Patriot Half Iron Race Report

June 22nd, 2015 by David No comments »

The Patriot Half was used as preparation toward Ironman Mont Tremblant.  Going into the event, I understood this was a train-through race and should expect to suffer.  Well, I did suffer badly and ended up with my slowest ever 70.3 time on the fastest course I’ve ever competed on.  When it was all said and done, nutrition, typically a non-factor for me, is the likely cause of my blow-up.  Here is a closer look at each leg.

The Swim:  41:04   [nutrition:  1 gel and sport drink 20' prior to swim start]

Not a surprise here.  I have not been consistent in the pool this year.  I was hoping for ~40′ and it was close.  I actually had a good swim.  The morning offered me a chance to warm up in the water for about 15′, which felt great and gave me a boost of confidence.  After the w/u, I ate a gel and walked to the start.  It was a time trial start, which was fine.  I went out easy and found my groove, sighting every 8-10 strokes to stay on course.  Drafter when I could.  It was really an uneventful swim.  My calves started to cramp about 2/3rds in so I kicked less.

T1:  2:16

Nothing of interest to note.  I didn’t rush.  Everything went as planned.

Bike: 2:36  [nutrition:  1 gel at 45' in, 2nd gel at 1:40, 1 bottle of perform spread out evenly]PatriotHalfRack

The bike started out great.  I struggled to hold back the power.  The goal was to settle in for 15′ and target 80% of my LT, which is 208w.  The reality was an aW of 225 (not including zeros) for the first 28 miles with a split of 1:14 at an aP of 21.5 mph.  Looking back at my recent few years of triathlon, this was realistic output, if not low.  The bike was a two loop course and I entertained the idea of negative splitting the bike.  At that point, I felt great.  I had passed MANY athletes and nobody passed me, which is typical of a poor swimmer.  At the start of the second loop, I asked myself if I could negative split the bike.  This is where is all fell apart.  Within 5 miles, I went from feeling great, to feeling like I should slow down or I’ll never be able to run.  It was a weird feeling.  The leg muscles felt fine, it was more of an energy thing.  Any incline became a nightmare and I searched out opportunities to coast.  The end of this ride couldn’t come soon enough.  I dismounted the bike in a complete fog and barely able to shuffle my way to the rack…..  At the end of the ride I averaged 212 watts.  Here is a visual of the 5 mile splits [to come].

T2:  4:45  [nutrition 3 cliff shots]

At this point, I was crushed and contemplated calling it a day.  I was dizzy and had no energy.  I decided to sit and take in nutrition.  Slowly but surely I mustered up the mental energy to say “F” it and finish the race regardless if I had to walk.  So with that half pissed off and half confused mental state I started to put one foot in front of the other.

Run: 1:42  [nutrition:  pretzels and water every mile]

The first few miles were brutal.  I have never felt so sluggish.  People of all shapes and sizes were passing me, many in my AG.  Normally, this is a time where I shine.  I decided to use a trick from an ironman that worked for me, which was to eat pretzels slowly each mile.  I’m not sure if it was the T2 nutrition or the pretzels, but something clicked at miles 6ish and energy started to rush through my body.  My pace suddenly dropped from low 8s to low 7s.  While low 7s is still not my ideal pace, it felt good.  I started to pick off many people who passed me.  I actually had a strong finish kick over the last mile!

Overall:  5:06 with 76 place overall and 15th in my AG.

Link to my garmin bike file.

Link to my garmin run file.




Almost time to focus on Leadville

May 19th, 2014 by Patrik 1 comment »

It’s 2 weeks until Escape from Alcatraz 2014. Part of me is looking forward to not swimming anymore (not that i’ve been swimming much… 2-3 times per week for the past 6 weeks after 1 yr off). I don’t really want to stop running, but I do want to focus solely on the bike.

It’s been a long time since I focused on one discipline only – and that’s always been running. June 2. The focused road to Leadville starts.

I’m pretty happy where I am already. Having done the Belgian Waffle Ride – 134 miles, 11,000+ feet of climbing in under 9 hrs fairly unprepared, has me feeling pretty good about my long distance fitness at this point. 100 mile / 6 hr road rides aren’t much of a problem either.

Now I just need to develop a plan…

Spy Belgian Waffle Ride

April 24th, 2014 by Patrik No comments »

A few weeks ago I was connected with a guy for some Leadville advice. He mentioned he’s doing the Belgian Waffle Ride on April 27th. So as not to miss out – I went ahead and put my name on the wait list. Lo and behold – I’m in! 136 miles of road, dirt, rocks, water crossings, mud, sand and over 11,000 feet of climbing.

Getting in gave me nightmares. No really… the first night I kept waking up thinking what a crazy thing this was. I plan to ride my Specialized TriCross Elite. With 28mm Continental 4 Seasons tires.

Did I mention my longest ride ever was 112 miles? Should be a good time. The things we do for beer and waffles.

Leadville 2014 – I’m in!

