Victory at Last / Dirty Dozen Mountain Bike Race

It finally happened,  my partner and I put ourselves on top of the podium at the Dirty Dozen mountain bike race.  After 6 hours of racing and average lap of :37 per lap,  we went to the front and stayed there from the gun.  Congrats to my partner Raul Luzardo for leading us out and doing 1 more lap then me!

My nutrition was simple:  Honey Stinger Chews,  MyoPlex BCAA + Electrolytes every hour.  Upon completion it was Muscle Armor for recovery and some awesome Texas Bar B Que.

The best part was getting to spend some time with friends and family after our move to Ohio.


Final Race Cross Fun & First Place!

In September I decided to take up Cross Racing.  Cross is quite big here in Ohio and I wanted to try something new.  The triathlon scene is not quite the same as the Woodlands, TX and riding my bike more became the summer stress buster.

In Columbus,  there is a race series hosted by a great group of people at Cap City Cross.  The races start in September and ends in December.  Although it took me 4 tries,  I finally podium in the last race of the season.

I am racing Masters 45+ which is still quite fast and competitive.

My nutrition and race day preparation:

  • Trainer Road: 30 Minutes at home in the basement to warm up the legs
  • Before Race: Honey Stinger Chews & Myoplex BCAAS + Electrolytes.


First Mountain Bike Win!

What an awesome time yesterday at the Big Ring Challenge, Cat 2 Mountain Bike race. If you have not done one of these, you need to sign up. The crowds are awesome, the people are very friendly and the laid back nature of the before and after is a welcome respite. However, the racing is anything but! I managed to stay upright and after a poor start, about Mile 18 I finally caught back up to the lead group. With some hard efforts I was able to squeeze by and with about 2 to go, I managed to get away and put in enough time to cross in first. I am not Jesse Robinson, so my pictures are normally terrible, but these came out quite good. Looking forward to some more Terra Firma racing in the very near future. Proud to support my Klean Athlete team kit!

Back to Back Racing

What a couple of weekends! We kicked off our race expo season at Klean Athlete with attendance at both the Lifetime Fitness Austin Rattler 100K Leadville qualifying mountain bike race in Austin, TX and followed that up with attendance at the Memorial Herman Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, TX.

The traffic at the booth was incredible at both events. It was awesome spending time with my colleagues at Klean Athlete and seeing them in action. The idea behind clean and safe sports nutrition is causing a lot of people to think more about what they chose as a supplement. The really fun part was the ability to work hard, then play hard by racing both events post expo! Prior to both races, I added a great blog on my supplementation plans on our Klean site, which can be found here.

First up, my first ever enduro mountain bike race outside of Austin, at the Rocky Hill Ranch. Wow, what an incredible way to spend a Saturday morning! To toe the line with 800 other racers, all looking to challenge themselves over 100K on a hilly and fun course was a great feeling. The race started much faster then I imagined, but I was able to get into a good group. I learned that there is a lot of drafting in these races, so I tried to find a solid pace group and see what happened. The first lap went well, as I came in with Red Bull’s Rebecca Rusch with her on my wheel during the last bit of single track. I have never ridden in front of someone so nice that was coaching me as I tried to stay up right. The last 3 laps were just as challenging with me having to learn how and when to take in nutrition and hydration while bouncing around on a mountain bike. I made some tactical errors on lap 2 as far as this was concerned and lost some time. By lap 4 however, I felt very strong and was able to push the pace and finish up with 65th overall. I just missed out on a Leadville slot, but will use that for motivation for next time!

Hats off to the race organizers at Lifetime for putting on a fabulous expo and awesome event. The vibe at a mountain bike race is like nothing I have experienced before. Great people, great athletes, and great crowds make for an incredible day on the bike.

The very next weekend, we headed over to Galveston, TX for the first big 70.3 (half ironman), of the season! Despite a lot of wind and crazy weather, the expo was awesome. Again, more people are recognizing our Klean brand from our advertising efforts and we got to meet a lot of clients already on the product. We also had a lot of fun with some of the pro athletes sharing stories and great laughs over dinner on Friday night.

Race day came on Sunday with wind, rain and some cooler temperatures. I give Ironman credit for doing the swim leg. I just knew it would get canceled. As a swimmer, if they drop the swim leg from a race, it really puts a dent into my placing.

