Weekend Training Summary – GWL and MBL

It was a challening training weekend. It kind of felt like Wildflower all over again.

The Saturday ride was Great Western Loop (clockwise), one of my favorite rides in San Diego. Lots of climbing and beautiful scenery. As it wasn’t too hot, the ride was that much better. I felt strong climbing up Dehesa and I really enjoyed the fast downhills. I had to ride a little bit longer than the team because I am on a training schedule for Ironman Canada and not Vineman 70.3, so I added another 7 or 8 miles by heading back out to the start of Dehesa. That segment was fairly fast and flat but there was a strong headwind in the afternoon. In all, I felt good after the ride and I logged 55.5 miles.

On Sunday, we met at Ventura Cove for the swim. I did about 1500 yards in all. The water was pleasant but it was low tide and the sea grass was very annoying.

The run wasn’t really supposed to be that difficult as it was a 12 mile loop around Mission Bay and it is mostly flat. But it seems that I was more sapped that I realized from GWL and my quads started to burn around 8 miles into the run. Ended up run-walking the last 3 miles with some teammates. We also got a little lost and added an extra .5 mile to the run. The path around Sea World is a bit confusing.

Ride profile:

Run profile:

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Wildflower Triathlon Long Course

This past weekend I completed the Wildflower Triathlon Long Course.  Simply put, it was a brutal 70.3 distance race. However, it is a race that I will definitely do again and again.

The course is challenging in so many ways.  The hills on the bike grind you down and the hills on the run destroy any remaining fortitude.  My Garmin reported 3900′ of climbing on the bike and 1400′ on the run. And that would be enough to make the race challenging, but adding in heat and wind takes it to a whole new level.  The one-death-game-over kind of level.

The swim was pleasant at 71° but as this was a shore start, my time was a little longer than average due to having to wait to get into the water since I typically hang towards the back of the pack. The run up the boat ramp was not so much fun, however and my feet weren’t accustomed to the rough concrete.

T1 was slower than I would have liked by a few minutes.  Then it was off on the bike.

The ride was pleasant for the first 1.5 miles, then it was time to climb up Beach with an average grade of 8.9% for a half-mile. Thoroughly warmed up and with winds increasing, the next 38 miles of rolling hills was mostly enjoyable though it was definitely becoming much warmer and more difficult as the miles rolled by.

“Nasty Grade” was at approximately mile 41 and I thought it was actually easier than Beach road and I was surprised at the number of athletes that walked their bikes up the hill.  Cresting the top were some rollers followed by a long sweeping and very fast downhill.  At approximately mile 46.5, I was about 30 feet behind a group of riders going about 33mph when I was passed by a rider traveling much faster, maybe 40+mph, in the left lane.  When he passes the group in front of me, he drifts over the yellow line into the right lane and clips a rider’s front wheel with his rear wheel.  The clipped rider crashed very hard and I had to panic stop to avoid hitting the rider who is now laying in the road.  I stopped, along with four other riders to render aid and to help direct traffic around the crash.  No one had cell phones on them but eventually traveling up the hill came by and had a cell phone and called 911.  The fallen rider, Tor from San Francisco, was badly shaken up but didn’t appear to have any really serious injuries.  I stayed directing traffic until the EMTs arrived and then I continued my race.

By this time, I was mentally out of the race and wasn’t going to have a great bike time, so I just pushed along and kept my heart rate low. Stopping and helping was the right thing to do and I don’t regret the decision.  I rolled into T2, shaken and hot, but managed to have a decent T2 even while talking about the crash with Coach Derrick, who thought I was who crashed since I was out so long.

Knowing that the run was hilly, I planned on run/walking the course.  The trails, the rollers, and the big hill at mile 4 with 10% grades made for long and difficult run.  I took it generally easy with a 14:15 pace and my HR was much lower than it normally would be, even with the heat so I know I could have pushed harder.  A friend met up with me at mile 10, and we pushed ourselves to finish the race, and we ran the last mile at a 8:30 pace and I completed the run in 3:03:45 which isn’t much longer than my other IM70.3 runs. It was nice to have finally finished this grueling event!

I learned a number of important things during this race.

  • With the heat and the dry air, I struggled to stay hydrated throughout the day. I consumed more than 180 ounces of fluid – 40 ounces of Perpetuem, 65 ounces of water, and 75 ounces of Gatorade and I poured water over my head at every opportunity on the run. I also took 6 salt tablets at T2 and ate Power Bar Energy Blasts yet I was still unable to hydrate enough.
  • I forgot to eat towards the end of my bike because I wasn’t hungry and because of the crash.
  • I need to train more on trails prior to doing the event again.  And in heat if possible.  The hilly runs up Torey Pines and La Jolla Shores helped but weren’t enough.
  • Great Western Loop is a requirement on the bike before taking on WF Long.  In the heat if possible as well.

My “official” time at 8:17:47 was nearly 60 minutes longer than IM 70.3 Oceanside at the end of March, mostly because of a slower bike.  And WF Long is much more difficult of a race with the hills and the heat.  I will prepare better for next year so I can beat my new PR!


