Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rev3 Knoxville Championship Race Report

Rev 3 Knoxville Championship Race 

I qualified for this Race last year with the 2 rev3 Races that I did. They notify me on December. I thought it was great motivation to keep me going through the winter. The problem was that the winter in the DC area was really tough with a lot of snow (not normal for the area). Add to the winter an unexpected lost of employment and a 10 day trip (vacation) back home. I knew I wasn’t in top shape in any of the 3 disciplines but specially the bike.

On Friday, My friend Brian my GF Dagmar and I left rainy and flooded DC to Knoxville. It was an easy 8 hours drive. One flooded road near front royal added extra time. It was my first time going in to the state of Tennessee. I saw a dramatic change once we hit the state line. You could feel the southern hospitality. We arrived around 6 and went straight to packet pick up. The swag was really cool and the Rev 3 set up cool as usual. We select a hotel 5 miles from transition. We had dinner and went straight to bed as we were tire for the ride.   

With Pro Cameron Dye
On Saturday, We wake up set up the bikes and went to transition to do a short bike ride, short run and swim. The day went on uneventful. The weather was colder than expected but no rain. The water was 70, warmer than outside. During lunch we went to a nice river front bar restaurant and my friend with a swimming background spotted, London 2012 Gold medalist Davis Tarwater. He was really cool and aloud me a picture with him. We spend the rest of the afternoon resting at the hotel and setting everything for the next day. 
With Davis Tarwater

 Race Day I was up 5 AM had the usual stuff for me at breakfast: 1 Banana 3 TB of Peanut Butter 2 breads and Coconut milk.  We arrive to transition and set up everything. Everything went smooth. I Walked 10 min to the swim to get my wetsuit on with time. It was on and finally it was game time.

Swim 1.2 miles 34:35

My Goal for the swim was to be between 33-35 min, I knew base on my workouts I would be around that time. The Swim started rough for the first 100 mts but then everything was clear path. By ½ way I found my self swimming alone. This was my first swimming alone on a race so I thought I was struggling. With like 200 meters I saw 30 min on my watch so I started to push. When I climb the deck I hit my watch and it said 33: 52, but the timing mat was 50 mt away so add that to the time. 

T1- 5:47
The transition was located a good 500 mts from the swim exit add that I decided to wear my compression socks for the bike. The decision for wearing compression socks on the bike was to test it in preparation for my next IM. Any way that makes up another picnic transition for my collection.

Bike 40 miles 2:15:33
This bike course was a true honest course. It was tough a lot of climbing but at the same time it was fun. I knew that my lack of bike fitness for a course like this will catch up to me at some point.  I took it easy the 1st 30 min and then began building up at the 1hour mark I began to hammer and to catch people. With like 15 miles to go the course merge with the Olympic race so it was more people to catch. I was feeling great until mile37; there I hit nice 6% grade climbs that knock me off. From there those 3 miles I was on survival mode. I just was thinking on getting to transition and get ready for the run. Regarding the drafting I only saw 

T2- 1:35
When I hit the ground my toes were froze form the bike ride so it was hard to run bare foot. I miss my toe covers. I got my Newtons on and went for the run. Not a picnic this time !!!! 

Run 1:17:37 9.8 miles
The run course was fun but tougher than expected is resume like this, mile 1-3 flat 4-6 hilly 7-9 flat last .8 small incline after small incline that was tougher than expected. Most of the run was on pave trail and a residential neighborhood. My goal originally was to run between 7:30 and 7:45 but after the hills on the middle of the run I adjust it and then push the last 3 miles. I wasn’t passed by anybody on the run and I was able to move up 8 spots over all. The last inclines of the run were tough so I had to dig deep. Finally I hit the finish line and was really happy to cross it and complete my first championship race.

