Running as fast as I can since '93
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Myrtle Beach ITU Part 2

    Posted on October 12th, 2011

    My first professional race. In any sport. I always assumed it would be on a track or road race, not jumping into muddy water. Saturday night before the race I went to bed anxious. Sunday night after the race I went to bed with a smile. Sunday was a dream come true.

    I arrived at the race site just after 7:30 am. The women’s race began at 7:30, and the original instructions to the men were to check in your bikes in transition before the women started. At the briefing on Saturday night, many of the more experienced men voiced there opinions of arriving 2.5 hours before their race began with several loud grumbles.

    “How much time do you normally show up before a race?” the ITU official asked. “Two hours?”

    “75 minutes,” one guy replied. To my surprise the official caved in quite easy. He said we could check our bikes into transition anytime before the 9:00 swim warm up began as long as we watched out for the women as they rode through transition during their race.

    Since this was my first race I didn’t want to see how far I could bend the rules, so I showed up while the women were in the water and finished before the leaders got to T1. I was shocked to see guys nonchalantly rolling up at 8:45. Maybe this is normal? I guess professional triathletes are used to getting their way.

    At about 9:00 I did a short jog with fellow Collegiate Recruit Dan Feeney. We ran down the run course and it was fun to see and a cheer for some of the women that are also in the program. At 9:20 we jumped into the water to get in a swim warm up. When I watched the pro race in San Francisco back in July I noticed how much more of a warm up they do than I had seen in an age group race. I tried to follow the trend and spent a good 15 minutes swimming and getting a feel for the pontoon dive start. The water temperature was 73F, making it a non wetsuit legal swim. DANG IT!

    Twenty minutes before the race was to begin they close the warm up. It was already pretty windy at this time, and not too warm, so most of the athletes put on jackets and pants to keep warm. Just before the race starts they do introductions with the top ranked guys getting a little bio. Where you start on the start line is your choice, but top ranked athletes get first pick. I was #58 out of 65 numbers (34 total) so I just picked the first spot that was open.

    I stood there for what felt like an eternity. To top it off, they played pretty much the most intimidating music I have ever heard. Still, I was super pumped to get started and see where I stacked up with these guys. Here’s a video of the intros and the start of the swim…

    Swim

    28th in 21:26, 3:33 behind the fastest

    I dove into the washing machine and tried not to get too banged up. I was quickly spit out the back and was swimming at the back of the large pack. The first turn buoy was about 170m out. Being at the back of the pack already it wasn’t too messy, which was nice. We took a left and swam downstream for about 200m. Then we took two rights and swam back upstream. Somewhere during that section I lost the feet of the swimmer I was drafting on, and ended up swimming the rest of the race alone.

    The course was two 750m laps so we had to come out on the dock run around the corner and dive back in. I think this makes for more entertaining spectating and it beaks it up for the athletes. You can see this in the video above.

    The rest of the swim I felt pretty good and made sure to keep telling myself to go faster. You are in a pro race now! I came out of the swim with a large gap ahead of me and one guy, Rusty Pruden, a few seconds behind me.

    T1

    26th in :18, :05 behind the fastest

    “What are the two most common penalties in ITU racing?”

    “Not putting your cap and goggles into your basket.”

    “And mounting the bike too early or dismounting too late.”

    This was the conversation my coach Ian Murray and I had the day before the race. So as I exited the swim and came into transition, I was focused on getting my cap and goggles in the basket and mounting after the mount line. It never occurred to me that I needed to put on my helmet! As I grabbed my bike, in hot pursuit of the riders ahead, Rusty yelled, “Helmet Jason!” to me. No you didn’t. Yes I did. Forgot to put on my helmet before grabbing my bike. What a rookie.

