Time to Catch Up

Even when I’m not in school, I still get overly busy, just like the rest of the world. You need to find time to unplug and relax every so often. After three weeks in a row of racing, fixing up the house, anniversary, soccer, birthday parties, and beer week, it’s time for a few days break. My next race is TriRock Philly, and I want to be ready b/c it’s the first Olympic distance race for me. 

So, what have I done when it comes to training and racing over the last couple months? Well, after San Diego, I had to finish up school and then everything piled on top of itself. That’s really the last time I had a good week of training, which worries me b/c I only have two weeks until Philly. So, the weekend after San Diego I had Riverwinds. This is typically my warm up race of the season that acts as a gauge on how well training is going. Then it’s usually two months until my next race to really dial everything in. I did well. I was 3 mins faster, which is great considering how short and fast the race is. I did win my age group again and placed just outside top 10. It did’t help that I dropped my chain on the first part of the bike. I lost about a minute there, but I recovered. Amazingly, my legs felt great on the run after the disaster that was San Diego. I’m finally under 7mins average. The best part, is that I rode home after. I love that hour long ride to let the legs recover. This race is interesting b/c the swim is 200m indoors and then everything else is outside. We were very fortunate to have great weather. I decided to try out my swim skin to see how well it worked swimming and how dry it might keep me for the bike. It actually works very well, so I’ll continue to use it. This will be a big help for Philly I’m sure. 

After Riverwinds, I had about a month until Hammonton. Unfortunately, between work, house repairs, and everything else, my training never took shape. Word to the wise, build a very solid plan ahead of time that can be adapted for change. Read my previous post to understand why. Hammonton was like doing Riverwinds the year before, but everything full distance for a sprint and outside. The water was 10 degrees warmer than the air, which isn’t saying much when it’s 45 degrees outside and windy as hell. My swim was ok. I was top 10 out of the water in a huge wave, which is great, and then the bike was a simple out and back. Simple out, yes, but not simple in. Wind was gusting up to 18-20mph, so it was miserable with crosswinds. I still managed 20+ mph, which was only 3 mph slower than the fastest rider. The run was a different story. I didn’t get enough water during the bike b/c my bottle straw was too short. (Check everything!!!) And, my gel was solid b/c of how cold it was. I really don’t think that started to break down until about an hour after the race. I couldn’t feel my legs from the knees down until 2 miles into a 5k. Again, I still did well overall, and I beat Ian from work. Ha!

That next weekend, I did the Philly Classic Bicycling Open. Basically, I got to ride the Philly bike course for 1 hour 15 minutes before the pros race. It’s a 12 mile course with The Wall, Strawberry Mansion, and Lemon Hill. This was a lot of fun. I bought a new bike that week. It was a carbon Cannondale Synapse. I missed having a comfortable bike. It’s actually quite light and I can get into a very aggressive position with it, so it was perfect for this race. I averaged 18+ mph for the race, which is pretty good for me, and I got two laps in. Almost. I got pulled off course with less than 1/2 mile to go, so I rode it out on the sidewalk. Dave Angel from work rode with me and we pace lined it up Kelly drive into the wind at over 24mph. I never did that before, and it felt awesome. After the race, Liz and I walked up The Wall to go hang out at Fuji as VIP’s. If you ever have the chance to do this at a race, GO! This was the second time this year I had that treatment. Liz and I were under a shaded tent at the Start/Finish line at the top of The Wall for the entire day. We had food, beer, and an overall great time. We even brought Stig! He was the hit with everybody b/c of how good he was. After the women’s and men’s races, we walked back to the car, only to stop at Pitchers and watch the second half of USA vs. Germany friendly. Again, we brought Stig. And again, he was the hit of the bar. If we can keep getting tickets to the Fuji booth, I will keep going to that race b/c it was a great day!

Now, this began Beer Week in Philly. Liz and I love beer, so it was hard not to drink well and drink a lot leading up to our first ever Mud Run. Liz has been wanting to do an Endurance Race for a while now, and the MS Muckfest seemed like the perfect fit. Her sister did it the day before and assured us if she could do it, anybody can. Well, it wasn’t hard, but damn was it muddy and fun. I have never been that dirty in my life. I will say though, I now know better what to prepare for. I decided to wear my FIve Fingers without socks. That was a mistake. I donated them right after the race. I also need a tighter fitting shirt and shorts. Liz did great. She was so nervous right before start, but after all was said and done, her legs didn’t hurt that bad, and she was excited to do another one. I think team “Bro’Donnell” will be around for a while.

Anyways, that’s what I’ve been up to. Time for a nap. And not to drink beer for a while.

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