Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Race Report: 2014 BolderBoulder

There are times to go hard and chase after your PR like my dog chasing a rabbit in the back yard. Then there are times to be a good husband and put someone else’s goals ahead of your own. Yesterday’s race was a case of the latter.

Some months ago after perhaps one too many glasses of wine, my wife floated the idea of running this year’s race. It was really a question of, do you think I can do it. With the exception of people with serious health concerns (none of which she has) I think anyone can complete the race. Obviously my answer was an enthusiastic yes.

While she came to regret that question at times, between me, her sister and her trainer, she was not given the opportunity to back out. We badgered her and pestered her until she gave in, registered and trained.


Hence, yesterday morning at a time much later than usual, we found ourselves at the start line, ready to go.





One thing I noticed, especially as we moved past the two mile mark, was how much more there was to see at a slower speed. Residents out on their lawns or driveways were more than just blurs. Parks and open spaces that I had never been aware of before were suddenly apparent. It was a unique view.

Tisha, my wife, had been doing some good training runs, but the initial stages of the race proved to kind of hard for her. First off, the day was warmer than any of us expected. According to Garmin Connect, our start time temperature was 63*. However, humidity at 52% and no real breeze to speak of, it felt warmer. Of course, I’m sure we also went up from there. As a result, she found herself much warmer and dehydrated than on the training runs. Making matters worse, the first aid station did not have enough cups for all of the runners going by and we actually had to wait in line for water.

We ran flat and downhill sections and took adequate walk breaks in between and she continued to push on, even though it was getting to be more and more difficult.

Before too long, however, we were headed up Folsom Street and toward the stadium. Soon it was entry. Given the slower pace, I was able to shoot the following video as we entered. It’s not the greatest quality, but I think it conveys what finishing this race looks and sounds like:


video


And here’s a shot taken by our friend who had already finished.




 With the fun of Memorial Day now behind us, it’s back to the hard training for me. My coach gave me a bit of a break last week with travel and race recovery, but now it’s back to some pretty hard and long training. There’s much preparation still needed for the Mountain Top Experience Ride which is just 3 ½ weeks away!

More updates to come.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Race Report: MHM Swim Challenge #1

After struggling in the water a week earlier at the Summer Open Sprint, I was a bit concerned about an open water swim race of 2.5 miles. In addition to be the longest s swim I've ever done, it was also in water far colder than anything I to which I had been accustomed.

My brother joined me for this one after having ridden his bike from Pueblo to Parker the day before. I had a much shorter workout!

We arrived at Grant Ranch at 7:00 which gave us about 30 minutes to get settled in, into our suits and time to warm up.

I would not call the water temperature at the lake exactly warm, but it was clearly warmer than what I had experienced last week. Some time with my face in the water blowing bubbles accomplished just what it should; I was not hyperventilating and I could swim comfortably.

The field of participants doing the 2.5 mile swim was not especially large. In the end there were 48 finishers most of whom opted for a wet suit but a few who did not. Brrr!

This saved me from having quite the same crowd at the start and made it easier to get in the groove. That still proved to be a bit of a challenge and for the first half of the first lap (this was a five lap event in deference to safety) I struggled to breathe comfortably.

By the time I was approaching the end of that lap, however, I had relaxed a little and I was moving comfortably and my form was back to what it's been in the pool. The kick was a little weak, but at least I was kicking.

There's not a lot of a story to tell with a swim. The process is repetitive and the scenery really does not change. I will say that each lap seemed to be faster and easier than the on before it and I still had some matches to burn as I came around the last buoy for the finish.

Once I was out of the water it was a short rub up the grass where a timing chip captured my official finish time of 1:18:06 which was good for 22nd in the 2.5 mile division and 7th in the division of men over 36 with a wetsuit. It's not an epic result, but I was pleased with it and it bodes well for future open water swimming. If this were a full Ironman, I would be very happy with that swim split.



This was only the first event in which I was a participant this weekend, but more on that later.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 19, 2014

SOST Debrief

With the race now done, it’s now time to break it down and see how I did vs. what I planned to do. You can read the race report for more details about the overall race. This post is really just a comparison of the strategy vs. what actually happened.

Pre-Race


Due to his family commitments, my brother and I left at different times, but I still was rolling out of the house at 5:15. I ate a banana after getting up and drank a bottle of Starbuck’s Frappuccino in the car. I would estimate I had just under 400 calories.

