Wednesday, December 31, 2008

b-cleaning - Tri Bike Fit

Outside of paying someone else to fit you, you can try setting up your bike to yourself. When I bookmarked this page, I think I was looking for an inexpensive way to fit myself to my bike.

One question that I had was that this page is titled "Tri Bike Fit" and I have a road bike, will following these instructions help me better fit on my road bike for a triathlon? This page got WAY more complex than I was ready for. Many fitters will also tell you that there is a mix between numbers and each person's body.

I think I still am going to get a professional fitting, but it doesn't hurt to have this information nearby.

Filed in "Fitness/triathlon -> Gear Maintnence"

Monday, December 29, 2008

Solutions for Garmin Forerunner 301 USB problems

I grew up in California. You could leave just about anything on your
front porch for years and not worry about it. In Florida if you leave
anything outside for a couple days the humidity can start to mold,
rust, deteriorate and just destroy things.

This is the same for my Garmin Forerunner 301. The USB port had
stopped working and after digging for solutions I think I may of
found one.

Spray some WD-40 on a toothbrush and scrub the USB port. The WD-40
will help remove any rust or corrosion and improve the contact
points. Let the Forerunner dry and you are good to plug it in to
charge it or download your running info.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

b-cleaning - Finding a road bike

Consumer Research does a pretty good job of researching the internet and making sense of a lot of the sites out there, putting it all in one place and then actually referencing the sites that they found the information on. Referencing places that you found information on adds a ton to your credibility, especially on the internet.

I believe that I bookmarked this site when I was looking for my first road bike and the site still has it's relevance. It was last updated in March of 2006.

If you are looking for your first bike or 10th, you may want to see what they have to say. They look at everything from the entry level bikes to high end ones.

going in my "fitness/triathlon" folder

Thursday, December 25, 2008

B-Cleaning - Gordo World Training Tips

This website is full of some nice training articles. Coach Gordo completed his last six Ironmans in under 9 hours.

Going in my "Fitness/Triathlon" folder

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

b-cleaning - Bike Maintnence

Unless you have the money to take your bike to the shop every month, you better learn how to take care of it. You should be doing some regular once a week if you are riding often and want your bike to last you a good long time!

I found this site buried in my unsorted bookmarks. It has a great step by step guide with graphics of the different parts. I probably need to go back and actually look through it a little better myself!

Put in my "Fitness/Triathlon -> Gear Maintnence" folder

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Things I've learned - Transitioning quick

If you aren't moving in a forward direction, then you are losing
time. A transition is not free time.

After locating and setting up my transition area I will walk to the
entrance, and sometimes all the way to the exit of the water, at the
coral. I then walk through it as if I was transitioning. I look for
visual clues to locate my spot. I have also been known to bring
little orange flags (That you can find at the hardware store), but I
haven't had a bike position that's been so hard to find that I felt I
needed them. I run through my bike transition in my head to make sure
that all of my gear is properly laid out. I then walk to where I will
exit and repeat the walk through and mental task into the run.

I may be a little paranoid, but after this walk-through things have
gone really smooth during my races.

Make sure I have my goggles, cap (Wetsuit if I'm using one) and have
removed any unneeded items (shoes, shirt, etc) and head to the water.
If I'm wearing a wetsuit, I may pack some gels on me. I've also seen
people wear their race number under their wetsuit.

Exit the water, remove cap and goggles, (SKIP - if you don't have a
wetsuit) pull down the zipper on the wetsuit as I'm SPRINTING to your
bike. Remove both arms from the wetsuit. Get to my transition area,
throw my goggles onto the towel and just remove my feet from the legs
(Make sure you practice this before the race. Also if you put Body
Glide on your legs, this goes a lot easier.) (END OF SKIP) Rudy Project glasses
on, Rudy Project Syton helmet on, then grab my bike and go. Remember if you get on your
bike without your helmet strapped, it's a disqualification. Put my
shoes on while I'm moving.

End the bike, take my shoes off before I get off the bike, pedal
barefoot, and then dismount in the dismount area. As I run back to my
spot I unstrap my Garmin GPS, so that I can use it for running. Once
I get back to my spot and rack my bike I remove my helmet. Sometimes
I take my glasses off and sometimes I don't depending on the weather.
I slip my feet into my shoes. Before I leave the transition area I
grab my race number and Honey Stinger hat to put on while I'm moving.

Any questions? Hope this helps.

I wish I could of read a step by step account like this before my first race.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I've Learned - Setting up your transition area

Setting up a transition area can almost be considered an art and a
science. The goal is to spend the least amount of time there, but
have everything available to you that you might need or are required
to have.

There may be ways to tweak my transition area, but after examining
the pros transition areas when I raced at St. Anthony's and racing
for two years, I think I have a pretty good system for the Olympic
and Sprint races. I am always willing to change if if there is
something that might make me faster.

In reality there are only a few things that you NEED in your
transition area. A bike, helmet, running shoes and race number.
Anything beyond this is just to make your race more comfortable, but
it may slow you down.

The first thing I do after finding my spot is to rack my bike. I then
lay down a towel in front of it. I used to use a bucket to wash my
feet. Unless I was running through sand it really didn't do much
because I would continue running in my bare feet before I mounted my

My shoes are clipped onto my bike and I usually use rubberbands to
keep them from dragging on the ground.

I place my Rudy Project Syton helmet upside down and rest it on my
aero bars. I make sure that it's in a position so I can just flip it
onto my head and buckle it. I rest my Rudy Project Horus glasses with
the glasses facing into the helmet.

I check to make sure that my Garmin Forerunner is set for triathlon
mode. It sits on my bike. I already prefilled my water bottles.

My race number is attached to the bike seat post. I think this is the
most out of the way spot. It's also where I've seen the pros put
their numbers.

On my towel I put my running shoes down. I put some body glide on the outside
of them and also on some spots in them where I've been known to get
blisters. I flip the tongue up and make sure there is a good opening.
I have used three different type of quick lace shoelaces and have yet
to find one that I like better than the others, but I would
definitely recommend these. I lay my race number attached to a race
belt and a Honey Stinger hat above the shoes.

A couple extra things that I put in my transition area. I leave an
extra towel to wipe something off if need be. A few extra Honey Stinger
gel packets, in case I drop some on the bike. Water Bottles
with Gatorade and Water. I usually have an extra pair of shoes in a
backpack nearby (Just in case). I read a story about a pro who showed
up at his transition area to find his shoes missing. I'm not sure if
it would be within the rules to reach into my backpack though.

My next post will be a quick one on the actual transition

Friday, December 5, 2008

More on the DeLand YMCA Masters!

