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Showing posts from 2009

Training Through The Holiday's

It is the favorite time of year for many people, but unfortunately it is also the most stressful. It seems as though every aspect of our life has become more stressful. There are work deadlines, holiday planning, shopping, visiting family and I haven't even started to mention 'everyday' life or training!
There is so much to do, that it is easy to see why many people fall off the wellness wagon. It is important to remember that it doesn't have to be this way. I love the following quote for life in general, but especially when stress gets high!

"Learn from the past, plan for the future, but live in the moment!"

Continue to do what has worked in the past and avoid what hasn't. There is no sense in repeating things that don't work for you. Don't worry about how many chocolates you ate this morning at work, or that swim session that you missed earlier this week. Those moments are gone and only thing we can do is use knowledge from the past, to plan …

Off Season Officially Started!

I am now offically two weeks into my off season and it is a nice change of pace. Im still training every day, but usually just 1 or maybe 2 sessions per day. I'll most likely keep this rolling through the Thanksgiving weekend and then start to get back into things a little bit more in the following week.

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to the Trek Bicycle Store Madison West location lastnight! Seeing you forgo the opening of "New Moon" (unlike 26.3 million other American's) and attend the event really did mean a lot ;) In the end it was a huge success! We had a great time with food, drinks, music, a little silliness, along with the creation of more than a few holiday wish list's! Thank you also to all of the westside store employee's! You guys are awesome and always work very hard to make sure these things go extremely smooth!

More to come soon...have to head out to ride and take advantage of this 55* November weather! Oh yeah, and it's NOT w…

Ironman Florida

Both of the times I have raced Ironman Florida the water has actually looked like what an ocean is suppose to look like! Standing on the start line the horizon looked like a distant mountain range, rather than a smooth never ending sheet of blue-green glass. The gun went off and it was probably the least rough start to an Ironman I have had in a long time. We were all one big happy group out to the turn until we turned into the sun and left to deal with the 4ft swells. It seems that everyone decided to take their own line to the return leg of the loop. I tried to guess which set of feet to stay on so I could remain at the front of the group. Unfortunately, I guessed incorrectly and was in no man's land with a few other swimmers.

I came out of the water in around 19th position and was quickly onto the bike with my good buddy Justin Daerr (JD). He and I trained in Clermont, FL together for a long time and as we rolled out I joked about how it felt just like old times. We were…

Believing In You!

I was going to write this post after IronmanFlorida, but I had some time and thought that I would write it prematurely. Triathlon (Ironman) is not only a sport and a lifestyle, but it is something that we use to teach us more about ourselves.


It is not about going fast for most athletes, but it is about setting off on a journey that we may or may not have thought we could complete. It is about showing ourselves that the so called "impossible," is truly possible. All we have to do is BELIEVE.


For many athletes, it is not just about the racing. It might be about losing weight, or it might be about feeling confident in who we are, our self image or maybe showing ourselves that we can live a healthy lifestyle, when we never have. When I think about all these things, I think about change and I think about empowering ourselves to live better lives and become happier people. Don't take a back seat to life, go get it..."We create our own lives and happiness." Work…

Panama City Beach Bound

It has been a while between updates, but I wanted to iron (haha) out the rest of the year before posting anything.

I have decided to head down to Panama City Beach on November 7th to race Ironman Florida. After a season with a lot of success, I almost accomplished a great result at Ironman Wisconsin. I have great fitness and motivation, so I have decided to keep my season rolling before getting out the ski's and working on my IM in the pool!

I raced IMFL back in 2006 and think that course suits me well. I am excited to get down there and will post another update before race day!

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Stay tuned for a new site coming soon and some more exciting news for 2010.

Life is good!

BB

Ironman Start #17..... Check!

2009 Ironman Wisconsin Race Report


Ironman Wisconsin this year was Ironmanstart #17. I had a few goals for this race...which will follow.

#1 - To be in the first chase pack.
#2 - To NOT blow up on the bike.
#3 - To race MY race.
#4 - To WIN.

