Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2017 Ironman Wisconsin

Mile 90 on Midtown Road

This year's Ironman Wisconsin was a race that I was keyed in on since 2014. That was the last time I was able to race here in Madison due to the absence of a Professional Men's field. Each season I would race but wouldn't quite have the heart that I normally would have at Ironman Wisconsin.

As you can imagine, this year when it was announced the male pro's would be back, I was ALL IN. The season was focused on this race, 30hr+ weeks all summer long to try to raise the bar going into this event. The result of the training was fantastic and the data geeks would have had a field day with it. My coach, Cliff English, built a massive engine and he gets all of the credit for that!!

As we all know though, things don't go exactly as planned and while I did avoid getting my usual cold/flu in peak training, I managed to pick up a sinus infection about 8 days before the race thanks to our lovely Lake Monona on a rough day. I took antibiotics to try to get back to 100% by the race. I found by about day 4 I was feeling better from a sickness standpoint, but I lost that usual next gear that I had while peaking. I was strong, but not sharp.

Race day came around and that's exactly how I felt from the get-go. The effort yielded times across the board that were about 10% low (swim time, bike power and run pace). Yes I am disappointed I didn't have that race I wanted, but I am pleased that I was able to place 12th and that I got the most out of myself on the day while also making sure I had fun out there. I believe that it's important to race hard out there whether you are meeting your goals or you are an hour back from them.

During my second loop on the run I was able to see so many athletes who I helped get to that finish line and I couldn't help but feel very grateful to do what I do. It's now about more than me, it's about more than 1 result. It's about influencing and impacting as many people as I can to find the joy and greatness that triathlon can bring, whatever that means for them.

A huge congratulations to BBMC!!

Will I continue to race is the question I am getting a lot and the answer is YES! Will I focus on Ironman Wisconsin in the future if the Pro race comes back? I don't know. We all have a finite amount of energy and I will have to cross that bridge when I get there.

Thank you to all my sponsors, my family, Cliff English, my training partners, BBMC and anyone else who helped me get to that start line.

I'll end with a nice article that written by the WSJ (click on "WSJ).

Until next time...

Friday, September 01, 2017

Taper Time!

IMWI 2010 5th Place Professional

I cannot believe it's almost race week and more importantly I cannot believe I get to race an Ironman again in my home town. I raced IMWI 2002 through 2014, then without a men's Professional race, had to skip out on 2015 and 2016. Now that it's back for 2017 and I am grateful to simply be on that starting line once again.

Ironman for me represents something different than any other race distance, because it was such a challenge for me to be competitive at and because it is so different than any other race distance out there. There is no faking the distance, there is no Tour d'France mentality of "create a gap" that others miscalculate. The race is more like the boxing the match from a few weeks ago, or the US Open 2nd Round match from last night with Nadal. What is the condition of your body late in the game; round 10, 2hrs into a match or 8hrs into the race while at mile 20 of the run. Of course we all have bad days, we all make mistakes and $#*! happens, but for the most part Ironman is different. It's not about going fast, it's about not slowing down.

The above picture was taken in 2010 when I finished as the 5th Pro at IMWI. This race represented my first breakthrough Ironman and how I was feeling is pretty obvious in the picture (side note that Max Longree, in the background, missed the swim start by a few minutes).

10 days from now, MY GOAL, is to have that expression on my face when I cross the line...regardless of the placing. If I can get the most out of myself, be grateful and realize how far I have come since I started doing what was so hard for me 15 years ago, I will be satisfied.

I have had a lot of support from my inner circle, from my awesome team of athletes at BBMC, as well as from Peak Performance Massage, Trek, Blue Seventy and Endurance House of Madison. Last, but not least, I had a great plan and guidance from my coach Cliff English. Thank you!!!

Always remember that it's a privilege to race...for all of us to race. Next Sunday, I will be leading 32 other BBMC athletes on the race course, many of them for their first time. I couldn't be more stoked for each of them to be out there doing what they love to do for their own reasons and with their own goals.

My biggest piece of advice to them, regardless of their goal, is to find the joy in their race. That's where that extra 1% comes from and that's how you get the most out of yourself.

Happy Taper!