Thursday, April 28, 2011

Product Review: Hydrapak Gel-Bot

At the beginning of the month Outside PR provided me with a Hydrapak Gel-Bot to test and review. This is similar to a standard squeeze bottle but has a tube inside to provide gel as well. Hydrpak provides that bottle in both 20 oz and 24oz options. Before I get into it, here is what Hydrapak has to say about it:

"Summary: The Gel-Bot delivers two performance essentials, fuel and hydration, in one easy to use sport bottle. This patent-pending design lets you fuel or hydrate with just one hand. Perfect for racing or total gel addicts. All the Gel-Bot components can be taken apart and easily cleaned.

1.Load the inner chamber with energy gel.
2.Fill the bottle with water/fluid.
3.When the nozzle is pulled open, you get water and water only.
4.With the nozzle pushed down, squeeze to get the gel out of the center valve."

First Thoughts:
When I first opened the package my first instinct was that it was one of the fancy filtering bottles that all of my partners carried in Guatemala. Once I picked it up and got a better look at it, I realized that it was a water bottle with an integrated gel flask inside. Since I carry both in sprint distance and shorter long runs I thought this would be a neat product.

Set Up:
To use you unscrew the lid like a normal squeeze bottle,

The gel tube is attached to the nozzle by a funnel type device.
To disconnect you just grab both pieces firmly and it kind of snaps free. I found the Gel-Bot to be ornery during the connecting and disconnecting, taking a good bit of determination.
You then fill the tube with your choice of gel. It holds 3.2 ounces of gel, but if you are putting less in it you can just push the green plunger up. You then connect the tube, add water, and then screw the lid back on. To drink it works just like a regulate water bottle. For gel, push the lid down in the closed position and suck.

The Test:
I tested the bottle four times, two run and two bike rides (one of which was my 60 mile distance PR!!!!) I used it as directed one time in each discipline. Since I am not a big fan of the consistency of gel, I usually add a few drops of water to thin it out.

As interesting as I found the product, I am not as impressed with the results. I found the assembly easy, but more tedious then I care for. When solely filled with Gel, I was unable to get the last 1/2 inch of gel out. I feel that it is a waste. When it is a water and gel mixture, it fed too fast. The first time I unknowingly consumed the entire tube in two sips. Another problem is that if you are like me and consume a preset amount of gel, there is no way to measure your intake. Despite the problems I see, it could be very good for short triathlons as one stop source for fuel and hydration and could easily be placed in a aero bottle holder. It would also be good for hiking.

Grade- C

I am not going to give a grade of this nature without giving my opinion of how it can be improved. Although a good product, I think it could be better if it attached to the top a little easier, if I could get all the gel out, and if had some type of marker lines to measure how much is left.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The shopping dilema updated

Two weeks ago I posted about not being sure how to spend the gift card I won. Since I wanted Under Armour and the price has gone way up since I was in college and bought my last lot of it.

I calculated with our NC sales tax I had $69.44 I found no sales on Under Armour, Nike, or any other high end tech gear. However, Reebok which is cheaper was on sale. for 16.99 a piece I was able to get two pairs of shorts and two shirts. Reebok is generally heavier, but does the job. The total left me over a dollar to spare and since I wanted to get as close as possible I grabbed some of the gummy bears from the register. It ended up pushing me over to 75.16 but oh well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Product Review: Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool Tri Suit

At the beginning of this month I was given the chance to review the Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool thanks to Outside PR. I agreed to wear it in my first race of the season and review it for fit, comfort, and performance. I wore it in my April 3rd race, but wore it again for a run this weekend to put it through one last test.

I was hesitant at first about using a one piece suit, first there is the obvious and well known problem of the difficulty of using the bathroom. Second I wondered how it would work with someone who is not built with measurements of a pro triathlete. I have a 34 inch waist, a much bigger gut, and then only slightly bigger shoulders. Do I pick suit that fits my waist and shoulder and let it be tight around my stomach? Or vise versa and let it be baggy. I chose one based on my waist and shoulders. It fit great, I was worried it would be uncomfortable in the areas I am bigger in but it was not. Honestly, I almost felt naked it was so light and fit so well. The only thing unpleasant about the it was the zipper opening does not open quite wide enough for my shoulders. It is quite a squeeze to get my upper half though the small opening.

