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70.3 European Championships

August 16th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

What’s an American doing racing European Champs?  Well, I’m over here in Europe for one.  And secondly, I needed a race.  An actual race race.  I even got a few days of rest leading in to this one…I didn’t have to ride my bike to it!  I had finally put in a good block of training, so it was time to see where that left me in the racing aspect.  So, it was off to Wiesbaden, Germany for the 70.3 European Championships race.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect other than a tough field.  All the hype leading in to the race was the fact that Michael Raelert had pulled out and was focusing on Vegas.  It still left no shortage of great athletes on the line.  And, a Saturday afternoon drive of part of the course also indicated that the strength of the field would be just one thing that made this race tough.  The bike was one of the tougher courses that I had seen…and this was from a car.  It was definitely worthy of a championship billing.  You had to not only be good a pedaling a bike…something most triathletes can do quite well…you also had to be good at handling a bike…something most triathletes are notoriously bad at.  Add to that the damp conditions that race morning brought, and it was again a championship worthy course.  For you U.S. folks, it was probably similar to the Wildflower bike course in terms of hills, but it had A LOT more turns and fast descents.

The swim was in a different location this year.  It was in  some sort of lake that appeared to be man made with a big crane in the middle and a ‘pipeline’ of some sort running from the crane to the shore.  How they fit 1.9km in that lake would have been a big question mark to most race directors.  Leave it to the Germans to figure it out.  The swim was out, right turn, u-turn, turn left around the crane, swim straight for a bit, get out and run about 10m, and then back in the water for 550m or so.  Did you get that?  Neither did most of us, but there were enough buoys that it was actually quite straightforward.  I had forgotten a bit about the race start intensity, but managed it ok.  My swim was about average.  I was solidly in the main pack until the 10m run across the land where my 1,2,3 and dive became a 1,2,3 and sink as the ground suddenly disappeared below me.  I was dead in the water, but recovered enough to grab back on the pack and exit in a good position.

Once again, nothing like a championship race to dust off the cobwebs.  The run out of the water saw me just about get dropped before the bike even started.  But, I had a decent transition…not ITU style but decent…and was on the bike at the tail end of the bunch.  I kept the pack to that oh so painful 10-20 second gap for about 15-20k and then I was in no man’s land.  I would stay here with 1s and 2s passing me until about 45k into the ride.  I settled down and quite worrying about that, and just started to ride the 2nd half of the ride well.  Slowly, I reeled in about 4-5 who had passed me and dropped 2 that I was riding with.  Richie Cunningham and Sebastian Kienle had crashed about 35k into the ride, and I had no idea where I was in the field as we came to the end of the ride.  I had no idea how much time I had lost, but I figured on probably 10 minutes.  A short glance at the splits showed about a 8 minute gap to Mathias Hecht who had one of the quickest rides.  And, most of that time was in the first 40k, so good and bad.  8 minutes is still a lot of time, but I minimized the damage late in the ride.

On the run, I just figured I’d run as well as I could for each of the 4 laps.  I picked off a 1 or 2 the first lap and saw a few more ahead as I started each lap.  It pretty much went this way until the end.  I passed Thomas “Hell on Wheels” Hellriegel with about 1.5k to go.  I crossed the line in 7th…breaking my 12th place streak in good fashion.

This blog will pretty much wrap up my 2011 European adventure.  It is back to the U.S. in just over a week.  My season is kind of just getting started, and the remainder is still a bit to be determined.  Next up though is the Rev3 Iron Distance race in Cedar Point, Ohio.  After that, I am not entirely sure, but I would like to also race the Rev3 Half-Rev in Anderson, S.C. and then hit a WTC 70.3 event as well as a possible later season WTC Ironman event.  I’d like to be on the start line in Kona in 2012, so I will likely be playing the points game a little bit with the other WTC Pros.

