August 13, 2012

So I am taking half day off today to recover. Actually I feel ok, a little sore but not too bad. Just feel a little tired, probably that’s because I didn’t sleep the night before the race, I was too excited and couldn’t really fall asleep.

I am so glad to have signed up for the Ironman last year. This is my first triathlon and when I signed up last year, I was faced with some doubts and negativity. Some people told me I won’t be able to do it and I will DNF. There is also this guy who had done quite a few Ironman races told me that I shouldn’t sign up but the funny thing was I passed him at mile 22 during the run.. :)) If somebody were to ask me if they should do the Ironman, I would say just do it!! It’s an amazing experience and it’ll be worthwhile at the end. If you have the time commitment, you’ll figure it out along the way.

The journey was an interesting one and especially in this case, the journey matters more than the destination. I have learned a lot more about the sports, the gears/equipments required, learned how to swim front crawl, got myself a carbon bike, wetsuit, nutrition, different types of training plan, swam in open water and most importantly met some amazing people along the way….triathletes, bikers, runners and people who are just positive, who provided encouragement and support along the way. Even during the race, I can feel a sense of togetherness, like we are in this together. When I passed someone I felt like patting their back as an encouragement, since I knew how much time, commitment, sweat and even maybe tears everyone put in for the race. I am a part of the Ironman community now..yay! Going through this journey was not an easy one but I can feel a sense of camaraderie with this awesome group of ppl who are able to set goals and can get things done.

So in summary, I really enjoyed the experience and this week I’ll have so much free time!

A nice recap about Pre race and during the race. Pretty inspiring..Check it out!

When I think about the Ironman race, I am still pretty impressed how well organized it was. There were no hiccups, glitches by the organizer. All the volunteers were amazing! Aid stations, opening ceremony, expo, registrations, transition area, ferry to the barges and transitions……everything was done smoothly and seamlessly. But I am sure there are so much planning involved behind the scene.

What Jordan Rapp said during his speech that he wanted to thank everyone, volunteers, athletes, organizers, families, friends…because without the contributions from each individuals, this won’t happened and I won’t be able to get this whole experience. What a great speech,

“On the Shoulders of Giants”

The Ironman brand is a good example of capitalism. It’s very commercialized and at the expo yesterday, they were selling soft copies of our photos in a thumb drive for $99, but at the same time, it’s so well organized and I was surprised at how nicely taken were all the photos even though there were 2000 participants. Even the Ironman website and the athlete tracking system were so organized and advanced.

I was so pumped up this morning and registered for the 2013 NYIM. Unfortunately, they suspended the registration because of some complaints about pricing and logistics. This is a great Q&A with John Korf, the race director.

An excerpt from the Q&A “On the other hand, Ironman isn’t Prada or someone else who can afford to lose a ton of dough to say they have a concept store on Fifth Avenue. This is triathlon, this is not a multi-billion dollar business. So they have to be smart business people and have to ask what’s good for their brand and good for the consumer. If we’re going to charge X dollars, can we deliver an X-dollar experience?”



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aug 11th Race Day!!, 2012

Race Day!

Got up at 2am in the morning, took the ferry at 4am to transition and race started at 7am. What an amazing experience! The path to get here today was not an easy one but it’s so worth it!