Well, I scored 50% on this test, which would mean that had i taken any other test at any school i attended growing up, I would have failed miserably! But this was Ironman and while I was looking to ace this test, I was really just hoping for some solid steps forward...and that I did achieve! Here's how the day went down.

Okay, race morning....I rolled into a super secret parking spot that I cannot reveal because it is always open on race morning. It is only 1 block from the start and if I told you I can guarantee I wouldn't be able to park there next year!! BTW - I heard about the spot from one of my athletes! Thank you Roz!

As I am walking down to transition I am thinking to myself how quickly the year goes by. It seemed like only last month …

Congratulations!

I will be posting a race report on my day at Ironman Wisconsin, but first I wanted to post a big shout out to all of you who had great races on Sunday. Chris and Justin on their 5th and 6th places, Becky on her 21minute PR, David Olive on his finish, Will on sticking it out to the finish, the other local and Timex athletes, in addition to all of my athletes who all had great days! Congrat's!!


Colin G - 11:08 - PR
Randy Y - 11:49 - PR
Scott S - 11:55 - PR
Jim G - 12:13 PR
Lauren W - 12:36 PR
Jon B - 12:59 PR
Roz C - 13:38 *With The Flu
Julie H - 15:27 PR
Matt H - 15:27 PR

Hope everyone is recovering well...enjoy it!

Blake

The Power of Believing

It has been proven with science that there is not only a connection between the mind and the body, but that there is a connection between thinking positively and the body acting accordingly.

For many of you, including myself, it is now 5 days out from your ironman race. "All the hay is in the barn," and there is no more fitness to be gained or lost. The only thing you can do now is conserve energy and visualize everything going exactly how you want it to. I'm not saying to not think about the negative, because you should be prepared for it...but I am saying focus on and repeat the positive outcomes in your mind. Look back on your best training sessions, emails with your coach after these sessions and look back at mistakes from past Ironman races that you vowed you would not repeat!

Whatever your situation is, regardless of how you felt this morning when you woke up, know that 5 days is a LONG time. Anyone can do anything for 5 days...except maybe holding your breath, …

Getting Close

It is that time of year where we look at our watches, calendars, or anything else with a date and wonder how the heck time flew by so quickly. This is especially true here in the midwest where it feels like we didn't even have a summer. It has been one of the most temperate summers I can remember. There have been a total of 2 weekends that could be classified as "warm" and even those were not bad. The beaches remained open all year, when they usually close due to algae blooms. If you want a little more perspective, the low tonight is 39*, with freezing temps possible just a little further north. BUT I have a few words of caution if you think that the Ironman here will not be hot. The long term temperature trend shows the mercury rising and that gulf humidity making it's way back to town, just in time for race day.

Many of you are either racing this weekend or will be toeing the line at Ironman Wisconsin in a few weeks. Some of you are coming into your big race…

Believe...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LMEa0TVY_4 "Game On"
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Many of us are getting within reach of our key races for the season. We are counting down the weeks and the days until we get to that start line. Some of us are rocking out in our training and some of us are wondering whether we have done enough or will be ready.

Regardless of what category you fall into or how your last weekend of training went, you need to remember one thing. The only day that matters, the only session that matters, is race day.

If you are training well, great! But it means nothing unless you can transfer it over to race day. Pay attention to why things are going well; your pacing, nutrition, etc. Remember what works, a well as what doesn't. Draw confidence from your great sessions and use it if you start to doubt yourself as the race gets close.

If you are not training well, or aren't sure whether you will be ready for race day, don't stress. Stick to your plan and belie…

Spirit Of Racine Race Report

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If there is one thing that I have realized this year, it's that I race best when I don't think about much of anything race related. I have done this long enough, that I know what i need to do. I just take the fitness I have and use it. The rest takes care of itself.

The 2009 Spirit of Racine Half Ironman was no exception. I registered the day before and then stayed with my mom and grandma, about an hour away in Milwaukee. I got grandma's cooking the night before, including way too many mashed potato's!! Well what else am I suppose to do when she shoves the pan in your face and says; "Here, you finish these up. You need them and no one else will eat them!" Then came the apple/walnut bake....I was fueled, there was no doubt about that ;)

Race morning, I followed my pattern of not over thinking. I rolled into transition 10 minutes before it closed. Dropped my stuff, got body marked, hit a pit stop and headed up the beach for the point to point swim start.…

Breakthrough!!!

