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2015 Ironman Florida 70.3 – Race Review

Posted by Ed Crossman in Nutrition, Race Review, Triathlon

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There just are no easy races. This was the real kick off to the season with my first A race. It turned ugly.

Pre-race

This year is my year for speed. I want to get faster at everything, especially some shorter distance races. I’ve been riding most all of winter, starting around the end of December and I have been ramping up my run fitness. Leading into this race I set PRs at 5k, 10k, 13.1, and Olympic distances.

Michelle and I took Friday off work and drove down to Haines City fairly early on Friday which was nice and more relaxing than usual. We met up with Ted and family to head over to registration. I got my race day wheels on and went off on a easy bike ride. I hadn’t ridden a disc wheel in a long time and it was fast…more on that later.

The next day on Saturday we went for a little warm up swim and jog. The water was warm, which meant probably no wet suit. So after a quick practice swim and cry I was left with just hopes of having a decent enough swim. I actually had a little trick in my pocket. The week prior to the race I had a swim session with the great Sam Morgan, one of our coaches. He took some video, had me do drills and broke down exactly what was holding me back from speeding up to mediocrity at swimming…and even threw in some tips on how to get fast! If you are wanting to get faster, not sure your form is on par I would highly recommend setting something up with Sam…well worth it for a one-on-one.

So no issues in the days leading up to the race. Morning of we made Pancakes in our room, it was super early so no pictures. We made it to Lake Eva around 5am, found a parking spot at a bank and made our way into transition. Somehow I got All World Athlete status so I had a rack real close to bike out. The other cool thing about AWA status is that everyone around me has setup transition before. So bikes were in the right spots and there wasn’t overflowing excessive transition areas. I found Michelle and we went to the team tent to wait for the start.

I went down to watch Michelle start the relay in the first wave and went back to the tent and downed my EFS pre-race. I saw Chris Pratt in the tent next to us. He was racing with a former Marine. I wished them a good race and went out to the swim start.

Swim

I don’t know what happened but I was a swimming machine. I didn’t think it was very crowed at the start, but it got a little crowded at the turns (6 of them). I kept aggressive in the corners and worked my technique, just as Sam suggested. I knew towards the end this was a fairly good swim and when I finally stood up I saw a 39 on my watch for the first time…ever. I almost did a mic drop and stopped the race right there…but I kept going.

The transition area was long and my bike was at the end. Which was way better than the other way around. I popped on my shoes and helmet…then took off my swim skin, doh…and was off on the bike.

Swim: 39:39 (PR)

Bike

Now my race starts. I was in one of the later waves so there were people everywhere. I just hammered it…maybe a bit too much to start…but flying past people was great. My plan was to maintain around 250-255watts. I knew the first part was faster than the second, and I could probably bank some speed so I let myself go a bit above my planned wattage. I was up around 265w 10 miles in and eased it to about 260 at the halfway point. My heart rate was a bit higher than expected. It was hovering in the higher 160s, I think this was my unravelling. Especially on hot days, it is key to keep the HR low. For the second half of the bike I did lower the wattage and averaged around 249…but my speed was actually almost identical. I think we did have a little wind in our favor on the second half.

Much like the swim, there are a lot of turns. Too many. But I have been riding outside a lot and am very confident with my bike handling skills. I was passing a lot of people through the turns and as well as just out of the turns. My coach always says fast bike splits are about doing a lot of little things right. Same with hitting the hills. I spotted a lot of people getting out of the saddle on climbs that didn’t need it. I see this a lot when people hammer an uphill and coast on the downhill. Not in a race. Hammer a steady effort especially leading up to a hill, put a little higher effort on the uphill, be sure to shift to a harder gear almost at the top, then hammer a steady high cadence effort through the downhill.

I think I hit my nutrition well. I took down about 500-600cals of EFS liquid shot, 200-300cals of efs, lots of water, and 4 caffeinated salt tabs. My legs were a little fatigued but nothing excessive. I jumped off my bike, slapped on my shoes, grabbed my race belt looped around my visor, got some sun screen, and was off.

