Sunday, April 27, 2008

tongyeong wc

Les AmericainsJust finished my first world cup on Saturday with a solid result. Much like the Pan American Championships in Mexico last week, the race went well, but not great. I am still looking for that breakthrough race. Travelling to the race was nice, as the 4 other Amercans were on my flight from the US to Korea. It always makes travelling a little easier with familiar faces.
I settled in to the time zone change fairly well and got about to maintenance training before the race. It turns out that South Korea is quite cold this time of year. The water was around 57 degrees (read: alcatraz) and the air was hovering in the 60's most of the time. For the start of the race, I lined up right in the middle of the pontoon. I had a solid start and was right in the bunch. It was a super hectic swim and i got pounded for the entire 1500 meters. I just kept my cool and kep swimming in the pack. It was actually much easier than anticpated. I was 22 at 750meters and dropped back to 29 at 1500m, but was squarely situated in the pack.

The bike course was actually quite difficult with lots of climbing each lap. There were some grades up to 10%. With 40 guys exiting the water within 15 seconds transition was quite crazy. In addition to the hills there was some crazy wind on the course. The organizers shortened the bike by about 5k to avoid going onto a bridge where the wind was gusting really hard. There were lots of strong cyclists in our group, but the headwind kept everyone together. I stayed in the middle of the pack, out of trouble as much as possible.
The bike pack stayed together and I rolled into transition ready to rock the run. Unfortunately, my legs and lungs thought otherwise. I struggled again with crazy fast pace off the bike, but managed to finish strong w/ a 30th place. Not great, but one of the better World Cup debuts by an American. I finished within the 5% time cut-off so I received both Olympic Ranking and World Ranking points. As of right now, I am 125th in the world. Aside from the race, it was really great to hang out with some of the guys over the week. Got to spend a bit of time with Dirk Boekel and Marko Albert. Awesome guys and hopefully I'll run into them again. Timmy, Jazz, Joe, and the rest of Team USA made it fun all the way around. I think I spent more time in Tous Les Jours (the best pastry shop) than I did anywhere esle. All in all it was a great experience and I feel like I had fun and learned quite a bit. Right knwo I am chilling in the Singapore Air Lounge in Seoul. Gotta love travel! I even managed to get bumped up to business so I will be rolling home in style. I am in Texas for 1 day then off to California for another race. Lets hope the form carries through and the body hold together. Here are some pics:

World Ironman Champ Chrissie Wellington hanging w/ the "mortals"Before you judge these Euros, the one on the right won $200,000 at Des Moines last year



Thursday, April 24, 2008

one down.....

I haven’t even really had time to process last weekend’s ITU Pan American Championships in Mazatlan, Mexico and I am already on a plane over the pacific headed to South Korea for my next race. The first leg of my 7 consecutive races started out fairly well. I can’t say that I was completely satisfied with the race, but looking back it was a solid outing and much better than races previous years.

The travel there was uneventful and smooth, which is always a good way to start. I ended up staying with Bucky Schafer, Matt Charbot, and Chris Foster. It turned out to be an awesome group and we all had a lot of fun. It makes travelling a lot easier when you got a few mates with ya. We even had a stalker, complete with heavy breathing and creepy phone calls. He even would watch us eat at the hotel restaurant. In fact, it got so bad we had to unplug our phone. Sometimes you just help but laugh. Maybe next time we should check the speedos at the door and put on the boardies instead…….

A big shout out to Matt Charbot for going off the front on the bike, winning the race, and beating US Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker! Matt is a good guy, pretty smart, and oddly enough speaks Greek. We were all blown away when we found out. As far as my race, the conditions played a huge role in the race. On the swim there were 10+foot waves. The waves were so bad that they canceled the age group swim, and they had to pull out 4 or 5 juniors from the water during the race. It wasn’t so much swimming as trying not to drown. In the pic below you can see us starting the race. The organizers managed to start us in the middle of a huge set and we got pummeled.

