Ironman Coeur d’ Alene, 2023

I should say from the outset, before I launch into a long winded explanation of why I DNF’d, that I actually met nearly all of my goals for signing up for this race. We needed a long term goal to get us back to something of a pre-pandemic life. 2018 Santa Rosa was such a bad time for me–bad attitude during training and a bad attitude during the race–that I really wanted to _have fun_ with triathlon again. I wanted to train hard, but also enjoy it. I wanted to go into the race with a sense of calm, determination, and gratitude. And honestly, I think I did achieve that.

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2017: All the Things!

2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year; I quit my job to start a new business in January, so I’ve been essentially “starting a business” for the last 3 months (aka still haven’t made money from said business). Which also means I’ve been unemployed for the last 3 months. You may think that means I’ve been training a ton, but I haven’t really been training any more then I did before. Mostly because starting a business is a full-ish time job, and also because I had no idea what I was going to be able to race until very recently.

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2017, here we go

I’m starting to see pictures of indoor trainer rides on Facebook; we’re 4 days in and I’m already feeling behind! Behind what I don’t know. Not behind other people’s sweaty butts at an indoor bike session, I can tell you that. Winter is for lifting heavy things, and that is what I’ve been doing. Weight lifting, strength training, agility…it feels good to move in any direction other then forward.

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Race Report: Arizona, my first Ironman

It’s funny now, looking back. Where I thought I could place, how fast I thought I could run. Honestly, my goals were just a way to keep me motivated to keep focused during training. I don’t think my goals were crazy, in terms of my potential as an athlete. But my goals were definitely a bit crazy in the sense that I’ve only been running and swimming consistently for about 11 months. That was pretty clear about 6 miles into the run.

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Triathlon is real expensive

I can tell you one thing about triathlon: it is really expensive. Like, _really_ expensive. I walk around at Ironman Arizona, and it’s Zipp discs as far as the eye can see. $6k bikes, fancy wet suits, $300 bike shoes; everything is expensive. Just the race entry itself is quadruple the money I had ever spent on a race entry in my life, and this is also the first time I’ve ever even _flown_ to a race.

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Peak mileage

I went for a 9 mile “lunch” run on Wednesday; I think that’s when shit started to feel real. Not even a month ago, 9 miles was my Sunday long run. Last weekend I blew away my previous long run (12 miles) and ran 15. Not without consequences however; my knee and calves were not happy about the situation and have been tight all week. But then I ran the 9-miler without a problem. I no longer understand what’s going on with my knee so I just run and hope for the best.

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From Summer to Winter

I was in Sunriver last weekend, and regardless of the weather, had a big ride to do, and a big run. When I left Saturday morning for my 80 mile ride around Mount Bachelor, it was 37 degrees, and large dark clouds hung in the horizon. I didn’t even bring a coat.

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Let the training begin!

Hi guys, it’s been a while.

After Coeur d’Alene 70.3 last June, I began ramping up again for the full in August… and then decided to bag it and sign up for Arizona full instead, which is in November. So I went on a long break from training.

Honestly it was a necessity for my knees and hips, which had gotten quite angry. I took almost three weeks completely off from running, and came back refreshed. While I still cannot run pain-free, I’m optimistic if I slow my runs way down, I can get through the race. I won’t be winning any awards, but I think I’ll survive without having to walk 26.2 miles.

So actual training begins now. Which means a complete shut down from me for the next couple of months; I’ll be saying no to everything and just sleeping, eating, training and working. And lots and lots of foam rolling.


Coeur d’Alene 70.3

Race day certainly had a different start then any I’ve ever had. For the first time on a race day morning, for both for me and for DJ, neither of our alarms went off. We were supposed to be in the lobby ready to leave at 5am for the 6am race start. DJ startled me out of sleep at 5:05am. Oops.

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And now for a bit of dirt

I am currently sitting in a hotel room in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, prepping for another half Ironman this weekend. It feels a little unreal given that last weekend, I was out on the Olympic peninsula on my fully loaded mountain bike with Komorebi. The weekend before a race is supposed to be all about rest; certain schlepping camping gear up and down trails, and then hiking 2 miles awkwardly carrying bike bags to a campground counts as rest, right?

