Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Racing NOW vs Racing THEN

One of the "cool" things about having a blog for such a long time and writing in it with fairly regular and predictable frequency (in some ways, one could compare my blogging to the predictable drudgery yet equally predictable relief of a morning movement!) is that I have a reliable history when I want to look back and examine something.  If I am curious about how I felt about a race (or even during a race) I can go back and read that entry. If I am curious about how bored I was in the "off-season" I can go back and look at how many blogs I did from December - January and get an accurate representation of just how bored I was.

Bottles on the FRAME?!?! Gross.

What I am using my blog for currently, however, is comparing my mindset when racing NOW versus when I first began triathlon back in 2009 (way back when).

For example, at White Lake 2 (as a sidenote, remember when there were two weekends of every race? Talk about quantity before quality!) that year I was signed up for my third triathlon ever and my second half ironman.  Most of my friends were doing the race and when most of your friends are pretty good triathletes you think that you yourself are a pretty good triathlete, purely by association (whether true or untrue).  A 4:30 sounded like a nice goal. I don't know why, but it sounded like a good number.

Maybe akin to the way people want to "bike an hour for a 40k" or "break 3 for a marathon" or "start a blog." It sounds a lot easier than it actually is.  Because saying something is pretty easy, relatively speaking.  Doing it is not.

At White Lake Half (2) I did or used a lot of things I have since forgone as I became more "experienced" and "wiser" (and, presumably, "faster"). I used HR quite insistently (I did not have a powermeter at the time, let alone two).  I took salt tabs (mainly because everybody did). I used mph as an indicator of effort.  The "custom coach" jerseys will all over the place (including on me) as this was before the days of teams in Charlotte.

So many things were different. I had no idea what I  was doing. It was awesome. I ended up with a 4:34 or so, I believe.  In hindsight I am surprised it was that "fast." Because I really was a complete newbie. Learning from others, using their methods, taking their advice, trusting their methods were at least tried and true, etc is a great way to get started and move towards attaining your own personal goals.

In 2010 I did a lot of the same: what everyone else was doing. I signed up for Louisville. I probably trained completely inappropriately for my actual fitness/ability levels and the year was a bit of a blur. I don't remember specifically a lot of the races I did but the big ones were NOLA and Louisville.  I think at NOLA I set a PR and was 2nd AG (25-29 back in those youngling days) but did not do Clearwater because I hoped to qualify for Kona at Louisville (obviously did not happen).  I COULD go and read the blog entries for that year, but I have a point to make.

I think I do, anyway. The point is somewhat vague and unclear.  I think I am trying to make the point, albeit in a very roundabout way, that I am really excited for next year and racing in the M30-34 category. It's been a really fun 3 years of racing as a "pro" (although I only did 5-7 pro races) but I never really got to have an AG "career." Most people that are kind of "adult pros" (i.e. they weren't on some development team or national level junior team or a D1 swimmer/runner or on the ITU track, etc) follow a somewhat predictable path. They race locally and get really good locally. They then branch out and basically win everything regionally. Once that's done they start to be relevant on the national scene. On the national scene they start winning their AG no matter the race. Then they turn pro. The time period for all of that is relatively unpredictable, obviously.

But take Jenny as an example (although she was a D1 swimmer so this is somewhat out of line with my statements above). Starts triathlon after swimming. Has some hits and misses.  Then, after a couple of years goes undefeated in North Carolina for more than two years. Competes in Kona (goes sub 11). Wins AG at various 70.3 races (plus top amateur).  Then, goes pro.

I never really did any of that. The races that were "supposed" to be that for me were Augusta in 2011 (I sucked), AG Nationals in 2011 (I was mediocre at best) and Beach 2 Battleship Half (I was mediocre).  So I didn't really get to prove (mostly to myself) that I SHOULD race as a pro, despite qualifying for my elite license that fall.

Sometimes I think people assume I have a blog because I have something to prove. For the record, that is not why I have a blog. It doesn't mean I am vain, or looking for social approval or some kind of "look at me" validation of what I am doing.  Just...for the record.

It was extremely cool to be associated with the real pros in our sport. To walk to a start line with a P on your calf and have the more casual triathletes (who don't - surprisingly - know who James Haycraft is) at races associate me with Michael Raelert, Starykowicz (the real one), Richie C, etc.  They don't know me or who I am or what kind of speed I actually have but because I am racking next to those guys (and gals) I must be similar, right? It's definitely a cool feeling. Having the cleanest courses, the first swim waves, the best rack positions, special considerations, etc was definitely nice.

