Archive for August, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Hy-Vee Triathlon 2013 Pre Race full course workout

Hy-Vee Triathlon 2013 full race workout: Today we did most of the course for the upcoming Hy-Vee World Championship 5150. I will be competing in the age group division of the race next Sunday. I was with a coed group of 20 people and we did the whole swim except we finished back at the beach where we started instead of the transition area on the south of the lake. Once we finished the swim some of us got on our bikes and we did the 25 mile loop of the bike race portion of the race. Then we got on the trail and ran 4 miles to get our run in. The actual race is 6.2 miles.

It was a great day to test out the different parts of the race and get a few last minute preparations out of the way.

Now I start my taper into Race week. All my training is mostly complete. I have done the hard work now it’s time to go do it in a race next Sunday. My training for this week will be less intense and I will have more rest days. Sometimes taking rest day sis the hardest part about training for a race.

See You at the Finish Line!


PostHeaderIcon Hy-Vee Triathlon 2013: Saturday Morning Course Preview

Hy-vee Olympic Distance Triathlon 2013: Just finished a 1300 meters swim a 25 mile bike and a 2 mile run all on the Hy-vee triathlon course. I only have two more weeks until my first Olympic distance triathlon.

I was feeling fatigued from a late night 8 mile run last night that did not get done till after 11pm. I have to pick up my kids on Fridays and by the time I had a chance to do my run workout for the day it got late. When I started the swim I had to roll to my back and regroup a bit but got right back in and finished the swim without any problems once I got into aerobic breathing. I did look around and see where everyone was quite a bit as this was the largest training group I have trained with in the water. I did the 1300 in 28 minutes. We had 14 people in our group this morning and it was a beautiful morning to swim. The lake was calm and the water is still warm.

After the swim we jumped on our bikes and headed out to ride the 40K route of the triathlon. Traffic was very busy and we heard some words of encouragement as the cars went by. A few even thought we were number one. A short distance into the ride one of the guys had a pedal come loose so Scott and I stopped to help him with his bike. I got the pedal back on and fixed and then Scott and I formed a line as we leap frogged each other to catch back up to the group. We were cruising at a good speed and caught them before they got out of the park on the route. That was fun to ride with another person who can set a good pace on the bike.

Once we completed the bike ride a few of the group stayed around to run the trail loop around the lake. We did a short run to get our legs used to running after the bike ride. We ran 2 miles at a comfortable pace and the trail was quite busy with runners and bikers.

It was nice to get out and preview the course for the upcoming triathlon and it was a great group of people of all ages and abilities to train with. I got my but chewed by Scott about looking around too much on the swim but I was expecting this and would have been surprised if he never said anything. He tells you when you do great and he tells you when you suck. I like that about him and his way of coaching you. He does not expect you to do anything he isn’t doing right alongside of you.  

1300 Meter Swim

1300 Meter Swim

25 Mile Bike Ride

25 Mile Bike Ride


2 Mile Run

2 Mile Run

See You at the Finish Line,


PostHeaderIcon Hy-Vee Traithlon 2013: More Swimming

Today I went out with my swim group at Grays Lake which is the site of the 2013 Hy-Vee Olympic distance Traithlon. I wanted to test my theory of the start slow and taper slower without doing any kind of warm-up. I had a great swim and swimming with others allowed me to swim a bit faster once I got into my calm breathing. I started out so slow everyone left me in their wake. I was behind the pack for most of the swim however I did do 2130 yards in just under 43 minutes. That is an average pace of 33 minutes for 1500 meters. So the moral of the story is that the slow start actually took time off my mile swim and not just seconds but it cut more than 10 minutes off my mile from yesterday.  Starting out very slow and getting into your rhythm is the key to the rest of your swim. Most in the group only did 2000 yards however due to my lack of swimming in a straight line I got a little more distance.


Today was the closest I have come to simulating an actual triathlon start with no warm-up. I felt good even though I had some worries about going without the usual time to get used to the water.  I was surprised that my time was that fast as it felt like I was just taking it easy. Just over two weeks to go until my first Olympic distance triathlon and I am feeling really good about my swim.

See You at the Finish Line!


