First off let me catch you all up on where I am this weekend. Yesterday was Saturday May 28th (My 25th Birthday…A QUARTER OF A CENTURY!) and I am in none other than the beautiful Lake Placid, NY with a bunch of good buddies. Instead of the usual hotel/motel I am staying in a lovely townhouse that is right on the bike and run course as you head out of town. It’s a perfect place to make camp for a long weekend. Since I somewhat tired myself out last weekend at the Triple T, I am on a semi rest/recovery week which makes this trip very lovely as I have no specific objectives to meet in terms of training. I can ride as long as I want to, go for a little jog if I feel like it…you know, just do as much as I feel like. Yesterday I headed out with a couple buddies for a loop of the Ironman bike course and boy was I surprised at just how tired my legs actually were from last weekend. During this past week I went out for a couple 1 hour easy rides and everything felt just fine. However, the 3+ hours and significant climbing that the Lake Placid loop offers really exhausted the legs and had them pretty well cooked. So anyway that brings me to the know. It’s almost 6:30 AM on Saturday May 28th. As usual everyone else is still in bed while I am awake and moving around. I’ve got a really good cup of “Jamacian me Crazy by Finger Lakes Roasters” coffee by my side courtesy of Ms. Kim Ammon who brought it from home, its really tasty! (I just have to add that Kim just came downstairs after having woken up and just asked me if the contacts that were in the bathroom were mine. I said “yep they are mine” and she goes “sh%*”…looks like she somehow managed to fit my contacts into her very own eyes..I don’ think I have ever heard of that happening before, I am actually quite impressed! Update: 1:08PM Just got back from a nice little morning workout here in Placid. Really nothing like starting the day off with a bike ride in the scenic Adirondack Mountains. I took it out for about 2 hours in super easy recovery mode and then once I was on the climb to Wilmington I started to push the pedals a bit. Since I had no real schedule to keep I decided to climb at least part of the toll road to the top of Whiteface. I made it to the toll booths (I have a picture on my iPhone to prove it) and I figured I’d just do the whole thing.
Well the wonderful toll guards came out and informed me that since I was a cyclist I must pay $6 dollars to subect myself to 4 more miles of 8% and higher grades of climbing. Nothing like penalizing the fit and healthy of our country. Wtf is this anyways a tax on being in shape or trying to get in shape? Ok ok..I understand that they must take in money to maintain the roads, but common people, NYS spends enough money on other retarded stuff…let the cyclist climb a gosh darn hill if they want to! So I played the “its my birthday card”…I said it something like, boy Im having a great birthday climbing all these wonderful hills…BUT NO DICE, the bi$%* wasn’t having it. Please excuse my language but it really ticked me off. So down I went at about Mach 5..well not really because I was stuck behind a couple cars who were moving quite slowly. I made my way back to town and eventually to out townhouse. Quickly changed my clothing, got some water and headed out for an easy 4 mile run. Just a recovery run at a super slow (undisclosed to the public speed), It would shock and amaze most people the speed I run my recovery runs at. In the comments section you can post your guesses. No QT2 people are allowed to participate in this game because it would basically be cheating for you. That leaves me where I am at right now..about to prepare a big salad, then maybe hit up Starbucks and read my latest book purchase “Im Here to Win” by Macca. A must read for all triathletes!
Alright then! Let’s get down to business. Here is something that you all might actually find interesting and want to read. Last weekend myself and three of my good friends (Mike C., Don and Ken) headed down to Southern Ohio (Portsmouth – Shawee State Park) for the American Triple T. This is a stage race that includes four races in three days. I went into the race weekend with no real expectation as to how my body would react. I had a decent base of training under my belt but I just didn’t know how it was all going to go down since after 2 days of racing the third and final day (Sunday) was to include a half iron distance race on a significantly hilly course.
Some say that this race is harder than an Ironman, however I would beg to differ. They are not really comparable in that an Ironman is 8-12 hours (for most people) of time on your feet. That is pretty much double the time you spend on your feet during a 1/2. The simple fact that you are on your feet for that long of a time is signifigant. The amount of fatigue and muscular damage that occurs from hours 4-12 of the Ironman is so much more intense that the first 4 hours of the race or during a 1/2 since during this time you are still relatively “fresh” and have proper glycogen stores. I believe that as these stores are exhausted and you become more and more fatigued the damage that is being done is essentially multiplied at a significantly faster rate. Therefore the simple fact that you are still racing above and beyond 5 hours does a lot more damage that just racing 3 days in a row. During the 3 days you have time to get off your feet, refuel, hydrate, etc… With that said a stage race poses its own unique set of problems since you have to do so much preparation and restoration during those 3 days to ensure that you are adequately fueled and rested for the next race. Especially on Day 2 when you have a hilly Olympic distance race at 7:30 AM and then another equally hilly and challenging Olympic race at 3PM. The people who can race, then get off their feet and recover the quickest will not only have a good afternoon race but they will be setting themselves up to have the best possible half Iron race on Sunday.