From kathytris

Hi Everyone,
I just spoke to Nadine from the Aquatics Department at the YMCA so I wanted to fill you in on the Master's Swim program. If you have further questions, you can inquire at the front desk. Also, as always, you can ask me & I will try my best to get the info for you. Here's some of the details of the program:
- Tu & Th 7:45-8:45 a.m. AND Tu & We 7:30-8:30 p.m.
- Cost - $55 for members & $75 for non-members per month
- You can attend all 4 class times if you wish. The cost is the same whether you come 1 or 4 days per week.
- The first session will begin Tuesday, January 6th.
- There will be 3 instructors leading the program. The morning session will be led by Nadine and Bonnie and the evening session will be led by Rob.
- There will need to be at least 8 participants in the program in order for it to continue. If you are interested, I would sign up soon to insure the program will start on time.
- The instructors will gear the program to fit your training needs so all levels are encouraged to attend.
It's great to finally have a Master's Swim program at the Deland YMCA. I hope the DeLand community will support the program. Remember, since you will be starting the program, you will have input in the direction of the program as well. If this is what you are looking for, please join and help make the program a success. I know a couple of people have already signed up so thank you!
Thanks for your time.
Kathy Schwerdfeger

Faster Things - A time trial bike

My first road bike was a Jamis Ventura Race. It's a great bike and two years later I still race on it. I would like the option of a time trial bike though. I have yet to compete on one and I'm interested in how much of a performance difference it will make.

The Xenith 2 was released last year as Jamis tries to solidify itself into the tri and time trial market. It is a gorgeous bike.

I am also looking at some other affordable time trial bikes. Orbea, QR, Blue. Any suggestions? What competes well under $2k?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things I've learned - Make a list!

When you have to get up at 4am to go to a race your brain is not functioning and you are bound to forget something. After the first year of racing I made a list of everything that I might need at a race and at what point I can pack those things. I just go down this list and put a mark by anything that's packed.

This also allows me to sleep better the night before, without worrying if I forgot something.

As the years go on, I have started to find that there are a lot of things that I REALLY don't need and there are still a few things that I will add to the list. One example is you don't want a wetsuit laying on the seat of your car, so bring a plastic bag.

I also am a Boy Scout, I live by the motto to "Be Prepared" and if it can go wrong it will, so I tend to try and bring extras of EVERYTHING that would prevent me from competing in a race due to equipment failure. Most of the time this stuff just stays in the car, but it's good to know it's there.

I also have created lists for different situations. One situation is when there will be an overnight stay before the triathlon. Here's my list.....

Things to pack the night/day(s) before the race
2 pairs of goggles
towels - 2 large, Chamois, 1 small
bucket for water to dip feet
extra swim suit
Body Glide (Or pam)
plastic garbage bags (To put the suit in after the race)

pump up tire
check to make sure seat is tight
check to make sure aerobars are tight (bring screw)
extra cleats
Rudy Project Syton aero helmet
Rudy Project Zuma helmet (In case something happens to my aero helmet)
Rudy Project Zyon glasses
bike shoes
3 extra tubes
(Bring repair kit)
tire pump
cycle gloves
bike lights (Rear and front)
rubberbands (To attach shoes to the bike)
cold weather bag (Leg warmers, arm warmers, gloves, hat)

3 pairs of race socks
number belt
extra running shirt
2 pairs of shoes

headlamp (It's dark when you get to most races)
scissors (Never know what you might need to cut)
tape, gaffer tape
Change of clothes - shorts, underwear, socks, shoes, shirt, sandals (For after the race)
extra Honeystinger energy bars/Gels
Honeystinger Honeystinger Bars
extra bananas
GPS - Forerunner
GPS - Ique
Heart Rate Band (Bring +1)
Orange flag (To mark where your bike is at a big race)
MP3 player
cell phone
rain jacket
first aid kit
race info
Camera - Both cameras, extra batteries, cards, both lenses
video camera
pins for race number
pen and paper

Put bike on Car, Check air pressure, cover seat and gears, strap down, flip pedal up, bungie cords, protection over brake
take pack and lock off of bike
Charge IPOD
Charge GPS
Pack gear into bag
5 water bottles. 2 with gatorade, 1 gallon of water
Two water bottles with Gatorade
Put in fridge
Change wedding ring (I bought a cheap ring that I am not worried about coming off my finger during the middle of a race or other excercise)

tri shorts
tri jersey
Put on Sunscreen, lip balm
Eat powerbar/cereal (Up to one hour before)
go to bathroom
get bottles out of fridge
grab garmin
cell phone
emergency cash/wallet, license, USAT license, credit card
Sweat pants
Leave at 5:20am (I always set the time, so I don't have to think about it)

Hope this helps!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Things on my XMas Tri Wish List - Bike Trainer

I know, I'm in Florida, you can ride here all the time... Even though it may be a warm 40 in the winter, compared to -32 up north, that's still way to cold to ride. There are going to be days that I (want) need to get a ride in and it is just too cold or too dark (I really don't trust Florida drivers if I don't have to, and especially in the dark)

I haven't decided which trainer I want, although Steve over at Plan B uses one for his fittings, which he said is relatively cheap, quality and has a power meter.

You might start seeing cheap as a common word in my vocabulary. It is, but I am willing to spend a little extra money if it will make a major difference in quality.

If anyone wants to recommend some bike trainer's that fit into the cheap, power meter, and quality categories. I'm listening!

I heard good things about the CycleOps Fluid"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Things on my Xmas Tri wish list - Bike Fitting at Plan B

I've ridden my bike in almost the same position for 2 years. It's a road bike, but I wonder if I have it setup in the best triathlon position.
Getting your bike properly fitted is one of the top 10 things you can do to add speed for very little.

I took my wife to Plan B Cycling for her birthday to get fitted on a bike we got her six months earlier for Christmas. She went from pain in her back to wanting to ride every day.

I don't have any pain (Except for my cramping), but I feel like I could be a little more aerodynamic.

Steve will look at everything and make little adjustments to see the power increase or decrease. This is one gift I will probably get for myself if someone else doesn't get it first.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Next years goals - Swim faster!


Of course I can get faster at everything, but it doesn't hurt to focus on this one.

There are a few things I can do to make this happen.

* Go to the masters swim program more (Or get masters level swimmers to train closer to DeLand with me)
* Actually develop a training schedule instead of just hammering with the masters group
* Have my stroke technique videotaped in Port Orange. They do this great program where they videotape you and analyze what you are doing
* Swim straight in open water

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another great deal. From my sponsor Rudy Project

If you are looking for a new pair of glasses, NOW IS THE TIME! For $200 you can get a pair of glasses and $290 of other gear. Including a helmet, shirt, bag, etc. Check it out!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honeystinger Protein Bar Offer

One of my sponsors is having a really good special on their protein
bars. I have not had a chance to try the Peanut Butta Pro, but the
dark chocolate ones are rich and awesome! They are great for recovery
after a long workout, a light meal when you are busy, or a heavy
snack. I attached the ad below....

