Saturday, July 21, 2012

Magnolia Hill Xterra Triathlon

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I own a 29er MTB and casually ride it around the Terry Hershey trails here in Houston, but I’ve never raced it nor have I really ridden with others to see where I stand.

Cat (wife) was/is in Idaho (studying for her Doctorate in Athletic Training) so I drove up to the race solo.  I arrived and just as expected didn’t know a single person there racing.  Checked in/signed up and made my way to transition to rack my bike etc.  It was open racking so I found a decent place on the end of the rack.  I actually did a bit of a warmup for the swim, may have made it a whole 25 yards, and also practiced my diving start from the beach.

The water was HOT.  Hotter than the air temp that morning.  The race director announced that it was 91 and wetsuits would not be allowed (ROR).  I started the swim on the inside right up front.  The director counted down the seconds and we were off.  I felt really good most of the swim considering I haven’t swam since IMTX.  Stayed in open clear water most of the time and didn’t have to fight off anyone.  I never was able to catch a good draft and didn’t focus too hard on finding one.  The swim had to be longer than 800 yards, I hugged the buoys and was pretty consistent so my pace seems extremely slow.
Swim = 800 yards – 16:56

T1 went pretty smooth.  Out of the water, ducked under the fence to get into transition, took my time grabbing shoes, helmet, water, and sunglasses.  One thing Im not used to and learned pretty quickly is that mountain bike shoes don’t really slip off the pedals when you don’t get clipped in, so you can pedal pretty well without being clipped in.  I noticed a few mounting their bikes but not getting clipped in so I tried the same and it worked well.
T1 = 1:11

The bike is where I learned a lot about Xterra triathlon.  I also learned a lot about bike handling on the trails.  Right out the bat, within the first half mile where we first entered the “trails”, there were several people down and off their bikes making everyone behind them lose momentum and have to stop, including myself.  It was difficult to get back on, clip in, and make the decents/climbs/turns that abruptly came after.  I got through that part and was huffing and puffing trying to be a speed demon and then I tried to make a sharp right turn and ended up face down in the middle of the trail.  Got back up and started worrying if this was the right sport for me.  I held back on the speed and took all the turns much more cautiously but was still finding it hard to make the turns.  I finally just pulled over and let out a good bit of air in my front tire.  This really helped with making the turns and I didn’t crash too much after that.  Not too much…. It was a 3 loop bike course and each lap the trail got more packed down and was easier to navigate. We had to slow through each lap so a volunteer could mark your bib number to keep count of your laps. I only hit a few more trees within the last 2 loops and was really flying (compared to eating dirt) by the last.
Bike = 13 mile – 1:38:00

T2 was really easy and smooth just like any triathlon except I left my shoes on until I racked my bike.
T1 = 1:22

The run started off on an old sandy clay road around the small lake.  My legs were dead from the start.  We looped around then had to run up a hill that had recently been mowed with small shrub stumps sticking up in the path.  I ran up it the first time, but this was a 2 loop course…  Got back on the road and a small buck (with velvet still on its antlers) got spooked and ran out in front of me.  Pretty cool.  I was dead, and hot, and dehydrated so I walked through the first aid station to rest and drink some water.  And yeah, the first aid station was just one mile in… I suck.  We went back down near the lake and then had to run up a small cliff.  Running up this thing was impossible so I climbed it like everyone else and had to walk again to catch my breath once I reached the top…  Made it through the first loop (2 miles), got my hair tie on my wrist (to prove I made the first lap) and shuffled on through to the second.  Basically the same for the second loop except I had to walk the first hill and didn’t have a deer jump out in front of me.  I finished not so strong and didn’t puke, I was too beat to puke, I was tired, and not prepared for this type of race, but that’s how you learn and keep triathlon and endurance sports interesting.
Run= 4 miles – 42:28

Overall = 2:39:58
Overall I had a blast and am so glad I chose to do this race! I don’t think Xterra is my new sport but I definitely  will be back to race again.  Its so fun and very challenging, makes you feel ALIVE!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kona Inspired Finals!!