    Bike

    23rd in 56:16, 1:22 behind the fastest

    Rusty and I quickly grouped up and went to work. We were both doing about half the work and started catching a few riders. As we caught riders, the group began to swell. At first this was great, I thought, because we were all doing less work. There was a nasty headwind for half the lap that really zapped your legs if you were leading into it for too long. As we got closer to the end of the bike leg, our group had become about 9 riders, and people stopped working together.

    I was so concerned that we were losing time to the front group that I found myself near the front. As we headed back toward transition on our final lap, I got stuck in the front battling the nasty headwind. To add insult to injury, when I finally decided to take my feet out of my shoes, the whole pack went around me and, just like in the swim, I was shot out the back. Although I was with a decent sized pack, I was effectively last in the race at that point.

    T2

    29th (out of 29) in :25, :11 behind the fastest

    Last in T2. My transitions are awful, apparently. Not much to say here except for that I should be faster.

    Run

    11th in 35:10, 2:29 behind the fastest

    I ran through most of the group fairly quickly and had my sights on Sean Jefferson (a sub 4 minute miler from Indiana University). About 3k into the race, just as I had caught Sean, I started to feel a pulsing in my left hamstring. I tried to keep my stride nice and smooth, but couldn’t keep my pace up without my hamstring cramping. I slowed down, stopped and stretched a bit, and tried to pick it back up. Sean had opened up a large gap in that time. I looked behind me and saw James Bales running just behind me. I decided to run a bit easier with him for a while.

    During the bike leg I noticed that “58” was listed on the white board at the “penalty box.” Because of my helmet mishap coming out of T1 I had been given a 15″ penalty. Race officials wrote my number on the board indicating that I had to serve the penalty at some point during the run.

    Before the race Ian and I had talked about if I do get a penalty to serve it before my last lap. I was still running with James when I took my 15″ penalty after the third lap. I stretched my hamstring, and when the time was up, took off. I was able to catch him with about 300m to go. There was a decent downhill heading into the finish, so I thought I would just hang behind him and try to make a quick move just before the line. I was worried if I went too soon my hamstring would cramp again and wouldn’t be able to continue kicking. I started to coast down the hill pretty good and was opening up a gap on him without pressing too hard. I decided to keep pushing and set my eyes on Nathan White. I was kicking pretty hard and really closing the gap, but ran out of real estate.

    I finished in 20th place in 1:53:35, 5:42 behind 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker. I was really happy to hear that I was 20th because top 20 earns ITU points which are important in moving up to more competitive races in the future. I read the rules more carefully and realized that you have to be top 20 and within 5% of the winner’s time. 5% off of Jarrod’s time is 1:53:30, 5 seconds faster than I finished.

    Regardless, it was a successful first race. What Ian and I wanted to get out of this race was to get a benchmark of my swim, get draft legal pack riding experience on the bike, and to experience the hoorah of ITU racing before I head into the off season. With this race under my belt, I will be ready to get after it in my first ITU race next season without experiencing all the first-time-jitters.

    This was my last race of the season, and I will have a season recap up this weekend or next week.

    Results

  • Family weekend at sea level

    Posted on October 5th, 2011

    On Friday I went home for some family action. My Great Uncle Niller had flown all the way in from Copenhagen, Denmark, which doesn’t happen very often. I spent the majority of the weekend at my aunt’s beautiful home in Northridge with my cousins, brother, sister, mom, dad, sister-in-law, Farfar (father’s father in Danish)…

    Those that know me well know that I’m a family guy. I love it in Flagstaff, but I do miss my family a lot while I’m here. I’m lucky enough to have my own travel agent (mom) that gets me home once or twice a semester. Guess who is the favorite child?

    Another perk to going home is sea level! I took this opportunity to do a little swim marker to see where I am at. USA Triathlon has a swim test that they use to evaluate potential Collegiate Recruits: 200 all out, 1 minute rest, 800 all out. Last year I did the test several times, putting up my best time in July. On that occasion I swam 2:13 and 10:10 for short course yards. At the time I was ecstatic with the result, especially the 200. I had rested up for the test and it was my last hard swim before turning my focus 100% on the cross country season.

