Tecumseh Marathon Race Report

Tecumseh Marathon Race Report,

Here it is Monday, 43 hours past my finish. I worked at BGI yesterday, so my recovery day is today. I am sending this report out to all of you who knew of my race and have shown me support. I appreciate everyone’s support, guidance and prayers.

The race morning was cold, yet dry and sunny. With a late 10 am start time, the temperature raised to a warm 25 degrees at the gun. I started slow and paced myself to a 9:45 1st mile. As we hit the second significant climb, the bunch started to thin out and running became much easier. Before I realized it, we were at Bear Lake. I was feeling fine and found a comfortable group to spend the day. Just pass the aid station at Bear Lake; I linked up with a little group of frisky runners. We proceeded to tick out a strong pace up and down the hills. I was feeling good and felt like a sub 4 hour race was in hand. Our 11 mile time was 1:32. It was the next significant climb that I perceived there might be a problem. I shut down the speed and let my frisky companions run off without me.

At 13.1 miles my time was 2:05ish. As many of you can guess, my performance continued to slow. I cooked myself running with the fast group. I still hoped to reach my 4:30 finish time. By 20 miles, I was getting some really serious feedback from my body. Every climb I was reduced to walking, but could manage a slow trot on flat sections, what few there were! Once we hit the lake, 3 miles to go, I was reduced to walk everything. The down hills were worse than the climbs. Every 50 meters and my hamstring would lock up! I found a walking partner and committed myself to finishing the race. I came in with a slow trot across the line in a slow time of 5:17:17.

As I said, I am disappointed with my finishing time. However, I have learned and will use this wisdom if I choose to run the Tecumseh again.

1. I underestimated 26 miles.
2. I ramped up my mileage too quickly in Oct-Nov. This lead to my overtraining.
3. Due to the overtraining was not able to get enough long runs in…
4. I got caught up in glorifying myself. God has given me this passion to push myself and challenge myself with endurance events. I should have been content with the race He had prepared for me, instead I pushed to reach a finish time that would impress others.

These are hard lessons. This is the reason I am sitting on the couch nursing a sore knee and Achilles’ tendon. Recovery is good and I have 6-8 weeks of easy off season to look to the upcoming season. I will continue to pursue the passions God has placed in my heart. I will continue to seek His will in all I do.

Again, thank you for your guidance, support and prayers.


Time has come...

“Time has come…” is what I wrote in the subject area of the e-mail I sent to my Senior Pastor this morning. As many of you know, I am a part time youth pastor and a full time retail employee. The time has come for me to move on, so in the e-mail I sent my Senior Pastor I wrote my resignation out. I am no longer a youth pastor.

I hope to channel my energies into more IC3 work and to securing funds for our adoption. I am still working in retail, but the Lord knows my true work.

So I hope to be more fruitful with my blogs. Keep looking in and see what I come up with!

I almost forgot to mention, I am running in December’s TECUMSEH TRAIL MARATHON. Pray for me!


Race Results

Men of Steel Parkview Cycling Festival - Ft. Wayne, IN (click here for official results)
So I hit this crit up for both the 3/4 and 4/5 races (back to back, 2 and 3pm starts). The course was nice, as it ran around a new minor league ballpark in Ft. Wayne and most of the roads were in really nice conditions. Six corners, 0.7 mile loop, with one good sequence of R/L/R turns slightly downhill that made things string out some.

The 3/4 was first... I started at the back and due to the short and technical nature of the course, it was difficult to pass more than 4-5 guys per lap. So in a field of 40-some, it took a while to move from the back to the front. To help matters, I opted for one water bottle cage Saturday, and it broke 9 minutes into the race... just fell off my bike, and my water was gone for the rest of the race. While it was raining south, it was sunny and hot in Ft. Wayne. The loose water hazard lost me everything I had gained in the first quarter of the race. So I resumed my work up the field, got to the front with 3 laps to go. I didn't want to lead out the sprint, so I moved back to 5th or 6th wheel and was promptly dropped further by two sketchy moves from fellow racers that prompted one near-wreck. I found myself in 25-30 out of turn 4 on the last lap, but a crash from the guy in 5th or 6th took down or stopped nearly 1/3rd of the field. I missed it, got around some guys in the sprint, and took 14th (payout!).

With my 10-15 minutes between races, I hustled to my car, drank as much as I could, poured a full water bottle down my helmet, and got back to the S/F line so I could start on the front of the 4/5 race.

I tried to sit between 1st and 10th for the whole 4/5 race. Got punked at the line by some guy on the second preme sprint. Chased down a few breaks that Nebo Ridge shot off the front. Near the end of the race, it was my objective to hold the wheel of one of my IU teammates (Adam) the whole way out... he's a good sprinter and was sitting second wheel, so I liked my chances there. And hey, if we went 1-2, that'd be a satisfactory result. All was good until the last lap in the middle of the R/L/R turn sequence... some guy came down on top of me and physically pushed me off Adam's wheel. Not too thrilled about that, but it's better to lose the wheel than to crash. Shortly after, Adam took off coming out of a turn and opened a gap no one else could close. I salvaged things to finish 6th overall (payout!) On the day, I earned back my entry fee and then some... I can't complain. And hopefully through all of this I represented Christ well with some good sportsmanship and fair racing (I feel I did... hopefully my peers would agree).

