RODS Racing; helping the world be a better place

Life is amazing and exciting and as I begin the adventure of racing this 2014 season I am delighted to be part of a movement that is making our world a better place.

Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome (RODS) is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable foundation with all tax deductible donations going towards uniting these special children with a family.

Racing to raise awareness for a more loving and accepting world is something I can get behind racing my heart out for.  Do you feel the love?  You should because it makes us strong.

When Brady Murray (founder of RODS) talks about the blessing of being fortunate enough to have or adopt a child with Down syndrome, this resonates with me.   It is a gift not a burden to have a special child in your life.  I have a younger brother with special needs and as much as you would think that the older brother would be the one doing the teaching, my younger brother has taught me much more about life than I have for him.  He has the biggest most pure heart.  He helps me tune into the finer qualities of life, the things that matter most; love and friendship.  He keeps me humble and patient, qualities I’ve had to work on.  He keeps me open and honest, qualities we can always improve on.

My little brother is awesome, he might not fit into the system as well as some of us, but that is the systems fault.  I am thrilled to be a part of RODs Racing to help bring out awareness.  Awareness that we can do better.  Awareness that we can make this a loving world for everyone in it.  Awareness that we can be the change we want to see in the world.

Training and racing for me is about empowered play.  Finding my best self while losing myself, focusing on form while being formless.  Becoming the action through non-action brings out the most powerful reaction.  Having a cause like RODS to race for will only embolden the play.  Play can’t be serious!?  But play can accomplish amazing things.

Here’s to bringing out more play to more people.

Get involved and/or donate here http://rodsracing.org/kevin-everett/

 

JETE Bar helps Professional Triathlete be stronger, faster and healthier.

By Kevin Everett
Head Triathlon Coach for Treasure Valley YMCA’s
& Professional Triathlete

I have been eating JETE Bars since 2010 when my mom started experimenting with a healthy nutritionally rich snack.  At first I enjoyed them even though gluten seemed not to be an issue for me.  How could it be?  I was training and racing as a professional triathlete, I felt good most of the time if not just about all the time.  Yet my mom, who found out in 1979 that she was intolerant to gluten, kept suggesting that my subtle symptoms might be due to the same intolerance.  ‘No way’, I would think, feeling threatened about losing a source of tasty and easy to eat food.  Mostly from the fact that I couldn’t fathom giving up all things wheat; I obtained massive amounts of pleasure from these gluten foods.

With enough jabbing she convinced me to try a gluten free diet for an upcoming race.  Comforted by the fact that she would make sure I had plenty of JETE bars helped immensely curb the desire for yummie wheat products.  About a month before the 2012 Ironman Arizona race I cut out all things wheat.  The race was exceptional and I noticed improvements to my health.  Unfortunately, this meant facing the fact that gluten might be holding me back and I may have eaten my last doughnut.

That race helped to continue being gluten low, I would avoid gluten but I did not obsess about saying, “No thank you, I can’t eat that; I have a gluten allergy”.  I really wanted to avoid being that guy.

I have been gluten low since October 2012 and gluten free since August 2013 and it has been a long road of nutritional discovery to get here.

I have had two accidental doses of gluten since late summer, fries at a restaurant that were fried together with other batter that contained wheat and some salsa that was using gluten as a ‘filler’.  Both times a couple hours later my gut cramped up and it had me moaning in pain.  I have no problem being the guy that now says, “No thank you, I have a gluten allergy.”

With my tolerance down, ingesting gluten floors me.  It amazes me to think back over the last couple decades that my body dealt with the subtle and not so subtle ‘poisoning’ pretty well.

Improvements since being gluten free:

  • *At age 38 I had my best season ever including winning the LA Triathlon.
  • *Without a doubt my digestion is, let’s say, more solid all-around.
  • *My weight has come down (from mid-160’s to mid-150’s).
  • *A skin rash, on my lower left leg that baffled me and my dermatologist for over a decade, vanished.
  • *I had learned to deal with bloating not even noticing it as a symptom, in hindsight is sucks and I no longer need to deal with it.
  • *This ties in with my all-around more solid digestion; no more gas.
  • *I eat better due to the simple fact that I have to carefully choose less processed foods and seek out more whole foods.
  • *Every indication from my training and racing as a professional triathlete shows improvement across the board.  I am healthier and more fit at age 39 than I have ever been in my life.
  • *With the help of healthy choices like JETE Bar I no longer miss doughnuts…well sometimes my wife does have an awfully yummie looking croissant.

