Wednesday, May 30, 2012

USA Olympic Triathlon Team

The Olympics are less than 60 days away...see the countdown clock on the left sidebar. I love the Olympics...especially the summer games. I can't get enough of it. The level of competition combined with the patriotism is something that I look forward to every 2 years. My DVR will be loaded up with events that I want to watch...which it will probably take me several months to get through. 

The Men's and Women's Triathlon is obviously one event that I will be especially looking forward to. This will be the fourth Olympic games for the sport. The way that the team is selected is kind of strange to those not familiar with the Olympics, but it's basically the same as most Olympic sports. For instance, Track and Field has the Olympic Trials (held June 21 - July 1). The trials are where athlete's must earn a spot on Team USA. Maybe you've had a fantastic season leading up to the Trials and then just have a bad day. Too bad. You missed your chance...wait four more years. Is it a fair way to decide who represents the USA? Maybe. Maybe not. 

The team that will represent the US in the sport of triathlon is determined in a very similar way. Here is the official qualification process from the USAT website:

Athletes are constantly racing to earn points to improve their standing on the ITU Olympic Qualification List, which can help assure the U.S. of earning the maximum three slots per gender at the 2012 Olympic Games.
• At the 2011 London WCS event (Aug. 6-7), the two highest-placing eligible U.S. athletes per gender qualify for the Games, provided they place among the event’s top nine finishers. Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff both qualified at this event.
• Any eligible athlete who did not qualify in London and places in the top nine at the ITU World Triathlon San Diego (formerly WCS) event May 10-12, 2012 will qualify for the team, depending on the number of slots remaining. Laura Bennett, Hunter Kemper and Manuel Huerta all qualified at this event.
• Any slots available following the automatic selection process will be filled by a discretionary selection. Discretionary selections could entail potential medalists or an athlete who can assist the medal-potential athletes through specific team tactics.
• If there still is a spot (or spots) remaining after the two qualification events and one discretionary selection, they are awarded based on placing at the 2012 event.

So as you can see, you basically have three chances to make the team. The first was on the actual 2012 Olympic course at a race back in August. The second was two weeks ago in San Diego. The third is only necessary if not enough US athletes finish in the top 9 of the two races. At that time, a committee would determine who makes the team.

I finally got around to watching the ITU World Triathlon San Diego race this past weekend. I already knew the outcome, but it was still a very exciting race! With the women's Olympic team already set, there were seven men trying to earn the two spots on Team USA (provided that they both finished in the top 9 overall). Based on their ITU rankings, the favorites were Matt Chrabot and Jarrod Shoemaker.

The race started as predicted, with Chrabot being the first American out of the water, in 7th overall. Hunter Kemper and Shoemaker were both in the top 20 as they started the bike. There was a pack of 8 that went out quickly on the bike. This group included Chrabot. In draft-legal racing, riding in a group is necessary. You can work as a team to keep the pace fast. This group of 8 couldn't hang on and were eventually caught by the chase group of around 30. So as they came into T2, everyone was basically together.

In races like this, fast transitions are very critical. With nearly everyone coming into T2 at the same time, every second counts. American Manuel Huerta was a long shot to be on the Olympic team, but coming off of the bike, he was right in the mix. Then he knocked out a 21 second T2 and found himself in great position starting the 10K run. 

Hunter Kemper started making his move on the run, while Chrabot and Shoemaker faded. Kemper pulled off a 30:27 run split (5th best run) and surprised everyone by being the first American to cross the line and came in 5th overall. The real surprise was that entering the last lap on the run, Manuel was in 10th place overall, without another American between himself and Kemper. Without knowing exactly what position he was in, he just gave it all he had and ended up coming in 9th overall...good enough to become a member of the 2012 USA Olympic team! The best part was once he crossed the finish line, you could see him counting the number of guys that had already finished. When he realized that there were only eight ahead of him, he had this reaction:

The crazy thing to me about these ITU races is just how close they are. The separation between Kemper (5th place) and Huerta (9th place) was only 13 seconds!

Both of these guys have amazing stories that will hopefully be told during the Olympic coverage.

