Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Road Trip Part 1

16 August-

I decided to take a little time off from work this summer and travel around the mid west to get in a big training block and some racing.  I am hoping to be racing in Kona come October, but nothing is official yet.  I will at least be racing Vegas 70.3, so this block of training is great for that as well.  I started the trip heading to Milwaukee for USAT Age Group Nationals.

I got in a short swim Wednesday morning before departing for St Louis, Missouri.  I was on track to make it up there in time and have dinner with my buddy Jay, who I was staying with.  Jay and his wife own a Thai restaurant and I was really looking forward to eating there.  Unfortunately mother nature had dumped a bunch of rain over the few days prior and one of the roads was flooded.  The "detour" ended up taking 2.5 hours longer than planned and I didn't arrive till 10pm.  Just in time for a cold beer and time to catch up on everything.

I woke up the next morning and headed to Mount Vernon, Illinois to pick up my buddy Aaron.  Aaron lives in Korea, where he is a school teacher.  We had spent a lot of time riding out there and training together so when he found out about my road trip he was up for joining.  He was home for the summer break and decided to join along for a few days.  Once picking him up we were headed north to Racine, Wisconsin where I had setup a home stay with Tim Carls of Vernon Graphix.

Tim has been a huge help to the US Military Cycling Team over the past 2 years and is now starting to help out with Team RWB as well.  We arrived there mid afternoon on Thursday to his son and daughter welcoming us into their home aka "Fort Carls".  One of the coolest home stays I have had to date.  They had signs made for our arrival, snacks setup in the guest area in the basement, and a lot of room for all of our stuff.  After unpacking and getting settled in we headed out for a 1.5 hour ride and Aaron wanted to see a light house.  So we went searching out this light house and once going through downtown Racine we ended up finding the light house and some great riding along Lake Michigan.  I then had a short run off of the bike upon returning, followed by an amazing home cooked barbeque cheeseburger.

The weather was really amazing considering it was the beginning of August.  Friday was a pretty busy day with a 2 hour ride and a big swim set.  I headed to the pool to find out that senior citizens water aerobics were going on.  The older ladies were all about having me join in as I came walking out of the locker room in my speedo ready to swim laps and was quite surprised seeing a pool fool of aqua dancing people.  Back to the house after the failed swim attempt and headed out for a ride.  Got a nice and easy 2 hours through the country side of Wisconsin, saw lots of corn, and that was about it.

Back to the pool after the ride and then we headed into Milwaukee for packet pickup and bike drop off.  No issues there, browsed the expo area and checked out the new Garmin Vector Pedals.  They had brought 5 sets to the expo, and had already sold 4 sets by the time we stopped by.  After accomplishing packet pickup and bike drop we headed over to the Cheese Cake Factory to have dinner with a group of Team Red, White, and Blue athletes that were racing.  We ended up with about 25 people attending the dinner and it was good to catch up with old friends and meet some new friends as well.

Race morning came and went, you can read about it here:

Post race we headed for Santa Claus, Indiana, which is where Aaron lives.  We ended up making good time and arriving back there around 10pm.  After a few beers and some stories with his wife about the weekend we called it a night.  The next morning I slept in a bit and then we headed out for a ride with some of Aarons friends and local Pro Triathlete Nick Waninger.  It was a fun ride out in Indiana with very little traffic on it.

Huge thanks to Jay and his wife, Tim and his family, and Aaron and Michelle for the hospitality and offering up a place to stay along this portion of the trip.

After the ride I started my journey to Mountain City, Tennessee where I am planning on spending 7 days to train with my coach and his girlfriend from 12-18 August.  I will cover that part of the trip in another blog.

Training Stats:
Swim- 10k / 2.75hrs
Bike- 228 miles / 11.4hrs
Run- 19 miles / 2.25hrs
Total- 16.4hrs / 1,001 TSS
CTL Start- 106.2
CTL End- 109.1

 The light house that we searched for during our ride.

 Aaron enjoyed the home stay at Fort Carls a little too much.  He found a light saber and was attacking the cat.
Santa Claus, Indiana.........You thought I was joking earlier ;)
The local Santa Claus, Indiana group ride!

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