Race day was October 22 in Cincinnati, OH. I was planning on doing the race by myself but about a week before I found out one of my friends that does triathlons was going to be there racing as well. This was good for me because we both are fast runners but he is just a little faster than me.
As the race started I looked down at my watch at mile 1 and it was 5:59 I knew I better slow it down or I was going to be toast by my six. The second half of the run was in the fog. I could see maybe 100ft infront of me. But I finally caught my friend around mile 9. I wanted to beat him so I started to push the pace. We ran nearly stride for stride for 2 miles and then things started to pick up. It turned into an all out sprint I was barely ahead of him all the way to the finish and he passed me right before crossing the line! My time was 1:23.17 it was a PR for me by 3 minutes. I was pumped! And I knew that I had given it everything I had out on the course because I could barely walk back to my hotel.
Things I also learned while training for this half marathon: DON'T drop biking and swimming because you will pay! Having riding my bike only one time between lake lemon and this half marathon really came back to get me on my training ride yesterday. But you live and learn!
Until next season I will be working my way back into normal training and getting ready for next season!
Thanks for reading
None of that happened. I did hit a long stretch of trail that paralled the creek bed, weaving thru the trees and tracing the lower part of the ravine. And that was fun. Eventually I hit some signs that said private property (ignored) and then Sycamore Land Trust, which got me thinking - I was smart enough to wear an all white shirt, but dumb enough not to make it a orange one. With as many shots as I've heard before on the trails, being within SLT bounds can give you a least some reassurance that you won't get Dick Cheney'd. Speaking of, things that get shot, I took an exit route leading to the back of someone's yard. Not just any yard, I guess, because for about a 1/4 mi they had mowed one deck wide from their house to the trail. A path that took you through really high grasses and beautiful countryside. When I got close enough to the house I stopped and looked around. There was a deer bust about 20-30ft away in the bushes that initially I thought was fake, but at a second glance revealed more.
He was lookin at me, me lookin at him. Huge rack. Masterful deer! Knowing I could get seriously injured, I retreated just a bit only to have him bound away. In doing so, he cleared the bushes entirely and when he landed I, no fooling, could feel the ground shake. Probably twenty points on his head. It blows me away that an animal like that can evade people for so long. I looked for a picture online, but the only pictures of something like it are those that involve hunter's holding the heads of.
Well it has been awhile since I have given you all an update on my training and racing, so I will give you the low down now!
After competing in Ironman Muncie my next goal was to go to Iowa for the 5150 Championship race which I qualified for when I went to Tampa Florida earlier this year in April. The race consisted of 1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. The things I wanted to accomplish at this race was getting as close to 2 hrs and 5 minutes and breaking 40 minutes on the 10k run.
So after Ironman I really had to train hard, and i mean real hard in order to accomplish those goals. My coach Ben Weaver knew what my goals were and so he created my workouts to get me to that level. Just to give you an idea of what some of my training weeks were like I would swim 3 times a week, bike 3 times a week with a run after and then run 2 other days of the week. I can recall doing some workouts on the bike with Alex where Alex said to me " that is the first time I have ever felt nauseated".
While preparing for this race it was mentally and physically draining. I wanted to quit or take the day off due to being exhausted. This race coming up was going to be my 9th race this season. But thanks to Alex and Coach Ben I had plenty of support to keep me going and the results where HUGE!
When arriving in Iowa it was 55 degrees and rainy. Not what I wanted at the time but it came to benefit me on race day. The day before the race officials swore up and down that the race would not be wetsuit legal, but little did we all know race morning the water was 74 degrees. For some of you that don't know a wetsuit helps you stay afloat and not have to work so hard. Oh ya and it also keeps you warm. Granted I am and strong swimmer but this really helps me out! Also since this was my last "A" race of the season and I wanted to go fast Ben let me use his zipp 1080 races wheels which were awesome!
