I know it seems a little strange that my first post is a recap, but I’m just happy to finally have this site up. Anyway, what a season. There were definitely some big ups and downs, but I think that is what makes you a stronger athlete in the end. Nobody ever got any better by not having to change after a good butt-whooping.
The season started with USAT Collegiate National Championships. In hindsight, I wish I would have raced th. I was pretty disappointed to say the least. Big lesson learned-don’t have an A race as your first race of the season. Next season I’ll most likely be doing some training and racing down south in March to prepare for this. Regardless of how the race went, Collegiate nationals are like no other race in the country. The atmosphere is incredible with thousands of collegiate athletes who all face the same challenges trying to balance school and a pretty time intensive sport. I think there is a lot of mutual respect between us all, and those guys had some amazing races, so my hat goes off to them.
Being back home in May I did a small local race-Black Bear to try to get some racing in and get ready for Leon’s and Trirock Philly. It was a cold day, maybe high 40’s low 50’s and just kind of misting throughout the day. The course was difficult with a very hilly bike and a hilly trail run. I was pretty happy with my performance. I was second to Joe Malloy, a heck of an athlete and a really nice guy.
Heading to Indiana for Leon’s was fun. 700 miles on I-80. Gotta love the tri life. The nasty weather seemed to follow me to this race too. About 20 minutes before start a storm blew in bringing with it temperatures in the low 40’s and some rain. It all just adds to the excitement. I set a new pr here with a 1:53:21. Considering the conditions I was very happy with it especially my 32:18 10k. It was finally a well-put-together race. Of course, it was not perfect. I don’t think a perfect race is something you’ll ever had. There was some great competition and I think it showed me I needed to really work on my bike strength. I tend to struggle on the flats being a smaller guy, but if I put the work in I know I can develop my cycling.
Philly is a race I had done the past two years, so it was pretty familiar. My goal was to finally qualify for my elite license. I felt like I had been at the level I needed to be for a while, things just weren’t coming together at the races I could get the qualification. I had a pretty good swim followed by a decent bike and then the humidity and 90+ degree temperatures hit me pretty hard. No pr’s were going to happen on that day, just a grit your teeth and get through it as hard as you can. I ran down the leader a little after halfway into the 10k and just held strong. To be honest, the last mile the heat hit me really hard and made me question whether I could continue. It’s not in me to ever quit, and when I got to the line I almost fell over. Once I sat down I couldn’t stand for a good 15 minutes or so. It was a little scary, but it got the job done, and hey, it all turned out fine haha. They nabbed with a pretty controversial penalty that bumped me down into second, but elite qualification didn’t change, so job well done.
Following this I added my first half, Ironman 70.3 Steelhead in Benton Harbor Michigan. I didn’t train very much for the longer distance, just figured my consistent training would get me through it. I just wanted to do it in order to explore another aspect of the sport and see what I like. The swim was a disaster, but as soon as you hit T1 you have to put it behind you. The bike and run went awesome, and I ran a 1:14:43 half marathon. I was very excited with my results with a 4:03 having not really trained for the distance. It was definitely a completely new style of racing, much more methodical and less putting the hammer down from the fire of the gun. Definitely some different challenges.
First Pro Race- Rev3 Maine
I decided to make my first race as an elite at Rev3 Maine. Rev3 puts on amazing races, and the pro field was about 35 guys. I thought it was be good to gauge myself against the highest level. The race wasn’t nearly what I was looking for. It was just one of those days that I wish I could wake up and realize it was a bad dream. It was one of those days when your body just says it doesn’t want to go today. I ended up around mid-pack in 20th, but felt I should have been inside the top 10 definitely. I felt like I learned so much though, and that is the important thing at this stage in my career. Maine was also really beautiful. The beach(even with it being below 60 degrees) was really beautiful. I didn’t want to leave, but I had a long 11 hour drive back to state college to start classes the next day.
Enjoying the Beach with Kate J
Back to School
Back to school and ready to get into the swing of things with classes and the tri club at Penn State. I had some races planned with the club but nothing real serious, just some stuff to have fun with the team and start thinking about next season.