After a year of minimal training and subpar results in 2018, I feel like I'm back and motivated. I love the sport of Triathlon and being in this headspace and state of fitness makes me happy. I haven't posted a blog in almost a year and that's probably because I sucked at triathlon last year and didn't really have much to say about it. I didn't have much business lining up as a pro in the sport in 2018.
So on to what's been happening in life and sports.
I'm currently a stay at home dad to my 1.5 year old daughter and 8 year old son. It's my dream job. Public schools are great and they take care of my son for most of the day, but I'm pretty much responsible for the kids from sun up to when my wife Beth is home around 4 - 6pm. She's currently back in school working her ass off to get her principal/sped director certification and is also working full time. She's a busy mamma, and she's got more on her plate than I can imagine. I feel we make a pretty good team though. Having a young family has so many ups and downs, but life is great. Really great. BTW, she takes over most of the kid duties every weekend. I've got it too easy sometimes.
I can't tell you how much of a gift it is to spend so much time with my little girl. She's the sweetest and happiest child in the world. We got lucky with this one. Seriously. Look at this.
I have committed once again to 4am wakeup calls to get my hard workouts done in the morning. It's something I did when I last worked full time in 2017. I am able to get in 1.5 to 2 hours of intensity on the bike and/or treadmill every morning of the week. This includes waking at 4 on Saturday's and Sunday's. I don't ever really bike outside, and get in shorter runs inside on my treadmill.
I claimed one of the unfinished spots in our basement and made it a training space. It's where I get most stuff done. It's comfortable and I can watch as much NFL, MLB, other sports as I want. Heres what it looks like. Bike on trainer to left, treadmill to the right. I don't feel bad about plastering the walls in this space with whatever the heck I want.
I'll get in a good bit of work in the morning done before the kids are even up. I can then be with them a bit before I take my son to school at 9. I then usually take my daughter to Colorado Athletic Club with me to swim after that. I swim with a great masters group or on my own. The rest of the day is spent with Makena (daughter) and I'll sneak in another basement session (bike or run) of up to an hour while she naps. I then pick up my son at 3:35 and it's dad stuff or selfish screen time from then until bed. Rinse, repeat... every weekday. Living the dream.
I've been consistently putting in 17 - 19 hours of training per week with a lot of intensity and I seem to be in really good shape right now. I have confidence in fitness and I'm ready to race pretty well this season. It's a similar load to what I was doing for the 2017 season. I'm confident I can get some good results from it. It started well down in Texas a little over a week ago.
Quick recap of Galveston last weekend:
I headed down to TX alone on Friday. I got up early as usual and got 10 moderate miles in on the treadmill that day - two days before racing. I didn't want to rest or taper for this race, so I only took one easy day on the Saturday before the Sunday event.
It was the first time I traveled anywhere alone in a few years. I rarely travel without a bike and I rarely travel without kid(s). I will gladly travel with a bike everywhere I go if it means I don't have to haul little ones too. Seriously, it was so nice. It was so quiet.
I drove the 50 minutes from Houston Hobby down to Galveston and had a nice early dinner at a bar watching the Astros home opener on TV.
Saturday I woke, put together my bike and picked up my race stuff. I did not know what to do with all of the silence and time to myself. I honestly didn't like it. My life is not meant to be quiet, and it threw me off. Pro meeting was that afternoon and thank god, it gave me something to do.
Later in the afternoon I went to go sit at a bar, have food and a few glasses of wine by myself for an early pre race dinner. I was tapped on the shoulder by a friend who was also racing and had a table with a few friends I knew from Boulder. It was nice to join them. Thanks Matt!
I got to sleep around 8:30 or so that night.
Race morning, I got to transition around 5:30 to have 30 minutes in there before heading to the start. We were allowed to get in the 67 degree water at 6:50. When I jumped in for warmup, I had a foot cramp lock up my foot and thought my race was over before it started. There were moments of it loosening up, but it was a shitty cramp that was not going away. With 10 seconds left before the start, I just prayed that I could get through it. I got lucky and it never caused an issue.
I did NOT push it all out at the start (partly due to not wanting the cramp to come back) and settled in with a small group. I end up swimming a lot of races right with Matt Russell and found myself with him for the whole swim. He's my favorite guy in the sport. I thought I was going fast, but was not. We all had a pretty slow swim.
Transition was smooth and I was off on the bike.
Bike had a slight tailwind on the way out, then a headwind on the way back. As a guy who rides exclusively inside, flat courses with no technical sections are my thing. I averaged close to 30 miles per hour on the way out, then 25mph or so on the way back. Overall average for this ride was just under 27mph for a 2:06 56 mile ride.
Through transition and on to the run. My goal here was to run 1:17 for the half marathon. The first few miles were around 5:40+ per mile and felt fairly comfortable. I slowed to 5:50's and one or two 6 minute miles for the rest of the race, but did not see much slowing or experience any real fatigue or tiredness. It was a good result and progress report for where I am physically. I don’t think I had ever run a mile under 6 minutes until I was maybe 18. In this race, I ran 13 of them in a row... after swimming 1.2 and riding 56 miles as hard as I possibly could. It’s just amazing what the body can do if you train it.
I finished in 3:57 and I was proud of it. When I started this sport 16 years ago, times like that would win races, but not anymore.
Oh... and it was the first time since 2016 that I have raced in a speedo. Damn did it feel free.
So 2019 is off to a good start. I'm off to race Ironman Texas in a week and a half. I'm currently getting over a little bronchitis that I developed last week, but I'm confident Ill be good to go on the 27th.
I look forward to sharing this season with you via this blog. It's nice to finally be back as a triathlete.