Sunday, June 26, 2011

Loveland Lake 2 Lake

June 25th was not only my birthday but also the Loveland Lake 2 Lake Triathlon. This year marks my 4th year in a row of doing triathlons, and the Loveland Lake 2 Lake was the first triathlon I ever did. I have been able to drop my time each year and had my highest placing finish this weekend. With this 2nd place finish I was able to qualify for USA Triathlon Nationals. There were 30 men in the 25-29 age group, and I pulled off a 2nd place finish. Since I turned 25 today, I was the youngest guy in my age division, so the future looks promising. My final time was 2:29.04 which was over four minutes faster than last year’s time and a new personal record for me on this course. Although my swim, bike, and run were all faster than last year, the biggest improvements came in the bike and the run. As the race went on I was able to continue pushing myself because I have grown stronger in the swim and bike. This keeps me more relaxed and able to put down a good run time. Going into the race today I was a little nervous after such a terrible race in Kansas, but I knew the training was there. I focused on the belief in my training and in the Lord. One of the Bible verses that is written on my aero bars is Isaiah 40:31: "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Those words were in my head throughout the race and will continue to be so in future races.

Having the best wetsuit from TYR, a bike that works great thanks to Ryan Stedeford and Kompetitive Edge, with some great shoes from Brooks, I was set. With the best parents and fellow Kompetitive Edge supporters there to cheer me on, it was a fantastic day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kansas Half Ironman

Goodbye, so long, and farewell Kansas Half Ironman. In three years, my best race there was when I was at the worst level of fitness of my triathlon career. Between the wind, the hills, and the heat of Kansas, I must not be suited to race a competitive triathlon in this state. This tells me that I was not meant to race here; so, I do not plan to return.

As for today’s race, as you may already know, it did not go according to plan. The water was beautiful and calm at 6:30 a.m. for the pro start; however, at 7:15 a.m., it was very rough with winds and boat traffic making the calm lake have nice big waves that managed to rip the straps of my goggles off my head. Luckily, they are the TYR Nest Pro’s, so they stuck to my eyes while I readjusted. After checking my watch, I was very disappointed with my swim and took to the very windy bike course. Weighing 160 lbs and riding with a disc rear wheel, I had the pleasure of being whipped all over the roads. My favorite quote from the bike today was from two men, “What direction is the wind actually coming from?” “All of them!”

When I finally got to the run I was excited to be able to focus on my strength and make up some time. I ran a smart race as I slowly picked up the pace and picked off competitors. My feet didn’t start rubbing and bleeding until mile 9. By the time I finished, I was cramping so bad that I collapsed across the finish line where Chrissie Wellington saw me, and the medics carried me to the medical tent. While they stuck me with 2 IV’s (one in each arm), Chrissie checked on me and was kind enough to sign both of my shoes as she reminded me how amazing Brooks shoes really are. So, how do I feel about the race? Yeah, I am bummed to not have done better, but I did the best I could under the circumstances and am looking forward to Olympic Distance races in Colorado!

Thanks to Megan Rosa who I coached at Baker for coming out and working the race while cheering me on!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Never Quit

In Psalms, I recently stumbled onto a different translation of a verse that hit home in a new way. I had always heard in Psalms 136 that “His love endures forever.” However, in another translation it states that “His love never quits.” I sat there thinking about what I had just read. As a runner, I have had countless people tell me to not quit, to fight, to refuse to give in. While coaching, I gave the speech many times about never quitting and fighting for every second until you cross that line. I picture myself coming down the homestretch, gritting my teeth, fighting, and not quitting. Reading this translation of a Bible verse made me think about God and how he isn’t going to quit on me. Knowing His love endures forever makes me feel secure. Hearing that his love never quits makes me feel strong.

Each day I spend in Colorado I feel a little bit stronger,stronger from great workouts, stronger because I am with my friends, and even stronger because each morning I wake up and run. I have ran in many states but there is a feeling as I finish a run and look up at Pikes Peak, my Ebenezer. A reminder of all that he has done for me. As I jog down the hill just to sprint right back up I look at Pikes Peak and I am reminded that He never quits, His love endures forever, and whatever happens in Kansas I am ok with because I am not going to quit. Doing the best I can using the gifts God has given me is all I can do. So when you are in your next workout, race,or flat rotten day, remember this; “His love never quits”!

The view from the Incline on Pikes Peak