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Showing posts from February 20, 2022

For the love of the bike

  Sometimes it feels like life is moving very slowly. But today it feels like the last year rushed on by us.  One year ago today Karel received the heartbreaking news from his brother in Czech that his dad suddenly passed away from COVID. It was shocking news as it all happened so quickly. Like many people, we continue to mourn the loss of a loved family member and the separation of Karel's family on the other side of the Atlantic only adds to the grief and sadness. Coping with loss is difficult but this pandemic adds to the emotional hardship. Karel was not able to travel to Czech for the funeral service due to a country lockdown. No family hugs, sharing of memories or celebration of life. Instead, Karel and I watched the funeral online from our kitchen.  It's been said that exercise will not extinguish grief but it can help ease the grieving process.  Although Karel and his dad didn't have the same point of view on certain topics and issues, they both shared a very strong

Leaving sport due to burnout

  As a long-distance triathlon coach, I realize that there will be a time when an athlete will no longer need my coaching services. When this time comes, my hope is that my athlete is not leaving the sport with resentment but instead, due to a new life chapter. It's also my hope that the athlete continues to swim, bike and run, even if it's not to be competitive or to participate in events. Far too often I hear of athletes leaving the sport of triathlon on bad terms. Instead of reflecting on all the great experiences, accomplishments and memories when moving on to the next chapter, the athlete sees triathlon as a waste of time/money/energy, the athlete sells all equipment/gear and family/friends are very bitter about how time/money/energy was spent over x-years/months on a "lifestyle" hobby.  As a collegiate swimmer, I experienced a bit of burnout before my senior year.  I didn't hate the sport of swimming but mentally I needed a change. I picked up cross country

Sunglasses for off-road riding

  On Saturday morning we drove ~50 minutes to Clinton, SC for the recon group ride of the Gravel Battle Sumter Forest race. Southeast Gravel  puts on great events and as an added feature, many of the events include a free recon ride to preview the course.  There must have been over 60 cyclists attending this group ride, which eventually split into the long route (74 miles) and short route (44 miles). We rolled out at 10am and finished the ride just before 2:30pm. We ended up with 70 miles, 4 hours and 19 minutes (including regroup stops and a water refill) and around 3000 feet of elevation gain. I like this gravel course because it has a nice mix of pavement and gravel and the longest gravel section is around 8 miles. The gravel sections can get a bit dicey due to lots of holes so you need to keep yourself focused throughout the entire ride. There are a few gravel hills but they mostly come near the end (with a few spaced out throughout the route) but much of the rolling hills are on t