was definitely the most violent swim I've been in. Between getting a shiner on my forehead, swam over, and knocked around. I also had trouble siting -- whenever I tried a wave was blocking the buoys. I've learned over the past 4 years of doing triathlons that the best way to get through these kind of swims is to just relax, not force it and actually just smile. So that's what I did. Just took the punches and swam as strong as I could.

I hit the first lap in 36 minutes and was on pace to break 1:15. I was pretty disoriented when I got out of the water to make the turn to go back in. The waves and chop can really make you dizzy. I definitely felt the fatigue going into the current again on the second lap and could tell my pace dropped. I just did my best to get through it and not get overly concerned about it. I knew historically if you swam around 1:15 you still have a shot of a Kona slot. When I saw 1:20 on my Garmin when I came out, I just knew it was time to get to work and figured with my run - a 1:20 wouldn't take me out of the race.

T1: 4:46

First time experiencing the whole Ironman tent changing room. The volunteers were amazing. Got me out of my suit, my bike bag, sun screened me up, went pee #1 of the day and I was on my way.

[caption id="attachment_2868" align="alignright" width="300"]IMG_9105 Thanks Erin C for the pic![/caption]

112 mile bike/4500ft of climbing: 5:42 (AVG 19.6 mph) 46th in AG

The temperature was actually perfect. I went with no arm warmers and felt great. It was the wind that hurt me. It seemed like it continued to pick up momentum as the bike went on. Strong winds for my slender frame really took me out of the race. Based off of the last 8 months of using power, Flanny and I decided 190NP was going to be my magic number to ride a 5:00-5:15 bike split. With all of the intervals, hills, long days, short days etc...we had no doubt that the bike would be a huge advantage for me and I'd be able to run off the bike holding that power and crush this course. Well I held 189NP and rode 5:42 haha. You can check out data HERE. The only variable we couldn't factor in was the wind. I stayed very aero the whole race and did my best to fight through that wind but it just ended up being a day that favored the power riders. The ones that didn't get blown over by the wind on the bike and the ones that could power through the chop in the swim. HOWEVER. I still felt like I was in the race. My biggest maturity in triathlon over the past few years is that I learned times mean nothing in triathlon. There are so many variables in long course that your S,B,R times really don't mean anything nor do they tell the story of the race.

So I just kept eating and drinking, nailing my nutrition plan. I peed three times on the bike and never felt hungry or thirsty. I finally started feeling my efforts for the day right at mile 100. I fought to stay at 190 watts for the last 10 miles which tells me that Flanny's plan was spot on. Hard enough to question whether or not I could run off the bike but no cramping, GI issues or dreading the run. Even coming in at 5:42, I had a feeling that a lot of people's splits were slow so I still didn't throw in the towel, I knew I had work to do!

T2: 3:13

Again, the volunteers were awesome. Found my bag right away, slipped on my shoes, took another pee and off I went!

232323232fp83232_uqcshlukaxroqdfv9434=ot_235_=38_=466=XROQDF_2;258_78_823;ot1lsi26.2 mile run/1500ft of climbing: 3:43 (AVG 8:31 pace) 36th in AG

Again, after months of training data - Flanny and I decided that 7:15 pace was going to be the magic number for me. Data found HERE. I got off the bike and that first mile felt a little bit weird. It just took some time to get my running legs off of me. I carried a flask of nutrition and just sipped on it while refueling it at each aid station with whatever sounded good. After the first mile, 7:15's became effortless and I knew I was going to have a good run. I just stayed on top of my nutrition, picked a stronger runner ahead of me in the distance and just worked my way up to them for the pass while staying on my own pace. It's a 2 loop course, basically go through a neighborhood, up the long hill and back x2.

