Friday, August 17, 2012

Life Interrupted

The 2012 season started out in May with me defending my title at the Jekyll Island Turtle Crawl Tri and managed to podium with a 3rd place overall.  Next on the schedule - Tri the Midlands where my fitness should've been improving but wasn't and I ended up with 2nd place in age group. Training after Tri the Midlands was getting tougher and while I blamed it on the heat, something else was actually going.

Fast forward to 8/15 where the 6 week journey of "what is it, is it Lyme" finally ended.  I received news that will change my life moving forward.  I have been diagnosed with Classic Hodgkins Lymphoma.  From what I hear the cancer to have if you're going to get cancer because it is treatable and curable. No matter how many times I hear that, it doesn't change the fact that it is still cancer.  Already been through denial and why me, the fit 43 year old triathlete and not the overweight, cigarette smoking couch potato??

Looking forward to next spring......

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just call me a Tri Sheep

I'm now one of the herd. One of the mindless sheep who can't make decisions for themselves. Well, the latter statement is definitely not true for me but anyone who buys a Cervelo is viewed as such.

I decided after the Marines Ironman World Championship 70.3 to sell my Scott Plasma and buy a new tri bike that actually fit me. In hindsight, I wanted to buy a Cervelo back in 2009 but the shop I was racing for at the time was not an authorized reseller for Cervelo and they offered me a sweetheart deal on the Scott or so I thought. After removing all of the spacers and adding a very, negative drop stem the Scott was still not the best choice for me. Todd Kenyon at helped me out immensely and got me as aero and comfortable as possible. I highly recommend Todd and his fitting service and have referred many triathletes who are much happier and producing higher watts after working with Todd.

Why a tired brand and model like Cervelo when there are other "super" bikes out there? I'm not convinced that the Trek SC or Specialized Shiv TT is that much more aero than a Cervelo P3. Maybe talking a 3' savings over the course of an ironman leg. Really??? There is a reason why Cervelo has dominated the Kona count year after year and continues to produce World TT champions. Let's not forget that the motor has to move the bike and based on my 2011 results, my motor produced numerous podiums on a not so aero bike so moving to the Cervelo P3 should produce faster times and even better results!

Tried to find a P4 on close out but had no luck. Did go with the 2012 P3 as it had a 3T Aura Pro carbon base bar. I did upgrade the crank to the Quarq SRAM 975 powermeter as I can't live without power. Also added a Black Box Ceramic bottom bracket. Decided to switch to the Adamo Road saddle versus staying with the Cobb V-Flow Max and I'm glad I did. Immediate comfort and much better than the Cobb in my opinion. Highly recommend you try this saddle. If you do, make sure you mount the saddle with the rails horizontal and not the top of the saddle. The latter will cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. also, give it 2 weeks or 5 to 6 rides as it will take the skin on your sit bones some time to build up the callouses. Purchased vinyl name labels from Victory Circle Graphics and am very pleased. They provide name labels for some of the top professional teams in the peloton so you won't be disappointed.

For race day, I plan to use my Zipp 900 clincher disk and Zipp 808 clincher front wheel. Could gain a few seconds by switching to a Zipp FC 808 for the front but not worth the investment in my opinion.

Bike rides like it is on rails and is probably one of the best bikes I've ridden for power transfer. Had some issues with the seat post slipping but I think that was due to the bike shop forgetting to add carbon assembly paste and blue Loctite to the threads of the bolts. Did purchase a fixed torque wrench to make sure the seat post in torqued to 4Nm before every ride. Make sure you add the blue Loctite to the bolts for the arm pads as they loosened up pretty quickly without it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Water Under the Bridge

Total time: 5:14:41 - 537 out of 1505

It's been 84 days since the Marines Ironman World Championship 70.3 which means enough time has passed for me to move on - water under the bridge. We say "water under the bridge" to refer to past experiences and conflicts which we have decided to forget. I know, I should be happy with finishing. I left a lot out on the course that day and no matter how many times I play Monday Morning Quarterback, the outcome stays the same.

In reading Dave Jewel's blog, he posted a pic that gives me hope.

"Failure Leads to Success if you let it. If you let failure get you down you will stay down. But if you learn from your failure you will grow. I can tell you that I hope to fail often in the future."

Dave is right. I learned a lot from the race and the prep before it that will help me in the future, not to mention the next time I qualify/race the World Championship.

Now for the race report.

