Physically ready but not Mentally and Emotionally ready– Armed Forces National Triathlon Championships

June 11th, 2015

Welcome to Indiana

Finally, a new venue for the Armed Forces Military Triathlon Championships.  Since I have been racing this event starting in 2009, the race has been held at Pt. Mugu, CA. However, I was in for a surprise. The race was put on very well given the fact it was the first time in a new location, but the location was kind of sketch. Besides that, I was excited to see all the old and new faces this year in Hammond, IN. This was my fifth time competing in the U.S. Armed Forces National Triathlon Championships.  I was looking for another overall individual championship but I had to settle for a silver again.  My training and racing this year has been to focus on the Military National and World Championships and I was physically ready to have a good race. Among some personal issues, not worth discussing at this time, I was emotionally and mentally drained as I floated in the water waiting for the gun to go off.  I just did not have the motivation to be there and be in the mindset to race at my best.  But, that did not stop me from trying.

After a slow T1, ready to bike now

The swim start was clean with not much chaos and I moved into a great position behind two of the fastest swimmers.  But soon enough, doubt creeped in and I feel off of their feet behind two other individuals.  Several times during the swim, I just wanted to start swimming backstroke.   However, I held in there and came out of the water in fifth position.  My transition and my first mile of the bike was terrible and I lost a pack of four.  I rode solo for one lap until I was picked up by another bike group. We eventually rode back up to the group that had dropped me initially out of transition. I got lucky.  I wasn’t feeling strong on the bike and held on the best I could. Even one of my Army teammates, Bryan Dunker, had to help me not get dropped.  When we were almost done with the final lap, about a mile out from transition, the bike group picked it up and I flew off the back and had to ride solo with Bryan, losing about 15-20 seconds on our bike group.

Men’s Military World Championship Qualifiers

Once in T2, I quickly was out on the run course with a much smoother transition. Unfortunately for me, I did not have the motivation as usual and my legs were heavy too.  The rain started to fall, making the situation more majestic, which helped me focus. I eventually ran myself into third place and crossed the finish line behind Kyle Hooker and a Canadian.  Third overall in the race but second in the US Military Champs.  I was happy though, because I did not expect to even get top six and qualify for the World Military Games based on how I was feeling leading up to the race. If I was feeling on my game, it would have been a much closer race. I do have to hand it to Kyle for leading for the entire race. He deserved the win.  Military Worlds will be in Korea this year and I will already be there since it is my next duty assignment.

Donut adventures continue with Nicholas Chase

I am fortunate to have my health and honored to represent the US Army and race again for the US Military Elite Triathlon Team, part of US Military Endurance Sports. Racing and training is effortless and made possible by the following USMES sponsors: BoeingSnappleScottSRAMPrimalOsmo NutritionHoney StingerZipp,HeadsweatsRudy ProjectsXterra Wetsuits ProGold BikingKlean AthleteClever Training, and Schwalbe. I’m thankful to be serviced by and involved with my local bike shop, Jack and Adams Bikes. Team Sterghos also includes VasaSable Water Optics and Total Immersion. I’m coached and trained by Tim Crowley of TC2 coaching. I eat and promote a plant-based diet for maximum nutrition, performance and recovery. I also promote the pursuit of living and relationships—be true to yourself and live life with others. I  am grateful to have two dogs named Rex and Molly.