Category Archives: Olympic Tri

A fun little racing weekend and ending our Tri-season

Last weekend we had a fun racing weekend. Note how we call that “fun.” Anyways, we had a short 5K to benefit the DFW Lab Rescue organization which is very close to our hearts because is the organization where we rescued both Anise and JayJay. Also was the 2nd time we were going to do their 5K, first time was our 5K so in a way it was a full circle type of thing. On top of that we did our very first 5K with Anise the year we adopted her so to commemorate us adopting JayJay we wanted to do it with her too. After that 5K stunt, we were heading off to Possum Kingdom Lake to do our Trifecta Olympic Tri, this was again a come back race for us, so it was pretty nice to visit the venue again.

We are ashamed to say that yes for the first time in a long time we did not train all week, our last workout was on Sunday and we did not train. I guess things just got in the way and we didn’t push to train. It happens, also it was too hot, and we just couldn’t get the motivation. It is weird, but definitely Ironman takes a toll on all that stuff. Our weekend workout was good so I guess we didn’t feel like working out during the week was going to make much of a difference on our performance on both races, it is like in college, cramming everything in the day before the test doesn’t do you any good, what you do leading up to it is what counts, in our case, just like in college it wasn’t much so we were going with our reserves and left over endurance.

Our 5K morning started as usual, light breakfast, get the pup ready as we were turning her over to her foster mom L and her kids for the weekend and head out to the park. It was a different park than 4 years ago, and was closer to home. We met M and G there as they were doing it with us as well. Picked up our package and got our selves ready for the race, total about 300 people or so, not a big race. G decided that he wanted to be up front as he didn’t like to pass people. M, Res and I stayed in the back and did our usual “was fun and giggles until the gun went off” joke. I took off, my pace was nice, it was pretty flat and maybe a slight tail wind. I got to see G maybe a bit after mile 1 so kept him in my sights. Close to mile 1.2 was the water station and got some water and saw L and her kids and said hello and gave them a hug, then got on my way. At the turn I had G within a good distance so I caught up to him, talked to him for a bit, he seemed to be pushing hard, we had maybe 0.5 miles to go so I told him “let’s take it home” which we did, a bit of a sprint to the end. It was good, had a great run, PRed, and got 2nd place of the AG and 13th overall. Res got 5th place on her AG running with JayJay which was pretty awesome considering that she claimed not to be pushing but still did it in 30 minutes :), note how that is not pushing it. G came in 3rd in his AG and M came also with a PR. We were all happy.

Then heading home to pack for the tri, get 4 bikes and 5 athletes with gear and bags in the truck was a bit of a challenge but we managed leave it to the engineer to figure that one out. Headed to PK and got to the team’s cabins. It was cool to get with 30+ teammates for a little camping fun, s’mores and all were in order.

Race day came quick. We were ready by 6:30 however alarms went off by 5:15 and snores a lot earlier than that. Oh well…. it happens, glad I had my headphones so I could sleep a bit more. Swim was ok, nothing too extraordinary, came out of the water with my arms feeling so heavy (granted haven’t swam in a week and no swims during the week only weekends). T1 was a bit uphill run and had to carry the bike out for a while, which felt like forever and the arms could hardly carry the 17lbs bike. My swim was a bit faster than last year, so I guess I was in for a PR there. The bike was fun, I’m loving the bike a lot and feeling so strong on it. Managed to keep a girl in my sights and pushed 22 mph for a good ways to the hill before the turn point. I passed Z (the coaches son up the hill), J (another teammate) and saw I only had BH, F. in front of me from the team. On the turn point I saw the rest of the team and kept going was 3rd of the team couldn’t complain about that and it wasn’t by far, I was pretty darn close to the other 2. On the way back I felt a bit of head wind and pushed a bit not much because I wasn’t sure about the run. It wasn’t the same run as last year so I wanted to have some legs left. Well I still managed about 19 mph  on the way back and ended with an official 19 mph average (19.6 mph from the garmin I take that!). Was again faster than last year so the run was the decisive factor of my overall PR and maybe second podium of the weekend. That ended quickly, the run as expected was a trail run but was more of a hiking trail run and hard trails they were. I give it to the organizers they were covered, but heck!!! they beat the crap out of us there. Total run in the trails about 3.5 miles so had 2.6 left to go. At mile 4 guess what… another hill, legs shut. Mile 5.5 saw the cheering squad from the team and S was making sure to run with us a bit of it, that was such an energy boost, yet legs not feeling it but managed to get to the finish line.

