I had an opportunity to do a couple of interviews during the days leading into the race. Here's one from Everymantri.com: If you scroll down on this page, there is a short 4 minute video. www.everymantri.com/everyman_triathlon/2010/10/emt-kona-week-2010-athlete-profilechris-thomas.html
Pre-Race: I felt great heading into the race. My swim intermediate interval splits were a little slower compared to where I was last year, but I was not far off. My endurance biking strength was right on. My threshold power was higher last year heading into Clearwater, but my long rides were the strongest ever. My run was close to the best it's ever been. All in all I felt very good coming into the race. On a bit of a negative side, I was having some issues sleeping and I had to make multiple trips to the bathroom during the night. Race Morning: I was up and out of bed by 3:30am. I made my breakfast of 6 eggs with mushrooms and peppers. In addition I had 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread with Almond butter and a banana. I had one cup of black coffee. My stomach felt good and I was anxious to get down to transition. I had planned on taking two salt tabs before the swim start, but in the excitement of race morning, I forgot to take them. Fortunately, this did not hurt me as I only had a very slight calf cramp during the swim that faded away pretty quickly. Swim: My game plan was to position myself right up front and let it roll. If you want to swim fast in Kona, you have to give yourself a chance to do so. However, you need to be willing to get pummeled in the process. I'm not sure I fully respected the amount of pummeling that would come. I got in the water at 6:45am and swam out to the start line. When I first got out to the line, the amount of bodies treading water was still thin, but as we got closer to 7am it started to pack in. The paddlers were trying to keep pushing the masses back. By the time the cannon was ready to go off, we were packed in like sardines. The start of the race was a very interesting learning experience. I had settled into the 2nd row right before the cannon went off. Then everyone attempted to move forward while dunking each other under the water. After about 20 meters of extremely scary swimming, we were finally under way. I managed to move my way to the inside of the buoys, which enabled open water swimming all the way out to the turnaround boat. I was swimming next to one athlete the entire way out to the boat. We would occasionally bump against each other as the swells would push us one way or the other. Once we got around the turnaround, things bunched up quite a bit. The only real issue I had while swimming was due to a classic last second decision. My teammate, Cindy Bannink, offered some nice anti-fog drops for my goggles right before the start. This anti-fog solution worked fantastic; however on the way back into transition I realized that I had not cleared the solution from my goggles. My eyes were burning like crazy every time I turned to breathe. This was a minor irritation and I finished up the swim in: 59:49. One of my top three goals for the race was to come out of the water in sub 1 hour. The majority of athletes come out of the water 4-5 minutes over an hour and I wanted to try to have cleaner roads for the bike. Transition 1: I hit the split on my Timex Global Trainer coming out of the water and made my way into the changing tent. I attempted to self administer the sun block (this was quite comical!). I was out of T1 quickly and I had my first minor error of the day. My chain had come off while I was running with my bike to the mount line. The front cassette must have rolled backwards and the chain popped off. It was not a big deal at all, but it was a little embarrassing. Picture this: I jumped on my nice Orbea Ordu, started to pedal, and did not make any forward progress. I think my face was as red as my uniform. I quickly hopped off the bike, put the chain back on, and I was on my journey. Bike: The beginning of the bike was very mentally challenging for me. I felt great. I really wanted to let it rip. However, I knew it was going to be a long day. Paul, my coach, and I had laid out the game plan during the week leading into the race. I needed to try to keep my effort in Zone 2 heart rate and perceived effort around 6 (scale of 1-10) for the entire bike portion. My power output (third factor) would be used to keep things in check throughout the day. I would also use my cadence monitor to insure that I was not mashing a big gear. I’ve found that my optimal cadence for power and performance is around 87 rpm’s on flat roads. My Timex Global Trainer came in very handy as I used it to track my heart rate, power, speed, cadence, and distance: all on one screen. I tried to settle into the early miles. However, I was getting passed by quite a few athletes. This was my early challenge on the bike. The little voice in my head was saying: “just go with them”, but I knew it was not the time to “burn one of my matches” (as Lance Watson likes to say). I focused on my own effort and let the other athletes pedal by. Once I got up on the Queen K highway, my new focus was to dial into my nutrition and electrolyte game plan for the day. I saw a lot of those same athletes that were leading the charge at the start of the bike drop back once we got into the rolling hills on the Queen K. I had planned to try to take 250-300 calories on the bike, while consuming 800-1,000 mg of sodium per hour. My journey out to Hawi (the turnaround on the bike) was very methodical. I stayed right in my heart rate zone, averaging 143bpm, and my power output was 231 normalized watts. My perceived effort felt very