Friday, December 03, 2010

What's your Opinion? The meaning of Ironman vs. the Ironman brand

Good Morning!

So I have missed some workouts this week, and I am sure I will miss a few more between now and next Thursday.  Reason?  I have two finals next week, Tuesday and Thursday, and I had some quizzes and a paper due last night as well.  Starting next Friday (for me) is winter break, and that lasts until January 4th.  I should be able to really ramp it up during those three and a half weeks.  Always trying to be the glass is half full type of guy :)  Not much else to talk about in my life (tri life as well), so let's move onto the topic I really wanted to talk about!

On Wednesday this week, Bloomberg's "Taking Stock" show hosted the CEO of the World Triathlon Corporation, Ben Fertic.  Ben was on to not only talk about the sport of triathlon and its strong long term growth, but the World Triathlon Corporation's brands.  These include Ironman, Ironman 70.3, and the 5150 triathlon series.  In short summary, this interview was really great and informative, and Ben was also to give us a backdrop about how triathlon formed (for those of us who don't know) and also how the Ironman really got ramped up from 15 crazy guys racing to the hallowed world championship event that it is today.

The part of the interview that really hit me was the branding of these events.  We all talk about Ironman, whether you have done one, you are going to do one, or just throw it around in casual conversation with your tri (or non tri) buddies.  I guess what is really obvious, Ironman as a brand, is also really elusive.  Although Ironman is not technically a monopoly in the Ironman market (Beach 2 Battleship, Rev3 Long Course, Silverman, etc), the long (or ultra long) triathlon distance is akin to monopolistic competition.  I guess the best analogy is Microsoft.  Sure there are other OS software systems (Apple's Mac OS, Unix, Linux, etc), but Microsoft dominates the market by a very large margin, hence monopolistic competition. 

Another way to look at this issue.  What do you call a short sleeved 2 or 3 button cotton shirt with a collar? (No I am not gonna hit enter 500 times and make you forward this to 10 friends to find out the answer).  Polo shirt.  While everyone makes this type of shirt, the phrase "Polo Shirt" has successfully been in our vernacular for years.  Another one.... Tissue that you blow your nose with?  Kleenex!  You don't ask for a tissue, OK I guess a few people do, but most people I know ask for a Kleenex.

So bringing this back to triathlon.  I have been thinking of getting a new tattoo.  My first tattoo is my fraternity letters and my badge number from the chapter I was initiated at.    This is located on my right shoulder blade, and was crudely done on purpose because I wanted to make it look natural and like it was hand done, not with some fancy font template.  My fraternity is really important to me, and I am still really involved over ten and a half years after I was initiated. 

On a side note, for those of you who say you "were" in a Greek organization, you signed up and took an oath to be a member for like, so quit saying when you "were" in a fraternity/sorority.  And go back and say hey to the new guys/girls that are there now, or whichever university is closest to you, they will appreciate it.

Back on Track.... Triathlon has been really important in my life as well.  I have finished my 6th full season (since 2005) and I don't plan on stopping.  I also completed my first Ironman in 2009.  At that point I felt that was important point in my life (re: triathlon) and wanted to mark it with something memorable.  I thought I would get a "m-dot" tattoo on my left shoulder blade to mark the completion with my Ironman.  Just like my first tattoo, I have sat on the issue for a really long time to make sure it was I really wanted.  Yes I know there is technology to remove tattoos now, but for all intensive purposes it is permanent. 

After listening to this interview, I now don't think I want to get one.  It would be similar to getting a Delta tattoo because I love to fly delta, or a Zaxby's tattoo because I really love their chicken finger plate.  Instead I think I would get a tattoo similar to one of those car stickers that just says "140.6" or 70.3" (half iron distance).  I want to mark and commemorate the event that was completing a triathlon of that distance, however I don't want that necessarily to be related to a brand.

The problem is that Ironman has become synonymous with long distance triathlon.  If one is trying to describe a ultra long or long distance course to a newbie triathlete or someone who does not know what triathlon is then you will almost always reference "iron distance" or "half iron distance" race.  Or if you are having trouble explaining the race, you might throw up your hands and say it is an "Ironman" or "Half Ironman."

On the other hand, the Ironman brand is a great brand.  Expensive as it may be, I have never had a complaint regarding a race when I have completed an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 3event.  Ok I did just think of one... And WTC I hope you are taking notes :)  There was nowhere in the race info packet about having reflective material on your running gear, and then on Friday evening (race was on Sunday) they say this in the meeting.  Thank goodness there was a Sports Authority nearby.  I grabbed the next to the last pack of reflective stickers and the cashier made a point of saying that happened to be a popular item that day. I cannot say the same thing for other races that I have completed.  The Peachtree City Tri Club puts on a world class show just south of Atlanta, but MANY of the other race companies leave MUCH to be desired. 

That being said, I think that the WTC needs to be careful.  Like Microsoft, straying away from what the public really wants, at the price they want it at, can create great unrest and fierce competition.  Hence events such as Beach2Battleship, Rev3 Long Course, Silverman, Great Floridian, etc...  I think though there is going to have to be someone with a vision like the WTC to create a competitive brand that can compete with the WTC.  Also I think this will drive better quality races out of the WTC and the competing firms, as well as keep the prices down. 

Other than inflation increases, I don't think that WTC can raise its prices too much higher or it will have a great amount of falloff from the general age group athletes.  Many of these Iron-Distance events can be at least $100-200 cheaper than the Ironman Branded races.  I have heard that Silverman is a top notch event, it is close to my parents in Nevada, and it is $200 cheaper if I pay early.  With my service fee through, I paid $603.75 for Ironman Florida 2011, $575 of which was the actual entry fee.  When I think about what I receive over the 4 day weekend when I am there, I can directly attribute about $200 of that to what I can see and experience, and the other $375 I don't really see or I am not aware of (obviously some of this portion is for staff salaries, website maintenance, building rent for HQ, renting police for the bike course, etc...). 

However, with all of the volunteers that participate, I wonder how much they could drive their costs down if they better managed the volunteer process.  I volunteered at Ironman Florida '10, and while I had a great time and WILL volunteer again, I was less than impressed with the management of the Volunteer process.  Volunteers not knowing what to do, where to go, too many volunteers in some areas and not enough in other areas.  I think if they spent a small amount of human investment in better training and organization of the volunteers, then they would yield much better results on pre race/race/post race events.  That and they could afford to allocate resources to more important areas thus saving both human and investment capital.  They could then pass this as savings back to the age groupers that sign up in long lines to compete in their events.  If you look at the competitors to Ironman, there is a $200 or more price discrepancy.  Maybe then again, Ironman is the Louis Vuitton of ultra long triathlons, and events such as Silverman are the Target of ultra long triathlons (not a knock on Silverman, I love Target and I love Silverman).

This is also not a knock on the WTC or the Ironman brand, just my thoughts on the topic.  I will say though, as a free market economist, if someone comes up with as good as or better brand than the WTC for cheaper, then I will be the first in line.  However, I am still waiting... and so is the tattoo.

Have a great weekend!  Train hard, train smart,


Monday, November 29, 2010

Taking the Thanksgiving holiday in stride

First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday.

I see Thanksgiving (from a triathlon perspective) as the beginning of a season where there is lots of partying, eating, staying up late night, couch surfing, tons of football (for you football fanatics), traveling, family/friend/significant other obligations... In short, lots of stuff to distract you from your off season training.  As for my training, I definitely missed some workouts over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but I don't really mind.  I know that this is going to happen throughout this holiday season, so I am just going to do my best to stay the course and if I miss or need to move a workout here and there due to some sort of holiday season shenanigans, then so be it.  No need to stress out about missing a work out here or there for an event that is almost a year away.   :)

I feel that taking this attitude takes away most of the stress of training during this time of year, and lets you focus on the more important things in life.

