It's been a while since I last posted. My last post was running my first half-marathon. I've done a few other events since then. Not to long after that a coworker suggested I enter local duathalon. It was a short 5k run, 20k bike, 5k run. It was a fun but eye-opening experience. I quickly realized in the first 5k that my 6:30 miles were incredibly slow. The top guys were putting in 5:15 miles so I was facing a 3-4 minute deficit by the time I reached the bike. The bike leg was comforting as I quickly caught and passed many that had left me struggling during the run. Going into the last run leg, I entered the transition with another guy in my age group. He had put significant time into me on the first run but I caught him on the bike right before the transition. Starting the run he quickly built a 100 yard lead but at that point I was able to stop the bleeding and match his pace. About halfway through the run I started to find a rhythm and begin to be able to pick up the pace. I caught him with about 1.5K to go and made a quick move to pass and get a gap. He was not able to follow and I finished about 20 seconds ahead of him. I finished with a time of 1:19 which was 13th overall and 3rd in my age group. It was a lot of fun, no worrying about race tatics, simply trying to find your limit and hold it.
The other event that I did was the Fort Davis road race. It's the only race in Texas that has legitimate climbing. Climbing is not my forte but it's a welcome change and challange from the normal Texas crit/flat road race scene. The first stage was a hill climb time trial which featured grades up to 15%. It was brutal and I flatted near the top but still managed to finish. However, due to small fields, we were combined with the P12 group for the afternoon road race. Warm temperatures, humidity in the teens, and a lot more climbing made for an absolutely brutal race. The field was destroyed about 7 miles in and about the halfway point of the race incredible cramps set in despite drinking 3 bottles. I managed to finish but barely. My body was incredibly wrecked. The Sunday stage was mercifully canceled due to wild fires and I don't know that I could have started it if it hadn't.
Outside of the limited racing, I've still been running and riding a decent amount but nothing structured. Honestly, this has been incredibly refreshing. My life has enough demands and structure in work that the idea of structured workouts with intervals and defined objectives isn't appealing. My time riding or running is a release and in order to get that release, I need the freedom to do whatever calls to me in the moment. This means a lot of mountain biking, Strava segment hunting, and general fun. I don't think this is the end to all racing but possibly the end to most road races and crits. I still look forward to cyclocross, would like to try some mountain bike races, run a marathon, and do some more duathalons and maybe a triathalon or two. But, the main goal of my sport at this time is to enjoy the sport. This means that my blogging may continue to be sporadic at best but who knows what the future holds.