Archive for May, 2009

#116 Onion Man Race Report

For Memorial Day weekend Harmony, the dogs & I headed east to Walla Walla for the Onion Man Triathlon. We made it to town Saturday afternoon, first order of business was to head out to check out the lake & bike course. The lake looked small & warm, both good things in my book. The bike course has a reputation of being much harder than it looks, we drove the entire bike course & wondered where the reputation came from. One thing was for sure…it was much warmer on the East side of the mountains than I was used to in the Puget Sound.

Saturday evening was pretty mellow, dinner in town, a short run to get the blood in my legs moving & some coveted TV time. I slept like a log Saturday night.

Sunday (race day) morning we were up early & out of the hotel by 7am. It was WINDY out at the lake & transition was a little tricky to get set up due to being on a pretty good hill. (Bike didn’t really want to say on the transition rack)

The swim was at 9am start, this is a little on the late side which meant the run would be really warm. Coming into the race the swim was the part of the race I was looking most forward to in terms of seeing how I’ve progressed since last season. My goal was between 30 to 35 minutes. I know this isn’t all that fast for 1500m but the swim has always been my weakest part of the race. The start of the swim wasn’t too bad. On the way to the first turn I got kicked pretty good in the quad & elbowed in the eye. This triathlon swim was different than all my past ones, for the full length I was in the mix with other people. I caught onto a few feet to draft off of & even had a couple of people jump on mine for a bit.

Click on photos for a larger view

Click on photos for a larger view

Lap 1 Swim Time 0:17:38 minutes
Total Swim Time 0:33:03

I’m happy with my overall swim time & most proud of my pace staying consistent.

Exiting the water there was an uphill run to the transition area. As soon as I was running I could tell that the kick to the quad was going to give me some problems. As soon as I started stripping my wetsuit my quad totally seised in a cramp, it got even worse when I reached down to put my bike shoes on. The cramp was so bad I ended up having to sit my ass down for a second.


T1 Time 0:02:29

The first mile or so in the bike is downhill, technical & features some speed bumps. My nutrition plan for the race was one bottle with 1.5 tables of NUUN & 300 cal of Carbo-Pro. Going over the last set of speed bumps I launched my water bottle out of cage that was on my frame. (Note, I was not using a behind the seat hydration system. I actually launched the bottle off the frame.) My first though was to carry on without it but then I though of how warm it was going to be & better judgment set it…I went back for it.

This is what most of the bike course looked like

This is what most of the bike course looked like

Once I was into the bike leg I started looking back for the boat anchor I had to be dragging! The reputation was correct, the first half of the bike was tough. It must have been a combination of a false flat & a consistent/steady head wind. I was peddling my ass off and only getting about a 18.5 mph average. I did take this opportunity to suck down most of my nutrition, I knew I was going to need it come the run. Once I got the the turnaround I lost the boat anchor & the wind was at my back. All the way back to transition I was comfortably in the mid to upper 20’s.


Bike Time 1:11:57

Racked my bike, lost the helmet, changed my shoes & grabbed a visor…

Heading out on the run

Heading out on the run

T2 Time 0:00:58

The start to the run was painful for about the first mile. My quad was really tight from the T1 cramping but it worked itself out pretty quick. My plan for the run was to settle into a comfortable pace & consistently build throughout the race. The run was hot & there wasn’t much shade to hide in. Luckily there seemed to be more water stations than I expected. I didn’t drink much but I did cool myself down with it. Nothing all that note worthy happened on the run, it was just one foot in front of the other for 10k!

Almost done!

Almost done!

Run Time 0:45:09 (About a 7:15 pace)

Overall Race Time 2:33:36 (PR by 18 minutes)

Harmony had her hands full with both dogs while I was out racing, She did an impressive job of watching the dogs, taking pictures & ringing the cow bell…THANK YOU!

Don't be fooled...

Don't be fooled...


Overall the race was very well organized & executed. Its a challenging place to hold a race due to limitations of space but the RD & volunteers did a great job…Thank you!

After the race it was off to the hotel to shower, pack the car & hit the road.