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On Kona, KPR, and Whatnot

August 8th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

I am racing this weekend at 70.3 European Champs.  Mainly so that I do a German triathlon and because I have finally strung together what I feel is a good block of training.  So, it will be my first race of the year pretty much.  And, I hear that German triathlons are pretty cool.  But, there will also be a few pros on the line who are trying to shore up their Ironman World Rankings and get one of the final 5 or 10 slots to Kona for the women and men, respectively.  Since the first cut of 25 women and 40 men has been made, there have been assorted posts and blogs giving commentary about the KPR and less so the 70.3PR system that determines which professionals race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona or the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas.  So, while in the past I might have posted this over at my BrandonMarsh.com blog, I thought I would post here as the audience is likely bigger…by 2 or 3 readers at least.

Last year we posted on the TBB forum that the KPR was a step in the right direction.  I still believe that.  And, when viewed overall, I think that it is close to being good.  So, my thoughts on the whole issue or at least part of the issue are below…again ‘my’ thoughts.

- I do not think that points should be carried over year to year like they are in the ITU rankings.  Kona effectively does this, or doing a race between September 1 and Kona effectively does this for those athletes not racing Kona.  Yeah, they get fewer points than a near bottom rung finish in Kona, but they should since the focus around that time of the year is the Championships.

- I think that pros should have to ‘validate’ their spots by doing an Ironman sometime after September 1 the year of Kona.  Yes, I think all pros, even the IM World Champ, should have to do this.  I say that because there is a bigger jump from 70.3 to IM than there is from 5150 to 70.3.  3 carefully selected and well placed 70.3 events ‘may’ get an athlete enough points to qualify for Kona.  The argument can be made the the best 70.3 athletes are the best IM athletes.  At times yes, at other times no.

- One change that I feel should be made is that an IM win should qualify you for Kona.  I think that some consideration should be given to rolling that spot down to 2nd, but no further.  If the winner or 2nd does not take it, then that spot is gone from that race.  Pretty plain and simple.  With the number of pros now, ‘most’ IM races have at least 1 or 2 athletes who are capable of top-10 or top-20 finishes in Kona.  The athletes that win an IM of any level are generally that type of athlete…generally.

- Another change that I feel should be made is for the athletes who want to race up and down.  By that I mean that if an athlete who is historically a 70.3 athlete wants to go to Kona, picks a few high point 70.3 races and limps across the line in an IM…they can qualify.  If an IM athlete wants to go to 70.3 worlds, it doesn’t matter how many IMs they do…they can’t count any of them for 70.3 qualifying.  Yes, IMs are higher points so cut the points earned in an IM by 1/2 or 1/3 to put it on par with a 70.3 of the same caliber.  Only count 2 of them.  So, to race down as it is now, an IM athlete will have to essentially fit 5 70.3 events into their schedule.  If both are considered ‘long course’ then there should be points counted up or down if that makes sense.

- Lastly, and these are just about everyone being ‘more pro’ and will likely be sorted by the time I am being a world class coach and racing the Leadville 100 MTB race…pay some money out for the points rankings.  Or at least provide some incentives for those in the top-10 or top-20 or for every pro who qualifies for Kona.  It can start as small as ‘here are some hotel rooms in Kona, let us know if you want one’.  Or, it can be as big as the ITU system where there is a season ending bonus pool based on rankings.  To go even further, a World Championship should pay at least to 20th spot.  All IM races should pay to 10th or possibly pay a certain %age of the field after the top-3 get paid.  That makes the payments for the top athletes on par between the men and women and rewards more athletes in a field that is deeper.  Make it more pro.

- Finally, to some degree I feel that we, as pros, have a responsibility to make the races more pro.  We need to take a page from the ITU and have mandatory meetings on a set day and time before all WTC branded events.  At ITU events, if you miss the meeting, there’s a penalty…I don’t know what it is, but there is one and it makes the athletes more accountable.  If you are on the start list, then you have to be at that meeting unless you have told the race directors prior to assigning numbers that you will NOT be racing.  A lot of athletes will disagree with this one, but it makes it more professional and it will make races more marketable for sponsors, for race directors, etc. if they know who will be there and who won’t.  I requested a start for IM Switzerland this year when Amy decided to go.  I didn’t even officially register, but I showed up on the start list even after I said I wouldn’t be there.  In this case, it’s the RDs responsibility as well.  I just think that there should be some accountability on the athletes’ part.

