Archive for April, 2013

It was a PB Type Weekend

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2013 by brianestover

Another fast weekend of racing by A3 athletes. A weekend that brought a first and many, many PB’s. At IM South Africa Nick opened up his pro career with a brand, spanking new IM PR of 8:48. But not only did he break 9:00 for the first time, knocking a measly 22 minutes of his previous IM PB, he also knocked 6 minutes off his IM marathon PB and did that after riding 112 miles faster than he has ever ridden it before. After dropping several spots early in the run, his steady pace brought him up over seven positions to net him 11th. It was a great hit out as a first time professional in a race.

Do you know what else happened in that race? Mark was racing, trying to avenge his 4th place finish from the year before. Mark rode according to the plan, letting a lot of guys ride past him. His plan netted him an IM bike PB ride dipping under 5:00 for the first time. Starting the run, he was down, way down, just over 13 minutes down in his age group. Seven guys in his age group were closer to the finish line then he was. But when it really matters, in his age group, could he do it on the run, could he pull back :30 per mile to win his age group and secure a Kona spot after riding faster than he has ever in an IM? Not just a few seconds here or there, he had to run 7.5 seconds faster per quarter mile for every single quarter mile of the race to take the lead in his age group. And he had to do it over the guy who won the age group in 2012 by 20 minutes. And so the chase began. 7 guys, just over 13 minutes and the 3k of distance already covered by the leader stood between him and the top step. Mile after mile, the splits came down, the guys in his age group fell to the wayside as he charged along the course. He moved into 6th, then 5th, up to 4th, then into the top 3. The course was getting shorter, the finish line closer. Second, after moving into second one guy stood between Mark and the age group win. With only single digit kilometers between Mark and the finish, with his competitor yet closer to the finish line, he was still minutes back. He continued the chase, the gap was coming down. Instead of :30 per mile it was :30 per km. Could he do it? Under 6k to go and no leader in sight. At 5k to go, up ahead, the age group leader came into view. With just under 4k to go Mark glides by and there is no response. It took a PB in the marathon, a 3:13:28, a marathon that was 10:41 faster than anyone else in his age group and a sub 9:20 time to secure the title. He went from 46th overall off the bike to 27th overall at the finish line. What a great race.

Half a world away, Bill and I toed the start line at the Leadman Tempe Triathlon. It’s always tough when you’ve been on the east coast and Mother Nature has slammed you weekend after weekend with bad weather. It’s hard for guys to come west and race a long course race so early in the season. I’m pretty sure Bill was a little nervous about the power plan I sent him at first glance. Add in sun, a trail run that was technical at parts, one of his first really long bike rides outside, he made a pretty good race taking a top 3 spot in his age group. The results have changed daily since the race, the above link may or may not be accurate. My race turned out well. After resorting to a Jedi swim trick to stay with the wave leader in the swim. The first 1.5 laps consisted of a few of us swapping the lead several times. I just listened to my power meter and rode according to plan with a 2 minute negative split over the back half of the race. While my watts and p/wt ratio are on the small side, just like my biceps, I confirmed that I can go faster then most on less watts thanks to a good position on my bike. My watts per lap were 208, 212, 211, 214 for an AP of 211 and NP of 221, which was lower than everyone I talked with after the race by 15-35w on the AP side. I gave up the lead in the M40-44 age group as I stopped to add nitrogen to the soil around a tree so that it grows up big and strong. With one of the slowest runs in the top 20 I strongly suspect that I was going to give up that lead even if I didn’t stop to pee on a tree. All in all a good day for A3 athletes as we got that early season race out of our way.

Bill and I working on our sunburns

Bill and I working on our sunburns

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Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by brianestover

A bomb at the Boston Marathon. Sports, the one event where no matter your religion, nationality, color or particular bent, it’s the one place, at least at the worlds greatest sporting events, where everyone joins together and differences are put aside. When I think of sporting event that do this I think of the World Cup, Pele and billions of people tuned in to watch the final match. People holding their breath on every shot waiting for that magical moment when someone launches a shot across the penalty box just out of reach of the goalie’s outstretched fingertips and puts the ball in the top far corner just inches from striking the cross or side bar and falling harmlessly to the pitch. I think of the Olympics, where people get out of bed or stay up to all hours of the night and day. They do this to watch their favorite sports and athletes. They also do this to watch for obscure sports. It’s the one time in four years where people stop what they are doing to watch events like table tennis, canoeing, ski jumping or curling. I also think of the worlds great marathons, London, Rotterdam, NYC and Boston to name a few. Boston, the Monday Marathon. The marathon is a test not only of the swiftest but of the smartest and the riskiest. Can you take that flyer from 20k to go and make it stick? Do you hide in the pack hoping to launch a move that brings you glory, can you reach deep inside and embrace a new level of pain and suffering to literally go the extra mile before breaking down and falling off the pace? Sometimes that roll of the dice, just sometimes it pays off.

But now that great tradition has been soiled. It’s not just a great Bostonian tradition or American tradition but a great worldwide tradition, it belongs to all of us. Over 90 different countries are represented in Boston, all of the major religions and many of the minor ones. An attack on the marathon is an attack against all of us around the world. It’s designed to rip the fabric that binds people together no matter where you live. Your beliefs may be different, but your belief in the suffering required to do Boston is the same. You may race someone down to the wire, but cross that line and it’s high fives. You each are better than you were because of that race.

