TRIATHLON TRAINING DADDY : Addicted to Triathlons? Me too. Follow along as I navigate faith, family, work and triathlon in every day life, share some tips and secrets, and help others fit it all in without missing out on life.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 IRONMAN 70.3 RACINE RACE RECAP // More like IM 44.5 Racine #IM703Racine @Team_HOTSHOT @ASICSAmerica @LifetimeTri @GenUCAN

Well, at least I beat my goal time of 5:15... but that's easy to do when they shorten the race and cancel the swim.

Ya, remember the preview and warnings of weather?  It hit.  Storms in the AM pushed the start back, canceled the swim and shortened the bike course, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Lets set the stage.

I rolled into Racine Friday and made it time for packet pickup.  That was awesome as it gave me all day Saturday to get some quick course recon done and enjoy the day... and find another place to stay.

Check in was painless and easy.  Minus the overpriced race gear, I did find some bargains that didn't break the bank and I'm always optimistic about Black Friday and sales on race gear.  ;)

This was the first time I used Air BNB.  While I'm sure it's a great program, I rolled the dice staying in a room and sharing a house with someone.  Turns out it was with 4 other people and the owner slept on the coach renting out all of his rooms.  Mine was an office with a bed and makeshift doors added the day I got there.  Wood chips on the floor and no door handle to prove it.

Office nook... I mean bed nook.

Door with a view?

Look ma, no handle!  Had to prop the door shut with a chair and my bag on it.

Filing system of champions.

It was sketchy at best.  I slept there 1 night and just wasn't feeling it so I overpaid for a hotel room 20 miles away.  It was worth being able to have a home base and get ready for the race.

While it was a stressor to deal with the Air BNB deal.. I managed to take care of it and friends staying in the area for the race helped me out as well!  Pays to know people.  I'll be planning accommodations better next year.

Day before the race.

It was awesome getting a Lake Michigan swim in Saturday to get used to the lake water and temp (bit chilly), and as I foreshadowed, it would be the only time I'd swim in it.

Also ran a quick 3 miler on the path to get my bearings.

Overall the day before was a good recon day and just getting the lodging issue settled.  I always recommend having a full day before a race to get your bearings at the 70.3 level.

Race day...

We're on... we're on hold... we're on but less distance...

Around 6am they informed us not to walk to the swim start and delayed the start to 7:30 from 7 and told us to seek shelter for a storm rolling in.

Here's where it pays to have friends staying local.  I shacked up with 2 families that had a house up a hill from transition.  They had their families, covered patio and coffee!  What else could you want with the start delayed to 10:30am and a shortened bike course to 31.4 miles!?

Honestly if they weren't there, the delay would have SUCKED.  People had to go sit in their cars and hopefully they had real food and water for the 3.5 hour delay.  I had to snap back to reality and switch back to water and find a quick peanut butter cracker snack bag I stole from some kids. Otherwise I would have had nothing from breakfast at 5am until race start at 10:30am.  Can you say bonkville?

It would have been more of a bust if I hadn't noticed A LOT of people packing up and heading home.  I knew with a full event, I would have no chance at qualifying for Worlds 70.3.  Would enough people leave in order for me to have a shot?  Stay tuned!  But, it did give me more motivation to just say "screw it" and go all out for the entire race.

31.4 miles screaming on the bike and 13.1 miles on foot at whatever I had left.

On a side note, it was a totally awesome morning for a swim, until the storms showed up.

BIKE // 31.4 miles // 1:23:48 // 22.48 MPH // 53rd AG

By far the best bike average in any race I have done.  I just mashed the pedals the entire time and was drained by T2.

The winds were pretty harsh in spots and with the "time trail" start being more like "line up and you all go out as you fit out of bike out arch", it was wall to wall bikes.  You had to pop out on the road in spots to pass and some had car traffic to deal with.

Nerves of steel is the only thing that kept people passing in some spots... or stupidity.

I've never raced roads so filled with bikes.  The only issue I had with how they handled the race changes was the bike start.  All else was great.  It should have been something more like 2 bikes go every 5 seconds to avoid the chaos.