Res on the other hand had a great swim, this year was not a wetsuit legal race, so she was nervous but came out of the water faster than last year, which was proof that she is a lot stronger and getting faster. The bike was pretty much the same as last year, but she felt issues with the bike and I still have to check it, her garmin showed a good pace, cadence and heart rate which she’s been working on for the last few months. The run took such a beat on all of us, she didn’t like the run much, granted she’s never done a trail run in her life so that was a new for her.

Trifecta Tri
Trifecta Tri (album, click to see it)

I guess we learned from this last tri a few lessons. Not all tris are the same, even if you know the course your body reacts different to the environment and tris have a lot of outside factors that affect the whole result. In our case we had heat (didn’t have it last year), had trained a lot more last year, and also the trail run was new. Well, if you look at it, it was a great day and it embraced the true reason why we do triathlons. We do tris to push our bodies, to learn our limits, to see new things and get out of comfort zone and that is exactly what the trail run did. Would we do it again? as usual… heck yes!!! would we prepare for it? of course, now we know what to expect and hopefully the coach makes us train on those trails. It is like everything… the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.

Official times:


Bib: 173 Division Place: 10 Total Division: 14
Age: 32 Gender: M Gender Place: 52
Intermediate Distance Place: 61 Chip Time: 3:10:07 Pace:
Swim Rank: 101 Swim Time: 32:28:00 Swim Pace: 2:10/M
T1 Rank: 74 T1 Time: 4:22 T1 Pace:
Bike Rank: 32 Bike Time: 1:18:09 Bike Pace: 19.0mph
T2 Rank: 63 T2 Time: 2:23 T2 Pace:
Run Rank: 77 Run Time: 1:12:43 Run Pace: 11:44/M

Bib: 174 Division Place: 6 Total Division: 8
Age: 36 Gender: F Gender Place: 29
Intermediate Distance Place: 124 Chip Time: 3:48:35 Pace:
Swim Rank: 138 Swim Time: 37:50:00 Swim Pace: 2:31/M
T1 Rank: 64 T1 Time: 4:14 T1 Pace:
Bike Rank: 112 Bike Time: 1:35:11 Bike Pace: 15.6mph
T2 Rank: 100 T2 Time: 3:01 T2 Pace:
Run Rank: 125 Run Time: 1:28:17 Run Pace: 14:14/M

With that we conclude another successful tri season, we are off to close out our year with a half marathon, a relay run, a marathon (Dallas Marathon) and probably a 10K here and there… for sure it has been heck of a season, tons of miles on every sport (we will leave the summary for the end of the year post) but for sure we’ve gotten better at it and making progress on our speeds and paces. Granted our last tri run doesn’t reflect that, but conditions didn’t allow it. We are both feeling stronger than ever and willing to continue with this crazy journey. Stay tuned for our planning of the 2014 season… IMAZ here we come.


… maybe we are back…

So over the last few months we’ve been focusing on things other than triathlon… like life in general. It’s funny, but even though we want to workout and our bodies actually feel ok during workouts it is just hard to go at it with the same intensity or regularity that we were before. Even funnier is to go to the group workouts and hear everyone (most of everyone, except the new team members) say that they haven’t really worked out as they had planned.

On the personal non-tri front, I (Puli) am happy to announce that my Oregon stunts have probably come to an end. Yes, I’m back to the good ol’ Texas. Even though I had a great experience working there both personally and professionally, nothing compares to being home and sleeping in your own bed with the ones you love next to you (that being Res and JayJay). On the workout front, well I think I’m going to miss a bit of it, working out there was pretty awesome, got to do awesome rides and runs. So I got to say… we are probably planning a riding vacation out there.

Last Mountain Bike Ride in Oregon

Climb to Mary’s Peak, OR

On the personal tri front, a couple of weeks ago we did the Disco Olympic tri. Being our second Olympic and our first race after Ironman Texas, we really wanted to do it to come back to it. To try to get back to the swing of things. Traveling didn’t allow for much swimming and motivation wasn’t really there the whole time. So we did what we could, hitting about 50% of the training plan our Coach M graciously put for us, but not really killing ourselves to keep up with it. We weren’t really afraid of the distance. Funny now how a 1500 m swim, 23 mi on the bike and a 10K on the run really doesn’t even phase us and probably we need to take it more serious than that, but after having done 5 times that, we know our bodies have the distance, might not have the speed but we know we can finish it and not really puke or be completely exhausted by it.

Back to our Disco Tri, granted I had flown in on Friday for a Sunday race and had to leave again Monday so needless to say I was preoccupied, tired and really didn’t feel like going out there to kill my self on the tri. Regardless I gave it my best, I think we all did.

The morning came, we had the Keller carpool ready (truck’s name for race days, since we tend to fit 4-5 bikes and 4-5 people in it) and we headed up to the tri. About an hour’s drive from home. So the wake up call came at 3:45 am (last time we did that was on Ironman day). We headed up there and it was overcast, and storms were rolling in. Got to the park after a minor incident getting into the park which I’m not going to bore you with, we got in parked and unloaded. Transition setup was again uneventful, with the exception of a lady who was just rude. I think she was a beginner and I was trying to help her but she was just rude (maybe she wasn’t a morning person). We had designated racks (like many races) and she decided to come to my rack, when she was like 4 racks down actually by Res (her number was one number before Res) so I politely told her, she should not be racking there as they would probably make her re-rack and/or get a penalty. She fought me back and just went to the rack next to us, again racking way off from the place she had to. She even had a balloon for her bike, thought that was cute. Anyways…. I think in our sport we try to be nice for the most part and here is one of the reasons we share our experience, so other people getting started know or learn from our mistakes. So lesson here, listen to others, they are not trying to make your life harder, if they tell you something maybe is worth listening.

Res Looking Good 
My Signature… tongue out

The swim:
On the swim I knew I wanted to stay around 30 minutes, that meant to keep a
2:00’/100m pace. The swim start was a mass start with all male and female under 40. I started towards the back and found myself towards the middle by the first turn. I found a few feet that I followed but then ended up passing. Sighiting was a bit difficult because they only had the big buoys but other than that pretty easy swim. Garmin read 31:56 or 2:03’/100m, not bad.

Bad Ass team

The bike:
By the time I got to the bike the rain started, it wasn’t too bad at first and I tried to push hard to see if I could cover more while the roads were dry, that didn’t last long, about mile 1 or the entrance to the park the rain just was a constant drizzle and pretty much I settled for a pace to be safe and not screwed up crashing. I settled for a 20 mph pace which I tried to keep, some hills slowed me down but I didn’t want to push too hard on them as I didn’t really want to walk the 10K. I came out of the Oly detour and got with the Sprint people, I saw a couple of our teammates that I knew were ahead of me from the swim but they weren’t too far ahead of me, maybe 1 mile or so, so I knew it wasn’t too bad. Saw Res and a few others heading behind me and warned them to be careful on the turn as some folks had wiped out with the wet road. Anyways I started passing Sprint people and here was the other incident of the day. Note to people here…. please read the rules when you participate, mistakes can get you penalized and its not fun to spend time at the penalty box on big races (luckily I haven’t and hope I won’t). I was going up a hill and saw one of our teammates doing the Sprint distance. He is an average rider, I’ve ridden with him before a couple of times and he can keep up a 20-22mph pace for about 20-30 miles but not beyond that. So I was going and I did the usual short conversation “what’s up… good job” and I was going to pass him, I had already taken his side, so common sense is alright… see ya… I’m leaving you are staying bake. What does he do? gets off his saddle to not let me pass him. I think he thought this was a ride around our normal route where we are riding side by side. Well, I played it cool and I just shifted got off my saddle and left him, just pissed me off for many reasons…. 1. you don’t do that period… is the rule… 2. it’s your teammate passing you doing a longer distance, therefore… stay back and accept it. 3. again… it was wrong. Anyways I wasn’t going to let that bother me, just aggravated me a bit, but kept going.  Finished the bike, I wanted to have an hour (in perfect conditions) but with the rain I take the 1:08 I had, 20.2 mph average.


Res focussed on the finsh

Off to the run I went, I felt pretty good starting, it was a 2 loop run. First loop went ok, second loop I was starting to feel the lack of training, I was trying to keep an 8:30’/mile pace and not get my heart rate too high, but on the second loop I found my self slowing down between miles 3-5. I saw Res at mile 5 and she told me to go finish strong, I had started to pick up the pace then, I was doing about 8’/miles then and had a girl running behind me and we were just pushing off from each other. It was raining so I could hear her strides and she was keeping my same pace. When we came to the last 200 yds of the run she just sprinted to pass me, I gave it all I could to not let that happen and not let her chick me… yes I have some pride left :). It was funny because at the end she hugged me and thanked me for pushing her. It was more the other way around but I didn’t say anything. Come to find out my 10K was 53:28 or an 8:40’/mi pace, come to find out later she was running a 7:40’/mi. which is what I kept for the last mile.

Worried about getting chicked….didn’t happen!

All and all, the race was a good one, weather was great, could do without the rain but it turned out great. I think the rain actually helped us to stay cool and also to not push so much on the bike that we were able to run the 10K without that much of a problem. Definitely will do the race again next year so we can see how we do.

Not a bad swag… Disco Tri-Top

Trifecta Tri – Our first Olympic distance

What a great race!! First all around, first olympic distance for us and first inaugural Trifecta Triathlon.

On Saturday we had a 75/30 brick on our schedule, we were debating about doing it because we weren’t sure how it was going to affect our race on Sunday. We decided on Friday we will do it and just do a slow one. We headed out to meet Coach M at the lake since he had the IM guys do their swim. It was a cold morning, in the high 60s a bit chilly for a ride in September, but we went off to do our 21 mile loop. We just strolled, Puli was drafting the whole way from me saying that I help him keep a nice pace, it was more me helping him because he didn’t want to work the legs. We then got back at the 1:20 mark and got our kicks on, and off for a nice 5K run, we just went out 15 and 15 back, weather was still nice and cold so it felt good.

We headed home to finish packing and get our stuff ready for the roadtrip to PK Lake. We were meeting some teammates along the way so we headed out. Got to PK, did our check-in first thing. This was a bit different for us, as we had to check-in our bikes and our running gear ahead of time. We did all that, and then headed to our team cabin. We also did a quick drive of the bike route with the team to see what we were up against the next day, so glad we did, see why later.. We organized our sleeping arrangements and then headed out to dinner at Puli’s friends lake house, the rest of the team stayed and had the dinner they offered there. We headed back and by 10 pm lights were out and us trying to sleep with 9 more people in the same room, it was quiet an experience but we survived, we were so tired from the early brick that we just crashed.

Alarms started to go off at 4:30, then by 5:30 we were all up and starting to get ready. Everyone did their breakfast rituals, it was funny to see that. We are pretty simple when it comes to that. Quick oatmeal, banana, water/gatorade and we are good to go. Race didn’t start until 7:30 so we kept it simple. By 6.30 we were heading to T1, last check of the bikes, pump air, setup shoes, helmet and glasses and off to body marking. The day looked a bit cold, so I decided to go with wetsuit, as they had announced the day before that it was going to be legal, so I used the advantage, considering that my swim had been struggling for a few weeks and I was off from swimming all last week. Puli decided to not use his.

Puli was the first wave so off he went after the pro’s left. I was the 3 wave. I felt strong on the swim, my sighting definitely improved and the wetsuit gave me more confidence to do the 1500 meter swim. My swim was 36:49, not too bad, considering that I was in the 40’s when doing it at training. I felt good coming out of the water. They had strippers and it was good, got on my bike and the road was a bit bad at the beginning and one of my aerobars became lose. It was moving so much I had to be aero the whole time, it was uncomfortable at the beginning but by the end I was concentrated and it didn’t bother me as much. I was so glad that we had done the drive of the ride the day before because that big hill at mile 14 right before the turn was steeper than we all thought. I was able to do the bike in 1:29 averaging 16.7 mph on the bike, considering my tech difficulties and the hills, I was happy with my time. Got to T2, we new we were going to be in a rough T2, but it was a slow one. Got my newtons on and off to the run, we had driven some of the run we knew we were hitting hills at mile 1, but didn’t count with the hill at mile 2, it was steep, when I finished those two I knew the rest of the way so it wasn’t that bad. Was feeling pretty strong the whole way, I managed to keep a 9:03’/mi pace which to me it was great. Legs were feeling strong. Overall a great race, great volunteers and course support. Will do it again next year.

Here are the maps and profiles of the bike and run according to Puli’s Garmin:

And a nice treat from the organizers… a great production video