My training over the last 4 weeks prior to the race were hit and miss. I traveled pretty much every week up to race week and therefore, my bike and swim training really suffered. Was able to recon the bike and run course 2 weeks prior which did help and gave me a taste of what the temperature could be on race day. 2 weeks out, the temperature at 10:00AM was around 105F and 115F at 11:00AM when we finished the run. Living in SC, I'm used to the heat and humidity so I was hoping for a hot race day as this would be a field separator.

We landed on Thursday and headed over to packet pick-up and the race expo. Pretty uneventful but did hook up with the Profile Design rep who hooked me up with some warranty replacement aero carbon bars. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites about 2 miles from the finish which worked out well but if I ever go back, I will get a room at the Green Valley Ranch. Very close to the race finish and the District for shopping, eating, etc. The race host hotel was great for the pre-race meetings/dinner/awards ceremony but not for much else. Over priced and isolated from civilization.

Slept pretty well the night before the race which isn't usually the case. Should've realized this was a sign that I was too relaxed and didn't have my game face on so to speak. A cold front moved in Saturday afternoon/evening which did bring a little rain on the way to the start but did clear out until Monday evening.

With the race being on September 11, the organizers did a great job with scheduling in a moment of silence at the exact time the first plane hit the WTC. I was very impressed that everyone was silent during this time and just shows you what an impact that act of terror had on the world and not just the US.


Ok, here is where my frustration starts. I'm at best, a MOP swimmer so going into this race I knew I would come out of the water with a deficit. Didn't realize just how big it would be. The race officials said the water temp was too warm to be wet suit legal so you had the option of the new fabric swim skin or just your race kit. I ended up wearing the new swim skin from Blue Seventy which was OK, as it was too tight around the neck. The luck of being between a S and a M. The 40-44 wave was 4th from the end so I knew I would have a lot of people out on the course ahead of me and very few behind me. A through L's were off first and as soon as the canon went off, they were telling us to get into the water. Man that water was cold. The Europeans were complaining at the water temp and said there was no way it was not wet suit legal. I agreed with them but not much I could do. Over 50% of my wave ended up climbing up on rocks under bridge to get out of the cold water as we had 10' of treading water before they shot the canon.

Mistake #1. Allowing your draft to get away. I decided I would let everyone take off and then start my swim. Wanted clean water or at least that's how I justified my poor decision. Note to self. Never do this again. The large group could've helped drag me along the course with less effort.

1.2 miles - 43:36

Yes, you read that correctly. Should've been 35' or less. Nothing like a leisurely Sunday swim.

T1: 4:14 - About 2' slower than I expected. There was about a 400 yd run around the back of the lake to get into T1 and an uphill bike exit with switchbacks that added some time. I also had difficulty buckling my Garmin, had to remove my swim skin, and had to stop and put on sunscreen.


The first 2 miles leaving the resort area are uphill. Nothing like burning a match or two a few minutes into the bike ride. Legs felt dead for the first 40 miles. Once out on the main road to Lake Meade Park, the speed and wind started picking up. I hit 46 mph heading into the entrance of the park and this gave me an opportunity to catch my breath. The plan was to keep the wattage at around 208W for the 56 miles. On the first hill, people were blowing past me like I was standing still. I was tempted to follow suit but knew I would pay for it on the run.

Started the bike with (2) 24oz bottles of my home brew. Drank 1.5 bottles by the turn around at which point I ditched my second bottle and grabbed a cold Perform and a bottle of water.

On the bike you are either going up or going down. Probably needed an 11-27
versus the 11-25, especially with standard size cranks. Saw very little drafting - maybe a pack of 4. The last few miles just before the park exit wore on me as I was ready to get back on the main road towards T2.

The last 10 to 12 miles appear to be flat but in reality, you are going up a 2% grade all the way to T2. There were a lot of tired people at this point and many who were drafting and sitting up on their base bars. My legs actually started coming around at this point and I managed to pass quite number of people during this time.

56 miles - 2:42:33 - 20.7 mph (Pavg 212W)

Rolled into T2 and handed my bike off to a volunteer. Grabbed my run bag and headed to the tent.

T2 - 2:05


When I started the bike, I needed to make a bathroom stop. Unfortunately, this didn't happen and rode the next 56 miles with a full bladder. My only thought starting the run was to hit a bathroom. First aid station and porta potty was at mile 1. Ran the first mile in 7:03 and then took over a minute in the bathroom. Run was pretty uneventful and made the on the spot decision to walk the aid stations to make sure I got the fluids down. Wasn't part of the plan and probably cost me around 4'. The course is 3 laps - 2 miles up and 2 miles down. On the down hills I ran the same pace as the up which didn't register to me as being a mistake until the last 2 miles of the race at which point I ran a pace of 5:53/mile.