The run is what I was most proud of on this race I finally broke 40 minutes. My run Split was 39:20! I was able to hold off the second place guy in my age group, who beat me at Tampa earlier this year. I crossed the finish line in 2:08.00. Granted it wasn't 2:05 but it was a PR for me in an Olympic distance race by over 4 minutes and I smashed the run! I was happy for sure! As I was on the shuttle bus back to the race site I was talking to some people and they were talking about prizes. I knew that the pros were competing for some big cash prizes, but little did I know that winning 1st place in your age group got you $650 and a really nice metal!
Next year I will be back for this race except next time I will be under 2:05 without a doubt!
Now that race season is over as of this past weekend competing in the Lake Lemon triathlon, I will move onto my next goal of competing in a full marathon race. Leading up to this I will do the Monumental half marathon in downtown Indianapolis, IN and then I am thinking of doing the Walt Disney Marathon or one of the Rock and Roll marathons where they have a band playing at each mile!
So until I blog again I will be running, lots and lots and lots of miles!
Thanks for reading!
-"Don't think of a plan as a four letter word, because in many ways, a sound financial plan can help you achieve a state best described by a seven letter word: Freedom." Super cool quote.
Insert 'training' for 'financial' and wahlah, some relevance.
Let me be the first to say, I am somewhat anti-plan. It depends on what kind.
Short term plans are essential. If I don't plan my workout, then write it down just before I do it, it's like I never came up with a plan, and without that plan, nothing constructive gets done. I'm just not that talented.
Long term plans? Dumpster. Financial long term plans? Rock and roll, but training long term plans - I'm not so sure. Here are the reasons I am skeptical of long-term training plans.
1. Nothing ever goes as planned. Essentially, when one workout follows another, you're somewhat planning on how you might feel that day. What if you're crushed from the previous workout and you've got intervals that will have the wheels coming off if you do them? Should you forge the river and loose your supplies to the mighty waters and your women to dysentery? Rhetorical question.
2. Long term plans give me the feeling that a lot is weighing on my performance at the end of the plan. Unofficial statistics show that a person's success in a competition is inversely proportional to the amount of pressure they perceive and directly related to how much fun they perceive to be having prior to race time. Sports fans often observe the opposite. They say, wow, that person really performs well under pressure. But mid-game or prior to the competition, if they don't have time to get caught up in the hype, or they are somehow diverted from it, they perform much better. I've seen this in the swimmers I coach. They instinctively know the race is big time, so no need to mention it. Instead, telling jokes and being lighthearted about things is the best approach. Never fails.
3. It's easy to get distracted. A lot of Olympic athletes give talks to kids who are just beginning in their sport. I watched a video of this just today. The athlete tells the kids he's speaking to, "my dream was to swim in the Olympics. I thought about it everyday and worked to get there everyday." I'm sorry, but I don't think you did. You broke it up into segments, focusing on each independently. I'm not 100% on that, but I know that if I left a talk like that in my early years and thought about the Olympics each and everyday, I would be fried crispy in a matter of weeks. I tried it once with a goal not so lofty, but far away. I stopped the next day.
4. It can be daunting. If I want to run a marathon, which I do, during the race I'm not going to think about however many miles I have left to run. That's a quick path to discouragement. Thinking shorter-term will be more successful - just hit your pace on the next mile, then the next, then the next.
In the fine print, if you have a long term training plan for yourself, and you get injured early on, or even later on in the cycle, it can feel like a tremendous burden - I've been there. Instead, by splitting things up in to small, manageable time periods or goals, if you don't get to one of them because of setback, it's no sweat. You already made it to this level. You're game gets saved, and the mental anguish is avoidable. In this case, the plan IS freedom.
Essentially I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know. This is just how I manage my plan and how I manage training plans of my athletes.
There's a lot of truth to this plan=freedom logic. If you don't have a plan of some sort, then how will you know the freedom when you get there? Freedom could be anything. Be sure you know what you're looking for.
