Monday, June 30, 2008

Lots of Laughs In Lubbock

Thursday morning I met up with the guys (Greg, Michael & Kurt) for our road trip down to Lubbock for the BSLT 70.3. As usual we were somewhat delayed with our departure, but soon enough had things stowed in Greg's massive F350 Super Duty diesel truck. He has a sweet system mounted in his truck to store five bikes and loads of gear...perfect for this journey south! The drive itself was quite entertaining with good chatter and plenty of chuckles. To avoid any incrimination I'll skip over the details of our road trip and fast forward to race day...

Race morning brought some unusually cool weather with lots of cloud cover and rain threatening. Instead of parking in the designated grass lots we opted to go with JZ's suggestion of parking our cars just outside the park and riding via the back route. This worked great with an easy spin down to transition. I taped a small flashlight to my helmet since I did not have my headlamp. After the standard routine of bodymarking & getting things sorted in transition I saw coach Z. We chatted briefly before I went about my business and completed a warm-up run. I was set to go and headed down to the beach...

The air was cool and a wetsuit would have felt kind of toasty, but it was a non-wetsuit swim for the pros. I decided to get in and use the time to warm-up in the water. After gathering us on the beach there was an invocation given by a local Native American. Moments later we were instructed to cross the timing mat and then, without any type of countdown, the horn blew. I still had my stinking goggles on my head! This is one of my favorite races, but I must admit this year's "swim start" was a freaking circus...instead of running straight ahead into the water the field ran along the shore line. I found myself running, dolphin diving, running, dolphin diving, running and finally swimming. At one point I heard a spectator shout, "C'mon it's a triathlon!". I concur and this start was comical. I like to run, but trying to run in shallow water with rocks, sticks, debris and who knows what did not make much sense to me. My friends in the following waves said everyone was laughing at us. Apparently all the other waves proceeded with this same backwards-ass start. I honestly had no idea of my positioning once we started swimming, but found my rhythm and seemed to be in the third chase pack. The swim layout was a bit different this year with a diagonal portion before hitting the back stretch and I was feeling pretty good in the water. Upon exiting the water I was not surprised to find myself in T1 alonside my friend AJ Johnson and a few others. It seems like AJ and I always come out of the water together and this race was no different despite the unorthodox start. Swim split - 27:27

With our bikes racked very close to the mount line I opted to put my cycling shoes on in transition. This was a good decision as I was able to make an aggressive move passing a few athletes who were working to get their feet in their shoes before we hit our first steep hill right out of T1. My focus was on fueling and making some contact with the guys up the road. Along the first out and back section my buddy Pat Evoe passed me and I knew I would have to work hard to stay with him. I made a go with it, but he was able to get a good gap on me. With the wind and rain it made for some cautious riding on the technical downhills and I found myself not hydrating as much as I planned. Through a few out & back sections I noted I was closing on a couple of guys, but losing time to many. Bike split - 2:26

AJ caught me just outside T2 and once on my legs after a swift transition I was able to get out just ahead of him in 11th place. My legs felt pretty good early in the run, but around mile 2-2.5 I began to cramp a bit. I've experienced this before and was confident I could manage things and still maintain a decent pace. I knew there were guys up the road who might be within range. I was getting good feedback on the course of my position and simply focused on maintaining a good turnover and fueling through the aid stations. Nearing the run turnaround out in the "Energy Lab II" I found myself in 10th position with Brent Poulson (Canada) and Pat in 9th & 8th respectively. My legs seemed to be feeling better as the run progressed and I noted I was closing the gap on these two. I passed Brent just inside the park and continued to work. With no sun looming over us the conditions were pretty decent for the half marathon. At about the 11 mile mark I caught Pat and we exchanged some words of encouragement. I finished the day with a 1:17 run and overall time of 4:14. Not blistering, but a solid day as I look towards IMUSA in three weeks!

One of my favorite things about BSLT 70.3 is the fact they pretty much give away IVs. It was quite apparent I was dehydrated as it took them four sticks to finally find a good vein that wasn't "collapsed". After getting a good drip I enjoyed watching many of my friends come across the line. Boulder was well-represented at this event and a huge congrats to all on their races! I really appreciated the words of encouragement from Coach Z and others along the race course.

