Swimming has also been going exceedingly well since I read some helpful swim instruction in Triathlete Magazine. I feel like I have been approaching swimming from the wrong direction and have not included enough reach and glide into my stroke. Apparently this is a problem most runners have when they transition to swimming from triathlon. Tuesday I did my first two mile swim with Steve at Wilson Pond. I was trying to correct a few to many things during the session and my pace and ability to swim in a straight line suffered. My swim goal for the remainder of the year is to swim 1.2 miles (half Ironman swim) in under 30 minutes. I have a ways to go but I am confident that I will get there.
Things have also been going extremely well on the bike. I am pleased to say that "The Demon" has made a triumphant return to my life. Seems that the good folks at Kona sent the bike out of the factory with an eight speed Shimano Deore shifter with a nine speed cassette. Kona apparently felt pretty bad about all of my troubles and upgraded me to SLX front and rear shifters for free! The whole process was a huge pain in the tail but it is worth it when you ride as aggressively as I do on the trails. I headed out today for the first real test on "The Demon" and things went great. I forgot how much more responsive this bike is compared to the rental that I have been on. Also my descending skills were back to their normal adrenaline pulsing level. Hydraulic disc brakes are the greatest mountain bike component ever developed. I also threw the Polar monitor on for today's ride. I was riding pretty fast but my HR stayed in my THRZ the for the majority of the ride, even on the climbs.
Right now I am pretty happy with how things are going. I am starting to feel confident which is a nice departure from how I felt back in July. Hopefully things will stay on track over the next couple of months and I will be able to post some solid performances. I have a few triathlons that I am eyeing and I am still planning on running the NE xc season in October and November.