Summer Season Recap and the Push Toward Beach 2 Battleship

It has been a very busy two months of racing and training for me.  Since my last post and since Buffalo, I have raced: High Cliff Half Iron, Waconia, Lifetime Fitness MPLS, Tri for a Cause and Chisago Lakes Half.  Shwew, that’s a lot of racing!  I won’t go into full detail on all of them, I’ll just touch on the highs and lows in chronological order.

High Cliff – 4:56

My “hometown” race in Oshkosh was a total blast.  I had a solid swim followed by an average bike and a “decent” run.  Unsurprisingly, this course always finds a way to just decimate me on the end of the bike and the run.  I still ran a respectable 1:49 (A Half Iron PR, sadly) off of an admittedly overcooked bike.

Waconia – Fish Out Of Water

Another stacked field in Minnesota, go figure.  I figured that this would be a great race to test some of my speed with considering it is a sprint-ish distance.  I also decided it would be awesome to race in a speedo (it was, see picture).

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All in all, it was a good time, nothing particularly exciting about my results or progress, just good racin’ fun!

Lifetime MPLS – The Monsoon

Thus began the tumultuous bit of my season.  A massive storm rolled in overnight and through the morning causing part of the olympic distance bike course to become under a foot of water.  This altered the race to being a sprint distance for everyone, bad news for anyone lacking the speed necessary to compete at that distance (read: “Cody”).  I sucked it up and then just raced.  What was supposed to be my “A2” race turned into a total mess and I ended up just trying my best.  The swim was utter chaos, the bike was wicked tight and a little dangerous due to roads and density of riders and the run was the run (see suffering photo below).  Again, not much to write home about.

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Tri For A Cause – 7th Overall

New friend Brian (Sames) and I were texting back and forth on Thursday about the weekend and decided to race on Saturday in Crosby, MN.  Awesome idea because this race was a total blast with great setup and a great RD.  We also figured we would be at the pointy end of the race and have a good chance to race against each other the whole way.  I counted on my swim prowess to get me out of the water a couple minutes ahead of Brian, hold it on the bike and then just get smashed on the run.  As it turns out, my swim prowess was fine but, only :20 fine.  Brian was second out of the water, right behind me and laughing the whole way.  Apparently he’s found some swim pace.  You can guess how the rest went.  I faded to third on the bike with some finicky saddle mishaps and then imploded on the run on my way to 7th.  Massive stomach cramps were the order of the day during the run.  Good times.

Disaster, Catastrophe, Etc.

In what can only be filed under the “ugh, that sucks” category, I spent Wednesday after Tri for a Cause running through a Doctor’s office and a hospital.  I had been having some stomach pains and some good bouts of nausea for the past week in my lower right abdomen and it had gotten unbearable.  I ran through CT Scans and the whole medical runaround to find out….nothing.  No appendicitis (good) but no other ideas.  I went home and continued to not train at all the week before Chisago.  I decided to give it a whirl on race morning anyway.

Chisago Lake Half Iron – Not Meant to be

Race morning came and my sickness was tolerable enough to at least give the race a try.  After the madness of setting up in transition was over and after I had “warmed up” by splashing in the lake it was go time.  I ended up having an alright swim (32:15) and got out of the water feeling like death warmed over.  Nearly throwing up the last half of the swim was less than pleasant and it took me a while to get things sorted out on the bike.  In general, the bike course at Chisago is a total mess.  Riding through grass, bike trails and rough roads is not a fun thing on a TT bike.  I also had a pretty stout nosebleed on the bike between miles 10 and 20.  I ended up riding near a group of 4 other guys for the first 30 miles and we all just kept a sane pace.  We made it through the 40km mark in just over an hour and a couple of the guys dropped back (smart) while three of us continued to hammer onward.  I started to fade badly in the last 10 miles and decided to consolidate my losses and just relax on the way in if I were going to have any chance at running a decent half marathon on this day.  I finished the bike (which was 57.1 miles instead of 56 miles) and started the run.  I was feeling pretty normal for the first mile.  Surprisingly, I was able to hold 7:30/mile pace and feel like I had more.  Then it all came undone, quickly.  Right around mile 1.5 my stomach started to hurt and I was instantly nauseous.  At mile 2 I threw up all over the place.  It was not pretty.  I ended up deciding not to finish the race and leave on a stretch and hoofed it back to transition.  A DNF always sucks, but this was the right decision.