    Swimming has been going very well up here in Flagstaff. I hit 30,000m in one week for the first time a couple of weeks in anticipation of my first ITU triathlon coming up. I didn’t taper at all for the test, but I knew with my new swim fitness and a little extra oxygen I was ready to swim a good time.

    Coach Ian did some filming of the swim. My form has improved, but I need to bring my arm underneath my body to really get the most out of my stroke.

    My triathlon coach Ian Murray met me at CLU and took me through a good warm up. I got myself pumped up and dove head first into the 200. I swam a 2:10, which was a little bittersweet because I thought I was ready to break 2:10. I tried to enjoy all the extra oxygen during that short one minute rest, and then set off on the 800. I hit 9:41 — a 29 second improvement!

    While the 200 wasn’t quite as fast as I was hoping, I surprised myself in the 800 and I can see that all the hours I am spending at the pool are paying off. I spoke with Barb Lindquist yesterday and we agreed that if I can keep this regimen up, I will be an entirely different swimmer come next Spring.

    My swim will really be put to the test this weekend at the Myrtle Beach ITU Continental Cup. Lots more to come before and after that race.

  • Interbike Part 1

    Posted on September 14th, 2011

    Las Vegas, Nevada. I have been here quite a few times before, but this will be my first time in Sin City alone and on business. This week is Interbike – International Bike Expo. I am here thanks to my coach Ian Murray with Triathlon Training Series to look for future sponsorships. As anyone that has done just one triathlon knows, this is an expensive sport. And while I have great support from my family, coaches and training partners, there is more to it than that. When I finish my masters degree in May, I will be an unemployed, overly educated dreamer. I am hoping that I will find a few folks tomorrow that are interested in investing in such a person.

    I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I will be patrolling the HUGE convention space with some resumes in hand (which I just noticed have a typo for my 5k PR… I promise I’m faster than that!), a USA Triathlon “Collegiate Recruit” polo, and hopefully a not-so-dorky looking smile.

    Hi, I’m Jason Pedersen. Would you be interested in giving me that bike?

    I will let you know how that one goes over.

  • USAT Age Group Nationals

    Posted on August 29th, 2011

    Last week I went across the country to Burlington, Vermont for the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals. This was my first national championship race in triathlon and would be my last age group race before turning professional later this year.

    I arrived in Burlington with my parents and my girl friend Mo on Friday. First stop was the race expo to check in and a short video interview with Endurance Films. They primarily asked about my involvement with the Collegiate Recruitment camp and my July visit to the Olympic Training Center. We then checked out the bike course, transition, and assembled my bike. I wasn’t able to start my pre-race workouts until 3 pm, which I think may have had some consequences come race time.

    I take recovery seriously. Thanks Mia and Chris!

    That evening we met one of my cousins, Mia, and her family for a delicious carbo-loading session at a local Italian restaurant. They drove up to Burlington from New York to come see me race, and I really appreciate their support. If any of you have ever watched a triathlon in person before, you know they aren’t always the most spectator friendly events. They stuck around for the whole event and even bought me a cheeseburger and beer after! They are welcome to come watch anytime 😉

    Race day began at 6 am and everything went fine. I got my usual breakfast down and made it to transition without too much traffic. I had a great spot in transition near the bike and run exits, probably thanks to my seeded “1:55” time. About an hour before I was to go off I did some jogging and a few longer efforts. I made my way to the dock where the swim start was. I did a few minutes of warm up with a bungee cord to try to warm up the arms (I think I should have been more aggressive here… 10 minutes would have been better).

    I took a couple of pictures with all my supporters and then jumped in the water about 5 minutes before the start. My first thought was how warm the water was. By 8:30 the air temperature had already begun to creep up. Warm air + warm water + full-sleeved wetsuit = discomfort. I strategically placed myself toward the left of the start line to have the shortest distance to the buoy and so I wouldn’t get stuck on the inside of the first right-hand turn.

