Iron Trailblazer 2008: Race Report and More!!

Saturday morning began my first real experience of Ironman. Last year I went to watch the swim start and a bit of the bike but this year was going to be a whole lot different. It all began with me heading over to volunteer in the registration area from 8:30-11. I really had no idea what to expect and turns out there really wasn’t much. All I did was check in a few late arrivals who were not able to get registered on Thursday or Friday. I think we might have seen 30 people total. The best part had to be seeing a few of my Tri-Fusion teammates checking in their gear and getting ready for the big day.

Getting all set up.At 11:00 I hurried to my car since the plan was to race the Medical Lake Trailblazer at 1:00. The drive took about an hour and I arrived with just enough time to get all set up and it was time to go. I would like to thank the Thompson’s for hauling my bike out and Tim for getting me a transition spot. I really didn’t know what time I was going to arrive so I thought it would be good to get as much done as possible before I arrived.
After the brief athlete meeting we were off to the lawn to put our wetsuits on and make the short swim across the lake. This would be the first year that I actually swam across instead of jumping in the back of the trucks. I remember the last few years thinking how crazy those people are for swimming ALL the way across just to swim back. Doesn’t that wear you out? Since now I know how short the swim really is, it was a good warm-up and I really felt ready to go once I made it across.

After floating around in lakeweed, you can’t call it seaweed if you are in a lake can you, for about 5 minutes the race finally started. My plan was to go anaerobic throughout the swim and bike and see what I had left during the run. I really wanted to push myself.

Apparently I still NEED to work on my sighting. I started on the far left, slowly made my way to the right of the pack and then worked my way back to the ramps. It wasn’t the prettiest swim ever but I was still able to come out of the water just behind Tiffany and right in front of Jessi. I was pretty stoked with that because they are both great swimmers and even though it was a short swim, small victories are always nice.

So up the hill I went and ran into T1. It didn’t go as smooth as I had hoped but overall it went pretty good. I once again forgot to get my cycling shoes all opened up and had to spend a few precious seconds but all in all it went good.

The bike course is pretty short and I really wanted to push my effort to see how my conditioning is hold up. Since I was in the top 10 out of the water, the people in front of me were definitely fast. There was a small group that included Jessi and I was hoping to keep up. They eventually pulled away but I was able to keep them in sight for most of the race. I was passed by a few pretty good cyclists but all in all the bike portion went well. I still need to get stronger if I want to compete with the big boys.

T2 rocked. That is about all I need to say. I was out of my shoes on the bike. I had my helmet off by the time I reached my transition area and my shoes were on in a flash. I grabbed my visor and I was off and running. A fellow Tri-Fusion member, Josh, was about 10 seconds ahead of me going into transition and I was out before him. As we were running away from the crowd I heard Tim yell “Hold him Off”. It was at this moment I started laughing. I was all of 50 yards into a 2.92 mile run and he was telling me to hold off the fastest guy in our club. This kid can run sub 5:15’s all day long. It wasn’t long before he passed me and was soon out of sight.

My goal for the run was to keep it under 20 minutes. That would put me around 6:40 miles and I would definitely be happy with that pace. I felt pretty strong but with no mile markers I really had no idea what pace I was running. I was able to pass 3 people and felt strong all the way to the finish.

I once again didn’t actually take splits for this race but I swam somewhere around 5:30. T1 was probably just over a minute. The bike was just under 32 minutes and my run was 19:40. My overall time was 58:47. This was a 7:33 improvement over last year and over a 14 minute improvement over the year before. I really can’t compare the years before because of how much more prepared I am this year but it is nice to see improvement. I really don’t expect to see this kind of improvement every year but you have to start somewhere.

After the race I was able to rope in Greg Gallaher and Eric for a nice little 28 mile ride back to the northside of Spokane. The Swanson’s were nice enough to take my car back to their house allowing me to get in a bit of extra training which is definitely needed with Lake Stevens in two weeks. The ride was pretty good and I felt pretty strong throughout. I faded near the end but it was a hot day and I had just raced.

The night was finished up by traveling around with Tiffany and Jessi putting up a few Ironman signs for our members who were going to race tomorrow. The night involved some long dark driveways, balloons exploding in neighborhoods at 10:00 pm. And of course some rain, just to finish out the long day. I was able to get in bed around 12:45 with just enough time to get a few hours of sleep before the alarm went off at 4:45 in preparation to head over to Coeur d’ Alene for Ironman 2008.

