November 28, 2011

The Nutcracker triathlon

I registered for the Nutcracker triathlon, formerly called the Jingle Bell triathlon. The Nutcracker triathlon will be held on Dec 4th and is a sprint distance tri. It is a chip timed Run-Bike-Swim held at the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center here in wonderful New Mexico. The bike course is an out-and-back (difficult bike course) and the run is a VERY hilly 1 loop course. The swim is a serpentine swim up/down one lane at a time. Distances: 5k run, 25k bike, 400yd swim. The Nutcracker's RD is Mark Miko, who is one of the 2 best RD's of all time (tied with the Greer's from Lubbock TX).

This race is only 14 days after Ironman Arizona. It's probably a bad idea for me to be racing only 14 days after IMAZ, especially since the Nutcracker tri is such a difficult course. In the last few years the 2nd place 35-39 AG finisher's average time in the Nutcracker tri has been 1 hour 11 minutes to 1 hour 12 minutes. In 2008 & 2009 I raced this event & finished with a 1 hour 25 minute (4th place AG) and a 1 hour 28 minutes (3rd place AG), but I was 20-40 pounds heavier. I'm currently in better shape and lighter than I was in '08 & '09, but I'll be riding the slowest bike ever manufactured. So only time will tell how I'll finish my 1st race of the 2012 season.

November 26, 2011

triathlon off season

I don't usually take any time off from triathlon training, consequently I usually suffer from burn out mid season. This winter I'll take 2 weeks completely off of triathlon training, then do 4 weeks of strength training. To avoid burn out during the 2012 season I wont be doing any swimming, biking, or running until January 2012. But I will be losing weight! Since mid season I had maintained 181 pounds, now I'm in the process of getting lower! I was planning on stopping my weight loss at 179 pounds, but I'm already at 177. Next stop 175 pounds!

November 22, 2011

Ironman Arizona 2011 race report

On Nov 20th 2011 I competed in Ironman Arizona 2011. I felt great on race morning. I felt certain I'd be able to go sub 13 hours, which has been a goal of mine since I 1st fell in love with triathlon in 2004.

The swim:
The water was 61 degrees, but it felt MUCH colder than that. I felt great at the beginning of the swim. By the time I made it to the half way point I was shaking uncontrollably and my arms weren't doing what I was trying to make them do. I made it to the half way point in 40 minutes. If I kept up that pace I'd finish the swim 20 minutes faster than my goal time, but I was concerned about my arms not working and my body shaking. This was my 76th multisport race and I'd never had anything like that happen before.

When I got about 3/4's of the way through the swim my body was shaking uncontrollably, I was reduced to a dog paddle, I couldn't get my arms to move more than 6 inches in an up and down movement, and I kept getting lost. Every few minutes a volunteer in a boat would tell me I needed to swim 90 degrees to the the right or left. On three separate occasions I was somehow swimming back to the turn around point, 180 degrees in the wrong direction.

The last 200 yards I was in trouble. My body was shaking so bad it was like I was having convulsions. My arms was no longer responding to my demands to swim. I kept sinking under the water. By that point there were 3 boats surrounding me, they kept telling me I had to stop going under the water or they were going to pull me out of the water & DNF me.

Somehow I made it to the end of the swim in 1 hour 53 minutes;-( The people on the docks had to pull me out of the water and pull me to a standing position. I couldn't stand on my own, and I could barely walk. On my way to the changing tent I couldn't jog in a straight line. I kept stumbling and running into the barriers. When I got into the changing tent I was shaking so badly I couldn't get my cycling shoes or helmet on. The volunteers had to help me stand up and virtually carry me next to a heater and wrap me in blankets to try and warm me up. Transition one took me 10 minutes;-(

The bike:
On the bike it took me over an hour before I stopped shaking, two hours before I could peddle half way decent. I was able to avoid trying to push myself too hard to make up for the time I'd lost in the swim and transition. I followed my race plan on the bike perfectly. By the 60 mile mark of the bike I felt normal again and biked well considering I was racing on an old slow and heavy road bike- my TT bike was destroyed in a an accident in September. I finished the bike in 7 hours 19 minutes, which was faster than I thought I be able to do on my tank of a bike.

The run:
I felt great as soon as I started running. I kept to my race plan of keeping in zone 2 for the 1st 11 miles and was able to keep a 9:06 average pace. I was ahead of my expected pace, and all my training showed I could keep a sub 10 minute per mile pace running in zone 2 easily. Once the sun set and the temperature started to drop I started to have problems with my body temperature. My body started shaking again. As the temperature continued to drop I got colder and I began to shake much worse. Eventually I couldn't make my hands move. Once my arms stopped responding to what I was trying to get them to do I stopped at a dog poop bag dispenser and grabbed some bags to wrap around my hands to try and warm them up. After an hour my of having the bags wrapped around my hands I was able to move my arms again rather than them hanging limp by my sides as I walked. On the last hour of the run my left leg began to have the same problem my arms did earlier. I had to partially drag it along behind me like Frankenstein's monster. It took me over 4 hours to walk the last 13 miles. My marathon time was a putrid 5 hours 56 minutes.

