Warsaw Triathlon

Looking at last year's results, it was hard to tell if the competition would have much to offer at this optimist sprint race. Scott and I would find out there was plenty, but nothing we couldn't stay in the mix with.

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.

18th Annual Mideast Sprint Traithlon - Warsaw, In

Race Morning:
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!

Indianapolis Sprint Series Triathlon #1 - Eagle Creek

Typical race morning:
5:15 wake up. Load the car. Realize it's raining - play the mental games. Soymilk and granola, delicious as hell, floor it to Indy.

The rain intensifies as I get closer to Indy, but I still tell myself it will shore up by race time. Not so. The rain would cease though, just in time to get everybody's crap sopping wet. Good times. Glad the race fee came with a dry t-shirt!

About 5 bathroom breaks later, and some pre-race running drills and jumps, they decide to have the elites go on with the swim, pack style. Still raining. Start time about 20 mins delayed. Organized chaos, but I have to hand it to Tuxbros, despite the weather, they negotiated the 600 some racers swiftly, which was nice. I got some clean strokes to the first buoy for warmup then headed back in.

Some briefing by the announcer and we were off. I sprinted hard. Probably harder than I've sprinted at the start of a tri before and I'm not sure why. I had Smitty next to me, Doug Robinson to my left and a few other big dogs to my right. I pretty much took the outside line all the way to the first turn and had a few feet to ride behind. After the first turn it opened up wide. I only sight maybe every twenty strokes, and when I looked up next I had two, maybe three caps ahead. Steady to the next buoy kept me in good position. I'm rounding the second buoy and heading for transition when somebody in a pink cap pulls up on my right. Big surge. I can tell he's not looking at all, because the rowing markers are coming up quick, right in his line. I slide just to the left, sight two strokes in a row. One stroke he's there. The next he's gone. Like he hit a tree or something and just couldn't swim.

Coming out of the water, I saw something I don't usually see. A woman in the lead. Awesome job on her part. Smokin' fast. It wasn't meant to be, for her or for the couple men in front of me. Transition is not for breathers. I wanted to get the heck out because I knew Michael Smith and the likes of Ben Weaver, Matt Shade and company would be right behind.

Out on the bike, no legs. I thought they might open up but never quite did. Still, only person to pass me was eventual second place Doug Robinson, who looked real fast. After the turnaround I rallied a bit, but the hills into transition where ball breakers I just couldn't seem to keep the speed on.

Into T2 and just on my way out, Weaver and Smitty close behind come charging in. Trying in vain not to get caught I smash it out of transition, figuring I have about 45sec on them. Out of transition is all uphill, gradual, yet painful. I was moving the legs good, but not going anywhere. Finally it opened up and I had a chance to pour it on. Probably 1 mile in, Smitty comes past and I do a ad libbed running form check. I told myself, try to make it feel like he looks. After that moment it was 100% pain train. I buried myself after the turn around, only to have my shoes come untied 1/2 mile to go. Since my previous experience with loose shoestrings ended in a broken elbow, I thought it best to tie them. I looked back, didn't see anyone immediately, then stopped to tie them. Butterfingers. Seemed like it took forever. I did however, come out of the that episode feeling awesome, although cramping a little in the legs. Looked back, still in fourth (one other had passed me out of transition - had no idea who it was). I tanked just before the line. Great day. Even better - I found out I was in third! I have always wanted to podium at a Tuxbros race because in the results if you're top three, they star your name. Overall, I was thrilled with it.

I stuck around for the awards long enough to talk to some Purdue friends from the tri team and to re-meet Tim Haley's (club coach in HS) sister, Carrah, who swam with us one summer. She was 3rd overall woman, and she beat me on the swim. Yikes.

Cool day. Loved it.

Training in Hatteras - Outer Banks, NC

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”


Tuesday Time Trial

I always enjoy these nights. I didn't always enjoy them, mostly because I was too intimidated or too mind blocked by my state of fatigue to face the music and put myself to the clock. But this year has been different. I still feel the pressure, but it's out of respect for the event, not fear.

Recently, Fred (Bike Garage manager) and I have been talking much more about pacing it. In fact, I'm trying to learn as much as I can from the guys at the shop seeing as how for 10 miles, on THAT course, 4 of 4 have PR's well into the 21 minute range, if not the 20's (Ryan - 20:38, Fred - 21: low, Erik - 21:low, and Ren-Jay at 21:mid). Prior to last time, I was rolling around at the 25 minute mark. Not gangsta.

I'll be straight with you - 24:01 for my time, which isn't too bad for me. Just 2 sec off my PR for two weeks ago, and considering I couldn't get my pedal in at the start and I felt like a deuce was coming for the last 4 miles...well, that's just it, a consideration. Nothing more. I'll have to figure out how not to let that happen again.

