Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Ironman Florida-Disappointing End to a Great Season

I finished off my 2012 race season this past weekend with my 5th Ironman, Ironman Florida in Panama City Beach.  Although this race itself was a little disappointing, I am very proud of my season as a whole.  Here is how my day went.

Swim: 54:01  12th fastest split
Thankfully the swim was pretty uneventful for me.  Despite there being no wind whatsoever the surf was pretty substantial.  Once navigating through the breakers the water wasn't calm as I expected, there were still large swells the entire duration.  I ended up swimming a little easier than I planned on account of the surf which I think was the right move since it limited the amount of ocean water I choked on and I knew that drafting would be pretty much negated by the rough sea.  I excited the water in pretty good position, 12th place and right in the middle of the action.

Bike: 4:20:49  25.8mph  11th fastest split
I went into this race mentally prepared for anything on the bike.  I hoped for a spread out bike, yet I was also very aware of what 41 pro men on a flat course could mean.  I ended up getting a mix of everything.  Things were pretty spread out initially and my legs were very strong right from the start.  I steadily worked my way through the field the first two hours.  I would ride hard until I caught the first person in sight, relax for a bit, decide the pace was too easy, work hard to drop the rider, and then bridge up to the next rider in sight.  After a very fast first 55 miles I made it into a large pack when we came to the out and back.  I was pumped when I saw that our group was in second place overall but that excitement was short lived when we made the turnaround as I saw we were about to be caught by another even larger group from behind.  I rode at the front in second place overall from about 60-65 miles and then steadily slipped back through the pack, making note that many of the riders I had worked to drop had gotten picked up from the group behind and were now in the same pack.  I counted 17 guys in our group.  Thankfully we also had four officials with us pretty much the entire way back to T2 so guys were not tempted to push the boundaries of the draft zone.  People tend to think that riding in such a group is easy work but when everyone is spaced legally it is anything but.  The pace and effort were extremely inconsistent and punchy, as guys made moves at the front it'd be 2-3 minutes of near all out effort followed by a few minutes of easy riding.  I'm sure this makes for a great workout, but when your goal is to run a marathon as fast as possible after it's not such a good thing.  After surging like that for two hours under a strong sun and temperatures rising into the 80s I was really feeling fried towards the end of the bike as were many others.  I stayed with the pack until 5k to go when I knew I was in no shape the start the marathon and sat up to try to get my body temperature down, relieve myself, hose myself down with water, and recover some semblance of running legs.

Run: 3:14:00  14th fastest split
Starting the run I was a complete mess.  I saw 5:20 on the clock as I crossed the marathon start timing mat and knew that I was a 2:59 marathon away from breaking 8:20, my ultimate time goal for the day.  The only problem is for the first few miles of the run I was cooked from the bike, I was just out for an easy recovery jog, couldn't even maintain 3 hour pace for the first few miles.  I wasn't alone though, I could tell the guys around me were wilted as well and I was gaining positions running 7 minute pace.  Through a steady diet of coke and ice the first 10k I was actually able to bring my body temperature down, started to find my stride and got moving the second 10k.  I picked up Tom Gerlach for several miles and we both agreed that a strong last 13.1 would bring home the money on this day.  I got faster the second 10k, felt much better, hit 13.1 in 1:30 in 8th place and just over 2 minutes out of 6th.  Then, out of nowhere, not even a quarter mile into the second lap, I strained my right calf pretty substantially.  I didn't step funny or anything and thought it was a cramp initially.  I couldn't push off at all with my right foot and hoped it would work itself out but after a few miles of borrowing salt tablets from fellow age groupers I knew it either wasn't a cramp or wasn't going to alleviate itself.  At this point if this had been any race other than my last of the season I would have bagged it and walked the last 10 miles.  But with it being the last race of the season I wasn't quite as apprehensive about continuing on a bad calf since I didn't feel I was making the strain any worse.  It was a hard pill to swallow that I wouldn't be racing for money or chasing a massive PR in the low 8:20s, but I had to quickly change my mental approach and realize that I still had something to race for, I could still PR and break 8:30 so that was what I set out for.  I limped as fast as I could, but not being able to push off of my right foot I was limited to a max speed around 8:20 pace.  I hit 10k to go, did the math, and realized breaking 8:30 for the race wasn't going to happen.  But there was still my PR, 8:35.  I was running exactly the pace that would put me at my PR.  Quick decision, keep chasing or just bag it and walk home, I decide to keep chasing.  Every mile mark I'm doing the math and am staying exactly on pace.  Then with 5k to go I have the vision of putting myself through all this discomfort and missing my PR by a few seconds and decide no way.  I push the pace really hard down below 8min pace the last 5k and in the end it's about a 90 second overall PR which comes off of my slowest marathon ever.


