The 2008 Virginia Triathlon Series (“VTS”) ended for me on Saturday with the Smith Mountain Lake, Big Lick Olympic Distance Triathlon. While I did not “seize up” and walk, as I had the last to races I completed, this was a tough, painful and slow event for me. Having done a 2:19 last year, and placed in my age group in prior years, my 4th place in the age group and 2:27 finishing time after a very light 2 weeks of training where disappointing. For the 3rd week in a row, when I hopped of my bicycle and started the run, the muscles in my legs would not listen to what my brain was telling them to do. I was only able to manage a 7:12/mile pace with a corresponding heart rate of 158-166 bpm. Only one person successfully passed me on the bike and run, but to be competitive in my category, you have to break 2:20 for the Olympic Distance. I hope to compete in some fall 5-10km. road and cross country races before taking my annual “winter hiatus” to let my body completely recover and get ready for next year’s challenge’s. Rest and recovery are as important as an aggressive training schedule, and cyclical training plans can have beneficial, long-term results if exercise, nutrition and rest are properly balanced. Here I am with my wife after we both completed this tough, Olympic distance triathlon.