Again…’my’ thoughts and mine alone pretty much.

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Triathlon De L Alpe D’Huez

July 31st, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

Yes, a blog is way past due!!

Everytime I sit down to write a blog about a race…aka a ‘race report’, I fear that it may end up sounding the same.  And, invariably, they do end up sounding the same…sometimes down to the result.  That really seems to be the case with 90% of ALL professional triathlete race reports.  In the end as a pro triathlete, one can argue that the result is all that matters.  So, to write another race report that ends with a 12th place finish really kind of pisses me off.  I was stuck at 9th for awhile, and now it seems as if it is 12th.  That is a trend in the wrong direction.  So, while I can end my report there I do not feel that it would give my race, my build up, the race the justice that it deserves.  Nor would it give you, the reader, a small piece of the experience that is the Alp D’Huez Triathlon.  If you are reading this and are from the US, which I suspect many of ‘my’ blog readers are, then the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon is probably NOT on your radar of events to do.  It should be.  It should be because I feel that every triathlete who has the means to, should go do a race in another country, especially Europe.  This race is unlike almost any that you will race.  I will race again in a few weeks in Germany, and while that one will be an ‘Ironman’ branded event, I suspect that the experience will not be what it will be because it is an ‘Ironman’ race, but because it is in Germany.  So, that is the prelude to what will undoubtedly be the longest race report that I have posted here on the TeamTBB website.  And, I hope to have a few pictures for you as well.

I will not dwell on what I called my build up for this race.  It will come across as excuses, which I seem to read in a lot of race reports.  You have to deal with the hand that life deals you.  In mid April and May I was dealt a hand of lemons.  So, here we are roughly 8 weeks later, and I am doing my best of make lemonade out of those lemons.  I’m not quite sure what it means, but another pro remarked that he was focusing on the ‘donut and not the hole.’  So, if that means focusing on the bigger picture, that is what I am doing and what the race in Alpe D’huez was about.  For TeamTBB members, this race has been a bit of a tradition.  A tradition that I missed last year because I was racing Ironman UK.  Apparently that did not stop Aaron this year.  On Sunday morning before the race all those going were given a single sheet of paper that said “Sutto’s Tour de France, Day 1 itinerary”.  We got another one on Monday.  Each day saw a long ride separated by a stay in the posh Etap hotel in Albertville, France.  Everyone was all smiles and chipper on the trip (comments written before reading James’ blog!).  Here we have Amy shortly before the trip…another one of many “Hey Amy what are we doing!?” shots.

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Here is Mr. Stephen Bayliss, soon to be papa Stephen Bayliss at the top of the first climb.  While he does usually wear a lot of clothes while cycling, his apparel choice will give you some kind of idea just how cold and miserable the first day was!

Stephen looking like a Euro Cyclist

The video below was sort of a candid video of MBE as she’s known to her friends, Mary Beth Ellis for everyone else.  She was like a kid in a candy store so to speak.  The video also speaks for itself.  This is our lunch stop on Day 1.  And, there is a picture of MonteBlanc that you can just see peeking above the clouds.

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Monte Blanc through the clouds

The race report wouldn’t be complete without a picture of me, my bike, and part of Dave’s finger at the top of the Col Du Glandon, just so you know that we did indeed ride the climb.

Me, Sign, Bike, Dave's Finger

Nor would a race report be complete without a few pictures of the famous Alpe D’Huez climb.  Unfortunately, I do not have a good picture of all 21 switchbacks, but I think that you’ll get the idea.

A couple of famous switchbacks

Just in Case you lose count, they tell you...all the way to 21

Dutch Corner as it is known

We arrived in Alpe on Monday, Tuesday was an ‘easy’ day, and Wednesday was race day.  Brett said to treat as a bit of training for this point in my season.  To not take too many risks in the race, but in the end it is a race!  I suspect that I lost somewhere around 10-15 minute by being overly cautious on the wet downhills.  It was cold, it was wet, it was windy, it was just about everything that it could have been except for sunny and warm.  I got off the bike and started the run that takes place pretty much at an elevation of 6,000 feet and higher.  I ran really well.  If you want to get down to it, I had the 3rd best run split.  But, having the third best run split, while a bit of a personal victory, does not get the job done when you cross the line in 12th.  12th is still 12th.  And, while it is a good finish on the comeback trail, when the gun went off, what the last 12-16 weeks looked like didn’t really matter.