If you don't want to wait, you can read about these two guys here:

Fourth time's the toughest

Manny Huerta's Dream

2012 Team USA
From left: Manuel Huerta, Laura Bennett, Hunter Kemper, Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff

The Women's Olympic race is Saturday, August 4th

The Men's Olympic race is Tuesday, August 7th

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't Rely on the FDA - Educate Yourself

So what if I told you that large corporations such as Kraft, Coca-Cola, Kellogg's and Walmart were able to easily eliminate potentially harmful artificial food dyes from their products, but chose not to? What if I told you that they are already making their products without these dyes for non-US markets? Would you be shocked? I was.

Over the last three decades, repeated studies (easy to find online) have concluded that even modest doses of artificial food dyes/colors can provoke hyperactivity and other disturbed behavior (cognitive disturbances, compulsive aggression, asthma, hives, low-serum iron and zinc, irritability and poor sleep) in children. They aren't good for us adults either! While our own government (Food and Drug Administration - FDA) has decided to look the other way when it comes to the side effects of these dyes, the British government (Food Standards Agency - FSA) banned the use of six dyes back in 2009. The dyes banned are Tartrazine, Quinoline Yellow, Sunset Yellow, Carmoisine, Ponceau 4R and Allura Red. 

Once this ban was put in place, the food manufacturers that I mentioned above (as well as others) didn't stop selling their products in the UK, they just started making them without the banned dyes. So clearly useable alternatives exist. So why are these companies selling two versions of their products now? A version without food dyes for the UK, and a version with food dyes found to cause hyperactivity for the US? Why not just switch the manufacturing process for all of the goods produced and eliminate these dyes for Americans as well? It's simple - they don't have to. The FDA met in March of 2011 to look deeper into this issue of dyes and their effect on children. Their conclusion was that...

"...a casual relationship between exposure to color additives and hyperactivity in children in the general population has not been established. For certain susceptible children with ADHD and other problem behaviors, however, the data suggests that their condition may be exacerbated by exposure to a number of substances in food, including, but not limited to, synthetic color additives." 

The complete report can be found here. So despite the fact that they admit these dyes have a negative effect on children, even if it is just those with ADHD, they still see no issue with them being put in food that is readily available. If nothing else, they could require these companies put a warning label on foods that contain these dyes. Let's face it, most parents don't read labels...and even if they did, would they know that Red #40 or Yellow #5 are potentially harmful? Doubt it.

While I'm not going to directly tell you to call Kraft and Coca-Cola to complain, my advice is the same that it has always been. Don't eat food with labels. 

I understand that this is a unrealistic goal for some families, so here is a list of dyes to avoid:

Red # 40 (Allura Red) - found in EVERYTHING! Cereal, gelatin, candy (Starburst, Skittles,Twizzlers), baked goods.

Yellow # 5 (Tartrazine) - found in soft drinks (Mountain Dew), pudding, chips, pickles, honey, mustard, gum, baked goods.

Yellow # 6 (Sunset Yellow) - found in cereal, candy (Reese's Pieces) orange soda, hot chocolate mix, baked goods

Red # 3 (Erythrosine B) - found in candy, popsicles, cake icing, baked goods

Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue) - found in ice cream, canned peas, candy (M&M's), soda, mouthwash

Blue #2 (Indigotine, Indigo, Carmine) - found in beverages, candy and baked goods

Green # 3 (Fast Green FCF) - found in canned vegetables, boxed fish, cotton candy

You can find lists of other foods that contain these dyes by just doing a simple internet search. Or write them down and just look for them on labels at the store.

I have children. I get that it's hard to completely avoid packaged foods, especially sweets. But we are talking about things that have long-term side effects. Do what's best for your health and the health of your children - they may not won't thank you now, but they will later!

They're magically delicious!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 TriFest Race Report

I'm not sure who's brain came up with the TriFest idea, but it's a good one. During the inaugural TriFest last year, there were Super Sprint, Sprint and Olympic distance races. This year, the "fest" dropped the Super Sprint and was combined with the annual Half-Ironman in Taylorsville. The 2012 TriFest featured Sprint and Olympic races on Saturday and a Half on Sunday. I decided long ago to do the two on Saturday and skip Sunday...turned out to be a wise choice considering it rained all day Sunday!

I was really excited to try and do two races back to back with minimal recovery time. I didn't know what to expect from my body, but was looking forward to the challenge.

