As an intro please have a look at this clip, or at least the first few moments:
In the words of the show 30 Rock, I’m going to shut it down. With my knee still cranky and a newly aggravated calf muscle I am in no mood to race Ironman Arizona. With questionable legs and questionable fitness there is no upside to dragging my body around the course. I am going to freshen up for a few weeks and refocus for 2014. The tickets are already booked for Arizona so instead of a weekend filled with stress, exercise, and hobbling around it will be a low key vacation in the desert with my girlfriend and family. My pal and proud Gold Gopher Guy Steve Brandes is even coming down.
I will write a more complete summary of the 2013 season next week, but the short version is that it was not good. This is disappointing as I’d trained more and harder than ever before going into the season. Unfortunately the program I was using went against the grain for my body and I was in poor form despite all the work. My results have been shockingly poor and I am very eager to set things right next season by returning to the tools that made me successful in the first place.
Despite being mopey about my results I am still quite grateful Gear West Bike, The Gold Guys, and Quintana Roo gave me the opportunity to represent them. These companies allow me to do what I do and I hope to produce faster results for them next year!
If you are part of a collegiate, corporate, or regional tri club here in Minnesota and need someone to come around to talk some tri, I don’t have much training to do for a few weeks so please reach out. Given the year I’ve had I have plenty of fresh ‘don’t do this’ pointers.
You may have noticed Ironman Florida was last Saturday. Despite the lack of coverage except for occasional online updates I was trying to keep up to date. Last year Andrew Starykowicz (the number of consonants in his last name is directly proportional to his quadricep diameter) rode 4:04 and won the race. This year I was very curious to see what he had in the tank. He finished Kona a few weeks back but wasn’t able to race hard because of some gut troubles so he didn’t inflict the typical amount of damage on his body. This meant he’d be fit and ready to ride fast in Florida. His splits on the tracker were alternating between over the record and under and he managed to cut 2 minutes off by riding 4:02! My best 90k is 2:05, 4:10 pace. He rode faster then proceeded to run 2:58 AND STILL DIDN’T WIN! Starky had 15-20 minutes on the main field, which was huge, and not surprisingly a few of the boys from the bunch got off and ran fast. Del Corral ran 2:37 for the win. The top 3 were all under 8 hours (top 3 women all under 9). It is amazing to me Starky could ride the fastest split ever (after a good swim) and then run sub 3 hours and not win.
The pro field was huge at Florida as lots of people are trying to get Kona points in the bank this fall so there is less pressure next season. Florida and Wisconsin are at the lowest level of prize purse yet manage to draw strong fields for the points. I think it is a bummer to see a massive field at Florida knowing only 6 men and 6 women will get checks when there are many good athletes and we saw so many great performances. 7th place in the men’s race was 8:11! No check! 3rd place in the men’s race ran 2:41 and went 7:58 overall for less than two thousand dollars of prize money. The mis-match between prize purse and pro field seems unfortunate. Obviously we pros pick where we want to race and we know the purses in advance so we take responsibility. It would just be nice to see Ironman recognize the quality of these fields and at least put the purse up from the 25k level to 75k. WTC recently shifted the points levels of these races from 1000 to 2000 but we saw no shift in prize purse. Changes to prize purses that are not that significant to Ironman could make a huge difference us pros and a few simple changes to how the pro races are presented could yield much more value for the company. I’ve rambled about this before and will again. I look again at Rev3 as a race organization that tries to get the most for their money by presenting their pro races well. They are also not afraid to change the way they organize their pro series to make it more interesting.
One final note on Ironman Florida is that we saw good old Lisa Huetthaler (drafting off boyfriend at Miami 70.3 last year, robust doper) at the front of the women’s race for a while on the bike. I do not know why Ironman doesn’t just decline her application for a pro license. Apparently Nicola Spirig, 2012 Olympic Champion, requested a chance to race Rinny at Kona next year and was declined. WTC says no thanks to the Olympic Champ but welcome aboard to a thoroughly disgraced individual. It is also irritating that Nina Kraft, perhaps the most prominent doper in the history of our sport, is still lurking around the pro ranks.
It is Monday so you probably have enough doom and gloom without my complaining, so here is some good news: Steve Stenzel and I are DEFINITELY going to have a duel in the pool. It is so on. I will swim 500 free (pull+paddles) and he will do what he calls swimming for 350 yards. We will be dueling in a couple weeks, I guess Steve wanted a chance to get a few swim lessons first. We will likely have our showdown at a Hopkins Masters. We have many maybes on time and date but will let you know asap. I am going to destroy this guy like a pro triathlete destroys a batch of cookies in the off season – that is to say, in just a few minutes. I have never been a fan of ‘trash talk’ but I will say I plan to wreck Steve so bad that he will make an album based on his heartbreaking experience and it will win every Grammy next year. ALL OF THEM. Yeah, Steve, that is happening.
How much do Steve and I hate each other?