Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Rock N Roll Marathon

There was no rocking or rolling for me in the 2012 Las Vegas Rock N’ Roll Marathon.  What was supposed to be my first competitive marathon turned into a painful night in Vegas.  As the horn blew, I remembered to stay calm and relaxed.  The game plan was to draft the first mile into the 30 mph winds and then open up when we received the tail wind.  I was a little nervous as the start approached but was able to have a quick chat with Steve DeKoker (2nd), and his relaxed demeanor reminded me it was just another race.  Everything was feeling great and looking to be a great race all the way to 10 miles.  It was then that my stomach started to feel upset.  I had a great vomit at mile 11 and thought I would regroup; this, however, was not the case.  I began gagging and feeling like I had the flu from then on.  My attempt at slowing the pace and drinking water bought me time but brought me no closer to feeling better or to the finish line.  By mile 15 I had slowed to nearly a walk and by mile 20, I was walking.  When I arrived at the aid station around mile 20, I sat down on the curb.  They watched me wretch and gag but there was nothing left to vomit.  Medics and a couple volunteers encouraged me to turn in the towel, saying that I would have other days and a runner like myself would gain nothing but injury by finishing.  It was then that I explained to them that my friend Mick had died just one week earlier, and I had promised to run for him.  Then and there, I knew that Mick wouldn’t care about my time, but that I did my best, and he and I both knew I could finish.  So I laid down on the ground in the fetal position for 30 minutes hoping my stomach would settle, that the almost fever would break and I could hop up and cruise in.  This was also not the case, and after 30 minutes, I decided to just walk.  I walked miles 17-24.  I have never been more humbled, as runner after runner passed.  I prayed and trusted that my promise would get me through.  At mile 24 my stomach had settled enough that I believed I could jog.  I managed a 19 minute time for the last two miles and finished.  Those miles taught me so much about faith, about strength, and about promises.  My faith kept me from bursting into tears, and reminded me that despite the sympathy claps, I was not alone.  It was my strength that kept my legs moving.  I may not be able to bench press 300lbs, but my legs have gotten me through an ironman, a marathon, and countless other races.  The promise to race for Mick was the final ingredient that got me to the finish line.  A promise is a reflection on myself, and I refused to break this promise.   

When it was all said and done, I barely broke 4 hours with my last 13.1 at over 2 hours and 30 minutes.  From the amazing expo to the finish line it was a well run, well organized race.  I am blessed to have had the opportunity to race and to be part of the Brooks family.  The Rock N Roll is a fun series, and I encourage you to give one a shot.  Not the day I had planned, but I would not be denied.  The future is bright for anyone who refuses to give up.  When life does not go according to plan, we must stick to our faith, our strength and with our friends and family or the promises that we have made to them.  2013 is wide open for me.  Thank you so much to all those who tracked my race, who prayed knowing something was terribly wrong and for all those who have found encouragement in my running and my desire to live life to the fullest. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Remembering Mick

Remembering Mick, a friend and great supporter of mine!
One week remains until the Las Vegas Marathon that I will be running "for Mick." Over the past few months, I have tried to prepare myself as I would for any other race, but to race the marathon is truly a new experience for me.  I have coached several athletes to great success in this 26.2 mile event, but never myself.  What I have learned from my athletes is that the marathon is as much "mental" as it is physical. It is a very long race if one does not have one's head on straight.
Most do not know the obstacles that I have been dealing with while trying to prepare myself for this race.  My last true test in a race was the Boulder Half Ironman which ended in the Boulder Community Hospital.  Training for this race, doing 99% of my runs by myself, has also made it difficult to feel confident, especially since I have been battling a cold for the past 3 weeks that has trashed any kind of consistency in my training.  Emotionally, I have been "off keel" as my grandmother is in her final round in her fight against cancer.  The cancer has spread, and she is on the downhill slope.  With all of this going on, I have been lacking the confidence needed to attack such a race as the one that lies ahead of me. 
Then, earlier tonight, I was informed that Mick “TreeKiller” Rule passed away.  At the age of 54 he was an older friend, but one of my longest and greatest supporters.  I can look at my history on Facebook or old messages and find countless instances of him wishing me the best or congratulating me on a race.  Mick and I first met when I was asked to join a bunch of kids from Kiowa, CO, to race a 200 mile relay across Colorado.  After great success, we then raced in the Green Mountain Relay where we won the 200 mile race by many hours.  Mick was a driver, a runner, a coach, but most of all he was the ENERGY.  Over twice our age and he was rolling, couldn’t wait to get out of the van and race and didn’t sleep if someone was running, because he wanted to support them.  Mick is a husband and a father who will be missed by his family, but most importantly to me is the fact that he has been one of the greatest influences I have ever had.  
All that has happened and is happening this fall is a reminder that God is in control.  All the preparation and planning mean nothing without taking into account God's will.  I may not understand what happens or like it, but I trust that Mick is in a better place, and that God is working in the lives of his family and in my life as well.  Mick has touched many lives, and this coming weekend I make no promises about my projected time or place in the marathon, only that I will be racing for Mick!  I know he would have wished me luck and congratulated me regardless of my finish.  Mick, you will be missed.
Mick Rule: May 29, 1958 – November 25, 2012. 
Isaiah 40:28-31