Back to a normal week this week.  Tonight I have my short run of the week, and then tomorrow it is a 2x day of swimming and cycling.  I am trying to get back into the spin class gig, but since I don't have a LAFitness right next to me anymore, I have lost the motivation to go.  Same goes for swimming as well, since that is also the place where I do my laps at.

I also want to get some strength training in this winter.  This will help with my weight management, as well as overall interval training.  That's pretty much it for today, short and sweet.  Will have more for all of you later this week!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

10,000 unique viewers, and other news!

Hello Everyone!

     I hope that everyone is having a great Turkey week!  Mine started on Friday evening when I began preparing for our annual "Friendsgiving", which my roommates and I were hosting this year.  Between the setup, breakdown and cleanup (on Sunday) and the actual event on Saturday night, there was not much training to be had.  Ergo, no training at all.  Oh and there was the alcohol.  Holy crap can my crew ( of 55 pepole) drink some alcohol.  That goes for me as well.  Although I did not have an official hangover on Sunday, I did feel a bit off, and we still have a keg to finish (people brought way too much alcohol anyways), so I have been downing about 4 pints a night.  Not that healthy, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Thankfully my roommates are helping me, so we are taking out about a 12 pack a night on the keg.  When I get home tonight I will be getting back on the horse and running, in the rain.  Yup.  Memories of CDA will come back to haunt me... just kidding, I can use the motivation of how I bested the course in the crappy wind, rain, and cold to get me through a measly 40 minutes around the park.

     So I am really excited that about two weeks ago, I hit 10,000 unique views to my blog!  Yeah, it took me 4 and a half years to get there, but it has been a journey.  I have met many new friends in the blogosphere as well as in person.  Some have come and gone, moving on to other things in their lives.  But I have had great experiences with all of them, and all of you who are still here with me.  I need to do another semi-annual review of all the blogs I follow, as a few people have fallen off the radar, and I have a few new people to add! 

     I will also be adding my posts on a regular basis to Facebook as well, so for you who are linked to me via facebook, you will be able to see my new posts in you live feed on your home page.  I am going to get this RSS thing figured out as well, so I am not actually having to go to 50 different sites everyday to read people's blogs, I will have those 50 different sites push the content to me instead :)  I am also officially commenting on now so you may see me in the threads from time to time.

I have gotten the calendar together for 2011, I just have not decided on which races (except IMFL) that I will be competing in.  I also have my training calendar template figured out for the next 12 months, and I have through new year's already planned out.  Should be exciting.  I hope all of you have a delightful Thanksgiving holiday, whatever your plans. 

Train hard, train smart, race excellent,


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The end of one season, and looking to the beginning of the next...

Good Morning Everyone!

     The first thing I did this morning was go to my blog, and noticed that the last post that I put up was on May 12th, 2010.  Wow, what happened to all those asiprations of going to back to the old days of blogging, reporting, and changing?  Life, I supppose, is the easiest and most accurate answer.  Between losing my job Memorial Day weekend and coming to where I am now in my career, beginning an accelerated graduate school program in accounting so I can take the CPA next year, girlfriend moving away and doing the long distance thing, triathlon definately took a back seat.  This was somewhat disheartening since I was committed to get back into the sport, give to the sport, do some charitable activites while I was at it, and tell my story just like I have always had.  It got so bad that I have now successfully completed a sprint, olympic, and now half iron distance event without any training.  I don't think I am going to try to catch up on any blog posts, except I may do the race reports for Chattanooga, Peachtree City, and Augusta, just so that I have them logged on my blog for my records. 

     However, there is always a new day, and a reason to begin anew.  The year is fast coming to and end, and one looks to the future to see what is in store for them.  I have a "golden ticket" for Ironman Florida next year via volunteering with my friend Mike this year.  This was also my first time really spectating at an event as well as volunteering as a wetsuit stripper.  For those of you who have been on this side of the fence (outside looking in), as well as triathletes that have sat on the sidelines for one reason or another, I have a complete new respect for this perspective.  I just plod along in my races, maybe have had a few GI issues and cramping, but no problems with my equipment, no injuries, no potential death.  I witnessed all of this and more while spectating the event this past Saturday. I saw the full range of emotions that occur during this race, and then thinking myself of when and where I was when those emotions overcame me while racing.

     I spent the weekend (when I got home) sleeping and reflecting on my triathlon career.  I mean, I am not making any money off of it, but it is the longest standing activity that I have undertaken (and plan to continue).  Longer than any job I have had, relationship I have been in, and has been about a 1/5th of my life.  It has been my drug, my therapy, my escape, my joy, my sorrow, in essence, the sport has in one way or another embodied me.  Few other people and things have affected me in this way, and I am thankful for all of them.  I mean taking the two weeks up to November 6th, I was actually sleeping in the evenings so that I could pull all nighters for grad school to complete 2 exams, 1 final exam, a paper, and a project, and then head straight to Panama City on 3 hours of sleep so that I could be at a mandatory meeting for volunteers. Yet.............. that damn stupid grin reared up and showed itself on my hotel room  balcony Friday night and followed me through the rest of the weekend.  All of you know this grin.  It's unexplainable, yet makes complete sense when it comes out from hiding.  This is why I am here, and this is why I love doing what I do.

     Looking forward to 2011 brings me lots of opportunities.  Graduating with a Master's Degree, hopefully having a job in accounting, taking the CPA exam, potentially living in a new city and state, and what I would like to accomplish as a triathlete.  For a change I have begun winter base training/maintenance, something I have never done before.  I am also rekindling some old tri-friendships that I have let go astray, as well as foster new ones.  I hope all of you have had a great 2010 (and season), and I hope that all of your dreams, aspirations and visions for 2011 come to light! 


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rev3 Knoxville 2010 Race Report - May 9, 2010

It was a good weekend.  A really good weekend :)  Other than the fact I broke a cardinal sin of competing in triathlons, which I will get to later.

I got off work a bit early on Friday and headed home to chill out and pack for the evening.  Patsy was going out for the night with her girlfriends, and I knew this would mean I was going to be driving on Sat morning, which was expected.  This was my weekend, let her go have fun on Friday night and she can sleep in the car.  Woke up about 15 min before my alarm went off, and took a long shower, finished packing, woke Patsy up and ran a couple of errands while she was getting ready.  We left fairly early in the morning because I wanted to make the group practice swim.  Mike and Melissa were along in tow, they were taking their own car because they had to be back in Atlanta as soon as the race was over for Mike.  We arrived into Knoxville just before 11:00am.  I chatted with Wes on the way up there, he was just behind me a few miles in his car, and Sarah's family lives in Knoxville, so she was already hanging out at the Expo (she went up Friday night).  After failing to be able to check in early (Mike and Melissa had the same problem), we decided to head down to the expo to check things out, and then head down to the dock to go for a practice swim.

Wes and I are famous!!! posted some pre race event photos for Rev3 Knoxville on their site, and we both made it on there!  It is hard to see us at the pic on the left, as we are already in the water and if you look between every one's legs you can see us.  After the OWS, Sarah left to go visit her grandfather at the hospital, and then Wes, Patsy, Mike, Melissa and I all met up at Calhoun's on the River for some lunch.  After lunch, we all went back to our hotels to check in (Wes went to the Expo since he was staying with a friend) and then headed to the Expo to retrieve our packets and check our bikes in for the afternoon.  I forgot my USAT card in the hotel room, not once, but twice! :)  Luckily I have a patient girlfriend.  I kind of feel like the Expo area was not as cool as it could have been, because the vendors were all stacked on top of one another, considering that there were areas of the "lawn" that were void of any tents, etc...  Other than that, the big screen showing you finish the race with your stats, and the finish chute were really cool! 

