Thursday, December 22, 2016

Tentative 2017 Season

These are all the possible long course races that I will be at in 2017. Many of these are tentative and race plans will be dialed in as we get closer.

March - Puerto Rico 70.3

April - Texas or California 70.3
April - Ironman Texas

May - Chattanooga 70.3

June - Raleigh or Eagleman 70.3
June - Lake Mills or Elkhart Lake
June - Mont Tremblant 70.3

July - Racine 70.3

August - Steelhead 70.3

September - Ironman Wisconsin

October - Ironman Louisville

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ironman Chattanooga...The Run Down

I think it's always good for athletes to be able to give a fair assessment of their racing performance in order to learn from it in the future. You can train to a very high level of fitness, but you can't train the race dynamics that play out after the gun goes off. You do your best to make the decisions you feel you need to, but sometimes they don't turn out to be the correct choices. That's where there is an opportunity to learn...even after 15 years.

Going into Sunday lacked a little racing this year and it showed. I also lacked the ability to be patient when I needed to be. I am an aggressive/assertive racer, it's how I am hard wired. However this last weekend there were times when I needed to have the ability to tone that down a bit. Lessons to carry forward.

I wrote up an honest race report, I hope you enjoy...

+++

I felt great on race weekend; confident, happy, sharp, motivation and I was 100% healthy. The weather was HOT (97* to be exact), but I had done several bricks over 7hrs in the heat during this build and I have performed very well in the heat in the past.

+++

It was a moderately fast first 200, then it was about as easy as it gets during a front pack swim. After about the second buoy we formed a nice double pace line where I found myself in the back half. About 1000m though it seemed like a long ways to the front of the group when I started to peek around the guys in front of me. They weren't swimming too close up on the guys in front of them and I kept thinking that they might get dropped and that it was a better option to move from the left side of the group to the right side and then up to try to get a better position further up.

At this point I should have simply told myself that it was more important to swim as easy as possible in the warm river and also that it would be nearly impossible for the group to split. However I made the move and over swam it. I found myself getting very very hot, got swum up on a bit by the guys on my feet and had a bit of a panic. It can happen more easily in warm water. I stopped, regrouped and then built back into a rhythm, swimming the last 2500m well and only lost about another 30 seconds to the pack.

+++

In Pro racing on a course like this, the group is so important. The savings in energy is massive and it typically makes you minutes faster than if you were to ride on your own.

I figured I could make up the gap without a problem but told myself that if I didn't catch them in the first 30', I'd settle and prepare to ride solo. At the 15' mark, I could everyone ahead and I eventually caught the group right around that 30' mark. Swim error overcome....

At 20 miles there were 10 of us together with 3 guys up the road. The rolling hills caused the group to accordion (come together on the hills and stretch out on the downs). The officials seemed to be ok with this, though I felt like there were so many times when everyone was well inside of the 6 meters that need to exist between your bike and the rider ahead of you.

A short time later at mile 25 I made a similar decision to that of the swim. Instead of being patient, the rider in front of me let a gap to the rider in front of him open up on an uphill, I moved around him, trying to make my way to the from of the group, which is where I usually ride my best. The official disagreed and hit me with a 5 minute penalty.

The rules are such that you can pass and slot in if the space between your bike and the bike in front of you is more than the minimum 6 bike lengths that needs to exist...it's a rule that is enforced based only by the opinion of an official. They are making the call from different vantage points and traveling at around 30mph. In this case the official was 3 riders behind me and I didn't feel he could accurately see what I did on the bike.

I would like to see the rules changed to 12 bike lengths being needed to "slot in" and I would also like to see officials start to penalize those hanging out in the pace line (not just accepting it for the accordion that it is), not penalizing those riders who are aggressive and assertive in making their way through.

I stopped, served my 5 minutes at the next penalty tent and then finished out the last 90 miles going through many ups and downs.

+++

The run was hot, but I started easy and felt ok. My lack of focus on the bike likely lead to me neglecting nutrition and fueling. It's tough when you arrive into T2 around 15-20 minutes behind. I ran alright for most of the first loop, but ended up getting sick at mile 15. Shortly there after I pulled the plug for what was a good decision for me to make.

+++

There is a huge amount of work that goes into being race ready at a high level and it can be very disappointing when that work doesn't translate over into a performance that you are capable of. It's important to learn from mistakes, to remember that no fitness is never wasted, to know that shit happens and also to get to planning the road that lays ahead.

Thank you to the amazing homestay that Ann and Charlie provided, thank you to my family, support crew, team of amazing athletes, sponsors and partners who make all of this possible and exciting for me, even after 15 years of Ironman racing.