The weather was perfect. Temperature in the low 50's and no rain. People were even wearing jackets while setting up their transition area before the Sprint race. I found a good location in the front row and started to get set up. The water temperature was in the high 60's, so everyone (with the exception of one or two) was fighting to get in their wetsuits as the start time neared. We went off in two waves, men first, then women and relays. With only about 25 or 30 in the first wave, it was about as calm as an open water swim start can get. We were doing a single loop of an out and back course...nothing complicated. I was swimming a little faster than what I would consider "comfortable" because it was only a 750 meter swim. I noticed that I was pulling to my left quite a bit. I don't remember this happening in Knoxville last weekend, but it may not have been as noticeable then because the buoys were further apart. Seemed like every time I looked up to sight, I was a little left of where I expected to be. I assumed that my right arm was crossing my mid-line, so I attempted to correct it. Needless to say, I probably swam more than 750 yards. In the end, another disappointing swim time.

750 meter Swim time = 15:01.8 (1:50 / 100 yd)
3rd out of 6 in my Age Group
19th out of 59 Overall

I exited the water and ran up the boat ramp to the transition area. I unzipped my wetsuit and pulled it down around my waist as I ran. I got my legs out once I got to my bike. I pulled on my socks, put on my sunglasses and helmet and was out quickly. No problems in T1.

T1 time = 0:54.4
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
6th out of 59 Overall

I had a small problem getting my left foot into my shoe and had to stop to get it in. This was just for about 3 seconds and although I was frustrated, it didn't cost me much time. As usual, I was behind after the swim. I was 14th overall out of T1, making up 5 spots with a quick transition. I began to pass people almost immediately as the course starts off with a very steep incline. So steep that some elect to walk their bike up the hill. A friend of mine, Charlie Fell came out of T1 just after me and the two of us battled on the bike for most of the 12.4 miles. I was pushing it hard the whole time and made it a point to stay in my big chain ring even on the hills. Charlie pulled ahead over the last mile or so, but I was able to pass 4 people and came off the bike in 10th.

12.4 mile Bike time = 37:08.9 (20.1 mph)
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
9th out of 59 Overall

T2 was quick other than some initial confusion as to which way to enter the transition area. We've always entered at the top in every other race I've done at Taylorsville Lake, so that's where I was heading. I was directed to go to the bottom of transition at the last minute. Fortunately, I still managed to pull off a very professional looking rolling dismount. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, slipped my shoes on, grabbed my race number belt and hat and headed out. Once again, no problems in transition.

T2 time = 0:40.8
1st out of 6 in my Age Group
11th out of 59 Overall

I started out on the 5K run with the goal of finishing in the top 10 overall.  I had counted bikes on the out and back course and knew that I was close. I thought that I was in 11th starting the run. I passed two people early on and then just did my best to keep Charlie within striking distance. I was passed by someone with a little less than a mile to go and then dug deep to try and catch Charlie, but I ran out of real estate. He ended up beating me by 11 seconds. I was happy with my run and knew that I had given this race all I had.

3.1 mile Run time = 22:25.6 (7:13 min/mile)
2nd out of 6 in my Age Group
7th out of 59 Overall

Apparently I can't count to 10 because I thought that I had come in 10th, but turns out I was 9th. Either way, I was tired and ready to relax...oh, wait...I have another race to do in less than an hour. Crap.

Total Sprint Triathlon time = 1:16:11.6
2nd out of 6 in my Age Group
9th out of 59 Overall

So I sat down down for a few minutes drinking some water and then walked to my truck to get the bottle of Hammer Perpetuem that I had. This was about 300 calories worth of nutrition that I knew my stomach would be ok with (I used this on the bike during Ironman last year). I set up transition (again) while I was sipping on my tasty orange carbohydrate mix. It's really weird trying to set up transition AFTER a race. I had to go over everything in my mind several times to make sure I wasn't leaving anything out. Thanks to Daniel Blandford for reminding me to shift to a lower gear so that I wouldn't struggling to pedal out of transition.

