2022 Season recap!!

This was a wonderful season. So grateful to start and complete everything I started.

The season started with ‘Sorath Kaur’ entering our world on the 3rd of February.

Glad to have an awesome coach who worked my training around everything I had on my plate. Full support from my wonderful family, who made sure I had a good night’s sleep. The end goal was a full Ironman in October.

Early morning training rides, runs and swims everything was squeezed in. Not to mention the extra strength training, and massage and chiro visits. My better half did a lot of work in covering up for my shifts with Sorath.

May started off with an Olympic distance (1-mile swim + 25 miles bike + 10 K run) race, where I was just getting ready to race again.

Ironman 70.3 Coeur D’Alene at the end of May, was a good race. Got my PR on the course. Learned from my mistakes, learned to pace, and had a decent run.

The following week, I went on to ascend Mt Adams (12, 280 ft). This was definitely something that humbled me. I survived this because of my endurance training, and a lot of solo hours training on my bike. I did do some practice hikes, but hiking up 12000 feet in the snow with a 40-45 lb backpack was not easy. Coming down was harder than going up. Camping at 9000 feet was adventurous. Watching the brightly lit sky at night was surreal.

Following two weekends, I went on to do gravel riding for hours and hours. Getting lost in the Snoqualmie forest, and encountering 2 bears and 4 cubs was scary. Then riding gravel, off the grid somewhere in Oregon forests was very humbling. It was such a learning experience and was all about conquering mental demons. I finished last on a bike that I had purchased 3 weeks ago and had ridden gravel only 4 times before. This ride came down to just finishing because I was hurting to the point that I was ready to quit on a few occasions, but I wanted to come home to my daughters telling them that I finished what I started. The gravel ride in Oregon was harder than a 70.3-distance triathlon.

After the gravel ride, it was time to chill a little bit and get on with the training for another 70.3 and the full distance. Another Olympic distance race in July, and then some easy time in Canada. Did get in 2 runs, and two bike rides in Canada to maintain the training load.

September was my A race 70.3 in my hometown. Felt good to race local, commute time of 15 mins, and no logistics to be taken care of. Had my race distance PB. Great swim, a conservative bike ride, and a solid run.

After the race, I started having doubts about being unable to complete the full Ironman distance. Even though I had 2-3 long-distance rides done. I started feeling guilty for all the time away from family and kids. But a bit of a pep talk and talking with my coach, helped me with the last push. I felt selfish to not be there with my kids over the weekends.

A week of rest and the last block of training started for the full Ironman distance. Long weekend rides, long swim sessions, and long runs. I was kind of mentally tired, but the way to get things done is to stop thinking about it. As my coach says “Thinking is bad for you”, do not overthink, take each big training session at a time. I did exactly that, each long session over the weekend was done at a time. At the end of 4 weeks, I had never before felt this fit, and race ready.

23rd October was when I stood at the starting line and crossed the finish line of Ironman California. My 3rd one is done and dusted.

Don’t think I am going to do a full one for the next 4-5 years. Takes away a lot of time from the family. 70.3’s are easy to deal with and put on the schedule.

My fitness this year has been courtesy of remaining consistent with my training, being coached by a good coach, and being supported by my Iron family. Now it is time to give them back. My recovery has been pretty good, and I have been feeling good 4-5 days after the full Ironman.

What did I learn this year?

There is no such thing as motivation. The only thing is Consistency. Stay consistent, keep showing up, and you will start becoming a better version of yourself. To keep showing up is discipline.

The thing I missed the most throughout the season, was my family. Traveling for the races was not possible with an infant. I am definite that seeing your loved ones on the course gives you a much better boost than the energy gels do. 2023 we plan to travel together.

Ironman California 2022 – Sacramento

After waiting for three years, having the race postponed for reasons we all know, this was the year that all the training came to fruition.