The transition set up was just as planned. Both sets of shoes, visor and race belt all fit on a small towel. I forgot, however, to unbuckle my bike shoes. I didn’t check it, but my bike was already in low gear.

It was a cool morning. I figure about 50* or less. What’s more, there was a breeze blowing off the cold lake so I zipped up the wetsuit early and was still a little chilled.

The lake was cold as in 57* so that meant I had to get in and try and get adapted. I was about 75% successful at that. I got in, managed to swim and stop hyperventilating, but I still struggled to put together ten minutes of smooth stroking. Just the cold shot my heart rate way up.

The Swim


Of course, any warm-up is followed by the inevitable waiting period for your wave to start. I was luck enough to be in the first wave so I was swimming at 7:39; just six minutes after the first wave went off.

 Had the water been warmer, I think I would have felt confident enough to be near the front of the pack and get out in front of them. I do fast 50’s and 100’s all the time at the pool. However, the paralyzing cold really shook my confidence so I just moved in the middle of the pack and fought through the washing machine. The first buoy came up at about 100 yards and that was where I got out of the worst of the crowd.

I did my best to keep my face down and breathe bilaterally, but there was a lot of head-out swimming. I also did a poor job of kicking. Nevertheless, I swam faster than I thought I would at about 1:35/100 which is faster than the 1:36 goal. The course ended up being pretty short (0.35 mile vs 0.50). Still, I would have hit my goal either way. In fact, the last 150 yards were probably my best swimming of the whole event.
Time: 9:29 (on pace for 12:59 for 0.5 mile)

T1


I did my best to run in from the shore and I did okay, I guess since I made it to my bike in 46 seconds more or less in line with the plan of 45 seconds. My time in transition was longer than expected however. As I mentioned, I had to unbuckle both bike shoes (not a huge loss but seconds count) and it was not easy to roll on my socks. I have terrible balance and I probably wasted 30 seconds just doing that. I almost wonder if I should have sat down!

I really did hustle out of transition. I don’t recall running through an area at such a good clip but I did this time. I also was already moving on the bike before I hit the lap button on the Garmin so that probably stretched the time out a bit too.
Time: 4:28 (1:35 longer than the 2:53 goal)

The Bike


I got going with a fair amount of ease and was moving down County Road 26 away from the reservoir without difficulty and at a decent pace. Turning north onto County Line road, I felt like I was executing my race plan well. However, one factor that I could not predict was wind. As a result, I was going slower than expected even though I was still cranking out roughly 200 watts.

Wind combined with the hill just made me slower than I thought I would be during this section. I still was passing more than I was being passed and as the big hill started to level out, my pace picked up.

I have to say, the value of using power to measure effort really became apparent here. As I started to crest a hill, my power meter made it clear when I needed to shift up. The only time I let it drop down was during the big drop to the turn around. I probably could have pushed into the big ring, but since I was going to have to come to something near a dead-stop to make the 180* turn, I just coasted in. I was still pushing nearly 30 mph at this point.

The fortunate part about reversing direction halfway through a race is that what was harder than expected becomes easier than expected. Such was the case as I rolled back down the hill. Now I was in the big ring and pushing speeds up to 37 mph without too much effort. I felt good and I knew I’d be ready to run.
Time: 38:24 (2:20 longer than the goal of 36:24)

T2


I hit my lap button the moment I stopped moving even though the timing chip sensors are located at the transition area entrance. I made good time back there and ran nearly as fast back in as I did out on the run.

I found my spot, racked my bike and was in my running shoes in just a few seconds.  Since I was so close to the Run Out arch, I was out of the area a few seconds after I left my bike.
Time: 1:37 (0:08 faster than my goal time of 1:45)

The Run


As I mentioned in my race report, leaving the transition area at a sub 8:00 pace felt fine. I kept this pace heading out toward the big hill. Once I hit that hill I slowed as expected, but made a conscious effort to keep that pace in the low 8:00 range.

Once I started moving down the long hill to the turnaround, my pace got gradually faster and I still felt okay. My heart rate was over 140 bpm but I kept at it and was still not feeling overly fatigued.

The greatest challenge of this run is the return up the long hill to the 2 mile point. It’s not all that steep, but it’s long. Nevertheless, it went by quickly for me and I stayed under my 8:00 goal pace and started to catch a few people who had been ahead of me the whole time until that point.