Our wave went about 1 hour after the pro athletes and we started off with a heavy headwind for the first 500 M. There were swimmers struggling everywhere. There would be up to 6 people hanging on each buoy for either a rest of looking for support. I personally found it challenging and exciting to go out in rough water. For me the swim ended a bit slower than normal, but I was in very good shape overall.

The bike was blessed with a nice tailwind to crosswind on the way out, making for some fast cycling at low watts. The turn brought more of a crosswind then headwind due to changing conditions which suits my riding style. In the end, I had my fastest ever bike split in a 70.3 of 2:19 or 24MPH.

Finally came the run. I knew if working back to back events and racing back to back was going to hit me, this would be the time. Shockingly, the first mile came in at 7:00. The legs felt strong, HR was good and I was able to get in some nutrition. I told myself that the goal was to hold this through 7 miles and see what happens. Mile 7 came and I still felt good.

That pace in a multiple loop run has you passing a lot of athletes. Racing in your backyard also has you running with and sometimes by a lot of people you know. Thus, the words of encouragement and support were everywhere. I just used that to fuel my effort and decided to go for it the last 6.

In the end, I ended up in 6th in my AG, and a slot to the 70.3 World Championships (which I had to pass on unfortunately), and a new PR of 4:27! Bottom line, it felt great to race again, and to race fast! The last time I broke 4:30 I was 37, so to do this 5 years later in my 40’s has an even better feel to it.

Special thanks to my family, coaches and colleagues at Klean Athlete that constantly support me. Special recognition to my family that had to deal with me being gone both for the event and the race, plus other travel over that two weeks.

In conclusion, it felt awesome to race back to back! I can’t wait to toe the line again for our next big event, Ironman Texas here in The Woodlands.

Ironman Texas 2012

IMG_0114 - 2012-05-20 at 16-37-57

For whatever reason, I decided it would be a good idea to do another Ironman. The problem however, I could do this thing on 10 hours a week of training or less. The key here, would be less.

What started off as a way to get it all back, ended up being a lesson in patience. It was also a lesson in work life balance. Work was crazy in 2012, with managing a large brand and launching a new one. On top of the work, my kids activities have reached a point where every weekend is filled with a game or a practice. I told myself at the start of this training that I would not sacrifice my life at home. I would sacrifice my training.

So what does all that mean? It means you get in 2 Century rides and only 4, 2+ hour runs. My weeks were filled with some 1 hour efforts here and there, but I averaged only 7 hours a week, counting my long ride on weekends. Many of the long rides were only 3 hours, because I wanted to get back for Parker’s baseball games and Hannah’s actives as well.

I also had a setback when my training partner, Linda Trinkle went down in a horrible bike crash. Linda was on pace to easily win her age group and make a trip to Kona. On a century ride about 50 miles from the house, she clipped my back wheel while we were leading out about 25 other athletes. She went down hard and broke her shoulder and a few ribs. Linda’s race dreams ended that day, but her hard work to recovery was an inspiration for anyone that followed her. Seeing her at the swim start reminded me how lucky every athlete is that gets to toe the line of a big race.

After the bike accident, I had a weekend trip which meant no long ride, then I found myself only 2 weeks out.

The beauty of Ironman Texas, is the race start is 5 miles from my front door. I get to sleep in my own bed, wake up, do an Ironman, and sleep in my own bed again! It does not get any easier than that. It is also a course loaded with people you know cheering you on. The downside is the 90+ degree Texas heat.

So when the are was over, I took great joy in my results:

56 minute swim
5:35 Bike
4:02 Run

For a 10:38. I basically equaled my first Ironman in 2005 with 1/2 the training.

The part I liked most, was realizing the journey can be as exciting as race day. Maybe it is because I have laid it all out there and achieved a goal, or maybe my life has changed as I watch my kids grow up around me. Either way, I was quite pleased with the day.

As far as my kids, there was one set back. I had to miss my son’s playoff game to race. Good thing they won, because I was there to watch the World Series game 5 nights later.

After hanging in transition for a bit, I packed up the bike and gear, called Shani and she met me on the corner with my son after his game. They picked me up and I went home. No fan fare, no new tattoos, no trip to Kona. However, I had a smile on my face and the pride and satisfaction that comes with pushing yourself over 140.6 miles.