Something I struggle with, probably the most important element, is that a plan is nothing without execution. Plans, just like ideas, are multipliers of execution. The original creator of that statement, Derek Sivers, says that the greatest idea with no execution is worth $20. The greatest idea (plan) takes excellent execution to be worth $20,000,000. That's why he doesn't want to hear people's ideas. He's not interested until he sees their execution. (Props to Sue recommending Derek)
Be careful how much time you spend on your plan. Your time might be better spent working your way to freedom without one.
Since the beginning of July I have been working with Ben and have seen great improvements in my last two races! I think that I will be able to fulfill my goal of breaking two hours when I go to Iowa on September 4th. Deciding to get a coach was a good decision because when I see progress in my training and at races it gives me motivation to work harder at my goals. It also gets tough sometimes and workouts are hard and tiring but at the end of the day I know that I am one step closer to achieving my goals!
Thats all for now, but until next time Happy Training
I have had a PR on my run split the last two races I have done. Running 4-5 times a week along with doing brick workouts has made it easier to get off the bike and really hit the run hard.
My swim felt awesome today. My stroke felt smoother and I felt like I wasn't horsing it the entire time.
Out on the bike it has been easier to really hammer it longer. The reason for this is that in training rides coach Ben has been having me do 2x15 mins race pace or 3x10 mins race pace. Doing this while training helps my body to get used to going really hard for long periods of time not just on race day.
I need to eat more of bike for energy. I wasn't lacking energy, but I feel like it may help. Just something to think about.
Last but not least. I need to carry spare tire stuff during races. I got a flat tire at about mile 19 and ran for nearly 35 minutes with my bike. It sounded like a horse coming down the street because of my bike shoes. Luckily with about 2 miles to go somebody from T3 multisport gave me a spare and a Co2 pump. I have always told myself that if I got a flat I would drop out but today was the first time it actually happened and I knew that if I didn't complete the race I would have let myself down and I think when you do that it makes you think its OK to give up, when really it only makes you stronger.
Even with my flat tire and running down the street with my bike I still finished in 2:27.26 which isn't bad at all.
It's time to do a few things. Recover, Reboot, and Reconsider.
I took two full days off. Actually, almost three. Finally got in 30minutes straight of circuit core and leg work yesterday. And I'm slightly sore today which is ideal. Surprisingly I was sore only the day after Muncie. Subsequently, my motivation was sore on Monday and Tuesday until I acted.
Shanahan says that one of the Scott's (Molina or Tinley) used to say that he hated racing because it interfered with his training. I almost feel like that. While I love training, sometimes not training, or training less because of an ensuing race is worth it for the results I desire. In my first full year of triathlon I trained pretty much through every event. And, across the board, I had no improvement in my times and definitely a burnt feeling at the season's end. The interesting thing about recovery in the right dose is that it is just like turning the computer off (how many of us keep it on nearly all the time?)
Try this at home, only if you're someone who leaves the interwebs on all the time. Turn it off. I find that if I can do this with my computer or phone or training, I get a certain peace. No current plugged in to me or the wall. No connection. Sometimes the best way to solve a problem or absorb what you've learned from a race is to cut the cord. I don't think I do it enough. You probably don't either. Use the abstentia to reflect on what it is you got out of the training you did leading up to the race and where you can go again - maybe with a slightly altered direction. That's the reconsider part.
In retrospect, the half ironman was slightly anti-climactic. Longest race I've done by more than double. Rested up for it, it was there, kicked my ass and was done. What was all the fuss beforehand about? Why did I get nervous? I'm learning that there is no sense in getting nervous, for it didn't prepare me anymore so than if I weren't.
Run today and bike later. The outdoor pool is 88 degrees. Not swimming for a bit.
Thank heavens for ice. I'm not sure I would have made it at Muncie without.
