Thursday, June 27, 2013

HITS North Country 70.3 Tests

This Saturday I am toeing the line yet again.  This time it's the HITS North Country 70.3; another half ironman!!  This race, however, is not a priority.  It's a chance to test some things out and see what I might want to do come Ironman Lake Placid in July or FIRMman in September.

Here's a little insight into my thoughts of going into this race...

New Course
HITS purchased the North Country Triathlon this past fall.   The race has offered a Sprint and Olympic in the past and in true HITS nature, they added an Open, Half, and Full to the weekend.  This means that the course is brand new and there is no previous opinion to be found on it.  Looking at the elevation maps below, it looks to be a relatively flat course, but with a single massive hill in both the bike and run to make it all the more interesting.

Bike Elevation Map.  Talk about a hill out of T1!!

Run Elevation Map.

Support?  What's that?
HITS does not pull a large field.  HITS pulled 100 racers for one of their fulls within the last year, but that's the most.  I'm not expecting more than maybe 50 people.  With that said, I can't expect there to be many racers on the course to keep my mind occupied.  And with so few racers, there's even less of a chance of having much support, so I'm planning to carry almost everything I need with me.  Along with that, not many spectators will be coming to watch the show.  Overall, I'm really expecting this to seem like a half-way put together training day with a bunch of crazy triathletes. 

With that said, this will be the perfect race to use as a training exercise to test some new things out.  I can't expect to be fully supported as I'm used to.  I won't be pumped up as I usually am by all the other racers.  And I have no idea what to expect for the course conditions.  Oh, conditions!  Here's the forecast...

Looks like a fun day to race, huh?!

Ok, onto the tests I'm going to do.  I'll go down the race section by section to make it more concise.

  • Swim hard!  I'm a swimmer and despite the fact that I'd prefer to draft and get practice, I can't expect to have many swimmers better or as good as me.  I'm not being egotistical; I'm saying I know I'm a much better swimmer than most and with a smaller field, the chances become smaller of getting a draft zone.  So there's no use in planning on it.  I'll swim my own race and see if I can maintain as good a pace as I did at Rev3; roughly 30 minutes.

  • Slower than normal pace.  I have been unable to nail the run the last two years due to what I feel is a bike leg that takes too much out of me.  Therefore, I'm going to slow down the bike to what at Rev3 might be a 3:00-3:10 (adding 10-20 minutes) in order to attempt getting off and being ready to run.
  • Nutrition every 20 minutes.  The only exception allowed is an upset stomach.
  • Coke as the last bottle.   I tried this at IMLP training camp and it helped.  It should help give my run a boost.  
  • Run hard!  I would ideally like to see a sub-1:40 run and have it feel pretty moderate.  I doubt it'll feel that good, but I'd like to know that I can get off the bike and really make use of my running ability!
  • Take a gel every 3 miles.
  • Carry water, but take HEED / Coke at aid stations
Birthday Cake!  It's my mother's birthday the next day and I have to drive past her house on the way to the race, so I'm spending Sunday with my mom!!  =D


1.  Have you ever done a race just for testing purposes?
This will be my first test race.  But for $75, you can't get a better deal.

2.  What do you do differently for wet / raining races?
I'll lower my tire pressure to allow for better grip, but given the temp, I'll still dress and race normal otherwise.

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Me & My Big... FEET!

If you haven't seen the proof of how my feet have been becoming increasingly wider, click on over HERE.  And then the story continues below!

As you may know, I took quite some time before converting to clipless pedals for cycling.  Thanks to the generosity of a fellow triathlon club member, I've been wearing a pair of hand-me-down Northwave triathlon shoes since late last season.  Recently, it became apparent - by the right shoe's strap coming detached from the shoe - that they needed to be replaced.

On the hunt for cycling shoes!

I went to the LBS and picked up a comfortable pair of Bontrager RXL Hilos.  They were reasonably priced and seemed to fit well.  Their virgin voyage was IMLP training camp; 112 miles on the first trip!  They worked well until I started the second loop.  Then I noticed the ball of the foot was too narrow and my pinky toe suffered for the entire second loop.  Ouch!!

Return to the LBS.

I hesitantly switched the Bontrager RXL Hilos for the Pearl Izumi Tri Fly IV.  The correct size Tri Flys were not wide enough, but I tried on a single size bigger and thought they might work.  In actuality, the store owner told me "Go home and try them out.  The worst case scenario is that you bring 'em back."  True!  So I did.  I just did a 10-minute trainer ride and they will not work.  They might be wide enough, but they are obviously too long for my size foot and the arch feels weird.

For the rest of my trainer ride, I switched back to the Northwaves and they felt great!  So now that I've exhausted the supply at the LBS, I may go online to search out the Northwave Tribute or Extreme Tritahlon shoes.

The LBS owner did admit that cycling shoes simply do not come in wides, or if they do it's rare.  Maybe that's the next thing that will happen.  Most big running shoe companies now have shoes in various widths or at least wide models.  Next up, cycling shoes!


