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2020. The PBC Recap.

Well, we all know that 2020 was a tough year. For some, it was very difficult with sick family members, lost businesses and jobs, social isolation, and more. Covid-19 was not something many of us ever planned for in our lifetime. Right as Covid-19 hit the US I was about to travel to Mexico for a 70.3. Without much knowledge about the virus or how the rest of the year would play out, I made a tough decision to stay home and not travel.

Personally, after that I went through so many different emotions as the new reality started to become difficult to deny or avoid. I found myself hoping it would just go away. In fact, I can honestly say that much of the end of March and all of April I was pretty paralyzed in my response to the changing world. I didn’t adapt as quickly as I wish I would have. I woke up every single day and surfed the various news outlets, hoping for a miracle cure, or a drastic drop in positive cases. I was resisting the idea that this new reality could actually happen.

When May rolled around and everything continued down the path of canceled events, no social gatherings, virtual school, and virtual work, I started to realize that if I didn’t make some changes to my training, my coaching, and my attitude, I would spend the rest of the pandemic unhappy and possibly losing everything I spent years to build. I also felt a huge sense of responsibility to my athletes. I needed to be supportive, realistic, and find ways to keep them focused on the controllable aspects of their life and fitness. I won’t go into all of the details of how I worked through that with my athletes, but I will say that it was highly individual. Some struggled, others stayed very motivated. In some ways, the ones I thought would handle it best had the hardest time. When you have 20hr/wk elite athletes struggling to get out of bed for a workout, it’s not always easy for them to admit their momentary weakness. As a coach it was a balance between leniency, understanding, and accountability. We all truly discovered what was at the core of our motivation in sport this year. If that was racing, you probably had some mental hurdles to overcome. In the end, most of PBC was able to cling to the lifestyle of being an endurance athlete and could see the bigger picture far down the road. 2020 was one of those roads where you feel like the destination is never getting closer…. but if you’re enjoying the drive, it doesn’t seem to matter as much. Turn up the music and set the cruise control.

At some point, with the help of Kitty, I decided to create something for my athletes that could not be taken away or canceled. That’s where the idea of the PBC Triple Crown was born. We created a 3 race Sprint Tri Series for Team PBC athletes, based on variations of my favorite Race Day Events Wisconsin Triathlon Series courses. These were small events, 10-15 athletes, and had well executed COVID-19 safety protocols.

FAKE MILLZ (originally the Wisconsin World Championships in Lake Mills, WI) 

CORONA TRITERIUM (originally the Verona Triterium)

DEVILS CAKE (originally Devils Lake Tri)

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The series was a success in that it was fun, we got to test ourselves, and nobody got sick. It was great to get a bit of that “race feeling” back and also create little rivalries amongst ourselves to get the competitive itch. The distances across these events were pretty similar, so it was also good to measure some improvement in a low pressure situation. Most of all, it was just nice to be amongst the team and see everyone smiling and enjoying triathlon in its purest form. All athletes got a T-shirt and hat at the final event to commemorate the series.

When it was all said and done, we still faced many more months of shut downs, social distancing, and canceled events. We saw a few races go off in Florida, but overall there was nothing reliable to train for and still no confidence that we were nearing a return to “normal” anytime soon. We remain resilient and focused on the big picture of what our journey holds in this sport. Everything that we do today will help us tomorrow. That doesn’t change, even if there is no date on the calendar to test ourselves in a race format.

I’m grateful to my athletes for staying so driven and adaptable during these tough times. As an athlete myself, I know it isn’t always easy to get up and work every day when you don’t really know exactly what you’re working towards. As a coach, I’m very fortunate to have a high retention and head into 2021 with close to a full roster.

The lesson here is that you always have to be open to change. The ability to adapt is ever important. Whether it’s in life, training, business, or racing. We have to be able to make changes as the things we can not control change. Speaking of change… stay tuned for some exciting new announcements from PBC in 2021.

-Coach PB

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2017 IMWI – Team PBC Results

What a year! 2017 IMWI did not disappoint, with great weather, amazing crowd support, and some excellent races by Team PBC. We truly became a family over the course of the season, grinding out sessions, training camps, and using each other for motivation ad support when times get tough. After months of preparation, everyone was ready to have THEIR best race.

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Melanie Ott, running herself into 2nd 30-34. Kona bound!

Of the 7 of us that toed the line, 3 were first time finishers, 3 set Ironman PR’s, and 1 is going to Kona in 2018!!

