Thursday, August 2, 2012

Race the River 2012

Before a triathlon race, it is always nice to do the swim course or a portion of it before race day.  In this case the day before was packet pickup so I was able to swim ~150 yards and the finish.  The swim finish is up a ramp onto a dock for this race so it was a good reminder of what I had to do when exiting the water.
I did this race two years ago and it was the first time I got on the podium for a triathlon.  I placed 3rd and a guy named Brian Read placed 2nd.  Brian was also doing the race again so I was able to chat with him while setting up our transition.    During the swim I had my eye on him because I knew he would probably be in the top five since I noticed he also raced this last year and did well.  As we started the swim I decided to draft behind Brian to conserve energy.   About 300 yards into the swim he started to slow down so I started to go around him then he picked up his speed again, I got behind him again.   Then at the half way point he slowed again so I went around him and took off.  I knew I needed to get out of the water near him or before him.  I ran up transition and heard cheers from my family, cool!!  I took my wetsuit off on the black mesh material pathway near the bikes since transition was on dirt.   I noticed at least one other bike was gone from someone who is in my age group!  Yikes!

2010 Swim: 14:48
2012 Swim:

2010 T1: 1:50
2012 T1: 1:12
Got on the bike and I was off!  I red-lined the whole time.  I passed many other bikers since some get on the course before us and some after due to the wave starts.  The only person that passed me was Tim who is in a younger age group than me.  He said something as he passed but I couldn’t hear what he said.  I tried to stay as aero as possible and pedaled hard!  The course is three loops and it was GREAT to see and hear Rosi and the girls cheering for me each time I passed transition area.  I felt good on the bike and was happy to transition to the run.  There was one bike already racked (from my age group) so I knew there was someone in front of me. 

2010 Bike: 00:29:19
2012 Bike: 00:29:29

2010 T2: :50
2012 T2: :44

The hunter and the hunted
I saw two guys in front of me and within a mile I caught them both but unfortunately neither of them were in my age group.  I was pretty tired and started to warm up as the sun started do get warmer.   I felt good the first mile but then I started to feel fatigued.  I have always considered my run the strongest leg of a triathlon, but I wasn’t feeling it today.  I felt I should be running at 7:00 pace but at times I was running slower.  At about 1.5 miles in a guy from my age grouped passed me, darn!!  I couldn’t respond… I was in survival mode.  I was breathing hard, uncomfortable but I KEPT GOING!!   There are many turns (too many!) near the finish and I couldn’t wait.  I looked back and didn’t see anyone, but as I neared the last 150 yards I pushed as much as I can.  I didn’t notice but Brian (who beat me two years ago) was right on my tail.  I only beat him by 4 seconds!

2010 Run:  22:12
2012 Run:  22:27

2010 Finish Time: 1:09:00
2012 Finish Time: 1:07:01

3rd in my Age Group
I am so happy to be healthy enough to race triathlons and it was great to see so many friends and acquaintances out there on the course Tri-ing.  It is also great to have them competitors who give you motivation to push harder and go faster.  A big thanks to Rosi for taking pics and the kids for the huge cheers!
Best cheer team and photographer!!  Thank you!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Radiant Lake Triathlon

Race Date:6/10/2012
The weather has been uncharacteristic over the week so I didn’t know what to expect for the race.  The day before I swam in Radiant Lake with Mike and Virginia so I was confident I could get in and swim in the 58F water.  Race day was cold so I was glad I brought a cap and a fleece jacket.  I won’t go much into detail about the preparations, but I did start both my bike and run GPSs before I went to the swim start.   I have forgotten to start these in past races.

I went into the water before the race started to wet my face and acclimate my body to the water.  I got out and waited for the start.  The swim had multiple wave starts, the first was M10-39 (white caps), the second wave start (mine, red caps) was M40-59 and so on.  I tried to position myself so I could draft off some of the faster swimmers.   After about 20 yards someone stopped in front of me so I had swerve to get around them.   My only thought was to keep going!  The buoys were on the left and since I breath to that size it was perfect.  We started catching some of the white swim caps about 300 yards in.  We caught and passed more of them shortly after the turnaround.  I was glad to be halfway done. I did a lot of drafting on the swim which I felt help my time.  Once out of the water I felt a little disoriented.  In addition to everything else I usually do, I put on my bike vest before heading out of transition.
Once on the bike I caught a few other racers and saw Jeremy ahead of me.  At about four miles in I passed him and waved.   He stayed on my tail the rest of the bike.  The bike route is like a big square so the wind would get you in different directions.  Because of the wave starts I didn't see many other racers on the course.  I got off my bike and transitioned to the run.  I started running and realized I still had my thermal bike vest on!  Oh no!!  I ran back to my transition area and threw the vest on my other stuff and I was off.  I caught a couple more runners including Jared.  There are two or three turnarounds so you can see the other races.  I saw Jared, Ron and Russ.  After the first half mile I don't remember passing anyone else.  I pushed on and finished.  I saw Derek Garcia at the finish and chatted with him and a few others.  Shortly after I saw Ron again and he said, "You got 1st in your age group!"  Wow, cool!  That was the first time I got first in my AG!  I was pretty excited! I called Rosi and let her know and posted a picture on Facebook announcing my result!
My goal was to beat my time from two years ago (1:19:22) which I did.
Swim: 15:54 Pace 01m 49s /100 yards
T1:  00:01:27
Bike: 37:36  Pace 22.98 Mi/hr
T2:  :52
Run: 21:44 Pace 07m 01s