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall Update

The past few months with cross country season in full swing, I have not had a chance to post on this site. I have been neck deep with writing workouts for my athletes, planning race strategies, and, of course, recruiting like crazy. In addition to my duties as a coach, I also have kept busy selling shoes at Salina Running Company and have been doing my best to train as hard as I can. There have been no race reports because I have only raced in one local 5K since my DNF in Boulder. The local 5K was an easy win, at least.

My next race will be the Brooks Las Vegas Rock N' Roll Marathon on December 2nd. My progression of long runs to prepare for it have been getting longer, as well as faster. In addition to my long runs, I have been getting in some solid intervals. Today on the new trail in Salina, I ran 4x2mile. (11:21, 10:51, 10:52, 10:42)

Training for a marathon is very different from the triathlon training my body had become accustomed to. It is by far a lot easier to just go plug miles, but spending the amount of time in one session to do these longer runs is stressful. I definitely prefer the more intense workouts and the diversity of triathlon training compared with the long boring runs, especially those over 15 miles.

On the brighter side of things, this past weekend I was able to travel to Colorado to attend the State XC meet and to see friends and family. The drive can be boring, but luckily with my friend Monica and two athletes who I dropped off to visit family, the time passed rather quickly. While in Colorado, I was not able to fit in great long runs, but instead ran several trails with Monica and had a blast just enjoying running without worrying about time or distance.

This Saturday is the KCAC XC Championship meet. Going into this big race, I have been pushing my athletes to trust me, trust in their training, and trust in the Lord. I have also been pushing them to give me "heart,"  to race with all they have and to give me HEART. While thinking about this, Proverbs 3:5-7 came to mind. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. I wish the best of luck to everyone racing either at their conference meets or at their regional meets!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kansas Wesleyan University XC Camp

This past week I drove to Simla, CO, with my men's and women's cross country team for our XC camp. Running at elevation for four days isn’t going to make anyone into an aerobic machine, and that was not my goal. My goal was to take my runners to Colorado and let them know they are family. I would not bring someone I didn’t care about into my home, and I hope they can see that I trust them. With this awareness of my trust in them, I know my runners will be more likely to trust and believe in me which will make it easier to push them and help them reach their limits.
On day one, we drove from Salina to Simla stopping in Limon to check out the Bailey Track. That evening my family grilled a great dinner for the team, and we were early to bed. The following day we left "dark" and early to drive to the base of Pikes Peak. The hike up the mountain was very successful. We stopped many times as we hiked to play games and work on building team chemistry. This journey up the mountain showed each one of my runners just how strong they were physically, but more importantly emotionally. There will be many challenges they face this fall, but after a day climbing the mountain, they know they can overcome the challenges. After we made it back down the mountain, we drove through Garden of the Gods and enjoyed some beautiful views. We capped off the day with some delicious Cold Stone ice cream. On the third day, besides fitting in a few runs, I also allowed them to ride horses and had a great evening of team building and a talent show.
Looking back, it was a bit stressful for me as a coach to put on such a camp, but it was totally worth it, and I hope to make it happen again next year. My team is not just a bunch of runners, but as you can see the engraving on the rock in many pictures, we are a family. If someone wants to go to a bigger school and just be a number, I wish them the best, but for those who are looking for a family to grow in and reach their running, academic, and spiritual goals, I would encourage those runners to consider Kansas Wesleyan University.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Boulder Half Ironman DNF