Bike: 2:22:54 (PR)
Normalized Power: 256w (265 1st half v 247 2nd half)
Average Power: 251w (260 vs. 241)

Run

I started fairly confident in the run, although my HR monitor was not reading on my Garmin. My legs felt tired, but were loosening up, my gut was fine, and I was taking down cals and salt. I could not pee on the bike (tried twice) so I went around mile 2. I finished the first of 3 loops in 33 minutes. I’ll take that.

Then things got ugly. My gut got angry. I could feel the sun baking me, my internal temp was boiling over and my HR would not shut up! There are 2 fairly steep hills on the first section of the loop and I was walking on the first hill. Until I got the tap from Ted, who made me run…at a reasonable pace. This was a life saver, just chatting for a bit pacing me out. Towards the end of the second hill Ted took off and I tried to just keep it moving to the next aid station.

I did take an extended stop to get my HR down, get some salt and calories in and prep for a better lap 3. It was a little better but not by much. I jogged out the last half mile and crossed the finish.

Run: 1:54:55

It was a 5:02 effort. My goal was not to die, which was only about 10% achieved. I really wanted a solid time and I set myself up for it, I just couldn’t finish it off. But I have a plan for the rest of the year and this was a great data point.

So it time to recover, race a bunch of shorter distances races through June, then July starts the journey to 2016 Worlds in Australia. I want to go, I will go, and I have plenty of time to get to it.

The Hunger Bomb

Posted by Ed Crossman in General, Nutrition, Training

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Training has been ramping up in preparation for the first race of the season. This means long bikes, hard runs, and of course a few swims.

What this also means is a heavy dose of some hunger bombs. I can usually get through a 3 hour ride on the weekend and mow down a good sized dinner. Then continue like normal for a few days. But every so often, it hits. That feeling of constantly being calorie deficient and all I can do is eat!

I have found different intensities of hunger bombs.

Code Red Hunger Bomb

This is the most intense feeling of hunger. It is experienced by some shaking limbs and intense hunger feelings. Food must immediately be consumed…lots of food.

Code Orange Hunger Bomb

This is much less intense than code red and comes with no limb shakes. It is just a constant hunger feeling. Snacking is not the cure! It is a start. Snack immediately and make plans for more sustainable food.

Code Green Hunger Bomb

This is more mental than anything. It is the feeling of, I just burned x,xxx calories and need to eat! You have your pick of dish, go wild.

Feeding the beast as much as you like is great in this part of the season. You need some mass to build better muscles, and the extra weight makes training a bit harder. But once a race gets close it’s cutting time and nutrition should be more closely monitored to avoid the hunger bombs.

boom!

Is this thing still on?

Posted by Ed Crossman in General, Triathlon

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So it has been a while, a long while. A lot has gone on…

  • Sub 5 Half Iron at Muncie
  • Finished IM Louisville, my first full
  • Lots of learning on recovery and work/triathlon balance

I think I will take my time and craft a few posts to describe where I am at. I think it will be fun to reflect.

One thing I know for sure…working for 14 days straight without running does not set you up for a good run race.

More later.

ED

REV3 Age Group Championship Knoxville Race Report – Ed

Posted by Ed Crossman in Race Review, Triathlon

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This last weekend Michelle and I got to race the Age Group Championship for REV3 in Knoxville. This is the first year for the Age Group Championship and we thought it would be fun to do…it was mostly fun.

If you are not familiar with the REV3 AG Championship they used races from last year to assign points. Points were based on how well you finished with the lowest score going to the winner and then it goes up from there. You must have completed 2 races to qualify and they only invited a certain number of participants that qualified. If someone did not sign up they rolled it down to the next person.

Since racers could qualify with both Olympic and Half distance races REV3 made this a wonky distance. It was a 1.2 mile swim, 40 mile bike, and a 9.8 mile run. It proved to be wonky indeed. Do I race it as a long Olympic or a short Half.

