Monday, May 23, 2011

Open Season

After finishing up the Rev3 Knoxville Olympic race, and being thrilled with my results, I took a bit of a recovery week.  Partially by choice, partially due to some crummy weather recently.  I did some activity this week, we will call most of it cross training, you know things like mowing, building a raised garden in our back yard, included hauling dirt.  I did squeeze a run in there as well. 

I have been very indecisive about my season this year.  I registered for the Rev3 Cedar Point Half, but had a period where I thought I may not end up going that direction and just focusing on the Lake Marion Olympic (Lakeville, MN) distance as my A race late in the season.  After going to Knoxville, I quickly changed my mind about abandoning the Half at Cedar Point!  I loved hanging out with my teammates, not to mention the amazing venue, plus Rev3 puts on an amazing race! 

What does that mean? Well I have a 20 week program that I am going to use for the half, using the past week as a recovery week and building on the base I have gained already, I am starting in week 5 this week!  The plan will be pretty standard 3 weeks on followed by a recovery week.  I am focusing my efforts on this race.  I have some other races through the season:

New Brighton Sprint - 6/4
MS150 - 6/11-12
Mason City Sprint - 6/18
Waconia - 6/26
7/17 will be either Chaska or TriTonka sprint race
Camp Courageous Sprint 8/7 - With my brother and his wife
Lake Marion Oly - 8/21
Cedar Point Half - 9/11

The season is falling into place.  Unfortunately I only have 2 races that fall on recovery weeks.  Mason City, this is a very small race from what I have seen, I am doing it along with my FIL.  I would love to do well at New Brighton as this is my inaugural race, but it will be right in the middle of building phase, oh well. 

Secondly the weekend of 7/17 will be a sprint race that I can actually plan into my schedule, a sprint course refresher on a recovery week, either race will be new to me!

I will miss my week 16 recovery week race, but have a sprint on the short side (although following one of the heaviest build periods) and an Olympic in the second highest volume week, I am quite excited for this season to pan out!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CEP Compression Sock Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who participated in the CEP Compression Sock Giveaway!  I love the energy and excitement around giveaways!  Having told my brother about the giveaway, I was a little nervous that would spit out his number and people would call shenanigans.

Sorry Mark, you didn't win.

Congrats to Alisha.  Please shoot me an email through the contact me and I will get you all hooked up!  

Thanks to everyone for participating, looking forward to some more giveaways in the coming months!

Race Report: Rev3 Knoxville Olympic

I suppose you could also title this "Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don't"


IMG_0794Before leaving home, I took Bella to the kennel, I think she was sad we were leaving, but she always has such a good time there!
I started off on Thursday night from home and headed to my parents place in Iowa with my wife.
She and my mom were flying to Knoxville while my dad and I drove.  We got to their place later than expected, making for a short night before getting up at 5AM, only got about 5.5 hours of sleep.  This could be an interesting drive!  Google maps said something like 13.x hours.  I figured it would be something around 12 with stops since it was almost exactly 750 miles.
We headed out of Iowa and over the bridge into Illinois.
Even with gas prices where they are, also note that this is the first time I have had to pay over $4 a gallon, it was cheaper to drive than fly, not including the bike.  Illinois has some steep gas taxes!


After some time through Peoria then Bloomington.  I missed the sign going into Indiana due to being so excited that the speed limit went back up to 70 degrees.  It is 2011 people... 70 MPH on interstates please!  After skirting around Indianapolis, we headed south with only a slight slow down from construction.  We snagged some McDonalds, note I only had the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad to keep my body on the right track before the race.


I think this next picture was snapped while in Kentucky, a bit odd with some construction, but it was divided into 2 lanes going the same direction, except divided by a long line of concrete barriers!  After rounding about Lexington and a quick stop for gas, bathroom, and some Starbucks, we were off into the hills/mountains.  It was cloudy, so we often felt like were were hanging out in the clouds.  There were some breathtaking views, especially a few where you were going up, and then it turned and went downhill.  It looked like you were driving off the edge of the Earth!


Before we knew it, we were in good old Tennessee!  It was super easy to get to the hotel, so we unloaded and went in search of some food.  Boy did it feel good to stretch the legs out!  I tried to find IMG_0805my Trakkers teammates, but was not very successful, although I am convinced I walked right past them.  We settled on The Tomato Head.  It was tasty!  I had hummus with some veggies/pita and a Greek Feta Salad with one of the best dressings I have ever had!  The extra $3.25 for about 4 ounces of chicken was so not worth it!

I snagged a pic of this guy boating and hoped it was not an omen for my swim as it looked like he was sinking! After we got back to the hotel I busted out my RecoveryPump to help flush out my legs from the 12 hours in the car!  It packed so nicely into my bag, a great travel companion to say the least!


Saturday morning the plan was to meet up with Team Trakkers for the practice swim.  I was a bit quiet at first as normal when I meet new people.  I am not great with names, and meeting a bunch of new people at once makes it all the more difficult.  Luckily this team was put together so well that it made it super easy for all of us to mesh.  We hit up the practice swim and I wore my Garmin 310xt on my wrist for the first time to try it out rather than in my cap... probably because I forgot a cap!  We did about a third of a mile.  The water was a bit colder than expected, but I have been in worse in Minnesota! 


The rest of the day Saturday was spent at the expo, dodging rain, getting my bike to transition, and my personal things in order for the next day!  Rev3 did some pretty cool things with race numbers this year.  First rather than using markers which always seem to wear off, they were temporary tattoos!