I have been using the JETE Bar for everything from snacks, to meal replacements, to dessert while eating them before, during and after training and racing.  The process of going gluten free would not have been as empowering or as enjoyable without them.

I am grateful to my mom for opening my eyes and for her support.  I would not have been able to start making the necessary changes without her help and guidance.  She really makes One Mother of a Bar!™

 

Sixty Minutes; how far can you swim?

 

In 2010 Kevin Everett (Head Triathlon Coach for the Treasure Valley Y’s in Idaho and Professional Triathlete) won the national title for the 30 to 35 age group with a One Hour Postal Swim of 5575 yards.  Four years later and loving the sport as much as ever he had a goal to best his yardage by finding a way to eke out more from his training by optimizing the short amount of time he had for swimming.

A mindful hour of movement can be a most pleasurable experience; even if your body and mind are under stress. Humans have this stunning ability to be at peace and experience wonderful bliss while exerting a lot of effort to sustain movement.  Whether seeking adventure, competing in sport, or simply challenging your physical abilities; tuning into a meditative movement is a wonderful source of joy.

Swimming in the www.USMS.org One Hour Postal Swim is a nationwide competition.  Grab a friend to time and write down splits while you see how far you can swim in 60 minutes.  Simple.  Yet, so very frightening to dive into the abyss that can quickly turn in to a sixty minute suffer fest.

I have done this competition on and off for the last 10 years with varying triathlon focus.  A few times I have done it on a whim assuming it couldn’t be that bad…And really it is not, as long as you understand your fitness on the day and dial in the appropriate pace.  Go out too fast and you might see a grown man cry.

Jan 25, 9:45am to 10:45am

Pace, pace , pace.  Swimming as far as you can for an hour and finding your best sustained effort is all about pacing.  Three decades of endurance training with numerous mentors has taught me well.  My first and last 500’s were 5:19.  My fastest 500 was a 5:19 (3 times) and my slowest was a 5:22 (5 times) with the other 3 500’s being 5:21’s and a 5:20.  That amounted to low 1:04’s for 56+ 100s.  Final distance: 5610 yards.

Thirty minutes into the swim I just made the turn at 2800.  At that point, I assumed my goal of making 5600 was in jeopardy.  Could I come back in the last 30 minutes almost exactly the same as the first?  I definitely did not pad any of those first 2800 yards.  I found some focus in the moment and enjoyed the movement my body sustained through the water.  My first 2800 was 29:55 with my last 2800 being 29:59.

It amazes me; the physics involved with the mind, body, and soul to be so precise.  I took over 2600 strokes and made 224 flip turns over those 60 minutes; each one taken with an exacting precision to maximize balance, speed, and efficiency.  What is cool to me is the ability to feel the right pace.  Finding a rhythm with your breathing, heart rate, kick and stroke that reaches the optimal effort without dipping into overdrive for even a few seconds.  Being in tune with the day to day flow of the body is rewarding.  With practice you can have this feeling of knowing the right pace to sustain.

With a 60 minute swim your fitness has nowhere to hide.  Sun Yang holds the 1500m WR in a time of 14:31, the longest pool swim competed in the Olympics.  I’m sure he is swimming 30+ hours a week to do what he does.  To truly reach your potential for the one hour postal swim does take a lot of swimming.

With my focus being triathlon I could afford to give myself 5 sessions a week with a goal of getting in 5000 yards a session.  Usually at the end of the week I put in between 5 and 6 hours of swimming.  One of the biggest reasons I commit to this event is, to nail it, you need lots of aerobic miles and you have to understand the nuances of your day to day pacing.  Precisely the focus I need to lay the foundation for a successful season of swimming in triathlon.  It also holds me back from my default desire to go too hard and too fast well before it is needed.  Creating a large aerobic foundation over years and years of consistent work will allow your speed to come fast and furious when it is needed.  In a well-trained athlete, that amounts to a few weeks and a few speed sessions.

Often, I would only have an hour to swim.  Getting in 5000 in an hour is doable but you have to be having a good day and you must get down to business the moment you jump in the water.  On days like that my go to sets are things like 5 x 1000 descending on 12 minutes or 10 x 500 on 6 minutes descending.  One of my more focused swims happened doing that 10 x 500 on 6 minutes while taking 11 or less strokes the whole way.  Distance Per Stroke is not the end all be all of swimming but it sure is a tough/good card to play under certain conditions.  And this forced a level of focus, a level of awareness for each stroke that made for some very engaging swimming.  Your mind cannot wander; you are forced into deeper levels of staying in the ‘now’.

