About IMRoycer81

Richmond, Virginia, United States
Thanks for visiting! I'm a civil litigator at KPMLaw. I attended Cornell where I swam IM and Breastroke. In 2007 I filled the void of swimming retirement with triathlon. In my first tri I thought, "holy sh*t this is painful" and "when can I do it again?" Things escalated quickly and my first half was Augusta 2009 and my first full was Louisville 2011. Since 2007 I've been chasing my dream of qualifying for Kona. Prior to September 2017 this blog focused on attempts (and failures) to achieve an elusive KQ. I got the monkey off my back in my 10th Ironman at Chattanooga. There is still much room to improve and I look forward to putting in the work to become a consistent podium finisher. In 2018 I have the privilege of racing for Team Every Man Jack and look forward to learning from a great group of guys while giving back to the triathlon community. I couldn't do any of this without my amazing family. They lift me up. I am lucky to train in a fantastic triathlon town with inspirational athletes. My job, training, and daughter keep me busy, but I update as often as I can. I'm always willing to share the knowledge I've picked up along the way. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kinetic Half Race Report: "Don't Swim Like a Pansy"

Two weekends ago I raced the Kinetic Half.  I was looking forward to this event as it was my first half of the season and I hadn't previously done this race.  I heard it was a challenging course and it lived up to the hype.  This is more of a regional race and it was a nice challenge to race against some very talented and fast individuals from Northern Virginia and Maryland.  It was also a great opportunity to race with most of the Steel Hammer Crew.  Going into the race I was tired but finally getting fit.  I put together my two best training weeks in a row immediately prior to the race, and although I was pretty gassed it felt good to know that I was finally getting decent fitness after an injury filled winter and early spring.  The weather was pretty crappy.  It was warm and humid and it rained for a large portion of the bike. There was a slight challenge on race morning in that I had to get up extra early to drive about an hour and twenty minutes to Lake Anna.  I ate breakfast at about 3 am which consisted of a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter, banana and agave (approx 650 calories)

14th Place Overall
2nd Place Male 30-34
Note: I'm not sure where the splits came from in the results because Setup lost the timing chips for all racers over number 400.  I wasn't wearing a timing chip so while the splits in the results are in the ballpark, they are not correct.
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Swim- 27:43
There was only one goal for this race.  Win the swim.  Coach Flanigan has apparently grown tired of me not taking full advantage of my swim background and he gave me strict instructions to not swim like a pansy (although he may have used a more forceful word not suitable for the interweb).  The water was pretty chilly after an unseasonably cool spring so the swim was wetsuit legal.  Generally speaking I hate wetsuit swims because I feel that the suits really restrict the range of motion in my shoulders.  However, given the fact that Ironman CDA will definitely be a wetsuit swim it was good early season practice for June 23.  I attacked the swim much harder than normal and got busy for the first 500 meters.  It took me about five minutes before I got clear of the crowd and then it was smooth sailing.  Once clear I settled into a smooth Ironman pace and began to pull away from the crowd.  All the swimming I have done over the past few months has really paid off and I felt strong in the water (thanks to Peluso Open Water Masters Program).  It felt good to put the field behind me and swim in open space.  The really great news was that swimming harder didn't really change the way I felt coming out of the water.  My heart rate and level of energy was about what I am accustomed to.  Mission accomplished, and I came out about :45 seconds ahead of the next person.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Bike- 2:25:38,
Avg Speed- 22.5 MPH
Avg Power 268, Normalized Power 278
Variability Index- 1.04
The bike course was honest.  The terrain wasn't overwhelmingly difficult but it was rolling and the weather conditions made it more difficult than it should have been.  It rained for a good deal of the course and the wind was pretty terrible.  There were large sections with brutal head and crosswinds.  I was alone out front for the first half hour before the stronger riders began to catch me.  There were some legit cyclists at this race!!!!  My goal was to ride between 240-250 watts but guys started going around me and I began to panic a bit.  I realized that 240 wasn't going to be enough to be competitive and I started riding harder, sometimes you have to ride with the field and that's what I did.  Much to my chagrin there were still dudes passing me.  I set a new ceiling of 270 watts and tried to keep it there for the remainder of the bike ride.  My buddy Justin passed me about 30 miles into the bike and was riding strong.  I hung close to him for about 10-15 minutes but realized that I would not be able to run if I did the bike course at his speed.  Shortly thereafter Rob Green passed me going uphill.  Rob was flying and ended up splitting 2:18 on the bike which was the second fastest bike split in the race!  He called back to me as he went around me and told me to hold on but there was just no way.  He was absolutely killing it and I had to let him go.  A few more guys passed me on the bike but I was still positioned in the top 10 by the time I hit the second transition.  I was a bit concerned rolling into transition that I rode 20-30 watts harder than I planned and I knew the run course was very challenging.  As I ran out of transition I was hoping I didn't cook my own goose.  In looking at the data, I had an objectively good ride but it was a certainly a wake up call to ride against faster competition than I am used to.  My take away from the bike is that there is still work to be done before IMCDA.  Objectively the numbers were good, but I was not pleased with how many guys passed me.  I at least need to ride on par with my training buddies Rob and Justin (props to them for throwing down big bike splits).  During the bike my nutrition consisted of one bonk breaker (230 calories) and a bottle consisting of 400 calories of Carbo Pro, 100 calories of Gatorade and 6 salt stick tablets.  I drank about 2/3 of the bottle during the ride.  along with one bottle of water.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Run-1:32:03
Avg- 7:06/mile
Mile Splits: 7:08, 6:46, 7:07, 6:49, 6:58, 6:56, 7:03, 7:04, 7:17, 7:19, 7:25, 6:58
The run course at Kinetic is brutal.  You run out of transition and run immediately uphill for about a mile.  You then run a challenging section of rolling hills.  The run course is three loops and you have to run the brutal uphill section three times.  This run stings!!!!!  My plan was to run consistently especially on the long climbs.  My focus on the uphill was on a quick cadence.  I was pleasantly surprised when I ran the first uphill mile in 7:08.  I was even more shocked when four of the next 5 miles ticked in under 7:00 pace.  I certainly wasn't feeling like I was running that fast so it was awesome to find out that I have the capability to ride at 270 Watts and not completely explode on the run.  I started to get a pretty nasty blister late in the run and the hills definitely started to catch up with me.  Miles 10-12 were pretty weak and I was climbing the ladder of pain.  It was good to see that I was able to reel the last mile back under 7:00.  My nutrition on the run consisted of straight coke.  I took a cup of coke at every other aid station and supplemented with water as necessary.  I was overall very pleased with my run split.  This was my fastest ever run split in a half ironman and my previous best was at the Charleston half which is pancake flat. 