Seriously, am I going to get shot. It does say "ABSOLUTELY NO TRESPASSING"
Hanging a few streamers. I drew the short end of the stick, or did I? ;)
Jessi and Tiff taking a moment to break dance in the middle of Tim's driveway.


Medical Lake Trailblazer: Past

Trailblazer has become one of my favorite races. The race is located only 15 minutes from my house and you get to ride in the back of a truck to the swim start. What could be better than that?

In 2006 I signed up for this race with my two cousins who got me involved in the sport of triathlon. My only goal of that race was to beat my cousin Jason. Well that didn’t happen but he hasn’t been back since. My first year it took me 1:13+ to finish the race. My swim was just over 9:00 and I don’t even want to know what my other splits were. Since it was only my second race I really didn’t have anything to compare it too but it was fun and I couldn’t wait until the next year to race it again.

So it is now 2007 and I had just recently joined the club Tri-Fusion. I think I may have been a member for only a month so I really didn’t know anybody. It was awesome to see all of them out there cheering each other on and wearing such cool gear. I knew at that moment that the club was special and it was going to be a fun ride once I got to know everybody.
Once again I jumped in the back of the truck with the goal of beating last year’s time. Unfortunately my cousin wasn’t racing so I didn’t get to redeem myself. I think the swim was around 6:30 so there was definite improvement there. This was the first time I had swum in a full body wetsuit and halfway through I though my chest as going to explode. It wetsuit seemed so tight and I could really never get a good breathe. I was completely anaerobic and was so happy to hit the other side.

Then there was the fun of T1. This was my race where I decided it was be a good idea to put on my jersey after the swim. Well a tight bike jersey on a wet body doesn’t really work well and I ended up coming out of T1 with my jersey half on and completely frustrated. 10 seconds later......
Still not completly on or zipped up.... but off I go.
I look back at it now and just laugh at how much I didn’t know. I don’t remember much about the bike but I believe I ran somewhere around a 7:02/mile. I was rather pleased with the better performances and finished with a time of 1:06:20. The improvement was definitely noticeable and once again had a great time.

Swimming Away!!

This week involved 3 consecutive days of attending the Master’s swim at 5:00am. I think it actually might be harder to get up then it is to do the workout. Boy were my arms tired, but I am really starting to see a difference which is nice. My stroke feels stronger and I think I am actually getting faster. It is amazing what can happen when you ACTUALLY go to the pool on a regular basis.

I threw in two loops during the BLT. I am trying to focus on riding with my cadence between 90-95 to try and gain a little power. I probably should have done this earlier in the year but I have been noticing a difference. When I race I am typically between 100-103 and when my cadence drops in the low 90’s I really feel like I am draining my power. I want to feel more comfortable during the races and give myself a wider range to ride in.

We had our monthly Tri-Fusion meeting where it was announced that I am running for the Membership Director position. I have some tough competition (myself) so I plan to run a tough campaign. There will be no holding back. This new adventure should be exciting and allows me to get more involved in the club.

This weekend is the annual Trailblazer triathlon in Medical Lake and of course Ironman. Trailblazer was my second ever triathlon in 2006 and I really enjoy seeing how much I have improved from year to year. I have definitely put more training in so it should be a blast.

Hope everyone had a great week.


Blue Lake: Race Report

The morning of the race started out just like Saturday with an early pickup from the Swansons. Instead of rushing out the door like yesterday I was actually ready before thte arrived and was out on the front porch when they pulled up. We made our routine stop at the conveience store, and this time I was out so fast Tim and Andy couldn’t believe their eyes.

We once again arrived before the opend the gates and spent a few mintues waiting in line to get in.

Benefits of showing up early. I was able to get a spot on the end of the rack. This really helps with transition times.
Today was my day to race while Tim and Andy helped me out. I am use to doing all this by myself but it was nice to have the helping hand. As I was setting up my transition area the Tri-Fusion people started to pour in. And I don’t mean like the drip out of your leaky fascet at home but more like the recent rainy rides I have been so fortunate to attend. I am pretty sure we had at least one bike at every bike rack in the area. We were everywhere. It was a great time hearing everyone’s stories and watching their pre-race rituals.
Before I knew it, it was time to get the wetsuit on and head down to the lake. Unlike Boise I was in one of the first waves to go. The water was warm and I was feeling pretty good about the race. Not sure if what I am doing, I may be trying to intimidate my competition. These starts were a deep water start so all the green caps got in formation and were ready for the countdown. This was only my second race swim of this distance and I didn’t really know if Boise was a fluke. Through the entire race I really never felt tired or fatigued. Most people would be thrilled with this but I took it as not pushing hard enough. This is a difficult balance I am finding is hard to rein in. I am in the best condition of my life and I am really not sure how hard to go.

