Thought it was about time I gave an update on 2018. It’s taken me a while to figure that out for myself, and I still don’t know that I have a concrete plan, but I at least have – and have had – a firm enough idea now that I wanted to share it.
I want to start by saying that I got more out of my career as a professional triathlete than I had ever hoped for or imagined. When I first started, I just wanted to have a career. To make a living in the sport, which was – and still is – my own benchmark for what it means to be a professional.
My next goal was to win an Ironman, and I will never forget that first win in 2009 in my adopted hometown of Penticton, BC, with my fiancé – and now wife – there at the finish line. I then set my sights on winning a world championship, and I am incredibly proud to have carried the Stars and Stripes over the line on home soil in Henderson, NV in 2011. After that, I turned, as I think almost every long-course triathlete does, my focus to Kona, and while I fell far short of what I had hoped to achieve on the Big Island in my four tries there, I have no regrets about my races. When I look back over the past decade-plus, it’s hard for me to imagine that it all worked out the way it did, such was the luck, circumstance, and sheer coincidence required.
I hesitate to use the word “retire” because it has all sorts of implications that I’d rather avoid in terms of injecting importance into something where it is not deserved. In the same way that a career as a pro triathlete doesn’t have a clear beginning, I’m not sure it has a clear end either. I don’t want to exclude myself from doing something simply because of I used a word that has a weight attached to it.
But I will say that I am not actively planning on racing triathlons this year. Maybe a bucket list race, if something strikes my fancy, but as of right now, there is nothing.
I will still race. To quote Rebecca Rusch, “It’s who I am. I don’t know any other way to live my life.” (Watch “WHY” if you want the backstory here; it’s worth it.)
What I will race is still a work in progress. I’m planning on focusing on cycling. I had toyed briefly with the idea of ultra-running, but cycling lends itself more easily to training indoors, which is of course a big part of my job.
I’m glad that I can continue to have some sort of public persona through opportunities with live streaming of Zwift workouts, something that I will do a lot more of, both biking and soon running as well. Sharing what it is that I do at Zwift and the incredible product we make is an incredible privilege. My first ever experience was here: https://www.twitch.tv/rappstarracing/videos/all
In particular, I plan to start the year with gravel racing, something that suits my particular strengths on the bike. But my main focus for the year is going to be the track. Yes, track racing on a bike.
I have a great coach lined up; the velodrome in California is on my way to/from work. UCI Master’s Worlds will be there again this October, and my goal is to win the 35-39 World Championship in the 3km Pursuit. If you’re going to dream, dream big.
Onwards, upwards, and in a new direction!