Monday, May 27, 2013

Buffalo Trails Triathlon - Race Report

I haven't had the best of luck this year when it comes to triathlons and the weather. A very cold (25F) Sprint in Shelbyville back in February, as it always is. Then a cold and rainy day in Knoxville, followed by an unseasonably warm (85F) Half-Ironman at Taylorsville. I was due for some good racing weather. Most people would consider low 40's too cold, but not me. The chilly morning was just what I had hoped for as I set up my transition area for the Buffalo Trails Triathlon this past Saturday in Maysville.

My daughter Kate and I made the 2-1/2 hour drive up on Friday afternoon.  She slept the whole way, so I just drove right on through...trying to ignore the need to stop and pee. We rolled into my brother's house around 5:00pm and after getting settled in we loaded up all the kids (his two boys, plus Kate) and headed out to pick up my race packet and get some dinner. It took a while for everyone to get settled down after we returned home - it was close to 10:00pm before all of the little eyes were closed.

I woke up around 6:00am and heated up my plain sweet potato (pre-race standard). I loaded up my bike and gear and got down to transition around 6:45am. I found my rack and had plenty of time to get set up and socialize with all of the other peeps from Louisville. We boarded the trolley and drove 1/2 a mile upstream to the swim start. I 'slipped' my wetsuit on and we all jumped on a barge that pulled us out into the middle of the Ohio River. The picture is just before they pulled out into the river. All of the racers from Louisville raised their hand.

The horn sounded and we jumped in. I had to pause for a second to keep from jumpin right on top on people. My plan was to dive in, but I ended up just jumping in feet first. Once I got in the water, I started to swim hard, trying to pull away from as many people as possible. I tried to slip in behind some of the faster swimmers, but just couldn't stay on their feet. As usual, I found myself all alone on the swim. Not fast enough to hang with the speedsters, but too fast to be in the large pack behind me. I couldn't believe how fast I was going, the current was pretty strong and it seemed like only a few seconds passed as I went from buoy to buoy. I existed the water and checked my watch, it was a little under 11 minutes...crazy fast half mile! I ran up the dock and got to the timing mat outside of T1 for my official swim time.

0.5 mile swim
11:09.5 (1:23/100m pace)
2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
11th out of 67 Overall 
I had a pretty quick T1 (my Dad will be happy to see this). I managed to get out of my wetsuit without any problems, put on my socks, grabbed my helmet and bike and was gone.

1st out of 11 in my Age Group
9th out of 67 Overall

The bike starts off flat, so I had plenty of time to get my feet into my shoes while pedaling down the road. I immediately set my sights on a few riders up ahead of me and started to try and catch them before the big hill at mile 9. I passed a few people pretty quickly and felt strong as I hit 'Big Hiney Hill'. I geared down and concentrated on keeping a high cadence and a smooth pedal stroke. I was able to ride the whole hill seated and still felt good at the summit. The rolling hills after the big climb were tough. They are too short to change gears, so I just stood up and hammered up each one - trying not to lose momentum. Once I finally reached the steady descent, I kept pedaling, trying to let gravity help me as much as possible. I checked my overall average speed near the end and worked in the final stretch to try and get it up to 22 mph...didn't quite make it. But after downloading all of my data from my Garmin, I did manage to set a new high for average power over a 60 minute period (244W).

26.1 mile bike
1:11:30.1 (21.9 mph)
Average Power = 240W
1st out of 11 in my Age Group
7th out of 67 Overall

I cruised into T2 and hopped off my bike at the dismount line. I really didn't know what place I was in at the time, but I only saw a few other bikes racked when I pulled in. I threw my bike on the empty rack and it started to tip over. I grabbed it quickly and it took me a few seconds to get it set back up. Once I had it secure, I pulled off my helmet, got my shoes on, grabbed my race number belt and headed out. I lost a few seconds messing with the rack, but overall, it was still a good T2.

