Monday, April 30, 2007

Results - 1st Race

This weekend I did the Sacramento International Triathlon. .75/16/4.
It was a nice morning, sunny and about 60+ degrees at the start. The water was so murky you couldn't see your hand during the swim. I took on some water on a big breath and it took a bit for me to recover. The last 1/3 of the swim I pulled it together and passed a few people. The bike course was really windy and it was run on a course shaped like a 3-leaf clover - so you had a head wind for a bit and then a tail wind. The net of the headwind/tailwind was a tick more on the headwind side. There were a lot of people who got just wrecked by the wind - it's pretty demoralizing if you aren't used to it. I train a ton in a headwind along Chrissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge - so I was right at home and made a ton of positions up from a bad swim. I also did better on the bike due to the great saddle I've been riding on - it allowed me to get aggressive on the bike and stay comfortable and aero (thanks Ben Collins!) .

The run was flat and the wind was negligible - a small overpass jacked my HR up about 8 beats - well into the 190s. About 1/3 of the run course was on a rutty dirt road- not great for a PR or a fast run. I also had not run without socks and I just changed my Yankz! - so they were too tight. I had some bad blitering about halfway through the race and my toes were asleep from the laces being too tight - always something to learn. I had fantastic transitions - likely because I literally work on them 2x a day.

Here are the stats:
33 people in my age group: 5th place
Swim: 26th place - 9 mins off the winning pace, 23:46
Bike: 2nd place - 1.30 off of the winning pace, 46:13 (this includes T1)
Run: 3rd place - 4.45 off of the winning pace, 30:57 (this includes T2)

Below is the data from my HRM
Avg HR: 173
Max HR: 203 (the last bit of the run was hard)
Avg Speed: 21.1
My previous high HR was 194. It was warm by the end of the race and I was obviously suffering a bit from lack of liquids. I'll have to put down another 20 oz before the race.

A good resource I found online was over at the REI Triathlon site. There is a great guide for the first time triathletes - though the tips they provide are something you want to review and plan for WELL BEFORE you start you season - not something you can tackle weeks before your first race. Another great idea is to hire a coach or at least join a regional triathlon team - like the Seattle Triathlon Club or the San Francisco Triathlon Club where you will find lots of new people as well as experienced people who would LOVE to share their wisdom with you.

I can obviously improve my swim and run a lot. I race again in 3 weeks.

Click on the chart below to see a detailed map of my race:

Monday, April 23, 2007

First Race of 2007 is Here!

The first race of the season is almost here. Luckily this also coincides with a low volume week for me - just a few hours on the bike, 3 runs and a 3 swims and nothing too long (1.5 hour bike max)! The weather is 70 and sunny - my daughter having spent all 3.75 years of her life in Seattle asks every day 'where are the clouds'. The last 2 weeks have been 12-13 hour weeks and this week is a 7.5 hour week (though I'll probably get 9 in).

I got out on the TT bike and my new ISM Adamo saddle. What a dream. It looks weird but is incredibly comfortable and rides real nice. You basically sit on the end of it (it's a lot shorter than a regular saddle) and the saddle fits perfectly with your sit bones. For the first time ever, I've got an incredbly comfortable TT bike!

What's in the iPOD this week? lots of Incubus and Inxs. Nothing but 'I' bands I suppose.

The next blog will have my race report and I'll start the hurt tally for the year. I'm psyched to lay some hurt down with the power sticks. I just hope I'm not the only one hurt at the end of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Race Recap from Ironman Arizona

Here's a short recap (it's an Ironman so the Lord of the Rings trilogy could be a short recap) from my friend from Austin, Tracy Shriver (like me, a guy with a girl's name) from his first and apparently last Ironman. Some questions I had:

You just finished IMA – what advice to you have for a Triathlete considering taking the plunge?
Be mentally prepared and realistic. for the past 3 years i've been more focussed on marathon running, and it wasn't until recently that i fully understood the mental preparation required to be successful. you hear about it and read about it, but for me it really was a switch that flipped one day that made me respect the distance, which i can now carry onto my other racing endeavors. a big part of that is being completely committed to one goal. i know too many amateur athletes/age groupers that are working on multiple goals at the same time, and end up failing a lot. for most first-timer Ironmans, simply finishing is the realistic goal, which is tough for someone who has been racing for a while.

What would you have done differently with your training – what would have made the most difference (aside of dropping the beer drinking)?
i would have trained more - my issue was definitely not being over-trained. time for training is always an issue, and having 8-10 hours on a saturday and another 6 on sunday for several months is a lot of sacrifice, not to mention all of the training required during the week. and while there's swim/bike/run, there's also weight training/stretching/nutrition. i was not prepared for the run - specifically i thought i could come out of transition and start clocking 8's, and instead started with 10's and 11's. that's a very different stride and form than every single mile of my running training and very quickly my knees gave out. the nutritional preparation for race day can not be understated. beer drinking = carbo loading, and i needed all the help i could get to keep from weighing as little as nicole ritchie.

What did your wife and family think?
every single person who had not previously done an ironman or was not currently training for one thought i was nuts. even for marathons there are so many people that have to ask "how far is that?" and the response you get when you tell people the distance of an ironman is astounding. it's a hard thing for most people to get their head around. i had an amazing support crew at the race and they now respect the feat even more having seen it. after lap 1 of the run i realized i was in survival mode, and when i saw my wife i got a little emotional because i was disappointed. as soon as i left her i realized she was probably going to be worried sick until i would see her again about 6 miles later, and when i did i simply told her i was ok. she asked what i was going to do and without hesitation i answered "finish." quitting never entered my mind, and i was able to shift myself quickly from disappointment to "don't do anything to jeopardize finishing." the goal was finish.

See anything interesting on the course?
i flew in on thursday night to be greeted by 54 degrees, wind and rain. this is arizona, right? the locals said they were glad for the rain because they had major dust storms earlier in the day, and the rain would calm that down. well after a sunny friday and saturday, the winds picked up and i got pelted by a dust storm on lap 1 of the bike. you could see it coming from 100s of yards away, and there was nothing i could have done except grin, grip, wince, and take 1000 pellet shots like a wimpering baby. the special needs athletes are very inspiring. you see an athlete heading to the swim on crutches and out on the bike with a hand-cycle, and you realize you have it relatively easy. the spectators packing the bridges and lining the lake as you're waiting for the cannon is unbelievable. i wish i could have had a camera. it took every nervous feeling out of my mind and body because it was so amazing to be in that position.

What did you think of the pros?
i didn't see much of the pros. they start 15 minutes before the age groupers, and you're too consumed with your own preparation to take notice. i saw them on lap 1 of the bike, was passed on lap 2 of the bike, and never saw the men again. the women leaders passed me at mile 8 for me on the run, mile 25 for them. gollnick had just made her pass of zeiger and already had her winning margin - it must have been an amazing move. men's austin local pro james bonney finished 7th and got his kona ticket punched, but woman's austin local pro desiree ficker skipped arizona this year.

Any observations about what people were riding or running in?
shorts and jerseys, mostly. this being my first ironman, i completed as many costume changes as Cher. comfort was important for me, not saving two minutes in the transition. proved to be a good idea though a BarcaLounger for the "run" would have been wise too.

What distance will you focus on for now?
much like runners who after a marathon convert some of that endurance to speed by focussing on 5 and 10k's, i will do a few sprints starting may 12th and olympic distance races and build up to a local half ironman the first week of october. that will be my goal race and i will define what that goal is soon. i'll be back on the bike as soon as it returns, since i'm not very sore after a fairly low impact marathon.

See any sharks on the swim – if you didn’t, you probably weren’t looking? you couldn't see your hands, so unless the shark was going to try to make out with me i wouldn't have noticed. also swimming in a man made freshwater "lake," i doubt there were any. Note: I'm convinced there are sharks or similar man-eating creatures in every body of water I swim in. I also have suspicions that there are also dead bodies at the bottom.

Care to wager on the outcome of the CapTexTri 2008 between me and you – I can see putting $500 down that says I spank you good despite the fact that you have no kids and have been training for about 5 years more than I have?
when you start dropping 1:20s on the swim and 6s on the run i'll get nervous. until then i just need to remind you about the critters in murky Town Lake. Note: I was at this race last year as a spectator and it got me back into Triathlon. It's an ongoing wager.

If I rip your legs off at that race – will you still like me?
the way i calculate it you need to ride about 40mph to have a chance, and if you do that you should be concerned with Jamie Cleveland and James Bonney, not me. you do know swim noodles and floaties aren't allowed under USAT rules, right? not to mention you're assuming i like you now. Note: I used to be his 'housemate', he was in my wedding but I was not in his, so he might have a point that I've somehow missed over the past 14 years. Jerk.

What song was in your head for IMA?
there were two little diddies i made up. one was called "don't puke" and the other was called "farking wind."

Did you consider tackling anyone on the bike leg of IMA? If so – who?
i think if you check the box score the leading tackler was the wind. i saw about 6 riders on the ground because of the wind, and another passed me with some seriouse road rash. it got worse as the day progressed. Note: We used to play 'Tackle Mountain Biking' in Seattle - I really think we played it once. 'Nettles Don't Sting Do They' was another fun pastime for us.

Did you wear boxers under your bike shorts? boxers are so 20th century. it's all about the whale tail. Note: I have witnessed boxers under black bike shorts on this fellow. It was a fair question.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camp and Training

The News- this is something that I've been working on with Chris Tremonte and Scott Fairchild (and Macca) for what seems to be a LONG TIME:

Please join our exclusive annual July training camp in San Diego California that I will be providing with Chris Lieto. Whether you are a Sprint, Olympic, Half or Full Ironman distance triathlete, you can experience this elite training environment starting July 9 through July 14 at the Hilton Del Mar, San Diego, California. The ‘Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camp’ has been developed to offer dedicated and inspired athletes the rare and unique opportunity to train with myself, Chris Lieto, Darcy Norman and other top athletes as well as handpicked, first-class coaching talent. Each session has been developed and prepared to challenge and provide you with a personalized learning and training experience that can be applied to your future training and the second half of your 2007 season. This will be an incredible week of training, hard work and growth for you.

Chris McCormack, ‘Macca’
World Champion Triathlete

Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camp includes:
Each evening’s dinner with Macca, Chris Lieto, Darcy, the Team and MORE!
Fully supported workouts with all nutrition and hydration supported by Macca’s sponsors Clif Bar and Penta Water and Chris Lieto’s sponsors: Power Bar and Penta Water
2-3 group training sessions per day with Macca, Chris Lieto, and Team
Support Vehicle for running and cycling training sessions, including follow vehicle support from Nytro and Shimano
Intimate daily discussions and seminars with Macca, Chris Lieto, Darcy Norman and team which include running mechanics, injury prevention and core training and education.
Athletes’ Performance world class methodology including Movement Preparation and Recovery and Regeneration sessions at the beginning and end of each day with Darcy Norman, performance trainer and physical therapist for the T-Mobile Men’s professional cycling team and the Athlete’s Performance Center
Unlimited access to Macca, Chris Lieto, Darcy Norman and their support staff throughout the week of the camp
Tour hosts and a personal support team for duration of tour/camp
All in-camp transportation
Sponsor products, discounted product and gifts provided by Macca and Chris’ sponsors and camp partnerships

@$3,200 per person

For more information and reservations, please contact:

Loren Pokorny
Director, Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camps
Mobile: 206-755-2275

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Revised 2007 Schedule and Update

Here is the schedule for my 2007 season. There are a lot of races but most are sprints - so I don't see that the volume of racing is too high - realistically, I'll get 14-18 of the races in. I'm psyched to get racing, fire up the power sticks and turning the crank in some anger. All of my 'A' races are after July - so my early season will not be raced as aggressively as the second half. We'll also be announcing the lineup and sponsors for the Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camp that we're putting on in July. We hope to have that up on Chris McCormack's site in the next 48 hours! Good luck to my double-comment-posting friend Tracy who is doing IMA this coming weekend.

I also bought the new Adamo Saddle - the one I'm using on the bike adjacent is not so fun - it's a HED proprietary saddle. I'll report soon on how this thing works. I bought it on the recommendation from my friend Ben Collins - a review I cannot share but so profound that I felt compelled to drop $149 for it.

Tentative 2007 Schedule
29-Apr-07 Sacremento Triathlon
6-May-07 Napa Valey Sprint Triatlon
20-May-07 Morgan Hill: UVAS South Bay Triathlon
2-Jun-07 San Rafael, California: Vineman Showdown at Sundown
9-Jun-07 Sacremento, CA: The Original TRI for FUN Triathlon #1
24-Jun-07 San Jose, California: San Jose International Triathlon
8-Jul-07 Carlsbad Triathlon
15-Jul-07 - Chris McCormack Triathlon Performance Camp -
29-Jul-07 Livermore, California: Lake Del Valle Triathlon Festival
5-Aug-07 Herald, California: The TBF Tri for Real Olympic Distance Triathlon Series #3
12-Aug-07 Folsom, California: Folsom International Triathlon
25-Aug-07 Santa Barbara, California: Santa Barbara Triathlon
8-Sep-07 Pacific Grove OR
9-Sep-07 Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Triathlon*
16-Sep-07 Malibu Triathlon
23-Sep-07 Los Angeles, California: Long Beach Triathlon
29-Sep-07 Scott Tinley's
7-Oct-07 Napa Valley Sprint Triathlon
21-Oct-07 Sacramento, California: The Golden State Triathlon
2-Nov-07 Treasure Island Triathlon (SFO)