The first lap (1/2 marathon) I was enjoying myself. Smiles, giving some fist bumps to the awesome house parties going on and just clicking off the miles. As I went through the first loop I saw my family, gave them a wave and saw that I clicked off a 1:34 half. Right on pace! Then like almost clock work the next mile I started getting some serious taste fatigue. Everything I tried to eat or drink I just spit it out. I tried drinking a lot of water and eating some pretzels to rinse my palate like I was drinking wine or something but with no such luck! I just gradually started bonking. Whenever I tried to force food down I felt like I wanted to puke. Not because of GI issues but because of the sweet food/taste fatigue I had going on. Everything was just gross. Sweet, salty - didn't matter. So my great pace eventually turned into a slow jog. I just did my best to keep form and stay positive. Those last 6 miles ended up being one of the toughest things I've ever been through. I was so stubborn and refused to walk and just forced myself through it.

home stretch1Ironman isn't easy. These past several months haven't been easy. So when I arrived to that long finish chute it was almost like my mind just replayed pictures and videos of all of the good and bad in my life leading up to this race. I choked up big time. When you are in a lot of pain you become very vulnerable. With each step and high five I gave heading into the finish I was very proud of myself. Not just of the race but the entire "Kona Journey" that I've been on over the past year. It took every ounce of discipline mentally and physically to get there and even though it hurt that I did not qualify, when I crossed that finish line - that wasn't what was on my mind. My family was there and as I looked at their faces with watery eyes, I looked up into the sky and became an Ironman.

Final Result: 10:55:01, 36th in AG, 161st overall.

Thank you all for the amazing kind words and encouragement; this was truly an experience that I will never forget.

Thanks for reading-

photo 2

Final Thoughts

You always hear people say how fast time flies. Ironman training has been in full effect since January and I can tell you first hand that the time DID NOT fly by. It wasn't easy by any means and these last six months took everything I had both physically and mentally. I'm running on fumes and I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally toe the line and then cross that finish line next week at Ironman Coeur d' Alene. The time discipline I've had to exercise over the past few months has been beyond difficult but I managed to get through it.
Here's my workout totals since January (25 weeks):

Swim: 187,643 yards / Avg: 7,505 yards/week

Bike: 2,825 miles / Avg: 113 miles/week

Run:  563 / Avg: 22.5 miles/week

Average weekly hours training: 12.3 hrs/week

So for your typical Kona qualifier hopeful, this doesn't seem like a lot of volume. However, the quality is what has been important. Juggling family/work life with training hasn't been easy but I go into this race very confident in my abilities and still think I have a shot at qualifying as long as I execute perfectly. So how do I qualify? Well, historically at IMCDA a 9:30-9:45 in the 35-39 AG and/or top 5 will get you the beloved KQ not to mention a spot on the podium. How does that break down for me? I debated whether or not to post this, but I've let you all in on my journey, I may as well put myself out there and share what Flanny and I think I am capable of (as long as everything goes right - which I understand is the hardest thing about Ironman!).

2.4 mile swim goal time: 1:05-1:10 (1:32-1:39 pace). With the rolling start last year, IMCDA saw really fast times. I've done a lot of open water swims leading up and even a 4000 yd straight swim which showed me I'm more than capable of swimming in this timeframe.

112 mile bike: 5:00-5:10 (21-22mph). Course has 6k of climbing which really suits my strengths. Goal is to hold 190 watts (NP). Over the past several months I've held 190-200 watts (NP) for 5-6 hour rides and finished with a solid run with no problem. As long as I can stay true to my plan on the hills and not burn any matches, I should be capable of this kind of ride.

26.2 mile run: 3:10-3:15 (7:15-7:30 pace). So Flanny's magic number for me is 7:15's. As easy as it is on tired legs in training, I've never duplicated it for 26 miles after a long day. As long as I fuel properly and absolutely go beyond my comfort zone - 7:15's should absolutely be possible for me.

Total time ~9:30-9:45

It always comes down to the run in Ironman. Doesn't matter how fast you swim or how well you ride, can you execute a marathon on tired legs? A lot of that comes with your ability to suffer on the run. It can be learned but there is no doubt that the true runners have a huge advantage in Ironman. I'm hoping to utilize it.

Are these high expectations for my first Ironman? Not if you have prepared properly and I believe I have. We'll find out on Sunday! You can track me Bib #174 at Ironman.com

I want to really thank my beautiful wife Amy for really supporting me through this process. It hasn't been easy for her either. I get a lot of credit for being able to juggle all that I do but there's no doubt that she does SO MUCH. She really sacrificed a lot so I could train and fulfill this dream I have had and she never complained once. I am truly lucky to have her and couldn't do any of this or be the man I am without her.

