About Me

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San Francisco, California and, Carrboro, North Carolina, United States

Monday, April 25, 2011


I was not too pleased with my performance at Memorial Texas 70.3.  After a week of rest and recovery, I was back to full training with a new focus on running.  Why running?  Well, I seemed to have lost my run in my move across country.  Hopefully I will find it soon. 

The week of training went well.  I continued to swim well and put together some strong rides.  The key workout was a track/treadmill workout consisting of 13 X 800s on Thursday night.  After the workout my legs were toast, super tired.  It felt great.   

Through a friend a learned of a local sprint triathlon scheduled for Saturday, so I decided to give it go.  I want to work on my transitions and just get more racing under my belt.  I'm still a little rusty when it comes to some of the finer points of racing, such as, swim starts and T1 and T2 transistions (swim to bike and bike to run, respectively). 

With my legs still sore from Thursday workout, I woke up early Saturday morning headed over to NC State. 


Swim -- 9:05 (2nd Fastest Swim; 9:04 fastest swim of the day)
The one aspect of this season that has been going very well is my swimming.  At the beginning of the year I thought it was going to be my weakness, but through the first 4 months of training, I have made huge improvements and I am almost back to my 2006 form.  I credit Dave Williams and his Tuesday/Thursday pro tri swim workouts.  The workouts are great, the fellow athletes super training partners, and the combination of the two have me swimming fast.

The plan for this swim was to swim with a friend and fellow pro swim training partner.  In the pool Thys is a bit stronger of a swimmer than I, so I just wanted to jump on his feet and stay with him through the 750 meters.  As we warmed up, Thys pointed out another athlete that was strong, so now I had two sets of feet to swim on.  The gun sounded and we were off.  We swam the first 250 meters at a nearly all out pace.  At 300 meters I jumped on the feet of  the other competitor and we swam together the rest of the way.  I exited the water one second behind the first swimmer and had a good lead on most of the other competitors.  This was a great swim for me.      

Bike -- 25:33 (Fastest Split of the Race)

Start of the Bike.  I get up to speed then put the feet
into the shoes

I had a quick transition and was the first athlete onto the bike.  Now in first, I wanted to stay there.  The plan here was simple, ride the bike as hard as I could and build a lead.  The course was fun, with some rolling hills that made it challenging.  I rode the first 10 minutes of the ride at an almost all-out pace before I settled into a more comfortable pace.  With no fellow athletes in sight, I headed into T2 to transition to the run.

Run -- 17:32 (Fastest Split of the Race)
Not sure what to write about the run other than it's still missing.  The run was around the NC State campus, it had some challenging hills and my legs definitely felt the track workout I did on Thursday.  I settled into a decent pace and worked on pushing through the hills and running strong.  I came through 3 miles in 16:48 (see Garmin file below) and the 5K course in 17:32. 

I had built a good size gap on the bike and increased my lead by about 40 seconds on the run.  In the end I came away with the win by 3:08, with my friend and training partner Thys coming in second.

On Sunday, I followed up the race with a nice ride and saw more of the great riding here in Chapel Hill. 

In all it was a fun week.  Elizabeth's parents were in town so they were there supporting me on Saturday, and Elizabeth and I had a fun time with them over the weekend.   

Podium at the Triangle Orthopedics Srpint Triathon

Friday, April 15, 2011

Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3

After Oceanside 70.3 I felt very confident that I could put together a strong a performance at Texas 70.3.  Competing in back to back 70.3 races is not easy but I felt my performance at Oceanside was not indicative of my fitness level and my legs felt surprisingly good throughout the week.  I was looking forward to having a great race in Texas. 

The week of workouts was relatively mellow.  I joined Tower 26 for a few swim workouts and was feeling great in the water.  I only had two concerns going into the race, my ear was still bothering from getting kicked on Saturday and my feet were full of blisters.  I saw a doctor about my ear, and I had a few tricks up my sleeve to treat the blisters (crazy glue), so I was ready to race. 
On Thursday, I headed out to Dallas to meet up with a friend and then drive to Galveston on Friday.

Swim: 23:35

I wanted to avoid the hits to the head that I received last weekend and lined up in the first row of athletes.  I lined up to the right side of the starting line and soon realized I may have lined up on the wrong side.  The gun sounded and a pack of 15-20 athletes formed about 30 meters to the left of me.  At this point I had to make a decision, stick with the four swimmers I was with, or cut to the left and try to join the first group.  If I cut left, I feared I would not make the group.  I decided to stick with the group on the right in the hopes that we would merge at one of the buoys.  From that point on, the swim was rather uneventful.  I did swim the 1.2 mile course with one of the greatest triathletes in the world, Chris Lietto (the eventual winner of the race).  I exited the water in 24th place about 1:00 behind the main group. 
Bike: 2:13:59 

The swim had not gone as planned.  I had hoped to come out with the first group and then work with the first group on the bike.  The bike course was flat, however, there was a 15-25 mph headwind/crosswind for the first 28 miles and a tailwind/crosswind on the last 28 miles. 

After a quick transition, I jumped onto the bike and began looking for athletes to ride with.  I came out of the water with Chris Lietto, maybe the best cyclist in the world of triathlon, Kevin Everett and Michael Lavato.  Lietto is too strong, so I never thought of riding with him, but Lavato would be a good guy to try to stay with.  Unfortunately that would not be the case today.  The crosswind prevented any benefits of riding with another rider and I rode the 54 of the 56 miles solo, either passing athletes that were struggling in the wind or being passed by stronger riders.  The ride was going well for the first 20 miles or so when I then started to have some stomach problems.  I am not sure of the cause of my upset stomach, but over the next 35 miles, I the fluids I took in over the bike all came back up.  The only nice thing about the strong winds were that when I got sick, it blew away in the wind.  This affected my caloric intake.  I am not sure how many of the 800 calories I wanted to consume actually stayed consumed but I struggled into T2 and wanted to give the run a go.  

Run 1:30:11

I started the run with a positive attitude and I thought I could put together a sub 1:20 run and come in under 4:00 for the race.  The run course was a four loop course and within each loop there were many turns and round abouts. 

The run started off well and I put together a sub 6:00 minute first mile.  However,  after the first turn around I started to cramp in my right hamstring and began to lose my focus.  My form was falling apart and my mile times were increasing.  Miles 2 was a 6:40 mile.  Mile 3 a 6:33 mile.  Then it went down hill, the next 10 miles were very tough.  I was now running 6:40-7:30 minute miles and losing ground to the guys ahead of me.  The guys behind me were also running up to me.      
After the first lap I really planned on stopping and calling it a day some where on the run course.  Today was not my day and I was running poorly.  I thought, I'll run 3 laps, about 9.5 miles, and that will be a good workout.  However, with about a mile to go in the third lap, a fellow pro and friend. Lewis Elliot caught me.  I've known Lewis for about 10 years, since we first met at the Malibu Triathlon in 2001.  Both Lewis and I were having a tough race, so after a short hello, I told him I was planning to quit at the turn around.  Lewis quickly replied don't quit, walk this in if you have to.  He was right, it's not my day, but I needed to keep going show some perseverance and finish this race.  The final lap was similar to the first 3 laps I never felt good and slogged my way through to the finish.  I was not so proud of the time or my place in the race, however, I am proud I kept going on a very difficult day for me, it will only make me stronger for future races.  

Final Thoughts
I definitely did not perform up to my abilities today but as to why I am still searching for a few answers.  It's unlikely there was a single reason for my sub-par race but rather a combination of causes that affected my performance.  First, my fitness level on the bike and run need to improve.  Second, I need to work on nutrition and avoid getting sick on the bike.  Third, I need to minimize my mistakes on the swim.  Fourth, and finally I need to take into consiferation my health.  I've been experiencing a bit of a flare up the past few weeks and it likely affected my performance towards the end of the race.   

Next up is some lots more training.  I need to refocus on my bike and run and hope to have some better legs for the next race.  The next race will be Florida 70.3 on May 15.   

Friday, April 8, 2011

OCEANSIDE 70.3 (First Race of 2011)

I arrived in Los Angeles on the 26th.  On Sunday, I headed out for the last tough workout with my twin brother, as we did three hill repeat loops, with each loop about 25 to 27 minutes.  I felt great on the bike, very strong climbing, but strugggled a bit on the descents and with the headwind. 

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were full or work and little rest.  However, it was great to see all the Orrick LA people and get a couple of transactions closed. 


I was not sure what to expect from this race, the professional field was stacked and this was my first race with the top athletes since October 2006. 

SWIM 24:52

I have been putting some good time in the pool, and I am regaining the form I had back in 2006. However, I made a key mistake in lining up for the swim start. I placed myself in the second row of athletes.  I thought I could just follow the guys ahead of me, and therefore be right on their feet. Well, that plan did not work. Once the gun went off the guys in front of me sprinted away (that was planned), but then the guys to their right and left moved to the center to try to get on their feet and in doing so, kicked and punched me a few times. My water polo days taught me how to deal with this, I deflected most blows with my forearms, kept my head up to avoid a direct kick to the face and nose, but I did receive a perfectly placed foot to my ear which I am still feeling today. After about 300 meters the water became choppy, my short polo stroke helped me here, I swam around some slower atheltes, found some clear water and joined the tail end of the firtst pack of swimmers.  I came out of the water in 12th, not great, but ahead of a lot of guys and a good place to start the bike.

BIKE 2:20:36

My bike is my weak link right now. I still need to develop some of the strength for the full 56 miles. At around mile 5 I was caught by a big group that included, Rapp, Hoffman, Lietto, Symonds, Liegh and Schildknect (some of the top cyclist in the sport). This was perfect, my plan was to work with this group through the bike and get off the bike ready to run. All was going well until mile 25, at which time I ran into California's budget woes and lack of infrastructure improvements; I hit a large pothole and out went one of my water bottles; so much for those 200 calories. Next mishap occurred at mile 30 and the first climb. I hit the climb feeling great but my bike did not feel the same. I tried to climb in the 21 or 23 but the bike would have none of it, so I was stuck climbing in the 19, which meant climbing out of the saddle. This was not too bad, I crossed the hill second in group and hung on as the heavier guys flew down the hill. At mile 35 or so, I had a nice introduction to what cycling is all about. Mike Weiss came flying by and blew the up the group. I was at the end of the pack, and by the time I realized what was happening, a big gapped had formed, and I was not with the faster guys. I would ride with Symonds and Hoffman until mile 52 and at that point, the wind was too much for me, and I rode last 4 miles alone.

RUN: 1:24:26

My run had been on fire the last few weeks and I anticipated a sub 1:18 run. However, the bike was a bit too much for me. I started off well, plugging away at 6:10 pace through the first 7 miles, but at mile 7, it went quickly to 6:40-7:00 pace. I was passed by 4 guys in the last 4 miles and finished in 4:13 and 22nd place. Not bad for my re-entry to the pro world and I expect some much faster performances to come.  Finishing 22nd was not my goal, but a 4:13 on a tough course is a good result, and I have lots of room for imrpovement. 

Lastly, thanks to KAWAMI, the race kit is awesome.  

Next up Memorial Texas 70.3 on Sunday, April 10.