Pre-Race

Leading up to the race I was eating well and sticking to the training plan. I felt strong and went through my short taper with no real glitches. Just 2 missed workouts due to some travel. We had some local italian the night before and got to sleep early.

I woke up around 4:45, got dressed, put my timing chip on (always one of the first things I do), and started some pancakes. Since the hotel breakfast is not started we try to bring our grill and make our own. We were out the door by 5:15 and walking to transition.

Everything was set up at transition, tires pumped, towel down, stuff organized, emptied out stomach, and before we knew it we were both in our wet suits walking the quarter mile to the swim start. We had our pre-race juice (1 scoop EFS pre-race, 1 scoop EFS, 12oz Poweraid zero). We drank those on the way.

Swim

The swim went a bit up stream at first but then turned around and most would be downstream. The temperature was 68 race morning so it was delightfully refreshing. I had my full sleeve wet suit for this one.

We watched the pros start and judas they can fly through the water. Soon after my wave was in the water for our mass start.

This swim went very well. It was not crowded, and when you did get close to someone they moved. That was different. I felt strong and stayed somewhat straight in line with the buoys.

Time: 38 minutes – PR for the distance.

Bike

There was a bit of a jog to the transition area from swim out, but it was no big deal. In no time I was off with my shoes on, helmet strapped, nutrition loaded, and glasses on.

The bike course was hilly, and I knew it going in. However I didn’t fully comprehend how close together the hills were and how little respite I would have. I had a range of power in mind to hit, but I was going to let the day let me pick the final number.

Heading out on the bike we jumped onto an on ramp, crossed the river and started on the 36 miles of 2 track country roads. They were well maintained and still open to cars. But all the intersections were blocked off by police.

The first real climb didn’t come until mile 7 but was followed by a quick descent. Which was then followed by another climb, followed by a quick descent…followed by a climb…and on, and on, and on. The most significant climbing seemed to be around mile 32. At that point I knew my legs were shot. My quads were burning and it was hard to maintain any kind of power.

I made sure I fueled up on the bike. My legs were burning which meant I was burning fuel. I cleared one bottle of liquid shot, 20 oz EFS, and another 20oz of water. I would have liked to drink more, but it was a cool hilly day, not the best conditions to be grabbing bottles. I still felt ok for nutrition.

The weird part of this race is that there was an Olympic and Half going on at the same time, on the same course. At mile 26 I met up with the Olympic athletes. Which meant more people to pass.

With 2 miles to go and the river in sight we hit the steepest climb yet. Luckily it was short, but I could tell it was breaking all the cyclists around me. I had to stand to use some body weight to turn the cranks.

Time: 1:58, Ave 20+mph…meh

Run

Coming off the bike my legs were burning. I spent an extra few seconds on the ground putting on my shoes. I think it helped a little. At least for motivation.

I hit my first mile time. I was keeping my cadence as high as I could knowing that would help ease the load on my legs. It didn’t help for too long. My cadence dropped a bit and so did my speed.

I did get to see the pros as they were finishing up their run course. They were running fast. This was one of my favorite parts of REV3 races, but the pro race series is going away so I will not get to enjoy it at REV3 again.

Just past the olympic turn around we jumped onto a paved trail. I knew the running hills were going to start. We got a little warm up to get our attention with a short hill. But then you came around to a beast of a mountain. An athlete in front of me put it best…”F@#k”. It was tough, but I kept my feet moving and fired from what was left of my glutes.

The course leveled off for a bit and we headed into a neighborhood for a decent descent right into hill 2. Just as tough as the first and at this point my legs are screaming ready to quit. I was having none of that and fought through as tough as I could.

I held a steady grimace on my face the whole way back. I am not sure how I kept running, my quads were on fire. I slogged along as fast as I could knowing I needed to finish the whole thing quickly. Coming back through the Olympic turn around was reassuring, then heading back up the long steady uphill road to the transition area was nice. Knowing there was only a short uphill to the finish chute kept me going. I emptied the tank on the way up to the finish and crossed the line exhausted…barely standing…legs still on fire with pain.