Have a safe, healthy & happy holiday weekend!

Keep it smooth...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice

In many parts of the world, June 21st is a grand day of celebration with the summer solstice. I frequently remind my younger brother, "Dude, you'll never forget your wedding anniversary because it's always going to be your longest day of the year!" As a kid my summer days were filled with swim team, soccer camp, wicked sweet games of kick-the-can with friends, watermellon, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bomb pops, Tiger baseball games on the radio & cruising the neighborhood on my candy apply red Schwinn bike...flashforward twenty years and I'm still cruising on my bike, swimming a bunch, running a lot (just not after a soccer ball or throngs of neighborhood kids), eating schads of seasonal fruit & hanging with friends whenever possible.

This weekend presents a slew of races across the globe...Ironman Japan, Ironman France, Ironman Coeur d'Alene, Philadelphia Triathlon, Bear Lake Xterra, Des Moines/Hy-Vee World Cup and many more. Best of luck to all my friends who will be toeing the line this weekend!

May you enjoy a spendid summer solstice filled with laughter & good cheer!

Keep it smooth...


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday Tango

An absolutely stellar day for training in the Rocky Mountains with loads of sunshine and endless blue skies! I jump started my day with a solid track session...the last few weeks I've met up with some friends for track, but today went solo and opted to run on an old school crushed gravel track near my house. Comfy two mile warm-up, drills then right into the main set of 10x1K. The allergies have kicked in the last couple of days and after draining mi nose I set about running these efforts smooth, fluid, controlled and consistent with a bit of snap. Easy jog home for cool down and breakfast #2. Next up on the training plan are some hill repeats. Should be fun to play in the mountains today. Fortunately, I have the opportunity for a little downtime between the track and bike session. I'm a huge advocate of spacing one's training whenever possible, although I know it can be quite the balancing act when working a nine-to-fiver! This evening I have a speaking engagement for a group of middle school students so the time between workouts will be put to good use!

Congrats to my friends who turned in some impressive results over the weekend...JZ taking 1st at Eagleman 70.3, Matt Reed's 5th place at the ITU World Championships secured three spots for the US men at the upcoming Olympics, teammates Alexis Smith & Erin Ford were top 10 at Alcatraz and Erin Kummer, Ryan Ignatz & Will Kelsay rocked it in the Alabama Xterra.

Enjoy your day!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Safe Routes to School Rally

Last week I was invited to participate in the Safe Routes to School Rally which is a program encouraging kids to ride their bikes or walk to school. Fun times hamming it up with my sidekicks Bat Man & Rocky (school mascot) in front of over 500 K-5 kids on their last day of school!
Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Summer Luvin'

Mother Nature has decided to turn up the heat a bit and we've been enjoying some stellar weather with temps in the low to mid 80s :) On a few recent rides and runs I've noted the arrival of Sprummer: purple, yellow, orange & white wildflowers dotting the landscape, green everywhere, rising creek waters and a couple of active bulls looking for a bit of summer love in the fields. This is perhpas my favorite time of year in Boulder with the warm days and cool nights...perfect training/sleeping weather. It's also a great time to take advantage of the snow melt from the mountains and soak tired legs in the creek post a long ride/run. It's darn cold but feels sooo good on the muscles...not so good on other parts.

Last night I had a presentation for a parent group and will be speaking to their middle and high school students over the next couple of weeks. It was engaging to share dialogue with the parents and answer their questions about guiding their teens to a healthy lifestyle. Every two years the federal government and many local counties, including Boulder, perform what is called the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The recent YRBS for Boulder indicated 1/5 teens are clinically depressed and admitted to intentionally harming themselves via cutting or burning. Quite disturbing and another indication of the need to provide today's youth with a healthy message for life.

My current training block has been great and I'm stoked for the upcoming BSLT 70.3 event in lovely Lubbock, TX. It promises to be an entertaining road trip with friends and exciting racing. This week is kind of chill as I'm getting some LT testing done at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. I always like the testing process and getting some firm data.

I'm hoping the Wings can earn another Stanley Cup with a win over the pesky Penguins tonight!

Thanks for checking in and keep it smooth...