This is what I think is a standout feature about the suit. It felt so natural. When it first arrived the first thing I wanted to check was how it was assembled. My favorite bibs have a seam directly down the center, unless I wear compression shorts underneath it chafes. This was the first thing I checked- for a race suit this was a go, no go feature (see below). The only thing I could say negative about comfort was that once full unzipped it pulls in an odd manner. Anything more than half zipped and it was uncomfortable across my shoulders. I did not have a place to change back out and it was comfortable enough to throw gym shorts and a tee over and wear home. I was just going to wear it home including to our planned stops at GAP and to get cheese steaks, but CB made me put the clothes over it.

During the swim I felt no noticeable drag. The chamois was a good thickness and a good shape. Once on the bike it provided good padding and the material dried within a few minutes. For it's performance on the run the comfort section sums up everything. As I stated above, this weekend I put it through one last test. My last race was a mild temperature and this suit is designed for hot weather. After several fails (rained out) attempts, Sunday I went for a 14 mile run wearing it in 83+ degree heat. The two things I wanted to test were how well the upper mesh wicked and if it the mesh was thick enough to prevent sunburn. The mesh does in fact keep you cool. In fact, I think it could be improved by increasing the mesh across the chest and maybe a little lower similar to the back. It was also thick enough to prevent sunburn.

What's the grade? A

I think it is great for performance and fit. I am so impressed that I want to know what improvements can be made that set the P.R.O. suit apart. At $130 it is more than I would probably care to spend on a suit, but I now reconsider as I believe it is worth the price. Great wicking, great compression, low drag,  and saves major time in transition.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thursday Delayed....or tri geek Christmas

I wrote this post Thursday night but forgot to hit the publish button, I've have done this once or twice before, but this time it works out for the better. I am in training this week, and between working twelve hours days plus travel to and from the prison, and wanting to get my workouts in- I decided I would make some canned posts (scheduled posts). This week will be very retail centered with a a few reviews, an update,and something else in the same ballpark (I haven't decided yet).


Today (Thursday) was one of the worst days I have had at work in a long time. I started the day off with a abnormally high workload and more things to do than I had time for. The problem is that I had a full week worth of work and training next week so I only have today and Monday to get it done. What complicated the issue is that I had more work dumped on me at lunch with no regard to being in training. It was bad enough that once the email came out with the new assignment came out that two of my coworkers came straight to my office to ask who I pissed off. We quickly tabulated the amount of work and it was near 45 hours of work and I had twelve hours to get it done (plus the lunch I was about to skip in order to work).

To make it worse, I asked for help and instead of having some of the work redirected or assigned to someone to help, I was told to work as late as needed and not to leave until all the high priority issues were resolved.

On top of that is what sets my job/workplace apart from others. I feel like a high workload and a rude customer, or not meeting productivity or sales goals make bad days for others. However for me, in one day there was an incident of one inmate getting jumped in his cell by two others, a one one one fight in one location simultaneously with a two on one stabbing in another location. Around 5pm there was a four on one fight in our dining hall.

It is hard to complete assessments and conduct counselling when you are running every few minutes to respond an emergency or when you can not access the inmates because they are locked in their cells in order to be searched for more weapons (and a few more were found).

Due to the combination of the all the factors I had to wing large portions of my work. By the time I worked over two and a half hours I had a headache so bad I could not think. I had to stop. i didn't bring food to stay this late, so i was not prepared.

I called CB and let her know that I was changing today to my recovery day because I just didn't feel like working out. I told her I would pick her up at church and we being go out to eat.

An hour later my day started to get better after a steak, two crab cakes, and two margaritas. This speaks volumes about my day. In the last year, I can count the number of drinks I have had on two hands. Most of my drinks happen on holidays or at cookouts.

