2014 Mexicali Medio Maraton

March 9, 2014

Testing “lack” of training – results not to bad.


Event Flyer


With the Amigos.

Skechers GoRun 1, 2 or limited edition GoMeb Speed 2….Ended up with GoRun 2.

Magellan Switch Up data file: link

Result: 1:33:xx, pace 7:01. Long course 13.28 miles

Went out a little fast but pretty consistent overall.

Fueled by 2 Gu’s (one 2x caffeen) and 2 Roctane

Yes I am an ambassador athlete to these brands because I use, trust, and believe in them…They Work!

DSCN4347additional photo on Skecher’s Performance Facebook page


John Clancey Aquathlon


2013 John Clancey Aquathlon –  A recreation of the Dave Pain Biathlon

July 2013

One of the original races in triathlon/aquathlon history. This is a recreation of the original in its  13th year.

One of the Best in town. Low key and mellow.

Visit their website for info and updates. also their Facebook page

Not my fastest. Nursing injury, so kinda slow on the run.


Beer number 2 – full beer stop video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CDnrMHy-ao#t=187

I was overtaken in the swim. Not this year, if I am in town.

Division M46-53: Individual Male Ages 46 to 53

Div. Place Place Nbr. Name(s) Age Time Adj. Time
1 5 5 Greg Zackowski 50 44:03.1 41:03.1
2 6 10 Dean Sprague 50 45:06 42:06
3 7 6 Andy Thacher 50 43:37.6 43:37.6



Age group podium

Double at Spring Sprint


May 5, 2013
South Shores- San Deigo

Tired of DNS, so had to give it a go. I signed up for both the duathlon and triathlon way back in January (when not injured) to take advantage of the early registration rates. My big event is coming up in the beginning of June and I need to know if I’ll be able to compete. Not at the level I want, but just to do the event.

This race venue changed a little bit rom previous. The bike course added an extra mile or so. I have done the double a few times before and have made it back in time to make my adjusted start for the triathlon. This time, the longer bike course and my slower times made me miss my triathlon start time by four minutes or so.


Since i was not “racing”, I needed to see what kind of shape I was in. No running for the last month or so, mainly swimming with a couple of bike rides. Did not press it on the first run, just easy going. bike was fine, did not have (or need) the fighting spirit in me. And the second run was tempo but quite a bit off of my norm.

My Magellan Switch up, did not sync with any satellites and removed before the race, so I was only running on feel. On the bike my Motorola MotoActv was set on run, do did not have mph or cadence to keep me honest. I had no I idea what my overall time was until the finish clock. My second race, the triathlon, was to start 70 minutes after the duathlon start. If I had a watch with overall running time, I may have pushed myself a little harder. I walked the last 10 yards to the finish line. No competitors around , so no need to hurry.


 Finish: 1:00:10. 1st  AG, 9th OV

Run (1mile): 6 minutes even. Bike (10.7 miles or so) 31:23 minutes. Run  (5k) 22:xx.
Gemini timing sucks once again. NoT2 or run split so above is guestimated.


Finishing up lap 1 of the triathlon.


After finishing the du, I did not realize i needed to hustle my ass to make it to the start of my wave. I took it easy getting on my Synergy Endorphin long john wetsuit and finally made my way to the boat launch for the start. When I did realize I was late, I just proceeded in the water for my own “wave” start. Timing was chipped time and my chip was programmed to start at precisely 8:10 with or without me.

I did pass several yellow cap swimmers. Again no self-timing so not sure of my real swim time. Quick transition to the bike. Bike split and and effort felt about the same a previous. I did have my MotoActv set to bike this time, so I was able to watch mph and cadence. Pretty much was passing everyone one, a couple of the competitors (who were on time to the swim start) on their final lap did pass me. One guy, Fredrick W. a cancer survivor and next age group up came whizzing by me. I was pretty shocked at how good he was doing. I encouraged him and complemented him on his speed, He said it was his new Trek Speed Concept bike. I did end up passing him on the run.

I was a bit conservative on the run, during the run I did not have any adverse pains in my lower ab. My foot (toe) is still not 100% either, but i’m still able to land and press off with out any issues. It did swell up a little after though. Like I said, this was a work out/race to see what my body can handle and what it will fill like immediately after and the following days. I can not really compare my results to previous times racing this event or even against my normal competition.