Here is a quick summary of how the race went:
The swim was crowded and hot. They sent all of the 40 and older in the first 7 waves and then sent the younger guys. I have never understand why any race director thinks that this ok for any reason. So nonetheless the swim was agressive but I ended up finishing it in (29:34). Now on the bike I had a totally different plan than last year which was just hammer it. This year I honestly treated the bike portion like a hard training day. I took it out medium hard and then by mile 35 I started to kick things up a bit. Unlike Alex, shotblocks are my life savor. I ate 4 cases of them and put down a few power bars. I also felt like it was a draft fest out on the course with people riding in groups or right behind. I sure hope they got the hammer from the officials. I finished the bike portion in 2:22.22 this was a PR on the bike leg by 15+ minutes. I was super pleased with that. The Run: this part of the race is where things really get tough if they already haven't. The first 5 miles felt great and then I ended up just hitting a wall and at that point it was all about finishing. One thing I learned from this is that I need to do more brick workouts so that my body is used to this. It also did not help that it was 90 degrees outside.
After all that my final time was 4:44.36. I am happy with it but I know that there is more room for improvement.
Not sure what the next tri will be, but whatever it is I'll be sure to give you an update.
The swim is always my favorite part. Some wave starts are a bit more feisty than others, especially when you're in there with a bunch of other 20-24 year old males. (I suspect the aggression level is toned down quite a bit in every other age group). But when our wave went, it was Scott and I straight to the front. Out was no big deal, but coming back was straight to the sun and it was everything you could do to forget about sighting and just keep your head down and swim straight. Lots of vegetation out there on the swim, too. The more you fought, the more it felt like the lockness monster.
Our swim times ended up being two seconds of each other. I was 6:13 and Scott 6:15. A decent run to the mat after the water's end made it interesting - I really wanted the swim prime. I would actually get it, but they gave it to the overall race winner. He and I had the same split, but I was just a bit faster on the official results page. Weird.
Transition was a buster. Trouble getting the wetsuit off and over the timing chip. Then the velcro on my shoes stuck to the wetsuit. When I flung the suit to shake the shoe, the shoe went flying. Finally made it out of there in 1:09 - same as Scott.
Easy clip in on the bike, and up the first hill I get passed. Scott was really pressing the pace. I couldn't answer. Actually, nothing about my bike leg was impressive. Legs felt heavy, and I kept wanting to scoot back on my seat - probably means it is too low. The same MSU guy, Alan Finder, passed me, just like Scott. He had the fastest bike split on the day. And surprisingly, even though my legs felt dumpster I still was 23.9mph for 6th on the bike.
Wondering how it might turn out on the run, I struggled plenty in transition. Shoes, pre-tied, just wouldn't go on. But as soon as I began, I pulled the usual routine. Quick steps, turn it over, work out the kinks. By mile one I could see I had gained quite a bit on Scott who had started the run a minute ahead. About 1.5 in, he and the top runner in the race were just inside of maybe 30sec ahead. Getting passed by that top runner throwing down 5:40s at 18 years old lit a fire under my ass to see if I could hold him within range. I did until just short of 2mi and the flame faded. At that point it was everything I could do just to keep Scott in my sights. With a big hill about 3/4 mile to go, I tried to gun it, but redlined. Finished feeling very fast, but the run split didn't suggest I was. At 6:37 miles, I was slightly disappointed because I've run way faster for 5mi last year at Terre Haute than I did today for 3.5. 9th overall, about a minute back of Scott. Interesting thing was, the MSU dude Scott beat went the exact same time as he did a year before. To the second. 1:05:27 for my time, and if I do it next year I want to flirt with as close to an hour as possible.
To my delight and worry, I have ambitiously signed up for Muncie 70.3 which is in two weeks. Haha. Oh man. I haven't run more than 10mi since early March I think. Should be quite the show.
This race morning was a little different than most. Since Warsaw is about a three hour drive from Bloomington I went up to Indianapolis the night before to stay at my girlfriends sister's house, so that I would not have to drive so far. Either way I woke up at 3:30 AM to start the normal routine as follows; Bathroom, Cheerios, And lots of water! I made sure I had everything grabbed my bananas and gatorade and out the door I was.