Those were some key sessions done once or twice a week, but the real bread and butter of the training was just, ‘going for a walk’ in the pool.  Finding that comfortable aerobic pace with a mindful focus on form.  Letting my mind be quiet and just simply enjoying the swim.  You must find your passion and your joy to begin to reach your optimal abilities.  This means letting your effort flow from day to day.  In the warm up I like to listen to my body and give it a chance to tell me the pace it feels like going.  In my younger days I afforded my body no such opportunity, my mind ruled over the body like a slave.  In many ways I was too driven and my body, always trying to please its master, would suffer, trying to obey.  Trial and error is a great teacher, but a slow way to learn.

So it is exciting, after 3 decades of endurance sports to set a PR in the One Hour Postal Swim.  At my age you begin to be happy just staying the same, holding back the clock.  Getting faster is a focused practice in the art of meditative movement and joy.

Here’s to finding your play…

10 Offseason basic rules for triathletes

Be mindful without a trigeek focus.

#1 Always find your movement in the day (sitting for more than 6 hours can be worse for you than smoking)

#2 Have fun with your movement

#3 Focus on form

#4 Know what it means to focus on good form

#5 Work on your weakness

#6 Try new stuff (routes, exercises, equipment, nutrition).

#7 Find more time to spend with your family and friends

#8 Let your overall fitness slide a bit

#9 Let one or two sports slide a bit while keeping one sport near top from

#10 read #2 again…Have Fun!

2013 Season Recap

2013 Season recap

After a decade of racing triathlons I began to reach my potential and maximize my abilities as an athlete.  Despite some setbacks, the 2013 season proved to be the best racing season ever for me.  Winning the Los Angeles Triathlon will always be one of my best achievements as an athlete.  To win one of my favorite races and one with a lot of history is pretty sweet.

2013 LATRI Champion: Moment of gratitude expressed by kissing the family ring.

I have to laugh a bit at the misfortune of not completing my two ‘A’ races for the year, where I had primed my body and mind for a pinnacle performance.  My hometown race the Ironman Boise 70.3, was shaping up to be a wonderful day until coming down with a nasty head cold hours before the start.  It was no big deal unless you are trying to grit your teeth with some of the world’s strongest endurance athletes.  The virus forced me to wisely pull out of the race on the bike.

Fast forward to my last race of the year, The Lifetime Series Championship Triathlon at Oceanside and again the stage was set for a thrilling performance.  Often in a race, if you are deeply in tuned, you know how the race might go from the very first stroke.  My first strokes in both the swim and bike told me it was going to be an exceptional day.  The race situation was even better.  For the first time in the 2013 Lifetime series, I was about to take the lead on the bike.  Then, it happened.  I’m sliding 10 feet across pavement wondering how in the world did I get my first crash in triathlon, now!?  The marine layer had made for some deceptively slippery surfaces and while accelerating to move into the lead on a straight away; BAM!  Sudden end to the race season.

Fortunately, 2 weeks before both of those races I was able to capitalize on some high end fitness.   Two weeks before Boise’s Ironman I placed 5th at the Lifetime CapTex race in Austin.  Two weeks before Lifetime’s Championship I won the Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon.

Winning the Los Angeles Triathlon is a lifetime journey to find my best self.  It took 38 years to find it for a moment, the journey continues…

Other highlights included 3peating at the Pacific Crest Half, winning and setting a PR of 1:49:24 at another one of the premiere Northwest region races at the Emmett Triathlon, winning in a memorable Wind Storm at  the Y Not Triathlon and a strong 6th place finish at one of the World’s largest Triathlon’s, the Chicago Triathlon.

Here are the 2013 Results.

I am tickled pink to be racing so well and still feel like there is so much more to do and learn.  It is stunning to be 10 years into the sport and still just be scratching the surface of what is possible.  The 2014 season proves to be even better.  As exciting as the racing season is; being a dad and husband is the source of my true happiness.  Hortense, Lola, and Guillaume are the foundation for a balance to be my best self.

Coaching at the Y is rewarding on many levels.  Working with the kids and seeing the positive influence we will have on the rest of their lives being about as big a reward as you can get.  Coaching’s potential is limitless…finding a way to enable a passion for a certain type of knowledge is challenging and rewarding.  I’m very grateful to be able to use my service at the Y for a wide range of ages and abilities.

There’s an old proverb; ‘To truly know something, you must teach it’, and it is amazing how much a coach can learn from working with a wide variety of people in our Treasure Valley Community.  It makes me feel humble as the true lessons are coming from the athletes we work with through the Y.

