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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2014 Vineman Monte Rio

This past weekend I drove up to Monte Rio, CA to race the 2nd annual Vineman Monte Rio.  Here's the race report...I swam, biked, and ran as fast as I could and that was good enough to get me the win in a time of 1:55:45. Now that the boring part is over, I'll share some pictures from the race courtesy of Jeff Kapic. Since this is my blog I mainly linked to photos of myself but if you want to see the full gallery from the race it can be found here.

As the sun rises, the starting chute for the swim is illuminated along the Russian River.


The run course takes athletes on a bridge over the Russian River at the start and end of the run.  Things were calm early morning before the race started.


I stayed at the Village Inn & Restaurant which was across the river from the swim start and about a half mile from transition. Very convenient!


The Vineman races are notorious for having spots during the swim where it is shallow enough to walk.  The river levels were even lower this year due to the drought that California is experiencing.  As a result, there was an approximately 200 yd section at the end of the swim where the water was knee deep and the only real option was to run/walk through it. This provided an excellent opportunity to capture that cool running with water splashing in the air photo.    


I'm going to go ahead and say that the Vineman Monte Rio bike course is way more beautiful than the Vineman 70.3 bike course. Good thing there are pictures because all I remember was staring at the pavement 40ft ahead of me.


Go ahead and criticize my bike fit. It's bad but I'm working on getting it fixed...


The bike course takes you out to the town of Jenner near the coast and then back to Monte Rio.  Here I'm heading back to Monte Rio behind the motorcycle escort.


Still heading back to Monte Rio...


Still on my bike...


No run photos of me, but here are Andrew Bauer and Yu Hsiao duking it out for 2nd and 3rd, respectively.


Update....Here's a photo of me running. Looks like I either need a haircut or a hat.


I'm done. Yay! Race splits:

Swim - 18:43
Bike - 59:11
Run - 34:51
Total - 1:55:45


I chose to wear my OG Oakley Frogskins that I have had since I was 10 years old.


Post race shooting the breeze.


Congratulations to Laura O'Meara and Christine Gould for taking home 1st and 2nd overall female, respectively.  We took home some HUGE bottles of wine thanks to Rodney Strong Vineyards!  Also, thanks to Compex and Timex for the additional schwag!



Finally, thank you as always to TriSports.com for your continued support and Honey Stinger for providing me with the fuel to race fast.

Next up is San Diego International Triathlon on June 29.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Drumming...not triathlon


I know this is a blog that is primarily dedicated to triathlon, but I have some non-triathlon related stuff I want to get out on the interwebs and this is my best outlet to do that.
About 10 years ago I was part of a small marching percussion ensemble that played a few gigs outside of Comerica Park in Detroit during a weekend series between the Tigers and Yankees.  As part of that gig I composed a few pieces for the ensemble to play, two of which I would like to share.  Both pieces are arranged for snare drum, tenor drum, and bass drum.   We were a small group so the bass drum part is written for a three piece bass line, but it can easily be arranged for more or fewer if desired.   Both pieces are written at the level that could be played by an advanced high school or collegiate line.  The two pieces are titled “Ball Game” and “Electric Watered-Down-Chair”. 

I had a very short lived career in composing music for marching percussion ensembles.  That being said, I am pretty happy with how these pieces came out.  I am sharing them with the hope that someone finds them on the internet and uses them.  There is no copyright and I am not at all asking for compensation.  If you are an instructor, feel free to pass these pieces out to your drumline and give them a shot.  If you could send me a video or recording of them being performed that would be awesome!

Ball Game
This piece was written based off of the tune “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.  In fact, the drum score matches with and can be played along with the actual song.  The melody is primarily in the tenor part, but there is some melodic back-and-forth between the snare and tenor parts.  The split notes in measure 4 of the snare part are intended to indicate alternating left and right hands played by each player in the snare line.  This piece is written to be played around 70BPM, so it’s not really a piece to march to.  When we played this piece we played it with a repeat at the end similar to the actual song. 




EWDC

I am not claiming this piece as original material at all.  It is a rip-off of “Electric Wheelchair”, made famous by the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps.  I’ve been out of the marching percussion scene for a while but I’d say this is one of the most often ripped-off cadences (other than The Blue Devils “The Ditty”), and my rip-off is one of many.  As the title indicates, this is a watered down version of the original, mainly so that a group can get together with one rehearsal and be able to perform it.   This piece should be pretty straight forward.  Enjoy!  



Tripp's Groove

The first four bars of this piece are again a rip-off of a piece called "Pete's Groove".  After that I tried to open it up and groove hard.  There is a reference to some old Cavaliers drum parts on page 3.  







Here is a recording of one of the rehearsals for this gig.  I admit the recording and drums sound like crap and the playing is pretty dirty.  But, this is all I've got. It's been a while, but I hope we cleaned it up for the actual gig.

Ball game starts at: 1:48
EWDC starts at: 4:45
Tripp's Groove starts at: 2:48 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Race Schedule

Hello interwebz...it's been a while!  Missed you, XOXO!! Anyways, because we are already midway through March I thought that I should share my planned 2014 race schedule.  Although quite likely to change, this is what I currently have in mind.  Come race with me!

Date Race Location
2/2 Surf City Half Marathon (Results) Huntington Beach, CA
3/2 Desert Triathlon (Results) Palm Springs, CA
3/15 St. Patrick's Day 10K (Results) San Diego, CA
4/27 St. Anthony's Triathlon (5150) St. Petersburg, FL
6/8 Vineman Monte Rio Monte Rio, CA
6/29 San Diego International Triathlon San Diego, CA
7/19 Lake Tahoe Swim Relay Lake Tahoe, CA
8/3 Dwight Crum Pier-To-Pier Swim Manhattan Beach, CA
8/9 USAT Olympic Distance Nationals Milwaukee, WI
9/1 ITU AG Short Course World Championship Edmonton, Alberta, CAN
9/13 Nautica Malibu Triathlon Malibu, CA
10/26 Lifetime Oceanside Oceanside, CA