Thursday, October 31, 2013

Product Review: EnduroPacks Monthly Nutrition

Before I begin this review, let me say up front that I've entered an ambassadorship with EnduroPacks. However, that decision had no impact on my review or thoughts on the product.  Like with most reviews I do - I explained to the guys at EnduroPacks that I would not and could not represent a product that I didn't have experience with and could honestly say was something that worked for me.
We agreed, at that point, to give me 30 days to use their nutrition and I would put together a review of it and provide some constructive feedback.  If it worked out for both parties, I would become an ambassador.

Suffice to say, I was incredibly impressed with their product.

Initial Thoughts:
Before receiving the product, I had some general misconceptions and predispositions regarding their product.  I assumed that it was "snake oil" (meaning that I felt it was something that wouldn't work). I couldn't have been more wrong - but those were my initial thoughts.
After doing some research and seeing some other reviews, like this one here, I began to see that there was more to it than "this stuff will help your recovery, just use it and don't worry asking what it is."

Like most age groupers with a full time job, training for triathlons and races leaves limited time for recovery when you are trying to find ways to squeeze in everything else in life (time for the family, general errands around the house, non-training activities, etc).  Sleep is undoubtedly compromised (especially with a newborn in the house), as is time to just rest and put your feet up.

My workout schedule is mostly twice a day on the weekdays (one hour swim/ride/run at lunch and then an hour to two hours run/ride in late afternoon/nighttime).  On the weekends I have easier (less intensity) but much longer duration runs and rides.  The way I handle recovery has always been that if I'm feeling extra tired or burnt out - I take a day or two off.  Usually, I will miss a workout during the week because of family related stuff anyway, so I get some form of recovery there too.
What my evening workouts typically look like.
What I'm trying to illustrate is that I, like most age group athletes who are competing in triathlons, put a ton of time into training and when combined with everything else in life - something has to give.  Usually, for me (and a lot of other people) it's taking the time to properly recover.

Now, I'm not saying that this product replaces a good recovery period.  It doesn't.  However, if you're in a situation where you're not getting as much recovery as you probably should and need a bit of extra help - I think this product will do absolute wonders.

With that said, let's get to the details of the product itself, and the results of its actual use for me.

Unboxing and Use:
EnduroPacks comes straight to your door in a box filled with four different components.  It also comes with a handy instruction card explaining how the stuff is supposed to be taken.
Handy Dandy instruction card.

Its components are:

Liquid Multi-Vitamin:

The multi vitamin right out of the box.
I've never been a big multi-vitamin guy and the closest thing I ever came to taking multi-vitamins was the gummi-vites that I would steal from my niece and nephews when I was babysitting them.  In addition to that, I'm about the furthest thing from an M.D. that one can be - so an analysis of the ingredients that make up this liquid vitamin will NOT be coming from me.  With that said, my wife (who is a nurse) said that this was some "good stuff" and seemed pleased that I was actually taking something like that.  So there's that.
What I can give feedback on is how it tasted, its ease of daily use, and what results I found from taking it for a month.
I felt the taste was pretty good for a "mediciny multi-vitamin."  Whenever I see anything liquid that isn't juice (or similar), I pretty much instantly think of that cherry taste that came with the awful cough medicines.  This was nothing like that.  It went down pretty smooth and didn't interfere with whatever meal I was taking it with.
In terms of how easy it is to use - it's a no brainer.  It doesn't get much easier than to simply fill up a tablespoon and down it with your breakfast.  I still took it in the morning, even though I technically only have 2 morning workouts each week (on the weekends).
As for its effects, I feel it works well for me.  Considering I came from taking no multi-vitamin or vitamins of any kind - I have noticed that I feel more "vibrant" (for lack of a better term) with my daily workouts.  Again, I don't know the technical ins and outs of exactly how it has effected me - but I feel a lot better than before I was taking it.

Amino Acid Patch:
The amino acid patch.  Patches are a light peach color and adhere well.
This patch was one of the bigger concerns I had when I first did my research.  It just seemed preposterous to put a patch on after a workout.
Well, I was wrong.  This is one of the most useful items that come in the pack.
I chose to apply it on my underarm and towards my back.  This was just to keep it out of sight as when I had it "out in the open" - I would get questions from people ("I didn't know you smoked Bryan!  How is quitting going?" or "Wow Bryan, trying not to get pregnant, huh?").
With that said, I was able to apply it after my lunchtime workout and my evening workout would always go a lot smoother.  There was no more dragging myself downstairs to get on the trainer and just slugging through a workout.  I did feel more fresh (in both my evening workouts and when I woke up the next day) while using the patch.  So I would call that a success.  I found that the patch stayed on pretty well, to the point where I was having to peel it off at the end of the day (although several times I simply forgot it was on there and didn't notice that it was still on until I went to put a new patch on the next day).

