I'm a debatable gentleman and endurance sport activist living in Los Angeles. Here, we'll talk about the second of those two things...

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Ironman Canada - 9:42:46 AG #4 (Amateur #8) OA #16

Well, it’s been a bit of a mad dash in June and July, with a lot of racing, and a lot of chasing. Wasn’t pretty most of the time, but the dust has settled and it seems I have kicked and screamed my way back into the Ironman World Championships in Kona. And that feels right.

Whistler was extraordinary. The venue and part of the world has absolutely left a mark on me. The air was invasively clean compared to Los Angeles and I can’t remember anything I ate besides blueberries and wild salmon. The views, scenery, active people everywhere, fun town, the way Canadians talk…it was all great.

So the race…I knew it was going to be a big one. I thought coming off Vineman, even though it was only 2 weeks ago, was going to set me up to drop a hammer on this thing, even with 6500 feet of climbing on the bike and a very hilly run against a big body. I didn’t care. I was going to transcend all that. Swim was absolutely stunning. It reminded me of exactly a year ago when I was in Zurich for Ironman Switzerland - cannot give much higher marks to either venues. A business casual swim brought me out of the water in 57 minutes. Top pros swam around 51. There weren’t any top, top end swimmers, but 57 was still a great result for me. I can attribute this entirely to my skill work with Tower 26 and just being comfortable in pack swimming. Last year, I often went into swims with something to prove and would kill myself for every second - and most of the time, I also sought out clear water so I could swim alone. This year, I just kinda cruise, hunting for feet or hips or shoulders. Lazy. When you have the skills, this approach works. But now I need to swim more. I need to graduate a pack before the big show, before they take my fancy wetsuit away. 

In my mind before the race, I thought best case I could swim a 57 and bike a 4:55. I thought if I could get onto that run before 6 hours, I would have a good gap to hold off the runners and contend for overall amateur. My bike was solid, not spectacular. I think it’s hard for me to be spectacular on a course like Whistler. Came in with a 5:04. Normalized power was 290, average 273 - and I don’t have enough experience breaking things down to know if on a course with as much 0 watts as Whistler if losing 67 average watts between Vineman 70.3 and this full is a huge drop…but I have a feeling it is. I came into transition in 10th place overall and second amateur - there was a 56/4:57 ahead of me. 

The run won. I thought 3:18-3:25 coming in. I ran a 1:25 in St. George - so I still believe that’s an earned estimate. Planned on heading out at a 7:30 pace, which would have actually been a 7:15 pace in the early miles and set me up well for the long, slow, bleed out that is an Ironman marathon. Instead, I started out in the 7:30’s and just couldn’t find rhythm. The course was rolling…rocks, pavement, dirt, planks — absolutely beautiful but I was struggling. Third and fourth place amateur passed me around mile 10. I think a couple more got me around 17. The last 3 got me in the fog of the last 9. But I fought for it. When I had to walk steep hills, which was often coming home, I took them on like a power-walk psychopath and then picked back up into good, committed running. Like I said before, by no means was this effort pretty, but I got the job somewhat done in a 3:35 — a huge failure based on estimates, but I am taking heaps from it. And I’m excited for the coming opportunities to make it the outlier I know it is. Even in the bastard swelter of the Queen K. Bet on it.

Time for a break. Time for a reset. I know Mt. Tremblant and Kona are the next two up, but the one thing I have to do right now is take 10-15 days and just clean out and reset. First three races of the year were great. Sharp, focused, executed. These last 3 have been a little funky. My run has been seriously funky. I’m excited to make inspired revisions and move forward. Now that I’ve been around this game long enough I know - everything is pattycake before the WC’s. They are a rack of money balls.