But now it's back to the beginning.  Starting over, in a sense. Now I am competing against all 30 - 34 year old males.  I am excited about that. New Orleans 70.3 and IM Louisville are the two "big" races I have planned for next year (though I have not signed up for either).

It's time to go back to the roots of racing.

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to find a coach

It's that time of the year where - if you are interested - it is time to be locking up a coaching prospect for the upcoming year of triathloning. In fact, at this point of the year, it's best if you've been talking to a couple of options.

What does a coach provide? That's a good question actually.

I remember back in 2010 (late 2010) when I was kind of on the "cusp" of a decision process. I had really wanted a coach for a while but hadn't yet found the right match between someone I wanted to coach me and someone that wanted to coach me.  I had really wanted Nick (Frank) to coach me and had made repeated efforts to get him to do it but he didn't seem that eager to coach anybody (despite advertising his coaching services online) and I wasn't willing to pay $450/month (what was being advertised).  The desire to have accountability and an inherent trust in the process is what I WANTED.  I trusted Nick and his knowledge (for better or for worse), but the desire didn't go both ways.

So later that year I started "looking" on Slowtwitch (both in the coach database and browsing the forums).  I didn't really care that much in terms of location, to be honest. What I was looking for revolved more around "philosophy" and the way they expressed that philosophy. Basically, I wanted someone in whom I believed.

There were a couple of standouts initially. I would see a coach post and then check their previous posts in threads that seemed interesting and then go and peruse their written thoughts on the matter. I was looking for an alignment of goals. What I thought I wanted and what I felt was "right" lining up with what someone else thought was "right" and could help me get what I wanted.


At the end of the day you can do most of the work yourself. If you are consistent, accountable, and reasonably smart and you progressively overload you can reach your goals pretty well yourself. A coach helps you eke out that last percentage.  You don't have to think about what workout you're going to do; it's already there and waiting on you.

After a bit of searching I had narrowed down my "decision" to two or three "candidates." So I shot off some emails explaining who I was, what I had accomplished to that point and where I wanted to be. I knew what I wanted, the question was going to be which answers I liked the best! In the end I started working with Brian Stover. Nobody outside of ST had really heard of him (in the questions like: do you have a coach? Yea. Who is he? Brian Stover from Tucson. Ohhh, ok...), but in the end that doesn't really matter. Brian is probably one of the best triathlon coaches in the US (non squad-style coaching).  That's not really debatable. It's a fact.

Other coaches were maybe a little too brusque, a little too self-important, a little too "quality > quantity," a little too blah blah blah. At the end of the day there was what I believed in and there was what Brian believed in; those two things lined up quite nicely.

Each situation is unique and each person has their own sets of criteria. Time availability, responsibilities other than work, work schedule, travel schedule, etc etc. So it's important to express all of those things to the coaching possibility. What are YOUR goals? Not your friends' goals. Not your mom's goals, but YOUR goals. Do you want to sub 9 an Ironman? Do you want to finish your first IM? Do you want to learn to swim confidently and do your first sprint triathlon? There is a huge gamut of goals and personal achievements and having a coach who both understands and believes in all of those is an importance that cannot be overstated.

If your candidates are all local (vs national), talk to their other athletes. Do they personalize each athlete's training? Or do they cookie-cutter plans such that copy and pasting is the norm? Do they have restrictions on contact (i.e. 2 emails a week + 1 schedule change a month + 6 texts/week, etc) because that is not coaching. That is taking your money.

When you do decide on a coach, give constant feedback. A coach giving you workouts and you giving them nothing back is only half of the battle. Knowing how you are feeling, your emotions, your wants, your desires...wait what? Knowing what YOU are doing is important and informs what the coach will be doing.

It's a two way street. A relationship of symbiosis and harmony (hopefully). You should WANT to work with your coach and they should WANT to work with you.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reader Input Blogging (R.I.B)

Here is the scenario.

(as a sidenote, I really enjoy saying that word in the "British" method of pronunciation. Sinnnahhhhrio. Try it, really fun I promise. No seriously, do it)

What does a triathlete blog about when that triathlete is no longer in the triathlon season? It's like if automobiles suddenly didn't exist; what would Top Gear do???

