2017 Triathlon Season is Here

The pros are racing like crazy already this year! Olympic Gold Medalist, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee just entered the half-distance scene at Challenge Canaria a couple of weeks ago. He’ll be duking it out with the best of the best at St. George in the N. America Ironman 70.3 Championships in a few days. I’m rooting for Sam Appleton and Lionel Sanders to finally humble the young Olympian. The women’s race should also be exciting with Salthouse, Lawrence and Kessler to just name a few. Too bad Heather Wurtele had to pull out due to an injury. I’m particularly excited about a few of my buddies going out there for an inevitably tough day. My friend Austin Mitchell will be doing his second pro race, and my buddy from San Diego, Chris Pearson will be towing the line with all those road trippers who make the trek out to the red rocks this weekend.

As for me? I’ve been just doing what I do best: training consistently, being a teacher like crazy, figuring out my diet by going in and out of the primal diet, ketogenic diet, and now back to the DGAF diet, and of course getting into racing again!

The training under what feels like the infallible Purplepatch Fitness program, has been so good! I’m getting stronger and more skilled. I’m staying injury free and recovering so well. I also am staying fresh and non-fatigued mentally or emotionally. I can’t praise Purplepatch enough. The long, low-stress and mostly unstructured workouts that have been the base of the training for the past few months, have been so good for my stamina and love for this sport. Only until the last couple of weeks have I started doing some actual speed and high-intensity work. I’m averaging about 15-20 hours a week when I’m not racing. It’s been just so good.

As for the diet? I won’t bore you too much, but I had a few months stint with the keto diet which is basically a lot of good fat, some protein, and minimal carbs: 75-20-5 is the ideal ratio. It’s tough! But tasty! However, after a 10k race which I totally blew up at and then just craved the macnut pancakces they were serving at the finish line–I decided to try out what I love the most: Eat Happy. So now after a good effort and sincere experiment with the keto life, I just eat what I want and what makes me happy! I still am keeping the overall philosophy of ketogenic and low heart rate training in mind especially with the overarching philosophy of reducing stress hormones and sleeping way more than what I used to think was necessary.

So let’s get to my races. I’ve done three small local ones, and one large local one. It’s been nice to not leave the island this year so far. As a school-teacher, my free time is precious and I have little room for traveling off-island while maintaining my training and teaching lifestyle. The little local races have gotten me juiced on the tri-season and the big local race, Lavaman was the first big one of the year getting me ready for some real big things to come this year.

The first two races were strictly cycling races. In February, Kiser Motorcycles put on the 3rd annual Dragon race which consists of 9, short hill-climbs (1-2miles long each) and scores the racers by their position at the top of each ascent. We would gather at the top and cheer each other on as the rest of the pack came up. This year we alternated male and female divisions so we each got a chance to see each division come up to the top! It was super fun and got our heart rates up massively and quickly. I ended up pulling 2nd overall after the humble and deadly Alan Erickson of Hilo. He saw me beat him on a couple climbs and then realized he had to take it seriously and continued to smash me for the last climbs.  Next time I’ll get some proper race wheels. I used my Zipp 808s which were nice and light, but still overdoing it in the aero-category for short hill bursts.

Strava link to the Dragon (check out those spikes!)

The other cycling race was the Hawaii Cycling Club Time Trial from Queen’s Marketplace to Kua Bay which took place in March. It was just a few weeks out from Lavaman, which shared that course, so I thought it would be good to test out the whole system on the course. It was super fun with my buddy Bree Wee out there and Mikey Brown all in full gear. Todd Marhonic came out as well who beat me last year. I knew I’d be better, but I totally didn’t smash it like I thought I would! I got 2nd place again! Rats! The event provided me with a good way to test out all my gear, including a new, wheel cover. Wheelbuilder.com makes these Aerojackets which cover your rear wheel with a light, sturdy plastic that snaps into place around the hub. It acts as a disc wheel, providing some real watt-savings and aerodynamics. Most of the turbulence caused by a wheel comes from the air around the spokes. A disc minimizes this. A true disc wheel is optimal, but this wheel cover was amazing! And at 1/10 the cost of a true disc, I’m all about it and give my wholehearted recommendation. The event was an individual time trial, so it was hard to know my place during the race, but I sure was trying hard! I spiked my HR all the way to 180bpm! It was nuts! I was a slobbering mess. It was definitely a PR for the course in speed and watts, but wow my HR was high. It gave me doubts about my Keto diet and my training in general. But I stayed positive and reassured myself that with proper rest and recovery before a B or A race, I could push those watts without such a crazy heart rate.

Strava link to the Time Trial (oh yeah I forgot to start my Garmin until 5miles in!)

 

The first real race of the year, Lavaman, came upon us in early April like a slow magma flow from Kilauea descending with plenty of time to get prepared, and yet seemingly no time to get to that start line with the elites. I prepared for this race all pre-season and was feeling so calm and zen about it until about 20 minutes before the gun went off. Little did I know I was about to have the most stressful race-start of my career so far.

In the next blog post, I’ll share my chaotic, bittersweet and personal record-breaking performance at this year’s Lavaman Triathlon. I’ll also tell you about the fun 10k run I spontaneously entered, just two weeks ago, because since it is the “Mac-a-thon,” there are always macadamia nut pancakes at the end. There are two things I love in this world: One is social justice. The other is pancakes (waffles too, but really those are just fancy pancakes). While you wait for my next post, enjoy these pictures which sum up my training and some of the highlights with family and friends that occured since my last post! Ta-ta for now!

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