The stress of the day was completely forgotten when I got home. We arrived at the house to see that the local Fed-Ex man had made a stop.

This was tri geek Christmas to me. the 10oz bottles for my fuel belt and the my tristryke saddle. If you read this, you know I have been wanting a new saddle since my first 25 mile ride on the new bike. I really was excited like a kid at Christmas I forgot all about the day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


How is your weather today?

For the majority of the week we have had rain. This has resulted in me spending about 6 hours on the trainer, if not more. Today is beautiful but is my rest day. Despite working an eight hour shift already today, my bike (still nameless) and the sun are calling my names. I am currently staring out a window pondering whether or not to risk my legs for my 14 miler tomorrow to have some fun today........

Hope your Easter weekend is going great!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Respect for Morning Workouts

I just wanted to share with you my utmost respect for those who put in morning workouts, particularly long morning workouts all before going to work. With over a year of trying it is something I have not had much luck at.

Last Saturday I was able to mow three quarters of my lawn before it started raining. When I got done cutting trees I cam home and mowed half of the remaining quarter Monday but ran out of gas before i finished the entire section.

I know that I need to finish mowing as soon as possible this afternoon because I share a lawn mower with My father-in-law who commuted to Atlanta during the week. He is coming home this evening and I know he will need to mow his lawn. With this in mind I also knew that my workout schedule called for a brick with a 20 mile ride and 3 mile run. In order to get the lawn mowed I knew that I would need to do this before work.

I planned accordingly and got my work clothes ready, got my bike and accoutrements ready, set up a transition area, hung my (clean) workout clothes on the bed post near me, and set the alarm for 4:30 AM.

I was up and down every two hours anticipating my workout. I was awake at 4 Am thinking- I should just get up. I fell back asleep and when the alarm clock sounded I hit the snooze button. Or at least I thought I hit the snooze button, because it went off again at 6:20 AM. Entirely too late to workout since I needed to leave for work in 50 minutes.

So again, I have the utmost respect for the morning workout warriors!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Numerical Oddities

Ever since the Monday after my last race I have been pondering the results. I love numbers and both at the race and the next day when I saw the results, I noticed some interesting things and I learned a few lessons. This is also my check in with my 2011 goals.

My overall time was 1:09:08. I had the goal of finishing one sprint under 1:10 during 2011 so one goal is accomplished for the year. That time is 44 overall and 4th in my AG. The race was a time trial start by 100m swim pace, overall there were only 8 people who had slower swim time who finished higher than me overall. This makes me think that in terms of well-rounded progress I am doing well. Also I started out at #112 and finished at 44 so I think I can probably run and bike faster than the average person with my similar swim speed. If I had been in the 20-24 AG I would have won, if I had been in the 30-34 AG I would have been next to last, and in the 35-39 AG I would have been dead last by a large margin. Apparently I need much improvement before I can be competitive with the old guys :). Had I competed in the elite division I would have beet #3 by a full minute, but behind the #2 by 16 minutes. Apparently elite is somewhat ambiguous.

Seeding me at 112 for the swim, I looked around at gear of others with similar swim abilities and except for one carbon tri bike, we all had very similar equipment. This leads me to believe that I am where I need to be in my progress. Last year I took my training very serious, but at my last race I was seeded 406 by 100m swim time and in transition I was surrounded by relay teams of 300 pound men and women on beach cruisers. At that time it made me feel as if my results were not in the same place as my intensity. Overall I was 66 and I was 8 in my AG. This tells me this is the area that I need to work the most in, far cry or my 1:30 per 100m goal for the year.

On the bike I was 62 overall and 5 in my AG. I could have gone faster, but I don't feel I could have made my 10 mile TT goal for the year. These results indicate to me that I am faster than I think I am (on flat ground), but it is still an area that needs work. I think all the time in the saddle for HIM long rides has been a benefit.