PostHeaderIcon Hy-Vee Triathlon 2013: Open Water Swim Progress Report

I went to Grays Lake alone today to swim around the buoys. This is the site of the upcoming Hy-Vee Olympic Distance Triathlon on Labor Day weekend. I was not feeling good about my swim however I did 1800 yards but only 150 yards at a time and then I would stop catch my breath and go again.

I finally decided I was going to force myself to turn the corner and continue or it was time to go home. So I did and I got into a rhythm and my breathing slowed and my stroke felt easy and next thing you know I had gone 1830 yards in 49 minutes. I did 1328 strokes and averaged 27 strokes a minute. I know I am not fast by any stretch of the imagination. However I think I could have kept this pace up for another mile at least as when I stopped I was not even breathing hard. I stopped because my curiosity got the best of me and I lost count on how far I had gone and wanted to look at my Garmin 910. I just got the Garmin before the Tri last weekend and I love that I can now see exactly how far I have gone in my swimming.

Today I passed two very important milestones in my swim. I did over 2 miles in open water and I did my first continuous nonstop mile plus freestyle in open water. Two weeks until my first Olympic Triathlon and 1500 meter swim so today was a big psychological boost to my training.


See You at the Finish Line!


PostHeaderIcon Bluff Creek Triathlon 2013 Race Report:

Bluff Creek Triathlon 2013 Race report: Today I did my second sprint triathlon. It consisted of a 500 meter swim, a 15 mile bike and a 5k run. The race was held at Don Williams Lake in Ogden Iowa.

Pre-Race Report: I woke up at 4 am with a right eye swollen shut from an eye infection. I spent some time wiping the eye with a warm damp rag to try and get the eye to clear up enough to see. I used eye drops and took a shower and finally got the swelling to go down enough to see out of the eye and got the car loaded and headed out for the 1.5 hour trip to Ogden.  I had loaded most of the equipment the night before so I got out of the house by 4:45am. I arrived at the race site at 6:15 am and got my bike out and aired up my tires and then rode my bike to the transition area with my backpack on my back. I got everything setup and went for a 2 mile run to warm up. I then put on my brand new wetsuit and headed to the line to the bus to take us to the beach starting area on the other side of the park. While in line my wetsuit was only pulled up to my waste to keep from getting too hot.

Swim Report: Once we arrived at the beach I finished getting into my wetsuit and had another person help me zip it up. This was my first time swimming in the new sleeveless wetsuit. I noticed it was a little tight when I went for a warm-up swim in the water. The collar was actually choking me but I thought it would loosen up a bit once I got it wet and filled with water. We lined up on the beach and the horn sounded and I started to swim. After about 100 feet I had to roll to my back and pull on the collar to allow my neck to breath. I was not really having a panic attack this time but I was having a wetsuit issue that was not allowing me to swim any length comfortably. I would swim about 10 strokes then roll to my back and pull on the collar. This made the swim take way longer than I had hoped although I did keep moving the whole time and never had to stop or rest.  I know better than to try something new on race day and I had my other wetsuit with me but wanted to use the sleeveless one I had just purchased to keep cool. I should have gone without a wetsuit in hindsight. The swim took 13:30 and that time included the 200 meters run to the transition area where the bikes were parked after we left the water and ran up the boat ramp and across the park.

Transition 1 Report: I ran in to get ready for my bike ride next. Transition was like a giant maze and it was easy to get lost in the confusion. I arrived at my bike and had issues with getting my very tight wetsuit off my legs. I had taken it off down to my waste as I ran up to transition but could not get my feet out of it. I finally just laid down on the ground and worked my feet loose. I dried my feet with a small towel and put on my socks and bike shoes and then put on my glasses and helmet and grabbed my bike and headed for the Bike mount area. Transition 1 time was 2:36 which is slow for a sprint triathlon. I was hoping for 1 minute or less.

Bike Report: As soon as I left transition with my bike in hand I ran across the bike mount line and got on my bike.   I immediately knew that my front tire was totally flat. I got off the bike and went to the ditch to fix my tire. I removed the old tube and installed a new tube and aired it up with some help from a couple spectators. I installed the tire on the bike and got on and started my bike race with over 7 minutes of time gone from the clock. I was in the back and had plenty of people to chase as I went down the road. I passed people for the entire ride and finished the bike portion in 49:44 for the 15 mile ride including the tire change. They called the course flat but it was typical rolling hill countryside of Iowa. No big hills but many small ones and you were either going up one or going down another constantly. There was a headwind on the way back in from the half way turnaround that made the ride back in fun also.