Finish: 1:07:46. 15th  AG, 146 OV (started about 3 1/2 minutes after gun)

Swim (750 yards) 10:31. Bike: 32:02 minutes. Run: 22:37.


Up next: Ensenada media marathon – another test outing.



Pasadena Duathlon


March 23, 2013

5k run, 15k bike, 5k run

Chose to do the duathlon over the triathlon because it is “longer” than the triathlon. buy about 5 minutes. The triathlon is reverse and ends with a 200 yard pool swim. I have done the half marathon here so I knew a little bit about the area around the  Rose Bowl.

I’ve been having lower abdominal muscle issues the last month.  I survived my last half marathon, DNF a club duathlon and only been biking and swimming on a limited bases. The week leading up to this event I did not run at all and have  used some anti-inflamitories to help relive the “pain”. Waking in the am was a bit painful along with coughing and squeezing. Any contraction of the lower abs was not good.  Pre-race evening and race morning I loaded up on anti-inflamitoris and mentally blocked the pain to do this event.

I was surprised at the 1st 5k run. The course was a loop around the Rose Bowl. The slight incline slowed my pace down considerably, when I observed my pace thru the first mile or so I thought is was off. It was indicating 6:50, 6:40. I was expecting to run a high 18 minute, but ended with a 20:15-ish.  I was keeping pace, a step ahead, of a young female participant… don’t wanna get chick’ed this early. The last half I was able to pick up the pace thanks to the slight decline in elevation.


1st 5k

T1 was quick, I posted the 2nd fasted of the day due to the Pyro Platforms. No need to change shoes. Just grab and go. I’ve been using my Skecher GoRun’s for these short duathlons and tri. Their low profile midsole allows for not too much power loss per pedal stroke.

The bike course is  three loops around the Bowl… if you can count. I ended up doing and extra lap. Each lap cot more and more congested as more athletes got on course. This is a true local and beginner friendly course. One needs to use caution with the many slower and beginner athletes. I had to sit up often and cover the brakes. I Knew it was a three loop course and I thought I counted only three. I guess it was just too short and over too soon for me to accept. I had my MotoActv but it was recording as one workout not in sections and I had on my wrist so was not looking at it to review the miles traveled. Lap three I was “battling” it out with a few riders, but on my last lap (my number four) I did not see them at all. I thought they had slowed up a bit due to the slow traffic.


Before the masses were on course.

T2 was even quicker, again I posted the 2nd fastest time, just behind my buddy, Fran. As I was the same time as an “older” gentleman who has his helmet still on. I asked him “did you only do 2 laps” He looked at me kinda funny and said something like, no, I am not cheater. I did not figure it out at that point, but some one messed up.  AsI continued on the run, I began seeing people I was way ahead. They were on the leg back to the finish and I was on the leg heading out. I finally figured it out when I saw the younger girl pass me in the other direction…then all those other competitors. My bike split was eight to ten minutes off pace due to my screw up.

The second run was an out a back course on the main street in front of the Rose Bowl. I stayed focused as much as I could while noticing all those “slower” people  a head of me. Kind of sucked when I knew I should have been a head of them. My lower ab did not bother me at all during the event or after while hanging out to claim my 3rd place in age group award, finish time of 1:18:34. Yes I said award. That means if I didn’t screw up, I would have come in second anyways. Maybe next year…with a bike computer!

gps link: Motorola Actv

I have since taken two weeks of from running in preparation for the San Luis Obispo Marathon – changed to half marathon and playing day by day to see if I will compete.

Seaside Half Marathon

Ventura, CA
Feb 24, 2013
GPS data (hr jacked up)

Another race to check performance and training. Supposedly Seaside is a couple hour drive north of San Diego, but ended up taking a bit longer due to my lack of  ability to read my google map print out. Goal was to run faster than my drive time. Turned out to be a non competition. Arrived at race venue around 2am, so I was able to get four hours of sleep. And the 8am-ish race start time helped out. We had great weather condition for running. A little brisk but plenty of sun.

