Training totals for 2013.
Swim – 967,345 yards
Bike – 17,134 miles
Run – 1690 miles.
Oh – and I’ll be on the start line of 3 IM’s next year. You can count on that.
Picture courtesy of Trijuice.com
Training totals for 2013.
Swim – 967,345 yards
Bike – 17,134 miles
Run – 1690 miles.
Oh – and I’ll be on the start line of 3 IM’s next year. You can count on that.
Picture courtesy of Trijuice.com
After a few last minute changes of plans I ended up heading down to Montauk, NY for the MightyMan Montauk Half Ironman. I was originally planning on going down to Augusta 70.3 but after doing some number crunching I realized that I could save about $125 by staying local, so I did just that. Plus I was able to meet the ENITRE Quinn family, all 10 of them!
It ended up being a pretty fun weekend. I’ve never been down to Long Island or the Hamptons and seeing new places is a nice little bonus of the triathlon lifestyle. I rolled into East Hampton around 2:30 on Friday and set up a home office at my buddy Steve’s place. I was able to catch up on a few hours worth of work and then around 5:30 went to pick up Tara and Dave at a small airport a few miles away from Steve’s house. I was only there for maybe 20 minutes, but I witnessed 2 families leave in two pretty new G6′s and 1 family walk out of a big helicopter with their two dogs.
Here I am racing a small half in Montauk to save $125 and this guy rolls in on his Helicopter. The price you pay for riding 5 hours on a Tuesday afternoons I guess!
Anyways…Saturday was the typical eating and sitting. Nothing special.
Sunday morning I woke up, and immediately felt like I didn’t sleep at all. I ate breakfast and fell back asleep on the couch, woke up, got in the car and Rudy drove to the race and I immediately fell back asleep. Not the ideal way to feel pre-race. I went through the motions to get myself ready to race. Rudy and I walked down to the water looking to get in a small warm up only to find that the 10 minutes we thought we had was actually about 15 seconds. The lifeguard on a stand up paddle board was giving us directions on how to navigate the swim course until he was interrupted with a “GO,GO,GO!!!” from shore. So “GO” I did, with zero warm up and not really understanding how I was supposed to swim the course. I had a terrible start and slowly worked myself up to first places feet and just decided to sit there since once we turned for shore I had no idea what to do. Two minutes later I was solo. The rest of the swim was bad. I finally made it back to shore in a slow 28 minutes.
I ran through transition as fast as I could to try to get to the front of the race ASAP. The course starts with a long out and back, I could see 4 or 5 guys coming back at me, but they were racing the Olympic distance not the half. I knew I was in 2-3rd place and around mile 23 I confirmed that I was in 2nd place about 90 seconds down. We made the turn at 28 miles and I made a big push until the next turn around at mile 40 to see if I could close down the gap. I brought it down to 56 seconds. Over the next 16 miles there are a few more turn arounds where I could see that my 56 second gap was staying the same and that 3d place was making up some time. Around mile 50 there is a turn around were you take a left and cross a lane and you can’t see if cars are coming due to trees. 3rd place caught me just before the turn and took this turn across the lane much harder and without slowing down at all, I chose to slow down and safely make the turn. I had to, I had a lawn to mow when I got home!
Long story short – I came into T2 1:05 down from first and about 30 seconds down from 2nd.
The bike course isn’t hard, but it sure isn’t fast. 56 miles of wind and with 6 turn arounds I rolled a 2:24 on 269 watts @ 150lbs.
Out on the run I had one goal and only one goal. Get to the front and stay there. I managed to make my way to the front around mile 3 just before a steep downhill. I did my best Cait Snow impression and ran down the hill as hard as I could go and I put about 30 seconds into the two guys right away. The rest of the run was very simple. Best effort the whole way. It was fun to have a lead mountain biker and to spend 10 miles off the front of the race. My first race win I only spent about 8 minutes leading. Here I was in front for about 60 minutes.
Even though it was a small race – Its always nice to get a W and get QT2 across the line in first place. Although it is hard to get really excited about it when you have friends and teammates wining Ironmans in what feels like every 14 days.
