Must be summer time! All kinds of racing.
Here’s a recap of the Berkshire Hathaway Invest in Yourself 5K, the Longmont Summer Open Sprint Triathlon and a preview of the surprise entry Wisconsin Ironman 70.3.
I don’t have loads of time to write this, you don’t have loads of time to read this (It’s summer. People grill burgers. They mow Grass. Drink Beer. Play Softball. You know.) I’ll keep it light and brief.
Invest in Yourself 5K
A month ago I attended the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting. I wrote about it then, if you want to hear about how fantastic I thought that was, check out the blog. The day after the meeting I ran a 5K.
Expectations were minimal. In January I started running again, dealing with a hamstring/nerve issue. In February my weekly running totals were 10 minutes or 20 minutes. That’s 10 or 20 minutes, total, for the whole week. By late April I was starting to get back into it, and I turned the treadmill up to 10.0 mph (6:00 / mile) for the first time all year. 5 minutes at 6:00/mi, that was something to celebrate, I hadn’t run that fast for a long time.
I figured I could run something like that pace, 6:00/mi, for the 5K. That would have been good enough. With those expectations, on Sunday May 6th I drove downtown Omaha nice and early, I jogged and strided and skipped around for a thorough warm up, then I lined up near the front of the 2,600 5K participants. National anthem, starting gun ‘bang’, off we go. The usual shenanigans to dodge and sidestep and in a couple hundred yards I was running at the pointy end of the race, 5 guys in front of me, all of us running single-file.
I surprised the heck out of myself and ran 16:52, for 4th or 5th place. That’s 5:25 per mile. This one really came out of the blue – I hadn’t run faster than 6:00/mi pace all year, and I’ve never run even one mile at 5:25 pace. I had been sitting in a car and an arena all weekend, eating nature valley bars and letting my hips and feet wind tighter and tighter. That’s why I say ‘kind of out of the blue’. And at the same time, it was not at all ‘out of the blue’. I’ve ran as much as I could, I’ve engaged my brain in training and proper recovery, I’ve been doing the rehab, I’ve been doing the strength work. Train, eat, type, train, feet up, type, eat, sleep, repeat. I’ve done that day after day.
The path to great performance is not a secret - remove the molecules from the bottom of running shoes one step at a time, commit to the process, do what you can every single day, live and walk and talk and think like the person you want to be. Performance and success will be the result.
Longmont Summer Open Sprint Triathlon
A couple weeks ago I raced in the first short triathlon I’ve done in a long time. My triathlon career to date had been: 1 sprint triathlon, followed by 7 full Ironmans and 5 half Ironmans. The May 19th Lonmont Summer Open was the first time I tried another short race.
We gathered 10 miles outside Boulder, in Longmont, CO, to kick Summer 2018 off to a hot start. The pace and the effort were hot, the weather was not. 50 degrees, raining, moderately windy. Not so idyllic, but perfect for an all-out, engine red-lining 1 hour session.
800M swim. Bang. Swim, kick, breathe, sight. Swim hard. Settle in. Alright, I’m settled in. Holy cow, there’s the swim exit, we’re already done with that.
20K bike. Spin the cranks. Push on the pedals hard. As hard as you can. Are you pushing the pedals as hard as you can!? Yeah, a little harder, that’s what I thought! Find some more power. Engage the hamstrings, the adductors. Burn all the matches. I got off the bike in 3rd place, kicked on my wet running shoes and booked it out of transition and onto the run course.
5K run. Just run fast. Oh boy, I’m at the redline. I’m off the redline, come on, quicker! I didn’t catch anyone. I did get caught by one fellow, a fellow that I respect as a very good runner, so not too much shame there. 4th place overall.
I’ll call it an okay day. I’ll call it a rust buster. I hadn’t triathloned for over 6 months. Rainy day, I stayed on top of the bike, I re-remembered that racing fast requires you to try really hard and keep trying really hard even once it feels like zero fun, and I learned some head-to-head race strategy.
Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon
I came home over Memorial Day weekend for Peter Studer and Sadie McCauley’s wedding. If you are reading this, Pete – Wow. What a great weekend. Silly fun and so excellent celebrating you and celebrating your marriage with Sadie. Cheers.
Anyway, I came home for the wedding (May 27) and stayed for a race (June 3). Except I didn’t do the race. I bailed on it. Brother Ben remained committed, and he was nice enough not to talk mean about me for bailing on him. Ben raced in the Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon, and he impressed the hell out of me with a solid swim, bike and run.
Ironman 70.3 Wisconsin - A Preview
I skipped out on the June 4 Lake Mills Sprint. Why such a sally, Luke? Still hungover? Afraid of your brother’s mad speed? Nope. On June 1, I learned that there would be a big ‘ol shebang on June 10, over 2,500 athletes going the half-Ironman (70.3) distance in Madison, WI. I don’t know what hole I’ve been living in, but HEY, there’s the perfect race for you, in your favorite city, and you’re already here in Wisconsin! (I don’t live in a hole. I live in a bubble. Boulder, CO. The Bubble.)
I’m here in WI, I’m healthy, I’m reasonably fit, strong and fast. I’ve got my bike and all the gear with me. I called my coach, got the go-ahead, registered for the race, switched my flight to a week later, booked a hotel in Madison and I’ve put my full attention to cracking out a good one in Madison in one week’s time.
June 10th. Madtown. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. The party kicks off at 7am.
Recently, I’ve shown flashes of brilliance in swim, bike and run. If I can put them all together on the same day, if I can hold on, just keep doing it and holding on with a savage determination, then Sunday June 10th is going to be a heck of a day. It’s going to be a heck of day. Hopefully I can put out an effort and put on a show worthy of the Wisconsin I love so much, the people that have raised me and given me schooling and coaching and cooked and brewed for me and listened to me blather on about triathlon and life. Racing in Wisconsin is special for me. I hope to put out something special on Sunday, June 10th, for myself and for the homies. See you there.