Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 In Review

So it has come to the end of the triathlon season where seasonal reports abound and mixed feelings about the season usually hover in the air. It is a time for reflection on the year, your career thus far, and what you hope to accomplish in the future. Here is a short recap after I graduated undergrad at University of Delaware in Exercise physiology with minors in chemistry and spanish.

During the early season, I opened up at two continental cups in Florida, with a 29th in Clermont and a flat out in Sarasota. Pretty bummed about those, but prior to flatting in Sarasota, I had been in the mix for a top 10 finish. That gave me confidence moving forward.

Following those races, I had a fire inside me from a missed opportunity. I raced the Delaware Valley Duathlon, a local duathlon on a hilly course in 30 degree tempos. I won and set a current course record in the process, opening with a 15:39 5k leg on a hilly XC type course and gaining a minute on the closest racer.

Myself, Dave Slavinski (2nd), and Holden Comeau (3rd)

Following that, I raced in Barbados for my highest ever continental cup placing, 7th with the 3rd fastest run split. A recap of the race is shown here,
It was a rainy and difficult race, but I had a great outcome and I was excited.
Coming out of the chase pack racing hard
I ambitiously raced two non drafting races following Barbados in Knoxville for REV 3 knox and the 5150 Colombia Triathlon placing 19th and 12th respectively. Those were tough races for me with not having the top end 40K bike to really compete. I was still very happy with Colombia and loved the REV 3 vibe.
Highlight of REV 3 knox was coming out of the water next to Conrad, the Caveman Stoltz, 2* Olympian and multiple world champ in XTERRA
I traveled to the ITU continental cup in Dallas two weeks after Colombia 5150, but my rear deraileur got banged and damaged on the way there, causing major problems after swimming with the second pack. This was a pretty tough race for me. I did get to stay with three Canadian friends, Andrew Bysice, Aaron Thomas, and Emma Lujon, showing how ITU brings people together!

I took a mid season break before racing Philly Triathlon (or Tri Rock Philly), coming 7th professional in a not- so- great mid season race, where I just was happy to get it done. From there, I went to NJ for the NJ State triathlon to race some studs on the bike. I came 3rd in a race where I just did not have the run legs to close after a very hard 26 mph average bike.

Back to ITU racing in August for Elite Under- 23 World Duathlon Championships in Ottawa, ON, Canada. A few weeks of run specific work had me working hard, but not quite making the top group. A first 5k of only 15:20 did not make the cut, and I was chasing hard. I ended up 12th overall, not a bad result, but not what I had hoped for. Still a great race at a high level.
Above, on the second run leg and below working hard in the bike group as shown by the grit!

I then traveled north to Maine for REV 3 maine in probably my best non draft race of the year, despite only coming 15th. I swam well, biked a very solid 60 minutes even on a fair course, and ran 33:50 off a non draft bike. I was again happy, but not satisfied. Also, the day after the race, I began formal studying for my Masters in Biomechanics and Applied Physiology. Hopefully, once I am done that, I can afford to just train without school and maximize my potential.

In early September, I raced a local 5k with good prize money, Teri's Run, where I came 7th in a time of 14:59. First time breaking 15 in awhile, so that was good news!

I had two plane bad races in September including a hasty attempt at Savageman half iron distance race, while being quite underprepared. I had the race lead 30 miles into the bike, but by mile 40, I was toast. Then, I traveled to San Juan for a continental cup where I received a swift kick in the head and raced the rest of the event in a fog, later to find out, I had a minor concussion. I again roomed with three Canadians, Andrew Bysice, Tyler Bredschneider, and Domi Jamnecki. It's cool making friends across countries!

I did a hard effort on a 10- mile "light trail" race only 2 miles from my house in Newark, De where I ran mostly with my roommate, Andy Weaver for a 53:09 finishing time (2nd to him, and faster to the previous course record). It is mostly crushed rock and dirt trail along a river.
Myself, Andy Weaver, and Mike DiGenarro at the start

I shook that  mini concussion off for my final race of the year, the F1 double- super sprint triathlon in San Diego. I got to stay with two friends who live out there, and everybody racing knew one another. The individual event was extremely difficult, I do not think my HR has ever been that high for that long. With 800 meter bike loops and 6- corners, it was quite hard to get a break. Then we raced again in a relay format. I raced with my friend, Jason Pederson and we came 4th in another very hard effort. These races are definitely not friendly to runners, but an awesome opportunity to get better at ITU racing. I look forward to racing in more.

I am finishing up the 2013 season with Rothman 8K in Philly, November 16th with the hopes of running 24:45 or so. I feel like my run fitness is really high, and I'd like to end with a good 8k time. Looking forward to getting training for 2014 and a schedule on the way.