Then I tried XTERRA for the first time, which was fun. The course in NJ was near home, so it was pretty easy, rather conducive to my lack of MTB experience. After that, it was 6 weeks aboard the USCGC Block Island in Atlantic Beach, NC. I was able to get some workouts in, but practically no mountain biking, which made my decision to go to XTERRA Richmond not a very good one, but I wanted the points. After struggling through the first 16 or so miles of the course, I was finally getting into a groove/feeling comfortable, but my chain broke, so I ran/walked the last 2ish miles before heading out for the 10k....not fun. I ended up finishing 7th out of 8 in my age group because I passed a guy on the run. Fortunately I was able to stay atop the northeast 20-24 age group. While in NC, I also did a road bike race and beach 10k; finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively, but neither were particularly challenging fields.
Then I finished up at the cutter and went to New London for 4 1/2 weeks on Regimental Staff, in charge of the Academy Introduction Mission program for interested high school kids who come for a week and experience a little bit of Academy life. I was able to get in a bit more training, but still lacked the consistency I would've liked...still wouldn't trade it for anything, though; I was glad I did that particular job this summer. I did a little weeknight series tri in late June on my road bike without a wetsuit and got 7th out of about 200, including several people on TT bikes significantly nicer than what I normally ride. Also on somewhat of a whim, I decided to do the New London Sailfest 5k. I did the race the year before and did a 19:37, which I attributed to a hilly course and hot conditions (race is in the middle of July, and it's surprising how hilly downtown New London is). However, I managed to do an 18:06 this year after sleeping 3 hours and surfing the day before and the morning of the race. If this is any indication of the shape I'm in vs. last year, I'm excited. I feel like I had a pretty successful fall season last year, and apparently I'm in better shape than a year ago, at least running-wise. That's good, though; I need it. I really feel like I have yet to have a good race. The duathlon went reasonably well, but I still felt like I could've pushed more. I've had some decent results, but I have yet to really finish a race and feel something even close to "satisfied."
Right now, I am home for about 2 1/2 weeks of a break....using it as a pretty intense training block, such as yesterday's 27 mile ride, 2800 yd swim workout, and 11 mile run. Today we might incorporate some of the driving range, maybe later on in the week some surfing. In my opinion, golf and surfing count as cross-training. I'm racing this weekend in Belmar for what will be the first real road tri since Nationals. I don't really count the little training series race in CT. What's cool, though, is that my mom and older brother are racing as well. My mom did her first tri with me 4 years ago at the NJ State Tri, but she hasn't done one since. My brother, on the other hand, continues to tell me I am crazy, but now I've at least gotten him to give it a shot.