It was my worst Ironman finish time. 15 hours 20 minutes, but I never stopped moving froward. I never quit. I fought when others would have given up. I may not have figured out how to be a fast Iron distance triathlete yet, but I have determination. I separated my shoulder in 2005 for my 1st Iron attempt and couldn't race, DNS. In 2006 I didn't make the last bike cut off point & DNF'd my 2nd Iron attempt. I made a mistake with pre race nutrition in 2007 at my 3rd attempt and had to walk the entire marathon. This year I had hypothermia and was forced to walk the 2nd half of my marathon. I have enough fight in me for 3 people. I will try again. I'll break 13 hours. I am unstoppable, I am strengthened by God!

I got my body fat tested in Sept and the exercise physiologist told me not to lose any more weight or I'd start having problems with my training, racing, and my health. I was at 6.8 percent body fat and 181 pounds. One of the problem she told me I'd have if I had too low of body fat was I'd be unable to control my bodies core temperature. I'm certain that's what my problem was while racing Ironman Arizona2011. As ridiculous as it sounds, I got a case of hypothermia in Tempe Arizona. I dont want to gain weight to avoid this happening again. Instead I'll try and prevent my body from getting overly cold by buying a full sleeve wet suit and a neoprene cap. I'll also put jackets, gloves, and other cold weather gear in my run special needs bags. Hopefully that will prevent this from happening again.

I want to try another Ironman again as soon as possible, but I wont be registering for any more races until I get a new bike. Riding on that bike is not enjoyable, and there's no sense racing if I'm not having fun. I already paid for the Nutcracker triathlon that will be held in December in Rio Rancho. Since I paid for the Nutcracker triathlon already I'll race it, but outside of the Nutcracker I wont be racing again until I get a new bike.

body fat too low?

I had my body fat tested at the UNM physiology lab late last month. I had 6.8 percent body fat. The person who ran the lab told me it wasn't a good idea to get below 5 percent. I googled the reasons why. The net didn't have much to say. What information I was able to find was very basic. I posted some of the info the web site's had posted (see 3rd paragraph and below).

After giving up on getting the information on the net I contacted a dietitian. He told me essential body fat is necessary to regulate my core body temperature. Fat is necessary to create hormones like testosterone. Eating fat and having a minimum amount of essential body fat is also necessary for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all classified as fat soluble vitamins - since they are soluble in fat and are absorbed by the body from the intestinal tract. They follow the same path of absorption as fat and any condition interfering with the absorption of fats or not having enough fat in storage would result in poor absorption of these vitamins.

Wikipedia says:
A person's percentage is the total weight of the person's fat divided by the person's weight and consists of essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is necessary to maintain life and reproductive functions. The percentage for women is greater than that for men, due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. Essential fat is 3%–5% in men, and 8–12% in women. Storage body fat consists of fat accumulation in adipose tissue, part of which protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen. The minimum recommended total body fat percentage exceeds the essential fat percentage value reported above. says:
Men can get down to around 5% and women to about 12% body fat. Below those numbers you really have to be careful that some basic physiological and hormone systems aren't disrupted to the extent that you get ill. The immune system can suffer, and in women, periods can go missing and bone health can be affected adversely.

An article written by a UNM exercise physiology student says:
Body Composition
The body is composed of water, protein, minerals, and fat. A two-component model of body composition divides the body into a fat component and fat-free component. Body fat is the most variable constituent of the body. The total amount of body fat consists of essential fat and storage fat. Fat in the marrow of bones, in the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, muscles, and lipid-rich tissues throughout the central nervous system is called essential fat, whereas fat that accumulates in adipose tissue is called storage fat. Essential fat is necessary for normal bodily functioning. The essential fat of women is higher than that of men because it includes sex-characteristic fat related to child-bearing. Storage fat is located around internal organs (internal storage fat) and directly beneath the skin (subcutaneous storage fat). It provides bodily protection and serves as an insulator to conserve body heat. The relationship between subcutaneous fat and internal fat may not be the same for all individuals and may fluctuate during the life cycle.
Lean body mass represents the weight of your muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and internal organs. Lean body mass differs from fat-free mass. Since there is some essential fat in the marrow of your bones and internal organs, the lean body mass includes a small percentage of essential fat. However, with the two-component model of body composition, these sources of essential fat are estimated and subtracted from total body weight to obtain the fat-free mass. Practical methods of assessing body composition such as skinfolds, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and hydrostatic weighing are based on the two-component (fat and fat-free mass) model of body composition.