I want to thank Flanny again for EVERYTHING. You can read about it HERE. Also thanks to James Walsh who also played a big part of me being competitive in triathlon.

I want to thank Wattie and all my Wattie Ink teammates for the crazy amount of support, fun and family environment you've given me. #OG

Thanks to Wattie Sponsors: Herbalife, Powerbar, Reynolds, Blueseventy, Spidertech, Rudy Project, ISM, Speedfil, 10 Barrel Brewing, TriBike Transport, 454 Tattoo, Hypoxic, Rev3 and Wildflower.

Thanks to my personal sponsors: The Bike Shop (thanks for everything Rick!), SRM, e21, SportMulti.

And lastly, thanks to all that have followed along on my journey. Whether it be on this site, Kona Journey, at Lava Magazine or years prior to this at Love the Hurt. I've had so many messages, emails and voices of support over the years and I can't thank you enough for it.

TIME TO RACE!

 

Guest Post II: Coach Robert "Flanny" Flanigan

Before I get to coach Flanny’s blog post, I think it’s important to try to explain in writing how physically and emotionally hard it was to finally arrive here. In reading Flanny’s post I had to fight back tears. He went WAY above and beyond what a typical coach does for you. He held my hand though the thick and thin. Took my calls and texts from different time zones to make sure I was alright. You see, I’ve never been much of an emotional person. I’ve always been really grounded and strong (so I thought). Ironman training has changed that in me. It’s broken me to pieces, it’s forced me to get back on my feet and it’s left me standing tall and proud whether I have a good race or not.

There’s always been this emotional wall I’ve put up my whole life. Every ridiculous hard workout Flanny threw at me when I was physically and emotionally drained from training, career and life – slowly broke down that wall. “Why an Ironman?” is the question I’ve been asked so often leading up to this race. This is why. It’s been life changing and turned me into a better man. A man that falls down and gets back on his feet holding a stronger ground day in and day out.

It truly has been a journey that I will never forget.

Guest Blog post: Coach Robert “Flanny” Flanigan, Owner - Central Virgina Endurance and Black Dragon Racing.
www.centralvirginiaendurance.com
www.facebook.com/blackdragonracing.com

With just a few days until the gun fires at the 2014 edition of Ironman Coeur d’Alene I wanted to step back to reflect and comment on the preparation James has put in since the decision to pursue Ironman was made late in 2013. 

From the very beginnings of the preparation for this season, one concept was reinforced to James almost every time we spoke. The concept of consistency. The season needed to be looked at as a very long book with each of the pages being individual workouts, each chapter being a cycle (block), and the entire book being the work done to prepare for race day. Success or failure would not be determined by the individual pages of the book, but would be determined by the overall volume of the book. Getting the workouts in day after day, making the right decisions, and being consistent would be the keys to unlocking the physiological adaptations needed to accomplish the goals James had set.

For those familiar with James and his personal situation, consistency would not prove to be as easy as it sounds. As a committed family man, businessperson, and lastly an athlete the life demands took a toll on James throughout the process. This is where the value of the coach-athlete relationship comes into play and makes a huge impact. Coaching is not about training plans. Any educated and intelligent person can eventually throw together workouts and call it a training plan. It’s everything else that makes up coaching. Helping an athlete navigate the insanity that can be life while staying on track to achieve peak performance and meet their goals. The preparation period for this race threw everything it had at James ranging from illness and unexpected lows to career advancement and unexpected highs. James and I stayed very closely connected throughout the entire process and were able to course correct when the currents of life tried to push us off course.  The result was the consistency I had hoped for and preached since the start. Did we get to fill the book with as many pages as I had hoped or expected? Not really but we did get in all the key parts of each chapter, all the chapters, and the book is now complete.  We have indeed seen the adaptations we had hoped we would see leading into his first Ironman.

James will be entering this race in the best form and fitness he has ever been in, injury free, strong, fast, and most importantly with the support of his loving family. I cannot tell you how refreshing it has been to work with someone so fully committed to his family. In this sport I see many people willing to sacrifice so much to succeed and many times those that suffer most are the athlete’s family. While the goals James had set for himself were of great importance to him there was no question as to what sacrifices we would make in his preparation. Family always came first and we were all in agreement with that expectation. The sweaty hugs at the finish line will truly be a team celebration as they all took this journey together.

