Friday, November 13, 2009

Iron Star 70.3 Race Pictures available!

Hello Dear Readers!

I received my race pictures for the Iron Star 70.3 Triathlon yesterday. Check them out in my Gallery section of my web site.


Starting to gear back into training now. Did a 20 mile bike ride on Wednesday and have a 1.5 mile swim to do today. You will start seeing more of my training being oriented towards running. I will have some race entry announcements over the weekend to let you know what I am going to be doing in early 2010.

That's all for now.

Tri your best,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Iron Star 70.3 Triathlon Race Report

Hello Dear Readers!

Wow what a race! As I sit at my computer, my legs are still sore from my swimming, biking and running yesterday. I feel pretty good about my progress this year and my resulting performance in this race. Let's get on to the race report!


I decided last minute to get a hotel room near the race site on Saturday. Booked a cheapo hotel room and drove out to Conroe area that afternoon. I justified to my wife that I needed the extra hour and a half of sleep in order to perform at the race. Lovely woman agreed with me (Thanks honey).

Checked into the hotel and got all my gear secured. I saw on the horizon the glowing mantle of heaven called "IHOP"! Mentally I said "YES!!!" and got in my car for my pre-race ritual dinner.

As some of you may know, I like to eat a HUUUUGGGGEEEE breakfast as my pre-race meal. So I had eggs, bacon, pancakes, french toast, coffee, orange juice and wheat toast. Here are some before and after pics for you:

And we are done!

After my meal, I rolled myself out the door and back to the hotel where I organized my race gear and settled in for the night. Drank Gatorade and water to make sure I am fully hydrated for race morning. I think I finally got to sleep around 11 PM.

Race Morning

I had my three alarms (yes I am paranoid about those kinds of things) wake me up at 4:30 AM. Had some coffee, a muscle milk and a banana from the hotel. I continued to drink lots of Gatorade and water to keep hydrated. I got out the door around 5:30 AM and arrived at the race site 15 minutes later or so. The weather this morning was kinda nice. Overcast and in the high sixties. I could tell it was going to be a windy day so that could figure into the race some. This race was hosted at the Del Lago resort over on Lake Conroe. The parking area was about a mile from transition so it was a but of a hoof to get to the race site and settled in before they closed the transition area off at 6:45 AM. I was a little rushed but did get a chance to visit the porta potty at least once before I got my wetsuit on. As I walked to the start I chatted up some Bay Area Multisport members I recognized and that always eases the nervousness at the start of a race. My new Garmin 310X was charged and set in multisport mode. My heart rate was pretty elevated (85 BPM) but that was pretty normal since I get gitty at the start of a race.

The Swim (1.2 Miles)

The swim is a beach start with swimmers going off in waves. The first wave started at 7 AM sharp. This was the women's division (white swim caps). We were next at 7:05 (the mens 35-39 + Clydesdale). Funny that the last thing I thought about before the gun went off was that this was the last triathlon I would be doing in that age group. Starting next year I race in the 40-44 age group. Maybe I will be more competitive?

This is a pretty small venue with about 400 racers (Triathlon and Aquabike). Not a huge number of people in my age group, so the start of the swim was not as frantic as at Lake Placid Ironman I did back in July.

The swim course is a little cooky in that you have to keep the buoys to your right instead of your left like normal. This is due to the clockwise course you have to take. Below is a picture of my swim as shown by my GPS. Note that I did not do as much side to side swimming (this is a good thing), but my GPS did not work all the great when it came to the distance it said I swam. But you get the idea (Click to make bigger):

The swim went pretty well for me. I passed quite a few people and I knew I was doing well when I caught up to some of the white swim capped ladies. Of course, ton's of people swam past me I'm sure since I am not the fasted guy out there. It was windy and the seas were choppy, but it didn't bother me that much. Had a few collisions like normal, but nothing too bad. I finished the 1.2 mile swim in 39 Minutes and 47 seconds. Still a little slower than I would like, but I felt good throughout.