Total Time:  1:17:33

 The Results 

This is where things get messy.  After the younger men age group awards they started announcing the 40-44 age group awards.."Third place Aaron Gwin" "second place Rene Guerrero".  Huh?!  WTH?  " and in first place Russ Abrams".  I was puzzled and shocked at the same time.  What am I missing here?   I told the MC I thought I had 1st place and he said "You and Russ have to sort this out".  I ask Russ what is going on?  He said today he switched categories, he went from Clydesdale to 40-44 and he beat me by 12 seconds.  The problem I have with that is Russ didn't start in the second wave (which included 40-44) he started in the third wave which was Clydesdale's and others.   I saw him on the run and he was behind me so I didn't think much of it.  I spoke with the Race Director and she felt she made a mistake by letting him switch categories the day of the race.  She would like to make this right so we are emailing each other about it.
I couldn't enjoy my 1 second of triumph because I was shocked at the results and was trying to figure out what happened.
Overall I was happy with my race.  The result was stressful and overshadowed my race.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

EWU Iron Eagle Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Swim done, getting ready to climb out of the pool
 Race Date: 6/3/2012

Rosi cheering me on after the swim
Some people would think this "sprint" race would be easy for someone who has done Ironman, but it ISN'T.  No race is easy!!  Whether it is a 5K, a sprint tri or a marathon.  Each race is different and challenging in its own way.

I did this race two years ago and really enjoyed it.  On the drive up I ate full bagel for breakfast.  I always try to time my eating so I am done (eating solids) one hour before a race.  I arrived at EWU and registered for the race.  The swim portion of this tri is done in the pool so they have to do "heats" because only 10-15 can start at a time.  People that register the day of the race are all put into the last swim heat, for me this was heat five.  I finished my bagel by 7am and found out I wouldn't be racing til 9-9:15am.  Rosi warned me about this, but I didn't time my eating appropriately.
Coming into the finish with Reanna cheering me
on  in the background ♥.

The swim went well, I shared a lane with David, who went on to win the whole race.  He lapped me a couple of times and I later found out he swam competitively in college.  I wore my tri-top during the swim and noticed I was the only male in my heat who did.  Not sure if I will do that again next time?  I was glad Rosi was there to count laps for me, two years ago when I did this race Rosi said I swam an extra lap when I counted them myself! :-)   I was happy to be out of the water and off to transition onto the bike.  The bike felt great, I thought the course only had one turn, but it is actually two turns then an out and back.  There is a nice hill on the way back that slowed me down, but through the bike I passed a couple of guys that beat me out of the pool.   There was no one directing racers back into the transition area and there were no signs!! So I missed the turn, it is a major turn and no one was there!!  There were two people right behind me when we passed the turn, then I quickly realized what we had done so I did a U-turn in the middle of the road to get back on course and they followed.  I got through transition and onto the run.  I remember the run being hilly, but that hill right after the transition is HUGE for a sprint!  :-)  The run was pretty exhausting.  At about mile 2 or 2.5 Matt (a tri-club teammate) was coming down a hill and joined me for the run.  He had already finished the race since he started in  heat three.  He paced me all they way back to the finish which helped.  Because everyone starts in different heats it is hard to be competitive when you are running alone.  We were hitting 6:30 and 7:00 pace and that was all I had left in me.

I loved that my family came out to cheer me on.  My time two years ago was 1:03:56, so I PR'ed on this course by over three minutes!
Finish time was 1:00:28
2nd in AG
6th Overall
Matt pacing me in for the finish!

