Nothing pointed to a more clear loss of endurance from COVID than this race.   Everything was slow from swim, to bike, to run.   But like all sunsets, the sun will rise again tomorrow.

Overall the race was pretty smooth though.   No major hiccups with a consistent swim, a well paced bike, reasonable transitions and the same standard trudging run.  The bike was the most taxing and clearly out of shape while the run still managed a sub-7 time partly thanks to pushing but also thanks to super shoes as always.   Here’s to a covid-free training plan next year though where hopefully everything just gets better again.


After a 2 month recovery period from COVID, I was not sure how my racing would go.   COVID really knocked me down and I lost most of June as well as a ton of fitness.   I even skipped the Milwaukee age group nationals to avoid hurting myself more.   But this race was just a sprint and I could always tag out.

The course itself was mostly perfect this time.   The roads were dry, the ocean was shark free (enough).   That being said, the race director said she extended the swim a bit so it came in around 0.82 miles instead of the goal of 0.75.    The tide was also high so that meant the beach had little hard sand to trod on.   Pounding it through piles of rocks, soft sand, and the occasional fisherman made it quite a trek.

Despite the minor challenges, it turned into a wonderful race though.   I paced the swim easy and gradually picked up speed as we swam along the shore.   Then on the bike I let it rip passing everyone in front of me in my age group (4 people!)   The key there was using a road bike instead of a tri bike like last year.   The course is 800 ft of climbing with the decents being really rough, so the use of a super aero position really doesn’t gain you much.   Then on the beach, I passed only one sole teenager with only two other people in front of me.  

In the end, I took 6th place overall and first in my age group winning another coveted sand coated trophies.   COVID took the wind out of my sails, but I fought back and the race was worth it.   Now to cure some blisters in my foot to come back to race Santa Cruz in a month!


How fun it was to do a running race again.   Surrounded by tons of great costumes and maybe sporting a costume from years past, it was good to get back out on the road.  

The run itself was relaxed for the most part.   I paced my friend Micah at an even 7:30 for the first 5.5 mile.   This was considerably slower than my other runs, but not my slowest yet.   Then at that point I couldn’t take the pace and took off.   I did a 6:01 mile down the hill in golden gate park and finished with a 7:16 pace overall.  

While it was my second slowest bay to breakers, the race was still a blast with good weather and good friends.   My speedy days may be behind me for now, but when you can still crank out a good mile here and there I have no complaints.


Last race of the year, and though it has been a short year, I was going to give it my all and make up for the August Olympic disaster.   That being said I did come into the race with a cold (again!) but I had a week to make up for it this time and really was basically a-symptomatic.

Conditions were perfect though.   Overcast skies, lower ‘60s temp, no rain (unlike sandman), so this was just going to be a go for it kinda race.   The only weather gotcha was the waves.   The surf had really picked up so the entry was a little more exciting, but nothing beyond what I could handle.

Overall the race went well.   No major equipment hiccups, no major fueling issues, just flat out racing.  I started the swim with a gentle pace to acclimatize as usual and then picked up on a few others to draft up and around the warf.   Knowing I had a cold, I decided not to totally push it and my time was a little slower.   Clearly more work to do on the swim, but still minutes better than other years

The bike was the second big ride with the new QR bike.   I discovered what the difference between a good bike is and an amazing tri-bike is.  On flats and uphill, I was passed by one racer, but on the downhill I just tucked into aero and easily caught up.   He was clearly the stronger rider, but I had him on aero!    The bike was definitely much slower than previous outings, but hey you gotta make up room somewhere.

The run was magical though.   The new Nike shoes are really game-changers.   I was cruising at a 6:50 pace and kicked it up a little at the end.   I passed two age-groupers to get seventh in my age group and 38th overall.   Also I was six seconds faster than I was 6 years ago.   Talk about aging well, especially after all of the injury I have had with my hip.   After the race my groin was definitely sore again, so I will now need to rest up and get ready for 2022!   Yay strength training, running, and cross country season!


Coming into this race I knew I was already low on recovery and not sure I had fully beaten my cold.  I had already lost two days earlier in the week to yet another battle of summer cold annoyingness.   The other twist on this race is that my new Quintanna Roo bike had finally showed up.   I was very excited to get it out on the course, but knew that I was violating the break equipment in fully before racing.

The race itself turned into a clear sign that I was turning back to normal though.  The swim was a cool even pace that I picked up as I turned the bouy at the shore to race up along the sand.   Coming out of the water there were a few people out on the bike already, but that only meant some folks to pass.  

The bike was the only real struggle for a few reasons.   First I did manage to pass a few folks, but I was owned by two others on road bikes showing that my fit and training in an aero position hadn’t kicked in.   I had done three training rides on the bike on the trainer averaging 230-250W which is significantly lower than my 300W FTP so this was not surprising.   The second issue was that there was a nice continuous stream of rain coming down.   This meant wet roads which only made me more of a chicken.  Lastly, I found that my handlebars had not been totally torqued down so on every major bump I felt them rotate downward which was disconcerting to say the least.   So off of my normal speed I definitely lost a few minutes.

On the run I was back at it though.  Cranking at a 7:03/mile pace I was able to pass two folks in the field and narrow in on the rest of the field.   It was cold and drizzly which makes for perfect running weather as always.  

I was 5 minutes slower than three years ago and only managed to squeeze third in my age group in a very small race, but I was considerably more stable than I was two weeks before in Milwaukee and glad to know that 2021 wasn’t going to be a total waste of a season.   One race left and hopefully we can get some good recovery in and training on the new bike to make it a real winner!