"In appreciation of our valued customers, the crew at Honey Stinger
would like to extend a special offer. Our three awesome power-packed
protein bars, perfect for workout recovery or a light meal replacement
are on special for 25% off - that's just $21.29 for a box of 12 bars.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond, Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond, and
Peanut Butta Pro are all available for the special. And - if you
purchase for or more boxes, the shipping will also be free. Place
your order today at,
or call toll-free: 866.GO.HONEY.

Have a great day,
The Crew at Honey Stinger"

Next years goals - Not cramp up in the Olympic

I need to get through my cramping in the run. 3 Olympic distance races, 3 times that I cramped up during the run.

I have a few suspicions about what it might be.

* Not getting enough nutrition on the bike. Not downing enough HoneyStinger gels
* Pushing myself too hard on the bike
* Not being at the top fitness level I could be at.

What I have tried -
* Drinking more fluids
* High cadence at the end of the bike

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Next years goals - Place in an Olympic Distance

I am going to place in an Olympic distance. I have yet to place in my age group at one of these.

I was only a few seconds from medaling at the AFACTri (They had 5 places in the AG), I'm assuming this just wasn't my season.

I really need to work on the endurance of my run
and holding onto a faster pace.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Next years goals - Get an overall

I am going to get my first overall!!!

I have been in the top 10 long enough. I was in the top 4 at one race this year, although it was so small there was only one overall place.

I am going to get a top 3 in one of my races next year. I don't know which one, but I feel it coming.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FINALLY! A Masters Swim Program in DeLand!!!

I just received this awesome news from Kathy! (

I am looking forward to joining the Master's Class!

And if Kathy needs it, helping out with the Tri-Training!

Master's Swim Class
Nadine, DeLand YMCA Aquatics Coordinator, has set up a Master's swim class beginning in December. The monthly cost is $55 for members. There will be a morning and evening session available to you. The morning session is on Tuesday & Thursday from 7:45 - 8:45 a.m., and the evening session is on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Triathlon Training
I will be starting my triathlon clinic at the beginning of the year. There is a possibility of having an evening session as well as the usual morning session. The evening session would begin somewhere between 5:00-5:30 p.m. (M,W, or Th) and the start time for the morning session between 8:00-9:00 a.m. (Tu or W) If you are interested, please let me know what day & time would be best for you. At this time, I do not know the day or time for tri swim training, but I will keep you posted.
Please give me feedback as to your level of interest in these programs and any other suggestions that you feel would make the programs beneficial to you.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail to those you know may be interested in finding out more about these programs. Thank you for your time.
Kathy Schwerdfeger

Next Years Goals - Become a certified spin instructor

After just falling short of quite of a few of my goals, I hope to achieve them next year. I also am setting some new goals.

I am looking heavily into getting certified as a Spinning instructor. This will also put me in position to become a fully certified trainer. I also am interested in becoming a USAT 1 coach.

There are very few coaches in the area and triathlon seems to be springing up left and right. I love to see new people trying this sport out and I enjoy giving back.

Monday, November 17, 2008

ACT Run for the Runaways 5k

My wife, Liz, raced her first 5k. I wasn't sure if I was going to be a fan
or join her, but since it was for a good cause I decided to join in.
Outside of the gift of giving to a good cause, we were well rewarded with some nice door prizes at the end of the race.

As for the race, the tide was high and it was difficult to find hard sand for this
beach run. There was also a 5-15mph crosswind from the west.

Running 1-2 times a week is not the way to train if you want to set a new PR, so I wasn't expecting it of myself. There were only about 50 people in the race and a couple regulars. I was happy with a 22:39, 7th overall and first in my age group (Of only 3 people in my age group). This was a 7:17 min/mile pace.

The difference between me and first (An amazingly fast 10 year old!), was 1:31.

Liz did awesome for her first race, she was 24th overall and first in
her age group. She's doing awesome for someone who had given up on running at the beginning of the year. She has only given it a second chance and started training in it over the past few months.

Our next 5k is the Thanksgiving 10miler and 5k put on by AltaVista here
in DeLand. I know there will be a lot more people for that, but I
also hope to do a bit more training over the next couple weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Things on my XMas Tri Wish List - New Garmin Forerunner

As I said before, my Garmin Forerunner has been indispensable. The
new ones (305 and 405) have only become smaller. The 305 is only a
little more expensive than a new 301 right now and there is an
upcoming sale on it at Costco. This will make it almost the same

The biggest advantage that I see to upgrading is the size (and having a working heart rate monitor again). These new ones are small enough that I don't see them getting in the way during the swim. The 301 is large enough that I had attempted to swim with it, but found it cumbersome. All of these Forerunner's are water resistant.I have not had a chance to play with the 305 or the 405, but in looking at the specs here are the biggest differences that I have seen.

The 405 is smaller and newer.

The 305 allows you to do multi-sport with the press of a button. This means that each time you switch to a different sport you can do so by pressing a button. This is great during races because there is no break in your timing. If you press the button at the right times you can even have your transitions. I use this feature whenever I race with my 301 and I love it. I would hope that the 405 has some way to do multi-sport and I'm very weary to buying one until I find this out. This would definitely send me back to the 305 or waiting for a newer model.

The 405 allows you to send your data to your computer via wireless.

The 405 is not compatible with the mac. This was a problem with the 301, so I can live with it, but actually having a compatible Forerunner would be nice, especially with so few other differences.

I am going to need a heart rate monitor for the new season, so I'm probably not looking at waiting for the next model. And with the great price on the 305, there very well may be one under my tree this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things that worked - Garmin Forerunner 301

I've used the Garmin Forerunner 301 GPS almost every time I run or bike
for two years now. It tells me accurately how fast I'm going, how far
I've gone, how to get back home if I get lost, it let's you set-up
training programs like intervals, and soooo much more.

I even race with it. It's great to know your pace on the run, so you don't burn yourself out.

This wasn't my first Garmin. I used a Garmin Ique for my car a few
years before I got this one. I was so impressed that I knew I
couldn't go wrong with GPS.

Combined with the FIRST program, this little device gave me a lot of
motivation. Seeing instant results of how you are doing, without
having to do do the math of minutes per mile, is a huge inspiration.

My biggest complaint is that I have had to send it back to the
company because the heart rate monitor stopped working. I bought a
second one to hold me over until the first one came back. The second
one got lost, and now the first one's heart rate monitor has stopped
working again.

Even without a heart rate monitor, it is one of the best purchases I
have ever made and I definitely plan to continue upgrading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things I learned - FIRST run Training

This isn't exactly new. I used this last season, but it helped me drop my first year run time down from a 8:30/mile in my first sprint triathlon to a 7:06/mile for a 5k at the end of the season.

The Furman Institute of Running & Scientific Training has training programs for a 5k through a full marathon. First you find your tempo pace, and then you plug that into each program. You then have a 12-16 week run training program, with run training only 3 days a week. That's right 3 days a week.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Things I Learned - Goggles don't last forever, ways to make them last

* New goggles make the fog go away

Your swim goggles won't last forever. They start to loose their coating and fog up easier. They also get scratched up.

