Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kansas 70.3 2014

With my buddy Mike the day before we both dominated the course
It amazing how fast the years go by, I still remember 2011 driving to Kansas with my  new awesome training partner Wes Anderson a  Fast forward  to 2014, this was my 4th year racing in Lawrence KS,  I drove from Chicago with my good buddy Mike Eaton who was racing his first 70.3. We chatted each others ears off for 8-9 hours on the drive while his girl chilled in the back. 
I have a special connection with this race as my buddies company Silverback is the team that runs the show here for WTC.  This race and the city of Lawrence is a gem and should be on everyones radar to race or visit sometime. 
Before  I get to the race details I what to quote a famous Ireland George Bernard Shaw  "Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will." 
This is very true to anything in life and I encourage all my friends and family to create  what you desire and turn your dreams into reality.  Don’t settle for the comfort zone ! It will be a roller coaster of a ride but well worth the Journey. 
On Sunday I put together my best effort in this funny sport we call Triathlon. I'm typically not one to talk about goals/times and places etc. But deep down  I knew I could put myself in the mix.  From the moment I zipped up my Zone3 Victory wetsuit ( 3 time award winning !) and dived in Clinton lake I could tell from the first stroke it was going to be a good swim. I’ve had some issues at the start of races this year with getting a little panic attack with the jockeying for position early on. Talking with my swim Coach Susan Ingram,  I chose to start a little off to the side and make up ground when the pace settles down. I now have a few gears that I can use as a swimmer instead of just ‘steady slow”  off the back! I ended up leading the 2nd main pack for the majority of the swim and in the last 200m I slotted back to save some energy for up hill run in T1. I ended up having a great transition, dropping all the guys in my swim pack and then caught 2 guys in the first mile on the bike who were swimming in between groups.      
On the bike I  have never felt so relaxed and  controlled. I’ve been riding my Quintana Roo Illicito  for 4 months now  and it feels part of my body when I'm riding it. The connection comes also from my Cobb SHC saddle which keep me in the 'sweet spot" for riding.  As we headed up the hills, out of the park I pressed the guys I was riding with to make sure we had a “select chase group” and that we did after the pace settled down. Then I dropped back the legal distance and let some of the others do some work to set up for the chase. We have a solid group and everyone was working well together and staying legal. (We did have a ref with us for the majority of the race, so that was great)  We picked off some guys before the first turn around and got to do the good old count the fella off the front to see were you are at. There was a group of four up front and David Khan off the back. So  I knew  we would have to work hard to catch up time on the front pack. I went back to the front every time we had hills to drive the chase.   At the 2nd turn around TJ Tollakson  had a clear lead and the chasers were down to two. With our pack gaining on 4rd.
By the end of the bike Blake Becker and I had dropped the others and caught 4th place as we hit T2. I said to myself “time to make it happen”   I knew all I had to do was be patience on the run and stay in it mentally.  To be honest I was aiming for the podium and knew the shape I was in would get me there or there about.  So I expected to be in this position, now its was time to create what I imagined.  Out of T2 Joe Umphenour and I were out the gates  at 5:30 pace and dropped Blake.  Then Joe dropped me right before the 2nd mile and I spend the next 11 miles chasing his tail at 10- 11 secs of a gap all the way  around the rolling course. I did make up nearly 7mins on TJ who was hurting bad from his efforts of the bike.  As I hit the finishing straight I saw 3:55 on the clock and realized I was on for a new PR and a 4th place finish. That puts me 17th-11th-6th-4th the last 4 years at Kansas 70.3.  I just set myself a goal, and have starting imagining 
With William from Cobb Cycling.
for 2015 in Kansas. 
My day ended by getting to cheer Mike to a great 70.3 debut first. He know has the Tri bug. 

For the record my splits were
Overall 3:55;44
Swim: 26:13 (11th fastest)
Bike: 2:13:15 (4th fastest)
Run: 1:13:59 (3rd fastest)

Lastly, I want to thank all my friends, family  and great sponsors (Revolution Race Team, Cobb Cycling Quintana Roo, Zone3 wetsuits, The Fitness Kitchen, Juicer Heroes)   for the kind words and support to get me across the line.

Up Next is Boulder 70.3 this Sunday. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NOLA 70.3 2014