Ironman Canada
I like to talk about things. Before they happen. Has something to do with my processing of large endeavors. This Thursday, I am flying up to Vancouver to drive to Whistler so that I can race Ironman Canada. Full distance. Before 2014 started, and probably somewhere during or right after my injured march on Ironman Kona commenced in 2013, I decided I was through with the 140.6. I had flown to Zurich in July last year after already having qualified for Kona at Honu, and ended up walking carefully the last 7 miles after coming to a belief that there was a broken bone in my foot - wasn’t the case, but things were beginning to fall apart. I came into Kona pretty injured, and off-center, and I told myself it was enough, to put the full distance behind me with my hands up, admitting defeat. I had taken it on twice and stumbled mightily both times. As a result, I let the full go to make space for an obvious and welcome focus on 70.3. I wanted to win an Ironman amateur title and qualify for a pro card during the early part of 2014…and even though it seems like ages ago, I did both those things, the first at Galveston 70.3 in April and the second at St. George 70.3 in May.
Then in June, after I had already crossed off the season’s major goals, something sudden happened. I needed to go long. Sure, a good part of that urge was born out of a desire to get back to Kona, the thing I swore off, and put my new bike legs to the test on those legendary 112. But mostly though, the driving force behind me was a particular voice I had buried - that I had told was not tough enough to go long, or not built right enough to go long — the voice that had most likely put me into this sport in the first place was fighting back. It shot out of hiding to tell me exactly, “This is your mental shit, not my physical. And you can go fuck yourself for all I care, we’re going to Whistler.” That week, I signed up. This week, I’m taking that voice and all of his friends and family to Canada.
Straight up, I’m daunted by the full. I’ve never been good at it. I like to puff my chest going into a 70.3 - it’s my process — it keeps me moving. I feel like I know what it takes - to train, to win, to make leaps forward. This is so different - I feel careful and almost cowering…but that’s the greatness of it, and why I absolutely need it - that long conversation with something that has a long history of chewing me up and spitting me out. 
And yet I concede nothing…you bastard…Whistler. I’m coming.

Ironman Canada

I like to talk about things. Before they happen. Has something to do with my processing of large endeavors. This Thursday, I am flying up to Vancouver to drive to Whistler so that I can race Ironman Canada. Full distance. Before 2014 started, and probably somewhere during or right after my injured march on Ironman Kona commenced in 2013, I decided I was through with the 140.6. I had flown to Zurich in July last year after already having qualified for Kona at Honu, and ended up walking carefully the last 7 miles after coming to a belief that there was a broken bone in my foot - wasn’t the case, but things were beginning to fall apart. I came into Kona pretty injured, and off-center, and I told myself it was enough, to put the full distance behind me with my hands up, admitting defeat. I had taken it on twice and stumbled mightily both times. As a result, I let the full go to make space for an obvious and welcome focus on 70.3. I wanted to win an Ironman amateur title and qualify for a pro card during the early part of 2014…and even though it seems like ages ago, I did both those things, the first at Galveston 70.3 in April and the second at St. George 70.3 in May.

Then in June, after I had already crossed off the season’s major goals, something sudden happened. I needed to go long. Sure, a good part of that urge was born out of a desire to get back to Kona, the thing I swore off, and put my new bike legs to the test on those legendary 112. But mostly though, the driving force behind me was a particular voice I had buried - that I had told was not tough enough to go long, or not built right enough to go long — the voice that had most likely put me into this sport in the first place was fighting back. It shot out of hiding to tell me exactly, “This is your mental shit, not my physical. And you can go fuck yourself for all I care, we’re going to Whistler.” That week, I signed up. This week, I’m taking that voice and all of his friends and family to Canada.

Straight up, I’m daunted by the full. I’ve never been good at it. I like to puff my chest going into a 70.3 - it’s my process — it keeps me moving. I feel like I know what it takes - to train, to win, to make leaps forward. This is so different - I feel careful and almost cowering…but that’s the greatness of it, and why I absolutely need it - that long conversation with something that has a long history of chewing me up and spitting me out. 

And yet I concede nothing…you bastard…Whistler. I’m coming.

Vineman 70.3 - 4:15:48 AG #2 (Amateur #4) OA #15

Great race in wine country this weekend. Vineman is always a blast, and is probably my favorite race outside of Kona on the schedule every year. Just perfect. 

