Monday, May 20, 2013

Kansas 5i50

 Lightning and Rain mixed with a little more rain.  My first triathlon in over 9 months was not off to a good start with a lightning delay.  At 8 am, the race officials decided it was best to cancel the swim and change the race to a Time Trial bike/run only.  We would start in transition single file one after another with the bike leg.  As we took off, the rain was still coming down, and the roads were slick.  With everyone starting so close together, there was a fair share of drafting in the first five miles.  I couldn't help but pray that the rider in front of me wasn't taking a leak as the spray off his tires were splashing up on me.  I decided to stick with the disc wheel, but with slick roads and high cross winds, I ended up spending a lot of time in the drop bars and not tucked.  This said, I still averaged 21.5 mph for the 40K bike ride.  As the bike leg finished, the clouds disappeared.  
The run course was a 2 lap course that has a very long hill coming up from Clinton Lake.  This did not bode well for my time, and I couldn't figure out how I was running my 2nd and 4th mile slower than the one with the hill.  It was not until after the race that I found out the race was not 6.2 as promised but was just short of 6.4 miles.  This helped my 6:03 average to what should have been 5:51. This was great, as my right foot had been bleeding since mile 1 due to the shoes being wet already from the rain. 

When the race was over, I was very excited to have finished a race without achilles pain.  Last summer I spent my time trying to qualify for the US Championships as an Elite but couldn't quite make it.  However, today as an age grouper I managed a top 5 finish which gave me a qualification and free entry to the 2013 US 5i50 Championship.  I shouldn't have been surprised after dropping down that I would succeed, but doing so off of 35 days of training made me happy.  Now, I will get back to training and head back to Colorado in a week and decide if I want to make another run at qualifying as an Elite instead of an Age Grouper.  The future is unknown but is looking good now that I can finish pain free.  Time for solid training!   

  Even the best racing flat in the world is no match for wet feet and no socks.  #BrooksT7

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blank Page

It's time for a new chapter in the book that is my racing career.  Whether coaching or competing, I am a habitual PR (personal record) guy.  It seems only right to look at what you have done and compare yourself to the past.  I encourage my runners to always compare themselves to their past results and not to other runners.  Well, now I am going to expand upon that idea. 

A blank page is before me with the upcoming Kansas 5i50 Olympic Distance Triathlon.  My last triathlon ended with an ambulance ride because my will pushed me literally until my body gave in with a heat stroke.  After food poisoning and potentially the worst 26.2 miles I have ever raced in December, I have been battling an Achilles injury.  From early December until April 15th, I did not get in more than 15 runs total, due to the pain.  I now am on a mission to complete (that's right COMPLETE, not compete in) an Olympic distance triathlon with 35 days of training.  That is more than a five month sabbatical from racing and four months without continuous training.

There is no comparison when one is starting from scratch.  I am driven by a determination to use the gifts God has given me to write a new chapter.  Often we compare ourselves to our past, but the beauty of being a Christian is that I am not who I once was.  I am a new being, and while I will not forget my past or my PR's, I am moving forward and not looking back.  It's a blank page that needs written, and the first words on the page will be from this race.  So, for those of you with an upcoming race, don't be so hard on yourself.  The variables are always changing, and so are you.  Do your very best under the circumstances given, and have no regrets.  Leave it all out there in every race and every workout, and the future chapters will be more exciting than the previous ones. 

For a coaching update, I am very proud of all my runners who had a great season despite very rough weather.  Hunter Stayton qualified for Outdoor Nationals, so once again I'll be heading to Indiana.  It's a fun time, and we may check out the Indianapolis 500 Sunday before we fly back.  After Nationals I get to move home for a few months to Colorado, and I am in definite need of mountain time.  An exciting spring is under way, and a Colorado summer is just around the bend.  

Thanks for all the support!