2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
7th out of 67 Overall

I started off feeling good on the run. I was running at a 6:30ish pace and while my breathing was up, my legs felt good. My quads had been sore all week from last Sunday's brutal 13.1 mile run, but they were feeling good coming off of a strong bike. With this just being a 5K run, I wasn't concerned about my heart rate or breathing - it's basically just go as hard as you can and try to hold on! I was still on my own. No one was with me in transition and I didn't see anyone ahead of me on the road. I was even wondering if I was still on the course at one point. My first mile was done in 6:40, but mile 2, which included a run up a steep set of stairs, was well over 7 minutes. Once on top of the flood wall, we were running on grass. I felt like I was trail running because I never took my eyes off of the ground. The ground was very uneven and had lots of holes. I was struggling at this point and trying to hold on. I heard some footsteps and was passed with about a half mile to go. Getting passed gave me a little boost and I found a little speed at the end to average under 7 minute miles. My running legs are still not there - getting my running fitness back will take some time.

3.1 mile run
21:19.1 (6:52 min/mile pace)
2nd out of 11 in my Age Group
11th out of 67 Overall
I'm happy with my overall race and pleased to take home some hardware and finish in the top 10. It was cool to see my brother and his family, as well as Kate at finish line. It was a great weekend and I'm already looking forward to going back next year! Special thanks to Emily and Kevin for opening their home up to the Landsharks for a post-race cookout. Good times!

Total Time
1st out of 11 in my Age Group
6th out of 67 Overall

Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Pearl Izumi Select Tri Suit
Garmin 910XT watch
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Bike Javelin aero helmet
DeFeet Running Socks (once again - no blisters!)
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:
  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato (about 2.5 hrs before race)
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1 pack) GU Chomps - ate about 30 minutes before race start
  • (1) 24oz. bottle of water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels - at 0:15 & 0:45 - followed by 8-10 oz of water
  • Nothing
Louisville Landsharks Post-Race (lots of awards!)
Kate and I after the race.
Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Buffalo Trails Triathlon - Race Preview

I first heard about this race several years ago. Our local multi-sport club, the Louisville Landsharks always sends a large group of people up to Maysville, Kentucky for this race. My interest in making the 2-1/2 hour trip northeast grew even more when my brother and his family moved to Maysville two years ago. When I was working on my 2013 race schedule, I wanted to make sure I included this race. 

So tomorrow afternoon, my daughter and I will make the trip up to Maysville. We will crash at my brother's place Friday night and then I'll race on Saturday morning. I'm really excited about this trip for several reasons. I get to see my brother and his family, I get to spend some quality time with just my daughter, lots of fun times with my Landshark buddies, and I get to participate in a race that I've wanted to do for a long time.

The race is kind of a Sprint/Olympic hybrid. It starts with a 1/2 mile swim in the Ohio River (typical sprint distance). This is a unique swim because it starts on a barge and is all down-stream. After the swim, there is a 26.1 mile bike (which is a little longer than an Olympic distance bike leg). The bike course features a huge climb at the 9 mile mark. A hill known as "Big Hiney". I've heard people talk about this legendary hill, but I've never laid eyes on it. So I decided to do a little research. It's a little over a mile and a half long with a total elevation change of around 300 feet from start to finish. The average grade is 3.5%. There's a big hill very close to my house that I ride all the time (1.4 miles and 222 feet of elevation change - 3.0% grade), so while I'm not excited about the hill, I'm not intimidated either. The best part is going to be the descend - which looks to be pretty long and without many technical curves...SPEED!!!! The race finishes up with a sprint distance 3.1 mile (5K) run that apparently includes some stairs?!?

My only concern at this point is the condition of my legs. It's been four days since the Half-Ironman race at Taylorsville Lake and my quads are STILL sore. I did some real damage to them on that run. The first few days after the race, I couldn't even walk right and stairs were very painful. After lots of compression, foam rolling and cold therapy...I'm at least walking and using stairs without pain. Will I be able to climb a massive hill and run a fast 5K - in less than 48 hours? I guess we'll see!

Another cool thing about this race is that it is covered by the local press. Including a LIVE broadcast of the race by a Maysville radio station! If you want to tune in at 8am Saturday morning, here's the link to the radio feed -
The local paper also does a nice writeup on the race each year. Here is last year's article: The Ledger Independent

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

TriFest Half Ironman Race Report

As I mentioned in my race preview, I felt very fit coming into this race. The only unknown was how my foot would respond once I started running? As it turned out, the tendonitis has healed up...but I paid dearly for the time I spent letting it heal.