I work with an All Star cast at the Y but also have an All Star cast of sponsors.

Scott Running Shoes keeps me healthy and running all over the Boise Valley with outstanding award winning performance.

Aqua Sphere swim gear is a top quality with their swimming tools, goggles, suits, and wetsuits.

CEP is the lone leader in compression wear with intelligent sports wear.

Asea is a supplement using Redox Signaling Molecules for supreme cellular health.

WN Precision is the leader in bike fits and pedal coaching.

Bandanna Running and Walking is the store for Boise’s running needs.

Idaho Mountain Touring provides the best for that wonderful outdoor lifestyle we have in the state.

Restwise is as valuable tool as one will find for discovering how to optimize your day.

Mom and Dad are always there to provide support!

JERRRY! 2013 Oceanside; Lifetime Championship

2013 Oceanside

Going into the last race of the season I knew the training was going well and my motivation and focus were high.  I was looking to celebrate my health with a passionate effort in the finale to the 2013 triathlon season.

2 days prior to the triathlon; Friday Night Cruise to the Beach

Jerry was a restaurant manager at one of the Downtown Oceanside pizza joints but tonight he had off.  He loved to work on cars and he had just spent the afternoon fixing up his old classic.  With the night still young and the sun warming rays on full display he thought he would cruise over to the beach.  With no traffic it is just a 5 to 10 min drive but with the fine weather on a Friday night the cars lined up and all the car engines sat idle with irritated drivers.  Jerry turned up his radio to a little Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody and tried to work with the confines of sitting while dancing.  His car shifted from his movement and three little drops of oil fell from his engine and gushed into the pavement.

I was thrilled when Lifetime decided to have their championship race along the Pacific Ocean in sunny California.  One of my favorite places to race is California because the races and the settings are usually awesome and also destinations for vacations, it’s easy to get to from Idaho, and going west one time zone has it’s bonuses.  It was also exciting to have a mild to cool temperature race in late October.

Being able to bring my wife to a race, while the grandparents watched the kids was a win for everyone.  We were also fortunate to be staying with close friends and having time to reconnect with them enjoying some of the finer pleasures that southern California has to offer.  Life was flowing and in tune to the music of life.  The stage was set for the body and mind to soar.

Race morning conditions were outstanding.  A bit cold but when you work your body to its max in an endurance event, you heat up quickly.

The water was cool and felt awesome in the sleek, fast, and comfortable Aqua Sphere Phantom.  As usual in the Lifetime series there were a dozen or more excellent swimmers in the field.  When the gun went off my body responded well and I stayed aggressive in a line with all the leaders.  You find your flow and float on the energy that is presented to you just like a Pelican gliding the seas.  I kept the pace on, wanting to stay as close to the front as possible.  For the first time in a long while I used my kick (a mainstay in college) to accelerate when needed.

Suddenly, we were covered in fog and seeing more than a few feet became impossible.  Luckily, being close to the lead stand up paddle boarder helped.  Albeit, he didn’t take the best tangents and we zigged and zagged a bit.

I came out of the water a breath away from the leaders in excellent position.  Even more exciting than that was how strong I felt in what can be the toughest part of the race…running to T1 after the swim with a bunch of crazy fast, I’m gonna rip your heart out, triathletes that are gung-ho to make their competitors suffer.

T1 was just slightly off but my positioning was so good that it hardly registered as a problem.

I was giddy with excitement as I started the bike at the front of the race.

The first 2 miles were a slow; take your time, tricky corners, speed bumps and tunnel kind of miles.  I had scouted this section of the course earlier that morning and knew exactly what was coming and where best to ride.  Going up an on-ramp to the highway I stood up and passed all the riders except for Cam Dye.  I could not have drawn up a better race situation.

Entering the highway section and just completing the portion that I had scouted earlier that morning, I knew it was time to go.  I began the process of moving left to pass the leader and some words of encouragement were bubbling up in my mouth.  I was about to say to Cam something like, “Here we go…”  The words never came out of my mouth.  The next thing I knew, I was sliding across 10 feet of pavement in my bathing suit.  JEEERRRYYYYYY!  The whole time I was sliding I just wanted it to stop so I could get back on my bike already!  As soon as the skin and carbon scratching ceased a singular focus to get back up to speed took over.  I got back on the bike and pedaled air.  The chain had fallen.  I immediately got off, grabbed the chain, lifted the back wheel and turned the crank to line up the drive train and chain.  Voila.  I was back in business.