Iam the one with the green cap.
The swim went pretty well, except for my first punch in the eye. That was definitely something I hope doesn’t happen again any time soon. Overall my goal was to swim between 25:00-28:00 minutes (I know it is a big gap but I found it difficult to gage from Boise). Overall swim: 28:00
T1 went pretty smooth and really didn’t have too much of a problem. I am not sure if it is actually legal but I was able to pass about 4 people between the water and the transition area. They were just running way to slow.

This course was dead flat. Some people really enjoy this type of race but I think I like to throw in a few climbs here and there. After being able to pass a few people at Boise on the hills I think it may be to my advantage.

Here I am sporting Tim's aero helmet. I am not sure if it help but I sure thought I looked fast:) Thanks buddy.
Since Boise I have really been focusing on staying in aero postion throughout my rides. Because the course was so flat this was really going to be important. I am pleased to say that I was in aero for about 95% and only twice came out of aero because of fatigue. I really wasn’t sure how my time would translate but I was hoping for 1:10. Overall bike: 1:07:32

Then it was off to the run. After Boise I really didn’t know how my body would react during the race. I had done a few small bricks since but nothing at a race pace. Early in the race I had decided to run without a single split. If you know me I always take my splits just to see how I am doing. Not today, it was all on feel.
The run portion of the race was great. There was to stitch or achilles pain, but a good overall run. I felt strong throughout the entire 6.2 miles and felt I finished pretty strong. It would have been great if I could have passed a few more of my age group but it turns out 11 of the top 36 were my age. I would have had to knock off 10 minutes to catch 11th. WOW! I am very pleased about the time and I actually feel that I might have been able to push it just a bit more. Maybe next time. I had set my goal to run a 7:00/mile pace and was “somehow” able to finish with a 6:49.8/mile. Overall run: 42:22

Overall Time: 2:21:36

I would have loved to break 2:20 but this just shows me how much more work I have to do to get where I want to be.

As I finished I saw Jessi in the medical tent and I knew something was wrong. This is the toughest girl I know and she didn’t look good. After a quick check on her to make sure she was ok, I headed out to find Tiffany. I knew she was probably expecting to see Jessi and with her bum bum she was not going to make it. I quickly found Tiff and helped run her in. She says I pushed her but she was definitely doing the pushing. I was so impressed with her pace and how she finished so strong. This was my first ever Northwest Team Championship and I can definitely tell you it will not be my last. These athletes so amazing and such fun people I really don’t know how people enjoy triathlons without OUR group. There are always smiles on everyone’s faces. It doesn’t matter if they are nervous because it is their first olympic or because they are in pain from an injury, they are always in a good mood and the laughter is definitely contagious.

Afterwards we headed to McMenimans for some food, sorta, with a few of the Tri-Fusionites. It is always nice to relax and hear about how everyone's races went. Apparently when I decided to sit at the big table thinking I would be joined by SOMEONE, I had been mistaken. I am not sure what the problem was.

Where is everybody. Why am I sitting by myself?

Is it because I smell? I didn't shower after the race, so that could be it.

Finally people showed up. I guess they can stand my stench.

Here is my Superstahh teammate at dinner. If you haven't see Saturday Night Live then shame on you:)

This was a fantastic with plenty of laughs, lots of hardwork and some amazing results. What a fun race and looking forward to defending out championship next year.


Blue Lake Race Report- Friday and Saturday

The Blue Lake Triathlon is located about 15 miles outside Portland in Fairview, OR. My trip started out with Andy Swanson picking me up at just before 2 pm on Friday. We then headed out to Cheney to pick up Tim and make the 360 mile trip to Portland. Tim and Andy had plans tot stay with friends in Beaverton witch worked out perfect since I had a friend’s place just a few miles away.
We packed the bikes and car the night before so we could get out of town as quick as possible. After a stop or two we found ourselves in The Dalles, OR for dinner. Tim suggested we make our way to Bugerville for some good food and great shakes. I had a pretty good turkey and bacon sandwich which was followed by an awesome tri-berry shake.