Next up is the final six week training block into IMAZ and of the 2013 season. I know IMAZ isn’t the best race for me in terms of placing due to the course set up – But I’m not concerned with that stuff yet. First I need to be able to get myself actually into the race during the swim before I worry about “racing” an IM. I was 36 mins off Andy Potts at IM Lake Placid. 36 minutes! Do you know what happens in real pro sports if you’re that far off the win? You go home and get a job!
I’m going out to go as fast as I can on the day and enjoy being able to get up early on a Sunday morning and find the current limits of my physical and mental fitness. Winning races or making money is not what drives me to get up everyday and train. Getting myself into the best possible shape so on race day when I come to the end of my current physical fitness and still have about 30-45 minutes of running to do, I can take that next step and the next until I get my sorry ass across the finish line. If that puts me in front of a few more races over the years then even better!
Until then…If you need me, I’ll be in the pool or out somewhere in the middle of Mass quietly putting in the miles.
Aka Ironman #11.
Last year, I signed up the day after the race as an age grouper, but was able to come back to the site of my first Ironman and race as a pro five years later. THAT’S the reason there was 2 Pat Wheeler’s on the start list–I was registered as both!
After a very tough Ironman Texas and Syracuse 70.3, in combination with the weather we had the last four weeks, I was not in the best mindset leading up to Lake Placid. Although we made big changes to the training in the last 3 weeks to do confidence building workouts versus my normal Ironman build-up, and those went very well, there was still a lot of doubt in the ol’ mind on how the day will actually unfold.
We arrived on Tuesday to better weather and legs that felt like they were ready to race. I did the last few workouts solo, and by Friday afternoon I was ready to eat and prepare to race!
Sunday morning finally came, I went through the normal race morning routine, and was in the water by 6:05 for the 6:20 start and was able to get in a 500-600 yard warm-up. I think this really helped my overall swim time. Being a very aerobic athlete, I need to have a good warm-up to be able to hit the swim hard in the beginning.
I lined up behind Tim Snow, just to see how long I could hang on him for. Within 30 seconds, I had no idea where I was, I was just swimming as hard as I could go, and by the first turn I was swimming by myself. My feet and legs kept getting hit, so I knew someone was back there. A few hundred yards before the end of the first loop, they weren’t coming around so I slowed up a little and a group of four guys came around me and I got on the back with the goal of them helping with navigating around the age-groupers on the second loop. We swam all the way to the turn buoy on the second lap, and all four of them cut in front of it, so they didnt have to go into the chaos that is the turn buoy. I continued on the course to go around the turn buoy as fast as I could , and was able to latch back on just in time for them to cut diagonally across and skip the second turn buy and head back to shore. At that point they had cut 25 or so yards, and I just couldnt make up the gap as I went around both turn buoys like I was suppose to. (I won’t name any names, but I and the other guys around me know who they are.) I hit the beach with a swim PR of 54:58.
Got on the bike and immediately hit the first part of the course hard, and happily I found my legs decided to join me in Ironman Lake Placid. Pretty uneventful 112 miles, and after 5 hours and 12 minutes worth of pedaling, eating, and drinking it was onto the run.
Jumped off the bike, quick change (maybe not SO quick), and onto the run. The run was started with the plan to get everything under control by the left hand turn onto River Rd, and then to take the Garmin off, put in my pocket, and run best effort all the way to the finish. Although I never actually took the Garmin off, I didn’t necessarily use the pace or HR to pace myself, I just liked to know it was there. I knew I was running, based off effort, too fast, but the plan was to just best effort it and see where it ended up so thats what I did!
Around Mile 19, I started to pay for the effort of the day, and the next 7.2 miles are going to take me 10 days to get recovered from. It took a lot of mental effort and toughness to keep it together to the finish, but seeing all my friends out on the course and in town really helped and I crossed the line after a 3:05 marathon.
I was able to finish in 9 hours and 20 minutes which was good enough for a 28 minute PR on the course from 2009 and 10th overall pro.
The best part of the day was the simple fact that IM became fun again. I was really happy to just be able to be out there going full gas. No pressure, no expectations (minus a small wattage goal on the bike), just go out, have fun and finish as fast as possible.
Thanks to Jesse for all the help over the last 6-8 weeks and keeping my head on straight. To everyone who cheered for me, it meant a lot when I was really suffering out there. To Blueseventy for the wetsuit. QuintanaRoo for the most comfortable TT bike out there, the CD0.1. Powerbar for the fuel and Normatec for getting the legs back to normal everyday after training.