Garmin time – 1:17

Post Race

After about 5 minutes in a chair I hobbled up to my feet and I was able to check my times. Unfortunately they were having issues with their timing and it said I finished 5th in my age group. Later it turns out I finished 6th, just off their 5 person podium. Bummer. Total time was 3:57

I hobbled back to transition to get my Ultragen and my quads started cramping up on the downhill walk. What more could I ask for, my body was drained.

Would I do it again, probably not. It is a weird distance, I would have much rather prepped for a Half or an Olympic. It’s just weird, fun, but weird.

Pictures to come.

 

REV3 Anderson South Carolina Olympic Review

Posted by Ed Crossman in Race Review, Triathlon

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With the last race of the season a month away it was a great time to get a good race in. Anderson South Carolina is only a 1.5 hour drive from our new place in Atlanta and so it was a perfect place to test the training.

I really wanted to see my progress at this race. I have been hitting the run really hard and maintaining my bike. I have also discovered a new pace when swimming. I now have a tempo-ish pace…which is better than my other do not die speed.

Pre-Race

We arrived the day before around 3pm and were able to get checked-in and scout our T2 area. T1 was a few miles up the road so we drove up and checked our bikes. This course sports the fun ‘clean’ transition at T1, meaning everything you leave behind must be bagged up. The volunteers drive everything over to T2 for pickup (they actually had mine dropped off at my bike). I do not mind it much at all.

Race morning we woke up kind of late, I slept in an extra 15 minutes which is super unusual. I made some pancakes, we ate, we clothed, and were out the door on time. T2 was set first and went quick. When we jumped over to the shuttle there was a huge line, however the volunteer called us up as racers got priority over spectators. 🙂 Sweet. We made it to T1 in plenty of time and we were watching the starting waves in no time. Great pre-race!

Swim

In no time I was suited up in my sleeveless wet suit and at the calm waters edge. The swim started fairly crowed. There was a lot of bumping and I went out too fast. My so called tempo-ish pace transformed into a sprint and I was out of breath. I tried for a few meters to keep pushing but still trying to calm my breathing. About 60% through the swim I caught my stride and was grooving through.

The swim is in a lake and has you circle around a peninsula, so you are constantly swimming left. There were quite a few back strokers going sideways in this course.  I had to move a few out of my way. Also a breast stroker was keeping pace with me. I still need to work on my swim.

Time 29 minutes…right on pace.

Bike

I had heard mixed stories about the bike course. It was hilly, it was helly, it was hellacious! But I had seen previous bike splits about an hour so it couldn’t be too bad. Well it was slightly more hilly than I wanted. The first 5 miles was a net up hill with nothing too steep. The middle of the course sported a few fairly steep small ring hills. I kept pushing and was passing a lot of cyclist. Especially some of the downhills. I hit 42mph max and averaged upper 30’s in a few spots. There was plenty of intersection control by the police, but we were still on open roads so there were still a few cars on the loose.

Around mile 16 it almost ended, my left calf cramped massively. A car was on the course and was pacing behind some riders…riders I needed to pass. I slipped around the car and waved my arm out as I took off. Then bam…cramp. I stopped pedaling to stretch it and work it out. It took almost a mile to work it out to get back to speed. I downed another salt pill, chugged some Skratch, and gulped some more of my gel. It worked as the cramp did not return.

One other odd thing that has never happened in a race before is someone was drafting off me for about 4 miles towards the start. I kept glancing back and they were riding real close to my rear tire. I slowed down, sped up, swerved to the left, to the right, he just kept drafting. I had no clue what to do. So I pressed on and eventually I was alone.

Time 1:07 – Great considering the hills (~1,500ft of climbing) and the cramp.