Electrolyte Salt Spray:
The salt spray.  The bottle is about the size of a small cologne bottle.
This is recommended to be used during your workout and sprayed into your water bottle.  The problem with that, for me, is that I pre-make my drinks during my long rides and am not a big fan stopping or getting out of the aero position to spray stuff.  During runs, there was no way that I would be able to use it.  I tend to run without carrying anything - water bottles included - on my long runs.  That meant, initially, that this product wouldn't work for me.
Where I found that it was extremely useful, however, was while I was riding on the trainer in my basement.  While doing long trainer sessions, I was able to reach over to a barstool (where I set my fan), grab the spray and spray into my drink.  Just a few sprays is all it takes and it works like a charm.
I'm a "Gatorade hater" in that I hate the taste of sports drinks and how they make me feel.  They just never have jived with me.  This spray is a solution to that.  It doesn't alter the taste of the water to a degree where you feel like you're downing a sugary sports drink (although it does have a slightly limey taste - but in a good way).  I could see people using this if they carry race belts on their long runs or do not have a specific hydration system on the bike (where spraying into the water becomes inefficient).

Glutamine Recovery Complex:

The night time recovery pills.
This was probably my favorite thing in the box and what I feel is most responsible for what I perceive to be a dramatic increase in my recovery time.
While this pill is not a replacement for a good night's sleep - I did find that it helped with the soreness I normally felt the next morning that typically comes on with my late night workouts.  
The instructions say to take two capsules in the evening before bed, and it really couldn't be any easier to do.  The pills go down easy and they just plain work.  Also, my wife (the nurse) was really impressed that Glutamine pills were included in the packet.

Overall Thoughts:
There's no doubt that using this product over the last month has positively helped my training.  Whether it was one specific product that worked and the others helped - or a collective effort - I have been able to get in more workouts with less fatigue and soreness.  What this means is quality time while working out which equates to quality gains in performance.
I did a decent amount of racing in October, and these products were a life saver in terms of keeping me fresh.  Recovery was a major, major concern of mine when looking at my late season race schedule and I'm less concerned with it now after seeing how taking these supplements has worked for me.
Keep in mind that this is simply my experience with the product.  I can't speak towards the specifics for anyone else (or even for me outside of how it made me feel), but I can give it my highest recommendation.
EnduroPacks offers these for $75 for a one month pack.  The price gets lower (down to $59.99 per month) if you subscribe for a longer period.  I think this is a great value considering how if you walk into a GNC to get supplements you'll spend about that much on a multi-vitamin alone.
With all the stuff that triathletes spend their money on (and I'm as guilty of this transgression as anyone), it seems like common sense to use something that would allow you to effectively train better throughout the season.  For me, EnduroPacks is that product.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me below or shoot me an email.  If interested in purchasing, you can use the discount code Take10OFF for $10 off your purchase for even more savings.  Shipping is free.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Race Report: Fearless Triathlon Double Super Sprint

I don't often race in back to back weekends.  This is for a variety of reasons - but the first and foremost is that I'm not a big fan of racing "just to race."  If I go to a race - I want to win.  Now, whether that means coming in first place ahead of everyone else, making it to the podium, finishing in a specific time frame, etc - is something that's dependent on the race itself.  However, VERY RARELY will I race "just to race."

This race was an exception to that rule.  I had a couple of things going against me going into this race.  1)  I just finished the Lifetime Oceanside race six days before.  2)  Somehow during the week after Oceanside, I sprained my ankle and, while I was able to run on it, it was uncomfortable bordering on painful.  3)  This race was in Mission Bay, San Diego - which is about a 2 hour drive from where I life and we would have to drive there the morning of (which meant waking up at 3 am).

Regardless, I signed up for this race knowing full well it would follow an "A" race for me.  Why would I do such a thing?  Simply put - this race is very unique.  It uses the standard swim, bike, run format - but then has you repeat the entire thing over again.  It's like doing two mini sprint triathlons one right after the other.  For me, that was something I wanted to experience - so I made certain I wouldn't miss it.