We filled up with gas after dinner and what a pleasent surprise. Maybe we shouldn't have got the value size fries.

After the long 7 hour drive we arrived at my friend Nicole’s place where they dropped me off. They would soon return at 5:00 am the next morning since Tim was racing in the sprint triathlon and Andy was racing in the duathlon. I was actually pretty excited to be the “Iron-sherpa” for the day. It was interesting to see how everyone else gets ready for a race. In any other circumstance I am one of the athletes and really don’t pay to much attention but today I just got to sit back and observe.

Not to bad after 2.5 hours of sleep. HUH!
The alarm went off at 4:45 and I finally made it out of bad at 5. A few moments later Tim and Andy showed up and we were off. After the quick 20 minute drive through Portland we were near the race site. It was at this point I had Tim stop at a local convenience store so I could grab some water and a snack. After waiting in line for nearly 5 minutes (definitely longer than it sounds) while the employees cashed out the till.

Tim and Andy took the picture of me waiting in line. The funny part was that the clerks noticed someone taking pictures and was wondering what was going on. I had to inform them that they were with me and it was all ok. I am pretty sure they probably thought we were casing the joint for later. Even with the delay at the store we still arrived about 5:50 and joined the line of cars that were waiting for the gates to open. It was at this time that I saw a triathlon first. As we were waiting in line a lady came walking past with her wetsuit already on. Now we did get to talk to her after we parked inside the gate and she was extremely nice but it was definitely funny to see.
After getting parked we started pre-race. I helped Andy and Tim get there bikes all ready and then snuck into transition to take pictures and just hang out. As the morning progressed I could definitely tell something was different. I am usually one of the first people to show up at a race. I would rather be there early and have time to fix any problems then be rushed and screw something up. As the time was reaching 7:45 am there were still people getting their body’s marked and rolling all their gear into transition. This was literally 15 minutes before the race. I guess everyone was able to get it all taken care of but that is just way to much stress for me on race day.

I took this picture just to show the time. WOW!Since my sherpa duties was over I morphed into “Iron-paparazzi”. My goal was to take as many pictures as possible for Tim and Andy, since both had to race at the same time. It was at this point that I received a call from Phaedra informing me that they had locked their keys in the car, which according to her is IMPOSSIBLE;) and would be a few minutes late. Phaedra, Laura and Kelly showed up just after the start and really made the whole waiting and picture game a ton of fun.
I have gained even more appreciation to all the fans who come to any triathlon event. It is amazing how little you actually see the athletes you are cheering for and this was only a sprint. Races like Ironman and any half-ironman can last anywhere from 5-15 hours. I know you really have to do this sport for your self but during a race it is definitely the highlight every single time when you hear someone cheering your name.
It was a complete blast trying to plan where they would be and what would be the best location for pictures. By the way these two kicked some serious butt and both place 2nd in their age groups. NICE!!
After the race Pheadra, Laura, Kelly, Tia and I went for a great 15 minute run that really didn’t go anywhere. We meandered through the park but it did help to get a slight understanding of the course we would be racing tomorrow. We followed that up with a 30 minute ride along part of the bike course. This is where my good luck struck. No it wasn’t the rain that had been following me around for the past few weeks but a flat tire. Pheadra decided it would be a good idea to time me (of course) and I think I had it changed in something like 6:30. I am pretty sure I could have gone faster but hey it wasn’t during a race.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and taking it easy in preparation for my first olympic distance race of 2008.


Just Keep Truckin'

Monday was my first official Whitworth master swim. I was kind of nervous not really knowing what to expect. The only person I thought I would see there that I knew was Roger and even that wasn’t for sure since he just got back from World’s in Vancouver. Fortunately I was able to meet up with Tiff and Phaedra. This is the first time Team Superstahh had been reunited in quite some time. A little background is that Pheadra and I joined to Sunday’s with Martin swims about the same time and both tried to find the courage to swim in Lane A. Since Team A+ was already taken we had to go with the only thing better:), hence Team Superstahh.

It had been quite some time since I had been in the pool and it really felt good to get going again. I really want to swim faster but haven’t been taking the steps to get me there. I really think joining these master swims is the key and improvement with begin to show. Just like in the old Sunday swims, Tiffany was super fast and completely destroyed me. I think my goal will be to keep up with her by the end of the summer. I have some serious work to do and if it happens I will be stoked.