A way to keep them from scratching though is to keep the case that they came in (My Speedo goggles came in a plastic case) and always put them back in the case when you are done. This will keep them from moving around your bag and getting scratched.

12.2.08 @Triatheletemag: Put a few drops of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo in each goggle lens. Rinse them until there is just a slight film left. No fog = "No More Fears."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

How to be frugal with your triathlon training

Active posted this nice article on how to save some money with your training. I know I put it on twitter, but I thought it was worth a blog entry.

I would like to add. You can check out books and DVDs at your local library for free.

Also you can usually find cycling clubs for free. A great resource for the Orlando cycling community is

Friday, November 7, 2008

Things I learned - Duck dive when you start

When I was really young and living in California we went to the
Hawaiian Islands often. The waves were big there. The only way to
get out in the ocean to body surf the waves back in, or body board on them, was to dive
under them right before they crash down.

In a lake swim there may not be waves, but diving into the water can
give you an advantage. If you try to run through the water, you are
going to meet a ton of resistance. If you try to swim through the
water, you are going to find a pack of people ahead of you.

The best method is one that I learned by watching the pros in a few
races (And had learned long ago from a surfer heading out to the waves in the ocean). You dive, stand-up, then dive again and repeat until you can't
stand. This is where it's really important that your goggles are on

When I started this late in the season, I would find myself in a good
position. Now only if I could swim straight to keep that position!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things I learned - Tighten your goggles before a race

* tighten your goggles before a race!

Early in the season I was running into a problem that I didn't remember having the previous year, my goggles would slide off early into the swim. I had bought a new pair of goggles of the 2008 season. They felt just right when I trained in the pool and if I tightened them any it started to become painful.

I started asking around for solutions, and Karen McLarty gave me the answer (Thanks!). She said to just tighten my goggles before a race. She also showed me the proper way to wear them (although I'm still bad about this) You wear them on the top back of your head and not over your ears like glasses.

The race is quick, unlike long days of training in the pool, so being tight isn't as much of an issue. This is also important to help with the next thing I learned....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things I learned - Heat WILL slow you down, even if you train for it!

* Florida heat can REALLY affect your training, even if you are acclimated to it. This mainly applies to running.

The beginning of my season, early March and April, was great. In sprints I was PRing on my runs faster than a 5k that I ran in November. Then came the Florida summer. I just thought I had been overtraining when my run times started to drop drastically.

I thought it might be attributed to a poor training routine (And I'm sure this didn't help). Then I did some research and came across an article stating that your run can drop as much as 10% in the heat of the summer. This described me exactly. There is a similar article in the NY Times -

Just to back up my theory. I was out in California, and I ran 10 miles easily. I was struggling to run 6 miles in Florida, even with hydrating well.

When I figured this out late in the season. I started training on the treadmill, which helped, but due to some life situations I didn't get to really expand on this.

After learning this I plan to do more training early in the mornings or head to the treadmill at the gym. If I do end up going out in the heat, I am going to stick to workouts I know I can finish while fatigued and not get on myself for not accomplishing goals in the heat.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Things I learned - Watch out where you peak

* Plan your races accordingly and give yourself some rest in between major races.

I think that I peaked too soon and once I fell off my high I started to drag through the rest of the season. I tried hard to hold onto what I had left.

My first race was good. My two Olympic distance races in March were decent. My races after the Olympics were awesome! By early June I was starting to see my times falling, even after I gave myself rest. I was feeling burned out in my run (Which also had to do with the heat) and I found it hard to train when I wasn't reaching goals I set.

I also need to figure out a way to give myself more rest in the middle of the season and really plan out my season for a few peaks and breaks. I Also am going to start my main training a little bit later this next season.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bike Pack Riding Rules - Read on Sara McLarty's blog, courtesy of Hal

Here is Hal's outlook...

You can't have been at Lakemont last Saturday and not have known of the horrific crash that occurred in the first group as they sped along SR 434 west of the Greeneway. An experienced and strong ASV team rider who was directly behind the leader went into a tuck position on a bike with aero bars. His front wheel touched the back wheel of the lead rider at 33+ mph sending him into the pavement face-first. Ten to twelve more riders went down; most were able to get up, dust themselves off and continue (some only discovered injuries after getting home). Unfortunately, the rider directly behind the guy who caused the accident did not fare as well. He broke four (4) ribs, chipped his scapula, has horrible road rash and, worst of all, sustained a collapsed lung. He was air-lifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center after the Winter Springs Police shut down the highway.

When something like his happens, it requires us to assess how we got here. Speed is a drug -- it's no surprise that people show up for their weekly fix and Lakemont has become the most popular ride in central Florida. Unfortunately, along with the popularity has come a large degree of danger which, when exacerbated by bad choices, results in very bad consequences. Anarchy reigns if the groups fail to police themselves. Seasoned cyclists have traditionally admonished newbies for dangerous or just plain stupid practices. That guidance has been lacking for awhile at Lakemont and cannot continue.

So that there's no question, here are the three (3) rules that have to be enforced by everyone or my association with this circus is over:

1. You must wear a helmet; this rule is violated rarely but, when it happens, it always seems to be by an "experienced" rider that I'm supposed to look up to or is regarded as "too cool" to confront;

2. You cannot wear earplugs and listen to your iPod or put one of those stupid phone thingies in your ear; we need your full attention to the task at hand; if you need more stimulation than Lakemont dishes out, you are not someone I want to ride with; and,

3. You cannot go into a tuck position on any handlebar/aero bar arrangement that limits your ability to control your bike and access your brakes; a standard road bike arrangement is the ideal; you may use a time trial/triathlon bike only so long as your hands remain spaced evenly with your shoulders and are immediately ready to access your brakes; to do less is to endanger yourself and everyone that rides behind you. Exceptions: you can go into a tuck only if (1) you find yourself at the front and must impress us; or (2) you are at the back and can only hurt yourself if you lose control.

I don't care how "good" or "safe" or "strong" you think you are. If you do not believe, in good faith, that you can adhere to these rules, you have no regard for the people that you ride with. This is not about you, it's about the group. I have no doubt that the rider who caused the crash last week was completely convinced (ignorantly so) of his superiority. I have great sympathy for him, for his injuries and for the fact that he's got to live with the terrible consequences to his teammate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things I learned - Leave your shoes on your bike

* Leave your bike shoes on the bike

All last season I thought that there were advantages to putting your bike shoes on while you were not moving. I didn't think that you lost that much time and that running with shoes on through rough dirt would make up for it. It also gave me a chance to clean any sand off my feet before I put my shoes on.

I've learned now that every second you are moving forward, even if it's not very fast because you are putting shoes on, you are still moving in a forward direction. This also applies to when you are getting off the bike. If you have to spend time messing with your shoes while you are not moving, you are wasting precious seconds.

Also I haven't had that many problems with dirt in my shoes. I think the worst was during a beach race and it wasn't that bad.