After the Olympic distance race the week before, I immediately begin thinking about how to go about doing this race.  From the course maps, the bike course looks pretty wavy with lots of turns, so I decided to use my road bike.  Also, the pro race is draft-legal ITU style, so I figured if the pros are using road bikes - I probably should too (I fully realize that this type of logic makes no sense).  My brother-in-law and I have also recently built up a road bike for me, so that was part of the motivation to use this bike in lieu of my tri bike as well.

Here's a picture of my fun, little road bike build.  I'll do a blog post on the build another time.
In addition, I decided I was going to use the Xterra Lava Pants that my wife purchased for me (despite them NOT being ITU legal - which contradicts the logic I used in choosing my road bike).  My thought behind these would be that they would be easy enough to take off after the first swim and easy enough to throw back on for the second.  Long story short:  I liked them.  I'll do a full review in a future post.

Picture of the Lava Pants I took after the race.

The videos of this race are, to say the least, pretty epic.  The pro race (which is a bit different from the amateur race) looks like it's amazing fun and highly competitive.  It's very different from the "get your pace and hold on" that longer distance triathlons are.  This one is more "go as hard as you can until you finish the run - and then go harder the second time" type of deal.  The video below does a good job in showing how someone would be super interested in this race.

Pre Race:
The drive down to San Diego at 3 am to be able to pick up my packet and set up transition before race time was long, tiresome, and exhausting.  And when I say "long, tiresome, and exhausting" - I really mean that my wife drove the whole way and I passed out.  (I love you honey! haha)  
We arrived to the transition area and got registered and set up in transition, where I was able to find a primo spot.  None of the vendor tents were open yet, so we just hung out in the transition area until the announcement was made to start corralling people towards the swim start.
Transition at 0-dark-thirty.
The Swim (1):
Swim was a mass start for 375 meters.  Instantly, I could tell that this was going to be an interesting start.  The course was an out and back course, taking a left around the first buoy about 150 meters out, then 75 meters over to the next buoy, and then taking a left around that buoy and back to the dock to head to transition.  
It seemed simple enough and looked like it would be a pretty fast swim.  Everyone was bunched up in the middle of the ramp (even though the first buoy was more off to the side), so I went off to the side towards the dock to wait for the start.  My thought process was that I would be out of the way of most everyone and have a somewhat calm swim.
As you can see, I was somewhat tired.
Well, I was dead wrong.  The moment the gun went off, everyone just kind of shifted over right on top of me and I felt like I was in one of those fish circles.  Don't get me wrong, I'm used to swimming in a crowd and I normally don't mind it when things get a little bumpy.  The problem with this one was that there were people who WERE NOT used to this, and they were grabbing people to stay afloat.  Somewhat dangerous.  In any case, I managed to swim my way out of it without being kicked too many times, and once I was in less crowded water my swim went pretty good.  Swim 1 time:  8:07 That's about on pace for me considering that there was a pretty lengthy run to transition that I basically walked because of my ankle.
This is a very, very rare creature.  An actual photo of me swimming.
The Bike (1):
Coming out of transition was pretty easy since I was racked so close.  I didn't have my shoes previously clipped in (mainly because I heard someone over the PA say that it wasn't allowed, although a ton of people were already clipped) but that wasn't too big of a hindrance.  
This was my first time riding a road bike in a long, long time and was the first real ride on this bike since it was built (I ride my time trial bike 99% of the time).  I went pretty hard, but was very careful to pace myself on the bike (as I knew I would be riding again).  I didn't use a power meter (I brain farted the night before and forgot to switch my Stages to the bike - which would have been easy enough to do), so I went by feel and kept an eye on my speed.  I managed to keep it around 22 mph or so, which is plenty good for me on a bike I wasn't used to.  The bike course was the Fiesta Island Time Trial course (just one loop) and is a beautiful course that's fairly flat.  Simply a stellar venue for a triathlon in my opinion.  
I have one regret about the course and that was not using my time trial bike.  For one - the "twists and turns" I mentioned before were not that bad.  I feel I would have handled them easily on a tri bike.  Also, it was driving me nuts that I was giving up time to guys on triathlon/time trial bikes based solely on position and me not being used to the road bike (I'm not a roadie by any means).  Bike time:  18:28
I feel weird looking at how weird I look like while riding a road bike.
The Run (1):
I had low, low expectations for the run - mainly because my ankle was the size of a softball and I didn't feel I would be able to put any serious pressure on it.  My thought for the run was to just take it easy and not push it.  Since the distance was so relatively short (only 1.5 miles for each run leg) - I didn't think I would do any lasting damage.
Transitioning to the run took a bit longer because I had to squeeze my shoes on (I didn't think of bringing shoes that were slightly bigger for this race).  
The run course was really nice.  Just an out and back right by Fiesta Island.  Nothing fancy to it, but still a nice run all the same.
Like a knucklehead though, I found myself pushing a little harder than I should have during the run, running around a 7:00 pace when I was really leaning more towards a 8:00 easier pace for both legs.
Run time:  9:51
The run felt pretty good , despite the swollen ankle.  This guy swam, biked, AND ran his first leg in those Lava Pants.