Today is a day I will never forget. This day marked my first race in all my running career which I did not finish. This may seem very uncharacteristic of me, but in my defense I did survive over 30 miles of riding my bike with a dislocated shoulder and ran 8.5 miles on a 13.1 mile course before throwing in the towel and passing out from a heat stroke.
Rewind to the beginning. The Boulder Half Ironman began with high hopes and marked my last triathlon of the 2012 season. After spending the summer training at altitude, putting in many races, and even getting a new bike this year along with going to Swim Labs in Denver to break down my swim stroke, everything appeared to be in line for a low 4:20's race.

By random selection, my age group swim wave went off 1 entire hour after the first wave which made it certain that I would be competing in the 100+ degree weather. In spite of swimming over the top of hundreds of people, I managed a new 1.2 mile swim PR of 34:40.
Out of the water and onto the bike- I was flying. Everything was going great, my nutrition plan was right on schedule between the water, energy drinks, and energy gels; the day was setting up perfect. Just before mile 25 on the bike as I passed an aid station, I pulled wide left to avoid the chaos. Unfortunately a woman who I believe had come to a stop to get a water bottle took off on her bike, and while fiddling with her water bottle, her front tire "T-Boned" my front wheel just behind the front fork. At her speed, she did not go down; however, I went flying over the handle bars. My shoulder, neck, and head broke my fall, and there was only minor damage to the bike. I quickly got up and in spite of my anger, I grabbed my bike and stood it up. A volunteer ran over to check on me and held up my bike while I put the chain back on. After the chain was on, she asked if she could help. I said, "Yes, take that water bottle and spray the dirt and blood off my shoulder." After that I was back on my way to finish the bike with my right arm losing feeling and having numbness, but I believed I had just severely bruised it.  I finished the 56 miles in 2:29.19, a new PR even with the stoppage for the wreck.

To the run! Knowing I was in pain and that I had spent a lot more energy than planned to finish the bike which put me in nutrition and hydration debt, I took water at every aid station until mile 6. At that point, I became very dizzy and stopped to walk for 100m while trying the triathlon cure of Coke, Gatorade, and water. As I continued, I became more and more dizzy as I dropped to nearly a 7 min mile pace as I threw up multiple times. At the top of the hill past mile 8, I swerved, and it was clear I was about to pass out. I sat down, and luckily a runner ran ahead and sent back an EMT on a Gator. He brought water and fought with me for a few minutes as I wanted to continue the race. He made me realize I was about to pass out and got me into his cart. After a few minutes of driving, I passed out in his cart and was awakened by people carrying me into the medical tent.

In the tent they managed to figure out that my shoulder was out of the socket, so put it back in place. Unfortunately, I was not passed out at the time they put it into place. I was so dehydrated that it took several attempts to get an IV in. Before my afternoon was over, I had received 3000 ml of fluids. After fighting to keep me conscious, the workers in the aid tent made the decision to load me into the ambulance and haul me to Boulder Community Hospital. There, they continued with fluids, ran x-rays, and even did an EKG on my heart. It took my mom and brother a long time to arrive at the hospital because they didn't know where I was or what had happened until I had made it to the hospital. Finally, I was released and am doing very well recovering here at the Bailey Ranch.

I am bothered by the fact that I did not finish the race, but I don't know many people who can stand enough pain to ride 30+ miles and run over 8 miles with a dislocated shoulder. Also, the fact that I ended up passing out shows I pushed myself literally to the limits and still managed 2 personal bests. I really appreciate the texts, calls, emails, comments, and most of all the prayers. I literally said over 200 prayers and was reciting Bible verses from the wreck till I was released from the hospital. The Lord is my strength, and although my finish may not have been as glorifying as I had imagined, I spent some quality time with Him and am blessed to have Him looking out for me.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Boulder 5i50 2012

The Boulder 5i50 is the second race in the series in Boulder and also the second race that I have competed in this summer in the 5i50 series. As always I traveled up the night before to check in and spend the night at my coach's house. After arriving, it began pouring rain and continued most of the night and morning. Being in the Elite wave that starts first, I knew the bike course would be very slick on the mountain turns. As I put on my wet suit, Dave Scott (6 time Ironman World Champion) sat down beside me, and we had a great conversation as he was there to watch his son race. After the talk, I was excited and ready to start the race.