When I woke up Sunday morning, it was already warm. As I packed my gear in the truck and started down the road to Taylorsville, my dashboard told me that it was 6:30am! It was a little foggy, but that all burned off once the sun came out. I was kind of excited to see the fog. I've always wanted to do an open water swim with fog - kind of like a scene from Swamp Thing.

Racing at Taylorsville Lake is old hat for me. I've done over half a dozen races there, so I know the set up. Once I had my transition area ready to go, I walked down to the water. I chatted with some Landsharks friends while I adjusted my wetsuit. By the time I actually made it down into the water, it was time to start! A few pre-race instructions, a brief prayer...and we were off.

Since I didn't get in any kind of warm-up, I didn't want to go out too hard. So I just pushed it enough to get clear of the crowd, then I settled in. I could see a small group a few meters ahead of me, but I knew that there were some strong swimmers in the field and I had no aspirations of being able to keep up. At the first turn (approx. 500 meters in), I glanced over to the right and only saw a few people ahead of me, but none close enough for me to catch. I was kind of in no-mans land. I looked to my right after making the turn and saw that there was a pretty big gap behind me as well. I felt comfortable with my pace, so I just tried to focus on form and maintain a good pace. At the second turn (half way point), I glanced at my watch - 16:40. This was a pretty good pace for a 1.2 mile swim, so I just stuck with it. I exited the water and didn't see anyone running ahead of me up the boat ramp. I looked at my watch - right at 34 minutes when I came out of the water. A new swim PR for a 70.3 race. I was in third place coming out of the water (not counting the Aquabike participants).

1.2 mile swim
34:29 (1:47/100m pace)
1st out of 5 in my Age Group

I normally make it a point to fly through transitions. But I decided to take my time during this race. I didn't want to swim in my tri top, so I had to get it on after pulling off my wetsuit. Once I got it on, I checked the back pockets to make sure that my gels were still there. I put on my socks, buckled on my helmet, grabbed my bike and headed out. My slow T1 cost me a few spots as I came out in sixth place...but I knew I could make that up quickly.

5th out of 5 in my Age Group

I've made the mistake of not getting my feet in my shoes soon enough before on this I took the time to get them strapped in before I hit the big hill. I settled in and got my heart rate under control after the first few miles. The plan was to ride to feel and wattage more than heart rate. This is my first long race with a power meter, so I wanted to see how I could use it in a race. This course is nothing but hills. One after another. Some are long, slow climbs, others are short little rollers. Being a good gear shifter is a must on this course. I was constantly changing gear to try and find the right combination of cadence, power and heart rate for each climb. I passed a few guys pretty early and then played a little cat and mouse game with another rider for about 45 minutes. We would take turns passing one another. The goal was to never let him get too far ahead of me. I would pull that string back if he started to widen the gap. I passed him for the last time with about 20 miles to go and didn't see him again. Looking at my data after the race, I did a pretty decent job of riding steady for the entire 56 miles. First 28 miles looked like this: Avg Power - 224W, Avg HR - 150, Avg Cadence - 80. Second 28 miles: Avg Power - 211W, Avg HR - 147, Avg Cadence - 80. I also reach 43 mph twice during the race on some downhills - which was wicked awesome! I rolled in to T2 in fourth place, but I could see third place up ahead of me, no more than a minute between us.

56 mile bike
2:40:54 (20.9 mph)
Avg Power = 217W
1st out of 5 in my Age Group

I was once again slow in transition. I changed socks, which I normally do no do. I wanted to put on a fresh, dry pair as I knew I was in for a long, hot run. I grabbed my hat, race belt and sunglasses and headed off into the unknown...

3rd out of 5 in my Age Group

I felt a little tightness in my right quad while standing to push up a short climb around mile 40 on the bike. On the remainder of the hills, I tried to stay seated and on the back of the saddle as much as possible to give the quads a break. As soon as I started to run up the hill out of transition both quads cramped. We're talking about a serious, painful cramp. I pushed up the hill and them tried to walk for a second. Both legs locked up. So I went back to running. I'd experienced this same issue both times I did this race in the past. The combination of riding for 56 miles then immediately asking the quads to push you up a half-mile long hill is just too much. I kept running (jogging) and eventually around the mile and a half mark, the pain subsided. I was relieved that the knives were gone from my quads, but I still wasn't able to pick up the pace. I was cruising along at a 10 minute per mile pace and it felt like it was all I had. My heart rate was high and my legs were toast...and I still had 10+ miles to go!