1.  Do you know of any triathlon cycling shoes that come in wide?, or at least are generally wider than others?

2.  What cycling shoes do you use?  Do you swear by one brand/model?

3.  Does anyone else have issues getting shoes?  
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An Interesting Feet of Nature

A Law of Physics
Apply pressure to an object and it will adapt.

Ok, I never actually heard that as part of my physics lectures, but it's got to be true all the same.  Anyways, I went to the LBS today to return a new pair of cycling shoes I bought because they ended up being too narrow.  I've always had wider feet, so it didn't surprise me.  I went in and we pulled out a couple other pairs to see if any would fit better.  As I took my shoes and socks off, the shop owner said...

"Ah, you've been running too much."

It was obviously a joke since he's a swimmer & marathoner himself, but he was quick to point out that I've grown bunyons on the outside of both my feet.  I had been questioning whether I had or not for a time, so I went back to find some older pictures of my lower appendages. 

August 2011
June 2013
Other than my incredibly white shins and My God my feet are veiny, my most lateral metatarsal has made a move causing my pinky toe to bend in.  I guess that's what I get for becoming a runner.


1.  Have you noticed changes in your body since you started or altered your training?

2.  I've never had any problems with my feet other than the issue of wide shoes, but is there anything I should know about bunyons?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

RACE REPORT: Lake T Sprint Triathlon #2

June 20th, 2013


This week I wasn't the first bike in Transition.  I was the second.  The darn person one rack up from me beat me to it!!

After some debate with having the Lake Placid Training Camp two days after this race, I decided it couldn't hurt to head to the race, warm up, and see how I felt.  If I felt good, I'll do it.

I had planned to do about 15 miles riding and 3.1 miles running.  I headed out on my bike and did one loop.  I felt great, so I picked it up just slightly.  Second loop felt great, but I pulled it back a bit; no use in wasting energy.  Third loop felt good, but I was taking longer than expected and if I wanted to get in a run before signing up for the race, I'd have to haul ass.  I opted instead for a fourth loop of the bike course.  I figured I could do an extra run after the race if I really wanted.

I made it back into transition and had this uneasy feeling that we had already hit our 200 athlete max.  Uh-oh!!

Luckily I was wrong.  I was #186.  Pretty darn close!

I quickly set up my transition area, ran to my car to get my wetsuit, set all of that up, and prepped for the race.


The women and relays went off at 6:20pm and I never found out who it was, but someone was WAAAAAAAY out in front.  And I don't mean by a few body lengths.  This is a sprint series and the lead swimmer was easily 30-50 meters ahead by the half way buoy.  Crazy!!

Six minutes later, the men were off.
The Guide Buoys

I did my best to stick to my game plan; stay in the lead pack and make use of the draft.  For the first 50-100 meters, I was in between two packs at the lead.  There was a group of 3-4 guys to my left I was keeping pace with and a bigger group to my right that was inching ahead.  Around the second buoy, the groups mixed.  Unfortunately, just after that buoy, I started thinking about the rest of the race and started drifting to the left and lost the draft.  I pulled back to the right and tried to grab onto the lead pack again, but once we hit the turn buoy, they were too far ahead and I never caught back up.  Lesson learned!!

The back half of the swim was me trying not to over-exert myself.  I wanted to push and catch up, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it and not waste a lot of energy. 

As I came to shore, I figured there were 6-7 guys ahead of me; I guessed based on the size of the lead pack and the few people I did see still running into transition when I got to shore.  I popped up, undid the wetsuit and ran to T1.  As usual, I had a great spot, so I sat right down, slipped the wetsuit off, put on my sunglasses and helmet, and was off with the bike.  I knew I had passed at least a few guys.

3rd place

In hindsight, I figure I either over estimated the size of the lead pack or really crushed transition!


I ran the bike from the mats over to the mount line, made it up the hill, strapped in my shoes, and then Bill, the race director, yelled "Forty second back" at me.  Cool.  I was only 40 seconds down from the leader, but who knows who that is; I figured I'd I'll be lucky to remain 40 seconds back from them.

Three quarters of the way through the first loop, after being caught by two fast bikers, I passed Ken - yes, my friend the genius - and he waved four fingers at me.  I was in fourth place and the guy ahead of me wasn't pulling away.  I might be able to hang onto this!  I passed him on downhills and straight aways, but he had me on the hills.  He eventually did pull away maybe a half mile, but I opted not to attempt to follow in order to save my legs for the run.  I obviously wasn't going to catch him on the bike, so my best chance was the run.

21st place

I am obviously not a strong biker!  But I had held back a bit and was only 1 second away from matching my best Lake T bike time.  Success!!

T2 + RUN

Running into transition, I see the guy I had been trying to hold onto standing next to his bike.  I knew I was pretty good at transitions and went straight to work.  Bike down, sit down, helmet and glasses off, shoes on (no socks), and I grabbed my hat on the way up and away.  The UConn guy I was trying to catch had gone from my guesstimate of half a mile ahead on the bike to 10 yards ahead out of T2!!  Score! 