Transition 2 Report: I ran my bike from the bike dismount area into the transition area and placed it on the rack. I removed my bike shoes and put on my running shoes. I put on my visor and grabbed my handheld water bottle and put on my number belt as I was running towards the exit. You had to run towards the swim in area to go across that timing mat then make a sharp turn and head back the way you just went to get to the trail that leads to the 5k run area. Once again it was like a maze of blue fencing.  Transition 2 times was 1:34. I was hoping for 1 minute or less. 

Run Report: You had to run on a nature trail for a short distance that leads to a gravel road that took you up to the paved road for the 5k. My legs were tired as I started the run due to going too fast on the bike to try and catch up on the flat tire time that I lost. I was not running my best pace but it was a decent one till I hit the turnaround of the 5k and headed back towards the finish line.  That’s when I quit racing as I had something more important calling me to take action on. 

I came upon a fellow racer and she looked like she was having a really hard time. I won’t mention her name here but she was a person that I have talked to many times as we have been to the same training clinics and practice swims together in the past and we always exchanged small talk. I knew this was her first triathlon and I knew how hard she had worked to get to this day. She was walking on the road and looked like she was not having a very good time of the run. I stopped running and ask her how she was doing. I could see by the look on her face that she was hitting the wall. She told me she was overheating and that she was done. I asked her if it was alright for me to spray her head and neck with the water from my bottle I was carrying. She said yes so I started cooling her with my bottle and you could see the color come back into her face almost immediately. We started running and we ran side by side for a short distance talking until we arrived at the water station. I told her to grab two cups of water. One to drink and one to pour over her head to cool her off. We walked a short time then started running again. We ran until we could see the turn to head down the gravel road towards the finish line and she told me to go ahead that she would be alright. As I left her side I could hear the runners behind her start encouraging her to keep going and I told her I would be waiting at the finish line to watch her finish. I ran ahead and finished my race in 26:18. I crossed the finish line then went back down the course to yell as she ran past. Her husband and daughter were waiting for her at the finish line and I could see the tears in her eyes as she greeted them. I walked away feeling like I had just won the race. You know the funny thing about this was that until the announcer at the finish line called out her name I had no idea what it was. It’s funny how you know people by face and talk to them and greet them like old friends because you see the same people at the races and group training sessions each week. I think this friendly culture of the triathlon group is what makes doing triathlons so addicting.  You see people at their worst. Hair messy, no makeup, sweaty and smelly, wearing next to nothing and you become friends anyhow. We all know how hard the work is to get to the finish line of a triathlon. The respect and admiration I have for each and every triathlete whether they are the first to cross the line or the very last is overwhelming. Today, in the blink of an eye I made a decision to do a simple act of kindness to help another person out and in the process I realized that the finish line is not the goal, experiencing the journey is the real goal. Perhaps my flat tire on the bike was meant to happen to put me in the exact place and time to reach out to another person who needed a little boost to keep going in her journey.  We met up again at the food table after some time and we exchanged a big sweaty hug and she thanked me for everything. We talked and laughed about the day and I could see she was hooked and she will be back for another try in the near future.

Summary of results:

Swim 500 meters: 13 min 30 sec

Transition 1: 2 min 36 sec

Bike 15 miles: 49 min 44 sec

Transition 2: 1 min 34 sec

Run 5K: 26 min 18 sec

Total time: 1 hour  33 minutes  45 seconds


I finished 108 out of 176 and 12 of 13 in my age group.


Summary of the day: I still have tons of work to do in the open water swim. However today I felt I worked through the difficulties and actually was in some control of what my mind was thinking about. I did not have a good swim but I did finish it with face in water and freestyle. I found out why you don’t introduce a new item into your race on race day. This goes for nutrition as well as clothing or other items.

I felt I had a good bike ride. I had such a good bike ride I felt I needed to give the others a 7 minute head start to be fair. Stella has failed me a couple major times here lately and I need to figure out if this is random or something I need to work on with upkeep and maintenance. I was happy when her chain broke and left me stranded 10 miles from my car in the dark a week back as it was not on race day. Stella and I have to have a heart to heart I guess before the next race.

