Wednesday, October 31, 2012
It was very windy, as I stated before, so there was no way I was going to lead! I was glad when there were 2 guys that wanted to be in the front on the way back. I sat behind them and let them fight the head wind. I was 4th into T1 and 3rd out...perfect position for me at that point in the race. Once out on the bike I started watching my watts. I knew where I had to be to have a good run, and the line I did not want to cross. I have never been that close to the front at the beginning of the bike, usually I am 1-3 min down coming out of the water. It was a strange feeling, and I liked being there, but it was a long race so I had to chill and relax early, so I let the pack go. It was a crazy tailwind going out so I knew the wind was going to punch me in the face all the way home. I rode a steady pace for the first half of the race and then really tried to ramp it up with 11 miles to go, I wanted to be as close to the front as I could. I got as far back as 13th place and then started to pass people as they began to fade. I knew by the end of the bike that I rode a little too hard, but I did what I thought I had to. My quads were jello coming off the bike, and I figured the run would get interesting. I got in to T2 in 7th and did what I could to move at the beginning of the run. I probably went out a little too hard but I thought if I could pass guys early, then I would be able to stay away. Well I passed guys early, then the wheels fell off the train. I moved up into 3rd place at the halfway mark. I did all I could to keep moving, but I stopped sweating at 3 miles, so I tried my best to hang on. When Viktor went around me I tried to stay with him, but my body did not respond...I was in survival mode. Then I heard Ben coming up behind me, I tried to dig deep, but there was nothing I could do. I was dead on the road, I had to hope for the finish line to get here before someone else passed me. I was able to hold on for 5th place. That ended up being just good enough to sneak into 4th place in the series. So even though my legs still hurt 3 days later, and am hobbling around, it was all worth it. It was my last race of the season and now I have two weeks to relax and recover before I start building for next year.
It was a hard race, but it fit well as the end to this season. I went through a few rough patches, but just kept going forward with the guidance from Greg. I would not be where I am without him! I would also not be able to compete week in and week out without the help of my sponsors: N.B Properties, Bralin Laser, Champion System, Profile Design, Rudy Project, BH Bicycles, Cobb Cycling, Scott Shoes, CompuTrainer, Hofferth Chiropractic, Pro-Form Bike shop, and Express Press.
Melissa as well as her aunt and uncle, Katie and Ryan, came down to Florida with me. It was great to have them there cheering as well as someone to hang out with post race/end of season!! It was a fun weekend and am glad I did the race. The Rev3 crew puts on the best races and series in the US. I am glad to have something that great in the sport of triathlon.
"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." ~Thomas Jefferson
Monday, October 29, 2012
Photo by Eric Wynn/REV3
Photo by REV3 Photography
Monday, October 22, 2012
I knew going into the race that it was going to be a chilly weekend. I was prepared for it but at the same time I was not. I do not have the amount of body fat necessary to perform well in cold temperatures. As much as I want to mentally, my muscles lose too much of the elasticity to perform at the level I would like to. I remember one time when the heater was broken at the pool where I workout. As much as I tried, after 30 min I could no longer swim hard in the cold water. I knew it was something I was just going to have to deal with.
The air temperature at the start of the race was 48 degrees, by far the coldest triathlon I have ever been a part of. The water was the warmest part of the race, but still not cold enough for a wetsuit. It would have been nice to come out of the water a little overheated before getting on the bike. I knew I would have to overdress to survive the bike and in turn the race. After a very lackluster swim I took my sweet time in T1. I wanted to put on a long sleeve and knee warmers so my body would make it through the bike. The stretchy material of the long sleeve led to the slowest T1 of my life and one of the slowest of the day. Oh well! I had a pretty good bike ride, but the leaders were riding at tremendous speeds. Cam and Ben rode 3 min faster than the rest of the field. I had a good T2, all things considered. I took off my knee warmers and long sleeve, because I knew I would get warmer on the run, and still had a middle of the pack transition. The hardest part of the day to swallow was missing the fastest run split. Chris Foster out ran me by 15 sec. I'm not mad about Chris outrunning me, he is a solid runner and triathlete, and I was training through the race to get ready for Rev3 Florida. It hurt because the pay day at Lifetime races is terrible if you are not in the top 4. So instead of coming out comfortably ahead on the trip, I lost money on it.