Time 4:15:07 10/16 Age group, 54/84 Gender
Crossing the finish line with my #1 fan

Congratulations to Rev 3 for the great work that they did for this race. The race swag was different and nice the medal was great and the area family oriented. The championship race was that a true championship race with a true honest course and a lot of tough competition.  I was happy with my placing I thought I lost a lot of places due to my slow transition but I only lost 1 place even with faster transition I will only   had finished 9th on my ag. I definitely want to be back on that championship course because with the proper bike training I should be able to go under 4 hours so may be next time. I also met a lot of local athletes (from the south) that will be competing in Ironman Chattanooga on late September. That was great and got me motivated. 

With Brian who kill the Olympic swim 1st

Thanks for reading.   
Links for the 3 disciplines 
Swim,  Bike  Run

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rev3 Cedar Point Iron Distance RR

Rev3 Cedar Point was my A race for 2013.  My goal was to have a solid race and forget the atrocious race that I had in Arizona on 2012. I did a lot of different in training for this race. I did my long on runs Thursdays, no matter how the weather was. Some Thursday I was able to put on the total distance while others I bonk due to the summer heat and humidity. The closer the race came the better I was able to handle the heat. This was a big confidence booster. The other runs where quality runs on the track or of the bike tempo run. I also rode more hoping to break 5:30 on the bike I did a lot of riding some weeks was able to nail 190 miles on the bike. On the swim I got some help on my swim with a friend that use to be an NCAA Division 1 top swimmer and he help me with stroke. All of this in hopes of breaking 1:10.

The drive to Sandusky Ohio from the DC was around 6 ½ hours. I got there the Friday before the race. It was my first time in Ohio. Cedar Point is an amusement park in a small peninsula in Lake Eire. The area was really nice and great for a race. The bunker (hotel) included an indoor water park. Since it was in the northern latitudes you could feel the colder weather late in the afternoon. Since it was the end of the summer season the area was not crowded.  
Where the swim was suppose to happen
 On Saturday I woke up rested and feeling good. I went to test the bike. I felt really good but noted how windy it was getting. I went to transition to packet pick up and rack my bike. Then went for the practice swim, I was told that bad weather would probably switch the swim venue to the protected water of the marina. They also warn me that the bike was going to be really windy. In the afternoon I went for the athlete briefing. It was great to see all the athletes there. The rest of the day was at the bunker to prepare all the nutrition and rest. I went to bed relax a little bit nervous about the weather.
Early morning Ready and nervous

Sunday, I woke up excited and rested. My breakfast was Coconut Milk with bread, a banana and peanut butter + 1/2 a protein shake. My supporting crew aka the GF drove me to the transition. The first thing notice is that indeed the swim was change to the marina and how windy it was. You could hear the waves coming from the lake. I set up everything and head over to the new swim start which was almost ½ a mile away from transition. The swim was starting on a boat ramp so it was going to be a TT start. I put my wetsuit and went for a short warm up. 
Entering the swim
  The Swim (1:09:59)

My goal for this swim was to break 1:10 base on all the work all summer that I have been doing I thought I could be close. I got in to the water 5 or 6 minutes after the first competitors. The swim started smooth. No bumps or contact at all. You have a nice current push when you got inside the marina. It was nice to swim next to big yachts. Once out of the marina the current stops and you were swimming in to more movable waters at the turn around it was a mix of currents and choppy water that made it hard to see and navigate. This part was the most difficult part of the swim. After this you swim straight to start the 2nd loop. The second loop I started to push a little bit and with the mix of swimmers from the ½ iron you could draft of them. In the last turn around in the choppy water area I started to feel the swim a little bit once I pass this part and saw the right turn I checked my watch and read 1:06 I began to hammer I remember all the early morning swims and all the sprint workouts .When I made it out of the water I hit the lap bottom and was happy to see a 1:09:59. I just hope the official time would say the same thing.

T1 (8:40)

The wetsuit strippers did their job quick. I was running 800 mts through the parking lot. Once I got there I put my wetsuit on the bag and got ready to go the bike. 