March 10th, 2014 by Patrik 1 comment »

So… in addition to Escape from Alcatraz 2014, and a planned Ironman Mont Tremblant 2014 – I have gotten into the Leadville 100 MTB race via Lottery.

More later…

Escape from Alcatraz 2013

March 10th, 2014 by Patrik 4 comments »

About this time last year I raced Escape from Alcatraz for the first time. The date had been moved up a few months from June to the first weekend of March because San Francisco hosted the America’s Cup. I didn’t get a chance to write too much about this race because this site was down for quite a while.

I did race with my GoPro and made a video. Overall – the swim stunk. It was long and cold and choppy with huge swells. I didn’t enjoy it. Logistically, this race is tough too. Big city race. Early start. Bike dropoff. Then bus. Then boat… you don’t race until about 4 hours after you wake up. The bike and run are fun. Hilly on both. The run throws in some sand and stairs.

For whatever reason… I do plan to race again in 2014. This time in June!


Ironman Arizona 2012 – Race Report

November 20th, 2012 by Patrik 13 comments »



I am an Ironman – or so they tell me. I definitely heard Mike Reilly say it as I crossed the finish line. Do I feel different now, versus the day before? Well, I’m a heck of a lot more sore… I certainly feel proud to have completed the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, but like many first time events in your life, it’s blur of emotions, images, pain, highlights. It’s quite surreal really, if not for the constant burning in my quads, I could be led to believe that I only imagined the whole thing.

My First Ironman

I am 35 yrs old, married and a father of 2. I also work full time (albeit with a flexible schedule most months). 6’2″, 193lbs.

I have raced many sprint and olympic triathlons, and several half iron distance races since starting in 2008, so it was almost natural progression to try a full iron distance race at some point, right? I have, however never swam 2.4 miles. I have never biked 112 miles. And I have never ran a marathon.

I decided last year (2011) to volunteer for Ironman Arizona so that I could soak up the vibe and guarantee a spot for this years event. Signing up a year in advance isn’t typically my style, but, for better or worse, that’s what’s required to enter an “Ironman” brand race.

In the year since singing up I prepared for my first marathon, but got sick 2 weeks out, and didn’t race. I raced Oceanside 70.3 2012 (PR’d with a 4:54), and I raced the Orangeman Half (4th in AG). Between those two I did some mountain biking, and broke my upper left humerus which led to me basically doing nothing in July and most of August. It was definitely a setback in my 2012 IMAZ preparation. I missed about 8 weeks of swimming, 6 weeks of running and 3 weeks of cycling. I didn’t let it break my spirit though. Setbacks happen and I had no qualms about the race. Once I could, I picked up and regained my fitness as best I could.



With my taper week in full force, I had time to think about goals for the race. Number one priority was to start, then to finish, then to do the best I could during the race. Smile, have fun, and enjoy what I accomplished to get here, and what I will accomplish throughout the day. No matter what the day would bring, I’d set a personal best time – that’s the great thing about doing something for the first time. Having never run a marathon, I would set a marathon PR as well. As far as times go, I figured I’d swim about 1:20 based on pool times, 70.3 times, and the fact that my shoulder still isn’t 100%, I anticipated about 5:30 on the bike, and about 4:00 on the run. All in all, when asked, my goal was somewhere between a best case of 10:30 and what I thought would be a conservative 12 hours.


We drove to the race venue Thursday after my daughter got out of school. Once at the hotel, we settled in.
The plan was to take it easy until race day. Friday, I went to register, check out the vendors, and then back to the hotel to lounge. Saturday, I went back to drop of my bike and bike/run gear bags. My daughter also ran the Ironkids mile. Pretty sure she was the fastest 6 year old out there. Against the suggestions of a friend, we hiked up Hayden Hill to take in the view, and headed back to the hotel. Feet up, hydrate, and relaxing time. I went to bed at the same time as the kids (9pm) and fell asleep pretty easily. I was up at 4:30am (no alarms needed on race mornings!) and felt refreshed. Got a solid 7hrs of sleep.

Race morning I was feeling pretty good. Never had any anxiety or nerves going on. I knew the task at hand, and didn’t let the distances overwhelm me (though admittedly, months leading up to the race I couldn’t wrap my head around running 26.2 miles at all – let alone at the end of such a long day). Since bike and gear were all set, race morning was easy. Get numbers put on, pump air into the tires, and put my water bottles on the bike. I also put my Garmin 500 on the bike, turned it on to get satellites, then turned it off. More on that later….

» Read more: Ironman Arizona 2012 – Race Report

Ironman Arizona Looms

November 12th, 2012 by Patrik 3 comments »

The final week before my first Ironman is upon me. While its been nice to ease up the training this final 2 weeks, the nerves are kicking into high gear. Also, every ache, twitch, scratchy throat have me wondering if a cold or injury are coming on. The Santa Ana winds aren’t helping, as they sweep through with all the mold, pollen and dust they’ve picked up along the way.

Questions run through my head. Am I ready? Do I have everything? Will I change from bike kit to run gear giving up a few minutes of transition for comfort on the bike and run?