I had a good swim came out in a big group and quickly ended up in the first pack. The bike was uneventful and nondescript. By the end of the bike our group had grown to around 30 or so w/ just two cyclists off the front. Heading onto the run, I was looking forward to laying the smack down. In T2 I had some trouble getting my shoes on which saw me come out near the back of our bike pack. It was also about 90 degrees with no wind and without a single cloud in the sky. With the heat, I knew it was gong to be a rough run, and lots of guys would fade. I had a really rough first 5k and stayed pretty far back of my pack, just trying to drink water and find my legs. I knew all the training this winter would come into play at some point, and it happened around the 6k mark. I started to feel stronger and stronger and started to reel guys in. I ended up passing 9 guys in the last 4k of the run. I almost made it 10, but lost a sprint finish to a Canuck. Canada: 1 USA: 1,648,702. I ended up in 13th, and was the 4th American.

I went into the race with two goals: 1) a top 10 finish and 2) securing a spot for World University Games. I was really close to top 10 and I am still waiting for confirmation, but the consensus is that I made the selection for the 2008 World University Games Triathlon in Erdek, Turkey this July. I had a speedy sub-33min 10k (it probably was a little short. Ok, it was short), and pretty much everyone who beat me has been racing for a while this season. It was a solid hit out for the next 7 weeks. I am racing my first World Cup this Saturday in Tongyeong, South Korea. Hopefully I can build on this past weekend and have an even better race. I don’t know what it is about Asia, but I always keep coming back to race here. To date I have raced in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, China, and now South Korea. And I am finalizing another trip to China on May 25th. It is a love/hate relationship, but I have had some of my best results there.
Here are some pic’s of the race in Mexico and the ensuing shenanigans.
room 208

Viejo Mazatlan (Old Mazatlan)

how many americans can you pack into an elevator?

game faces on!

well thats all for now.....



Monday, April 14, 2008

too much stimulation!

This weekend was prehaps the greatest weekend of sports (at least that I care about) this year. I am sure i am forgetting something: Paris-Roubaix(cycling), Short Course World Champs (swimming), Flora London Marathon (running), Ishigaki World Cup (triathlon), and 2 Ironmans (triathlon). Sunday AM I was jumping all over the place looking up results. First off, Ryan Hall, a white American born and bred in Cali ran 2:06:17 for 5th in the overall fastest and deepest marathon field ever! Just in case you were wondering, 3:00/Kilometer pace is 2:06:35. That is absolutely sick! It is also his third marathon, he is like 26, and they went out well under World Record pace (1:02 and change). Beijing medals here we come. He is the future of American distance running.

Next up, Ishigaki WC. Simon Whitfield, one of my favorite guys in the sport rolled out again for WC win number 11! His training group have been lighting it on fire so far this year. Simon is a consumate professional and I have loads of respect for the guy. Also has an awesome blog ( only about 3000 times better than this blog)
And lastly, my homeboy TJ Tollakson got second in a brutal Ironman Arizona. He raced on the front for 8:30 hours only to get out-sprinted by 18 seconds, the toughest way to lose. Actually the top FOUR athletes were within about 1 min of each other. That is not a fun way to end a 8+ hour race . TJ, you will get that win soon!

And on to my own training. The last two weeks have been really solid training. I brought the hours down quite a bit, but the intensity went through the roof! I am going in to a block where I will be racing 8 races in 9 weeks on three continents. First off is Mazatlan ITU this Saturday then straight off to Tongyeong Korea for my first ITU World Cup.

swim: 21,600 yds
Bike: 7.25 hours w/ crazy hard group ride and one solid Steady state day on TT bike
run: 45 miles w/ 3 key wkouts: 1)track session 15x400 on 2:00 as 2 race pace/1 fast. For me, I ripped it ave. 73 on the first 2 400's and 69's on the fast one. Also did a progressive tempo on the tready (30min), and a hard fartlek 4x(3,2,1 fast w/ 2 min recov). Really solid wkouts for me.

