It being the new year and all, I think I need to start blogging again I took a sort of hiatus — let’s be honest it was a total shutdown — from biking and triathlon for a couple of months there. In my defense I did have a travel for work during September and October, but I was home for November and December. I should have been writing. Honestly dude, I have no excuses.
I did workout. I started lifting weights again and really have been focusing on my core and using body weight to improve my overall strength. I have to say I am happy with where my strength is right now. My muscles feel really good right now, but they long for something more…like the challenge of a great bike ride. Like the challenge of a great run. The the challenge of an Ironman. Again.
In 2011 I focused on my biking and my strength in the hills and it definitely paid off. I put triathlon on the back burner for cycling. In 2010 you will remember that I completed Ironman St. George and absolutely loved the race — the course, the distance, and the training. It only took me about three days after I finished that course the think I could go much faster and that I wanted to train so that I could. I finished IMSG in 13:06 on the tough bike and marathon course, and immediately my thoughts started reaching for the goal of a sub 12:00 on that course.
This last year I turned 40 and it was a great year. I felt strong on the bike and I rocked a couple of great bike races. My buddy Juston Puchar and I finished the first ever Double Triple Bypass in Colorado. That may have been one of the hardest bike rides I have ever done. If you want the details, click here to read the race report. In that race I figured out how to channel significant suffering into improving my performance. I also understood the importance of having a good friend with you to help you finish a tough race.
Later in the summer, my buddy Dan Hendrickson and I did Ben Towery’s kick butt Gran Fondo of Park City. This was a 170 mile race that did a huge loop from Park City Utah to Evanston Wyoming and then back through some great, steep climbs. That was a tough effort, but one I know I could go faster on in the future. It is a race that every rider in the western U.S. should do sometime in their life. Ben runs a fantastic race with even better support.
Of course, there were some other epic rides that I did with my friends. Curt LaBelle and I did a couple of tough rides together. We did CASVAR that raised money for the family of Scott Davis, the friend we lost at the end of 2010. We also did a great ride to raise money for kids who need financial assistance to get motorized wheelchairs along with Alpine Home Medical. CASVAR was around Star Valley Wyoming and the second ride started in Salt Lake City, went up Immigration Canyon, past East Reservoir and to Echo Reservoir and back. Both rides were tough in their own regard.
Then the final race of the year, my A race, the race that I trained for my whole life, was held in September. LOTOJA is a 206 mile ride starting in Logan Utah and ending in Jackson Hole Wyoming. It really is the premier single day race that is held out west. I. Loved. This. Race. No doubt about it, this race does it for me. The distance was right on, my climbing was fantastic, and my nutrition helped propel me to the end felling pretty good. The LOTOJA race report was even epic. I even got 10th place in the King of the Mountain contest in the Open Category. Really, this race was awesome.
2012 Race Calendar
So for 2012, I think my focus will stay with cycling, but with an open ended opportunity late in the year. Here is what I am thinking:
Annual Cycle Salt Lake Century: (May 2012) No other reason than I always do this ride with my pals. We could go shorter, but an early season century is always a good idea. There is one place where you ride out on a Causeway on the Great Salt Lake to Antelope Island, which is super cool. There are lots of gnats, but it is a great time. This may be the only ride where I will beat Rick LaBelle in anything.
Huntsman Hometown Heroes Ride Reno to SLC: (June 2012) I want to do this ride with Juston Puchar. Cancer Survivor Jeff Warren rides from Reno Nevada down south to Delta Utah and up to Salt Lake City. I think it is about 640 miles over five days or so. If we are lucky, Jeff will let Juston and I ride with him. I would even pull for the entire way if he wanted.
Gran Fondo of Park City: (July 2012) This is a 170 mile ride that I want to kick some butt on this year. In 2011 I hung with the lead group for about 30 miles and then dropped back. It was at this race that I met members of a local team — Revolution Cycling — who are cooler than the other side of the pillow. Kacey and Catherine Kalian and Surba Tucker are all awesome to ride with.
CASVAR: (August 2012) This was the last organized ride I got to do with Scott Davis, my buddy who we lost at the end of 2010. The 2011 ride was very emotional and the group of us who ran around together took turns cussing him for his accident. This is a great time for all of us to get together and catch up, fish, and to compete in the King of the Mountains race. Rick LaBelle is the current champion and kicked the crap out of me last year. I am spending a ton of time training in the mountains Rick…
LOTOJA: (September 2012) I will be racing this one in 2012. I am going to race as a Cat 5 this year. My training will be keyed towards hitting my goal of a sub 11:00. I have a ton of friends doing the race with me this year, including a couple of guys who are new to the distance. I am pumped to train with them.
Open Ended Ironman: From the looks of the Ironman website, Arizona is full. Ironman St. George is still open, so I may train through the spring and snag a late entry. It all depends on what work requires out of me through the spring. I may be able to pull that one off. It would take some serious time out of my schedule, but I may be able to do it. Ironman St. George is held the first weekend in May.
I am pumped for 2012. One race a month is about right for me. Looking at the schedule, there are only two I would taper for, so I will be able to hit some serious miles in 2012 on the bike. If I were to do Ironman St. George again, I will put in a good number of miles in running and some great distance in the pool.
Now if I could just get my cholesterol down, I would be happy.
What are your race plans? Are you racing more or less this year?