    Swim

    113th in 21:58, 3:10 behind the fastest

    I got out great the first 100 meters or so. I was keeping near the front with only a couple of guys getting ahead. As we came up on the first buoy, however, it started to get crowded. I took a solid left hook to my right eye. Fortunately the goggles stayed on and they didn’t fill with water. Still, it rattled me a bit and gave me a nice little cut in the corner of my eye.

    As we rounded to buoy I was in a good rhythm. I could see the next orange turn buoy off in the distance and there was a pack of swimmers from my wave just ahead. By the time I made the turn around the final orange buoy and headed for home, I was passing people from the wave ahead. You’re having a great swim! Then came the sun in my eyes. The next buoy was yellow, and with the bright orange-yellow fiery ball in the sky, spotting a little yellow blow up floating on the water was next to impossible. I tried to look for people ahead and hope they were on course. I quickly realized that these people were from the wave ahead, and had no idea where they were going either. I took a few strokes with my head above water and finally found the bulk of the swimmers: WAY OFF TO MY RIGHT! I sprinted to get back on course. You are going to come out 6 minutes down! Game over.

    Finally I made it to shore. As I came running up to transition I heard Mo yell “3 minutes PD!” Solid! I can do this! Hearing that I was only three minutes down made me feel so much better.

    T1

    1:00, :16 behind the fastest

    I sprinted into T1 and made my way to my bike. My helmet was knocked off my bike and onto the ground, but my glasses were still inside the helmet. I slipped off my wetsuit, picked up my helmet and sprinted out of transition. I ran passed a few people that were mounting pretty slow and had a good flying mount, keeping my momentum going forward.

    Bike

    10th in 58:20, 1:46 behind the fastest

    Heading into the race my coach Ian wanted me to really work the bike leg. He thought that I could really go to the well on the bike and still have one of the fastest run legs. It was a pretty hilly bike course, but I thought I could average 25.5 mph on it.

    Each hill I hit, I charged and really tried to crest the hill; carrying my speed up and over. I didn’t sit up on the downhills. I was working every portion of the bike legs. I flew by probably hundreds of competitors from the previous waves. I tried to notice if any of them were in my age group, but it was too hard to tell.

    In the end I had the 10th best bike split of the day, hands down my best ride ever. I made a big mistake in not the effort I put out, but the amount I drank. I had a 20 oz bottle on my bike, and probably only got about two thirds of it down. Heading into transition, I could feel one of my hamstrings starting to pull. I was in for a tough run.

    T2

    :51, :14 behind the fastest

    I felt good running to my rack off the bike, but once I bent over to put on my running shoes, my left quad seized. Shit. I was in for a long run.

    Run

    5th in 32:42, 1:21 behind the  fastest

    Straight out of transition there was a very steep, 400m long hill. My original plan was to just rev up the engine and push the hill, but after the fear of cramping set in, I tried to relax up the hill. I picked it up once I got to the top. Every time I really started to roll, my left hamstring and/or one of my quads would start to grab. I would ease up a bit, try to relax and then push again. It was a cycle that would continue throughout the rest of the run.

    After a couple of miles I found a guy in my age group that was running pretty well. I passed him around the 3 mile mark, but I didn’t drop him. I could hear him running just behind me for about a mile. By this point the heat was pretty oppressive, so I was grabbing water at every aid station. I grabbed a cup at about the 3.5 mile mark, and just as I did that, one of my quads locked up. My shadow made a move that I couldn’t respond to, and he got away. The rest of the way I was in survival mode, just trying to keep it as quick as I could without cramping up.

    After the race I learned the guy I was battling with was Daniel Hedgecock. He also was a Division 1 runner with a 14:09 5 PR. I didn’t feel so bad about getting dropped after that. I have to realize that I can’t just rely on my run always being there and there are going to be races where I’m not the fastest runner out there.