I squeezed back into my wetsuit and walked back down to the water as the Olympic distance race was preparing to start. I was feeling ok, but fully expected to hit the wall on the run of this next race. I chatted with a few people and then slipped into the water to jockey for a starting position. I was not happy with my swim time in the first race and wanted to do better this time. At the suggestion of fellow triathlete, Bill Marks, I decided to swim heads-up for the first 25 or so meters so that I was sure to head straight for the first buoy. Notice me in the picture below. I felt pretty good this whole swim and we surprised that my time wasn't faster. I did the Olympic distance race as part of TriFest 2011, so I had a swim at this distance, in this lake before. Last year's time was 32:13. This year was 30:19. So even though I wasn't happy with the time, it's still improvement.

1500 meter Swim time = 30:19.2 (1:51 / 100 yd)
4th out of 7 in my Age Group
30th out of 77 Overall

Same thing as the Sprint race. Stripped off the wetsuit on the run to T1. Took an extra tug or two to get my feet out, so that's probably where the added time came in. Other than that, no problems.

T1 time = 1:00.6
1st out of 7 in my Age Group
8th out of 77 Overall

My flying start was flawless this time around. I ran past the mounting line, jumped on my bike as it was moving, got my feet on my shoes and slipped them both in while pedaling. It's nice when this works right. I felt some deja vu as I pushed it up that first hill for the second time in two hours. Even though this bike course was twice as long, I pushed it at the same pace as I did during the Sprint distance race. I made up 7 spots in T1 and was in 23rd out of the water. I was passing several guys, but was also passed a few times. I was surprised by this considering how slow my swim was. I ended up playing the same cat and mouse game during this bike ride, this time with a guy that I didn't know. He would pass me on the uphills and I would pass him on the declines. We went back and forth for nearly the whole ride. Based on the results, I think his name was Chris Reeder. Either way, he pushed me on the bike!

24.8 mile Bike time = 1:14:31.2 (20.0 mph)
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
11th out of 77 Overall

Another fantastic flying dismount into T2 (someone needs to get this on video!). I had no issues here and somehow managed to shave a few seconds off of my T2 time from the Sprint race. How five people did this faster than me, I don't know.

T2 time = 0:34.5
1st out of 7 in my Age Group
6th out of 77 Overall

My legs were toast as I started the run. I shuffled up the hill...again. I made it to the top and started to find a good pace as the rolling hills started. I passed a guy at the top of the hill and even though I never looked back, I knew that he had stayed just a few feet behind me. The 10K course is an out and back. As I mentioned before, I've done this distance race on this course before - so I knew approximately where the turn-around point should be. As I ran down the gravel road, I saw a cardboard sign saying "Turnaround" with a arrow in the shape of an upside down letter U. I knew that this was way too early for the turnaround and as I approached the sign, I saw two guys running towards me...from behind the sign. The first guy told me that the actual turnaround was a orange cone up the road further. So I ran past the sign and turned around to let the guy behind me know that the sign was not the actual turn around. We reached the cone and the turnaround point was verified by the blue spray paint that had marked the rest of the course. On my way back past the sign, I pulled it out of the ground so that anyone coming by after me wouldn't be as confused as I was. I started the run in 14th place and after passing a few people early on, I ran out of "rabbits" to chase. What I didn't realize was that I was the rabbit. The guy that had been right behind me the whole time eased past me in the last mile. I tried to hang with him, but I couldn't keep the pace. I kept him close and despite gaining some ground as I sprinted to the finish, he took 11th place by 8 seconds.

After talking with several people after the race that were wearing GPS watches, sounds like the first 8 runners all turned around at the sign, making their run approximately 5.3 miles. Those of us that ran to the cone had an extra 1/2 mile or so, making it a 5.8 mile run. Neither are the 10K (6.2 miles) that the course was supposed to be, but that would be ok if everyone ran the same distance. A few people even missed the cone and ran further. The race directors, Headfirst Performance, always do a great job and I'm not sure why the course was short, but they did indicated that the sign was put in the wrong spot by a volunteer and that there was supposed to be someone there to tell runners where to turn around. Oh well...

5.8 mile Run time = 42:48.0 (7:23 min/mile)
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
12th out of 77 Overall

I was happy with my race and was definitely spent by the time I reached the finish line.