After hanging out at the hotel for an hour or so, Mike and I met back up to drive the bike course and check it out.  I will say that I think future years at this event will see better sections of the bike course than we did, since there was some construction in the first few miles of the bike (and at the end, since it was an out and back course).  One sizable hill, and you had to go up it on both sides.  Actually with the number of turns I was glad that I had a regular road bike with clip ons rather than a tri bike.  I felt like I had much better handling on the bike course.  After the drive on the bike course, we headed back to our respective hotels, and then got ready for Dinner.  We ate at Oodles Uncorked in the Market square, downtown Knoxville.  I have not had a pasta dinner before a tri in so long.  The food was great!  I got a spinach/walnut/fruit salad, and then chicken afredo for the main course.  After this we all headed back to the hotel and I got all my race day stuff together, packed my transition bag, repacked my wetsuit, and read some more of Superfreakeconomics before I headed to bed around 11pm. 

I woke up around 3:30am and fell right back asleep.  The alarm went off at 5:15am and I hopped out of bed to immediately eat my blueberry muffin and other nutrition, went to the bathroom (only once this race, weird), and took a quick shower.  I don't know why I take a shower before races, I just hate the way I feel after I wake up in the morning without a shower.  Race morning temps were around 50, and I did not bring any long sleeve anything to keep me warm before the race.  Let's just say it was an incentive to get the wetsuit on earlier than normal before the start of the race.

It was pretty cold!  I was looking forward to getting in the water, which was somewhere between 66-68 degrees.  The race directors were not allowing anyone to swim prior to the race (since swimming in the river early would have affected people actually participating in the race).  The pros went off around 7:45am.  Wes and Sarah went off around 8:00am, and then Mike and I went off around 8:10-8:15am.  Jump into the water, "warm" the suit up ;) and then the gun went off.

I felt really good during the swim.  There was kind of some bumping after the first few hundred yards of the swim, which was weird, because there weren't even 100 of us in my AG that went off.  There were lots of things to sight, so I don't think I was too off course for the majority of the race!  We were in the sunlight for the first quarter mile or so, and then on the turnaround it was much easier.  They said that the river flow would help, I don't think it did, although the wetsuit certainly helped :)  That was the fastest Olympic Swim time I have ever posted.  My last oly distance swim was around 35 min, and it was without a wetsuit.  I think the combination of training and the wetsuit really helped.

Swim Time :  25:10.16, Div 21/36, Overall 163/
T1:                  3:52.00

For some reason I was out of it going through T1.  I felt great during the swim, but I lightly jogged through T1 and didn't even go between the bike racks, I ran around them to my rack position (Sorry James, I know you are going to yell at me!).  I decided that although my goal was to finish in less than three hours, I am not gonna bust it in transition.  Earlier in the day I took my cleats off my bike and left them on the ground to run in.  I also wore socks.  I still don't have all the neat attachment features for my garmin so I took it from my hand (was in my swim cap), and put it on my wrist for the bike.  I sprinted with my bike out of transition and I guess I was the only one at that time, because the announcer yelled my name twice as I got on the bike :)


I started out in a higher cadence and tried to get my heart rate where I wanted it to be before getting too far down the road.  We headed west and then meandered through UT's campus.  I never got to see the Phi Psi house, but I am sure it looks great.  Around mile marker #4 I was going up (literally up) Cumberland to make a right over the Henley Rd. Bridge, when Bjorn Andersson flies right by me.  Now let's be fair and say that they started around 7:45am, and I began around 8:10am, and they swim faster than I do.  I was surprised that Bjorn had a big lead on everyone, and since this was an Olympic Distance race, I figured that over 6.2 miles he could close the deal. 

Anyways onto my bike ride :)  I was doing pretty well up through mile 7, and then the first sizable hill of two came up.  I decided that since I had not done enough bike/run bricks yet this year I would save my legs and use the granny gear some.  I got over the hill, and had to have the hands on the brakes on the way back down since there were so many turns.  Oh and did I mention that most of the road on the first and last third of the oly bike course, not that good!  Another thing, the whole damn bike leg it seemed as if there was a headwind, no matter which direction you were headed.  Then again, it was really windy all weekend long.  They have my bike times separated by 3 different areas where they had timers and I was not really happy with the last leg, I think that was where the final serious hill of the race was before heading back into downtown Knoxville.  I also think that the hill was steeper and longer, as I used my granny gear for a longer period of time on the way back up the backside of the hill.  I think the hill on the way back was steeper and a longer distance.  Back over the hill and down again to the bridge, and then doubling back through campus I arrived at transition.  People were screaming at all of us, which was good. 

Bike Time : 1:34:12, 16.47mph, Div 22/36, Overall 173/
T2:                 2:11.47

By the time I was headed out of T2, the announcer had stated that Matty Reed had won the men's pro event.... wait huh?  Borjn couldn't hold up the lead he had coming off the bike.  Matt is a beast!  It looks like he ran on average a minute per mile faster than Bjorn on the run to take it.  Anyways... on to my run :)

Remember earlier I told you about that cardinal rule of racing I broke, well here is how it started.  Every year when the season really gets going around April/May, I begin going sock less with both cycling and running, mostly in sprint/oly distance races.  Well I was a bit late in breaking in the sock less so I really began doing it the week of the race.  I figured how bad could it be?  How about blister 2 inches long by 1/2 an inch wide on my right arch, one of those that has to scab up and takes a week or more to heal.  How did that affect my run you ask?  Well despite what my mind wanted to do from Fri-Sun (race day), my body told my foot to walk on the outer edge.  That put a lot of stress on my foot all weekend long and it did not bode well for my run.  I basically ran in pain the entire 6.2 miles.  I walked 5 times for about 45sec-1min each time.  The good thing about all this is somehow I completed the race averaging a 9:23/mi pace.  When I finished I was limping around for the rest of the day.  The bottom/outside of my foot hurt like hell, as well as the tendon that runs from the bottom of my foot, up under and around the back of my ankle to my calf (peroneal tendon), and I stressed it pretty bad.  However, I finished!!!  Hooray!!! First race of the year in the books.  I also finished in (just) under three hours, which was my primary goal.

Run Time:  1:00:20, 9:23/mi  25/36, 184/

Final Time:  2:59:42.39

Post race was great!  A finisher shirt on top of the shirt that they already gave me (instead of a water bottle, thank goodness, I have about two weeks worth in my home), and a boxed lunch, some Mix1 (Tangerine Flavor) and Deer Park Water (because ya know, it tastes like real water oughta ;)  After we watched Mike finish, Melissa and he ran back to their hotel and checked out to head to Atlanta for their other engagements.  Patsy and I headed back to the hotel because our checkout was at 12pm.  Once we checked out, I hobbled back down to transition and picked up my stuff and brought it back to the car to load on top.  We stayed until around 2pm, and decided to head back home (Sorry Wes and Sarah!)  We were exhausted and we both had to work the next day.  I had trouble staying awake in the car but that was nothing a little Coca Cola and music could not cure.