Bike Course
Bike  (5:58:09)

Base on all the research I did on the bike course this was suppose to be a fairly fast course. So my goals were between the 5:30-35 and keep my watts between 170 and 180. The problem was that none of the previous years the wind was a factor. This year IT WAS in a big way add to this that the road surface at points turned to horrible, watt-sucking, spirit-destroying chip seal. For all this reasons the bike ride turns in to a really tough ride. The bike started cold 66 degrees cloudy and raining. This mentally took me out of my comfort zone. After mile 20 something the ride went through a nice hill and small town things began to get ugly. You got a never ending head wind. This unfocused me, stop checking my watts and just dealing mentally with it. Everybody around me also was mad about the wind including a guy that told me that he has done the race all 4 years and the wind never has been this bad. After basically from mile 20 to mile 40 it was dealing with a headwind and side wind. From mile 40 to 50 it was to deal with rough road and the spirit-destroying chip seal. Once you pass this area you get the special need bag and ride together with the ½ racers. This gets you going and keeps your spirit high in order to deal with the wind for a second time.  The next 35 mile was more of the same wind, rough road and chip seal. By mile 90 I was so ready to be done with the bike. The wind has taken a toll on me, my watts were low I couldn’t get them up any more and mentally I was beat up. The last 12 miles of this ride were with a side and head wind all over. Once you took the road that takes you to the park you could see the lake. The waves on the lake were so high that you could surf. That was so impressive and confirmed how bad the weather has been. Finally I made it to the end of the ride honestly I was happy to be of the bike and at the same time frustrated as this has been my slowest 112 mile bike ride ever.

Finishing the Ride
T2 (7:06) a picnic

Leaving the Don John to Run
Normally I fly here on T2 but first I couldn’t find my transition bag. Then I had said to my self that I would wear compression socks no matter how long it would take to put them because I has been training with them and I has been noticing the difference on my long runs when I were them. So it took me longer than expected but I was ready to tackle the marathon.

Run Course
Run (3:54:25)

The goal here was to run most of the race and be between 3:45-4:00. Base on my long runs and the way I has adapted to the heat I knew I could be around that time. After coming out of T2 I hit the don john and came out ready to tackle the run. The first thing that happened was that all the clouds began to disappear and the sun came out. So a cloudy windy bike turns in to a sunny not so windy run. This run was a 2 loop course from the park to the downtown of Sandusky and back. I felt good for most of the 1st loop. I kept my pace on check my HR also and kept my nutrition drinking water at every aid station and taking a gel and salt tables every 45 minutes. 

Starting the 2nd loop
 The real run started on the 2nd loop. When I hit mile 14 my body started to fall out I walk the aid station to properly full my self. I was able to run high 8s low 9s minute mile pace until mile 21. My GF kept me motivated through those miles with music that I like and talking to my mom letting her know that I was doing great. From mile 21-25 It was a suffer fest the sun was out I was beat up. I just said to my self keep going you are almost there. Miles 24 and 25 were my slowest I knew it and I was ready to make a final push. I said to my self that once I climb the bridge (It was small but with 25 on the body felt like a mountain), I was going to go for it. The last mile I started to move, everything hurt but I knew I was going to PR at the distance. The good thing about rev3 is that they aloud you family to cross the finish line with the competitor so my GF was able to cross the finish line. That was really cool. After finishing I was exhausted and happy that I PR at the distance.

Time (11:18:18) 31 of 245 (overall) AG 9 of 28

This was my best performance at Iron distance. I pr in the swim and the run. The bike caught me of guard and mentally I wasn’t prepared to deal with those conditions. Lesson learned that I have to be ready for everything. Over all rev 3 puts a great event. Its small scale compare to IM but if you are looking for a more family environment get an amusement park exclusively for the athletes families this is a most do race. The hotels around the area are not expensive. The hotel that I stayed had a water park inside the hotel so it was pretty cool to have Jacuzzi. Over all I highly recommend rev3cedar point or any other Rev3 race.   

For overall results click Here

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rev3 Williamsburg 1/2 report

Rev3 Williamsburg ½ iron Race Report

The main reason for signing for this race was to test my fitness level in preparation Rev 3 Cedar Point in September. On the training session prior to the race I was feeling good so I have hi hopes for a good time in the race. I knew a PR will be hard to get because I didn’t had the speed on the run or on the bike.  