I started thinking about when and if I should quit. I had dreams of a five-hour race, and after coming in off
of the bike in 3:18, it was feasible with a solid run. I've done this run leg in 1:54, so 1:42 isn't ridiculous. But the fact that I have only run once (10K at Rev3 Knoxville) in last five weeks made this goal unattainable. It was time to set a new goal...finish the race. I wasn't even sure if I could hold the pace I was running, but I decided to just run (actually more of a shuffle) between the aid stations (about every mile) and walk for a minute or so while I took in water and some calories. The run course is simple - three loops of a 4+ mile course in the state park. The good news is that you get to see everyone else multiple times. This actually becomes bad news when you know you are running slow and people are quickly gaining on you. I managed to maintain a pace between 10:15 and 10:30 miles for the first half of the run. Suffering the whole time. The sun was beating down and there was no shade on the course. The temperatures had risen to the mid 80's by this time. I would feel good for a few minutes after each aid station, then I would have to fight to keep running until I made it to the next one.

My low point was around mile 10. I actually started to walk up one of the hills. A runner going the opposite direction gave me a boost by reminding me that I only had one more lap to go. So I immediately started jogging again. I was passed by two people in the last mile. This really sucked. I had no idea what place I was in at this point, but knowing that I was being hunted down for over two hours was not fun. I ran the last half mile back down the hill, not wanting to turn around and see if anyone else was getting ready to pass me. In total, I was passed by six people on the run.

13.1 mile run
2:21:57 (10:50 min/mile pace)
4th out of 5 in my Age Group

I'm obviously not happy with my race as a whole, but I can't complain about my swim or bike times (both 70.3 PR's). I felt strong on both and feel like even with a horrible run, it was still a good training day for Ironman...which is only three months away!

Total Time
2nd out of 5 in my Age Group
10th out of 37 Overall

Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Pearl Izumi Elite Tri Jersey & Shorts
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Garmin 910XT watch
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Bike Javelin aero helmet
DeFeet Running Socks (once again - no blisters!)
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:
  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato (about 2.5 hrs before race)
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1 pack) GU Chomps - ate about 30 minutes before race start
  • (1) Bottle full of Hammer Perpetuem - 5 scoops (675 calories)
  • (2) 24oz. bottle of water - replaced bottle at aid station around mile 30
  • (3) GU Roctane gels - at :45, 1:30 & 2:15 - followed by 8-10 oz of water (300 calories)
  • Water and Hammer HEED at every aid station, Coke at last two aid stations

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

Friday, May 17, 2013

TriFest Race Preview

This will be year #2 for TriFest. It's a full weekend of racing for the triathlon enthusiast. It's sponsored by our local triathlon store, VO2 Multisport and organized by Headfirst Performance. These two companies play a huge part in keeping the multisport community strong here in Louisville.

There are a total of three races this year. A Sprint distance, Olympic distance and a Half Ironman. Last year I did the two races on Saturday (Sprint and Olympic) - you can see those race reports here. This year, with another Ironman on the schedule later this year (less than 100 days away now), I decided to skip the shorter races on Saturday and do only the Half on Sunday.

I've done this exact Half-Ironman course twice before, in 2010 and 2011. I'm excited to see if I can set a PR this weekend. The unknown at this point is my left foot. I'm still not 100% recovered from the Peroneal Tendonitis that has been bugging me for over a month now. I have only run on the road once since April 17th and that was the 6.2 miles of the Rev3 in Knoxville two weekends ago. All other running has taken place via Aqua Jogging in the pool. I could probably get out on the pavement and be okay with some short runs, but after the injury I told myself that I would only Aqua Jog until I stuck to the plan.