Overall:  8:34:00  12th place
Initially I was pretty disappointed with how things went for me but having had a few days I feel better about it and there's a lot of positive to take away.  A PR is a PR and you can't ever shrug at such a result.  12th place is far from what I envisioned for the day, but we did have 41 male pros on the start line, the largest pro field I've ever raced for a full 140.6.  Even putting the calf issue aside I don't think this would have been a stellar result as it was shaping up.  Riding a hard solo effort the first 2 hours on the bike followed by responding to all of the surges and changes in pace of the pack the last two hours left me in no shape to run a strong marathon.  Thinking back over my history of 140.6 racing this was the first time I've ever not done a solo effort the entire way on the bike and it makes for a much different challenge than the constant steady state effort I'm accustomed to.  In hindsight I don't feel my disappointing performance was an indication of any lacking fitness or poor race execution on my part, I feel it is an indication of Ironman Florida simply being a race that doesn't suite me well or play to my strengths.  I thrive off of long, steady state efforts.  Thinking back over my history of pack racing in 70.3s I don't think I've ever had a good race result in that type of racing.  I need at least some hills and a more spread out race than I'm going to find at Ironman Florida.  As always it's a learning experience and I'll take this experience forward into future races.

Although Ironman Florida didn't go how I wanted I'm still very happy that I did this race and there's a lot that will benefit me going forward into 2013 and beyond.  For one, I'm in Ironman shape in November, I've never been this fit so late into the year.  Last year I was currently five weeks into my offseason at this point.  To me that's five fewer weeks to get out of shape heading into 2013.  Another big takeaway is that I learned a lot about myself, and how my body recovers in the 8 weeks between Rev 3 Cedar Point and Ironman Florida.  What I learned is that I don't recover particularly fast compared to others.  It took me a full month before I felt 100% and could resume full training following Cedar Point.  That left just two quality weeks where I was able to push the limits in training and make significant gains in fitness.  Looking back I think I was probably only able to replicate my fitness from Cedar Point into Florida, I wasn't able to further it by any appreciable margin.  In the future I think I'm going to try to schedule multiple Ironmans with a minimum of 10 weeks separation, more ideally 12 or more weeks.

2012 was a great year for me overall that I am very proud of.  There were many highlights and at the top of the list is my dominating win at the Steelhead 70.3.  Winning a 70.3 is a major goal for pros in this sport and something that I am aware most will not get to experience.  I know that whatever I do or don't accomplish the rest of my racing career winning the 2012 Steelhead 70.3 is something I'll be able to look back on and really appreciate long after my racing days have finished.  I'm very excited for what journey this path with take me on in 2013.  There are big changes coming as I'll be getting married and moving to Iowa in the next two months.  Catch you on the flip side, here's to a great 2013!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rev 3 Cedar Point-Knocking on the Door

This past weekend was my third consecutive year racing the Rev 3 Cedar Point full iron distance triathlon and my fourth go at the Ironman distance.  Coming off the win at the Steelhead 70.3 I had high hopes of being in the hunt for another win.  I am very happy to come away with a runner-up finish, new PR, first sub-3 marathon, and overall my best Ironman execution and performance to date.

Swim: 59:51  12th fastest split
All of my swims in 2012 have either been really good in the front pack, or terrible.  Unfortunately this was a terrible swim for me, by far my worst Ironman swim of my four races at the distance.  Race morning we had a water temp of 73 degrees and air temps in the 50s.  For the pros we were about a degree over the wetsuit cutoff, no wetsuits.  I've had a history of struggles in colder swims and the frustrating thing about this one is that 73 degree water isn't that cold.  I started fine but 10 minutes in I started getting cold chills throughout my body and pretty soon I couldn't even hold the feet of guys who I ordinarily beat out of the water.   One of the things I'm most proud of with this race is how I was able to hold my composure during the swim.  It didn't take long before I knew the swim was going to be really bad, and I recognized I would exit the water several minutes down on guys I anticipated starting the bike with.  But it really never bothered me that I was having such a bad swim.  I never tried to force a harder pace than I planned, I never really entertained any thought of starting the bike harder than I planned to make up the lost time.  I basically just decided that I would execute the bike and run exactly as I had planned going into the race, and I accepted the fact that my finish time would be a couple minutes slower as a result of the swim.  In the end I was around 3 minutes slower than I would anticipate based on where others I have raced exited the water.  3 minutes in itself is not a huge deal, the thing that hurts more is that the stronger cyclists in the race were all out of reach and I ended up riding 111 out of 112 miles of the bike solo.