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Julie K with an impressive 1st Ironman finish.

The results speak for themselves. They are the product of smart work and hard work. Commitment day in and day out to get the best out of yourself. And an ability to execute under pressure. I’m so proud of these athletes!

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Kona 2018

Our Team has a great group forming for IMWI 2018. But first we have a few more big races on the calendar for 2017, including IMKY, AZ 70.3, IMAZ, Madison Marathon, and more!

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A few Team PBC athletes during an ice cream social ride, post IMWI.

As a coach, days like IMWI are the reason I do what I do. Seeing so many athletes accomplish their goals and learn more about themselves, it’s very rewarding to be a part of that.

 

Coach PB
Cycling and Triathlon Coach, Madison, WI

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Team PBC Ironman Wisconsin Race Recap

Competing in Ironman Wisconsin can be described as… challenging, empowering, enlightening, and inspiring. This year I didn’t compete but had 6 athletes out there on race day and I felt all those same emotions secondhand. I was thrilled to be a part of the journey and very proud of what everyone accomplished. Some moments left me considering getting teary-eyed. Being able to see the athletes I have trained through thick and thin for the past year reach their goals… it simply cannot be described in words, which is why I will do so in pictures…

Team PBC Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

The morning started with dropping my out of town athletes at transition then heading up to the square to get some Colectivo Coffee… everyone must have read my blog on Discover Wisconsin about spectating on race day because the line was literally out the door. In any case, a latte and a PB walnut chocolate chip muffin later I was back at the swim start herding my athletes down to the water. One thing I’ve always loved about the PBC kits is you can see the stars on the back when your wetsuit is open…

colectivokits backwalt austin pb before swimPer usual the sunrise was beautiful and made for an epic start…

sunrise

Team PBC had a solid performance in the swim and athletes exited looking happy and laser focused. Off to the bike!

jason swim walt swim luke swim austin swim annie swim

The weather conditions continued to be perfect for the bike with temperatures around 70* at the high and a cool breeze for the afternoon. I watched from the top of “The Hill” on Timber Lane with a crowd of enthusiastic fans, including those dressed scantily clad and a kind father daughter duo handing out free brats.

fans brats anyone

I was anxiously awaiting my athletes, checking time splits on my phone and getting race updates from friends elsewhere on the course.

waiting 2 waiting 1

They all showed up looking strong and taking no prisoners on The Hill!

walt bike walt bike 2 dan bike annie bike annie bike 2

After a quick fro-yo stop (guilty) it was back to the run course to cheer my athletes across the finish line. Everyone looked strong on the run. I stuck around past midnight to see the last finishers and help peel athletes off the concrete and load them into cars… and I can tell you that last hour gives me goosebumps every year.

jason run luke run annie run dan finish austin finish

walt finish

I couldn’t be more proud of how Team PBC performed at Ironman Wisconsin. Everyone left their hearts out there. One athlete in particular was rewarded for her effort with a Kona slot. Congrats to Annie Hughes!

annie kona

For those of you interested in signing up for Ironman Wisconsin for 2016, I am offering an Ironman Wisconsin Exclusive coaching deal from now through the end of September. Sign up for 1 year of comprehensive coaching and received a discounted monthly rate as well as a complimentary PBC hat, t-shirt, and a `1 piece race kit. Email patrickbradycoaching@gmail.com to inquire.

im special

On a final note I want to thank all my athletes for the pleasure of being a part of your journey. You did it! You’re Ironmen(women)! That is something only a small percentage of people can say. It’s something no one can every take away from you. You’ll have it forever. And I’ll always be grateful that you took me along for the ride. Congratulations!

Coach PB
Cycling and Triathlon Coach, Madison, WI

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The Benefit of Group Sessions

Triathlon is an interesting sport in that we compete alone as individuals yet train as a team. I can’t say enough about the benefits of training as a group. Every week this summer I’ve held on average 2 group sessions, whether it be open water swimming, biking, or running. Additionally we have had a few Ironman Wisconsin specific prep sessions on weekend days. I love group trainings because athletes are able to gather and exchange stories, training data, discuss race plans, and encourage each other to get through tough workouts. Everyone is someone’s pace and everyone can be challenged to be better by those around them.

Join us this week Thursday, 6pm, Vilas Zoo lot. I’ll be hosting a run session for Team PBC, but this week open to the public with free drop-in. 

dutton_running

Hope to see you there,

Coach PB
Cycling and Triathlon Coach, Madison, WI