I did not pour on the speed heading down the steep hill since there was still nearly a mile to go, but gravity helped spike me up to sub 7:00 at this point. This may not have been what you would call “free speed” but it was close. Even though I went faster, my HR actually dropped back down from its peak rate of 156 which is 92% of my max.

I kept the pace in the low 7:00 range for the flat section that makes up the last 0.6 mile or so even though a couple of times I started to slow down a little. There was really no question of catching anyone ahead of me. With my HR now up to 157 and holding right around that point, it was all I could do to just stay on pace and finish strong.
Time: 23:29 (0:59 fast than my goal of 24:20).

Overall Race Time (1:17:26, adjusting for the full swim distance, it would have been 1:21:43 which is 2:30 slower than my goal).

Placing is not really a concern at a race like this, especially since it is in Boulder County and draws out some of the best age groupers in the state. However, here’s how it worked out for me:

Age Group (45-49) 13/28
Overall: 113/359
Swim 9th in AG
Bike 13th in AG
Run 13th in AG

I was also in the 77th percentile of all swimmers which confirms it’s still my strongest event.


Areas for Improvement


Cold Water Swimming: This will be less urgent as the summer goes on, but I definitely need to get used to dealing with the cold. My hope is to practice this at an upcoming swim race out at Grant Ranch. I still hope it warms up just a little bit out there!

T1: Transitions are as variable as any other factor on the race course, but the time I spend getting out of the wetsuit and into my cycling gear has got to get shorter. Odd as it sounds, I may have to practice rolling my socks over wet feet while standing on one foot!


Bike speed: There’s nothing more to do other than just keep doing the workouts my coach gives me as best I can. I’ve improved a fair amount from where I was last fall, but clearly I need to find a way to get faster up hills or into the wind.

Of course, with a century ride coming up in about a month, I'll have plenty of time to practice riding!

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race Report: 2014 Summer Open Sprint Triathlon

Three events on as scheduled.

No inclimate weather.

No high bacteria levels in the lake.

Is this really the Summer Open Sprint?

Okay, it was not a perfect day, but in four years of doing this race, this was the closest it's ever come. God knows, the good folks at Without Limits Productions deserved a break after the rough time this race has had in 2011-2013. Probably the only real concerning factor yesterday was the water temperature but I'll get to that in a moment.

Pre-Race:

I usually don't get any extra sleep simply by going to bed early, but Friday night was an exception. I turned in a little after 9:00 and I was asleep before 10:00. When the alarm went off at five, I was ready to roll out and get going. My normal pre-race breakfast of a Starbuck's bottle Frappuccino and a banana ensued and I was on my up north.

While better than a lot of other parts of the country, Colorado has still be trying to shake off a cold winter and spring and it was in the upper forty degree range as I rolled out of Parker. I was somewhat hopeful of warmer weather as I went through downtown Denver and we climbed to 50*, but that changed as I got north of the city and a misty fog settled in. Fortunately, things were dry and clear as I arrived at the Union Reservoir.

Packet pick-up was easy and body marking went quickly. In a few minutes, I was racked into my spot in transition, closer to the run exit, but still with plenty of space:


You'll note that this was on of the saw-horse type racks of which I am normally not very fond. However, in this case, there was plenty of clearance so that I did not need to lean my bike to a 45* angle just to get it free of the rack. Just pull it off and roll it out!  Please note my small and simple transition towel. No picnic for me. Just what a need and not a thing more.

Once this was done and my obligatory trip to the porta-john was completed, it was time to don the wetsuit which was fine with me because while not freezing, it was a bit chilly out.

My biggest concern going into this race was the water temp. I have not been in exceptionally cold water since my very first open water swim way back in 2011. The pre-race announcements said that the temperature that morning had been recorded at 57*.

I procrastinated a bit but finally got in the water and--DAMN THAT"S COLD! It's easy to forget how paralytic cold water can be. I found myself gasping, nearly unable to breathe. I swam a few strokes and then looked up only to breath in some water and start coughing. As best I could, I tried to swim a few strokes but putting my face in the water made it hard to breath. After a few minutes, I made my way back to the shore. This was pretty serious. I ran around the shore a little and then decided I had better make one more attempt attempt at warming up. The second go was a little better but not nearly what I had hoped for. By now, I was very concerned about sapping to much of my energy so I swam in and got ready for the start.

