Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2014 Sponsors

'Tis the season...to wrap up all of the sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and I have to say that I'm pumped to be working with an incredible group of companies, most of whom I've worked with in the past, and even a new one!  I'm going to share a bit about each one, but if you have questions please let me know as I'm more than happy to share information with you about the various companies.  I pride myself in working with companies that I truly believe in and am fortunate to be working with such an awesome group of sponsors.

For the past 3 years I've raced for the Zoot Ultra Team.  The team has taken a bit of a different direction this year and is now called Team Zoot, and will have a much larger presence at races across the country.  I'm beyond excited to be working with Zoot once again and will be racing in the best triathlon gear in the industry.  From training to racing I'll be decked out in Zoot shoes, apparel, wetsuits, and with Zoot bags as well!  Additional partners for Team Zoot are: Ceepo Bikes, Lake Cycling Shoes, Bonk Breaker, Garmin, Fuelbelt, Smith Optics and Tri Bike Transport.  Thanks Zoot!!

Last year was my first year on the Ceepo Viper...and I'm excited to say I'll be riding the new 2014 Ceepo Viper this year.  Marc-Andre, Gilles, Tanaka, Sachi and Megan has all been awesome to work with and I can't say enough about the way they treat me as an athlete.  If you're in the market for a new tri-bike...or even if you're not...I would definitely recommend checking out the line of Ceepo bikes!! If you're interested in what it looks like...here is what it is before being built up.

Luckily for me I've worked with GU for the past 6 seasons.  There is no other energy gel that I know, and I would love to keep it that way.  GU has been vital in my training and racing as I have yet to have any GI issues racing.  I know there are not many athletes who can make that claim.  GU is always evolving and their new flavors are incredible.  Need a recommendation on what to take?  Let me know.

I've been fortunate enough to work with the great folks up at Saris Cycling Group for the past 3 seasons and I'm excited to be working with them once again for the 2014 season.  Training in Chicago through the winter months is tough...but with the awesome trainers from CycleOps and a PowerTap I can make sure that I make the most out of my training.  The customer service is top notch and another great company to work with!

This is a new sponsor for me this coming season.  Are you looking for an edge?  Let's be serious, who isn't?  I'm pumped to be using an awesome new product, Myothon.  What I've encountered thus far with its use are some great results.  The typical soreness that I would experience after long and/or intense training sessions is far less than it has been in the past.  I can then return to training sooner and at a higher level than I have ever have.  I'm sure this will help my 2014 race preparation and the entire season.

L3 Endurance
As you know though triathlon may be an individual sport it takes much more than just an individual effort.  It takes a team, and I'm pumped to be working with such awesome people who are behind L3 Endurance.  Yes I am in charge of L3 Endurance, but the support of our athletes is unrivaled!  Here's to making 2014 the best yet!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

2014 Ceepo Viper - Pre-Build

Yesterday as I was doing something productive I heard the doorbell ring...it could only be one thing.  My new whip for the 2014 season had arrived.  Thanks to Marc-Andre, Gilles, Tanaka, Megan, and Sachi over at Ceepo I'll be aboard the new 2014 Ceepo Viper.  I can't tell you enough what an awesome company Ceepo is and the support that I've received from them is absolutely incredible!!  I don't have the bike built up yet, as I'm waiting for a couple of parts to get here (bottom bracket, front brake, and something secret to add some speed).  I love my 2013 Viper and I was more than happy with how it performed all season long...now onto a new model year, and a new bike.  Maybe I'll get to keep the old Ceepo as a training bike as I still do love that ride!!  I did want to get some pictures posted of this awesome new ride in though and not wait until it was fully built.  I'm sure another post will have to be dedicated to it when it's built up. 

It's like an early Christmas present for me!

Non-Drive Side

Drive Side

Looks super slick!!

Front View

Upgrade for 2014, new fork, new stem which will help stiffen up the front end.

Another view...