    When I first heard the results I was pretty bummed I didn’t make it onto the podium. I really wanted to win the race. After some talking with my parents and Mo, I realized that this was my first national level triathlon and I finished within the top-5, just 42 seconds off of 2nd place. I gave it my all, and where I fell short fell largely in the realm of experience. If I had done a hot, humid race before… If I had traveled across the country for a triathlon before… If I was able to see that yellow buoy…

    So I went in a little ignorant and I fell a bit short. Not so bad. Now I am onto bigger and better things. More on that to come.

    Results

  • Back home and back to work

    Posted on August 2nd, 2011

    Just over a week ago I returned home from an eight day adventure at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs. The camp was a great experience for me, and I am very fortunate to have been chosen among twelve other athletes to learn what it takes to reach the top of USA Triathlon. Most of the sessions were focused around skill building, including swim form taping, bike paceline work, bike handling skills, running form, and transition skills. There were also various meetings to help prepare us for what we will face in our futures as professional triathletes (e.g. USADA drug testing, ITU points list, etc.). The OTC’s campus had some top notch facilities and the best food from an all-you-can-eat buffet I have ever had (sorry NAU, the Dub has nothing on the OTC cafeteria).

    Using Trigger Point Performance Therapy products we were each given at the camp. Recovery is the name of the game!

    While I got some good training in while I was there, the real benefit of this camp was the relationships I created and the knowledge I gained. As I said there were twelve other athletes there, each of us coming from similar NCAA athletic backgrounds and looking to turn pro in our new sport. It was great to meet so many like-minded individuals that I will be competing alongside and against in the coming months and years. In addition to the athletes, there were several legendary coaches (and former athletes) giving us the best advice money can buy — and we didn’t have to pay for a dime!

    Since returning home, Coach Ian has really put me to work. I logged 21 hours of fairly high intensity training last week. I was exhausted all week, with the unofficial nap count ending at five! I took rest and recovery seriously and was able to make each session quality. I have since taken a couple easy days before I head into another tough five-seven day training block. Only 18 more days until Age Group Nationals and there is lots of work to be done!

    No promises of coming blog posts. I hope that I can get a few more up before Nationals, but I will be honest: if I have to choose between blogging and taking a nap, nap will win every time. It’s a sad truth, but living like a professional athlete is hard work.

  • San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

    Posted on July 11th, 2011

    For the 4th of July I headed up north to hang with my girlfriend Mo and her family at their lake house at Clear Lake. We had a great time and I was able to get in a long open water swim in the algae-filled lake (my speedo was full of the green stuff after!)

    Once the fun weekend came to an end, I stayed in Oakland to prepare for the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island. This was my first triathlon away from home, but thanks to my “host” family, the Huber’s kept me feeling comfortable. I was able to get on the course a couple of times before the race to check out the very technical bike course. It was a six lap course with about a dozen 90 degree turns and one 180 degree turn EACH LAP! This was very different than anything I had raced before.

    Aside from the unique course, this race was different in that there was actually something up for grabs besides my ego. The San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island is part of the USAT Elite Series, which means that a top-3 finish in the amateur field would earn me a pro card. Earning a pro card is the first step toward fulfilling my dream of competing as a professional athlete and making an Olympic team.

    Everything considered, I was a bit more anxious for this race than my third running of the Breath of Life triathlon a couple of weeks ago.

    Pre Race

    I started tossing and turning at around 3:30 or 4 am. Like I said I was anxious for the race. I finally got going at 5 and was out the door half an hour later. Mo and I arrived to the race just before 6 and it was cold. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, jacket, tights and sweats and I was still chilly. After setting up my transition area I began my warm up a little sooner than normal so that I could heat up and get comfortable.

