As most of you may know, I am still a sponsored athlete with the United States Military Endurance Sports team. Yes, it's a mouthful! Being part of this team means a lot to me, especially since it supports every walk of life! Initially started to help elite military cyclists compete in the biggest and best races around the world, USMES has certainly impacted thousands of otherwise under-developed athletes. Fast forward to 2015, there are over 750 members world wide! They include cyclists, triathletes, adaptive athletes, runners and adventure racers! There is a spot for everyone...except ping pong players.
Anyway, this past week I was lucky enough to help organize the first ever Triathlon specific camp in Tucson, AZ. Kathy Rakel and I developed some seriously challenging days suitable for all levels. We climbed Mt. Lemmon, Madera Canyon and Gates Pass. We practiced open water swimming in 55 degree water (Lake Patagonia) and killed some trail running. To really add value, a swim technique course and running strength clinic was offered...talk about the whole Sha-BANG!
So here I am in San Diego with the BEST Home-Stay Ever (Jay Weber from XTERRA Wetsuits), 1 day after my first race of the season and an EPIC camp! I really have a lot to share but have decided I'll space it out over the next few weeks...and start with some pre-season highlights! Here are some fun things I've done over the past months....
- Braveheart Games Camp in San Diego - I came out here in January to get some serious pre-season hill work since (for some reason) I've decided to load up on the "hilly" races. OceanSide 70.3 is in 2 weeks then there is St. George and Vineman...so I need to get in some elevation. My coach put together a STELLAR camp for everyone out here and I walked away having climbed some local mountains and getting my butt whooped by a few elites! Either way, I'll never be afraid to get dropped, blow-up or try with all of my heart! As I like to tell all the stellar athletes I work with "You can NEVER fail if you NEVER quit" -ME-
- Tribal Multi-Sport Camp -
At the end of Feb, we opted for a local camp in Tampa Fl, since all of the hotels in Clermont were on "triple rate" mode. Seriously, we couldn't squeeze any deals on hotel rooms up there. Either way, we made the best of a solid 3 day weekend...adding in multiple challenging efforts, supported rides and super-sprint simulation at the pool I work with. Being a coach has offered me tremendous growth as an Elite athlete. It helps me keep it all in perspective. I can certainly complain (and I do) about heavy legs...sleepless nights etc...but at least I don't have to deal with a boss and children. I am in NO way saying that those things aren't GREAT...but for an athlete trying to make it to the top, I totally see this is the only way to be a World Champion! I'm grounded because of the amazing people I get to work with on a daily basis. They have trusted my vision for them and for that I'm so grateful. I don't think I'm a great coach because I'm an Elite athlete...I think this is genuinely what I would love to do even if coaching was my ONLY "job". To wrap this portion up, I just want all of the Tribe to know how much I am inspired by their efforts and I always think of you when I'm racing!
- USMES CAMP and SUPERSEAL TRI.....and BEYOND!
So after a week at camp - I raced the season "opener"....Super Seal Olympic in Coronado, CA
- 250 miles of biking (16+k of climbing)
- 40 miles of running (5 k of vert)
- 15K of swimming
This was pretty much the same protocol as last year but I think last year there was about 200 more miles of cycling since I participated in the "cycling" camp. This past week was actually just what I needed, very specific and challenging enough to develop some fitness without digging too deep before Oceanside. Camp was a blast! I really came out with a stronger sense of what this season has to offer and some great indications of what I can do. The race re-cap is as follows....
SWIM: By far where I've grown the MOST over the past year. I'm consistently hitting faster and faster times on a bi-weekly basis. I was able to swim the 1500M in 20 min this year, as opposed to about 23 min last year. I came out 3rd and was very pleased I didn't have to bury myself to knock that out!
BIKE: The legs weren't totally there but my bubble butt still has some "Umph" left to give. I managed to ride myself into the lead on the bike by the last half...of the last lap. I was very happy with the power numbers considering the weeks efforts! Flat and fast courses better WATCH out this year!
RUN: I didn't expect to hold off the second place dude...he was wearing an ITU kit so I knew he would most likely out run me. At mile 2 he sped on by but I certainly kept him in my sights. My run time wasn't very stellar and the field at Super Seal wasn't as deep this year...so I was fortunate to still walk away with 3rd. I have to say...running is the one aspect of this sport that really really takes some time to develop. I envy those collegiate All-Stars who have put in thousands of miles at such a young age. I'm not discouraged by it...but dang it would be nice to be able to throw down with them.
That's the "Nicholas Chase Life" recap over the past few months! Oceanside is in 2 weeks and I'm getting ready to go faster than last year against the best athletes in the world! Thanks for taking the time to read up on my travels and adventures! I certainly surround myself with amazing people...I wouldn't be anywhere without them!