It has been a very busy two months of racing and training for me. Since my last post and since Buffalo, I have raced: High Cliff Half Iron, Waconia, Lifetime Fitness MPLS, Tri for a Cause and Chisago Lakes Half. Shwew, that’s a lot of racing! I won’t go into full detail on all of them, I’ll just touch on the highs and lows in chronological order.
High Cliff – 4:56
My “hometown” race in Oshkosh was a total blast. I had a solid swim followed by an average bike and a “decent” run. Unsurprisingly, this course always finds a way to just decimate me on the end of the bike and the run. I still ran a respectable 1:49 (A Half Iron PR, sadly) off of an admittedly overcooked bike.
Waconia – Fish Out Of Water
Another stacked field in Minnesota, go figure. I figured that this would be a great race to test some of my speed with considering it is a sprint-ish distance. I also decided it would be awesome to race in a speedo (it was, see picture).
All in all, it was a good time, nothing particularly exciting about my results or progress, just good racin’ fun!
Lifetime MPLS – The Monsoon
Thus began the tumultuous bit of my season. A massive storm rolled in overnight and through the morning causing part of the olympic distance bike course to become under a foot of water. This altered the race to being a sprint distance for everyone, bad news for anyone lacking the speed necessary to compete at that distance (read: “Cody”). I sucked it up and then just raced. What was supposed to be my “A2” race turned into a total mess and I ended up just trying my best. The swim was utter chaos, the bike was wicked tight and a little dangerous due to roads and density of riders and the run was the run (see suffering photo below). Again, not much to write home about.
Tri For A Cause – 7th Overall
New friend Brian (Sames) and I were texting back and forth on Thursday about the weekend and decided to race on Saturday in Crosby, MN. Awesome idea because this race was a total blast with great setup and a great RD. We also figured we would be at the pointy end of the race and have a good chance to race against each other the whole way. I counted on my swim prowess to get me out of the water a couple minutes ahead of Brian, hold it on the bike and then just get smashed on the run. As it turns out, my swim prowess was fine but, only :20 fine. Brian was second out of the water, right behind me and laughing the whole way. Apparently he’s found some swim pace. You can guess how the rest went. I faded to third on the bike with some finicky saddle mishaps and then imploded on the run on my way to 7th. Massive stomach cramps were the order of the day during the run. Good times.
Disaster, Catastrophe, Etc.
In what can only be filed under the “ugh, that sucks” category, I spent Wednesday after Tri for a Cause running through a Doctor’s office and a hospital. I had been having some stomach pains and some good bouts of nausea for the past week in my lower right abdomen and it had gotten unbearable. I ran through CT Scans and the whole medical runaround to find out….nothing. No appendicitis (good) but no other ideas. I went home and continued to not train at all the week before Chisago. I decided to give it a whirl on race morning anyway.
Chisago Lake Half Iron – Not Meant to be
Race morning came and my sickness was tolerable enough to at least give the race a try. After the madness of setting up in transition was over and after I had “warmed up” by splashing in the lake it was go time. I ended up having an alright swim (32:15) and got out of the water feeling like death warmed over. Nearly throwing up the last half of the swim was less than pleasant and it took me a while to get things sorted out on the bike. In general, the bike course at Chisago is a total mess. Riding through grass, bike trails and rough roads is not a fun thing on a TT bike. I also had a pretty stout nosebleed on the bike between miles 10 and 20. I ended up riding near a group of 4 other guys for the first 30 miles and we all just kept a sane pace. We made it through the 40km mark in just over an hour and a couple of the guys dropped back (smart) while three of us continued to hammer onward. I started to fade badly in the last 10 miles and decided to consolidate my losses and just relax on the way in if I were going to have any chance at running a decent half marathon on this day. I finished the bike (which was 57.1 miles instead of 56 miles) and started the run. I was feeling pretty normal for the first mile. Surprisingly, I was able to hold 7:30/mile pace and feel like I had more. Then it all came undone, quickly. Right around mile 1.5 my stomach started to hurt and I was instantly nauseous. At mile 2 I threw up all over the place. It was not pretty. I ended up deciding not to finish the race and leave on a stretch and hoofed it back to transition. A DNF always sucks, but this was the right decision.
Recap, Review and Looking Forward
It’s been a really interesting season. I’ve really found that I have a good enough swim/bike to keep myself competitive within the local races and that my run continues to improve. I’ve had a pretty successful summer. I’m incredibly proud of Alex for her work and her great results at High Cliff Sprint (2nd AG), Waconia (2nd AG) and Chisago Sprint (Swim PR and she would’ve been on the podium if not for a bum tube). She’s going to continue to improve with every race and it’s just awesome to watch! I’ve also made some awesome friends and met some awesome people in the past couple months. I’m now taking a week of unfocused training to relax and recuperate before my 12 week Ironman build. I’m a process guy with a great attention to detail so I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do with a hyper-focused 12 weeks! I’ll check in more regularly with my training totals and such between now and October 26th. Until then, train hard and have fun!