Saturday, November 24, 2007

2007 Season in Review

I thought I had better squeeze in a season wrap up before I start hitting my marathon and ultra season, starting next weekend, and my 2008 tri season, which actually begins with a race on December 9th called the Polar Bear.

My 2007 season has been epic! I think the biggest news for me is that I have earned the title of Clydesdale Champion for the South West Series for a second consecutive year and will now be retiring my local/regional Clydesdale Racing Card. I weighed in this morning at 199.5 and think I will continue to lose through this winter. However, even if I were to continue hovering at 200 I still wouldn’t race Clydesdale in any of my local or regional races because I don’t want to feel like I might be discouraging new comers. I think there is a point at which you stop being a motivating person to chase and start becoming a discouraging opponent to face though at big races like Soma or out of state races I’d still probably race as a Clydeif I still qualify.

So, on to the season review. I hadn’t planned to do it but this year I completed:
2 brevets, 1 was 126 miles and one was 194 miles
1 10K
1 marathon
2 duathlons
8 sprint triathlons
2 olympic triathlons
4 half-iron triathlons and
3 iron distance triathlons

23 races and only one broken bone and a calf muscle that kept acting up but otherwise I’m no worse for wear.

The Best and the Worst of my season:
Best swim – Ironman Louisville: 1:12:57
Worst swim – Silverman: 1:35:32

Best bike – Soma HIM: 2:29:45
Worst bike – Ironman Arizona: 7:23:09

Best run – Hobbler Gobbler 10K: 47:14
Worst run – Ironman Louisville: 7:18:21

Best overall race: it’s a tie - Soma HIM and Silverman iron distance
Worst overall race: Ironman Arizona

Best triathlon advice: In an Ironman race you must train to eat what will be on the course and you must train to eat anything and everything because you don’t necessarily know what you will encounter on the course but you will most certainly need it. You should also learn to race by heart rate AND RPE, if you get HR and RPE correct your pace will take care of itself.

Worst triathlon advice: In an Ironman race you must develop a highly systematic nutrition and pacing plan and stick to it. Train with exactly what you plan on using for race day and do not try new foods or fluids out on the course.
Most valuable lesson learned this season: A sprint is a race and an olympic is a race and while you also race a half-iron and some people are able to race a full Ironman they are not really races so much as they are they are tests of survival that require you to be able to keep your wits and adapt.

Both of these distances require you to be solidly in the moment, be flexible and be patient. You can most likely pull off a HIM self-supported with your own nutrition but it is exceptionally unlikely that you could ever do so in an Ironman. I want to say that it is completely impossible but as soon as I do someone will comment on how they did it. Never the less, I would estimate that the chance of something going wrong during an Ironman is 99.9% and the only way you will recover from that mishap, actually in my opinion it will be more than one mishap, is if you are focusing on taking care of yourself in the moment, are flexible and are patient. You need to be able to calm yourself down, take a deep breath, smile and move forward doing the best you can in that one moment.

Oh, one other bit of advice, don’t look at a bad race time and conclude it is a bad result, it is a learning opportunity. Endurance sports are thinking persons sports and when you waste your time bitching about slow times or poor performances you lose the edge that could be gained from that experience and applied to your next race.

Fortitudine Vincimus my friends! Through endurance we conquer!


  1. You have definetly been a busy man this year. Somehow I think you will try to top it next year..

    Here's to the highs and lows, but the most important is just to race/survive in the moment.

    Nutrtion is key, a flexible plan I think works best of all.

  2. I love that quote. Hands down top ten ever.
    Thanks for the words of wisdom, hope I can remember nad apply them.
    You have had a busy busy season my friend. When the hell do you sleep??

  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  4. The numbers and variety of races you successfully beat this year is absolutely mind boggling.

    You truly are an endurance animal - and absolutely at the top of your game.

  5. Great words of good advice. Your 2007 season results are impressive.

    Here's wishing you an even better 2008.

    Stay tuned...

  6. Great recap of a very impressive season, SB! I particularly enjoyed the best & worst advice.

    Congrats on going out on top & handing in the local Clyde card!

  7. Great advise,'ll be dangerous next year at 185...

  8. Anonymous7:04 AM

    That's a very impressive season! You've done great with racing and the weight loss!

    Thanks for the tips, too :)

  9. Your last paragraph is pure brilliance. I agree 100%, a "bad" race is just a learning lesson in something that didn't work for you. Great advice.

  10. Great post!

    Man that's a lot of races! It's great to see that you covered a wide range of distances, it seems so often that people move 'up' to the next level and never look back. (Of course this comes from a guy who is still in the first level so...)

    Congrats on dropping the Clyde card, that a very cool thing.

    Lastly, here is a link to 140dot6. Basically a group that supports how to run a self supported iron. Not that I have any idea on how monumental of a task it would be. But I do like their quote "Your not going to hear thousands of people cheer you on when you're tired, soaked in sweat, sore & miserable.". Basically it's you and you alone.

  11. WOW that was some year...

    Actually that would be a great 3-4 years for me. Great job.