While being 44 overall I was 32 on the run and #1 in my AG. I had a 2011 goal of a sub 24 minute 5k. With a time of 22:42 I hit that in the head. Oh, and per the garmin it was 5k dead on. My previous 5k PR was 26+. Crushed that. Apparently I got fast. I have reevaluated my goal and I now want to get in a 5k under 21 minutes by the end of the year. I was trying to make a 2 minute improvement to meet my original goal, I now need less than that to  make my new goal.

I now have my marching orders- work on swim, bike, and then run. Now I just need a strategy.

Have you had to reassess your goals yet this year?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cross Training???

Last week was busy. It was another one of those where I time to work and train OR work and blog. You know where that always leads.

I was able to get in every workout until Friday. Friday I was scheduled for a long run, but the combination of the incoming storm and me over-napping squashed that, although I did have time to get in a make up run I missed from my Monday PERT call out.

Saturday was my scheduled off day and I took it, I thought about making up the long run, but that we were hit by the storm that large storm that came across the country. Sunday I was scheduled for a long ride, but I went to Raleigh to work with my rescue squad to help work with the storm's aftermath. Raleigh has had between 15-20 fatalities reported. MY training is important to me especially considering last week and this week are my build weeks before going into my HIM taper.

On the way home, I got a call from CB that her Grandmother had a few trees fall in the storm and she was very upset. CB's father works in Atlanta during the week, Cb's little brother sings opera and carries a purse, and that leaves me to be helpful in times like this. I went out and assessed the damages and collected what I needed to work today.

The largest problem at the house was large part of a cedar tree that had fallen. This section is 52 feet long, it broke away frm the rest of the trunk about 12 feet off the ground. It is only about 18 feet from the corner of the house, but luckily fell the opposite direction.

Although through my rescue technician training I am trained with all sorts of power tools including the jaws of life, and other really fun things. However, for this job the only thing anyone in my in-laws owned was a 16 inch, electric chain saw.

After 7 hours of work, I was able to saw the branches down, cut them into reasonable sizes, cut the trunk down to reasonable sizes, take 5 trips to dispose of the tree, and clean up the tools. After I was done I still had to go work on a few things at my own house.

My training plan called for a 10 mile ride and 6 mile half marathon pace run. This did not get done. I just finished working in the yard about 1 hour ago (9PM). This disappoints me since it is the third workout I have missed in a row during a very critical time. As frustrating as this may be, I am counting squatting, farmer carries, and log tossing as cross training. This is as good as weight training in my book. I am sure that some of these moves will translate into functional strength for endurance sports.

Now I just am considering how to take this week. I had today's brick,  a time trial on Wednesday, and I was going to combine my Friday long run and Sunday long ride into one brick in order to test my nutrition. I realized over the weekend while doing some reading, that my training plan had no long brick similar to HIM. My longest ride before a run was 25 miles before a 3 mile run, the other is a 15 mile ride with 5 mile run. In my opinion neither of these seem suitable to test long course nutrition, considering on my weekly long ride and runs I have only been fueling for the given workout without consideration to multi-leg needs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am not sure about everywhere, but in North Carolina the leader in fundraising for the Special Olympics is the North Carolin Law Enforcement Community. With this come 6 months of bakes sales, polar plunges, and a number of other events in order to raise money at my institution. In addition to this our Prison Emergency Response Team also does a fundraiser by participating in a plane pull competition against other law enforcement agencies.

In order to raise the entry fee we held a raffle this year and since our team is made up of staff from a dozen institutions we sold them at our respective units. Our tactical team raised almost $1000 and yesterday before we got underway with our "activities" the drawing was held. there were three prizes and I won the 2nd place prize- a $75 gift card to Dick's Sporting Good.

This I great! With the exception of my new trisuit and a few cycling items that I have bought this year, most of my workout clothing is  5 years old and entirely too big. A few items have lost their draw stings and do not stay up. I have a few pairs of compression shorts that have some almost see through panels. I have been trying to figure out how to get some new tech gear to workout in and this solves it.

The card is already burning a hole in my pocket and I can't use it until this weekend when i can leave town and go to the closet store.  I was going to buy new Under Armour shirts and shorts but it appears the price has gone up. The compression shorts I used to pay $19 for are now $29 and $34. I if technical workout clothes are going to be outrageously priced I will continue wearing my too big items.