The crash took me by surprise, no warning, just BAM.  The marine layer that came in had mixed with Jerry’s oil spill and I rode over it at the moment I was accelerating; the rear wheel skidded and I hit the deck in an instant.  It is the first wreck in a triathlon for me.  Jerry!  Of course Jerry is just my way of making fun of my misfortune but it makes everything feel better when you shout out an exasperated, “Jerrrrrrry!”

I felt most of the impact on my right hip as it hammered the ground. I felt fine but I knew that was due to being in a race and being in shock.  As I was working on getting back up to speed and taking stock of the condition of the bike I noticed a whole lot of blood coming out of my right arm.  On further inspection I noticed a deep ‘bullet hole’ with torn flesh.  It was oozing blood and I could take my HR just from looking at it.  I slowed then stopped to check my arm and assess the bleeding.  For the first time doubt crept in.  Should I keep racing, can I keep racing?  I hesitated on what to do next, the seconds were ticking by and the race I had set the stage for was slipping away.

At that moment I made the right decision to call it a day.  It was very difficult to come to terms with what had just happened.  I was much more hurt by the fact that my race and season were over than the injuries I was dealing with.  I was full of emotions, powerful, disbelieving feelings.  The disappointment swept over me, I accepted it.  Then, I did my best to get on with the day.  “Jerrrry!?”  The rest of our stay in San Diego was awesome.

A lost opportunity.  However, it is exciting to know the training is working well because the race up to the point of the crash was outstanding.  Now I’ll have to wait a good 5 months before setting the stage for another primed performance.  As hungry as I am to maintain fitness, I know that letting it wane will help sling shot my fitness when I need it most.

Thank you, Lifetime, for a wonderful race series…see you in 2014.

Dreaming about the next time I’ll be in this situation

Race Rock’n Los Angeles Triathlon!

Running down the middle of the streets of downtown LA my mind is free of thought and my spirit is soaring.  I am the essence of the runner.  I feel it, I do not think it.  My body active, yet relaxed.  My emotions open and free while completely engaged in the movement.  I feel the runner’s breath and heartbeat.  My feet strike the ground with speed and force while the rhythm of my body aligns with this simple yet vigorous action.  At this moment the crowd cheers as the first runner approaches the long finishing chute.  The hair on the back of my neck stands up and an ear to ear smile takes over my face.  Am I really going to win the Los Angeles Triathlon?

Seconds later my adrenalin is pumping through my veins and I crack a few high fives.  I become grateful and immediately center my feelings with my family and friends.  Crossing the finish line carrying all the love and support from friends and family is the real victory. It’s a shared victory.

Finding the flow for life means striking a chord with your balance.  Tune it just right and the music rings true.  Pay attention to the ebb and flow and adjust your strings.

You can’t make life flow but you can set the stage for it to happen.  Racing has taught me this.  Being mindful of the present allows a focus to achieve your truest self.

Powerful moments are everywhere and they manifest in daily doses of joy.  Losing yourself in the ever present moment and being grateful creates an overwhelming sense of being right with the world.  My kids teach me this daily if not hourly.

Tuning into the harmony of your surroundings while engaged in movement enriches the soul.  One of the more memorable feelings of my life happened last year while racing in the LA Triathlon.  The night before the race in quiet meditation I asked the Pacific for a friendly wave.  The waves were small at dawn; however, as I entered the water to start warming up colossal waves approached me.  By the time the race started they were scary big but I doubted the timing would be right to catch one in the race.  To my amazement swimming back into shore to complete the 1500m swim a wave picked me up like it was giving me a hug.  The free speed was exhilarating and it thrust me into the lead of the race adding to the fun.  I’ve been getting picked up by rogue waves ever since and enjoying their free speed.

With your strings tuned, waves of energy will appear out of thin air to assist you.

I am an endurance athlete which really boils down to recognizing the joy of movement.  Seeking out this experience of satori, where the mind is free of thought and one experiences pure awareness, is a daily endeavor.  Any sustained movement will do and there are plenty to be passionate about but I love the big three; the simplest ones; swim-bike-run.

I am grateful to be living in a space that accommodates these movements so well.  I’m not free to be me without the ability to move this way.  Boise makes life’s access more enriching.  Having this open space and making it available to everyone is something we should all cherish.

The airy existence we live in Boise keeps us healthy with youthful vitality.  It’s the best way I can explain being so much stronger at 38 as a professional athlete than I was at any time in the past 10 years.  Experience and coaching plays a large role as well as being consistent over 10 years to accumulate positive stimulus and absorb them fully.