He would later come up to me after the finish
and tell me how crazy fast I was at transition!

Right out of transition, we head through a little wooded area, around a playground and tennis courts, and make our way onto the road 0.2 miles later.  I was closing the gap and then the first hill came; reserve your energy Kurt!  Let him burn up the hill.  Unfortunately, he slowed down too, but we kept our place up the hill and then on the straight away I pulled ahead.  We took a quick right and went down hill where he opened his stride right up and zoomed back up, but it's a very short down hill and I took him back on the following slow incline.  He never caught back up.

That was all done around half a mile into the run.  I held that pace through the 2.0 mile point attempting to make sure he didn't feel he could repass.  I hadn't seen anyone else coming up, my quads were feeling the burn, and my lungs where working over time.  Since I had the IMLP camp in two days, I opted to slow down a bit and reserve my energy.  Bad idea!

It worked out well for my energy, but with half a mile to go, Chris, a guy who was 71st out of the water, blows past me at a pace I could only hope to keep up in my dreams.  I hadn't heard him come up, so I turned around to see who else might be coming.  All I saw was orange and knew right away it was Scott, a local super ultrarunner.  I immediately picked up my pace.  I was in no shape to catch Chris, but maybe I could shake Scott's mental game enough to make him give up the chase. 

We make the final turn back to the finish, I pass the race director again and this time he says...

"I would hate to tell you that Scott is right behind you,
but Scott is right behind you."

Haha.  Thanks!!  I crest the last little hill and give it everything I've got.  We're racing to the finish line, I don't dare look back, everyone is cheering, and just before I cross the timing mat, I see Scott's orange jersey out of the corner of my eye.  He beat me by getting his left foot across the mat as my right foot came across.  The timing chip goes on the left.  Darn!!  We ended up with the same time, but his name officially comes first.  Lesson learned.

8th place

The run felt fast, but I figured it wasn't my fastest because I did pull back.  Wrong!  My fastest time before this was 19:35.  I took 16 seconds off the run.  ...Cool!

FINISH - 57:52
6th place

I couldn't maintain my 4th place finish from the this year's first Lake T, but I might have been able to if I hadn't given up towards the end.  Oh-well.  Live and learn.


After a dip in the water for a natural "ice" bath, I spent some time admiring the sponsorship that the Lake T series has built up. It's quite impressive.

Newington Bike

The Attorney Penalty Box - "If you were represented by us, you'd be out already"

Fleet Feet Recovery Tent

Food truck!!

 We're spoiled!!

Lessons Learned
  1. Take the GU before race.
  2. Don't lose the draft in the swim.
  3. Consider transition another advantage
  4. Keep it relaxed on the bike.
  5. Don't assume you have any place locked in until you cross that finish line!

1.  What lessons have you learned recently during races and/or training?

2.  Do you have people at your local races that you know well enough that you have racing strategies in mind for what needs to happen for you to beat them?
At anything with distance, Scott has multiple upper hands!  I was running for sheer hope at that point.

3.  Do you have sponsors at your local races?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

RECIPE BOOK: Turkey Chili

This week's recipe comes from a few sources.  A fellow employee seeded the idea for turkey chili in my head.  With an afternoon off and the need for both a new recipe and some random items at the grocery store, I decided to give it a whirl.  However, I didn't stop and look up or even formulate a recipe before picking up what I needed.  Let's call this a shot in the dark.

Once home, I looked through online recipes to make sure I had the basics - turkey, tomato sauce of some sort, seasonings, onion, garlic, beans.  The rest was left up to my imagination and sense of smell/taste.

It turned out pretty well if I do say so myself!  But don't trust me; I'm biased!  Be your own judge. 


1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups of turkey meat
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/2 can of cannellini beans, rinsed
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced


Add onion, garlic, and celery to a large pot.  Heat on medium until fragrant; about 2 minutes.  Add seasonings and heat for 1 minute.  Add turkey and cook until it is no longer pink.  Add the tomatoes and heat on medium-high until it boils.  Return to a medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes.  Taste test and add seasoning as needed.  Add beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  When finished, add lime juice, mix well, let it cool, and serve.


1.  What's in your chili recipe?
There are some VERY competitive chili cook offs out there.  

2. Which would you prefer, a sweet, spicy, or savory chili?
The lime was a last minute idea that turned out to be a great kick. 

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ironman Lake Placid Training Camp

This weekend I will be in Lake Placid getting a first hand view of what I'm in for in July.  This could be great or I could realize how much of a bad decision I made a year ago by volunteering for this race in order to sleep outside a gym and sign up for this year's race.  *sigh*  Only one way to find out!

There are some 20 members of my tri club heading up to swim, bike, and ride the whole course.  Some are training for Placid themselves and others are just using the training camp as a great weekend training for other races.  Or maybe they're scoping the course out before signing up; who does that?!