I am now thinking of buy just one shirt or one pair of shorts and buying a few other items these include:

hand paddle
extra goggles (maybe)
mesh bag for swim gear
Jammers (my first pair)

I am looking for suggestions for other items that would be good, I have two pairs of goggles (one I love and one that I deal with), fins, and kickboard.


Just becasue

I had a long day yesterday as our Prison Emergency Response Team was activated. 16 hours of fun and strip searching goodness on only 3 hours sleep. YAY!!! Hope to post one of the posts I have been intending later today, as long as I can get a little work done in the office, today's workouts, and maybe a make up workout for yesterday (one of two).

In the meantime I thought I would share this video. If it doesn't give you warm fuzzies you have no soul!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


All my thoughts and happy vibes go to Jon, Jeff, and Shannon at Herman Memorial Iro.....  Galevston 70.3!!!

Be fast and safe!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Today was all-in-all a good day.

The North Carolina State Budget is not in a good place (not as bad as the fed), so there is no over time for anyone at my work. For this reason a number of us were sent home early today. I was sent home at 1:30 and was home shortly after 2. My training plan called for a 60 mile ride and I had been wondering how I would get that in after getting home at 5:30. Since I knew I would have limited time I sat all my stuff out last night.

It was a beautiful day, about 75 degrees with on and off clouds and breeze due to some thunderstorms that were moving in. I got home dressed, grabbed gels, and made two half sandwiches. I left feeling good- I feel like I look like a cyclist wearing my favorite jersey, my red and while Pearl Izumi jersey-
Ignore the broken/crooked mail box
It is my favorite jersey because it was the first name brand jersey I fit into. I bought and it was too small but I lost weight and it finally fit as I documented here- ****. Now it is baggy

I also was wearing the matching socks..

The first 10 miles I spent in the granny gear riding a few times around the meat of our local tri course. I figured the slow ride would get me warmed up and a some time getting extra aquainted with the course wouldn't hurt for next month. I also spent some time trying to figure out how to make this turn at speed.

I get over 30mph on this decent which makes the turn hard. Slowing down for it is hard, I often go too wide or I cut off the opposing lane. Also I don't want to come to a stop to turn because 200m after making the turn you start climbing for almost 2 miles. Keeping my momentum for the climb would be nice.

After my warm up I spent the next 15 mile or so building speed. I held 22mph or over for two separate, rolling 5 mile stretches. I found that if I stood and mashed for a few seconds then once the speed was up I could spin and keep it for long periods of time. I was proud of myself for making many climbs at 20 mph or over.

By 34 miles I was hurting, my butt, my legs, and my neck (neck hurts often on long rides, I can't figure it out), but i had no problems keeping going. This was also about the time I ran out of water, I took 60 ounces with me and it wasn't enough. I think I drink more now that I have an aero bottle.

At 54 miles I wanted to quit I was hurting so bad, but I think the lack of water was making it worse. I got home at 55 miles even but rode around the block a few times in order to round out 60. I was determined to hit 60 because this was my longest ride ever, and so no less.

After I was done I headed to the tub for a COLD soak while I had a recovery drink and then a hot shower. My sweat was burning. I am still trying to figure out how to best recover from the harder workouts so I thought I would mention it in case anyone has better suggestions.

Since I also asked about nutrition in a recent post, I thought I would share mine for this ride, 20 oz of water followed by 40 oz of nuun. I drink when thirsty but make sure to have something ever 15 minutes on the dot. I had a gel every 45 minutes and ate a half sandwich at 20 and again at 40 miles (while riding). Again, if you have any other suggestions please share.

The only time I stopped on this ride was to take the below picture. I stopped, but never got off the bike. I talk about being near the mountain, if you are familiar with the east coast, you have probably heard of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Only a n hour drive from my house to the parkway, but you could see them clearly on this ride since I was a but north of home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Making up for my earlier post

After talking with a friend/coworker who was a collegiate swimmer just a few years ago, he gave me some vidoes to watch- and said he'd be glad to come to the pool with me to help correct my form.


