For the second time this season and the second time in my life I raced on back-to-back weekends. What I learned, the second time around is not any easier. I raced at Rev3 Maine on August 26 and then Hy-Vee US Championship this past weekend. I debuted my new BH bike at Rev3 Maine and I couldn't be happier.
It is not only the lightest bike I have ever rode, it is very aerodynamic and incredibly rigid. All the power I put into the pedals goes straight to the rear wheel. Thank you BH!!
Rev3 Maine - Another incredible race put on by Rev3! I like doing their races, but they become more fun each time out. I truly feel they are the best race series in the country. The swim was in the ocean and although I felt like I was swimming well, I found out when I exited the water that I lost a lot of time. Not sure what went wrong, but sometimes I seem to lose loads of time in the water. Once on the bike, I felt good and was moving well. The age group half distance athletes went off first so it was a little crazy riding through them for the first 6 miles. At the halfway point I was in about 6th and felt like I could make up a spot or two before getting off the bike. On the way back I was feeling the hard pace and slowed down a little bit. I was able to catch one more person and get off the bike in 5th. I felt good starting out on the run and could see 3rd and 4th place. I caught Dave Thompson at around 2 miles and had my sights set on Richie Cunningham up the road. He won the previous 3 races, so I knew I was having a pretty good race to see him on the run. I kept up an honest pace, but wanted to shut it down a little bit with Hy-Vee coming up the next weekend. With a mile to go I could see Conrad Stoltz up the road but had no idea how far ahead he was. I was torn on what to do, do I throw it down with all I have to try and catch him or do I keep the current pace and live to race hard the next week? I could not make up my mind and before I knew it I was half a mile from the finish with no chance of catching Conrad. I finally shut it down and cruised into the line in 3rd. It was a good result and got me into 4th in the season series, 10 points out of 3rd.
I made the trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine with my sister who was 32 weeks pregnant. It was a great trip and race, but I discovered I live my life eerily similar to a pregnant lady. My sister and I had similar schedules when it came to eating, napping, going to bed, and having to pee. Thanks to her for coming with me and being a trooper all weekend.
Hy-Vee US Championship - With it being the largest prize purse in the sport everyone wants to get in, and do well once they get there. It is the most fun race of the season too, having such a strong field doing laps around large crowds in Des Moine, IA. Although I achieved a good result for me, I did not have a particularly great race. I had a good swim, but my race went down hill on the bike. Greg and I have lengthy discussions all the time on what happens in races. Some people blame bad results on random things or terrible excuses instead of their poor decisions made during the race, whether it's riding too hard and having a poor run or choosing to drink a certain "sports" drink. Post race I always try to determine what went wrong and how to fix it. This one was a head scratcher though. There were to many factors to determine what exactly went wrong; back-to-back weekends, heat (average temp of 92 during the race), or swimming too hard. It seems that I always struggle on the bike when I lay it all out in the swim. It is something I wanted to do in this race though, I wanted a good swim to set up a great race. I felt good for about two laps on the bike, but struggled to find my legs the final two laps. Macca and I had a little chat in the last 2 miles of the bike about how we both did not have the legs on the bike. Once the run started I wanted to make up some ground but the struggles on the bike leaked their way into my run. I did what I could to move through the field, but I was not passing many people. It was a death march on the road and one guy actually started walking. The crowds were amazing and I kept pushing until I crossed the finish line. I finished in 13th place, one spot better than last year. I will take it, at the beginning of the season I did not think I would even make it into the race!
Thanks to my beautiful fiancee (Melissa), my mom, my grandparents, Greg, Lisa, the Deckards (John and Robbie), the Bachmans (Aaron and Lindsey), and Jake Rhyner for their words of encouragement on the bike and run. It was a hot, hard day and you all got me across the finish line. Thanks to Greg for getting me ready for the race. Thanks to my mom for driving the group to the race. And thank you to all my sponsors (Team IE, N.B. Properties, Bralin Laser, Champion System, Profile Design, Scott Shoes, Cobb Cycling, Rudy Project, Computrainer, Express Press, Enzyme Research Laboratories, Pro-Form Bike Shop, Hofferth Chiropractic and now BH Bikes) for helping me compete at the highest level.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: NOW. ~ Denis Waitley