(as a sidenote, Top Gear - the UK version specifically - is, quite possibly, one of the best shows in the history of television shows. Witty, sarcastic, dry, informative commentary about one of the world's greatest things: the car)

typical off-season activities

So I'm left with some options:

1) Blog about the off-season
2) Blog about something mundane (something ELSE mundane, I should say)
3) Blog about...umm..I'm out of options

So you, the reader, can pick a topic. We're going to have user-input blogging here at jameshaycraft.blogspot.com.

I think this is a first. Of course, that requires somebody actually clicks on the link, makes their way through the entire blog (I'm not sure how often that happens to be honest), and then offers input as a facebook comment. Or a blog comment. Potentially even a twitter response.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Ironman Miami 70.3

The last race of a season is always an interesting thing. In a lot of ways it sort of reminds me of finishing a big test back in the ol' school days.  All this prep leading into it, all this stress and anxiety and then BAM, you take the test and the stress is gone.

(only to be replaced with anxiously awaiting the grade on the test, of course)

So with that being said, my feelings leading into Miami were definitely of expectant stress relief.  I wanted to get away from Charlotte for a bit. I wanted to be on or near the ocean. I wanted warm weather. I wanted some wind running through my hair. I wanted to be lazy.  And I guess yes, I wanted a last race of the year.

Well, I got all of those.

Miami is an interesting race; its first year was marred with catastrophic experiences from many athletes. Since then, it has really become a sort of melting pot of racing.  A huge percentage of the race is from Central and South America so if you want to compete against a big, international field in a big, international city Miami fits the bill quite nicely.

Jenny and I departed the Queen City on Thursday afternoon to drive to Raleigh where we stayed for the night before flying out of RDU extremely early on Friday morning (6:20am flight!).  It's been pretty busy at IOS lately with everyone else's final races of the year so it was definitely nice to get away once everyone had mostly been taken care of. #customerservice #retail (yea hashtags in a blog)

The flight was quick and easy and we arrived in Miami nice and early to pick up the rental car and head to the condo we had rented through AirBnB for our stay.  It was a great choice only 10mins from the race site and down town Miami while not being quite as nestled in the hubbub that is Miami. Having never been here before, I was a bit unprepared for the "life" as Miamians (Miamiites? Miamian peoples?) know it.

Saturday's events were...uhhh, uneventful...for the most part.  The only things we really did were pick up our bikes from TriBikeTransport, attend the pro meeting, and drop off our bikes in transition.  It really was quite simple. Well, without going into too much detail, it was simple.

The morning of the race dawned nice and early (but not too early due to the 7:25 am start time!); Jenny and I headed over to the race site and got situated.  The pros all assembled (a humongous and competitive international pro field) on the dock and jumped into the Bay about 10 minutes before the start time.


Swim - 29:01 (26th)

The line for the swim (two buoys about 25m apart marked the start "line") was full of dudes and I positioned myself roughly in the middle in the second row a little to the left of Tyler Jordan (who was also down from CLT to do his last race of the season).  The horn sounded and a maelstrom erupted on the start line.

The course was a rough triangle with 4 right hand turns.  The chaos arrived at the first buoy after about 400m and made the sharp turn at which point the pack strung out a little bit. I was still behind some feet but was losing contact a bit, sliding back through the second pack.  It's sort of an odd happening; as I'm swimming on the right side getting slowly passed on my left I kept looking for an opportunity to slide in on someone's feet but the line was relatively unending.  I don't really enjoy being an a-hole in the first 30 minutes of a race so I didn't want to push someone else off of feet they had probably fought hard for, so maybe that makes me a wuss.  Be that as it may, the race continued.

Once we passed the second turn we entered some choppier, less protected water.  I was fending for myself mostly at this point and I realized my goggles were filling with water.  I didn't really want to stop and fix them because it would mean losing time and then at a certain point I decided they needed to be emptied. So I did this and then got back to swimming. I realized, however, that they were not fixed so I quickly stopped again and realized when I had jumped in off the dock (a 4-5' drop into the water) my goggle straps had risen to basically the top of my head.  I pulled them down, giving my goggles adequate suction against my eye sockets again and carried onwards towards the finish.

In the last 200 meters or so I was passed by the lead females but I could not tell if Jenny was one of them. I exited the water and ran to transition.