I came into this race ready to ROLL it. Even though I’ve recently switched into some long training to line up IM Canada, I still had a good feeling I was going to torch this thing. Did not. 4th amateur is great here, and I am happy with my day overall, but I’ve been 4th amateur the last two years - It was time to move to the top. Didn’t happen. When you’re an addict for progression, these results sometimes make you feel like you’re standing still. But that’s not the case. This was just a bit off from where I thought I could have been. As long as I have my great race in Canada, all of this will make sense to me. 

Swam solid. 28 minutes - less than 4 minutes off the front pro pack. Happy there.

Biked bigger than I’ve ever biked. 340 watt average. First 75 minutes went by in a 355. I was rolling. Based on power gains, and the fact that I’ve gained 5-11 minutes at every course I’ve ridden this year compared to last, I was SURE I was going to ride sub 2:10 and challenge the top pro times. When I got off the bike this year to see a 2:15, I have never felt so unrewarded in a competition. I was shocked. Doesn’t 3.9 w/kg buy more than a 2:15? Last year, I rode a 2:15 - no chance I pushed close to that power last year. This year, I was first wave and rode solo the entire time. Clearly still learning what’s what in this game. But I rode the ride I was hoping to ride - so hell, I wrapped a bow on that and put it in my pocket. Happy there. I had to be.

Run was tactical. I was excited to force myself into pacing the front half. Before the day, I planned on holding 6:20’s and no faster since I usually run the first 3 miles of a 70.3 around 18 minutes and then struggle. I went out EASY, eventually calling a compromise when 6:20 felt a little labored, so I pulled back to hold 6:30. It felt great and cool and comfortable. The first 6 miles, I was all alone out front, talking to myself about how much I LOVED doing what I was doing (which is not the usual case miles 4-6, then beyond). I even unzipped and peed on one of the big hills while running (seriously that sparse). All along, as those miles ticked by, I couldn’t wait to cut it loose on the back half. I felt so great, so LOADED. I was going to crush a negative split. I was so confident I was going to take back all the patient time I was giving up. Cruised through the vineyard loop past mile 7 and picked up the effort…but the pace only held. Some guys in the wave that started 6 minutes ahead of me started catching up. I saw the guy I was battling for #1 - I was up about 30 seconds around mile 8. I didn’t know how fast he was going, but I knew I had to GO at that point. Pace was slipping a little, but barely - but the feeling was actually pretty similar to every 70.3 run I’ve ever done - and the time I was gaining was not coming close to making up the time I gave away in the front half. At mile 10, I was fighting hard and got passed by a guy in my AG. I was crushed, then tried to stay loose and cool and focused on his cadence. I thought…just keep him close…he’s been chasing. We went over some hills and around some turns and he wasn’t getting away. At 11.5, we went through an aid station and I went by him, then went through a LOT to put 40 seconds on him to the line to come across #2, about 75 seconds behind first place. It was a fierce race and I went damn deep to come in where I did. Happy there. First place ran a 1:22, third a 1:24. I ran a 1:27…which actually means it’s time to learn something here…

There’s a statement in endurance sports that speaks to me right now more than it has in the past. When you feel good, go…when you don’t, pull back. I know there are a handful of smart, contradictory statements you could put beside this, but let’s forget those for now. I feel like at this point in my career - now that I have absolutely given patience a fair shot — I will always fight for my life the back half of the marathon. When I feel good, I need to push that opening pace for as long as my body lets me. I put the brakes on DEEP for the front half of this run, probably gave up 90-120 seconds saving for ultimately no back half spending. Point is, looking back, I think my best times come when I let my body…and even my dangerous emotion dictate the pace. I’ll be taking that to Mt. Tremblant, NOT Canada…

This smarter pacing was an idea that sprung from my 3 weeks of long distance training - focusing on how I’m going to deal with that 26.2 mile run post bike. Not sure it’s as appropriate for 13.1, at least not for me, at least not for now. So as I said, as long as I have my race in Canada, all of this will make sense to me. Perfect sense. And Vineman will have been as perfect as I said it was.