I did this race for my sponsors and I am glad I went, it just wasn't a great investment for me. It was nice to chat with Brien from BH and Ronnie from Champion System. I look forward to long partnerships with both companies, they both make top of the line products. A big thanks goes out to Melissa for coming with me. She was a trooper and hung in there during the race. She was freezing but still able to give me split updates, words of encouragement, and a warm smile while I was racing.
Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there. ~Bo Jackson
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Life as a pro triathlete and medical student- thank goodness for a great coach and some amazing sponsors!!
Friday, September 21, 2012
Swim - It was not a wetsuit swim, but the water and the air were chilly so I decided to warm-up in my wetsuit. In the first 200m I was repeatedly smashed into and took another "punch" to the eye. The physicality of the swims seems to happen to me a lot, so I am starting to wonder if all swims are like this or if I just happen to be the one that swerves all over and causes the contact. But at any rate I was tired of it so I did what I normally do in this situation: I grabbed the hip of the person to my right and pushed him under me to the left so I could be on the outside. I felt good in the water and I knew I was swimming well, because I was with William at the first buoy. I maintained contact with the people around me and for the first time in as long as I can remember I got out of the water in a good position and I still had some energy.
Bike - Once on the bike there were single people strewn out on the road and I could see a pack about 15 seconds ahead. I rode as hard as I could to catch William, he got on the bike about 5 seconds before me. I knew if I caught him, we could catch the pack within sight. Once we caught that pack I realized there was another pack about 50 seconds up the road. Darn it!! I had a good swim but I was afraid this was going to happen...Ben Kanute is a great swimmer and a very strong cyclist. If he had a pack with him, I knew it was going to be a long day. There were only about 4 guys in my pack that wanted to/could do any work. I spent a lot of time pushing hard at the front and after 3 laps of maintaining or losing 5 seconds I had to start thinking about the run. Not what I wanted to do but with minimal help and a strong cyclist at the head of the front pack I had to cut my loses, keep it close, and wait for the run. I still spent a lot of time at the front of the bike pack, but it was more to keep my pack going than to catch up. I also spent some time drifting back to yell "words of encouragement" at the rest of the guys with me. At the end of the 40k we were 2 min down. I had a lot of ground to make up on the run.
Run - My transition was a lot better this year! Although, I still struggle to get my feet in my shoes occasionally. I was off and running with a lot of lonely ground to make up. Finally after 2 laps I caught someone. Then I caught Ben Kanute. It was frustrating to lose time on the bike, but after seeing him death march the run, I knew I made the right decision to not go all in and try to catch the front pack. On the last lap I could see 3 guys 25 seconds up. I tried all I could to go faster and run them down, but I ran out of road. I finished in 7th. Not a stellar place, but I was happy with how I raced and how I felt during the race. It just wasn't in the cards to have a repeat of last year.
Thanks to my mom for driving me to and from Buffalo, NY and for getting me where I needed to go. And thank you to my amazing fiancee!! Melissa, her mother, and her sister, Kristyn, made the 7 hour trip Saturday morning. It was great to have them there for the race. It was also nice to have Greg and William's family there to cheer on Team IE!! And thanks again to all my sponsors. This life would not be possible without them!
Never complain and never explain. ~Benjamin Disraeli
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
It is not only the lightest bike I have ever rode, it is very aerodynamic and incredibly rigid. All the power I put into the pedals goes straight to the rear wheel. Thank you BH!!