Total Olympic Triathlon time = 2:29:13.5
3rd out of 7 in my Age Group
12th out of 77 Overall
It was a fun day of racing and now that I'm in my third full year of racing, I know most of the people that race around here.  Hanging out and racing with this close-nit triathlon group is lots of fun. I love hearing people call me by name to cheer me on and it's cool to race alongside people that you know.

For what it's worth, of all the people that did both the Sprint and Olympic distance races on Saturday, I had the third fastest combined time...3:45:25. WELL behind speed demons Daniel Blandford (3:11:48) and Jeremy Brown (3:17:01).

Gear used (both races):
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Suit
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used (Sprint):
  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1) PowerBar Energy Blasts - ate about 30 minutes before race start
  • (1) Bottle of clear water
  • (1) GU Roctane gel (one at halfway point)
  • Water at every aid station
Nutrition used (Olympic):
  • Water bottle with one scoop of Hammer Perpetuem
  • (1) Bottle of clear water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at halfway point, one near the end)
  • Water at every aid station

Monday, May 14, 2012

TriFest Race Results


750m Swim - 15:01.8 (1:50/100yd) includes run from swim exit to T1

T1 - 0:54.4
12.4 mile Bike - 37:08.9 (20.1 mph)
T2 - 0:40.9
3.1 mile Run - 22:25.6 (7:13 min/mile)
Total Time - 1:16:11.6

2nd in my Age Group
9th out of 59 Overall

1 hour to rest and set transition back up, then...


1500m Swim - 30:19.2 (1:51/100yd) includes run from swim exit to T1

T1 - 1:00.6

24.8 mile Bike - 1:14:31.2 (20.0 mph)

T2 - 0:34.5

6.2 mile Run - 42:48.0 (6:53 min/mile)

Total Time - 2:29:13.5

3rd in my Age Group
12th out of 76 Overall

Long and tiring day - I'll do a post on the race reports tomorrow.

Friday, May 11, 2012

TriFest Race Preview

My string of 4 races in 15 days comes to a close this weekend. I will be competing in two triathlons tomorrow morning as part of TriFest, a Sprint at 8am and an Olympic at 10am.

The Sprint distance triathlon consists of a 750 meter swim in Taylorsville Lake, a 20K (12.4 mile) bike and a 5K (3.1 mile) run. Almost as soon as this race is complete, we will do it again...with the distance all being doubled. The Olympic distance triathlon will require us to swim 1500 meters, bike 40K (24.8 miles) and run 10K (6.2 miles). There is also a half-Ironman race Sunday morning as part of TriFest, but I will not be doing that race...for fear of complete mental and physical destruction!

As far as goals are concerned for this race, I'm not really sure what to expect. If it was just a Sprint, or just an Olympic, I would have a better idea as to what I want to do. But with having to do them back-to-back...I have no idea how my body will respond. I would like to knock out the Sprint in about an hour and 15 minutes (14 min swim, 38 min bike and 22 minute run, plus transitions). As for the Olympic, I did this same course in 2:35:22 last year...but I didn't run a Sprint right before it either. So If I can do it under 2:40:00, I'll be happy.

I'm really excited about this challenge. I'm also excited about being able to rest a few days once it's over and then get back to training. All of this racing lately has my training routine all messed up!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 Rev3 Knoxville Triathlon Race Report

My race started around 1:20pm on Friday (a full 42+ hours before the starting horn sounded), when we finally had all of our bags and children loaded into the truck for our 238 mile trek from Louisville to Knoxville. 

The trip took us about 5 hours and included a few stops to calm our restless children and to throw down some Cracker Barrel (is there anywhere else to eat on a road trip??). Overall, the little ones did exceptionally well considering the length of the trip. We checked in to the hotel and after all the excitement from being in a new place wore off...the kids finally fell asleep.

Saturday morning my daughter Kate and I went down to the expo and she tagged along while I checked-in and got my goodie bag. She enjoyed the bouncy house and other kid-friendly activities that Rev3 had set up. They definitely lived up to the hype of putting on a "family-friendly" race. She especially enjoyed the giant gel.

Later in the afternoon, I went down to the river for the swim practice. I met some fellow triathletes from Louisville and we did a short 15 minute swim to get used to the water temperature and squeeze into our wetsuits. After the swim, we did a short little bike ride and then dropped the bikes off at transition. Back at the hotel I started to see some of the pro athletes. Kate and I even rode the elevator with Matty Reed, the two time defending champion. He's not much of a talker.

