Sunday, December 9, 2012

Checking In

Its been a while since I have posted and so much has happened I don't know were to start. So this will be a quick overview and more focused on getting me up to speed on blogging.

After 70.3 worlds I raced Rose City Tri and Possum Kingdom ( a gem of a race) I feel like I missed my peak by a week as I was jumping out of my skin both days. Its easily to sit here and say I could have done x y and z at Vegas. I had those guys actually! as you race the race on the day and get your finishing place to life with. End of story. Live-learn-forgot. But it got me excited for Austin 70.3 and beyond.... fast forward to Sept 19th (my bros birthday actually) I was in Baton Rouge, knocked out 3k in the pool with a masters group and was on one enjoyable  6 mile run around the lakes at LSU when I had a bad fall turned out fractured my Thumb and had surgery a week last. So 2012 was over and out !

6 weeks in a cast all up my arm with 3 pins holding my thumb in place for 4 weeks and the last 2 weeks I had just a case around my hand. I started back a little swimming in the last week when the cast, just 1000m or so 3 times. When the injury happened I decided to take a 1-2 week break and not do any workouts, then I started running only, with no structure just putting in miles and some tempo type stuff when I felt like it.

So when I hopped back officially in the pool, I wasn't expecting much in terms of pace or feel ! I was just happy to be back in the water and meet my friends at the pool again. But my masters Coach, Susan had me move to my normal lane for a set of 200m's, my goal was to hang on! when I saw the clock after rep 1, I knew I hadn't lost much at all. Just some endurance, which came back after a week or so. I'm so lucky to have a great swim coach to help me with my weakness and I'm excited to see what 2013 brings for me in Triathlon. No more losing lots of time !!!

Thankfully down in San Antonio we have amazing winter and our crew has starting to get focused and ready to put some solid basework in order to build for the next racing season. Wes and I have been kicking about racing plans for 2013. Lots to be determined and organized but for now its time to put the head down and get the work done. This coming week I will aim to get more specific with bike workouts and keep my swim volume high.

Finally I did the Hel of a Du Duathlon on Saturday and had lots of fun and knocked out a solid time to break the course record with my limited biking the last 12 weeks.  

Have a great week.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

70.3 World Champs

On Sunday the 10th,  I raced the World Championships in Las Vegas, the field was stacked with all the household names along with the up and coming guys in the sport of Triathlon.  WTC did an amazing job finding a true course to test the physical and mental strength of each competitor you really earned your finishers medal out there!

Race day rolled around pretty quick and so did 3:30am on Sunday morning, race time was 6:30am and my morning went smooth and uneventful.  I did forget to put tape cover on my Disc to block the opening for the value! Ah well could have forgot to put on my water bottles.  I was positioned next to my friend Shannon for New Zealand, we always end up riding together when we race, I joked that we would probably end up getting out of the water together and getting in each other’s way on bike out.  Funny enough we did get out pretty much together.

The swim start was in the water and the hard part was for us not trying to inch/float forward after the 30sec countdown. But the line held somewhat steady then all crazy broke out with the sound of the cannon. I kept contact and was in the mix on feet to the first buoy. However, my group of 3-4 lost contact with the pack after a few hundred meters. When you have the caliber of guys like Potts and Josh Amberger the swim is going to be super fast from the gun. With that been said I was disappointed when I saw the clock at just under 30min,  my training and other races have indicted I should be around 28min. But I stayed positive and set out to hunt. We had a long transition before we got to our bikes, then I saw a few guys start the climb so I attacked the first hill to make contact, and ended up just driving past and keeping the head down. I caught some more guys before the turn around at mile 24; we had some serious climbing   and descents and then hit a head wind on the return.  Before I reached the turn I saw the front group of 12 and a chase pack of 9, I counted myself at 39 so I picked off 5 bikes and ended up getting 6 or 7 more before hitting T2. I got off the bike feeling ready to run, but reminded myself patience’s was key to the run with the heat and hills, I kept moving up and hitting solid splits both up and down hill, until right at 10.5miles when my focus turned to the finish mode, I did pick off some more guys and kicked in strong to end up 24th in 4:20:56.

Overall I was pleased with my result, I don't think I raced up to my expectations and fitness level but when I look around at the guys just up the road from me and behind me I got to be happy, time/splits is really not a factor it's all about getting yourself in the mindset of racing on the edge on a day when it’s so hot.  I can proudly say I'm 24th in the world in my second year racing Pro.

This result wouldn’t have be possible without the great support team of  sponsors, friends and family so thanks so much to Bart and Mindy of Snapple Tri Team, Also On Running Shoes (Thanks Jon Cook), Immunotec keeping me healthy and allowing me to recover strong. Superfeet for being the best company in the world to work for and making great performance products that everyone should be wearing!! And last but not less my amazing wife Heather.