Rev3 Tri series is a great event and well managed.  I think there were some little things that needed to be corrected, but it did not detract from the overall greatness of this race and the series.  I think also that the interaction you get with the pro field is great.  I think I said "hi" to Matt Reed and Chris Leito about 4 times each not realizing who they were at the time (they look different in person).  I stood in line next to Natscha Badmann at the porta johns before the swim on race morning.  I mean, you go to some of these races, Ironman Events, etc, and you see these athletes far off in press conferences, or corralled off in a small area pre race.  That was not the case for this race, and I loved it.  The fact that I was walking around in the presence of pros just as if they were age-groupers was a great experience.

I still don't know what pro got in the bad bike accident on the course, but I hope he is ok.  He was making a left turn coming back in town and swung too wide, slammed right into a car stopped at a stop light.  He was taken to the hospital I was told, hurt pretty bad!  Also would like to give a shout out to Michelle Ford, hope you had a great race, and to Drew Marlar, part of team Dynamo Multisport, who got 1st in his AG in the Half Iron distance event, and 4th overall.  I could be wrong, but I think team Dynamo in the Half Iron event (men's) placed 2nd, 4th, and 9th overall (there were more, but that was the top 10).  I also saw a few people from the Atlanta Tri Club as well, I hope you guys did well!

Day 3 post race my foot is feeling better, I think I will be able to try it out (lightly) beginning on Sunday.  Right now it is trainer and swimming only.  I will make sure the rest of the pics are posted on facebook for those of you who are my friends there!  Hope all of you had a great weekend training/racing, and enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hump Day has come and gone... and power in numbers

Too busy to actually get this post out on Wednesday, so what's another day?

I have gotten in the workouts I have needed this week, just fewer than normal (my idea of a taper for a "B" race).  Runs have been ok, Tuesday's swim was hella good for me, and last night's bike ride was a beast.  I have been pretty dedicated to the Wed Night Atlanta Cycling ride since I began group rides this year.  Last night there were three really nasty accidents within the first 9 miles of the ride.  The first two crashes there were multiple riders that went down, but everyone was able to get up and keep going.  This slowed down the pace a bit.  After we got near the Brookhaven area near the golf course, there was a third wreck where a single rider caught a rut and went down.  broke his handle bars, right arm was all messed up, and he thinks he bruised a few ribs.  I was in the back of the group (as usual :) and I had to slide to a stop.  I have not slid to a stop since I was a teenager with a mountain bike.  Almost hit the guy as well.  It took him a good 4-5 minutes to get up, and then we got out our tools to fix what we could of his remaining handle bars so he could at least ride back home. 

By that time we were so far behind we cut out this three mile loop and rejoined the "B" group (there is not really an official B group, just the large group that falls off from the front about halfway through the ride).  Last week my average speed for the 25 mile ride was 17.1.  This week doing the 22 mile ride and rejoining with the "B" group I finished averaging 18.3!!!!  Please note that although the beginning of the ride was slower than normal, and I probably got a bit of rest in that 5-6 I stayed behind in the wreck, that is a huge improvement.  And one reason why.... the group.

There is something about riding in a group that keeps you going, and going faster.  I usually always get dropped before the golf course, so I never have a chance to hold on, but cutting off those three miles and staying with the group for the remainder of the ride had my average go up more than an mile per hour.  I was in the back of the group the entire time I was with one, but i hung with them nonetheless.  One of the "A" group guys saw me after the ride, and said that he had seen that face before, the one that says "I don't know if I wanna throw up, pass out, pitch a fit, have a heart attack, etc."  I told him, yup that is what I was feeling and he laughed.  If I would have stayed "dropped" and did that three mile loop, I would have been solo and and no incentive other than my own determination to keep going.  I would have finished, however, I can guarantee you that I would have not come close to 18.3 mph.  It is so much easier to back off when you are by yourself.

It got me thinking last night.  While triathlon is such an individual sport, there are so many benefits to training in groups it is ridiculous.  There will always be some training items in your week where you will be solo, but you NEED to incorporate some group training as well.  Masters swim, group rides, group track workouts or group runs.  And get a good mix of people in there with you!  Don't just beg your boy/girlfriend to go out to appease you (unless they are faster than you!)  Get people of all abilities, and you will all push each other.  Definitely make sure that there are people better than you in your group that you can push yourself towards and learn from. 

Whether that is joining a team, or the more economical method I employ (hitting up group rides and runs for free), just do it!  The gains and benefits are just to great to ignore.  Improving your performance while gaining new friends and experiences is wonderful.  Hell just go out with you and a buddy and challenge each other when you are out swimming, biking, or running.  When my friend James lived in Atlanta we would do that to each other on the bike, please realize when I was pulling he was probably coasting behind me, but nevertheless I was doing the work!  And when he pulled, well lets just say I was hanging on to his slipstream for dear life!!! Thanks coach Blaylock!

I have a few more small runs lined up and one more swim tomorrow morning, along with the group swim on Saturday morning in Knoxville.  When I got home last night, I got the tri clothes cleaned, made sure that the speed laces on my shoes were to my liking by running up and down the hallway of my bldg a few times.  I cleaned my bike (ie wiping excess grease off and cleaning the wheels, taking off a profile design sticker that is fraying and falling off).  If nothing else my '05 Specialized Allez will look good this weekend even if I don't ;)

Tonight after I get back from swing dance class, I need to get in a run, and then clean my wetsuit and wipe down my bike rack that has been sitting on the back porch collecting pollen.  Put that on top of the car before I got to bed... I am going to get one of those $4 car wash and hand dry deals up the street from me, so it is clean before I put the rack on. 

Finally,  I was thinking of waiting for this before the team actually announced it, but I wanted to get a head start just in case I needed to make my friends and blogger buddies aware.....

I entered into the mix again!  I have been following these wonderful, great, energetic people since the team's inception, and even before that (when the original group was known as team raceAthlete).  It has been a wonderful experience to watch these guys grow and perform as a team for this many years, as well as to inspire so many people.  I really want to be part of this team and contribute what I have so that the mission of team EvoTri endures.  A few of you guys had already figured it out from me eluding to my race season later on in the year, since I would be required to attend 2010 WIBA and Rev3 Cedar Point.  Stay tuned!  In previous years they have allowed the blogging population and the entrant's friends vote for who they wanted on the team, we shall see how they pick this year.

Will probably be my last blog post before the race,  unless I have something important or enlightening to say before Sunday.  I am also about a third of the way getting my IronMan race report from 2009 on my blog.  While the post itself is not too important, I just want to get it on the site so I have a record of it.  I am kind of ashamed I did not get it on the site right after the race, since my training levels dropped off and had plenty of free time. 

Have a good rest of your week!  Train hard!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Race Week!

Hooray for race week!

I just re-upped my membership to USAT for 2010.  I guess that means I better be in at least 4 events this year.  Rev3 sent out their race packet info yesterday, and I have already poured through it.  I am planning on getting there early enough to do the group swim at 10am on Saturday morning (hopefully I will see Sarah!), then going to meet up with Mike and his fiance around 12pm.  Do one of the afternoon athlete meetings, pick up my race packet, drive the course, rack my bike, then screw around for the rest of the evening and enjoy being out of Atlanta for a change.  Hopefully I will get to see a bit of Wes as well outside of racing, but if not, I will be at the finish line waiting for him and Sarah!  Wes and Sarah are doing the half, while Mike and I are doing the Olympic distance.

The nerves and excitement of the first race of the year always get to me.  Not that I am nervous, I just have all this energy I need to direct somewhere.  I cannot believe it is already May.  I will sign up for the VA Highlands SummerFest 5K with Patsy next weekend when I get paid, and then it will be crunch time to sign up for some of the rest of my races for the remainder of the year.  Some of them now are selling out due to popularity, and it gets kinda frustrating for people trying to make ends meet, and pay for race fees without putting them on credit cards and the like.  Ironman was an exception, and I will never regret that, but some of these local races..... :)  Maybe I just need to find some new ones that are under the radar! 

