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,


PostHeaderIcon Swim The Bridge Masters Swim Race 2013

Swim The Bridge 2013: Today was a tough day both physically and emotionally. I think I found my BRICK WALL in my quest to complete the Ironman. The open water swim has become my kryptonite it seems. I learned a few humbling lessons today. First was that if the swim is called a Masters Swim Race you should make sure your up to swimming with other swim Masters there’s a good chance the swim course is going to be a little challenging. 2nd is that 7 weeks of training is not nearly enough to be confident in the swim portion of a race. 3rd is that I can dog paddle for more than 500 meters it seems. Even in a total panic mode.

During my Iowa Games Triathlon swim I went into total panic mode and blacked out and went into auto pilot and woke up on the beach at the finish of the swim in 8 minutes and 20 seconds. Today I did not have the luxury of the black out and I got to experience and enjoy the full gambit of emotions as I had a 21 minute panic attack and I was aware of every detail of the terror on the water. Jay Elder came to my rescue in his kayak and talked me off the ledge. There was no way I would have finished this race today. He could see my panic from a distance and was kind enough to come in close and talk me down till I could breathe again and resume my swim. He then followed close by talking to me the rest of the race. The volunteers at these races who spend their time to help out are a very important part of any race. I helped Jay out at a triathlon last month when he had an accident with his Jet Ski while setting up the swim course at Copper Creek and today he repaid my simple act of kindness with getting me to the finish line alive and under my own power. I crawled up the boat ramp to get out of the water and cross the finish line to a thunder of applause and cheers as the crowd went wild.

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people. Climb it, swim around it, or tunnel under it! It seems that we are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.

See You at the Finish Line


PostHeaderIcon Busy schedule ahead!

Thought I would update you on what’s happening this summer in my Ironman 2014 Challenge.

It’s been 4 months now since I started this journey. Training has kept me busy as I get ready for a really busy push in the schedule. The next few weeks are going to be crazy.

I am doing the “Swim the Bridge” at Saylorville this Sunday July 28th. I figured I needed the open water swimming experience before the next triathlon. This master’s swim event will be a good way to get some more open water time with other swimmers.

Then I am running the Lifeserve Run for Blood 5k in Des Moines the following Saturday August 3rd with my two sons again. They want a rematch and they think they can beat me now. I ran a practice 5k tonight in the middle of doing a ladder workout on the track and did it in 21:25 so that was 1:38 faster than my PR in 5k so I think I might surprise them again. I am really trying to get into the sub 20 minute bracket on the 5k by next spring as I think this would really help my tri times.

The following weekend I am doing the Bluff Creek Triathlon in Ogden Iowa on August 11th.

Then I have three weeks till the Hy-vee Triathlon on Sept 1st.  

The following week September 8th I travel to Wisconsin for the 2013 Ironman. I am a volunteer during this year’s race as a bike mechanic during the early morning and then I am a bike catcher at noon till 5pm. This will allow me to see how everything works during an actual Ironman and it also gives me head of line to sign up for the following years race which sells out in less than one day.  

Then I come home and have 6 weeks to train for the Des Moines Marathon on October 20th.

After that I think I will take a day or two off and get some rest. Then it is back at it trying to get ready for the spring races next year.

See You at the Finish Line!


PostHeaderIcon Iowa Games Triathlon 2013 Results

Iowa games Triathlon 2013 Summary: I ran my first triathlon today. It was a sprint distance triathlon that had a 400 meter swim and a 15 mile bike and a 5K run.

SWIM REPORT: I started with my age group in Wave 4 of the swim. It was a beach start and we had to run into the water and swim a rectangle course of 400 meters. I started in the back as I was pretty sure I would be slow as my nerves were through the roof. I ran into the water, dove in and started my freestyle. Within 4 strokes I had swam up on the guy in front of me and got kicked in the goggles pretty hard. Of course this was all it took for panic to set in as my heart rate went crazy and I started hyperventilating. I looked for a rescue boat as I was ready to quit right then and there. However they do not have boats this close to the beach so I was forced to go to plan “B”. Plan “B” was survival mode so I rolled to my back and started the back crawl. I was in full on panic attack and hyperventilating but I was moving in the water. Wave 5 that started 2 minutes after we did was catching me so I tried to stay out of the ladies way as they went past.  I was still totally out of breath when I reached the beach and started walking up the hill to the bike transition area. A sense of accomplishment was felt as I walked up to my bike and finally started breathing normal. It was not pretty and by no stretch of the imagination graceful in the water however I was still alive so MISSION ACCOMPLSHED!