The elite wave in the swim started fast as I expected it would, leaving me in the back as I am not known as a swimmer. Although I found my way to the back of the pack of swimmers, I still managed a personal best time for 1500m in the swim. Coming out of the water I was excited to see my split despite being behind the top athletes. Onto the bike where the course had plenty of puddles and slick spots as well as parts in the mountains where dirt had washed across the road. With these conditions I understood my time might not be as fast as I would like, but I would push all the same. Luckily for me the toughest hill ever put in a triathlon is on Old Stage Road; this is right where my coach Jim Hallberg had positioned himself to encourage me and tell me to get after it. I couldn't help but smile seeing him there because as a coach it is exactly where I would have been for my athletes. Coming to the end of the bike I was under pace for a new best time on the course when I heard that sound of rim on pavement. A FLAT TIRE with 2 miles to go! The decision had to be made quickly, and I decided to ride the rim for the rest rather than blowing the time to fix it. This would prove costly. I made the first turn with no problem right at 20mph as I had slowed since I was riding on the rim. With 200m to go and the last turn right in front of several hundred people, I made the turn too fast, and the bike went out from underneath me. I felt my body slide and my shoulder, hip, and knee did a great job of taking the brunt of the force. My skin also did its job in slowing the slide by applying itself to the highway. I could hear the yells and gasps as I fell and got up. I quickly grabbed my bike and took off running the remaining 200m. I could hear the loud cheers of support as the spectators could see the blood running off of my shoulder and other places. I once again had a quick decision to make and decided to give it hell on the run as I had good adrenaline. The adrenaline lasted about 1.5 miles, and the following 4.5 miles were excruciating. My left hip and knee could only land, and the majority of the push off had to come from the right side of my body. As I ran, I knew I wanted to finish because I have wrecked before and finished an Ironman bleeding; this should be no problem. However, at the finish line my body was aching. I was then helped to the med tent where they cleaned the rocks and dirt out of my cuts. The medics did a great job of bandaging me up and encouraged me to get x-rays to check out my hip and shoulder.

I am very pleased to have a new PR in the swim, to have been able to nearly match my time on the bike despite the terrible luck, and very happy that pain could not stop me from finishing. I may have said the verse Isaiah 40: 28-31 about 25 times on the run to tell myself I would be okay. I really appreciate my parents being there, even though I nearly caused a heart attack for my mom as she was right there to watch me crash. I also want to thank Beth and Carson, two friends who both gave me high fives on the run that helped me push through the pain. Without the support of family, friends, and my Savior, I would have stayed on the road and waited for the paramedics to pick me up. God Bless

2:20.46 Missed my course record by only 22 seconds.
Swim 27:27, T 2:03, Bike 1:12.09, T:57, Run 38:10
Out of the water with a new PR.
The pain is in my face with every step.
The medics cleaning me up.
Never look at an injury till the race is over.
Post race chat with Ironman GREAT Julie Dibens.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Colorado Springs Will Rebuild

Today I took off on my favorite bike route on Flying W Ranch Rd. and Garden of the Gods. It has been over a week since most of you heard about the blaze that destroyed over 346 homes and took the life of two residents in that part of Colorado Springs. Even though fires are commonplace in Colorado, never has one blown into a city like the Waldo Canyon Fire did last Tuesday. I think back to that evening, sitting up by Pulpit Rock with two close friends, watching it jump from house to house. As we sat there, we prayed together that no one would be injured and that the firefighters would be able to stop it. Not since the 1990 Limon, CO tornado have I had such a front seat to watch such devastating destruction.

My ride was supposed to be an easy 25 mile shake out after a 6 mile run, but it quickly changed as I rode by house after house that had been burned and destroyed. What I couldn't get over that fateful night nor today is the true power that only God possesses. Even with hundreds of firefighters and fire hydrants, they still were at the mercy of the fire. Only God can truly stop such a fire. My bike ride was a reminder of His awesome power; I was overcome with different emotions as I cycled through the area. The majority of the damaged homes will be rebuilt. As sad as it was to see families digging through the rubble, I was excited to see people alive and well. This city is truly a great home and I am proud to be from here as it has reached out and taken in those lost. What truly took me back today was a person whose home was half destroyed by fire but still standing. They were painting on a piece of their fence a thank you note to the firefighters. Firefighters ripped down fences and pulled down wood decks to try to save houses and to stop the spread of fire. I am proud of this city for its support of the firefighters and the trust in God to rebuild and keep the people safe. Thank you to all the firefighters, national guard, and police who did such an amazing job in protecting this city and keeping the people safe.