More to come on Rose City Sprint Tri and Trifecta Olympic  double win weekend.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Steelhead 70.3

Since I got the official word about the 70.3 World Championships, training has been going really well.  I guess knowing that I'll be lining up with the best in the world was definitely a motivator.  The weather down here in San Antonio hasn't caused much of a problem.  The exception has been those few days that are superbly hot and dry, so when I'm on the bike I'm always thirsty; but for the most part a good 96-99 degree temperature is the norm.  

There are some great triathletes who are pretty hardcore down here, which makes it fun to get the workout knocked out at anytime. San Antonio has turned out to be a true gem for training, most recently I moved across the street from a new park (Phil Hardberger Park).  This particular park has some great trails for running and a spot to stop and get some filtered/purified water, talk about sweet!  Another great asset I've had since moving here was access to a master swimming group, coached by Susan Ingram.  She has been a great help and I'm excited about making another step up in my swim. 

This past weekend marked exactly 3 weeks out from the 70.3 WC in Las Vegas, so I decided to head up to Steelhead to have one more solid race.  I feel like I'm finally starting to get a good feel for the distance, not to mention that I'm excited to take part in another midwest event.  I wasn't looking forward to the cold water, but I have to say them temperature was perfect both in the lake and the air.

I was really lucky to stay with a great Family, who have been a part of the Steelhead race forever! Kathy and Matt Davis and their two sons Gordon and Mitch.  I should mention the lads are super fast swimmers! Matt and Gordon did the relay and a posted a great result.

Onto the race details !! at 7am we made the mad dash from the beach to Lake Michigan, we had a decent bit to run/drive before the water was deep enough to swim, I stayed in the mix for the run part and then just focused on hanging in the group and wait for the pace to settle. I was pleased with my swim, coming out only 3:00 min down. But still lots of work to be done, as I want to be in the mix starting the bike.

 After a solid T1 I caught the 2 guys who were just ahead of me on the swim as we rolled out to chase. I was cold on the bike and my calves were cramping during the first 15miles, it was still under 60 deg, which is something I haven't been pushing in for a while. I probably should have brought Calf sleeves (note for cold races, when training in heat) It took me a long time to felt my normal pop on the bike, not until 20miles to go did I actually get going.

Going in I was hoping for a sub 2:12 split, hitting T2 I felt. Really good both mentally and physically, I got the word I was 9th from my friends.  So. lots of work to do on the run, with the cool temps and amazing feeling in my legs I was ready for the chase. I hit 5:33 at the top of the hill for the first mile and could see 2-3 guys up the road. I keep the pace right around 5:40 average until 9mi and then fell off to 6:00 flat for the next 3, I had 3rd in sight however I was starting to not feel good ( with the cool temps I did a bad job with nutrition . My estimation is I was about 500cal off my normal 70.3 intake.  With a mile to go I shut down and focused on just getting across the line. Zach Rubble put in a great effort to kept 3rd, he runs himself to the red, I must give this guy credit as a tough competitor! I ended up splitting 1:17:10 on the run, goal was 1:15:30 so looking at the splits I lost 1:20 from my average pace in the last mile and 10 secs per mile for miles 10-12. So I got 3 weeks to nail some good workouts before Vegas.
I can't complain as I finished with a PR by a min, and had a good race before 70.3 Worlds in Vegas.

Now the shouts outs.

Thanks to my amazing homestay family The Davis's, I plan to come back next year. To my teammate Chris Ganter for saving me the day before when I ripped my pedal off, that would having been a great YouTube video.  The Ironman crew for all the support on the run. I love when they call my buddies and I get the "Kyle said run faster!".  

Finally to my great support system, Snapple, Superfeet, Immunotec, On Running, Hed Wheels, Rudy Project, Tri-sition Area, my wife for pushing me out the door to get the work done, Wes, Carlos and Sean for being superb training partners.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

World Champs 70.3

It's official ! 6 weeks away. Off to bike, blog when I return.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


On Sunday I raced in the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3, located in Lubbock Texas.  The race is put together by Mike and Marti Greet, who have been running it for 23 years.  The race is a gem but don't be fooled, because it is not for the faint hearted.  Last year at this race I got owned by the course, and I ended up calling it a day at mile 4 of the run.  After having to take the 6 hour drive back to San Antonio alone last year, I vowed to come back in 2012 for REDEMPTION.

At Buffalo Springs, the rough hills and wind definitely make the bike and run courses more of a challenge, but the hardest obstacle for any athlete can be the heat.  For those of us who are aspiring to make it to Las Vegas or Kona, this can most definitely be a great training race, but sometimes at the end of the day the heat can be the biggest challenge on the course.  On a side note I would like to give a shout out to Martin Mudoon, who made the long trip from Ireland to compete in this years 2012 Buffalo Springs race.  Martin got an early birthday present when this race was over, as he will be competing at Kona this year and proudly representing Emerald Racing Team.  Congrats again Martin and all the other age group qualifiers!

