The last 4 weeks have gone by in a bit of a blur as I've done 3 races during those 4 weeks (1 sprint, 1 olympic & 1 half ironman). I had never raced this much before in a row, but I figured as long as I was diligent in recovering after each one then I would get through alright. I had some very consistent weeks of training before the 5430 Sprint which I think set me up well for the consecutive weeks of racing and allowed for me to cut back a bit on training in between the races to recover. I'm not sure I could have asked for the races to have gone any better than they did. I was able to come away with 3 wins, and had easily the biggest win of my triathlon career in Lubbock, Texas at Buffalo Springs 70.3 by claiming the fastest time on the day by 2 seconds. I've always felt my strength was on the bike, but this was the first half-ironman I've done where I really was able to get into a good rhythm early and avoid a big drop off in the last 10 miles. It was a great day for me and was also my fastest time that I've ever done at the half distance in 4:01:13, bettering my time from 2011 by 23 minutes.
I finished off the string of races last weekend at the Boulder Peak 5150. This was the 5th year that I've competed in this race and I was returning after winning the amateur race in 2011. The field here is always quite good in the elite amateur wave, so I certainly was not taking anything for granted and knew I needed to have a good swim to set me up well for the rest of the race. I was able to catch a nice ride on my CU teammate David Bobka's feet for most of the swim and came out of the water with David about 45 seconds down to the leader. Only about 600 meters after I hopped on my bike, I ended up catching the leader and then began the grind up towards Olde Stage. No matter how many times you ride this section, it never gets easier. I felt like my heart was about to explode at the top of Olde Stage, but I was able to recover quite well on the downhill section and was ready to stomp on it once I hit Lefthand Canyon. I had no idea what kind of a gap I had at this point, but I just rode as hard as I could with hopes of gaining as much time as possible. When I jumped off the bike, I got a split from my Dad that I had around 3 minutes. Starting the run I was feeling a bit cooked after my effort on the bike, but I did what I could to keep rolling along. I faded a bit towards the last few miles (as I did last year) but luckily I had enough time at that point and it was a great feeling to break the tape again this year and to dip under 2 hrs in 1:59:21. It was nice to have my family out there cheering at different points on the course and yelling at me to get moving on the run!
I really appreciate everyone's support this year and especially want to thank Hincapie Sportswear and Blueseventy for their support. Also, thanks to Specialized for the rocket bike (also known as the Shiv) that makes it a lot easier to get the job done on the bike.