Friday, July 23, 2010

3rd Place at Vineman

Wow, Sonoma County is spectacular! Lindsay and I headed to Sonoma on Thursday afternoon via San Francisco. The drive to Sonoma was pretty average with nothing too spectacular. However once we pulled off the 101 to Dry Creek Rd…it all changed. Since my sponsor’s from Phase One Design were coming over to watch the race, they had rented a house at around mile 23 of the bike course on a VINEYARD!! This place was absolutely beautiful and conditions were amazing. We were coming from Austin, TX where it is scorching hot and humid when you wake up and scorching hot and humid when you go to bed. In Sonoma it was cold when you woke up, warm throughout the day, and the cold when you went to bed. The scenery from the back lanai was out of this world.

We woke up to this every morning!!

It was very easy to relax at our place of residence going into Vineman. It was a strong field with the likes of Chris Lieto, the Kiwi contingent of Graham O’Grady, Kieran Doe, and Jamie Whyte. Also there was Tim Marr and John Dahlz.

Race morning came much quicker then I would have liked. I was enjoying the wine county far too much! Anyways, with Doe, GOG, and Dahlz in the race we all knew it would be a crazy fast swim. I was going to try and stay with the top dogs for as long as I could and then just hang on to T1. Swim did not go as planned. Doe was feeling a little off on the swim and it was Dahlz and GOG up front. I swam in the pack that contained Doe, Lieto, and Marr. We were swimming well and the gap to guys up front stayed around 1:15 so it was not as bad as I though it was going to be.

Once out on the bike we had a good pace going and I think everyone was just waiting to see when Lieto would go. Eventually he went and Doe followed. I tell ya, once Lieto really starts putting some power down onto the pedals, he gets a gap straight away. It is incredible watching Lieto ride. I was at the pack and gunned it to try and get with the brake. Unfortunately, while trying to get up I accidentally crossed the center line and a marshal was there to see it. Yellow card and the penalty tent was still 20 miles up the road. I only had one option here and it was to go as hard as I could. I wanted to gap Marr and Dahlz so I wouldn’t have to bridge back up to them. I was unable to break them and I hit the tent and watched them ride away. Once served it was chase time. I caught them about 10 minutes later and we pretty much rode in together. Dahlz slightly fell off the pace but still had a visual on us. 8 minutes down on Lieto and 6:30 to Doe was our deficit. DARN IT!

I went out conservative for the first mile and then just gunned it as fast as I could. At mile six O’Grady was getting close, too close, and I really had to dig in like no other. I was hurting and I still had six miles and change to go! I managed to lose O’Grady and was now within 2 minutes of Doe with four miles to go. I ran hard but in the end it was not fast enough. Managed to round up the podium with 3rd. It was a great feeling to be on the podium again but not the greatest feeling to have lost by 8 minutes!!!

With my wife feeling exhausted

After the race it was time to cut loose and go try some of the local wineries around Sonoma. Normally I'm not really a drinker but when you go to vineyards and learn the process of making the wines, it's kinda hard not to drink. Here are pics of events after the races.

Post race home-made kettle chips!

Vineyards (Bella inside the cave)

Dinner with sponsors

Last night

We had a great trip and I will definitely be back to race Vineman 70.3 again. Beautiful course and beautiful weather. I have been so happy with the way my season has been coming along. Hopefully I can keep this progression going and jump onto a few more podiums before the season comes to an end.

Just want to thank my coach Matt Dixon of Purple Patch Fitness. It has been a long rode but we are finally moving forward!  K-Swiss for great racing flats and an awesome race kit. Phase One Builders for all the support you give and for the house you rented! First Endurance for awesome nutrition, Xterra wetsuits for te fastest swim skin the Velocity++.  Ron Vaughn at athletic tune-up professionals, and Jarod Carter for fixing up my neck the day before I left to CA. I couldn't even rotate my neck 90 degrees. Thanks Jarod.