Now for a little R&R and some planning for the end of 2016 and 2017... more to come soon.






Ironman Chattanooga...The Run Down

I think it's always good for athletes to be able to give a fair assessment of their racing performance in order to learn from it in the future. You can train to a very high level of fitness, but you can't train the race dynamics that play out after the gun goes off. You do your best to make the decisions you feel you need to, but sometimes they don't turn out to be the correct choices. That's where there is an opportunity to learn...even after 15 years.

Going into Sunday lacked a little racing this year and it showed. I also lacked the ability to be patient when I needed to be. I am an aggressive/assertive racer, it's how I am hard wired. However this last weekend there were times when I needed to have the ability to tone that down a bit. Lessons to carry forward.

I wrote up an honest race report, I hope you enjoy...

+++

I felt great on race weekend; confident, happy, sharp, motivated and I was 100% healthy. The weather was HOT (97* to be exact), but I had done several bricks over 7hrs in the heat during this build and I have performed very well in the heat in the past.

+++

It was a moderately fast first 200, then it was about as easy as it gets during a front pack swim. After about the second buoy we formed a nice double pace line where I found myself in the back half. About 1000m through it seemed like a long ways to the front of the group when I started to peek around the guys in front of me. They weren't swimming too close up on the guys in front of them and I kept thinking that they might get dropped. It seemed like a better option to move from the left side of the group to the right side and then up to try to get a better position further up.

At this point I should have simply told myself that it was more important to swim as easy as possible in the warm river and also that it would be nearly impossible for the group to split. However I made the move and over swam it. I found myself getting very very hot, got swum up on a bit by the guys on my feet and had a bit of a panic. It can happen more easily in warm water. I stopped, regrouped and then built back into a rhythm. I swam the last 2500m well and only lost about another 30 seconds to the pack.

+++

In Pro racing on a course like this, the group is so important. The savings in energy is massive and it typically makes you minutes faster than if you were to ride on your own.

I figured I could make up the gap without a problem but told myself that if I didn't catch them in the first 30', I'd settle and prepare to ride solo. At the 15' mark, I could everyone ahead and I eventually caught the group right around that 30' mark. Swim error overcome....

At 20 miles there were 10 of us together with 3 guys up the road. The rolling hills caused the group to accordion (come together on the hills and stretch out on the downs). The officials seemed to be ok with this, though I felt like there were so many times when everyone was well inside of the 6 meters that need to exist between your bike and the rider ahead of you.

A short time later at mile 25 I made a similar decision to that of the swim. Instead of being patient, the rider in front of me let a gap to the rider in front of him open up on an uphill, I moved around him, trying to make my way to the from of the group, which is where I usually ride my best. The official disagreed and hit me with a 5 minute penalty.

The rules are such that you can pass and slot in if the space between the rider ahead of you and the rider ahead of him is more than the minimum 6 meters that needs to exist...it's a rule that is enforced based only on the opinion of an official. They are making the call from a different vantage point and traveling at around 30mph. In this case the official was 3 riders behind me and I didn't feel he could accurately see what unfolded.

I would like to see the rules change to 12 meters being needed to "slot in" and I would also like to see officials start to penalize those hanging out in the pace line (not just accepting it for the accordion that it is). It does make sense to penalize the assertive riders.

I stopped, served my 5 minutes at the next penalty tent and then finished out the last 90 miles going through many ups and downs.

+++

The run was hot, but I started easy and felt ok to start. The lack of focus on the bike likely lead to me neglecting nutrition and fueling. I ran alright for most of the first loop, but ended up getting sick at mile 15. Shortly there after I pulled the plug for what was a good decision for me to make.

+++

There is a huge amount of work that goes into being race ready at a high level and it can be very disappointing when that work doesn't translate over into a performance that you are capable of. It's important to learn from mistakes, to remember that no fitness is never wasted, to know that shit happens and also to get to planning the road that lays ahead.

Thank you to the amazing homestay that Ann and Charlie provided, thank you to my family, support crew, team of amazing athletes, sponsors and partners who make all of this possible and exciting for me, even after 15 years of Ironman racing.

Now for a little R&R and some planning for the end of 2016 and 2017... more to come soon.






Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Season Update & Maybe One More Rodeo



Milkman Bike Picture

NEWSFLASH! I am not immune to injury! 

What?!?!? Apparently 34 is not 24 and the body will sometimes not recover properly if it is neglected, especially after racing for more than 15 years and while also running a full-time and then some business. 

This is the first season since 2005 that I have dealt with a major injury that has compromised my training for a long period of time (6+ months). I have a degeneration/range of motion issue in my left ankle and big toe. It has caused a lot of other associated problems, but this is the main thorn that I need to eliminate.

