Sunday, December 9, 2012

Delaware Done, 2012 Season Done

26.7 miles later, and the Delaware marathon is now complete. Just got back from Rehoboth Beach from the longer-than-expected marathon. If felt like mile 19 went on and on forever... Turns out it was a mile and a half!

That notwithstanding, Delaware was a decent enough marathon. The weather was unseasonably warm and humid (mid 50's with 100% humidity). The actual course was straight, flat, with areas of VERY sharp turns. Also there was about 4 or 5 miles of unexpected soft trails that probably slowed me up a bit. But hey, it was a good experience.

So that pretty much does it for 2012. It ended with a little bit of a whimper, but 2012 was by far MY BEST SEASON EVER! Not only did i PR in every major event that I do, I also represented the United States in Spain. A truly unforgettable and un-toppable year.

Speaking of, what is next? Well, I feel (as always) the need to step it up a little bit. I've decided to tackle 5 marathons over 5 months (check out the running map for details). I know i can do it, just hope the body holds up. To prepare for that, i plan having a solid off-season of strength building and training. I also learned my lesson regarding speed workouts. I won't break 3 hours in a marathon without speed workouts. So I MAY do some smaller races early on next year. We'll see.

Have a great holiday!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Harftord In October

Just got back from Hartford, CT where I ran the 2012 ING Hartford Marathon. Weather forecasts during the week projected low 50's at the start. When i got up it was 30. 30!

I layered up and got out to the start without any problems. The weather warmed up pretty quick so it was never an issue. In fact it probably climbed in to the upper 40's with 100% clear skies by the end, just perfect running weather.

The course was flat and had some really beautiful 'Autumn in New England' tableaus. Around mile 7 i noticed i was slowing down and was kind of lethargic. I took off my last layer and picked up the pace. I wasn't sure what kind of distance shape I was in, but I was sick of playing it safe. So i decided to shave off about 10 seconds per mile and see what I could handle.

Turns out I felt great. The combination of weather conditions and a relatively flat course allowed me to keep that pace up. I couldn't wait until mile 16 (when I consider the real race to begin). When I hit mile 16, I was feeling really good but noticed my legs were tired. This is mostly due to the fact that I was not in real marathon conditioning (something I will adjust for Delaware in December).

The finish was just as I planned it. Started to pick it up around 24 and was just about sprinting the last mile and a half. I passed no fewer than 20 people during that time. I really wanted to catch this jackass grandstanding for the crowd as he finished, but my legs were cramping and i couldn't turn them over anymore. But mentally, I couldn't have sprinted harder.

All in all, it was my second best marathon time and had some of the prettiest New England fall foliage I"ve seen (surrounded by 19th century farm houses). I have a bunch of half marathons in the next few weeks to get me ready for Delaware. Really would love to PR there.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Full Steam Ahead

I first want to thank everyone who supported me in my European adventures. I got a lot of feedback and to my complete surprise some people actually read this blog!

With Europe and the US World Championships in the rear view mirror, it is time to give form and structure to the next set of challenges. I've decided to get two more states crossed off the list this year in the marathon department. Up next is Hartfort CT and then Rehoboth Beach Delaware.

Hartford will literally be a fly in/fly out affair. I really am not expecting it to be a very good time. The plan is to slowly build mileage from then until now and finish under 3:15 or so. Then after that race are a BUNCH of half's i'll be entering. This should make me good and fast for Delaware (kind of a return to the past where super-friend Bryan Shields would take me on his family vacations in high school!)

I've also got one last international triathlon on the calendar. I completed one last weekend and I have finally convinced myself that triathlons in my life are here to stay. I just enjoy the hell out of them. i kind of always thought of myself someone who likes to run doing triathlons; i definitely feel the opposite is now true.

Lots of fun races to close out the year. Next year I'd really like to get a big destination marathon out of the way (aforementioned Bryan Shields needs to get us signed up over at Big Sur!) Or maybe St George, Seattle, or Alaska!

Here are the results for Vitoria.

I've already gone through a lot of this, but i will just say I am very happy with how the race went. I think it was the best outcome i could have hoped for. And i never walked!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Race

So the race went about as well as i could hope. The weather was on the cool side the whole day. The fan support was nothing short of astonishing. The ENTIRE city greeted the runners on the run. During the bike, most if not all the people of the tiny hamlets of the surrounding area were out cheering as well. And when I say cheer, I don't mean golf clapping. They were drinking and routy. They would get in you face and yell 'Vaya!' Most of the kids I encountered chanted 'USA! USA!' it was beyond my imagination for how amazing the event was. When we arrived in the city for the run, thousands of people were screaming. A make-shift stadium of screaming people, clowns, a jumbo-tron screen greeted us right of the bat. This was then followed by miles of screaming locals. As far as the competition, I did about as well as I could have hoped to. I exited the swim faster than I thought. I credit my good showing here to drafting smartly and lots of increased time in the water over the past 6 months. The bike was my weakest leg. Everyone in that race was a bike superstar. Compared to my competition, this is where I lost the most ground. But I maintained around 20 mph throughout and felt good. On the run, I took the first 20km fairly easy. My legs on the ancient stone surface were a little shaky. After I got my bearing, I turned it up for the last 10km. All in all, happy with my efforts and thrilled with the experience. What's next? Rest at least for a little while.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Just finished up the 2012 Long Distance World Championships! I'll blog about this later with pictures, but it was an amazing experience. Ttys.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Night before

