So sorry hold you guys up after the abrupt return, but im back now baby!
Finally settled into the area and loving every second of it! This place is a triathletes heaven. Stellar biking everywhere you look, running is the same, and a masters swim team that just beats my ass like a pinball.
Lets start with the swimming, so I found a masters swim team that meets every morning 6 days a week. When i found that online i couldnt believe it, i was so pumped...but after i realized that I have to get up every day at 4:45 AM i didnt think it was so awesome anymore. Day after day getting up at that time just wears on you hard. Then having to spend 9+ hr days at work, its not pretty, but im adjusting.
So back to the team, these guys are amazing, there are only a handfull of guys that are under the age of 50, and you would never believe how fast these old guys are. There is one guy who is just off the charts. He recently swam a 2:03 for the 200 Fly and a 10:09 in the 1000 Free at a meet in the winter. Dude is a tank. even all of the other old guys, not quite as fast, but sure as hell not slow, still kick my ass from here till next week. Its unbelievable, ive been so used to being one of the top dawgs in the pool, and not having to give too much effort, and now im the catfish sucking the scum off the bottom. In the very near future these tough swims will pay off and I will be swimming with these guys...and I cant wait :)
Next up biking. The biking here is unbelievable. Everywhere you go is beautiful, the roads are perfectly paved, nice wide shoulders or bike lanes on every road. It is perfect. The only negative which is only negative because it hurts to go up, are the monsterous hills. Everything is surrounded by huge, but pretty trees, and if you take a side road, you are sure to find the next biggest hill you have seen, overpowering the previous hill you just climbed. This is perfect terrain for kona, just gotta put in the miles.
Finally, the running. Running out here is equally as awesome as the biking. The week leading up to the move out here, I got in contact with a local High schools cross country team to see if they would be willing to let me run with their team, help indirectly coach while at the same time getting in some great miles with a group. As I had envisioned the coach had no objections to this and I gave it a try. I have been running with these guys for just over 2 weeks now, and it is incredible, their top guys are equally as fast as me and i have a nice group to push / be pushed by and I love it. Whether we are doing a tempo, hill repeats, or a long run, there is always someone willing to push the pace, which in turn helps each of us out.
Their team consists of 3 very strong runners, the #1 man is a real contender for the state title this year. He ran 15:30 as a sophomore, and isnt looking any weaker this year. The #2 man is a tiny little sophomore who ran 16:30 as a freshman. I ran with him on a long run last week, and man can he run. Just before we got to the biggest hill on the run, he goes "I like hills" and i thought o shit im in for it now. We pushed it up this monster hill, and he really put me in the dog house. I survived barely and at the top i asked him how much he weighted guessing about 125 lbs. The kid is a tiny 5'6 and he replied by saying he only weighted 105lbs. I was shocked, but also mildly enfuriated. I told him I would love to run hills too if i only weighed 105 lbs! Im carrying an extra 60lb weight on my piggy frame, and he is just gazelling up these hills. Gotta cut that down pig machine if I am going to compete with these guys.
So Its very nice to be finally getting settled in, and in the middle of last week I signed up for my first race out here. It was an aquathon with distances of .25 mile swim, 5k run. I had never done a race like that b4 and was very excited to compete. After the swim I had come out of the water first with a 2 second lead over a fellow competitor from University of Washington who i had raced multiple times in the past at big events. Going out on the run I got rid of him by mile 1 and continued to add to the gap. I thought yes i have this in the bag. When I hit mile 2.5 i heard loud footsteps and thought uho, im getting run up on. It was a 16 year old high school runner who was about 6'4, with super long legs. There was nothing i could do, he slowly ran off on me, and I ended up surrendering a 12 second defeat to him. The kid ran a blistering 16:09, where my measly 17:38 was no competition.
After the race everyone was like wow great job you won! When really deep inside I knew I was 2nd. Even though a relay beat me, I still had the 2nd fastest time on the course and knew I wasnt the winner. At the end of the day you are not #1 unless you post the fastest time on the course that day, and that was not the case for me. Whether a 99 year old lady riding a scooter poster a 1 second faster time, or a man riding a skateboard getting pulled by his dog nosed me out at the line, if I dont have that #1 time on the course I am not happy.
Well, this concludes this post, stay tuned because this weekend I found a race called the Whiskey Dick Triathlon that I couldnt pass up. Results to follow.