Ironman Coming to the Woodlands

No blog for many, many months. But now I have something to write about! The Ironman is coming to the Woodlands. Great article below:

conroe courier – sports

It’s official:Woodlands to host 2011 Ironman
Published: 06.23.10
Last October, The Woodlands’ Timothy Monk posted the fastest time of any Ironman finisher from Montgomery County at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

He got there by earning a spot with a great nine hour, 53-minute and 19-second performance at the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run Ironman competition in Madison, Wisconsin the fall before.

Next May, the 39-year-old hopes to be one of 65 qualifiers to the 2011 World Championships, but by doing so in his hometown.

“This will be huge for our community,” Monk said ecstatically. “Congratulations to our leadership for recognizing what such an awesome event will do for The Woodlands.”

After a presentation by Ironman’s Chief Operations Officer Steve Meckfessel to the boards of The Woodlands Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, both bodies Wednesday evening voted to approve the creation of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas, which will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2011 in The Woodlands.

The news was greeted with euphoric and boisterous applause in The Township Service Center meeting room, which was packed with triathletes from all of the major clubs and training groups in The Woodlands.

The common question from those athletes was: “When can we sign up?”

Registration for Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas, one of 24 World Championship qualifiers, will open Friday afternoon, June 25, at noon.

While many area triathletes are concerned of Ironman’s quick sellouts in their second, third or fourth year of operation, Meckfessel is perhaps a bit more realistic of a first-year event.

“It takes us some time to build that reputation and to build that demand,” he said. “Without exception, all of our domestic races for this year are or will be sold out.

“And certainly we have high expectations of this in terms of registration and the demand, but the real expectation is that it may take several weeks to get the word out.”

World Triathlon Corporation, Ironman’s owner, has already tabbed Keith Jordan from Austin as its race director for Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas.

Jordan has been the driving force behind both of the current Ironman 70.3 races in Galveston and Austin.

The former race, which will be held approximately six weeks before next year’s Ironman Texas event in The Woodlands, is also sponsored by the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

Memorial Hermann has made resurgence in the last three years with its support of a number of area triathlons.

“I think that is (a result of) the development of our sports medicine program and Sports Medicine Institute at our Medical Center Hospital,” said Memorial Hermann – The Woodlands Chief Executive Officer Steve Sanders. “It is involving research and working with elite athletes of the world along with the weekend athlete as well.

“We too were looking for a partner like Ironman to bring some recognition to our Institute and to work with elite athletes of the world as part of our program.”

And Memorial Hermann – The Woodlands Chief Operating Officer Joshua Urban, a three-time participant from 1998 to 2000 at the Kona World Championship is realizing a past vision coming true.

“It’s very exciting for me, living here for 15 years, and competing in these races for four years,” Urban said. “Ten years ago, I did all of my training on the proposed bike route, swimming locally in the (former) Woodlands Aquatic Center and running, of course, everywhere around The Woodlands.

“I used to always think to myself that it would be really awesome to put on an Ironman here. We got everything that we need to do it here. It is kind of serendipitous that ten years later it’s actually going to happen.”

Meckfessel announced that participants will begin with a swim in Lake Woodlands, entering the water at Northshore Park and finishing at Town Green Park, which will serve as the transition area.

Athletes will then head out on a 2-loop, 56-mile bike course that will take them west through The Woodlands before heading north and northwest out through Dacus and Dobbin out to Richards before returning back to transition.

The final portion of the race will be a two- or three-loop marathon course entirely within The Woodlands that will conclude with spectacular and emotional finishes on Market Street.

Jon Walk covers running locally and throughout Texas and the Southwest and can be reached at

Copyright © 2010 – Houston Community Newspapers Online

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Hannah’s Turkey Trot / The Woodlands TX

One of the biggest races around this house is the GE Run Thru the Woods held on Thanksgiving Day here in the Woodlands. Our annual turkey trot has been a 4 year tradition with the kids. Last year was a great year for me running with Parker in the kids race. We ran a good mile in 2008 and have some wonderful pictures of the event.

This year was different, because Parker did not want me to run with him in the 1 mile race. So he went on to do his own run without any parental supervision. Parker had a good day running a 9:30 pace.

However, the big race of the day was going to be Hannah and I running the 5 mile run together. Hannah has done several 5k’s through her Girls Run group, but this run was going to be 2 miles longer and with a huge crowd.

I thought she might be a bit nervous, but she was excited to start and only complained to mom about all of the clothes she had to wear because it was cold. We gave mom (aka Race Sherpa) our sweatshirts and got ready for the start.