Run course is pretty.
The Swim (2):
Coming out of the run and back to swim again is a really, really crappy proposition for someone who isn't a good swimmer.  I had every intention in the world of putting my Xterra Lava Pants back on for the second swim, but was kind of out of it and trying to rush when I got to transition.  So I just dumped my run gear, threw on my swim cap and goggles, and bolted for the water. 
To my surprise, I was the only one in the water at the start (which meant that I had ran past most of the people in my pack and was well behind the people in the front of the pack).  I jumped in and started stroking.
Unfortunately, my swim arms just weren't there.  I was having a tough time on the second swim and going slow.  People were passing me and I was trying my best to keep up - but just didn't have it in me to keep a good position and stay streamlined.
Soon I found myself surrounded by a pack of people, and I realized any advantage I gained from the bike or run was quickly lost.  I ended up coming out of the swim way slower than than my first one - once again reminding me of the massive amount of work I have to do in the water in order to be competitive. Swim 2 time:  10:18 (which had to be among the slowest of anyone in the race).
Hopping in for the second swim completely solo.  Just wasn't face enough to come out that way.

No, I'm not wearing black socks. My feet are just filthy.
The Bike (2):
I came out of transition pretty pumped.  I wanted to make up some lost ground on my competition and pass some people now that I was on dry land.  My ankle was hurting a bit by this time so I figured any chance I had to overtake some people in position would be on the bike.
Coming out of transition.  I should have just clipped in with everyone else, but an announcement made before the race start had me sketched out.
I came out of the bike pretty hard.  Too hard.  The second go round I passed a bunch of people very quickly - pushing forward like a freight train on pure power.  I was hitting the 24-25 mph range for most of the stretches and had it in my mind that I would just keep this pace and then hold on as much as I could for the run.

Nope.  (LOL@ME)

About halfway through I dwindled down and struggled to keep a 20 mph pace.  I kept with that almost to the finish and prepped for the run.  Bike 2 time:  19:01

The Run (2):
The second run was almost an exact duplicate of the first.  Literally.  The same people I found myself running with on the first run were right there on the second run.  I ended up pushing myself a bit too hard on the run - as my ankle was in a lot of pain afterwards.  The price I pay for egotism and vanity I guess - I just didn't want people to beat me.  Still pretty slow on the run, but a bit better than the first go round.  Run 2 time:  9:11

I look absolutely miserable in this picture.

I kicked it up a notch when heading in to the finish chute.

Complete time:  1:20:08

This race was very, very well done.  There were a few slight snags (like having the run course changed mid race because someone set the cones slightly wrong - which diverted some of the first people to that area of the run to run only half the course), but nothing that effected anything too bad.  Lars Finanger and company put on a hell of a race, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new challenge or just something different.

I do feel there are some things I could have done better.  The obvious is my swim - with some work on that I feel I could be a lot better than I am.  Maybe not front of the pack - but I think I would be fast enough that I won't be giving the race leaders a 5-6 minute advantage on me out of the water.  On the bike - I feel that I would be faster in transition if I would have clipped in prior (which isn't a problem for me).  Also, I'm obviously more comfortable and a lot faster on a time trial bike - so being on that would work better for me unless the race specifically calls for otherwise.  The run wasn't a huge deal for me - I had a hurt ankle and there's not a lot I can do about that.  I can't wait to come down for the next one fully healthy and in the right mindset and see how I fair.  I truly feel that this is a race I can compete in once I get my swim in check.

Now, it's time to recover (using my daily EnduroPacks) and relax and let my ankle heal up.  I'm going to take a week or two off from running, and concentrate on my swim.  Only one more triathlon this year (The Turkey Tri from Renegade Race Series), and then I'm shutting it down until January (race-wise).  

Final Verdict on my performance from my son:
Not Impressed.  Oh well.  

Race Report: LifeTime Tri Oceanside National Championships

If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, then everyday would be Christmas

I've heard that saying a trillion times growing up.  Whenever I complained about what I could have done in a wrestling match, soccer game, cross country meet, etc - my dad would utter that saying and laugh.  I think it was his way of trying to get me to not complain, and for the most part - it worked.