    Swim

    16th in 22:39, 2:10 behind the fastest

    Leading up to this race everyone was telling me how cold the water in the Bay would be. I was pleasantly surprised when I dove in for a short warm up and my face didn’t freeze. It was actually very comfortable. The race announcer said it was around 60 degrees. I’ve swam in much colder.

    Deep water start

    The race started with a deep water start, which was a first for me. Compared to a beach entrance I found the deep water start to be a lot less hectic. I got out pretty well and eventually found myself swimming shoulder to shoulder with another guy. There was a group of three or four up front that I wasn’t able to hang with, and in the future I know that is where I need to be — hanging off the feet of the faster swimmers.

    The swim course was two triangular loops. As I came around to start lap number two, the guy that had been swimming with me suddenly just dropped off. I have no idea where he went, so I figured he fell in behind me. The rest of the way I was swimming alone which made for a nice, calm swim.

    T1

    11th 1:10, :07 behind the fastest

    Like Breath of Life I tried to race into and out of transition, but be smooth taking off my wetsuit and putting on my helmet and sunglasses (as my coach Ian Murray says, “smooth is fast”). I was told I was down two minutes to the first swimmer, so there was some work to do on the bike.

    Bike

    4th in 1:03:59, 1:28 behind the fastest

    I tried to be aggressive from the beginning. Since the course had six laps, as time went, more and more people would be heading out onto the bike course. This meant there was a lot of passing going on, and I had no idea where I was in the race relative to my competitors. Any open road I had I took advantage of. This made for a very atypical time trial bike ride, with lots of surging and then sitting up when I got stuck behind slower people that I was lapping. Adding to the whole experience were some pretty poor road conditions. Lots of potholes and very little smooth terrain.

    New aerohelmet and HED wheels thanks to Dusty

    In the end I had a great bike leg — certainly my biggest improvement over my last race. I have to thank Dusty Nabor for a lot of this improvement. Dusty is a local triathlete that swims with the Conejo Valley Mutlisport Masters (the same team I am swimming with). Dusty loaned me a sweet pair of carbon HED wheels and hooked me up with a very nice Specialized aerohelmet. I owe more than a few seconds to Dusty. THANK YOU!

    T2

    11th in :41, :07 behind the fastest

    Only thing to really say about T2 is that I WAS THE FIRST ONE THERE! Yep, to my surprise, I was leading! This was a first for me. With the run as my strongest of the three, I knew I had the win in the bag. Or did I? I thought back to last year’s Strawberry Fields triathlon where I lost to a guy in a wave behind me by six seconds! I couldn’t let that happen again.

    Run

    2nd in 34:18, :26 behind the fastest

    The only real downside of my race was that I didn’t have the fastest run split! I am used to taking huge chunks of time out of everyone’s run split, with the exception of my buddy Chris Baird of course. I started out feeling good, running about 5:15 pace. I decided I would hold it there, and then bring it home a little bit quicker.

    Heading out for lap two of three

    Racing from out front is a lot different than trying to chase down guys. I knew I was running a decent pace and that would be good enough. Still, I was motivated to have the fastest run split once again. With about a mile to go, I felt good and decided to really press it. Shortly after, I felt a cramp coming on in my hamstring. The last thing I needed was to walk it in to the finish line. I decided to be smart and conservative and just hold my pace. The course was definitely a bit long, as the Garmin had me at 5:16 pace.

    Overall

    1st of 259 in 2:02:46

    I finished the race with a huge smile, knowing I had earned my pro card. I had a little interview after the race and it is up on Youtube. I will share that with you guys in the coming days.

    What the heck is a pro card?

    For my readers that aren’t so triathlon savvy, you might be wondering what a pro card is. A pro card, or “elite license” as it is also referred to, allows athletes to compete in more competitive races. Basically, you get to compete against other professionals. It is the first step in reaching the top of the sport. To compete at the Olympics, you need to have great results at the biggest races in the world. To qualify for these races, you first need to accumulate points in smaller races. And to enter these smaller races, you need a pro card.