After meeting a group of about 20 other racers out for dinner and watching the Kentucky Derby, I was in bed by 9:00pm...although it was probably around 11 before I fell asleep (typical for the night before a race).

Race morning started at 5:00am. I was up and immediately started eating my sweet potato. With no way to heat it up, I was eating it cold, but it tasted good anyway. Trying to get organized in a hotel bathroom before a race isn't the easiest thing to do, but I managed to get out of the room without waking up the kids. I ran into some friends on the way out of the hotel and we all made the mile or so walk down to the transition/swim start.

I set up my transition area and was down to the dock by 7:00am...just in time to see the pro's start. Fellow Louisvillian and Landshark, Mike Hermanson was making his pro debut in this race. He had a great race and learned a lot from his first elite start. You can read his race report here.

After standing around for a while, it was finally time for my wave to start. I got my wetsuit on and was in the water for our 7:50am start. I went to switch my watch to "chrono" mode so that I could time my race and I got a blank screen. I messed with it some more while treading water and finally came to the conclusion that it was dead. So no watch for me, which meant I would not know my split times for the swim, bike and run and have no idea what my overall time was until I crossed the finish line. I NEED this information during the race! Needless to say, I was not happy about the way my race was starting!

The horn sounded and the arms and legs started flying. Open water starts are always fun. The first 5 minutes is about survival. Just don't swallow too much water and take all the punching and kicking in stride. I finally made it to an open patch of water and started trying to get into a rhythm. Despite having tinted goggles, when I looked up, all I could see was the sun glare on the water. I couldn't see any of the buoys, so I just followed the guy in front of me. I made it to the turn around buoy and started to head downstream...away from the sun! This is when I finally felt like I was swimming good. I focused on my form and keeping my stroke as long as possible. When I reached the dock I started my run to T1. On the way, I heard someone say that their swim time was around 28 minutes. They had the same color cap as I did, so I knew that they were in my wave. I was hoping for something more like 25 minutes on the swim, but considering I couldn't see for the first 10 minutes, I wasn't too disappointed in my swim time. 

1500 meter swim time = 28:26 (29th out of 40 in my Age Group)

The run from the swim exit to T1 was literally a quarter mile. I was glad to be out of water, but the run up the dock, through the Lady Vols Crew Boathouse, over the railroad tracks, across the street, up a grassy hill and then along the parking garage was a little much! I finally made it to T1 and had a flawless transition, which included running with my bike for about 100 yards to the mounting line!

T1 time = 4:21 (I moved up to 26th in my Age Group coming out of T1)

I settled in on the bike and started to navigate what is a very technical course. Lots of sharp turns heading out of town mixed with slower riders made for a hectic first few miles. I was feeling good and was passing people as usual. My slow swim meant that there were lots of people to I stated trying to pick them off one at a time. About half way through the bike I had started a little cat and mouse game with a 19 year old member of the Georgia Tech triathlon team (according to his jersey and the age on his right calf). The fact that he weighed about 50 pound less than me allowed him to pass me going up the hills and I would return the favor on the downhills. I was pushing it up the hills and never shifted out of my big chain ring. I had to stand on most of the hills and my quads were burning pretty much the whole ride. I knew that the bike was my strongest discipline, so I gave it all it had. I finally lost the kid from Georgia Tech once things flattened out with a few miles to go. I got my feet out of the pedals and flew into T2.

40K (24.8 mile) bike time = 1:10:11 (I passed 14 people in my Age Group on the bike and was in 12th going into T2)

Transition went well. I ran my bike to the rack, took off my helmet, slipped on my running shoes, grabbed my race number belt and hat and was off and running. Nothing that I could have done faster here.

T2 time = 1:30 (I somehow lost a spot in T2 and came out in 13th place)

I really wasn't sure what to expect on the run. I knew that I had asked my legs for a lot on the bike, but I was ready to suffer. The sun was higher in the sky now and was starting to heat things up. I had a gel in my hand with the intention of taking it at the turn-around. About a mile into the run I knew that wasn't going to happen. The heat and my level of exertion meant that my stomach was not going to like that gel. So I just held it in my hand as a reminder to keep my hands and arms loose. I started the run with Jeff Miller, owner of Louisville's triathlon store, VO2 Multisport. It was good to chat with someone for the first mile or so. He started to drop back and gave me some encouragement as I turned off of the road onto the path that took us through a state park. I seemed like it took forever to get to the turn-around. I knew that it was about the half-way point and I was focused on holding my pace until I got there. Somewhere during mile 2, I was passed by the kid from GT...he was running fast...there would be no cat and mouse on the run! I was drinking and dumping water on my back and head at every aid station to try and stay cool. I started to drink some Gatorade after the turn-around as I felt me energy fading fast. The climb back up Neyland Drive at mile 5 was brutal! It was all I could do to keep moving. I shortened my stride and pushed with all I had left. The fact that you could see the entire hill up ahead made it mentally tough. I was relieved to turn off of the road as I knew that the finish was near. I decided to empty the tank and ran the last half mile as hard as I could. The finish shoot was awesome and I heard Jessica yell for me as I approached the finish line. I was glad to be done...but had absolutely no idea what my time was because the official clock over the finish line was off (see picture above). So I did the whole race with no watch and no updates on my time along the way. I knew that I had left it all out on the course, so for once, I wasn't worried about my time.

10K (6.2 mile) run time = 47:27 (I only lost one place on the run and finished 14th in my Age Group).

My overall time was 2:31:55, which is my second fastest Olympic Distance race. 

I really loved this race. Rev3 lived up to the hype and Knoxville was a great host city. I'll definitely keep this race in my future race scheduling plans!

Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Suit
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:
  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1) Clif Shot Blocks - ate about 30 minutes before race start
  • (1) Bottle of clear water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at halfway point, one near the end)
  • Water at every aid station
  • Gatorade at aid stations after mile 3
As soon as the race was over, my recovery started with a cold shower in the hotel room and compression socks for the ride home. Four days from now, I will be racing TriFest. I will do a Sprint Triathlon at 7:30am and an Olympic Distance Triathlon at 10:00am. This would be a big challenge anyway, but coming just 6 days after this Rev3 race will make it very interesting!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville Results

1500 meter Swim - 28:26 (1:44/100yd)
T1 - 4:21 - (time includes 1/4 mile run from swim exit to T1)
40K Bike - 1:10:11 (21.2 mph)
T2 - 1:30
10K Run - 47:27 (7:38 min/mile)
Total Time - 2:31:55

14th out of 40 in Age Group (30-34)
79th out of 291 Males
87th out of 412 Overall

Very fun race - complete race report coming the mean time, here's a video of the pro race:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville Race Preview

Instead of staying in town and enjoying various Kentucky Derby festivities, tomorrow afternoon I will pack all of my triathlon gear and our family of four into my truck and head south to Knoxville, Tennessee. The 250 mile trip will no doubt be littered with several stops considering we have a 13 month old and a soon to be 3 year old. I can't imagine being buckled tightly in a car seat for long periods of time is very much fun.

Last night I finally took off the old rear tire that I've been using while doing rides on the trainer over the winter and put on the new tire that has only been used once...Ironman Louisville. I also took a few minutes to clean up Flash and make sure that everything is secure on my new Saris bike rack. I'm ready for the bulk of my triathlon season to begin!

I'm really excited to do a Revolution 3 (Rev3) race. This four year old company is growing in popularity and is adding more races every year. I've heard really good things about them and given the fact that the WTC (owners of Ironman) is now on my bad side due to cancelling the Washington DC race, I'm hoping to have a good experience with Rev3 this weekend.

After doing four Sprint distance races already this spring, this will be my first Olympic distance triathlon. The 1500 meter (0.93 miles) swim will take place in the Tennessee River. This will also be my first open water swim of the season and I'm interested to see how good or bad my sighting and navigation will be. The 40K (24.8 mile) bike course heads southeast out of town and is very challenging with over 1400 feet in elevation change...including a climb to 1130 feet above sea level (should be an awesome view!). The 10K (6.2 mile) run is around the University of Tennessee campus and is fairly flat. The finish shoot is at the World's Fair Park, which looks to be a pretty cool venue.

Rev3 is known for hosting "family friendly" races, which is good for me! They have lots of things for kids to do before, during and after the races. Since we are arriving Friday night and the race isn't until Sunday morning, I'm glad there will be things going on to keep the kids occupied!

The other thing that I'm really excited about is racing next to some pros. Rev3 races have some pretty big prize purses and always attract some big name professional triathletes (over three dozen this year). I will be sharing the course with 2008 Olympian Matty Reed (winner of the first two races here in 2010 and 2011), 2004 Olympian Greg Bennett, Cameron Dye, Andrew Yoder and of course, fellow Louisville Landshark, Mike Hermanson!

I've been taking it easy this week after running the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon last weekend. I tough swim workout on Monday, and easy ride on Tuesday and a short tempo run yesterday is all that I've done. I'm hoping to be very rested and ready come Sunday morning! Looks like temperatures in the high 80's with a chance of showers and high humidity...should be interesting...

If you are sitting around Sunday morning and want to follow the race, you can see live video and coverage at the Rev3 Knoxville website (another cool thing that Rev3 offers!). Here's the link:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2012 KDF miniMarathon Results


Distance - 13.1 miles
Official Time - 1:37:46 (7:28 min/mile pace)
Division Place - 78th out of 761
Gender Place - 396 out of 5159
Overall Place - 483rd out of 12,091

This was a weird one for me because I found myself more worried about my wife's race than my own. Knowing that I have a couple of tough weekends of triathlon's coming up, I didn't place too much emphasis on this race. However, it was my wife Jessica's first half marathon and I was really excited for her on race morning.

After waking up around 5:30, I ate my sweet potato and then fixed her some oatmeal. We got dressed and were out the door by around 6:40 or so. The kids stayed the night at Jessica's mom's house, so we were able to head down to the start without having to drop them off or wait for a sitter to show up...which was nice.

After parking and getting to the start, Jessica went to meet up with her sister and I started my warm-up. The temperature was in the low 50's and despite the forecast for rain that we had all week, there was no precipitation falling from the sky.

I moved into my corral and was ready to go. The only time I was nervous was when it took my GPS a LONG time to sync up with the satellites. I waited to long to get it started and it finally synced just a few seconds before the starting gun fired! God forbid I go on a run without knowing my pace at any given moment!

The plan for me was to go out around a 7:20 pace and see how I felt after mile 8-9. Things were going well as my first 5 miles were 7:23, 7:15, 7:16, 7:23 & 7:24. While my effort seemed to be the same, my pace slowed slightly for the next few miles. Miles 6, 7 & 8 were all right at 7:28 pace. 

After coming out of Churchill Downs around mile 8.75, I started to feel like maintaining this pace was more difficult. So I had to make a decision. Do I push through it and end up being sore most of this week and not ready for Rev3 Knoxville on Sunday...or do I back off? Amazingly, I was a able to convince myself for hold back. I just maintained my same effort for the next few miles - which caused my pace to slow. Miles 9, 10 & 11 were all at 7:33 pace.

I was really starting to feel some fatigue at the 12 mile mark. My legs were starting to get heavy and I could tell that my breathing was becoming a little bit I backed off a little more. Mile 12 was in 7:37 and mile 13 was a 7:41.

I glanced at my watch as I turned the corner for the finish line and it was only then that I realized how close I actually was to a PR for this race. So I put my head down and pushed it down the finish shoot. I crossed the finish line 19 seconds off of a PR. I could have set a new Personal Record for this race, but I have bigger fish to fry at the moment. I'll be back next year to set the PR!

As for Jessica, she showed a lot of determination and will on Saturday. Despite some stomach issues and an IT Band flare up around mile 6, she pushed through and ran a 2:39 half marathon. Pretty impressive considering my first half was only 26 minutes faster than this! Good news for her is that I have lots of experience in rehabbing IT bands!

I was also very proud of all of the runners that I have been working with for the Kids Center. Having a small part in helping people accomplish their goals is pretty rewarding! Doing it all to help out an awesome organization is even more rewarding!

Check out the video below of Brian Heyburn, one of the members of the team that I helped train...and a former client of the Kids Center! Very inspirational! After watching the video, click on this link to make a donation to the Kids Center.

Kids Center and Brian Heyburn fundraising - WDRB 41 Louisville - News, Weather, Sports Community

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