Recap, Review and Looking Forward

It’s been a really interesting season.  I’ve really found that I have a good enough swim/bike to keep myself competitive within the local races and that my run continues to improve.  I’ve had a pretty successful summer.  I’m incredibly proud of Alex for her work and her great results at High Cliff Sprint (2nd AG), Waconia (2nd AG) and Chisago Sprint (Swim PR and she would’ve been on the podium if not for a bum tube).  She’s going to continue to improve with every race and it’s just awesome to watch!  I’ve also made some awesome friends and met some awesome people in the past couple months.  I’m now taking a week of unfocused training to relax and recuperate before my 12 week Ironman build.  I’m a process guy with a great attention to detail so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do with a hyper-focused 12 weeks!  I’ll check in more regularly with my training totals and such between now and October 26th.  Until then, train hard and have fun!

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Race Reports From the First Quarter

Whoa, where did the last three weeks go?  I found myself muttering this before the gun went off on Sunday for the Buffalo Triathlon.  This race report will catch you up on all things Cody during the past three weeks, spanning three races: Gear West Duathlon, Apple Duathlon and Buffalo Triathlon.

I had a nice week off between Cinco Du Mayo and the Gear West Duathlon in which I did a little bit of maintenance training.  Gear West and Apple were both “train-through” races for me because I don’t quite have the running pace to keep up with the fastest guys (you know who you are).  With that being said, we’ll jump into the fun.

Gear West Duathlon May 19, 2013

Run 1: 20:25

Bike: 42:50

Run 2: 21:52

Overall: 1:27:20, 1st in 25-29 AG*, 35/250 overall

*Three of top Four overall “elites” were 25-29, whatever, I’ll take the fake victory.

An interesting race, considering the awful, difficult and muddy run course, I’ll be back.  It was a pretty tough race for me to get into a comfortable pace with my running right out of the gate.  I ran 6:02 the first mile and then spiraled downward as the course became more and more muddy.  It was just a tough run course, period.

My bike has been neglected due to the awful weather we’ve had all spring and this pace wasn’t really a good indication of my fullest potential.  A 23.3 mph average isn’t really all that stellar for myself, I’ll work on it though.  The bike course was easy with a couple good rollers.

Run 2 was even less fun.  The course was pretty trampled and destroyed after all ~300 athletes ran through the first loop so it was a mess.  I actually saw a few people crash on the run course, that was pretty atypical.

All in all, I performed as well as I could have expected.  Live to fight another fight, they say.

Apple Duathlon, May 25, 2013

Run 1: 19:23 (6:15/mi.)

Bike: 54:16 (22.7 mph avg.)

Run 2: 20:50 (6:43/mi.)

Overall: 1:35:46, 4th in 25-29 AG, 38/300 overall

Another grey and dismal day for racing.  Being that Apple was a world qualifier, I fully expected to be off any podium for the race.  Lots of out-of-staters came here and all the speedy folk from my age group were there as well (minus a couple, notable speedsters).

Run 1 was pretty fun, I’ll admit.  I went out hard and stayed with Brian (Sames) for 100m, then he dropped me like Chinese class.  I ran hard and finished sub 20 in the first 5k to set myself up for a decent position on the bike.  The hills of Sartell were pretty pounding on the legs and the wind started to pick up toward the end of the run.

The bike course was windy.  There are no two ways about it, I had no legs for the winds and got frustrated pretty quickly.  I also pushed a few too many buttons on the garmin and didn’t have data during the bike.

Run 2 was also, surprisingly, strong.  I felt pretty good after my middling bike efforts and pushed up the hill and out of transition.  I knew I was somewhere in the top 5 and that no one was really close to me in my AG so I could coast a little bit.  I coasted the first couple miles and then dug a little deeper to ensure that I wasn’t caught by the next athlete behind me (who happened to be in my AG).  All in all it was a fine day.  Brian took 5th overall, because he’s an animal, and won the AG.  The next three in AG were within shouting distance so, I couldn’t complain.  Alex also had a great race and completed her first duathlon after the unfortunate crash a few weeks earlier.  It was way fun to cheer her on as she came in.

In general, duathlon season was fun.  I am glad to get some fire into the legs and feel the competitive streak come back for race season.  I couldn’t WAIT to get to a triathlon so I could swim!