As the gun went off, we let the faster runners go, then settled into our pace. We started out holding 9:30 miles and stayed close to that pace the entire time. Hannah never once stopped. She drank a cup of water at the aid station while running like a champion marathon runner and was not going to give up until we got to the finish line.

Throughout the run, we saw people we knew every few minutes so she had a cheering section. Some of our cheering section were a little shocked, because they were about to lose to a 9 year old!

The last mile was a tough one. I think both of us got a bit excited and we picked up the pace. With about 1/2 mile to go, Hannah asked to slow it up a bit, because she said she was really tired but was not going to walk. As we turned the last corner we had a bout 1/4 mile left and I told her we were at 48:00 and we needed to run fast to break 50 minutes. She picked the pace up again and we crossed the line with a 49:45!! She was 1508 overall about of about 3000 runners. However, she was 2nd in her AG and would have been 3rd if you count the 10 and under boys and girls.

Yes Hannah has one proud dad this Thanksgiving. More importantly, Hannah is proud of herself.

Clear Lake Triathlon

A few weeks ago, I decided to race one more time before Kona. The race of choice was the Clear Lake Triathlon in Clear Lake City, Texas. The race was Olympic Distance or a 1500m swim, 40k Bike and a 10k run.

I got up yesterday at 3:15 so I could leave by 4:00 am to be in transition by 5:30. I like to get up early, but 3:15 comes real early. My goal for the race was to see what I could do in the heat and just push the pace as hard as I could. Training for an Ironman can be long and tedious, so having a chance to go fast can be a lot of fun.

We were the 3rd wave to go after the Elite (pro) wave and the 40 and older group. For those of you that don’t know, wave starts are determined by the race director and they typically put the largest age group waves first. In most races, the 35-39 wave follows the Elites, but this race was a bit different.

The Elite men had about 4 minutes on us before we started and the 40+ men had about 3 minutes. From the gun, my swim felt strong. The water temp was 88 degrees so there were no wetsuits. I did have on my Blue Seventy speed suit, which makes a big difference. At about the 200 meter point of the swim, I found myself in the front of our wave and was also starting to swim up on the wave in front of us. At about 1000 meters, I caught nearly all of the 2nd wave and was even on the feet of one of the Elite men. I don’ know why the swim felt so great, but I just felt stronger as the swim progressed. As I exited the water, I looked back and realized that I had put minutes on anyone in my age group. I like to start the bike in front and today was no exception.

My bike has not been as strong as it should be in my past races this year. I knew I had the potential to ride fast, but I just have not done that yet this year. I have had good rides, but no fast rides. To try and change this, I went out hard on the bike, much harder than I normally do and was quite uncomfortable. I checked out the power meter and found that I was holding 300 watts and about 25.5 mph for the first few miles. At about mile 10, my power came back to a more realistic level of about 270, but my speed was still 25+ mph. I also felt that my legs were feeling better and my HR was 165 beats per minute which is what I wanted. I took advantage of this and just went with pace and focused on keeping my power as close to 270 as possible.

At about mile 22, I caught up with another guy in the Elite Wave and that got me thinking that I could have a sub 1 hour bike split. I put the head down and pushed the power up to 300 for the last 10 minutes and got home in under an hour. I was so excited to have this kind of bike split, and tried to use my excitement to get me out on the run course as quickly as possible.

The run started fine with my first 2 miles at 6:20 pace. However, at mile 3, I started cramping in my diaphragm to the point where I could not breathe. It was extremely uncomfortable and I started laughing to myself, because I was about to walk in an Olympic Distance race. I walked from the turn around and after about 2 minutes of walking, it went away. It was a good lesson for me, because I now know that if I get something like this in HI, I can get through it and still have a great race.

After my brief walk, my run picked back up and I finished the race in 2:05, my fastest ever Olympic Distance time by over 7 minutes.

When the results were posted at the race, I looked at the 35-39 age group and saw that my name was not there. I was quite stunned, because I knew I did enough to win the age group. Someone said, you need to “look up”, and there I was on a special sheet showing the Overall Male and Female winners. I had my first ever Overall Amateur win and my fastest Olympic distance race ever.

The day ended with a nice trophy and an wonderful welcome home from the family. My son even offered to put the plaque next to his trophy from his podium finish last week.

I have always wanted an overall victory and thanks to my family, my sponsors (Luke’s Locker, Bike Lane) and my Coach Dana Lyons, I achieved that goal. I hope to be back next year to try and defend the title.