The biggest reason that I waited so long in my season to do this is that I had to get new shoes, ones that would not interfere with the operation of my bike. In time gained this one has been huge. There were more than a few races that I was behind someone coming out of the water and then never saw them again after I got on the bike.

The differences between triathlon bike shoes and regular bike shoes is that the velcro opens in the opposite direction and most tri shoes only have one strap.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Should drafting be legal

Like many I have developed an opinion on this. If you bike at all with a group, then you've practiced drafting. Once you get to a triathlon, it's illegal, unless you are a pro and racing an ITU race (Which only seem to happen internationally)

So the question came up to the message boards. If there was a draft legal race, would you race in it? I let my thoughts be heard. The thread can be found at

Yes I would race in a draft legal race, but a couple points to note.

Rookies should not be allowed in draft races, there is a lot to think about in your first couple races and drafting should not be one of them. I think there should be an advanced amateur division where you have to have say a minimum of 9 races or 3 top AG finishes under you belt. In bike racing they have 5 levels, although all of them are able to draft, the lower levels go significantly slower. The stronger bikers tend to break away quickly though in the more rookie divisions (I should also note that you can win your race entry fee back plus some in bike racing) At St. Anthony's they have Pro and Elite Amateur divisions. How about Advanced Amateur as another division.

Every race doesn't have to be a draft legal race. If you don't want to draft, then don't show up to a drafting race, but I think there should be draft legal races for amateurs. Right now you don't have an option in the U.S. Some weekends there are three sprint distance races within driving distance here in Florida. It would add to the variety. I also think it would help develop our pro athletes.

Yes you would have to have different strategies for a drafting race. Wouldn't it be interesting to see teams in triathlon and not ones where a different person swims, bikes and runs? Even on the bike racing circuit, you will get a person that pulls away from the peleton and stays in the lead. You just have to make sure that you can run the fastest in the peleton of bikers you ride with.

Someone made remark that triathlon is an individual sport and if there was drafting it would really be like two events instead of three. Technically you can draft in the swim and the run. Maybe there is not as much of an advantage, but there is still less resistance when you follow someone.

With the pros, many times everyone comes out of the water in a close pack. In the AG the pack tends to be a LOT more spread out, at least in my experiences.

Maybe with draft legal races the swim should be longer (Maybe it shoudl be longer anyway?!). In proportion to the bike and the run, it really is the shortest and it only get's shorter as the races get longer. Look at the proportions of the swim to the run and bike in a sprint versus and Ironman.

Things I've Learned - Use a Wetsuit when allowed

* If the water is within wetsuit legal temperature and you are competing for a place in the race, use a wetsuit.

Wetsuits are great equalizers, it makes the ok swimmers just as buoyant as some of the great swimmers.

In the first race of the season, I was clobbered in the swim by those people wearing wetsuits. The buoyancy of a wetsuit can give you a huge advantage. The minutes you gain in the swim can easily make up for the time it takes to remove the wetsuit. Yes I did say minutes, even in a sprint distance race.

-I borrowed a Quintana Roo sleeveless wetsuit, but I would recommend a full suit for the extra bit of added boyancy (Thanks again Scott!!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Season Wrap Up - Goals I set and how I did with them

Season Wrap-Up
I think it's an excellent idea to set goals for yourself. No matter what level you are at, they give you something to reach for. Even when the rest of your life falls off track they give you some focus.

When you set goals, you start to learn what is and is not possible for you to achieve. They also set you up to create new goals and accomplish goals that you didn't realize you had until after you complete them.

My goals for the 2008 season -

* Get Sponsored
Thank you Honeystinger and Rudy Project. I hope to add to my sponsors next year.

* 6:30/mile

During the beginning of the season my training was going excellent. My run splits for my sprints were consistently around 6:50/mile and I was consistently setting PRs. I thought for sure I would see as much improvement as I did last season and reach a 6:30/mile. Then the heat came. I didn't know this was the problem though.

I don't remember my run suffering as much last year, but my time dropped. I was still being competitive, but I was having trouble training and I didn't have a clue what it was. I thought it may of had to do with some inconsistency's in my training. Then I started doing research and I read in a couple places where heat can fatigue your run by 10%. This was almost exactly where I was at. I went on a trip to California and I saw my distance and speed increase dramatically without feeling fatigued.

I am planning to do some 5ks in my off season. I hope to peak into January before I take a break. Now that I have figured this whole heat thing (And it's actually starting to get cool around here) I hope to set some huge PRs and raise the bar for myself for next triathlon season.

* Place in the top 5% overall regularly
This may of been a bit of a lofty goal. 5% in many of the races would of meant me finishing 1st or 2nd overall against the men. I consistently placed near the top 10% of men. I was 3rd in my age group in one race and I was never worse than 2nd in my age group over another 6 different sprint races. In every sprint race I was in the top 20 overall, and the races ranged from 60-350 people.

Olympic distance races were a completely different story. I just couldn't break through a barrier. In the two smaller ones I raced in, I was 8th and 5th in my age group and never worse than 60th overall. Small being 325 and 505 people. At St. Anthony's, 3415 people, I was 26th in my age group and 245th overall (This includes about 40 pros). I still have a ways to go here.

* Qualify for nationals

USAT's qualification system is a little bit hard to understand, but apparently by finishing so well in my age group, at USAT certified races, I qualified on multiple occasions. Unfortunately due to losing my job, and some difficult financial situations before that, I wasn't able to go.

I hope to qualify again next year, and I hope my situation will be better. There is a sprint race in California to qualify for worlds. If I can afford it, I may go.

* Help others achieve their triathlon goals
I helped Kathy teach another round of a beginning tri group at the YMCA. Late in the season I worked with Jennifer in the pool. I carried Mike Mott along in my draft during long rides so he could get his mileage in (You know I'm joking, right Mike. I only did this early in the season, haha)
If you have any questions, let me know. I am looking for topics to discuss here or I'd be happy to meet up with you and help you out. I am now heading into my third year and still remember a lot of the speed bumps I had to go over to improve and get to where I am at. I realize I have a lot more speed bumps to go, but I have definitely learned a lot.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FINALLY! 9/21 Athletes for a Cure Triathlon Race Report

I may of procrastinated about posting this because I just didn't do well in it, although I did much better than I planned to. I know it's just an excuse, but trying to find a job and getting my personal life together sent my training into a tailspin. Triathlon training is about consistency. If you train for three days and then take two days off, train for one day, take two days off, you may maintain your fitness, but you aren't going to improve.

This was the last race of my season, but I do hope to run some 5ks and maybe some 10ks through December. I will then be looking at resting for a few weeks, mixing up my exercise routine, and working more on the core, before I start to train for my next season. I hope to start up again March (Anyone have a wetsuit I can borrow?).

I have high hopes that by March my work life will have figured itself out and I can stay consistent. Even with the issues I had, I had a great season, and be looking for a highlights post. I also plan on keeping you entertained with a bunch of things that I learned this season.