As for the 5K  I am happy that I get to coach Patsy through her first 5K that she is going to run in.  She has done some before, but they were more just for participaing in, and she walked the entire course.  I told her that I would be running her pace throughout the entire event.  This is her race, not mine :)

Weekend workouts went great!  My favorite was the OWS at Lake Allatoona on Saturday morning.  Wes turned me onto it (it is orgainzed by the Concourse Tri Club in Atlanta).  I think there were around 20+ people that showed up and there was support (people in kayaks) and they were very focused on the buddy system, which I thought was pretty cool.  I did just under a mile (probably around 1500M) in just under 29 minutes... I am sure my wetsuit had something to do with that... now if I can just get it off in less than 7 minutes I will beat my only other olympic tri swim time when I did not wear a wetsuit.  Oh and did I mention that 3/4 of the swim in Knoxville is downstream?  Sweet.

I think I have may put down West Pointe on the schedule, but I might X that and then juggle my schedule around for the rest of the season.  I just have a lot of stuff going on right now outside of triathlon, and it is making things diffucult (don't people realize that triathlon is a priority, jusk kidding :).  Either that or I will just scale back and find a sprint that weekend rather than doing another olympic before Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon.

Got the speed laces on my Asics GT-2140's and I have run in my shoes barefoot, a little bit... I am going to get a few more barefoot runs in my shoes before the weekend so my feet are ready for the no socks on bike+no socks on run = janked up feet!!!!!  Probably practice taking off my wetsuit a few times, or make sure there is some COPIOUS amounts of lube on my ankles before the race.

Have any of you guys suffered from pre-race jitters on  your first race of the season?  Let me know!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Weekend Shenanigans and Athens Twilight Criterium

Hello Everyone!

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy a weekend of training as well as any other fun things you might have been able to accomplish over those two glorious days (wait, there is something other than training to do on the weekends???). 

The weekend started Friday evening with Patsy and I heading to a dual birthday party hosted by our friend.  We got there after everyone arrived from dinner.  This portion of the evening was to be the pre-party event before everyone headed to the highlands in Atlanta.  I told myself that I had to be at Mike's condo by 8am to pick him up and take us to lake Allatoona for our first OWS of the year.  Ha - side note - first tri of the year is in 12 days and I am trying to do my first OWS two weeks before the event.  Oh well who needs sighting anyways :) ?  Back to the story... We somehow got out of there by 12-12:30am when they finally caught their cabs.  People think I am lame and just don't understand why someone like me would want to wake up at 7am on a Saturday morning to go swim ;) 

Fast forward to the morning and it is storming... I was kinda pissed.  I will swim in the rain until the cows come home.  But lightning?  Heck no!  So Mike and I changed our plans and we hit up LA Fitness for an hour under his guidance (he is the better swimmer, swam in high school).  He wore me out, and then dropped me off, telling me he would be back to pick me up around 1pm so we could go to Athens.

Ahhh.... Athens.  Home of my Alma Mater.  We got there arond 2:30pm and checked into the hotel.  We had missed all the morning qualifying runs, but the main events began around 5:45pm, with the men's race beginning around 8:45-9:00p, so we were not too worried.  This just means an excuse to walk around downtown Athens and drink/eat bad food.  Also one of my fraternity brothers, Jay Lowe, and his band, Argus, were playing at Tasty World so we stopped by there for about half an hour to watch the band play before leaving and meeting up for dinner.  Dinner was at Doc Chey's.  Man that Siracha sauce is damn hot, but I love it!  The women't pro event was in its final laps as we finished dinner, so we then hit up one of the beer gardens outside to watch the finish of the race, and then get some primo standing room for the men's event. 

The men's pro event started a few minutes late, and the rain was beginning to pick up (for those of you who heard about tornadoes and such passing through Mississippi and Alabama on Friday night/Saturday morning, that hit Athens on Saturday night.  Definately rain, and some lightning, but the race must go on!  This is a 1km course in downtown Athens, and the field must complete 80 laps.  I don't know how many laps into the race the referee quit cutting people who were lapped, but by about 25 laps in, half the men's field had been cut out of the race!  It kept raining on and off (pretty heavily I might add) and so it was back and forth between the tent and the fence separating us from people riding 25mph+ on their bikes.  As the race got closer to the finish, we moved across the course and down to about 30-40 feet from the finish line.  The funny thing is that from my perception, the lead riders (6 in the lead group, had about 40 seconds on the pack by the end of the race) went faster on the bell lap than they did on the final lap.  Or maybe that was because 4 out of the 6 riders whizzed by my face (literally, 8-12 inches away).  All in all, good times.  Sunday was a rest day.

Rev3 is not an "A" race for me, so while I will tone down the training volume next week, there will really be no taper for this coming race, more of modifying my training so that there is a rest day or two before the event.  The week after will be a light week and then right back into training.  Patsy and I may do the VA Highlands 5K on June 5th, and then I have the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July (10K).  Still have not signed up for the Chattahooche Waterfront Tri yet, but that is on my radar for July as well.  I really want to see how I do in Rev3, because I would like to qualify for Age Group Nationals at Myrtle Beach if I can.  After that it is Good Old Peachtree City Triathlon in August (an annual mandatory event since that was the first triathlon I have ever done), and then we shall see how the rest of the year pans out.... I am trying to get something together that will hopefully make the rest of this year and years to come pretty exciting!!!!  Will know soon (within the next month).

Anyways, this post spans two days (I was too lazy to finish yesterday), so I am going to close saying have a good rest of the week and I will find something else tri-related to blog about soon enough :)


Friday, April 23, 2010

F#@&ing Bike Gremlins :)

You didn't know about bike gremlins???

Are you serious???

And you always wondered why in the hell things with your bike all seem to happen around the same time.  The bike gremlin, as shown below, is a small creature that roams our lands in search of dedicated cyclists and triathletes who are serious about their cycling.  Once they find one, they blend into our natural surroudings and wait for an opportune moment to strike.  This usually results in flat tires, improperly functioning shifting, wheel spokes snapping, front and or rear derialleurs not working properly, bottom bracket creaking, etc...

There you go!  Damned Gremlins!  If you see one of these buggers, make sure you take it out! 

So this week's workout schedule is getting filled out fairly well.  I have hit all but one workout this week.  As for the gremlins I posted about, It all started last week with a flat, and then another flat on Wed night before the Atlanta Cycling ride.  It was the front wheel, and as I took it off, I saw that the puncture/rip on the tube was at the stem again.  I looked at the rim, and I realized that the rim tape around the valve stem hole had worn down so much there was metal visible.  I took the wheel into the shop and they put on new rim tape, and also showed me a neat trick.  You take an old tube, cut a small square piece, and then poke a hole big enough for the valve stem.  put the piece of tube around the valve stem, and BAM! you have extra protection for you tube around the base of the valve stem.  You learn something new every day.  Second, I have had problems with shifting and the rear derailleur for the past two weeks.  Shifting has been horrible.  I know it has something to do with adjusting those screws in the back, but I still have not tinkered with the gearing enough (yet) to be comfortable with it. 