3:54:04!!

Spirit Of Racine Half Ironman race report to come!

If You Listen, It Will Come

Besides playing off of the awesome movie "Field Of Dreams," what am I talking about? I am talking about listening to your body when training! Many of us become so wrapped up in our training plans that we forget about the most important aspect of training and performance. That is, How we are feeling and how the body is working!

We feel the need to hit every single yard, minute, heart beat, watt and interval...we become obsessed with going as good, if not better, every time out the door. When we do this, we almost always self destruct and become frustrated.

Regardless of which training protocol you are following, what your performance management chart says, what you think you "should" be able to do on a given day, you have to remember that we are not machines. Training is a small piece of the the total amount of stress that we place on our bodies in life. In many ways our bodies do not differentiate between training stress and work stress, or family stress.

Th…

A New Athlete...

If you have followed my blog over the last 6 months, you would have seen that I have really changed my approach heading into Ironman this year. No more endless 30-40hr training weeks, no more long easy hours on the bike, just training with a purpose, every time I get out the door. I have been racing a lot and going hard very often, all on less than 18hrs of training per week. This approach is partly due to my past training load, my experiences with coaches as of late, as well as needing more time to dedicate toward my growing coaching business.

I think that for athletes that are relatively new to the sport; miles logged and consistency in training are the keys to improvement. However, after no more improvement using this approach is seen, it is time to switch things up.

I am now just getting into the last 10 weeks of training before Ironman Wisconsin and this last weekend i had my first ride longer than 4hrs and first run longer than 90 minutes since January! Using my same zone guid…

Racing, racing and more racing

If I showed you my training log over the last month, you wouldnt think that I have been doing much, or that my fitness would be building. But if you saw my racing log, it would be a different story. It feels like I have raced almost the same number of hours as I have trained. This is a big change from past years for me, but so far this is just what I've needed! I'm lovin' it!!

Racing locally has turned out to be quite fun. Along with all of the support from friends,family and local sponsors, I also have found another pro athlete (Will Smith) to race head to head with on most days. Will is a very talented Kiwi athlete in addition to being a very nice guy. So far I am 0 for 2 against him, but we have had some good battles.


- Madison Quarter Marathon - 1st overall (course record)

- Susan G Komen 5k - 5th overall (new 2mi PR of 9:58)

- Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon - 2nd overall (bike course record)

- 2 Local 10mile time trials, 2nd at both events setting a new CP20 wattage (384…

Another Week and More Progress...

So I am posting another training blog this week. Pretty typical of a triathlete I guess ;) But I am continuing to put 90% of my energy into other areas of my life when not training and it is paying off huge. The mental and physical energy and motivation has never been higher.

This last week has shown more great things that support the importance of being fresh and rested. I have integrated some strength work back into my program, so I had a bit of muscle soreness that limited me, but overall things are going great.


Here are the highlights of the last week.

Thursday TT, I finished 2nd overall again with a pretty good field showing up. 10.5mile course covered in 21:13, power for the ride was 355w. This was pretty good since I lifted the day before. The route was almost dead flat, some wind, no a lot. Weight is 163/164 right now. No going to go any lower if I can help it.

Saturday 5k. For the first time I strung together 2 sub 5min miles...went through the 2mile mark in 9:58, then pro…

More Local Fun...

This last weekend I ran the Madison Quarter Marathon as a part of my short course focus, which will last through the first half of the season. I won and ran well, but still have a little ways to go before I switch to Ironman focused work in July.

Throughout the next 6 weeks I will keep on, keeping on, with the local events. They are turning out to not only be great for my fitness, but a lot of fun as well. The next two weeks will include 2 time trials of 10miles on the bike, a 5k run road race and a local sprint triathlon on June 7th.