Laying in my hotel room listening to a local band play what sounds like mariachi music. I wonder if they realize they are working during ciesta. Anyway, got my run, bike stuff checked in at T2 and T1 respectively. Weather right now is perfect. Tomorrow will be a little warmer and rainy. I have a feeling there will be some downpours. Oh well, just going to go with the goal of feeling good on the swim and bike and trying to run the majority of the run. Hope this band stops sometime in the next couple hours :-/

Friday, July 27, 2012


Coming up on the end of our 2nd full day in Spain. Yesterday went out to San Sebastian and had a blast. Really beautiful place. Today got into the water (about 72 degrees). It was pretty much the nicest lake I've been in. Now it's time to head down for the team USA picture and walk to opening ceremonies. Then we get some pasta! Word to the wise: if you go to Spain, make sure you eat before their all daylong break. Not too difficult to see why this coueconomic in an economic crisis. They work for about 4 hours per day (they don't seem to work that hard during those 48hours either btw ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Made it to Vitoria! Took a quick tour of Bilbao. Now it's time to settle I. And sleep. Up for 36 hours straight.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Heading to Europe tomorrow! Very excited. Still a lot of stuff to do. But my bike is just about packed, clothes are mostly packed, and just finishing up the details today.

FYI, I saw this on the TEAM USA site today:

Will the event be televised?
The event will be live streaming on the internet through the following website: You may also follow the competition on Facebook at or on Twitter @TriVitoria #TriVitoriaWChamp. Live results will be posted at

Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting Ready For Europe

I leave for Europe a week from tomorrow...To put this in context, I will now list out the countries I have visited in my life:

  1. The United States
  2. Canada
So this is a big deal for me. I really do not know what it is going to be like traveling to a foreign country, doing a race in a  foreign country, doing such a long race in a  foreign country. 

Leigh and I will be blogging here to document our European trip for those back home who are interested. Hopefully we'll get some pictures of the race up quickly along with some description of the events leading up to the race. 

As of right now, I think planning and prep are going well. My training is basically done except for some tune-up runs and swims. I plan on doing a 1 mile swim race this weekend but this is really to practice my swim start (that is, not panic and go out too fast). If I'm not ready at this point, I won't get more ready in the next 13 days.

So stay tuned for more blogging to come...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

OMG the Heat

Finished up my last big training exercise today. Ran 16.8 in what must have been the muggiest conditions i have ever seen. The temperature has been triple digits for weeks now. When I started running this morning (at 5:50AM) i bet the dew point was about 80. My feet were sweating before i started to run. My heart rate was about where i would expect, but i ran the SLOWEST time in about 7 years. I'm not too worried about it though. The conditions were absolutely extreme. Checking the weather in Vitoria, I should expect high in the 70's and dew points in the 40's. Perfect.

So now its taper time. My groin injury is about 80% better. Frankly not to worried about it. I was really just worried if it would get worse. Seems to have stabilized.

I may do a 1 or 2 mile swim race the week before the race. This will help give me a little last second swimming peace of mind. Will probably do a couple more small bricks and that's about it. Basically 2 weeks of work left, then on to Europe! Wow. Can't believe it is already time.

Friday, June 15, 2012

So i have sustained a groin injury. I *think* i sustained it during the IOS 100 a couple weeks ago. I kind of ignored the problem and kept powering on with training. This is never a good idea. Anyway, net net i have 6 weeks left and i need to take about a week off.

To be perfectly honest, I kind of need the break. I have been training 110% since March. I mean 3 swims/bikes/runs per week along with core and weights. So the tune up triathlon i had planned this weekend is off. But, there is no reason to panic (at least thats what my trainer told me).

I have 6 full weeks before the big event. And the groin isn't horrible right now. If i had to compete right now, i could definitely do it. I am primarily concerned that running/biking on this injury will gradually make everything worse. So, all in all, a week off now is INFINITELY better than a week off with 3 weeks left. There is plenty of wiggle room where if i need to take more drastic action (cortisone or the like) i have that open to me.

I need to also reconigze that I am completely ready for this race as of now anyway. i can complete a 2.5 mile swim especially with a wetsuit (looking wetsuit legal as of now). Also, the 88 mile ride i did in Washington gave me plenty of confidence to complete the 120KM in Spain. As for the 30KM run, i finished a 10 miler in Washington. And I am going to build up a little in this area.

So a little time off physically and mentally may do me some good. Here's to hoping its just a week though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Working Towards Spain

Just about three months until Spain! And the question I get over and over is, 'How is the training going?'

Ugh. Good question. The answer is 'Good...I think'. First and foremost, I am healthy right now. That is the most important factor while training for such a long race. As of today, I am feeling good <knock wood>.