SCARBOROUGH, DAVID M(31-40) 229 5 0:54:20
BROWN, BRYAN M(21-30) 159 1 0:57:54
ALLEN, SCOTT M(18-20) 231 5 0:58:40
FALL, DAN M(51+) 214 1 0:59:23
NEALE, BRIAN M(41-50) 194 4 0:59:40
GUERRERO, RENE M(41-50) 225 5 1:00:28
STANTON, JARED M(21-30) 166 1 1:02:30
PETERSON, BRAD M(21-30) 161 1 1:05:02
SIEGEL, MATT M(21-30) 163 3 1:06:26
BUDD, KARI W(21-30) 174 1 1:07:22
STEVENSON, JERRY M(51+) 226 5 1:09:38
HUMPHREY, RHETT M(21-30) 160 3 1:09:41
MCCARVILLE, DANNY M(21-30) 167 1 1:10:11
PARR, AUSTIN M(18-20) 154 3 1:10:46
DIXON, TROY M(41-50) 195 2 1:10:51
ASSONKEN, BLONDEL M(31-40) 178 3 1:11:02
ROBERTSON, PAUL M(41-50) 179 3 1:11:05
BURKE, JENNIFER W(31-40) 221 5 1:11:08
DUGENET, FREDERIC M(31-40) 181 1 1:11:18
PITTMAN, TROY M(21-30) 227 5 1:11:27
SHANKS, PATRICK M(21-30) 230 5 1:12:18
ROBINSON, STACY W(41-50) 206 3 1:13:08
ALADE, TIM M(21-30) 157 3 1:14:46
HANSEN, MICHAEL M(21-30) 158 3 1:15:09
MURPHY, KELLEY W(31-40) 189 3 1:15:32
CINDRIC, M. JANE W(31-40) 183 1 1:17:51
OLSON, SCOTT M(41-50) 200 4 1:18:34
BLAKELY, GARRETT M(31-40( 228 5 1:18:36
HAUER, JESSICA W(21-30)  172 3 1:18:53
GALBREATH, CHRIS M(31-40) 180 2 1:18:58
ENGLAND, LES M(41-50) 193 4 1:19:06
CABALUNA, FRANCES M(21-30) 162 2 1:19:44
ARLAND, APRIL W(41-50) 203 1 1:19:46
MCINTOSH, RUSTY M(21-30) 164 2 1:19:47
IRMER, ANNE W(51+) 224 5 1:19:47
SIMS, AUDRA W(41-50) 202 1 1:20:28
ANDREWS, IKE M(51+) 212 1 1:20:45
URBANIEK, LEE M(51+) 211 1 1:21:11
ANDERSON, MICHELLE W(41-50) 201 4 1:22:04
VANGELDER, KAYLEE W(21-30) 170 2 1:22:06
SIMMONS, ANGELA W(31-40) 182 2 1:22:06
TINNIER, TARA W(21-30) 220 5 1:22:15
CRON, BELINDA W(51+) 217 1 1:22:57
SIMMONS, PAUL M(31-40) 233 5 1:23:18
CLOUSE, PAULA W(21-30) 169 3 1:23:20
LOUGHERY, KYLE M(41-50) 196 3 1:24:18
TUELL, ERICA W(21-30) 175 2 1:24:26
HIAM, JOSHUA M(31-40) 222 5 1:25:09
DAVIS, STEVE M(51+) 210 1 1:25:09
FILLIS, LLOYD M(31_40) 223 5 1:25:37
BIVIANO, ANREW M(31-40) 234 4 1:25:40
SEVIER, HEATHER W(21-30) 173 2 1:26:41
NEALE, HANNAH W(18-20) 156 4 1:27:00
MCMILLIN, DAVID M(41-50) 197 4 1:28:27
FORD, AMBER W(21-30) 168 3 1:28:32
KIPP, LAURA W(31-40) 185 2 1:28:36
HATTEN, DAVID M(31-40) 177 2 1:29:11
KASPAREK, TULLY W(41-50) 208 4 1:29:27
MIETHE, DEBBIE W(31-40) 187 4 1:30:00
BIVIANO, AMY W(31-40) 235 4 1:30:05
PIRCH, KEVIN M(41-50) 199 4 1:30:05
MAY, DAVID M(41-50) 192 4 1:30:18
FERGUSON, TAYLOR W(21-30) 171 2 1:31:53
RIVAS, KIM W(31-40) 188 4 1:32:04
PURVIANCE, PATRICK M(18-20) 205 3 1:35:03
JENKINS, SHERI W(31-40) 191 4 1:37:35
ASSONKEN, STEPHANIE W(18-20) 155 3 1:37:46
PURVIANCE, CHRIS W(41-50) 204 3 1:38:18
AKINS, STEVE M(41-50) 219 5 1:39:58
MCNEILLY, FRANK M(21-30) 165 2 1:42:56
SLOPER, EMILY W(21-30) 176 2 1:46:04
BAILEY, KIM W(31-40) 186 2 1:47:41
CRON, HOWARD M(51+) 213 1 1:53:53
VASECKA, KATY W(41-50) 207 4 1:54:30
HANSEN, ANTHONIE W(21-30) 232 5 2:08:30
LARSON, MICHELLE W(31-40) 184 2 2:09:29
JOHNSON, HEATHER W(31-40) 190 4 2:12:17
DUHON, MARY W(51+) 216 2 2:18:09

