Race Report: A Win at TX 70.3

Photo by Nils Nilsen

I’m really happy to have a win on the board for 2013. It took me a bit by surprise. I’d been struggling a little bit with the training in Boulder. Early in the year it was good, but then we got some rough weather and it’s been hard to get all the training in. I raced San Juan a few weeks ago and it was a bit of a disaster so I came back from that and restructured my training to focus more on my swim.

I wanted to get back for another warm race – I don’t like the cold races so much, so TX 70.3 seemed like a good choice. I was a little nervous though because I did this race the first two years they had it and they were two of my worst races ever. The first year I DNF’ed and the second year someone threw tacs on the road and I got a flat, which made for a bad race in the end. I was hoping maybe I’d get lucky the 3rd time around.

The weeks leading into the race I tried to work on my swim a lot. I knew with Will Clark coming across from the ITU, the swim would be fast. I tried to sit with him on the swim and we got a good lead out on the bike with Allen Gardner, who came out of the water first. He was pushing the pace on the bike the first 10-15 miles. After that I took over the lead. I rode thru half way and at the turn around I realized there were 10-15 guys chasing that were only 1 1/2 minutes behind, so I tried to keep the pace high. About half way back, around mile 35-40, Allen dropped off and I was on my own. I knew there were strong guys like BigSexy and Tim Berkel chasing and I didn’t want to get caught with 5 miles ago after working so hard, so I really pushed it the last few miles.

 I managed to finish the bike with a little bit of a lead. I settled in on the run and for some reason it just clicked and I felt good. I really worked mile 3 and mile 7 to extend the gap a little bit. After around 8 miles, I felt like I had enough of a lead and just focused on maintaining my pace. It felt really great get in a win in TX after a few bad years. I really wanted to get back to running fast again after my race in San Juan, so I was really happy to run a 1:12 in that race. I’ve been working pretty hard on my run over the winter and have been doing some long runs at high altitude, so I’m glad to see it paying off. Congrats to Tim Berkel and BigSexy on 2nd and 3rd. It was great to race with you guys.

Also thanks to my sponsors. I have some incredible sponsors and gear helping me out this year and it’s really made a difference.

Podium Finish at Ironman 70.3 Panama

Getting a podium in the 70.3 Pan American Championships is a great way to start the season. I battled hard through the Boulder winter to prepare for this race. The hard work paid off. Congrats to Oscar and Bevan for first and second. The day was a lot tougher than I expected with the heat and the wind, but it gave me a good chance to test out my new Blue bike and Reynolds wheels, which were fantastic. It was the best I’ve felt on the bike in a long time.


Read More in the Wattie Ink Press Relase: Wattie Ink. Athlete Richie Cunningham Rocks the Podium at Ironman 70.3 Panama


My Encyclopedia of Breathing Problems

In my search to figure out how to fix my breathing issues (see 2012 race reports starting in May), I’ve come up with a long list of potential causes. I thought this might be useful for athletes out there who struggle with breathing during exercise and aren’t sure how to fix it.

1. Asthma
This is every doctor’s first answer. I took a normal asthma test and was fine.

2. Sports Induced Asthma
I failed this test, so it appears that this is what is wrong. I started taking asthma medication and an inhaler before hard training sessions. It didn’t really help.

3. Sports Induced Ashthma
Yea, doctors love this answer. They changed my meds to see if they worked better. I’m still not sure it’s helping.

4. Vocal Chord Dysfunction (VCD)
It sounded like a good possibility. Treatment is re-learning how to breathe properly. Read more here: http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/vcd/

5. Allergies/Intolerances
I had an allergy test done and found a couple minor foods that I was allergic / intolerant to, so I cut them out of my diet.

6. Heart Problems
Some people can have some backflow issues with their heart (called valve regurgitation), which isn’t all that uncommon or cause for concern. Exercise could exacerbate it though and make breathing difficult, which is a problem. So I got a stress echo done and the doctor said I was fine.

7. Muscle Problems
I’ve tried massage, PT, dry needling, and chiropractic work around my ribs/chest. It seems to help a little.

8. Sickness – Viruses or Parasites

9. Tumors
I had a chest xray done. It looked fine.

Well, that is it. Feel free to add to this list in the comments. Hope this helps somebody!

Just want to clarify a few things about Half Full & Rev3

Just want to clarify a few things about all the controversy that has been going on about the Half Full:

First, I think it’s great that the Half Full is donating 100% of profits to the Ulman Cancer Fund. It’s a great cause and very honorable. I think it’s also great that Rev3 had put a substantial amount of money (roughly $100K), and their own time and resources toward this race without expecting profits in return.

But, I completely disagree with Half Full/UCF’s decision to unsaction this event and disregard USADA by letting Lance race. I’m not buying the “ends justify the means” argument. There are more positive ways to raise money that don’t hurt the sport of triathlon and offend athletes by ignoring a life ban handed down by a governing body. Disrespecting one cause for the sake of another is wrong. I’m not anti-cancer survivor or anti-charity.  My father, who I lost last year, had cancer. I’ve also lost my grandfather to cancer. As minor as it may be, I’ve had skin cancer removed earlier this year. My position on this is purely about the integrity of sport.

Finally, there is a reason I chose Rev3 not only as a race series but as a major sponsor. I believe in what they do, not only in triathlon but in charity and fundraising. I think Charlie Patten has gone out of his way to accomodate pros in the last couple of years and he’s done more for triathlon than any other race director. Although we disagree on how to handle this issue, I support what Charlie and Rev3 have done for the sport and I will continue to race his races in the future.

2013 Triathlon Race Calendar

I’ve already been asked about my race plans for 2013, so once again, my lovely wife made me a calendar of all the half and olympic distance triathlons she could find. Feel free to print this out for yourself.

***MOST OF THESE DATES ARE BASED OFF OF LAST YEAR and have not been confirmed, so some may be on the wrong weekends or not be on again in 2013.

Remember, you can get a season pass to all Rev3 races for $1200 (and you can share with a friend). More info here.