As a side note, Madison has the World's Largest Bratfest, which is held every Memorial Day weekend. For those of you that don't know what a brat is...it is like a suped-up hotdog....bigger and better. They are best served with sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, mustard and of course with a cold beer. This year, they set a wold record again after selling over 208,000 brats! GOtta love Wisconsin.

That's it for now, maybe next time I will talk about wh…

Perspective...

Some of you may know the name Steve Larsen and some of you may not. I had the chance to meet him at Ironman Coeur d'Alene last year for the first time, after hearing a lot about him and his career.

Steve was a Professional Triathlete, Entrepenuer, husband and father of 5. He was one of the best athletes in our sport a true symbol of how to balance life. Steve passed away on tuesday from unknown reasons during a track session.

My deepest condolences go out to his family.

There is a memorial fund set up here, if you are interested in donating.

http://xtri.com/features_display.aspx?riIDReport=5633&CAT=24&xref=xx

Memphis & TT'ing IT Locally

MEMPHIS

I made the trip down to Memphis in my mini with good friends; Brian, Justin and Laura...we also met up with Laura's other half, Denny, once down there. Brian and I drove from Madison to St. Louis, where we picked up Justin and Laura, who flew in from Colorado. The drive isn't too bad, but when you have 2 bikes in boxes, 2 bikes out of boxes, luggage, food and 4 athletes who can't sit still, the drive is long enough.

The event was a bit different this year, in that the pro races started at 1030am, after the age group race had finished. Besides a rockin' north wind, it was nice to have the 1700 age groupers + spectators, cheering you on!

I had a decent non-wetsuit swim and came out in a touch over 20minutes....not bad considering there was some chop in the water. The fastest guys swam just over 16minutes, so I have some work to do if I am going to be competitive in the water without a wetsuit, over the short distances.

The ride was TOUGH, but uneventful. I held back …

Less IS More

TRAINING YOUR STRENGTH

I was recently talking to a friend of mine about athletes that look to other successful athletes and convince themselves that they need to do what that person did in order to be successful.

This can work sometimes, but what happens if you have a tremendous swimming and cycling ability and you are looking at someone who is 10kg's lighter and pure runner? No matter what you do, u will never become that type of runner, nor will you ever have your best race trying to be. But on the flip side, they will never have your swimming and cycling ability...so what do you do?

What we have to do is evaluate ourselves and identify our own strengths....then train them and race them. Pick courses that suit you, choose a race strategy that plays off of those strengths and race in a way where you have a chance to use them.

In addition, if you are a woman that is 60kg's, or a man that it 80kg's...it does you no good to try to become an athlete that is 10kg's+ lighter. …

Crazy Legs Classic

Things are rolling along pretty well and even though we haven't seen the sun in about 4 days now, I am still laying down some pretty good run miles and will finish the week somewhere close to 75 I think.

Yesterday I raced the Crazy Legs Classic 8k here in Madison. This is probably the largest 8k race in the area (minus the St. Patty's Day run in Chicago) with over 18,500 runners. The conditions, were, ummmm, wet :) but it didn't take away from the fun. The race starts on the capital square and finishes inside Camp Randall Stadium (where the Badgers play).

Anyway, even with the big jump in run mileage my legs seemed to feel pretty good. I have a little ways to go before I am back in good form, but I had a solid day, finishing 25th in a time of 27:50, which is right about half marathon pace for me ;)

The next week is a busy one, with the Wisconsin Bike Summit on Monday evening, travel on Tuesday, a little trip with my stepdad planned on Wednesday and then I will be flying …

Full Speed Ahead....

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Lots has happened in the last month and I am happy to say that I am rolling full speed ahead again and loving every minute of it.

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To catch you up, I got back from winter training and was a little burned from 15 months of beating the horse. I decided to take 2 weeks off to see how my body reacted....I was still tired. So instead of forcing things, I backed off and trained how I felt for the next 6 weeks. I put in some good sessions, but didn't touch 20hrs once in that period. This is the first time I have done this in 8 years racing and it ended up being the best thing I could have done.

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I was in the area and decided to race down at the California Ironman 70.3 a few weeks ago after crashing a week out from the race. The swim went well for me, I lead the second back out of the water without any trouble. Now I just need to make the move up to that front back at the 70.3 distance. Ride was comfortable, I knew I didn't have the fitness to go with the guys that were bridging up to …

Taking A Toll...

