Wednesday, November 12, 2008


First off this is post #100 for me, so that is kinda exciting. The ITU San Francisco Triathlon is where I have ended my season each year for the last 5 years. It is a great race in a great city. Is is a good race not necessarily for the venue (bike course leaves a lot to be desired), but because it usually becomes the last stop for me and all my triathlon related friends for the season. It is alsways a struggle mentally for me to keep focused until mid-November and this year was no exception. I arrived in San Fran ready to race. I was excited finishing up my season well and making up for the week before. I did race hard, and have a solid race, but it just wasn't what I was hoping for.

My swim was going well in the leadup to the race, but disaster struck in the race. I had a great start gapping both Matt Chrabot and Matt Reed (they started next to me). At the first buoy something happened and about 5-6 people got tangled in the buoy/ropes. I was actually stuck underneath the buoy trying to find some air. It was like the buoy ate me. When I finally got un-stuck from the buoy and started swimming, the break had already happened. I was leading the chase with about 8 guys off the front. I swam in the chase pack until I got eaten by another buoy. Then I went to the end of the chas pack. You would have thinked I learned my lesson the first time. Looking back, and talking with the other guys I think the buoys were not secured properly and had some extraa ropes or soemthing. A lot of people had trouble with these. You can see big Matty Reed getting caught in one in the video below.

We were far back on the bike, but are group worked relatively well, caught quite a few ahead of us, and came into T2 about 25 seconds down. I started to feel a little queasy in the stomach, but shrugged it off. While my swim was terrible, we managed to "re-enter" the race on the bike. Onto the run I felt great for the first lap (of 3) and was running in 10th/11th with a Columbian. Starting the 2nd lap I started to go backwards. I really struggled with my stomach and slowed. I got passed by quite few guys. I found my legs on the 3rd lap, but the stomach was doing sommersaults by that time. I caught a few guys on the way home, but honestly I think I was running faster because I knew there were Porta-Potties at the finish line.

I finished up 13th, but didnt stop running when I crossed the line....I ran straight to the john. As I am jogging over to the toilet, the ankle chip guy is screaming at me and chasing me down asking for my chip. I told him he can come in the toilet with me if he wants, but I am not waiting for him to de-chip me. He thought for a second and then left me alone. I thought I would be better after the visit, but things got worse. I made beacoup des voyages to the bathroom for the next 4 hours. I have no idea why. It could have been from South Korea, what I ate the night before, or just nerves. I wasn't nervous, so I dont think that was that. And I didnt get sick again, so I dont think it was a parasite. Whatever, it was bad for about 1 hour before my race to 3 hours after.

Now I am on BREAK!! I cant describe how great this feels. I have no travelling on planes, no training, and zero diet restrictions (for a few weeks). The end of season break has arrived and I am loving it. I will take a couple weeks completely off and then take a few to get back in the swing of things. I will post a season retrospective soon and also a "season in pictures" blog post so I dont completely quit blogging and lose all 1.78 of my faithful readers.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Seoul to SFO

The 2008 Incheon Triathlon has been run and won, but not by me. I was feeling quite good about the race leading in, had easy travel, and recovered from the jet-lag fairly easily. Leading into the race on Saturday I thought I was in for a good one. To make matters a little more interesting, the race organizers decided to bring in some VERY fast people. Think a little less like a random race in Asia and a little more like an ITU World Cup.....

The swim went ok, but I had a bad start and got caught behind quite a few guys. I battled my way back through the dropped swimmers to the pack and exited about 5-6 seconds behind the first pack of about 6 guys. I had a good T1 and hopped on the bike. I was 2nd wheel behind Jan Rehula (2000 bronze triathlon medalist and rides like a motorcycle). I was holding on for dear life with my feet still on top of my cycling shoes. We were about 15-20 meters behind the first pack (who were conveniently tucked behind the lead motorcycle). Well, I got dropped. No excuses or reasons, I just couldnt hang on any more. And while this race was stacked, there were not too many people racing so once I got dropped, there was no one even close. The next group was over a minute behind at this point. I rolled into T2 with the 2nd pack a little over 2 minutes down, and out of the race. I ran one lap of the run, and then pulled the plug. I dont like dropping out, but San Francisco ITU is this next weekend, and I felt like it was the smartest choice. I am now in San Fran at Lauren's resting and recouperating for this weekend. The field is small, but competitive and I look forward to racing HARD! No quitting this time, no matter what happens.

Enough about the race.....there were quite a few other interesting things about the trip. I met a bunch of Czech guys who were racing. One (Petr Bures) was an exchange student in Weatherford, Texas!!! This small town is about 15 miles from my house and I ride there all the time. What a small world....Another Czech, (we will call him Pretzel because I cant spell or pronounce his name) is on my new French Team next year. It was good to hear about the new manager and my new teammates. More info will come soon about my plans for next year, my new club, and some new sponsors. And lastly, while we stayed in a nice hotel, it was in the middle of nowhere, and we were left sitting in out rooms trying to stay entertained. The food, though, was by far the best meals I have had in Asia. Night and Day difference to racing in China. We even had a pre-race dinner at the Incheon Airport Hyatt that would probably rank in my top 10 meals of all time. It was that good. In summary, the race was not great, but racing in Korea get two thumbs way up!!

talk soon after this weekend in San Fran! Cheers,