Vineman 70.3, IM Canada, Mick & Miyagi…
What a month of June. I raced, and the results of that race caused me to re-align my season. Also arriving in that stretch: some humility, supreme momentum, and confidence of a great July. So, I’m going up to IM Canada at the end of the month to take a second shot at getting into Kona. Since most of my training has been fairly hybrid all season long, my coaches and I didn’t think this was a stretch to pull out of Racine 70.3 and go long 2 weeks after Vineman 70.3. This BIG July racing should roll me into a 10 day break before I line up the World Champs in Mt. Tremblant, and ultimately, Kona.
When I couldn’t sleep the week after Eagleman, I called an emergency meeting with my two head coaches, Mick and Miyagi. I told them what I had in mind and they agreed to help navigate me through what was coming. We agreed that I was pissed off, and that my anger was to be used to charge through probably the most ambitious 3 week training block I’ve ever seen. That ended yesterday, and I’m damn proud of what has been placed inside of me. Mick isn’t a fan of going long, because it takes away from his fierce approach. Miyagi enjoys it…so this is what we did… We gave Miyagi 2 days a week. I ran long again on Thursdays for the first time in a long time. Distances were 17, 21, and 18 over the last three weeks - half roads, half trails at Will Rogers. On Saturdays, the bricks stretched. Rides were 6, 7.5 and 5 hours all with a 6-8 mile run off trying to square up Ironman pace and effort. During the week, a tuesday night brick was added. Friday night run taken way. My average schedule over the 3 weeks looked like this:
Monday: Tower 26 Swim (60)
Tuesday: AM Spin Class (50), tempo run (70), HOT core/barre (60) PM Trainer (75) + Run off (30)
Wednesday: AM Tower 26 Swim (90), Interval bike (150) PM Spin Class (50)
Thursday: AM Long Run (150) PM Strength (30) Yoga (75)
Friday: AM Double Spin Class (100) Tower 26 Swim (75) PM Spin Class (50)
Saturday: Brick Ride (360) + Run (50)
Sunday: Interval Run (75), Double Spin (90), Strength (45)
——-
The key in this training block (Ironman) has been my heart rate monitor. I am an emotional athlete - I think it’s what has ultimately made me rise, so I wouldn’t want to be anything else, but sometimes that emotion has gotten me into trouble. Mainly, in the first 3-5 miles of the run. I am trying to train myself to turn OFF emotion at the early stages. Sounds obvious and easy, but I am brick-headed and sometimes no matter how clear the writing is on the wall in front of me, I’ll keep hitting my head on it…over, and over, and over. This year, every race save St. George, I feel like I’ve been charging out of the post trying to prove to myself I’m RIGHT NOW faster than a 1:24. And it hasn’t worked once. Same thing - feel great, struggle, stumble home. For Vineman, I am going to reverse thinking - not run very low 6’s or high 5’s trying to bank seconds for inevitable failure. Instead, I am going to set 1:22 pace - a 6:19, and fight that number with some bravery and patience. In Canada, I’m not even going to look at pace - only heart rate for the first 16-20 miles. These are the games I’ll be playing in the month of July. Games.

Vineman 70.3, IM Canada, Mick & Miyagi…

What a month of June. I raced, and the results of that race caused me to re-align my season. Also arriving in that stretch: some humility, supreme momentum, and confidence of a great July. So, I’m going up to IM Canada at the end of the month to take a second shot at getting into Kona. Since most of my training has been fairly hybrid all season long, my coaches and I didn’t think this was a stretch to pull out of Racine 70.3 and go long 2 weeks after Vineman 70.3. This BIG July racing should roll me into a 10 day break before I line up the World Champs in Mt. Tremblant, and ultimately, Kona.