Tuesday’s BLT was pretty rough. The weather was cold so I had to bundle up in all my winter gear. I was unable to make the first loop and when I showed up for the second, there was nobody in sight. I was hoping to have at least one person to share the pain with. I kept talking to Tim and Josh hoping to talk one of them into the loop and really just trying to stall long enough to not have to ride. Well eventually Tim talked me into doing the loop by myself with the old “You will not Regret it” speech. So off I went and did the BLT loop backwards just for a change of pace. I finished the ride off with a nice 3.5 mile brick with Tim and overall it felt good.

Since Tim and I have been running at similar paces, our last few weeks of workouts have been done together. So on Thursday Tim had mentioned something like a 4-6 mile easy pace run and after yesterday’s brick workout that sounded pretty good. Well the “NICE and EASY” run turned into Tim trying to leave me in the dust.

As we were heading back I noticed the pace started to pick up. I was ok with this because my legs still felt pretty good. Next thing I know it gets even faster and all I could think about was this was going to be easy. Apparently Tim had other plans and he was actually trying to drop me multiple times (I learned that after the run was over). I wasn’t going to have any of that and did all I could to stay on his hip. It was still a great run but REALLY, next time if he would let me know, I would have put it into an extra gear and really made him work:) This was my last really workout until this weekend when I head down to Portland for the Blue Lake Triathlon. This should be a blast.


Reardan Mule Chase 2008

This Saturday I decided to enter my first Reardan Mule Days Mule Chase. A little background is that I went to school in the small town of Reardan for 8 years until graduated there in 2000. I really don’t make it back there to often and now that I am into this whole triathlon and fitness thing I thought it only right to head out and do the 10k as a workout. I was able to rope Tim and Trish into joining me and at about 7:15 am we headed out to Reardan. After a quick signup we got all lined up.

Pre-Race: It was a bit chilly but overall were pretty good conditions for a run.

The race directed started out telling us that the 10k runners will follow the white truck and you will only take right turns the entire time. Sounds easy enough right. Well like I said this is my first ever Mule Chase and I started to wonder how we were going to find our way if the white truck got to far ahead. I am never at the front of the pack and wouldn’t know the half about following a lead vehicle in a race.

As the fire truck siren sounded, I bet you were expecting a shotgun or some other firearm but no we started the race after the siren went off. Tim and I planned to pace each other throughout the race. The first mile as pretty quick at 6:07 but as the miles added up so did the time. It really didn’t help that the wind and rain picked up. This was pretty exciting since it was now the 6th workout in a row that it has rained. This has to be some sort of record for the Spokane area. Does anyone have anything close?

Notice we are a bit closer trying to stay warm after another rain soaked workout.

I was able to finish the race pretty strong. I officially came in 3rd but Tim was right behind me and could have easily passed me if he wanted to. Read his blog on the fear he had on taking down a local legend:). I was glad I got out there and was able to run strong. We finished with a 6:33 pace. This was definitely a challenge and I can’t wait until I can carry that pace into the 10k during a triathlon. Someday, Somehow!


All Wrapped Up!

So in years past after a race like Boise, I would have been completely content on taking some time off and just relaxing. Well that is just not the case in 2008. After a brief day off on Monday I was back to work for the BLT. I by no means went hard but I did get out on the bike even with the rain coming down. I started off riding with Greg and finished it up pedaling in through the downpour with Katey. This was a pretty cold ride but it felt good to just get the legs going again.

Thursday I once again jumped on the bike and rode the BLT loop with Tim. This marked the 4th consecutive workout when it has rained. I am not sure what side of Washington I live on anymore. We finished off the workout with a 4 mile run. It was at this point I realized that my achilles was still a bit sore from Boise and had to take a few moments to stretch it out. Once it was all warmed up I was able to run and finished with about 3.5 miles.

Friday was a great day. A few of us Tri-Fusion members decided it would be a good idea to head out to Medical Lake and get in an open water swim to help us prepare for next weekend and the Blue Lake Triathlon. After some brief discussion on whether it would be a good idea to swim in this cold weather we were off. I met up with Tiffany and we headed out. It was at this point Tiffany looked at me and pretty much said “Seriously” and I of course said “Yes”.

That is me trying to find the mysterious second aerator we were suppose to swim to.