I certainly have been taxing my body more and more. I did my longest brick yet which was a 60 X 9.5. The distance on the bike should be fine. In July, the race will be 75 miles. I had plenty of leg left during my brick and could definitely add another 15 on to it. Of course I haven't been able to train distance in the kind of heat we will be seeing in July in Spain. The IOS 100 will feature an 88 miler. I don't plan on going over 60 miles in a brick after that, but just increasing the runs from 9.4 up to 13.6 a month before the race.

My runs have been really good. I was very tired last weekend in a triathlon, and still pulled out a sub 41 10k without really trying. I have PR'd at nearly every distance in the past few months. The one running concern I have is quads (and maybe later in a race, calves). For quads, I have a running trick (butt-kicks) which seem to calm the cramps. As far as calves, I have nothing for that. If that happens, I will need to stop/stretch/pray. And a 30K after a 2.5 mile swim and 75 mile bike in sweltering heat, who knows how that will go.

Speaking of 2.5 mile swim, this is definitely my biggest anxiety. I had a very easy 1500 meters with a wetsuit in my last triathlon. It was the first of the year and just wanted to get comfortable. Time wasn't great, but it was certainly comfortable. No wetsuit in Spain :( That said, I have begun to increase my swim distances. I've done a couple of 1.5 mile swims in the pool. First one... sucked. Last one, was totally fine. Next up, 2 miler next week, then the IOS 100 has a 2miler in the water. This will likely be wetsuit legal and will be a good transition to getting the distance up for July. So long story short, 2.5 miles isn't as scary as it was.

So lots of good progress physically and mentally. And with 3 months left, I think I'm on track. With my goal being not to embarrass myself or country, I think I can get there.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Just got back from Austin, TX. While there, I visited my friend Tom and also ran in my 22nd marathon/state. The Livestrong Austin marathon will definitely go down as one of my favorites. So as not to bury the lead, I PR'd with a 3:03 finish!

The race went about as flawlessly as I could have hoped. The weather was a perfect 45 degrees at the start. I think the temperature only rose 3 to 5 degrees before I finished, so that was very ideal. I was never cold and never hot which almost never happens during a race. The course was actually pretty difficult. Austin is actually quite hilly. We went back and forth across the river valley a few times. My friend Tom explained that there are 3 major hilltops in Austin. Essentially the Capital, the University of Texas and another, smaller university were all built atop these hills. So since the finish was at the Capital (which came right after the University of Texas), it made for some interesting ups and downs.

The city is beautiful and the race was very well organized (except for there only being 1 safety pin in my packet). I went out with the game plan of sticking to 7:00 miles. This basically worked for me all day. Thanks to generous spectators towards the end, fruit helped power me past mile 22. I out-sprinted everyone at the finish and felt very happy with how I did.

What's next... hmm. Well, I have a half marathon in VA in a couple of weeks and a VERY busy duathlon/triathlon season that starts (gulp) next month. I am doing the IOC100 which features a 2 mile swim and 80 mile bike (a perfect setup for Spain in July). I will be ready and in my best shape for July (if i can stay healthy, focused, and on task). I expect some bumps in the road because training is as much about reacting as it is being proactive. More soon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Help Adam Help Team USA This July

The US Long Course National Triathlon team is headed to Vitoria, Spain this July 2012 to compete against the rest of the world in the International Long Distance Triathlon World Championships.

Help support Team USA athlete Adam Burke get there. Your sponsorship would go directly to helping this North Carolina athlete make it, with bike and gear in tow, to Spain this summer to represent North Carolina and the USA.

Premium level sponsors will get their corporate logo professionally screen-printed onto Adam’s official Team USA uniform and be represented in this international championship, with photos provided to you after the finish line is crossed!

$5000 - Premier Branding Position -'A','E':
Large Logo printed in a dominant position on Adam’s Team USA uniform; pre-proof and photos from Championship provided

$2500- Gold: Both Sides 'C':
Logo printed on both sides of Adam’s Team USA uniform; proof and photos from Championship provided

$1000 - Silver:Front Lower Left Leg 'D':
Small Logo printed on Adam’s team USA uniform; photos provided; proof and photos from Championship provided

*To Sponsor Adam at the above levels, Please Email

Individual Donatations:

Adam Burke is one of the top 10 athletes in his age group on the US Long Course National Triathlon team representing the United States this July in Spain.

Monday, January 2, 2012

34 Years Old Today

Today I went for a run. It was the same 8.4 mile course I have done 522 times over the past 10+ years. Each time I run this course, I do 2 loops. So i have done 1044 loops since the first time I did it.

Some days when you run you feel great. Some days when you run you don't want to take another step. There was nothing special about the way I felt today. There was nothing special except for the feeling that I had to prove something.

Adding another digit onto your age starts to get not so fun around 29. There is a feeling that you are starting to lose a step. There is a feeling of the coming inevitable decline. However today, I ran the fastest time I have ever run. I ran the fastest time for the course AND the fastest time for a loop. Today is ranked 1/523 (course) and 1/1046 (loops). The decline will come. But not today.