1. Beaver Fever Duathlon

    I did the OSU Beaver Fever Duathlon today. It was my first ever duathlon and the final multi-sport race I will do this year. The coarse is a 5k road run, 20 mile bike ride (one big hill) and 5k cross-country run. We were really lucky and got great fall weather.

    Overall Time 1:55:09

    Road 5k - 23:16 7:37/mi, 161bpm

    Bike - 1:05:47, 18.2mph, 179W, 84rpm, 142bpm, 0.92IF

    XC 5k - 24:32, 7:35/mi, 167bpm

    Overall, a solid day. My glutes and upper hamstrings seemed to be the limiter on the bike, aching whenever I tried to increase my speed. Not sure if that was the effect of running first, but I remember this from my last Olympic Tri and I knew I would need those muscles in good shape for the second run, so never pushed so hard that they hurt for any length of time.


    1. a. Figure out the start place and time. b. Kids are distracting… I missed the start and started 4 minutes after everyone. Doh!
    2. I went by feel on the bike and my numbers were around where I would have guessed and I focused more on being ready to run off the bike than being stuck chasing some preset power goal.
    3. I got an idea for what a good IF is for me at this distance.
    4. I took almost 5 minutes off my bike time and almost a minute of my XC run time of last year (when I did the tri). So a nice improvement and inline which how I feel. Next year I want to break 1 hour for the bike.
    5. I paced the bike well and ran really well off-bike as a result.


    1 day ago

  2. Scotland the what?

    I am very, very sad about this. Back when I lived in Scotland I voted for SNP. At the time the support for independence was very low, around 15% I think. I always felt Scotland was distinct in so many ways from England and was consistently badly treated by UK government after government. The English, in general, have a different world view from the more liberal Scots.
    It has been a long journey to where they are today but it was always going to be tough going against the forces of the established political machines of Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats.
    Despite the result, I think positive changes will come, with more devolved power. As a result of that I think the economic case for Scotland as independent will become stronger and less easily targeted with the scare-mongering that was done so well in this campaign.
    The key thing will be to break from the UK social welfare system of health care and pensions and for Scotland to establish viable systems of its own systems. A lot of people were understandably concerned about losing those benefits.
    A final thought about this vote, I think it was wrong to exclude people like me who were born in Scotland from voting while allowing 600,000 non-Scots resident in Scotland to vote. I don’t get to vote here because I am not American. I believe that is the norm. I can actually vote by mail in other UK elections but I never do. I think it is a bit of a sham the way this vote was setup. The results indicate that areas with more non-Scots voting had a higher no vote. Not really surprising that a bunch of English people living in Scotland would vote no. Of course this could easily get ugly, and my point is not to be anti-English. It indicates how messed up the current arrangement is and how there is no clear definition of what it even means to be Scottish.
    I would have liked to have seen a clear decision between being independent or completely ending any separation. I.e no Scotland sport teams, no Scottish Parliament etc but that is not going to happen. Instead we are stuck with this situation where Scotland gets to pretend to itself it is a nation, but in reality it isn’t.
    This wasn’t a question of narrow nationalism versus open minded solidarity as some would cast it. From a nationalist point of view I think it was Scottish nationalism versus British nationalism. The version of nationalism I adhere to is more outward, looking towards Ireland, Scandanavia, Europe and England as our partners. That does not seem at all like the British anti-Europe kind of nationalism that has won here.
    If the election had gone the other way, I might have considered returning to live in Scotland, but now…where is that US citizenship form…

    1 month ago

  3. In the spirit of Scottish independence tonight seems like a good night to crack open the Laphroig. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1BHJ8Qv

    In the spirit of Scottish independence tonight seems like a good night to crack open the Laphroig. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1BHJ8Qv

    1 month ago

  4. Best In The West Sprint Triathlon 2014 Race Report

    This was a B race for me. I did Lake Stevens 70.3 as my A race on 8/17 and was on week 2 of the Endurance Nation Intermediate Bike Focus plan. My taper was simply taking Friday off.


    Setup a very minimal transition of bike shoes & towel on right of bike and running shoes, visor and belt on left. Helmet and glasses on the aerobats. One gel taped to bike. Aero-bottle and rear bottle filled with Cytomax. 

    Wore full wetsuit, water temp ~68degs.

    I was in the water before 8 as I thought we began after the Half-Iron start. Such is the confused state of mind when  I am taking care of two kids who are volunteering and also racing while trying to prepare myself for racing. It worked out good I was in the water for a couple of warmup sessions and was really ready for the start.