As mentioned in James’ blog, we were to have a swim the day before and the day after the race.  We had a guest coach on deck in Paddington Bear, but he seemed to have forgotten the red rainboots.

Red Rain Boots Anyone?

The trip there and the race really were just part of the experience.  The day after the race, I put my TeamTBB bike kit back on…after we had a swim…and we rode the flats back to Albertville, France where we stayed again in the posh Etap hotel.  Friday it was back on the bikes for the nearly 180k trip back from Albertville to Leysin.  Unlike the trip on the way to Alpe, I’m pretty sure that the miles and time in the saddle had made everyone pretty well mad at everyone else (comments also written before reading James’ blog!!).  The trip back was certainly not as pleasant as the trip there.  That’s what hard training will do to you.  Here it is on Saturday as I write this blog and we’ve had a solid swim.  I’m sure this will be posted either late Saturday or Sunday.  One thing is for sure, the trip to Alpe was a great one.  Certainly some character (I’ll call it that at least) was built.  Fitness was gained.  A race was run.  Money was won…yes even for 12th money was won.

As I am sure that I wrote last year, if you had asked me 2 or even 10 years ago if I would have raced with a team in Europe and done the triathlon that ended with a trip up the famous Alpe D’Huez climb, I would have answered not in my wildest dreams.  OK, maybe in them, but either way, it has been an experience.  And, that is why I say that if you are a triathlete, and if you have the means, I think that a European race should show up on your calendar.  So, next up will be another European race before heading back to the US to add the sugar to the lemonade that is being made right now.  Wiesbaden, Germany is the next stop.  James tells me that triathletes are like superstars in Germany.  I wonder if those wearing red, white, and blue are superstars there?

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Keep TX Wild…Let’s go Run

July 9th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

So, I am here in Switzerland.  I should have blogged this a week or so ago.  I took you all on  a ride with me when I was in Vail, Colorado.  I decided on the road trip home that I would swing by Palo Duro Canyon, just south of Amarillo.  Next time, maybe I’ll hit the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo.

Palo Duro is a bit of an anomaly in the Panhandle Plains of Texas.  One of my two loyal followers here suggested that I tie everything to Texas…kind of like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Not that everything there can be tied to Texas, but if you have seen the movie then you will know that ALL words can be tied to Greek.  Anyway, this was Saturday after Lubbock…so just a week after the 70.3.

So, I started running…and even though we were in Texas, no horses were allowed here.

Yep, Even in TX...No Horses on this trail

Before I get to the video, a little bit of where I am running, and where I am going…

Could be Sedona Arizona

You can’t see it, but way across the canyon, I am running to Lighthouse Peak…

Lighthouse Peak View

And now to go for a bit of a run!

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And I have pretty much made it to my destination at this point in the run!

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I’m not quite done yet, but close to it.  This is the end of the run.  I’ve run out of water, and just in time.  It was freakin’ warm out there.

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So, there you go.  We went for a bike ride last week, a run this week.  Who knows what next week will hold.  I’ve got an idea or two…and when Amy finishes Ironman Switzerland, we can get back to the ‘what are you doing’ videos.

Canyon in the Panhandle Plains

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Hail Yeah…Colorado!

July 1st, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

Yesterday finished the Cervelo Bicycles BRAIN BIKE conference.  Yes, they are introducing a new bike…right now.  The S5.  It is sweet.  The spec is sweet.  The 2012 model line up is sweet.  It is great to be sponsored by these guys.  There will be changes all around for 2012.

I decided to stay an extra couple of days in Avon, Colorado…where the Beaver Creek ski resort is.  We did a couple of 40 mile rides as part of the conference.  They were pretty much, out the door, flat for a bit, up for a long bit, turn around and come back.  Yes, I also did a bit of running and swimming.  Today, I ventured out to do the Copper Triangle…a 80ish mile ride (90 from Avon) that goes through Copper Mountain, Vail, and Leadville.  It is on three roads, hence the triangle reference.  I spent a LOT of time/miles around 10,000 feet of elevation.  I hit all the weather types…sunny and warm, very windy, cold, hail, rain.  I’ll take you on a short tour with me.