comfortable. When I reached Hawi, I felt the best I had ever felt in my 4 attempts at this race. I dumped my calorie bottle and picked up my special needs bag which contained my 2nd bottle of carbo pro 1200. The next leg descending down to the Queen K felt great. I was reminded why it was so important to have a good swim. The other side of the road was very bunched up with athletes climbing up to Hawi. The winds were blowing pretty hard at this time, so I tried to stay as aero as I could. In hindsight, I got a little behind on my hydration and calories during the descent. However, while I was in the moment, I did not realize it. As I reached the Queen K, I started to feel the heat of the day. It was reported that temperatures climbed to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and the white line on the road reached 127 degrees. I was definitely feeling the heat. I continued to really focus on my electrolyte intake. I was starting to have some minor stomach issues with my carbo pro 1200. I had decided to use my road helmet instead of my aero helmet for this race. This decision turned out to be a very good decision as I was able to cool down much easier by dumping water right into my helmet as I went through the aid stations. As I passed the 85 mile marker I did a check on my three factors. My heart rate was still in low zone 2 at 141bpm. My normalized power was standing at 228 watts and my perceived effort was still comfortable. Over the next 5 miles things started to come unglued. My stomach really started to bother me. I even had a little internal vomit episode. I tried to take some more carbo pro 1200, but my stomach was not taking anymore. I tried to adjust on the fly and I grabbed a banana at the next aid station. This worked for a little bit, but then I noticed my heart rate slipping down into the low 130s, which is low Zone 1 for me. I wish I had something good to write about the remainder of my ride, but it was a struggle home. The last quarter of my ride was spent in low Zone 1 heart rate with a normalized power for that section of only 199 watts. I was in shut down mode. I also started cramping pretty severely as well. I finally grabbed a cola at the last aid station on the bike with hopes that the simple sugars would pick me back up into transition 2. The cola did help, but my cramping was pretty severe as I finally rolled into T2. I was pretty happy to hand off my bike to the volunteers. I ended up biking 5:04:35. Transition 2: My lower back was very stiff (no kidding) running through transition. My running form was even more peculiar than normal. I hit the tent and attempted to get into my running shoes. My calves and hamstrings were cramping and I was having a very hard time getting my shoes on. Finally, I was able to move out of the door of the tent and I grabbed 2 sports drinks. Run: My goal was to make it to the first aid station and walk the entire 100 yards. I saw my coach, Paul, at the half mile marker. He encouraged me to try to have a decent run and try to bring things back together a bit. I was really struggling at this point. Once I hit the first aid station, I walked the entire stretch and I took everything they were offering: water, PowerAde, cola, ice, banana, and more water. I started to run again to the next aid station where I repeated the process of walking and grabbing everything on the menu. Finally at the 2.5 mile mark, I started to feel better. I was able to put together some decent miles until I started to approach Palani hill. As I covered the ½ mile leading up to Palani, I was starting to suffer again. My body temperature was really rising. I realized that I had made another tactical error. I had worn a visor instead of a hat. Therefore, I was not able to keep ice on top of my head. However, I did pour the ice everywhere else. I repeated my aid station strategy again on the hill. In fact, over the following several miles, I continued to walk the aid stations. I was still running a decent pace from aid station to aid station as I averaged 7:04 mile pace over the first 16 miles of the run. At mile 16, I started to feel very deep muscle soreness in my quads. It was a little early in the run to feel this and I was a little worried about how I would get through the remaining 10 miles. I tried every motivational trick I could think of: segmenting the run, thinking of my kids, counting my cadence, and attempting to pace off of other athletes around me. Every race is unique. This time the ability to pace off of the athletes around me proved to be the most useful strategy to keep me moving forward. As I approached the 22 mile mark, I saw my coach Paul again. He encouraged me to finish up the race strong. I made a decision at that point that I was going to run the remainder of the race. I shuffled my way along all the way to the finish. I crossed the line with a marathon time of 3:12:32 and total time of 9:23:30. I was really hurting. If I wasn’t so scared of needles, I would have gone right into the med tent for an IV. Race Summary: Ironman distance racing is so much different than 70.3 racing. I had been away from the distance and this race for 5 years. My impression of the race was not quite as fresh and realistic as it should have been. I re-learned a lot about the race and myself on the day. It was not exactly my best day, but I gave everything I had. After crossing the finish line, if anyone had asked me if I would return to do another IM in Kona, I would have emphatically said no. The funny thing is that it only took me 2 hours before I told my wife that I have to go back to Kona again. So the recovery is under way and the 2011 campaign will begin soon. Thanks for reading. Sorry it was so long.