Endurance athletes are bound together, it’s literally in our blood. We can look at any race anywhere in the world and instantly sympathize with those on the starting line. We know their toils, their sacrifices, the time spent suffering through the miles. If you meet someone at a race, no matter who they are you have a common bond. This is what we can not let someone take away from us. That shared sense of community that being an endurance athlete brings, that shared sense of community that the biggest sporting events in the world brings. That togetherness knowing that right then, while you are watching the final match in the World Cup, or you are running miles for That race, that someone else, somewhere else is doing the same thing.

Nerves of Jelly

Posted in Triathlon on April 13, 2013 by brianestover

It’s a big weekend here at Accelerate 3.

Last night’s power talk at the Tempe Trisports went well. Your’s truly wowed the crowd for about an hour discussing why you should use power, the right and wrong way to ride the bike leg in a triathlon and going over some case studies of actual rides from races. It seems like everyone walked away with a little more insight about how to use power and why it’s such a good tool to have. Plus the new Quarq power meters are awesome. Kevin from Sram was there to discuss the changes they made and the new models they launched.

Speaking of Trisports, I realized I’m rolling into my 10th or 11th year of continuous sponsorship from them. My relationship with them started back in 2001 or 2002. I was making the transition from bike racing back to duathlon after several years away from multisport racing. It’s awesome to have such a great giant in the triathlon industry in your corner. I’ve been very fortunate on this front. I’ll let Jeff Spicoli sum up how I feel about this relationship “Awesome! Totally awesome!”

Nick and Sarah make their debut’s into the elite racing. Nick opens his career up at IM South Africa while Sarah opens her career up at the Lifetime Fitness I want to be a crit race Leadman Tempe. I feel a lot of pressure to get their power plans correct, in fact I think I’m more stressed out about these races than any other that they’ve done. You only get one professional debut and I want everything to go right. After looking a the numbers a hundred ways and coming up with the same numbers, while reassuring, doesn’t alleviate the pressure.

There are a few A3 athletes in town for LeadMan as well. Bill is coming from the cold, winter just won’t go away east coast to Tempe to test his early season fintess. Mona is making the long drive up from Tucson to do the Olympic. Should be a good weekend of race results.

On the east coast athletes are also racing the Tour of Battenkill and Belew’s International Triathlon. Battenkill is one of those iconic bike races over dirt roads, short, steep, punchy climbs, some long climbs, mud, rough roads. The American version of a spring classic. Where the men are men and the boys are mud covered and off the back.

I’m returning to racing, well putting a number on and paying an entry fee anyway. It’s been about three years since I’ve raced a long course race and just about two years exactly since I’ve raced anything with a competitive flair. While I think I’m fairly fit, in general, I also haven’t done a lot of specific work to make myself race fit. I’ve done a fair amount of just running and riding around and not a whole lot of intervals, fast workouts or swimming. Tomorrow will either be pretty good or a pretty good implosion. Place your bets, the odds makers are evenly split with no odds in the middle ground. Makes it hard to hedge your bets. The other thing is where did all my gear go? I couldn’t find my aero bottle, had to reinstall latex tubes on all my race wheels, slime them, find my aero helmets, still need to figure out some sort of lace system for my running shoes. Holy crap, not racing is much more simple then racing. It’s total crap. When I become supreme dictator I’m having someone else do these little things for me. I also found out that I have 9 race number belts. Nine, who needs nine? On the other hand who wants to start the run with a sweat stiffened race belt? You can follow the racers around and around and around and around the Tempe leadman crit course here.

That’s all folks, stay tuned for more news later and have a great weekend!

More Races & More Wins!

Posted in Triathlon on April 9, 2013 by brianestover

It’s been a busy few weeks at the races, busy collecting hardware that is.

Chad sets a new 5k PB at the RumpShaker 5k. Two weeks later he wins the Double Oak duathlon by storming to the front at the turn around on the bike and throttling his competition.

Chad Williamson Double Oak Duathlon Winner!

Chad Williamson Double Oak Duathlon Winner!

Janine fresh off her AG win at IM Melbourne wins a race in the Telstra Triathlon Series in Western AUS. She managed to top all the elite women using her run speed to move onto the top step of the overall podium. She’s in a tough spot. The age group women want her to get her elite license, the elites want her to stay age group.

James finished 2nd overall in a hard fought battle at the White Lake Half. He battled rather chilly water, waves and wind to grab the lead late on the bike and hold it until 2 miles on the run. I’m looking for good things to come from james this season as he’s dedicated himself like never before. Of course if he tried training this much before, he’d have cried, a little, every day.

Billy won his age group and finished 7th overall at the series opener of the Tucson Triathlon series.

Dusty, Lora and Mr. I want to Bulk Up Randy all grabbed 2nd in their cateogries at TT’s in their respective area’s of the country.

Mike snagged 3rd overall in a 10k running a huge negative split, which foiled many a person’s plan to outrun him over the last 5k.

You know the best things about coaching such a hard working group of girls and guys? Keeping track of their results.