Rank: 40
Overall Rank: 529
BIB: 960
Division: M25-29
Age: 29
Country: USA
Swim: 1:04:10
Bike: 6:38:50
Run: 3:55:50
Overall: 11:45:53
Swim DetailsDivision Rank: 126
Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank
Total 2.4 mi 1:04:10 1:04:10 1:39/100m 126 2106 1730
Bike DetailsDivision Rank: 83
Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank
11 mi 11 mi 42:48:00 1:51:04 15.42 mi/h
29 mi 18 mi 1:01:42 2:52:46 17.50 mi/h
47 mi 18 mi 1:01:17 3:54:03 17.62 mi/h
56 mi 9 mi 27:04:00 4:21:07 19.95 mi/h
64 mi 8 mi 29:13:00 4:50:20 16.43 mi/h
83 mi 19 mi 1:10:57 6:01:17 16.07 mi/h
101 mi 18 mi 1:08:15 7:09:32 15.82 mi/h
112 mi 11 mi 37:34:00 7:47:06 17.57 mi/h
Total 112 mi 6:38:50 7:47:06 16.85 mi/h 83 1329 1156
Run DetailsDivision Rank: 40
Split Name Distance Split Time Race Time Pace Div. Rank Overall Rank Gender Rank
3.9 mi 3.9 mi 36:30:00 8:26:33 9:28/mi
7.4 mi 3.5 mi 30:49:00 8:57:22 8:43/mi
10.9 mi 3.5 mi 32:16:00 9:29:38 9:14/mi
14.3 mi 3.5 mi 31:05:00 10:00:43 9:00/mi
16 mi 1.7 mi 14:05 10:14:48 8:22/mi
17.2 mi 1.2 mi 11:38 10:26:26 9:41/mi
23.2 mi 6 mi 51:44:00 11:18:10 8:37/mi
24.5 mi 1.3 mi 12:24 11:30:34 9:55/mi
26.2 mi 1.8 mi 15:19 11:45:53 8:45/mi
Total 26.2 mi 3:55:50 11:45:53 9:00/mi 40 529 463

The Swim
I am not a good swimmer so I was glad that I survived the swim. I finished the swim in 1:04, I would not able to have that time if it’s not because of the current. Even so, my time placed me at the bottom 98% percentile. There was even a guy in the 75-79 year old age group who swam 10 mins faster. I had a fast transition time because everyone was gone by the time I got out from the water, so I didn’t have to look for my bike.

The Bike
It’s so much fun biking on the highway. My bike time of 6:38 put me at 57% percentile. My chain ring came off in the beginning so I didn’t have a great start. I avoided using the small chain ring to prevent my chain from coming off again. Had a flat tire at mile 7o, spent a few minutes fixing that. I took it really easy on the bike in order to put in a good run and to avoid cramp, because that’ll suck if I have another marathon to run.

The Run
I was placed top 5% percentile in the run. I was surprised that so many people walked the marathon. The run was a tough one because the course is very hilly for the first 15 miles along the Palisade Park and the weather was hot and humid. I picked up pace in the last 6 miles and sprinted to the finish. :)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 9th, 10th, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 22nd, 2012

Sunday – Did the Grimaldo’s mile swim in the morning. I was so slow in the water, got out the water at around 47 mins, was the last few ppl out from the water.. :((

Did my first long run in the eveing after being sidelined for 3 weeks. Ran almost 20 miles. I am so relieved! Also was surprised at how I felt, I think all those biking helped me kept my base fitness.

Saturday – Biked to Bear Mountain on my Cervelo, another 100 miles ride.

My garmin died again after 50 miles.

Friday – Swum in Chelsea

Thursday – Rode 2 loops around CP in the morning at around 20miles/hour
Was going to do another run but my ankle started to hurt after 1 mile so went for a bike ride instead, 3 loops around CP at 21 miles/hour on my new bike.

Wednesday – Rest

Tuesday – First run after more than 2 weeks, 9 miles! I was so glad about that. My ankle had a clicking sound for the first few miles.

Monday – Swam in River Bank state park, still wasn’t able to kick because of my ankle.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 15th, 2012

Sunday – Brooklyn Bridge Swim!! It’s a 1km swim across the bridge, the east river is pretty salty and my time of 29 mins put me at the bottom 80 percentile I think. It’s hard to sight and I swam zigzagging across the water.

Saturday – Rode with Raymond and Bud today. Was planning to do our long ride to Bear Mountain which is around 100 miles but Bud got into a crash on the way to Haverstraw so we had to head back.