I race Sunday morning at the Boulder 5i50 Triathlon.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Loveland L2L

The 2012 Loveland L2L triathlon did not go according to plan, to say the least. Due to the High Park Fire, the bike course had to be shortened to 24 miles. The run course also was changed from a 10K into a 5.1 mile run. Since those two events have been my biggest strengths, I was a little concerned about how my times would be affected.

On a clear and sunny morning at 6:30 a.m., the gun went off, and the race was on. There was a 1500 m swim; and I completed it. That is all I have to say about that. On to the bike! I began hammering it, knowing that the swim was nothing to brag about. Despite a strong smoke aroma and a new course, I had one of the best time trial bike rides of my life. Coming off the bike portion of the race, I had made up a lot of time and passed tons of people. Coming into transition 2, I stumbled on a wet suit and nearly fell down, cutting open my shin a bit on my pedal. In spite of this, I still managed a :28 second transition. The run was on, and it was very important to push from the get go as it was getting hot and I had 1.1 miles less to make up time. I ended up running a 5:49 average which was not what I had planned but good enough under the race conditions. This Loveland L2L was my first and will always be my favorite triathlon! Peggy puts on a 1st class event, and I would recommend it to anyone.

When all was said and done, I finished the race as the 4th professional triathlete which was good enough for $100. I will take this as a good start to my birthday weekend and a step closer to what I hope is a great Boulder Peak Triathlon in a few weeks. I want to thank my parents for coming to this race for 5!!! straight years! I am truly blessed to have such great parents. As always, I pray this race, my efforts in preparing, and my racing are ones which God finds pleasing, as all I do, I do to glorify Him. 1Corinthians 10:31

Swim(1500m) 29:11, T 1:06, Bike(24miles) 58:21, T :28 Run(5.1miles) 29:44 = 1:58.50

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Boulder Sprint Triathlon

Today marked my 2nd attempt at the Boulder Sprint Triathlon. I raced the same race in 2009 and finished with a time of 1:21.03 and bettered that time by almost 5 minutes with a 1:16.16. I am very excited because I have been focusing a lot of energy on bettering my swim and bike. The swim was over 2 minutes faster and the bike 3 minutes faster. My run also improved, but what hurt me today was my first transition where I had a small helmet problem, costing me nearly a minute. Another cause for excitement was being able to race and catch a young man who had beat me by over 6 minutes in my terrible race at the KC5i50, and today sprinting to the finish I beat him. This reassures me that I am in good shape and with another week or so to acclimate to the elevation in Colorado, I am only going to get stronger. I am so blessed to have Jim Hallberg as a coach and host who has put me up and put up with me as I train. This I hope is the start of a great season during this summer in Colorado. I will be racing next weekend on June 23rd at the Loveland L2L which happens to be my favorite race.

Overall1:16.16. Swim13:19, T2:03, Bike 41:57, T:47, Run18:10. 23rd place.

Happy Fathers Day, and thank you to my “enabling” / “loving” parents who support this habit of mine. Don Bailey, you are an amazing father and an inspiration to me. Good Luck to everyone with their racing and training, and God Bless.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cracked Rib = Bad Day

On Saturday afternoon, I made the trip from Salina to Kansas City. I tried to stick with the normal routine, dinner at Noodles and Company (thanks Ashley for the company), hydration, and 8+ hours of sleep. What I didn't expect came Sunday morning!

I had been getting through workouts relatively pain free in spite of my cracked rib, but when I put on the wet suit for the triathlon, the added pressure to my chest made it very painful throughout the swim. To make matters even more interesting during the swim, a fellow competitor went off course causing me to add a few hundred extra meters of swimming. By the time I was out of the water, I had recorded my slowest 1500m swim in several years. With that portion completed, I was ready to try and salvage what I could of the race by hammering the bike and run legs. The morning had started off clear and calm, but the calm was quickly replaced by 15mph winds that made my bike leg decent; however, it did not give me the kind of time I needed to make up time lost in the water. Finally to the run, my favorite part of the race. I was able to run a decent first two miles but managed to get a giant blister on my right foot that bled through my shoe. I finished the race and thanked God that I had not gotten a flat tire. Then, I went to find friends to catch up with. Final splits: Swim:29:42, Tran: 1:51, Bike1:06.32, Tran: :50 Run 38:34, Final 2:17.26

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Through the eyes of a child.

