Thursday, September 22, 2011

Branson 70.3 Race Report

Sorry folks but my fan club President, VP, Treasurer, and Historian (aka "Mom") was not able to make it to Branson last weekend so I have no photos from the race. I know, slacking on the job right? But it was only the second race she has missed in my career so I will cut her some slack.

I hope the tedium of this un-illustrated version is bearable. Without further ado:

Swim: 25:33
It was a small field of male pros and with Guy Crawford present, he was the marked man. I tried to get on his feet after the beach start (I hate those btw) and was successful in doing so. Soon Ben appeared at my side and I thought we both had made it. Unfortunately, something went awry and I simply had to slow down. I couldn't get my breath and I had to let go. Matt Lieto passed me as did another guy but my lungs were still in panic mode and I couldn't respond. A few back strokes, and Matt had gapped me by about 15 meters. I decided at that point not to be concerned with catching anyone and to just get into a rhythm. I did, I was able to bridge back up to Matt, pass him, and ended up closing back up to Ben and Guy and only losing 30 seconds or so.

Bike: 2:36
The bane of my season has been the bike. This race was no different. No excuses, no whining, no BS. I rode terribly. There is really nothing to say. It was so lame that it lacked any eventful content to retell here. 12mins lost to Matt and Ben. Pathetic.

Run: 1:19:07
I came off the bike not knowing what the gap was, but knowing it was BIG.  So I put it in my mind to just run hard and see what happened. At least get in a good hard run as Kona training. Good news is, my legs showed up for the party and I was able to make up some ground. On the 3rd and final lap I saw I had brought the gap down to Karl. In fact I was told he was 2 minutes up on me with about 3 miles to go. I figured I might have a chance, and had no reason not to risk blowing a gasket trying. In the end I just ran out of Branson river front walkway. I brought it down to 20secs but Karl hit the finish chute about 75m ahead of me. Another 4th. Another missed podium. Nobody said it would be easy.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me, offered encouragement and words of congrats.

Huge Thank Yous to:
Zoot for making awesome products like the Prophet wetsuit that allowed me to make up ground after a brief fiasco, and the TT 4.0s, which I can't say enough about. An incredible shoe.

Specialized for making a great bike even if I haven't done it justice. And PVBC for keeping it running in top shape.

Reynolds for providing me with some of the best training and race wheels I could ever hope to ride.

PowerBar for providing training fuel to get through the long days, and race fuel to give me the power to push myself to a half marathon PR even after swimming and riding. for being the reliable, speedy people you are and providing all the gear I need at the click of a mouse.

A "Thank You" and big props also go to the Branson 70.3 race crew. Ryan Robinson, Tom Ziebart and the whole crew worked their asses off in some of the toughest conditions I have ever witnessed and the race came off without a hitch. The rain, lightening, wind and thunder was relentless, but so was your drive and commitment to an A+ event. A top notch event it was. From a top notch crew. Well done. Well. Done. 

I am back in Boulder now. Putting in the last little bit of work before I head off to Kona. I am excited, especially since I will hit the Queen K on this Bad Boy.
His name is Darth Vader
Ohh, and a big thanks to all of you who participated in the contest. Sadly one of the slowest time guesses won. Maybe I will have to do another one for Kona and fix that ;-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

High Country Update & a Contest

With time, came a little adaptation, and I am happy to say some improved performance in training. Physiological familiarity with the environment proved to be a big kick in the pants. I wouldn't say I am "crushing it" up here, not by any means, but I have found myself able to access that next gear that had been missing the first couple weeks.

The beauty of this land continues to amaze me and I find myself in awe of the Rockies' grandeur on nearly every ride.

The off-mountain routes do not lack aesthetic appeal either.

Aside from all the "sightseeing" the mountains do offer their challenges and I have found myself gasping for sweet, sweet oxygen on many a day when the altimeter begins to roll.
Taking up high. 
Being a California kid, Los Angeles at that, the closest thing I got to small mountain towns was Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Mammoth. Up here, the seclusion offered by the expansiveness of the Rockies, and the apparent allure thereof, has given birth to some funky little mountain towns. I have not seen many, but those I have, are quite unique.
Outside the "general store" in Ward, CO
I have been here now for four weeks, and six have passed since Ironman Lake Placid. A little break after Placid was good for the mind and the body. Getting back into some good, consistent and focused training was equally so. And I find myself excited to race again. Watching all the recent racing has only added further fuel to the fire. So this weekend I head off to Branson, Missouri, to race a challenging 70.3 and see where my fitness lies after this Boulder campaign.

With this race approaching, and as I have never raced this course before, I figured now would be a great opportunity to put out a little reward to those of you who have poured through some of the senseless drivel I put forth herein. So I have a little contest in mind: Respond via comment on this post with your guess (H:MM:SS) as to my finishing time at Branson 70.3 this Sunday. Closest, without going over, wins!  (Ex: if Carl Jr. guesses 4:08:27 and Jimmy John, 4:21:42 and my finish time is 4:18: 09, then although closer, Jimmy John would be left to his sandwiches as he went over, and Carl Jr. would have his burgers and his winnings.)

"Carl wins what?" you ask... Well, thanks to the generous support of my sponsor Zoot, there are a few prizes available.
Carl would have his choice of the following:
1. one of my race kits from this season (unworn of course) Med jersey, Med shorts
2. This awesome Zoot race/training backpack
3. A Zoot visor, number belt, and water bottle combo.

So guess away. And make em good.