T1 - 2:09

This was a pretty long run and Leanda Cave passed me.  When I got to my bike I looked back down the line and realized Jenny was right there as well. We said "what's up" and got along with our business.  I didn't have the fastest of transitions so I got on the bike a little behind the pack of 3 ladies (but ahead of Jenny).

Bike - 2:11:39 (up to 20th)

The bike started out meandering through the city to get to the more open roads west of Miami downtown. I passed Leanda, Laurel and eventually caught up to LG, Magali and Doc Stevens. It took about 15 miles to be in front of them for real but they eventually dropped off past the aid station. At that point Tyler came roaring past me in a rush of disc noise.  I couldn't tell if he was "making a statement" (i.e. making a pass that discouraged me from following) or if he had genuinely been riding that hard.

I kept my watts steady and once he made it to the front of the "train" (there was nobody in sight in front of me until Tyler passed) he slowed a bit about 100 meters ahead of me. Holding power I eventually made my way up to him as we passed another guy.

The turnaround arrived much quicker than I expected.  I was excited for it because I knew it would mean turning around and experience the sweet, sweet victory of a nice wind into which we'd been riding for 28 miles.

I went past Tyler just past the turnaround, put my head down and focused on keeping my watts where they had been.  Fortunately, this meant an extended period of time where I was going quite fast. At some point during the back stretch I had a 40k (24.8 mile) split of 52:53 or thereabouts.  That's moving.

I looked back at one point well into the second half and didn't see anybody close so I figured maintaining the watts must have been a good thing.  I felt good and comfortable and had been taking in fuel and water as usual so moved onwards.  In the last 10k or so the roads got back to the city streets and lots of traffic so it was a bit sketchier than on the way out so there was a bit of a slowdown in speed and drop in watts.

My stomach actually felt a bit funny at this point and I was feeling a tad "bloated" so I wasn't quite as excited as I had been 30-40 minutes prior (I was 1:11 on the way out and about 1:00 on the way back).  I hopped off the bike at the dismount line and made my way into transition.


T2 - 2:04

Leaning over once I racked my bike my right adductor cramped quite fiercely.  While stretching that out my left lower quad also cramped.  I was a bit of a mess.  I had to stand there for a bit before attempting to put on my socks and shoes.  This is usually a bad sign in T2...

Run - 1:44:15 (back to 22nd MPro and 28th OA Male)

Well, the run started off slowly and just stayed that way.  There isn't much to say. I got off the bike ahead of some people but pretty much all of them passed me. I made a porto stop around mile 4 which is something I should've done before the swim.  Lesson learned on that front...again. I kept running the whole time, which I was fairly proud of. A couple of years ago I would've quit so I was pleased that finishing was something that drove me forward. I didn't want to end the year with a DNF as I've done in 2013 and 2012.  That is lame. So I finished. Not much more to say about it!

4:29:xx overall. I can't say I'm entirely pleased with this race.  I am not sure what went wrong with my nutrition choices or my lack of pre-race bathroom stop. I just know that even if I had a perfect race (had I run to what I was capable of maybe a 4:05ish) I STILL would not have hit the 8% re-qualification standard due to the German have an astoundingly fast time on the course. That is all a hypothetical situation of course, but I think realistic.

Anyway, now it is time for some time away from triathlon and a re-focus for 2015! Onwards and upward!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Not sure what to blog about

Probably my favorite shot from CHOO, wish those cars weren't there!

There have been some notable happenings since the last time I blogged. I do love blogging - don't get me wrong - but I run out of things to talk about. While this may be a surprise to you it is very frustrating for me. I don't really write "for" anybody (except You, yes you!) but I do like keeping a regular schedule of blogging. I pride myself on trying to maintain some sense of predictability and some unique viewpoints all expressed in relatively well written and grammar'd 'murrican English.

So when I find myself at a loss for what is worth putting into the blogger.com template and firing up the "publish" button I am a bit sad.  Right now...I am sad.

The last time I posted I was about to head to Chattanooga.  There was an IM there.  It was a good day for almost everybody I knew, though most of my personal interest was invested in Lori Ackerman's race.  It was very satisfying to see somebody work hard, make smart decisions and be rewarded with a great race on race-day.

There were many others I knew who had great races and I don't feel compelled to list all of them because chances are if you are "friends" with me (on Facebook, Twitter, etc... a REAL friend I mean) you've had all the races plastered on your news feed from the past week.  Nonetheless, I was proud of everyone. That is an understatement.