Buffalo Springs Results

I am back in the passenger seat on my way home from Buffalo Springs. The day turned out a lot like last year with cooler temperatures and rain. I was happy with my race on what is a challenging course.

I dropped a 4:45 and 11th place in my AG, and 65th overall, including the pros. I was hoping to be in the top 10, but had to settle for 11th. The Ironman 70.3 series brings out some really fast people from all over the country. Racing at one of these is nothing like racing at a local sprint race.

The winner in our AG is 35 year old guy named Tim Hola. I have never met Tim, but he went 4:12. I am pretty sure Tim raced pro for a bit, but moved back to the AG ranks recently. The guy can move.

As far as my form, I was pleased. I had a decent swim of 29 minutes, a better bike than last year of 2:35 and a decent run of 1:35. The run course is full of long climbs and it takes too much to get my big butt up hills. I need the flats. My PR in the 1/2 is 4:28, but that was on a pancake flat course.

I was hoping for some heat for the run, but instead got cloudy muggy conditions. I wanted the heat to see if my nutrition was ready for Kona. I will just have to practice in training, because today was not the day I needed to properly practice my fluid intake.

My friend Mike Young did really well with a PR and an 45 minute improvement over his time from last year. He is pretty excited and looking forward to his big race, the Austin 70.3.

I also had the opportunity to meet Kevin Barr, a local Woodlands resident. Kevin won a lottery slot to go to Hawaii this year. In order to take advantage of a lottery slot, you have to finish a 70.3 or full ironman prior to September 1, 2009. Kevin had a great race today and now he is all set to attend the big dance in Kona. To get a lottery slot is something special. There are only 200 people chosen out of 15,000 plus.

One of the top pro’s in the world was there as well, Cameron Brown. Cameron has won IM New Zealand for the last 3 years and is always a top finisher at the World Championships. it was pretty cool seeing him race.

So it is off to Pittsburgh tomorrow for more meetings and to help with our quarterly sales finish. I don’t know what my next race is going to be, but I hope to get another race or two in before I head off to HI.

I will miss my family this week, because I have had back to back travel with a race in between. I am lucky that I have a wife supporting my quest to race in Hawaii.

Road Trip to Buffalo Springs

I am on my way to Lubbock to race at the Buffalo Springs 70.3 (Half Ironman). I am sitting in the passenger seat typing up a blog post while my good friend Mike Young drives. We have my new Element loaded up with 2 bikes and the rest of our gear. The new bike rack works great in the back and we have some good tunes going on the Ipod.

The only unfortunate thing about the weekend, is my family is at home and I have been gone all week with work. I hated to leave this morning, because I really miss them when I am gone.

Two seasons ago I had a lot of fun racing only 1/2 IM’s. I started off 2007 with my first age group victory at Galveston and went on to race at Disney and finished the year at the USAT Long Course Championship race. I managed to finish 5th at the championship earning a spot on the USA team. I had no Ironman races that year and really enjoyed the training and the racing at the 1/2 IM distance.

The 1/2 is such a great race, because you get to ride and run fast, but you still have to have endurance to get you through the 5 hours. I have learned to ride fast, but not too fast where I cannot run. At Disney in 2007, I had my fastest bike split ever! The problem was, I imploded on the run. I learned that you have to hold just a hare back so you have legs to hit the 1/2 marathon at the end. If you don’t, it is a long 13 miles.

In 2008, I started the year out at the Lone Star 1/2 Ironman with a good bike split, but a great run. The run gave me my fastest time ever of 4:28. That day came together, because I paced the race perfectly.

Buffalo Springs is a tough race because it is hot and windy (It is 99 degrees right now) I am excited to race there, because it will be similar conditions to what I will have in Kona. Buffalo Springs will give me a good test of how my body responds in these conditions. My last few races have been in cooler temperatures, so I need to use this to be sure I have my nutrition dialed in for the big day in Kona.

My training volume has been really high the past 2 weeks, with 5+ hour rides and 2.5 hour runs. I have not rested much at all, so I don’t expect a lot of speed, but I hope to feel strong.

Mike is shooting for a sub 5:00 race and he is in awesome shape to do it.

Stay tuned and I will provide an update after Sunday’s race.

I want to take a minute and thank my friends at Bike Lane for setting me up with my Powertap Zipp 808 race wheel. They have taken good care of me this season and I have raced well thanks to their support.