My next race is just around the corner, Boise Half Ironman. This is going to be a tough one, the race is an afternoon start so I’m expecting high temperatures & a wind bike leg. Tomorrow I start a tough 10 day block of training then I’ll have a “lighter” week leading up to the Boise race.


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#115 Killer Week

Last week was by far the toughest yet & a good taste of whats to come. My total number of hours training was just under 20. The hardest workout was on Saturday, 4 hours on the bike with a :30 transition run. The weather was beautiful, Josh & I met up at 10:30 then headed east. I had a long route in-mind that went out through Factoria, May Valley, into Issiquah, Redmond then backtracked through Renton & back to Capitol Hill. Josh hung in for about half the ride then he broke off & headed for home This was the first ride that I was using Carbo-Pro for fuel. I think this may be the ticket for sustained fuel without GI issues. For the first time I wasn’t starving on a long ride. Other than the last half an hour with a bunch of hills I was strong throughout & averaged a little over 19 miles an hour.

The transition run was another story…it hurt, it hurt really bad but I think that’s what its there for. As the training goes on throughout the summer they should start to get easier. (Or at least I sure as hell hope so) After four and a half hours of training I was dead.

Sunday I planned to get my first open water swim of the year in. Looking for the warmest water possible Josh, Lincon & I met at Green Lake to swim. I was looking forward to this to see if all the time in the pool was going to translate to the pool. All-in-all I felt strong & comfortable in the water. We swam right at a mile & it took about 35 minutes.



Sunday night I still had an hour run with some intervals that I had to force myself out the door to accomplish. Surprisingly I got the work done stronger than I expected.

Monday was a different story, I could feel the volume of the previous weeks work…

Memorial Day weekend Harmony & I are off to Walla Walla for the Onion Man Olympic Triathlon. The forecast is calling for sunshine & warm temperatures…cant wait.

As of today (5/21/09) Ironman Canada is 100 days away. Theres a LOT of work to be done in the next 100 days…

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Again this is a overdue race report, TT’s are just not that exciting. This was the second of a three race series, it was 14 miles & included two good climbs. Pre race was uneventful (no snow this time) I got a good warm up in on the trainer & felt pretty good.

The first climb comes early on in the course. I tried to keep the HR down and effort reasonable but it was a hell of a climb. Down the backside was a good opportunity to recover & there was also a nice flat section between the climbs. The second climb was a little easier than the first, after that it was all down hill to the finish line.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Overall it was a great course & I was happy with my finish time. 0:40.13. The next race in the series is the longest & the one I’m looking most forward to.

Erica & Jessica (friends I train with) took 1st & 2nd in the woman’s race, congratulations!

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Recently I heard that Jamba Juice was serving up oatmeal. Not just any oatmeal but slow-cooked, organic, steel cut oats with fruit toppings. This morning I changed my route to work so I could give this stuff a shot. A picture is worth a thousand words…

Full Cup of Jamba Juice Oatmeal

Full Cup of Jamba Juice Oatmeal

This was some of the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. It was obvious the oats were steel cut & not rolled, the quantity was huge and the fruit topping was perfect. If you like the oatmeal from a coffee company that features a mermaid in their logo I suggest tracking down some Jamba Juice Oatmeal…you’ll never go back.

Its a sad sight but...I'm full!

Its a sad sight but...I'm full!

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I grew up in Poulsbo & moved to Seattle in 1998. I still have quite a bit of family over there but no strong nostalgic connection to the area. It seems like I make it over a few times a year for a day or a weekend but thats about it. Last Sunday I headed over to spend some time with my Grandparents. The day also included an 1:30 run.

I ended up going on a run through memory lane around town. The route covered all but one of my childhood homes, my Elementary School, JR High & High Schools as well as my Dad’s current house. According to my recreation of the run online the distance was just under 11 miles & included a handful of hills.

Running Route Around Poulsbo

Click Photo for MapMyRun page

Not a lot has really changed in the 10 years since I moved. Restaurants have turned into real estate offices, Fish markets to Pharmacies, hills weren’t as steep as when I was a kid & distances between points was shorter than I remembered. I didn’t come away with a newfound love for the area but…I will be back there this summer for some of my long rides, the roads are great for cycling. Minimal Sunday traffic, wide shoulders & new scenery.

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