The Swim
Things got a little better as I got going. This was now my third foray into the lake, so I knew what to expect. It got a bit colder as I headed out, but I was managing and actually moving forward the whole time. There were a few unintended grabs of legs and arms as I made my way though the pack. My normally smooth bilateral breathing gave way to a lot of stroking with my head out of the water trying to get more oxygen.

Fortunately, a sprint is a short course and the first buoy came up quickly and I was now on the long side of the rectangular course. I swam a bit more efficiently through here though not anything that you would call pretty in terms of form or technique. That section too went by quickly and now I was headed toward the big red arch that marked the swim exit. It made an easy target for sighting so I just kept plugging along until my hand hit the bottom of the lake and I stood up.

Then I nearly fell over with a loss of balance. It's not the first time I've felt a little off-kilter when leaving open water, but it is the closest I've come to actually keeling over. I don't think there was anyone around me and I recovered fast enough to start moving forward and getting through the arch on my way back to the transition area.


My Time: 9:46
Official Time: 10:18
The swim course was short. My Garmin measured it at 0.35 mile.

T1
I've not been particularly good at my T1 transitions so I was trying to hurry through this one, but it just was not happening. My hands were too cold to very effectively grab anything and I was just going slow, deeply chilled from the swim. I got myself ready to ride and was headed out of the area at a good run and a true sense of urgency, but I also lost a lot of time getting out of the wet suit and into my socks and bike shoes.
My Time: 4:28
Official Time: 3:32

The Bike
By now, there was a real sense of relief on my part to be out of the water. While not the warmest of days, there was nothing that was going to make riding especially difficult or unpleasant. I got mounted quickly and had not trouble clipping in.





The first part of the ride takes you away from the reservoir on county road 26. It's a bit rough but a short part of the ride. Indeed, I was on the main part of the ride course, County Line Road (separating Boulder and Weld Counties) in less than 2 minutes.

Two factors came into play on the outbound. First, a decent hill begins just north of Colorado Highway 66. It's about a 1.9% grade over the span of 2 miles. That's not terrible, but then there is the second factor; wind. It was not a strong gale or powerful gust, but a steady flow at around 7-8 mph judging by the flags. It was just enough to make you feel it and crank up the power out put. As a result, while I had hoped to tackle the hill at around 16 mph, I was often much slower.

Things did pick up as I crested the hill and there were a couple of other short down hills and the a big one before the turn around. Anticipating the climb back up out of the turnaround, I shifted into my lowest gear and had no problem moving forward back up. The climb out of the turn was slower, but now the wind was at my back and while steeper, it was a much shorter hill.

The great thing about an out-and-back course where the out is harder and slower is that the back is easier and faster. Much faster as it turned out. I hoped to be clocking about 25 mph but it turned out to be more like 34 for large sections. I got dropped by a few younger guys on bikes with race wheels, but mostly I was passing.

The road was mostly but not entirely closed to traffic. They must have been letting locals in and out. At one point, I was behind a box truck and I cruised down hill, I realized that I was gaining on it! I began to wonder what the drafting rules were for vehicular traffic. That said, I really did not want to be right behind a truck that could slam on the breaks without warning. I thought I might have to pass him which was also not my first choice. Fortunately, just as I was about to ease left and try it, he turned off the road and I was able to open up again without any worries of bike vs. truck.

Though things flattened out during the last 3 miles or so of the bike course, I managed to stay at or above 24 mph even though my power was not dropping back below 200 watts. I kept going hard until there was about a tenth of a mile left and cruised easy to the crash line and dismounted easily. Then it was another fast run into the transition area.


My Time: 38:34
Official Time: 39:13

T2
My rack space was at the far end of the area so I ran quickly and benefited from not having to maneuver around anyone else. Everything got done quickly and efficiently here, my chill from the swim long gone. I had my helmet off, bike shoes off, run shoes and visor on and I was rolling out. I put my watch back on it's band and my race belt on as I ran out.

My Time: 1:37
Official Time: 1:23

The Run
Like all tris, the real test is the run. In a sprint, it's a question of how long can you maintain a very intense effort. I was pleased to see my time out of the finish area was sub 8:00 and I felt okay. I've done enough suffering during training over the winter that I hardly notice it.

This is an unpaved section of the previously mentioned County Road 26 and during the first mile, the surface is a little rough. There had been rain in the area the night before so while I did not have any mud puddles, there were plenty of small divots and other ankle-twisting hazards along the way. I kept an eye on someone a ways ahead of me and moved where she did.

The courses biggest challenge is a hill leading up to the first mile. I knew my pace would slack going up it but I pushed to stay in the low 8:00 range and did a pretty good job. My Garmin notified me that the first mile split was 8:02 which was slower than my goal pace. However, there were going to be plenty of opportunities to pick it up.

Just after the one mile marker, I was headed down hill and was clocking a speed of around 7:20 per mile which, for me, is pretty fast. I kept that up all the way to the turn around and then did my best to stay below 8:00 pace on the way back up the hill. It's not especially steep, just long. I kept my eyes on the top and just kept pushing.

The reward was going down the hill that marks the end of the first mile. I actually got under a 7:00 pace a few times here and then stayed in the low 7:00 range for the remaining section of the run. This is a fairly flat area but I again had to navigate the rough road. Fortunately, that did not prove to be too difficult and soon I was happily approaching the finish.

It's safe to say I left all of my effort on the course so there was no sprint to the line, but then none was needed.



My Time: 23:29
Official Time: 23:26

My Overall Time: 1:17:54
Official Overall Time: 1:17:55

I've done enough race reviewing (especially of this one) over the years that I think I'll abstain this year. Suffice it to say that I recommend the SOST to anyone who is either a first timer or to any veteran who wants to get their season started a little early without having to travel. I suspect that I'd enjoy doing the HITS race in Grand Junction, but that is clear across the state so not high on my list. This sprint is a good way to tune up for the upcoming season.

My main focus now will be on the Mountain Top Experience Ride on June 21. This is a 106 mile ride with over 10,000 feet of elevation gain. Much to do between now and then and I'll do my best to document those efforts here.

Thanks for reading and whenever and wherever you are racing, Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SOST Race Plan

I’ve never posted a race plan on this site. Ever. I’ve spoken generally about what I want to do but never the details. At Austin last year I actually put together a fairly detailed narrative about how I wanted the race to go, but that was more for me.

 

Today, I’m going to share my plans for this Saturday’s Summer Open Sprint Triathlon (SOST) and I’ll follow that up later with how it went. That will be a different post than the actual race report, however.

 

Pre-Race

I’m going with my brother who is volunteering so I expect to be there very early. That might mean a little less sleep, but for a short race like this, I’m not worried. I can always grab a nap later in the day.

 

I’ll get enough fuel in the morning to make sure I’m feeling ready but not loaded down either. I usually do okay on relatively light meals and more so since this is a sprint. In truth, I’d probably be having just as many calories for an Oly. The difference is that in an Oly, I would take nutrition during the race. Not true here.

 

Simple set ups for transition are always best. Not only does it make it easier for you, it’s thoughtful to those around you. My small towel will have my two sets of shoes (running and cycling) a rolled pair of socks, and my visor for the run. The will be on the straw of my aero bottle on the handle bars and will contain my beanie (which keeps sweat out of my eyes) and sunglasses.

 

Of particular importance will be making sure that my bike shoes are unbuckled and that my bike is in the lowest gear.

 

Current forecasts call for a nice day so while I’ll done my wet suit eventually, I expect I’ll wait until some time after 7:00 to put it on. Colder temperatures will dictate if that changes. I plan on getting about 10 minutes of easy swimming in before the start. I’ve typically done a lot less than that, but I want to make sure I can bring my heart rate up a little. It will make the start easier.

 

The Swim

 

A lot of this plan is based on guidance I got from my coach. It’s a little different than how I would have done things, but not a lot.

 

While I tend to go easy on the start of the swim, he wants me go out at my best 100 yard pace and get into the clear water. That makes some sense. Even last year (hardly a banner year for conditioning and preparation) I was in the top 3rd of swimmers both in terms of age group and overall. Putting the slower, more insecure group behind me makes sense. I’m not going to try and go head to head with anyone, but I am going to go at my best and work around people. It’s 100 yards and should be over in slight more than 1.5 minutes.

 

Then, as I work toward the first turn, I’ll ease it back a little but not much. This will allow me to find a rhythm and make a good foundation for speeding up to the finish.