    The course is 500m in a counter-clockwise 3 sides of rectangle course. I took on not being afraid to mix it up after Lake Stevens 70.3. So, I started at very inside, strangely most people were in the middle so it was quiet (there were only 103 in the male wave). I swam straight as I could for all the buoys, taking no prisoners. But I had almost no contact though there was some close swimming, especially on the turns. 

    I felt good and tried counting strokes and focusing on my Relax, Rhythm and Reach mantra. I also tried to keep a high left elbow as I have a tendency to drop it. I also wanted to do a good job sighting and keeping on course. For the first two legs I was spot on, but seemed to get off to the right again on the last leg back to the swim exit. I lost a few seconds here that probably cost me a sub-10 minute swim split.

    Swim Split: 10:03.03 (2:00 / 100m) (3:24 slower than the winner)


    Run of about 200m from swim exit to bike. I had slowed my swimming a bit towards the end to allow my heart rate to come down a bit. As a result I felt able to jog steadily to my bike and get a decent transition done.

    T1 split: 1:22.09 (20 seconds slower than the winner)


    The bike course is 12 miles mostly rolling hills with one slightly challenging hill about half way on each of the out and back legs.

    I had no power meter data, so had to go by feel. I attempted to get into my “diesel” mode at a sustainable hard effort that felt like my Zone 4 training workout (~200W).

    Passed a few people on the way out, but felt my legs weakening at the turn around. I decided I would count people coming back the other way to get a feel for my position. I got to about 10 and then a 15 bike peleton came by and after that there were a few more and I stopped counting… The competitor in me was looking out people from my local club. I sipped from my aero-bottle as my mouth dried up and ate my gel about 10-15 minutes in when I felt I needed to recharge.

    After the turnaround I got passed by 3 or 4 people who slowly pulled away. One of whom was Bill from my local club, Ugh! I kept 3 bike lengths from him for a few minutes until one of the bigger hills and I let him go and focused on keeping it steady. I knew I wouldn’t be too far behind come T2 and thought I would catch him on the run. After the last bigger hill I turned on my motor for the last couple of miles and was pulling some of the people who passed me back in.

    Bike Split: 37:27.08 (Avg. speed 19.2256 mph) (8:45 slower than the winner)


    I made an awesome pass at the dismount as I did a “flying” dismount. My kids were there cheering, so I was glad I never screwed it up and went down in a mess of skin, gravel, blood and embarrassment. I lost a few seconds mounting my bike as it fell off and I had to mess about with the aero-bottle to get it on the rack properly. I should have just turned it and racked on the rear as I had it setup for T1.

    T2 Split:  0:59.04 (20 seconds slower than the winner)


    Exiting out of T1 we run down the grass, over a bridge and along a trail to a hill up to the road. I just tried to get into a comfortable “fast” pace. The hill to the road was tough, but when I got to the top I saw Bill about 50m ahead. It looked like he was running well, but I was slowly catching. I wasn’t feeling myself opening up though… I know the first 1k or so can be like that, so I just hung in with what I had. This is a hilly 5k. I had ran it before so I knew the course and what to expect. About 1.5k in I made the pass on Bill and pushed on so he wouldn’t try and hang with me. I was feeling better now and began passing people up. Just before the turn around I passed Joe Gulaskey, an incredibly fit 70 year old. I asked how it did it at his age and he said it is all about not overdoing it and looking after your body. Pretty great advice. The exact turn around was a bit unclear and there should have been someone there. I went to the second sign, but I have a feeling some people probably turned at the first saving 100m or so…

    At this point I could see how far back Bill was - not far. I wasn’t really too concerned, I just wanted to have my best race possible. I was feeling better as the race went on. I felt like I picked the pace up quite a bit after the turn.

    Approaching the finish I saw someone up ahead but they were just too far ahead so I eased off and allowed myself to fully enjoy the finishing stretch. As it turns out, that was the guy who got 3rd in my AG… I would have had to have really hurt myself to catch him, and it wasn’t that kind of race for me.

    Run Split: 23:49.05 (Pace 7:39m/ml) (3:14 behind winner)


    4/11 in AG

    35/197 overall

    33/103 Male

    So I made the top third of the men. I haven’t done much short course for a while but this is definitely better than I used to place.