Moving along; here is a summary of the races in the order they occurred:
Friday Evening Prologue Super Sprint : (22:44 – 20th OA)
This was a fast paced super sprint consisting of an approximate 300 yard swim, 4ish mile bike, and 1 mile run. It was balls to the wall from the get go. The swim was fast and furious, I ended up going 4:26, good enough for 19th overall. After that a quick transition led to the bike leg which began with a short out flat section and a quick 180 turn. After that it was flat for about 1/2 a mile before the big hill. The hill was probably three quarters to a full mile. I charged up the hill never sitting down. Thinking back I think I could have dropped my gearing to one more harder gear and really cranked. Instead I felt I left a little in reserve, but it didn’t matter to much since I was going pretty hard as it was. I ended up backing off a bit as I made another 180 turn at the top of the hill. Once that was done it was time to fly down the hill. Luckily due to my seeding (80th, based on my best 1/2 IM performance) I had separated myself during the swim and the hill portion of the bike. As I went down the hill I didn’t have anyone around me so I could really tuck and go fast (within reason). I navigated the hill safely and jumped off my bike ready to sprint a mile. The first part of the run really surprised me in its difficulty. Looking back you can see that the first quarter of a mile is all uphill, something I didn’t really notice since its very slight. Well I definitely felt it in my legs since I was basically red-lining. Once I got over the initial hit to the system I settled in and started shuffling my feet at a high cadence. I hit the turn around feeling good and started to mash it on the way home which was all downhill. I ended up clocking a 5:48 (good enough for 18th overall in the run). I hit the finish line and was GASPING FOR AIR! I literally had to take the tight tri tank top off because it felt like it was restricting air flow. I really went pretty hard and could feel it. I remember that feeling and my only thought was “Damn, this is going to be a long weekend if I feel like that every race”. Luckily I made it through and felt that I got stronger each time! After the race we hung around the finish line for a while, met some people, put our legs in the cool lake, and then road our bikes back up the gigantic hill to our cabin. After another feeding most of us (except the Canadians) were ready for bed. I think the Canadians stayed up and drank like 15 beers a piece…then they proceeded to kick ass the next day…they are a different breed 🙂 I slept ok on Friday night but not great. Anyways we were all up around 5am and the day began. Two races were ahead of us:
Saturday – Olympic # 1 (2:19 – 22nd Overall – 19:45 swim, 1:14 bike – 25 miles & 43:13 run – 6.55 miles)
This was a pretty good race for me. My good friend Mike Corona usually passes me on the bike in just about everything race. However, as I started a little before him due to the TT format I never saw him go by me. This alone told me two things. I was riding pretty good and Mike was saving himself for the races that remained. Mike ended up having a solid AM race and it showed through when he negative split his two races that day. He ended up going even faster in the PM race. This goes to show you how proper pacing can lead to excellent results. So as I came into T2 i knew I was moving right along and off the bike on the run I was still feel very good and the Heart Rate backed it up. This was the first race on the 6.55 mile run course that we would all be traversing for the remaining races. 1 more time during the 2nd Olympic and twice during the half iron on Sunday. I have got to say that I absolutely loved the run course! It was like being back home in Mendon Ponds. Lots of climbing for the first 3 miles and then basically a huge down hill all the way back to transition. It provided lots of opportunities to really go after the downhills and pick up huge chunks of time. After the race I was feeling good but definitely was thinking in the back of my head that I might have overcooked it a bit to much and it might come back to haunt me. Maybe not on the PM Olympic, but on the half the next day. Only time would tell. Again we rode up the big hill and hit the cabin for a shower, food, and a little nap. Before we knew it we were on our way back down the hill for race #3 and the second of the day! What could be better!