When I couldn’t sleep the week after Eagleman, I called an emergency meeting with my two head coaches, Mick and Miyagi. I told them what I had in mind and they agreed to help navigate me through what was coming. We agreed that I was pissed off, and that my anger was to be used to charge through probably the most ambitious 3 week training block I’ve ever seen. That ended yesterday, and I’m damn proud of what has been placed inside of me. Mick isn’t a fan of going long, because it takes away from his fierce approach. Miyagi enjoys it…so this is what we did… We gave Miyagi 2 days a week. I ran long again on Thursdays for the first time in a long time. Distances were 17, 21, and 18 over the last three weeks - half roads, half trails at Will Rogers. On Saturdays, the bricks stretched. Rides were 6, 7.5 and 5 hours all with a 6-8 mile run off trying to square up Ironman pace and effort. During the week, a tuesday night brick was added. Friday night run taken way. My average schedule over the 3 weeks looked like this:

Monday: Tower 26 Swim (60)

Tuesday: AM Spin Class (50), tempo run (70), HOT core/barre (60) PM Trainer (75) + Run off (30)

Wednesday: AM Tower 26 Swim (90), Interval bike (150) PM Spin Class (50)

Thursday: AM Long Run (150) PM Strength (30) Yoga (75)

Friday: AM Double Spin Class (100) Tower 26 Swim (75) PM Spin Class (50)

Saturday: Brick Ride (360) + Run (50)

Sunday: Interval Run (75), Double Spin (90), Strength (45)

——-

The key in this training block (Ironman) has been my heart rate monitor. I am an emotional athlete - I think it’s what has ultimately made me rise, so I wouldn’t want to be anything else, but sometimes that emotion has gotten me into trouble. Mainly, in the first 3-5 miles of the run. I am trying to train myself to turn OFF emotion at the early stages. Sounds obvious and easy, but I am brick-headed and sometimes no matter how clear the writing is on the wall in front of me, I’ll keep hitting my head on it…over, and over, and over. This year, every race save St. George, I feel like I’ve been charging out of the post trying to prove to myself I’m RIGHT NOW faster than a 1:24. And it hasn’t worked once. Same thing - feel great, struggle, stumble home. For Vineman, I am going to reverse thinking - not run very low 6’s or high 5’s trying to bank seconds for inevitable failure. Instead, I am going to set 1:22 pace - a 6:19, and fight that number with some bravery and patience. In Canada, I’m not even going to look at pace - only heart rate for the first 16-20 miles. These are the games I’ll be playing in the month of July. Games.

Ironman Canada
Change in schedule. Can’t go to Racine 70.3 the week after Vineman. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t speaking to me. Could not let Kona go this year without another shot. Things that happened at Eaglemen rattled me into the best 3 week block of training I’ve ever been through. So it’s Whistler now, July 27th, 2 weeks after Vineman. July is going to be rugged, and great. Everything about this feels right.

Ironman Canada

Change in schedule. Can’t go to Racine 70.3 the week after Vineman. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t speaking to me. Could not let Kona go this year without another shot. Things that happened at Eaglemen rattled me into the best 3 week block of training I’ve ever been through. So it’s Whistler now, July 27th, 2 weeks after Vineman. July is going to be rugged, and great. Everything about this feels right.

On Losing
This is a picture of pain. Of a body shutting down for a second time, above a first shutdown. Hurting everywhere…3/4 strides turning to 1/2 strides trying to count the meters until it is just fucking over.
A lot of words have been spoken to me since Eagleman 70.3. The one I am going to focus on is resilient because I don’t understand it. It’s being used as commendation, and I don’t understand this because what do people do when they fail at something they are reaching for? Do they turn and run? In what even remotely ambitious world is that behavior acceptable? Or existent? It shouldn’t even fucking exist. Do people tell themselves it’s okay to let progress go because progress is hard? Sincerely, I am asking. Are people actually not resilient? Do people not keep chasing? Does defeat mean stop? Please, I am trying to understand. Is resiliency not a given? Do we not pick ourselves up? Do we keep our heads on the floor, beside shit tracked in on shoes smeared into wood planks beside our eyes and mouths and faces? What the fuck?
There has been a sea-change in me over the course of the last week. 8 days. Yep. I don’t know exactly what happened after qualifying for my pro card in St. George, but something happened. I kept working, and pushing, and driving, but something was missing. Some fire. Maybe 10%. Maybe more. For me, that’s a massive amount to give up. Too much. But sometimes, THAT has to happen for THIS to happen. I will trade THAT for THIS every…single…time. 
Mistakes were made in Maryland and leading up. Flying in day before on a red-eye, no Pam on a speed suit post no wetsuit, losing THE bottle mile 8 and probably consequently, my stomach on the run, Pam again, getting loose and letting my weight bump up right before one of the hottest runs of the year, that faded fire, arrogance or assumption, on and on… But even with most of those mistakes existing, if I just executed a race that day, I come out of Eagleman with a 4:06, a win, and my ticket to Kona. Lots of people say things like that. When I say things like that, they are true. Or I wouldn’t say them. Here’s ONE thing that is not debatable - I got what I deserved that day. And now, because of the way I am constructed, and because of the way I was somewhere formed, I can literally not recognize the person I was before June 8th. We are strangers.
So what is THIS? Well, I feel like I was in a fight and got punched in the mouth and had all of my teeth knocked out. And whatever punched me in the mouth walked away and raised its arms in victory while I was left on an aforementioned floor, feeling my teeth swirl as a typhoon of blood and shard in my mouth. The thing that hit me didn’t know I was still in the fight until it saw me standing, right before I spat my blood and broken teeth across the line dividing us. Now, right now, there is blood and spit on my face and dripping in rusted webs from my chin. I am smiling. I am reckless. And it is afraid. That’s what THIS is.