This is heading into the mining village of Leadville…home of the Leadville running and mountain bike events.

Abandoned Mining Town

I made it to Leadville…headwind the whole way…in 2.5 hours for a whopping 37 miles.  I went from about 7,300 to 10,150 feet of elevation.  I got there just as storm #1 rolled in.  I hung out at the grocery store till it passed and resumed 20 minutes later on wet roads.  I got to descend a little bit, and then hit the next high point of the ride.  This was Pass #3 after Battle Mountain Pass and Tennessee Pass.  Pass #4 would be Vail Pass.

Freemont Pass

I got down the mountain into the resort town and ski village of Copper Mountain.  From here it was hop on the bike path to Vail and Avon.  Since Amy is not around, I had to do my own video.  I was riding at the time.  There are two for you.

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This next one is right before storm #2 rolled in.  For the first time ever, I thought that I was going to be blown off the road.  It didn’t help that the ‘road’ was an 8 foot wide bike path.  But, I rolled on.  I saw on twitter where a certain world champion was blown off the road the same day while training in Boulder and had to be picked up.  More on being picked up later…

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Right around the time the second video was shot I was pretty near the top of Vail Pass at 10,600 or so.  The next hour was a downhill ride that we had done the day before, but this time with a twist.  I had figured on a tailwind.  That would come, but it wouldn’t be until I had descended most of the pass.  My bike path downhill white knuckle descent was not as joyful as it should have been with the head and crosswind buffeting me around.  And, it got even better…

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I really thought that for the first time ever…I was going to have to make a call to be picked up.  Little did I know that Brad was at the top of the Beaver Creek Ski Resort on his mountain bike hiding under a tree of his own watching the hail come down.  So, I went from an epic race to Colorado where I got an epic ride.  It’s off to Switzerland soon, and I’m sure I’ll ride some more hills there…

Ride stats were 90 miles, 5:10 not including 2 weather stops and 1 coffee stop, 6800 feet of elevation gain, Max temp of 80F and Min temp of 50F, hail, wind, rain.

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A Victory of Sorts

June 27th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

It’s hard to call a 12th place pro finish and a finish where you are beaten by some of the top age groupers a victory, but today for me it was.  I’ll probably expand on this in an article for a local publication.  And, I don’t want to be poor poor pitiful me.  I have to say that I have not really every been injured since I started racing.  By injured, I mean something that took me out of biking or running or swimming completely for more than a few days.  Fortunate you might say.  Certainly many others have had it much worse, and have come back all the stronger.

So in late April and virtually all of May with little to no training, it was a tough pill to swallow.  I took my first return to running steps exactly 4 weeks ago the day before the CapTex triathlon in Austin.  I said that if I could run 1 hour the week before the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon, I’d go race.

Friday I packed up and headed to Lubbock.  Went through the normal pre race motions with the exception of that little 6+ hour drive.  I also got to see my sister-in-laws folks in the big city of Post, TX.  He sells furniture to people coming and going…they own a furniture store and he’s the town mortician!!

The short story is that I went to BSLT because I really like the race.  And, my main goal for the race…my gold performace…would be running 13.1 miles.  BSLT has a reputation for being a tough course with tough conditions.  Truthfully, the course is not ‘that’ tough.  But, the conditions can make the course pretty epic.  The high in Lubbock on Saturday was 112 or something stupid.  The high on Sunday was to be 110 or something equally stupid with West Texas Winds to go with it.

With those conditions on the line, I still kept to my goals and my race plan.  That was to simply have a day out there where I swam, biked, and ran 70.3 miles.  I mean, yeah I was ‘there to win’ as I blogged before.  But, no one is going to give you a win, and you can’t fake fitness.  Certainly not with the pro fields that are generally assembled these days as there are always a few solid guys who line up.