Race #3: Olympic #2 (Bike, Swim Run – 2:25 – 15th Overall , 1:14 bike, 21:31 swim, 46:18 run)
Race #3 brought us all an out and back course that had great roads to ride on and a couple significant hills that were quite lengthy. Just like the AM Olympic if it was yet again another great bike course. This is truly a trademark of the Triple T event. The bike course are phenomenal! Mike and I started together in a TT format. I let him take off from me at the start as its not a good plan for me to be chasing him right from the get go. At that point in time that could have only led to a disastrous run. He knows that, I know that. The bike moved right along and before I knew it I was back on the 6.55 mile trail run. I took it out a littler conservative and pretty much stayed their for the rest of the race. I ran within myself and ended up catching up to Mike with about 2 miles to go. From their I ran it in and quickly began refueling in preparation for the half on Sunday. It was definitely a little difficult to get the food down on Saturday afternoon. I had essentially been stuffing myself since Thursday morning. I decided on less volume and more caloric dense food. Got that stuff down the hatch and tried to fall asleep. However sleep did not want to come on Saturday night. I was really hot and uncomfortable in my bed, I think I could hear some snoring from one of my roommates and was just not able to drift into a nice peaceful sleep. I ended up sitting and talking to Canadian Mike C (a very very fast dude who finished 6th Overall and who is probably the most analytical dude in the world, he looked at everything for every race that he did…he was like a walking encylopedia…whatever he is doing he is doing it right because HE’S FAST) Anyway, I chatted a little bit, drank some more water and then went back to lying in my bed staring at the ceiling. I think I ultimately ended up getting like 4-4.5 hours of actual sleep. This only enhanced my skepticism of how my body would react during the half on Sunday. I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to bike at a sustainable race pace, or if I was going to hit the run and absolutely implode. If nothing else, racing the TTT really taught me a lot about my body and where my fitness was at. Never the less were were all up around 4:30 – 5am getting ready to get to transition and begin the half iron at 7am sharp.
Race #4 Half Iron (5:10 – 11th Overall, 29:16 swim – 2:59 bike – 1:39 run)
As expected at about 10 min before race time their was not a soul near the water. That’s just how it goes in this type of race. Everyone is pretty fatigued and putting off the fact that they have 70.3 mile left. Its funny to see this because in most every other triathlon race (with all type A people) transitions are usually filled to the brim 3 hours before race time, no matter when the race is set to begin…its just the nature of triathletes. Well eventually everyone got settled in and the race began. Since no one really cared about proper seeding anymore Mike Corona and I started the swim together. Now here is the funny thing (Mike talks about this on his blog to..which you can find–> here). So Mike and I take off on the swim and as we exit the first loop I see that to my left, stroke for stroke, is none other than Mr Corona for himself, literally right next to me. I didn’t say anything that time, just continued on the 2nd loop thinking how funny that was. Again on the second loop I didn’t see Mike at all during the main portion of the swim but without fail right as we exited the water I turned to my right and there was Mike. We literally swam the exact same time! I’ve never seen that before. I wasted no time and high tailed it to transition. I was in and out pretty quickly and before I knew it I was rolling along on my bike. About 15 minutes in Mike caught up to me and proceeded to leave me in the dust 🙂 The rest of the bike ride went really well. Not only was the scenery outstandingly beautiful but the ride got better for me as it went on. During the first loop about 4 people were around me the whole time. At the beginning of the second loop the 4 others were still around, however at the first hill I began to separate from them. I wasn’t trying to drop them or anything but as the second loop continued I felt stronger and stronger. If nothing else I knew that I would at least have a respectable bike split and be within a couple of minutes of Mike, which meant that I would be chasing him as usual. I was happy to see that as I entered T2 Mike had just begun his run which meant he’d have like 3-4 minutes on me. I took the first loop of the run course very conservative staying in a relatively low HR (more or less my Ironman HR). I managed the uphills and really worked the downhills, but was still staying conservative and eating as many clif bloks as possible. Instead of spacing my clif bloks out every 2 miles or 15 minutes I began to eat them when I wanted them whether that be every mile or every 3 miles. So at the beginning I had gone through about 3 blocks in the first 5 miles. Looking back this was a good strategy for me and for this event in particular simply due to the fact that it was a whole weekend event and fatigue was growing by the minute. At each turnaround I saw Mike, who was running exceptionally well as I really wasn’t putting much time into him. However, on the second loop I started to open it up a little. My heart rate was responding well and slowly began creeping up into a tempo pace. I hit the 3/4 mark of the half marathon and saw that I had closed on Mike a bit, I was feeling very good at the time so as I passed him I just gave him a big shit eating grin. Just ask him, he’ll tell you. 🙂 I ended up catching up to Mike with about 2-3 miles to go. I really worked the downhills on the way home and came into the finish line a happy man having negative split both the bike and run loops. I ended up running the Olympics and Half at run paces of 6:30, 7:00, and 7:30 respectively. I really took a lot away from this half iron race because it was at the end of a long race weekend and my body responded VERY WELL. I had so much fun seeing all my old and new friends on the run course in particular. I would smile, give them a cheer, slap hands..all that good stuff. And even to the people who I didn’t know I was smiling and cheering them on. Everyone was just having such a good time. The TTT is such a cool event that really gives you a great test of fitness. To sum up the whole weekend I would say that:
The Triple T is held in an absolutely amazing location, we had stellar weather, awesome Mexican food, really neat cabins in the woods, I made some great new friends and had a blast with my three buddies that I went down their with, 4 grown men in 2 bunk beds. Mike and I will be racing as a team next year. And probably the best compliment an athlete can get was given to me by Mike while we were sitting in the lake after the last race and that was “you are fit” those three words mean a lot to an athlete. At least they meant a lot to me. Funny though a week later and after 56 miles of the IMLP loop I feel very very far away from being fit (more like fat and lazy)…but that will fix itself over the next few weeks….hopefully 🙂
TTT OVERALL RESULTS:
Me: 8th Solo Racer Overall with a time of 10:17
Mike: 10th Solo Racer Overall with a time of 10:26
Shout out to Base Performance sports supplements (Who just so happen to have a Memorial Day Sale going on through Monday)
When I back a product or service I do so because I am actually using the product/service and really like it. I will sometimes mention products that I think are cool and that I believe others will like as well. However their are certain products that I really really like, and for those I feel that a proper review for everyone to read is the greatest show of respect that I can provide. In regards to Base Performance I have nothing but good words about both their products and their people! Let me start by saying that Base Performance is a brain child of Chris Lieto and his brother Paul (I am sure Matt has some hand in it as well). Its no big surprise that I am a HUGE Chris Lieto fan. He was the first pro I actually followed as his racing really captured my attention (especially on the bike). Then when I raced my first Ironman 70.3 in Galveston last Spring I actually got to meet Chris and chat with him. It was an absolutely unbelievable experience and one that I can’t believe I had at my very first half ironman. With that said I must give you a very brief summary of my history with sports supplements. When I was in college I was pretty big into weight lifting and took a lot of supplement. I never took anything close to illegal, instead I took a combination of vitamins and other supplements that together created a toxic bomb. I ended up having some significant health issues that took a good deal of time to figure out. Ever since then I have been very hesitant to start taking any supplements. I have taken protein but that was it. No more glutamine, no more creatine, no more “extra” stuff. Sure I might have been missing out on some of their benefits but at least I knew everything in my system would be alright and return to normal. Well this brings me to Base Nutrition. After I did some research on what actually was included in their supplements I decided that I could begin to introduce them to my system with minimal risk of having any bad side effects. I have been using their Base Amino and Base Recovery Activator for the past month and I have only GREAT things to say. I really believe that just these two products have enhanced my ability to recover and rebound much more quickly than usual. This product review is in this race report because I feel that the best test for these products came at the Triple T. A stage race with 4 races in 3 days. Their is no better test of a persons ability to recover than to race at full speed 3 days in a row, having the longest of the races be on the final day. The Base products passed the test with flying colors. I didn’t know how I was going to feel or how I was going to perform at the 1/2 Iron on Sunday and I can honestly say that I felt awesome and was able to really push myself (I ended up negative splitting the second bike and second run loops during the race). Some might say that this was just due to my training base or whatever, but you know, I’d rather not take the chances. For me Base Performance supplements are going to be a staple in my triathlon training. Don’t take my word for it though, go to their site and try their product. I won’t put any guarantee’s out their but I really do believe that these products can be very beneficial to all types of athletes who engage in training at intense levels for sustained periods of time. The proof as they say is in the pudding. So do yourself a favor and give these products a shot. Tell them Turbeau sent you!
Alright, Turbeau the salesman is done. Please take my thoughts and opinions with a grain of salt as these are my own feelings. However, I share them because I really do believe in their product and I really do use it on a daily basis. For me I find them to be extremely beneficial and for that reason alone I want to spread the word and give other people a change to at least try them out. With that said I will give a final “Thank You” shoutout to Paul Lieto and the rest of the crew who make the Base Performance Team work. I think you guys have a QUALITY product and are doing a great job of promoting and getting the word out. The people at Base really take customer service seriously and I can personally attest to this as I have had some questions that caused me to email Paul, both in regards to their supplements and some other site login issues. In each occasion Paul has gotten back to me very quickly and solved my problem. In my books great customer service is IMPERATIVE to a successful business. I am really happy to be a part of the Base Performance Team. Keep up the great work!