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New bike day

My tri-nerd metamorphosis is now complete: I bought a triathlon bike. As it turns out, there _is_ a difference between tri bikes and TT bikes–tri bikes are not UCI legal. So I guess I won’t be doing any UCI time trials after all.

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Somehow I managed to push life away for a long time to focus on training. From January until race day in early May, I avoided going out of town, doing any major house work or having to work late. Life came back to me in an avalanche the second I got back from Utah.

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St George 70.3 – 2016

The story of St George begins the evening before we hit the road, when DJ and I drove out to Hagg Lake to take part in an open water swim race. I hadn’t done an open water swim since Blue Lake Tri in 2008, when I panicked and had difficulty just getting through it. I recall sitting up and treading water, my breath fast and ragged, waiting for everyone to swim by me so I could begin with the tangle of arms and feet around me.

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Race Week!

I’ll admit it: typing “race week” makes me a bit nauseated. Nervous excitement! I’m going to have to figure out how to not be nervous all week long; usually I just try not to think about the race at all until race morning, but with so many things to pack and prepare for, I don’t think that will be possible.

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Everyone has asked if I’m tapering for the race. Apparently I am, although it doesn’t necessarily seem like it from looking at my workout schedule. The workouts are generally shorter, but harder. We’re “sharpening” my fitness. I keep imagining a pencil sharpener for some reason, although that’s not very intimidating is it?

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Racing your ego

I admit, one of the hardest things about racing is _not_ racing–holding yourself back when you need to. Especially in a 5+ hour effort. It’s so easy to get carried away and try to get pass everyone in eyesight.

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Dumb things I’ve done in races

St George is coming up very soon, so soon that I’m starting to get a bit nervous about it. I’m not really too nervous about my actual performance; I’m worried about all the other things. I do dumb shit in races _all_ the time. You can hear me laughing at myself as I circle around the infield at PIR during the summer short track series, as I run into a tree or miss my pedal, or get my bibs caught on the saddle trying to sprint; I’ve done it all!

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Weekend adventures; don’t over apply the embro

I’m happy to report that despite a still-tight right hip adductor, I managed to eek out 9.5 miles on Leif on Sunday; I felt slow, but it wasn’t about the speed, it was about “time on my feet” as DJ puts it. I kept my adductors from being overly engaged by simply… _not_ trying to change my form. Over time I’ve come to realize all the things I’ve been doing to “correct” form have caused one injury or another. Running too far forward on my feet hurt my calves, trying to push my pelvis forward has angered my hips. So I just let my body be and instead focused on having a super strong core.

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Practicing for the inevitable

Yesterday in the pool we practiced something I’ve been really nervous about: having people swimming all around me. I’ve only done an open water swim in a race once, and I had a panic attack and basically waited until everyone passed to resume swimming. So DJ swam all around me, crowding me, trying to push me out of the way. While it wasn’t much, it made me feel instantly better about the situation.

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Toughen up

After a long ride on Saturday, I was supposed to run 6 miles, and then wake up and run another 8 on Sunday. Well, 3 miles into the first run, my hip abductors said “fuck you no” and took me down to a slow walk. Of course this happens 3 miles out from the house, while I’m sporting my brand new short-shorts, which I’m still self-conscious about.

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Do Easy Easy

Please avoid the temptation to work a bit harder here and there.  It’s super easy to do and it will not feel like you are working very hard.  If you do  easy workouts easy enough you can do the hard workouts correctly.

—Coach DJ

By the numbers

As of today (April 8th), this year (2016) I have:
  • Biked 1,112 miles, climbed 75,965 feet
  • Ran 167 miles
  • Swam 69,506 yards

As compared to last year, where by this time I:

  • Biked 843.8 miles, climbed 61,852 feet
  • Ran 7.5 miles
  • Swam 0 yards

And I was training for a 100 mile mountain bike race. Granted, I was in the gym 2-3 days a week doing strength & agility training, which is not reflected in Strava.

It’s been a big year so far, and I am excited to see where it takes me.