While it's a major bummer and definitely not how I envisioned the year going, I am determined to salvage some kind of a season and more importantly set myself up for a great 2017. I am doing the work to get better...which at times feels like it will never happen, but as a friend and DPT said to me the other day, "injuries that take time to occur, take time to heal." So I am staying patient.

If I can get healthy I would love to race Timberman 70.3 on August 21st and Ironman Chattanooga in September. If I can't get in the training for a full Ironman, I may do a few more Half Ironman distance events, but nothing later than October. If I can't get healthy in the next 4 weeks, I will probably take my off season early and really make sure I get back to good health before next year.

I am then turning my attention to 2017. Ironman Wisconsin is slated to bring back a Pro Men's race next year. While it's not set in stone, I may make this my last Professional Ironman event. I have wanted to win this race since 2002 and if this is my last opportunity, I will do everything I can to make it happen. It might be a stretch with all I have going on and I can't control who shows up, but crazier things have happened.

I definitely could decide to race for a few years after this, but with a successful coaching business that I am passionate about, I find myself wanting to help others more than I want to focus on myself 24/7. There are also the other things in life that you sacrifice as a Professional Athlete and as they say, life is short...

So that's the 411 on my racing. I can't wait until I can go for a pain free run and hopefully I find myself back on a starting line soon!

Until next time...


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Chattanooga & Upcoming Races


Chattanooga 70.3 Pre-race Picture!



If I scripted results from Chattanooga, I don't think that I could have done a better job. Everyone finished, everyone had a great experience, many people set new PR's and there were 6 athletes who found themselves on the podium with 3 of those at the top, WOW!! 


The Podium!



Here are some more action shots:








When I started this craziness, I never thought that we'd be bringing over 30 athletes to a race or that the environment would become so great...by this I mean creating an ecosystem with training, support, community and resources to allow all athletes (lifestyle, social and competitive) to maximize their time available to train and accomplish their goals. It's very easy to lose motivation and to fall of track and this team (the athletes) are the glue that keep so many from losing their direction. THANK YOU!


+++++


My own race was less than stellar, but I'll take it given I was coming down with a virus and also coming back from an injury. The silver lining was getting to compete with everyone in a great city and as I've always liked to say, living the dream through opportunities that most don't have.


+++++

Next Up:

BBMC has races just about every weekend from here on out through the summer, but next up is Lake Mills, Legend 1/2, Hawaii 70.3, Elkhart Lake and Milkman.

The next race up for me is a new regional half ironman distance race here in Madison called The Milkman. It has definitely been a slow spring for me personally, but this race will give me another opportunity to get that first good result of 2016! If you are in Madison, come check out the race, there will be 1500 athletes competing at Olin Turville Park on Sunday, June 19th. 

Less than 3 weeks to go...



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Racing... Getting Back Up To Speed

It's time for a racing update since I haven't posted in a few months.

This season definitely hasn't gone 100% to plan, but I am building and getting back to closer to where I want to be. So things are looking up!

Here's the rundown:

I am managing my work/coaching load pretty well. BBMC is more than I could have hoped for! The balance is something that can be hard for Professional Athletes who also coach or have another full-time job. The best advice I have to others is to take everything as it comes and don't get bent out of shape because you can't train/recover like some of the guys and gals who have unlimited hours. There is no rule that says you have to do "A" to get "B" results. We are all different and thrive on different balances within our own lives. Figure out what works best for you and run with it!

Physically I have broken down a bit this year with plantar fasciitis in my left foot. It's something that I haven't had to deal with in the last 16 years of racing, but I've been told there is a first time for everything. Dry needling from Dave Nissenbaum at Sport & Spine has proven the most effective, along with a change in shoes from my 5oz flats to a more cushioned 8+ ounce shoe. I also have tried lots of ice bottle rolling, a boot, golf ball rolling, cream, compression, massage and some strengthening work. Over the last 7+ weeks I have slowly started to come around so fingers are crossed that things continue to get better over the next 2 weeks.

That will put me at my second 70.3 of the season in Chattanooga with around 30 BBMC athletes! Last month I raced New Orleans 70.3 and had a less than great event mostly due to a lot of foot pain. So this time around I would like to not only go better than I did at this race last year (8th), but I would also like a pain free event. A big shout out to Maureen for getting the ball rolling on registration for the team on this one!


One of the highlights from the day in New Orleans was my 2:08 bike split.
So that's the update for now. A month after Chattanooga I will race local olympic and half iron distance events at Elkhart Lake and Milkman. After these races I'll probably take a week off and plan the rest of the season.

As always, thanks for reading!