For me the start of this year had not been going well, race wise and I was stuck in a rut. I needed a break and a starting point ot build on. My first starting point came at Kansas 70.3 two weeks earlier, when I had an average race performance, nothing went wrong and overall I raced my race. In the week that follwed I knew I was ready to step up my game and race to my fitness levels and training.  Luckily I have some amazing training partners and a superbly supportive wife to me strivign to reach my dreams, and perform to my capabilities.

On race day the weather was pretty good for a Texas summer sunday, high of 97 and a low of 73 (or 36/22 for my Irish readers).  The winds were low and the stage was perfectly set for a great day of racing.  At 6:30am the Pro field sprinted into the Buffalo Springs Lake, and the pace was hot from the gun.  I jumped straight in and started to form a group with some of the other guys.  I felt great in the water and I got out in 28:22.  I knew I was ready for the swim after I had a great swim set on Thursday, I was ready to swim sub 1:30 pace.  After a quick T1 I charged up the hill and got into a solid groove on the bike.  As I approached the first turn around (mile 17ish) I counted myself in 11th position and within striking distance of some guys ahead.  I pushed hard on the hills and I noticed I was still holding a fast pace when I rode into the headwind on the way back.  With a long way to go I wanted to remain patient on the bike, since last year I blew up in the last 18 miles (which is all into a head wind on dead roads).  As I climbed the famous spinal staircase I caught two more guys and was still feeling strong.  I kept thinking "maybe this year I won't have to suffer the last 18 miles", and that is exactly what happened.  As I was riding I started feeling better and with every guy I caught my confidence just kept growing.  Looking back now I can say that I had a more controlled ride, which I think ultimately helped my overall finish on the bike.  I ended up getting off the bike in 6th position and was told that the leader was 7-7:30 mins p the road.  As it turns out he was the fastest bike split of the day, his 2:10:55  to my 2:13:25.  To give a better perspective on the bike course, Chris Lieto holds the fastest bike split with a 2:08:04, and that man can ride a bike!

Out of T2 my legs felt good but I reminded myself of last year and just to stay in control.  At the 2 mile split I had 10:59 on my watch and had already passed two more guys.  I was feeling good but I knew the hills were coming in a mile, so I decided to chill and get ready to climb.  I could see that Joe Umphenour was just ahead and Michael Lovato, who I had passed in the last 5 miles on the bike, was chasing me down.  I set a goal not to push until I got to the turn around and could see where I was.  At the very least I knew I secure  Top 5 position.  Lovato came rolling by me at mile 5 and set off for the other guys.  I knew he was a veteran of this race and when he passed me I was at a bad patch and just couldn't step up to his race pace.  At the turn around I saw the leader, and he looked like he was hurting pretty bad; his once 7+ minute lead on me was closer to a 3 min lead now.  I knew in my head that I could run him down, however just ahead of him the two veterans of the race (Umphenour and Lovato) were in a dog fight for the win.  With 2 miles to go I caught the long time leader, who put it all out there and made us all chase.  I must admit that my favorite part of the race was seeing all my friends as I headed toward the finish and they were in the middle of their run.  I got a great shout out from Martin who was in the mix and running guys down hard.  My good friend Carlos Miranda was so happy for me as he was climbing the biggest hill on the course, that he later told me it was easier since he saw me.  I got a high five from Dawn and even saw a fellow Snapple jersey on the course; turns out that it was Courtney Fulton, who made the trip down from my old hometown of Arlington, VA.  I decided to relax my pace and savor the last mile as I knew that my position was secure.

 When it comes to racing we all set out goals and expectations, as athletes we aim high and dream big.  The great thing about racing is that there is always another day for you to hit your goals.  As long as you stay focused and positive you can achieve your dreams.  Since I switched over to Triathalons in 2009, I knew in my mind that this day would come. I couldn't have made it here without all the people who have been there to support me and help me on this journey. Thank you to everyone who has been there for me!   With this 3rd place finish under  my belt it is time to get back at it and continue to build for the next race.
Just for fun I looked up the results of my first triathalon and it was pretty much 3 years go to the day.  What a difference 3 years can make! If you're interested feel free to check it out.

Up next is Muncie 70.3 in IN. 

Thanks for reading !

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bitter Sweet !

Sunday Morning, Wes Anderson, Peter Mallet and I rose at 4am to get ready to race at the Kemah Trathlon. a great race put on by Aaron Palaian. If you ever get a chance you got to do one of their races. I promise you will be happy and have a great experience !

We set up and hopped on the paddle boat to head out for the 6:50am drive off the boat! Check out the photo below. Pretty cool, I actually got a good start but soon after I got kicked badly in the mouth and also pushed underneath and struck in the pack. Basically I had a bad swim and adding in the choppy and extra distance on the swim I was questioning myself, why I do Tri's. But its all for fun. right??