Bike: 4:35:22  24.4mph  3rd fastest split
I started the bike in 12th position, a full 7 minutes back of the lead, I knew I was in for a long lonely ride.  I basically just spent the entire ride executing my plan for the day.  I went in to the bike with the notion that 75 miles was halfway.  I knew that the entire final 35 miles would be a headwind and that it would be critical to be strong through those miles.  I steadily rode my way up through the field and was up to 6th place by 75 miles.  The headwind was tough as expected but this was the best I've ever paced 112 miles and I stayed strong and in control the entire way.  If there is one benefit to being alone the entire bike it is that I was never tempted to push someone else's pace, and never had to put in surges of any kind.  With less than a mile to go I caught Viktor Zyemstev which was a nice confidence boost since I knew there was no better person to start the marathon with.  This was also the most fresh and most ready to run a marathon I've ever felt at the end of the bike, I hit T2 looking forward and excited for the opportunity to finally push a sub-3 marathon.

Run: 2:57:20  3rd fastest split
I'd never raced Viktor head to head before but am very aware of his ability to run 2:45 Ironman marathons like clockwork.  We made some small talk the first mile, he told me the wind on the bike crushed him, and I told him I wouldn't be a threat to him at the end of the run, but I was going to try to use him to carry me up into the top-3 before he dropped me.  I let him set the pace and we hit each of the first 3 miles in almost exactly 6:10s and it felt comfortable.  The only issue I had running with him was we had to spread out going through aid stations so we could both grab what we needed.  It was the gap after the 3rd aid station that I never closed but still kept him reasonably close for a while.  5 miles in I moved into 4th and at 10 miles I moved into 3rd splitting the first 10 miles in 64 minutes.  Through 13.1 in 1:25 and it was the best I've ever felt through halfway.  At that point I told myself I would destroy 3 hours and really thought I had sub-2:55 in me.  16 miles in the fun stopped and I finally started having to work.  18 miles in a surge of adrenaline as I got word that Eric was cracking in the lead after racing gutsy leading the race for 7.5 hours.  Through 20 miles in 2:12 and shortly after I pass Eric to move in 2nd.  22 miles in I was 3 minutes down on Viktor in the lead, and had a 4 minute cushion on third.  This was where Ironman became Ironman and it got really, really hard.  Soreness flooded my quads, calves, and hamstrings.  I started feeling twinges of shooting pain and felt like I was one misstep away from a full body cramp.  I probably cut my stride length in half and there was no thought of trying to race for the win, it was just grit your teeth and finish.  Finally I was able to make it without any last mile drama.

Daniel Bretscher 2nd place - Cedar Point 2012 from REVOLUTION3 Triathlon on Vimeo.

Overall: 8:35:32  2nd Place, first American
This race was a huge breakthrough for me and validates the results from the training sessions I've been seeing this summer.  The bike split was a PR, the marathon was a PR, and overall a 13 minute PR.  Second place is my highest finish ever at the 140.6 distance, my previous three races were 9th, 5th, and 5th.  In addition I ended up less than 4 minutes out of the win whereas in my three previous races I'd never been within 20 minutes of the win.  And Viktor is no slouch either, this was his 11th Ironman win.  With all of that said I can definitely see some major flaws in my game, the biggest lesson being do not ever surrender a race to a competitor without making them earn it.  Mentally I gave the race away to Viktor in the very first mile of the run based on what he had accomplished in the past, not making him earn it on the day.  In reality he didn't have the run I think everyone expected him to, he was vulnerable on the day.  Looking back I don't believe I could have matched his pace, but in the future I will not mentally surrender to a competitor until they prove they have what it takes on the day.  I also still feel I'm under performing in my marathons.  I was happy to finally break 3 in the marathon, but I'm not very impressed with my splits 1:25/1:32.  I feel I should be capable of 4-5 minutes faster the last 13 miles.  Whether it's a nutrition issue, bike pacing issue, lack of experience issue or just needing to learn to suffer more issue, I'm not sure.  But when there's world class pros running 2:40s in harsh conditions, my 2:57 in near perfect conditions isn't in the same ballgame.  As always it's a work in progress and so long as I continue to chip away I'll eventually get where I want to be.
I'm taking this week mostly entirely off for recovery and a mental break.  I'll get back into training next week and will play the remainder of my race schedule this year by ear.  Most likely my next race will be on September 30, either the Pocono or Augusta 70.3.  I have no clue what the fields for those races look like, but I hope to compete for my third consecutive podium!  Finally thanks to the Rev 3 event organization and staff, there's a reason 3 out of my 4 Ironmans have been with Rev 3.  Hope to be at some more series races this season.

