Monday, November 5, 2012

2012: It's a wrap

The storm that swept through Florida for the Rev3 Florida race last weekend was an unfortunate parallel to my 2012 season and the concluding race of my 2012 season.  Due to high winds and a strong rip current, the swim was cancelled at the race and a 1.5 mile opening run was added in its place.  So my last triathlon of the season was turned into my first ever duathlon.  With the swim being one of my clear strengths, I was very disappointed to have the swim cancelled.  While I do believe that the professionals should swim under pretty much any circumstances (after all we are professional athletes); the Rev3 team did all they could to make the swim happen but were ultimately shut down by the lifeguards.

So after a little bitching with the other swimmers in transition, I prepared myself for what lay ahead and started to become excited about the race.  While I knew some of the race dynamics would be different; I  still felt very confident in my bike and my ability to run a good half marathon.

We set off on what I would consider a pretty solid pace for the first 1.5 (somewhere around 4:40 pace). I might have had a mile PR during this segment!  After a quick transition, I set out on the bike knowing I wanted to push the pace early to split up what could have been a very large bike pack.  At about mile 20, I was feeling pretty strong and was preparing myself to put the pressure on during the second half of the bike.  And at this point the parallels to the storm started to become evident.  I received a penalty for being in the wrong lane.  (I will be the first to admit that given the course layout I was in the wrong lane.  However, due to some a lack of coning situation I was unaware of what lanes were open to ther race and which was weren't.  I was not gaining any advantage or endangering anyone by being in the lane that I was in. I do wish that there was a warning system available for officials.  A warning would have given me the opportunity to move into the correct lane; while the penalty I received, completely took me out of the race).  Following the penalty, I pushed hard to try to get back into the race and while I was able to keep the time gap to the group consistent for a period of time, the wheels completely fell off my race around mile 40.  Last year I had some back issues; and until this race I thought they were behind me.  My back started to cramp and I could not longer stay in my aero bars.  I rode the last 15 miles into what was about a 30mph head wind and felt like I was a giant sail.  I was pretty beaten emotionaly and physically by the time I got to T2 and did what I could to finish the run.  It was not the day I was hoping to end my season with; but, this happens in racing and it keeps me even more motivated for 2013.

I'll continue my analogy to a storm when describing my 2012 season.  I had some of my best finishes as a professional, which allowed me to achieve one of my goals for the season in finishing top 5 in the Rev3 Series.  (I finished 5th)  However, I also had several races that went like the race in Florida.  While I know racing and triathlon has a lot of up and downs, I feel that 2012 was a little more of a roller coaster year than I could have expected.  I know that I made a lot of improvements this year and I plan on having a healthy and consistent winter to work one some weaknesses and continue to improve as a triathlete.  2012 was my first year as a full time professional and I am already very motivated for 2013.

For the first time in my career I felt like I had a true support system and a team behind me.  Especially with my coach Grant Holicky and Apex Coaching, Todd Plymale-Mallory of Integrative Healing and Acupuncture ( who took care of my body all year and kept me healthy, and my Apex Coaching teammates.  The group that I train with is very important to me and I will continue to be a major driving influence in my development as an athlete.  I also had the help of some great sponsors.  Especially Clif Bar, Orbea, Rudy Project, Normatec, Champion System, Williams Wheels, Reno Running Company, Blue 70, SRM, and Roll Recovery.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Once again it has been far too long since I have posted a blog.  When I started focusing more on triathlon I thought I would have more time to write blogs yet somehow I manage to forget about it for months at a time.  So as usual I will do a quick recap of what has been about 3 months now.