Friday – Swam in the pool in Chelsea for an hour today

Thursday – Bike ride around CP

Wednesday – Spinning at home. Spinning 6X3 mins + 2 min recovery

Tuesday –

Monday – Swim Day, an hour swim.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 1st, 2012

Sunday – Rode to Piermont in the morning, did around 60 miles. What a hot day today! The weather was almost 100F. Like yesterday, tried to keep my heart rate below 155 bpm during the ride.
At Strictly’s bike store, the SRAM guys gave out test rides on their Specialized Tarmac with Zipp 404 wheels, SRAM red and power meter. I think the bike cost around $10,000. Did around 10 miles on the bike, finally figured out my power output after having been reading about the topic for a while. My power average around 150-160 watt but it can easily spike up to 200-4oo watt if I get up on the saddle going up the hill. Also notice that my right leg is pushing out more power than my left. I don’t think the $10,000 bike add a lot more value than my tri bike. I think fitting and being comfortable on the bike is more important.

Went to RACycle in Brooklyn in the afternoon to check out a few tri bikes since my tri bike is a little too big and I have been looking around for new bikes for a few weeks. They are selling Quintana Roo Seduza for $1800 and Cervelo P2 for $2800. For me, I think those 2 bikes have the best value and resale value. I’ll need to get a new bike in the next few days since the Ironman is just 5 weeks away.

Went out for a long run in CP, again tried to keep my heart rate below 155 after reading Mark Allen’s article about base training. Usually I run at a 7:20 pace for 12 miles but by keeping my heart rate under 155bpm, my pace was 8:40 instead.

Was going to run at least 15 miles but somehow stepped into a stupid hole and sprained my ankle..ouch! First thing came up my mind is how long will this keep me out from training.. :(((

Saturday – Rode up to Piermont, did around 50 miles today. Checked out the bike store at Piermont, that owner was pitching me the size 51 P4 for $4500 selling at cost including bike fitting. It does sound like a good deal because I remember just the frameset was selling for $4500. I guess to buy a bike, a main consideration is looking at the resale value, so seems like a $4500 p4 might have better resale value than a $2800 P2. But who knows.. Just too much risk to take on.

Did a 3 mile run/train to the Whippet Track meet at Lower east side after getting back to the city. Managed to do a 400m relay which was pretty fun.

Friday – Swim day. Went to River Bank state park, they increased the lap swimming fees to $30. But the pool was pretty empty, they opened up the barrier and it’s a 50m pool now.
I needed a pool certification for the Brooklyn Bridge Swim and managed to get the life guard to sign off my swim of 2km (40 laps X50m) in 57 minutes. This was the longest I have swam so far and felt great, pretty proud of myself because just 6 months ago I can’t even swim 10 yards.

I bought this book Swim Speed Secrets for Swimmers and Triathletes: Master the Freestyle Technique Used by the World’s Fastest Swimmers by Sheila Taomina (The only person who competed in 3 different sports in Olympics (Swimming, Triathlon and Modern Pentathlon) recently and this really gave me another perspective of improving my technique.

Just to give a summary of the book, the Pull is the key! Short and simple.
Another thing to keep in mind is to have a high elbow! Visualizing a brick wall below the water and try to pull yourself over it.
The harder the resistance when you pull at the bottom, the better it is, which is exactly opposite of gliding/streamlining through the path of least resistance on the top.

Thursday – Rest Day. Went out to a charity event, Back on my feet in the evening.

Wednesday – Did 5 loop ride around Central Park, kept a 20miles/hour pace. Guess I am getting stronger on the bike than few weeks back.

Tuesday – Skipped the hill workout and instead did a long run 12 miles around CP at 7:38 pace.

Monday – Swim day in Chelsea Parks for 45 mins, the pool was just too crowded. There were probably 7-8 people in a lane.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 24th, 2012

Sunday – Rode solo to Bear Mountain this morning. Started at 9am and got home around 5pm I think. It’s around 100 miles back and forth. It’s really pretty up there but the climb up was quite tough.

