Category Archives: triathlon


It took a few years, but I finally got around to finishing another Ironman. I signed up for it a year in advance, and when it came time to really train, my heart wasn’t in it. I came up with the bare bones minimum plan for training and did even less training. To be honest, I rode my bike a lot. I rode my bike around Croatia and Slovenia. I rode my road bike all around Austin. I rode to the bakery with some friends. I rode by myself. I even rode to the F1 track. I didn’t really ride my tri bike though. My run training was atrocious. I managed to do a 10 mile run once. My swim training was a bit better. I did a couple of long swims at the Pure Austin Quarry, and I swam with Texas Iron Master’s around 10 times. I basically had no expectations going into the race.

The one preparation I did do well was figuring out where to stay. I booked a boutique hotel from Airbnb. Location location, location. We were 2 blocks from the convention center (registration) and 3 blocks from the finish line (I even walked back after the race). It was right by town and the grocery stores. The owner’s son picked us up from the airport, and she arranged a taxi for the athletes the morning of the race. Staying away from the hubbub of the race really helped calm my nerves. (After all, I was going into an Ironman undertrained.)

Race morning, I knew I was going to have a slower swim. So I stuck to the back when entering the water. As luck would have it, they allowed the late comers to jump into the water from the pier, so I quickly made my way to the shallows. There was quite a bit of current, so I hung onto a line to conserve my energy. When the gun went off, I stuck my head into the water and tried to get into a rhythm as quickly as I could. I expected the washing machine effect, but I lucked out. Most people stayed closer to the turn buoys, so my path was relatively clear of arms and bodies. The water was so clear, I was able to sight off coral below. I could also see anyone that tried to get in my way.

With previous diving experience, I instinctively knew how important it was to stay on course and not get swept away. I put some extra oomph into my stroke on the last two turns into the current to make sure I kept the line. Some of my other friends weren’t aware of this, and they lost about 10 minutes when they drifted away on this turn. Aside from the turn, the swim back to shore was uneventful. It was long and tiring, but given my lack of swim training, I was happy with my time. I found out later that at least 100 people didn’t make the swim cut-off due to this year’s strong currents.

My plan on the bike was to start easy and put progressively more effort into it as the day went on. The bike course was 3 loops, so I thought I could do 125, 135 and then 145 Watts. Seemed easy enough, but I’ve been nursing a right hip injury for some time. As it turns out, my left (and weaker leg) was able to keep up to plan, but my right leg was about 20 Watts down. I just wanted to finish and ride another day, so I didn’t care to push it.

Nothing exciting happened the first loop. On the second loop, Mel passed me in a flash, and then Rhonda caught up to me. I paced off her for a while until the bike special needs stop. She went on ahead, but I sat down and had my lunch. On the way out of special needs, I ran into Mark and rode with him for a bit. I accidentally lost him as we turned out of the headwind. My plan of taking it easy worked well until the last loop. My right IT band started to tighten up, and some awesome athlete handed me a roll-on bottle of Biofreeze while we were riding. It took the pain away, and I was able to finish the bike with plenty of time to spare to walk the run.

It takes a long time to walk a marathon. I had done some calculations before, and I knew that a 20 minute mile would have bored me to death. So I walked fast. The run course was a three loop out-and-back, so I got to see a lot of my friends along the way. I wanted to bank as much time as possible in case I slowed down, so I walked about a fourteen minute mile the first two laps. Vegas caught up to me midway through the second lap, and we walked together for a bit. She went on ahead with her run-walk. At the end of the second lap, I decided I couldn’t take another 2.5 hours of walking by myself, in the dark, incredibly bored. So, I started run-walking. Since I wasn’t beaten up from the day, it was a real run. I passed Maggie as she was running her steady pace, and I finally caught up to Vegas half way through the last lap. We ended up finishing the race together.

Swim Total 1:29:34 (2:19/100m)
T1 13:16
Bike Total 7:14:32 (15.46 mph)
T2 10:31
Run 6:20:04 (14:30/mile)
Total 15:27:57

I loved all the support on the course. There were people out on all parts of the bike course: a DJ spinning on the southern end of the island and tons of families on the outskirts of town. The run course was just a big block party. People dancing to music, and many people cheering. There was never a truly lonely section of the course like in Arizona and Couer d’Alene.