    My friend Suzanne took second female and beat me by 9 seconds. Looking for revenge at the Beaver Fever…

    Lessons Learned

    As I already new (bike focus) I lose a lot of time versus my competition on the bike. Looking forward to more gains during the BF plan and November OS.

    Didn’t need the bottle on the rear for this distance.

    Need to keep working on sighting and keeping on course in the swim.



    1 month ago

  5. photo







    1 month ago

  6. Iona the 5th grader on crossing guard duties. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1Bf77Gr

    Iona the 5th grader on crossing guard duties. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1Bf77Gr

    1 month ago

  7. Nice that the evenings are cooler now. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1pOCPGV

    Nice that the evenings are cooler now. via Facebook http://ift.tt/1pOCPGV

    1 month ago

  8. 1 month ago

  9. David Pettigrew 2014 Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Report

    This was my first half-iron distance race, having raced everything else from Sprint to Ironman distance. I wanted to try this distance this year to see how I enjoyed and managed the training and racing workload required. Last year was an Ironman year, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to spend the same time training this year, so the distance looked to be the next best thing.

    I have been using the Endurance Nation Beginner Half-Iron plan prior to the race. I have had a few issues this year with my feet that have prevented me following my run training plan. I was able to get up to almost the required long run distance before the race but did not do any of the speed work due to fear of injury, instead was doing easy jogging for some of those and I also ran mostly on trails versus pavement.

    My goals for the race were - to enjoy the journey, have fun, treat it as a health activity not a race, take care of my body/do not injure and have enough energy for the 5+ hour drive home after. In addition I wanted to get a feel for the distance and use it to inform race choices for next year.


    Up at 4:30am. Ate light - only a banana and a fruit juice sachet. Left the hotel at 5 with Ann from my local tri club and got to transition around 5:30. Transition was still quite quiet. I met Stephen from the Corvallis Tri Club in transition and went to setup my area. Tried to get in and out of transition. In transition I met Phil Mills of the EN team who was racked across from me. It was nice to have a few team mates to help relax and chat with. I did manage to forget to put one of my bottles on my bike so only had the front aero-bottle with Perform.

    Once my transition was all setup, I made for the porta-potty, took care of business and applied my body lubes. Then I went back to transition and put on my wet suit to the waist and headed out and hung about for the start with Phil. Once I saw my wave line up I headed over to join them.


    The 1.2 mile swim is basically an out and back. My wave had (I would guess) about 100 people. There was plenty of space to get lined up. I positioned myself in about the middle of the way along the start line. The swim start went really well and I got relaxed and into a rhythm quickly. The water temperature was 69℉ which was perfect. My heart rate remained comfortable and I got into bi-lateral breathing which I was able to continue for the entire swim. About 5 minutes in I realized I had not started my Garmin, so I started it at that point. The swim was fairly uneventful except that it got quite misty towards the end of the turn around and I lost sight of the buoy line. I think I had been too far away from them and there was actually a slight left hand curve to the course that I hadn’t noticed. The result was I went off course and lost several minutes and wasted energy getting back on course. I had intended to stay close to the buoy line but had opted for clearer water. After the two buoys at the turn around I elected to really try to follow the buoy line. As a result there was a bit of contact with other swimmers and the faster swimmers from later waves came by me every few minutes. But it wasn’t too bad and I think this was a bit of a breakthrough for me to have the confidence to swim in with the main packs. In the future I am going to try to be more in the optimum line and not be so afraid of the contact. Given the mistakes, I think a sub-40 minute swim split could be easily possible for me in the future.

    Swim Split: 00:42:44



    An uneventful 3:51. Only issue was getting the wet suit arm off over my Garmin. Not sure how to best deal with that… perhaps quick release the watch before taking the wet suit off.


    Basically stuck to my plan at the start with the watts lower than my race target for the first 30 minutes or so. My heart rate started very high and eventually it came down. It is a constantly changing course with non-stop hills and turns. It is difficult to hold a steady power, but I tried to limit the spikes on the hills, maintain the power over the top. Played yoyo with a lot of people in the first half of the course until about Granite Falls, where there is a more flatfish section, at that point I left most of those people who were charging up the hills behind.

    This chart shows that I did manage to keep my power at least flatter than the hills - https://www.evernote.com/shard/s11/sh/2d68f10d-5d8d-4469-ada9-ef6aa00ee713/faaa1c53c15e7e25deb1dcbb5c9d1702

    This is a fantastic course. A lot of fun to ride with constant focus and decision making required. I do wish people would not coast down the hills near the middle of the road. It makes passing them without crossing the double yellows difficult.