  • Overall: 08:17:47
  • Swim: 00:49:36
  • T1: 07:55
  • Bike: 04:12:54
  • T2: 03:37
  • Run: 03:03:45





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Around and around and around and around…

Workout today was Fiesta Island repeats as a time trial — as many laps possible in 4 hours. While Fiesta Island is very flat, it can be very windy.  Today was typical where it started out calm, but by then last few laps we had strong head and cross winds to deal with.

I managed 16 laps, in 4:10, with a 13 minute SAG between lap 8 and 9, for a total time of 4:23.

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Fundraising event was a huge success

On Tuesday evening, the team hosted a charity auction event at Anthology San Diego. It was a wonderful evening. Everyone contributed so much time and effort to make this happen.  It was great to be a part of it!




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San Diego Trialthon Classic 2011

I completed the San Diego Triathlon Classic olympic distance triathlon today in 03:23:36. Considering that I didn’t go all out on this race, I feel pretty good about my times overall.  It wasn’t my fastest olympic distance tri, but it was faster than my very first one in 2004:

      SD Tri Classic 2011          LA Tri 2004
Swim:    00:36:06                   00:44:48    
T1:      00:03:46                   00:04:19
Bike:    01:30:50                   01:21:28 
T2:      00:03:29                   00:02:12 
Run:     01:09:25                   01:16:27
Total:   03:23:36                   03:29:14

This was my first attempt at this particular course and it was a fun race though the bike was hilly.  I wish I had a good elevation profile but my Garmin 310xt picked this particular event to wig out enough on the bike to list my max speed as 125mph!  The run was nice and flat except for the bridge.

I could have shaved a few minutes off my transitions times as well but I was taking things somewhat leisurely as I approached this race as a training day of Ironman training. My goal was to stay in HR zone 3 as much as possible, but it seemed that I was mainly in HR zone 4 as I neglected to consider the general intensity of race day. I did feel good on the swim and felt that I stayed in HR zone3. Towards the end of the run though, I was in HR zone 5.  I need to work more on my pacing!

Bike profile:

Run profile:


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San Diego Tri Classic Expo

Heading down to the San Diego Tri Classic expo this afternoon to get my race packet. Nothing like trekking across San Diego on a Friday afternoon to prep you for the race!

San Diego Tri Classic 2011This will be my first time doing this particular event.  It looks to be a fun one, though I am not looking forward to the hilly bike course.

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Practice Tri

Today was the practice tri and final prep for the Vineman 70.3 triathlon next week.

Lately it has been a

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13 days…

Just 13 days left until the Vineman 70.3 Half-Ironman triathlon.  791 miles of biking and running, more than 57,000 feet of elevation gain, and 64,000 calories of energy spent in preparation.  And add the miles of swimming onto that, and easily more than 810 miles.  No wonder I am tired and very sore…

Rough totals from Garmin Connect (some activities didn’t transfer properly and a few times my Garmin Forerunner had trouble):

  • Count: 57 activities
  • Distance: 791.14 mi
  • Time: 77:26:32 hh:mm:ss
  • Elevation Gain: 57,121 ft
  • Avg Speed: 10.2 mph
  • Avg Heart Rate: 143 bpm
  • Avg Run Cadence:
  • Avg Bike Cadence: 75 rpm
  • Calories: 64,059 C

It has been a great season overall — even with the pain from back problems and even with the countless hours of running, biking and swimming….

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Final long swim…

Sunday morning at The Shores

Sunday morning at The Shores

Met up at The Shores at 8:30 am for one last long swim since we are now starting our taper to Vineman.  The day started out as what it has become typical of late — overcast skies and coolish temperatures.   Only a few of us showed up to brave the morning after the long 4th of July celebrations.

The conditions were pretty good.  Not very much chop and gentle swells.  We made our way to the water and initially it felt a bit cool.  Soon we were making our way to the 1/2 mile buoy as our goal as to swim at least a mile.

I was able to get into a decent rhythm and it was nice to be out in the water. Though I am not a fast swimmer, I as able to keep a decent pace all the way to the marker.  Once we reached the 1/2 mile marker, we decided to go to the 1/4 mile marker — which is 1/4 mile out from The Cove — for a distance out of 3/4 of a mile or so.

The sun came out just as we started on the leg back and it made the swim very pleasant.  700 or so strokes later and I was back on The Shores. With that extra 1/2 mile of distance, we ended up swimming longer than race distance and I was happy that I felt pretty good overall.

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SROP 4th of July 10K

At the last minute, I signed up for the Scripps Ranch Old Pros 4th of July 10K race.  I have completed this race a few times in past years, but I kind of forgot about it with all the training for Vineman.  It is a fast and fun race around Lake Miramar and they open the path across the dam for this event.  Ever since 9/11/2001, the dam is off limits, so it is a treat to be able to complete the full five mile circuit around the lake.

Being that running isn’t my strongest activity and that I have been suffering quite a bit with the long runs, I didn’t expect to do anything special on this run.  In the past, I tended to average the 10K in about 66 minutes or about a 10:40/mi pace.  But on this race I was feeling pretty good and I paced myself with some slightly faster runners.  The end result was that I maintained a 9:33/mi pace and completed the 10K in 59:53 — my first time completing a 10K under an hour!  It was great to set a new PR!

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