Monday after the race, we packed up our bikes and took the ferry over to Playa del Carmen for the relaxing part of the vacation. We did a tour of Tulum, climbed the ruins at Coba, hung out at Mamitas Beach and had a couple nice dinners at Yaxche.

Outside swim practice at Chankanaab Park

Catching up…

It’s been a while since I posted to this site, so I guess I should catch everyone up to date.

May, Gulf Coast Road Trip

Back in May, P and I rented a car and drove out to Panama City Beach, Florida, so I could do the Gulf Coast Triathlon and do some diving. It was a long drive out there, and we made the 12-13 hour drive in one go. We meandered our way back to Austin stopping in Pensacola and New Orleans.

We dove the Oriskany, an aircraft carrier sunk off the coast of Pensacola. The visibility wasn’t great that day, so we couldn’t see the flight deck. However, I did swim through the flight control room and through the smokestacks. In the New Orleans, we stayed in the French Quarter and just walked around during the day. Food highlights of the trip:

  • PCB: J Michael’s. Good fresh, local seafood.
  • Pensacola: Blue Dot Burger. Best burger I’ve ever had.
  • New Orleans: Couchon Butcher. Best Banh Mi I’ve ever had. I think the Head Cheese set it apart from other Banh Mi.
  • Baton Rouge: Coffee Call. Beignets and beignet fingers. Can’t really go wrong here.

June, Round the World


I’m a product manager for a global transactional tax system. If you make a purchase from the company and see taxes, the system I work on may have calculated the taxes. (I say *may* since we’re still working on the global part.) Before this summer, I’ve been able to do my job with a lot of late night/early morning calls and a yearly trip. With the onset of our India launch, all sorts of issues come up and I’m summoned to Penang, Malaysia last minute. I’m also summoned to London for another workshop, so I decide to make it all in one go.
The Penang meetings go well, we figure what we need to do, and I head off to Hong Kong for the weekend. As a coincidence, Regan’s (my college roommate) brother was vacationing in Hong Kong from DC that weekend, so it wasn’t difficult to convince Regan (who’s an expat in Taiwan) to also fly in.

It was good to hang out with him and to eat some really good food. It’s a given that food tastes amazing there. I also managed to do a morning run by Victoria Peak – nice to get back to nature and solitude, just minutes away from an urban jungle.


Before the London workshops, I took the train over to Brussels to watch Stage 2 of the Tour de France. (Cancellara was in yellow that morning.) Also stuffed myself on chocolate croissants in Brussels. The London meetings didn’t have the same urgency as the Malaysia ones, but they’re good for direction going forward. Got to run around Hyde Park a couple of times.

July, India

Nineteen days in India. The launch happened, and straightaway, there were high priority issues left and right. It was a lot of work and stress. There were some down times, and the people who could, drank. Most of my memories involve working, calls in the middle of the night to work on an issue, and more work.

August, Brazil

This globalization thing is happening faster than I thought it would, so on the heels of India (gratefully with three weeks at home), I head to Brazil to gather tax requirements. Awesome meetings – great brain dump of the taxes we charge and why. I’ve come to the conclusion that countries with federated states with taxing authority have the most challenging taxes.

Great country, good food. I got food poisoning on my first night, so I wasn’t able to pig out at the churrascaria. It was a bummer to get sick in a hotel room away from home, but when the stomach cramps were bad enough to call a doctor, the hotel got some EMT folks to come and fix me up (with an IV) in no time. I also got to see my first Brazilian football game with the local team, Gremio. The hardcore fans do an “Avalanche” (above) when their team scores a goal.

September, France

I head off this afternoon to Montpelier to support a big launch and to do some training. I’m scared of the scope of the launch, so we’ll see if it’s all work or if I get a breather and get to see some of the city/countryside.

Looking Ahead

I’m sure spending the last five of six weeks on the road hasn’t helped with my outlook, but I’m going to be exhausted by the time this is all over with. That, or I’ll achieve super road-warrior nirvana with the ability to hop on a plane and be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I’m already making trade-offs. Learning new things (skateboarding and DJ’ing) are falling lower and lower in priority, while traveling and riding my bike are staying at the top. There are quite a few things I want to do (diving in Bonaire or snowboard camp at Whistler) that I’m struggling to keep on the schedule. And the hard cut-off for the travel is early February IMCDA.