After a quick T1, I  hopped on my Dolan and was ready to chase, this season I have chanced up some fit stuff on my bike and I feel really comfortable (our goal was to make me feel good for the longer stuff, as last season in 70.3's I was having lots of issues) Frank @ Solers Tri Sports (an ex DC'er, like myself)  spend alot of time in getting in me fit and adjusted with Retul. I ride shorter cranks and also a new saddle and seat post. I have to say I truthfully felt so great and pain free and excited about riding the Ironman distance. On Sunday I did have a hard time finding my speed on the bike, but I haven't done the same efforts in training that I normally focus on for 40k races. Most of my riding have been no faster than IM effort. I did have a solid ride and put myself into a good position to run guys down. Not as close as I normally am heading out ont the run,  but I was playing more catch up after the swim too. Bike course was head wind for first 11miles then a out and back before we had a tail wind the last 10miles.

I'm in the middle of the action. around the guy who dived early.

Drink up son !

Hitting T2 I knew I had to be quick in and out and off to hunt, I felt good straight away out on the course. Normally I can tell within the first few steps the way the run is going to go. I rolled around 5:05 and then backed it up with 5:14, at this stage I could see people I wanted to run down. We looped around the twisty Broadway for mi 3 and then passed the finish area (lots of crowds, nice!) Mile 4-5 we ran up and down the bridge. Tough to maintain what pace your running with the wind and incline. But the nice thing is, you can see were you are and the athletes your chasing. Top 3 were well out of reach 4-7 were still in sight, my buddy Wes was battling hard and having a great race in the mix. Pete like myself was putting in a good effort and not having his usual solid day similar to me. I worked hard to pull him back and tried to get him to come with me to chase Grant Glauser, who I could tell was also not having his normally solid performance. His was unlucky not to get the fastest bike. I expect a big race out of Grant soon!. With 1/2mile to go I picked up and kicked in and was rewarded with the fastest run split by almost 2mins (32:54) on a honest course with the hills. I will take it while IM training as most of my training pace is geared towards that effort.
As you can see from my face, I'm not a happy camper.

Next up is IM Texas on May 19th

Thanks to Snapple, Immunotec, Superfeet and Erin Anderson for allowing me to use her front wheel again and again. Also Well done to my buddy Wes Anderson for kicking off his season with a bang!! check out his blog.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Kemah Triathlon

Looking forward to this weekend. I've heard great things about this race and I'm excited to dive off the boat !!  These guys put on super races and if you ever get a chance to do one of them you will really enjoy the experience.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Orleans 70.3

NOLA 70.3 or 67.1

High winds were on the menu for this past weekend along with possible thunderstorms, instead of a game day decision the Race Director made the call the day before. It was a good call, when I warmed up I ran by the swim course area and the waves were really strong!  My buddy Carlos Miranda and I were ready to roll and enjoy our time in NOLA.

So at 7am the international field of Pro men lined up for a 2 mile run which honestly was just a prologue ( like the first day of the Tour De France)  There was not much to be gained in 2miles, because as soon as everyone got on the bikes the group would come back together. I thought about pulling it out really hard to see if people would follow, but it would be pointless. A few of us keep it at a solid pace (5:10) it was a mile out and back then a run to the transition area of about .1mi . I got in 2nd grabbed my rothar (Gaelige for bike) and set on my way into the wind.

The wind in fact was crazy for the first few miles as we rode right on the lakeshore, being 144 pounds doesn’t help in gusts of up to 40mph. I should have put some stones in my pockets! Anyway I got in line and rode as long as I could in the front group, I was passing people on the up sections on overpasses and bridges. But as soon as the bigger guys got to the front on the flats the race took off. I let a gap open and it was too late to get back on the train, it’s really different ball game when you are in the mix instead of coming out of the water way down and chasing solo or with one or two guys. Either way my biking legs were not there on Sunday, even without the high winds I won’t have been ok. I have another go at finding them this weekend at Kemah.  All my focus has been on Ironman Texas and May 19th is when I will be ready to roll so I got some time to put everything together.

On the run I felt a lot better than Galveston (I took in fuel on the bike and didn’t drop anything!!) my legs took about a mile to get moving and I locked into a good pace and chased hard I caught a lot of guys and had the 7th faster run, just under 2mins off the faster. I ran 1:15:12 so heading in the right direction.  I know there is still more in me as I lost sometime in the last 2miles.  But I can’t complain as  I normally take a few races for everything to click and put things together.

When I look at the results I got to be happy as I’m sure that not too many of the guys again of me are working full time as well.  Next up is Kemah Olympic this Sunday just south of Houston.  My recovery this week has been good so I’m excited for this race alongside my Snapple teammate Wes Anderson.