Wednesday, July 30, 2008

tactically perfect,

As is the norm this summer this weekend brought another race. This one was in France and it was the second race for my club team, St Jean De Monts. We are in the fight to move up divisions next year (like European soccer) and our manager was fired up for our team.

My race went ok, but again not quite great. I had an easy swim comfortably in the first pack. Onto the bike I felt great. Our small lead pack was caught by the 2nd and 3rd pack and swelled to over 70 people. 70 people combined with crazy small European roads meant super-sketch-ville. I fought hard to get to the front on the last lap of the bike. Into the second transition I was second wheel. Out of the second transition and onto the run I quickly moved to the lead with 70 people streched out behind me. I have tried to be more aggressive in my racing and this was going perfect! I got a little too excited and took off. I lead the race until about 1.5-2k when the wheels came off. I exploded. I hung on for the next 3k, but faded to 15th. Our team ended up 2nd so we are sitting really good for next year.

I was really happy with how aggressive I raced, but again a little disappointed with my run. So after a few weeks of racing and rest, it is back to my bread and butter: miles and long repeats. I think I have focused a little too much on speed, and need to get back to working
on my efficiency and endurance. Back to the grindstone.......The London Triathlon is my next race in two weeks. First time to the UK and pretty excited about it. Here are some pic's from the weekend of my team and the race.

Which way do we go?

And we're off!



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coupe de Monde Round #2

This one is a little hard to write. I had been looking forward to racing the World Cup in Austria for a long time. I have been in "camp" mode for about 7 weeks stringing together my most consistent block of training ever. I was really hoping for a top 20 classement and thought my fitness was good enough to achieve it. I just finished up nearly three weeks fo hard training with Dirk and was ripping to race. Nevertheless sometimes you have those days. Sunday was one of them. I couldnt even manage to run tempo....

The swim was a little hectic. It was really cold, but not cold enough for wetsuits. I decided to not do a swim warm up because of my inability to deal with getting too cold in the water. Got smashed around like a rag doll for the first lap. Not so bueno. I exited the first of the two lap swim in what felt like last. I dove back in the water at the the end of a very long line. I had to bridge quite a few gaps on the second lap, but overall the pace was not too hard and I had a great 2nd lap. I exited the water with quite a few other big name athletes, but a little back from the leaders. We eventually caught the first pack and I felt quite good. On to the run.....

The wheels came off. No idea what happened. I went out hard for about 1k and that was it. I had no gas, and I have no explanation. I thought maybe I was just a little tired and would eventually come around, but the run actually got worse throughout the 10k. 2 days after the race now, I still dont know what happened. I am taking this week really, really, easy to get my body and legs to come right. I have been smashing myself and racing way too much, so I think some relaxation should be good for me. I have a French Grand Prix team race this weekend so I need to be ready. I think maybe the body just wants a little breather...
Here are some pics from the World Cup in Austria:

Team America

leading out the chase

The weekend before this race I hopped in a local race in Ecthernach, just outside Luxembourg City. I had a great swim leading out of the water, was in a break on the bike for 25k of the 40k and ended up 4th. Lots of good pics though and a tough, fun race.

Do I really want to do this?

sortie l'eau that one hurt a bit

Well thats it for this post. After this week of recuperation I hope to write another race report, but this time with good news! In the mean time i'll keep my chin up, and my wheels down...

Friday, July 11, 2008

back in the lux

After the race in Turkey, I had a one day stopover in Istanbul. It is a pretty amazing city that has history dating back to B.C. It is the gateway to Asia. and half of the city sits in Europe while the other half sits in Asia. A true melting pot of cuisines, cultures, and religions. Although one day will never do it justice, here are some pics from my 12 hour day in Istanbul.
The Blue Mosques

The Aya Sophia

Rooftop view of the city from our last sunset. Ahhhh! I was a little underdressed for the dinner so they gave me a "ladies" blanket

In other news, I am absolutely in love with Luxembourg. Such a great place to ride your bike, and it has by far the best views from any major city in the world. Only prob......sooo expensive. Why is it that every city I love to train in carries a $$$$ price tag (i.e. San Francisco). Anyways, training has been some of the hardest I have done and I have been making every session count. With Dirk, aka "german precision" every session in solid with absolutely no junk miles. It has been really good for me. I have been really solid through the sessions and even saw a 6 hour day on Wednesday. Body is really tired, but that's the point isn't it? I decided that I am going to race a local race with a little bit of coin this Sunday as my last hard workout for the 2 week camp. I am tired, but will put forth a solid effort. Well off to training...

