If you're a Colorado local then you might have turned on Channel Nine news at noon on Friday and decided that I am a damn liar.
I didn't appear on live news like it was originally planned. There was a major explosion in the Denver area and that took precedent over me. I did do a taped interview with Channel Nine and Channel Seven which were both aired at some point over the weekend (though I'm not sure when).
I also did three radio interviews (two local; one national) on Friday. I was scheduled to do an additional interview on Sirius, but I was bumped by Michael Vick which was one of the more surreal moments of my day (and life).
The entire day was a completely new experience and I was pretty wiped out by the end of it, but I was really psyched that I had the oppurtunity to do more than race for one of my sponsors.
I also raced the EAS Boulder Peak triathlon this weekend. Good times
I always have a bit of anxiety with these high profile short course races, but a couple of my long course amigos were racing alongside me so that gave me a little more to work with.
The water was above 72 so the elites were racing without wetsuits and I have ZERO issues with that since marginally warms waters have a tendency to blow me up like no other.
We had a pretty big elite field with almost 35 guys. Given the caliber of athleticism in Boulder this was going to be a fast and hard race. I was sure that the swim would include an aggressive start so I was merely hoping to get towed out for 2-400 meters where I had hopes of finding a group to swim tempo with.
The race director gave the final warning at 30 seconds and all I remember from that moment to the firing of the gun was the silence. Everyone: the spectators, the athletes... ...it was like a golf tournament. Pretty cool actually.
The race kicked off like I thought, but I found myself gapped from the two main groups ahead of me. I actually moved ahead of the guys around me and solo TTed for nearly 1000 meters to the swim finish. I came out about 4 minutes from the lead guys, but about 60+ seconds from the second pack. I'm going to need to get my swim starts down as I likely wasted time and energy missing that train.
Nevertheless, I was off onto the 42K bike course. I felt nice and smooth and fortunately I was not dealing with a 190+ heart rate that I often see after T1 in short course races. I paced myself nicely to the base of Olde Stage and summitted the climb within my comfort zone. The rest of the ride was uneventful and I hopped off the bike with hopes of running down a few people on the three loop circuit.
Well that did not happen; at least not by will anyways. I did manage to run a few people down, but that was only a result of the fact that their meltdowns were even great than mine. It was around 100 degrees (our race started at 9:00 after the AG race) on an exposed, windless and dusty run course. No matter what I tried I just couldn't pick the pace up. I was totally tapped out as I saw an immensely elevated heart rate, but without the pace to match it. So I just stayed relaxed and finished the day as best I could. I ended up around 20th in the professional race which was fine by me on the day.
So 2:07 and the 20th place is ground zero for the years to come. I'm hoping to make this race a staple over the years as long as Boulder is a place I call home. Plenty of room to grow there!
Yesterday I finally did a ride I had hoped to do for over two years now. I rode to the top of Mount Evans (14,200 feet) via the highest paved road in North America. However, in hopes of making the ride truly epic we made sure to ride eight hours and climb over 12,500 feet along the way.
Chris McDonald (www.trimacca.com) , Marilyn MacDonald (www.marilynmacdonald) and I rolled from their summer home in Nederland around 7:00 yesterday morning and made our way up a long, long, long climb. I have never been above 13,000 feet on foot (or bike) so I was really looking forward to getting to the top.
All three of us stayed together the entire day with the exception of a few miles and we all walked away with a new experience at day's end.
Around 10,000 feet (when the air was getting quite thin) Chris commented that he felt ( and I agreed) that very few of the professional triathletes living and training in BoCO would (or have done) the ride we were currently doing.
I responded: "Dude, most people haven't even ridden up Sunshine Canyon, let alone Mt Evans."
Training works best with routine, but the willingness to train can be fueled by adventure. Don't let pace and power compromise your need to have fun fromt time to time. I might not be able to justify the physiological gains from a ride like that, but it will be one of the few days I will remember when this is all said and done.
The Ironman Canada preps are continuing to go well.
All the best,