I was thinking about some of the key workouts I have done over the past few months. The days that really stick out in my mind are the following: 1. 6.5 hr bike with 15k feet of climbing - 125 miles 2. 25.5 mile run in 3 hours 3. 6hr bike with 14k feet of climbing - 120 miles 4. 29 miles of running split between a 2.5hr morning run and 1hr afternoon run 5. 6hr bike (120 miles) with one hour run off bike @ IM pace
There have been many other key workouts, but these five really stick out.
I have been working with a healthcare professional for over a year in conjuction with my Standard Process supplements. However, I really wanted to dial in my nutrition needs and specify exactly what I needed. I recently did a full metoabolic testing as well as toxin testing. I did this testing through my nutritionist Alison Held at my facility Personal Training Professionals of Southport. Alison and I worked out the testing protocol. I had about 8 quarts of blood drawn (I'm joking, but it felt like that) as well as some urine samples. The test came back with a 50 page report of my individual profile. This was a very enlightening report and identified many issues I have. Alison was able to use this report and make more informed recommendations for my supplementation. I am a big believer in the Standard Process line of supplements. I also like how they require you to work with a professional. There are so many supplements on the market these days. The supplement industry is an 18 billion dollar a year industry and 90% of all supplements on the market today are synthetic. I am very happy that I went through the process of the testing and really dialing in on my supplement needs.
I have just started my taper for the IM World Championship. I thought it would be interesting to see how many hours of training I have done this year. For a little history, in 2008 and 2009, I averaged 13 hours of training per week. So far in 2010, I have averaged 14.25 hours a week with my biggest week at 23 hours. I had never completed a weekly training load bigger then 20hrs before this year. I'm feeling pretty good heading into the big day. I'm really looking forward to heading over to Kona.
This was my 8th year participating at the Timberman 1/2 IM. Yeah, I really like this race. Although, It was quite a bit different this year under the new ownership. The race expanded to over 2,700+. This was about 800 more than last year and a far cry from the 500+ that competed in the first year. Here's a pic of the transition area: I drove up to the race on Saturday morning in the most comfortable ride around: [caption id="attachment_4125" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This car rocks!"][/caption] I love this car. I wanted to get up to the race venue early to register and get organized. I was able to catch up with teammate Mark Vermeersch and last year's teammate Mike Lavery on Saturday at registration. They were looking super fit and ready to have some fun on Sunday. Both Mark and Mike had fantastic races on Sunday. Race morning came in with perfect weather conditions. It was in the high 60s/low 70s and overcast. We even got a little bit of rain on the bike and run. You just couldn't ask for better weather conditions. I always plan a race strategy with my coach, Paul Regensburg (http://lifesportcoaching.com/coaches.php). The strategy for Timberman was to swim hard, then build into the bike and try to hit the 2nd half more aggressively then the 1st half. We've had different approaches at the other races this year. While each race course and weather conditions are different, we've noticed that I've had problems maintaining a strong 2nd half bike this year in my 70.3 races. So for the Kona prep, the strategy was to hit the 2nd half hard and get the run right up to pace and hold it. My swim wave was scheduled to go off at 7:55am. It was the 13th wave of the morning. I saw Zach Pratt before the swim start and I thought we might be able to work together on the swim. I had swam behind Zach at 70.3 Rhode Island. So, I thought that if we could work together on the swim, we could be more efficient. However, that game plan went out the window when we got about 400 meters into the swim and started to catch the wave in front of us. It became too crowded. So, I spent the entire swim by myself. This worked out ok as I just focused on finding my rhythm and trying to avoid the packs of athletes swimming on top of each other. I exited the swim in 27:45. My Aquasphere Ironman Icon worked perfectly. I was out onto my Orbea Ordu and ready to try to put the game plan into effect: I settled in and made sure I got my heart rate under control. I relied on my Timex Global Trainer to dial in on my heart rate, speed, and cadence. I felt really good with the dialed down effort. I was also able to really focus on my nutrition and electrolytes. I still maintained a minimum of 800mg/hour of sodium even with the cool conditions. I