The new Viper is disc-brake compatible, though I won't ride disc brakes...yet.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Topping Off the Tank...Myothon

Before I left to go to Kona I was approached by a company asking if I would give their supplement a try.  I told them that I would, however I did not want to do anything new right before Kona (yep typically triathletes are dumb enough to do that...so I was actually thinking with my head for once).  I said that I would give it a try when I started training up again in November.  What is the product?  It's called Myothon.


Vitality Science shipped me a bottle with 100 pills and come November I was going to give it a try.  They claimed that I would be able to train harder, and that I would be able to recover faster.  I was a bit skeptical as many places make these types of claims.  But I figured I'd give it a try.  It is the off season, and I knew getting back into the swing of things would be a bit tough on my body and I was anticipating some definite soreness after some of my initial workouts.  Well much to my surprise the soreness was rather limited.  Two particular sessions come to mind...the first one a "long run" (only 10 miles...it is the off-season) at Waterfall Glen, and the 100 x 100 swim set that we did last week.  I anticipated some serious soreness after these workouts and thanks to Myothon I had minimal soreness and was able to continue on my off-season training plan without as much as a hiccup.  I definitely have to say that this helped out...and it's legal too!  If you want more information check out their website:


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Back Into the Swing of Things...

Life has been rolling right along, and I've been back on the training wagon as of recently.  Right now I'm on a fairly long streak of consecutive days swimming...I'm at 24 days.  I guess that's a good place to start this post.  This past Friday (Black Friday) instead of taking to the stores I took to the pool with Keating, Barb and Jason to make an attempt at my first 100 x 100 swim set.  I always said it was stupid...and here I find myself actually doing it?  What gives?  Well I'm up for a challenge so why not right?

We ended up knocking off all 100 on a 1:30 interval (it was a yards pool...so probably pretty close to the 1:40 pace that you would do them on in a meters pool).  Here is how our set went:

10 x 100 swim 1' break
10 x 100 pull 1' break
10 x 100 kick 1' break
20 x 100 swim
5' break
10 x 100 swim 1' break
10 x 100 pull 1' break
10 x 100 kick 1' break
20 x 100 swim

I did do the first 20 in a row as pull with a buoy and some with paddles on the last set of 20...but I survived!  It was kind of fun too, so we'll have to do it again...maybe in February some time?

Other than swimming I've been able to get some solid runs in at Waterfall Glen, and I even made it around the loop twice on my cross bike without flatting.  Amazing I know...really Chad is the only one who understands that, as in the last 3 years we haven't been able to do that.

Here are a few shots of what things have been like the past week or so.  Looking forward to more work ahead!

Maybe Ceepo will make a cyclocross bike soon?  That would be awesome.

Some sweet new L3 Endurance Trucker Hats came in

Yep this is a familiar site...the pool...before 5:00 in the morning...on a pretty much daily basis.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

2014 Ceepo Viper

I'm pumped to share that I will be working with the awesome folks at Ceepo once again for the 2014 season.  It's also incredible that Ceepo has signed on to help sponsor the new and improved "Team Zoot" for 2014 as well.  For this past season I rode on the awesome 2013 Ceepo Viper.  My splits were faster than they have been, and my power in races was far higher than it's been in previous seasons...needless to say the 2013 Viper is awesome!

I did find out yesterday that I will be fortunate enough to be racing the new 2014 Viper next season.  There are many similarities to the 2013...but at the same time some definite improvements...the fork has been reworked to help improve front end stiffness and aerodynamics, it's disc brake compatible, and an all around bad ass bike!  I couldn't be happier to continue my partnership with the folks at Ceepo as I'm treated amazingly well.

My bike should arrive within a couple of weeks so I'll post some pictures of it when I get it...in the mean time here are a few glimpses as to what I'll be rockin come 2014...