I have never swam 2.4 miles. I have never cycled 112 miles. I have never ran a marathon. Sunday 11/18/2012 I will attempt all 3. Back to back to back.

My training was offset this summer with a broken arm and the subsequent weeks of physical therapy regaining motion and strength in my shoulder. But I have prepared best I could and had a good base beforehand. I look forward to the challenge. And to Thanksgiving afterwards.


Timberman 70.3 Race Report

August 22nd, 2012 by Patrik 1 comment »

Timberman 70.3 in Gilford, NH was the target race for me this season.  My training during the season was reasonable considering the birth of my second child:)  Race day unfolded well, with no big surprises.  Overall, I ended up with a total time in the ballpark of my projection, but the splits were not what I imagined.  I have a lot more work to do over the coming years, but this race results shows progress year-over-year.  Below are my thoughts by race split, not of the race course itself.  Enjoy!

Swim:  First wave went off at 7am, my AG sat around until the 10th wave set off at 7:40.  This was actually a great opportunity to get a well timed warm-up swim in.  The swim starts in very shallow water.  Many dolphin dive, but I had never tried so I walked/ran out about 25 yards.  Walking ended up being an equally fast option.  When I finally started to swim, the mass of almost 200 in my AG became clear.  I battled elbow to elbow for a couple 100 meters until it thinned out.  Shortly there after, I found some feet to draft.  Once drafting, I didn’t sight much.   Turned out to be a poor choice as the draftee went wide left.  Swam on my own for the balance of the 750 meters to the first turn.  At the turn, I found another pair of feet.  While drafting those, I had the horrible shooting pain in my lower back.  I tensed up a bit and lost the draft.  Shortly thereafter I got kicked in my side ribs by a swimmer from an earlier wave doing breaststroke…ouch!!!  From here on out, I would swim without kicking (thank god it was a wetsuit legal swim), which was actually good because my right foot was cramping bad.  I felt a little down mentally at this point.  After rounding the second buoy, which points you back to shore, I was pushed under by a swimmer in the wave behind me.  He literally straight armed me down and kept going.  Surprisingly, I took it in stride.  I began to search for feet again.   Found a pair, but lost them quickly.  Sighted myself for the balance of the swim and zig-zagged as usual.  This swim was uncomfortable.  I never had a good rhythm.  Perhaps it was the lack of swimming lately, the fear of my back, or I just suck at swimming. » Read more: Timberman 70.3 Race Report


July 16th, 2012 by Patrik 4 comments »

Healing takes a long time. It’s frustrating. It’s painful. It’s annoying. And I can’t sleep well. I’m not sure I’ve slept more than 90 minutes at once in the 3 weeks since breaking my humerus.

I’ve gotten past the “keep my shoulder immobilized for 2 weeks” phase, which means I’ve been wearing my sling less during the day (and sleeping without it when possible). But my arm will start aching so I’ll put it back on. I try to get the shoulder moving easily, pendulum swings, shoulder shrugs, no weight bicep curls, squeezing a tennis ball to strengthen my forearm, and random rotations of the fingers, hand, wrist and elbow to keep those joints moving.

I was prescribed hydrocodon in the ER, which is a Vicodin alternative. Apparently I was to take 1-2 pills every 6 hrs. There were 30 pills in the bottle. I’m not really into pills, and after 3 weeks I still have 2 left. Mainly I’ve been using them at night to alleviate the pain so I can sleep (which is attempted while sitting up – something I am not good at). I occassionaly have dreams about riding a bike :)

Last week (after 2 weeks of healing) I started riding a road bike on the trainer. Basically sitting up with my arm in a sling. Started with 15 mins, then 30… during the week I had trouble sleeping so I didn’t ride… I started again this past weekend and had a 1hr 15min ride on Saturday. Up to 4 hrs total so far. I’ll keep at that since I can at least ride… I hope to increase volume through the rest of July, until I’m back to my normal volume if not higher, since I can’t run. I’m hoping to start jogging a bit in another 3 weeks, while biking is fun, biking while sitting upright on a trainer is not so great.

Since I can’t voluntarily lift my arm more than 4-8 inches away from my body, I won’t be swimming any time soon still. Till then, I’ll keep healing and trying to get that mobility back.

Tour de France iPad / iPhone app

July 2nd, 2012 by Patrik 5 comments »

UPDATED 7/11/12. See below story for updates.

A couple of years ago we as a family decided to get rid of cable television. So we were left with just internet access. To get some TV content we subscribe to Netflix streaming and Hulu Plus.

Those two services allow us to watch enough TV; they have kids programming, movies and some current TV shows.

But it leaves a gap for specialty TV like sports; specifically the Tour de France and other racing and athletic events.

The popularity of mobile devices and Internet subscriptions is growing so the fact that NBC now produces an app to let you watch the Tour de France has been very cool for us. For $15 you get access to all live streaming video of the race, stage replays, rider tracking, information, news photos. Much more content than you would have on traditional TV.

» Read more: Tour de France iPad / iPhone app