Flew into Sacramento on Friday, and did an early morning check-in. Was postponing my bike pickup until Saturday, as I had it all tuned up and ready to go. So was just planning on picking the bike up, spinning it out for 30 mins, and then dropping it off at T1.

However, fate had something else in mind. I went to the Tri Bike Transport booth, and after a search could not find my bike. Got told that my bike may be among the 2 bikes, that have been stolen. I did not believe it. My power pedals and race wheels were on the bike. I was stunned, but still not stressed, don’t know why. While the TBT guy was all crying, I still was not stressed.

After concluding that my bike is stolen, TBT offered to take care of me by providing me a rental bike from PlayTri sports. Great, they had a frame size for me, but the bike fit was pretty awful. The crank was 10 mm longer than I am used to, the aero bars were wider than I am used to, and my body was in a crunched position.

Took the bike for a spin 2-3 times for 30-40 mins each, so as to dial in the fit as much as I can.

Race Day

Woke up at 4am after a night of pretty good sleep. Packed the bags, packed some oats, and off to the race venue 12 – 15 mins drive.

Special needs bag drop-off was pretty easy. After that headed over to the bike area, added the bike bottles, walked back into the changing tent, and in quiteness ate my pre-race oats. Had a lot of time in hand, and I wanted to head to the swim start sooner than later. Was lucky to get on the bus early, as later I learned that people were in the Transition until 7:30 am.


The swim was fast, in spite of poor buoy placements at the turnarounds. The swim was in the river, downstream. I clocked in a sub 1 hr swim for a 2.4 mile, which was pretty cool. The swim finish was not well marked, and therefore I kind of missed the finish, and passed the swim line, before being asked by a volunteer to swim back against the current.


The longest transition I have seen. 1.1 mile of running to get the bike, and then bike out.


112 miles on an unfitted bike. The bike course was flat and supposedly super fast. But the wind on the course was brutal.There was hardly much of a tail wind. Either head wind or cross wind, with gusts of 50 mph.

I kept the first half conservative for 1) course being too windy, so wanted to save the matches for the run, and 2) new bike with a poor fit.

Nutrition on the bike was also a challenge, as I could not fit in everything that I needed, so put the extras in the special needs bag.

Anyways, was able to complete the bike in over 7 hours (was expecting a conservative sub 6 finish here).


Bike to run transition was relatively easy. stretched out my back a bit while changing into run shoes. Meniscus on the both the knees had been irritated.

Started running from the Transition, and the run was perfect for the first half, about 12 -13 miles. Stomach was bloated, and it was getting hard to run with stomach irritation. During the run, I made sure to take in water, and coke from each aid station, but that did not help much.

After 13 miles, I started doing a run walk until mile 16, when I joined a very nice lady, whose walking speed was better than my run-walk speed. Walked out the rest of the marathon with her, as the legs were thrashed and felt jelly.

Conrolling the controllable was what I was doing. I wish I had my own bike, that would have allowed me to land a bit better on the run. Concluded the run by walking two loops around the capitol state building, and running the last 100m to the finish line.

I do not plan to do another full distance in the near future !!

As I write this post after 2-3 days of the event, I actually do not feel a big achievement. It feels like completing any other 70.3 triathlon and body has been recovering really well. Might just mean that my coach and I did a good job in the training.

Peak is further than it seems

I had been restless, nervous, anxious, and had all sorts of emotions, after I signed up to climb Mt Adams, the second highest peak in the WA state.

The initial day of climbing (early June) was not possible, because of the poor weather conditions. Lots of snowfall, and heavy winds at the top, even at 9000 ft.

So a good friend of mine, and I pushed the dates out to the first weekend of July. The weekend right after my IM 70.3 Coeur D Alene race. Perfect, right !! 14,000 + ft of climbing to relax after a half-IM.

Come the weekend of July. K and I drove from Renton to the Adams trailhead. We planned to leave early, drive for 4 hours, and then start the hike around 11 am. That would give us enough time to reach the lunch counter (midway stop for most hikers) before 5-6 pm.