Not sure why I can't seem to float like everyone else.
At first time thought this was a picture of him and he was extremely proud about the headwave. Well after further investigation, it is me. A picture that cool could only be ME! :
I think there ended up being 10 swimmers and Ali who paddled along in a kayak for a little safety. The swim went pretty good. I felt pretty strong throughout the swim. I really tried to focus on sighting and felt it went a little bit better than Boise. This is definitely a work in progress but the only way to practice is to get out in the water and do it.
After the swim Tim, his EWU buddies and I headed out for a quick loop around Silver Lake. It was about 10 miles but it felt like 20. It was at this point I could tell I was pretty worn out from the week of workouts and I still had the Mule Chase coming up tomorrow.


Boise Ironman 70.3- Race Report

The morning began with a 3:45 am wake-up call. I had been tossing and turning for the last 30 minutes but now the day had officially begun. After a quick shower and breakfast we opened up the door to find the amazing surprise. The night before Jay, Michelle, Sheena, Ali and Jessie spent who knows how many hours making personalized signs and then Jay and Michelle went around to each room and hung them up. This has to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I knew after seeing that this day wouldn’t end with anything but crossing that finish line.

So after getting everything gathered up we packed up the car and headed to Lucky Peak Reservoir. We made a quick stop for coffee (no it wasn’t Starbucks) and off we went. It was definitely weird driving to the race when it was still pitch black outside.
As we arrived at the reservoir we prepared ourselves for the long trek up the dirt rode to the race start. As we started up the path I realized I had forgot my earplugs and my Tri-Fusion swim cap. I know each wave has its own cap but since I couldn’t fit into Jessi’s neoprene hood, she said two caps would help with the cold water. After a brief explanation to my dad on what I needed he headed back down to the car for my stuff. It was awesome having my parents around as they were willing to help me out with anything I needed. They are by no means experts in this triathlon stuff but they are sure experts in how to be parents.
As my mom and I make it up to the top of the hill I notice that the wind is whipping around pretty good. I really don’t know the weather patterns in Boise but I am hoping that it doesn’t continue through the bike. After getting marked with my number, 1151, I head into T1 to get my area all set up and make sure that I have everything ready for my race.
After a quick check through my stuff, I realize that I couldn’t find my watch. I a smaller race this wouldn’t have been a problem but I felt it would be pretty important to help keep me focused on such a long race. I look through my backpack and all the bags the race provided and can’t find it anywhere. I must have left it in the suitcase which is back in the car which is at the bottom of that DAMN hill. So what do I do, ask my dad if he wouldn’t mind heading back down to the car and see if he could find it. Of course with out hesitation he says yes and asks if there was anything else. I said no and he was off.

With the race start approaching I headed back to my transition area to layout my wetsuit and start to get ready. As soon as I open my wetsuit bag, there is my watch. Awesome, I didn’t lose it, SHIT dad is probably walking down to the car and I have no way to let him know that I have it. After a quick talk with my mom we figure the suitcase isn’t that big and he will be back up in just a few. It turns out he did look through every pocket probably 3 times started back just turned back one more time to make sure he didn’t miss it. Thanks again for helping me out and sorry for being so scattered:)
So I put my wetsuit on and I try to set up my area as best I could. This is not your typical race and they require you to put all your T1 stuff into one bag. They don’t allow you to lay it all out nice and organized. It was at this point I realized that I couldn’t find my race sunglasses. Did I leave them in the suitcase to, or did they fall out of the bag I put them in and are still at the hotel. After a quick check with my dad who informed me there were definitely no sunglasses in the suitcase, I figured they must be at the hotel. Luckily I had my regular sunglasses, that for some reason I was wearing on the top of my head at 3:45 am and I figure I would just use those for the race.
In this race there were 12 waves to start the swim. Each was broken into specific age groups and of course mine was last. This is something I have never had to do and it was pretty weird watching every single athlete start the race as you stand there and wait. This may have been a blessing in disguise because as you watch so many people start my nerves actually seem to fade and by the time my heat was ready to go, so was I.