Now for the results!

1.5K Swim/ 40K Bike/ 10K Run
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Race Director: LZR Sports
Timing and Results: Alta Vista Sports

6th in my age group of 38, 60th overall against 329 men, and 65th overall against 504 people

2:36:20 total, 1:57/100m swim (29:23), 21.83mph on the bike (1:08:26), and 8:45 min/mile in the run (54:18)

Place O'All No. Name Age City St Time Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run Penalty
===== ===== ===== ======================= === ==================== == ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== ======= =======

It was one of the foggiest mornings I have ever seen at a race. You could only see the first of three buoys and they delayed the race for a half an hour for safety.

Our age group went almost last, this was a new experience for me. Usually there are not many people ahead of us, but today there were almost 500 people. I started out great. I've really started to get good at duck diving. You dive in the water, stand up, dive in the water and start swimming when you can't touch the ground.

This helped me start out well in the lead, but unfortunately my swim still needs work. My line was all over the place. At one point I started siting the wrong buoy slightly to my left. It was one of the buoys that was supposed to be after the turn and in the fog they all were similar colors. The next thing I knew I had a lifeguard shouting at me and pointing me in the right direction. I don't think I was too far off course, but I'm sure I lost some time.

I also ran across a lot of feet and more slow swimmers than I'm used to. I would come up on some feet and if they were way slower than me I'd blaze by them, if they were close to my pace I would draft them for a little bit before I was ready to move ahead. I came out of the water sixth in my age group.

It was a good quarter-mile-plus run and not very wide to get around the slower people. I did the best I could and was on my bike quickly. I also threw a jersey over my head that had my gels in it. I'm glad I did, because a couple gels that I had put on my bike fell off. Next season I may get a gel dispenser where I can empty all my gels into. This would save me the trouble of carrying multiple packets and be more environmentally friendly.

The bike went smooth, until the end. The course was relatively flat, but there were a few no pass zones, which made things difficult when some people were only riding 16mph. I took my gels at all the right places and was out of water and Gatorade by the end of the 40k. Right before the race started, the race director told us that there would be no water station at the halfway point on the bike.

At the very end of the bike I started to cramp up in the same place that I've had problems in every Olympic distance race I've done this season. In my hamstrings. On top of this, I thought I was close to the finish line, so I slid my feet out of my shoes about 2 miles before the transition. My biggest concern was that the cramps were going to be bad when I jumped off my bike, but I didn't have any problems. Once again I blazed through transition.

My hamstrings were tight, but I did my best to keep moving and they finally loosened up. I went about four miles into the run and I just couldn't keep myself moving. I had to walk. I knew my training had been horrible and now I was paying for it. After a little break I started moving again, until I was about 5.55 miles and then I slowed to a walk again.

I watched the back of legs as they passed me to make sure that no one in my age group was going by. At about 5.75miles I found someone in my age group and I started to pace them hoping that they might not notice that I was in the same group. I tried to be patient and wait for the right moment to make a break for the end.

I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was within only about a 0.10 of a mile and I saw the fences for the finish, so I decided to make my move. Unfortunately I moved to soon. There was someone in front of us, he went right, I was stuck on the left with no room to pass them and no energy to push myself. Maybe if I had waited another couple seconds I could of planned it better. He out sprinted me by 4 seconds! I found out later that I was 6th and missed medaling by one spot.

This gives me a goal for next year, to place in my age group at an Olympic distance tri!

Thanks again to everyone for being such awesome supporters this year. Especially my wife Liz and my sponsors, and Rudy Project , who make it possible for me to race.

Monday, October 13, 2008

092108 Athletes for a Cure Triathlon

Athletes for a cure Triathlon

This is from a few weeks ago. I hope to have a race report up soon.

1.5k Swim, 40k Bike, 10k Run

at Fort Wilderness at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Last race...

My last race of the season was the weekend before last, and I wanted to post sooner, but things have been crazy. I just finished three grueling days of updating my website at and other stuff I've needed to do to get a business off the ground. I didn't do as well as I wanted to do, but I did better than I was expecting after the preparation I had done. Now that my triathlon season is over I hope to try and focus on some running races and see if I can improve my speed, but more on that in the upcoming post race blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

REWIND.... August 6, 2008

August 6, 2008. I'm on my way to California to help my dad move to Tucson.

It was really nice to get away from all of the stress of trying to start a business and do something completely different. If this freelance stuff doesn't cut it, I could see myself as a mover. I had fun throwing all of that stuff into boxes, my training has put me in good conditioning to move boxes and it was a great new experience driving a 26ft truck. The whole thing was a different type of stress, but I dedicated myself to it like I do my photography and my training.

Boy do I miss the West Coast. I was having trouble hitting 6 miles, outside, in Florida and then I made it to California after doing light training the week before, and I easily ran 10 miles. The water in the pool was actually a little bit chilly. My biggest wish would of been being able to take my bike with me. I took golf clubs instead (And only used them once)

Like my good friend Mike, I love to sit in the window seat and take pictures out of the airplane. He seemed to think it was weird, but then I guess we're weird together!

I have to say that Southwest Airlines has become one of the best airlines still in business. I used to not be the biggest fan, because I always want a window seat and I hate that their is the chance I may not get it. Also their is a chance that I may not be sitting next to my wife.

Now choosing a seat has become lower on my list as airlines start to nickel and dime you. Airlines are charging you for one checked bag and even more for two. If you want peanuts, that will be $2 please. If you want a pillow, fork over the credit card. None of this has made it's way to Southwest.

Southwest is so customer friendly, that when they bring your snack, they say to take whatever you want, take two or three even. I hope that Southwest thrives and other airlines start taking note that CUSTOMER SERVICE IS KEY! And if they are cheaper, I'm still going to fly Southwest because they treat me right.

Driving a truck near L.A. When it get's windy though, you notice.

This is on the way to the Arizona border. Living in Florida I REALLY miss the mountains.

While we were unpacking boxes, I had a day to take to myself and went down to Mexico with James Gregg, a very awesome friend. You can read about it here.

Nov. 29, Triathlon Party/Clinic

I just received this and thought I would pass it along. My friend Sara McLarty has just set-up shop in Clermont, and it looks like things are going good for her.

Hello Friends,
Sara has moved to Clermont, Florida
She has been hired by the National Training Center to
be the master swim coach and put on triathlon clinics and is a link with limited information but lots more
information to come soon...
her first event is the saturday after thanksgiving, Nov 29
it is a "triathlon festival" that will include rides, runs, swims,
yoga, transitions, lunch 9:00-3:00
$30 for individual
$50 for 2 people
I hope anyone interested will support her first professionl event !!
It should be a lot of fun and a great workout !!
please forward this to all your trialthon friends

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Archives older than September 1, 2008

Dear Readers

This blog was on Myspace, but sooooo many people are having trouble with it there, I moved it here. Heck even I was having trouble with it there. The worst is that people had trouble even getting to the blog, but that was only the start of it.