    My nutrition was a shot blok every ten minutes using the Garmin timer to remind me, approx. every hour I took a gel, I drank around 30oz. of Perform every hour. The temperature was perfect with some cloud cover for the first couple of hours keeping the temperatures down. The last hour or so it did get quite hot however. I got two bottles of Perform at each of the three aid stations except one, where I dropped one bottle and got a water in its place.

    The steep climb on Ingraham Road was interesting. One behind me guy crunched gears and fell over; further up the hill was a guy at the side of the road with a broken chain.

    Note: Ironman had the course at 2,159ft, my Garmin gave 3,550ft.

    Some geeky tri power data

    NP 150

    AP 140

    IF 0.767

    VI 1.07

    Bike split: 03:27:13



    4:52 I am a little bit disappointed in this. There was a long run to get to my racking spot. Running in bike shoes sucks. Learn to dismount with shoes on bike. I was also a bit disorganized and had to move someones bike that was in my spot. I also did stop to get sun screened and used the toilet. So I guess that is where the time went…


    Happily my back had not caused any issues after the bike and I was able to get running right away. Target pace was - first 3 miles at 9:30 pace, next 7 at 9:00, then whatever is left in the tank after that. My first mile I did an 8:18 before I was able to talk myself down and get into a more sensible pace. The course is hilly. Nothing too steep, but it means you can’t run to a set pace easily. On the flat sections I would check my pace to see how it compared to my target pace and use that as my guide. I was feeling good and felt that the 9:30 was too conservative, so I started targeting a 9 min/mile pace. At mile 10 I elected to basically continue with the pace I was at, maybe increasing it a small amount. I saw a couple of EN folks and a Stephen and Ann from Corvallis out on the course.

    Nutrition was a mix of Perform, Coke, Red Bull and water. I took one of those at most aid stations. I also pored cold water on my head and walked for 10-15 seconds at each aid station.

    I really enjoyed running through the town of Lake Stevens, the crowd support was awesome and really picks you up. You pass the crowd twice on each of the two laps, so it is a lot of fun.

    In the end I am super pleased with my run. I moved from 118 to 83 in my age group and passing 230 people. I kept a very steady pace and came in under 2 hours on the run. My time was about 13 minutes slower than my standalone half-marathon time. That is great considering how little I have run coming on to the race. I attribute it to getting my power target set at a conservative level and executing the bike well from an energy management and nutrition perspective.

    Run split: 01:54:35 (avg. pace 8:43)


    Finish time: 06:13:15

    Ironman results (bib789) - http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman-70.3/lake-stevens/results.aspx#ixzz3BHPOAtaj

    The after race food from Ironman was abysmal… Aweful pizza, and a few bagels and a jar of peanut butter. Glad I wasn’t hungry. Everything else about the race was awesome :-).

    I elected for the post race 10-minute massage, it was good, but not sure it was worth the one hour wait.

    1 month ago

  10. Last weeks Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Plan

    Putting this here for posterity…

    David Pettigrew - 2014 Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Plan

    Bike Checkin Saturday Afternoon 1-2pm

    • Bike with race number stickers
    • 2 CO2 
    • Tires pumped to 120psi
    • multitool
    • Bento bag
    • Tire levers
    • Inflator tool
    • spare tube
    • 3 gels duct taped to top tube
    • patches
    • Put bike in low gear

    Get familiar with the entry and exits from transition. Review swim course and if possible get in for a 15-20min swim.

    3pm Race Briefing at LSHS.

    Night before 

    • Prepare drink bottles for bike and put in fridge. Not sure whether to make two bottles for bike with rear cage empty or put a disposable bottle in rear cage.
    • Set alarm on phone for 3:55am & 4:15am, on iPad for 4:00am & 4:30am
    • Put Garmin in multi-sport mode and connect to charger.