Standards of Body Fat nessary
Our bodies require essential fat because it serves as an important metabolic fuel for energy production and other normal bodily functions. Referring to Table 1, you can see that the essential fat requirements are < 5% for men and < 8% for women. Normal body functions may be disrupted if body fat falls below the minimum level recommended for men (5%) and women (15%). The body fat ranges for optimal health (18%-30% for women and 10%-25% for men) are based on several epidemiological studies of the general population. Body fat percentages for optimal fitness and for athletes tend to be lower than optimal health values because excess fat may hinder physical performance and activity.

November 20, 2011

2011 Ironman Arizona race day morning

By now I will have started my race. I'll be racing in the 2011 Ironman Arizona. My race strategy is to swim & bike moderately then crush the marathon! Through the day I’ll need to remind myself that anyone can go out hard on the swim and bike, but what toll would it take farther down the line? Endurance athletics requires a certain discretion and reserve. It would be easy to let my ego get the better of me early on and bike beyond my means. It would be a mistake that would haunt me as the hours and miles added up. One of the biggest challenges on the bike will be to have the discipline to ride easy, even as other triathletes pass me. And I hate being passed. Today I’ll rely on my heart rate monitor like never before. I’ll use my HR monitor to make sure my pace is sensible.

I'll let you know how my strategy works as soon as I can get to a computer post race! Thanks for tuning in and wish me luck!

For today's race I found a great quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there in no effort without error and short coming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

November 19, 2011

my fortune cookie

Tonight after carb building with some Panda Express my fortune cookie told me, "FORTUNE IS ON YOUR SIDE- PLAY IT FOR ALL IT'S WORTH".

I believe that bodes well for Ironman Arizona tomorrow!

Ironman gear bags, how to avoid swiming naked at your 1st Ironman

Contained below is how to avoid having to swim naked in your 1st Ironman triathlon!What are these “Gear bags?”. I'll post some info on these bags to help you avoid some of the common problems and mistakes made with the gear bags during your 1st Ironman.

During my 1st Ironman I was so excited I loaded all of my bike gear into my bike gear bag. When I went to get into my wet suit I didn't have my cycling shorts or shirt to wear under neath, I was forced to swim naked underneath my wet suit. The wet suit strippers had quite the surprise! This Iron shock to them & I could have been avoided if I'd have known to not keep my cycling clothes on under neath my wet suit rather than put them into my cycling gear bag.

Hint #2. In the 2 WTC Iron events I've done I never got my race morningf bag back, so dont leave anything in them you want to see again!

You are not allowed to leave anything next to your bike on race day, so all your gear is in bags that you will pick up at each transition.

You get 5 bags for the following:
• Swim to bike transition:
Put everything in here you need for T1 helmet, glasses, shoes and socks, gloves, food, and anything else you need for the bike section. WARNING! If you are planning on wearing your cycling shorts, jersey, or bib under your wet suit then DON’t put them into your bike gear bag. If you put them into your bike gear bag you wont get them back until after your swim. I prefer to wear my bike clothes under my wet suit to be faster in T-1.
• Bike to run transition:
Put everything in here you need for T2: hat, glasses (if different from your biking glasses), shoes and socks, different shirt if necessary, food, etc.
• Bike special needs:
Nutrients and anything else you think you might need during the ride—Vaseline, frozen sports drink bottle, gel flask just in case, etc. You pisk this up about midway through the ride.
• Run special needs:
Maybe a change of socks, Vaseline, salt tabs, pain killers (but not NSAIDS), special food, a long sleeved sweater in case it is cold when you run in the dark (tie it around your waist, so you have it). This will be available about half way through the run.
• Dry clothes bag:
For what you can change into after you finish.

On race day, if the gear collection area is not congested, a volunteer will actually hand you your gear bags, but if it is busy you will have to get them yourself, so know where your bag is!

The day before the race.
1. Affix all your stickers and tags to everything. Figure out where your gear bag is located, where your bike is and where you should leave your special needs and dry gear bags on race day.
2. You need to have reflective tape on your run gear (you can get it at Inside Out Sports): a piece on the toe and heel of each shoe, a piece on the right and left of both front and back of shirt and shorts! Do this before you even leave home!
3. Lastly, label all your gear, including shoes before you leave home.
What are you wearing for each portion of the race? Some people actually wear two pairs of shorts for the bike: one compression pair (that double as running shorts-Sugoi and DeSoto have some) and one bike pair. Both can be worn under the wetsuit, or you can add the biking pair in the change tent. Make sure that the compression shorts have no seams in the crotch! Once in T2, you can just remove the bike shorts.

The day before the race, it is a good idea to do a pre-race brick: 30 minute bike ride and 15 minute run - all at race pace. A good idea would be to ride some of the run course.

I would also take advantage of the open water swims in the mornings leading up to race day.

Race Day

NOTE: absolutely no assistance of any kind is allowed from spectators and friends and family - this includes running, biking or driving with you, giving technical support, and/or handing you any food or anything else. You will be disqualified.