When I arrived at the race site I was one of the first people there, as always! I can't stand to be late it just adds to the stress level. I went and checked in and did the normal body marking and check out the transition area. As I walked back to my car the area became more packed and all of the people started to bring out their fancy bikes, which makes my jaw drop. So I set my bike up and got everything ready to go to transition and then waited for my brother Alex to get there. When he arrived we did a little talking and then went for a quick ride, it was a good thing we did because I probably would have wrecked at the very end of the bike course due to a sharp turn!
As 8:00 AM got close the lake area became packed with fans and athlete's. So I got in the water and made my way to the front of the pack with Alex. We said a few last words and then the gun went off. I always start the swim off as fast as I can to get away from the pack. So I hammerd the gas down and moved to the front. As I look up to see where I am going Alex and I are side by side. As we finish up the swim Alex was ahead of me by a few seconds. Into transition one I had a hell of a time getting the wetsuit off, but I was out at the same time as Alex and one other guy. We all mounted our bikes at the same time, and I gave it hell up the first hill to take the lead. The bike was an out and back course. As I made it to the turn around I could see that I had about 45 sec. to a minute ahead of everybody but I knew they were coming. At mile 12.5 I got passed by a guy from Michigan State. He didn't get much of a lead on me. Into transition two, the lead guy was out ahead of me about 25 seconds and he was flying on the run. I took the run out kind of slow because I had really slammed the bike and I was feeling it a little bit. As the run went on I was gaining on him and got passed by one other guy, who was taking monster strides. With about .75 of a mile to go I passed the guy ( he was drained). I crossed the finish line in 1:04.27.
I took 5th overall and I was happy with the overall race. It was very well organized, had awesome volunteers which is always a bonus, averaged almost 25mph on the bike, and it was just fun to race with nice people who have such great talent! I will for sure be adding this one to next years list. I also qualified for the Age group National Championship!
That's all for now, I'll have an update in a few weeks after Ironman Muncie!
As much as we all love to go on vacation and just hang out and bum around, I myself as a triathlete can’t bring myself to do that. I was more focused on making sure I had all of my workout stuff for vacation than having regular clothes to wear. After a 16 hour journey starting at 3 am we arrived and unloaded the car. As everybody else unpacked and talked I unloaded my trainer and bike and set up for an hour long ride. It for sure wasn’t one of the best rides being that I was as stiff as a board from being in the car all day but I was happy to get a workout in. The next morning I was up early to eat my normal breakfast and I set out on a 60 mile ride. It was awesome to experience this because back home you just can’t ride along the ocean or ride across a mile long bridge that crosses over the ocean. Tuesday was kind of a shorter day. I set out for a 6 mile run in the morning so that I could join in the activities for the day. Wednesday I found online that there was a local Ymca in town, so off I was. I ran 7 miles the first 5 were nice and easy and then I kicked it up to 6:30 race pace and then backed it off. After I was pretty tired and I thought I’d do a little swimming as a cool down . When I got to the pool I started talking to some people and turns out they were from Indiana as well and they swam for one of the High Schools that I competed against. Sure enough they asked if I wanted to join in on an IM set, I said yes knowing that it would be hard, I haven’t swam IM in almost 2 years. So here went nothing 2x200 back, 4x100 IM, 2x200 breast, 1x300 IM, 2x100 Fly 1x200 IM. I was toast after this! But I was very satisfied with my workouts. Yesterday I set out for another ride, only this time I went south to see what was down that way. I ended up riding to see the Cape Hatteras Light House which was pretty cool.
With the my biggest race of the season coming up in less than a month ( Muncie Ironman 70.3) I have been working towards it since March. I have had to increase mileage on the bike and running parts because those are where your body is put to the test. So in order to prepare myself for the heat and intensity the race will bring I have been riding and running long distances in 90 degree heat so that my body will be used to the race like conditions. I will say I feel much more prepared for this half ironman than I do for the one I did last year in Texas.
Goodluck to Alex this weekend, If I wasn’t bumming on vacation I would for sure be there racing with him! I hope he brings home the win.
That’s all for now, happy training, and remember to “Never hope more than you work for”