Early in the season - I set two goals for myself.  Get a belt buckle at Leadman and break 2:15 in an Olympic distance race (which would mean my swim was at an acceptable level).

The race I set for the latter goal was the LifeTime Tri National Champions in Oceanside, Ca.  This was their finale to their ongoing nationwide race series and was STACKED with pros and elite racers.  So I talked my brother in law (the same guy who I did Leadman with) into joining and we did the race.

The day before we went to the expo for the packet pick up and to browse the vendor tents (and get all the goodies that come with it).  The Expo was pretty cool, and had a bunch of cool stuff.  Packet pick up was in and out - which is always a good sign.  
The highlight of the expo - of course - was getting to meet some of my favorite pro triathletes and, of course, getting them to take pictures with my son.
Bruce with Andy Potts.  It was difficult to get my son back from Andy, they were having a great time with each other.

Bruce with Hunter Kemper.  Hunter  has a small army of children himself (haha) and was giving me triathlete parenting tips.
Potts is a really cool guy.  Afterwards he saw my wife with Bruce and said hello (remembering his name) and even asked how my race went.  Pretty cool.

Outside of that, the expo went as normal.  My wife decided that I HAD to have a pair of Xterra Lava Pants and got me a great deal on them.  More on that later in this post (on the next race) and on a review post I'll do later.

Fast forward to race day and pre-race set up.  This was a two transition race, complete with a confusing array of multiple bags and trying to figure out where to put different stuff and when to put it in the bags.  I managed to figure it out (barely), and had everything packed for the trip to T1.

We decided to ride our bikes since we were staying less than a mile away - which would allow my wife to sleep in and not worry about having to walk to the expo with a baby.

It took about 2 minutes of riding to determine that this was a bad idea.  For some reason, Oceanside - the beautiful Sunny San Diego city by the beach - is freezing cold at 4:30 in the morning.  Like colder than Leadman cold.  It was a chore setting up the bike in transition and getting the wetsuit on, mainly because my body was shivering uncontrollably.  Pretty much everyone else was going through the same deal though, and it did start to slightly warm up by the time we were waiting for the swim start.
My bike all purty and set up in transition.

The Swim:
By far my weakest leg in triathlon - I was determined to have a good swim here.  My goal was 28:30 (based on a time in a pool that I swam twice before), which gives you an idea of how slow I really am.
The swim start was an open water start - meaning you swam out to a buoy (which I assumed had some kind of timing on it) and you took off when they fired the gun for your group.
Getting into the chute to swim out to the swim start.
As soon as the swim kicked off, a dense layer of fog covered the surface of the water.  I'm not even exaggerating when I say that this was like something straight out of a horror film.  Visibility was (literally) 3-5 feet and not much else.  This made for a very interesting swim where you were sighting every other stroke just to make sure you were going in the general vicinity that you needed to go.
I managed to swim a 30:30 in a pretty uneventful swim.  I'm pretty sure I went off course a couple of times, but I'm pretty satisfied with that result.  For me, that's a lot faster than my previous Olympic distance swims.

The Bike:
T1 was pretty straightforward and it was actually nice to run into a T1 seeing most of the bikes still racked (my division was the first out of the swim behind the pros and elites - so it's not because I'm incredibly fast or anything).  Shoved my wetsuit in the bag, got my gear on, mounted the bike, and off I went.
The bike venue is pretty cool for this race.  They shut down Hwy 78 so it was a complete open out and back with a little U-turn detour inbetween.  Normally, 2 lap courses are kind of lame - but this one worked very well.
The bike leg (at least in the beginning) was cold.  Very cold.  I was in a thin, competition style, one piece tri suit.  It never in a million years dawned on me that maybe I would want something different for this race.  In any case, I toughed it out and just kept pumping away.
The bike leg was actually really good for me.  I was passing most of the people ahead of me in the swim and actually caught up with a couple of people in the Elite category (who are all way faster swimmers than me and started with a 5 minute head start).  I was averaging just a shade over 25 miles per hour for most of the bike leg, which would have me in the 58 minute or so range once finished.  
That was up until about mile 22 when I felt a small jolt under my seat, and then head the worst sound I could hear.  The sound of a tire having no air left in it, and the rim of your bike running on only a thin piece of rubber.
*clank clank clank*
Knowing I only had a little bit more to go, I pushed my weight all the forward over my aerobars to see if I could ride it out.  
*clank clank clank*
I was moving, but going very slowly and I knew I would tear my rim to shreds if I kept going.
You can see how utterly bummed out I am when I realized that I had a flat.
I tried to ride it out, but realized I'd have to get off the bike.

