November 2014
Resilient and Relentless
 

Ever since I was a child in the pool, these are the words that have defined me as an athlete and as a person. After an incredible disappointment in Kona (read The heart wants & the body won't by Herbert Krabel for Slowtwitch) a close friend Bryan (from the Naval Academy Triathlon Team days) said to me "keep plugging away...you've always been resilient and relentless. There is no need to change those qualities now." I thought about these words and how he was right. The path to success for me has never been easy and it will continue to be a challenge, which is of course what makes it rewarding.

 

After I shuffled to the finish in Kona, Mark and I were chatting about what went wrong and what we need to do differently. One of the things we discussed was having a weapon in the race; you need a weapon to win in Kona. The obvious solutions were riding like a demon (Sebastian) or running like a gazelle (Rinny). We discussed how I could hone in my running ability to be a better weapon over the marathon. After chatting with Bryan I revisited this conversation in my head and had a realization. While I will definitely run and ride faster in Kona, my physical abilities don't have to be my weapon. My weapon in Kona will be what got me to where I am today: my resiliency and relentlessness.

 

I carried this realization with me to Ironman Arizona last weekend. I wanted an honest Ironman effort this year and with my issues in Kona, IMAZ made sense as a second chance race. My only goal in Arizona was to have a good Ironman effort and wake up really sore the next day! The lead into the race was suspect at best. Rinny and I had a hectic schedule the two weeks after Kona with lots of traveling and celebrating her third victory. While not ideal prep for racing an Ironman, I was not going to let Rinny's moment be ruined by my stressing about training for another race!

 

As I started to get back into proper training two weeks after Kona I had to pay the piper for the long day on the Big Island. Shuffling along the Queen K for fifteen miles had put a great deal of extra stress on my quads and IT bands. When I got back into serious training I was hit with an IT band inflammation around my right knee. Anyone familiar with it knows that while it won't lead to any serious long term injury it HURTS! I took the better part of the next two weeks not running and treating it with every resource possible. I actually didn't think I would be able to race and had resigned to that idea. The Monday of race week I found myself riding my mountain bike and kicking off my off-season. However, thanks to my Compex and some great PT here in Boulder I was able to get my IT band under control and on Wednesday decided to head down to Tempe and give it a shot.

 

As the race got underway I felt far from peak fitness in the swim and on the bike. Still, I stayed on task; all I wanted to do was know I put forth a good Ironman effort, regardless of the outcome. I came around on the second lap on the bike and rode it faster than the first. However, I hit a little hiccup when I attempted to retrieve my special needs bag at mile 66...they had lost my bag! I suffered a bit of a bonk on the third lap but did my best to make up the calories with on course nutrition, not the easiest to do with the very crowded three loop bike course. I hit the run feeling ok and excited to put forth a good effort. I came out of the gates running well and quickly ran into 5th place. Unfortunately 1.5 miles into the run my knee started screaming at me. I cringed at the idea of walking again but had to stop. I stretched it out and tried to go again but it didn't feel better. I actually started to head back into transition, thinking there was no way I could do the run. It was at that point where two words came into my head: resilient, relentless. I stretched it out again and started running. I hobbled through the aid station at mile two, having lost a good three minutes on the side of the road and tried to find a rhythm. By mile three I had found a stride and was managing the pain. I was able to get back into 5th place and I felt strong my last 10 miles. While I came within three minutes of fourth, I ran out of real estate to move up and crossed the line in 8:11:00 in 5th place.


    

 

I had achieved my goal for the race; I had a strong Ironman effort and woke up the next day very sore! While the 5th place finish may not have been a success for me from a performance perspective, it was a big victory for me in terms of putting together a gutsy effort. There is no doubt that my day in Arizona showed my resiliency and relentlessness. Results aside, the race was a chance for me to sharpen my weapon, a great step in my preparation for Kona '15!

 

Stay humble, stay hungry!
T.O.


Movember & Men of Triathlon Calendar 

 

 

 

I am pleased to be on this year's "Men of Triathlon" team in support of the Movember Foundation to raise money for men's health issues. At just past the halfway mark, the project has already exceeded last year's giving (including Calendar sales) and the team is ranked #19 nationally (as of November 21). Donate to the team and help the cause!



Slowtwitch featured the team in "Meet 11 MOs of Triathlon." (November 12, 2014 by Herbert Krabel)

You can also support the team by ordering a Men of Triathlon calendar. They are available at menoftriathlon.com and will ship in mid December (they would make a great gift!).



IRONMAN Arizona

 






photos courtesy of Eric Wynn (EricWynn.org)


With the Compex Team at IRONMAN Arizona - shout out to Compex CEO Mike Z. who raced!


2014 Race Schedule and Results

 

RACE
FINISH PLACE
FINISH TIME
DATELOCATIONDISTANCE
IM 70.3 Brazil
 2nd
 3:49:39
April 7Brasilia, Brazil70.3
St. Anthony's Triathlon
 5th
 1:47:52
April 27St. Petersburg, FL5150
IM 70.3 St. Croix
 1st
 4:07:00
May 4St. Croix, VI70.3
IM 70.3 Eagleman
2nd
 3:47:32
June 8Cambridge, MD70.3
Challenge Atlantic City
 (relay)
June 29Atlantic City, NJ140.6
Challenge St. Andrews
 1st
 3:53:03
July 6St. Andrews, NB1.9k/90k/21k
IM 70.3 Racine
 6th
 3:54:03
July 20Racine, WI70.3
LIfe Time Chicago Triathlon
 5th
 1:51:21
August 24Chicago, IL5150
IM World Championships
 32nd
 9:25:13October 11Kona, HI140.6
IM Arizona
 5th
8:11:00
November 16Tempe, AZ
140.6
Challenge Bahrain
  December 6
Manama, Bahrain
140.6



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