When James gets into those chilly waters at the start, he can do so knowing he is fully prepared to race Ironman and his only job is to execute his race plan, stay dynamic and adjust to the demands of the day, and enjoy the end of a long and rewarding journey. 

Good Days, Bad Days

Right now the bad days are definitely out weighing the good days but I'm trying not to let it get to me. I've accepted the fact that there will be days that I can't train. At first it really brought me down in the dumps. Training has a snowball effect on my brain for some reason. If I miss one day of training I am completely UNmotivated to train the next day (which you think the opposite would happen) and I just get depressed about the sport and convince myself I am out of shape and slow. On the flip side, whenever I have a good session or even better - 2 or 3 workouts in a day (rare lately), I can't wait to get up and train and my confidence is through the roof! Anyone else have this issue? It's been a battle with me over the past month to look at the big picture and not sweat a forced day off and realize that I have a great base under me and it's all about getting sharp and fast for IMCDA.

Deep down inside I know that I'm in great shape and that I'm capable of having a great race. It's going to be all about executing and learning as I go since this is my first IM. I'm really looking forward to traveling with the family and racing. Lately I've been spending maybe 30 minutes a/day with them M-F and it is killing me. I know the end is near and I can't wait to race and then taking a break away from triathlon. That break may be one month to get the house sold/buy another and then build into IM Worlds 70.3 in Canada or that break may be for 15 years so I can focus all of my energy and attention towards my family. I know it'll be possible to balance triathlon and life once I eliminate my long commute but I'm not sure if I want to do that. I may just buy a road bike and be a roadie for awhile, do some cyclocross or maybe see if I can pop a sub 2:30 marathon - who knows.

Here's a summary of last week's training which was pretty light but it was all I could do with such a busy week. I'm just going to post totals - don't think anyone was interested in specific workouts!

Totals (2 swims, 2 rides, 3 runs)
Swim: 6,500 yds /2:17
Bike: 93 miles / 6:04
Run: 26 miles / 4:00
Total hours: 12:20


Questions / Comments always appreciated! 

Life Changes

You never know when things in life are going to change. So often you have your whole year planned out to the week (especially as triathletes) and then something happens and you have to make adjustments. In my case, it's going to be major adjustments as I just received a big job promotion. I purposely don't discuss work much on this blog but with my position before I was able to work from home 2-3 days a week and get the job done. Well now my responsibilities have doubled and I manage a team now which requires me to be in the office every day and make the 100 mile commute each day. Needless to say, this has put a damper on my Ironman build and even more so on my family time.

My situation before allowed me the time, sleep and energy I needed to train properly for my best race at IMCDA and ultimately fulfill my dream of qualifying and racing at Kona. I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago that I am devastated about not fulfilling my dreams in triathlon (which are qualifying for Kona and winning a major AG race) but beyond excited about my "real life" dreams which comes along with this promotion that is going to allow me to support my family, travel and live more comfortably. It's also going to mean that we will most likely be moving back to San Diego this summer which is also something we are really excited about. My Facebook post was misinterpreted and a lot of my friends thought I was giving up on the sport completely. That may or may not be the case, I don't know yet and the good news is I don't have to decide it right now. After IMCDA, I will definitely take a break to get my house sold, buy a new one, get settled in aT work and actually spend some time with my family!

Right now I am spending about 1.5 hrs a day M-F with my wife and kids and I HATE it. However, I know it's just a short term run so I am giving it my best in my build towards IMCDA and my family is on board. I've worked way to hard to this point to just put up the white flag and race half-assed. It's taken awhile to make the adjustments to the new work schedule while still getting in some quality hours of training. My targeted 20 hrs/week with adequate sleep and rest has been replaced with 12-16 hr/weeks with little sleep and 100+ miles of commuting each day. Not ideal, but I have to make it work for just another month.