Race nutrition:
Bike: 13 powergels, 66oz Perform.  Total: 2000 cal, 434 cal/hr
Run: cup of coke, cup of water every mile, 7 powergels throughout.

2012 REV3 Cedar Point - PRO Race Recap from REVOLUTION3 Triathlon on Vimeo.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Steelhead 70.3-First Major Win

I've been bad with my blogging this year but finally have accomplished something that deserves an update.  I picked up the first major win of my professional career a couple weeks back at the Ironman Steelhead 70.3 in Michigan.

The race itself was actually one of my less adventurous and more boring so I'll keep the report short.  After sitting on the feet of the leader for the first 10 minutes of the swim and realizing the pace felt too easy I took the lead and never gave it up the rest of the race.  I pushed hard the second half of the swim and was able to open up a 20 second gap on the main pack behind, my first time ever to post the fastest swim split in a pro race.  I got on the bike and was pretty confident the group behind me would, as usual on a flat course, form their pace line, push the limits of the draft rules, and work together to catch me.  Fortunately for me I am significantly faster than I've ever been on the bike this year, I've been riding very strong the entire summer.  After the first 10-15 miles of the bike I managed to get out of sight of everyone behind and at that point there was no debating about a race strategy, I was committed to pushing the pace out front the entire way.  I ended up with the day's fastest bike split, and a 6 minute lead into T2.  At the time, however, I had no clue what my lead was and that lead to me running frantic and scared out of T2 not wanting to let this opportunity, that I've waited so long for, slip away.  After really pushing hard the first 10k I started getting multiple reports that my lead was in excess of 5 minutes.  I was able to relax a bit, but never let my guard down until I was positive I had the race secured with a mile to go.  Then the last mile it was party time, first major win in the bag!

This first win came 6 years and 3 months after I committed myself to seeing what I could do in the sport of triathlon.  That's 6 years 3 months of investment in myself that it took to make this happen.  Over that time frame I had imagined countless times what it would be like getting the first win, sometimes wondering if it would ever happen.  I always imagined an epic head-to-head battle the entire way coming down to the last mile, possibly a sprint finish.  The way it actually happened wasn't so exciting but looking back on it I think it's pretty cool to lead wire-to-wire, nose to the wind full throttle the entire way just like the sport should always be, complete domination.

I'd reflect more on Steelhead and the past 6 years, 3 months but that's what the end of the season is for.  Right now my mind is in the moment and focused on this weekend.  I've got another big race coming this Sunday, the Rev 3 Cedar Point full iron distance.  I'm really looking forward to this one and to testing my fitness against the competition and the 140.6 miles.  This is the third straight year I've done this race, I know the course well, I've had good races the past two years, and feel good about my chances this year.  If I can execute a 'good' race I think I should be racing for a top-3 finish, if I can execute a 'great' race then I think it's possible to be racing for the win and pushing an 8:30 finish time.  Excited to see what I can do!

The weekend on my Steelhead win was also a huge weekend for the Bretscher Multisport squad.  Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids IA) claimed his first National Championship winning the 55-59 age group at Age Group Nationals in Burlington VT.  Ron's been knocking at the door for a while now and finally broke through!  In addition Andrew Person (St Louis) also raced to a 70.3 PR of several minutes at Steelhead finishing in 4:21, good enough for the 7th overall age grouper on the day out of 1500+!  Both Andrew and Ron have been with Bretscher Multisport for 3-4 years and their long term commitment has really shown.

Below is a link to Ironman's instagram pic from my Steelhead finish.

Finish Pic

Saturday, May 12, 2012

0 for 3 in Knoxville

Rev 3 Knoxville
Swim: 18:20  20th fastest split
Bike: 59:45  24.4mph  20th fastest split
Run: 33:43  9th fastest split
Overall: 1:54:59  18th place

This was my third straight year racing Rev 3 Knoxville, one of my favorite venues and courses.  It also ended up being my third straight year to come away with a disappointing result although the difference is the past two years my result came from being out of shape, this year my poor result came mainly because of not giving the effort I am capable of after getting hit with a penalty early in the race.