And then there was the Buckhead Bellyache last night.  Oh yes I was going to go back to back 20+ mile nights during my training (for some of you laughing right now, that is a lot for me based on my training volume at this time).  I was going up a hill about 3 miles and change into the ride and... SNAP!  Spoke on the front wheel broke off the hub.  Damned bike gremlins!  I got about 6.5 miles out of the whole deal after I slowly rode back to the Cathedral.  I then decided I might as well do a brick workout and go over to Atlanta Memorial Park.  I did one lap.  I completely forgot to bring my watch and/or Garmin for the ride, so I just looked at my cellphone when I left my car and when I got back.  About 14 min for the 1.8mi loop.  Did not pay attention to how long the short ride took, considering that I had to go slow on the way back.

Going to take the bike today during lunch and get it fixed.  Got a run tonight, and then an open water swim tomorrow morning before I head up to Athens for the Twilight Crit.  One of my fraternity brothers, Mark Babcock, is racing in the pro event tomorrow evening, so if you are going to be there, please cheer him on!  Sunday I will get in a run (and a ride if I can get my bike back before then, my shop is closed on Sundays).

Just under 16 days until race day!  I don't expect to have a good finishing time.  I don't even think I am going to sub-3 hour the event.  But you know what?  I am damn excited for this season to be here, and I am damn excited for my first race of the year!  You guys work hard, party harder, and train like crazy!  Be safe, and have a good weekend! 

Thursday, April 08, 2010

"What's that coming down the track...?"


I am not going to finish this with the rest of a UGA fight song.  I was more referring to the fact that I was going to my blog today to click on all my friends links to read thier blogs.  I then saw my countdown clocks (one that needs to be updated - the running one) and the other is telling me that I have 4 weeks and two days left until Rev3 Knoxville

This will be my first tri event of the year, and I am very excitied about it!  I am not expecting too much from this race, since my training this year has been at best, erratic.  I just want to get out there again and race!  The best part is that I am going to have some of my friends there with me racing!  Mike is doing the Olympic Distance with me, and then Wes and Sarah are doing the Half-Iron distance even the same day.  Furthermore, Patsy and Melissa are coming along as the cheering section for Mike and I, and then I think that we will stay for Wes and Sarah to finish (no I have not told the rest of our group that, but I would hate for their not to be a cheering section for them as well!!!)

I have been getting more consistent about working out, but I have gotten sick 3 times in the last two months, all of them sinus issues.  They really set me back.  I can technically work out with them, but my swimming suffers because of the pressure, and some nights when I get home from work I feel like absolute crap.  Two nights ago I got home and felt like I could barely make dinner, much less go for a run, and last night I came home with the worst headache, as if I was developing a case of sinusitus again.  I need to get over this ASAP!!!!   (Is there a doctor in the house???)

My birthday is this weekend.  I am officially in the Men's 30-34 AG now.  Technically by way of USAT that was January first, however, my first race of the year is not until after my birthday.  I think I am going from the 4th or 5th hardest AG up to the 3rd hardest AG.  So much for my long term plan of being awsome before I got into a harder AG ;)  My girlfriend planned an entire evening for me on Sat night, and then I will spend Sunday hungover on  my birthday watching the Masters on my couch :)  But not before I get some workouts in prior to the debauched evening that will occur on Satuday night.  Do I feel older?  Hell no!  But I am beginning to notice that I don't bounce back as quick as I used to when I get injured or sick.  Oh well, I will keep enjoying life and forget about the age factor.  It does not affect my outlook on life :) 

The following weekend is the Sweetwater420 Fest 5K.  The awsome thing about that is it starts around 11am, rather than 7:30-8:00a like most races.  While it will be hotter than normal due to the time of day, there will be beer at the finish line, and that makes me happy.  I have done a few interval runs around Atlanta Memorial Park (1.8mi loop) and I have been running those in the 13:30 range, which is about 7:30/mi pace.  I think I am going to head over to Chastain Park in the next few days (2.56 mi loop) and see if I can hold that pace over that distance.  Methinks no (unless I want to throw up afterwards, which is an option).

I successfully signed up for the Peachtree Road Race (World Largest 10K and host to this years US Men's 10K national championships) after the ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon.  I may have already told you guys that.  The ING is dropping Atlanta as one of the many marathons it sponsors.  Word on the street is that the new executive that they hired in charge of these events is not an avid runner like his predecessor.  Anyways, after Peachtree I don't have another road race until August which is a 5K and then September (US 10K Classic). 

Need to renew my USAT membership, it expires in May of this year.  Not that they need any more of my money :)  Just kidding, they are a great organization, I just wish that I could have a couple year's worth of entry fees back since I did fewer than 4 races in those years.  I do like how they show you your overall ranking once you have completed enough races for the year.  Not that I am going to come out on top, but I love stats and I like to see how I stand up to the field at the end of the year.

I hope everyone else's training is going well, and I will be trying to catch up with all of you guys and gals, as well as trying to update some more of my blog.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ING Georgia Half Marathon Race Report, March 21, 2010

Good Afternoon!

Snowflakes again this morning in Georgia.  It was too warm for them to stick or even make it on the ground, but still, crazy nonetheless.  And it is supposed to be in the 70's again by Wednesday.  It is that time of year, where if you want to have a different kind of weather in Georgia, you need just wait a day or two (you might get your wish).

Saturday was in the upper 60's, may have even touched 70 degrees.  Then I wake up Sunday morning to cloudy, possibly rainy conditions and low to mid 50's.  Lee came over to the apartment as she was running in the race (Half Mary) and Patsy took us to the race and dropped us off.  We headed over to the West Stride tent and dropped off our gear.  I said hey to Genie (West Stride's owner) and wished her luck on her race (Half Mary).  Will fill you in on how some of team West Stride did later.  I had to use the restroom and it was getting very close to race time.  Last year I tried to hold it and I ended up waiting 4-5 minutes to use a porta-john @ mile 2.  Granted last year I completed the full marathon, but I still did not want to stop in the first few miles of the race.  I told Lee to go ahead and get into the start corrals and not to wait on me.  I was going to be slower than her anyways, and I did not want a repeat of last year.  The "gun" had gone off before I was done and I jogged up to the corral gates and merged with the group.  Although it was not sunny outside for the race, it did not really get light outside until around mile 2.

After we got started I stayed with the herd, but tried to make sure my pace was around 9 min/mile.  My main goal was to break two hours due to my lack of training lately, with my secondary goal shooting to get close to my PR time of 1:53.  I saw Darcey and Rhonda around mile 2 and slowed down with them for just a minute to chat and wish them well on their half marathon efforts, and then I was off again!  The up and down elevation (mostly up) began between mile 2 and 3, and I tried to maintain good form and stay as efficient as possible while working the hills.  It was great to see so many people out on the streets watching us run and cheer for us.  Between miles 5 and 6 we got out of elevation change for about half a mile so I put it on cruise control to check my time and pace.  I was sitting just under 9 min/mile average, and I knew that I wanted to push it in the second half of the race, so I did not try to blow it out on the first half.  I also wanted to try and push it in the last 3-4 miles to not only make sure I got under two hours, but to shoot for getting near my PR. 