They other issue that was my issue to deal with was nutrition.  I was utilizing Hot Shot nerve cramp drink and some fruit squeezies (same as powerbar or clif, but couldn't find any local) with UCAN in my sports bottle.  Normally I'm all over it after the swim and for 56 miles of biking... but bike first and for only 30 miles... I didn't wrap my head around what I would need until I got back to transition to dry out my stuff and set up.

I slammed Hot Shot 30 minutes to start and took the squeezie 10 minutes before start to simulate what I would have been doing after the swim.  During the ride I had to remind myself I would need some sort of nutrition (squeezie or GU gel - I brought both) and also need to drink water.

I succeeded at the GU gel and sipping UCAN, but failed at taking in enough water which I would pay for on the run.

The moral of the story is I was off my game due to a shortened amount of time to take in nutrition and fluids for the half marathon, and it was getting HOT in a hurry.

Nutrition - YEAH
Fluids - BOO

RUN // 13.1 miles // 1:47:05 // 8:10 min/mile // 34th AG

Even with jacking up my hydration, I managed a good clip until mile 11.  Then, it was crampsville.

I felt them coming on for the second lap, and I knew it was a matter of time vs distance to go.

I truly believe Hot Shot got me as far as I got with the lack of hydration on the bike after taking another shot after the bike.  I was sipping water on the course at aid stations, but I was sweating out more than I felt safe to take in.  I could feel my groin and hamstrings twinging and wanting to cramp, but something held them off.

In retrospect I wish I would have taken the extra shot I had on the run since I didn't do the swim to take half way through.  I was motoring at sub 8 min/mile til mile 8, which was the onset of twinges.

Mile 11 was full on groin cramps, which I walked off.

Mile 12.6 was hamstring cramps which I had to stretch and walk off to be able to jog it out to the finish line.

Let me tell you it sucks to stand there unable to run watching people in your age group jog by.

I estimate I lost 5 minutes due to the cramps.  Lesson learned on hydration on an altered course.  Had I drank enough on the bike, I believe I would have been fine.

On a sad note, I had to retire my go to ASICS FuzeX shoes since they got abused upwards of 300 miles.  I switched to my Cumulus 17's that had a little more life left in them.  Sad shoe moment.

FINISH // 44.5 miles // 3:12:17 // 34th AG

Overall not bad.

Not Worlds qualifying material, but I knew it would be a long shot with a new baby and new job.

What are you going to do?

But, I still had a great time with friends during the delay, race and afterwards.  The 10 hour drive home, not so much.

Had it not been for friends renting a house by transition and racing with me, this would have been a totally different experience.  I'm definitely looking forward to gathering up more like minded friends for future race outings.

Goes to show you that not every race is going to be the same 70.3 experience.  From the Air BNB experience to the weather delays and race change issues, you just have to roll with the punches sometimes and find the silver lining.


  • Find a place close to the race.  Use a trusted source for bookings.  Use a rental so you can buy local food and avoid eating out all the time unless that's your think.
  • Try to include a group.  It's just more fun.
  • Don't skimp on lodging.
  • Be ready for anything.
  • Carry water around at all times and drink it often!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

2016 Ironman 70.3 Racine Race Preview @asicsAmerica @Team_HOTSHOT @LifetimeTri @GenUCAN

So it's around 10 to 15 degrees cooler in Racine, WI, than Olathe, KS.

Which is good for every day walking around, and good for biking and running generally, but not so good for a brisk 1.2 mile swim in mid 60's Lake Michigan.

Tomorrow wraps up my long course triathlon racing for 2016.  Ironman 70.3 Racine has been my target race ever since I signed up late last year.  The course is flat, the temps are cool and it's "drivable" from home, if you consider 10 hours drivable (with stops).

I ended up manning it alone as the kids are on a trip with my mom and Em had to work and watch after a certain little 6 month old at home.  I do have a large contingent of friends and neighbors around, so it's not all loneliville.

Look who just turned 6 months old!

Where you at?