The run started off with tired legs from the bike but I got into a good pace once I hit the pavement. I need to work on spinning my bike more as I come into the end of the ride to get my legs ready for the run. As for the rest of the run I would not change a thing.

Transitions were slow again. I will work harder on this before Hyvee. I was faster from bike to run but slower from swim to bike so it was about the same as my first triathlon for times. I shaved 10 seconds off the total time but should have shaved 2 minutes at least. This is free time that takes no energy to gain just practice.  I have been practicing the bike to run but I felt I should have shaved more than the 35 seconds off my time that I did.

Final note: After the race I walked up to the run area after putting my bike in my car to cheer on the People who were doing the Olympic distance race today. They were running a 10K at the end of their triathlon. That is where I met my second new friend of the day. Her name is Cathy and she is 67 years young. She was just starting the run and she was suffering badly from charley horses and cramps in her legs from the bike ride. She was the very last person to start the run and she was determined to finish. Her son was waiting there with us for his mother to arrive and when she did her son Jason and I walked with Cathy for the entire length of the run course. We talked about everything from triathlons (which she did her first at age 59) to grand children to riding her bike in Ragbrai and even across the Untied States. She is quite an inspiration to listen to as she walked ever so slowly and we even stopped a few times as you could see the cramps in her legs. She was determined to finish and she did. She walked over 6 miles and I was cheering along with a couple dozen others that waited at the finish line as she crossed the finish line. I could see the pride in her eyes as she got a hug from her son who walked with us the whole way. She talked the whole way around the course and she was even talking as I left to head to my car. She will be at the Hyvee triathlon and I look forward to watching her cross another finish line in a few weeks. When I asked her what her plans were for the rest of the day, she told me she was going to take a nap in her truck under a shade tree before she left the park for home.

I woke up this morning thinking I was going to a race. I ended up getting a lesson in life and what it means to be alive. Sometimes your time at the finish line is not the most important thing you get from the day!



See You at the Finish Line!


PostHeaderIcon Bluff Creek Triathlon 2013:

Bluff Creek Triathlon 2013:

Well I am going into my rest day before my next race. I am racing the Bluff Creek Triathlon on Sunday August 11th. I have really been working on my open water swimming as that seems to be my stumbling point so far. The swim during this sprint triathlon is 500 meters followed by a 15 mile bike and a 5K run. I am working on getting my transition times down also as that is free speed if you can change from one thing to the next quickly.


See You at the Finish Line,


PostHeaderIcon Lifeserve Run for Blood 5K 2013:

Lifeserve Run for Blood 5K: I ran the Lifeserve Run for Blood with my kids.

We called it the Rodda Father and Son 5k Challenge 2.

The boys wanted another crack at their “OLD MAN” as they were still feeling the pressure of the beating they took on the 4th of July. We lined up in the front and when the gun went off Peter and Dave took off like rabbits. I looked at my watch and could see that they were doing faster than a 6 minute mile pace so I laid back and kept them in view. The race started with a short flat then it was a big hill up to the capital building. I caught Dave on this hill as he slowed to come back to me as he realized that he was going out way too fast. Peter kept going with the leaders. After about 1.5 miles I looked at Dave and told him it was time to reel Peter in. He said he was about to die and I started the chase without him. I caught Peter before the 2 mile mark and went on by him after giving him some encouraging words. Then I left him and started trying to catch the person in front of me. I never did catch the girl I could see in front of me but it allowed me to chase her all the way to a new PR of 21:58 in the 5k. After I finished I turned back and ran to the corner before the finish to cheer on the boys. I got there just as they rounded the corner and I told them to go and Peter took off like he was shot out of a cannon. That forced Dave to chase and he used his long strides to catch peter and they crossed the finish line in a virtual dead heat at 23:06. It was a great day to run with the boys and an even better day to take bragging rights again as the “OLD MAN” showed the boys how it’s done. I finished 14th overall and the boys finished 19th and 20th overall. Our times were good enough to give all of us new PRs in the 5k.

Lifeserve_runForBlood2013_2 Lifeserve_runForBlood2013


See You at the Finish Line,