An undulating course up the coast highway; more down hill to the far turn around point, felt like more uphill coming back and the head wind slowed things down a bit also. No way to get lost on this course. Decided to support my northern team, Leslie Cohen Law. And using my dedicated race shoes, Skechers GoRun2. I had very good success with the shoes at my last race, I decided to make them race only. Comfort and light makes for a happy runner.

I specifically wore my heart rate monitor to see my race heart rate. Its been a while since I/’e done the tracking. The Garmin hr strap jacked up again, so no reliable data to review. Garmin hr straps suck. It also took over an hour for the data to successfully transfer to my Garmin connect site.


I started off leading wave one for the first 100 yards or so. Did not feel I was over doing my potential, but shortly decided I better settle down. I was able to hold my pace thru the first 8 miles then fell off a bit but was able to pick up the pace the last couple miles. For such a small race the competition was pretty stiff. Being small also meant 10 year age group awards. I had to settle for 5th in AG, but was the fastest oldest in the group. Finished with a time of 1:30:28. Was hoping for a sub 1:30…next time.


One mile to go and pickup up the pace, 6:51.


Quick n’ Dirty

Time to get the dust of of the mountain bike. Change things up a little.

Quick n’ Dirty series

Did the first 2 races of the 2013 series.

Feb 9 – Beginner category, 2 laps. Started last and finished middle of the pack

about 130 participants in all categories

Feb 17 – Faster category, 3 laps. Started last and finished 4th from last – 12min behind winner.

about 190 participant in all categories.

screenshot_270 v1

Well… Make that new school.

Ended up going for lightweight. Received my new pair of GoRun2 and decided to take a chance. I have not weighed them yet to compare to the ProSpeeds.

Wore one day around the office to break in then an easy 4 miler the day before the Surf City Marathon.  I was quite surprised at the excellent forefoot cushioning and support. Better than the originals.

I did use my Road Runner insoles on top of the stock insoles. I tried with just my RR insoles but did not feel quite right, so kept the  Skechers in also. The combination made for perfect fit, comfort and cushioning. Yep, that is Injinji toe socks. Fist time racing in them and they did the job… no blisters.


Surf City Marathon

Started steady and kept steady, had a couple of slow miles mid way then powered the last 10k with negative splits. Still not where I want to be but was able to pull off a BQ time and 30 minutes faster than my marathon back in December. Now thinking of doing San Louis Obispo Marathon in April to shave off another 5 to 10 minutes.


screenshot_262 v2

Garmin GPS data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/269397512

garmin window copy

Race Report: HITS Palm Springs 2012

reprint from January 2013, TCSD TriTimes – digital version at issue.com



Race Report: Along For The Ride, HITS Palm Springs

Last year I had a very good race weekend here, second OV in the iron distance and backed it up the following day with a second in my AG for the sprint triathlon but was very hesitant upon returning again. I hated the harsh road surface and the boredom of racing solo but I found myself here again, for different reasons this time around.

Back in August HITS started their massive discount program, 50% off registration fees if one signs up very early. I knew my friend James Hamilton had intentions of doing the event and I gave him a call to inform him of their great incentive. James had hinted earlier in wanting some assistance with competing his first iron distance triathlon. When he finally asked if I would help, it was hard to say no, so I agreed.

James is no stranger to endurance events. He has competed in multiple Badwater ultramarathons and Rim to Rims just to name of few of his crazy outings that are far beyond my qualifications. James did most all of his training without me. I helped out his training group with a handful of open water and technique swim sessions. Two years ago he was not a water person, but thru many of the TCSD open water swim opportunities he gained his comfidence and set his sights on 2.4. For run and bike workouts we only hooked up for one brick session a week before our HITS event. His main training group consisted of Paul Cates, Jenifer Henderson and his girlfriend Mary Barry. From what I understand they chalked up a good amount of miles, and I hoped they werer also quality miles, not just miles.

Back to race registration, I registered for the Olympic distance and the iron distance. I figured since I was going to help James, at his pace, I would make the weekend a little more challenging and race the Olympic distance on Sunday. However, I didn’t notice HITS switched days of the events, so I unknowingly signed up for an iron on Saturday and Olympic on Sunday. I realized that oversight a month after registering. I did send the oragainzers an email asking if I could switch to their sprint distance but got no reply. Looks like I will have a fun weekend.

