Training, Tahoe, Kona

-Swimming is coming around. Last Monday was my first practice back and it did not go well. With 6 swims last week I managed to put some fitness back in my arms and felt pretty fast again this morning at practice. Our main set was 300s and I  had enough vigor to swim really fast the 1st 100 to get on the feet of my lanemate Brian who was leading. Thankfully Brian was not rushing too much so the final 200 of each 300 was relatively controlled, until he actually tried on the last one. The “last one, fast one” principle is respected in our lane.

-Ironman Lake Tahoe was interesting to track. Looking at the bike times the course is clearly hard! I was surprised the field did not split up dramatically. The top 10 men were all within 22 minutes and the podium men were only a couple minutes apart even though they all rode separately. Looking at the age group times it is even more apparent this is a really hard course. With the extra challenge of the temperature it will be interesting to see if the race fills again or if Ironman will move it up a little for warmer weather. In the men’s race 1st, 2nd and 6th are all coming off other Ironman races. The winner Chris MacDonald just won and set the course record at Louisville 4 weeks ago, but he is well known for being able to race Ironmans close together. Maik in 2nd just won Wisconsin 2 weeks ago. Romain was 5th at Mont Tremblant, 3 weeks later 5th again at Wisconsin, then 2 weeks later 6th at Lake Tahoe. With good preparation, execution and the right attitude it is clearly possible to race a couple Ironmans well close together. Probably not worthwhile for age groupers but cool to see among pros. With the new points system there has been lots of grumbling about Ironman pros having to actually race Ironmans to qualify for the Ironman World Championships. These guys are clearly not whining. I like seeing these tough guys scoff at the conventional wisdom that you should only race a couple Ironmans each year. Other Iron-enthusiasts Matt Russell and Petr Vanbrousek were also at Tahoe.

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My friend TK was proud to represent The Gold Guys, Gear West Bike and QR at Lake Tahoe! He got a podium spot in the Tattoo Division. Congrats to all the Minnesotans who were out there, we obviously have a genetic advantage in those conditions.

-My long ride Saturday was sadly abbreviated when I ran out of tubes and CO2s. Thankfully Thea was willing to come to the rescue. Also while I was fixing my first flat I managed to step in some poo, that was just adding insult to injury.

-My longtime fremesis Steve Stenzel and I failed to race the Treadman Duathlon as a relay together. If you think back to our big challenge at the Gear West Duathlon, my runner Ben was afflicted with an ankle injury at the last second. I never said anything directly, but it was pretty obvious at the time he had been sabotaged by Steve much the way Nancy Kerrigan was sabotaged so many years ago. Anyways, it seems Steve’s instinct to defeat me was so strong he ended up sabotaging himself and injured his leg the week before the race. He is nothing if not determined to beat me, irregardless of the cost. I hope recovers quickly so we can race with and or against each other soon. I really like and do not like that guy.

-Kona is coming up. I have very little interest in racing Kona but I love watching it. The team of women Minnesota is sending to Kona for 2013 is ridiculous – Suzie Fox, Diane Hankee, Emily Kratz, and of course Michelle Andres (these are the ones I know of, also Diane killed it at Louisville but I am not actually certain she is doing Kona I just know she qualified). Looking forward to seeing them hammer it out with some German ladies!

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