On Losing

This is a picture of pain. Of a body shutting down for a second time, above a first shutdown. Hurting everywhere…3/4 strides turning to 1/2 strides trying to count the meters until it is just fucking over.

A lot of words have been spoken to me since Eagleman 70.3. The one I am going to focus on is resilient because I don’t understand it. It’s being used as commendation, and I don’t understand this because what do people do when they fail at something they are reaching for? Do they turn and run? In what even remotely ambitious world is that behavior acceptable? Or existent? It shouldn’t even fucking exist. Do people tell themselves it’s okay to let progress go because progress is hard? Sincerely, I am asking. Are people actually not resilient? Do people not keep chasing? Does defeat mean stop? Please, I am trying to understand. Is resiliency not a given? Do we not pick ourselves up? Do we keep our heads on the floor, beside shit tracked in on shoes smeared into wood planks beside our eyes and mouths and faces? What the fuck?

There has been a sea-change in me over the course of the last week. 8 days. Yep. I don’t know exactly what happened after qualifying for my pro card in St. George, but something happened. I kept working, and pushing, and driving, but something was missing. Some fire. Maybe 10%. Maybe more. For me, that’s a massive amount to give up. Too much. But sometimes, THAT has to happen for THIS to happen. I will trade THAT for THIS every…single…time. 

Mistakes were made in Maryland and leading up. Flying in day before on a red-eye, no Pam on a speed suit post no wetsuit, losing THE bottle mile 8 and probably consequently, my stomach on the run, Pam again, getting loose and letting my weight bump up right before one of the hottest runs of the year, that faded fire, arrogance or assumption, on and on… But even with most of those mistakes existing, if I just executed a race that day, I come out of Eagleman with a 4:06, a win, and my ticket to Kona. Lots of people say things like that. When I say things like that, they are true. Or I wouldn’t say them. Here’s ONE thing that is not debatable - I got what I deserved that day. And now, because of the way I am constructed, and because of the way I was somewhere formed, I can literally not recognize the person I was before June 8th. We are strangers.

So what is THIS? Well, I feel like I was in a fight and got punched in the mouth and had all of my teeth knocked out. And whatever punched me in the mouth walked away and raised its arms in victory while I was left on an aforementioned floor, feeling my teeth swirl as a typhoon of blood and shard in my mouth. The thing that hit me didn’t know I was still in the fight until it saw me standing, right before I spat my blood and broken teeth across the line dividing us. Now, right now, there is blood and spit on my face and dripping in rusted webs from my chin. I am smiling. I am reckless. And it is afraid. That’s what THIS is.

Eagleman 70.3 - 4:11:50 AG #4 (Amateur #9) OA #22

Let’s spit this one out. I can’t say this was a bad race, just a disappointing one. Went to Maryland to get to Kona and it didn’t happen. A lot of guys came to play in 30-34 for this one, and the 2 slots rolled down to 3rd place and I was left out. At the beginning of the season, I was intent on NOT going to Kona. When this Eagleman opportunity came up, I suddenly wanted to go back. Now that the day has come and gone, I can say I am okay with how things have landed. Have to be. I will not panic my season and chase the Kona ticket at some other race.