For this race I had set three goals that were difficult but I thought they were still in reach.
Goal 1- Swim strong and confident. Time: 35:00
Goal 2- Use good nutrition throughout bike and stay in aero. Time 2:45
Goal 3- Run with confidence and good cadence. Time 1:45

I really felt going into this race that each of these goals were not to far of a stretch. I didn’t want to set easy goals or ones that were completely absurd. After Wednesday’s swim I felt good and knew that I was ready to tackle the 1.2 mile loop. I had been stressing about my bike nutrition because this year I have made a switch to using solids for some of my carbs and proteins and was hoping it would get me through with enough energy to run well. Finally, my running has made leaps and bounds over last year and I really knew that I could run a 1:45 if I just stayed confident and just put one foot in front of the other.
The first wave started at 7:00 am with the pro men and my wave was to begin at 7:55 am. Since there was such a long wait I was in no hurry to make it over to the corral. The wind was still blowing and standing in my wetsuit for over an hour really didn’t sound like fun. I was able to watch the pro men go through T1 and all I have to say it WOW, these guys are fast. My dad took this picture and if you notice the guy is putting on his helmet and taking off his wetsuit all at the same time. WOW!
So as each wave started it was getting closer and closer to mine. Finally we were in the corral and it was time to get all zipped up and start the march down to the water. I took my gel about 10 minutes before the start of the race and was feeling pretty good. As I stepped my foot into the water and was expecting a shock of cold, it was a pleasant surprise that the water actually felt warmer. I was pretty sure that the lake didn’t warm up over night but since the air to water temperature was near equal, it really didn’t feel that bad.
At 7:55 am the race begins. As we all start to take off I just kept saying to stay strong and stay focused. I knew there would be quite a few swimmers faster than me and I knew that I would beat a few but really in a wave start like this you just have to swim your own race. I felt myself swimming past a few of the fellow green caps and eventually we were catching up to the waves ahead of us. First it was the red caps and then the white caps. I really felt bad for a few of them because they had been in the water 10 more minutes and even though it felt warm too much time in this water could cause a problem.
There really was no point in my swim that I felt weak. My arms felt good but it was all I could do to not look at my watch. I didn’t want to get all excited if my time was fast and I didn’t want to get down if it was slow, so I just kept telling myself, Just Keep Swimming. As I reached the boat ramp and stood up I took the first glance at my watch and saw 39 and something seconds. Dang, what went wrong, I was feeling so good and was for sure that I would have been faster.

It turns out that the swim might have been a bit long and many athletes’ times were about 4-6 minutes longer than normal. If that were the case then I would be near my goal. Even though the time was a bit longer than expected I was really excited about how good I felt throughout the entire swim. I really think all the Master swims had paid off.
It was about 100 yard run from the water to wear my bike was in T1. My legs were feeling good and for what I could tell my heart rate didn’t feel to crazy, at least not like it did in Elma. I opened my bag and started to pull out all my bike gear. Once the wetsuit was off I grabbed my socks and was relieved to see how easy they went on. Wet feet and socks don’t really go well together when you are in a hurry. Then I started with my bike shoes. It was at this point that I realized I had forgot to open them all up and had to waste a few seconds to get them ready.

I slipped on my right foot and then grabbed my left shoe. As I opened it up for my foot, I found my race glasses. Ohh there you are! This was a kind of laugh at yourself moment but at the same time I still had to stay focused and get out of T1. I gathered up all my swim gear threw it in the bag and took off running toward the bike mount area. This was another 75 yard run.
Finally I was on the bike and didn't have the problem of cliping in like in the last race. SWEET! I had set myself a pretty strict nutrition plan and was really hoping it would pull through. The bike started at the top of the Lucky Peak Reservoir dam which featured a nice 5 mile decent into the Boise valley. As I rounded the corner I decided it might be a good idea to try and eat a piece of my Powerbar. I really didn’t have to exert a ton of energy on the decent and this might be a pretty easy time to get down some food.
As the bike went on I was feeling pretty strong. I was passing quite a few people who were in the age groups ahead of me and as I could tell was only passed by a few racers in my age group. I didn’t really know where I was at in my age group but at T1 there was still a quite a few bikes on the racks. It turns out that I was 27 out of 83 so not to shabby. I did my best to stay in aero on many of the rolling hills throughout the course. I felt really strong on the hills and this is where I passed the most riders. I didn’t follow the nutrition plan I had to a tee but I did continue to feed myself some calories and make sure I drank enough liquids to stay hydrated and at no point did I feel drained. For the most part I was pretty happy with my bike. I really wish I would have spent more time in aero position but I know with the more training I do, this will become easier and easier. My bike time was 2:46:34 and this could have easily been a few minutes faster if I was in aero. I was nervous about riding the 56 miles since I really hadn’t trained up to that distance yet this year. I was also unsure who my legs would react to coming off the bike after such a long ride. I ended up with the 28th fastest bike split in my age group.
T2 which was in downtown Boise. I was able to find my bike slot pretty fast, partly because it was near the edge of a building and mainly because my parents, Sheena, Ali and Jessie were standing right their cheering me on. It was pretty cool to hear your name as you come rolling in after so many hours on the bike. As I emptied my bag I realized once again I forgot to prepare my shoes. This time I had to tighten my race laces but for the most part I was pleased on how it went.