Two for your arms to be seen from the side that include the Rev3 Logo and Pilot/Flying J Sponsor Logos.  These were one big tattoo, where the age/race distance were individual stickers for the right calf.


Now here is going to be a small word of advise based on observation.  Standardize and communicate.  It may be due to the fact I hear these 2 words all of the time at work, it may be because I am a bit OCD or a perfectionist, or it may be due to people just looking goofy (No offense Anthony if you are reading this! Although I didn't see it, your other half told me the story of hearing "Oh Shit!")

They give you two with your race number that is supposed to be seen from the side.  Maybe there were 2 in order to provide an extra if someone had issues with the first, but I took it as, well you may not know where the photographer/official will be, so put one on each arm facing the outside.  I saw people that had these on their forearms, their calf, or the outside of their leg!  A bit more detail about what was expected may be beneficial.

The second piece I saw more times than I could count.  The age/race distance label.  Take me for example a 28 year old doing the Olympic Distance.  They did clarify to put these on your RIGHT calf.  Do people read instructions included with packet pickup?  It may be beneficial to put it on there for those that wonder.

Most people got this right, although some did inevitably have it on their left calf.  I saw a number of ways people applied them though.  Some did O28 others did 28O all on one line.  Others ran them up and down their leg vertically.  As I type this, I hear a voice in my head telling me "You think your way is the only way or the best way" which is why I am typing this.  To me... it is the easiest to read and comprehend.  List your Age on the top line: 28 Under that include the H/O for the distance.  That way you can differentiate and quickly tell, but just as some people choose to wear calf sleeves to cover their numbers up, maybe the confusion is what they are looking to accomplish.

Enough about standardization... Let's talk about application.  We were given these numbers at packet pickup a day or two early, while I waited to put mine on until race morning, I know some people put them on Saturday evening.  Having worn mine for a few days following the race, because they were a challenge to get off, they did collect lint from shirts.  I was afraid even walking to transition with my warm-up on that it would rub off, but fear not it did not!  I would maybe suggest applying these at packet pickup for the following reason.

Do you remember ever trying to fog up a window on a bus and then write something so people from the outside can read it?  This is very similar.  Since the tattoos have to be applied a certain way, and typically triathletes are doers, I guess a lot of people tried to apply them on their own.  This is from the result of a 3 looking like an E because it was applied incorrectly!  Having someone help stick the numbers on in the right orientation would make them work a bit better!  This was a VERY common sight to see a number upside down or backwards, anything but easily readable!

(Stepping off my soap box) I just wanted to provide some feedback about how the race numbers went.  I loved them though!  I wish more races would do this, you would not have to worry about them fading nearly as much as marker does at times.

There was a mandatory bike check in on Saturday, so I dropped off the bike in my slot, just in the case I forgot my number, they even had my name there!

What a sweet personal touch!  I love the racking system and having a clearly defined place for my gear.

I got the bike settled in, and eventually covered it up to protect from any rain overnight.  Thanks to the Geico ponchos from the expo, a lot of people used these to cover them up.  You can see it in the background of the Kestrel Airfoil all ready to ride!



I only got fair sleep, far from good, but not really due to nerves/anxiousness.  5AM rolled around quite early and  I had some oatmeal for breakfast along with my First Endurance Optygen.  Before long I was out the door and headed down to transition.  It was still quite dark at that point.  After inflating my tires, I got into my routine and my dad carried the pump back to the room.  I am now in a routine of watching the 2011 Versus Trailer. This video is bad-ass and gets me motivated.

I warmed up on the run and got to run by Matty Reed for a while, only in his warm-up could I be running with him!   After getting all lubed up by the Trakker lube crew, I headed towards the swim start.  I carried my bottle of EFS Orange and Pre-Race with to the start before finishing it off and handing it off to my wife.  It was chilly out in the morning, so I was glad she had along another track jacket of mine to keep me warm from the wind on the river.  Before I knew it my wave was called on deck.  No swim warm-up today, just get in, christen the TYR Category 5 wetsuit, and start swimming!

My nerves were about as low as they have ever been before a race.  This was my first Olympic race, was I not excited or was I just well prepared?  My goal time of 2:20 was ambitious and would push my limits, so much that on the Yakima bike rack contest, I put my estimated finish around 2:25:31.  So much for positive self-talk...



1.5k or something like .9 miles.  I wanted to do the swim in 25 minutes.  This would come close to doubling any other race I have done to the day.  My swim workouts have all been shorter efforts at higher intensity.  Sure it has gotten me speed, but I was not sure how it would translate to endurance over the distance, so I was a bit nervous.  The sound went off, and we were off.  I was right on the front when it started, a tap to the Garmin, and away I went.  I have been working on sighting in a pool here and there, but it is nothing like swimming in open water regardless how you  cut it.  Having said that, my muscles were used to the motion of looking up every so often which made it seem more natural.  This swim went upstream for about 1/3 of a mile.  Luckily I did not ever notice the current and it was at the start, normally where I tend to go a bit harder.  I got passed by some people right away that went out really fast.  I am sure some of them were really fast swimmers, but I know that I also passed a lot of swimmers in blue caps which tells me many went out too hard.

I went with my TYR Nest Pro goggles since they have tinted lenses, and fit so well.  I was rocking and rolling up the river and swimming in what seemed to be a pretty straight line.  I caught glimpse of my red turn buoys and rounded them without any issues.  I was a bit thrown off, but followed the caps ahead.  When they said you will see 2 red buoys together, I thought they meant tied together, not 2 single buoys that would indicate your two turn points.  Nothing lost though.  The first leg, I was starting to swim up on some different colored caps, cool the wave ahead of us was 4 minutes before.  Not too shabby.  As I headed back down river, I started passing a bunch of colors, only seeing a few blue caps here and there and not really losing ground on anyone ahead of me that I could see.

imageI did start to get a bit bored?, maybe that isn't the correct word, but I began to question when the swim would be over.  I was not tired, just ready to be done swimming. I knew I still had 2 yellow buoys to go past before merging to the dock, so I set my sights on a blue cap and swam to pass him.  Mission accomplished.  I made the dock, put my hands on it and pushed up to plop my buns on it.  As soon as I got on the dock my head took one little spin of lightheadedness before I stood up and headed up the ramp.  My first race in the TYR Category 5 suit was a huge success, no shoulder soreness!  Even towards the end of the swim (normally when my form goes out the door) I was still in good body position and pulling strong.

I looked at my watch, not knowing what to expect, and was thrilled to see 24:xx!  Holy crap, I hit my swim time, not too bad for being my longest race swim and first second OWS this year if you count my practice.  Looking at the Garmin map, I will continue using the unit in my swim cap going forward, this is goofy as all get out!

Garmin: 24:44 (It auto-paused a couple of times under the bridges)
Chip: 25:29 (1:46/100m)
Goal: Met - Calling this met, although the chip time says otherwise.  I was climbing out of the water under 25 minutes!

Transition 1:

Time to gripe comment about how transition was setup.  I cannot think of a race to this day that I have been at where a transition area was laid out that I really was upset about, Chicago sucked because you had to run so far, but everyone had to deal with it.  This one was somewhat unfair depending where you were located.
First I setup a generic scenario.  We will call the distance you run from transition in timing mat to your bike location X, and the distance from your bike to the bike out timing mat Y.  Most transitions are setup where Swim Enter and Bike Exit are on opposite sides.  This normally makes your total distance traveled one length of the transition zone(X+Y). If you look at percentages, this should come out to 100% of the length of transition.  Nerd! Yes I know, math minor is my excuse... shut it!
The swim came up and across the road where we headed into transition on the south side.  Well in this case, the Bike Exit was the same place the Swim Enter was.  Thus I had X to my bike, and Y from my bike to the mat, but in this case my Y=X because I had to run backwards the way I came.  This means my total distance was X+X or 2X.  This is all fine and dandy if your bike is 5 feet into transition because you do all of 10 feet of running in and out, I was not so lucky.  My bike was in the third from the last row on the North end of transition.  Thus I nearly ran the entire length of transition two times, where some people will only run 1/10th of the distance before getting on the bike.

So Joe's distance may be X+Y = 20 feet and mine may have been X+Y = 200 feet.  Sure it isn't a lot of time, but it could matter.  So I tried to be fair, well maybe they put the age group people all in the same range of numbers 110-160 are the 25-29 Males.  Well that was not the case, I did see some late registrations that had 1000+ numbers, thus were right by the swim in/bike out.  Sure I am splitting hairs, but not quite a level playing field. That would have made it more even across the Age Group, but what about the overall AG winner?  Someone with a low number would have longer to run compared to a higher number, what if seconds were the difference in the podium?  I know I am splitting hairs, but remember... perfectionist? Yeah it is sometimes a curse.

Now that I am done bitching providing feedback, my transition went pretty well, nothing eventful, just in and out.  The mount line was a big of a cluster something, but that is to be expected

Garmin: – Who knows, thought it said 1:45ish but whatever.
Chip: 2:00 – See above for why this was a bit high.
Goal: Close enough.


Time to bust out the Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL again.  I stuck with the HED Stinger 9s and disc cover because the wind was only light on the river. I do not remember many of the specifics about the bike outside of it being an absolutely amazing course.  Had I ridden it or even driven it before hand, I would have had a bit more knowledge of the technical aspects, downhill into a turn, immediately into an uphill, etc.  This is the first race I have seen officials on the course.  They seemed to stick around forever as well!  I made sure to leave plenty of room so I did not get dinged with a drafting penalty.  Unfortunately they were not around when Orange accent outfit, 24 year old Male, Olympic racer was hugging wheels and passing people on the right non stop.  Oh well, what do you do.

IMG_1367The course was fun.  Very well marked (despite a few stories of people going off course) I was very impressed with the clarity of the course route.  I barely knew what my route looked like!  The volunteers were exceptionally nice and offered encouraging words.  I did not take anything at the aid station, my single bottle of EFS Orange mixed with 2 scoops was a bit strong, but I managed and learned for next time.  1.5 is plenty for an Olympic distance without having a separate water source.

My goal was to stick right around 240 watts, and with the elevation expected on this course, I thought that was a good goal.  I was quickly 6-8 miles into the ride before I even knew it.  There was a section of climbing that took me by surprise.  I was expecting some shorter steep climbs, but we hit a grade and I saw a pace line of nearly 30 riders all moving about the same pace.  That pace was something to the tune of 4-5 MPH.  I was shocked, it did not look that steep, but sure was slow moving.  I shifted all around before getting into my easiest gear and still chugging along.  My wattage was high, I was out of gears, and going almost nothing flat. This came as a huge shock to me.  I took a bit of recovery, but then quickly got back on the pedals.

Like the old saying goes, "What goes up must come down." While that does not hold true for age, I was lucky enough to ride back down these hills.  There were multiple peaks of mid to high 30s around some winding corners.  The roads were nice and clear, not congested, so I was moving and loving every minute of it.  I did almost take the life of a chipmunk at 35 MPH, or maybe it was the other way around.  Regardless, we both live another day.  I did manage to bump at the bottom of descent around 34 MPH that sure felt like I went airborne!  Where is the photographer when you need them?!?  BMX racing on a TT bike!

I worked my way back and had a good dismount as I entered transition. I am a bit disappointed with my average wattage as it was significantly lower than expected, but my time was much better than I could have imagined!  Overall an amazing ride, great course, good time, let's move to the run.

Note the above pictures were taken as I went to rack my bike on Saturday, thus no race numbers yet.  Hopefully the event photographer got some good race shots!

Garmin:  1:08:55 Overall, 21.0 MPH,  219 Watts
Chip: 1:08:01, 21.87 MPH
Goal: Exceeded!  I said 1:10 and went under that!  My wattage was significantly under what I was shooting for, and for 1500 feet of elevation, I was shocked that I hit the time on lower wattage. 

Transition 2:

Well the good thing about this is that run out was on the opposite side of bike in, so I cannot say much about that.  It was pretty easy, run in rack the back wheel, helmet off, Avia Bolt IIs on, grab the number and visor and out.  Simple enough.

As I came into transition, I heard my name called over the loud speaker.  One nice little touch of the race (for motivation, and for spectators)

Garmin: 0:40 seconds
Chip: 0:43 seconds
Goal: Overall transitions gained me 2:20 or so!  I will take it!


I headed out, immediately up some steps where I ran into my fellow Trakker, Laura Mount, who offered some kind words of encouragement as I went trotting by.  I snagged some water to pour on my head and take a small sip at the first aid station and settled into a 6:40 pace.  My left quad was screaming already, but I decided to push through it and see if it would loosen up at all.  As I made my way down the road, I spotted another teammate and set a steady pace to move up.  Offering some words of encouragement, we both kept moving.  There was nothing spectacular about the run.  I was doing my thing, my pace was slowly slipping into just about a 7 minute mile pace.  I tried not to focus too much on pace, but rather go on feel.  Maybe I should have focused on pace a bit more because I did let off a bit more than I would have liked.  My stomach was starting to feel hot, you know that feeling... right before you are going to lose it?  Yeah that one.

I kept it managed, taking a sip of water and dumping the rest over my head as we went past stations.  I hit the turn around and knew I was in for a treat heading back.  Again nothing terribly noteworthy, but I did have some random racers comment that I looked good, maybe they were just being nice (looking to see the official photos as well to judge this) but it offered some good support.  I knew my goal of a 40 minute run was long gone.  I knew 41 was a joke, and 42 was going to be a stretch, so I kept plugging away.  On the way back on the highway there was a intersection that cops were directing traffic through.  They waved one guy to make a right turn, he turned right, right into the runners lane and was headed straight for me.  A quick whistle and the cop yelled at him to get over in the driving lane as I motioned my arms to get over a lane.

I thanked the cops, and offered a suggestion "Require an IQ test for drivers license?!?" They both laughed and I kept moving, just with a bit more adrenaline.  I saw none other than Carole Sharpless and although I did not get the "Sharpless Moon" she was yelling like crazy for me by name.  A nice little boost to say the least!  She is a crazy busy woman managing all of her cubs, yet after only 10 minutes of group talking the day before she could identify a guy with a visor and sunglasses trudging along at about mile 5 of the run.


I hit the transition area and went around it, traveling back down the steps I started up.  I made a general exclamation "What no Rocky music?" as I went down the steps and got some people to laugh as I headed up the path to Worlds Fair Park.  Well I still had my guts, so I picked up the pace, and sure enough they heated right back up.  I kept thinking to myself the saying "If you puke before the finish line, you went too hard, if you puke after it, you didn't go hard enough, and if you puke on it, you ran a great race!"  Well I was close, I didn't, but was close!

Garmin: 43:33
Chip: 43:34 (7:01 / mile pace)
Goal: A bit off of my 40 minute 10k, but for my first Olympic, no worries, I was ahead of pace!


Overall Time: 2:19:49
Overall Place: 75th Overall including pros, 59/366 Males
Age Group: 11/48 Age Group

I was thrilled to see my Garmin said I went 2:19:49

Waiting for official results of course is always a bit agonizing, but I was stoked to have beat my goal!  Turns out the times for the day were much different than the year before.  The top 2 age groupers happened to have been in my same group, top spot went 1:57, beating nearly half the pro men! You can never control who shows up on race day, only how you perform.  Today I did exactly that, I raced my race, controlled what I could, and let the rest fall into place.  There was no disappointment in my race that I did not place in my AG, only that I did not get one of the sweet hand made awards!

I was hugely impressed with this Rev3 event.  At about the same cost as Lifetime Fitness, it offers a whole new world of excitement and quality.  Some people could give 2 hoots about "swag" but you received a Rev 3 Knoxville Headsweats visor, a cotton participant t-shirt, a nice finishers medal, and a sweet long sleeved tech finisher shirt.  Normally I am not a big fan of shirts.  In fact I have only ever wear my Twin Cities Marathon 09 finishers tech long sleeve shirt.  The rest are in the closet, one day they will meet their maker, but that is another story.  I will actually wear these shirts!  They are nice looking, comfy, and pretty catchy!

With my involvement in the Miracle Kids Triathlons in Minneapolis, I am a huge proponent of getting kids involved at a young age.  So a HUGE thanks goes to Rev 3 for making this a family event!  We all know families have to sacrifice time for these events and training.  Letting kids run across the finish line (let alone giving them their own medals) is amazing.  My wife and I were talking Sunday evening how one day down the road, we are going to hear a world champion say, I remember when I ran across the finish line at that Rev3 race with my mom or dad, and I have wanted to do triathlons since.  That is something that can never be taken away from them.  Thank you Rev 3 for an amazing event.  Thank you to everyone who put on this race.  I had a blast!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giveaway! CEP Compression Socks

It has been a while since the last give-away, so I decided to fire off this sweet giveaway!  After reviewing the pair of CEP Compression Socks, they have agreed to give a pair of socks, choice of color and size to one of my lucky readers!  Make sure to take a moment and look at the CEP Compression Sock Review as to why you want a pair of the socks! I love mine and use them all of the time after hard workouts for recovery.  The contest will be quite simple. 

Ways to enter, please enter one comment each:
  1. Click follow on the right hand side of this page and become a follower of this blog.  Leave a comment for doing so!
  2. 'Like' CEP Compression Sportswear On Facebook
  3. Follow @jvanistri and @CEPCOMPRESSION on twitter and Tweet the following:
    • I just entered @jvanistri @CEPCOMPRESSION give-away at
  4. For ever $5 donated to my campaign for the MS150 to help battle Multiple Sclerosis, you will earn two entries, please do not do it anonymously or I will not know who you are!! Donate Here
Winner will be drawn at random on May 18th, all entries must be made by midnight on May 17th. Good luck to everyone and in the mean time, keep on moving forward!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Pre-Race Report

Hard to believe it, my first "A" Race of the season is here.  Revolution 3 Knoxville Olympic! I am excited, anxious, and slightly nervous for this race.  A great mix of emotions is in the air.  This will be my first Olympic distance race.  The distances do not scare me, I know I am more than capable of doing the distances, the big question becomes, how will I do at pacing the race since I have not done this distance before. 

1.5k - Starting upstream and then heading back downstream makes this course fairly easy to navigate and sight.  Hopefully this means I will not swim out of line too much.  This will be my first open water swim of the year.  Thankfully I will have my TYR Cat 5 Wetsuit all ready to go.  I am aiming to do the swim in 25 minutes.  This is about a 1:30/100 yd pace.  I can typically hold that in the pool, so hopefully adding a wetsuit and not too much swimming in the wrong directions will get me right at this goal. 

Last weekends transitions went very well, so I hope to bring that forward, add in some complexity of getting the wetsuit off for the first time in a race this year.  Since I do not know how the whole transition area is laid out I am giving myself 5 minutes total for transitions, this should be high, but I want to make sure I give myself sufficient time since I do not know the layout. 

I will be riding my Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL again this week.  I like the aggressive position and comfort it provides me.  I have put all my miles on this bike so far, so I am naturally most comfortable on this.  I presume later in the year I will be riding my 4000, that is going to be the long course bike for the time being since I can get so low with the Airfoil!  From what I have seen, this course is pretty low winds, so I will be rolling on the HED Stinger 9s and wheel cover again.  Outside of a few climbs, they should get me some good aero benefit when I can push the pedals on some flats.   I have had some good training rides of 1:30 and pushing 240 watts or so as well as running well off those rides.  I am going to aim for around 245 watts again as I am pretty sure my legs will hold up.  The biggest question for me is how the heat will affect me either on the bike or the run after this effort. 

I want to get the most from my bike split as possible without killing my run, and since this distance is new, I am not sure where my breaking point is going to be located, so why not push the upper end of it for this race and find out!  I hope to bike the course in around 1:10

After last weekends performance at the Siouxperman Triathlon and my first sub 20-minute 5k, I am finally feeling confident about my run.  I know a 10k is twice as long, but I hope to hold a pretty similar pace.  I have done 6:45 pace following one of the 1:30 rides at 240, so I think that is a realistic goal. I am aiming to hit 42 minutes on the run.  Do not go out too fast, make sure to spray down the Avia Bolt IIs with some Tri-Slide, and then at some point hold on for dear life on the run! 

I am shooting to go 2:20 for this race.  I think it is an aggressive goal seeing as my times above add up to 2:22, but I know I am capable of doing this time.  This is another race where seconds are going to add up over the event.  I am now finding as I set goals that I am getting more and more conscious of the little things that eat up a couple of seconds here or there.  Those could make or break the goal!  I am really looking forward to hanging out with Team Trakkers at the race and cheering others on!  Weather is looking 50/50 right now, hopefully it holds off on Sunday and makes for a great race.

Since this is my first race at the Olympic distance, I am looking to test my body and see what to expect down the road.  I am out to have some fun, and enjoy a long weekend in the company of some pretty cool people! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Race Report: Siouxperman Tri 2011

I slept very poorly at the Super 8 on a bed that could have just as well been a board, and probably some to do with anxiousness for the race.  I was up and had some oatmeal for breakfast along with my First Endurance Optygen, like I do every morning.  I loaded up a few bottles of other First Endurance products.  One had a serving of EFS Grape and Pre-Race for before the race and another had EFS Grape for the bike.  One final bottle had a serving of Cappuiccinno Ultragen for my post race recovery drink, but this remained unmixed for the time being.  We made the 45 minute drive to Sioux Center and got there right at 7AM for packet pick-up and transition opening.

The numbers were assigned somewhat by your seeded swim time.  They started with the 20 slowest swimmers, and then moved to the teams, and then finally into the individuals, fastest to slowest.  I was number 62 with my 4:15 estimated time. 

300 Yard pool swim - This pool swim was a bit different than I have done before.  There was a single point of entry, where they plug in your number and then directed you to a lane.  It was a 6 lane, 25 yard pool, so it would be a total of 6 laps or 12 lengths.  Unfortunately your time from the mat to water entry would depend what lane they assigned you to.  There would be 2 swimmers per lane, rather than the initial serpentine swim they have done in years past.  I got sent to lane 5 and got in and started off well.  I knew I was faster than my estimated pace especially the first lap or two.  There was a guy who got sent to the lane next to me who started off very fast, and I could not tell if he was moving really fast or if I had slowed that much.  I figured out that he had just started and slowed after the first couple of laps.  I got out of the water and the Garmin said 4:07 as I hit the transition mat. 

I have been using my TYR Nest Pro goggles recently and absolutely love them.  They have never once leaked water, even with some really strong push offs from the wall. 

Garmin: 4:07 (hit this a bit late after I had gotten into the pool, so even adding 20 seconds seems a bit much)
Chip: 4:55 (10th Overall) - Not sure how this is possible, but all swim times look to be a bit long
Goal: Met - Calling this met, although the chip time says otherwise, I am not sure it is really accurate of the real time. 

Transition 1:
The first transition is a bit odd, I am not sure from what point it measured.  My thoughts are that it was from the mat right out of the pool, but my chip swim time seems much longer than what the Garmin said.  From the pool, you had to run on the carpets out of the pool area, then along the back of a building, into the ice hockey part of the building, then back inside into the transition area.  I can see based on transition time that it was measured from the first mat.  There was also a mat that was on the entry to the bike area, but I am not sure how it was being used.

For my first transition of the year, it went very well.  I had my goggles off easily by the time I got to my bike since it was quite a run, I quickly put on my sunglasses, helmet, and bike shoes and trotted out of transition with my bike.  Unfortunately with the assigned transition spot, I was on the far side which makes it easy to locate my bike, but I had to double back on about a 150 degree turn to get out of the racks.  Not ideal, but you take what you are given.  I headed out and went across the exit mat. 

Garmin: 1:17
Chip: Added into bike time... lame...
Goal: Met - Good pacing, great effort despite odd navigation


Time to bust out the Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL for the race.  I decided to stick with the HED Stinger 9s and disc cover because the wind was not too strong.  I think it was probably something like a 10 MPH wind with some gusts around 13 or so, so it was manageable with the deeper wheels! The 25k bike course was shaped like J.  We headed east from the All Seasons Center and a quick right to head south to the county road.  The wind was somewhat from the North/Northwest so heading south was fast!  I was only on that stretch a few minutes before getting on a county road for a brief section before heading north on another county road.  The turns were well staffed, and I was moving well although the field was rather thin of people.  I did have one encounter with a semi going all of 50 MPH that hit me with a gust of wind that nearly threw me for a loop!  I kept the rubber on the road and made it to my final out turn.  The course was not terribly hilly, but was rolling with only a few longer flats to put it down.  Once we started north, I could feel the wind and some of the hills required a pretty strong effort, but I never left the big ring up front. 

As I headed north, I was picking people off, some were either teams or the first 20 swimmers.  I did pass a few people with numbers very close to me, but the way the swim start was staggered, it was hard to judge how far "behind" you actually were.  I started seeing a few people around the turn around and hit the 180 degree middle of the road turn around.  I am not normally real good at judging these, but today it went well.  As I headed back south, I was flying.  There were multiple times I was in a 50/11or12 and moving like crazy.  I would occasionally take some of my EFS Drink on the bike and made some good passes while heading south.

As we headed back west, you could feel the wind and immediately into a hill.  Nothing terribly eventful on the rest of the trip back.  I managed to hold 245 watts for the ride.  There were some times I felt like I was working like crazy and only doing 190 watts, and others I was pushing 300 with little to no effort. 
I knew my estimated time was going to be slower than my prediction, but I was thrilled with my 245 watts.  Exactly what I was shooting for, but the big question is how would it affect my run?

Garmin: 41:45, 8th Overall, 22.9 MPH, 245 Watts
Chip: 42:48 (including T1)
Goal: Hit wattage perfectly, unfortunately my time estimate was a bit off, but no biggy, would rather hit my goal wattage. 

Transition 2:  
I managed to do a flying dismount very well with no real practice and cruised into the area.   Again it was not ideally laid out, so I was doubling back a couple of times, but I got my bike racked quickly.  I left my shoes on the bike before dismounting so it was a fast transition into my run shoes.  I had put my Garmin back on my wrist while on the bike so I did not have to worry about it in transition.  I snagged my race belt and headed out of transition, yet again through the 150 degree turn, over the mat and out I went. 

Garmin: 54 Seconds - Seems a bit high, but again odd chasing through the transition area
Chip: Figured into the Run
Goal:  I felt good, maybe I was a bit slow, but things went well and I did not mess anything up!

5k on a bike trail. I am feeling quick on my feet, and have set a goal to run a sub 20 minute 5k in a tri.  Will it be this day?  I started off and trusty Garmin lost signal inside during transition, so it took a few seconds to recalibrate when outside again.  I knew I always start off fast, but I was not sure how much was from satellites being off and how much was just adrenaline.  My legs felt fresh even after pushing the bike, so I just went with it, trying to make sure I was going at a pace I knew was close to what I could hold.  I found that to be somewhere around 6:20s (Not the sub 5s I spiked to a few times)  The pavement was really good to run on and we had some shade for the first section before running in a field area that was in the sun.  Normally I wouldn't make a point about this too much, but I have only seen about 1 day above 70 this year, so running in 75 degrees and sun was a change.  I was not sure how the body was going to take it.  I made a few passes and quickly found a lot of open space, somewhere to the tune of 1/3 of a mile on the next runner. 

I saw one runner on the way back, a quick check of the Garmin said I was about 7:30 into the run, putting me somewhere in my second mile.  I must not have been running hard enough, or I am just getting good at working my brain on low oxygen because I was fighting at that point to keep my pace.  I was trying to calculate how much ahead of me that guy started, and then my distance to the turn around vs where I was.  I ended up figuring I was a few minutes back from their pace, but it motivated me to pick it up.  I set my sights on the next person and kept trucking forward. 

I have been running in my Avia Bolt IIs and althought I have my Bolt IIIs, I have been using the IIs especially for the race since the new ones are not broken in yet.  Again back to weather, I have not been able to run without socks very often, so that was another question in my head, how would my feet hold up, especially only a week before my big Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Race?  I had sprayed the insides with some Tri-Slide from SBR Sports to help reduce any friction.  I hit the turn around dumped some water over my head and pushed on, finding a couple more people ahead of me to reel in.  About 2 miles complete, I saw my lap pace was right in the area of 6:28 give or take, right at a 20 minute 5k.  A mile left Jeff... You can do it.  It is you vs them, you vs tomorrow, you vs cant, you vs no... If you have not seen the 2011 Versus Commercial, I HIGHLY recommend it!  I pushed my body to a place it has not been and knew it was going to be splitting hairs at the very end, maybe even enough that the race clocks may say I am over, but Garmin pace got messed up and deceived me.  Push through it anyway.  Into the finishers shoot (on grass... one of my only complaints) and across the finish line.  Whew... glad that is done. 

Garmin: 19:56
Chip: 20:35 (Includes T2)
Goal: Met, I am officially calling this my first EVER sub 20 minute 5k.  Especially after dropping 245 Watts on the bike, I am thrilled with this!

Overall Time: 1:08:17
Overall Place: 7th
Age Group: 1st due to roll down, 3rd since 1 & 3 OA were in my AG

I am thrilled with my results!  I raced exactly how I wanted, my numbers were almost spot on.  I could have pushed a bit harder, but this early season race has given me some very valuable insight to my race season ahead.  Although not quite where I was thinking I would finish time wise(due to the bike effort not getting me quite as much as I thought it would), everything else went as planned, so my race was a huge success!  I know that now I am ready to roll at Rev3 Knoxville Olympic, look for the pre-race report in the next day or two. 

After getting home and showering, I did not get all of my numbers scrubbed off before playing 9 holes of golf in the sun.  Leaving me with this little gem. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Souixperman Pre-Race Report

Here we are... nearly 8 months since the last race... wow that is depressing considering the swim for One Last Tri was quite cold temps and I would not even think of getting in a lake right now.  Why do I live in Minnesota again?  Last year, I kicked off the season in Alexandria, MN with the Chain of The Lakes Tri.  Check out the RR to see the amazing conditions we had.... This year I was going to be crazy and take a gamble on the weather being nicer, but then realized that my wife's grandparents would be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary that weekend in western Iowa.  60 years of marriage trumps the chance I would need to put studs in my tires to even race!

I was randomly searching on the interwebz one day and found a tri not too far from where we would be, and hey it happened to be on the same weekend!  What a coincidence!  After getting a seal of approval, my wife's step-father and I signed up.  Another pool swim and outdoor bike/run, early season, yet only 1 week ahead of Knoxville!

Swim: 300 Yard pool swim - This is my normal warm-up set, not counting drills.  I have been prepping for the REV3 Knoxville Olympic, so I will be doing this swim based on the Oly training, nothing specific for short burst distances.  6 laps... I just got an email saying it was changed from serpentine style to swimming in your own lane.  Based on my training, I seeded myself at 4:15, a 1:25/100 yard pace.  I am pretty confident in this pace, depending how busy the lanes are, I may be able to go quicker, especially since it is all done in the same lane and no ducking of ropes is required. Any seconds gained in the swim will go a long way overall I think. 

Transitions: I say 2 minutes total for transitions 1 and 2 combined.  I should be able to move quite quickly through these and use them as a practice go for Knoxville.  There will be no flying mount/dismount, but hopefully a non-eventful transition, unlike One Last Tri where my chain had somehow fell from the big ring to the bottom bracket between my practice ride and when I left T1, I got clipped in and went straight onto my side. Transition times will also be key to a competitive overall time.

Bike: Time to bust out the Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL for the race.  Along with the bike will be the HED Stinger 9s and disc cover!  Needless to say, I am pumped to get this thing out and see what it can do.  25k bike.  Here is the route.  Pretty simple out and back with only a few corners.  Elevation change is pretty minimal, so barring any crazy winds, this could be a speedy ride.  Downhill the first 4 miles, which puts me on the straight away, then climbing to the turn around point around 7.75 miles or so, then downhill a couple of miles, and finally a gradual gain to the end from mile 11.  My goal is to push about 240 watts the entire time.  I will not try to speculate what that will get me for speed, but if the wind is not too strong, this may be a blistering fast ride. In the big picture, I am going to have to be one of the fastest bike splits out there if I want a chance at the big picture.  I know I need to have a lead going into the run.

