Monday, April 23, 2012

Facing The Fear... Part 2 to NOLA Race Report

I am sure a few of you are wondering what I am going to and how I am going to combat this, I am not alone in this.  If I remember back to 2009, my breakthrough year in long distance racing, I raced my a$$ off. I raced so often that racing became like training for me.  Aquathons, local races, bigger races and time trials. I raced everything I could. Though things started a little slow, it was by far my most consistent year of racing (when I was the most fit).

After a brief exchange with Cliff to get the OK and a few email convo's with people who have experience, it's time to treat this fear like any other one that I would face in life. I have two choices.  I can run from it, try to avoid and cope with it and retire from this sport with unfinished business, or I can face these fears head on and smash the hell out of them...over and over and over again, until they are either numb or gone.

So that's the plan, I won't release a race schedule outside of the larger races, but you can plan on me being out there much more often.  Physically I am ready to make my mark, not it's time to line everything else up and move forward with no excuses.



Hard Times In The Big Easy

New Orleans 70.3 Race Report.

Sometimes you show up to race completely physically prepared to take on everyone. You know through preparation that your numbers across the board is in a place to give anyone a run for their money...literally.  Then race day comes, the gun goes off and things turn out much differently than you anticipated.  This was one of those times.

What most people don't know about me is that I deal with a bit of anxiety.  Time to just put that out there for everyone. Most of the time it's very manageable, but from time to time, it becomes challenging. Without going into more detail, this was one of those times. Specifically, the handling of a deep dish front wheel in the wind. The wind wasn't horrible, but it was gusty and consistent throughout the course. After a close call with the curb at mile 3 and a VERY windy and sketchy descent off of one of the bridges at mile 5, I had a bit of an anxiety attack and I was unable to regroup or settle down to regain my focus. Typically I have a mental race plan where I anticipate running into barriers, usually Ironman Racing or very rough swims. Today was one of those days where I needed it at a time where I wasn't expecting it. Lesson learned.

Despite a subpar start to the season, we got out for a little fun on Bourbon Street. The highlight was definitely the food, however the entertainment at the karaoke bar was a close second.



Time to take bit of knowledge away from the big easy and move ahead to the next race that I am eagerly awaiting; Wildflower.  This is an event I have wanted to do since I got into the sport of triathlon and I will finally get a chance to do it.  In addition to racing, I am looking forward to spending a little time with my brother at his new home in SoCal!

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On a BBMC note, congratulations to Patrick Brady and Brandon Nguyen on their great races down here in NOLA! You both have a great season ahead. Thank you as well to Randy, Graetel and Dan for your race support this weekend.

Bring On May!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Minute Changes In NOLA

Well it's official, the swim has been cancelled at the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans.  In place of the swim, they have decided to hold a 2mile run.  In addition to that substitution, they have also had to shorten the bike to 52 miles because of debris on the road. Then second run course is now a 2 loop, double out and back course.

To be honest I don't mind the changes.  All 3 disciplines have been going well for me and it would have been nice to have a few minutes on the slower swimmers, but I am confident that my combined bike and run fitness is as strong as anyone racing tomorrow.  I have made some big gains in the last 4 months and am looking forward to laying down.

The only x-factor is the wind, 40mph and gusty is no joke and with all guys likely to be getting on the bike within a minute or so, safety will need to be number 1.

I also want to pass along a best of luck to Patrick and Brandon, the other BBMC'ers out there racing!

Race report to follow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gearing Up To Race

I thought I would check in before the start of  my 2012 season.

So far this year, I couldn't have asked for anything else in the sport of triathlon.

On the coaching side, my umbrella of BBMC athletes has grown to 50 for the first time since I have started coaching, over a decade ago.  There are many different levels of interaction that I have with these athletes, but each athlete serves as a daily reminder that I do make a difference. These individuals give me more than I could ever give them, they help give my life purpose. I can't wait to morph, grow and reach more athletes in the future. Thank you!

On the racing side of things, the season is about to get started in a little over a week's time.  Fitness is at all time best levels (no, that was not a typo) and I am excited for two good hit outs over the half ironman distance.  On April 22nd, I will head down to New Orleans 70.3 and then, two weeks later I will head out to race at the 30th Anniversary of the Wildflower Triathlon on May 5th.

I will check in again soon and will be sure to post a few pics from the "Big Easy," after I get back!

Until then, thanks for reading.

Blake