I know I may have new readers, so I even brought over all the archives. Even my older readers may want to catch-up. It wasn't extraordinarily difficult, but you'd think someone would of made it easier. Just a copy and paste. This has left some remnants of Myspace on the blog, so please just ignore them.


the Management

Monday, September 01, 2008

2008 Advocare Sprint Series 2nd Place Overall!!
Current mood: excited
Category: Sports

I forgot to mention that this race gave me 2nd place overall in the 2008 Advocare Sprint Series. This is based off of four races and you have to race in at least three to qualify for the final point standings. They haven't posted the final results, but I was only about 10 points out of first. You can find a better explanation of the series here.

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2008, 3rd Annual Fall Triathlon Festival
Category: Sports

2008, 3rd Annual Fall Triathlon Festival
Moss Park Tri

750m Swim, 12mi bike, 2.75mi run

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Moss Park, Orlando, FL

6th of 147 people and 79 men, 1st in my age group of 17 people

11:44 swim (1:33 100/m), 32:00 bike (22.5mph), 21:10 run (7:41 min/mi)

1 161 Chad Pilster M ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:11:44.569 0:01:43.925 0:00:31.320 0:32:00.119 0:00:30.616 0:21:10.286 1:07:40.835

So now that you have watched the video can you guess what one word can sum up this race? WET! Thank you Tropical Storm Fay!

You had to walk through a flooded swamp just to get to the swim. In the first hundred hards of the run my shoes were soaked as there were no options to go around the puddles.

Amazingly, I surprised myself with a 6th place overall and first in my age group. If you read my previous post, you'd understand why this was a surprise. I had been in California for two weeks helping my dad move and before that my life had been so hectic that I was lucky to get training in. My race seemed slow, but I still did well.

Now if I could just swim straight, I would be doing awesome. I must have added at least 100 meters. My goggles fogged up in the first few seconds of the swim and I could barely see someone swimming next to me. I couldn't believe when I got out of the water and I saw two kids, that must of been in the 15 and under category, running in front of me. I definitely need to train with the kids at the pool!

Transition went fast and I must of made up a bunch of spots on the bike. I was only passed once, but it gave me someone to keep pace off of. I didn't lose sight of them. In the middle of the race I passed another rider and he said there were only three people in front of me. I found that hard to believe, and just kept pounding away. I came to a spot on the course where I saw the leader and the pace car. I counted, and sure enough there were only three people in front of me.

The rider who passed me was one of them, but they were only about 50 meters ahead. I took his spot in transition and it took him a good couple minutes before he gained it back. My run is still my weakest event, and not training didn't help. I just ran relaxed and only ended up losing four spots. Working on my run is again going to be my off season training goal.

Three more weeks until the last race of my season! September 21, Athletes for a Cure.

Also I am starting a blog just to focus on my photography. Look for it at

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

082308 Moss Park Tri Video
Category: Sports

Here is the video. Thanks to my wife Liz for doing the hardwork of filming it. I just ran the race and put the whole thing together. The blog is coming soon.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Am I not ready?

Boy am I not ready! I have a race this weekend and I've barely been able to train. Trying to start a new business from almost scratch takes a lot of time! That's not the only thing I've been up to. The past couple weeks I helped my dad move his 3000+ sq ft home 820 miles from San Jose to his 2200 sq ft home in Tucson.

I recommend that everyone moves regularly, this keeps the junk down. My dad hasn't moved in about 10 years, and I think he had at least six sets of dishes. Who needs six sets? If you live near Tucson, let me know and I may be able to work some deals out for you ;)

So while I was moving, I found time to get some training in about once every couple days. I found one chance to jump on a bike, and I only had the time to ride it 1.5 miles to the pool and back.

I got back yesterday and have watched heavy rain and winds from T.S. Fay completely ruin any chance to jump on my bike today. I wasn't even sure if the "Y" was open. It didn't matter, because I have spent most of the day doing MORE business stuff.

I am completely off schedule for my routine, I miss it and it's frustrating!!!

The little bit of training I have done, has kept me sane. It has pulled me away from long hours in front of the computer trying to figure out what's the next step in getting my freelance photography off the ground. When my hours were more regular, I had a set time to get a workout done in. Now that I can go anytime, my "job" always seems to take up the prime hours.

I wanted to do well in the race this weekend because it is the final for the series, and I have a chance to be in the top three overall. We will see

I have one more major race this season and it is Athletes for a Cure on September 21. I have to make money to race (Not to mention just to eat and pay the bills), but getting out and training keeps me from going insane before I make any money. How life can be so frustrating sometimes.

Btw.... I don't know if I mentioned that I have a new blog specifically focused on my photography at I hope to start posting pictures there soon and not just rants.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Crazy Situations

I'm in Arizona right now, I just helped my dad finish a move. I'm supposed to fly back into Orlando at 6:10p. Right now a hurricane (At the moment it is Tropical Storm Fay) is supposed to hit Tampa at 8p. Now I know most people would want to run away from a hurricane, but even though I no longer have a job at a newspaper, my instinct is to get back there in front of it.

This eagerness comes from the urge to be with my wife and dogs, but some of it is the possibility that there may be something to cover. Some of it is I don't want to be stuck at an airport on a layover, when I could be with family in either Arizona or home.

Hopefully many people won't be sharing my urge to head to Florida, and I may be able to book and earlier flight. Looks like I'll be on the phone to Southwest tomorrow figuring things out.

And don't forget that if you need photos when the hurricane hits, I'm available for freelance!

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Starting a Pilster Photography Blog

For a couple of reasons, I'm starting a second blog to focus on my freelance photography and issues surrounding it. I am still going to continue this one to focus on triathlon and my life in general. My new blog can be found at Weird But Cool! Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

5th Annual Moss Park Triathlon
Category: Sports

Sprint Triathlon - .75 km swim, 20 km bike, 2.75 mile run

A time of 1:07:44, 1:55/100m in the swim, 24.06mph on the bike, and 7:10/mile on the run

1st in my age group of 12 and 6th out of 93 men and 184 overall people

ST M 30-34

1 193 Chad Pilster ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:14:23.770 0:01:33.887 0:00:33.589 0:30:59.664 0:00:30.378 0:19:43.258 1:07:44.546

Moss park isn't anything exciting, but it's great to race the same course over and over. You never know how you've improved in triathlon until you race the same course, because every course is different. This is the fourth time I've done this course and the second time this year. I was excited to see a minute drop off my time earlier in the season, but a little upset to watch my run time increase.

Once again my photographer wasn't able to make it. Her bed was much more exciting than a park she's seen me race at four times. I certainly hope she makes it to watch me race this park a fifth though. Right now I'm second in the overall points for the Advocare Sprint Series and the race is looking close!

