October 11, 2012

You are faster than you think...

You are faster than you think, quite literally in fact.  As most folks know I did Rev3 Cedar Point full distance triathlon last month and that was my A-race of the year.  It's basically in my new backyard and didn't sell out a year in advance so I thought it would be a good way to test my meddle.

In the original results that were posted to the website after the race (and were up for almost 2 weeks) I was listed as a 9:55:33 overall and a 61:20 for a swim split.  HOWEVER, when I looked just recently again, my time had mysteriously dropped to a 9:52:28... a 3 minute and 5 second difference - all coming out of the swim portion. 

I was initially a little perterbed that I hadn't broken an hour in the swim according to the results (I know - wah waaaaaaah!) But I did a PR for the race and I kind of wanted to find out what my official time was.  So I fired off a little message to Rev3 via facebook and this is the conversation:
So there you have it, there was a glitch with the GPS on the swim start box (whatever that is....) and they adjusted the times.  I'm still not clear about this entire process, but I'll take the 9:52 and the 58 minute swim! (perceived effort felt like I was doing a 49 minute swim over the same distance!)  If anyone from Rev3 or any additional race directors want to chime in about this, that'd be great....

The previous results were up on the website so long that I'm pretty sure Athlinks still has the old ones on the website.  Check them out HERE.  Should probably write them to get this all straightened out, but we'll see what happens.

October 8, 2012

Ironman Hawaii top 20 predictions

Since the Ironman World Championships is akin to the Superbowl of triathlon, please implore me while I imbibe in a little armchair quaterbacking and assemble my fantasy Kona draft team for a minute.  In this post, I'll be giving my predictions on who I think the top ten might turn out to be, why my opinions are as they are and a few other insights.

Over the years, I've tried to get someone I know to assemble a Ironman Hawaii betting pool, much like the NCAA brackets that come around every March, or the Last Man Standing or Superbowl pools that plague the fall season.  I've "given my money away" to folks in my office as I purchased the brackets and had ABSOLUTELY no idea on basketball or didn't really follow football close enough to know anything about the teams. 
I've always dreamed of assembling a Kona draft where the rules would be as follows.  You would have to pick your choice for:

1.  Top 5 in the mens race
2.  Top 5 in the womens race
3.  First out of the water (male and female)
4.  First off the bike (m/f)
5.  Fastest marathon split (m/f)
6.  Fastest bike split (m/f)
7.  Top American across the line (m/f)

I haven't worked out all the details (like maybe the tiebreaker would be who was closest to the mens overall time down to the second) but if you know of a pool or contest or anything that involves Kona picks, let me know!
But, back to the matter at hand: I'm no fortune teller and I'm probably gonna be dead wrong, but I wanted to give my choices for the top few men at Kona this year.  There are some obvious and some not so obvious ones on this list, but I'm thinking it's going to be a battle royale as always.  I'd personally like to see an all-Aussie sweep of the podium.  Without further adieu, I present my top 20 picks for the Ironman World Championships on Saturday. 
  1. Chris McCormack
  2. Andreas Raelert
  3. Craig Alexander
  4. Pete Jacobs (fastest marathon)
  5. Dirk Bockel (fastest bike split)
  6. Timo Bracht
  7. Paul Amey
  8. Josef Major
  9. Jordan Rapp (First American)
  10. Luke McKenzie
  11. Andy Potts (first out of the water)
  12. Eneko Llanos (WC - double winner)
  13. Faris Al Sultan
  14. Victor Zyemstev (fastest athlete without sunglasses)
  15. Marino Vanhoenacker
  16. Petr Vabrousek
  17. Cameron Brown
  18. Michael Lovato
  19. Sebastian Keinle
  20. Luke Bell
There you have it.  Those are my picks for the top twenty this year.  I have my reasons, but it's loosely based on this years results and past performances at the World Championships.  As a triathlon dork, Kim and I are throwing a Kona viewing party and will be watching to see how everyone does on Saturday and also having other computers around to check to see how our friends are faring on hallowed ground. 

I'll be wishing I were right along side you all and hoping and training for a return trip someday.  Safe travels and to all the friends there, send pics and keep posting on Facebook so we can live vicariously thru you guys for a few more days!!! Cheers and I hope you have Kona beers after the race (Quinn's - Almost by the Sea is a GREAT restaurant to to hit up with your finishers lei on!  (right by the King K hotel)  Cheers.

October 6, 2012


With the Ironman World Championships coming up next weekend, I want to write out a post that I probably should've written last year prior to stepping foot on the big island.  It's going to be disjointed and not too many snazzy photos or links, but here goes nothing:

I've always had what I like to refer to as a pipe dream to get to the Big Island.  It had consumed my thoughts and training for years and to race alongside the greats and be on the same course where history is made each year, I guess I've had a "healthy respect" for getting there and always been superstitious about it all.

When I first started out in the triathlon world, you realize after a few short whiles what the World Championships actually are.  Sometimes, you meet someone that has been to Hawaii, stepped foot on that hallowed ground and you hold them in the HIGHEST regard.  For folks still in Rochester, two LEGENDS of the sport that come to mind are Curt Eggers and Dennis Moriarty.  (Dennis is actually still the Rochester record holder of the fastest time in Kona)  But anyway, you meet them, are in complete awe of their accomplishments and then you try to surround yourself with everything Kona that's possible.
Back in 2005, I went to an Ironman viewing party at a local Fleet Feet store and we watched the pro's come in off the bike and onto the run in the store on a big screen after hours.  I held a similar party a few years later using a projector and a wall of my apartment back in Rochester.  At the Fleet Feet, I was given a World Championship sunglasses holder as a give-away that evening and turns out it was just some cheap crap that someone picked up from the expo in previous years, but it said IM World Championships on it and had a large hibiscus on the side of the case.  I kept that thing long after the lid broke off of it and wanted to keep it only because of what it signified. I don't know why, but I knew I needed to keep it close, because I wanted it so bad...

In 2006, I did IMFL and my dad came down to watch.  Ironman was running a "Road to Kona" promo and they had a Ford Edge filled with these t-shirts at the expo.  If you put in an entry to guess how many shirts were in the car, you got a t-shirt that read "Ford Ironman Road to Kona".  I held on to that crappy cotton shirt with all the stains and everything from 2006 until 2011 and actually used it to clean my bike in the condo in Hawaii.  That one went full circle and I thought that was fitting!

I trained in my basement on a trainer for years, when it came time to buy a fan to cool things off, I bought a "Hawaiian Breeze" fan.  I tried Kona coffee and had it for a year even though I didn't like the bitterness of it, but I knew it was from a sacred place.  My go-to summer beer was the Pipeline Porter from the Kona Brewing Company, where else?  And I tried so hard to find a t-shirt that I saw an old racing buddy wear after he got back from Hawaii.  I think he got it at Lava Java, but it just read on the front of it "Gotta Lava Tri" and I thought it was a hilarious play on words and I loved it!

Needless to say I was completely overwhelmed when I found the news that I was going to go last year.  I had auto-qualified and I could add my name to the list of folks that were lucky and skilled enough to make it there.  So if you are one of the lucky and brave souls bearing the heat this weekend and racing on hallowed ground, good luck!  I'll be watching from a far! If not, keep dreaming and working hard and you might just realize your dreams someday.  I really hope you do...cheers!

October 1, 2012

What I learned at Cedar Point

Self-assesment at the end of a period is often a way to magnify your flaws and showcase what you could have done better.  Wasn't it Einstein who said that the "definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" ?  With this post, I hope to just shed some light on my own misgivings in an effort to not repeat history. 
When looking back on the training that I had done prior to Cedar Point, I felt confident in my work and I had some good workout predictors that I would be able to sustain a farily high pace for the duration of the race.  But sometimes life throws a monkey wrench into the equation.  That monkey wrench was obvious to anyone looking in from the outside, but to me who was waist deep in it, I was oblivious. 

After my foot blew up bigger than a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade float from running on an injury during an iron-distance triathlon, I was asked to look back thu my training and see what pace my recovery runs were.  Thing is - I looked and didn't find a single one.

Not one single recovery run.

From November of 2011 thru the September 2012 Rev3 race.  And I wondered why I was diagnosed with capsulitis of the 3rd metatarsal.  For what it's worth, I did some things in the season really well (like stuck to my HR zones like they were glue during training rides and long runs, and also figured out that recvery rides were crucial to bike fitness) but it wasn't enough to counteract the damage and pressure that I had put on my foot by that point and something had to give. Unfortunately it happened on the last long training run prior to launch in Cedar Point. 
Gotta add some turtle runs into my training for 2013, so I can beat the rabbit folks
So as the 2012 season comes to a close and the 2013 season is peeking around the corner, I will be taking a closer look at workouts, strength training and nutrition (all things that I realize I need to work on) but also taking a renewed focus on one of the simplest things that will likely not stress my body, the recovery run.  If it's anything like the fitness boost you feel after a recovery ride and a good nights sleep, I'm gonna be feeling like a million bucks in 2013. 

Disclaimer: I'm not smart enough to coach myself, nor am I smart enough to be able to see some of my flaws in my own training.  I am however, smart enough to know when someone you should listen to gives you advice and I'm very open about the training that I do each day (seriously, just ask!)  So when I say I learned these things for myself and I am self-coached, I might be full of crap.  But I do listen and will adapt. :o)