With my calf issues behind me (*crossing fingers*), and my hip adductor tension 90% gone, I'm excited for this weekend's training.  I won't make it up for the Friday evening short run due to work, but I'll make the Saturday/Sunday swims, Saturday's 112 mile ride, and Sunday's 13.1 mile run.  Woohoo!!  And the weather is somewhat cooperating thus far. 

Rain I can deal with.  Thunder & lightning might put a hamper on our activities.

I'm excited to see what the course is like and to test some new things out:

  • More frequent nutrition intake on the bike.
  • Greater Perpetum concentration on the bike.
  • Half bottle of Coke at the end of the bike.
  • Cruising the first bike loop and kicking up the second.

This puts me 5 weeks from Ironman Lake Placid and just one week from HITS North Country 70.3.  The pre-race jitters are starting to settle in from time to time.


1.  Have you ever been to a training camp?
I've been to summer camp.  That's as close as I get.

2.  When's your next big race?
Ironman Lake Placid in just over 5 weeks.

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let There Be Rock!! only AC/DC can put it!

Negative points if you don't already know the song I've alluded to.  Even more negative points if you're asking yourself "where did he allude to a song?"

If this doesn't help, I'll pray for you.

Every Wednesday now I run a class I call "Step It Up."  It's a 25-minute aerobic bootcamp which involves a good mix of cardio, plyometrics, and the like.  The nice part about adding this class into my mix of training is that I get to choose the music!

However, that leaves me spending a week being super picky over what songs to play.  Do I play what I know I'd like or something more akin to what I hear coming from our spinning room at the gym?  Do I play a mix or choose themes for each day?

Here's a list of the songs I've used so far...

Class #1
Matchbox Twenty - How Far We've Come
Metric - Gold, Guns, Girls
Imagine Dragons - It's Time
The Eagles - Life in the Fast Lane
Green Day - Let Yourself Go
Fun - Carry On

Class #2
Young the Giant - My Body
Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
Pink - You and Your Hand
Adam Lambert - Never Close Our Eyes
Bon Jovi - It's My Life
Fall Out Boy - I Don't Care
Blind Melon - No Rain

Class #3
Queen - We Will Rock You
Spiderbait - Black Betty
Kelly Clarkson - Stronger
Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right
Nine Days - Back to Me
Let Go - Almost, Always Maybe
Daughtry - September

I was happy with how the second class's music turned out, but today's class seemed to fizzle in my mind musically.  Can't win 'em all, right?

But that's where I want to ask you...

What's your favorite song / album / mix to listen to while working out?
If you're going to jump around a ton for 25 minutes, what do you want to hear and what would you up and leave if you DID hear?


1.  What music do you listen to when you work out?
What type of music, what bands, what artists, any specific songs that really get you going?

2.  Do you have any musical suggestions?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Long Morning Ride

This past weekend I was supposed to ride 90 miles.  Well, I ended up with some hip adductor/knee issues, so I pushed it off.  Sunday came and I was just too busy early on.  Later in the day the weather was iffy, so I pushed it to Monday.  But that many miles and having to be to work by 2pm meant I had to be on the road EARLY!

5:00am Alarm

For better or for worse, I woke up at 5:45am.  Apparently my body said "no" to the alarm clock and passed right back out without even registering the act of turning the alarm off.  Despite the late wake up, I was out the door and on the road by 6:20am. 

I planned on riding to 5 of the 6 locations of the gym I work for.  It'd put me somewhere between 90 and 100.  Due to time I cut out the last location and made it an 84 mile ride, but the fun is always in the stories you get from the ride.

Low on Fuel
When I went to stock up my bike with nutrition, I realized I am at the bottom of my gel box; there's only 5-6 of my preferred flavor left.  With a training camp coming up this weekend and my local bike shop only being able to get my gels when the Clif rep comes around, that had me worried.  Do I use them today and hope I can find more or save them and hope I can make it through today.  Ugh!!  I went with "use them today."

Finger Prick!
You know the feeling of getting pricked on the finger for blood tests?  What if you could get that on your ride, multiple times?!  "Where do I sign up?," right?  Wrong!!  Well, it turns out the gear cable for my rear cassette was fraying, so I got at least a few good pricks during the ride.  The entire time I'm chanting "Please don't break.  Please don't break." in the back of my head.  I was worried I'd end up some 30 miles from home and I'd get stranded.

Stupid Squirrels
I swear they're the adrenaline junkies of the wild animal kingdom.  I was riding through a rather scenic portion of the route and I come around a bend to see a squirrel in the road.  Now, normally they'll just scamper off so I didn't think anything of it.  Then, with a few feet to go, it starts running towards my side of the road, comes within an inch - I swear, an INCH! - of my front wheel and then does a 180 and runs away.  I didn't have the time for my heart to start racing, but my mind was thinking "Well, this should be interesting.  I'm going to get thrown from my bike by a squirrel getting caught in my wheel." 