* Note to self for next time I race this.
1. Plan breakfast accordingly
2. Reconsider tri-top on swim
3. Know the turns in case no one is there to direct

Friday, June 1, 2012


Race Date: May 6, 2012
I wanted to do Race for the Cure a week before Bloomsday to qualify for second seed, but my foot was sore and I figured I should only do one or the other.  I didn't train specifically for this race but was happy with my result.  It was a Bloomsday personal record (PR) for me!
After the finish line I got interview by a local station, check it out...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Winderemere Half Marathon

Race Date: May 19, 2012

My foot was still achy so I wasn't even sure if I was going to participate in this race. This race happened to land on my birthday though so I was pretty excited about that!   My feet felt good, but wasn't sure how they would react to running hard for 13.1 miles.  :-)  I rolled the dice and hoped for the best.  My goal was to go 1:30 on this race.  I started off pacing Grethen and Loralyn, but after mile six they started to drop me.  Near the end of the race I caught Gretchen and paced her the last mile. 

Time: 1:30:17.6
Pace: 6:53.6

2nd in Age Group out of 40

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Snake River Triathlon

Tri-Fusion at the Snake River Triathlon in Lewiston
Race Date: 4/14 and 4/15
500 yard swim
I did the swim portion of this race in Spokane (OZ North).   I haven’t been swimming the last few months so I tried to cram in some swimming in the last two weeks.   I knew Emma Thompson (age 8) was going to be participating in the swim as part of a relay team so I was hoping to beat her time.  I heard she swims 500 yards in  8 minutes.   Even though this is a small race and the swim is the day before the bike/run I was a little nervous.  I got in the pool and just went for it!  I tried not to start off too fast and felt successful in that.  I ended up with a time of 7:55.  Emma swam it minutes before me in 7:35!  One thing that makes me feel a little better about this loss is that Emma swims the fastest 25 yard freestyle in her age group in the US! Great job Emma!
The next day the duathlon takes place in Lewiston.  I decided to run to my bike in some running shoes this year, two years ago when I did this race I ran in my bike shoes.  I considered running with my socks only but the asphalt was pretty rough.   I knew many of my competitors are faster swimmers so my strategy was to try and catch them on the bike.  Once I got on my bike and started pedaling my chain fell off!!  Nooooo!!!  I jumped off my bike and tried to slip the chain back on as people were passing me.  I noticed the chain was stuck between the sprocket and the frame at the bottom.   My heart rate spiked!!   I tried pulling on the chain to get it unstuck, it didn’t seem to budge.  Seconds seemed like minutes!  I put the chain on the sprocket on top and pedaled the bike with my hand, it seemed to catch!  My hand was had grease on and cuts on it from the struggle with the chain.  I jumped on my bike and took off! I started passing people.  I saw many familiar faces as I was riding.  At about mile 10 I saw Erika up ahead.  She was hauling so it took me quite a while to catch her.  There was one more rider that I could see with a Hammer jersey.  I wouldn’t be able to catch this person on the bike.  I finally got off my bike with no fancy transition (I gotta work on this!). 
I started the run and caught the Hammer jersey in a few hundred yards.    I knew I had to push on as two miles is a short distance and time is running out.  After the turn around I passed John and I could see Craig, Dave and Meghan in front of me.   Meghan had created a nice gap in front.  Dave and Craig were pretty close to each other so I ran behind them for a bit.   Once I passed Craig I paused behind Dave.   Just as I was going to pass him he seemed to pick up his pace, I ran behind him long enough to muster up enough energy for the pass.  I took off and knew I didn’t have enough distance to catch Meghan.  I crossed the finish line exhausted.
Even though I had bike chain issues at the beginning of the bike I tried not to let it affect the rest of my race.   I am glad I did.   I ended up taking first in my age group (first time ever!) and placing 6th overall not counting teams.  It was fun cheering for the other competitors and to hang out with all the Tri-Fusion folks!
A big thanks to Rosi and the kids for cheering me on for the swim and supporting me in this crazy triathlon addiction! :-)
Swim + run to bike: 7:58
Bike+ T2: 33:51 / Pace 21.27mph
Run: 12:53 / Pace 6:26
Total Time: 54:41