Remember to race within yourself and follow your pacing plan. Do not be tempted to run anyone else’s race. Use your HR to guide you, if you have been training with a monitor. Whatever happens, use your mind as well as your body to deal with it, as a race this long is not won, or finished, by just being fit enough. Mental training should be as much a part of race prep and race execution as all your other training.

Get up in plenty of time to eat the breakfast you always eat before your long training sessions, and do whatever mental preparation you have been training with. Remember, you are trained and ready for this event!

Gates to the transition area are open at 5:00 and close at 6:30 am
• Bring your swim cap, wetsuit, special needs and dry gear bags, timing chip. If you have a friend there, you can bring your pump too and give it to them after you have finished pumping your tires. Please note, there will be bike assistance people there to pump up your tires, so it is not necessary for you to bring yours.
• Stow your special needs and dry clothes bags, go to the body marking area and then go and put on your wetsuit. If you pumped your own tires, hand off your pump to your friends.
• Go down to the water to wait for the race to start.

• Out on the swim course, there will be race crew to help you with directions.
• The swim course closes after 2 hours and 20 minutes. If you are still out there after this time, you will be DQ’d and not allowed to continue.

• Once out of the water, you will be directed through timing chutes that lead you up and through the wetsuit strip area and showers. There are special wet suit strippers there to help you get out of your suit—let them do the work!
• Then head up to the gear racks and into the change tents. There are volunteers in there who will give you anything you ask for: Vaseline, sunblock, etc. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance—use the volunteers!
• Make sure you are fully clothed and ready to get on your bike before you head out to the bike storage racks. Get on your bike and go!
• You must have your race numbers on. You can wear it on your race belt - in the back for the bike and in the front for the run.
• When you first get on the bike, take in some plain water and, as soon as you feel able, start taking in nutrients. Follow your pre-designed and well practice hydration and nutrition plan to the letter through out the ride.
• Initially, try to keep your HR in Z1-2 so you can settle into the bike. No matter how good you feel, do not let your HR out of Z2 for the first 30 miles!
Keep the intensity/ HR and cadence you have been training with. During the middle of the bike, it would be OK if your HR crept up to the low end of Z3, but preferably you will stay in Z2 for the duration. It will be hard at times to resist the urge to go faster. But remember, you have to conserve energy and try to use fats for energy, and this is only possible if you are totally aerobic. Go faster and you start using up your glycogen stores, you build up lactic acid, and bonking becomes much more of a possibility. Do NOT be concerned with your speed on the bike—just HR and cadence, just like in training.
• Bike aid stations are every 10 miles or so. They will have: water (in white bottles), Gatorade (in Gatorade bottles), bars, Gu, fruit and cookies. Call out what you want and slow appropriately to safely get it.
• There will be technical vans out on the course to assist you. BUT, you should know how to deal with minor problems-flats, etc. So maybe take a beginner course in bike maintenance? Ensure you have had your bike thoroughly checked over before you leave home.
• There will also be medical vans out on the course and at aid stations. Getting medical assistance does not automatically mean your race is over.
• Bike course closes 10:30 hours after the race start and if you are still on the course you will be DQ’d.
Again, there will be volunteers to assist you in the change tents. Full medical facilities are available there.

• You must have your run number and reflective tape. You can wear your number on your race belt—in the back for the bike and in the front for the run.
• Aid stations are located about every mile and will have the following: water, Gatorade, Cola, bars, Gu, fruit and cookies and chicken broth.
• Once again, follow your hydration and nutrition plan to the letter!
• The special needs bag will be available about half way through the run - take out your long-sleeved sweater and tie it around you waist so you have it just in case.
• Self-illuminating light sticks are available at the aid stations, and after dusk you are required to have one.
• The run course closes at midnight, but you may finish if you want. If you do not want to continue, you will be brought back to the transition area.
Post race
• Finisher t-shirts and medals will be awarded at the finish line!
• Drink up! But not plain water—some form of carb drink is best. And eat what you can. Remember, to assist in recovery, a 4-1 ratio of carbs to protein in best within 30 minutes of finishing.
• Keep walking so that you do not cramp up, change into some dry clothes and then go and get a massage!
For your support crew (friends and family) there is an “Ironmates” designated area where they can get info about how you are doing on the course and track your progress.

There is a medical information board here too, which they should check periodically to see if their athlete’s name is posted. If it is, check with a volunteer and they will provide more info. Personal messages can be posted here, and this is the best place to meet up once the race is over. Ironmates are not allowed in the finish chutes.

Duathlon and Triathlon Long Distance World Championships host cities for 2012 and 2013

I was thinking about trying to qualify for the 2013 World long course triathlon championships. The qualifier is the Redman half triathlon held on Sept 22nd 2012. Turns out even if I qualified I'd never be able to afford to travel to where the long course worlds are being held: Belfort, France. I may try to qualify anyways just for fun.

