Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nautica Malibu Triathlon: Race Report

That dastardly, diabolical Jon Cryer has defeated me once again. Beat me by 2 minutes. Just look at him up on stage gloating about his victory. Makes me sick. I did beat J-Lo though. Great, I'm faster than a recovering pregnant lady.

The ocean was pretty calm today. I'm not good at estimating wave height, but I'd say there were some gentle 3-4 foot waves rolling in. Very nice, except for one bizarre moment. We were on shore getting ready, watching the men 35-39 who had just entered the water, when we saw a swell growing in the water. The entire crowd started oh-ing and ah-ing with the wave... Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... I don't what happened out at sea, but out of nowhere this giant 10 foot wave simply engulfed the swimmers. Then the ocean was calm again. It was spectacular.

I thought I had a pretty good swim. It probable the straightest swim I've ever done (I tend to zig zag), and I was pretty much staying with my age group the whole time.

I felt good on the bike. Only a handful of people passed me - like maybe 5 - and I passed a ton of people. (Granted, one of the reasons why hardly anyone passed me was because I was one of the slower swimmers in one of the last starting waves, so there were very few people behind me to begin with!) My speedometer is broken so I couldn't pace myself, but I'm very familiar with the course and I felt like I was pushing it pretty hard without burning out.

On the run, I expected to do 8.5-9 minute miles, I did 8:15s so that was good.

I had the Best. Finishing Announcement. Evar. Better than Ironman. The emcee for the day was Konrad Ribeiro, who does personal training and has worked with our tri team as a group and with individuals. So he knows me. When I approached the finish line, I heard something like this: "And coming in now, Michael Pajaro from Glendale California... It's Wedgie from Disney..., the original triathlon blog, for all your triathlon needs go to" Or something like that. But he went on, and on, and on. It was awesome. (Konrad has training programs and special training .mp3s for download at He also creates personalized Ironman training programs and can train people for other distances. Check it out, cuz he rocks.)

I felt pretty good about the race, until the data started coming in.

I beat Jon Cryer by 45 seconds in the swim.
I beat Jon Cryer by nearly 3 minutes on the bike.
Jon Cryer beat me by about 30 seconds on the run.

Yes, The King of Ironman T2 lost Malibu in the transitions. But "it's not really my fault". Kinda.

Our tri team has a huge presence at Malibu, and all of the people who were waiting on relay teams or who had finished the race already formed a wall of clapping, cheering supporters. God Bless 'em. Unfortunately, they were standing in front of the signs for the rack rows and I couldn't see the numbers. I was number 721, and I happened to see a bike on one of the racks, number 724 or 729, something like that. So I ran over there - couldn't find my stuff. I looked at the rack to the left, the rack to the right, nothing. Luckily, teammate Jason saw me and pointed me to my area - 2 racks away. I don't know if I was racked in the wrong place or if #72x was wrong, but it cost a lot of time. I also had trouble putting the bike jersey on over my wet skin (I like to have a dry shirt for the bike) but Peter saw me struggling and gave me a hand. Oh, and I also put on my running shoes instead on my bike shoes.

In spite of my transitions, I should have done better on the individual legs. Given my current condition, I think I ran a pretty good race. The problem is I should have been in better condition. I skipped workouts. Others workouts I showed up to and just watched. And this is what happens. Funny how that works.

As usual, I parked my car about a mile down the run course so people could get a little Team Spirit along the way. This year I added the whale. And no, I did not drive to the race with the whale on the roof. (My car was covered with about 20 Go Disney signs, but I forget to take the photo before taking them off. So use your imagination.

More to come.


I know you're all dying for a race report but Rock Band 2 came out today. I have to work on that first.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pre-Nautica Malibu Tri Sandbagging report

First of all, I am declaring the Nautica Malibu Triathlon a SHAVE-WORTHY EVENT. This was my very first triathlon so it has sentimental appeal, and it's the big year-end race for my Tri Team. Plus I need all the help I can get to beat Jon Cryer. I'm going in smooth.

I have done this race 3 times, and each time I have been getting slower. I think it's about time I got a PR, so I want to beat 1:53. I'd really like 1:45-1:50. However, just so I can get my excuses lined up ahead of time, there is a potential problem; I have a slight injury.

For the past month or so, every time I started riding my bike (which is really only about once a week) I felt a pain along the outside of my lower leg. I didn't really think too much about it, but this past Tuesday I pushed a bit harder on the bike with Gerald and Brian (that'll teach me) and I think I did something bad. My theory is that the clip on my pedal got out of alignment a bit so I was pedaling with a slightly twisted leg. For two days afterwards, I could feel a constant ... not really "pain", but a definite soreness in my leg. I reset my clip today and took the bike out for a short spin. I felt a little bit of soreness, but I'm hoping that was just residual pain from earlier in the week. It certainly didn't feel as bad as every other time I got on the bike.

So there's my excuse. Well, that and the fact that I've gained 8 pounds since Ironman.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Holy Macca-rel!

Tonight was my Tri Team's annual end-of-year carb-load dinner. We ate some food, gave out a few awards (I am no long "Member of the Year", I had to hand my crown over to a well-deserving Leah!), and had a guest speaker. Who was it?