Kokomo 40 K Time Trial - Sunday
It was an early morning Sunday... I had effectively rehydrated myself after the water-less debacle from Saturday, but my legs just didn't show up. I dropped my chain on the start by pedaling backwards to set my feet. My clip-on aero bars came loose. The number on my frame started to come off and create a mini-parachute. A comedy of errors and fatigue resulted in my worst competitive TT ever (1:04:51, 22.8mph average). Bad day... but with a good Saturday, I can't complain too much. And I got to talk to a few guys who are more TT-specific about IC3, one of whom was interested in joining up, perhaps.

Endurathon 2009

Fellow IC3ers and Friends,

This past Saturday was the 30th running of the Muncie Endurathon HIM. It would be the second time I have attempted the 70.3 distance and my 5th triathlon overall. The lead up to the race could have been better. I came down with a case of strep throat and a double ear infection on the Wednesday before the race. Most of Wednesday night and Thursday were spent trying to control a very high fever (103+ ) and drinking as much as my very sore throat would allow. I had serious doubts that I would racing anywhere near my capabilities at this point. By Friday night and what seemed like 1,000 pills later, I felt acceptable. "Acceptable" is not really the description one would like to describe themselves before attempting a ~5 hour race effort, but that was the situation.

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, got things moving, and left for the Prairie Creek Reservoir with Chris. We started with a little running to warm-up. This was the first time I had run since Monday. We continued with a little biking and a stop at the facilities. It was about 6:55 and our race started at 7:15, so we headed down to the beach for a quick swim and the start.

1.2 mile swim: 0:43:05 (342nd out of 698)

Uh......I really don't like to think about these specific 43 minutes of my life, but I will do my best to report. Chris and I started in wave 4 which included every testosterone driven male between the ages of 25 and 34. It was a really large group. We would be traveling around a newly designed swim course that took us about 750 meters away from shore. We then would take a right hand turn for about 450 meters and another right hand turn back to shore. The reservoir was angry that we disturbed her so early in the morning, and she thanked us with some nice surf. She added a current that was not in our favor to top it all off. After banging and sloshing around with 100s of my closest friends for the better part of an hour, I finally, FINALLY made it back to shore. This time was a full minute and a half slower than last year, and I even had a wetsuit on this year. GEESH! Regardless, I transitioned to my more suitable activity...the bike.

56 mile bike: 2:18:33; 24.3 MPH (10th out of 698)

The course started out traveling around the southside of the reservoir and came back north on the Cardinal Greenway. The wind was a little swirly, but it most often times was out of the SW to SSW at a fairly stout clip. The funniest moment on the bike came when I had just begun to head south on the closed state highway. I was thinking to myself, "It's pretty cool that this is my second Endurathon, and I have never been passed during the bike leg." It wasn't 5 seconds later a yellow M.O.B. Squad train named Francis Manfred came roaring by me like I was sitting still. I stopped thinking about how cool I was after that. Good work to Francis. He averaged 27.2 MPH for the 56 mile course as a part of a relay team. That's pretty fast...I guess. :-) I completed the first 28 miles in 1:12:XX, and the last 28 miles in 1:06:XX. I gave a really solid, hard effort the whole way. Oddly enough, my legs really never felt great, and I was having a lot of stomach issues on the bike. The Hammer Perpetuem, which I always use with no problem, didn't seem to be aggreeing with me and kept wanting to come back up. Regardless, it was a good ride, and I still thought I might I have a little left for the run.

13.1 mile run: 1:38:25, 7:31 min/mi. (72nd out of 698)

I passed a fairly large group in the last couple of miles of the bike. Coming out of transition a couple of those folks returned the favor holding a pace that was too much for me. Fortunately, one of the gentlemen, Mouhammed Seck, was running a fairly suitable pace. We ran the first 4 miles together. At the 3rd mile marker, I made a mistake by taking on some gatorade. Something in the sugar water didn't agree with my already tempermental stomach, and I started having some stomach cramps that became somewhat limiting. After mile 4, we hit a hill and Mr. Seck kicked it in a bit, and I had to let him go. This decision turned out to be a good one, because after another mile and a half my gut began to behave itself. At this point I felt pretty good, and ran a few good miles. I was still feeling pretty good at the turnaround and kept my pace. Things started feeling funny at mile 8, and I knew that it was going to take a fair bit of guts and focus to maintain my race to the end. I latched on to a few good running partners, remembered my training, and prayed a lot in the next 5.1 miles. I really wanted to be able to kick it in to a hot pace in the last mile, but it just wasn't there. I crossed the finish line knowing that under all considerations I gave this race my all.

Finish: 4:43:09, 42nd overall, 6th in my age group

In every race there are good times and bad times. In my mental prep leading up to the race I settled on several thought to focus on for the bad times. 1.) I thought of my blessed Savior, Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. The physical pain that He chose for me humbles me during these activities. I cannot fathom or compare, and I praise Him for His sacrifice. 2.) "Consider pure joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds. For the suffering of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness take its full effect making you perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James Ch. 2 3.) Chris Tomlin has written a great song of worship in "I Will Rise". If you haven't heard it, look it up and listen to it today. I sang portions of this song frequently througout the day.