Its time to start voting!! Please vote (daily if you can) for my video "Refusing Mediocrity".  Its KONA, a dream for all Ironman athletes, help me get there... Go here Kona Inspired to vote.

Ironman Texas 2012

Thought I would finally write up a short race report for IMTX...

Like I said in a previous post, the morning started off with Tim knocking on the door ready to film my day.  This actually helped calm me down a little bit.  I didnt really have time to focus on the race and get too nervous.

This year I started off on the opposite side (opposed to last year) for the swim start.  I hugged the shoreline, actually started off standing in waist high water.  I was in clean water most of the swim and kept really calm.  Im sure I made the course a bit longer but it was worth staying on the edge of the washing machine.  The canal is the only area where it got a bit tight and where I did get punched a few times.  Nothing major though.
Swim = 1:21:01

The bike started off really well.  I was cruising the first half, just as expected, and suffered a bit the second.  Nothing new really.  I don't think I pushed too hard the first half.  The sun really beat down on us this year without the cloud cover.  I did drop my endurolytes at mile 20 of the bike though.  This really put a damper on how I felt.  Good thing I had a few extra in my special needs bag to help me finish out the bike.  Other than that it was a pretty typical ride.
Bike = 5:58:27

I felt great once I got off the bike.  Started the run off really well and after about 9 miles I really started to feel it.  Around mile 18 I started getting some pretty severe stomach cramps.  Puked around mile 22 and started worrying that I may not be able to finish out the run.... But I would never let that happen, dug deep and finished a 3 time Ironman!  Such an awsome feeling coming across that finish line.  I'm not sure I will ever stop racing Ironman.
Run = 4:51:52

Total time = 12:22:44
A little slower than last year but you cant always set a PR... I plan on it next year though ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kona Inspired Semi-Finals

I made top 45 videos and have been placed in group 3 for final voting! I'll need all the help I can get from July 4th through July 18th. Please help me get to kona by voting for my video! Even if I don't get to Kona this year, hopefully through this amazing journey I have inspired someone out there to do something they once thought was impossible. Refuse to be mediocre in life, it's too short. Another reason for this journey is to simply bring awareness to our sport and cycling. More specifically, bring awareness to motorists who think we need to stay off the open roads. Pay attention, share the road, and please don't run us over. I promise you aren't awarded any "points" for hitting a cyclist.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ironman Texas 2012 Video

I don't even know where to start.  This past weekend blew my mind away.
Ironman contacted me before the race asking if I would mind them interviewing me for a video for the banquets.  Of course I agreed and they went on to ask if they could follow me during some of the race for the awards banquet video.  Wow!
My full interview is located on under video on demand and latest videos.  The attached YouTube video is what they call "An Inside Look at Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas 2012".

So it started about 4:15 race morning when we got a knock on the hotel door and in walks Tim, my cameraman...  The night ended with Cat, some friends, Tim, and I sipping champagne at 12:30 after watching the final finishers.
I am featured throughout the video from the start, stretching in the hotel, walking down the hotel hall, in the water, exiting the water, on the run, an excerpt of my interview, and popping bottles like a boss.  This was an honor to be chosen.  Thank you Ironman.  What an awesome experience.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kona Inspired

Help me get to Kona! Ironman is selecting 8 inspiring stories/athletes to compete at the Ironman World Championships this October in Kona, Hawaii. But I need everyones help! Please vote for, view, and share my story (video). Refusing Mediocrity

This picture makes me smile

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ironman 70.3 Texas (Lonestar/Galveston)

April 1st, 2012

Need to put my thoughts down on paper before I forget about the race…

Race morning was pretty exciting. I think I was more worried about checking on my two friends (Mauricio & Wiley) racing their first 70.3 than I was about getting ready myself. Also, Lance was racing and I made sure I got to check him out in transition before the start.