Fast forward to race morning… for the swim start we grabbed the inside position on the front line. I was Jame’s blocker from behind as we cleared the first bouy and continued on our first leg of the four loop course. We started in front to avoid the extra swim distance and time that would be required if started in the back of the pack. While Jim was swimming his fastest freestyle, I enjoyed a combination of back stroke, sculling, breast strokes and just floating while still making sure James swam the straightest line possible. It was the most relaxing swim I have ever done, no panic attacks, no tuscling with other competitors. I actually had the opportunity to take in my surroundings and its beauty, the calm water of Cahuilla Lake against the desert mountains was an incredible sight and experience. Even though we were the last to exit the water it was much faster than I had anticipated. I had questioned its accuracy, but was informed it was measured four times. So 2.4 mile swim completed with about 40 minutes to spare before the cut of time, which was 15 minutes faster than my predicted time.

swim last

Lending a helping hand at the swim exit.

Our T1 was pretty relaxed. Learing from last year’s event when it was freezing coming out of the water, I dawned a wind breaker to stop any wind chill. Being ten degrees warmer this year, race conditions were just about perfect. Ten minutes later we were out of T1.

The bike course changed a few times before it was finalized to three flat out and back loops, very similiar to last years two loop course. While riding together we had to be cautions to avoid any drafting and blocking situations. We played leap frog most of the time, but once in a while I sped ahead to give my legs a real workout. I was hoping we would complete the bike section with an average speed of a little more that 15 mph. That would have been close to a seven hour split time. However, James had a different riding style that I was unaware of. He liked to rest when tired and take full advantage of aid stations when possible. James also started to have some cramping issues a little more than half way through and we had to adjust our riding pace. He was using Ensure/Boost for his main liquid intake which may have been a contributor to his leg cramping. I set him straight with increasing his intake of salt tablets and electrolites. These extra stops and slower pace ended up adding an extra hour to our bike split, but it is what James needed. I found myself doing a lot of one arm windmills… my signal meaning “get up here, no slacking.” I was concerned that our slow pace would end up effecting our ability to finish under the 17 hour limit. I kept telling him, “yes, we can stop or slow down but we are gonna have to make it somewhere.” Just over eight hours, one of my longest rides ever, we finally entered T2. The last to enter.

bike 1

I still had fresh legs, but was not exactly sure how James’ were. Ten minutes later, all changed into our running gear we headed out for the marathon. James brought along his camelback filled with Boost, flashlight, cell phone, gels, bars and I am not sure what else. During our lone brick workout, James and I stratagized on mechanics and pacing when walking, jogging and shuffling our feet. After our short practice brick we determined an optimal race day pace; 11 minute mile run/shuffle pace and a 15 minute mile walk pace. I knew it was going to be a long run, something that I had never done before. With Jame’s experience of his ultras I let him set the tone as we began the maraton. James had participated in the HITS Palm Springs training camp a couple weeks earlier and knew the run course well and made mental notes on landmarks and distances. A mile or so into the marathon I took over wearing his camelback, it was only then I discovered how heavy it was, let’s just say a ton. I wanted to make this as easy as possible for James. Our fist section was a walk, a bit longer than I wanted. Through our marathon I was in constant clock management mode. Whenever we slowed down, I sounded the alarm with ”Do you really want this!” James wanted to walk more often than not, but that was not going to happen under my watch. Aid stations were perfectly placed and we used every one except one. Of course we stopped at each one, tick tock is all I could think. Every second counted. When one is out there competing, the mind lets the time and mile disappear as if they were never there.

run 3

Leading the way and keeping the pace.