Transition 1

I exited the water and a few nice ladies stripped it off me and I ran into transition 1 (T1) to get my bike. I was sort of surprised at all the bikes that were still in T1 but then again I was in the 2nd wave so there would be plenty of people behind me. I took a little extra time to wipe my feet off so that I don't get any chafing or blisters for the bike and run. I exited T1 in 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

The Bike (56 Miles)

The bike course was pretty challenging. Not Lake Placid challenging mind you, but by no means was this a flat course. Had lots of rolling hills. Add the head wind and you legs are hurting! Here is the course as seen by my GPS watch (click to make bigger):

I passed a few people here and there and was passed in turn. It's funny how they put your age on the rear left calf of your leg. I think this is to taunt you into pedaling faster when someone in your age group passes you. Of course, I got mad when some 20 year old would pass me and I would utter under my breath (hey buddy, let's see how fast you are 20 years from now with a job and family!).

I know I hydrated correctly because about 20 miles in I had to go make a call to nature. Of course, if I was really a pro, I would just go as I rode (liquid of course) and not lose much time. But I just could not do it. So at the next water stop I got off the bike and went to the porta potty. I lost a few minutes there, but the relief was great!

The ride was very beautiful. There were sections where overhanging trees would turn the road into a green tunnel. There were some very fast downhills where I hit about 35 MPH. I finished the bike in 2 Hours and 49 minutes. I averaged 20 MPH. Not as fast as the last 70.3 race I did, but that course was very flat.

Transition 2

I got to T2 feeling really good and raring to go for the run. I still had a lot of pep and I was not dehydrated. Got my bike stowed and threw on my running shoes and race belt. Grabbed my running hat and off I went! Pretty fast time through T2 at 1 Minute 53 seconds.

The Run (13.1 Miles)

I started out the run going at a great pace. As usual I started faster than usual, but that is just who I am. First mile was done in 9 minutes and 17 seconds (GPS said so). I still felt good so my second mile was in 8 minutes and 58 seconds. After that it was all gravy. No walking, not even at the water! The run course was pretty gentle with some slight gradual hills (Click to make bigger):

I never hit a wall and I was pretty consistent with my speed. Had a few miles where I did slow down a but and reached the 10 minute per mile mark, but made up for it during other miles. At mile 13 I picked up the pace because some dude was trying to catch me (that was soooooo not going to happen) and did it in 9 minutes and 8 seconds. I ran through the tape with a run time of 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Summary and Race Place

My total race time was officially 5 Hours 40 Minutes and 54 Seconds. I placed 10th in the 35-39 age group (out of 42) and I placed 67 overall! That put my in the top 23% of my age group and the top 28% of the racers. I was really happy with that. Now if I had done the Lone Star 70.3 (which is totally flat) at this fitness level, I am thinking I would have been 20 minutes faster.

Anyway, it has been a great year and this was a great race to finish it off with. Keep tuning into my website for further blog updates as I will be switching to some running races till April of next year. Until then....

Tri your best!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Iron Star is Almost Here! Also new web features at!

Hello Dear Readers!

2009 In Review

Well the Triathlon season is winding down. In just a few days I will be doing my last race of the year. It's amazing how my journey has unfolded. My fitness has gotten better and better. Of course, there is still MUCH more improvement that I can do. Thanks again to Kevin and the folks at Tri on the Run for coaching me and being a sponsor for my efforts.

Once this race is over, we go into off season training mode. This means a bit more cross training and a more focus on running. I am pondering doing the Bandera 100K race in January. As you might recall, that was the only race I ever DNF'd (Did Not Finish). If I do the race, I will be very very focused on the training and taking this race seriously.


I still love my new Garmin 310X GPS watch. Since it is waterproof, I plan on using it during all portions of this weekend's race. I am now uploading this data to the Garmin Connect page and sharing the details with all of you.

I have been in taper mode the last few weeks so my training log is a little easy and I am enjoying the few days I get off per my training plan.

Website Updates

Big news! I have added a "Training" tab to

This makes it much easier for you all to see my GPS training data and it also makes it easier for me to share the info without having to update the blog all the time.

Keep coming back to the site often to look at the GPS data. That's all for now.

Tri your best,