The swim started out right into the sun. I found myself looking for the buoy way to often when there was no way I was going to see it anyway. I need to just put my head down and trust where I'm swimming to. I knocked 40 seconds off of my time earlier this season, but the first guys out of the water were three minutes ahead of me, so I still have a lot of pool work to do.

My bike was really good. I blazed through transition and was off on my bike. I had my shoes on, a gulp of water and watched as I passed people. At the halfway mark I made a loop and saw a pack of five riders on my tail. I kept it in high gear and finally one of them caught me, but that was it. I stayed on his tail the best I could and when we made a loop I saw the pack of riders even further back.

Once again I blazed through transition (Did I mention I like my new biking shoes!). The run started out smooth and I amazingly started to watch myself close a gap on the runner in front of me. I've been so used to being passed when I hit the run that it really is exciting for me to close in on other runners. Unfortunately I still had one person pass me, so I was back in the same position that I started in. It's really exciting to see improvement in my run, even if I was 40 seconds slower than when I started this season. I hope by the next race at Moss Park in August that I can set another PR in my overall and do it by dropping my run time!

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No time for training!
Current mood: focused
Category: Sports

A race on Saturday gave me something to focus on besides trying to market my freelance photography business. I used to think I was busy when I had my job at the News-Journal, but now most of my days include waking up and starting on one project or another and then not getting to bed until 1am.

All of this has totally wreaked havoc on my training. I feel like I want to get all of my projects done before I even step foot out the door. Sometimes I don't finish a project, and sometimes there is a lightning storm going on outside. I started to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel was getting closer, when a curve ball was thrown at me. An opening for a photographer position at one of the papers I've been eying for years, and even more so in the past few months. I've had to switch gears to get everything ready to make their deadline 12 days after they posted the opening. I think I have one more day and I'll have the packet ready to go out the door.

As I check things off my to do list, one of the most major projects is 99% complete and live! I finished a major overhaul of my website at If you see a problem at it don't hesitate to let me know. I think I know most of them and will be working on them as soon as I get some priority projects done. Now that this is up I can start marketing myself to some editorial and advertising clients. Without a current portfolio, it's hard to show people what you can do.

My to do list is still a mile long, but things that needed to be done yesterday are turning into things that can be done next week. Just when things are starting to slow down, other things are coming up. Friday is my wife's birthday and party (Happy Birthday honey!), next weekend I'm off to St. Petersburg, Fla. for the amazing Geekfest workshop by Aphotoaday (I haven't missed it since 2002, and they have only gotten better), and then the Tuesday after that I'm off to California for two weeks to help my dad move to Tucson.

During this whole time I hope to get my act in gear for training. I know, I have an excuse and I shouldn't be hard on myself, but my excuse is finally starting to give me some free time. I am planning on taking full advantage of this free time and getting ready for the last two races of my race year. I will, I will, I will train! I miss regular training, I'm getting tired of staring at the computer. The only excuse that's going to be acceptable to me is that I have a freelance job or other job, otherwise see you on the road or in the water....

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Current mood: stressed
Category: Sports



The 3rd Annual Morton Plant Mease Triathlon
For the first time in my short racing career a triathlon I was supposed to race in was canceled. That's pretty amazing considering the amount of crazy weather we get here in Florida. A drive to Tampa and the usual 4:45 a.m. early morning wakeup call was wasted. A poor volunteer standing in the rain with a flashlight got to tell me that the race has been canceled (I just want to say these hardworking guys standing in the rain do an awesome job!).

So I read once that if you don't finish a triathlon it's against triathlon lore to wear the t-shirt. What about if the whole event is canceled?

I feel real sorry for those two bikers who didn't have lights on their bikes, riding in the pitch dark and biking through the rain (Who I nearly ran over, because I couldn't see them before I passed them) who were 75% of the way to the park when I saved them the trip and told them the bad news.

Thank you to our great hosts Debbie and Helmut, and I'll see you whenever the race get's rescheduled. If we didn't get to see you two the trip would of been a complete gas burner.

Since there are no photos this week, take a look at my new wedding photo website. I hope to update my main portfolio site in the next week. More triathlon will be coming soon, i'm headed back to Orlando for the Moss Park Triathlon next Saturday. Right now I'm third place in the Advocare Sprint Triathlon Series and I hope to keep that spot or better it in the next two races of the series.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

4th Annual Orlando Triathlon at Baldwin Park
Current mood: hopeful
Category: Sports

Triathlon - Swim 0.75 km - Bike 13.4 mi - Run 2.5 miles

With a time of 1:09:13 I was 2nd in my age group of 22, 10th of 219 men, and 11 of 348 people

2:03/100m swim, 23.83mph bike, 7:24/mile run

2 282 Chad Pilster M ST M 30-34 DeLand FL 0:15:23.292 0:00:33.722 0:33:44.703 0:00:36.725 0:18:31.964 1:09:13.663

Training was difficult this week. On Monday I found out I lost my job. In between making over a 1000 minutes worth of phone calls, consuming lot's of alcohol with VERY supportive friends, getting equipment to go freelance, and figuring out what's happening next, I made it to the pool twice for masters, ran one day and didn't get on the bike at all (The afternoon thunderstorms haven't helped either). Oh yeah, I did have that race last Sunday and then another Yesterday (Sunday), so you might call those training days.

Well for not training everything went smooth. For my first race ever my support team (photographer (So there are no photos this week), cheering squad, best friend in the whole world) wasn't there. I think the whole week was harder on her than it was me and she couldn't handle the 5a.m. wake-up call.

The swim was SOOOOOO much better than last year. Last year, you could pull yourselves by the weeds. Ten feet out and the bottom dropped out, I don't think I felt a single weed until I was ready to stand. It was also 800 meters, and I really enjoy the longer swims, it sorts the people out. I like doing races that I did the previous year, because it gives me a nice gauge to see how much I've improved.

My transition was fast just like last week. I highly recommend a good pair of tri biking shoes to anyone that doesn't have them. I had my Rudy Project Syton Helmet and Horus glasses and I was out of transition in about 36 seconds and already moving on the bike while I put on my shoes.

One person passed me, but I stayed with him the rest of the bike. We made five laps around. They said there might be 600 people and at one point everyone was on the course. I really know how the Rolex 24 hour drivers feel. They have multiple classes of cars on the track, so the faster cars are always passing the slower cars. I was constantly shouting "On your Left!" as I rolled by averaging almost 24mph. It added a whole new challenge, or at least one that I hadn't seen since last year, and it evened out some of the stronger bikers.

Once again my transition went smooth. This has been a whole new experience from the beginning of the season. Only about a quarter mile of a 2.5mile run was in shade, and with a lot of pavement around it was hot.

For the second week in a row my race was very smooth. I hope to get back into my routine soon, but just getting out the door is refreshing. I have one more definite race this season in about two weeks. I hope to finish out the Buttar Sprint series. I may do one more Olympic late in the season, but unless my work situation improves I'm going to have to cut out a few races and maybe end my season about a month early. Wish me luck!

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