September 29, 2013 Sunrise;

This year’s surf off Venice Beach is tame, almost flat save for the occasional one footer.  I’ve come to enjoy the morning light show for this race with the stars and the moon fading with the shadow fall and the rising sun.  The ambience looking out over the vast Pacific is supreme calm.  The different hues of purple, blue, and red drawing the eye’s into a trance.  Warming up for this race can be real fun when the waves are big, I will just do some body surfing to get the blood pumping.  This year’s gentle ocean had its own appeal.  The LA Triathlon swim is one of the best in our sport.  A beach run in, charging the ocean, high stepping, dive under a wave, dolphin diving, swimming against crashing waves then cresting waves to reach the deep blue waters off the California coast and find your rhythm.

By the time we got to the first turn buoy about 300 meters off the coast Dustin McLarty and Bill Jones had created a solid gap.  It was a complete solo swim effort and I enjoyed dictating my own fast pace with no one near me.  The swim never lasts long enough so focusing on it and appreciating the Pacific Ocean swim keeps my effort honest.

No free wave at the end of this swim but I was riding my own wave of good health and fitness.  Running up out of the beach and in deep sand makes this a tough transition.  It’s best to concentrate on light quick feet and be OK not running fast.  Trying to run fast in deep sand will send your HR to the max.

Bill was in my crosshairs starting the bike with Dustin just out of sight.  All 3 of us being ex collegiate swimmers.  I caught Bill in the first few miles but couldn’t shake him until the last few miles of the bike.  It took a good 10 miles to catch Dustin.  This was the second time I had lead the LA Triathlon, the first being the sweet wave I caught last year.

Determined to hold and maximize my advantage I rode with all the gusto I could muster.  I used several techniques with my position, style and pedal stroke to make ground.  Every hill was a chance to power up it and get away from my competitors.  It’s always exhilarating to be breaking trail in a triathlon.  It’s especially fun when a city like Los Angeles lets us storm its streets.  LA comes alive with all those cars out of sight and mind and it is an awesome terrain to race bikes on.  The downtown core of the city essentially shuts out most vehicle traffic to allow for some swimsuit wearing race celebrating.

The ‘commute’ from Venice Beach to downtown LA is quick when you can charge through intersections and you are apt at powering the engineering marvel that is the Scott Plasma.  Sometimes it is best to forget about the race and just appreciate the speed at which your body can move you.  Play time.

I felt especially strong for the last 10 miles of the bike and put forth a concentrated effort to maximize my abilities.

I got in and out of T2 in a flash and took over Grand Avenue with a couple police escorts and a lead bike escort.  It felt grand, like the secret service was protecting some important dignitary.  Centering my balance and firing my legs became my new medium of movement.  I love running.  I became aware of the fact that it’s not every day that you have a police escort running through downtown Los Angeles.  Let’s soak it up and fly.

One of my goals for this race was to PR my 10k run from last year which was 33:01, for obvious reasons.  However, they altered the course and had us do a little ‘T’ at the top of the hill on Grand Ave.  When I got there for the first time and ran the ‘T’, I thought, “Well, there goes my PR”.  The new course was much slower with 2 new 180 turns and a steep descent followed by climbing right back up it.  Then, you went down the very steep quad demanding Grand Ave. hill.

I was nervous and hopeful heading back on the ‘out-and-back’ section for the first time in this 2 loop run.  Would I be able to hold off the fast charging very good runners?  Seeing Bill hold onto 2nd with Chris Foster and Sean Jefferson charging with their collegiate running prowess left me hopeful.

Again and again I simply enjoyed the race for what it is.  Being healthy enough to race and race well is a fleeting experience that no one gets to keep.  I felt the cusp of a really good wave and carved out some harmonic moves.

Running up Grand Avenue the second time is always a quick tell into the days effort.  I felt better than I ever had.  I stayed at the Millennium Biltmore on the same floor with Bryan Vera who was fighting Julio Cesar Chavez Jr who was also staying in the hotel.  The hotel was right at the base of the hill.  This gave me some depth and fortitude to climb the hill stronger.  I guess sleeping above it the night before made it less of an unknown.

Upon finishing the up and down sections of the ‘T’ and now running down Grand Avenue I felt strongly about my chance of finishing this race in the lead.  The other 2,500 racers started pouring into the streets of LA sharing the roads with me.  If you want to see downtown Los Angeles at its best, come check out the celebration of swimsuit wearing racers thriving to be their best.  LA truly comes alive on a day like today.  The finish chute is a Race Rocking good time; fitting that my running flats are Scott’s Race Rocker, the shoe was destined to win a race like the LA TRI.  I also ran very well still obtaining a PR with an important 2 second drop; 32:59!