Leaving T2 was pretty crazy. There were people everywhere cheering. People were lined up on both sides of you just waiting to get that 5 second glimpse of there friend or family. It really amazes me how excited everyone is and how helpful that can be for an athlete to push themselves. As I took off for the run my legs felt pretty good. I had my high cadence I was looking for and the fear that I might have pushed to hard on the bike quickly evaporated. My first mile was an 8:17 which even included a stop off at the porta potty and for me to have my first bathroom break over 3 hours into the race, I was pretty happy with that. The second mile was even better at 8:07. I really didn’t want to go out to quick but I really felt strong and I didn’t feel running any slower would help.

The third mile as 8:53 and this was where it all started to fall apart. It wasn’t that my legs were tired or I felt like my nutrition was bad, but I started to have a bad side ache or what they call in the running world as a, Stitch. Now I learned this term after the race and a few methods on how to help get rid of them but during the race there was nothing I could do. My miles began to slow, starting with 9:06, 9:06 and then it passed 10 minutes by mile 6 and I was tired of watching each mile get slower and slower. I quite taking my splits and just tried to focus on finishing the race. I have had side aches before and just tried to change my breathing habits and usually they will go away. Somewhere between mile 9 and 10 I started to feel better and felt like I could actually start to run. I decided to take a quick split from mile 10-11 and see if my pace was anywhere near something that resembled running. That mile turned out to be 8:42 but shortly afterward my friend the Stitch made a come back and I was once again forced to walk/jog.
It was kind of funny how many times I passed the same people over and over. I am sure they were like what the heck is wrong with this guy. I would try and run, pass a few of them and then have to walk. This was repeated over and over until about a quarter mile from the finish where I told myself there was no way you were going to walk to the finish in front of all these people.
I ran the last few blocks at a good pace and was able to finish under 5:35 with a 5:34:23. My goal was to be around 5:15 to 5:20 and I really think I could have made it if I was able to run but that is why you race. There is so much unpredictability in this sport and you never know how your body will react to each condition.
In the grand scheme of things I would have to say that I am pleased with my results. I was happy about my swim. I stayed strong throughout, I felt my form was pretty good and even though my time was a bit slow I never felt fatigued. My bike was good. I felt strong up the hills, my nutrition plan worked pretty well but I know that I need to really focus on staying in aero position.

The one thing I am most disappointed about is my run. I really feel that I have come a long way and I couldn’t show it in this race. I know that it is difficult for all three to come together at the same time but when you wait 9 months for a race and you leave with a sour taste, it sucks. The good thing is that I am not satisfied with this performance which makes me want to get back to work and try harder and next time I will be able to finish the race strong.
After the race I headed for some free food, a shower back at the hotel and then a free massage offered to the athletes. Then my parents and I joined the Tri-Fusion group for the awards ceremony, to watch Vicki and Martin receive their age group awards. We have some extremely talented people in this group and it was good to see everyone down at the race.
We finished the day with a group dinner at a local watering hole and topped it off with a trip to Maggie Moos for some ice cream before our flight home.

I really want to thank everyone who came down to Boise to watch the race. This is not your 30 minute drive to the next town, but a 7 hour road trip one way. Thank you Jay and Michelle for the boards at the hotels, the signs out on the course and the fact you drove all the way back on Sunday to make it to work Monday morning.

Thank you Sheena and Ali for hanging out with my parents and I as I drug you around Boise and the bike course. You guys were super fun and the trip wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thank you to Natalie and Greg for all the tips and information before I even arrived and for all the fun times before and after the race.

Thank you to Matt, Jessie and Matt’s dad for coming to support not only Matt but all of us Tri-Fusionites.
Thanks to Martin, Vicky, Mark, Daryce, and Scott for all the fun laughs after the race. Also thank you to everyone who wished me luck before the race.

Thank you to Steve Kramer for taking the time to haul my bike down to Boise, saving me the hassle of trying to fly with it.
Most of all I would like to thank my parents for taking the time to come down and help me throughout the trip. This trip would have been a nightmare if it wasn’t for all your help and support.
I plan to put the pictures on the forum as soon as I get an opportunity.