WARNING: What you are about to see may be VERY scary. I'm not sure why I chose to race without a shirt last year or why I chose the short jammer over the longer one...
2008 QC Triathlon- Click images to enlarge but again...what you see may be very scary...
Exiting the swim.
On the Bike...
Bringing it home on the run...
Run Rank: 12/446
With Jen and Payton after the race. Payton was only 2 weeks old.
Final 2008 Placing- 17th
Final 2008 Time: 1:11:00
Fast forward to 2009...
2009 Race Report- On Saturday, June 20th I competed in the 10th annual Quad City Triathlon. I was hoping for a high finish since this is the biggest local race I compete in each year. I knew the field was going to be tough with the returning champion, Eric Ott in the field along with former champion JJ Bailey and last year's USA Triathlon #1 ranked 20-24 age grouper Jason Maurice from Iowa City all competing. I was up at 4:00 a.m. to prepare with a light breakfast. I like to be up at least 3 hours before I race so I can be fully awake for the race.
I arrived at the course around 5:15 and got my body marked and picked up my chip. I was able to get in about a mile and a half of running before taking the bike out for a couple miles to be sure everything was working properly. Healthy Habits had done a super tune up on the bike on Friday and it was feeling really fast. I felt great on the warm-up. After the ride I got in some stretching and then did my speed drills and strides to futher loosen up the muscles before putting my wetsuit on.
SWIM: The swim was a time trial start with 2 people entering the water every 3 seconds. It turned out to be that we didn't enter the water every 3 seconds, it was more like every 15 or so. I wanted to go in early to try to stay with the race favorites. I entered the water with the 5th group. My plan was to take the swim very hard. I got killed in the swim at Pigman and wanted to swim harder to see if I could lessen the gap between the leaders and myself. I began swimming very hard from the beginning and navigated pretty well. I passed the swimmer I went in with but that was it. The guys who went before me were all much faster than I was. I came out of the water quite a bit behind the leaders once again. This has been frustrating to me because I am spending more time on swimming than any other aspect of my training. I will have to keep putting in work in the pool trying to improve my efficiency hoping that it comes around by the summer's end. Once out of the water I had a good transition and was headed out on the bike with my thoughts on cutting into the lead I had spotted the first 8 guys out of the water. My final swim ranking was 18th out of 469 individuals. My swim time was 8:51, only 11 seconds faster than last year.
BIKE: My bike goal was fairly simple. I wanted to push harder gears than I have been in races. I typically push a gear that I'm comfortable with but in my workout on Tuesday I found out that I'm much faster pushing 1 gear harder than my comfort zone. I was able to do this once I got out of the park and on the main roads. The way out was tough. We were into a wind that I'm guessing was between 10 and 15 miles per hour. I was only averaging about 21 mph on the way out. I began to pass the 8 guys who were ahead of me. By the turn-around I had moved into 3rd place and was gaining on 2nd. By the 9 mile mark I passed 2nd place and really put the effort into the pedals as the wind was now at my back. For most of the ride back I was in my last gear and was speeding along at over 30 miles per hour except on the two big hills. The high speeds are when I really feel the benefits of the Zipp Wheelset. I chose the 1080 front wheel combined with the Zipp disc on the rear. Down one of the hills I hit 41 mph and tried to carry myself over the top without dropping below 24. I put a good amount of ground on 2nd place but could see the leader, JJ Bailey was getting further away from me. He had a very big lead and it was one I knew I wouldn't be able to make up on the run unless he completely fell apart. I entered T2 with a great running dismount which helped me to the fastest transition 2 of the day. I heard from a couple people that the leader was 2 and a half minutes ahead of me. I also knew that Jason Maurice and last year's winner, Eric Ott had gone out behind me and they would both beat me if I didn't have a good run. I finished with a bike time of 36:11, which ranked me 2nd in the race. It was an average speed of 24.9 mph. It was nearly 4 minutes faster than last year's bike time.