I will also say that while this day was fun and I'm glad I did it, it did not compare to last year's sufferfest that I enjoyed stride for stride with my Christian brother, friend, brother-in-law, and training partner, Chris Hutchison. I will let him ring with his own race report, but I know he also gave a considerably large effort in the face of substantial physical difficulty.

I don't know about next year, but I will definitely do this event again. Thanks for reading and praying.

Nick Tranbarger

Live, Ride, Die...Live!

IC3 Team Tri at Eagle Creek

IC3 was represented today at Eagle Creek Park in the team division of the July sprint triathlon. Chris Hutchison did the swimming. Kenny Tranbarger did the cycling, and I did the running. We were competing in the all male team division with intentions of taking down the top time. Chris started us as well as any college swimmer should with the fastest swim split out of all competitors on the day. The timing chip was passed to Kenny and his speedy Cervelo P1. With a sore back and a windy course, he still managed a respectable 21.7 MPH average on the 10 mile course and the 25th fastest bike split for the day out of all competitors. The running leg went off without a hitch, but was also pathetically slow. It so happened to be ~50 seconds slower than my previous 3 mile run split when I was doing all three events. Nice! Although the team who ended up just behind us in the standings was catching us quickly on the run, we managed to hold it down for a victory. We stopped the clock in just over 55 minutes, and a victory by about 1 minute and 30 seconds over 2nd place. Well done guys!

Hammer On,


Live, Ride, Die...Live!

Indiana State Road Race

Congrats on the tri result, guys. That's impressive.

I was doing the Crit state championships in Bloomington today... good event, field of 50+, 40 minutes + 3 for my field. I started on the front row, missed clipping in at the start and fell about halfway back. Spent 25 minutes moving up to 15th or so. Got a couple opportunities to move up to the front; I wanted to be 4th or 5th wheel on the last lap to have a good shot at the sprint - it was a technical course that really didn't afford many opportunities for passing until the front stretch and the stretch from turns 1-2. I was on the front with 1 to go, fell back to third wheel, and got passed by two trains of riders moving up both sides of our line. This left me about 10th or so as we went single file through turns 3-6. Held my own on the sprint, but not much I could do with it coming from that far back. I finished 15th, well placed in the lead group. A decent result, but not quite what I was looking for.

Oh well... it was better than last year and I felt good. Reporting through the good & bad. I'm still contemplating my race options for next weekend - not sure what I'll do just yet.

Keep riding strong,



Spring Haiku

Strong legs win the race
Embrocation equals PRO
Belgium in the spring


Life of a Cross Racer

Transition…a key to Cyclo-Cross racing. Have you ever watch the pros race cross? Poetry in motion! The smoothness of their dismount and the equally elegant remount is an awesome sight. Most racers have the same fitness. It is the transitions throughout the race that create the separation from the frontrunners and the rest of the pack. Often there will be a select group that slightly pulls away each barrier section. These are the individuals who have mastered the transition.

Life is full of transitions. We move from career to career, home to home and life stages constantly in our lives. Sometimes we get to choose when and where, sometimes the choice is made for us. It seems like that for the past 6 years I have been in a constant series of transitions. Jobs, careers and children, all transitions I have faced. Actually, this Cross Race, my life, started on an early spring night in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was there at the gate of Camp O’Malley locking it for the last time as the Director. I was transitioning to a new camp and new position in Indiana. A position I was sure was the direction God had intended. A direction and choice that I was sure God would bless. I was also moving rapidly to another transition…fatherhood. Jack would be in my arms in less than 3 months, Peter a mere 15 months later. So that night as I locked the gate, tears were in my eyes; tears of joy, fear and sadness. As I locked that gate I was sure I was heading to the destination God had chosen for me. A destination I was sure would provide me and the family with everything we would need at the same time fulfill God’s work in my life. In less than 14 months I was in transition again, this time not totally by my choice. Where was I going, how would I do? God, am I doing the right thing? These were all questions I faced and couldn’t answer.

Do you ever struggle with that question? “God, am I doing the right thing?” I do…

I so desperately want to serve my King. I worry about my job, is it what He called me to do? Am I making good use of my time? Which parts of my flesh are contaminating my choices? All these are struggles in my life. It isn’t my past choices that haunt me, it is my future decisions. Yet, I know I can’t stop. I must push forward, struggle on. I know that sometimes this means I will suffer, I will hurt. Yet, this doesn’t bother me either. I am not scared of the work, only of letting my Savior down.

It is in these darkest of moments, when I feel the lowliest, that the Spirit comforts me and reminds me that I am doing what He called me to do, I am following. Never did Jesus say…”Follow me to here or there” He simply said “Follow me”.

He simply said “Follow me”.

So transitions are a key to our walk with Christ. We must be prepared to move from one stage of life to another, make the best of what we have and keep pursuing our goal,

To run the good race.

To…simply follow Christ!