Buffalo Olympic Distance Triathlon, June 2, 2013

Swim: 22:20 (1:22/100 yd., OD PR)

Bike: 1:05:52 (22.4 mph avg.)

Run: 43:10 (6:58/mi.)

Overall: 2:14:24 (OD PR), 14th in Elite, 24/388 overall

Ah yes, the first triathlon of the season, a great way to shake out the legs and make sure the wetsuit doesn’t have any holes!  The entrant list looked pretty thin a few days before the race and I thought that, perhaps, I could sneak my way into a top 10 overall.  However, my luck being what it is, fast folks showed up last minute.  I still felt I could finish respectably and learn a lot after seeing some of the fast names that showed up and I (somewhat) did.

Swim:

The water was pretty chilly, there’s no other way to describe it.  Alex and I swam in Cedar Lake on Thursday and knew what we were in for this weekend (She raced and did AWESOME on Saturday at New Bri).  I decided before the race that the only chance I had of a high finish was to have a great swim.  Knowing the field pretty well, I picked some drafting partners out before the race.  I ended up swimming with Patrick Parish and Ben Trnka most of the way.  I ended up doing less work than Ben or Patrick due to our not really being familiar with one another’s pacing (i.e. I was slowing when they were and vice versa). Regardless, it was a great swim and I exited near the pointy end.

Bike:

Oof, my bike legs are just not there, yet.  Again, windy, frustration, dropped chain, middling result.  I need to find some of that top end pace before my half (two weeks, I know) so I can have a prayer at making some noise in High Cliff (other than a whimper).  I passed a few dudes and was passed by two, all in all, uneventful.

Run:

I checked my watch after leaving T2 and saw “1:31:xx”.  Knowing that it’s windy, the run course is tough and that it’s early in the season I felt quite pleased about all this.  As you’ll see in the run data below, Buffalo is no joke for a 10k; the first 5k essentially brutalize your legs to a point of no return and then you have to blast down the hills the last 5k.  As I was blowing up around mile 3 I decided to coast for a half mile and see if I could recharge the legs.  Apparently it did the trick.  I ran the last two miles in ~13:00.  I caught Ben in the last mile and was totally taken by surprise; Ben is a far superior runner to myself and was obviously struggling.  I’ll take the overtake on the run any day though.

As I crossed the like in 2:14:24 I felt really happy with my results considering circumstances and the odd training season that has preceded the triathlon season.  I’ve got a LOT of work to do if I want to maintain my goals from pre-season, though.  I need to put in a good training block between Buffalo and High Cliff so I can compete for a high finish there.  In general, I feel optimistic and motivated for the next phase of the season!

Data from Buffalo:

Bike:

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Run:

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Race Pictures from Buffalo:

Swim Exit

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Bike In:

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Finish Line Suffering:

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Whoa, that’s a long report…

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A moderately successful first Duathlon: Cinco Du Mayo Duathlon

Yes, you read that correctly, I race my first duathlon on Saturday.  I’ve triathlons of all sorts of distances, running races, cycling races and the like but, never a duathlon.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect on Saturday (NOT!) for the 5k, 20 mile, 5k format in Stillwater, MN.  Tri Fitness of White Bear Lake puts on the Cinco Du Mayo duathlon and they have been doing so for the past 6 years now.  They’re a great organization and this race was a blast.

Pre-Race

This has been an unusual offseason, to say the least.  I’ve been without my bike for the past 5 weeks and haven’t done ANY training for cycling whatsoever.  My bike showed up at my doorstep on Tuesday evening after yet another trip to the spa in Florida for “rejuvenation treatment”.  The build was quick and I had hopes of riding before Saturday but Mother Nature had distinctly differing views on the matter.  Nonetheless, I got a quick 1 mile spin around the block on my freshly glued tubulars (also the first set I’d ever glued, no big deal) and decided that was good.  I also received a brand spankin’ new aerojacket from wheelbuilder.com on Wednesday.  The old adage of “nothing new on raceday” clearly did not apply this weekend!  Saturday morning was less than ideal conditions: 30-37 degrees F, light rain, overcast and general awfulness.  Things were really looking like they were set up for a fast race…(heavy sarcasm).  This was also Alex’s first duathlon and her first real outdoor ride on her new triathlon bike.  She was pretty nervous and excited.