ITU posted this on their web site:
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is pleased to announce the host cities for the 2012 and 2013 ITU Duathlon and Long Distance Triathlon World Championships.

The 2012 ITU Duathlon World Championships will be held in Nancy, France on September 22-23, 2012. Nancy hosted the ETU European Duathlon Championships in 2010, and now makes the step up to the world stage. Nancy is in northeastern France and is well-known for its magnificent World Heritage site, the Place Stanilas.

Segovia, Spain has been awarded the 2013 ITU Duathlon World Championships in September (exact dates to be confirmed). Segovia is a city full of history, with buildings like the Aqueduct, the Tower of San Esteban, the Monastery of El Parral, the Church of La Vera Crux and the Alcázar. In 1985, UNESCO named the entire city as a World Heritage site. Segovia also has a long history in sport, particularly cycling. Pedro Delgado, the 1988 Tour de France champion, was born in Segovia and the Tour of Spain has passed through it for many years.

The 2013 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships will be held in Belfort, France on June 1-2, 2013. Belfort is in the heart of Europe between the Malsaucy peninsula and the Ballon d’Alsace and the doorstep of Switzerland and Germany. The town has already hosted a number of triathlon events, including the World Military Triathlon Championships in 2004, the National French Duathlon Championships in 2005 and the National French Triathlon Championships in 2008 and 2009.

The 2012 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, already awarded to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain is now confirmed for July 29, 2012. Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of basque country and hosted the Spanish national long distance titles in 2009.

ITU President Marisol Casado said she was excited to announce the next two year’s World Championships for long distance triathlon and duathlon.

“I’m excited to officially welcome Nancy, Belfort, Segovia and Vitoria-Gasteiz into our world championship host family and I am confident that that all these events will be a wonderful success,” Casado said. “The ITU is a strong supporter of all its MultiSport disciplines, as they all part of spreading triathlon’s message around the world, and we would like to thank these host cities for helping us to achieve this.”

Duathlon consists of a 10km run, followed by 40km bike and finishes with a 5km run. The 2011 ITU Duathlon World Championships will be held in Gijon, Spain on September 24-25.

Long Distance Triathlon is a 4km swim, 120km bike and 30km run. The 2011 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships will be staged in Henderson, Nevada, USA on November 5.

November 18, 2011

expected Ironman Arizona finishing times

My expected Ironman Arizona finishing times are:

The 2.4 mile swim: I have no clue!
Expected: Perhaps 1:40 minutes.
Hoping for: 1:35.
I was swimming for a couple months with the Santa Fe HITS masters swim club. My endurance improved, I could swim longer without getting tired, but I never felt like my speed improved. I need to get some swim lessons.

The 112 mile bike:
Expected: 8 hours.
Hoping for: 7:20.
On my tank of a bike I suspect I’ll only maintain a 14 mph pace, 15 mph at best.

The 26.2 mile run:
Expected: 4 hours 20 minutes.
Hoping for: sub 4 hours.
My long distance running is at an all time best. Even if my legs are trashed from pushing around my incredibly heavy road bike for 112 miles I should still be able to maintain a 10 minute per mile pace.

Finish time:
Expected: 13 hours 50 minutes which would give me a PR by 47 minutes!
Hoping for sub 13 hours!

November 17, 2011

2012 National Championship Schedule announced

USAT posted this on their web site:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced the dates and locations of its 2012 National Championship schedule, providing multisport athletes from across the United States the opportunity to compete in a top-notch championship environment.

On the heels of an extremely successful 2011 USA Triathlon National Championship season, which included record fields and sold-out events, the 2012 events will again give athletes a chance to earn official national champion status.

“We are looking forward to bringing our members another great year of national championship racing in 2012,” said USA Triathlon National Events Director Jeff Dyrek. “Athletes will see some new venues on the list, as well as some return trips to fantastic locations from 2011. We look forward to crowning our 2012 national champions and securing our team members for Team USA for upcoming ITU World Championships.”

Cities selected to host 2012 USA Triathlon National Championships include: Burlington, Vt.; Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mercer Island, Wash.; Cambridge, Md.; Austin, Texas; Pelham, Ala.; and Gilford, N.H.

Details on the 2012 Junior and Youth National Championship, Elite National Championship, Club National Championship and Aquabike National Championship will be announced in the near future.

Once again, the USA Triathlon Age Group and Sprint National Championships will be held in Burlington, Vt., next year as a two-day event with Age Group Nationals taking place on Aug. 18, 2012, and Sprint Nationals on Aug. 19, 2012. In 2011, nearly 2,500 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes participated in the sold-out Olympic-distance and sprint-distance events held on the shores of Lake Champlain. Registration will open Jan. 5, 2012, for Age Group and Sprint Nationals.