The area here is beautiful here and will post some Lux pic's on the next post.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

the WUGS that was

The 2008 World University Games have come and gone faster than I could have imagined. This year it is official....I am a 3 time World Uni Games partipant, and at all three games I have failed to make the front pack. This time I was in the bets overall and swim shape of my life, and still failed to make it. 1o Races in 10 weeks with 9 first packs. The only one I missed was this one. Ouch!

I think the word of the day for me was complacent. I was swimmming comforatbly in the first pack of the swim, but got complacent and drifted towards the back of the first pack. After a good transition. I hopped on my bike only to have a slight derailleur problem lose me several precious seconds which ended up meaning missing the first pack. If I had been less complacent in the swim, the problem would not have been a problem. On the first lap, of the bike I was complacent and content to let the chase pack chase the leaders. We were only (4 of us) like 15 seconds down on the first group on the first hill. Instead of hoping someone else would pull me up to the group. I should have attached and possibly made it. Who knows what would have actually hapened, but I was complacent and sat in.

Our HotelTeam USA going for a ride

The bike was crazy hard with 2 steep hills per lap with 8 laps total. There was about 0% of my day spenton the flats. To make it even more interesting the wind was gusting at 30mph. And it was 33degrees (90+ F). Tough day. We ended up losing about 1 minute to the first group by the end of the bike. I felt w-recked by he end of the bike. Then came the run.

The run has been the focus of my training for the last three weeks. Going into the race I was very confident of my run. Going into said run, I became decidely less confindent. I was having a little trouble keeping liquids down on the bike (not hurling, more like gentle spitting up) and I lost focus after missing the front swim pack. I started the run and felt ok, but did not attack the course. I was complacent.

Team USA apres race

Also, this race is a team race and the top 3 from each country score for the team. With 2 people in the first group and 1 person in my group, who told me he was feeling really good for th erun, I was out of the team scoring. Just needed to get through the run. Well at the 1.25 k turnaround. I saw Ethan, our start runner (who made the first pack) struggling. This meant that I was now the 3rd place US and had to run fast. The coaches were screaming at me to keep passing people. Right around this time my legs started to come around and I began to pass people. 25, 20, 17, and finally 15th. If I ran my first 2 laps like my last 2 I think i would have been top 10. Our team with Kevin Collington (6th), Stephen Sexton (7th), and myself ended up getting 2nd. This was the best result ever by a USA FISU Team.

This is the Suisse and USA teams (no idea why we have our shirts off)
The trip was great fun and it was a blast to hang out with the guys. Stephen, K-Fed, and EB all have race reports on their sites, and K-Fed has a good report on the swiss-american medal ceremony shenanigans. Check them out. I am now in Luxembourg for a three week training camp. I have already logged a few crazy sessions, but the training here is good. The views are second to none, and as of right now Luxembourg City could be my favourite city in the world. Well this race report has become way too long. But I did add quite a few pictures for those who have a problem with reading. I am going to make it a bit longer by adding my French race report for all my french readers (maybe 1). It is unedited but understandable if you speak French.

Une petite description de ma course en Turkie pour le Championatte de Monde Universitaire. Pour le nage il y a 77 triathletes et le depart de le pontoon est tres dificile. Sortie le nage Je suis dans le premiere ensemble. Apres une bonne parc 1 Je suis dans the derriere de the premiere ensemble, mais un probleme technique dans le premiere kilometre dans le velo et voila, Je suis in the deuxieme ensemble (Je ne sais pas the mot pour le problem technique dans francais. Dans l´Anglais "my front derailleur"). Le course pour le velo est tres dificile avec 2 cotes grandes par boucle (8 boucles = 16 cotes!!). Le vend est tres dificile aussi avec 40-50kilometre par heure. Le temp pour le jour est 33° C. Quelle mierde! Arrivee dans parc 2 une minute derriere de le premiere ensemble. Ma course a pied est pas mal, mais je fini dans 15eme. Je suis le 3eme par l`equipe les Etats-Unis. Le classement de notre equipe (USA) est 2eme!!!! Une bonne resultat par le federation. Merci et @+

Well that does it for this round. Catch up again in a bit.