Williamsburg is 2 1/2  hours for the DC area so  drove Saturday morning. Got there went packet pickup and then do a short bike ride and run. This was the 1st year of the race, it was a point to point race (2 transitions) and I had the feeling logistically it was going to be a pain so I planned ahead to be extra early on transition to take the shuttle to the swim area.

Race Morning  
I woke up at 4:15 morning with showers and thunderstorms. The breakfast was a banana with bread and Peanut Butter. I got to transition almost at 5 drop my running shoes and head really quickly to the shuttle bus. After that time it was a mess to get there so it was smart on being extra early. I got there pump the tiers put on bike nutrition and head to the swim area. There was a delay on the start due to multiple issues as this being a 1st year event. When the pro started I saw how bad the current was pushing them. Mentally I prepare to have a long day.

Swim  43:40 
This was the longest and most difficult 70.3 swim I have done. The current was pushing hard and at times you could feel that you were not moving while you swim.  I just keep swimming and kept my calm until the end. Many of the pros swam really slow So that kept me going through out the rest of the day

T1 4:40
This had 400 meters long run so I knew the time for transition would be slow. I got gear up and went ready for what would be a tougher bike course than expected. 

Bike 2:45:34
Coming to the bike I knew that I wasn’t in top form on the bike. I have been riding decently but I wasn’t in PR shape but again this was preparation race so I would have to deal with it. The bike started with a nice tail wind. It was rolling from the beginning. I kept my pace in check. As we go in land the wind picked up. From mile 23 to 35 there was a mix of headwind and crosswind that took a good effort out you. I got a little frustrated with it. This was on the low point of the race. 
Around mile 40 the rollers got bigger. I was mentally ready for it. I was in a good pace until the last 8 miles. The last 8 miles I felt the bike leg the wind was in my face and it was hillier than I expected. In the last mile I was so ready to get off the bike to begin the run. The bike in general was a little bit tougher than I expected. The bike was really scenic with nice views of lakes historic sites and corn fields.

T2 1:05
The transition had to be clear so I just had my shoes out there I was prepare to just drop my bike and got my shoes on. I did everything correct. I was happy with how it went. 

Run 1:51:43
By the start of the run you could feel humidity rising. My plan was too pace my self in the 1st loop. Practice my nutrition in preparation for IM. The run started through the university campus and then to a residential area with a really nice hill and then back to transition for another hill turnaround. It was a challenging course and with hot and humid weather a little bit tough, in some of the aid stations I walked to get my nutrition in. I keep and even pace throughout the whole race. I try to hammer the last 5 miles and was happy with my effort until the last mile where I struggle. At the end I was happy with my effort. 

My final time was 5:26:42 
I was happy with my performance I think without the current on the swim I would had gone 10 minutes faster but the conditions are the same for everyone and if you decide to compete on that day, you have to deal with the elements throw at you. I knew I wasn’t in pb condition but this was a for fitness test in preparation for the Ironman in September.

This was my 1st Rev 3 event and I was highly impressed with the organization. The race received a lot of heat in the social media world because of the logistics transportation from t1 –t2. At the end of the day is responsibility of the athlete to plan ahead.  They do have to improve  on handling the transition bags after the race because that was bad.

Friday, November 29, 2013

IM AZ 2012 Race report (a year later)

This is the 1st report of 3 races that I have done in the past year. I hope all come out in the next week, not in another year  

This was my 2nd Ironman and I was hoping improve from my first performance in the same course but the heat had other plans.

I got to Tempe on Wednesday night to get use to the weather and the 2 hours of difference from the east coast.  Flying direct is way easier than flying with stops so is something to have in consideration for the future. Thursday was cloudy and cold so my hope of an 80 degrees day was done. I did packet pick up and it went o eventfully.  Friday I did a short brick and rested it was a nice day.  Saturday I did the practice swim. The water was not as cold as the other time I went in there. It was a good practice swim.  I rode my bike 1 last time make sure everything was set up and rack it up. The rest of the day I spend it napping and getting ready for the big day.
Race day woke up at 4:30 Ate coconut milk A peanut butter Sandwich of three breads a banana some and some extra protein shake.

