2017 Part II and Season Recap

2017 Part II and Season Recap

Well, it’s been over three months since I last wrote a blog posting. They used to be “race reports,” but since I only seem find time a few times a year, I’ve been rolling several races into one posting. I’ll be honest, I do miss the more simple days when I’d finish a race, unpack, and have enough free time to get my thoughts down on paper before I forgot. Now, its usually more of a get home from a race, unpack (Alice is usually super understanding of my neurosis to unpack and clean up all my crap as soon as we get home), scramble around with the boys for a few days and try to get in a little recovery, and then back to training and focusing on the next race. Nevertheless, below is the long version of my second half of 2017 recap. For the cliffnotes version: Great season. Won several races and won some money too! Not much of any progress on swim or bike but ran really well this year. Two kids are hard. Recovery from training and racing and working a full time job is really My wife is awesome. Finishing top 5 AG in the world at the 70.3 IM World Championships in Chattanooga was amazing and something I had been focusing on for four years. I continue to have self-doubts of my capabilities and I really want to break 4 hours again in the ½ distance.   Maryland Du This was my second race of the year where prize money was being offered and I knew the competition would be good. I...
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  2017 Season so far…

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. 2017 Season so far…

Well its mid July and I’m finally getting around to writing a race report! I remember the pre-kids days when I’d have time to actually sit down and write the day after my race, do spell check and edits and make sure what I wrote was somewhat coherent… now I’m just excited if can sit down and remember what even happened in the races!   Nevertheless, if you plan to read this you may want to get out some coffee, sit back, and prepare for a long read.  The good, the bad, and (and if you make it to the end) the ugly of the season so far… My training season usually gets a start sometime in December after a few weeks off in the fall. And this year, the 2017 season started off with a baby! In December, Alice and I welcomed the arrival of our second son, Grady Wilson Burns. Having two kids under 2 years old is challenging for anyone, and perhaps even more so for two parents who work full time jobs (Alice works a fuller than full time job) and also juggling the demands of a fairly demanding training and racing schedule.   While part of me was pretty nervous how it would all fall into place, I kept reminding myself that I had similar fears when we had Gavin in 2015 — turns out the 2015 and 2016 seasons went better than I ever expected. And after 6 months of working, training, and working and raising two boys, I can say that IT IS HARD. And this is considering the fact that I am lucky...

An “Intentional” Wrong Turn and a Run-In (Literally) with a Flatbed – Waterman’s 1/2 Ironman Report

This is one long race report. Since almost no one (other than maybe my mom and my wife) will likely read the full thing, here’s the executive summary: 2016 has been nuts – assaulted on my bike; broken toe; lost CJ to cancer; broke 4 hours and PR’d at Rev3 ½ Williamsburg; A good (but not great) race at IM AC 70.3 Decided to do Watermans sort of last minute – wanted work on run execution and see what sort of fitness would be left after 4 weeks of taper Swim – uneventful Bike – led on wrong part of course by motorcycle course marshal; later decided to make intentional wrong turn, go off course, and make up the 5 miles Run – Hit by a flatbed trailer. Ouch. Grabbed shoe and kept running. PR’d run. Overall – Epic race. Super happy with how I reacted and performed.   12 minute penalty but luckily still got the race win. Time for off-season, rest, and baby #2!   2016 has been quite a year. A recap: February I was assaulted by a driver while bike commuting home. Good news was it was captured on police video, bad news was I ended up in the hospital with a septic infection. In April, I broke my toe, two weeks out from the first big race of the season and was in a boot for 6 weeks. In June, our 8-year-old dog CJ became extremely sick (cancer) and we had to put him down. Somehow I rebounded from the broken toe quickly and in July I PR’d at Williamsburg Rev3 1/2. In August I...

IM 70.3 Atlantic City: “A” for Effort “B-” for Execution

Last weekend I raced Ironman Atlantic City 70.3.   Being that it was my goal race of the season and having focused on it for almost a full 12 months, I was pretty excited to see what I could do.  I felt fairly good about things – I was coming off a 1st place OA and 3:59 PR 1/2 Ironman at Rev 3 Williamsburg 2 months prior, a 1st place OA and course record at Fort Ritchie Oly in August, and probably the best 3 week training block I can recall before I started my taper.  I even managed to stay injury free (no broken toes before this race) and somehow dodged a few colds that Gavin was circulating around the house (it seems like pretty much nonstop colds and viruses since he started daycare/school in July 🙁 The day before the race I did much of the same as before Williamsburg (thanks to my sister for arranging an OWS and Katie P for hanging out as we got registered and bikes racked etc.., and to Alice for coordinating Gavin’s schedule, food, naps, toys, and play activities) and was able to spend some time with my family. Race morning went smoothly – the body was feeling good. I was surprised to hear an announcement about 15 minutes before the start that the race director had decided to shorten the swim from 1.2 to 1 mile because of dangerous water currents; I figured things must be relatively rough since IM doesn’t usually change things – especially so last minute – unless absolutely necessary.The swim went extremely well for me.  I started off...
Fort Ritchie Tri – Appreciating the Triathlon Family

Fort Ritchie Tri – Appreciating the Triathlon Family

After a whirlwind of a week (seems to be the theme of 2016) – filled with a trip to the ER for Alice (due to Viral Meningitis and Bronchitis), several sleepless nights, a new school routine for Gavin, and a pretty hard week of training (not sure how I had the energy to get in the quality session that I did) – I had no idea how I’d feel or race.  In fact, I was looking forward to the get-away weekend with Alice just as much as the race since it was probably the last weekend we’d have away together – sans kids – for perhaps a few years. The day before the race Alice and I drove up and checked out the (hilly) bike course.  Although feeling better, she still was coughing quite a bit, continued to have a terrible headache, and had lost her voice almost entirely. Being sick is hard. Being pregnant is hard. But when you are pregnant and sick and can’t take so many of the helpful medications – its just plain unfair! Saturday evening, Alice and talked about the possibility of her not being up for going to the race, but I was fairly confident (knowing how tough she is) that she’d be up for it come the 4:30 AM wakeup on race day. Unfortunately, Alice was up most of the night with a cough and headache and come race morning, she was in no shape to get up and go hang out a race all morning.  Though we both decided that her staying in the hotel and resting was the best option,...
Right Shoe Goes on Right Pedal, Left Shoe on Left Pedal.   AND ½ Ironman sub 4 hour PR!

Right Shoe Goes on Right Pedal, Left Shoe on Left Pedal. AND ½ Ironman sub 4 hour PR!

I broke 4 hours for a ½ distance triathlon! Wow. Although this was a career goal of mine, I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever achieve it. Especially not for this race- I only had about 4 weeks of run training after my broken toe and I (actually, this was Alice’s (great) idea) decided not to do a full taper for the race in the interest of keeping the focus on IM 70.3 Atlantic City in September. Nevertheless, I felt good the days leading up to the race, and things just went super well. I may never break 4 hours again, so I’m going to savor this one! After a race, as much as I tend to think about areas I can (and want to) improve, places that I could have done things slightly differently, and small details that could use a little tweaking, there were simply a myriad of things that went very, very well. When things go well, it’s sometimes easy to overlook them and not give them due credit, so in an interest of not making that mistake, I’m going to focus on of all the things that went well (I’ll conclude with just one small mistake / lesson learned): The Swim It was hot! Never felt hot in the water like that before, but with temps in the mid 80s, it was pretty toasty. I knew I really wanted to push the swim hard as I had been swimming really well the few weeks prior. The first guy got way a head of the pack (can’t believe he split the time he did) and the...