Run

The run sucked. Actually I should clarify and say I sucked during the run. I started with a little side stitch from the start and just past mile 2 it was amplifying. I needed to control it. Luckily I was able to control it for the second half of the run after a gel and salvage my race. And it turns out that last kick bumped me to the age group podium.

The course itself is hilly throughout. A lot of long uphills and downhills. Plenty of aid stations. The temperature was rising slightly but I was still able to cool my core temp.

Just before mile 3 another racer passed by and I noticed his age group was the same as mine. Up until then I hardly noticed anyone’s age group. He had been trailing behind me for a few but my side stitch was having the better of me and he overtook me. I knew I had to stay on his heels or else it would be a lot hard to overtake him later.

I paced behind him for almost a mile before we hit the most significant uphill of the course around mile 4. The gel was kicking in and my side stitch was subsiding and I felt good enough to push a bit at the start of the hill, so I did. I passed the other racer and I was able to keep a pretty good clip through the hill and was able to maintain a pace close to what I had planned for the whole run.

As the finish line was in sight I checked back and saw a lot of space behind me. I still found the energy to give it one last sprint at the end.

Time 44:30 – A good effort.

Overall – 2:24

I was happy with my time, and once I checked the results I was happier. As usual I was not first on the list, but I was second. The first place guy ended up with 1st overall which means that the age group 1st place went to me…I’ll take it every day.

So with that, I was first in my age group, and it came down to some racing at the end of the run. That’s what makes it all fun. I had a great chat with the other age grouper afterwards and he had the same battle rolling through his mind. He got 2nd in the AG and got to the podium as well.

REV3 Anderson 2013 was a great race, 10/10, well supported, well organized, would race again.

Ed

 

Race Report – 2013 IM Steelhead 70.3

Posted by Ed Crossman in Race Review, Triathlon

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2013 Steelhead Review

I signed up for this race because it promised fast flat rides and a point to point swim with the current. The description was not far from the truth.

Pre-race

We flew into Chicago the Thursday before the race and drove out to the hotel on Friday. We stayed about 30 miles from the starting line. We checked in and dropped off the bike by Sat and were fully carb loaded by Sat night.

The morning plan was to hit up an IHOP and head to the race. However IHOP had different plans. We were greeted by the staff telling us the place was closed until 6am…too late. So plan B turned into McDonalds. Unfortunate yes, but we needed calories!

A quick 2 burritos and a egg sandwich later and I was setting up transition. I had everything set with plenty of time. I suited up half my wetsuit, grabbed my goggles, swim cap, pre-fuel drink and headed out for the 1 mile walk to swim start.

Swim

This was a point to point swim in Lake Michigan. It was my first beach start, and first swim in rough water. I have watched these swim starts in videos and it looks like everyone barrels out into the water, dives in, and swim like crazy through the waves.

It is nothing like that.

Everyone walked out through the shallow parts, which seemed to last forever. I was somewhat sick of wadding through knee deep water and dove into a wave to start swimming.

I was awful at swimming in waves. I came up for breath at the complete wrong time and caught a wave in my open mouth. It startled me a little and I stood up to catch my breath. I jumped back in and tried to get a rhythm. I was again thrown off by an unexpected wave, but I motored through to the first turn.

It was 8 yellow buoys followed by 8 more orange ones until the turn to shore. One straight shot that lasted forever. The waves were a little hard to adjust to but it was not too terrible. They did slow up the swim quite a bit and I missed out on my goal swim time.

Swim time was 46 minutes

PS, that with the current thing was a sham!

 Bike

A quick run through the narrow long transition area and I was switching to the bike. I took a deep breath and jumped off for the bike start.

I knew the bike would be flat and it delivered as promised. I felt great so I knew I could attack the bike.

My wave start was 4th to last, so there were plenty of athletes on the course already. I passed many many athletes on the bike. I was extra careful not to spend too much time in the draft zone, 4 bike lengths!

I powered through the first half and was greeted with some favorable winds and downhills on the return. Each time I looked down at the Garmin I was surprised at the speeds.