This is not a true post, this is just a bitch session.

I have had a tough morning workout and aggravated and need to vent somewhere to that I can let it go.

I usually have my long swim on Wednesdays (my late day at work) and my long run or long ride on Sunday. This week in an effort to have be to a long brick at tempo/race pace after a scheduled day of rest (which won't happen), my coach moved my long run yesterday and my long swim today. Although I do workout int he morning sometimes, I prefer to workout after work when I have more time. That is not an option today so I was up at 5 am to eat and dress and get tot he pool by 5:30 when the doors opened.

The workout called for 2900 meters, my longest swim ever. It was also my worst swim ever. I was supposed to get it done in 1:06 but it took me 1:22. I usually get my swims done faster then expected, but at the worst a minute or two late. Today sucked.

It felt like I was swimming through jello a few times. I was tired after the first 300m and exhausted by the end of the first 500m. Someone once told be that a good technique for long distance swimming if you are feeling tired is to save energy by doing catch up freestyle. I did this until about 1000m. My knee, aggravated a little from yesterdays run, was even starting to hurt but I was determined to finish. The rest of the swim was a mix of breaststroke (about a third of the time), kicking drills, a few sprints and a little actual freestyle. I also had to rest a few times by walking for a few steps to reset my rhythm.

I am disgruntle, it gives my self doubt about my next race.

That is all, just needed to get that off my chest so i could concentrate on my work.

Also, here is a link to a decent article about nutrition I liked pages 3-19, I ignored all the branding.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Riddle me this......II

At this moment I have several posts planned with things I want to commemorate like an analytical look at some numbers, a check in on my 2011 goals, a review of the race suit I used last weekend, and a look at my diet. However, I have had some questions on my mind I thought I would post here and hope that you- THE EXPERTS- would help me out.

I did this same thing in a post last year, Riddle Me This , and got some great help in understanding some of the basic concepts of multisport. I am going to do it again but with what I feel are some more intermediate questions (mostly bike focused). The more I train, the more I want to learn. I am also going to ask a few questions again because I have new followers and am curious about there answers.

How do you pick out a cassette?
I started collecting the pieces to change from 105 to Rival (or force mix) at Christmas. I am still short a cassette and cranks. I do not know how to pick out the right size cassette.  Last year I had a 12-25 and it was a little tough climbing and too slow out in the open. Now I have a 11-26 but since I do spend so much time training on large climbs (to me) it would be nice to have something I can spin easier on and maybe get a little more speed coming back down. BTW- I don't know how they compare to other peoples rides but my three most notable climbs are 250ft in .4 mile, 100ft in .5 mile, 160ft in .5 mile, and 205ft in 1.5 miles. All but the shortest one are on the local tri course.