The short story is that I had an average swim.  A slow start and a good finish.  I rolled up on a couple of guys that were a bit back from the front two about 1/2 way through the swim and stayed there.  On the bike, and I knew the lack of fitness would show a bit.  I had a solid 2nd half and likely lost very little time to most of the other pros.  I was off the bike around 10th or 12th.  The conditions were indeed very tough on the bike, not so tough that you couldn’t ride fast as evidenced by the top bike splits.  The run conditions were equally tough as shade was at a premium and the tar on the road was bubbling up through the rocks out past the powerplant.  I settled in to a pace that was not fast by any means, but still faster than I ran my hour last weekend.  I hit the turnaround on pace for a blistering 1:33 or so! I managed to hold that pace, ran the entire run, no pain to speak of other than the pain that comes with completing 70.3 miles.

So, a bit of a victory of sorts for me.  A bit humbling yes, but great to be back at it.  As James would say…onwards and upwards.

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1993 – 2011

June 20th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

I’ve been reading “I’m Here to Win” by Macca who also just raced his first ITU World Cup style race in a long time!!  Anyway, it’s interesting reading.  I was at Kona in 2002 when Macca was first there.  I was about a minute back from him in the swim and then I guess you could say I went on to pass him since I stumbled across the line about 11 hours after I started.  He talks about the evolution of triathlon or the rift between the American style of racing and the ITU style of racing.  But, that’s not what this blog is about.

I’m headed out to Lubbock, TX this weekend for the Buffalo Springs Triathlon.  I first raced there in 1993 when it was an Olympic Distance triathlon.  I think that I finished 4th or so.  It was a few weeks after the Texas State Championship which I won as an 18 year old…shocked myself and everyone else.  In 1999 I think it was I went back and did my first 1/2 Ironman there.  I qualified for Kona there in 2002 by finishing as the 2nd amateur and 3rd overall in the race.  So, I guess that the race in Lubbock is a bit special to me…if I must reminisce.  I have raced 2x as a pro there finishing somewhere around 4th or 5th each time.  So, I’ll head out there again on Friday to toe the line on Sunday with a bunch of other ‘mice’ fighting over a few pieces of ‘cheese’.  I’ll let you figure out the analogy or metaphor…proper grammer was never my strength.

Invariably, people ask how you expect to do or what does the field look like, etc.  If you keep up here, you know that May was pretty much a zero for me.  I felt like a hero in March and April.  Hero to zero the saying goes, but that is taking it a little too far.  May was forgettable yes.  I didn’t run a step for 5 weeks, barely rode.  But, the thing about racing, the reason that we do it, the reason that Doc likes it, is that it is the last of the no spin zone.  Whoever crosses the line first wins.  Whatever happened in the days, weeks, months, leading up to the race does not really matter.  Everyone is equal when the gun goes off.  By all accounts, I probably have no business toeing the line on Sunday.  I told myself if I could run 1 hour this weekend I’d race.  I did better than that, so race it is.  But, it’s the challenge of it.  Will it affect my confidence one way or the other how the race goes…no.  Some may disagree, but I’m here to tell you it won’t.

To tie it back to “I’m here to win”…Macca just toed the line in a race that he likely had no business being in.  Did he think that he was going to just show up and win.  I doubt it.  But, I can tell you that he was ‘there to win’ however improbable it was.  I can tell you that on Sunday I’m there to win.  I’m there to give whatever I have on that day.  I love racing in Texas…so to some degree Lubbock is a hometown race.

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What’s a Guy to Do…

June 14th, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

What’s a guy to do when his S.O. heads off to TeamTBB training camp and leaves him “home alone”?  I’m probably not the best one to ask.  My bachelor-hood was, truth be told, quite boring.  I was the single guy at work (during my previous Engineering life) that my friends thought they would live vicariously through.  Sadly, I let them down.

My life consisted of waking up, training, going to work for 9 or so hours a day sometimes working out again at lunch, and then working out again before doing it all again the next day. That all changed that fateful day when I met Amy at the pool.  Well, not really.  I just had someone else to join me on some of those workouts.  But…how have I filled my days?