found out later in the day that this was a very good strategy. I hit sections on the 2nd half of the bike, that I have really struggled with in the past. However, this year, I felt great. There were a few sections on the bike course that got a little dangerous with all of the extra bodies. There are a few steep downhill sections and there were a few people riding right out in the middle of the road and on their brakes. This created a little bit of an issue when a car was coming up the other side. However, that's part of racing in the age group wave start format. I came off the bike in: 2:17:02. This was about a 2.5 minute CR for me. I was most pleased with how fresh I felt coming off the bike. I was really looking forward to the run. I went through T2 pretty quickly and tried to build into my race pace. I felt really strong and I started to open up my stride at the 2 mile marker. Endurance racing is funny. You can feel great one moment, then the wheels can come completely off the next. Well, the wheels did not come off, but at the 2.5 mile point I got a massive cramp on inside of my left leg. It almost brought me to a complete stop. I shortened my stride and grabbed my Thermolytes. I started to chew on one. This was not enjoyable at all, but it was very effective. The cramp went away and I made it to the next aid station and took 2 more Thermolytes. In hindsight, it was fortunate that I was so proactive with the electrolytes on the bike. Things could have been a whole lot worse. I continued on my electrolyte dosage the remainder of the run. I felt really strong until the 11 mile mark, when my muscles started to fatigue a bit. I started to incorporate coke at this point for the simple sugars. I was able to finish the run in 1:19:03, which was my best run on this course by 2 minutes. My overall time was 4:06:36 (my best time by 3.5 minutes on the course). This placed me first amateur overall and 9th including the pros. Thanks for reading. -Chris
I came into this race off of my first real big block of training for Kona. I had put in 3 weeks of 20+ hour training. The training has been going very well. I have been handling the bigger volume decently. I have experienced some aches and pains, but nothing has been severe. I did go through a little stretch of overreaching a bit and I noticed that I was having a very hard time hitting key workouts. This lack of ability to hit the tempo threshold type of workouts is a clear sign of muscle fatigue. So, I had backed things off a bit leading into this race to let my muscles recover a bit. I felt ready to roll on race morning. Every season is different. This season, my pool swim fitness is the best it's ever been. My bike is a little off but my run is the best it's been as well. When I look back at my off-season, it all makes sense. I had a very good run focus in the off-season. My swim had started off the year a little behind where I thought it should be, so we bumped things up in the water. The result was my endurance speed is the deepest it's ever been. My bike is a bit different story. I had to put my bike training on the back burner at the beginning of the year as I was focusing on building my new businesses: Personal Training Professionals of Southport (www.ptpsouthport.com) and Lifesport Coaching (www.lifesportcoaching.com). In addition, I usually start my racing season in late March. However, this year I did not do my first triathlon until the middle of June. These factors have contributed to my bike fitness coming in at a little lower level. This is not such a bad thing, as my main focus this year is to race in Kona in October. Now about the race: the swim was a bit choppier then last year. This slowed things down a little bit. I felt pretty good once I got going and I came in @ 19:35. This was 31 seconds slower then last year, but comparing it to other swimmers and the conditions, it was actually a faster swim. I went through T1 quickly and got right onto my Orbea Ordu. I had my powermeter again and I put it on average watts so I could dial in a consistent effort on the flat course. I pushed hard and watched my power climb for the first 3 laps. I slowly built my power output. As I was finishing the 4th lap, I noticed that my wattage was starting to slip. It was not a drastic slip but over the last two laps I lost 5 watts from my average I was holding on the first 3+ laps. My net power comparison was 7 normalized watts lower in 2010 then 2009. I came off the bike in 2nd place and I knew I was going to have to put out a serious run to try to close the gap. In 2009, I had a pretty decent lead off the bike, so I was able to shut things down on the 2nd loop of the run. This race was a lot different. I had a 40 second deficit coming off of the bike. I thought I could pull back 10 seconds per mile on the run. However, as the run progressed, I was not making any gains on the leader. I hit the turnaround for lap 2 and I went as hard as I could. I finally started to close the gap a little. I got the within 20 seconds, but that was all I could do. I ended up coming across the line 22 seconds down. My racing philosophy has always been to give everything I have and always feel good about my race after I cross the finish line. I can say without hesitation that I gave everything I had. Results: http://www.triandduit.com/webforms/tad_ResultsDetail.aspx?rf=PCMossmanTri2010.rdb&distanceid=1&Event=Park+City+Mossman+Triathlon&distance=Triathlon