What is the difference between a double and a compact double?
I have read articles on this and do not exactly understand. My Rival shifters are double and they have two sized to choose from.
Nutrition wise, at the 70.3 distance what do you carry with you on the bike leg?
On a long training ride (+45 miles) I carry 40 ounces of water, an uncrustable, and one gel. depending on the weather sometimes the water isn't enough some time it is more than enough. I plan to use nuun when I race. I use the uncrustable as a carrot for my halfway point and the gel for near the end to tide me over.
Gear wise, what do you carry on the 70.3 bike leg?
I have been carrying 2 tire levers, a pump (now a co2 pump), and a tube. I used to carry a multitool but ditched it since I only ever used it to make adjustments and I never do that on the road. In fact, I typically don't stop on my long rides at all.
When do you start thinking about having two set of wheels? Where should a rookie start with a second set?
Coming out of last week with a new confidence (that will be squashed next month at my 70.3) I have started pondering things that will make me faster. An Carmichael/Armstrong book I read a while back said that the most fair racing is the pros, because they have equal playing field with equipment and it comes down to training and skill. This comment was being compared to age group racing where equipment can set you apart from your opponents. In fact, I saw a ton of people slower than be with carbon bikes, tri bikes, and aero helmets. I also had fun passing them (and thought about a comment Patrick left me a while ago). Since a tri bike or something carbon is not in my near future, as I am lucky to have gotten my current bike this year, I thought wheels may be something I could consider upgrading (I have carbon forks and seatpost).
Got any secret swimming tips or workout to help build speed?
Would like to get a swimming coach but can not afford it and there is no local masters class/team. Swimming is the area where i am making the least headway. When looking at my training logs it appears that my 100m time is not getting any faster, however my long distance time is. My last TT in the pool was 200m in minutes. I have had long swim with the same average pace. I have swam about 69,000 meters this year to date (about 75,000 yrds) but no significant gains and I do form drills at least once a weak and sometimes twice. I have considered going rogue on my training plan by adding more swimming, but why pay for something and not follow it?
What is your favorite distance to race?
I am racing spring, oly, and 70.3 this year I THINK I know what my favorite will be but we will see in the end.
Any suggestions for healthy sweets?
Favorite health food?
Favorite cheating food?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Race Report: Wilmington Athletic Club Triathlon

CB took over a 100 photos with a point and shoot, she likes this one.

Pre-Race: Woke up early, showered and shaved. Could not eat my traditional wheat toast with peanut butter, honey and banana slices. I forgot the honey and had no toaster. I choked down the bread with PB and ate the banana. Then I had to pack the car of all the weekend junk while CB checked us out.

Once at the race site body marking, chip, and set up transition. Warmed up with a half mile jog with 4 sets of strides at race pace, then a ride in a near by parking lot going through the gears and working on cornering, lastly, I swam 200 with a mix of some favorite drills.
steam coming off the pool

Swim: I had doubts going into the swim. It was a TT start and I thought I may have seeded myself too fast. I seeded myself at the pace I was hoping to have improved to not my planned pace. Apparently many people seed themselves faster than they should. At one turn I had to swim under a kid and on another length I had to go down the middle to pass a woman doing breast stroke. Just before 200m I felt someone on my toes so I stopped at the next turn let him pass. He was number 116 and I was 112 so he had been doing well. I passed him back at the end of the next 50m. I can't imagine what an open water swim must be like because the last 25m was a meat grinder with 4 of us abreast fighting to the end.

My swim time is not really my swim time since once you were out of the pool you had to make a left turn run out of the pool area and then make a 180 degree turn and run up the side walk, past the pool exit and into transition.

Wondering if my elbow is positon is getting better

last 50

Long run to transition

long run out of transition

Bike: Started out feeling great, averaging between 19 and 20 mph for most of the first lap. I was right on 18.9 for the remainder of the lap. During the second lap I felt myself slowing a little so I tried to push, but be conservative to have enough gas in the tank for the run. Much like the swim, I was passed once but got him back shortly. BTW- I say I was only passed once, I should note I was lapped by some of the super fast riders two or three times.

The course kind of sucked. It was mostly flat. One very small incline. I dropped a few people on it (thank you training in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains) I loved the fast flatness of it, but what sucks was the high number of turns and the general road conditions (torn the hell up). Although I am happy with how I did, i think I could have been faster under better conditions......but if ifs and buts were candy and nuts......

Cb likes this one too

Starting the second lap

coming into t2- shoes off!! Getting yelled at by the guy behind me for not going fast enough.

Run: Although the course condition to the bike course everything panned out. I don't remember anything memorable about the run, I just ran hard and kept moving. I got passed coming out of transition by #122 and stuck as close to his back as I could. Every time I would get close enough to draft on him he would pull away. I watched my Garmin, I was slowing down he was speeding up if I got close. I thanked him for being a carrot after the race.
Scouting the 300 degree turn to the chute thinking WTF???