Stupid Cars
Three stories here.  First, there was the car that felt it necessary to drive within inches of my handlebars.  Normally I can blow it off as just another stupid driver who doesn't realize how much that can scare a cyclist, but I happen to catch the driver as he went by; he was staring at me the entire time and then moved back to the middle of the lane as soon as he passed me.  He was TRYING to scare me.  Stupid driver.

The second guy thankfully was just ignorant.  It was a rather large SUV pulling out of a driveway that decided not to look both ways until the last second when I yelled "HEEEEYYYY!!!"  I swerved further into the road while he did the usual "I'm sorry!" wave and proceeded to look both ways multiple times.

The third guy was in a modified black BMW car and having been stuck behind me for maybe half a block, decided he needed to rev the engine WAAAAAAY up and cross the yellow lines to pass.  Honestly, I'm quite used to that.  What I was more perplexed by was when the same car did the same thing not half a mile later.  I hadn't passed him that I'm aware of unless he pulled over.  But it was an odd type of deja vu.

In either case, I made it home safely (aside from the finger pricks) after some 84 miles; the bike computer read 83.4 miles, but it also had been cutting out, so who knows!  I got in a quick 1 mile brick run and then ate, napped, dropped the bike off to get the cable fixed, and headed to work. 


1.  What's your favorite training story?  Have you seen anything interesting while out?

2.  Have you ever run over an animal on your bike?
I know one of you has!!

3.  Do you have a motor vehicle pet peeve while cycling?  
I have plenty!  Not enough people know that CT has a three-foot law; you have to give cyclists three feet of room or you cannot pass.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen that law broken!  I could retire!

4.  Have you ever fit in your long ride/run before work?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

RECIPE BOOK: Lettuce Wrap Vegetarian Burrito

Today's recipe is one I've been using quite a bit recently as a quick meal.  It's one of my favorite go-to meals because it tastes GREAT!


1 leaf from a head of lettuce
1/3 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I prefer sharp cheddar)
1/4 cup of homemade Pico de Gallo


Read carefully; this gets complicated.

Carefully unwrap a lettuce leaf; rips in the leaf don't keep the contents contained.  Sprinkle half the shredded cheese on the bottom, layer on the beans, the Pico de Gallo, and the rest of the cheese on top.  Wrap the contents in the lettuce leaf and finally, consume.


The unwrapped (LEFT) and filled & wrapped (RIGHT) lettuce leaf.


1.  What's your favorite Mexican food?

2.  Do you have a favorite Go-To food/meal?
Do share!!

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My Friends Are Geniuses! No Biggie.

What does a home improvement store, a science lab, and triathlon all have in common?

Eye protection!

You have to protect your eyes from flying wood shavings, chemical sprays, and high winds on your bike!  Hopefully not all at the same time, but you never know.  The apocalypse could come any day. 

While setting up for the Lake T Sprint Triathlon last week, we all noticed that the weather was going predominantly in the "not so good" direction.  The clouds were coming in and rain was supposed to come down shortly after race start.  With the sun getting blocked out, one thing I always have to debate is the use of sunglasses on the bike.

Without the need for blocking out the sunlight, the glasses are only good for blocking the wind while they make everything look like the sun has already gone down; not such a good thing while going at an average 21 mph on back roads.

I'm sure you're thinking "They have clear, yellow, orange, and other glasses as well as replaceable lenses."  Sure they do, but they're expensive!  Well, they have been up until now!  A friend of mine introduced me to his ingenious idea for the newest line of triathlon glasses... Dewalt!  That's right, the kind you'd find at Home Depot or Lowe's.  Why pay upwards of $250 for a pair of Rudy sunglasses when you can get THIS pair at Lowe's for less than $10.  Heck, get two just in case!

I was so impressed, I had to look them up and yes, they're only $8 plus tax.  I was about to head to Lowe's when I remembered that I had a pair of glasses from teaching organic chemistry labs in college.  Admittedly it took me awhile to dig them out - they haven't been used in quite some time - but they fit perfectly!!

I took them with me on a ride this past Sunday and while they certainly don't do well to block sunlight, they block the wind quite well!!  I'll be adding these to my triathlon gear with quite the smile. 

I will have to keep my eyes and mind open to other non-triathlon gear that might be useful.  I could very well be the only athlete at my next race with a lab coat, hard hat and steel toed boots!


1.  Do you have multiple pairs of glasses?  Do they have different lenses?

2.  What other types of non-triathlon gear do you use for training or racing?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

RACE REPORT: Lake T Sprint Triathlon #1

June 6th, 2013


I raced a Half Ironman four days before Lake T.  That about sums it up.

Even before Quassy, I was unsure if I was going to do this first Lake T race of the year.  In the days between the two, I had a headache for two days and felt pretty sore in my hamstrings & left calf.  At first, I figured I would do my own brick and go to a local track practice; I didn't want to hurt myself.  However, deep down I really wanted to race.  The day before the race, I did a lot of stretching and dynamic movement exercises and it helped to alleviate what I felt in my muscles.