Felt my energy level was pretty low going up the hill and was kind of worried at Bear Mountain when I can’t find water and food because I didn’t bring cash. Glad to see an Irish Bar at mile 60 and stopped for Chicken Fingers. That’s the only fuel I had for the 100 miles ride, not a good training plan at all.

Did a BRICK workout, 3 mile run at around 6:50 min/mile pace along the west side when I got home.

Went to this bar called Crown Vic in Williamsburg in the evening, a pretty cool beer garden.

A pretty good article about Ironman training, even though the running part killed many triathletes but biking is really important, it really emphasizes getting strong on the bike.
How to Nail the Ironman!

Also read this pretty interesting article by Mark Allen (6 time World Ironman Champion) about running slow to build base fitness in order to run fast. I have always had the mindset of “no pain, no gain” and train hard to run/bike fast. I always subscribed to the believe of long slow miles will make you run slow and all my workouts have been high intensity workouts. After reading the article, I find it really makes sense and figure that this is what I have been missing in my training – training my fat burning engine.

Working on the aerobic system will make out body more efficient at burning fat because glycogen/carb supplies are limited. So rather than improving our glucose burning (gas) aerobic system, it’s more important to improve our fat burning aerobic system. Each molecule of fat burned produces 460 ATP (energy units) vs. only 36 ATP per molecule of glucose.

Perceived exertion is not a good determinant for maximizing your training. High heart rate training leads to high max heart rates and high training heart rate that can feel comfortable, but this doesn’t translate into actually GOING faster at those high heart rates. Only by developing your aerobic base can one maximize the potential of doing intensity training.

So the below article is saying that by training below your heart rate of 180-Age = (for me it’s 152), will increase your base fitness level/aerobic engine.

This is another great article about aerobic training to build a strong base. Gave a couple examples of famous athletes training at a low heart rate. 

Saturday – Went to Brighton Beach for an open water swim.

Met up at Grimaldo’s Chair at 10am with other swimmers. Saw quite a few Tri teams training there. Probably because the NYC tri is coming up. Brighton Beach is pretty cool, had  Russian pastries

and check out a Russian restaurant on 2nd st. The food there was very similar to food in Central Asia, such as Plov and Laghman. That’s my favorite when I was backpacking around Central Asia. Even the waitress is from Uzbekistan. Also passed by the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island just a few blocks west.

Friday – Swim day.

Thursday – Biked with Dan, JP and Steve in CP. Did 5 loops, around 30miles.

Wednesday – Swim day. Swam with Red Tide in the morning. Spin at home for 30 mins in the evening. 3X5 minutes interval.

Tues – Ran 6 miles around CP at 7:30 ish pace

Monday – Swim day. Swam with Steve in River Bank.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 17th, 2012

Sunday – Went to cheer for some friends doing the Portugal Day 5 m race in CP in the morning before heading over to Brooklyn to join CIBBOW for their weekend open water swim in Brighton Beach.  Somehow there were constructions on the B,Q line so I was delayed, went to Coney Island instead and ended up joining an open water swim clinic organized by Terrier Tri group. Elyse was the coach and gave us some good advices about sighting and how spitting in the goggle will prevent it from getting blurry. It took me almost 15 minutes to put the wetsuit on. I don’t float very well in the water but the wetsuit definitely helped! It’s magical!

So this week I have been doing a lot of swimming because that’s my major concern. Next week I need to ramp up my biking, getting strong in the bike is so important I think.


Magic wetsuit!

Got home in the afternoon and ran 3 loops around Central Park (18 miles). I kept going without stopping for water/gel this time, managed to average a 7:58 min/mile pace. Not sure if it’s a good thing but hope that will trick my body into running with a low reserve.

Saturday – Swam with Red Tide in the morning..Oh man..I am still so slow in the water and was passed by all the ladies..sad.. :(
Took the 7 train to flushing afterwards to have brunch with Stefan who is an Ironman veteran. He has been doing triathlon for 30 years! Crazy! Wanna thank Geraldine and Marvin for organizing the brunch, got some encouragements and good advices from Stefan. The great thing is that he told me I can do it! Nutrition really plays a big role in Ironman race, here is a good video about how our body absorbs nutrition.