New Orleans 70.3 

On Sunday I had my “do over” season opener, after having to drop out of Ironman 70.3 Monterrey and sitting out of Texas 70.3 with a calf injury, I was eager to come out of the gates running down in the “Big N Easy”.   
In 2013 I had a breakout race and broke 4hr for the first time in New Orleans and also set the fastest time by an Irishman at the time for the 70.3 distance. I also had the fastest run on that day  with a 1:12.  So its safe to say NOLA holds a special place in my heart. Its not ever race you get to ride in the “Irish Bayou” . This year emotions were high again after the sad events that happened two days before the race (please check the link below to support the family)  On a personal note I was excited to have my little man at the race, as last yr he was the reason I could push for a strong run.  This year was no different, in the photo above I’m shouting over to him at mile 10 on the run, it gave me the strength to push the last 5k.  I’ve made some key changes this year to help me recent my goals, starting on a nutrition plan thanks to Juicer Heroes and also my personal strength coaches Keith and Marie at Efficient Exercise. 
 Briefly on the race, I had a PR swim coming out in 25:45 and got out of the water in 10th, just off a group of guys with some solid bikers in the mix. I got on my Quintana Roo Illictio and made like a rocket to keep myself in the race. This is the closest I’ve ever been to the front of a 70.3 after the swim leg. For me to only lose 3:30 or so to Andy Potts in the water is huge for me!  Thanks you  Coach Susan and  Coach Tiitta of MOST SA for the amazing work you both have done with this former non floater . On the bike I was riding strong with 5th -10th . At mile 40 or so my left quad locked up, (side note I switched from a 53T to a 55T on wednesday. Long story !!) But lesson learned don’t change what is working on race week. I ended up losing 3 mins or  more and was worried I was not even going to be able to run so I totally backed off and fell back to 12th.  
Coming into T2 I was praying that I didn’t need my quads to run! I was going to take whatever I had and even walk to the finish if I had to! On run out I got a big shout from a friend and it got me going. I had to stay strong and positive on the run. It was a total mental battle but I held a solid pace and ran guys down to finish 7th. On another day it could have been better or a lot worse! So I will take it and now its going to be a great 2014. 
Thanks for taking the time to read, In the next update I will be officially launching my website (with some give aways!!) Also I will   give some details on my training towards IM Texas and some tips on swim improvement.Finally, please take a min and if you can donate to help the family of the man who was killed on Friday before the race while he was checking out the race course.

Robbie Wade

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Learning from the best!

As a Professional triathlete one of my favorite things to do is share my knowledge, passion and love for the sports with other triathletes. I was fortunate this weekend to have the opportunity to do this in Tyler Tx and Shreveport LA.  One of my main sponsors Cobb Cycling, invited me up to do some talks with the local area clubs. Most people know better than to hand me a mic but my buddy and Cobb's Athlete Coordinator Jeremy Brown got this Irish lad to team up with the awesome Ben Collins to hopefully provide some helpful tips and provide an insight into our lives and why we work with such great companies who help us strive to be better athletes and role models.

The weekend for me was also jam packed with a little 15k running race and a mini training camp along with the opportunity to work with the legend himself John Cobb.
My new bike position

Let me start by saying how welcome I feel whenever I'm up in the Tyler area, Its almost like home to me, they Tri community is very friendly and supportive. You would go a long way to find a better bunch of people.  Also they put on some amazing races there too,  like Tri Tyler Half (which has a sprint and Olympic also) this will take place in just over 3 weeks and also Rose City Tri in Sept.  I have won both and will be back again for them in 2014. But this past week I was replying on my running legs in the Fresh 15k, Early I was joking when I referred to this as a little race. It was a first year race put on by Meghan (Event Manager) and the Fresh team  they did an amazing job putting it on,  they also did an superb job putting together a fast field of local and international stars.  I was pleased with my 6th place hit out,  my favorite part of the race was getting to run along side local hero Clay Emge who is a good friend of mine and amazing triathlete, I can't wait to see him in the Professional ranks this year.  This is going to be a big year in many ways for Clay.  

Back to the Training camp part, so after the 15k I ran another 5 miles easy the loaded up on post race Fresh food along with a 16 oz of The Refresher Juice from Juicer Heroes before hitting the pool for a swim with Mark and Jeremy.  Then following more straight calorie intake I hit the road with Clay for a 3h+ ride were we ended up around 65mi with some solid efforts.  Towards  the end we got to link up with Jeremy and Ben C for some miles before we got back to FRESH for the East Texas Triathletes talk. It was a great opportunity to talk about training, life and 2014.

On Sunday morning I was up bright and early for a 10mi jog with the lads, we started at before 7am shirtless and right around 6 or 7 mil the weather was turning and the temps were dropping. Towards the end it was down from 70 to 50 with the rain starting, the for sure would put us indoors to bike and  lead me to have my longer ride on the trainer of all winter.  But it went by quickly due to the company and set we did. 

In the evening time we went to Shreveport for another talk with the local Tri club there (Sunrise Tri Club) Mike and Jeremy did an excellent job with about 20-25 people showing up to listen to Ben and I talk and ask some excellent questions on racing, balancing training and life and getting it done.  On the way home we were driving into the ice storm that was hitting North Texas,  but thankfully our main man Jeremy got us home in one piece to cap over a great week for me. 

On Monday we had to miss our swim due to all the pools been closed as a result of the ice storm that hit pretty bad.  So Ben and I got to Cobb Cycling world HQ a nice and early to spend more time with the master and his great crew.  Its amazing to be around someone like John with such knowledge and experience, but what I find the most inspiring is the time he spends giving back to the sport, not just with professionals athletes but with beginners and people who do the sport for fun and fitness.  I've also been fortunate to work with John at a practice Tri session and see him connect with these people, smiling joking and giving them tips. This is why as long as I ride a bike there will be a Cobb saddle on it. 

Finally, I got to knock out a another trainer ride with Ben, who is also a stand up guy and I can't wait to see him light up the circuit this year. So if you don't already follow him, get him on twitter @triBC and his website is : 

In another news I will be opening up my multi sport season at the Blue Northern Duathlon this weekend in Seguin TX.