Just last night at the coaches' BBQ for Kansas Wesleyan, I was admiring the children who were playing. Their energy and imagination is truly a gift that I forget to enjoy myself. Today I was reminded of this fact when I went to the pool to clear my head of stress and anger. I was having a rough day and decided that a pool workout would be a good idea. I went there to be alone, because it gives me time to think. However, God did not want me to be alone and made sure that I would not be alone.
As I started my workout, I noticed a friend of mine was at the pool with his granddaughter. He came over to say hello, but he could see I was upset and wanted to be left alone to train. His granddaughter climbed up on the ropes to my lane, and in between sets,she introduced herself. After finishing my next set, she was still there, waiting for me to come up for air to tell me more about herself and to ask questions. Initially I was a little annoyed as I wanted to be alone, and Dan tried to pull her away. However, she was making a friend and was not to be stopped. Lola told me about her grandparents, how fast she could run, and that I had more hair than her father. As I swam, a verse came to mind, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 14:19 I changed my workout and made longer breaks to allow myself to become friends with Lola. When it came time to leave the pool, I was no longer bearing the burden that I had when I arrived. I could not thank the workout for this, but instead a young lady who put a smile on my face. I once said, “The day I get too old for fun… dig my grave.” Well, I am not too old for fun, and I am going to make sure I don’t forget that. Sad or challenging news can get the best of anyone, but a conversation with a six year old showed me that God is always working in my life.

I hope that I can look at life more like a child, always wanting to learn, to grow, to understand, and make friends. I am so blessed to have a God who loves me and will do whatever it takes to get through to me.

You may ask how this really pertains to training, and my answer is that the next time there is a distraction in your workout, don’t necessarily look at it as a hindrance but instead an opportunity. I have no proof this will make you faster, but I do promise it will make you happier. Good luck to everyone racing the Kansas 5i50 this weekend!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cracked Rib

One week away from kicking off the 2012 triathlon season, and my confidence is a bit shaken. What was originally thought to be a bruised rib turned out to be a cracked rib. Joking around with friends ended up with me getting tackled, and now I have spent the last nine days teaching my body better posture on runs and on the bike to relieve any pressure. The most painful thing is not training though, it's when I sneeze. Needless to say, I am learning to deal with a constant pain on deep breaths that may come in handy when finishing a triathlon. My kick off triathlon will be the Kansas City 5i50 Olympic distance triathlon. Hopefully with prayer and a little rest, I will be ready to rock it. This is the time of year I look forward to, as I will be returning to Colorado to train and race. Following this next race, I will have a week in Indiana at the NAIA National Track and Field Championships followed by a move to Colorado for two months.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

USA Duathlon National Championship

A successful trip to the USA Duathlon National Championships in Tucson, AZ, came to a close this morning after posting a new personal best: finishing 6th place in the men’s 25-29, and 27th overall. Breaking the top 30 was one of my goals I had set for myself going into this race.

The race went out a lot faster than last year which was fine by me, but even I was shocked at how fast we went out. As the race started, I was more prepared than last year but definitely lacking on hill training, especially on the run as I have been living in Salina, KS, where conditions are a bit flatter. My race splits were R16:54, T:47, B55:50, T:44, R18:56, Total=1:33.09. This was nearly five minutes faster than last year which was almost completely due to the bike split. To thank for my bike split, I have my amazing new Specialized Shiv bicycle and training. I was extremely excited to see an improved split, as I have cut back on the run training and maintained where I was, while “Attacking My Weaknesses” in the bike. Despite the lack of hill training in the serious heat, my nutritional needs were met by the great products of Honey Stinger as well as my TYR Carbon Kit that helped me beat the heat. The hills were a little easier wearing the fast Brooks T7 racers which have always been my favorite racing flats.

