Monday, November 16, 2009

Pro Kirk Nelson checks in

Hi everyone,
After a failed attempt (they wouldn't take my $550, can you believe it???) to race a late season full IM (my first since 2006), my 2009 triathlon racing season is officially over!

2009 started out very dismal for me as my marriage fell apart at the seams, which made triathlon training and racing a complete after-thought for the first 7 months of the year.
For me, this year was very painful, sorrowful, humbling, and yet a season of very positive spiritual and emotional growth in my life.

During the first 6 months I was doing all I could to fix and patch-up my marriage, and was greatly humbled by the suffering and growing that occurred within me during this period. Throughout the last 4 months I have been adjusting to a new life and have continued to grow with the new challenges I face as a single guy pursuing my dream of triathlon excellence.

I was extremely blessed (and just in time!) earlier this year as my coaching business grew in several ways:
1. increased clientele from 6 to 14 athletes
2. Hired Associate coach, Eric Dorsch
3. Put on two Triathlon camps, two transition clinics, and one open-water swim clinic

Racing-wise, the year started out very humbling: 20th at Wildflower when I had been 10th in 2008, 12th at Kansas 70.3 when I had been 5th in 2008.

I was not upset with the results as it was everything I could do with everything else going on at the time.

Beginning in July, things began to improve: 9th at Boulder Peak including a great 10k run off the bike and a win at the Castaic Lake Sprint Triathlon in CA.

Training was now more consistent, and following a great training block in CA, I managed my best finish to date in a major IM 70.3 race -- 4th Overall, just missing the podium by 15 seconds!! To read more, check my blog post:

Following Calgary, I raced Lake Stevens 70.3 and unfortunately had to pull out during the run due to a major nutritional mistake that led to severe dehydration.

In September I headed North across the border again to race Muskoka IM 70.3. Another great run and overall finish of 7th place. Read my blog post here:

The week following Muskoka I jumped in a local sprint race, Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon, put on by my good friends (including my swim coach Lance Panigutti) of Without Limits Productions. I had a great race and set a new course record of 55:14 to take the win, with Eric coming in second, and Steve Richard (a TriKirk Coaching athlete) coming in 4th overall.

In early October, Eric and I headed out to California to put on a series of triathlon clinics, race the Magic Mountain Man Half Iron Triathlon (M3 Triathlon) and get in my last training stint prior to Longhorn IM 70.3. I earned a win on a brutally hard M3, that featured 6,000 feet of climbing on the bike and 5 "no aerobar descent" sections due to insanely rough roads.

The season finished MUCH better than it began. After leaving CA on October 21, I drove to Austin, TX for my last race of the year, Longhorn IM 70.3, where I set a new 70.3 PR of 3:53:23, and earned 7th place in an ultra-competitive men's field. I could not have been more thrilled with this finish as it was the result of some very hard work and training I put in during the latter part of the season:

Sponsors: Thank you so much for your dedicated support and for getting through the season with me. I appreciate everything you each have done to help me pursue my dream of becoming one of the top long course racers in the sport. With your continued help, I am very hopeful about my future to become one!

Ending 2009 on the highest of notes, I am excited about my potential to climb my way onto the podium of one or more major races in 2010. I have a very solid level of fitness in all three disciplines that I am motivated to grow on during the upcoming off-season. I am committed to working very hard on my swim and making it a priority to get within striking range of the lead pack of swimmers by 2010. My cycling power and running fitness is at an all-time high that will only continue to improve now that I have found my training rhythm and consistent training groups to challenge and better myself.

Tentative 2010 Race Schedule:

California 70.3 -- March
IM St. George (as in the full thing.....) -- May
Rev 3 Tri Quassy Half Rev Tri -- June
Buffalo Springs 70.3 -- June
Rhode Island 70.3 -- July
Calgary 70.3 -- August
Lake Stevens 70.3 -- August
Muskoka 70.3 -- September
October/November: IM or IM 70.3 World Championships (or both?), TBA

Thanks to friends and family for being there when I needed you most!

I wish everyone a great off-season look forward to being there with you again in 2010!

Running for HIM,

Kirk Nelson
Professional Triathlete

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