As we got through miles 6 and 7 we flattened out again in elevation and even had a slight downhill most of the way through mile 9 (minus one small hill).  I took this as the time to push it since there would not be any elevation issues and the crowds had long since thinned out.  I was putting in some quater mile splits under 8 min/mile pace.  Looking back at the race, I should have held back until around mile 10 to push it since there were a few small rollers in the midtown area after mile 9 that really took it out of me, and pushed me to possibly not finishing in under two hours.  At this point I was taking water and gatorade at every aid station (about 2 miles between each one) and I was throwing the excess water on me.  Yes it was in the low to mid 50's but I was overheating and and the humidity was not helping at all (it drizzled a few times during the race as well, which felt great).  Once I got to around mile 11, I was beginning to slow down a bit, and I realized I was gonna have to maintain pace as close to 9 min/mile as possible to make sure I came in under 2 hours.  I attempted to pick up the pace again and found a few "rabbits" to chase, keeping me in the game mentally.   One last incline before mile 12 and then I was home free.  I struggled to get up the incline while maintaining pace, but I got up there.  Now headed down the home stretch I was looking at my watch every 15 seconds while trying to find someone to "latch" on to.  Crossed the finish line with 26 seconds to spare :)

Total Time:  1:59:32
Avg Pace:        8:59/mi
Overall Pl:    2924/10481 (top 30%)
Sex Pl:         1971/4618    (top 50%)
Div Pl:           296/676      (top 50%)

I was happy with my time and performace!  Genie got 3rd place in the women's division for the half, and Wil (her manager) got 7th place in the men's division for the half!  Congratulations to them!  Thanks Ashleigh and anyone else out there who volunteered, and congratulations to Lee, Darcey, Rhonda and anyone else who either completed the half or full marathon yesterday!

Now onto my tri season.... :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lovely weekend, wasn't it?


      I was so glad I was able to get out and get some workouts completed outside!  The weather was great this weekend.  Saturday I got a 70 min run in (~7.1 miles).  I left around 10:30am.  I really need to go walk outside of my building before I go bike or run, because by mile 2 I had already taken my jacket off and ran with it the other 5 miles.  It got really warm (there was little wind).  Sunday I got out in Roswell on the river and rode for almost an hour.  I still have a bit of saddle sore.  And just like after running on a treadmill most of the winter, riding outside was definately an eye opener.  What???  That incline seems really hard.  Did I really just have to downshift for that? 

On a related note, I will need to take my bike in this week to get the rear derailleur repaired, as the shifting on the rear cassette is kind of messed up.  I missed my swim workout this weekend and paid for it this morning when I had my swim workout.  I thought it to be a good idea after warming up to begin my swim workout with nothing but swimming with the pull bouy for a bit.  While it is great to build upper body strength, my arms were fried by the time I stopped to continue regular freestyle intervals.  Fried.  As in, thank god my arms are resting on the desk while I type this. 

My favorite running shoe store is sponsoring a 10K on March 6th and one of my blogger peeps is nagging me about doing it (succombing to the peer pressure!).  I now agree that it would be a good idea just to test myself and see where I am at (10K distance), before my half marathon on March 21st.  I also need to get some new running shoes.  I saw the price for the Asics GT 2150 (2010 model) and I about yelled in the store (City Sports).  I think I might go online to see how much the GT 2140's are, or call Genie and find out if she has any left in stock from 2009.  I think I am to the point now in my run workouts to actually begin putting intervals back in.  Once the weather gets nicer, I will be able to focus on doing track workouts at the gym (or at a local high school), and then the rest of my workouts outside.

I see I am going to have to devote more time to cycling after my humbling ride on Saturday.  I need to map out a strategy for that.  I think I will need to find some time on Saturday or Sunday to put in a hill workout until it stays light enough outside in the evenings to complete during the week.  Thankfully now that I work near the Sandy Springs ride, Roswell Ride, and not too far away from the Vinings ride, I will have lots of optionss in the afternoon (as long as I bring my bike along). 

On the weight loss front, I am down almost 7 pounds (on average) from when I started mid January.  I will say though, now that I am burning on average over 1000 calories a day, I am hungry ALL THE TIME!  I am eating pretty well, but I am having to eat smaller meals more often to stave off the hunger.  I have a stash of food in one of my drawers at work just in case.  Big improvements back into my diet are dairy and fruits (veggies have always kinda been there), and I am doing physillum husk fiber daily as well as some antioxidant pills (acai).

Begun updating the site (other than the makeover in January), I updated my blogging buddies, and I have added two countdown timers for tris and road races.  Got some more to update.  Hopefully will post tomorrow with some mid week stuff as well as some news and SE events/ongoings! 

Train hard! Work hard! Party Harder!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Catching up!


     You being to get motivated and things happen and then next thing you know is that almost two weeks have gone by and you have not posted a dang thing!  Oh well.  Here is my attempt at catching up.

I was not able to make it to the Friday evening event and mixer because I got off of work late and there was not way I was making it from the North side of Atlanta to Peachtree City by 7pm (and stopping @ my house).  I can barely make it there from my house in Atlanta on a weekend.  So I got up Saturday morning and got my swim gear ready and made it down to the 1pm swim clinic.  There were about 30+ people there, most of which were from the south side of Atlanta and/or on the Peachtree City Tri Club.  I met Anne, one of the members/officers of the Peachtree City Tri Club, and she got me set up, and it was into the pool for an 800M warmup.  Wait an 800M warmup???  Please remember that swimming is not my strong point in triathlons and I was never on a swim team, and I have never been formally coached.  My idea of a warmup is a couple laps down and back in the pool.  "Enough with the bitching already Andy!!!"  About that time Desiree Ficker and April Gellatly showed up (just coming from the previous bike clinic they were also hosting).  They ran the rest of the swim clinic.  There were so many of us there, while we were doing drills they would assist and give people tips on ways to improve their swim stroke.  I was able to speak with Desiree for a few minutes, and she helpee me with a big problem I was having with my swim stroke... It is still going to take some more practice to get rid of that bad habit completely, but I am working at it every swim workout.  After the practice was over, I went and spoke with both girls for a few minutes, thanked them both for coming out to help us, and then thanked Anne for hosting the event.  Next year I will make sure I get into work early/leave early so I have time for the event.  They had a pro male athlete last year (Chris Leito maybe???)  and I completely missed that event.  Kudos to whoever in the organization is able to get these big names out here.

In the training department, I am really ramping up my workouts/week, as well as getting all three disciplines involved again.  I am still shorting myself on the bike, but I am going to sit down and fix my flat rear tire that has been like that for a week now, and get that sucker hooked up to the trainer for some workouts this week.  Running is getting better.  My best workout for the week was a 50 min tempo run (on the dreadmill) where I began @ 5.5mph and negative split every quarter mile up to 1.25 miles, and then kept going every half mile after that till I was done (increase was .1mph, maxed out @ 6.7mph by the time 50 min was up)... by the time I was done, I was doing close to a 9:00/mi pace at the end of my run.  I decided against doing track workouts and instead focusing on negative split tempo workouts until the ING half has come and gone.  While track workouts also help in making you a faster runner, I am still logging early season base mileage (I know I am behind).

I need to decide in the next couple of weeks if I am going to do The Chattahooche Waterfront Tri or not, because it is going to determine whether or not one of my "A" races will be Rev3 Knoxville or the Chattahooche Waterfront Tri.  For those of you who live in the SE USAT District, the Chattahooche Waterfront Tri is the Regional Championship for qualifiying towards the AG Nationals in Tuscaloosa this year.  This means unlike some other regular qualifiers where only the top 10% get into AG Nationals, the top 33% in each AG qualify at the Regional Championship.  This would be a huge PR for me if I could qualify in my AG especially since I have moved up to the 30-34M group (I think I went from the 5th hardest AG to the 3rd hardest AG).  This would also be a huge PR for me at the olympic distance as well.  The last Oly I did was in 2008 (West Pointe Tri - Hosted by GA Multisport Productions), and I did not train properly for the event and finished just under three hours.  I looked at the times, and I think realistically I can come close, so why not at least try and see what happens.