On race day, I decided to head to the race site early and do the bike and run easy.  If I had any issues, I'd call it a day and just volunteer.  If I felt I could handle the race, I'd sign up and let my body dictate the race speed.

Race start was 6:20pm.  I arrived at 4:00pm and even had to set up the bike racks in order to hang my bike.

Two loops of the bike course in 36:09 (18.38 mph) - CHECK! 
One loop of the run course in 22:02 (7:06 pace) - CHECK!

Time to race!!!

I signed up, stretched, had a Picky Bar & Clif gel, and awaited the start.  We all hoped the incoming storm would hold off. 


Based on muscle soreness, the swim was going to be my best leg.  There were a few VERY good swimmers at the front of the pack and I lined up next to Ken, a friend I had been used to swimming with hoping to stick to his feet as long as possible.

At 6:25pm, we were off!  I held pace for the first 50 yards or so and then felt my energy begin to drain.  Darn!!  My energy hadn't been replaced, so I pulled back and did my best to draft the rest of the swim.  I felt much more of an effort than Quassy, but still popped up from the water running to the bike.

Having been the first athlete to the race, I was on the closest rack.  I got my wetsuit top down before I slid to my transition area and ripped the bottom off.  At that point, I realized that Ken, my kick ass swimmer friend was still grabbing his bike three positions down from me.  Woohoo!!  I put on my glasses, strapped on the helmet, and  ran off to the mount line. 

9th place


In my warm up, my legs still felt tightness in my quads.  Oddly, during the race, my quads felt fine.  On the first loop, it was pretty lonely.  Only one guy passed me and there weren't many people out there to pass.  On the second loop, there was a group of four guys or so that passed me.  It felt oddly symbolic as they passed me in the last half a lap while I started to feel low on energy. 

As I finished the second loop, I unstrapped my shoes and dismounted, running the bike into transition feeling oddly good on my running legs.  No complaints!!

21.4 mph
15th place

T2 & RUN

Right off the bike, I had a relay runner on my tail.  I was determined not to let him pass me that early, so I took off.  About 0.1 mile down the road, I passed the first place female and spotted the first guy ahead of me.  With the first hill coming up, I slowed my pace and attached a string to the guy's back.  I passed him on the downhill and was quite alone for the next 1.5 miles.  When I spotted another runner ahead, I was relieved.  I figured I was somewhere between 5th and 7th and I had hoped that they weren't THAT far ahead of me.  Over the next half a mile, I made up about 15 second on him.  Then on the final 0.5 mile flat road, I caught up to and passed Chris, a HEAT friend.  No wonder I could see the runner so far ahead, Chris is pretty tall.  I remember thinking "Why do I feel so good right now?"  I was certainly not at my typical pace, but I wasn't fighting to maintain my pace either.  Again, no complaints. 

I made the last turn, looked back to see if Chris was going to have a kick, and he didn't, so I kept my pace.

 sub-6:32/mile pace
13th place

FINISH - 1:00:53
4th place overall


Since it had been raining since mid-way through the bike, I quickly grabbed my gear and packed up the car.  I switched to regular clothes and headed back to transition to cheer on the remaining racers.  Then while I waited for the awards, I made use of a new feature of this race, the Fleet Feet Recovery Tent.  Caitlin from Fleet Feet had foam rollers, pro stretches, balls, bands, and lots of torturous items; very much appreciated!!

Once everyone was packed up, I headed home.  This has become a VERY good local race.  We used to be happy with maybe 60 people in the first race of the year.  We had 173 this past week.  Awesome!!  Can't wait for some great competition.


1.  How soon after an A-priority race have you raced again?

2.  What's your favorite local race?
The Lake T sprint series is my down right favorite.  

3.  Do you do races of all lengths, or do you stick to short/long distance?
I like to mix it up.  While I'd like to focus on the 70.3/140.6 distance, sprints and olympics help keep my speed up, hone sport specific skills without the increased recovery time, and are just plain fun!

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

RACE REPORT: 2013 Rev3 Quassy Half Rev


The day began at 3:30 am when my alarm clock went off.  Thank GOD I'm a morning person!  After seeing my "Heading to Quassy" post on Facebook, a friend of mine responded...

"Type A personalities = already up at 3:45 on race day."

I beg to differ.  I was up at 3:30am, parked three rows from bike out/in, and was the first athlete into transition.  Is there such a thing as Type AA?!

Setting up transition.

I had my typical breakfast; 3 eggs, steel cut oats, banana with peanut butter, and toast.  After getting into transition, I got everything set up. 

My nice large transition area!
Thank you to whoever it is that continues to not show up for Rev3 Quassy next to me and my friend (the Cannondale on the right).  

The pros started at 6:50 am and my wave didn't go off until 7:40 am, so while the race got kicked off down by the water, I took a rest in my car.  Around 7:00 am, I pulled out the riding gel, bodyglide, and wetsuit.  I got suited up and headed down to the water.  Fifteen minutes before race start, I took my favorite Clif Vanilla gel and hopped into the water for a warm up - a GREAT additive Rev3 put into place this year. 