Having done this race several times and knowing the past hall of fame champions of the LA Triathlon I am humbled to be a winner of this famed race.  A few years ago I would not have thought it to be possible.  If you asked me in my early 30’s or before if I would be stronger at 38 I would have probably doubted that too.

After the race I rode my speed bike back to the hotel and got in the elevator still in my race gear.  Bryan Vera and his wife got in the elevator with me.  He looked pretty good but I could tell he was just in a boxing match assuming he was the guy who fought Chavez Jr; we struck up a conversation about the fight and the triathlon.  He was a genuine guy and humble about the controversial loss.  His payday had a few more zeros behind it.  My triathlon weight would put me in the Super Welterweight class, but as a boxer I think I’d be in the middleweight class.  Sizing up Bryan in the elevator I like my chances if we can do the fight in 10ft of water.  Maybe I can step into the ring for the senior tour in my late 40’s?

I dropped off my bike and bag in the hotel and then ran/walked back to the celebration at L.A. Live. Having the finish at LA Live makes this race one of the sweeter events you’ll experience.  Every year I have raced the Southern California weather is on fine display and thousands of racers and spectators will linger in the sunshine while recounting their assault on the city.

Going up for the winner’s check will be memorable and gratifying for all my days.  A sign post on life’s journey that says, ‘I was here and I breathed deep’.

Thank You!

I am grateful for the love and support of my family and friends!  We did this together and you teach me so much.  The win is nice but having you in my life is way sweeter.  Let’s remember to celebrate life just because…

Thank you sponsors!  Racing around the country and world against these endurance monsters takes the best.  I feel so fortunate to have that relationship with you: Thank you sponsors!

2013 Herbalife Los Angeles Triathlon Results

Kevin Everett – 2013 Los Angeles Triathlon Champion!

 

Working with Willie

Work’n with Willie.

Three hours a week Willie and I serve up a performance worthy of candor.  Let’s face it, working isn’t always fun.  But Willie and I work at the Y and we coach all things swim-bike-run.  Better yet, we coach it to kids with beaming spirit.  Our resolution being that it is super fun to get paid for this.  For the TriClub kids at the Y we are triathlon gurus.  And if they don’t think so we make’em run cry-babies (running repeats up the towering Camel’s Back Hill).

Their direction influenced with the super magnetic sway of Willie’s fine charm is a powerful pull.  He bear hugs the kids with no escapable route but up.  We teach the basic fundamental movements of man; swim-bike-run.  To get from point A to B, how are you going to do that?  We test our student’s fitness for joy.

Basic human movement teaching makes Willie and I Jedi knights for our students.  We show them how to use the force.  Seriously, we teach the kids the tapestry of flow that comes from using your body to move most efficiently from point A to point B.  The study time will be lifelong.

Work’n with Willie is not work; it’s a fine tuned time to play.

Check out the Y’s TriClub to gain empowerment of spirit.

Retiring a shoe

Moving from the garage to the bedroom means slowing down a bit; for a shoe.

You see, these shoes love the mud.  They have a nose for it.  Getting dirty is their game.

Once moving they have a knack for finding whiffs from mountain breezes.  They fly toward the scent recharging on the space between spaces.  Energy driving machines.  They get me out of bed early and keep me up howling at the stars.  Run over that traverse then the next, then oh why not…the next.  Breathing in the air and seeking out more.  In Boise those mountain breezes mean singletrack.  Minutes from urbania, one can leap into the blissful beauty, mesmerizing our senses sans earjacks.  The Ridge to Rivers trail system has a charge that lights up the Kinabalu.  Over the year they have accounted for at least 6 of the top 10 runs and there have been over 200 of them.  But a year is a long time for a shoe; it’s time to retire and enjoy the luxuries of life, those day to day stop and goes.

To the new recruit; you won’t make it through the winter; you’re doing at least double duty and going to run out of rubber for the spring runoff.  But don’t worry, retirement is sweet…

Tempe Triathlon fight or flight

2013 Tempe Triathlon

Exiting the water of Tempe Town Lake I get a split that I am a minute plus down on the leaders.  Yikes, what happened in that swim?  I feel like my strength is swimming and that my fitness is high right now?  So this is a big blow.  Luckily, biking is trumping all other sports as my weapon of choice these days.  Getting on my old friend the SCOTT Plasma makes everything better.