    I have competed in two triathlons in 2011 and have two wins, plus a pro card. Things are going great! I still have so much work to do, but I am super motivated to do what I need to to reach that next level. Not just racing as a pro, but competing for podium positions. My next race will be Age Group Nationals, possibly my last race as an amateur. I want to keep my winning streak alive.

    Once again I have the best supporters. Thank you to Danielle Hunt, Mo and her parents, Peg and Chris, for coming out to cheer me on!

    Results | Photos

  • Collegiate Recruit

    Posted on June 6th, 2011

    The eerie feeling of no longer being a collegiate athlete has worn off, and I am in full swing with my next pursuit. Thanks to USA Triathlon’s (USAT) Collegiate Recruit Program, I have hit the ground running.

    The Collegiate Recruitment Program was created in 2009 to find the next Olympic athletes for team USA. All but one of the US Olympians from the last three Olympics have come from a Division I swimming or running background, and this is a trend that USAT believes will continue. Barb Lindquist, who swam for Stanford and competed for USA in Athens, is the program’s coordinator. She contacted Coach Eric Heins in the Fall of 2009 asking if any of his athletes would be interested in a career in triathlons after finishing their collegiate eligibility. Heins forwarded me her contact, and we kept in touch as I dabbled in triathlon last summer.

    With the end of my running career on the horizon, Barb and I discussed becoming a “full blown” recruit. What this means is that Barb and USAT help me progress from a novice triathlete — getting me a coach, equipment, training camps — to a 2016 Olympic hopeful.

    Coach

    The first step in getting me prepared for a future in triathlon was finding me a coach. I won one race and took second in two races last year without a coach, but those were small fish. There are much better athletes out there, and I need someone with experience to bring me up to their level.

    Barb began by contacting some of the best triathletes in the world,  Jordan Rapp (previous Ironman Canada and Arizona winner) and his wife Jill Savege (2004 Olympian). Eventually she found Ian Murray, a Level 3 Certified coach, and asked if he knew of any coaches in the area that would be willing to work with me. Surprisingly, he was interested.

    Triathlon Training Series

    I am very lucky to have Ian as a coach and I am confident that he will help me accomplish my goals. He has great experience, serving as a team USA coach at several ITU continental cup races and coaching other ITU professionals. He has a series of triathlon training videos called TTS, and he hooked me up with some swag.

     

    Equipment

    Quintana Roo CD0.1 "TT" Bike

    Next up was equipment, i.e. bike. I had been riding on a Trek 1500 from 2007 that has served me well, but was putting me at a pretty big disadvantage at the level of racing I am now at. For non-draft racing, I found a sweet deal over at the Slowtwitch classifieds on a Quintana Roo CD 0.1. The bike has SRAM Red components that work like a dream. For the majority of the races I do this season, I will be on this time trial bike.

    But moving forward, I want to do draft legal racing. The point of the Collegiate Recruitment Program is to prepare athletes for the Olympics, which is draft legal. I needed to upgrade my road bike from a Trek 1500 so I am not missing out on “free speed.”

    Thanks to USAT and Blue Bicycles, I am now riding a beautiful Blue RC6. Ian helped me build up the bike with a mix of Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra components. We slapped some beefy training wheels on there (for now), and what I am left with is an amazing ride. It is so much more responsive than the Trek, and I am really excited to put in the mileage in the saddle on it.

    New Blue RC6 Bike

    Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra components

    Training Camp

    Barb didn’t stop there. I have been invited to come to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for 8 days in July for a triathlon camp with other collegiate recruits, including friend and recent pro Brianna Blanchard. I am so thrilled for this opportunity to learn from the very best in America and to meet some triathletes that share my goals.

    I am beginning to train more intensely, focusing on my swim and bike while my Achilles continues to heal. I plan to continue with updates on the road toward living my dream as a professional athlete, so please continue to follow.