For an average speed, it's just at 25mph for 10 miles, which tells me exactly what kind of rider I am. I'm a heavy hitter. 205lbs is getting me nowhere on those hills. Kills my average. How do I know? I averaged almost 25mph for 24.6miles until I flatted in St. Pete. Flat as a pine pony course there.

Scott is beach bumming in NC Outer banks with his lady for the week, so no results on his part. I will say though, I'm right where I want to be. The stimulus changes here for the next two weeks in a row. More short, power focus things on the bike as I've had 12-15min intervals going for many weeks. I'll test myself this weekend in Indy for the first of their sprint series tri's at Eagle Creek. Last time I did one of these I was 11th overall. Ha. That was in 2008! I'd really like to be podium or you know, lay the hammer down for the win. 500m swim, 10mi bike, 5k run.

Looking forward to writing with some encouraging results!

As always, whatever your pleasure.


A little history

Since we probably should have started this a couple years back, we wanted to give you everything you needed to know about where we've been thus far.

I started tri's back in 2006 just before my sophomore year of college. It was a big deal then. Dad and I went to the Evansville YMCA race - a sprint- because that summer for rowing I had been doing more biking than ever, and when I came home after my freshman season we ran an 8-miler around the Winslow Outdoor track, something I'd never been able to do. I had been training swimming, so that was simply a bonus. On we went. I owned one pair of juuuunky bike shorts and was at least 220lbs. Anyway, I swam - second out of the water, beating eventual pro Nick Waninger by 2 sec. Biked - on an old piece of steel. All I remember is thinking the bigger a gear I crank the faster I might go, which was "awesome" for the run, which turned into a walk-fest and the highest HR of my life. I think I won my age group though - I found the trophy the other day!

Getting dragged down there was a lot like Scott's story. With Dad and I headed down to Tampa, FL to do the St. Anthony's Triathlon for the second time, he and Scott let me know that there was going to be an extra bike in the car. About 800 miles in, somewhere before we stopped for the night, I questioned what Scott was going to do while we raced. (Did he really bring all his stuff just to futz around with us the day before?) Unable to hold it in and let it pass with a casual "oh he'll just do the warmup with us the day before", Scott pretty much burst out that he was going to do the race with us. News to me. I'll never forget that race, that's for sure. In a time trial bike-run only race, Scott lost both water bottles on the bike, cramped on the run and came across the tape just a few ticks off of Dad's time. He ran 52 minutes then for 10k. Never again. Not even close.

Since then we both have compiled plenty of races. Our previous results are below:

Evansville YMCA Sprint Tri - 1st age group, 21st overall
5th Overall - Collegiate National Sprint Tri
5th - Age Group, St. Anthony's Tri, 187 of ~3600
3rd - Age Group, Terre Haute Tri, 25th Overall
5th Overall - Deer Creek Triathlon, Mt. Pleasant, OH
11th Overall - Indianapolis Sprint Tri
19th Overall - Caesar Creek Triathlon
2nd Overall - Kokomo Sprint Triathlon
1st - Age Group, Tri Indy, 15th Overall
90th place Undergraduate Triathlete in the Country
205th of 3700 - St. Anthony's Triathlon (Cancelled Swim!)
-Did not compete the rest of the summer. Went to Colorado to be a camping counselor! -
DNS St. Anthony's - Broken Elbow
3rd Age Group, 12th Overall - Terre Haute Triathlon
2nd Overall, Blacksnake Duathlon
3rd Overall - Columbus Challenge Triathlon
- Season setbacks of Broken Elbow, Turf Toe, and OCD Ankle Lesion Surgery - all super fun...
12th Age Group, St. Anthony's Triathlon - Flat tire/Wreck
5th Overall, Jasper Duathlon
1st Overall, Hoosierman Triathlon

9th Age Group, 985th Overall, St. Anthony's Triathlon (Cancelled Swim!)
4th Overall, Lake Lemon Triathlon
11th Overall, Boilerman Triathlon
29th Overall - Tri Indy
12th Overall - Columbus Challenge Triathlon
1st Age Group, 84th of 3800 Overall, St. Anthony's Triathlon
9th Overall, Terre Haute Triathlon
2nd Overall, Hoosierman Triathlon
3rd Overall, Leon's Fastest Triathlon
13th Age Group, 486th Overall - Buffalo Springs 70.3
1st Overall, Columbus Challenge Triathlon
1st Overall, S.W.A.T Olympic Triathlon
1st Overall, Lake Lemon Triathlon
5th Age Group - St. Anthony's Triathlon
3rd Overall - Jasper Duathlon

On the calendar this year are quite a few more races for the both of us. Scott is headed to Muncie 70.3, where as here this next weekend and the weekend after I'm doing two sprints. My initial goal for this season was to go to Age Group Nationals. It's not too difficult to qualify, but it's all the way in Vermont. Funds may be the issue.

Anyway, we're looking forward to posting some great results and having fun along the way. Thanks to everyone who supports us, but especially our parents and friends!