Being at the expo you couldn’t help but flashback to Ironman Arizona.  The venue is very much the same but done in an Olympic distance format.  Unfortunately, this time of the year the water is a bit warm; around 85 degrees.  The cool chill of the morning makes the warm water palatable.

These Olympic non-drafting races have a lot of weight compared to other popular formats for the swim but at the start of the race things got off to a tame start and I was in perfect position.  Dustin McLarty took off to the early lead, no surprise there as he is one of the strongest swimmers in all of triathlon.  The rest of us jockeyed for that second position and I held steady at the front of this pack for about 200 meters before settling in on some feet.  Here is my big mistake.  I settled and got comfortable.  Even though the race felt like it started off at a comfortable pace, it got hot after the first turn buoy.  The train strung out to single file and I focused on little else than the feet in front of me.

At this point I was in another sport and I was the spectator.  Two guys that were next to me started WWF Cage fighting, water polo style.  I tried not to rubberneck but these guys were inches away from involving me too.  One ended up getting dunked and kicked backwards in an attempt by the other athlete to free himself from ‘the cage’.  It worked, but the damage had been done, the chain on the train was snapped.  As nice as my front row seats were to this beat down, by the time I veered to keep out of the melee the train had been broken and the leaders were 20ft in front of us.  I gave it a strong effort to try and close the gap but probably only wasted energy.  The lead pack was pulling away and I was left in the dreaded ‘no-man’s-land’.  All you can do is limit the damage while you work harder to go slower having been dropped from the pack.

Getting on the bike, my head was not in the right place; still bemused at the thrashing in the swim.  The first pedal stroke told me everything I needed.  It was going to be a good day.  I found the flow and became the biker or a biker in the truest sense.  I see my daughter Lola getting in the zone all the time; she will be so engrossed with her play, her surroundings disappear and her entire focus is her imaginative play.  I was like this; a 3 year old at play with his speed bike.

With an inner smile I turned the pedals of the plasma with ferocious efficiency.  Coming out of the water way back and out of the top 10 I had some work to do.

After about 10 miles I had passed several riders and was closing in on the lead group that was trailing super biker Cam Dye.  Then, I made a wrong turn.  Arrrrgggggghhhhhh, is the best description of my tormented mind.  I went through the first 2 stages of grief in rapid succession.  This can’t be happening; denial and this stinks; anger.  It didn’t take much longer to get over it and accept it and continue speed racing on my nothing but fast bike.

The wrong turn probably cost me about 30 seconds and a lot of momentum both physically and mentally.  As much as I focused, some of the fight was gone.  Just a bit, but under these conditions you need it all or the other world beaters will smell blood in the water.

I started the run in 5th place, an exciting place to be but I was not 100% excited about it.  I could see Ben Collins just up the road but Joe Malloy, Jimmy Seear and Cam Dye were way out front.  I ran well, but Stuart Hayes soon passed me and made up the ground on Ben.  I held position well in 6th place until the last mile when Hunter Kemper ran through just off of a pace I could hold.

There was another racer closing in on me in the last half mile.  TJ ran up and matched my stride.  We ran side by side and I envisioned a sprint finish and braced for the effort while running strong.  I took the lead for a second feeling good and noticed his breathing labored.  I was just testing him and did not make an attempt to get away.  In hindsight I should have gone full throttle at this point.  In the last 200 meters we took a sharp 360 degree turn and started running down an embankment on the grass.  He had the inside corner and this was the best place to be.  My footing on the grass was just slightly off and kept me from getting to top speed, that, coupled with TJ’s strong closing speed kept me just off his pace.  That puts me at about 0 for 10 in any sprint finishes in my career.  But I think I can get the next one…ha.

I would have been pretty happy with 7th place…8th is ok.  My swim let me down, the bike was great, and my run was missing a bit of mental toughness but overall I know the training is going really well.  I just need to dial in a little more race day focus with a little race day magic and this race wasn’t too far off being exceptional.

I’m grateful to be in a position to race some of the strongest endurance athletes on the planet.  I have a lot of support and they all keep me strong: My family, the Y, Scott Sports, Aqua Sphere, CEP, Asea, Restwise, WN Precision, Idaho Mountain Touring, POC and a big thanks to my extended family in the community.

Sometimes, a lot actually, I feel like a kid before Christmas; super excited.  A big part of that is feeling like one of the youngest 38 year olds alive.

Humbly enjoying the journey.

2013 Tempe Triathlon Results