Watching the race solidified my plans for next year a bit.  I'm gonna be honest with all of you.  I feel - for the most part - as though triathlon itself is no longer a "challenge" per se.  I know that on the face of it that sounds rather presumptuous but I mean that prior sentence in the context of something other than the obvious.

At this point I do not feel as though sprints, olympics or halves are a "challenge" in and of themselves.  The challenge for me is to try and win or set new standards of my own capabilities. I am always trying to go FASTER.  With IM, however, I am simply trying to finish.  For various reasons my attempts in 2010 and 2013 failed. I do not like some THING being better than me.  Seeing all those people last Sunday conquer their fears and realize their "dreams" makes me want to have that same feeling. I just do not get it at a half anymore.

That is not say I do not feel "accomplished" when I finish a half having raced my guts out, it's simply stating that just FINISHING the damn IM seems to be the challenge for me. I like challenges. I don't like things being "better" than me. I am lazily trying to beat things. That is what I do. Oh you have a fit problem? I will beat it. You sent me a long email?? I WILL SEND YOU A LONGER ONE! It's what I do.

So, that's a hint of what's to come in 2015. Gonna be a nice little variety.

1) Cat 2 Upgrade
2) Win some XTERRAs
3) Finish a stupid IM
4) Don't get hit by any more cars

Not necessarily in that order or priority.

In the short term I am going to attempt to get some more training in before Miami 70.3 because that is less than three weeks away!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Keys to a good IM

I have been fortunate enough to attempt 3 IM distance events in my "career" as a triathlete. Unfortunately ... I only finished the first one. That's alright though as each race has served as a valuable learning experience, from which I have grown as a person and as an athlete.

I know quite a few people getting ready to do an IM event this weekend. For some it will be their first and for some it will be one of many.

Here is some advice for you from me, an extremely "experienced" IM distance athlete (please realize that is sarcastic); take it for what it's worth:

1) Be patient

This applies to almost every facet of your race, but most of all it applies to your bike. I would always rather finish a race having run my guts out because I properly paced the bike than finish a race aching for the finish line with every fiber of my being, run-walking zombie shuffles between aid stations and crashing into the med tent.  Personally.

2) Be smart

I remember Brian telling me once a while ago about the line you flirt with on the bike.  Being smart doesn't just mean exercising intelligence and general smarts (although that's where it all begins) it means planning ahead and exercising good judgement.  Decisions you make on the bike can have dramatic effects on your run.  Biking just a little bit too hard (20 watts is only worth about 6 minutes over an IM distance race, FYI) can mean a 60+ minute swing in your run time.  A good run can vary but will exist along a much narrower spectrum of possibilities than a "bad" run.  (trust me, I know this one from personal experience)

3) Be friendly

In general, a friendlier outlook on your experience is going to lead to you having a better race.  If someone is drafting off you just ask them if they're enjoying the view and move along with your day.  They are not affecting you...too much.  If a volunteer doesn't do a perfect job of handing you a cup or a gel...oh well. They are volunteers! There's about 100 yards worth of other opportunities to get your much needed gel or water or whatever.

4) Be relaxed

It's a long ass day. Relaxation is the key to happiness.  "Maintaining an even strain." Controlling your valleys and your peaks and managing them effectively is imperative. Ultimately, less tension is a good thing.  It helps your bike position, it helps your run mechanics, and it helps your sweet positive outlook.

5) Be ready

Seizing opportunities when they present themselves is important.  In the swim look out for some good feet and use those things like there is no tomorrow.  Be ready to adjust if necessary.  I hate reading race reports where people say things like: "I added at least 200 yards with that course mistake (i.e. following bad feet." I hate reading them for several reasons, the most glaring of which adding is that 200 yards is a ridiculous, outlandish estimate.  Be ready to dodge someone at an aid station on the bike as those will likely be chaotic.  Or bottles. Potentially volunteers. Spectators.  All that. Be ready.  Be ready to change and adapt your race plan and strategy if necessary.  Drop some nutrition? No big deal, plenty of opportunities to refill if you think about it logically and rationally. Forget to take in calories for 2 hours on the bike? No worries, plenty of time to dig yourself out of that hole, especially since you'll probably be walking quite a bit on the first part of the marathon.  Cramping on the bike? Oh well, you went too hard for your abilities. Be ready to slow down and change your race plan.