This was my first real race of the season. I was excited to finally get things going. I knew that I was a bit rusty as I usually start my racing season in late March. My training had been going pretty well going into the race. My swim and run training were the best ever. However, my bike was off quite a bit. I knew that the majority of this lower fitness was due to the lack of racing. So I was eager to get out and get things started. I was slotted in the 2nd wave of the day. I knew there would be a few really fast younger guys that I would need to chase all day, ouch. My swim wave went off and I got right out to the front of my wave. At least I thought I did. About 200 yards into the swim, I looked over to the right and saw one body pulling away about 20 meters over. I tried to bridge across to him, but I just could not close the gap. I ended up swimming the remainder of the course by myself. I felt fine and the swim was pretty uneventful. I was quickly through T1 and out onto the bike. I knew I had some ground to make up on the younger, faster swimmers. I tried to put in a solid effort for the first 10 miles. I felt pretty good and I got the legs rolling. Once we hit the hills, my lack of racing and lower power became very evident. I was trying to mash a bigger gear, big mistake. I spent the rest of the ride trying to find a rythm. I was really looking forward to getting out onto the run. As I rolled into T2, I heard that the lead person had a little over 3 minutes on me. This meant that the net difference was less then a minute as the first wave had gone off 3 minutes before my wave. I found out that I had managed to catch the other racers. However, with a wave start, you never know where you stand until you cross the finish line. So, you just go as hard as you can. I got onto the run course and found my stride right away. I had two people on my shoulder, which helped to push the pace up a bit. I was able to gain a bit of space just before the 1 mile marker. Then I just tried to focus on the runner in front of me. I kept a good cadence throughout the run and I was the 2nd body across the finish line and first overall.
One fact of racing triathlons is that each race is different. This was my 3rd year participating at 70.3 Rhode Island. I really enjoy the race. The point to point format makes the race unique. It is a bit challenging from a logistical standpoint, but the course is very fair. The swim is in the ocean off of Narragansette, RI. Then the bike rolls from the beach to downtown Providence, RI. The run is a two loop, hilly, course through downtown Providence. The swim: 29:35 Paul Regensberg (www.lifesportcoaching.com), my coach, asked me to try to really hit the swim hard. I had qualified for the Hawaii IM at 70.3 Buffalo Springs and Paul wanted me to use this race to start my preparation for Kona. My wave was the 9th of the day. As soon as we started I jumped out to the front and tried to find the right feet to follow. I found feet and I swam with a high effort, but I don't think this was exactly what was prescribed. I came out of the water quite a bit slower then I was hoping for. However, that's racing. So I quickly made my way through T1 and out onto my Orbea Ordu. The bike: 2:21:38 The gameplan for the bike was to take it out hard. This was a different strategy for me on this discipline. Usually I take the first part of the bike a little easier and build into the effort. However, the strategy this day was to go hard and see what I could do on the bike. However, I just couldn't do it. I was having a hard time keeping my heart rate in my racing zone. I felt muscularly limited. I felt like I was riding pretty well, but I just couldn't take it up a notch. So I just focused on what I could control, my caloric intake and maintaining a steady effort. As I said at the beginning: each race is different. In 2009, we had a tailwind on the bike section. However, in 2010, we had a headwind. It wasn't too severe, but it was enough to slow my time by 7 minutes even though I had the exact same normalized power as 2009. I rolled into T2 feeling like I had kept my sodium intake (about 800mg/hr) at the right level. However, I had backed up a bit on my liquid calories. I tried to play catch up a little bit towards the end of the bike as I realized I hadn't taken that much down. The result of this caloric tardiness was a bloated stomach as I headed out on the run. The