Sunday, June 21, 2015

Is it already mid June???

Hey all!  I’ve been sorta quiet here lately.  This is mostly because I’ve been facing some adversity in my racing and health, but I’ve received some recent information on one of those items so I thought now would be a good time for an update for the few of you who may be interested.
First the racing…

I raced a couple Continental Cup races in La Paz and Monterrey Mexico earlier this year which I wouldn’t really describe as successful races, but rather good learning experiences.  The main issue with both races was my swim.  It wasn’t a problem of being out of swimming shape, but more due to the fact that I was super duper rusty with respect to pack swimming in the open water.  At that time I was swimming well in the comforts of the pool, but I was not ready for the mayhem of a mass start open water race.  At La Paz I got beat up pretty bad at the first turn buoy and ended up dropping off the main pack.  I rode with another American athlete during the spread out bike leg and finished with a fairly decent run split. This put me 14th in a relatively small field.  About a month later I unwittingly joined a fairly fast field to race in Monterrey.  The swim was the same story as La Paz except worse.  I again found myself in some big time turbulence during the swim which sucked away my energy and caused me to lose the pack shortly after the 300m turnaround.  At La Paz I still had people around me when I entered T1 but this time I was alone.  Most people would have called it a day, but I figured that since I had travelled all the way down to Mexico, I was going to make the trip worthwhile and finish the thing.  I ended up grinding out the 40K bike alone and then ran with the little I had left to finish before they started tearing down the finish chute. I didn’t finish last, but close.  Following these ITU races my plan was to do some local non-draft races and then give the ITU stuff another try in Magog, Canada at the end of July.  But, I haven’t raced since. 

This leads me to my health…

Going into my race in Monterrey my left quad had been bothering me slightly.  I went ahead and raced and the following day my quad was screaming at me.  I took some time off to let it heal but the issues never completely went away.  When I tried to get back into high intensity training things just got worse.  During this time I pulled out of a couple planned races (Vineman Monte Rio & San Diego International Triathlon) thinking that I just needed more time, but I soon realized it wasn’t just time that I needed.  So, I ended up going to the doctor, got an MRI, and got the results last Friday.  In the left hip area I’ve got some psoas tendinitis / inflammation going on and on the right side there’s a small labral tear.  I haven’t really had any pain in the right side, go figure!  So, what this means is that I have some PT ahead of me and need to build back the running slowly so I don’t bring back the symptoms.  I’m a little bummed because I was on track to fix the issues I had with my earlier races and am confident I would have had a successful race in Magog if I was healthy.  But, I guess that’s the way things go.  With my near term triathlon racing plans uncertain I’m going to keep on with ocean racing and build back my health to see if I can get back on track for some late season racing.  I’ll try to come back here more often to status how things are going!

They must have had an intern making the bike rack labels in La Paz

Our race in La Paz was mid-afternoon, so the age group race after us finished at night with a finish-line rave

Junior Men racing in Monterrey the day before my race

Junior Men in Monterrey

Monday, February 16, 2015

2015 Here We Go

Hey everyone!  It's mid-February and I'm back into triathlon mode.  So, I figured it would be a good idea to get back on this blog and inform the interwebs of what I've been up to recently and what I have planned for 2015.

I ended my 2014 season a couple races earlier than planned due to exhaustion and the desire to just take a break from racing.  That was good though because it allowed me time to get my yoga on and attend the occasional concert or LACMA exhibit.  I also spent some time refining my surfing skillz and took a pretty memorable CMH heli-ski trip in early January.  Later that month I went on a three day coastal ride from San Francisco to Santa Barbara with a rad group of people brought together by Rehab United Physical Therapy and Sports Performance Center. The break from triathlon was fun but it's now time to put those adventure sports (and their associated injury risk) back on the shelf and focus on my swim/bike/run.

The big news for this year is I have decided to pull the trigger and get my elite (pro) license. Racing elite should be a challenge but I'm really looking forward to it.  The other big news is that I am going to give the ITU draft legal racing a try this year.  I feel that type of racing suits my strengths and personality, and I'm really excited give it a go.  So, here's what I currently have planned for the year:

Date Race Location
2/21 Tritonman San Diego, CA
3/15 Superseal Coronado, CA
3/21 La Paz CAMTRI Triathlon American Cup La Paz, MEX
5/2 Monterrey CAMTRI Triathlon American Championships Monterrey, MEX
5/31 Vineman Monte Rio Monte Rio, CA
6/7 Escape From Alcatraz San Francisco, CA
6/28 San Diego International Triathlon San Diego, CA
8/22 Kelowana CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup Kelowana, CAN
9/19 Malibu Triathlon Malibu, CA
10/11 San Juan CAMTRI Triathlon American Cup San Juan, PUR
10/25 Life Time Triathlon Oceanside Oceanside, CA

As always things may change but I'll try to keep the latest schedule plans on my Schedule and Results page.  Come race with me...I hope to see you out there!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thank You!!!

To actually close out the 2014 season I really need to thank everyone for both knowingly and unknowingly help make the past season both successful and fun. In no particular order, a big THANK YOU to...

Keith, Amy, Brent, and the rest of my swim training buddies for making pier-to-pier swim fun year round.  Good luck on your Catalina Channel relay swim this weekend!

Sam for making evening training more fun and less of a chore by joining me on rides and runs after work throughout the season.  Also, for giving valuable opinions and advice and for introducing me to new phone apps to keep me busy while traveling.

ADL, BJO, Durz, Maedz, Delia, TH, Monica, and Persiani for following my races online during abnormal hours, keeping it real, and understanding the importance of gathering at Flake following each ocean swim to refuel with Acai Bowls and share stories of our encounters at the buoy.