Great personal swim led me to a good bike. I was the fastest amateur and averaged better power over the course compared to Galveston. 329 here vs 324 in Texas. 8th fastest overall. I was 7 minutes off Starky and Yoder, who are lately the top guys in the sport…but I think I’m faster than 7 minutes off on a flat course. I think they’re doing something better than I am besides power. Eagleman has a lot of twists and turns, and if you corner like a ditz - like I probably do compared to them and most good cyclists - you can lose…2 minutes? Maybe 3. Maybe I am that bad. Galveston was so simple compared. I need to mix in a couple parking lot days into training…crash a junior high bike convention…something like that.  

When I got off the bike, things were good. I came into transition up 5 seconds on second place in my age group - which may have been a little surprising at the moment, but I felt good. Thoughts were to keep it cool and bank the first 4 miles without looking at my watch. I cheated around 1.5 and was running a 6:08 pace. Cheated again at 2.5 and was running a 5:56. Somewhere in the 3’s I was back to 6:08 and felt COOL even though it was faster than I planned. Anyone with experience has been through this and usually I would have known better - but a big run at St. George made me confident I could run a 1:22 in Maryland. It was time. I would guess the spot was somewhere precise between miles 4.25 and 4.75 that my body temp turned to the darkside. My stomach rolled, my pace fell, and that road looked suddenly LONG. I was planning on saving that fading fight until after mile 7. Things changed so quickly out there. What was it? Maybe the heat. Maybe the friday red-eye. My super bottle got kicked again on the bike around mile 10 (yes, I know I need to fix this) and I had to switch from my savior cocktail to water only the rest of the way. Maybe that. I’m also not as light as I was at Oceanside/Galveston and I think the 7 pounds or so makes a huge difference when it comes to heat escape. Lately, I haven’t been shivering in the pool and I think that’s what it takes for me to perform at hot races. I’ll correct that in the back half 2014. If things were bad in the 4’s then we can all imagine what it felt like the last 3.1 - the absolute least fun I’ve had at the races this year, but a line earned nonetheless. Finished with a tough, disappointing 1:27 run.

Hats off to the AG - not to sound like whatever this sounds like, but it was pretty exhilarating to find out I was in a 4 man battle off the bike. Thought I would have had a gap riding 2:09 after a solid swim. Nope. I got punched in the mouth by these above boys and can still feel it. Time to circle wagons for July Vineman and Racine. I don’t like getting beat like this, but it’s going to send me into a rabid, inspired block of training. That I like, and saying that it won’t happen again. Tremblant WC lands in September. October is open for the first time in 4 years. That’s okay. And I am NOT rationalizing when I say that. If I were, I would say it. There will be other things for me. 

Pre-Eagleman 70.3 Check-In With Coach Mick
If you’ve been following me on here, you know that Coach Mick and I had been going through some bumpy times. Most of it spurred from threads of my approach being too fancy and thought out - gained habits he’s been trying to rip from me because he hates them. The great thing about Coach Mick is that he demands exact, fierce focus. And you have to not only be willing to hurt yourself, but you have to look forward to his sharpest days, which come often enough. All of this works for me. When things start to feel like a formula, I stop moving forward. Mick doesn’t believe in formulas. He believes in heart, and guts, and accountability. So far this year, I’m good with the direction we’re headed. He berates constantly, and often if not always asks for more than I can possibly give. But I’m good. Everything he is is all I demanded.
Mick: You tell me, Kid. You tell me about this Eagle…the Eagleman. I’m too old to go spellin’ it out for ya this time. 
Me: Okay. I am going to warm up in water before I get to my bike. Then I’m going to put up the biggest ride I’ve ever put up in any race, ever.
Mick: Oh?
Me: The last time I rode a flat course like this, I was faster than every amateur and pro in the field. But the winds were inconsistent, so I undercut that badge, told myself it was a fluke. Because I needed —
Mick: Ah, ah, ah. Jibber-jabber, Kid. I don’t got time to hear no jibber-jabber in my damn old ears! Don’t make me put you on the street again cause I will and won’t think twice about it!!
Me: No, please don’t. Look, I’m going to have more than I had in Galveston. If you put me back there this weekend, same conditions, I would ride a 2:01, not a 2:04. I know it. I feel it. I was a little tired. I was closer to my off-season low of 185 pounds. More frail. I’m 191 now and I feel like all 6 pounds have been stacked tight in my legs, and are waiting for my signal so they can wild out and start a fucking race riot!
Mick: Watch your mouth, Kid. I don’t like language like that.
Me: No wait, I mean fast riding. Not a race riot.
Mick: So what are ya tellin’ me all this for? What do you want me to do? 
Me: If you’ve heard what I just said, then I’ve set a bar. That’s all I need. I’m starting to see where I might fit in this game. And I want a badge this time, or at least collect the one I left in Texas before I throw it under my bed and then start looking for new badges to chase, and undercut, all over again.
Mick: I hear ya, Kid. I hear ya.