run: 1:18:39 I felt very awkward heading out on the run. So I just focused on shortening my stride and trying to maintain a quick cadence. A few of the pro men were starting their second loop as I was starting my first. So I tried to que off of them to find my pace. This strategy worked pretty well. I was able to hold a decent pace, although I did not feel fluid at all. I went with a slightly different fueling strategy for this run. Usually I hit the cola very early on the run to get the simple sugars. The cola is great to give me a lift, but it plays havic on my GI system. So I had decided to run with a flask of carbopro for the first 9 miles, then switch over to cola for the last 5k. Finally at about the 7 mile mark, I started to feel decent and find a rythm. While I had spent most of the run feeling off, my energy level had stayed very constant. In fact, this was the first race in a long time that I felt stronger at the end of the run. Every race is different. I crossed the line and looked at my watch: 4:12:39. I was shocked. It was 10+ minutes slower then last year. As I started to talk to other participants I quickly realized that it was completely different race conditions then 2009. I found out later that I was the top amateur overall.
I started my trip to Lubbock, Tx with a little snag. I was flying out of Laguardia airport in NYC and I had a very quick connection in Houston, Tx scheduled which would have been great if all went smoothly. However, a mechanical issue delayed my first leg of the trip, which meant that I would be staying the night in Houston, Tx. This little delay actually worked out well as I was able to get a good nights rest in Houston before jumping on a puddle-jumper to Lubbock on Saturday morning. These things happen and its much easier to just roll with it, then get all upset with the little stuff. Once I arrived in Lubbock, I started putting my bike together and soon realized that I had left my rear cassette at home. Fortunately, my friend Mike Zinn had a spare cassette and I was able to quickly get my bike set-up. I was really looking forward to this race. This was my first half 1/2 IM of the year and second race of the season(1st race report to follow). I had purposely scheduled a later start to the race season this year as I needed to really focus on my new businesses: Personal Training Professionals of Southport (ptpsouthport.com) and Lifesport Coaching (lifesportcoaching.com). My fitness levels felt pretty good, but I was anxious to see how it would come together in a serious race with tough conditions. My coach, Paul Regensberg, laid out the game plan for race day. I needed to swim smart and try to find good feet to follow in the swim. Then start the bike out a bit conservatively in low Z3 heart rate and try to build the second half's effort. The run was to be a similar approach since it was my first long race of the season and the temps were going to be in the mid to high 90s. Pre-race was fantastic as I was able to hang out with 7 fellow Timex Athletes: Andrew, Alex, Cindi, Dennis, Laura, Tim, and Barry. I also got to catch up with former teammate Curt Chasney. The amateurs were greeted with the news that the swim would be wetsuit legal. I squeezed into my Aquasphere suit and headed down to the murky water to start the first leg. My wave was the 5th of the morning and as we started out, I was surprised how congested things were for the first 400 meters. I tried to find my own space and get into a rhythm. About half way through the swim I had a guy in my wave slide past me. I knew this was my opportunity to hang onto some good feet and I worked hard to get behind him. The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful with the occasional swimming over (sorry Dennis!) and getting swam over. I quickly headed out onto the bike and tried to stick to the plan. I was triangulating (not sure if this is a word) my effort by using my Timex Global Trainer to monitor my heart rate, speed, and power. I kept my stats under control and kept my new Orbea Ordu rolling along. I had my high points and low points during the bike. Everyone has different tactics that they use to get through the tough times. I always think of my three boys to help me get through the low points while racing. I had to draw on their thoughts a lot during this race. I would say that this was one of the hardest 1/2 IM's I've done in a long time. The combination of a very deep, talented field with a very challenging course and the heat rising well into the 90's all played into a tough day. The bike course has several out and back sections and at the 30 mile mark, we had a pretty good tail wind that felt great to ride with. However this same tail wind turned into a head wind on the return trip from mile 46 into the finish. It was pretty brutal, but everyone had to deal with it. I was very eager to get off the bike and start the run. My legs were feeling the effort