Bike time was 2:29!

Run

Transition was fast. My legs felt great. I was ready to rock this run.

I started out fast and I knew I should hold back. I am not sure if that was a wise decision or not, but I am still happy with the outcome.

The run had a few good hills mixed into the mostly flat/downhill terrain. There were two loops around a neighborhood and the old Maytag corporate campus. The aid stations were well stocked with plenty to drink/eat. It was a dream.

A few troubling things did happen on the run. At mile 9 my Enduralytes fell out of my pocket. That was not too bad. Around mile 9 my race belt came off. Luckily I was holding it so I just tucked it under my jersey. Then my ankle started to tingle with the feeling of a cramp…then my hamstring at mile 12.

I knew the cramps would be coming soon so I took off running hard. The last 3 miles I was gritting it out. It was really tough but I was holding it together. My training was paying off.

The run through the finisher chute was amazing. I was slapping hands and cheering like crazy as I tried to sprint it out. I crossed the line and it was all I could muster. I stopped completely exhausted.

Run time was 1:44.

In summary

This explains it all:

After IM Steelhead 70.3

After IM Steelhead 70.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The race was great, 10/10, would race again!

2013 – Tri Waco Olympic Race Review

Posted by Ed Crossman in Bicycling, Running, Swimming, Triathlon

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So this was our first repeat race, however we did bump up the distance to an Olympic distance. It was tempting not to sign up for the 400 meter swim sprint, but this worked out well for prepping for Ironman Stealhead 70.3 next weekend.

 

Pre-Race

We love races that start outside of our hotel. And this was the perfect setup. We woke up nice and early, ate some peanut butter sandwiches and a banana and we were set. We brought all our gear down and were all done by 5:30am.

It is a nice feeling to sit down and relax knowing that transition is all taken care of. However we would find out later that someone decided to setup inbetween us, yes we setup right on the outside of the rack side by side.

Swim

I hate the swim, and this was no exception. The swim lane was pretty narrow and there was a lot of swimming over each other. After about 400 meters it kind of cleared up until each turn.

The swim was uneventful until about halfway through and a foot cramp popped up. There is not much to do but relax and flex my foot up. extending the toes out makes it a bit worse. I did have to flip on my back for a sec but the cramp was manageable afterwards.

I finished kicking hard and clocked a time of 34 minutes, my fastest time by 40 seconds.

Bike

I was pumped to have a Zipp disk and a 404 on the front for this race. It was 25.25 miles of really flat good roads. The shoulder had only a handful of bumps and holes, but overall a great course.

The ride out was slightly uphill, but it was super fast. After changing directions I found out it was because there was a pretty decent wind rolling through. The ride back was tough with the head wind. I kept pushing and pushing remembering my previous time trials and how my legs felt afterwards. I knew even though there was burning I could manage it through the run.

I passed quite a lot of people since y swim was a bit slow, and finished in 1:06.

Run

I was feeling good at this point and was ready to rock the run. I had forgot to bring a gel so I had to pack my soft flask I used on the bike in my back pocket. It was kind of awkward bouncing in my pocket, but it was definitely needed.

I had heard there were some sneaky hills about 2 miles in that we missed last year on the sprint. So I was slightly cautious with my pace, but still pushing it. And when we hit the hills I was glad I did save some energy. We did about 262 ft of climbing on the entire run, I think about 80% of it in the middle 2 miles.

These hills broke athletes. I saw many walking but I kept pushing uphill and downhill. There were a total of 3 hills, each a steep up and down, then we hit the same ones on the way back. After clearing the hills I felt much better and kept my pace up.

The final turn onto the finishing bridge was a giant relief. I pushed as hard as I could in the final few meters and barely mustered a quicker pace. The run time was 46 minutes…super happy.

This pic explains it all…it is my foot…too fast 🙂

My foot at tri waco

My foot at tri waco

Overall

Great race, great support, 10/10, would race again.