The Race

 

This is not my game face.  This is my "It's way too cold", face.  Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

This is not my game face. This is my “It’s way too cold”, face. Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

After a quick warmup on the bike to make sure everything worked.  I racked up and started to shiver.  Poor decision to wear my tri kit with only arm and leg warmers?  Perhaps.  Who cares?  If you can’t be fast enough, you might as well look awesome!

5k #1:  I started out on the front line with some of the other fast folks and tried to lead out the opening 5k. My hopes of doing so were dashed once I was blown away by eventual champion Brian Sames (wicked race, sir, wicked race).  Upon realizing that I could not hold 5:20/mi pace, I backed off and cruised to a 6:34/mi average for the opening 5k.  This put me in second coming into and out of T1.

Run: 20:11

T1: 0:37 (oh yeah!)

Heading out on the Bike.  Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

Heading out on the Bike. Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

Bike:  As I mentioned before, I had zero legs for cycling so this was a “let’s see how this goes” kind of ride.  I ended up having about 20″ on third place after a speedy transition and as I exited the park I heard Steve (Stenzel, you know, the guy in the awesome shorts) cheering for me so I instantly redlined and rode like a madman.  Then came the first real climb of the season.  I totally blew up going up that bad boy.  Climbs-1 Cody-0.  The next bits were pretty rolling and easy.  I never really felt like I should push it because my legs just weren’t ready for the quick pace.  I continued to get blown up by the climbs.  I believe I halved a match in there somewhere but, it’s all a bit fuzzy.  Final score: Climbs-3.5 Cody-.5.  I was also held up by a train.  It probably helped me because it made me remember this: “Hey, Cody, you have electrolytes in your water…DRINK THEM!”  After the boxcar boys went past, I tooled it back home to begin the run.  Another quick transition and I was off to the races.

 

Sweet shot on the bike.  Cranking hard.  Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

Sweet shot on the bike. Cranking hard. Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

Bike: 54:09 (stupid train cost me fastest bike split!)

T2: 0:57 (Seriously, I haven’t been practicing transitions)

 

 

 Finishing the run. Let's not talk about what my left foot is doing. Ok? Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography


Finishing the run. Let’s not talk about what my left foot is doing. Ok? Courtesy of: Neil Cragan Photography

5k #2:  Knowing that I was a bajillion miles behind first and a couple minutes up on third gave me the distinct pleasure of being able to “lollygag” for my run.  I was chit-chatting and shuffling the first 1.5 miles.  After the turnaround I saw the third place runner about a half mile behind me and decided I should probably pick it up a bit.  I did.  I ran the second 1.5 in ~ 6:30/mi pace and comfortably finished in second.  I lost by over 7 minutes to Mr. Sames (ouch) but learned a good bit about duathlon racing.

Run: 21:37 (whatever)

Post-Race:

Alex’s Mom and myself waited around for a good while for her to come in from the bike.  We both got more and more nervous by the moment.  Unfortunately, Alex came back to transition area in the Medic truck.  She had a bit of a spill on the bike and couldn’t finish.  Luckily, nothing is broken and she is left with a bit of nasty road rash.  I can’t emphasize how rough and unforgiving the roads were on Saturday and Alex felt the brunt of this.  She was having a great race and can’t wait to get back out to training and racing.

A huge congrats to my friend Steve Stenzel on his first overall duathlon victory.  He battled hard out there and got what he deserved.  Give his race report a peek over at: http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/2013/05/cinco-du-mayo-duathlon-2013.html  Follow him on twitter too, because he’s pretty awesome.

We hung around for awards and shivered a bit more before heading back to the cities.  I got a sweet margarita glass  for my efforts and had some tasty tacos.  I can’t wait to get out and race again.  I went for an awesomely warm bike ride on Sunday to shake the legs and get some climbing done.  It’s going to be a fun and frantic build to the triathlon season!

 

Race Gear:

Run: K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5, Smith Pivlock V-90 Sunglasses, K-Swiss Triathlon kit (2012)

Bike: Custom Cervelo P3, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubulars with Mavic Tyres, Wheelbuilder.com Aero Jacket, Bontrager RXL Hilo Chrome Shoes.

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3 Spoons Full of Story

For a Plant-Powered Body, Spirit, and Mind

Next Level Fitness

We gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which we stop to look fear in the face

Devon Palmer

Pro Triathlete and Triathlon Coach