Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Little Bit of This & A Little Bit of That...

Since returning to Boulder life has been busy with numerous speaking engagements, catching up on emails, etc. and training. The weather has been super nice which has made for some fun sessions. You got to like fall weather filled with blue skies, schads of sunshine and temps in the 60s & 70s! My recovery from Kona has been spot on allowing me to enjoy my current fitness in preparation for one final go for 2008. I am really looking forward to racing at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater. Several of my friends, including Team Sport Beans/NTTC teammate Kirk Nelson, will be racing as well. With the smooth recovery from Kona I have been able to hit things with a bit of spice in all three disciplines. Coach Z has kept the sessions fairly simple with some tempo & threshold work without the typical volume.

Big props to one of my athletes, Shane Niemeyer, for his PR of 9:37 and overall 3rd place finish at last weekend's Great Floridian IM.

I am sending good thoughts to my friends racing IMFL this weekend!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ford IM World Championship Report

After relaxing for a few days on the beach and taking in some of the local sights I figured it would be a good time to post a race report.

Swim (59:17 - Kona swim PR) I placed myself towards the middle right closer to the pier and had what felt like my best start at this race. I quickly found some feet and was in the middle of a decent sized group which allowed me to limit my sighting. We were swimming right along the buoy line out to the turn around and it was feeling quite comfortable. At times I thought the pace was too comfortable, but did not want to push things and end up swimming solo as I have in the past. My swim fitness has definitely improved, but with a more aggressive start and working things early on I think I can place myself with a faster group. It was good to exit the water with fifteen or so other athelets than one or two as I had in previous years.

Bike (5:17) Immediately out of transition the effort felt really hard and looking down at my front wheel I saw my brake was off center and rubbing. Fortunately it was an easy fix as I was able to reach down and open the brake lever. Riding along the Queen K I was comfortable and focused on my race plan. About an hour into the ride my container of Endurolytes flew out of my side pocket and spilled all over the highway, leaving me with no salt until I reached my special needs bag after the turn around in Hawi. Riding up to Hawi the winds were gaining strength, but I felt stronger than I have in other years. I really began to struggle once back on the Queen K heading back to town with some cramping in my hamstrings. While my body was not responding as I had hoped, I was able to stay strong mentally and complete the ride with my focus shifting to the run. Note to not use aero helmet on the big island as any gains are minimal with the added wind, heat and humidity.

Run (2:49 - IM run PR) With the cramping I felt during the bike I was very uncertain how my legs would feel once on the run. Exiting T2 and finding my way through the cheers of the crowd gathered at the hot corner my legs felt good. Running along Ali'i Drive to the first turn around I felt relaxed, smooth and fluid. My focus was on fueling, hydrating and keeping cool through each aid station while running down as many athletes as I could. It was like a giant game of Pac-Man. The temps really seemed to soar once out on the Queen K and into the Natural Energy Lab. Unlike last year though where I began to break down at this point, I found myself feeling stronger as the run progressed. Over the final four miles I was able to run down several more guys and was very happy to make the final turn on Ali'i Drive and run towards the boisterous finish chute and familiar voice of Mike Reilly.

Total time 9:12 & 48th overall

Congrats to everyone who was racing in Kona and the Colorado contingency - Uli, Glen, Jeff, Tim, Brandon, Justin, Wil & Michael...great work!

Despite a slow bike this was my best performance in Kona and I am pleased with the result. Recovery is going well and I am excited about my final race on November 8th at the Foster Grant 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, FL.

A huge MAHALO to my support team of sponsors (Team Sport Beans/NTTC Racing, TYR, Champion Systems, Rudy Project, blueseventy, Blackwell Research and Mix 1), family & friends. A special thanks to my coach Zane Castro for getting me to the line in good form. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with all of you. The support and encouragement has been huge in allowing me to be my best.

Keep it smooth...

Random Race Notes:

Swim - need to continue to work on speed development and mechanics; train body to swim stronger towards the end of key sessions

Bike - power and strength development through more big gear work and climbing; increased awareness of cadence & gearing relationship relative to conditions

Run - focus on maintaining better form over final portion of longer runs

Monday, October 06, 2008

Kona Update

Are we "in training" or "training"?!?
View from scenic overlook along the Queen K
I have been a bit lacking with any updates in a while...things were a bit hectic prior to my Kona departure with training, speaking engagements and the pre-travel hub-ub of things to do. The trip over to the big island went as planned with my arrival last Monday. Training has been going as planned and the legs are coming around. The scene has definitely picked up since last week with more and more atheltes arriving each day. I have enjoyed a wonderful homestay and move into the condo tomorrow. Joanne has opened her home to me the last two visits here and it has been very relaxing. She lives on the mountainside out by the airport so it is nice and chill. I have endulged in her homemade banana & macadamia nut bread and over the weekend she served up a tasty meal of lamb, garlic potatoes and spinach salad :)
My body and mind are in a good place and I am very eager to race on Saturday. Workouts have felt good and the downtime between sessions has been consumed with putting up the legs, relaxing on the lanai, watching tv (I had many laughs taking in the Bad News Bears yesterday :), eating and sleeping.
I will be sure to drop an update post race.
Thanks for reading & keep it smooth...