6) Celebrate

No, not just at the finish line.  Celebrate your day because it is simply an extension of the long (LONG) journey you have taken just to get there.  For most people, the Ironman itself is just a culmination of a very long march through countless training hours, misery, excitement, camaraderie, fatigue, elation, rain, snow, heat, sweat...need I go on? Celebrate that you get to be out there, paying for this extremely expensive sport and lifestyle, enjoying the greatest things available to us: the outdoors. Be happy your are healthy (well, hopefully you arrived at the finish line healthy and not burnt out, but we all know most do not...).

No matter what have fun, enjoy the experience and celebrate your journey. Those are the keys to any good race.  And life, for that matter...

/drops mic

"Having fun" in first triathlon

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekend of Racing

Let's get straight to it: there was quite a bit of good racing done this weekend.

Saturday:

12:15 pm - Masters 30+ Cat 3/4 race

Masters is an odd categorization in cycling. I've never quite figured out why it exists.  There are already categories, what is the purpose of adding "masters" to the designation? But it seems most riders that are 35+ (Masters 30+ is a random, odd category), 45+, 55+ etc choose to race in their "masters" categories versus racing in their "categories," i.e. 1, 2, 3 and so forth.

Anyway, the race was mostly uneventful. I stayed upright and near the front until about halfway when a wreck on turn one managed to separate the field by about 100 yards.  Unfortunately, I was in the group that was separated off the back so had to work quite hard to catch back on, as nobody else seemed to want to close down the gap.  I ended up dragging a couple of people with me and was a bit gassed by the time I actually got to the finishing straight.  I ended up crossing the line in roughly 8th overall, but due to being lumped together in one mass start with all cats (Masters 30+ 40+ 50+) I actually crossed 3rd Masters 30+.  I'm not sure if I get points for that, but it was nice to walk away with a couple of bucks!

2:15 pm - Cat 3/4 Race

This race was MUCH sketchier.  In fact, I took a video of the entire race from the front end of my bike.  But, because I am a kind and caring video-maker I will not subject you to an incredibly boring 40+ minute video (which seem to populate the internet these days).  I pared it down to the last 2 laps as that is when most of the interesting stuff happens.

High Point Final Laps from James Haycraft on Vimeo.

The average age of this race was much lower, which - I think anyway - is what mainly contributed to the sketchiness.  A buddy was recently discussing bike racing in general and what it is to be younger (i.e. 18-24) vs "older" (30+).  Generally the older crowd has to get up and go to work on Monday (and earn a paycheck).  They don't want to wreck. They'll choose safety over 11th place in a field sprint (generally).  The younger crowd, however, don't really care.  Sprinting it out for 13th place matters more than waking up and going to work on Monday morning.  Usually because they don't have to go to work on Monday.  They go to school.

I say this from experience, knowing that's the way I used to race.  Not a bad thing, per se, just a different thing.

There was a near wreck in the last straight so I sat up and crossed the line. No interest here in contesting a sprint for 20th place...

Sunday:

Lake Davidson Sprint Tri

Swim 500 yards, Bike ~13 miles, Run 5k

Great pictures from the event!

There isn't a whole lot to say about this race (plus, it was over a week ago at this point) other than Derek kicked my a**.  He bolted on the swim, rode incredibly well on the bike and pulverized the run.  I was somewhere behind lagging around when I realized Ross was actually catching me quite handily mid-way through the run.  I decided to try and egg him on and make him work hard for the finish.  He closed the gap until in the last 100 yards he was only a second or two behind.  Across the line I stuck out my left foot (with timing strap on) to narrowly edge him out, congratulated him and promptly barfed all over a tree.  Three times.

The equivalent of throwing your bike
It was a good effort from all parties concerned and overall a fun day, albeit quite warm.

The following week contained several important things:

1) Rode for the first time with Bobby, who is a fantastic mountain biker, at the WWC with John and JZCapTri.  It was quite fun learning some new lines and watching someone much better than me demolish the trails.  I love riding fast and improving my skills and the day proved to be a fast one, with lots of PR's set (via strava)



2) Running
3) Getting back into a swim routine that isn't pathetic so I don't embarrass myself too much in Miami

All in all it's been a good couple of weeks.  Trying to get back to being consistent and string together some nice weeks in the lead-up to Miami!