Recently I have been working with a few athletes/friends that are going through some things that I know are not that uncommon. How do I know this? I know this because I have gone through so many of the same things and seen others go through them too.

Triathlon is a great sport! It is a healthy lifestyle, it is made up of fantastic people and teaches us that we can do so much more than we thought possible. For the most part, I find that the sport is made up of very hard working, nice, goal oriented people. From our first race, we want to improve...go faster, push more watts, do better than we did on our previous time out.

This can be a good thing in that it is what great performances are made of. But there is also a downside. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the sport (actually this is true of many things in life, but I will stay on track here) that we let it become more than just something that we do. It starts to define us...it becomes us. We are happy when we do well, we are down wh…

Rolling With The Punches...

Throughout life we are dealt many different cards....some are great and some we would rather forget about. To make it a little bit easier to deal with the tough times, we have to just roll with the punches, however or whenever they come, we have to just do what can and keep moving forward.

Today I was out on my last key ride before the California Half Ironman next Saturday and was dealt some not so favorable cards. I was having a great ride ride and seeing solid watts for the amount of training that I have been putting in (not a ton).

Half way through the first of my 3, 20minute intervals, a bee flew straight into my mouth and stung me.....awesome. The ride was off to a great start. I finished my second interval with no issues and then I had about 90seconds left on my third interval when I was coming up to a four way stop where I always turn right. There was no traffic, so I took the turn with a little bit of speed. Well as I went into the corner, i blew out my front tire and befor…

The Real Question Is.....

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....how long would it take you to eat this jar of Peanut Butter??? - - Here are the nutritional facts to help you think about it a little more. Yes, that is 6400calories of Peanut Butter goodness!!! - -
Since the Challenge WanakaIronman race in January, I have decided to give up "added sugar" in my diet. This includes all sugars that aren't naturally occurring. The only exceptions are special occasions, or times when it doesn't fit well for others. That doesn't happen too often right now, so I have to have another way to replace those calories.... - The solution....PEANUT BUTTER...actually anything with fat in it. - Anyway, the other day I was having my peanut butter and spoon (yes, that mens I was just spooning it down...doesn't everyone do that? :) and Curt asked me how long it would take me to finish the container to PB...I said "I don't know!?! How long do you think it will take me?" He said 6 days, so I decided to take the challenge. The o…

Spring Is here....

It's the first day of spring and for many that live in colder climates, this is the time where the motivational switch is flipped. The smell of the ground that has been frozen for 6months, the pollen in the air from budding trees and flowers, the rain showers and the longer days all contribute to the feeling that warmer weather is ahead. For many people, who get the blues toward the end of winter, this is also a time where they start to feel happier.
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Some people have trained hard over the cold months, some people have skied, some people are are rehabbing from injuries and some people haven't done much. Regardless of where you are and what you have done, it is important for you to ease into things. It is very easy to get out the door and drill yourself every single day that the weather is nice. Most of the time, things go well for a week or two, but it soon back fires, with sickness, injury or becoming over-reached.
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Racing is still along way off in the midwest and northeast, so…

Week 1 in Tucson....

The first week in Tucson has flown by, as I am sure the next 4 will. The weather has been nothing short of perfect (45-55* and dry at night, 80-90* sunny and not that windy during the day) and the training has been fantastic. The body is starting to feel good again and I am optimistic about being fit enough to go well in April. I will get a little better picture in another few weeks.
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This week is also moving week in the Johnson household. Curt and Erin Johnson are the couple that I am living with here in Tucson and are moving themselves, their stuff, 2 puppers and a bum athlete :) into a new place. Luckily, the move in and move out dates overlap and the new place is about a mile away, so there is no rush on getting stuff over there. Tomorrow will be the "big stuff" day with the Uhaul. No need to strength train...
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On the last blog I talked about the mind/body connection and how doing well in life, really goes hand in hand with doing well in sport. The reality is that …

Flipping The Switch....