-Lots of racing.  And two of my highest finishes as a professional triathlete.  I finished 2nd at Rev3 Wisconsin and 2nd at Rev3 Maryland and moved up to 4th in the Rev3 Series.
-I raced in what was the most fun race I have ever done; the F1 Triathlon in San Diego.  It was a 300meter swim, 4 mile bike, 1.5 mile run x 2.  I managed to finish 5th overall and it was incredible.  My brother was there to watch me race and then I was able to spend a few days with him surfing after the race.
-Finally made it back to Lake Tahoe Labor Day weekend for our annual Bellarmine (BEAT THOSE) reunion.
-Travis left me.  This was a very sad time in September when one of my training partners and someone that became one of my very good friends left to go back to South Africa.  I will be traveling to South Africa myself now to visit him January of this year.  Something I am already looking forward too.
-My brother Chad came to visit for a week.  It was his first time to Boulder and it was great having him here.  We also went up to Breckenridge to spend the weekend with my parents who were also visiting. And we had a pretty crazy time at the Breckenridge Oktoberfest; which I will definitely be going back to next year.

I feel like that is a pretty short and sweet recap of the last few months.  Training has been going really well.  It is crazy for me to think that I have only been in Boulder for 6 months now.  For one, it seems like it has been much longer than that.  It also makes me very excited about the progress that I have made as an athlete in a short period of time.  Training with Apex Coaching has been great and I am already excited about what 2013 will bring after a solid off season.  However, I am getting ahead of myself because I still have one race left in 2012.  I will be finishing my season in just over a week in Florida at the Rev3 Florida race on October 28th.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rev3 Portland

Apparently it has been a long time since I have written a blog.  For those of you that regularly read it I am sorry.  I’ll try to keep up on it more often.  Before I get into my last race at Rev3 Portland I’ll do a quick update of the last few weeks.  Lots of really good training, an all right race at Philadelphia (6th place), an awesome homestay for Philadelphia (thanks Geoff!), and probably one of the most amazing experiences that I will ever have.  My best friend, Scott Weltz, (@swimweltz) made the US Olympic team in the 200m breastroke while setting an Olympic Trials meet record.  I was fortunate enough to be there at the trials to watch him race and thanks to my coach, Grant Holicky, I was able to be on deck to watch the race and to congratulate him right after the race.  I can’t describe how proud I am of what Scott has been able to accomplish and the sacrifices that he has made.  He deserves this more than anyone that I know. 
Back to triathlon.  This past weekend I raced my second Rev3 race of the season and my first half iron distance race of the year in Portland, OR.  I was pretty excited to do my first half because my training has been going well and I enjoy the half distance.  Thanks to my friend Lauren Goss, (who rocked it and finished 3rd), I was able to see the bike course a few days before the race.  The bike course for this race was new this year and it was advertised as being really hilly.  I have to say that after driving the course, I was pretty intimidated.  In the end the course was amazing.  Challenging, but not over the top, and just a lot of fun to ride.  Apparently we were clocked on one of the descents going 55mph.  Which would be the fastest I’ve ever been on a bike!  Unfortunately, the majority of the run wasn’t as much fun for me.  After running the first 4 miles right where I wanted too, feeling great, and more importantly closing some time on the guys ahead of me, I started to have some GI distress (to put it politely).  After dealing with this for a few miles and a few trips to the on course porta potties; I was very close to pulling out of the race.  But with this being my first half of the season, (along with still being in the top 10) I decided I would learn more about where my training and fitness were by finishing.  In the end I was proud of my effort and my decision to stay in the race.  I finished the remaining part of the run with what I had left in my body that day and was able to take away a lot of positives.  Still frustrating to not have the overall result that I thought I was capable of; but, it gives me confidence moving forward through the season.  Each race has been better than the last and hopefully that trend continues.

I would like to thank Rev3 for putting on another great race.  It is obvious that they truly care about the overall race experience for all athletes and I look forward to doing more of their races throughout the year.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


After my race at St. Anthony's I had to realistically take a step back and look at what my goals were for the 2012 season.  I went to St. Anthony's because my goal for the season was to be abel to qualify again for Hy-Vee. However, my finish at St. Anthony's didn't put me in a great position as far as my point total was concerned.  At first, I immediately tried to find out what races I needed to go to in order to score some points and get back in the mix for qualifying.  But, after discussing my goals, both long term and short with my coach, I realized that Hy-Vee wasn't in the cards for this year.
I have gone through a lot of changes over the last few months.  Between going through my first major injury, moving to a new state, changing coaches, and changing to a different training style and philosophy, the progress that I can make as an athlete will take some time to develop.  Although I am disappointed that I won't be toeing the line at Hy-Vee this year I feel very comfortable in my decision to get in some quality training and have a more conservative racing schedule; especially when compared to the past two years.  I am excited to keep up the great work with my coach Grant Holikcy and the rest of the Apex Coaching crew here in Boulder.