Tomorrow I am going to try and get my weekly stats up on the site.  Wed I will post more and try to have a bit of news up on the site as well.  Have fun, be safe, and train hard!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TRI PTC Hosts Pro Triathletes Desiree Ficker & April Gellatly Fri Jan 29, 2010!!!

Peachtree City Tri's - January Update

Pro Triathletes Desiree Ficker and April Gellatly host Triathlon Clinics!


Join the TRI PTC Club as we host two of Triathlons best women triathletes for a weekend filled with information, training and fun! Desiree Ficker and April Gellatly have agreed to spend the weekend answering your training questions and training side by side with you for the weekend of January 29th - 30th. Come join us to kick off the 2010 season in style!


Friday - January 29th:

Dolce Atlanta Peachtree
201 Aberdeen Pkwy, Peachtree City, GA 30269, 770-487-2666

7pm - Meeting in Auditorium - Keynote Speaker, USAT Professional Triathlete (2nd Place IM World Championships, Multiple 70.3 Winner) and Accomplished Runner (2:39:30 Marathon PR) - Desiree Ficker.

8pm - Informal Meet and Greet/Cash Bar
Free to TRI PTC Club Members/$20 for Non-Members

Saturday - January 30th:
Various Locations

Run and T2 Clinic
Riley Field - Wisdom Rd, Peachtree City, GA 30269,
Free to TRI PTC Club Members/$20 for Non-Members
Bring your running shoes, drinks, dry clothes and all items needed to practice your transition!

Bike Clinic
World Gym - 1300 Commerce Dr, Peachtree City, GA 30269, 770-631-8004
Free to TRI PTC Club Members or World Gym Fayette Members/$20 for Non-Members
Bring your water bottle and dry clothes - this class will be on spin bikes.
Please drop off your bike and trainer in the back lot and park in the front lot.
Get there early to ensure your spot - only 35 bikes available!

Swim Clinic
World Gym Fayette - 1964 Highway 54, Fayetteville, GA 30214, 770-487-4273
Free to TRI PTC Club Members or World Gym Fayette Members/$20 for Non-Members
Bring your swim suit, goggles, pool toys and towel!

It is $25.00 to renew your TRI PTC Club Membership. Applications will be available at all of the clinics or you can register on-line via -

It is $75.00 for all new TRI PTC Club Memberships, which include a club racing jersey (a $65.00 value).

It is $50 for the weekend if you are a non-club member and want to attend all of the clinics.

Registration is open for each clinic 30 minutes prior to each clinic.

Please email Anne @ for any questions regarding the weekend activities!

The TRI PTC Club will have jerseys, shirts, hats and some limited supply jackets available for purchase. These are first come, first serve!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cross Training Injury!!!

Good Afternoon!

    So only 7 days into my 2010 training and s#!^ happens!  I was out on Saturday with a whole bunch of friends playing flag football.  Well I don't like to do anything half-assed, so I decide that I am going to try and play like Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson and be some awsome wide receiver.  Well that resulted in a bruised tailbone (which is almost healed as of today), sore neck, huge knot on the back of my head (resulting from a 35-40yd pass I caught in the air and then landed on my back, and my head smacking against the ground so hard other players heard it), and last but certainly not least, a bruised/fractured rib on my right side.  That occured on a play where I dove out for a ball, did not get it and then landed with my right arm under my right side.

     Have any of you ever had a bruised/fractured rib before???  This is my first time and I am not happy about it.  I did some research last night on WebMD and found that it generally takes 6-8 weeks to heal and all you can really do is take pain meds and don't try to be too active............... wait what?!?!!?!  I was going to get on the trainer Sat after the game, but as I was inflating my tires.... hiiisssssssss.... I forgot about the physics of rubber when exposed to freezing temperatures for long durations.  As I removed the pump valve from the tires, it separated the stem from the tube and all the air decided to come out.  At that point I was done for Saturday.  Sunday did not do much because of the pain, yesterday either.  This morning I ran 3 miles on the dreadmill and I basically tolerated the pain.  I have not tried to ride a bike since this happened, and my range of motion is limited with my right arm so no swimming for now (Not to mention more resistance in the water).

     I did not get around to editing the site this weekend, so it will have to wait until next weekend.  I am kinda pissed I already missed a few days, but I am dealing with it.  Take this thing one day at a time (for 6-8 weeks :)

     I am thinking of changing my schedule just a bit.  It turns out quite a few of my friends might do the My First Tri/My Next Tri at Lake Lanier in June.  I don't want to complete that event because I want to compete with them, I just think it would be fun to do an event with lots of people I know.  I think the race with the most people I knew had to only be 3-4 people and a race in the Atlanta area.  This could potentially push 10 people, and not to mention everyone else that is going to come if we have that many people show up.

     As for everything else, i am just working and studying for the GMAT.  I am going to try and get my graduate school application finished by this weekend.  Talk to you soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

You know you are out of shape when...

Good Afternoon!

     I was very suprised at my ability to get up early most days this week and workout.  There have been a few days where I slept in that extra hour and change and went to the gym in the evening.  Man was that a mistake.  I put in two small pool workouts, however, with running, I did not even try to get on a treadmill on Wed (there were 12 people waiting in line and there must be about 25 treadmills at our gym) and Thu I just happened to get out of the pool and dried off at the right time to catch the one sole treadmill available.  Of course we are in the full swing of "New Year's Resolution" members, and it makes for a horrible experience for the rest of us.  Please do not get me wrong, I would love for everyone to have some sort of fitness goal AND see it through.  HOWEVER, year after year I watch as the first 6-8 weeks of the year show me nothing but horribly crowded gyms.  And then between mid-February and March, it just clears up, and you can finally again have little to no wait for a cardio or weight machine Mon-Wed.

     If you are going to do it, see it through!!!  I want you to meet all of your goals, but if you are not going to even going to make it through eight weeks, then don't waste the money or time.  Sorry, for some of you may feel that is a polarized view on this, but I feel strongly about it and find it to be one of my pet peeves. (Off the soapbox)

     So for some of you, there is a running backgroud that exists.  Others have a cycling background, and for ther rest of you, swimming.  I think the true test of fitness for people that are of the first two discliplines, jump in the pool!  My fitness background stems from running.  I could not run for months and get out there and complete a 5K or 10K.  I would not be breaking any world records, but I could do it.  On the flipside, I do know how to swim, but put me in a pool when I have not been in one in almost 7 months... I am outta shape!!!  Maybe this is something we can have a debate on, but I think out of the three sports, swimming is by far the hardest sport to master and one that you have to be in top shape to do reasonably well in.  I thought I was gonna die in the pool on Wednesday!!!  Kinda comical actually.

    This weekend is going to be busy.  Patsy and I are meeting some friends tonight at a new trendy pizza place that opened in Midtown (Atlanta) tonight.  The guy (Mike) is doing Rev3 in Knoxville with my friend James and myself this May.  Sat is early bike ride (if the weather holds up) and then flag football @ 12:30p.  Afternoon run afterwards, and then early run Sunday because I am in a poker tournament that begins @ 1:45p.  My plan is to add swimming and cycling back in a little each week while also adding to the distance in each workout!  Sounds like a good plan to me. 

     Just over two months until ING Georgia (half) Marathon.  I think I should be ready for it.  I am a bit behind in my training, but I would rather train up a mile or two short on mileage for the event rather than go all out and risk an injury.  I am confident I will be ready to go.  I am officially signed up for Rev3 now.  So that is good, and I am looking at the next 3-4 tris and road races to see when I need to sign up for them.  You guys all have a good weekend!  I will be catching up on blog reading and trying to finish up my blog editing.