Run: 5k on a bike trail. I am feeling quick on my feet, and have set a goal to run a sub 20 minute 5k in a tri.  Will it be this day?  Who knows.  That gives you a guess as to what I am going to push for a pace. I am a bit on the fence about setting a goal for the run... why? Well because I would love to run a sub 20 5k as stated above.  What if that isn't good enough for the day?  Will I be disappointed because I may have higher expectations for the day?  My brick last week went really well and were much longer distances, so I think the formula for success includes a little race day adrenaline, combined with it being the first race as a Trakker, and some high expectations of myself. 

Overall: Use this race to fine tune a few things before Knoxville.  My brick gave me a good idea of what I can push for watts on the bike and not kill my run, but this race should let me pair that with what I can physically and mentally hold on for the run.  I am getting pretty excited for the season to kick off and cannot wait to represent Team Trakkers!  Albeit a short race, I know that I will be using my First Endurance EFS Drink paired with some PreRace before hand and some Ultragen post race in combination with my trusty Recovery Pump to ensure I am ready to roll at Rev3 Knoxville Olympic

Weekly Ramblings - 4/25/11

Well there has been a lot of buzz in the past day about Osama bin Laden being killed by US Forces.  While this is a great milestone, it does not mean we should let our guard down.  There will always be another person to step in willing to fill the role and carry out the actions and beliefs.  To see how much buzz is following the news shows how interested people are and how behind their country they are.  As with any government/political news, you will always get 2 sides.  When I first saw the news, it was on ABC and the reporter there said something like "Obama, er Osama Bin Laden has been killed" this ties directly out with the picture I saw posted by someone from Fox News where the banner said Obama bin Laden has been killed.  While I did not see the banner on Fox News, so it could have been fixed in photoshop, I believe you will always have this from both sides.  Sure there are questions about if it was really him and people want to see a long form death certificate, and he was "conveniently" burried at sea, but my main point is whatever side you align with, I think it is safe to say this came as welcome news to most.  A special thanks to our troops that have been involved anywhere in the process.  

Last week was a heavy week with some intense workouts, getting ready to peak for Knoxville.  I missed one bike workout and my 5k at work got shortened so it was a bit short of my workout plans.  It was a good week, the 5k hurt, I always forget how many stinking hills there are.  I am in pretty good shape at this point, and was still hurting on the course.  My swims have been feeling really good.  Times are getting better each workout, especially over the past few weeks, I am able to hold a pace longer and with less effort!  The bike has been good, especially with the volume I have been doing.  The weather here is still far from spring, so it takes a lot for me to get out on the bike, and it takes even more to ride on the trainer anymore.  Running is going well, things are clicking just as expected I would say.

Friday was a big day, I did a lunch swim, and then after work a 90 minute bike and 45 minute run brick workout.  This is my first brick of the season.  I held about 234 watts on the bike, where I also was getting used to my race wheels.  Holy cow a 90 front is a lot different than a 60!  I was pretty happy to see my run pace where it was for the 45 minutes.  This gave me a very strong feeling for Knoxville, and wondering how the Siouxperman Tri will go. 

Week 7
Monday: S- 2700 Yards (49:33 Minutes)B - 32.12 Miles (91:08 minutes)
Tuesday: R - 7.92 Miles (57:11 Minutes)
Wednesday: S - 2800 Yards (53:08 Minutes)
Thursday:  R - 2.21 Miles (15:19 Minutes+10 Min warmup) - abbreviated 5k had warmups, just not tracked
Friday: S - 2350 Yards (38:06 Minutes), B - 32.11 Miles (91:32 Minutes)/R - 6.51 Miles (45:02 Minutes)Brick workout
Saturday: Day Off 
Sunday: R - 7.44 Miles (62:26 Minutes) 

Swim Totals
7850 Yards
2 hr 20 min
Bike Totals
64.23 Miles
3 hr 2 min
Run Totals
24.08 Miles
3 hr 10 min
Total Volume

8 hr 32 min

I had a pretty regular week at work, and nothing too out of the ordinary, except a few evening events which conflicted with some of my workouts, I think for the most part, I got in what mattered, only wishing I had gotten one more bike effort in.  The weather here has been crummy at best.  May 1, we got snow, today... May 2, I saw some snow flakes.  Come on really?!?!  I cannot wait for spring, or heck at that matter summer to get here.  It has been a wonderful week, despite the weather.  I am very anxious to be racing this weekend especially since my Trakkers kit came in.  This is one snazzy outfit!  Look for debut pics this weekend! Make sure to follow me on twitter @jvanistri as that will be where the first pics end up. 

I am getting back in the swing of things, blogging, reading blogs, and focusing on racing!  I kick off the season this weekend with a sprint which will hopefully give me a good idea of what to expect at Rev3 Knoxville.  Especially after my brick workout on Friday, I am feeling very confident about my fitness and where I want to be, pay attention next week for the Knoxville Pre-Race Report.  I should have the Siouxperman Tri Pre-Race Report up soon, probably tonight. 

Who doesn't like pictures?  Well here you go!  My Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL with HED Stinger 90s and cover ready to roll.  Only a few small tweaks to get it ready for racing this weekend!  My second pair of Avia Bolt IIIs came in this week.  I love them!  They are some flashy colors, and there have been some great changes between the II and the III models.  I am excited to start breaking these in! 

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