13.1 miles - 1:42:14 - 7:48 pace

Total time: 5:14:41 - 537/1505

Friday, July 22, 2011

2011 Tri! Ballantyne Triathlon

Headed up to Charlotte with the family on Friday so the girls could take part in the 2nd Annual Tri! Kids Ballantyne Triathlon on Friday evening. Kids had a great time and the event was well run and we will be back next year.

It rained on and off Friday night and was raining Saturday AM when we headed over to the race start. I dropped the air in my tires to compensate for the rain but as my luck would have it, the rain moved out and the race course was basically dry. I left my pump in the hotel room which had the crack pipe for the rear disk so I was unable to inflate my tires to the right pressure which probably cost me some time. I say this as I was 25" slower this year versus last.


Horrible. That pretty much sums it up. The off season this year will be filled with pool time and lessons as I cannot continue to give away time to the other competitors.

300M - 5:36 with run to T1 (2010 - 5:29)

T1 - 0:53 - too long. Almost my entire rack came out within 45" of one another and caused a traffic jam. (2010 - 0:56)


Uneventful. Already bummed about under-inflated tires and then I ran up on the SAG vehicle right before a right hand turn. I had to sit up and wait for the vehicle to turn thinking it would either speed up or move to the side. It did neither. I waved my arms and finally yelled for the drive to MOVE IT at which time he/she floored the vehicle and finally got out of my way. This is where I lost the race as this delay easily cost me the 28" I needed to take 1st overall.

12.7 miles - 31:50 @ 24mph (2010 - 31:25 @ 24.25mph)

T2 - 0:29 - Much better. Decided to not wear socks for the bike/run and this helped my time in T1. I also put on my race belt in T1 which may have cost me a few seconds but probably a wash with what I made up in T2. (2010 - 0:39)


Goal was to break 20:00 for the 5K and I came up short by 1". I felt great during the entire run and was in the zone for the last mile. Didn't wear my Garmin so ran on feel.

5K - 20:00 @ 6:26/mile (2010 - 20:20 @ 6:32/mile)


58:47 - 2nd Place Overall (out of 425+) (2010 Result - 58:47 - 4th place overall)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Tri the Midlands Race Report

Woke up Saturday morning feeling tired due to lack of sleep - thanks to the University of South Carolina in the CWS and from a long run on Thursday. Expectations were low as I'm starting my build for the Ironman® World Championship 70.3 in September and have been focusing on distance/time in the saddle or on the road versus short course speed. The transition area was moved this year as was the swim start. Swim exit was the same but due to the change in transition location, you had a longer run – 300yds from what they said from swim finish to T1.


Haven’t been feeling very strong on the swim and that is concerning as I’m a MOP swimmer. Decided to let everyone go ahead of me when the horn sounded and just swim easy. First buoy was at 175m and after this turn, the field was separated and made for a nice swim to the finish.

500M with 300yd run to T1 – 11:10 (10 out of 28 in age group)


51” – Obviously wasn’t in a hurry here.


Finally, a race where the participants followed the rules and stayed right unless they were passing. Not much to say here except there was a nice head wind once you turned right on Kelly Mill Rd and again when you re-entered Lake Carolina on Lake Carolina Dr. Used my new Louis Garneau Vorttice helmet and really enjoyed the visor and not having to crane my neck to see over my glasses. Will look into getting an amber visor to wear in longer races where the sun will be a factor. The helmet was very quiet and air flow was much better than my Giro Advantage 2. The helmet really made you conscience of keeping your head up as looking down and sticking the tail of the helmet in the wind made a loud noise, disturbing the airflow. With transition moving closer to the lake, this gave you a little more time to open things up on the flat to downhill stretch of Long Pointe Lane. Hit 38mph passing by the finishing chute and carried a good bit of speed down to the dismount line.

14.6 miles (14 miles advertised) – 37:25 – 23.4mph (fastest in age group and 11th overall)


1:00 – Decided to run without socks this race and it cost me 20” in T2. My toe kept getting caught on one of the tongue bands when I tried putting on my shoes. After 3 attempts, I finally got one shoe on.


Legs still felt dead after Thursday’s long run. Just didn’t have the quick turnover. Got passed by the 10th OA competitor just before the hill, and then passed again 0.25 miles from the finish by the 15th OA guy who ran a 17:17 5K.

5K – 21:10 (2nd in age group and 26th OA)

1:11.34 was good enough for 1st place in the 40-44 age group and 17th overall.