Run: Out on the run I pushed the pace early. It was difficult to get into a rhythm early on due to the first part of the run being in the grass and it was quite muddy. Once I hit the road I could tell the pace picked up. My legs felt good thanks to an ART treatment by Dr. Kaminski at Kaminski Pain and Performance Care on Thursday. He also was a big sponsor of the race. The run course was changed last minute due to the high amount of rain we received. They cut out a small section through the woods and added a couple loops around parking lots which were frustrating due to the 180 degree turns first around a cone and then around a truck. The 2nd parking lot was the 180 around the truck and when I went to turn around it my foot went out from under me since the parking lot was covered with pea gravel. I fell and got a really good scrap on my leg. I got up quickly but it took a bit to get back into a rhythm. I could see that Jason Maurice was closing the gap on me and I wasn't sure how far behind me he had started the race. I pushed hard the last 1.5 miles and ended the race with a time of 1:04:47, nearly 7 minutes faster than last year. My run time was 17:57 which ranked 4th in the race.
I would now have to wait to see the finish times of the other guys coming in who started behind me. As it ended up I placed 3rd. Jason Maurice was 2nd, 30 seconds ahead of me and the winning effort was put up by JJ Bailey from Des Moines. He was 1:28 ahead of me. The amount those guys beat me by was almost entire the difference in the swim. I need to get better there. Overall I was very satisfied with the race. Both JJ Bailey and Jason Maurice have previously hit a standard to qualify as professional triathletes but they have both opted to keep their amateur status for now at least. They are very good. I finished one spot ahead of last year's champion Eric Ott who finished in 1:05:51. The XTERRA professional from Cedar Falls was someone I had never beaten and he finished in 1:07:07 but then was assessed a 2:00 penalty so he was given an official time of 1:09. Complete results with splits and rankings can be found at http://www.theracershub.com/files/273-575.txt
What I was more excited about more than my own race was watching all the members of our local triathlon club, Team Tri-Fit compete. The club was really well represented. We ended up winning the award for the top club. We now have over 45 members which has far exceeded my expectations for the first year of the club. It's super fun for me to watch these guys and girls get excited about the sport of triathlon. For some of them it was their first triathlon ever. The 2nd place female, Jessica Imm is a club member who raced for the first time ever. That was super impressive! Not only that but I was blown away by the fact that she rode a Schwinn bike to the 2nd place finish. Congratulations to all the Team Tri-Fit members and I can't wait to watch the club continue to grow.
It was great seeing so many of my friends and family at the race. My wife Jen made this awesome shirt for our daughter Payton. She is growing up so fast and cracks me up on a daily basis. Thanks to everyone who came out to watch the race.
Jen and I celebrated our 6th anniversary on Sunday by taking Payton to Chuck E. Cheese...I dominated the basketball games after a few rounds of Jen beating me. I am continually inspired by her unconditional love and support for me through this journey. All the sacrifices I make to train are nothing compared to the sacrifieces she makes to allow me the time to train as much as I do. I also want to thank Phil Pancrazio for some great photos of the race. Phil is our school district's technology guru and he came out to watch and captured some great shots of the race.
For the week my total training time was 23.5 hours. I was very tired on Wednesday when I hit the track for my hard workout. It was a good sign that I needed to back down a bit for the race. I had hit the highest volume I ever have over a 10 day period prior to that. For the week I biked 160 miles, swam 16,700 yards, and ran 39 miles. On Sunday I was recovered well enough to get my longest ride of the year in so far (68 miles) and my longest run post-injury (13 miles). I'm excited to race next weekend in a loaded Elite Amateur field at the Hy-Vee Triathlon. I'm hoping for an Olympic Distance PR. Currently my best is 2:05:18 from Chicago last August. I have to remember that this year is about building the foundation for the next few years. Dr. Kaminski has been reminding me that building the foundation is the toughest part. After the foundation is built I can begin the finish work. I want to be great now but I know I have to be patient and let all the hard work catch up to my body. Everything I read about the sport tells me it's a long process. I'm excited by the progress I've made from last year. Looking at the photos from the race last year made me realize how much it has been worth it to stop coaching so I can live this journey. The hard work and daily committment are so much fun. Feeling fit and being in the best shape of my life is worth more than I can explain. It's why I am a big advocate for Team Tri-Fit and why I love this sport. Triathlon is a lifestyle more than anything. Thanks so much for reading. DREAM BIG!