Ironman Eagleman 70.3: A ticket to Kona! (please just don’t read the footnote)

Results: 1st AG- 4:08:44 (1.2m Swim (27:20), 56m Bike (2:16:28), 13.1m Run (1:22:04)) This past weekend I raced at Eagleman 70.3, a notoriously hot, flat, and fast ½ Ironman in Cambridge, Maryland.  It was a pretty big race for me in that I had been focusing much of my training on it since the end of last season.  And it was a big success:  I had a solid swim, PR’d on my bike split, won my age group, and qualified for the World Championships in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. I even managed to dismount from my bike without any resulting injuries!  Going into the race, I was most concerned about the run given I had pulled a massive stick out of my foot after swimming the swim course Saturday.  And while the run wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, it ended up looking pretty darn good on paper, at least… [1].  And now, having written the footnote (that I hope you did not read), I feel better.   It was really fantastic to have my parents, my sister, and Alice at the race.  Once again, they amaze me with all their unselfishness and support they give not just on race day, throughout all the training leading up to the race. I have lots of work coming up to prepare myself for Kona and a whole host of things I need to learn going into my first full distance Ironman – let alone the World Championships.  But I’ll take a few more days to relax, eat, sleep, eat some more and, enjoy some great memories.  Aloha!                        ...

Columbia International Triathlon: How (not) to do a Flying Dismount

Results: 3rd Overall –  40k Bike (1:04:18), 10k Run (35:56)) The Columbia Triathlon was my last “prep” race before Eagleman and I was excited to get out on the course and see how the past few weeks of training had worked out.  While I had a good bike at the Richmond Sprint a few weeks prior, Coach Jenny and I felt like there was plenty more that I could do so we decided to have me push things a little harder.  Unfortunately, the swim was canceled a few days before race start because of all the rain we had in the area and poor water quality, so the race started off with the bike leg(after a short run into transition to get your bike).  Nonetheless, a big shout-out to my new sponsor, XTERRA wetsuits for shipping me a new wetsuit the week before the race…I can’t wait to race in it!.   I was able to push relatively hard and had a solid bike leg – perhaps a little better than expected.  Since my bike power numbers were up quite a lot from racing just a few weeks prior, I was a bit nervous I had pushed too hard and didn’t leave anything left for the notoriously challenging 6.2 mile run.  As I came into T2 transition, I probably should have been less focused about my bike power numbers and more focused on the task at hand:  getting off the bike.  And here is the visual lesson: Pretend there is a picture here of me launching myself over my handlebars.  And then… Fortunately, my injuries weren’t so bad I...

It may be alone, but not necessarily lonely

As I was outside this weekend for my long Saturday ride, probably somewhere around the sixteen-thousandth pedal revolution, I said to myself, “self, this triathlon stuff can really be terribly lonely” at times: Weekday trainer rides staring at my Wahoo App’s smorgasbord display of numbers, early morning swims looking at the bottom of the pool wondering why the clump of hair always seems to gravitate to my lane, evening runs where all I can think about is dinner and bed and work the next day, and weight room sessions where I am surrounded by dudes lifting six times as much and wondering why that triathlon guy is doing another set of “old-lady” hip-flexor extensions. However, just as I was working through the feelings of how this triathlon stuff can be a really solitary undertaking, I had a sensation of gratitude come over me as I thought back six or seven years prior when life was dismal, alone, and a whole lot of lonely. Granted, triathlon training is a lot of time spent alone. But it is through the alone time that we really learn about ourselves: our greatest challenges and areas in which we excel. It also allows us to appreciate our support network of family, coaches, and friends to help us along the way, teaching us how to continually improve ourselves in our training, in dealing with situations at work, and in our relationships. For me, training alone is a chance to center myself, work through the “demons,” and come out more resilient, fitter, and happier. I think it really comes down to a matter of perspective and...

Richmond Sprint Triathlon

Results: 1st Overall – 54:24 (400m Swim (5:16), 20k Bike (30:11), 5k Run (17:06)) The Richmond Sprint Tri was my first triathlon of the 2014 season and I had been looking forward to it for quite some time. I felt like my winter and spring training had gone well and that with a few good running race results the past several months, I was ready to get out and test out the swim and bike fitness and pull it all together. Pre-Race: Route 95 traffic – no matter what time you leave on Friday, there is always traffic. Also, I had some odd soreness – almost bruised feeling – in both of my quads. Coach Jenny and I decided it was just the result of an easier few days of training and my body a little in shock from cutting back some. Race Morning: Earrrrlllly! It’s ironic that the shorter the race, the longer I need before the race to get ready. A 7 am gun time, meant that the alarm went off at 3:45. Thankfully for me, CJ and Alice are real troupers – I never have to wonder if they will be awake and ready to help as needed: Swim: Ran over a few guys in front of me who didn’t quite understand the idea of correctly entering their predicted pace time. I really try to be considerate in mass/open water swims, but I don’t really have too much sympathy to guys who seed themselves 10 seconds faster than a pace they can actually hold. Thanks to the small miracle of overnight shipping, I got to use...

GW Parkway Classic

10-Miler Results:  12th / 5,164  – 57:08 This race was on Alice and my 1 year wedding Anniversary!  It was a great race.  But, afterward, it was time to celebrate our anniversary (i.e. no race...

Fort Hunt 10k

10k Results: 1st Overall – 34:46 Being that I had almost bonked during a 4-hour “recovery” ride the day before, I wasn’t quite sure how my body would feel and perform at my first 10k this season and second race of the year. But first, my lesson from the Saturday ride: If you’ve got a long ride that caps off two tough weeks of training, taking in just one GU packet for 75 miles will probably result in a BONK! As for the 10k: With daylight savings on Sunday morning, it was an early start to the day (and one less hour of sleep). And it was a dark start too! As Alice and I were driving south on the GW parkway to the course, I commented something like, “Whoa, it sure is DARK out here.” Just as as those words came out of my mouth, we both realized that some headlamps would have come in handy for pre-race warm-ups and for Alice’s long Sunday run (she’s gotten pretty impressive with her ability to wake up early, drive to the races with me, get in a long run before I cross the finish line, and even manage to snap some decent pictures!). Fortunately, the sun came up rather quickly, burned off the morning clouds, and brought in some nice sunshine by the start of the race. It was a low-key, but very well run event put on by DC road runners with around 80 toeing the start line. TRBRunFortHunt10k I had felt pretty good in my warm-ups (which is rare) and actually took my first mile out a little...