For the sixth consecutive year, Tuscaloosa, Ala., will welcome triathletes to its waterways and streets for the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship on April 21, 2012. Talented collegiate triathletes will battle for national titles on a course similar to this year’s event, which saw nearly 1,600 athletes from more than 120 clubs competing for titles in the Olympic-distance, sprint-distance and team competition.

Next year in Tuscaloosa, a four-person, draft-legal mixed team relay will be contested on April 22, 2012. Registration will open Jan. 5, 2012, for Collegiate Nationals.

Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz., is the third city to repeat as a host from 2011, welcoming age group duathletes and paraduathletes from across the country on April 28, 2012, for the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championship. Registration will open Dec. 1 for Duathlon Nationals.

The 2012 USA Triathlon National Championship schedule gets under way Jan. 22 with the USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championship in Gilford, N.H.

In addition to chasing national titles, athletes also will be competing for prized spots on Team USA at a number of USA Triathlon National Championships. Team USA is comprised of age group athletes that represent the U.S. at each ITU world championship event. Click here for more information on Team USA.

Visit for more information on each USA Triathlon National Championship.

2012 USA Triathlon National Championship Schedule (Click links below for event and registration information)

Date National Championship Location
Jan. 22 Winter Triathlon National Championship (Gunstock Winter Triathlon) Gilford, N.H.
March 25 Elite Duathlon National Championship (Powerman Alabama) Pelham, Ala.
April 21-22 Collegiate National Championship Tuscaloosa, Ala.
April 28 Age Group Duathlon National Championship Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz.
May 28 Paratriathlon National Championship (Capital of Texas Triathlon) Austin, Texas
June 3 Long Course Duathlon National Championship (Blackwater Duathlon) Cambridge, Md.
July 28 Aquathlon National Championship (Islander Aquathlon) Mercer Island, Wash.
Aug. 18 Age Group National Championship Burlington, Vt.
Aug. 19 Sprint National Championship Burlington, Vt.
Sept. 22 Long Course Triathlon National Championship (Redman Triathlon) Oklahoma City, Okla.
TBA Junior and Youth National Championship (ages 7-19) TBA
TBA Elite National Championship TBA
TBA Club National Championship TBA
TBA Aquabike National Championship TBA

The ones I'd love to race would be the:
April 28 Age Group Duathlon National Championship Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz.
June 3 Long Course Duathlon National Championship (Blackwater Duathlon) Cambridge, Md.
Aug. 18 Age Group National Championship Burlington, Vt.
Aug. 19 Sprint National Championship Burlington, Vt.
Sept. 22 Long Course Triathlon National Championship (Redman Triathlon) Oklahoma City, Okla.

November 16, 2011

Mc Donalds food warning

Acrylamide has been a listed carcinogen under Proposition 65 since 1990, and it looks as though OEHHA will soon be listing it soon as a reproductive toxicant as well. Acrylamide levels in potatoes increase as they are turned into french fries, potato chips, etc. Hence, the following rather complicated Proposition 65 warning (presented here without warranty as to authenticity -- I'm not really sure):

Formal identification and sufficiency of evidence:

In 1991 and 1992, NIOSH published reports on occupational health standards for acrylamide that identified developmental and male reproductive toxicity (NIOSH 1991, 1992). These reports satisfy the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations.

NIOSH (1991) concluded that:

“…acrylamide monomer may be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, genotoxic, and hazardous to reproduction. Recent studies confirm that acrylamide exposures cause cancer and reproductive effects in animals, but epidemiologic studies have not demonstrated these effects in humans.”

“Acrylamide exposure affected both fetal and postnatal development in mouse and rat offspring when dams were orally dosed during pregnancy.”

NIOSH (1992) stated that:

“Acrylamide is an irritant, a potent neurotoxin that affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems, a reproductive toxin, and a carcinogen.”

Adverse effects on male reproduction cited in NIOSH (1991, 1992) consisted of testicular degeneration, decreased testosterone levels, decreased fertility, and dominant lethal effects in exposed experimental animals. Developmental effects included nerve degeneration, decreased birth weight and decreased weight gain in the offspring of animals exposed to acrylamide during pregnancy.

In 2005, the NTP-CERHR published a report on acrylamide (NTP-CERHR, 2005). This report concludes that the chemical causes developmental and male reproductive toxicity, and satisfies the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Proposition 65 regulations.

OEHHA is relying on the NTP-CERHR’s conclusions in the report that acrylamide causes reproductive toxicity. The NTP-CERHR report concludes that there is:

Clear evidence of adverse effects for developmental toxicity in laboratory animals.

Clear evidence of adverse effects for reproductive toxicity in laboratory animals (male mice and rats).

November 15, 2011

A selfless daughter

My daughters been saving her allowance for almost half a year now. Even when her brothers buy something with their money in front of her she chooses to save rather than buy. When we told her we were going on vacation this weekend and would take her and her brothers to the Phoenix zoo she ran to her room, grabbed her piggy bank and started counting her money. Since she'd been saving her money for such a long time I assumed she was going to buy herself something very special.