swim:26,000 long course meters!
bike: 6 hrs w/ 8x2min all out on trainer, and one hard group ride
run:48 miles This week again three "fast" sessions w/Tracky session 6x1k w/ 90 ave 3:07, super short and sprinty fartlek workout, and one progrssive tempo (24min) desc by 8 min. Felt great, and am ready to race!!!!
hrs: 20.5

Well the training is done and in the bank. Now it is time to race. I am actually itching to race, rather than the usual first-race hesitancy. I think it is going to be a great year. Thanks for reading!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

rated pg

The following picture is:
A.) Me participating in my own solo version of Kona Underpants run
B.) Me trying to get a date in South Beach
C.) What happens when you forget your running shorts for your brick workout and have to make do with what you have

And the comment of the run goes to the eight year old girl who asked her mommy why the strange man was running in his underwear. And yes you may not notice it, but my neon green shoes matched perfectly with the boxers.


Friday, April 04, 2008

the week(s) that was

Two weeks ago i traveled to Napa valley for my cousin's wedding. For those of you who don't believe it is possible for me to get dressed up, I have attached pic's below to support this uncommon phenomenon. The plan was to stay in the Bay Area for an extra 8 days after the wedding and get a solid week of training. The Bay Area is one of my favorite places to train as it has a great swim team (Scott w/ PASA), awesome riding, and great running trails.
My little cousin and I

Me and the lady
The trip started off with a little hick-up. My flight got super delayed and then stuck in Denver on Thursday nght. I decided to take the flight on Friday morning and stay with good friend Bucky Schafer and his wonderful parents. Well it turned out to be the right move. I was fortunate enough to be able to hang out with Bucky and his brothers and got to go see the first round of the NCAA Basketball tourney. We had fourth row seats behind the basket as we watched Bucky's alma mater, Notre Dame, destroy George Mason (only to get beat soundly the next round). For my "troubles" (little did the airline know) I got a free ticket voucher for anywhere in the US that United flies. Even better when I got home, United had sent me a letter apologizing for the extreme delay and sent me a $150 voucher for my "pain and suffering." The best part of the whole thing is that I booked the flight on miles (paid the whopping taxes of $7.49) and got a stopover in Denver, a free ticket, and $150 bucks. Not too shabby...... Here is a pic of the Buckster and I circa 2006 in Pacific Grove, Cali:
The extra day did hamper the training though. I got to Napa only to find my bike der hanger was broken. Didnt get it fixed until the following Tues. so there was a little to be desired for the week in the biking department. I did feel I made up for it the next week though.

Here is the question: If I do 11 hours one week and 30 the next, is it the same as doing two 20.5 hr weeks.......hmmm not so sure, but I can only control the controlables (SP? is that even a word?)

3/17-3/23 unofficial "recovery" week w/travel, delays, and a broken bike
Total hrs were arond 11 with 49 miles of running and one track wkout. I did 3x[2x400 on 2:30, 1x1600 on 7:30]. Felt AWFULL, but stuck it through. 73-74 on 400's and 5:06 on miles. Not my best ever, but put it in the bank. Also managed a few quality swim sessions.
3/24-3/30 San Fran mini training camp
hrs: 30
swim: 28,500 yds w/4 hard LCM swims
bike: 14.25 hrs w/ hill repeats, and a hard group ride (3hr) plus climbing up Mt Diablo for 50min for total of 5:15 hour ride on Sat. The total ride had around 1:30 of sustained climbing, and the group kept the flats interesting.
run: 55.5 miles w/Tready Tempo of 3 miles 5:27 @ 1% grade, and a fast, fast fartlek of 2x[2x90 w/90rest, 2x60 w/60rest, 30/30, 15/15), and a solid 16.5 long run.

Solid week.....And in other news I have just recieved an entry to my first World Cup in Tongyeong, South Korea! So after Pan American Champs in Mazatlan on April 19th. I will be hopping on a plane the next day to fly to South Korea. It is sure to be the toughest and fastest race I have ever done.

On that note i better get to training. thanks for reading.....