Friday – Swam for 1.5 hours in River Bank in the evening.

Thursday – Joined Red Tide for a swim session in the evening.

Wednesday – Ran the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge 3.5 miles run in CP. Did it in 21:08, 6:02 min/miles. Finished 1st for my company. Just wished I ran harder and went under 6 min pace.

Tuesday – Went to the River Bank pool in the evening.

Monday -Rest Day

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 10th, 2012

Sunday – Did a long run along the Palisade today, this is part of the NYC Ironman course. Ran 19 miles at around 8:30 ish pace. Oh man..the course is quite hilly with 2000 over feet of elevation, that will really hurt in the race.

Ross Dock (T1 and T2 transition for NY Ironman this year)

View of GWB from Ross Dock

Saturday – Went on a long bike ride with NYCC. We rode from Garrison to Port Jervis and back to Beacon. In total, we rode for almost 110 miles. It’s a pretty hilly course with around 7000-8000 feet of elevation. Spent the whole day on the bike and my ass was so sore!

Friday – Joined Red Tide NYC for a swim session in the morning, they are one of the Masters Swim team. Did some drills in the pool for 1.5 hours. Did another swim session at River Bank in the evening, was in the pool for another 1.5 hours. Even though I spent 3 hours in the pool today but I find that I am still very slow in the water. My time for 100m is around 2:10-2:30 min, and actually I swim faster with a pull buoy 2:00-2:05 so I guess my feet is sinking and that creates more drag/resistance. Swimming is stressing me out, hope the magic wetsuit will help me on race day.

Thursday – Rest Day! But got to meet with Jordan Rapp who won 4 Ironman competition at City Sports. He graduated from Princeton with Aerospace Engineering degree and somehow got into Ironman when he injured himself in rowing. He is a cool guy, pretty funny and gave some great advices.
– Transition is the 4 sports for shorter tri but nutition is the 4th component for Ironman.
– For biking and running, train by time. But for swimming, train by distance.
– He doesn’t do a lot of run longer than 2 hours, but will do rides in the 6 hours range (approx 100 miles) because running is the last part and he kept saying you will figure it out.
– Regarding the question of Intensity vs Volume, he mentioned that German triathletes train by volume but he trains by intensity.
– Regarding techniques in triathlon, swimming is all about technique, then BRICK (train the muscle fiber to switch quickly from biking to running), running followed by biking which doesn’t require too much technique.
– Regarding strength training, it’s only important to make you strong in the training. The end goal is that you want  your long training run/ride to simulate the race.
– Racing the Ironman is bad for you, but the training is good. So that evens out.

Wednesday  –

Tuesday -6 miles easy run with the team.

Monday – Did a BRICK workout with Empire Tri club, did 2 repeats of Bike (5 miles) – Run (1 mile)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

June 3rd, 2012

Sunday – Checked out the swimming pool in Flushing, Queens because not too many pools are opened on Sunday afternoon..heard a lot of good things about it, and true enough, it’s a nice pool, it’s a huge Olympic size 50m pool with high ceiling. Still there were a lot of people there on a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday – 100 miles bike ride to Oyster Bay, Long Island and back. Rolled over a stick and crashed my bike. Surprisingly I only had small cuts. My garmin ran out of battery so this is Hong’s GPS file.
Got home around 6 ish and went for a 13 miles run, 2 loops around Central Park. I can feel my legs were a little heavy in the last few miles.

Friday – Pool session

Thursday -Wall Street 3 mile race today. My goal was to go below sub 6 min/pace. Did it in 17:59 min, so I guess that counts. Thought it’s a 5 k, 3.1 miles so hold back a little until I realized the finish line was closer that I thought.

Wednesday -Rest day

Tuesday -Easy 5 mile run with the team.

Monday – Pool Session

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment