Highlights from the early season were:
A surprise century ride with Dan Hedgecock and David Thompson. Dan and I had discussed going 60-70 miles as my longest ride before that was only 2 hours. Long story short when you put David in charge of the route, you’re going to go 100 miles. Felt great for most of it except a bonk at mile 60 which was quickly cured at the Stillwater McDonalds.
I was a subject in a study down in Rochester in May. Over the past 6 years I’ve read my fair share of studies about physiology and fitness so I was excited to be part of one. The first day they did baseline testing and a V02 Max test on the bike. The second day was a protocol with stages at different percentages of the max power output from the V02 test. They measured HR, lactate, RER, RPE, BP, and something else with gasses. Lots of data for them to analyze later. The guys doing the study were hilarious so it was a good time. And painful, but that goes with the territory. Going in my fitness was not exactly stellar but I was pleased my RER was very stable during most of the stages of the V02 test, it didn’t climb much over 1.00 until the stages over 300 watts. All that means is that I was metabolically efficient.
The Gear West Duathlon was slower than usual for me but that did not come as a surprise. I was more disappointed after the Manitou Sprint several weeks later. I had a few good weeks of training before Manitou and was starting to feel fit. Going in I knew roughly how the race would play out between myself and Mr. Dan Hedgecock. If I could gap him by 90-120 seconds with the swim and bike I’d win, less than that he’d probably catch me. The race started nicely and I got out quick and was right on Thad’s feet (Thad is a GW teammate and we swim at the same club). Thad must have been mad about me drafting off him and decided to teach me a lesson by taking us off course! We ended up getting lost on an incredibly simple swim course and added about 2:30 to the swim and I gave up most of my precious swim gap on Dan. Shucks. The bike was fine and I got a bit more time during the second half but it wasn’t to be. Dan did his thing on the run.
It is exciting to have someone in town of the same age who is a fun training partner, is pursuing the triathlon dream, and who comes from a different athletic background. We have some fun years ahead of us training and racing together. Dan and I seem to have compatible humor and identical fashion sense (come to Gear West Bike sometime when we are both working, sometimes we literally wear the same outfit). My only concern with Dan, and I’ve said this before and will say it again, is his last name. Synonyms for shrubbery and male genitalia should not be combined into a name. Shrubweiner or Bushjohnson would never be tolerated. I am in the process of convincing Dan to change his last name to something that is both sensible and classy, like Palmer.
The final exciting event in June was that my ladyfriend Thea ran a 1:19 at the Gary Bjorklund half marathon in Duluth! She was fifth in the elite field and got some cash. It was a great performance and a great weekend and was a good reminder that I should probably be running with her more often.
A blog summarizing my 4 week trip to Norway will be coming soon.