Competing for 14 hours plus at this point the thought of missing the cut off time would be horrible and I did not want that. I made James break through every mental and physical barrier he put up. He “complained” of hurting, I did not know how much and really did not care, that was not part of the equation. The battery for my GPS watch gave out six hours into the marathon at mile 24. We were so close, struggling every bit. I kept insisting that James shuffle not walk, “Tick tock, you can do it”. Those extra 17-18 minute mile paces felt as they were catching up with the fishline clock. It was truly all mental at this point. We finally could see and hear the finish lights and sounds from afar. I was not exactly sure of the time… I felt we were just going to finish or just miss out. I did not want to be on the latter, for James’ sake. Finally, the finish line in sight and a down hill finish. At this point I noticed James’ eyes light up with a beaming smile. All I could say was “You did it.” We were greeted by the race director, James’ girlfriend, one of the event photographers and a couple of other race volunteerrs. There was no finish line clock, so we had no idea of what time it was. “Did we make it?” James barley eked out. The answer was yes, 16:31, with plenty of time to spare. Both of us were stunned, and so happy the journey came to a successful ending.

hits 2012 finish 2

Finish line, with time to spare.

For me coming in last, the first time ever, has never been so rewarding. Even though I did not push my body to the brink like James, being out there for 16 some hours was a first for me. Helping a friend accomplish a goal and achieve a first place age group award was very rewarding.

Race Report: Part II

So, my race or as I called it a “long workout” was in the books. Even though the crown and all the participants had gone, I was able to scrounge up some of the remaining pasta and salad from the earlier athlete dinner. Then I collected my sole remaining items from transition and hastely loaded up my car. I had six hours to recover before Sunday’s Olympic distance triathlon. Another night of car camping was my best option in which I find very comfortable.

The next morning I was suprised I was able to walk around, with little soreness or any issues. And it’s true that DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) does not take full effect until 24 hours after a hard and strenuous event, so I was in the clear. The Olympic tri was the second event of the day which gave me 30 precious minutes to get my transition area prepared and rest.

HITS Oly swim

26:34, my average swim time.

hits oly runStill had some spring in the legs.

The swim went off with out a hitch, pretty much on par with my other 1500 meter swims. On the bike, I felt remarkebly strong until the half way mark, when my legs began to feel the effects of the previous days workout. I also noticed a big difference in the road surface. I thought it was very smooth while cruising along at a leisurely 15 mph, but at race speed (21+ mph) it changed into being bruttaly harsh and it remined me why I dislike this race location. For a flat course, I was more than five minutes off my normal split time. On the run my legs were either going to respond or shut down and I was quite suprised at how much spring was still left in them and was able to pass several competitors in may age group. Much to my suprise, I pulled of a third place finsh in my age group for both events, and all I wanted was to have an “insanse” weekend of physical activity.

hits oly award

“I’ll take it, third place in age group.

IM Louisville – results

Well I was fairly close on my preciction…

Prediction: 1:10 – no wetsuit
Actual: 1:15:36 – water tempo 84 degrees – no current – no advantage.
Notes: GPS  (link) says 2.6, thought I swam a pretty straight line…guess I need to learn how to swim faster.

T1 5:xx- not to scramble or rush. put on calf compression sleeves and arm coolers

Prediction 5:48 (wanna be faster)
Actual 5:34:59
Notes: Distance right on (link). Fast course great road surface! Very slight head wind last 20 miles

T2 5:xx- not to scramble or rush.

Prediction 3:52 (wanna be faster, but lack of training time)
Actual: 4:22:19 (link)
Notes: just did not have it, lack of training. Got what I deserved.

Prediction: That makes 10:50 – mental toughness will make this happen. add transition and true prediction would have been approx 11:00
Actual: 11:22:59

24th AG out of  272. 248 OV out of  3014 participants.


Sprint Sprint Duathlon

Sunday June 6th,  2012
South Shores Park/San Diego

Have to give a shout out to Brian Long of  Sea Coast Properties with assistnce on race entry for this event.

I’m not ready for the big league—the triathlon, so I took advantage of the duathlon offered at this event.

Despite  having a slower overall time compared to previous years, I had my fasted bike split here. For the run segments it must be age catching on my legs.

Was able to manage a 3rd OV finish. After  the 1st run leg, I found myself in 5th position, made up one spot on the bike despite being passed by another competitor, and then made up another on the run. No overall awards, just age groups, so I scored a 1st place in age division.

I actually found myself in this photo by Opix. Waiting to claim my reward.

Loved my Skechers GOruns. so soft and cushiony on the feet.