Picture credits to Charlie Abrahams and Kelly Gallagher.
9:17 is the women’s PRO time, I am told after Ian finished they moved the clock back. I was pretty bummed to later find out I was actually three minutes slower. Oh well. Always next year, right?
Its only been a few weeks since the debacle that was IMTX. The week after was a scheduled “down” week which meant I had scheduled workouts but it was only around 10hrs so it ended up a pretty light week. I did everything I put off leading into TX. I only had 7 days, so I had to work fast. I staid up late, drank a lot of coffee and spent some time at the local watering hole with my good buddy, Justin.
At the end of week two I did a small local sprint triathlon. It was exactly what I needed and it gave me something to look forward to. I came out of the water second to Ethan Brown and once one the bike my plan to was to ride like there was no run! Luckily for me, Ethan went straight when he was supposed to go left and I was suddenly in 1st. I came off the bike in first about 20 seconds up on 4-5 guys. I could immediately feel the little “yog” I did two weeks prior and just ran as hard as I could go until I could hear someone coming. Once I heard the kid closing the gap, I back off a little to get a some rest so as soon as he came up to me I could push the pace a little more. We went back and forth until he opened up a gap I just could close.
Either way it was a lot of fun to race local and just go as hard as possible for 80 minutes. . Since the race, I’ve been in “head down training mode” trying to push the fitness to a new level for Lake Placid.
This weekend is the famous B2B ride which I’ll be taking part in for a 3rd time. Another great day to push up the cycling fitness. Eight days later, I’ll be in Syracuse for the 70.3. Courtney and I will drive home Sunday right after the race so she can get to her last day of school on Monday. We will then turn around and drive to LP Tuesday afternoon for the QT2 Lake Placid training camp..Lots of quality wife time. Hopefully, she doesn’t tie my ass to the roof rack!
Then its time to disappear again until Thursday of race week for Lake Placid.
If you need me, i’ll be on my bike.
After the last big training block I took Monday and Tuesday totally off. I sat on the couch in a fog for 48hrs and caught up on some work stuff. Minus a short trip to the mall for Courtney to grab some new pants. As soon as we walked into the store, I found the “man” section (also know as the chairs in the back of the store) and promptly feel asleep.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful just some easy training to get the body back to being right.
I traveled down to the Woodlands on Sunday May 5th to do the final 10 or training days in hot and humid conditions.
What we got for weather was anything but hot and humid. I had to wear a Pearl Izumi thermal long sleeve shirt underneath a long sleeve cycling jersey just to be able to sweat. There were days I even ran with that same thermal shirt on!
Fast forward to race day where it was forecasted to be just plain nasty.
Race morning came and I did the usual pre IM routine. Dropped off my bags and got the bike ready to go.
At the swim start I was sitting on the curb and Mike Riley is on the PA saying “All pros should be in the water” he said it about 5 times before I realized “oh Sh$t, that’s means ME” Once in the water, I got in a nice little warm up and was ready to swim 2.4 miles solo. The gun went off, and I went bananas to stay at the back of the massive group that took off. I don’t know the pace we were swimming, but I know I set a few PR’s. I was beyond pumped not to be dropped after 100 yards. I was at the back of the second group until about 200 yards before the turn when I caught an ankle to the face. I was promptly dropped and set out alone to finish the swim
Here is where things started going south. I knew within about 5 mins on the bike that my day was over. Power was very low and HR was sky high. I pushed on for maybe 45 mins to see how things would settle down. After that I started to shut down the power to try and get my HR under control. I had no choice. There are only two reasons why race fueling goes bad. Heat and intensity. I already had the heat so I dialed back the intensity to try and get my stomach to come around. Nothing was working. If I drank a lot or a little it was the same. So I went with “drink a lot” as I knew it was the only way I’d finish the day. By mile 60 I was seeing spots and dizzy spells would randomly come and go. The rest of the bike was simply about finishing.
The “run” started as you’d expect. Pick a pace that was easy, didn’t add any additional heat or intensity stress and see how it played out. Well…I got to mile 9 before all the dizzy spells and spots showed back up. After that it was run when I could and walk when I couldn’t see straight.