Nutrition Report
Breakfast: oats, bottle of orange EFS (90calories), pack of honey stinger chews (160 calories)
Bike: 1st bottle -first endurance liquid shot (300 calories), 1 scoop orange EFS (90 cal), 1 scoop salt.
          2nd bottle- 2 scoops EFS orange (190 cal), 1 scoop pre-race, 1 scoop salt

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lubbock 70.3

One once said that happiness is Lubbock, Texas, in the rear view mirror. Between that and the estimated time en route to Lubbock being pitched to me at 8-8.5hr, I was not too thrilled about the ride up to Lubbock. The wife and I loaded the Frontier around 12:30 and started the haul up. To make a long story short. Total drive time was 5hr and 58 min from our to door to hotel door. I thought the drive was incredible. I actually saw hill, valleys, flat land, massive windmills, and then experienced the smell of Lubbock. If you ask me, it smells like soggy three day old wheat?

The pre race meeting really set the tone for the race in Lubbock, TX. According to the race director, this race was not "starbucks" racing. It was old school racing! It would be hardcore and you didn't have to be too concerned about venomous snakes or any critters deciding to wander about on the course. I loved it! His attitude and story telling was fantastic.

I lined up race morning  in my new Xterra Velocity++ suit that I received the morning of our departure. This is the first speedsuit I have owned that goes down to the ankles. Beautiful suit. Made sure I was close to Terenzo Bozzone and Stephen Hackett so I could jump on fast feet. I learned how much easier riding with group of guy is compared to riding solo. Making and getting out of the water with the top group is crucial for me. Gun went off and it was crazy start as usually to establish position at the front. I got it right and tucked right behind Terenzo who was tucked right behind Hackett. That is the way it would be until we jumped out of the water and onto the bikes.

I fumbled my way through transition and only just managed to jump on the group before we left the camp grounds. Chris Lieto was now in the pack with us riding and I knew it was going to be a very fast ride especially with Ben Hoffman and TJ Tollekson still behind us but charging hard. Around mile 6 Terenzo started pushing the pace so I rode up to second slot to hold my position. Not long after Lieto rode by and the pace picked up again, this time the pace jump hurt but I tried to stay tough as my ego was not letting me ease up. Around mile 9 TJ came flying by me like a possessed man! I've have never seen somebody go by as fast as he did. I was no riding solo and I could see Hoffman closing in on me when looking over my shoulder. I managed to yo yo back and forth until around mile 16 and then I cracked. The gap open to around 3-4 minutes when I arrived back to T2.

Once on the run I felt pretty good. From the splits I was getting I was bringing down the time to whom ever was in forth place. Started at 4 min and came down to 2:15 at the half way point. Once I hit the turn around, my pace made a fast around. I was struggling and knew I was becoming rather dehydrated. I was looking over my shoulder constantly even though my gap to 6th was around 5-6 minutes at the turn around. With 50m to go my wife was yelling at me. I though she just wanted me to look strong finishing. NOPE! I crossed the line and 5 seconds later Tim Reed crossed in 6th!! I stumbled around for a few minutes before I was taken to the med tent. In a matter of moment and needle was stuck into my arm and I received a liter of goodness.

Once off the table it was smooth sailing all the way back to Austin!

Results BSLT 70.3 2010
1. Chris Lieto
2. Terenzo Bozzone
3. Ben Hoffman
4. TJ Tollakson also check out his new bike cases at Ruster Sports
5. James Cotter

Breakfast: oats with banana and honey. 24oz water with one scoop First Endurance EFS

30min out: 16oz water, EFS, one scoop pre-race, four pinces Base Salt

Bike: first bottle was 3/4 container of Liquid shot with two scoops EFS (fruit punch). Second bottle was two scoops EFS, one scoop pre-race, three pinches of Base Salt. Bottle one was around 500-550 calories and bottle two was 200 calories.

Thank you K-Swiss, First Endurance, Phase One Design, Purple Patch, and Ron Vaghn for all your help.