My training has been consistent, but not as productive as I would hope.  Having a new kid definitely changes the game and switching to an office job puts a kink in the works.  I've managed by super early workouts to get to work early to avoid traffic and lunch workouts at our downtown executive airport.  It's got s 3.6 mile loop around the runway that's low traffic and no stops.  The only kicker is trying to jam a workout in and get cleaned up and back to my desk in a timely fashion.  Hence, every workout is shorter than I'd hoped and in the heat of the day during the summer.

BUT, I'm not complaining.  I'm getting it in, just takes more effort now.  I was hoping for some more biking miles than I got in, but what are you going to do?

But the bike may not be the issue race day...

Storms are looming. shows 60+ percent chance of storms all morning will the likelihood going up around 10am.

My swim wave doesn't go until 8am, so I'll potentially be in the thick of it on the bike at 10am.  Should be interesting.

At most I'm hoping we can race the whole event, and not have a duathlon or bike and run event or just a run.... I've been lucky with no weather issues for races this year and hoping the streak continues.

I'm also grateful for racing the Kansas City Triathlon in May when it was pretty chilly to know, I can put together a good race in the 60's and not freeze to death on the bike.  That being said, I will be bringing a layer to wear over my tri top in the event it's raining.  At least now I know to leave the tri shorts in T1 so I have dry shorts for the ride.  It helped tremendously.

I'll be checking weather, but not stressing about it.  Only so much you can control.  At least it's guaranteed wetsuit legal no matter what being in Lake Michigan!

What's my prediction?

Perfect weather // 30ish min swim // under 3 hour bike // under 1:45 run // 5:15 in perfect conditions
Rain // I have no idea.  Lake could be full of waves // bike could be VERY slow // run should be ok // who knows

It's just hard to tell since the Legends 70.3 in June was after a 5k and a half marathon in the days before.  It was more for fun and training than racing for time.

Check the ole Facebook page for updates on race day or for real time tracking.

All I know is I'm ready to race and head back home to be with the family!

What I'll be using race day:

HotShot muscle cramp reducer
ASICS gel cumulus 17's
Lifetime Fitness Tri TEAM kit
UCAN superstarch and hydrate
XTERRA vortex full wetsuit

Friday, July 8, 2016

#OOSMTri Long Course Triathlon Race Preview

So, you may have seen a few posts about the Open Options Shawnee Mission Triathlon...

And I'm a part of the inaugural ambassador program, which has been awesome!

  • I've met the Red Team Captain, Sheryl, and heard about the awesome program Open Options provides to help her have a very fun and active life.
  • I get to geek out talking about triathlon stuff with Open Options board members.
  • I get to talk about a great race that has been around forever and a cornerstone of the Kansas City tri scene.
  • I got to hook people up with a sweet discount for the race!  If you're reading this, live in KC and wanted to race Shawnee Mission Tri and didn't get a hook up, pay attention and maybe next time!
  • We hit our goal for team red for raising over $1000!  You can still donate!  A couple teams are to their goal, but teams like Purple with Mason needs your help!  Consider donating.
  • Raffle tickets can be purchased at packet pickup!  Sweet prizes!
  • Finish line festival is FREE, but donations would be appreciated.  Donate to Team Mason and get him to his goal and eat pancakes til you pop, face painting, Puppet Show, sign making station and more!  This will be GREAT for the kids cause we all know they could care less from arrival to seeing you race.  Spouse wants something to do with the kids during down time at the race?  Here's your answer!

Personally, I've been a part of the SM Tri race 5 times, one time shortened due to weather and one time cancelled due to rain.

I also raced the same course for the KCCC duathlon 4 times.  Lets just say I know the course.  ;)

Last year I won an entry and raced the day after getting back home from a family trip and had to do a relay since I hurt my foot and could not run at the time.  We got 3rd in the team category, so I'm hoping this year's individual effort results in a podium, but I'm not holding my breathe.

Weather for this Sunday has a little rain in the forecast, but I don't believe anything forecasters say these days.  Could be hot and sunny, could be stormy and cancelled.  Who knows.