 

After the first turn, about halfway down the back stretch, I’ll kick back up to my best pace for a 500 yard swim. It’s likely to be a little further than 500 yards, but I’m pretty sure I can handle that. This will be my pace all the way until my hand hits the water and I start running into T1.

Goal Time: 13:11

 

T1

 

The run-in from the shoreline is only about 0.1 mile and I’m going to try and do that at more than a jog. My plan is to twist the Garmin off the wrist band and place it on the bike as soon as I arrive. This should make it possible to remove that sleeve of my wetsuit without removing the band. The other sleeve will be removed on the run-in.

 

I know a lot of folks who skip the socks but I really need them for the run so I’ll roll them on my feet now and save time in T2. This should not take more than 15 seconds and hopefully less.

 

Shoes on and buckled, sunglasses on, beanie on, and helmet on in that order. Run out as fast as possible without falling or colliding with anyone and mount quickly after the crash line. I’ll be in low gear so starting off should be easy.

Goal Time: 2:53


The Bike

 

My coach has me easing into the first two miles when my HR is likely to be spiked from the transition running. Nevertheless, I should be in power zone 4 (about 183 – 213 watts for me). This will continue until my HR comes back a little bit and then between 1.5 and 2 miles, I’ll start a gradual build up into power zone 5 (213 -242 watts). I expect the ride out to be in the small ring since there is something of a hill after about 2.5 miles.

 

The turn around is 180* so that will necessitate slowing (preceded by down shifting) and then I’ll work right back into PZ5 and then push into PZ6 (probably 275+ watts) and once I hit the same hill going down, I’ll kick it into the big ring the rest of the way. I’ve been advised to stop taking water with 3 miles left so my guess is that I’ll just kill off what’s in my aero bottle before I get to that point. Upon approaching the crash line, I’ll slow down enough that I don’t have to skid in or really crash to finish. I don’t think I’ll pull my feet out of my shoes, but I’ll definitely unclip the right in preparation to swing off.

 

T2

 

This is definitely my better transition. On a short run-in (like the Rattlesnake Tri) I’ve done it in less than 2 minutes. This is comparable so I’ll just run hard, get out of the helmet, and shoes, lose the beanie and replace it with the visor, slip on my running shoes (they are already laced with Yankz) take the Garmin from the bike and start heading out.

Goal Time: 1:45

 

The Run

 

Like any triathlon, this is the real test. Sure, I could under do it on the bike but I’ll be looking at my watts speed and HR the whole time so it should be easy to stay with it. I’m not overly concerned about my conditioning. If I have not gotten in good enough shape for this strategy by now, then something will be seriously wrong!

 

Any run-out of T1, at least for me, is accompanied by an almost overwhelming sense of exhaustion. I’ve done a pretty good job over the years of putting that out of my mind knowing that the feeling goes away after a short while. To help, my goal pace out of the staging area on to the main road for the race is around 8:15which is slower than I plan on for the run average.

 

Upon hitting the road, I plan on a gradual build from HR zone 4 (around 143 bpm) into Z5 (151 -159). Just shy of a mile is a decent sized hill. It’s likely to slow me, but I will make that up when I go down the longer back side. I’m not going to tear it up just yet since the bottom of the hill is the turn around and half way point.

 

It’s a climb back up, but not a terrible one and certainly not as steep as some of what I run around home. I’ll be well into my HR zone 5 and probably feeling a fair amount of pain. That should get better when I crest the hill and basically get to run down or flat all the way in. I’ll be pushing hard at this point and will do my best to kick it into a sprint at the finish (nice to have a good picture). No, I won’t clip anyone just for the sake of clipping them—that’s lame.

Goal Time: 24:20


Race Goal Time: 1:18:13

 

 

No plan is perfect and it is exceedingly rare for one to be executed flawlessly. I’m not going to be looking at my watch in the water, for example. But I’ll just have to trust that I can do the swim by feel. It’s worked pretty well in the pool. I have no idea how it will feel in the open in a wetsuit.

A great bike ride could be stymied by wind or an unexpectedly crowded field. Despite all the running I’ve done, I could have a bad day. These are not excuses: just an acknowledgement that even best of plans can go astray.

 

One way or another, though, I’m getting very anxious to go out and see what all of these months of training have wrought.

 

Thanks for reading!