I seem to always be rushed at the start of Lonestar. I think I have enough time to get ready but I always find myself running to the dock to get in my age group wave. This year was no different, I made it with plenty of time but felt really rushed. I moved up an age group this year. I am now with the super-fast 30-35 guys. I wasn’t sure where to start in the swim so I stayed a little toward the back. Also, I had been sick all week before the race and my asthma was acting up a lot. I decided to not hammer on the swim and try to stay comfortable. The swim seemed to go off without any issues. I had very little contact with others and felt good the entire time. I thought I was going to be closer to 38-39 minutes out of the water and ended up finishing in 41:52. I’m not too proud of those results but Ill take it.

T1 went off with no issues – 3:00

The bike was an out and back along the seawall/coastline of Galveston. Wind is always an issue so it was expected to fight one way or the other. Nutrition was dead on during the ride and I stayed comfortable the entire time. I wanted to get to the run feeling fresh and able to run the entire half marathon. The wind was a cross/head wind going out and cross/tail coming back. I averaged 18.02 mph the first 28 miles and 20.57 mph the second 28 miles. Finished the bike in 2:54:53 @ 19.21 mph. Slower than last year but I’ll take it.

T2 – 2:00

I started out on the run feeling great. Ran the first 5 or so miles at a sub 8 min pace. I was hoping I could hold this together but I started having to walk the aid stations and slowed my pace significantly. No stomach issues and nutrition seemed perfect. I just got tired. I think my body was just shutting down and was under too much stress being sick the week before. I’m really pleased with the run though. I was able to run a 1:55:33 (8:49 pace) half marathon which was my main goal coming in to this race (to run sub 2hrs).

Overall time – 5:37:18 (about a 1 minute PR)

I’m still learning pacing for this longer distance stuff and think I’ll get it down one day. I never cramped or had any stomach issues so I think my hydration/nutrition is pretty good. I just need to learn how to pace properly. I think Ive got a lot more speed to be unleashed.

Next up is Lake Tejas Tri (sprint) on 04/28/12 and Kemah Sprint Tri on 04/29/12. Then shortly after is IMTX on May 19 where I go “Boom!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Training is in full force now for IMTX. Started off January running in Disney with some good friends. My buddy Phil and I ran the goofy challenge (half marathon Saturday, full marathon Sunday). We hit our goal of a sub 2 hour half and sub 4 hour full. It was pretty painful but super fun. The following weekend i ran the houston half marathon in 1:40. My quads were screaming! Since then I took a little break from running to recover and hit the bike pretty hard. 3 hour bike rides have been consistent each week and I threw in a 4.5 hour trainer ride once so far. Ran a 10k last weekend in 44:xx and yesterday ran the woodlands marathon relay with some coworkers. I took advantage of the training opportunity and ran the first leg for my team then paced a coworker and my wife for their respective legs. Got in a little over 19 miles for the day. I'd say I'm right on target for training except for swimming (getting about 1 swim in a week). I feel good in the water and 3000 yard swims are pretty easy, not fast, but that will come when i step up the swims. It's about a month out from Galveston 70.3 where I can test myself and see what needs more focus. Finishing up a 3 hour trainer ride now...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 Ramble

Geez its almost February of 2012... Ive still been training, mostly running and a little bit of cycling. I've been to the pool once this year. Swam 2200yrds in 40mins, ouch. Ran the goofy challenge in Disney this yeah with Phil. He pulled me to a sub 2hr half and sub 4hr full marathon. I was pretty happy with that. Wasn't able to hold together on the full though, cramps at mile 22 then puking at mile 25. Made it though. The next weekend I ran the Houston half marathon in 1:40:xx. Was hoping to run under 1:37 but after 3 miles my quads were screaming and I fell off that pace..

Injuries have still haunted me. I developed some tendonitis in my foot just before Disney. Pretty sure I have it under control. Also woke up last week with some intense hip pain. Still trying to figure that one out. The pounding from running sends some shooting/stabbing pain to the ball joint area of my hip. Hope to figure this out before this weekend as I'm pacing Devin for 20 miles at RR100. On the trainer now trying to get IMTX training under way.