1 minute...
30 seconds...
10 seconds...
5 seconds...
** AIR HORN **

And we're off!!  Me and all my orange capped males under 35 were off for a hot race day!  Right from the start, I had two goals for the swim, 1) draft and 2) stick to a consistent pace.  Luckily, I ended up in the middle of a pack which made drafting up through buoy three pretty easy.  Just before the first turn buoy, I pulled slightly left of the group and drafted a single guy around the buoy.  At this point, the pack broke up and started taking over the previous groups.  There were a few guys I was able to go between as I made my way to the second turn buoy.  From there to the finish, I was ultimately on my own while overtaking plenty of swimmers.  My body felt like it had found a rhythm and I stuck with it.

I swam until my fingers touched the beach and popped up.  I stripped off the wetsuit top, hit the grass, and tore off the bottom while I still had the water running through.  I jumped up and crossed the timing mat with my wetsuit in hand, feeling pretty good about my swim.  I hit the watch and was pleasantly surprised.

Currently in 8th of 53 in M25-29
62nd of 997 overall
4:12 behind the division leader


As you run across the timing mat, there is a continuous incline up to transition.  While I felt great on the swim, I was surprised to find I was a bit out of breath running up the incline.  I found my bike, flung the wetsuit into my very LARGE transition area, put on my glasses, strapped on my helmet, grabbed my bike, and headed out the bike exit.

Currently in 3rd of 53 in M25-29
35th of 997 overall
3:28 behind the division leader

Apparently I rock transitions!  I passed 5 people in my division, 27 overall.  Awesome!!



If I am ever a race director, the above area will be changed.

One side for stationary mounting and the other for flying mounts.  More than a few times, I've run up to the mount line and have to maneuver around or between cyclists who stop RIGHT ON THE MIDDLE OF THE LINE to s-l-o-w-l-y get on their bike.  Thoughts?

Once on the bike, I slipped my feet into the shoes and began cycling out the park.  The first 1.5 miles are downhill/straight, so I strapped on my shoes and got going!  Here are the section break downs.

Course Section              Best In Training       Goal             Race Day

Section #1                            53:49                  51:00            48:17  
Section #2                            17:22                  17:00            15:34
Section #3                            29:09                 28:00            28:07
Section #4                            33:51                  31:00             34:03
Section #5                            43:21                  41:00             45:17
TOTAL                               2:57:23                2:48:00          2:51:02

As the above times indicate, I felt great through section #2.  It took 7 miles for my labored breathing to come back to normal.  When I hit the end of Section #1, I decided to stick to the pace based on how I felt.  Through Section #2, I felt great.  I knew I was well ahead of my projected time, so I backed off and took it easier up the hills in Section #3.  I hit the goal spot on, but started to notice cramping in my quads while out of the saddle.  At this point, the heat and my lack of following my nutrition plan started getting to me.  Section #4 was slower than my training ride and Section #5 was even worse.

Overall, I had gotten 3.5-4 bottles of water down, 2.5 scoops of Hammer Perpetum, and 4-5 Clif gels. 
And on the steep hill in Section #5, I hit my max speed.

That's definitely a speeding violation.

I also got to see my amazing cheering squad on the bike.  Holly was out at Bike Aid Station #2.  And just up the next hill, I heard the rumble of what could only be a really cool car.  Yup, it was Kim with her faithful sidekick Cheryl hanging out the window with her phone snapping away photos.


That was definitely a boost to the day given the quad cramps I was starting to have.

Then I saw them again just before T2.  As we came riding up to the Quassy park, my ladies began waking up all the slumbering neighbors with their voices, noise makers, and air horns.  It was great!!

However, at the same time, I pulled up my right leg in order to unstrap my shoe.  As soon as I reached down, my hamstring cramped.  I immediately straightened my leg back out and my quad cramped.  The heat was taking more of an effect.

Currently in 10th of 53 in M25-29
79th of 997 overall
23:05 behind division leader


As I headed down the Quassy driveway, I was quite worried that my legs would seize as soon as they hit the pavement.  I dismounted and was happy to find that they worked.  Yay!

I dropped the bike off, pulled on the running socks & shoes, dropped my helmet & glasses, and grabbed all my gear, heading to the run exit.

Currently in 10th of 53 in M25-29
79th of 997 overall
22:48 behind division leader

I rock!  I just made up 17 seconds on the leader.  If only the entire race was determined by transition time!


Knowing that I was already cramping and that it was in the 80's, I grabbed a cold water and Gatorade and downed it.  Then it was out the Quassy entrance and back to the screams of my ladies!!  There wasn't a person in miles that didn't know I was coming.


I was already feeling tightness in my legs.  It was going to be a very tough 13.1 miles!!