BIKE REPORT: It took me awhile to get my hand to work and start putting on my bike gear. As I predicted before the race my bike was sitting alone on the rack that I shared with 6 other racers. This allowed me to just sit on the ground and start putting my gear on for the bike ride. Once ready you had to run your bike to the bike mount line and then jump on and get going. I tried to spin my legs to get them working again for a short distance then I suddenly started catching people on the ride. Race was now on. A friend that started in the ladies wave behind me and had passed me on the swim was my first rabbit to catch. I knew she was out there ahead of me and I got into my tuck position and went looking for her. The bike course was three laps of the 5 mile course. I caught her on the first lap we passed each other a couple times then we hit a big hill and I never saw her again. I continued to pass riders for the entire bike ride. I did the 15 miles at a 20 mph average for the ride and even reached a max speed of 33.4 mph. When I got back to the bike dismount line I kicked my water bottle out of my bike and had to chase it across the road. I then had to run in my bike shoes back to the transition area to change into running cloths.

RUN REPORT: My hands were shaking as I tried to change into my run shoes. I finally just stopped and sat down again and tried to get my mind clear so I did not forget to do something. Once I got up I realized that my legs seemed to have a mind of their own and they were like noodles. I walked briskly to the run out area and then started running. I tried to keep my pace low for the first half mile to let my legs recover a bit. However after the race I found that I was far too cautious with my pace as I really wanted to make sure I finished after all this work. The race was two laps of the run course which made it nice that you could see others running at you on the opposite side of the road. This is where I got to see and cheer on others that I had met during my training. As I was about a half mile from the finish I passed a guy who told me to set the pace and he would follow. So we picked up the pace and passed quite a few people in that last stretch of the run. After we crossed the finish he thanked me for the lead out.

SUMMARY: I really need to work more on swimming with others around me in the open water. Once my game plan for the swim was sidetracked I was in full on survival mode. Not a good way to start a 1.5 hour workout. I also really need to work on my transition times. I imagine I can cut about 3 minutes off my time just in transition. I need to ride more hills on my bike in training. The really big hill we had to climb 3 times was a killer. I did make up the time on the flats though. I ran the 5k at a very even pace until the last half mile. I need to work on picking up the pace from half way on to cut time off my run. I had too much left in the tank at the end of the race.


Swim time: 8 min 20 secs

T1 Time: 2:16

Bike time: 45 min 23 secs

T2 Time: 2:09

Run time: 24 min 34 secs

Total time: 1 hour 22 min 43 secs

I finished 112th out of 319 and 8th out of 15 in my men’s age group. The times for the swim, bike, and run include the transition times.

See you at the Finish Line,


PostHeaderIcon Last workout before the race.

Iowa Games Triathlon 2013: I did my last workout before the Iowa Games Triathlon today. I did a Brick at the site of the race. I swam for an hour then I got out the bike and rode the 15 mile course which was three loops of the course. The very large hill half way through was just as large all three times. I did the Bike portion in just under 48 minutes and averaged 18.8 MPH for the ride. I then transitioned to my running shoes and was out on the trail for a 5k run. I ran the run in 23:47 which was a nice pace that did not kill me too bad. I am hoping to get under my 23:03 5K PR this weekend on the run even after the swim and bike. I am shooting for a 1:30:00 for the total time for this my first Triathlon. The picture below was Easter Lake this morning when I arrived. I hope it’s this calm on Sunday for the race.

Easter Lake at 9am. Smooth as glass.

Easter Lake at 9am. Smooth as glass.

PostHeaderIcon Pictures from the Firecracker 5k


Waiting to get timing chip removed after finish.

Waiting to get timing chip removed after finish.

Talking with the boys at the start line.

Talking with the boys at the start line.

Little Dave at Finish. 14th place 24:13

Little Dave at Finish. 14th place 24:13

Peter at Finish 52nd place in 28:32

Peter at Finish 52nd place in 28:32

PostHeaderIcon Pleasantville Firecracker 5k 2013 Results:

2013 Pleasantville Firecracker 5K: 1st annual Rodda Father and Son 5K Challenge.

First I would like to say that it was a great morning to be out running with my boys and that was far more important than who actually won.

With that said here are the results.

I finished in 9th place overall with a time of 23:11 and 1st in my age group. Little Dave finished in 14th place overall with a time of 24:13 and third in his age group. Peter finished in 52nd place overall with a time of 28:32. There were 235 runners in all.

I guess the old man was able to teach the young guns that age is just a number.