    Layout morning clothes

    • Warm sweater
    • Jacket
    • Tri suit 
    • Running pants
    • Crocs/Flip-flops
    • Timing chip and strap
    • Garmin 910XT

    Organize my bags as follows:-

    Swim Bag

    • Race Swim Cap
    • Vaseline 
    • Body Glide
    • Goggles
    • Spare goggles
    • 1 Gel packet - eat 30 minutes before start
    • 1.5l bottle of water
    • Wetsuit

    T1 Bag

    • Small Towel
    • Helmet with number sticker
    • Bike Shoes with talc inside
    • Sunglasses 
    • Arm warmers
    • Two Chamois Butt’r sachets/small bottle Vaseline
    • 4 packets of Shot Bloks (opened)
    • mini-pump
    • Spare CO2 (plan to leave in transition if not needed on morning of race)
    • Spare tube  (plan to leave in transition if not needed on morning of race)
    • Primal Socks
    • Aero bottle with energy drink
    • Frame bottle with energy drink

    T2 Bag

    • Hokas
    • Race belt with bib 789 and two gels
    • Visor

    Put swim, T1 and T2 bags in a backpack for easy carrying in the morning.

    Race Day

    At hotel

    • Get up at 4am. Eat banana, almond butter and jam, juice and coffee and hopefully take a dump. Get dressed in morning clothes.
    • Get bags, bike bottles & Garmin. In car by 4:30am. Arrive LSHS by 5am. Park and get shuttle bus to transition. Arriving at 5:30am.

    At transition

    • Get body marking done. 
    • Go to my transition area. 
    • Setup all my gear
    • Put bottles on bike
    • Apply body glide and vaseline, put on wet suit. 


    I am in swim wave 8 with a start time of 6:53am. Transition closes at 6:20am. When ready head out and check out the swim course - 

    • checking out water conditions, the swim entry, exit layouts, along with turn buoy locations.
    • Identify basic navigation points so that I know what I am swimming towards.
    • If possible get in the water 10-15 minutes before my start time for a warm up.

    At start, find some space towards the middle or back of my wave. Once started focus on the three Rs - Relaxing, Rythm and Reach. Count strokes and sight regularly. Follow the cable.


    Press lap button on Garmin on way in.

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

    Off with the wetsuit, goggles and cap. Quick rub dry of feet and on with socks then shoes. Put Chamois Butt’r sachets, Clif bar and Shot Bloks in tri suit pockets.

    Don’t forget to get sunscreened  on the way out.

    Press lap button on Garmin on way out.


    Focus on really watching my power for the first hour so it is really steady on my target. Flatten the course. Shot Blok every 10 minutes, 1 gel an hour, get 2 bottles of Perform at each aid station. Empty one into my aero bottle, second in the rear.

    Aid stations are around miles 16, 28 and 42. I will stop at the mile 28 aid station for restroom and apply Chamois Buttr.

    Ducky tail. Stretch back out on uphills.

    Some context on my pacing - On July 19th I rode the Alsea Falls route - http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/544958906 . This ride had of around 3,713ft (according to Strava) I think this has a similar elevation gain to the Lake Stevens course comparing to Lake Stevens rides on Strava. My average power was 155W, NP 165W, IF 0.843 at my then FTP of 196W. I felt ok at the end, but did not run off the bike. This might have indicated my FTP was higher than 196.

    On July 23rd I tested and got a VO2 max of 252W and an FTP of 177W. I really faded on the FTP test, struggling for the last 5 minutes. VO2/FTP = 1.42. I feel this FTP is probably low as I was obviously tired and/or had test execution issues on that test day. 

    My race rehearsal ride on August 2nd (http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/555466628) was done at an average power of 141W.

    The other unknown is the course. Ironman has the elevation gain of 2,159ft, but all the data I saw on Strava indicated it is more like 4,000ft. So I think I could be out longer than my race rehearsal ride of 3:16, probably more likely > 3:30.

    Therefore, I will stick to my lower FTP. Riding the race I should not the race I could. If I go to easy it should help me on the run.

    First 20’ @ Z2 (123 - 132W) Then keep to 0.76 - 0.78 IF (135 -138W).


    Press lap button on Garmin on way in.

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

    Press lap button on Garmin on way out.

    Bike racked, hemet off, bike shoes off. Hokas on, get bib and visor, put them on on the way out.

    Body Glide between legs if sore after bike.

    Press lap button on Garmin on way out.


    My race rehearsal on August 2nd was 7 miles @ 8:30min/mile pace. I felt good, but the pace was probably a bit faster then I should do on race day.

    Here are my targets - First 3 miles at 9:30 pace, next 7 at 9:00, then whatever is left in the tank after that. 

    I will be wearing a HR monitor and will keep an eye on my HR, keeping it below 160 and averaging about 150.

    Remember, the focus is to enjoy the journey, have fun, treat it as a health activity not a race, take care of my body/do not injure and have enough energy for the 5+ hour drive home after.

    1 month ago