This 70.3 mile course is challenging for a number of reasons. After a 1.2 mile swim in a chilly Taylorsville Lake, the 56 mile bike course is very hilly and doesn't give you many opportunities to just zone-out and pedal. The 13.1 mile run is 4+ mile out-and-back course that is repeated three times...which is very challenging mentally. Here are my times from the previous two races in Taylorsville:

Swim - 46:50
Bike - 2:56:08
Run - 2:10:33
Total Time - 5:57:38

Swim - 36:28
Bike - 2:45:26
Run - 1:54:47
Total Time - 5:19:46

I honestly think that my fitness is the highest that it's ever been. My times in the pool are faster, my bike workouts feel more productive since I started using a power meter - resulting in my FTP (Functional Threshold Power) increasing over the last few months, and I've set PR's in every running race that I've done this year. So if my foot pain stays away, I'm hoping for big things on Sunday...maybe even breaking 5 hours. 

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Nutella Epidemic

Nutella is not a new product. It's made in Italy and has been on the shelves in stores there since the 1960's. It's even been here in the US in certain places since the early 1980's. But it just in the last 4-5 years that it's been readily available in just about every grocery store. It's no coincidence that they have only been marketing the product to American consumers for a few years. We all know what suckers American's are for believing what they see and hear on TV. 

I've been hearing people talk about Nutella for a couple of years now. It's marketed as a healthy alternative to butter or jelly for toast. The reason I had to cross out "healthy" is because in April of 2012, the makers of Nutella were sued for false advertising and had to pay out $3 Million and change their labeling and marketing. They could no longer advertise that Nutella carries nutritonal and health benefits and coould no longer say that it is "part of a nutritious breakfast". In a true spin, the way only a marketing company or a politician could do, they now say that it "can form a part of a balanced breakfast". They also claim that it "can be a quick and easy way to encourage kids to eat whole grains." As if stuffing kids full of whole grains is healthy. The new front label touts that it contains hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa. These are healthy things, right?

But the damage is already done. The seed has been planted in the American consumer's mind and people actually believe that this stuff is healthy. Why would anyone think that a chocolate spread is healthy? One word - "nut". We all know that nuts are healthy, right? So something made from hazelnuts must be good for us, or at least better than butter, right? WRONG.

Not only is Nutella not healthy, it's really, really bad for you. I cringe every time I see someone post on Facebook that they are eating it...of even worse, feeding it to their kids. I've seen people share a website that had tons of Nutella recipes. Like putting this junk on pancakes, pizza, apples, etc.

So how bad is it? Let's compare Nutella to something that you would never consider spreading on a piece of toast, or dipping apples slices into...Betty Crocker chocolate cake icing. 

Serving size for both is 2 tablespoons. 
Calories - Nutella = 220 / Icing = 130
Calories from fat - Nutella = 110 / Icing = 45
Total Fat - Nutella = 12g (4g Saturated) / Icing = 5g (1.5g Saturated)
Sodium - Nutella = 15mg / Icing = 95mg
Total Carbohydrates - Nutella = 21g / Icing = 21g
Sugars - Nutella = 21g / Icing = 17g
Protein - Nutella = 2g / Iciing = 0g
Top Ingredients - Nutella = Sugar / Icing = Sugar

So they are obviously both garbage and have no nutritional value, but if I was forced to eat one or the other, I would probably choose the icing. It was less calories, less sugar and less fat. The only positives that Nutella has going for it is less sodium and a measly 2g of protein from the small amount of hazelnuts that they actually put in the stuff.

It took me about 30 seconds to walk down two isles at Kroger, find these two items and take pictures of their nutrition labels. Why is it so hard for people to figure out what is healthy? Don't look at the front of the box/jar. That's all marketing crap. Turn it around and read the ingredients. It's not that hard to figure out what is good and what isn't!

So next time you think you are doing good by getting Nutella, ask yourself if you would eat cake icing the same way you are eating Nutella. I sure hope not!

So what's the alternative? If you really want to have some sort of chocolate spread, try Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter. You can find it in the "health food" section of Kroger or most of other supermarkets.
Here's how it stacks up:

Serving size is the same, 2 tablespoons. 
Calories = 180
Calories from fat = 130
Total Fat = 15g (3g Saturated)
Sodium = 65mg
Total Carbohydrates = 12g
Sugars = 7g
Protein = 4g
Top Ingredients = Dry Roasted Hazelnuts (sugar, in this case, organic cane sugar -  is third ingredient)

What you don't see from this label is that Justin's is made with natural and organic ingredients that are sustainably harvested and found locally if possible. They make it in small batches so that they can control the product. Don't get me wrong, this stuff is not healthy either - but if you are trying to wean yourself or your family off of eating chocolate spread, switch to this and then gradually stop eating it all together!

I also found this website, that has a home-made version of the stuff, which is always better because you know exactly what is going in it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rev3 Knoxville Race Report

It was wet.

I could just end the report now, but I'm sure that if you actually clicked on the link to read a report, you would like a few more details.

The last two seasons, Rev3 Knoxville has been my lone "destination race". It's not easy to pack up three
small children and drive 240 miles. This year, we recruited my sister-in-law to join us. So we had the Tahoe loaded down with 6 people and luggage, a double stroller, snacks, toys, race gear and my bike. Needless to say, I didn't exactly get great gas mileage on this trip! I like taking the family to this race because Rev3 does such a great job making their races family-friendly. They have activities for kids both before and during the race and they make you feel special. The individual name tags in transition, the race number tattoos, your picture on the big screen as you cross the finish line, the phone call from the race director a week before the race...these are just a few of the unique things that they do.

It started raining Saturday afternoon and didn't stop. It finally let up Sunday night - after we were home. The 1500 meter swim was in the Tennessee River. The water temperature was 58 degrees, but might as well have been an ice bath. After setting up my bike in transition (which was in a parking garage under cover), I walked in the rain down to the swim start with Aaron, a fellow Landshark. My toes were numb by the time we got there. I finished pulling on my wetsuit while the pros got started. We jumped in the water and it immediately took my breath away. Cold.

The horn sounded and all of the males under the age of 40 got started (very large wave). I was on the inside edge, closest to the shore. I took the usual kicks and punches and even a pull on my leg during the first few hundred meters. I usually settle into a rhythm pretty quickly, but it just wasn't happening. Every stroke felt difficult, like I was swimming in a river of gel. It took me literally about 10 minutes of swimming before I felt comfortable. I even had brief visions of finding a kayak for a rest. I didn't know if I could work this hard for the entire swim. The swim felt much easier during the last 1000 meters or so. My breathing became more relaxed and I got in a zone. I had no idea what to expect when I pulled myself onto the dock and checked my watch. I thought that it would be over 30 minutes based on how slow I felt I was moving during the first 500. I was surprised to see 26+minutes. I swam 1577 meters according to my Garmin, so my swimming is still not very straight. I was still 55 seconds faster than last year.

1500m swim
27:31.01 (1:50/100m) - includes run up the dock
18th out of 39 in my Age Group

I pulled off the top half of my wetsuit during the run from the water to transition. It's about 1/3 of a mile - over railroad tacks, across the road, down a sidewalk, up a hill and into the parking garage. Oh yeah, and it was still raining. My T1 time was 19 seconds slower than last year. Not sure what to attribute this to, other than maybe taking my time running on the wet pavement.

4:40 (includes 1/3 mile run to transition)
moved up 9 spots in my Age Group during T1

I was dreading the bike. I normally can't wait to get on Flash and tear up the road - but not on this day. Wet roads scare me. I love speed. Flying down the descents is something that I love - but not on this day. I was rarely ever even down on my aero bars because I was constantly riding the brakes, even on the flats. With rain pouring down and the road filled with puddles and water washing across it, I was riding scared. It's the first time that I can ever remember just praying to get back to transition in one piece. I pushed it harder than usual up the hills, because I knew that the downhills were going to be slow. I saw at least 6 people standing or sitting on the side of the road after losing control and donating some skin to the road. 
I had no idea what my average speed was, how many miles I had left, or what my power numbers looked like during the ride - because I never looked at my watch. It was all I could do to take one hand off the of the handlebars to grab and try to eat a gel. I still managed to pass lots of people along the 40K (24.8 mile) bike course, moving up 2 spots in my Age Group and 40 spots Overall. My bike split was over 3 minutes slower than last year, which I will contribute to the cautious riding!

40K bike
1:14:04 (20.1 mph)
Avg Power = 212W
5th out of 39 in my Age Group
After saying a quick thank you prayer, I racked my bike, put on a dry pair of socks, slipped on my shoes and hat and was out into the rain. I was a full minute slower in T2 this year, but I didn't change socks last year and everything just moves slower when it's raining!