Chris. Freakin' McCormack.

That's "2007 Ironman World Champion" Chris McCormack. How awesome is that?!

When I first heard we were getting Macca I thought "wow, that's very cool... I've heard he's pretty cocky but it's still great that we got him." Well, forget about how the Tri Mags try to hype the pre-race smack talk; Chris McCormack rocks.

He was very funny and down to earth, and when it came to giving advice, most of what he said applied to people training for their 10th Ironman or their first sprint tri, so he was a great speaker for a large, diverse group like ours. Some training advice from Macca; these are not exact quotes by any means but I think they capture the idea:

"Most people complicate triathlon, especially in America. It really is just swim, bike, run."

Question: "When you finally realized that you were going to win Kona, what was going through your mind?"
Macca: "Looking back, I WISH I was thinking 'don't forget to get rid of the sponges!' Because now I have all these finisher photos with sponges bulging under my jersey."

Question: "What did you change that made the difference that let you win Kona?"
Macca: "In other years, I was all about 'destroy destroy destroy'. But then I shifted to 'enjoy enjoy enjoy'."

Question: "How do you avoid burn out?"
Macca: "Burn out?! I used to be an accountant! Now I'm being paid to do triathlons; I'd do them for free. I'm living the dream, I love every day of it so I don't worry about burnout."

Question: "How do you prepare your legs for the run?"
Macca: "I punch my quads at the end of the bike" (literally, with his fist)

Nutrition advice: "Just feel good... Drink water, when you start feeling bad drink Coke, then when you feel bad after that drink Red Bull. Ask any of the pros what they're carrying in their fuel belts: Red Bull. Red Bull. Red Bull."

His long training week in August: 14 miles of swimming, 600 miles of bike, 90 miles of running.

He spoke for 30 minutes or so, then stuck around for over an hour signing photos, jerseys, signs... the works.

Chris McCormack is awesome.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Three of my friends/training partners/coaches did the L.A. Triathlon this weekend as a relay team and they won the men's division!

"Team Awesome" (yes, that's their name) had Steve in the swim, Jon on the Bike and Gerald running. There were 24 teams in their division, so it was a hard-earned victory. Apparently though the awards ceremony was VERRRRY long so they didn't stick around to get their medals or podium photo. But they done good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jon Cryer hates me

For the past three years, I have complained about my arch-nemesis Jon Cryer. Many of you probably think "oh, isn't that funny how Wedgie has this fake rivalry with Jon Cryer." But now, I have undeniable proof that Jon Cryer is evil and is truly out to get me:

(I'll work on defeating Jon Cryer in the race, but it's not too late to help me beat J Lo in the fundraising department:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Feeling Cheesy

This weekend is Ironman Wisconsin. And come Monday morning, it looks like I'll be signing up for Wisconsin '09.

My heart isn't really in it. I'm very blah. But I know that once I get out of my blah, I'll want to do another Ironman and by then it will be too late to sign up.

Why Wisconsin? Well I want to attend all of the US Ironman races. I did Coeur d'Alene, and was a spectator at Arizona and Lake Placid. There are some good friends on my Tri team who are targeting Florida '09 for their first Ironman, and I want to be there to cheer them on and not be caught up in my own race. That leaves Kentucky and Wisconsin. Kind of a coin toss, but why not Wisconsin?

Ironman Brazil alumni Steve & Ben are supposedly doing Wisconsin so I'll have some company.

Special note to Steve in a Speedo: You live in that area (kinda); I expect you and Pharmie to be there either to race with us or to cheer us on.

Weakend Workout

Yes, WEAKend.

Our Tri Team had our final dress rehearsal for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon on Saturday. (1/2 mile open-ocean swim, 18-mile bike, 4-mile run.) Friday night, I loaded up my car with my wetsuit, bike and running shoes. Woke up Saturday morning at 6:30 am, drove about an hour to get to Malibu. Got out of my car and said "I don't want to swim." I just didn't want to. I didn't feel like climbing into the wetsuit and having to stretch and go fight the waves. So I skipped the swim and took pictures of the rest of the team jumping into the water instead. I got back to my car and said "I don't want to bike." I just didn't want to. I didn't feel like fighting the wind or climbing the hills. So I skipped the bike. I did finally force myself to do the run.

Last night we had a run after work. I got stuck in a meeting that ran late so I couldn't make it in time for the workout. You would think that I could have just gone out on my own. But instead, I was kind of bummed that I haven't been training and went home and ate some peanut butter. A LOT of peanut butter.

Basically I'm stuck in the post-Ironman blahs. I don't like training. I don't like NOT training. I admit I feel an unhealthy sense of entitlement: "I gave up 6 months of my life training for Ironman, so if I want to sleep in or skip a workout, I deserve to." Unfortunately, it's a dangerous cycle. I don't train, which makes me feel sad and guilty, so I eat, which makes me not feel like training...

Why can't our Tri Team completely disband, stop doing workouts all-together so we can just hang out and go to movies and do all of the fun stuff? That would be awesome.