As far as training goes, I feel a little bit like I did in my Ironman 70.3 Worlds build from last year. Just really tired legs, digging deep constantly and mentally challenging. The biggest thing that has suffered is my swim. I'm only able to get in the water two MAYBE three times a week and usually it's swimming alone which is not ideal for me but I'm just trying to limit my loses there. I've been getting in my long rides consistently each week and mileage seems to stay consistent around the 150 mile range. Ideally, that would be 200, but again - making it work. As far as running goes, this is the only sport I feel really good about right now. We've been incorporating a lot of long runs, tempo sessions and brick runs. I actually ran 40 miles last week which is the most I've done in about five years.

So my outlook on my chances at qualifying are now pretty slim. I already knew I had to execute perfectly in order to put myself in position to qualify and everything was on track until my time available to train/sleep changed. The good news now though is there is no pressure to perform. I'll just go to battle and give it everything I have and be content with the result either way. I may surprise myself and pull it off, who knows. I'm starting to learn over my 35 years of being alive to finally take each day by day and minute to minute. I've always been so future focused and failing to live in the moment - to train in the moment and I believe that's helped me.

Thanks for reading, I appreciate all of the support!

2014 Wildflower 70.3 Race Report

Each sore step I took this week was a welcome reminder of a great race I had at Tri Cal Event's - Wildflower last weekend. It was my first podium at a major 70.3 race and I did it on what many consider the hardest 70.3 on the circuit. Even better, we trained right through this race (other than the last few days leading up) and I still put out more power on the bike and in my opinion a better race than Ironman Oceanside 70.3 which was only a short month before Wildflower. As I mentioned in my last blog, I was going to take some risks in this one - mainly swimming harder and riding aggressively.

After racing Wildflower two years ago, Amy and I brought the kids who; were at the time 2 & 3. Needless to say it was a little stressful, especially when you're tent camping. So this year we decided for me to just go up solo which can get lonely, but as soon as I arrived I was greeted with a beer and my great Wattie Ink team mates. The team has really become a second family to me and it reminds me a lot of when I raced in college. You get to experience the work hard, play hard dynamic together and you become closer because of it.

Friday ended up being in the 100's so we tried to check in and rest as much as possible in hopes that it would cool down the next day. Part of that was going to the new swim start. For those of you that don't know, Lake San Antonio (where the usual swim start is) dried up so they had to move it 2 miles down and add another run/transition. So even though it was still a 70.3 it went like this: 1.2M swim, T1a, 2.2 mile run, T1b, 56 mile bike, T2, 10.9 mile run. I personally thought it favored the strong runners and those quick in transition. The new swim venue was still beautiful but the boat ramp was not. It was a VERY steep grade coming out of the water which for me is when my heart rate is at its highest! Even though it wasn't your typical triathlon, I love what the race director from Tri Cal Events said in the race packet about how the point of a triathlon is the challenge and adventure that comes with it! I feel like the course change totally fit in with the whole novelty of what Wildflower has to offer. You never know what you are going to get in this race with the winds, heat and rambunctious volunteers - I thought it added a lot of character to the race and will go down as one of my favorite race experiences ever! Now, to the race.

0695_18099Swim: 1.2 miles, 31:52 (AVG 1:30/100yd) - 41st out of the water


It was a standing start so after each wave we had a few minutes to warm up in the now very silty/churned up water. I lined up in the second row, right side which was a direct shot to the first buoy about 200 yards out. The goal was to just go out fairly hard (not sprint) and then RACE the swim. I've always been so concerned about swimming too hard or kicking too much and having it affect my bike and/or race. This time I went in with the confidence that I'm fit enough to recover from a hard swim and still race well. When I raced the mile (1500) in college, the hardest lap was always the 3rd lap. Often times you'd fall asleep until you hear that bell (last) lap. It's easy to lose focus on the race and I've felt the same way with long course swimming. I'd settle in, get too comfortable and then pick it up towards the end sacrificing critical time for a triathlete where swimming is the weakness. So for Wildflower I forced myself to stay "on it" and swim hard the entire way. It worked and I managed to get out of the water in a decent time.