Thanks to Dave Erickson and Melissa Skelton for this video:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spokane's St Paddy's 5 Mile Race

Thumbs up at the St Paddy's 5,

The morning of the race was wet and cold.   Tim and I were thinking less people would show up for the race due to the weather conditions.  As we pulled into the parking lot there were a lot of cars already there.  We went and picked up our race packets and went back to the car.  I was hoping to hold 6:30’s but not sure if I would be able to since I was sick a week or two in the last month and I took four days off training the week before since we had visitors.
The start line was pretty crowded. Tim secured a spot two or three people ahead of me.  As the race started I was hopping over puddles and trying to hold my pace at 6:30.  It was pretty windy so I drafted as much as possible.   At the recent Partners in Pain race I finished pretty close to one of the local fast female runners named Loralyn Jackson and one of her running partners (don’t know his name).   I caught her and drafted for a bit.  I saw him up ahead, but there was a 25 foot gap between our pack and his.  I realized my pace was at about 7 so I decided to close the gap and try to catch him.  I passed Loralyn as the wind pushed, but I was determined.  I caught his pack of three people and drafted behind them.  There are two hills in this race, one going out and one coming back.  At about mile 1, Loralyn catches us and passes us!  Really?!  She was going about 6:24 pace so I dropped behind her and followed.    She had a steady strong pace.  We even passed Lori Burrato who ALWAYS beats me in running races.  With one mile to go I decided it was time to make a move to pass Loralyn and I passed a few others shortly after.   I saw the fence and track and knew I had less than 800 yards to go.   The track had a few big puddles so I tried to run around them.   I couldn’t catch the two guys in front of me.  Done!!
That was one WET, COLD and WINDY race!  It was fun!
My finish time was exactly 32:30 with a pace of 6:30!
6th in my age group out of 53
44th overall out of 1040
Tim and myself after the race

Friday, February 17, 2012

Partners in Pain 5K

Pre-race with Tri-Fusion Team mates and Rosi
Race Date: 2/12/12
Going into this race I had two goals, the first was to PR the second was to go sub 20.  I was hoping to PR because last year I ran the Tri-Fusion 5K in which the weather was hot and that course has a big hill at the end.  I figured since this race was cool and flat (so I thought) I could surpass my current PR of 19:32.  I ran PIP in 2010 with a time of 20:02.  This is the first year they allowed two males and two females to be partners.  The drawback is that there was only one award for these categories: overall winner (mix teams have placements and age group awards).  I teamed up with James in the small possibility we could nab that top position.
I started the race running with Matt in the front of the pack, I looked at my GPS and I was at a 6:00 minute pace!  I thought to myself "slow down Rene" and had to PULL back!  I kept slowing myself down to 6:15-6:30 pace.  I was cruising along feeling good up until after the turn-around.  There was one fellow in front of me who I started pacing at about mile 2.5.  I have seen this fellow in past races and he was running strong.  I stayed with him up until about mile 2.9 and then I kicked it!  I passed him and a couple of other racers. I didn't PR but was happy to go sub 20!  I finished in 19:57 (6:25 pace).  My GPS showed I actually ran 3.2 miles, weird.  I was glad that my  running felt smooth with no aches or pains.  The only thing slowing me down was my fitness, I just didn't have it in me today.  James smoked the race in 18:23.  I was happily surprised that we took first place for men's teams.  I am sure glad those Distance Project runners ran with mixed teams or solo! ;-)
Post race with friends
1st Place Men's Team

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Bike/Run/Swim Totals

My goals for 2011 included CDA Ironman, healing up my plantar fasciitis, to swim more efficiently and faster and have a good nutrition plan for IM.  My 2011 season went FAR beyond what I imagined it would.

Ironman CDA (11:06) went GREAT!!  A day I will remember FOREVER!!!

I PR'ed my 5K (19:32)

I PR'ed my Half Marathon (1:29:17)

and finally I PR'ed my Marathon (3:12:53) and qualified for Boston at the same time. I am so grateful to have the health and opportunities that I had this year!

199h 17m 05s  - 3372.63 Mi
Pace: 17.34 Mi/hr

148h 23m 02s  - 1094.55 Mi
Pace:  08m 07s Mi

88h 23m 59s  - 233391 Yd (132.608 Mi)
Pace: 02m 07s /100 Yd

Strength:    14h 22m
Cross-Country Skiing:    1h 00m
Snowshoeing:    4h 00m