I've been riding the course a lot as of late for Lifetime Tri TEAM coaching with my team, so I've got some hills under my belt.  I've been tapering a little for the race, but I have IRONMAN 70.3 Racine a week after, so I need to keep up the volume for that training plan.  It's a dance...

Prediction?  Sub 2 hour.  AG Podium?  Depends on who races.  ;)

Friday, July 1, 2016

@RocktheParkway 2016 Half Marathon Race Recap // April 9, 2016

It's about time, RACE REPORT FROM APRIL!
April 9, 2016 was the 2016 edition of Rock the Parkway half marathon.

7th time in the event, 6th time in the half marathon.

I always eye this event as a half PR attempt since running is the easiest activity to maintain over the winter.  Biking is mostly trainer and swimming is inside at the gym only.  No options for OWS and neighborhood pool swimming.

Enough talk, RESULTS!

Main goal, maintain a 7 min/mile pace for 6 miles without extraneous pee stops, assess and go for it for the last 7.1.

First 6 miles
First mile was rough at 7:32, but that's usually the case with the crowd before thinning out and really getting warmed up.  It was a little chilly before the race, but not horrible.

After that there was only one mile over 7 min and I made up time on other miles.

$hit.  That meant I had a real shot at a PR, and even better, sub 1:30.  Time to suck it up and it was all guts with some training to wrap this sucker up.

The first 6 miles I could fake it for pace, the last 7.1 would really tell then tale if my training was worth its salt.  Add a newborn in January to total up 3 kids, and a new job = very sporadic training and more like maintaining schedule.  Basically I was happy getting any kind of workouts in.  Mostly spent in speed and strength work with 1 long slow run a week.  I also opted to drive to the race instead of ride my bike.  AND, I opted not to gorge on trail mix and run full for the race.  Planning.  It's a wonderful thing when done appropriately.

Broke the seal
At mile 8, I had to pit at the turn around at the park.  To have a real shot at sub 1:30, it needed to be fast and efficient.  Basically I was sliding my bib around to the back and pretty much ready to go when I shut the port-a-potty door.  I'll save the details except to say that I was shorts up and out of the potty before I was all the way done.  Sort of like peeing yourself on the run, but only at 10 percent volume.

I wasn't ready to run the last 5 miles with soaked running shorts.  I could play off a little moisture... sweat, ya ya, that's it.

TMI?  Deal with it and read on, if you dare!

I needed to be aggressive the last half and I knew the last 2 miles-ish would be downhill into the finish.  To make up for the pee stop and the first mile, it was lights out.

To be honest, it was all guts at that point (was pretty much all guts from mile 2 on).  From my years of experience, you may get faster, but it's not easier, if that makes sense.  To be faster, you have to be willing to suffer and your body has to adjust at operating at that extreme for extended periods of time.

Getting faster does not happen without effort.  As speed goes up, effort goes up, too.  Accept the suck, or don't go fast.  Check out the heart rate vs pace over the race.  Obviously I was paying the price at the end.

I chose to suffer it out.  Who knows if I'll have another sub 1:30 shot.

That last mile was suffering at it's finest.  I rarely run 6 min/mile in training and to run it after 12 miles at 7 min/mile pace was beyond my comprehension of what I could really do.  You just don't know until you push yourself to the limit.

Under the wire
1:29:32 officially.

There it stands in all it's glory.  Sub 1:30.  It may be by 28 seconds, but it's there.  I'll take it.

Honestly I didn't think I had it in me to bust my PR by 6 minutes and get sub 1:30.  I don't know if I will be able to maintain the fitness to reach that again or exceed it, but at least I can scratch that off the bucket list.

"Look kids, dad could actually move at one point in his life".

Thanks to Simply Hydration // UCAN // Team Banana Hammocks // ASICS for gear and nutrition that I use!

Stay tuned for more race recaps and previews.

Hospital Hill 5k, Half Marathon re-run + Legends Free State 70.3 Triathlon weekend recap coming and Open Options Shawnee Mission Triathlon coming up in a week!