How can you tell you may ask? Well....graduations, heat waves, thunderstorms and fireflies are a sign of the season.
Last Friday Autumn graduated from Kindergarten....where does time go? It was a cute little "ceremony" where the kids sang some songs, heard from their teachers and received their "diploma's". Autumn was sad to see the year end and says she'll miss her teacher, her classroom and her friends. She's such a creature of habit...instead of being excited for summer she's worried about the change in routine!! So from there we headed down to my half brother's high school graduation. It was HOT, but no rain. We couldn't stay long though, Lauren and I had a concert to go to. It was a great concert, a Christian group comprised of 3 sisters...and we were treated to an acoustic concert which was even better. They were incredibly talented and funny...it was nice to have such an intimate feeling concert.
Saturday was another HOT day. We headed down to my dad's for Dylan's graduation party. The kids were excited to play with their cousins and do some SWIMMING! Autumn and Joshua have really improved in their swimming ability and confidence. Joshua walked right up to the end of the diving board and jumped into my arms!! We had a great time.
On Fathers Day my brother and I headed out early to what has become an annual tradition...the Wilkes Barre Duathlon. A great event about an 1:15 drive, hometown feel which was a 3mi run, 15.5mi bike and 3mi run. It starting at the town green, headed across the river and then ran along the river and eventually back across the bridge. The bike was a "lolipop" type course that headed west out of town (and uphill) into a large industrial development then back into town. It was HOT again, very humid.
The race is usually pretty competitive since it pays money. I won last year, but considering how I'd been feeling leading up to it and knowing that Jeff Miller who had won the event a few times before (and his credentials include an Age Group win at Duathlon World Championships last year) was going to be there I was less than optomistic about my chances. I also had three members of my cycling club (Lamprey Systems) there which was cool. The race had a record turnout of 213 entrants and a catered hot breakfast afterward..a good start to Father's Day.
The gun went off and a couple of the relay guys shot out like bulletts. About a half of a mile in it was Jeff Miller and I leading....and sweating! As we came to the first incline Jeff dropped back a bit so I took the lead. As I hit 2 miles I was by myself and really sweating due to the humidity. I was a little concerned that I had gone out too fast for the conditions so I tried to ease back. Came into T1 at 16:22 for 3.05 miles. A little slower than last year...probably due to heat.
I killed T1, out it 39 seconds, the fastest T1 of the day! I got out onto the bike and I felt like crap (even worse after I struggled to get my feet into my shoes!). The first 4 miles I felt like I left my legs at home. I hadn't pushed the run too hard, but the wind, humidity and heat were getting to me. It was so bad at one point I was sure that I was overtrained on the bike and the best thing to do would be turn around, bag it and recover....glad I didn't! I had gotten passed by Jeff and one of the relays and that didn't help either. Once we got in the industrial park I my legs started to show up. I was very concious of making sure I got my EFS in me with all the fluids I had lost.
At the turn around I could see that they hadn't gained too much on me...but I did have a guy chasing me down. At about mile 10 I came to a sheriff who was directing traffic. She waved me to the left which I knew was wrong. I yelled out to her that it was wrong and she strongly disagreed? Well, I thought, as long as she's sending everyone the wrong way it's no big deal. Turns out Jeff had snuck by her but the relay guy and I were are the wrong place at the wrong time. She did direct everyone else that direction which was good, but it added 1.2 miles onto the ride. No chance of catching Jeff now, he easily gained 3-4 minutes right there. That gave me some motivation to push a little harder though which was good. I was catching the relay guy again and no one was closing in on me. The last 4 miles I felt AWESOME, holding 27.5-28.5 on the flats. I recorded the fastest 5 mile split I've ever done (I have my Garmin set to auto lap at 5 miles) on the way back in....26mph for a 5 mile stretch! Into T2 in 3rd (2nd overall due to relay) and recorded the second fastest bike split of the day (Jeff was faster, much faster due to the extra 1.2mi that we did). I averaged 23.5 mph for 16.7 on a hilly, windy course which is a record for me.
At this point I wanted to preserve 2nd and stay in the money. I knew the guy behind me was a great runner so I had my work cut out. I managed to hold him off for a 17:32. 2nd overall in 1:17 :xx. About 3 minutes slower than last year, but understandable since I bike an extra 1.2 miles. My Lamprey teammates finished 3rd overall female, 4th overall male and 10th overall male (my brother). My brother made some huge improvements and had a great ride and run 2. Here's a cool shot of the front page of the newspaper on Monday! Check out the Trakkers green standing out in the crowd!!
Last night I headed up to the training series crit with my brother and three other guys who I used to race motocross with. We had an absolute blast and it brought back memories from 10 years ago when we'd all be riding and practicing together. Funny how we all find ourselves still on two wheels, still loving racing but no motors under our legs and now families and children.
Next week will be busy as we get ready for our annual trip to Vermont. We leave Saturday morning and spend a week up there. Can't wait!