Don't be stupid

After a long unwanted absence from racing due to a variety of reasons, I toed the line this morning at the HITS Triathlon Series Ocala Half Ironman. I know what you are thinking: "a half, this early in the season, after many months of racing? You're not serious." I am. And the beat down was well deserved.

My motto for this race was "Don't be stupid." I told Jessica to keep reminding me of that throughout the race so I wouldn't get too excited. First out of the water? That's great. Don't be stupid. Out in the early lead? Terrific. Don't be stupid. You get the idea.
Out on the bike course in 2nd.

Without too many details, I had sub-par race. However, I am thrilled to have stuck it out and finished a disappointing 8th. It was a deceivingly hard day with high temps on the run and a windy, rolling bike course.

It was probably my slowest Half distance races ever, but gave me a great baseline to work from. I am now painfully aware of the weaknesses that need to be addressed, and can go to the drawing board and make a plan to have things fixed before the next race - which I don;t know what it will be. When I do, I will post it here. I should also have a race calendar shortly.

In other much more interesting news, Jessica raced her first triathlon ever and finished 4th overall after leading the swim. She led for a while on the bike, but unable to get her feet into her cycling shoes, she rode the entire time atop them. Needless to say, less than ideal and made a for a slower than desired bike and a tough run. I'm pleased to say, however, that she is hooked, and I doubt it will be long until she finishes a race on top. I've created a little monster. Makes me so proud. 


Race Season Prep

I know, I know. It's been a long time since I last posted. I've been bad and promise to update more often this season.

Now that most of my sponsor ships for the new year are ironed out, I am finally able to focus on the race calendar. While I don't have a complete idea of what the year will look like, I will be kicking off the season at the HITS Half Distance in Ocala, FL on March 25, and I am certainly looking forward to it.

I have not raced the Half distance in several years. The last time I opened a season with one was in 2007 at the Kinetic Half, where I was 5th (losing 2 spots in the final miles). This time, my hopes are that the preparation ensures I don't crumble right at the end. That being said, expectations are not very high. The main goal is to have a good hit out to set me up for the rest of the race season.

Training is coming along well, particularly swimming and running. The bike is slightly behind due to living in a big city and the difficulties of just getting a good ride right out the door. On the weekends, Jessica and I have been driving to San Antonio to enjoy the hills. She just bought a QR Seduza from Cycle Therapy (it was quite a good deal) and we are planning on heading to Ocala to see the bike course this weekend.

I've enjoyed seeing her progression from runner to triathlete quite a bit. She has an engine in her, and coaching her to race her first ever triathlon, an Olympic distance also part of the HITS Series on March 24 has been a blast. Needless to say (but I will say it just the same) the rest of the race season will be even better once we have this first one out of the way.

I promise to update more often in 2012.



I'm back!

The bar exam is done. My diploma arrived today. It's all done.

So, naturally, I celebrated with some long overdue training. After a morning strength session, in the afternoon I headed over to Alafia State Park for a good outing on the Scott Spark RC. 

While there are several levels of trails ( from Easy to Extremely Difficult), I wisely chose to warm up on the River loop, one of the easiest ones. So far, so good. A few bridges, some twisty turns, but I was managing just fine. And my confidence kept rising. Fast.

After I felt sufficiently warmed up, I decided to enter the hardest mountain bike course I have ever seen. In hindsight, this was a mistake. Below is an image of one of the many "speed bumps". I saw at least 3 of these guys, as well as deer, bunnies and a baby armadillo. Cute little bugger.

Sadly, the images do not do this course justice. I am no professional mountain biker, but found myself forced to dismount over 30 times in just a few miles ( both up and downhill), and had plenty of near misses.

I am not sure if it is the lack of time spent on a mountain bike (or any other bike, for that matter) over the past few months while Law School graduation and the bar exam consumed my days, but my skills certainly were far behind my eagerness.

I am proud to say, however, that I only had one (minor) tumble. I braked hard to avoid a fall, and rolled to the right. There was a ditch, and I rolled (gently) down it, ending upside down and without any way to support my self back up, so I was upside down for a good few seconds until I finally propped myself back up. Nothing to worry about, really, but it made me extra careful the rest of the lap.

Alafia State Park is only 45 minutes from downtown Tampa, but it feels a world away. The easy course is a lot of fun, and if you have some serious skills, the Moonscape and Roller Coaster courses will treat you just fine. Maybe.


Back to FL

It's been a very long time since I last wrote, but better late than never. Since last February a lot has happened.

I have graduated law school and will be sitting for the Florida bar exam in a few short weeks. Scared out of my mind, I've been putting in solid studying hours. keep your fingers crossed.

I have also relocated to Tampa, FL. I am absolutely loving it here - the coast, the ocean breeze, the proximity to some of the world's best beaches all make being here a great experience.

On the training front, I have been running a lot given the lack of real time to swim and ride. The fitness is not where it used to be, but it is coming back. I plan on doing a few local running races to get the racing legs back, and as the fitness returns, the triathlon and off-road racing will resume as well.

I have a new Scott Spark RC, courtesy of Cycle Therapy. I also have Enve Composites on it which make it the lightest MTB I've ever touched by far even though it is a full suspension. It has motivated me to do an 8 hour off road event, which I should tackle around October. Pic below.

I will try to keep this updated more often. The past few months have been absolutely crazy, but things are falling in place again and I can tend to my duties better.