Overall the race was an objective success, but I am not especially pleased with how I performed relative to the competition.  I continue to improve every year, but I am still not yet where I want to be.  I want to get to the point where I am in the mix for the top 5 overall at these longer well contested races.  In any event this race confirmed that I am in a good position as I head into my final IMCDA preparations.  As always, thanks for taking the time to read!!!!
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Richmond Tri Club Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Richmond Tri Club Sprint 4/28/13
5th Overall/1st Men 30-34

At last race season has arrived.  After the endless winter, it is finally time to strap on the aero gear and get to racing.  This winter was challenging for me.  For most of the winter I dealt with a litany of nagging injuries.  I am glad to report that I have finally turned the corner and gotten a few weeks of consistent training under my belt.  My first race of the season was last Sunday at the Richmond Tri Club Sprint which served as our Club Championship.  I love racing our local sprints because it is a great opportunity to hang with the awesome members of our tri community and it gives me a chance to get some threshold work within the framework of my Ironman training.  I was pretty nervous leading up to this race because of my recent winter of discontent.  Frankly, I have done no speed work and I feel like my training has only recently become consistent.  I didn't know what to expect.  At the end of the day I had a great race and this was the perfect way to build confidence and get the season rolling.

Swim- 5:09
The 400 meter swim in this race was an interesting format.  It was an open water pool swim.  We are fortunate to have a brand new state of the art swim facility in Chesterfield County.  The long course pool was set up for an open water format complete with turn buoys. One of the few benefits of being injured all winter is that I was able to swim a lot.  This has paid dividends and I could tell immediately in the swim.  I was relaxed and smooth the whole way.  I felt better in the water than I have in years.  I kept it long and strong and didn't get too aggressive.  I exited the water right behind the race winner Michael Harlow.

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Up close and personal with Mr. Harlow's ass....yikes

Transition 1- 1:07
I say this in every race report for every race distance half ironman and below, but I suck at transitions.  They are laughably slow.  Its almost as though I can hear clown music in my head as I fumble around like bozo the clown.  My transitions feel a little bit like this looks....(ignore the weird sound at the beginning of the video...stick with the whole video, you won't regret it).  One of these days I'll get my act together and not give away a free 30 seconds to the competition.

30:11, Avg Speed-24.7, Avg Power- 326 Watts
The Race plan per Coach Flanigan was to attack the bike all out and leave nothing for the run.  I rode aggressively but chickened out on the back half of the bike course out of fear of exploding on the run.  I rode the first half very aggressively and felt like I had a strong ride overall.  I was stoked to set a new FTP based off of this 30 minute time trial, but feel I probably could have kept it going a bit more consistently on the back half.  I was near the front of the pack and I tried to keep the lead competitors in my sights.  I successfully stayed within sight of Michael Harlow but my buddy Rob Green annihilated the bike course and put a minute into me.  I am so happy that Rob is riding so well.  Overall I feel very good about my power and bike fitness and I feel like I am in a good position as I enter the big build phase leading to Ironman CDA.  I am also pumped to have the opportunity to do a couple more long rides with Rob before fat camp in a few weeks.  Maybe I can leach some of that bike prowess from him.

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Transition 2- :51
Transition 2 was much better and much faster.  Nothing really exciting to report except that I started running the wrong way immediately out of transition.  No big deal and it may have cost me a second at the most.

19:26, 6:11/mile
I am very pleased with my run.  This split was an all time PR for me at the 5K distance.  I have never even run an open 5K this fast.  I was also happy to see that my Garmin clocked this as a legitimate 5K and the course was not short.  This was very exciting given the limitations in my run training over the winter.  I initially thought that I was sucking ass in the first mile because Parker Spencer blew past me like I was going backwards.  I was shocked when the first mile clicked over in 6:10.  I realized that I wasn't sucking, but Parker is just a freak of nature on the run.  My run was consistently strong and I focused on maintaining the same time gaps between the top guys.  I actually felt stronger as the run progressed.  Overall a great day and great result.  This was an awesome start to the season and a super fun and well organized race.  Thanks for reading.

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