I asked her "What are you planning to buy honey?"
She replied. "I'm seeing if I have enough money to buy something for all three of us", (meaning her brothers and herself).

Earlier this week my daughter had show and tell in her kindergarten class. Most of the kids chose to show and tell their favorite possessions. My baby girl chose to show and tell her two best friends in the class named Angelina and Maia. She had them stand in front of the class with her and she told everyone why they were special and why she loved them.

My baby girl never ceases to amaze me. God has really blessed us with a daughter who is has a heart for others.

November 14, 2011

Armadillo tires

On my 1st day back to cycling outdoors I rode 56 miles and ran 4.5 miles. While riding the rubber on my Armadillo tire came off mid ride. I rode home with the rubber flapping off the tire. It was incredibly unstable, it felt as if my front wheel was riding on ice. I was glad to made it home alive!

I've put a ton of miles on those tires, I'm amazed they lasted so long. Even riding without the rubber protecting and riding on the wire tread the Armadillo tire still didn't go flat. Those tires are sound! Very heavy. But indestructible!

November 13, 2011

awkward cycling moment of the year

The awkward cycling moment of the year happened to me on Friday on the tail end of a 2 hour bike ride and 3 bottles of Gatorade:

"Well.... ummm..... I'm watering your bushes ma'am."

November 12, 2011

Ironman Arizona 2011 bib number

I just received an email that gave me my bib #. My bib # for Ironman Arizona will be #1445. You can track my progress on by entering my bib # or name. IMAZ race day is Nov 20th!

The email also stated that the Ironman corporation will disqualify any athlete who runs across the finish line with their kids. Athletes not being allowed to hold their kids hands as they run across the finish line, and IM refusing to have a Clydesdale or Athena division is the main reason I haven't done any official Ironman races since 2007. I feel the Ironman corporation is getting too big for their britches. Much to high and mighty. Very uppity. I'd think $750 for a entry fee would be enough money to allow me to run across the finish holding my child's hand. I'd rather race a grass roots Iron distance race for half the cost and get less control freak behavior & more support and compassion from the RD's. That's my rant for the year.

November 11, 2011

what every correctional officer should know

Saw this video posted on FB by Major R. Wood. Thought I'd share.

November 09, 2011

the 2012 USAT regional and national age group championships

I was planning on starting another training plan for an Iron after IMAZ this year, but my wife asked me not to because our schedules are so full. We just don't have enough time in our lives for me to be training 20 plus hours a week. She's never asked me to rein back on my triathlon obsession before so I was glad to oblige.

It didn't take me long after her request for me to figure out what I wanted to do in 2012. I'll be training and racing for one of the USAT regional triathlon championships in hopes of qualifying for the USAT 2012 age group national triathlon championships. USAT hasn't announced where the USAT 2012 regional or national age group triathlon championships will be held yet, but I'll let you know as soon as they've posted it online.

Here is how USAT says I can qualify for the national age group triathlon championships:

•Special Qualifying and Regional Championship races will qualify the top 33 percent or top five finishers (whichever is greater) in each age group.

** Note: If there are 35 athletes in an age group and an athlete places 12th or higher, they have qualified for the 2011 Age Group Nationals. If an athlete places 13th out of 35 they have not qualified.

•A non-championship USAT sanctioned event in one of the specified qualifying distances (as explained above) will qualify the top 10 percent or top finisher (whichever is greater) in each age group.

** Note: If there are 25 athletes in an age group and an athlete places 3rd or higher, they have qualified for the 2011 Age Group Nationals. If an athlete places 4th out of 25 they have not qualified.

•The top 33% or top five (whichever is greater) athletes in each age group at the USAT Age Group, Sprint and Long Course Triathlon National Championships in the current and/or previous year automatically qualify. Qualification can no longer be met at any other National Championship.

•The top 10 finishers in each age group from the 2010 USAT Age Group National Championship automatically qualify.

•Any athlete who has competed as a member of Team USA in Sprint, Intermediate or Long Course Triathlon within the past three years will automatically qualify. Qualification can no longer be met for any other Team USA participation or from participation more than three years prior.

•All-American and honorable mention All-Americans from the 2010 USAT National Rankings automatically qualify.

Note: All qualification is based on the number of athletes that start the race in the age group, not the number that actually finish or have registered.

Athena and Clydesdale
There are no qualification standards for the Athena and Clydesdale division at the Age Group National Championship in Burlington, Vt. It is an open division in which athletes may register without prior qualification.

What do I do once I Have Qualified?
Once qualification is met, athletes do not need to do anything special except indicate where and how they met qualification on the Age Group National Championship online race registration system. There will be no other steps required. Athletes will not receive a notification from USAT on their qualification as each athlete is responsible for letting us know in which race they qualified when they register online (see: Race Registration to register).