The Home Stretch

Posted by Ed Crossman in General, Training, Triathlon

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It is getting darn close to race day. To make things more complicated we have moved (just up the road) and seem to be booking more travel for work, Sounds like a great excuse to do nothing.

Wrong. Just the opposite. It stinks coming home tired from work, to a house full of boxes and then trying to squeeze a workout in. But it has to get done. Just swam a small 1600 yard set in the pool. This following my longest open water swim of 1.2 miles in some chop.

It is definitely worth it to push on through since working out does bring some calm into your life. Then I destroy everything when I race! I cannot wait.

2012 Year in Review – Tri Newbies

Posted by Michelle Crossman in Triathlon

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2012 was a big year for us. We moved for the first time as a couple to San Antonio and decided we were going to find a way to get exercise to finally be a regular part of our life. Ed started with strength training and I got into about 10 hours a week of yoga, but something was still missing.

We got this idea to do a Spartan Race from our friends and participated in the Spartan Sprint in Burnet, TX in May. It was fun and I was grateful to have a tall husband who could throw me over walls, but it still wasn’t quite what we were looking for on a regular basis.

On the drive home from the Spartan Race, I found a Super Sprint in June in Georgetown, TX. 200 m swim/7 mi bike/2 mi run. It was perfect for beginners and boy were we beginners to triathlon. Ed had to learn how to not drown for 200 m and me, it was a mess. Results posted below for your enjoyment and to always remind me how far I have come in a short time period:

  • 200 m swim – 1:54, ok I really haven’t actually improved too much on this.
  • 7:30 T1 transition (worst in the entire race)!! Included me peeling on bike shorts, putting on sunscreen and trying to leave transition without a helmet.
  • 28:26 bike (not too bad on a hybrid bike), 1:31 T2 and
  • 23:30 run (with camel bak on, knee started hurting .25 into run).

Despite being terrible, we decided we loved it! We signed up for a TriWaco Sprint in July and since it was our first open water swim, found some swim lessons from Bree Soileau with Alamo 180. We thought she was awesome and the Alamo 180 team sounded awesome, so we joined up (me officially, Ed unofficially until 2013). It has been the best decision we could have made to improve quickly and have a blast doing it.

After TriWaco, we finished the year with races almost every 3 weeks:

  • Alamo 180 Rock the Mock Sprint Tri – August
  • TriRock Sprint Tri – Labor Day
  • Kerrville Sprint Tri – Sept 30
  • Rock n’ Roll San Antonio – my 1st Half Marathon and Ed’s first Full Marathon – November
  • Palm Springs Olympic Tri – early Dec (Michelle only.. became obsessed with finishing my season with an Olympic. It was an awesome race!)
  • HelofaDu – Mid Dec

Even though we only did half a season technically, we loved it and we are really looking forward to this season. We’ve already started the year with Half Marathons in January and we are training for our first Half Ironman in Marble Falls at the end of April! I look forward to sharing our challenges, successes, and other hilarious stories.

Spin Classes are Good

Posted by Ed Crossman in Bicycling, Triathlon

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When travel starts to pick up and time away from the comfort of our home increases, spin classes are good. It is kind of nice that there are more and more spin specific studios popping up that make for great ride substitutes.

Today we needed to get in a solid 2 hours of biking. Unfortunately we are a few thousand miles from our bikes. So we found a studio and made the trip on a Sunday morning to a local studio in Burbank.

Of course we ran out of space in our luggage for our bike shoes. We had to make due with cages and running shoes. I also noticed that the more minimal shoes I grow into, the less comfortable they are on a spin bike. You definitely need support when riding a bike and my Brooks Pure Drifts are not made for that. Don’t worry, I survived.

It is also great to experience the different types of spin techniques advocated by the instructors. My usual Thursday class back home has us occasionally get out of the saddle for big hills. Today we started our second class out of the saddle for about 15 minutes. It was quite the workout.

So do not let a little travel get in the way of finding a great workout.