Rev3 Maine - Another incredible race put on by Rev3! I like doing their races, but they become more fun each time out. I truly feel they are the best race series in the country. The swim was in the ocean and although I felt like I was swimming well, I found out when I exited the water that I lost a lot of time. Not sure what went wrong, but sometimes I seem to lose loads of time in the water. Once on the bike, I felt good and was moving well. The age group half distance athletes went off first so it was a little crazy riding through them for the first 6 miles. At the halfway point I was in about 6th and felt like I could make up a spot or two before getting off the bike. On the way back I was feeling the hard pace and slowed down a little bit. I was able to catch one more person and get off the bike in 5th. I felt good starting out on the run and could see 3rd and 4th place. I caught Dave Thompson at around 2 miles and had my sights set on Richie Cunningham up the road. He won the previous 3 races, so I knew I was having a pretty good race to see him on the run. I kept up an honest pace, but wanted to shut it down a little bit with Hy-Vee coming up the next weekend. With a mile to go I could see Conrad Stoltz up the road but had no idea how far ahead he was. I was torn on what to do, do I throw it down with all I have to try and catch him or do I keep the current pace and live to race hard the next week? I could not make up my mind and before I knew it I was half a mile from the finish with no chance of catching Conrad. I finally shut it down and cruised into the line in 3rd. It was a good result and got me into 4th in the season series, 10 points out of 3rd.
I made the trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine with my sister who was 32 weeks pregnant. It was a great trip and race, but I discovered I live my life eerily similar to a pregnant lady. My sister and I had similar schedules when it came to eating, napping, going to bed, and having to pee. Thanks to her for coming with me and being a trooper all weekend.
Hy-Vee US Championship - With it being the largest prize purse in the sport everyone wants to get in, and do well once they get there. It is the most fun race of the season too, having such a strong field doing laps around large crowds in Des Moine, IA. Although I achieved a good result for me, I did not have a particularly great race. I had a good swim, but my race went down hill on the bike. Greg and I have lengthy discussions all the time on what happens in races. Some people blame bad results on random things or terrible excuses instead of their poor decisions made during the race, whether it's riding too hard and having a poor run or choosing to drink a certain "sports" drink. Post race I always try to determine what went wrong and how to fix it. This one was a head scratcher though. There were to many factors to determine what exactly went wrong; back-to-back weekends, heat (average temp of 92 during the race), or swimming too hard. It seems that I always struggle on the bike when I lay it all out in the swim. It is something I wanted to do in this race though, I wanted a good swim to set up a great race. I felt good for about two laps on the bike, but struggled to find my legs the final two laps. Macca and I had a little chat in the last 2 miles of the bike about how we both did not have the legs on the bike. Once the run started I wanted to make up some ground but the struggles on the bike leaked their way into my run. I did what I could to move through the field, but I was not passing many people. It was a death march on the road and one guy actually started walking. The crowds were amazing and I kept pushing until I crossed the finish line. I finished in 13th place, one spot better than last year. I will take it, at the beginning of the season I did not think I would even make it into the race!
Thanks to my beautiful fiancee (Melissa), my mom, my grandparents, Greg, Lisa, the Deckards (John and Robbie), the Bachmans (Aaron and Lindsey), and Jake Rhyner for their words of encouragement on the bike and run. It was a hot, hard day and you all got me across the finish line. Thanks to Greg for getting me ready for the race. Thanks to my mom for driving the group to the race. And thank you to all my sponsors (Team IE, N.B. Properties, Bralin Laser, Champion System, Profile Design, Scott Shoes, Cobb Cycling, Rudy Project, Computrainer, Express Press, Enzyme Research Laboratories, Pro-Form Bike Shop, Hofferth Chiropractic and now BH Bikes) for helping me compete at the highest level.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: NOW. ~ Denis Waitley
Monday, August 20, 2012
The swim was a little shallow coming in and everyone started dolphin diving. I started dolphin diving as well, but I did not have the energy to sustain the pace so I just swam in and lost a few seconds. Overall I was very happy with my swim and I got out of the water in a great position (for me). Once I got on the bike I had a hard time getting my legs going. It was a struggle to hit the watts I wanted but I was able to get there. This race had a respectable field but if I could put together a good day, I could finally get a win! I fought hard the entire bike and was able to get into T2 in second. Dave Thompson once again was ahead of me and I knew if I could run well I would have a shot at catching him. It just was not my day. Everything I tried to get my legs moving was not working. I was going to have to buckle down and just hang on for second place. Overall it was not a great day but I was able to grab a second place finish and enough points to qualify for Hy-Vee. A victory is still eluding me but hopefully some day I will achieve it!