I must say, the backpack was heavy, had never done this kind of hiking before. Probably carrying 40-45 lbs. When I started to hike, it did not feel that bad, but the sweating was quick and real. Started seeing slush, snow, and hard to walk trails. Just kept following the shoe tracks. K was always in front of me. I knew that I could push myself, because of the endurance and mental training I have been doing. The load on the back, and the whole idea of ascending a mountain was overwhelming.

Every step ascending was not easy, but worth an experience. Being conservative, and having patience helps. If you are not patient enough, don’t worry backpacking in wilderness teaches you that. Don’t think of taking quick strides, or brisk walking up, because what seems as the top, is never the top. Respect the elevation, be patient, and put one foot in front of the other.

Reaching the lunch counter was such a relief. At 9000 ft after putting our bags down, and putting up the tent, I started to feel a bit nauseous, heavy headed, and dizzy. K told me this is mountain sickness. He asked me not to lie down, instead walk around a bit. I was hungry, so ate some pre-cooked rice, and lentils. I had never eaten such tasty ‘Rajma-Chawal’ (indian dish – rice and pinto beans) ever in my life. They were cold, and dry, but everything tastes good at an elevation. I guess you realize and respect food when you are devoid of it for hours and days.

The sunset and night was the best thing of the trip. The night stars were surreal. Every human should once in their lifetime get out and be in the wilderness. We live on such a beautiful planet.

The next day was the ascend to the top. The day started with a steep hike up the slope. And that slope was never ending. But this time I was only carrying a small backpack, leaving most of the stuff at the camp site. The climb was no joke. Climbing with crampons, every step after the first hour was a struggle. I started to feel some heart burn or maybe lung burn, could have been the altitude. It’s easy to just stop and rest, but the longer you rest going up, the more challenging the descend becomes. So I slowed down, and without worrying about the top, I focussed on one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, I would stop, take a few breaths, turn around and look at the beautiful scenery. Wow!! we miss all this in our daily lives.

As I reached the top, I realized that it is a false summit. The peak is further than it seems. Before you reach your goal, there are lot of mid goals, that you need to reach. And each of those smaller goals teach you patience, sincerity, and consistency.

To get stronger in your craft, consistency is the single most thing that anyone needs and should practice.

Coming down was harder than going up. By the time we were to come down, sun was strong, and most of the snow started to melt. It was scary to slide down, I was honestly scared of the steep grade. So I just switched to ‘Consistently take slower and smaller steps down’.

From the false summit onwards, I still continued walking down, but then I saw folks sliding, and gave it a try. Sliding down was way cooler and faster :). Back to the campsite, pack up and started the hike down.

Hiking down, also seemed too long. I was exhausted. The walk felt never ending. Had a tunnel vision by now. For me the hike was not over until I stopped seeing snow. By the last hour of my hike, I almost started hating snow-sludge. Legs were tired to the point, that I kept falling and sliding, all over.

I relaxed and said “its the home stretch now”, from the point I saw the Mt Adams trailhead sign at the parking lot. I did not say it 1 mile or 1/2 mile before, I was that trashed.

For me this was the first ascent. I definitely could not have done it without the endurance training I do for triathlon.

Patience and consistency is what I got out of this.

Never focus on reaching the summit, focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

10 Reasons I love doing triathlon !!!


For bragging rights !!

Because it sounds cool !!

So that I can smile and say ‘that is cute‘, when someone says ‘I did a marathon‘.

Well on a serious note, I just love it because it makes me happy, keeps me sane, and my wife loves seeing me on the leaner side. Continue reading

Questions people ask ? ? ?

I have been asked and often asked questions related to endurance sports, and my appearance (yes I look like a star 😉 ). So let me take a stab in no particular order at the various questions..

But before that a quickie about the sport of Triathlon – Triathlon as the name says, is some sort of a marathon in three different disciplines. Yes, the one that I do, and in general involves, swimming, cycling, and running, in the same order. Continue reading