Monday, May 21, 2012

WOW, What a week of Turn Around!

It is really hard to even think about where to begin on this post? I think in my best interest, I will start with my family!  A big THANK YOU to my wife Mary and my girls for putting up with all my training hours and time away from them.  I appreciate your patience!  Next, I will thank all my training groups, especially all my LIVE UNCOMMON teammates!  You are AWESOME, your words of wisdom and advice is much appreciated.  When my training doesn't give me the results I like, you are always there to let me know, I am on the right track.  Last week, I did not live up to my expectations, but you were there to let me know to train through it and get back at it.  I went from being pretty confident in my training, to a low that I had not expected and now with all your help, I am back with confidence, with the understanding I still have a lot of room to improve!

This past weekend, we traveled to Ogden, Iowa to compete in the Bluff Creek Triathlon.  Live Uncommon teammates Josiah Campbell, Aaron Mauer and Jeff Paul traveled on Saturday to prepare for the race.  We met close friend and training partner Brian Tritt up there as well.  For Josiah, Aaron and myself, this was going to be our first Tri!  Poor Jeff had to endure all of our newbie questions for the weekend.  It was an interesting ride up there to say the least, some drivers need to be examined.  We picked up our packets and went to Pizza Ranch for a good pre-race meal. It was pretty darn good.  Jeff may disagree with me, he can explain that!!!

I stuck to my new motto after last week, Expect Nothing, Gain Everything this past weekend.  I have come to the conclusion, I am training pretty well.  I have not had a past history of failing to train correctly.  I went into Sunday's race knowing, I have trained right, I know what I am capable of, therefore, I CAN do it!  I went with that and had fun.  My first triathlon was an awesome experience. I could not have laid it out any better.

THE SWIM- This was going to be the toughest challenge, just getting out of the water in a decent time. The start was new too, 50 people all running to get the best position possible.  I felt like a Salmon trying to swim up river. It was a bit hectic, but I remember some sound advice I been given the night before, Just keep swimming.  I stuck to my guns and just kept swimming!  Before long I was in the clear, not to many people around.  I was nice and relaxed and sighting was not a big problem.  I was surprised, the first time I truly sighted the turn, I was only about 30 yards away.  At that time I caught on to another swimming and drafted on his feet.  Just like that, I was out of the water.  In previous open water swim, I had a little trouble coming out of the water with a bit of dizziness, this time I had none!  I made it out of the water in 9:57 and was pleased with that.

T1 - This first transition went pretty smooth, considering the long run up the hill.  I didn't have to much trouble getting ready.  I had everything laid out pretty well.  Preparing certainly helps!

THE BIKE - The first part of the bike was a little hectic, trying to calm my heart rate down after the swim and just relaxing into the ride.   Everything was going well.  At about six and half miles, I had the unexpected happen.  I was transitioning from my upright position to  my aero bars.  A gust of wind hit me and blew my right onto the shoulder.  I had a started to panic a little, thinking my tires were going to pop.  As I tried to get back on the road....BAM, I was on my left side skidding across the pavement. Somehow when I came to a stop, I popped right back to my feet.  My right foot never unclipped. Everything seemed to be alright, with the exception of some road rash (pictures below). As I started to pedal, my chain had come about half off, but luckily my crank caught the chain, brought it back over the sprocket and I was off again. One funny thought I had after getting going...I could feel my left cheek and the burn.  I was thinking, I hope my pants are not ripped and my whole butt is not hanging out!  Funny the thoughts you have? Thankfully and luckily only a couple of people I had just passed came by.  I was able to pass them again.  At the turn around, I got a huge boost, the wind was at my back.  My mile pace picked up by over a minute.   I felt like I was just flying.  With about a mile left, my bike started to get a little loose on me.  I thought maybe my speed and the grooves in the road were causing this.  I made it back to the transition  and my time was about two minutes better than I thought.  I finished the 15 mile ride in 43.33.  After the race was over and I checked my bike out, my back tired was flat!  I must have punctured a small hole on my wreck.  I got LUCKY!!!  What is that saying...Got to be lucky to be good sometimes!

 My left leg, left cheek, left elbow!

THE RUN - The run started a little shaky, it took my legs a little bit to get going.  The first part of the run was slightly uphill.  Once I go to the flat, I had got my heart rate calmed and was moving pretty decent.  The entire course had a few more hills than expected but was not to bad.  I just settled into a nice rhythm and cruised in.  The run was much better than I thought it would be, I actually enjoyed the run.  I think I could push a little harder on that next time.  But this was a learning experience and I enjoyed every bit of it.  I finished the run in 22:18.

After seeing my finish time, I was pretty happy.  I finished with a time of 1:17.40.  I am not sure on my overall place, but this put me in first in the Sprint Clydesdale division.  I was very happy with my time, I was hoping I could finish under 1:30 so this is good. During the awards ceremony, the Live Uncommon team members of Josiah, Jeff, Aaron and myself lit up the awards stands!  Aaron won the Olympic Clydesdale, Josiah took 3rd in the Sprint Clydesdale, and Jeff won the overall Olympic Race.   What a great feeling coming out of the weekend with all these people who have worked their tails off  and earning their hardware.  Great job to you guys, way to finish!

I would be lying if I did not say I am pretty excited about the Quad City Tri...however, I have a lot more training to do.  I want to improve in a few areas.  Their are some differences in distance so again, I will go into the race not expecting much but having fun.

Some of the Live Uncommon member sporting some of their bling! (Sorry Jeff, they did not give him a medal, I did not get  a picture of him!)

 After last weekend, I was not sure where I stood with my training.  A week ago, I was down in the dumps having a little pity party for myself.  Actually the pity party was kind of the heeling process for me.  With the good people I have surrounded myself with, they helped pick up the pieces, got me fired back up.  I am very happy I made the choice to get back at it and so quickly!  I can't thank my friends and family enough.  I do know I CAN conquer fears and disappointments by getting out there and getting after it.  My first triathlon was a super experience for me.  Not just for my time or earning a medal (although it helps), but for the experience.  Many people out there trying to fit and make a difference in our world.  Not to mention spending the weekend with some good people.  I think I have rambled enough!

Get out their and see what you CAN do today, that you thought you couldn't do yesterday!

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