Not finishing the race never even crossed my mind.
Why would I quit? My legs still worked. I wasn’t doing any damage to myself or my legs by walking. It’s sad to me that when I would go by “age groupers” (hate using that term. Makes me feel like I am talking bad about someone) and they’d say “thanks for sticking it out” or “glad you stuck it out with us”
Hell ya I’m out here. Because there is a “P” on my left leg people just automatically assume if the day goes bad, I’m dropping out. To “save” my legs for the next day because that’s the excuse pros give a lot of the time. “Save your legs” for what? Lets be realistic for a minute. When you have the training and fitness to run mid 2:50′s off the bike and you’re walking there is little to no stress on the legs. Unless medical staff pulls me off the course, my ass is crossing the finish line. I’m no different then any “age grouper” – my first and only goal on the day is to finish as fast as I possible can whether that means winning the race or walking / running the marathon, I’m going to finish.
So whats the lesson to be learned when you do everything right in training and on race day and it still goes bad?
Forget it and move on.
Ill be in Lake Placid in 9 weeks ready to go again.
Thanks to everyone who helped me START my first pro race without a hitch.
This past weekend I travelled down to White Lake, NC for the White Lake Half Ironman. This was my third time racing here (I’m a SetUp Events Fan!), and after the weather kicking my butt in 2009 and 2011, I was determined not to let it happen again.
My decision to go to White Lake vs Texas 70.3 was made for a few reasons. When I left training camp in FL, I was still about 8 lbs over weight (as planned) and had just started any real running for the season (again, planned). I am not known for having a great first of the season race in the heat (as evident in my last 3 season openers!), so we decided I’d go back to White Lake, blow to bits in the heat, and then be ready to go for IM Texas.
With that said, I did a pretty serious 21 day heat acclimation protocol and came into the best shape of my life!
I was swimming life time bests in the pool (still a massive work in progress), riding better, and running my best paces. The 18 day training camp was basically worth about 6 weeks of training based off where I usually am fitness wise 8 weeks out from IM. That, coupled with perfect recovery with much needed help from Zonehealth omega’s and Normatec boots, put me in a spot I’ve never been in.
I flew down to NC with quiet confidence. I was fit, but have never raced well first time out of the gates. When I got in on Thursday it was 45 degrees and pouring rain, so I skipped my easy bike and run. I was still a little tired from the previous training block, and I figured it was a good call. Friday was much the same. I planned on getting an easy 30 min ride in but it was cold and raining, so I went to Denny’s early to get breakfast started. By Friday afternoon the pre Ironman feeling came into my legs. The feeling of just needing to walk around the hotel room! I was happy with the decision to call off the workouts.
Saturday morning rolled around and it was game time. Once at the race site they told us the swim was optional due to the 52 degree water. And by the way–There is no way it was 52. I’ve swam in 52 degree water. This was insanely cold. It took me about 10 minutes to get in the water and another 5 to where I could actually swim.
The wind was UP! WAY UP and the lake was rough. It was roughest swim I’ve ever done. Buoys were all over the place. The turn buoy was there and then all of a sudden it was gone. It was a complete snafu for me and I had the worst swim of my life. I was really bummed, as I’ve been working really hard and if just didn’t show.
Onto the bike. Goal was to ride around 270-280 watts. Which I did until the end where I had to coast a lot so I could pee. The ride was very uneventful. Just like the swim the wind was up and I was all over the road. The first 28 miles of the course trends downward. I averaged 269 watts at 23 mph, with a good position and a good wheel set up. The last 28 miles trend up. We had the wind for a few of those miles and I averaged 25 mph on 264 watts. With coasting to pee! I never felt great on the bike but I also never felt terrible. I was getting splits every 10 miles and they were always in my favor. I was pulling back between 10-30 seconds every 10. By mile 52 I was with the two leaders. I made a game time decision to sit about 30 second back and pee one more time, knowing where my run fitness was and that I really didn’t want to be running in first. I gathered myself and was ready to make it a foot race.
The three of use left transition within 20 seconds of each other and they took it out pretty quick. I went through miles one and two at 5:57 pace. Everything was lining up HR and pace wise, so I just went with the effort and was willing to wait and see how things shook out. By mile 2.5 I was in second running between 12-17 seconds off of first place. I continued to run between 6:00 and 6:05 feeling very good and in control. My HR was trending a little high but I felt fine and wasn’t going to let the race go. We were still dealing with the same headwind as the bike so I didn’t force the pace knowing that miles 10-12 would be mostly “downhill” and with a tail wind. The miles continued to click off. Miles 6-9 I was holding James to a 7-10 second gap. I had made my decision around mile 8. At mile 10 once back onto the main road I was going for broke until we finished. I was either going to win or blow up trying. But I was going to try. I’ve been working on being mentally tough and believing in myself for the past 6-9 months. I knew the next 5k was going to put it to the test. I needed to make those 3.5 weeks away from my family at training camp worth it.
I hit the mile 10 sign and just went. No more looking at the Garmin. No more worrying about HR or pace. It was about winning. I bridged the gap by mile 11 and just continued to lean on it. Once I made the catch I was all in. There is one small turn just before mile 12, I forced myself not to look back in fear that if he saw me look back he’s know I was just about to crack. Someone yelled out that I had 20 seconds. Music to my ears! But I couldn’t quit or slow down. This guy is a big timer in NC and had everyone screaming for him to bridge back up to me. I finally made it into the park and to the finish to cross the line in 4:09:56.
I’m still considering IM Texas my first real “pro” race, but yesterday was a step in the right direction mentally for me. I learned a lot about myself down in Clermont and put it to good use yesterday.
Thanks to everyone who has been helping along the way.
Fuelbelt, which I used on the course and it worked flawlessly keeping me hydrated! Normatec, Zone, Rudy Project, Pearl Izumi, Brooks, Powerbar,and of course everyone at QT2. Bigger thanks to Jesse who sent me a text in the am that ran through my head all day. “Be at the front all day. No matter what.” Although I wasn’t there all day, I put forth my best effort and was able to cross the line there. Of course my wife Courtney who goes above and beyond everyday so we can one day cross the finish line of an IM dropping the “1′s”
Thanks to Set Up Events for putting on, once again, a fun, safe, and well-run Half Ironman!
Next up: One more big block of training for IM Texas.
This past weekend (March 9th) Courtney and I headed down for the TT Bike Fit annual St Paddy’s day indoor TT.
Backing up to about Tuesday afternoon, while I was adding up all the training miles from camp vs what was planned for this block, I realized that I was able to take an easy week post camp,which worked out well as I was roughed up! (You’re welcome Doug) I saw a post on FB from Lisbeth about the indoor TT. I emailed the BossMan and asked if he thought it was a good idea, he agreed and I signed myself up. Friday afternoon rolled around and I realized I was still pretty deep into the hole that I had dug myself into while in FL, so I was a little nervous about how Saturday would play out. Nothing like having everyone see you go out to hard and blow up
Saturday morning arrived and that means one thing before an indoor TT. Caffeine loading! When used properly and not as an everyday crutch, caffeine is a very powerful drug. Yes, I said it, drug!
I rolled over to the local Starbucks and got myself a large ice coffee and slowly began the only good thing about indoor TT’s!
We got to Todd and Lisbeth’s shop around 9:30, hung out for a bit, watched a few heats and then I started my warm up. I knew within a few minutes that the legs were not going to be there, but I had talked myself into a pretty good place mentally about 15 minutes before we started the race. A few minutes later I downed a Double Latte Power gel and finished with the pre set computrainer warm up and calibration!
Next thing I know I am going full gas. My game plan was to build to my goal avg power by the five minute mark. Hold till seven minutes and then start emptying the tank till 14 minutes and then go for broke until I puked or finished. Hoping the latter came first.
I could really feel the “dullness” in my legs from the 18 days and over 1,000 miles we rode down in FL. The best I could come up with for the day was 327 watts with an avg HR of 181. That puts me about 4 beats low on the avg HR based on all the other indoor TT’s I’ve done. 4 beats is about 12 watts, which would make more sense based off some of the TT’s we did in FL.
Either way I was really happy about just getting in a very solid effort, seeing some friends on the Fuel Belt race team who I don’t get to see often and help a great cause, all the money collected went to the Blazeman Foundation.
What better way to spend a Saturday?
I’ve included video taken by the other boss to help liven up this site!