Where to start?!

Where to start?!

Seriously, where do I start with this one? I think I’ll go with the fact that I won a race!  I’ve learned from the past, wins are super hard to come by and that it’s really important to bask in the victory.  With all the time, stress, and sacrifices that go into training – both for me and what Alice does – it really deserves sitting back, relaxing, and being proud of the accomplishment.  For all I know, that’ll be the last race win of my career.  So that’s where I want to start – I freakin’ won the race! A few other things that made this one extra special:  After a very sudden and debilitating battle with cancer, we had to put our dog, Casper Jake, of 9 years down on Thursday.  He was a huge part of my life and running – in fact a few years ago we ran a 5k together and managed to take first overall.  I had his dog tag around my neck for the race and dedicated this race to him. Due to a hurricane canceling Watermans ½ in 2015, and a broken toe just 7 weeks ago (and two more missed triathlons that I had really trained hard for), I had not raced a triathlon in 399 days (not that I was counting :).  I figure I had about a zillion miles of swim, bike, and run training logged since that last race and I was super eager to get out there. Finally, to get a win on a day that was filled with “issues” really made me proud.  Some of...
Run Training on the Bike?

Run Training on the Bike?

The Seashore Classic ½ Marathon was my first official race of 2016 and I was particularly interested in running, since, well, I had not been doing too much running! For a variety reasons such as wanting to get stronger on the bike, a bit less time available for training with a 1 year old, and a reasonably busy job, my running volume is as low as its been in many years.   Most weeks during the off season I only ran once per week and the past two months I was really only getting in two to three sessions of running.   I also learned from 2014 when I was building up to Kona and running A LOT, that more didn’t really equal better for me.  So the goal has been to see what I could do with much less running and see how some increased bike fitness would transfer.  Suffice it to say, it seemed to transfer pretty well! The race was a relatively small local race put on by Seashore Striders in DE.  It was extremely convenient since the start was just a mile from my parents’ place in Lewes.  It was also quite a lot of fun since Alice was running, and had managed to get herself back in pretty fantastic shape just 11 months after having Gavin. It was an out and back course with a beautiful mix of road and trail running with some pretty good race conditions– temps in the mid 40s and perfect sun.  We had a relatively strong tailwind the first half, which meant headwind on the way back. All in all, the race...
It just kept getting better…

It just kept getting better…

When I wrote the title of my last blog posting, “It Just Keeps Getting Better”, I sincerely didn’t expect that it would.  When I write, “it” here, I mean my training and racing.  I had a pretty good feeling that life would get more full and “better” since having our first child in May, but with all that was going on and changes in schedule and available time, never in my wildest imagination did I expect not only the baby stuff to get better (i.e. it seems Gavin just keeps getting happier and more fun by the day), but that I’d finish the 2015 season with 7 overall race wins.     It wasn’t until August of 2013 that I won my first triathlon, and to think that I won 7 races this year – 3 triathlons, 1 road cycling race, 1 duathlon, and 2 road running races – still blows my mind.                         Although I am still disappointed about the cancellation of the 1/2 Ironman I had been focusing on, it probably worked out for the best, forcing me to focus on biking and running speedwork – definitely not my forte. The short sprint races just hurt so bad!                         Thinking back on it all, if there is any lesson for me to learn, it is that switching things up –  doing less volume, taking a full day off each week, and  focusing on my weaknesses- really seemed to pay dividends.    And although my overall volume...

It just keeps getting better…

After a whirlwind 2014 which included landing a new job, qualifying and racing at the World Championships in Kona, and buying a new house, I was looking forward to a quiet year with much less fanfare.  However, five months into the 2015, there hasn’t been any shortage of excitement. Just three triathlons into the season, I have won each race that I entered.  Being that I had just two overall triathlon wins in my career prior to 2015, I never expected anything even close to winning three in a row.  Granted, the first race was a very small indoor triathlon, but to win a REV3 race, and then three weeks top that with an overall win at the Columbia Triathlon – one of the longest running triathlons in the entire country – is just mind blowing.  And smack in the middle of these two races, Alice and I had our biggest celebration yet – the birth of our first son, Gavin Levi Burns, on May 3rd. With that, I’m not sure there is much else to write other than none of it would have been possible without my amazing support crew:  Alice, my parents, my sister Rebecca, Amino Vital, Xterra, and Jenny.   Besides, its much more fun to look at pictures of babies than read my rambling…                                        ...

Kona – Ironman World Championships (finally a post is up!)

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and since it has taken me so long to do this, I figured that it’d be better to get across 20,000 words with 20 pictures from the trip.  Besides, if I wait much longer, it’ll be time to get out the 2015 race wheels! Pre-Race…         Race Day!…       Now time for some post-race fun!…   A super big THANKS to Alice, my parents, and my sister for making the trip to Kona to watch and help me out. And of course, the successes of the 2014 season couldn’t have been possible without the support of my awesome sponsors this year, GU Energy, Amino Vital, and Xterra wetsuits, and guidance (plus some butt kicking) from Coach Jenny....

Luray Olympic – A hotel room more interesting than my race?

I had a feeling when I booked what was likely the last available room in all of Luray and the surrounding towns – the “Honeymoon Suite” at the Cardinal Inn – that Alice and I were in for quite an adventure– And we were not disappointed… Some of the highlights of our accommodations: Stale cigarette smoke smell infused room (when asked, the owner disagreed, saying it was a smell of “wood”   He didn’t comment about the giant ashtray that was sitting next to the no smoking sign on the porch) Fresh carpet.  Only problem was that they forgot to glue down the square pieces so they moved underfoot. “Tower” of first class appliances.  3 ½ legged table with refrigerator on top, with microwave on top of refrigerator, with vintage Norelco coffee maker on top of microwave.   The “tower” had a slight sway to it…I can’t believe the whole thing didn’t fall over. Luxury bath soaps (they were from Ramada — does that hotel chain even exist anymore?) Plush Towels.   I think this was the first time I’ve used a bath towel that actually scratched my skin. Squishy Padded Toilet Seat.  Need I say more? And last, but surely not least:  Elegant wall artwork:     Did I mention it was the “honeymoon suite”?! But since this is supposed to be a blog about my race, I figure that I should put in something in here about the triathlon.  One word really sums it up:  “blah”    Not a bad “blah” or a good “blah”   Just “blah.”  I swam a little better than last year and  ran a little better than...