It was great to have Kyle in the race as well. Racing is a lot more fun with teammates in the race, even though it is every man for himself. He had a good race and ended up 3rd. IE did a great job at putting 2 guys on the podium! That must mean that Greg knows what he is doing! :)
Since it was close to home I had a lot of support at the race. Melissa, Greg, Lisa and I drove down together the day before the race and my Mom and Dad made the trip down the morning of. It was nice to have a great group there cheering me on, too bad I had a rough day of racing. Melissa's friends, Kelly and Mark, who live in Columbus made it to the finish line. It was great to see them. Sorry I was a little grouchy while talking to you! Thanks to Greg for driving Lisa and Melissa around the bike course. It was nice to get race updates and some encouragement along the way. I have the best fans and sponsors, and they all make racing at a high level possible. Hopefully next time out my body will cooperate with my mind!!!
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all" ~J.K. Rowling
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
|Thanks Rev3 staff for the great shot on the bike.|
|Top 10 Podium! Thanks for the great photos sweetheart!|
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Wow, it has been a long time since my last update. It is amazing how time flies!! Over the past few months I have been working really hard in the pool and on the bike. At least I am starting to see gains on the bike! I have been on the start list for 4 races but I had to take the first DNS of my career in Mooloolaba, Australia.
I got some sort of stomach bug 2 days before the race that required frequent trips to the rest room. The night before the race I still wanted to make it to the starting line but when I woke up in the morning I had very little energy and still had a hard time keeping calories in my body. It was a miserable trip, but helped me realize how much I rely on my family and friends when I am sick. Without a result at this race, my dream of making the 2012 Olympics Games was dead. It is a tough pill to swallow, but Greg and I have been looking at 2016 since we paired up, so that dream is still alive.
Nautica South Beach Triathlon
This race was the weekend after Mooloolaba. I got home after 26 hours of traveling on Monday night. I then left for Miami on Friday morning. It was a crazy turn around but I wanted to get a race in before St. Anthony's a month later. Greg was a little weary about me racing not only a week after getting sick, but also less than a week after traveling 26 hours from a place that is 14 time zones ahead. I told him not too worry, I was not going to kill it, I just wanted to race, to remind myself how it feels to do a 40k individual time trial on the bike after swimming 1500m and before running a 10k!! I did not have the greatest swim, but I never really do in rough water. This swim was a point to point swim in the ocean. The surf was not too bad, but still a lot rougher than what I have been swimming in - a 4 lane pool at the health club! My bike went surprisingly well. As I was saying earlier, my work on the bike is starting to show up in races! Once off the bike I tried to stay relaxed and have a good run from start to finish. The field was very strong for an early season race! I passed a lot of people on the run and ended up 6th. I had the second fastest run, 18 seconds slower than Javier Gomez. For those of you that don't know, Gomez is one of the fastest runners in the sport. I will take that after all the stuff I went though in the previous week and a half.
Now the one thing I hated about the race: the prize purse associated with lifetime fitness!! I was 6th place in a strong field and I walked away with $400. This barely covered my hotel in "beautiful" South Beach, Miami! I am not sure what keeps pulling be back to lifetime races, but I am not sure if I will do any more this year. They pay appearance fees for the top guys to come in, and they win the majority of the money. The top 2, sometimes 3 make a good amount while everyone else struggles to pay for their hotel, let alone their airline costs, between the ticket and bike fees!
Now the good from the race: my girlfriend and her family were at the race cheering me on and then I got to spend a week with them in Ft. Lauderdale. Thanks Melissa, her parents, her brother Zach, and her Aunt Katie and Uncle Ryan, who I believe set the wheels in motion for us to get together almost 2 years ago, it was great having you all at the race and it was a fun way to recover from the first non-draft race of the season.