Me: I’m gonna go. I’ll talk to you after.
Mick: Yeah yeah. Good luck then…. Wait, Kid. You’re gonna run, ain’t ya?!
Me: Sunday?
Mick: No, in Kindegarten!!! Sunday!
Me: Don’t fall in the first 3. Don’t die in the last 10.
Mick: Smartest thing you said all day. Now get outta here.

Pre-Eagleman 70.3 Check-In With Coach Mick

If you’ve been following me on here, you know that Coach Mick and I had been going through some bumpy times. Most of it spurred from threads of my approach being too fancy and thought out - gained habits he’s been trying to rip from me because he hates them. The great thing about Coach Mick is that he demands exact, fierce focus. And you have to not only be willing to hurt yourself, but you have to look forward to his sharpest days, which come often enough. All of this works for me. When things start to feel like a formula, I stop moving forward. Mick doesn’t believe in formulas. He believes in heart, and guts, and accountability. So far this year, I’m good with the direction we’re headed. He berates constantly, and often if not always asks for more than I can possibly give. But I’m good. Everything he is is all I demanded.

Mick: You tell me, Kid. You tell me about this Eagle…the Eagleman. I’m too old to go spellin’ it out for ya this time. 

Me: Okay. I am going to warm up in water before I get to my bike. Then I’m going to put up the biggest ride I’ve ever put up in any race, ever.

Mick: Oh?

Me: The last time I rode a flat course like this, I was faster than every amateur and pro in the field. But the winds were inconsistent, so I undercut that badge, told myself it was a fluke. Because I needed —

Mick: Ah, ah, ah. Jibber-jabber, Kid. I don’t got time to hear no jibber-jabber in my damn old ears! Don’t make me put you on the street again cause I will and won’t think twice about it!!

Me: No, please don’t. Look, I’m going to have more than I had in Galveston. If you put me back there this weekend, same conditions, I would ride a 2:01, not a 2:04. I know it. I feel it. I was a little tired. I was closer to my off-season low of 185 pounds. More frail. I’m 191 now and I feel like all 6 pounds have been stacked tight in my legs, and are waiting for my signal so they can wild out and start a fucking race riot!

Mick: Watch your mouth, Kid. I don’t like language like that.

Me: No wait, I mean fast riding. Not a race riot.

Mick: So what are ya tellin’ me all this for? What do you want me to do? 

Me: If you’ve heard what I just said, then I’ve set a bar. That’s all I need. I’m starting to see where I might fit in this game. And I want a badge this time, or at least collect the one I left in Texas before I throw it under my bed and then start looking for new badges to chase, and undercut, all over again.

Mick: I hear ya, Kid. I hear ya.

Me: I’m gonna go. I’ll talk to you after.

Mick: Yeah yeah. Good luck then…. Wait, Kid. You’re gonna run, ain’t ya?!

Me: Sunday?

Mick: No, in Kindegarten!!! Sunday!

Me: Don’t fall in the first 3. Don’t die in the last 10.

Mick: Smartest thing you said all day. Now get outta here.