2014 Viper Frameset...new fork w/ integrated stem.  Which is still nice that I can ride my Zipp bars.

How sweet is this?  No need to try to hide a CO2 cartridge in a saddle bag or rear pocket...it can hide on the rear chainstay.  Super slick if you ask me!
Tomorrow is the last day to submit your application for the 2014 Team Zoot.  If you want more information about it please let me know.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kona Viewing Party

If you didn't already know I do have a small coaching company called L3 Endurance (www.L3Endurance.com) yes what can I say shameless plug there.  Well we are hosting a Kona Viewing Party on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Westmont, IL at Urban Tri Gear. 

Why is this awesome?  We get to see each other not wearing spandex (though I might not recognize most...there are days I look strange in the mirror in normal clothes), it's an excuse to get away from raking leaves on a Saturday afternoon...and there is Zoot swag to be given away!

Yep...you should get there.  If you do decide to go let me know rick @ L3Endurance dot com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting Back in the Swing of Things...

After Kona I took a little down time.  Well some of it was forced due to me being completely inept at mountain biking and crashing...which resulted in my knee getting pretty wrecked, cracking my helmet, bruising my pelvis...yea I was a mess (ok fine I still am).

I've been able to hit the pool for some solid workouts with the masters group that I swim with, and our 5k Friday's have been going strong.  I don't feel "awesome" in the water...but then when I look at the times we're putting up I realize that "not awesome" feeling is faster than I've swam before...so that's a positive. 

I'm putting some different types of training in through the off-season hoping to improve upon weaknesses in the past and to build upon strengths.  Hopefully these new ways of training will pay off...and I have a feeling that they will.  I always tell my athletes that consistency is the key.  So that will definitely be a focus for the winter months, consistency across all 3 sports with some specificity mixed in there to work on various weaknesses.

I'm pumped to be working with many of my sponsors from the past; Zoot, GU, Ceepo, Garmin, PowerTap and excited to start with a few new sponsors as well!  More information on that to come.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kona 2013 Nutrition Report

I've had quite a few questions in regards to my race day nutrition from Hawaii...so I thought I'd put it out here as it's really no secret because everyone is different.  So what works for me may not work for everyone.  I do believe that the more fit and "realistic" you are with your goals the better off your nutrition plan will work.  I knew exactly what I was capable of throughout the race, and stayed true to my plan both from a pacing perspective and from a nutrition perspective...and it paid off.

Before I get into race day, Chad and I were fortunate enough to represent L3 Endurance at the GU House a few days before the race to watch a recording of Mirinda Carfrae and Magdalena (2008 US Olympic Marathoner) along with Bob Babbit from Competitor Magazine.  One thing that really stuck with me from that interview was something Rinny had shared.  She tries to front end load her calories starting 2 days out from race day.  And the way she does it...through the GU Roctane Drink (she did slip and mention carbo-pro too...whoops)!  Her logic behind it made complete sense...and I'm not going to lie if it's good enough for a 2 time Ironman World Champion it's good enough for me.

Leading up to this race I was relatively strict with what I ate, I made sure that almost everything was "fresh" and really limited the amount of sweets that I had, which helped me to stay healthy and fresh.  I kept things super clean for about 4-6 weeks out from race day, and it's not that I eat poorly, but was just that little extra push which helped.  Race week was more of the same, really nothing new, I stayed away from all of the stuff at the expo and tried to eat as if I were at home.  Though I did miss the Vitamix and my awesome smoothies including massive amounts of baby spinach.

The Thursday before the race I took Rinny's advice and started pounding GU Roctane drink (I opted for Grape flavor since it was not caffeinated).  I probably drank about 2,000 calories alone through those drinks each on Thursday and Friday.  Needless to say I was definitely hydrated, which was something I had struggled with in earlier races.

Friday morning after my quick run, bike, swim I ate a monster breakfast which Brit made for me...scrambled eggs with peppers, oatmeal, dragonfruit, GU Roctane Drink, and a glass of orange juice.  I wanted to make sure I was refueled from those last efforts and that I was set up for the day.  After a quick meeting with the Zoot folks Brit and I were walking back to our condo and I ducked into grab a quick turkey sub sandwich, and I of course had GU Roctane drink with me.  You'll see that's a common theme.  Friday night we went to the house my Mom rented and she made my typical go to lasagna for dinner with a great salad and garlic bread...not to mention dessert!  Yes I did indulge in a little dessert the night before the race.



3:45 a.m. - Breakfast
  • Oatmeal w/ sugar
  • Banana
  • GU ROCTANE Drink (Tropical Fruit w/ caffeine)
4:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. - GU ROCTANE Drink (Tropical Fruit w/ caffeine)

5:30 a.m - Banana & GU ROCTANE Drink (Tropical Fruit w/ caffeine + "Pre-Race")

6:00 a.m - Water in Transition

6:30 a.m. - GU Roctane Strawberry Kiwi (New and awesome flavor) before getting in the water.


7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. -  nice salty mix of fresh Pacific Ocean & the taste of blood from the beating you take in the warm waters of Kailua Bay

T1 - I grabbed a cup of water to rinse my mouth out

Bike - **For starters I set my bike up with 3 bottles (which is something I haven't done in the past.  But through training I have found that the GU Roctane Drink does suit me quite well, and I also had 2 bottles of it left in special needs as well pick up when I got there).

15 minutes into the bike ride is where my nutrition plan starts and starts with a GU Roctane Island Nectar which I have in a GU Flask (they had these a few years ago and are talking about bringing them back once again).  Then it's a GU Roctane Island Nectar every 30 minutes until about the 90-120 minute mark (that elapsed time on the bike).  Then I try to take in something solid (sorry GU...its just needed and I eat a Clif Bar - White Macademia Nut flavor).  From there I continue with my GU Roctane every 25-30 minutes. Depending on how I am feeling I may go back to something solid about 3.5-4 hours into the ride if I need my stomach to settle down.  I also try to drink about a full bottle every 45 minutes.  It's much easier to gauge this early in the ride, and at about the 40 mile mark I do start to reach for cola (which is a luxury that only the Kona course offers...I have not seen it on other Ironman bike courses) about 40 miles or so into the ride.  The reason for this is because in training our "pop stop" is often about 40-60 miles into the ride...so my body is used to a pop at that point in time, and I have found that mimicking that on the race course works quite well.  I did grab my special needs bag for my two other bottles of GU Roctane drink and depending on how I felt I would either drink Roctane, Cola or water.  If my stomach was sloshy I would lay off of drinking for 10 minutes, and then return with water in small quantities.

T2 - I typically grab a pop that I leave in my T2 bag...but I didn't leave one in there this year, I think it was a good choice.

Run - I had my pockets filled with GU Roctane Strawberry Kiwi...but I will admit that I only ate one of these.  Each aid station I would drink water and cola...and I ended up walking the aid stations to ensure I was able to get the hydration and calories in.  This seemed to be a smart solution and I ran really well.  Zero stomach issues at all.

For the first time since I can remember my mouth wasn't "burnt" when I was done with the race...and I was able to eat that night.

Sorry for the "all over the place" nutrition report...I crashed my mountain bike this past weekend and I think my brain is a bit off.  I did crack my helmet pretty good and Brit has been treating my nasty wounds and will have the pleasure to rehab me back to full strength once the swelling in my knee goes down. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ironman World Championship 2013 Race Report

If you want the short version here you go...

Swim - 1:00:45
T1 - 2:52
Bike - 4:58:10
T2 - 2:58
Run - 3:16:30
Total - 9:21:15

The long winded version...

3:45 a.m. - I actually slept well the night before the race...and woke up at 3:45 to make my morning oatmeal, and drink bottles for the day.  I had no problem eating the oatmeal and my nerves were pretty well in check.  I loaded up my backpack with my bottles of GU Roctane Drink, and my secret bottle of what I'll call "rocket fuel"...though it tastes terribly I think the stuff works pretty darn well!

4:30 a.m. - Brit and I headed off to walk down to the pier so I could get body marked, load my bike off, drop off my special needs bags, and chill out.  Much to our surprise there was a bus which offered to give us a ride...that was awesome!

5:15 a.m. - I headed in to get body marked, and to drop off my stuff into transition...little did I know you couldn't bring backpacks into transition (though I think there was some serious confusion as there were quite a few people with them...oh well)  Bottles on bike, pumped tires, checked things over and I got out of transition.  I don't like to get stressed out being around all of the other athletes...yet.  So I headed out and hung out on the grass with the whole support crew, of which there were many.

6:00 a.m. - I went back into transition to give one last look over my gear and to hang out before heading into the water.  Everything was well, so I just tried to keep the nerves at easy while the crazy drums were going off.  A GU Roctane about 30 minutes before the start and things were good.

Swim - 1:00:45
I started just to the left of the buoy which is in the middle of the start line.  Sitting in the water before the start is like a legit fight for position.  The canon sounded and we were off.  For the first 200 meters or so I didn't have much contact...then it was a fight for the remainder of the swim.  The thing is I had found feet which were going at a pace I liked.  It wasn't easy, but not hard by any means.  So I fought...and fought and fought.  I would try to make a pass to find other feet to swim on but the effort was too great so I just settled in.  I hit the turn around boats in about 28 minutes...in my head, sweet!  But at the same time I felt like we were being pulled out a bit, and know that the excitement of the race always makes things go a little quicker.  So I just tried to stay positive in my head.  I ended up finding some good feet to sit on the way back as well.  Much to my surprise I saw 1:00:xx when I exited the water...and at the same time the distance was a bit long.  I had 2.65 miles on my Garmin, and found out that others also had the swim course as long.  I'm happy with my swim as that is a definite PR for an Ironman swim.  It's great when you see the work you've done pay off. 

T1 - 2:52
Uneventful...I did have my race belt with me and some dude stopped dead in his tracks running to pick something up on our way to the bike and he ripped it...but no biggie.

Bike - 4:58:10
Heading into the bike I was pumped, yet calm and was just going to ride the power I knew I had trained at to set myself up for a good run.  Throughout the start of the bike we had an awesome tailwind...so much so that I was averaging over 25 miles per hour well under my goal wattage.  I'm cruising, and because I swam better than in the past there was only one pack of riders that I experienced...and I decided to let them go (smart decision).  Turning left after Kawaihie (sorry can't spell it...I can say it though) all of the sudden I was skidding, and had lost complete control of my bike.  The thing was sideways and all I could think was that my race was over, lay the bike down on the left so I didn't wreck my components, and hold on to the bars so you don't break your wrist.  Well somehow I kept the bike upright and pulled over to the side of the road.  I was now hoping it was just a flat (wishful thinking)...I was wrong.  My tire had 3 huge gashes in it...big enough to fit a few fingers, so needless to say that wheel wasn't going to work any longer.  I sat on the side of the road for about 15 minutes (seemed like an eternity) until the support van came to give me a new wheel.  So pictures from the last 70 miles of the race look rather ghetto...but I stayed as calm as I could and went back about riding at my goal wattage.  It was extremely frustrating to know how well I was riding to be held up with a mechanical but that's racing I guess.  Some how I was still able to hold it together for a sub 5 hour bike split, hoping I had saved enough for the run.

My sweet Ceepo Viper (with 2 functioning race wheels)

Early on in the bike, pic courtesy of the folks at Ceepo

T2 - 2:58
The only decision was socks or no socks...no socks won out.

Run - 3:16:30
I slipped on my Kiawe 2.0's and headed off.  The miles were clicking along pretty well, I ended up walking most of the aid stations just to fully ensure I was getting the hydration and calories I needed, I found this to be effective.  The little time I sacrificed through walking aid stations was alright in my opinion because I was running so well.  The thing about the Kona run course is anything but flat.  I feel like you're always going up or down.  I was holding my own throughout the run and there weren't too many people running faster, and I was trying to stay patient.  I do know that the last 10k of this race is where the destruction occurs, and I was banking on that.  Well this proved to be true and I was able to run quite a few people down along that stretch.  This isn't a run PR in an ironman for me, but it's the fastest I've run in Kona, so that's a positive.

Finish - 9:21:15

Here are some "First & Fast" expeiences that came from my 9th Ironman
-1st Mechanical - Flat Tire
-Swimming an hour flat (fastest swim split I've had)
-Running a Kona Marathon PR
-Overall I was 13 minutes faster than I have ever been on an ironman race course.

Thank you for all of the support...I'll have more details about this race including the awesome support team soon!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Kona 2013 - Day 5

Day 5 was a busy one! Started off with a swim at the pier super early. It's awesome to swim before the crowds invade!  There are a ton more fish too!

After a quick little swim the Zoot crew did a little run down Ali'i and back, we have an awesome group!

Yesterday we went to this little bay where we went snorkeling and hung out. After a little while we spotted some dolphins, so Chad and I swam out there to check it out. There were a pod of 10 dolphins swimming around...we were about 5 feet away from them, super cool!

Last night was pretty chill, just some chicken tacos and relaxing.

We will have some awesome pics from the underwear run later...today's not over yet so you'll have to wait...stay tuned

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kona 2013 - Day 4

It's hard to believe we've been here for 4 days already! Time is just flying by!!!  This morning started as all mornings do...with a training session. I did an easy 30 minute swim at the pier and that was it. Well, besides riding down to the pier and back a few times.  

The town is now officially crazy and crowded! It's really amazing to see the transformation, and the energy is super high. So I really need to key in on conserving energy and not walking the expo for hours at a time...it's really easy to get side tracked and to start talking to people you know...the time to focus is approaching!

The awesome guys at Ceepo dialed in my bike for me, Zoot, Powertap hooked me up with some sweet swag and registration has been taken care of.

After my stuff was taken care of for the day we checked out a beach on this narly lava road...called "Un-named Road". Awesome bech for sure!

We went to dinner last night up at the Sheraton to celebrate my moms birthday, it was a great dinner and the views were amazing.

Dog Me Beach

View from the sea wall

The Viper hanging out

Locked to the tree

Beert being Beert 


Our drive to the beach

Awesome beach

Brit and I 

Race day is growing closer...time to start getting the head right!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kona 2013 - Day 2

Day 2 didn't disappoint!! I was able to get a solid 8 hours of sleep. When you're used to getting 5-6 this is a definite luxury!  I did get up at 4 this morning, and was able to knock off some emails, surf the web and eat some Jessica's Granola.

Then it was off for an easy 4 miles on Ali'i Drive as the sun came up. What an amazing morning to run! From the run I went straight down to the infamous "Dig Me Beach" to meet up with some Zoot Ultra Teamers for a swim. The bay was super calm and the water was perfect. After a solid 42 minutes in the water it was time to chill and hit up Lava Java before it gets too crazy later this week.  Brit and I picked up my sweet Ceepo Viper from Tri Bike Transport (Chads bike too) and hung out at the beach for a while.  An easy 90 minute ride finished up the day. 

Brit and my Mom hanging out on the sea wall.

Dig Me Beach

Katie sporting the L3 Endurance tshirt

Eddie and Brit taking it all in.

Mom, Katie, Eddie, Brit on the sea wall

Zoot Ultra Team Members Mark, Hana, Me, Mandy

Beach time where Brit was hanging out with a sea turtle.

Lovin life.

Tri Bike Transport picking up bikes

L3 Endurance...perfect sticker placement

More L3 Endurance

A few dollars worth of bikes in there...

My sweet ride!

Signs on the Queen K

Queen K

More Queen K

Stay tuned, special Kona Edition L3 jerseys will be unveiled soon

Queen K

Only in Kona

Doesn't get much better than this!

Thanks for reading...more to come tomorrow.