Mile 01 - 7:10
Mile 02 - 8:47
Mile 03 - 7:47
Mile 04/05 - 17:33
Mile 06 - 9:07
Mile 07 - 8:44
Mile 08 - 10:10
Mile 09 - 7:52
Mile 10 - 7:38
Mile 11 - 9:00
Mile 12 - 7:57
Mile 13 - 9:15
Mile 13.1 - 1:56

Less than a mile later, after making it down the downhills, my legs began to cramp badly.  At two points in the next 0.1 mile, I could barely walk the cramps were so tight.  I sure wasn't going to give up, but I knew the top time goal for the day was out of the question.  As I was attempting to walk it off, one athlete handed me two salt pills.  I downed them and stretched for another 10 seconds and headed back off.  I started to wonder how long my legs could take this abuse.  

I forced myself to aid station #2 and walked through it while I downed two Gatorades and refilled my water bottle with cold water.  Then around mile 3.5, the hills began and what seemed like easy hills in training felt like I was climbing the side of a building.  I made it up the first hill and then began walking the hills.  I couldn't believe it.  Last year, I made it to mile 7 before I walked and from there, down to mile 11.  At this point, I had walked half a dozen times before finishing mile 4.

Every aid station was a water bottle refill and Gatorade.  Finally at mile 7, they had Coke.  And then I got to see my ladies again at mile 8.5.

THE best cheer squad ever!
At mile 10, I looked at my watch.  I had 27 minutes left if I wanted to beat last year's time and only a 5k.  In my head, that meant I only needed to keep a slightly faster than 9 minute mile pace.


I wish I could say I took off.  I didn't.  I actually stopped for a bathroom break and THEN headed off.  I kept an even pace for most of mile 11, hit the aid station at the last turn around, and then ran my first full mile; mile 12.  I hit the last aid station and kept going.  Just before the last hill, the athletes go under a bridge.  My ladies were at the bridge lying in wait for me.

There was no better time and place for them; I needed their cheers!  I walked a bit of the last hill and then ran it down the road and into the finisher's chute. 


Currently in 16th of 53 in M25-29
120th of 997 overall
51:24 behind division leader

16th of 53 in M25-29
120th of 997 overall


After crossing the finish line, Rev3 really got to show it's colors.  Just beyond the finish line was a bucket of ice cold water.  A volunteer reached in and grabbed a Gatorade towel from it for every finisher.  MAN did that feel good!  Another put the medal around your neck while a third grabbed the shirt size you wanted (as a note, the sizes run small this year; my medium is a bit small on me).  

Completely adorned in Rev3 Finisher's gear, I was quickly surrounded by Kurt's Crew, my cheer squad who had just run up from the bridge where they saw me only 0.2 miles ago.  I may have just raced 70.1 miles, but I could still out run them!  haha  =P

We went around with sweaty congratulation hugs...

An ice (aka, cold water) bath...

Food & a group picture!

While eating, the ladies discussed how they were all going to Tetris their way home and then someone popped in the question "Kurt, how are  YOU getting home?  You're not driving, are you?

If you recall last year, I made a rule that I'm not allowed to drive myself home after a big race because I fell asleep at the wheel while at a stop light.  So I graciously accepted their offer and allowed two of the ladies to drive me home.

Thank you Rev3 and my amazing Cardio ladies 
for making the day not only safe, 
but one to always remember!!!


It was a tough day.  I was not upset with my time.  How could I be?  I beat last year's time while dealing with 13 degrees of a higher temperature and was able to make it to the finish line without a single calf issue.  However, it was nowhere near my original high goal.  That was my fault though.

Ok, I lied.  I did have one calf issue.  The age tattoo created an inverse sunburn.  Not so much an issue as just a fun thing to explain at work.

I had a great swim.  I kept a strong, consistent pace the entire way and nailed my goal.  Booyah!

The first half of the bike was very good, but then I began to fall apart.  I started cramping at the hills, I fell off my nutrition plan, and because of that, I slowed significantly.  I may have gone out too hard, crippled myself due to lack of nutrition, or both.  Either way, I still beat last year's time, but not in the manner I had hoped. 

My run blew up in my face.  Overall, I ran slower.  However, on the positive side, I did a LOT more walking this year and only added 4 minutes to my time.  Therefore, while the previous issues ruined my ability to run continually, I maintained a faster pace while I WAS running.  That is promising.

After the race, I was happy to not have a single GI issue.  While I lacked on nutrition, it was at least an improvement on last year.  


1.  When do you get up and get to transition on race day?
I like to be there when transition opens so I have plenty of time to get things ready as to lower the number of butterflies in my stomach and so that I get a prime parking spot.

2.  What is your best leg of a triathlon?
Without a doubt, swimming is my best.  Too bad it's less than 2% of the race.

3.  Do you have races you return to year after year?  If so, is it for pleasure or hopeful revenge & vindication?
I return to Quassy for the challenge and hopeful vindication.  I have not figured this course out.  Nor do I ever expect to.  

4.  What is the best item, activity, or the like you've had or experienced post-race?
The cold water bath was such a great idea!

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve.