About Me

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

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Heading out on Run 2. 
The Cary Duathlon is the last race in a 3 part series put on by FS Series.  The race consists of a 5 mile run 31 mile bike and another 5 mile run.  Each run is 2 loops of a 2.5 mile rolling hill course through Thomas Brooks Park and the surrounding communities.  The bike is full of rolling hills, views of Jordan Lake, and on Saturday, a stiff wind.        

First Run -- 5 Miles (27:11 5:26/mile pace)
The plan for the race was to run well, but not too fast, create a lead on the bike, and then run fairly easy for the second run to hold on for the win.  I took out the run at a pretty relaxed 5:20/mile pace and went through the first mile in 5:19.  I settled into around a 5:25-5:30 pace for miles 2-5 and came into T1 with roughly a 50 second lead on second place.  

Bike -- 31.5 Miles (1:17:05)
The bike was full of hills, wind and more hills and wind.  About 2.5 miles into the first run, I realized my legs were still feeling the effects of TX 70.3.  Since I wasn't feeling great, I had to ride smart.  I decided to attack the down hills and the flats, and ride within myself on all the uphills.  I was hurting and really didn't want to go too hard and then be caught by the other athletes with 5 or so miles to go.  I wanted to get off the bike with a lead, and feel good enough to run the second 5 miles.  The plan paid off, and even though I didn't have an excellent ride, I rode well enough to post the fastest bike split of the day and extend my lead.  A highlight of the ride was also having a lead vehicle show me the way around the course.  Sometimes a lead vehicle can be a smelly diesel pick up truck, but for this race, it was a Chevy Volt.  It was awesome to have an electric car ahead me!    

Second Run -- 5 Miles (30:19 -- 6:03/mile pace)
Jumping off the bike and back to another 5 miles run was rough.  Duathlons are much harder on my body than triathlons, and my legs were not so happy about the 5 miles I was about to do.  Like last week, my legs began to cramp, but unlike last week, the cramps were only in my calves.  I can run with cramping calves -- not fast, but I can make do.  Fortunately for me and my calves, with a good-sized lead I had some time to spare if my run was slow.  At the first turn around, a little over a 1.5 miles into the run, I saw the second place athlete. I calculated that I had slightly over a 3:00 lead.  I was running roughly 5:50-6:00/mile pace, not blazing fast, but knew that this would be good enough to get the job done.  I also had a a few more turn checkpoints to see if the second and third place runners were making up any time.  At the second checkpoint, my lead was still about 3:00, and I thought to myself, "perfect, sustain the same pace for the next 2.5 miles".  My lead was the same at the third checkpoint, so with only 1.5 to go, I eased up.  I was tired, and feeling the effort of last weekend; I did not want to put myself into a hole if I did not have to.  I ran about 6:30 pace for the final mile and cruised into the victory with a 2:40 win (results).

I'd like to thank FS Series for putting on a great race, I had a blast and hope to be back for a few more.  I'd also like to thank my better half for making it to the race, taking some great pictures (shown on the post) and cheering me on.  It's always fun to have her in the crowd.  She often trains with me, so having her at races just makes it another day of training.   

Starting the second loop of Run 2.  I was little tired by now. 

Coming down the finish chute.  

Monday, April 2, 2012


IM Texas 70.3 had a stacked field.  Two world champion athletes, the current world record holder at the IM distance, a seven time Tour de France winner, and many other athletes that have won 70.3 races.  My fitness is great right now and I anticipated surprising a few athletes.  If things went well, I thought I could have a top 10 showing.  The plan was to have a good swim and exit before the super cyclist, work with them for the ride, and then run as well as I could. 

SWIM -- 24:22
This was the roughest swim start I have ever participated in.  From the moment the gun went off, everyone was fighting for position.  I usually sprint out and settle into a nice position sitting in second or third position of the first group.  However, in this swim, I was simply beat up too much to make it out of the main pack and to the front.  The first 1000 meters of the swim consisted of three or four kicks to the face, a well place fist to my right eye, filling up my goggles, and lots of swimmers swimming into me and I swimming into them.  It was pretty miserable.  So much for my game plan.

After about 1000 meters, I decided to swim wide, find some open water and try to swim my way back to the first group.  The first group was about 75-100 meters ahead of me, and I went for it trying to catch back up.  I passed about 10 guys but exited the water in 16th place.  I led the second group of athletes and we found ourselves about 1:00 down on the first swimmer and 30 seconds off the tail end of the first group.  

BIKE -- 2:12:50

The bike is a tough one, you ride into a crosswind/headwind for 28 miles, turn around, and then ride with a crosswind/tailwind for 28 miles.  Getting onto the bike I felt great.  I've been riding really well of late and my confidence was high going into the race.  I'm also  sporting a new ride, an Argon 118.  The bike is super face and simply cuts through the wind.  I took the first 10 miles at a relatively easy pace, and then picked it up.  I caught a group of guys that had exited the water in the first group and kept riding pass a number of riders.  At the turn around, I found myself in 11th place, and right with the 10th place rider.  This was a great showing.  I was feeling great.  However, I had a mechanical problem at mile 35, my areo bar dislodge from the insert.  This changed my position on the bike and forced me to favor my left side.  I eventually slowed a bit over the last 15 miles of the ride, and jumped off the bike in 15th place. 


Jumping off the bike, my left hamstring was completely cramped and I knew my day may be over.  I started the run and tried to get a smooth stride going, but my cramps would not subside.  Not wanting to injure myself, I decided to call it a day.

In all, I learned a bit more about racing today.  I had a blast competing against some of the greatest athletes in the world, and I am looking forward to getting back out there.

I'd like to thank my homestay in Houston, Matt and Megan, thanks so much, and my homestay in Galveston, John and Sherry.  Everyone in Texas seemed to be so friendly.  Thanks again!  

More Pictures --