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The above pic is from Australia this last winter and is of our group after riding up to the summit at Falls Creek. - Those of you that are closest with me, know that I have been going through a bit of a "funk" over the last month. Most of it came from lacking a little direction in both life and racing. I think that everyone goes through periods like this, especially if you are an athlete...that is why it is so important to surround yourself with good friends who can help keep you positive and have a great life outside of sport. That is exactly where I put my focus over the last 5 weeks, hoping that it would help me find my mojo again. What do you know....it worked. - Many people, including myself, talk about the mind-body connection in sport....in order to perform at your peak physically, you have to be in a good spot mentally. - I am now in Tucson, Arizona after briefly stopping in Boulder for a few days. Needless to say, I have had a lot of time to think through things in the s…

Getting Back to Business...

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Here is another black and white pic that I took in NZ.


This is the first week that I have started "training easily" again and now I can say that even after 2 weeks of nothing, I am starting to feel like myself again. Infact, maybe a bit better.
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I have hopped in the water a handful of times and included some harder swimming in the last 3 sessions. Each time I swam hard for 1200yds and to my surprise, I swam PR's on all 3 sessions. Mainset's were 3x400(last one in 4:29), 5x200(last one in 2:07) and 12x100(last 3 at 59 from a push). So while I felt like a donkey for the first 3 or 4 days moving again, I am pretty sure that it won't take long to get back where I was at.
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On another note, I have been enjoying a lot of time with my friends back in WI. I have stayed out way past my normal bedtime, but had a lot of fun. Activities have included or will include, shuffle board, Uno(thanks JD), bowling, clubbing, mini-golf, lots of eating out, visiting a tea house and some go…

Hitting the Reset Button

After a 34+ hour trip back home, getting charged $900 in airline change fees and setting off the explosives alarm at LAX when being searched at security, I made it back to the Wisconsin Meat Locker.
The cold was a bit of a shock when I arrived in the Twin Cities this last week. I was greeted by frost coating the jetway walls as I exited the plane. It wasn't a surprise, the outside temp was -1* F. Minus the cold (haha) and sleep, I have had a fantastic week back with friends.
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I have decided to take 2 weeks off and a few more weeks easy before starting to train hard again. I have done A LOT of work in the last 15 months, with no more than 4 consecutive days off. In addition, I haven't taken more than 7 consecutive days off in over 3 years. So to say a break was needed is an understatement. During this break, I will also be getting some testing and blood work done to get a baseline of where I am at and what I need to do in order to accomplish my goals in the coming yea…

Wrapping it up....

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The above pic is from Lake Tekapo, which is about half way between Wanaka and Christchurch, New Zealand. The church in the foreground is one of first in the area. In the background you have Lake Tekapo, which is a really deep shade of green, and the southern alps behind it. I had to wait a while to get this pic without tourists, but it was worth it. This pic is one of about 500 that I have taken, so look for a few more to be posted in the coming days.
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My time away from North American is quickly coming to a close and I have seen and learned a lot. The first 5 weeks were spent with Brett Sutton in the Philippines, then the next 8 were in Albury NSW, Australia training with friends and finally the last 2 were racing and training in New Zealand. - The Philippines gave me a first hand look at what it is like to live in a 3rd world Asian country. I didn't particularly enjoy the living situation there, but it definitely gives you good perspective on how most people live in these countries.…

A New Focus

Many of you have looked at my 2009 race schedule and asked if I have a new focus for the coming year. So I thought I would answer this one on my blog.

Ironman has been the primary focus of my racing since I have gotten into the sport. The challenge of racing all day and pushing your body over 8, 9 or 10 hours has become a passion of mine. But over the last few years, I have realized that my strength may be elsewhere in the sport...the 70.3 distance, or half ironman. Whether it be physical or physiological, I seem to go the best when racing for 4 hours.

I will still be racing Ironman Wisconsin in September, but until then my number one focus will be the half ironman distance. In addition to the half ironman, I will also be taking part in more short local events to help build up my top end.

I am very excited for the coming year and will post all the latest news on my blog. you can also visit my website regarding clinics and camps for the coming season.

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On another note, th…