Arrive to transition Pump the bike tiers set up everything and did the long line to 1 final don John stop and got in to my wet suit and went it to Tempe Town Lake.  Right before the start I thank all the gods for allowing me to arrive to the start line healthy. Concentrate on the journey that I was going to have and relax to the sound of this great song 
Swim: 1:11:39
6 weeks before I did a 2.4 mile open water swim at the aquabike and I thought I could improve at least a minute. I position myself to the right corner like last time but not to the front. That was a big mistake!! The cannon went off and the war started for the 1st 15 minutes the swim was a warzone of kicks elbows everything you could imagine and it was really hard to get a in to rhythm. Finally approaching the first turn around I finally found some space to get in to a rhythm and from there I knew I going strong. Coming back I just push but without hammering much. I knew that I was going to pr but didn’t know by how much.  I ended with a PR of 10 seconds, not a huge one as I was hoping for but improvement which is ok.

T1 6:08
T1 I knew it was going to be a long base on all the running around that you have to do to get your T1 bags. I was ready mentally for this and follow my plan to get ready not only for the bike but for the run too.  Everything went as plan. 

Bike 5:36:23

The bike training suffer a minor setback when my power tap  pass out 2 month before the race and I had to start training indoors do to not having enough day light. This changes my strategy to ride by Heart Rate and perceived effort instead of focusing on power.
The ride started windy and with a lot draft packs. But those packs were clear at the top of the roller when the penalty tent was full of drafters.  A lot of people pass me on the first loop I kept calm and just pace myself. By the end of the 1s loop I was feeling hot already, the wind had calm down. I started to spread water on top and just kept my pace. Half-way point through the course I grab my special needs bag got my PMB & Jely Sandwich replace my bottles. After refueling I felt really good and began to star passing people a lot the 3rd loop I rode strong. I knew it was hot as you could feel it especially in your back. I coast on the down hills, continue to pass more people  and mentally began to prepare for the run. I improve my time by 7 minutes. I was really happy and excited to get of the bike and begin the run.
T2 2:58 

T2, The plan here was to get my shoes on and don’t waste time. I think I really nail it.
The Run (or the debacle) 4:38:17

Going in to the run I felt I was in a great running shape. My training runs were the fastest I have ever done and I had great confidence that I would kill it. I was so wrong. I knew that if I keep my composure I would have a pr but I did totally the opposite. I went out hard didn’t took notice that it was 85 degrees and the last time I was in that weather was mid-September. The 1st 4 miles I flew them including running a few seconds with current Ironman champion Leanda Cave.
 By mile 5 I started to slow down by mile 9 I was walking. I was cramping all over my body including my arms and forearms and shoulders. I had never had that feeling. I was struggling badly until someone told that was hotter than expected to increase my salt intake. Bingo!! Didn’t took any salt tablets because I wasn’t expecting to be that hot. Immediately in the next aid station and grab all the salt stuff that I could find, chips cookies and was putting them. From mile 8 to 13 I was walking and running. Once I hit 13 and the sun was going down and the salt was in I was running again 8:30 to 9:30 pace till mile 21 and the 10’s all the way till the end. 

During the run a lot of stuff went through my mind on how you can screw a race by small details, how the 1 day journey you have so much highs and lows and you find a way to overcome. How hard I have work the last year and here I was struggling but I blocked all those negative thoughts and finished strong.
The Final time was 11:35:25

This was my 2nd Ironman and I had big hopes of a pr and I felt could have break 11 hours on a good day. Unfortunately the ironman gods had other plans for me and make pay my dues.  A Week after the race I knew I wanted revenge at the distance on 2013 so I started looking for races that were good for my skills and my bank account.