Be good,



Long Overdue Update

Okay, I will admit that it has been far too long since I last updated my blog. At some point, too much happened and I kept postponing the update. Well, the time has come. 

I spend a couple of weeks in Queensland, Australia during the month of December. It was an outstanding trip altogether. Getting used to the lack of ocean swimming took a little while (saltwater crocodiles,  sharks and deadly marine stingers kept everyone out of the areas not fenced in), as did getting used to the heat and humidity. It’s usually not a problem when I slowly get acclimated, but jumping from near freezing temps in the States to close to 100F everyday in Cairns took the better part of a week.
The visits to the Tablelands (the gateway to the outback), the Great Barrier Reef,   the downtown Cairns Esplanade and the other local attractions were all incredible. I could easily get used to spending winter break Down Under yearly – the only issue is the super long flight.

When I returned I spent 5 days in Tampa before heading back to Alabama. I just wasn't ready to brave the wintry weather yet, and the weather, as well as the company in Tampa were too good to pass up. 

Since being back, I have been trying to not spread myself too thin between working at a couple of law firms, taking the last few credits before I add J.D. after my name, and professional sports training. I have been doing most of it at night after work, and adapting to this schedule has been tough to say the least. The much-colder-than-usual winter

I have posted an album with Australia images on my facebook, if you have an interest in seeing them. I also did the majority of the updating on twitter if you wanna see a play by play of the trip.

I am currently working on a race schedule, and will share it once it becomes available. I promise it will not be as long until I update next time.



Navigator Triathlon

Last weekend I once again visited the lovely town of Rome, GA. Last time I was in town was back in March, and another visit was overdue. Once again Trey Smith of Cycle Therapy organized my entire visit and  could not have been happier. As per my request I stayed at the Hawthorn, a local hotel that is built on an old warehouse.

I have spent probably 2 years of my life in hotels, and the Hawthorn is my favorite. I can't really pinpoint one quality that does it for me, but I just feel at home and relaxes there. I always sleep well, I love the quaint atmosphere. 

 Now, back to the reason I was there: the Navigator Triathlon. This year on a new course at the Darlington Upper School, and featuring an afternoon time trial start, I knew that I would have to push it from the gun. I am no fan of time trial starts as I like my competition close, but I managed to start off well and push the pace on the bike. That gave me a sizable lead o the run, and I was able to keep it under control for the 5k mixed course and win the 44th race of my career. 

For an October event the weather was extremely warm, and I was fortunate to play my lead on the run and not finish too dehydrated. Many of the other athletes were not as fortunate and finished under much warmer temps later in the day.

The race organizers did a phenomenal job putting everything together and I will certainly be back next year.


Florida Campaign Recap

I ended up spending 6 weeks in FL rather than the 7 I originally had planned. I wanted to come home early, spend some time with my fiancĂ©e, and catch some rest before heading to my last 8 months in law school. Time flies!

I ended up undefeated while in Florida, which was absolutely amazing to me. I really seemed to have found my bike legs once again. it's nice to be able to ride at 26-27 mph once again. it had been a couple of years since I'd been able to do that. And in fairness, a large part of that comes from the super fast Scott Plasma 2 I am riding this season, courtesy of Cycle Therapy. I've got some Profile-Design bars on it, and custom Edge Composites wheels, and a Quarq powermeter. It is a sick fast machine, and the help I got in January from Todd Kenyon at TTBikeFit and Coach Al made all the difference!

I first won the Crystal River Triathlon. The last time I had won this event was the year before I left FL and moved to Alabama, so it was a great feeling. Kevin Grogan and I swam and rode together, but I pushed hard on the run to win by almost 90 seconds.

The following day I raced the Gainesville Melon Run 5k, an incredibly competitive event held yearly on the 4th of July. This year the course changed and was slightly slower than in previous years, but it made me go right by my fiancĂ©'s parent's house, where I was so graciously hosted- a I always am. I am happy that come December they'll officially be my parents in law.  I ended up 6th, running in the mid 16's for a hilly, somewhat off road course.

The following week we traveled down to Inverness for their 5k Cross Country event. I pushed harder on this day, once again facing the pure runners, and ended up with a 5th place. I was pretty pleased to make the podium and see how my form was already coming along nicely.

Next was the Jacksonville Triathlon. I really wanted to break the course record, but the strong trade winds on the bike, as well as the oppressive heat and humidity on the run course got me 40 seconds short of my goal. Fortunately, I'd have a crack at it once more in a few weeks.

With 2 wins under my belt, I knew my form was coming along. So I raced the Twilight Triathlon going all out from the gun. The effort would yield me a bike course record, averaging close to 26 mph, and a 3rd victory in a row, making me plenty nervous to end my campaign in Florida undefeated.

On my last day down there, I won the Amelia Island Triathlon, breaking the course record and setting a new bike course record. I arrived in T2 over a minute ahead of everyone else, so my work was mostly done by the time I hit the 5k run course.

Back in Alabama, I've been struggling to really absorb it all. My body seems to be destroyed from what I put it through. As a result, I am not making any crazy commitments for the time being. I do plan t be back down there for the AmeliaMan Half in October as well as MiamiMan in November. I just love racing in Florida!

Xp Multisport put out a newsletter, and you can see it here: http://drcsports.com/XPMultisport.pdf