I was feeling good with my dry socks. Until I stepped in an ankle-deep puddle about 100 yards into the run. I was unavoidable. So my feet were instantly soaked. I started at a comfortable pace because I didn't know how my foot was going to feel. I ran the first mile in 7:31 and felt good, so I dug a little deeper. Did I mention that it was still raining? Puddles everywhere. Miles 2 and 3 went by fast, 7:04 ad 7:09 respectively. I still felt good, so I pushed it some more. Mile 4 was logged in 7:00 flat. I knew that there was a long, steady hill coming, so I tried to push it before I got back out on Neyland Drive. The climb starts at about the 5.5 mile mark and ends at the finish line. I knew I was slowing down and I kept checking my watch to see my current pace. My goal was to keep it under 8 minute miles. Mile 5 was 7:33 and mile 6 was 7:36. I "sprinted" the last half mile or so and finished my run 2 minutes and 18 seconds faster than last year. I held on to 7th place in my Age Group during the run and passed 14 people to move up to 75th Overall. I felt some dull pain in my foot a few times, but just blocked it out. It really didn't start hurting until I was loading up the car to drive home.

10K run
45:08 (7:16/mile)
9th out of 39 Age Group

Despite the continual onslaught of rain, Jessica brought the two older kids down to the finish line to watch me come across. She's an amazing wife and mother. She was very supportive the whole weekend and I couldn't do any of this without her. 

 Total Time
7th out of 39 in my Age Group
75th out of 355 Overall

Lots of people have asked me about the race. I've used the word "miserable" several times. While the race was not very much fun because of the cold water and the non-stop rain, it was still triathlon...and I love it.

Me with Kate and Adrian after the race

Special thanks to Patrick at Meridian Acupuncture and Kevin at Rudy Ellis Sports Medicine for treatments on my foot leading up to the race. I wasn't sure if I would be able to run the full 10K. Not only did I run it, I set a PR for a 10K run in an Olympic distance race!

 Gear used:
2XU C:2 wetsuit
Aqua Sphere Kayenne goggles
Pearl Izumi Select Tri Suit (pictured to the left)
Tifosi Dolomite sunglasses
Argon 18 E-112 Triathlon bike
Bike Javelin aero helmet
DeFeet Running Socks (no blisters!)
Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 7 shoes

Nutrition used:
  • (1) Medium Sweet Potato (ate this in the bathroom of our hotel room - yum)
  • Water bottle with NUUN tablet
  • (1) GU Chomps - ate about 30 minutes before race start
  • (1) 24oz. bottle of water
  • (2) GU Roctane gels (one at 20 minutes, one at 40 minutes)
  • Water at every aid station, Gatorade at last two aid stations

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Rev3 Knoxville Triathlon Preview

This will be my second year doing this Olympic Distance race in Knoxville, Tennessee. I had a great time last year, which you can read about I decided to get it on the race calendar again in 2013.

The race will consist of a 0.9 mile (1500 meter) swim, a 24.8 mile (40K) bike and a 6.2 mile (10K) run.

The swim will take place in the Tennessee River (which was a very chilly 58 degrees at last check), the bike is a hilly out and back course and the run is a mix of roads and paved paths through a park. The finish line is at World's Fair Park (see below).

Our family has an additional member this year, so we are taking along my sister-in-law for some help with the three kids. We'll start the 240 mile drive sometime tomorrow as Saturday is full of pre-race activities for both athlete's and their families. The race will take place Sunday morning. If you would like to follow the race live, you can see streaming video on the Rev3 website -

As usual, this race has attracted some of the sport's best athletes. Professionals Andrew Yoder, Cameron Dye, Kevin Ryan (from Lexington), and Mirinda Carfrae will be among those toeing the line.

The weather is looking a little sketchy at this point, but a lot can change in 72 hours! 

I'm really excited about the trip and the race. I'm also interested to see how my foot feels during the run. I've been battling Peroneal Tendonitis for three weeks now. I haven't run in 10 days (had to back out of the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon) and even suffered through two aqua-jogging sessions this week in an attempt not to completely lose my running fitness. I've been to see my PT buddy at Dr. Rudy Ellis and have had a couple of acupuncture sessions at Meridian in the last two weeks...I'm hoping that has helped me get to a place where I can run the full 10K. We'll see...

Be sure and visit all of my sponsor's websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.

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