First off, what the heck have I been up to?? Well let me tell you, it's been a whole lot of intensity! Some big changes are coming in the near future...but you'll have to wait for that announcement. BUT WAIT allow me stop any of my crude friends and their corrupt minds....no there will not be a sex change involved, you jerks. Anyway, a few quick highlights before I get into the race recap and a review of the next few months. IT'S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK! Not sure if that is good or bad....since I'm getting older and all- but none the less, my girlfriend has assured me it will be one to remember! It'll be hard to top last year though since It was the first time I had EVER been genuinely surprised.
Over the past few weeks since my last blog, I've been pouring a ton of energy into Tribal Multi-Sport and the development of the amazing athletes I have the honor of coaching. Amongst all that, I've been working on continuing my education too (I prefer to break a mental sweat too). But seriously, I've definitely chosen a path less traveled...which makes me want to challenge all of you to do the same, no matter how big or small that scale is. Working with compassionate and dedicated people who love Triathlon or even general wellness, is a dream come true! In the beginning the relationship is more business minded but over the course of a few months, we're life-long friends! So there's my little touch of emotion....I love my athletes!
My travels to California are ALWAYS beautiful and refreshing (especially to wine country)....I was very fortunate to share this experience with some great friends. Tribal Multi-Sport athletes Brittany Pierce (with her Sherpa Paul Higgins) charged into the pro field AND my good friend at XTERRA Wetsuits, Jay Webber came up to support all the XTERRA athletes. This guy LOVES the sport and has given me tons to work towards when it comes to positive energy. The dude is seriously on fire for our sport and whoever will give him a hug....or a feel how "springy" his hair is. I think he also stores his gels in there during long rides.
OH WAIT....if you're ever out in the Berkeley California, CHECK OUT Cafe Gratitude. The menu, flavor and support crew of earth loving servers will change your life....and blow your pallet out of the water! What's that? RAW kelp pad thai! Wait...The best tacos I've ever had with cashew cheese? Yea, I was pretty hungry after waking up at 4 am....for a cross country flight. So as we roll into the race recap....look forward to some more insight as I will be competing in Challenge New Albany in OH and IM 70.3 Steelhead in MI....very soon!
Race Recap ....In Reverse Order (mind=blown)
So wine country is pretty amazing; very easy on the eyes. After I finished I was sorta bummed I didn't have much time to even appreciate it. When you're busy spewing liquids from your body and trying to forcefully put more down at the same time....the scenery can often be overlooked. None-the-less, the finishing chute couldn't have come any sooner. My legs were hurting, my body had been telling me to quit since mile 10...but with 3 miles and change left, it's time for my body to chill out! We're gonna finish strong. A good take away on the RUN was even paced splits...(not very exciting I know). I didn't really "blow up" at any point, just kept it consistent. I took in tons of fuel each mile, either water, coke (after mile 6) or some Honey Stinger Gels. A nice steady dose of calories kept the diesel engine going. I passed a few guys, got passed myself (by chicks.....too)....but always remembered, it's not over until it's over. Some of the studs who blew by me off the bat were reeled back in...but a few more got away and really ran well. I've managed to pick races this year....with mega stacked fields. My rookie-ness in the sport shows when it comes to that. I get irritated being dropped over and over again but then quickly remember these guys are well seasoned. I think they have seriously bottled "awesome" and given a mega-dose to the likes of Tim Don and Jesse Thomas. So anyway, a tough run (but is it ever easy?). I'm still very pleased with how it turned out.
As far as the bike goes, I made a slight miscalculation of the angle of my aero bars. I usually tape all of my dimensions so I can't screw it up on the re-build...but I think the tape moved. Half way through, my back was about to pack up and leave....It wasn't until I hit a hefty bump where I realized they were loose enough to pull back up a bit. After that little fix, life was better but the rolling hills were deceptive. like most races, I had some power numbers to focus on, but sometimes when you're riding with a few others...those numbers start to fade. Since biking has always been my strong suit, I've been trying to taper back a bit to see if my run can improve...I suppose there's a long way ahead! All that aside the bike course was great! After riding the Wildflower bike course, this was a walk in the park...Chalk Hill was over and done with before I could expel the snot from my nose! (yea it was a bit chilly out--and snotty). One of these days, I'll swim with the guys who lead the race and actually have a foot forward-instead of always playing catch up. HOWEVER, playing catch up is fun at times...because some of those bad-ass swimmers come back on the bike and then I don't feel so bad.
The swim was full of dolphin dives (shallow water) and course corrections (per usual)....the river was 71 degrees, just tipping the "uncomfortable" point while wearing a full sleeve. I'd hoped to swim a 26min...but I suppose a 27 will do for now. Each course throws some different challenges my way and I'm still trying hard to hold onto some feet! I really liked the river start though...the fog was gently hanging above the glassy water. Pro transition was about 5 steps from swim exit so it was a mad dash to toss the wetsuit. I've been throwing a ton of body glide on the outside of the ankle portion, allowing the suit to come off as quick as a champagne cork.
For pre-race meal and what not...it's never anything different than what I have every day. Keep it simple! I eat tons of veggies, some quinoa, some healthy fats....maybe some fruit. A plant based lifestyle has really made meal time pretty simple...which I really look forward too. My goal is to even show my home-stay's how easy it is to be more plant based.
Finally, A HUGE thanks to my home-stay...who's name will remain anonymous due to his previous dealings with the Russian Mafia. Totally kidding, but a seriously large THANK YOU to Jesse, his wife and very sweet kids. Without a doubt, the most comfortable bed I've slept in along with the darkest room=paradise! It was an honor to race with you and share your first 70.3! I'll be back for Rancho Cordova....and I'm gonna stop by!
Thanks SCOTT BIKES for a solid rig and American Classic for the speedy Disc wheel. OSMO nutrition was also on site, keeping everyone's stomach PH in check for maximum nutrient absorption. Hopefully I'll have my Rudy Wing57 for the next race too....so look forward to that!