of trying to push into the wind and I was a bit nervous to see how I would run off the bike. I felt pretty fatigued coming off the bike. Fortunately, I had dialed in my nutrition on the bike and I was able to take in all 800 calories in addition to about 800mg of sodium an hour. I hopped off the bike and out onto the run with a guy from the 30-34 age group (their wave had gone off right in front of ours). He had a good pace going and I asked what he usually runs. He replied, "sub 1:20". I was running in upper Z2 heart rate at the time and I thought this would be a good pace to hold for the start of the run. So I jumped on his shoulder and tried to settle in. We clipped along for 2 miles until all of a sudden he started running off to the left. I had no idea where he was going until I saw a porta potty ahead, that's racing. Now I was alone and I had raised my heart rate into low Z3. This is right where Paul had asked me to run for the first half, so I kept the effort right there and just made sure my pace was about right using my Global Trainer GPS function. I had to start the cola at mile 2 of the run as I was feeling the bike effort. The run is a out a back course. This allowed the opportunity to see the whole pro race unfold as well as provide an opportunity to see all of my teammates on the course. Its such a huge lift to be able to race with so many teammates, especially out on desolate roads in Texas. I made it to the turnaround point and attempted to pick up my pace and effort. It felt good to push harder for a couple of miles. Then at mile 10, things started to unravel a bit. I was experiencing some severe GI distress and my energy levels were dipping low. I took my first gel of the day and just tried to focus on maintaining a decent cadence. My form was falling apart and I was just focused on getting to the finish line in one piece. Finally I saw Magali Tisseyre up ahead as she was approaching the finish line. I got across the line in: 4:08:19. My splits were: 24:47(short swim)/2:19:27/1:21:33. I found out later that this placed me as the top overall amateur and I got my slot to Kona! So I'm heading back to the big island for the first time since 2005.
Career Highlights: 2009 USA Triathlon Amateur Athlete of the Year, 2012,2013, 2014 USA Triathlon Masters Athlete of the Year, 2014 USA Triathlon Olympic National Championship Masters Champion, 4 X Ironman 70.3 World Championship Age Group Winner (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013), 18 X 70.3 Overall Amateur Champion, 9 X Ironman World Champion Finisher (4 X Top 10 in Age Group), 2015 American Zofingen LC Champion, 2nd OA IM Maryland
I started competing in triathlon in the summer of 2000. I had always been intrigued by the sport since the early ‘80s when I would watch the Hawaii Ironman on TV. I got into running at a young age (6yrs old) as my father was a big marathon runner back in the late 70’s, early 80’s running boom. I did my first 10-mile road race when I was 10 years old. I also played ice hockey throughout my childhood and I stopped running my sophomore year in high school in order to completely focus on ice hockey. I did not run again until the fall of 1999. During that race, a friend of mine mentioned that he competed in sprint triathlons, short duration races lasting around one hour. I was immediately interested and I signed up for my first triathlon in July of 2000 up in Falmouth, Ma. I was immediately hooked. I loved the competition. I especially liked the aspect of the three sports and how one could continue to practice and improve in each sport. I believe all three sports compliment each other. I also really enjoyed the idea of challenging myself to see where I could get. So, while triathlon is a competition, I see it more as a race against yourself then others. It is a very addictive sport, but I think it’s probably one of the healthiest addictions that I know of. The training is also a great stress relief. I worked in New York City for the past 5 years and down on Wall Street for 2 years. The commute and the lifestyle can get pretty stressful at times. The training really helped me de-stress and stay focused. I have three little boys and I really enjoy sharing the sport with all three of them. I don’t care if they ever compete in a race, but I do believe it’s important to expose them to healthy opportunities in life. I would say that the hardest endurance scenario I’ve faced was actually the first half ironman I competed in up in Laconia, NH, which was the Timberman race. I’ve completed four full Ironman events, but that half ironman was my first attempt at the distance. I feel, in hindsight, that I just was not properly trained for the event. It was an incredible eye opening experience. I don’t think I’ve been more tired then the moment I crossed that finish line. However, the human mind is fascinating, as I was looking forward to the next race less then 24 hours after.