USA Triathlon will do an audit of those who have met qualification shortly after the athlete registers online. If an athlete does not get a written request for more information within two weeks of registering online, the athlete can rest assured that the entry has been accepted. From there, the athlete's name will appear on the participant list.

November 07, 2011

God, my bike, & I

Back in 2007 I purchased a road bike so I could start riding with roadies; they don't allow people to ride with them on time trial bikes and that was all I owned. I purchased the cheapest bike I could find at the time, it was a Cadillac RLE1.8 Road Bike. The 1st time I rode it I regretted my purchase, it's slow & heavy. I average 2-2.5 MPH slower than when I rode my time trial bike, but now that my time trial bike was destroyed in an accident I'm grateful to have it. My stance as a christian should be to have an attitude of gratitude, and when bad things happen I want to strive to pray and to accept Gods will over mine.

In Sept my TT bike was destroyed and I'm now forced to do all my training and racing on my road bike. I believe this slow and heavy bike was a gift from God. It's His way of reminding me that if I put Him 1st in my life He'll take care of the small things in my life. I believe this road bike is His way of showing me that He wont make me go without, and that nothing in my life is to small for Him to care about. This road bike I have is Gods way of showing me that He loves and will provide for me. It's also a great way for me to realize that the most important thing in triathlon isn't winning races or being fast. I should use triathlon as a tool to show others how I can involve God in everything I do and hopefully lead other triathletes to Christ.

In the Christian life it is not unusual for God to use hardship and pain to bring about good. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good." Pain and hardship are often the results of God disciplining His children, "for the Lord disciplines the ones He loves.... He disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Heb. 12:6, 10-11.)

Not all discipline serves to correct me when I have done wrong. Often, God's discipline in my life is a way of strengthening me; it is a means of sanctification. Although Jesus never sinned, he still "learned obedience through what he suffered" (Heb, 5-8) and was made "perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2-10). As he grew from childhood to adulthood and continued through his life on earth, the task of obedience to God became harder and harder, and it included much suffering. Through all of this, Jesus increased in His strength to obey.

Since God works even through my experience of suffering and even death to complete my sanctification, preserving my life and my general comfort should not be my highest goal. Obedience to God and faithfulness in every circumstance is far more important. That is why Paul could tell the Ephesians elders, "I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God".

Even though God uses a hardship like losing my cherished time trial bike for a positive means in my life, it is important to remember that suffering is not merely "natural," as people without God's word often think of it. Neither is sickness or evil or injustice natural. These things are not right, and in God's world they ought not to be. Although we live with these things now, one day all of them- even death- will finally be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:24-26)

November 02, 2011

Omniscience: Does God Know All Things?

Does God know everything? It’s not too surprising to hear non-Christians and even cultists deny that God is omniscient. But what is surprising is that a growing number of theologians today who profess to be evangelicals also deny it. Of course the real question is: What does the Bible say?

OMNISCIENCE OF GOD- God Knows Everything
The Bible repeatedly tells us that God knows everything. His knowledge, in fact, is “perfect [Job 37:16] and is “beyond measure” [Psa. 147:5]. He sees every move we make, He knows the innermost thoughts of our hearts and He even knows what we are going to say before we say it [1 Sam. 16:7; 1 Chron. 28:9; Psa. 139:1-6; Jer. 17:10; Heb. 4:12-13]. Unlike the false gods of our time, the Lord knows everything: Even what’s going to happen in the future [Isa. 41:21-24; 42:9; 44:7]. Jesus, interestingly enough, also tells us that our heavenly Father numbers the very hairs on our head. By the way, it’s interesting to note that God actually revealed to Isaiah the name of Cyrus even before he was actually born — in fact, one century before he was born. Cyrus, of course, was the king who returned the Jews to their homeland after the Babylonian exile [Isa. 44:28-45:1].

OMNISCIENCE OF GOD- Scripture Twisting
You know as Matthew 11 points out, God even knows what people would have done if their circumstances had been different [Matt. 11:21]. Well despite the evidence, some people today still deny that the Bible teaches that God is omniscient or all-knowing. As evidence they point out silly little things like in Genesis where God had to look for Adam in the Garden of Eden, or later on in the book of Genesis [Gen. 3:9-13] they point out that God had to go down to Sodom and Gomorrah to find out how bad their sin actually was [Gen. 18:20-21]. Well, it should go without saying that these passages don’t indicate, by any stretch of the imagination, that God doesn’t know everything. In fact, they’re not even very difficult to understand. You see, as a parent I often ask my kids where they are or what they’ve done, even when I already know, because I want them to face up to what they did wrong. God does the very same thing with us.

Since God knows everything, we can have confidence in Him and in His promises — not only for peace in this life, but an eternity of joy in the life to come. And aren’t you glad that he knows you, that He knit you together in your mother’s womb, that he fashioned you and knows exactly what you are designed to do — that all the days ordained for you are written in his book even before one of them came to be? Yes my friend, God does know all things.