IN THE END: I had a great time and was very happy with everything. I talked with CB the night before about how I felt I should be a little more tense, but wasn't. This translated into the race. Everything was smooth, no thinking.
Swim 300m-6:32
Bike: 11.5 miles-38:03
Run 5k-22:42

Overall: 01:09:08
Men's Overall Place 44
AG 4 of 10

Final Thoughts- My coach's predicted time without transitions was 1:14. This is the first time I have ever made the 1st page of the results- GO ME! In the AG I was 22 seconds behind #3 and 60 seconds behind #2. I was just over 4 minutes behind #1 in my AG who was an Army Ranger down for the day from Fort Bragg. That makes me feel good. This a far cry from last year.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Great Weekend, Great Race

I am home. With happiness and sorrow. This was an amazing weekend.

After the stressful week and the trip down Saturday turned out GREAT.

On Saturday, after sleeping in until about 9:30 and then going to Sonic for breakfast we made our way to Wrightsville Beach. In 20 plus years living in NC I have been to multiple different beaches, but this is my favorite. There was a period if several years while my mom was between husbands when Johnny Mercer Pier at Wrightsville Beach is where we went. I would play in the surf, swim out as bar as I could, and fish from the pier all day long, no worries. CB got direction to the main strip in Wrightville and assumed we would find beach access from there. It was funny, we pulled onto the road before she could tell me where to go to find access I pulled into the pier. Without being here in 15 years I automatically knew where I was. we got out and I showed CB around. Oddly, I even knew where I was despite that the pier is completely different since it was destroyed by a hurricane years ago and had to be rebuilt.

We spent four hours on the beach and listening to the surf crash. It was wind 30-40mph gusts, but when you never get to the beach you take what you can get. We spent 3 hours of the time laying their. i forgot a book or music so I dug a hole with a seashell (yes I'm 4) while CB read one of those crappy twilight books, then we walked for an hour.

Afterwards we got lunch and made it to packet pick up at TrySports. I walked around and touched everything since I never get to go to real triathlon stores. CB found a tech tee she wanted so I bought it for her and since it was $40 bucks they through in a gel flask for me. Which was great since I realized I forgot mine.

We headed to the hotel, showered, napped, I packed my transition bag, we went to Olive Garden for dinner, down to Historic Downtown Wilmington to get ice cream at Kilwins and then back to the hotel for bed. CB said she likes race weekend because its the only time I eat "normal".

Woke up this morning, showered and was off to the race. GREAT.RACE. Review to come tomorrow.

We stuck around until they did awards for my age group and then started the ride home. CB let me stop for cheese steaks since the restaurant I love is primarily on the eastern part of the state. I was in and out of sleep.

I had a great ride home. I listened to CB singing the songs of our middle school years like Bush, Off Spring, Green Day, and a few others. She was so cute. I tried to tape it but she was afraid it would make it here (because it was going to) so she kept stopping. We aslo stopped at an outlet mall to do a little shopping. i still need new clothes from all the weight loss. I was wearing size 42 waist pants before I started training. I bought 38's in December of 2009, 36's this past December, and today was 34's. This weekend was also the first time I saw myself in a full length mirror, since we don't have on in the house. I had no idea how different I look.

Overall it was a great weekend. I had the most fun with CB. She was adorable, it reminded me how much i love her. It reminded me of the silly 18 year old I started dating 10 years ago. Amazing what happens when you remove the day to day stresses of life. i hope we can make it out of town again sometime this year.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

checking in

It has been a busy three days. Leaving no time for goofing off. Wednesday we had a. Bomb dropped on us at work leaving me working from the time I walked in until after 8pm. It left me so exhausted that I went straight home didn't eat and got in bed. unfortunately I didn't fall asleep until 3 am.

Despite the lack of sleep I still made it to swim in the morning. It was speed work and it was bad. the rest of the day was a blur. Half day at work and then home to do lawn work and other odds in ends to get ready for our trip.

Friday was more of the same. Up to get an oil change and new tire, and then finishing packing. Everything done and then in the car to make the cross state drive to Wilmington. We got here, I went to the race site for an easy, short brick and then dinner.

After three busy days all I plan to do is hang out on the beach and go to packet pick up. Rest today and race tomorrow.
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