The day before the race I was not so sure how things would go on the bike when I was relaxing in the hotel and a loud shot went off in the room. The tube in my front tire blew from the pressure, causing me to have to change it, but that is much better than during the race. All in all, I am very excited and looking forward to making my 2012 triathlon debut at the KC 5i50 race and seeing if my swim and bike continue to improve as I attack my weaknesses and become a better all-around triathlete.

I want to say thank you to my amazing parents who drove me down there, my coach Jim Hallberg, and my many friends sending their prayers.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2 Weeks

Less than 2 weeks until my first test of 2012. The USA Duathlon National Championships will be held April 28th in Tuscon, Arizona. Yesterday was my last hard long run before the race, and I knew it would be an interesting one with tornado sirens keeping me up most of the night and 35mph winds still roaring as I took off for 11 miles. The 11 finished with a strong head wind but still under 6:20 pace, and I am feeling very confident. Tomorrow morning I will take to the roads for a 2 hour morning ride as I ease into my taper. Looking forward, I am really excited to race and feeling confident in my training. The only element I am concerned about at this point is dealing with the heat of Arizona on the black asphalt. I have equipped myself with the fastest bike on the market, the most comfortable racing flats, and of course a new pair of Oakleys. My training, gear, and faith are as strong as they have ever been, and I am counting the minutes until I leave for Arizona. The past few months I have stuck with my motto and attacked bike and run workouts, as well as spending more time reading my Bible, and looking into fueling myself for races more adequately with the help of my newest sponsor Honey Stinger. I pray that everything comes together for a fantastic race, but the journey to where I am currently is where the memories and the smiles come from regardless of the outcome on the 28th. I appreciate everyone's support, and I will do all I can to represent my friends, family, and sponsors with pride. Good Luck to everyone else racing this spring.

PS, Go out and buy the latest USA TRIATHLON Magazine and on page 30 there is a nice picture of me racing.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Training for Battle

Unlike triathlons, there is a battle that does not have a set date or time. There is no event expo or even a sense of fair play among your competitors. This battle is a battle of faith. My competitor is the devil. He will fight by any and all means, using my mind, friends, even the Bible to fight against me. To succeed in triathlons, I have been putting in many hours of training, and to fight the battle for my soul, I must also spend hours training. I labeled my 2012 triathlon schedule “Attacking my Weaknesses;” this has now become my motto for my faith as well.

To better combat my weaknesses in my faith I must gain knowledge. Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This means more than just reading the Bible; it is understanding and implementing strong morals in my everyday life. When comparing my training for triathlons and my faith, they both involve time, energy, and perseverance. The journey to becoming stronger, to being prepared for battle is not easy. With triathlons I can put off races until I am ready; however, my enemy in faith does not wait for me to be ready. I can go into hibernation and avoid all, trying to make it easier to be strong by eliminating chances for failure, but that does not allow me to truly live the life I was called to live. That is not getting stronger, but instead is hiding, not hibernation. God does not call on us to sit back and live a safe life, but instead he calls on me to live a life full of passion and strength for my Savior. So I ask, “Are you living in fear because you are afraid you might fail?” Go and fight, because evil does not wait. Attack your weaknesses, and use this life that is given because it is flying by. Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Live by these words and you are off to a strong start in the battle between good and evil.

Ice Cream is a must for training.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Attacking my Weaknesses in 2012

USA Duathlon National Championships, Tuscon, Arizona
April 28th 2012

Kansas City Triathlon (5i50 Series)
May 20th 2012

Boulder Sprint Triathlon
June 17th 2012

Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon
June 23rd 2012

Boulder Peak (5i50 Series)
July 8th 2012

Ironman 70.3 Boulder
August 5th 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

3K at KU

2012 started off with a post-collegiate personal best in the 3K. Stepping on the new 200m track at KU was exciting for two reasons: first, it is a new surface, and second, I have not set foot on any track in several months. Having had no opportunity for any speed work was a slight worry going into the race, but I knew worrying about it wouldn’t change anything. Before the gun went off, I looked around and realized I was the only non-University of Kansas runner in the fast heat. My plan quickly changed to HOLD ON. The race went off as fast as I thought it would, as I came through the mile at 4:40 and was far from first. Although I did not win, I am excited to see such a result when my running is only getting one third of my training time. After being out of college for two and a half years, there is no doubt that each race could easily be a personal best or a lifetime worst. Hard work and prayer are all I have! With those two tools, I am ready for the triathlon racing season to begin.