T1a: As soon as you got out of the water you had to go fetch your transition bag from a self made area on a large uphill boat ramp. I found an easy to find spot next to a sign and had no issues. I dried my feet off and put on my first pair of running shoes and headed up the boat ramp and onto the first run course.

photoRun #1: 2.2 miles, 14:30 (AVG 6:35)

Even though the results show an overall run time, I got all my splits on my Garmin. Flanny and I planned to just cruise through this section. Just get some blood in the legs for the bike and not burn any matches. 6:35's on fresh legs for me is definitely cruise mode and the planned work because I passed a lot of those fish and by the time I made it to T1b I put myself in good position and actually came to a rack filled with bikes!



0695_03180Bike 56 miles (3k elevation): 2:40 (AVG 20.9mph) 6th fastest bike split in AG
Power file HERE


I can always tell if I'm going to have good legs on the bike within the first few miles. In this case those first few miles are straight uphill at Wildflower. I just stayed patient and under the prescribed 250 watts that Flanny prescribed me for the uphill's and then I went to work. The bike course is exactly like riding in my backyard. Lots of cross winds, beat up roads and some hills. I just did my best to eat a lot, hydrate as much as possible and again "stay on it." About 45 minutes into the course I saw my friend/team mate Dusty Nabor. As soon as I passed him I told him to come with me. Little did I know, he did! After navigating through some traffic and some wind it was time to climb "Nasty Grade." Those nice cross winds go away and you just bake going up this hill. It isn't necessarily a tough hill and for me it was welcoming so I could get out of aero position and stretch out a bit. A few minutes went by and Dusty came up on me and said "what's up man?" Nobody had passed me the whole ride so it startled me a bit. I grinned and was stoked he was right there with me. I asked him what place he thought he was out of the water and he said like 6 or 7. I knew we were in position to podium so we agreed to work together and legally we did so for the last 10 miles which in my opinion are the hardest and there's no doubt we rode harder with each other pushing it.

T2: 1:32

I had a very weird experience of getting to T2 with hardly any bikes! I headed out on the run in 8th place.

0695_06914Run 10.9 miles: 1:18 (AVG 7:09) 3rd fastest run split
Total 13.1 run (1,500 total elevation) 1:32 (AVG 7:04)
Run file HERE


Those first few miles I was a little worried that I biked too hard. I had a few cramp scares and was putting down as much fluids as I could (I took a bottle with me). Thankfully, about two miles in they went away and I went to work. The whole race my mantra to myself was "Charge" as in charge the course, race the course. On the steep up hills I just did my best to keep my form and keep charging. I passed another guy from my age group on the steepest part of the course and he had enough energy to yell out "Noooo, damn you!" I kept rolling and with about two miles to go I started bonking a bit. I usually rely on cola and Powerbar on the course for calories but they didn't have cola so I started hurting a bit. That last little hill before you hit the downhill was brutal and then once I hit the downhill my whole diaphragm started cramping up. I was ready to be done!

4:50, 5th in AG and 26th overall

10307208_10152405850404171_1738791336889580324_nMy age group had the 1st, 3rd and 5th fastest amateurs in the field so there's no doubt I was up against a tough group. Times are always hard to judge performance (especially on this course- this year) so I tack the day up as a success with getting on the podium. The rest of the day meant drinking 10 Barrel beer with my team mates, going to the Picky Bar party, meeting and hanging out with the man himself Andrew Starykowicz and a lot of other cool pros. It was such a fun weekend and experience. As much as I joke with Dusty about why the heck we do this - every time you race and reflect, you know exactly why.

I'd like to thank my wife and kids who are my biggest fans and support - I seriously couldn't do this sport without her! Thanks to Wattie and HJ for creating such a cool brand and atmosphere around the races.

Thanks to my sponsors: Wattie Ink, SRM, The Bike Shop, Reynolds Cycling, Blueseventy, Herbalife, Powerbar, Rudy Project, ISM, Speedfil, 10 Barrel Brewing, Spidertech, Tribike Transport, Hypoxic and "The one and only" Wildflower!

Shout out to my other team mates on the podium - Heather for a three peat - beyond excited for you, Karin Langer for getting on the podium on her first long course race since Kona 2012! Chris Lou on the podium and of course our superstar age grouper (soon to be pro) Sarah Barkley for a 2nd place finish! Also father son duo John and Dillon Hollinger both on the podium the next day for the Olympic race. Awesome and talented team mates.

TIME TO BUILD TO IMCDA!

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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)
c/d


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
Relaxed


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!


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