See You at the Finish Line,


PostHeaderIcon Copper Creek Race Report:

Copper Creek Triathlon Race Report: Woke up and headed to the race. The moon was full and not a cloud in the sky. The sun came up so I applied plenty of sunscreen then setup my transition  station and waited to go for a swim. I walked over to the swim course and talked to a helper about how the course looked smaller than it did yesterday during our practice sswim. He informed me they were making it smaller to try and get the swim in before the weather sets in. They moved it from 750 meters to 500 meters.  I told him that I had done the swim so many times in my sleep last night that I thought I was just ready for it and that was why I thought it looked smaller. They got everyone to the start line and then the skies parted and we were in a holding pattern to see if the rain let up.

Due to the rain and storms going through they changed the Copper Creek Triathlon to the Copper Creek 5K rain run. At 9:30 they decided that there was not enough time to get the whole race in so they decided to do a 5k run in the rain instead. Everything was soaking wet from sitting in your transition station in the downpour. So I put on my wet socks and water logged running shoes and lined up for the cannon to start the race. There was no time to warm up and stretch and I was tight from standing in the cold rain with only swim shorts on for 1.5 hours shivering. So I wanted to go out slow and warm up first then start running. I ran the 3.1 miles in 23:03. Over 6 minutes faster than my Pella 5k I did at Tulip Time. I was very pleased with how I felt and it showed that the training has really paid off.  That’s almost 2 minutes per mile faster pace.  So while I am disappointed that I did not become a triathlete today. I walked away with a great result in a 5k race.

PostHeaderIcon The Ah Ha Moment Arrives

I thought I would give a quick update on the swim training for the Triathlon this weekend. I have been in the pool for 1 hour every day since I signed up for the Copper Creek Triathlon three weeks ago. I have found it difficult if not impossible to swim more than 100 meters at a time. Most days I spend my time swimming one 25 meter length of the pool and stopping to catch my breath before going another 25 meter length. If I really push myself I can do one lap (50 meters) but I am totally out of breath and gasping as I touch the wall. I was talking to my mother yesterday and she was thinking it would be a good idea if I did not go this weekend and waited for the next race so I could get more time in the water. I explained that the only way for me to learn how to do this is to jump in over my head and see what happens. It’s the way I learned almost everything in my life.

Last night I was getting pretty psyched out about the swim so I started reading posts on a message board about beginner triathletes. I found a link to an article that changed my swimming in less than 15 minutes and I was not even in the water.  The article is on the web and it shows you how to swim 1650 yards in 6 weeks of training. The swimming 1650 yards is 1500 meters in distance which is a  swimming mile. There was one small sentence at the very end of the article that hit home and stuck in my mind all night.

“I recommend that you not tie yourself up in knots and get discouraged by technical concerns in the beginning. You’re here to enjoy some exercise, not go to the Olympics.”

Full article can be found here:


So today was planned to be a rest day with no exercise at all. However my mind had other plans. I woke up at 5am sharp and could not get back to sleep. I laid there thinking about the sentence above. So I got out of bed and packed my bag and headed for the YMCA for a morning swim. When I got there I jumped in and did a few laps while stopping at each end to chat with the people I swim with every morning. After my warm-up I read over the article as I had printed it out and taken it with me to the pool.  It talks about just keeping going no matter what type of swim you have to do as long as you keep moving. So I started doing laps. I did the freestyle for the first 25 meters and then rolled to my back and did the back stroke for the next 25 meters. 1 lap down and I was feeling good. So I made my turn at the wall and did the freestyle again to the other end. I continued to do every other length freestyle with a length of Back stroke in between. Finally after what seemed like a very short time my curiosity got the best of me so I stopped to look at my lap counter to see how far I had gone. I was not breathing hard. I was very relaxed and could have kept going at that pace. When I looked at the lap counter it read 20. This meant I had just done enough laps to equal 1000 meters and I did it in less than 24 minutes. This is by far no fast pace however it was a major breakthrough for me as I just swam for 24 minutes straight without stopping and I went 1000 meters.

What I learned from this experience was that I was so busy thinking about all the technical things with a perfect freestyle swim that my mind was racing and almost giving me a panic attack with every lap. I was breathing too much and causing me to hyperventilate in the water because that was what I thought I was supposed to do. Once I relaxed and just started enjoying my swim and letting my mind go and not worry about how great my stroke was I started swimming. The funny thing that the lifeguard told me was that my stroke was improving the more laps I did and the farther I went. She said that my stroke looked more relaxed.

I’m not sure that this will work for everyone but it sure changed my attitude about this weekend’s triathlon. Like most endurance sports the mental part is probably more important than the physical training. The Ah Ha Monent finally arrived and it could not have been better timing.


See You at the Finish Line,