It's been a long time since the last update. I raced Beach 2 Battleship Ironman distance on October 22nd and after being on pace for a HUGE lifetime best through the 1/2 marathon mark of the run I completely and utterly fell apart the last 6 miles. Mentally I knew all I had to do to break 9 hours was shuffle jog home. I was unable. It got very ugly. I was visiting the facilities nearly every mile. My stomach was shredded and I was bleeding where you don't want to bleed. I started weaving back and forth through the road with 4 miles to go and with 3 to go I was stopped by medical personnel. I could no longer run. I walked the last 3 miles to cross the finish line in a disappointing 9 hrs. 13 minutes. 7th place. I was in 2nd-3rd most of the run. I lead most of the bike. I had my best swim and best ride ever but this distance can humble you quickly. It did just that.
The off-season was a great mental and physical break. I did nothing until mid-December when I began climbing back on the bike on the trainer with a goal of riding 5 hours a week. In January I began running modestly while still coaching high school basketball. I build from 15 miles a week running to 25. I continued riding 5-7 hours a week and added in interval training. My strength has improved a lot. When basketball ended almost 5 weeks ago I began structured training. My run mileage the first 4 weeks went 40, 44, 47, and 40. This week will be 50. My biking is going really well. 2 hard interval a week and a focus on adding strength has gone well. I'm riding interval workouts at power numbers I didn't hit until June last year.
In 2016 I will focus on racing short stuff early on. With 2 Ironman events last year (early summer and fall) I spent most of my time training and raced less often. This year I want to race more often in an attempt to make more money for the iHope Foundation. I have 3 sprint races in June, an Olympic distance event in July, a 1/2 Ironman in August along with a sprint, and then I'll turn my attention to an October Ironman...Ironman North Carolina (formerly Beach 2 Battleship but purchased by WTC- World Triathlon Corporation and branded Ironman). I had planned to take the year off Ironman distance racing but the collapse last October still stings. I KNOW I'm capable of gong well under 9 hours on this course.
March kicked off the iHope Foundation corporate campaign. Last year the campaign was VERY successful with 21 businesses supporting the foundation totaling over $17,000.00. To date we have awarded 12 low-income students an iPad with each recipient also receiving a $1,000.00 scholarship at graduation. I've been blown away but the support. I will again be donating all my race winnings to iHope. So far we have received support from 9 businesses. Platinum level support ($1,000.00 and up) has generously been provided by Solis Russell Services, Tri-City Blacktop, C&W Transport, Hawkeye Paving, and General Constructors, Inc. Silver level support ($250.00 and up) has been generously provided by Happy Joe's, Crawford Company, Well Fargo, and Lederman Bail Bonds. I cannot thank these iHope supporters enough for the difference they are making in our community. If you would like to help out with iHope you can visit that page or click the donation links from my home page. I'm exciting about making 2016 my best year yet! Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!!