One of my biggest pet peeves with professional triathletes is hearing everyone who gets dinged with a penalty complain that they were unfairly targeted. Collectively as a group, the pros in this sport are constantly advocating for more officials and greater enforcement of the rules, yet when a call is made, according to the culprit, he/she did not do anything wrong and was the victim of negligent officiating. It sometimes gets annoying hearing the same athletes who are so vocal about rules enforcement be so vocal against a specific call or official when the call is made on them. With this said, I got hit with my first ever bike penalty last Sunday, a position foul I was in full violation of, and a correct call by the official.

The penalty came just 3 miles into the bike course, while navigating through a section of Knoxville highway full of expansion cracks heading out of town, I became too consumed with trying to avoid the expansion cracks and debris on the shoulder, stopped paying attention to the position of the rider in front of me, and before I even realized my mistake was being ordered to 'stand down' by the official, stagger rule violation for riding out of position. The penalty was 60 seconds on the side of the road, which when you take into account the time it takes to slow down to a complete stop, dismount the bike, serve the penalty, remount, and finally get up to speed again is probably more like a 80 second time loss.

Fortunately for me I have very limited experience with penalties, this was just my second ever and first since 2007. Unfortunately for me I do have a fair amount of recent experience going off course. And similar to when I added a full 6 miles onto the 112 mile bike course because of an errant arrow this past September at Rev 3 Cedar Point, I really found it difficult to mentally move past the penalty and return to the aggressive mental state which is required to race well at the olympic distance. As hard as I tried to keep my mind in the moment on the task at hand, I kept thinking about the penalty and the time I had lost. This was the race I had been focusing on for the majority of the offseason, wanting to get the year off to a great start. I had been riding in the midst of some quality riders, and now I was well behind, riding solo the entire final 20 miles. Penalties always hurt, and in this case having it occur so early in the race really hurt. I've raced enough olympics to know how they should feel, and in looking back on this one I definitely did not get the most out of myself on the bike.

The good news to take away from the bike is my fitness relative to last year.  Including my minute standing on the side of the road I still rode a minute faster than I did on the exact same course a year ago.  And I followed that ride up with a solo 10k in which I split 1:40 faster than last year and 9th best split on the day despite not having anything to race for.

In summary 18th place was very disappointing.  Having put in what I would consider to be a pretty solid offseason I would have been extremely disappointed had you told me I'd get 18th before the race.  But given my penalty and my inability to execute to my potential following the penalty, I know that my fitness right now is far better than 18th.  And that fitness will be around for the next race, and the one after that.  I'm riding strong and running fast right now.  My swim was not good, and reality is I probably wasn't in a position to challenge for a top-10 spot even without my penalty given how I swam.  Just have to get better.  8 races still to go in the Rev 3 series, right now I plan to be at all 8 of those.  I need to have 4 quality finishes out of those 8 races if I want to place overall in the series which one of my biggest goals this season.  Next up, Rev 3 Quassy on June 3.  Likely the toughest course and toughest competition I'll face all season.  A top-10 in Quassy would easily make up for a disappointing day in Knoxville.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Race Schedule with Commentary

My number one goal in this sport for 2012 is the same as it has been for the past few years:  Make a living in the sport.  I've been doing so for a couple years now but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen in 2012 or beyond, I have to make it happen.  Whenever I'm helping the athletes I coach to form a race schedule I always try to push them towards the races that will give them the best chance of accomplishing their goals for the year.  With making a living being the number one goal for me, this is what I take into consideration the most when planning my race schedule.  Prize purses, race distance, course type, travel distance, race enjoyment, these are all variables I take into consideration.  In the end, what it comes down to is a balance between which races give me the best opportunity to get good results and make money while minimizing travel time and costs as much as possible.

For 2012, I've currently decided that it is the Rev 3 series which gives me the best opportunity to make a living.  The series has expanded to 10 races with prize money in each and a pretty substantial additional payout to the top-5 athletes in the series at the end of the year.  The Rev 3 series is a good choice for an Indiana based pro as 7 of the 10 races are within driving distance whereas those based further west would have to fly to nearly every race.  I'm very much considering going "all in" with the series, doing every race, and skipping the Ironman circuit entirely for 2012.  It's a bit risky to do so though, as I'd be skipping the "local" Ironman races in favor of traveling for Rev 3.  For the time being though, Rev 3 is the mindset I'll take into the 2012 season and this is the race schedule I'll pursue until I have reason to stray from this plan.  I very much like the idea of supporting Rev 3 over Ironman as they are two different series I see heading in opposite directions with how they value and treat the professionals in the sport.  Here is my race preliminary schedule.