It’s only been a few, and at the end of each month or beginning of the other, I end up having quite a bit of the TeamTBB coaching admin stuff to do.  That’s always fun! I listen to a lot of music.  Right now, it is generally pretty mellow since it fills the space that might normally be filled with talking.  I say might normally because those of you who know Amy know that she’s not a real talkative one.  Good thing I can be…even if it is somewhat slow as Brett says.  Slow talkin’ Texan with the fast movin’ mind.  So, it’s Pandora radio with a varied mix depending on the mood.

Right now my musical selection is pretty mellow.  Texas singer songwriter types.  Casey Donahew Band, Ryan Bingham, Rich O’Toole,  Reckless Kelly, Avett Brothers, Turnpike Troubadours, and Josh Abbott are the main selections right now.  Throw in a little bit of The Black Crowes, Kid Rock, Led Zepplin as well.  And, then there is the occasional Eminem, maybe some Pink for Bek and Jodie, Weezer, Queen, Young the Giant, and a few other randoms like The Killers.  So, a pretty good mix.

Other than that, the days are slowly being filled with training again.  I seem to be on the mend, and that is a good thing.  I feel like I was Mr. Grumpy Pants there for a bit, and made worse when the S.O. leaves for Europe.  So, as things stand now, I’ll head out to West TX and do a little race in a couple of weeks.  Maybe I’ll follow that up with another race somewhere on July 10 or thereabouts.  And, maybe I’ll follow that up with a flight to hop the pond over the join Amy and the rest of the Team at training camp.  By then, the rain should have quit and the temps should be good…so my packing will be much lighter than Amy’s!

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Ramble On

May 31st, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

Well, it’s almost the end of May.

I used to blog a lot.  It’s pretty extensive, going back several years.  www.brandonmarsh.com.  I don’t put that there to send you there to get hits on that site…I don’t do google ads or anything, so it was/is purely that whole free speech thing.  I put some randoms there, and the random that I posted earlier today maybe should go here.  I don’t know, but I’ll let the powers that be let me know.  Anyway, it’s about a race today in Austin…a view from the sidelines of sorts.  If you’re interested it’s there to read.  Just click here…it’s applicable to a lot of races and such.

But, since the title is Ramble On, and it’s late where I am, I don’t want to do so…

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May

May 23rd, 2011 by Brandon Marsh

It’s Sunday evening.  I’m watching a really ‘slow’ movie on TV with Tom Selleck in it.  He had one of the inspirations for my mustache back in Movember, but not the one I went with…still deciding if I should bring back the Movember stache before Movember.  I’ve got a good head of hair going right now that’s for sure…pictures to follow.

Anyway, you probably know that I’ve been a bit out of commission lately.  And, then to top it off I had a raging sinus infection. Jeff4 posted about it over in my forum.  Anyway, you’d think that I’ve got a ton of time on my hands.  For a bit, it seemed that way.  But, I’ve been able to get some good coaching work done.  The house is clean.  The bikes are spotless…I even cleaned Amy’s a couple of times.  We’ve kind of got an agreement that we each clean our own bikes…but since she is racing, I did quite a bit of work on hers so it is ready to go.

I watched the races this weekend.  IMTX in particular.  It’s easier to watch on the web than watching in person.  At least, when watching online, you don’t get swollen feet and legs from being up and about all day.  But, it’s still very tough to watch from the sidelines.  I wasn’t planning on doing IMTX this year…May in TX has historically been miserable.  It was close to that yesterday, but the racers can be glad they didn’t race today.  It seemed to be a well done first year race.  The pro race was interesting since this was only 1 of 2 4,000 point races…only Kona is higher.  It has been kind of strange watching the points chase.  Anyway, I’m going nowhere with the commentary.

So, I’ve got about a week or so left with no running.  I finally kicked the sinus infection with the help of not 1 but 2 rounds of antibiotics.  So, that will take a bit to get back from as well!  I rode today with a couple of friends and can finally do a flip turn in the pool without feeling like my eyeballs are going to pop out of my head.  I’m getting ready to send Amy off to IM Brazil and then Swiss Camp.  If all goes well, I’ll head towards Swiss in early July.

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