St. Anthony's Triathlon
Once again I was up against a strong field! Almost anyone who is anyone in non-draft racing showed up for the race. The swim went well for the first 500 while we were in the sheltered area of the swim. Once the pack got out into the rough waters of Tampa Bay, I was not able to hang with the pack and ended up losing a good bit of time again during the swim. Once on the bike I let it go. I was not going to wait for the run, I wanted to try and make up time on the bike. I had a great bike split, but I paid for it on the run. I got off the bike with Chris Foster and I had a hard time keeping pace with him for the first 2 miles. He ran at Penn State so I knew I had good company, but my legs were not listening to me. My legs did not want to turn over so I just let them do their thing and waited for them to come around. When they finally did I just tried to catch as many people as I could over the last 4 miles. I ended up 8th overall and still had the fastest run split of the day, after handing out some high fives right before the finish line. I was very happy with the result, but a little frustrated in my swim. I think I had the fastest bike-run combo on the day. If I can sort my swim out I might actually be able to win a race in the near future.
A big thanks goes out to my mom for driving me around all weekend and putting up with me prerace. And thank you to one of my sponsors, Bill Hohler of Bralin Laser for cheering me on at the race. It was also great having his wife, Mary, and mutual friends of ours Mike and Joyce Boswell there. Post race they had a cookout at their place so it was nice to relax and enjoy the evening with some friends.
This was the first time in my life racing triathlons on back to back weekends. I was a little nervous because I could remember having a hard time racing 2 weeks apart in past years. With the help of Hammer Nutrition, I was able to not only get ready for Knoxville, I was able to have a good result. I took Recoverite immediately following the race at St Anthony's and after every workout during the week, as I usually do. I also used Hammer Nutrition's whey protein every night before bed, to safely raise my hGH levels to allow me to recover and boost my immune system to keep me healthy. This allowed me to finish 4th at my first Rev3 race of the season.
The swim was a wetsuit swim in the river. I have not had a good swim yet this year so I was hoping the wetsuit would bring me a little luck. Last year I had my best swims in my wetsuit. My swim was ok, but still not where it needs to be. Once I got out of the water I was off on the bike, and once again trying to make up as much time as I could. Chris Foster and I were together again, this time it was on the bike though. We were never really close to one another though. He would put about 5-10 seconds on me and then I would end up passing him and getting a little lead. It was like this for most of the ride until we started catching people. This got a little chaotic, trying to navigate through 7 guys while climbing and descending small mountains on the back roads of Tennessee, all while trying to ride within the rules. With about 3 miles to go Chris was going to pass me over some rail road tracks and dropped his chain. I felt bad and initially slowed up as if I was back home riding a training ride with Greg, but then I snapped back into race mode and hit it hard back in to transition. I came off the bike in 6th place and passed two guys within the first mile. I was in 4th and feeling good enough about how the race was going to not notice how bad my legs were feeling. At the turn around on the run I got to see how far behind 3rd place I was and how close 5th place was to me. I made up my mind that 5th would be just fine but did not want to settle for it. I was able to keep a fast enough pace to stay ahead and finish in 4th, my best finish as a pro in a non-draft race. It was a hard 2 weekends of racing but I proved to myself that I could do it, I just don't know how many times I will!
A big thank you goes out to my Grandpa for driving me all the way to and from Knoxville. He made the trip quick and it was great to hang out with him for the weekend.
I am excited to race in the Rev3 series. They do an amazing job of putting the races together and they have all the triathletes in mind throughout the weekend. The expos are very family friendly and very welcoming to athletes who travel with kids. I think Rev3 is the best race series currently going on in the US and I wish other series could learn something from the way Rev3 takes care of all the athletes.
Thank you to Greg and all of Team IE for getting me to where I am, and N.B. Properties, Bralin Laser, Profile Design, Scott Shoes, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, Champion System, Cobb Cycling, Computrainer, Express Press, Enzyme Research, and ProForm Bike for being great sponsors and allowing me to compete to the best of my ability. I would not be putting up the results I am without their support.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Thanks to Champion Systems for making the best suits in the world! Cant wait for the new pink one I just got!