So after a long season that started in March, with some good races but mostly average and bad ones, I decided to take a break in the summer for 3 weeks to refresh. When Trical announced they were doing their version of Alcatraz Triathlon at San Francisco I jumped on the opportunity. After 3 weeks completely off, I was pleased with my performance at the race. I survived the choppy swim in the bay, had a great bike, and ran solid with a sprint finish to tie for 5th/6th place. My run pace was on par with the winner, which was pleasantly surprising given I could barely run 6 miles without walk breaks 6 days ago. And lessons learned, I'm a pretty good swimmer comparatively speaking. I should aim straight for the swim exit since the current doesn't affect as much. Darren Mounts from EMJ and I ended up swimming too far left against the current that we ended up having to swim extra. Anyhow I appreciated his company because I was scared shitless jumping off the boat. 

IM Santa Cruz 70.3

I spent the next two weeks just getting the training done. After Alcatraz, I realize I don't have to train that hard .I've always been a meticulous trainer in terms of preparation and almost too meticulous. Would hit the wattages to the dot. Would hit the time duration to the dot. WOuld never miss any session. And I think I was literally chronically overtrained without realizing it. So with adjustments in training made by my coach Ninja Nick (because with his resume, everyone should know who he is as a triathlete in the bay area), I feel much more rested and refreshed, only hitting my hard sessions hard, and doing my easy sessions easy. Sounds stupid right? well, come ride with my on my easy ride and you won't believe how easy I'm going.

And when I had to hang out with a friend or do something with the family, I'd just skip a session if it wasn't key. And if I didn't want to swim 5000 yards, which is always, I just didn't do it. Because honestly I knew it wasn't going to make or break my race. 

And it didn't. Well at least that's what i think

Swim: 27:20
I came out with a pack the size of a first grade class! not the size of a 2 person lab group! It was great. I hung on to the group I was with, with all the familiar faces. There was this one dude that wouldn't stop pushing me out of the way for the pair of feet I was following. And he was losing the draft. So after about 20 times of fighting with him back and forth, I just decided to whack him. So I punched him and swam on top of him. And I had a nice draft all the way back to shore. Sometimes violence is the answer kids.

If you wanna judge me, I won't stop you. But I wasn't losing that draft or the group.

Bike: 2:17:$$
The pace was hot from the beginning as all of us were trying to catch the chase group or the A+ pros up front. I got settled in a group with Chris Baird, Alistair Eeckman. Michael Weiss flew by us like a motorbike with 8 cylinder so we said goodbye to him real fast. I decided to make a surge myself and got to the front. Kenneth Peterson, an uberbiker in his own right came around me and set a blistering pace. I eventually had to let him go which was a fatal mistake that ended my chances of placing high. But with only 4 weeks of training, I wasn't going to take anymore risks. I waited for Chris to come around so we can work together but he ended up dropping out. So I was in no man's land. My favorite place. not.

My legs actually felt pretty good. There wasn't the fade I felt earlier in the year. The 3 week off to refresh and recharge paid off I think. I held good watts all the way back to town.

Run: 1:21:19, one twenty motherf***ing one again
As I began running, I felt like shit. Took me about 3 miles to finally feel comfortable. I was able to catch two dudes which happens less and less these days as no body messes around anymore on the pro circuit. I felt strong all the way til mile 9 when the lack of training was starting to show. Ninja Scott Defillipis came out of no where and passed me with 2 miles to go. That bad man ran a 1:14. And after the race he said he raced like a donkey. Thanks Scotty no offense taken. 

4:10:50 16th place. 
I was disappointed with my performance at first but after looking at the results: a lot of good guys showed up. I had a pretty strong race in my own right, given the amount of prep coming in. It was also just a special race with some many friends racing, and my coach Nick showed up with his family. Thank you coach

Training for IM Arizona, Ironman is no joke and new job

So I got two races left Austin 70.3 ,and Ironman Arizona, and I'm most likely going to stop racing, for ....4-5 months. After 7 years of racing triathlon, and 3 years racing at a high level, I think I need a break mentally. Some of you might have seen the post I posted on Instagram about what triathlon's meant to me: here it is again

Over the last 8 years I've dedicated my whole life to triathlon. It's no secret. Because I loved it so much. I also hated it a lot at times. But I wanted to be great. Nobody forced me to sacrifice anything.
It was a lifestyle I chose. Because I was happy chasing after this moving goal post I had for myself. because I wanted to be like my mentor at @uclatri Brady. I wanted to win races. I wanted to be a pro. And I wanted to be a really fast triathlete. I've put a lot of things outside of triathlon on hold so I can pursue this dream. Maybe I was foolish(very dumb) when I marched full speed ahead doing this triathlon thing for so long. When people ask me to tell them about triathlon, I don't even know where to begin. Getting top 10 at 70.3 races alongside my idols and past Olympians. Running 10 miles under 6 min pace after 50 miles of riding when I'm so tired that all I can think of is pie. When I swam til my arm fell off and finally kept up with ex-collegiate distance swimmers. The time when my dad told me that I won't get top 10 at vineman 70.3 but I did anyways. At the end of the day, wherever I may find myself, I feel most at home on my TT bike, tucked in my aero position. I feel most at home doing repeat 400s in the pool and catching my breath in between sets. I feel most at home alone, out in the woods somewhere running like Forrest Gump, sweating and huffing for air. Some of you will never understand. But maybe you will one day.

Because triathlon has been good to me. It will be good to you.

So after 7 years of every weekend going for a long bike ride, then run. Then sunday backing it up with more training, I think i've had enough triathlon for a while. It's not to say that I won't come back and race but I really need a break. I have had nail infection on my hand for a while now and it's a condition I'd like to get rid of. Also being constantly tired, physically and mentally, with all the exertion, and training, I'd also like a break from that.

So to go out with a bang, I'm going to do an Ironman before I stop. Mostly because I won't be in this good of a shape in the future, and I've already spent 3-4 years doing intense conditioning. 

And Nick keeps telling me that an Ironman is no joke! My initial reaction in my head was nobody said it was. But I know Nick has subtle ways of telling me things without directly telling it to me. Nick's a very indirect coach in that he won't order you to do something. He'll often tell you a side story and let you think about what he's trying to make you do. So him telling me that Ironman is no joke, is probably his way of saying, respect the distance, don't underestimate it. And I admit, initially I did underestimate the demands.

After my long run today, which was 2 hours and 10 minutes, sounds a lot right? well I only ran 17.66 miles. I still have 9 miles to run in the real thing and I didn't even bike today. So going in to Ironman Arizona I don't know what to expect. But I guess that's what everyone feels before their first Ironman and that's why it's so special.

After two years away from the engineering industry I've decided to take on a full time job and start being a responsible adult. I've seen people with full time jobs make it work on the age group circuit as well as the pro circuit so I'm excited for a change and the new challenge.