3/18 Rev 3 Costa Rica?
I want to race Rev 3 Costa Rica, but probably won't make the trip solo.  Thus I'll probably only go if I can find someone to travel with.  Anyone want to travel to Rev 3 Costa Rica with me?

3/25 Powerman Alabama Du  AL
Regardless of whether or not I race the weekend before, I plan to be at Powerman Alabama.  This will make for the earliest I've ever kicked off the multisport season.

4/15 Carmel Sprint Tri  IN
My traditional local season kickoff.  Won overall past 5 consecutive years, going for 6 in a row this year.  Only age group race I have on the schedule right now

5/6 Rev 3 Knoxville  TN
Very fun, challenging course, with a tough pro field.  I plan to actually be in shape for this race this year.

6/2 Rev 3 Quassy  CT
Probably the toughest course I'll race all year, toughest field I'll race all year, biggest prize purse of the season.  What more could I ask for?  Got my butt kicked here last year by both the course and competition, can't wait for this year.

6/8-10 Triathlon Camp Muncie
Looking forward to working with Muncie Multisport at this camp.  For $155 campers will get the 3-day camp plus entry into the MuncieMan Tri (3k/60k/15k).  The camp is open to anyone, the main focus will be on preparing for a half distance tri.  Perfect opportunity for those racing the Muncie 70.3 to train and race on the course, learn the ins and outs of the race, and work with a coach to develop a race plan.

7/8 Rev 3 Portland  OR
Tough call here.  My "hometown" pro race, the Muncie 70.3 is the same weekend.  But the Rev 3 series is my main focus for the year.  So do I give up a short drive and inexpensive trip for a long expensive trip across the country to do a race with the same purse?  Right now that's the direction I'm leaning.

7/22 Ironman Lake Placid  NY
Another tough call I'm still not sure about.  LP is my favorite race and favorite venue I've ever raced, the emotional side of me wants to be there in great shape.  But I'm not sure if the race makes logical sense.  With the prize purse being cut this year, a long trip, and my focus being the Rev 3 series this year I don't know if this race will remain on the schedule.

8/12 Rev 3 Wisconsin Dells  WI
First year race, don't know anything about the course, but the venue looks to be another Rev 3 hit.  Bretscher Multisport will have a large contingent at this race

8/26 Rev 3 Maine  ME
Another first year race for the Rev 3 series, and I've always wanted to visit Maine.  What a great reason to visit.

9/9 Rev 3 Cedar Point  OH
For the third consecutive year, my biggest race of the season.  The race itself has big points towards the overall series, hopefully I can stay on course this year.

10/7 Rev 3 Maryland  MD
Race just announced a few days ago, don't know many details on it except it uses the same venue as Columbia which is a pretty fun, honest course

10/14 Rev 3 South Carolina  SC
Second to last race in the series, I was unable to race in 2011 due to injury, but it sounds like the course is not short on challenging, just the way I like it.

10/28 Rev 3 Florida  FL
Rev 3 series finale, big points on the line, and a big season long series prize purse gets awarded at this race.  Hopefully I can have the season I strive for and take a slice of that pie.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My New Friend

I've made a new friend this winter, a borrowed Trek 4300 mountain bike complete with badly worn platform pedals, kickstand, and wheel reflectors.  Brand new this is a $400 bike.  I acquired this one far from brand new.  In addition to the worn pedals the front suspension is completely frozen and not functional.  The back of the saddle also appears to have been the choice snack of some household pet at some point.  But even given all of these annoyances the temporary acquisition of this bike has been great and has energized my winter training.  Never have I ever put in anywhere close to the outdoor riding hours in a December that I logged last month.  I've really enjoyed the change of pace, offroad riding, and general change in routine.  I've found offroad riding to be very challenging, there's no way to coast or ride easy through loose gravel.  I'm sure my heart rate stays far higher on a mountain bike ride than an easy spin on the road bike.  Having never spent any real time on a mountain bike before this winter I have no idea how this training will translate to my tri racing next summer, but I'm excited to find out.