Everyone was so flippin' excited for 2021 to arrive. Well, so far it isn't much of an improvement. It might actually be worse or a continuation at best. For those who thought flipping the page on the calendar would resolve anything, how's that working for you? They say the happiest people don't have best of everything, they make the best out of everything. Also, the grass is greenest where it gets water/nutrients. So, either sit there and have a pitty party for yourself or forking do something about it!
As far as racing and my fellow athletes, yes 2020 sucked. Races were canceled and trying to maintain fitness or a training plan was difficult. To the ones who wanted to, we joined Swift races, virtual races and still managed to get those miles in. I was able to crank out over 4,000 miles in 2020 and also set a new marathon PR before COVID took over so I really can't complain. An added bonus if these crazy times is that I saved a crap load of money from the lack of entry fees! Speaking of entry fees, were you aware of the lawsuit against IRONMAN?
I was impacted myself as I was signed up for IRONMAN Wisconsin in September. While I had my doubts, I still was training towards racing the event. ALright, maybe like a 75% effort but I was still bummed when it was cancelled. Shortly after a few things came together and I made the move to AZ so I was thinking I could race IMAZ. Seems simple right? Well my first attempt was to race the 70.3 race but after countless calls and emails to IRONMAN both contacts from Wisconsin and Arizona not one person got back to me. SO there I was, willing to race a 70.3 and let IRONMAN keep my full entry fee for a 140.6 and I wasn't even worth an email response. SO those who handed over thier hard earned money to IRONMAN and unable to race in 2020, I 100% understand your frustration!
On the other side, I can't be that upset with IRONMAN as we all have the option to purchase insurance for our entry fees. We also have to keep in mind that IRONMAN did not ask for these races to be cancelled either. If they had decided to not hold races on thier own while state and local AGENCIES made it clear it was safe to do so, that would be different. Given that everything we took for granted and our daily lives were also cancelled, I guess we just have to suck it up and race in 2021. WOuld just have been nice if thier customer service team didn't complete ignore us. Maybe some healthy competition from Challenge and the PTO will make IRONMAN appreciate the athletes a little more. I have raced enough IM races and Rock n Roll events (IRONman & Competitor Group are partners) to know that they really don't give a crap about us, it's the almighty dollar that is important.
If it isn't on Strava it didn't really happen. As you can see by the first image there, living proof of the 4,000+ miles in 2020. Huge kuddos to Strava, Swift and all the VR racing that kept us athletes from going insane during these Covid times. We all found new ways to get and keep the competitive juices flowing. With all that "trust the science" talk and "social distancing", I think I have mastered that with countless rides with Stealth in the desert. Usually not another person within 500ft and lots of vitamin D which you know, helps our immune system. You should really try it out rather than locking yourselves in your home with your mask. The mask, God I hate those things especially when the gym makes you wear one while working out. I attempted that twice and thought I was going to die. No I am not being INSENSITIVE to those who contracted the virus or to the countless lives lost but they can maybe admit they have no idea what is actually going on as the story changes by the day. Lastly, just get out there and enjoy your life. Suck it up buttercup! I said it earlier, you can either have a pitty party and complain about anything and everything or you can go out there and live your best life.
Lastly, some of the best news ever...
HOCKEY (NHL) FLIPPIN' STARTED TODAY!!!
I know what you are thinking but this has NOTHING to do with Napoleon Dynamite. This is about one of the craziest days I have ever had. Keep in mind that as an IRONMAN finisher there are few things that sound like a dumber idea to tackle. Sure you can climb Everest or those 100 mile runs but how about race up 7 mountains in one day. I bring you the PSC7 Challenge brought to you by the one and only Pedro Gomes. Some people go to Chucky Cheese for thier birthday, some lay low or throw some cold ones back. This guy...he decides its a good idea to basically do the Phoenix SUmmit Challenge in one day. After he emailed me about the event, it took me about 2 seconds to make the decision. I mean, if I'm going to die it might as well be while doing something epic with some INSANE athletes right?
Like my marathon training, taper is not part of my vocabulary and I'm not even sure I know what a rest day is anymore. So, Friday was a 7.5 mile run around Tempe Town lake, Saturday was a 9 mile canal run and Sunday started at 6:45AM at the base of Camelback Mountain. The hardest step is always that first one out the door, especially when its like 45 degrees and dark!
The PSC7 consisted of 20.1 miles of running/hiking and 5,860 feet of elevation gain plus or minus as we managed to take a few "scenic" paths along the way. Remember, not all who wander are lost haha. Incase you forgot, we started with Camelback and the list is below:
1. Camelback Mountain - 2.43 Miles - 1,299 FT - 52 M 30 S
2. Piestewa Peak - 2.41 miles - 1,234 ft - 45 m 52s
3. Dixie Peak - 2.72 miles - 958 ft - 40 m 4 s
4. Shaw Butte - 4.40 Miles - 892 ft - 45 m 27 S
5. Lookout Mountain - 2.73 miles - 758 ft - 36 m 49 s
6. Dixie Mountain - 3.50 miles - 804 ft - 43 m 9 s
7. Apache Wash Ridgeback - 2.83 miles - 489 ft - 30 m 28 s
"I couldn't find anything more stupid to do on my birthday" - Pedro
As you can tell, was one hell of a fun day. A day I will remember for the rest of my life and beyond blessed to cross paths with these amazing people. Surround yourself with like-minded over achieving people, you just might SURPRISE yourself. Want some other great advice? Don't be afraid of dying, be afraid of not living!
With IMAZ 140.6 being cancelled, it didn't take a crystal ball to determine that Rock N Roll Arizona marathon was next. Both IRONMAN and Rock N Roll are part of the same money hungry dumpster fire. It's not like IMAZ was going to be legit anyways with a shortened bike course and no pros...jeez, another victIm of 2020 I guess. As I had just started to crank out some longer runs for RNR, I was hopeful I could kick off the new season like usual with the Arizona marathon. So, guess I'll just continue to train and keep throwing all this unspent race entry money into My Kona piggy bank.
As we enter Thanksgiving week here and most people are risking becoming a felon by having family over, don't forget to burn some calories this week and locate your stretchy pants! With the lockdowns and safety PROTOCOLS due to COVID-19, the typical holiday weight gain is going to be EXPONENTIALLY worse! This isn't a shallow slam at overweight or "lazy" people, this is a serious problem. It is an uncomfortable topic but Americans are not known for thier healthy lifestyles. Just because your Turkey Trot was cancelled doesn't mean you can't grab a few friends and run a 5k. Some fresh air and sunlight does wonderS...A body in motion stays in motion!
With IMAZ being cancelled I didn't get the opportunity to snag some more photos of the athletes and therefor also didn't have a chance to earn a few extra bucks by selling my photos. Incase you live under a rock, go check out Bulldog Photography and see some of my work. While at the LBS (MOXIE) they were getting ready for a MTB race. I kind of drug my feet looking for an excuse not to go out there as it was about a 45 minute drive. I put my big boy pants, well shorts on and ventured out to the 6 & 12 Hours of Fury race at McDowell Mountains. Below are a few shots and the full album can be found here!
Hopefully I have some racing related news to share soon, for now, pre-burn those calories for Turkey Day. Gobble Gobble!
Useless Fact: Total miles for 2020 are 3,432
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6