So I hopped off, my hopes and dreams of breaking 2:15 (and possibly 2:05) now crushed.  Looking at the flat, I realized I was just about a mile to a mile and a half away from T2.  Doing some quick math in my head, I figured it would take me 10 to 15 minutes to get the tire off, replace the tube, get the tube pumped up, and then another 3-4 minutes or so to ride it in.  
Knowing my race was finished, I figured I'd have a little fun and do something silly - so I just picked up my bike, threw it over my shoulder, and started to run to T2.  I figured I could probably run the distance faster than the 20 minutes it would take me to change the tire and ride it in, AND I didn't want to risk something being wrong with the tire itself and just flatting again.
So I ran.  I was getting passed by everyone.  People I flew by earlier were passing me.  People who were doing the sprint and riding their mountain bikes were passing me.  I did get plenty of cheers and encouragement from the crowd, and more than a handful of people who were racing offered help or encouragement before they zoomed on in to T2.
Coming down the chute into T2, the volunteers were "Hoo Rah"ing me as I ran my bike to the rack and got ready for the run.  Racking my bike, I slapped my shoes on and went off for the run - knowing my race was finished.   Time on the bike:  1:13:27 - which is not a good time for me.  (Ifs and buts to come later in this post).

Wife took this picture while I was on the run.  "Oh how I hate you rear tire"

The Run:
The run is usually where I make up the ground on the faster bikers who know how to swim.  However, in this race - it wasn't meant to be.  By the time I got started on my run, and was passing people who were going VERY slow - I realized I had simply lost too much time to do anything significant.  I just went at a brisk pace and treated it the same way I would a tempo run (faster than normal training pace - but not race pace).  
The run venue is pretty awesome on this race.  It is right next to the Pacific Ocean pretty much the whole way through, and had a few steep hills (where you transitioned over bridges over the walkways on the boardwalk) that gave the run a bit of challenge instead of being pancake flat.
Only issue I had with the run course (which was a 2 loop 3 mile course) was that the course was set up where you finished at the same spot where you would continue on with your second loop (if you hadn't done it already).
Going over one of the bridges on the run course.  Beautiful run course.

Unfortunately, when I came running to the finish area - there was a volunteer redirecting people to keep going on the second loop.  I stopped and explained to him that I had already done 2 loops (I even showed him my Garmin), but he insisted I keep going.  
I figured that maybe they changed the finish line for some reason so I moved on.
About s 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile in - I realized that wasn't right and stopped and asked someone.  One of the guys from Lifetime was running one of the aid stations and I showed him my watch (which showed I ran about 7 miles by that time) and he jogged with me (off course) to take me to the finish line and apologized for it.  When I brought it up to one of the timing guys, I was told I wasn't the only one who complained about it but that - unless I was a pro competing for a top spot, I was more or less SOL.  Fair enough, as it would take a ton of investigatory effort for what, in the end, was a somewhat meaningless middle of the pack time.
Total run time: 47:43

Total race time:  2:35 (20 minutes over my goal time).

Ifs and Buts:  Not a whole lot I could have done better for this race outside of having better luck.  IF I didn't get a flat and was able to ride out my bike leg how it was going, I would have beaten my goal time (even with the crappy run).  IF I would have given it a full effort on the run and not allowed a volunteer to mess up my race (I knew he was wrong the entire time) - I would have smashed it.  My run time was 10 minutes over what I'm capable of off the bike (although with the hills it may have slowed me down some).  I figure I left about 25 minutes on the table with mishaps and lack of effort once things fell apart.  But again, "If 'ifs and buts' were candies and nuts, then everyday would be Christmas".
As for my brother in law - he extended his "race ending flat tire" streak to 3 races (and 8 tubes due to his debacle at Leadman).  Was a bummer for that to happen to him again.  I can't wait for him to actually have a race where nothing goes wrong so he can realize fully what kind of times he's capable of and where he needs to put his training efforts.

Outside of the shenanigans, this was an absolutely stellar race.  Everything was great about it - from the SWAG, to the environment, to the tons of aid stations all over the place, to the stuff spectators were able to do while waiting, it was just awesome.  Great race and I'll definitely be doing it again next year.

Even a race where you underperform can be okay when this little guy is with you afterwards.