Gerry Rodriguez and the Tower 26 Organization for bringing together and running a great weekly ocean swim workout.

The leadership and members of TCSD and Volt Multisport for making me feel welcome within your organizations and to all of my homies in San Diego for making me feel at home when I come south to race.

My family for their continued support, and in the case of my parents, likely bragging about me continuously to everyone in Michigan.

The sharks along the Manhattan Beach shoreline for providing a little more excitement during ocean swims and giving the local news something to talk about on slow news days. for providing everything one might need to race triathlon and for their valuable support over the past 4 years.

Honey Stinger for providing tasty nutrition and helping me avoid getting lost in Bonk City.

The Buoy Cafe for providing caffeinated support all year.

Steve Hyde and Begg Masters for providing ferocious morning swim workouts.

Ed Avol and all of the runners at Club Ed for the helpful run workouts.

DJ Snake & Lil Jon for providing a driving and energetic soundtrack to loop through my head during the run portion of my races. (Mom, don't click on that link)

Shiggy for the photo at the top of this blog entry and the many others taken during T26 workouts.

...and to everyone else that I trained and raced with this season. THANK YOU and peace out!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

So Long 2014 Season...

It has been a while since I've posted here so I figured it was time to check in and give a little update on my season.  I'll go ahead and cut to the finish.  This weekend I was supposed to be racing the Malibu Triathlon and then continuing on through October and finishing my season at Lifetime Oceanside.  Well...those plans have changed.  I have decided to go ahead and call an end to my triathlon season.  I'll explain why, but first I'll bring you up to speed on some of my racing since I last posted her in June.

San Diego International Triathlon
In mid June I went on a training trip to Mammoth Mountain with a group from Volt Multisport.  It was a great training trip at altitude with a great group of people, but I was a little worried that my body would feel drained while racing SDIT a week later.  Luckily that ended up not being true.  I'd say my race at SDIT was probably my best overall race of the season.  I had a solid swim and bike, and my run split was easily my best 10K split as part of a triathlon.  I ended up finishing 2nd among some some guys that coming into this race I would have never thought I could hang with.

Photo courtesy of Tyler Olson 

Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim
Each year as a supplement to my triathlon season I also race in several open water swim races.  Probably the biggest swim race every season is the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier race between the Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach piers.  Each year I've steadily moved up in the results list and I ended up finishing this year 19th overall which put me 4th in my division.

Even with a little "shark incident" earlier in the summer there was still a record number of swimmers in the 2014 race.

Everyone has their game face on right before the start of the race...

There is always a mad sprint to the water in order to stay ahead of the chaos due to 500+ swimmers racing to a buoy placed 150 yards offshore.

Still racing to the water...

This is a small window into the mayhem at the start of the race.

Approximately two miles later it is all over.

Trans Tahoe Relay Swim
This year, for the first time, I also raced on a 6 person relay in the Trans Tahoe Relay Swim across Lake Tahoe.  It was really fun being part of a relay team as opposed to the solo races that I am usually in.  Also, swimming in the crystal clear Lake Tahoe with mountains in the background was just amazing.  I was lucky to be part of a fast team and we ended up winning our division and finished 8th overall.

You can definitely see from the pictures why they say "Keep Tahoe Blue".

Kosuke had a crazy fast swim leg that kept us up front.

Beer mugs for the winners!

USAT Olympic Distance AG National Championship
A week after the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier I traveled to Milwaukee to race at USAT Nationals.  My race the previous week set me up for a good swim and I came out of the water in the lead with two guys right behind me.  On the bike I traded the lead back and forth with another athlete and then on the run was able to put a gap between me and the rest of the wave.  I ended up winning my age group and coming in 8th overall in what I would say and I think many would agree was a highly competitive year for this race.  Consistent with the American culture of "no one gets left out", awards went 10 deep.

ITU Olympic Distance AG World Championship
About three weeks after Nationals I traveled to Edmonton, Alberta, CA for Worlds.  One of the best parts of being in Edmonton was being able to see in person the pure dominance by elite athletes Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gomez Noya.  Especially Javier who I believe is undoubtedly the best short to mid distance triathlete ever.

After a few days of putzing around town and watching the other elite and amateur races, it was my time to race the morning of Labor Day. Without a swim warm-up I felt like crap during the whole swim and ended up with a slower than normal swim split.  But, I still ended up with a 40 second lead on my wave heading out onto the bike.  Within a few miles, the faster guys in my wave caught up to me but didn't pass and drop me.  I ended up riding the rest of the bike leg trading leads with a German and Canadian and was still able to head out on the run in the lead.  About a half mile into the run, the Canadian and eventual winner Robert Johnson passed me and I ended up holding that position for the remainder of the race finishing 2nd in my AG and 5th overall.

A little glimpse of part of the swim course and the swim exit:

Here I am at the start of the bike leg and am still putting my shoes on:

Congratulations to Eric Burnett for pulling off the double by racing both the Sprint and Olympic distance races in Edmonton.

The theme of the race was "It Was Epic".  That may have been a slight overstatement, but, ok I'll go with it...It Was Epic!

So, that brings us to the present and now I am starting my off-season. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons.  First and the most obvious of all is that I ended up with a little tweak in my ankle following my race in Edmonton.  I do not believe it is too severe but it would have prevented the proper preparation for Malibu this weekend and Oceanside at the end of October.  The less obvious reason is that in general my body is tired and has been feeling that way since the beginning of August.  I figured that if I were to continue to race through the end of October I would be even more tired by that time and I saw no benefit of doing that.  So, I have decided to call it a season, rest up, do some fun off-season stuff (surf, ski, have a life outside of triathlon, etc.), and prepare for next year.  I am happy with my 2014 season and have big plans for next year, so I want to set myself up properly.