Monday, April 30, 2012

St. Anthony's Triathlon

 After what was the longest period of time I have ever gone without competing I finally had my first race of the season at St. Anthony’s this past weekend.  What better way to get my first race in and dust off the cobwebs than against the best field that I have ever raced against?  When I planned my season, St. Anthony’s was not going to be my first race but the whole injury thing changed my plans a bit.  Nevertheless, I was excited to do this race again for my 3rd time.  I have a great home stay in St. Petersburg who I was very excited to see and I was of course also excited to start racing again. 
I knew this race was going to be fast.  There were a lot of points on the line for Hy-Vee and the race was fast last year with a stacked field.  However, the level of competition pushed the pace of this race above and beyond anything I expected.  Fortunately, I went about 6:00 faster than I went at this same race in 2010.  Unfortunately, I finished 8 places lower and finished 21st. 
My overall finish was something that I was a bit disappointed with.  I was a little off on the swim that put me in a tough position on the bike.  I did all that I could to make up the time I lost on the swim during the early part of the bike and I paid for it later in the bike leg when I felt like I was going backwards.  I ended up having a much better run than I thought I would have; especially after what was a poorly paced bike effort and of course the long lay off from running that was due to my glut injury.
This was a tough race to go to for my first race of the year; but, as usual, I learned a lot.   I still feel as if I am pretty new to triathlon, although this is my 3rd year, and I still think that I learn something valuable every time I race.   I am looking forward to racing again next weekend in Knoxville, TN for my first Rev3 race.  I am fortunate enough to get to spend the week with my homestay and friend Todd Fedyszyn in St. Petersburg for the week.  Maybe do some sailing and paddle boarding while relaxing and recovering from this race and getting ready for the next one.  

Where have I been?

Where have I been?

Well I’ll start off by saying to those who enjoy reading my blog (when I actually write something) I am sorry that I have not written anything in what has been a very long time.  I am not sure why I have not kept up with my blog but it has not been for lack of things to write about.  If anything over the last 4 months I have had much more to write about…So here is a quick recap:

  • ·      Quit my job
  • ·      Moved back home to San Jose with my parents
  • ·      Did some amazing training for a few weeks with Tommy Zaferes, Bevan Docherty, and Paul Mathews in Santa Cruz. 
  • ·      Tore my Gluteus Medius Muscle
  • ·      Went to Maui for vacation which was mainly an amazing week of cycling and open water swimming (I swam within a few feet of a blue whale and its baby and climbed Mt Haleakala which is the longest, steepest climb in the world going from sea level to 10,000ft in 37 miles)
  • ·      Moved to Boulder, CO
  • ·      Moved in with my girlfriend
  • ·      Got a new coach (Grant Holicky at Apex Coaching)

 That pretty much sums up the last 4 months.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Home, New Life

The last few weeks I have felt like a nomad.  After a three week period that included moving, Christmas, New Years, and a little vacation in Colorado, I was very excited to get home and settle down.  Although settling in at home is a little different than it has been in the past because I am settling into my parent’s house in San Jose.  Living in a new place has different challenges to the routine that I had for myself when I was living in the East Bay area.  I have to find new places to bike, run, and hopefully find a new team to swim with.  I still plan on training  at the Olympic Club in San Francisco and I am excited to be able to use more of the facilities there now that my focus is on training.  (Definitely want to start checking out the nap room…)  I have to say that the move to a new spot has had me pretty anxious.  However, after getting out for a ride and run in the 70 degree weather today, I have become slightly less anxious.  I am starting to get a grasp on what, where, and when I might be training and I am excited to prepare myself to compete at the best of my abilities.  I hope that this finds you enjoying the New Year; I know that I am excited for 2012 and I hope that you are as well.