Finally In Full Swing
Since my last post in December 2018, I've been really working hard on a few aspects that really negatively impacted me last year. While I did have some success stories, won some money and was lucky enough to be on Pewag Racing Team again in 2019, I really left a lot out there. Namely, when it comes down to my run performance off the bike....sigh. While I do have to remind myself that I actually started this sport when I was 24 years old and this type of fitness takes a long time to master, it's pretty frustrating to have it come together 2 out of 5 times. I mean I really want this so, it's just a matter of time before it comes together 5 out of 5 times, that's a fact.
Since Dec I've been traveling a bit, but with huge focus on building 3-4 months of solid fitness so I can knock out the following events before the end of July:
- St. Anthony's Triathlon
- St. Geroge 70.3
- Chattanooga 70.3
- 70.3 Victoria
- IRONMAN Lake Placid
I've put in some heavy hours in Tenerife, Spain - California - Tucson - North Carolina and Clermont, Florida. That makes about 5 Camps or so in some pretty tough environment, surrounded by people who are better than me. I'll post a pretty nice photo montage below because honestly, I'm proud of these pictures and then we'll chat about St. Anthony's triathlon.
St. Anthony's Triathlon 2019
As always, this is my favorite race of the year despite being a race distance I don't really train for. For one, this race pays out huge prize money to the top 8 male/female finishers and the start line is nearly 1 mile from my house. This means I can really be proud to represent a race in my home town, one of the best organized and executed Olympic Distance races in the USA. Since I can probably race this thing in the dark despite having like 40+ turns makes it even more fun. Here is a brief race recap with some of the facts I think are fun and awesome.
This race tends to bring out some incredibly fast athletes and even when I was racing in the Age Group Category I was so amazed to see which professional athletes showed up. I've seen plenty of Olympians and even IRONMAN 140.6 and 70.3 World Champions. It's always a toss up as to who actually hits hard on race day since this is such a unique course but that always makes it more fun to watch. This years race still brought out most of the people who have beaten me in the past and I've never been more motivated to prove myself until this year. Why? Everything has seen an increase in power, speed and stamina...finally! I used to be a decent swimmer and strong biker but would tank on the run more times than not. I have struggled with some health issues along the way which complicated things but I think I've finally nailed down the issues and honeslty, I've been running a lot more...which would seem the obvious approach but it's not always that easy. They type and timing of "key" running has been incredible.
My Race Report
- Pre -Race / Swim - Waking up at home for this race was perfect and it only happens once per year, so I was amped! I plowed into 2 cups of white rice, 2 TBS maple syrup, 1 banana and 2 eggs around 3:45 am. This means I was finished with breakfast 3 hours before my race started, plenty of time for my food to pass beyond the stomach and top off everything I needed. In the future I'll drop the overall rice load since this is a shorter race but since I've been down in bodyweight I know I needed to eat a little more for power. Jackson Laundry and I rode our bike down to the race start while Karen parked the truck and prepared to babysit one of my friends kids while he raced. I think I had around 5 atheltes racing in total, most are actually from out of town!
The one down side to this race is that the venue has highly used in the weekends before our traithlon, so the grass has long since been convereted to dust and dirt. Your feet and nearly anything you bring into transition will be dirty, but that's just a small neg. T1 is located a few hundred meters from swim start so it's only a 5 minute walk and luckily for this year we had some solid weather and low wind. If the wind creates too much chop the swim is sometimes shortened. After my new Ekoi helmet was checked by the referee's and I spent a few moments in "clinch" mode since they were having a hard time understanding the foreign helmet license, I walked over to swim start where the sun was just peeking on the horizon.
The tide is a bit low but we were able to start in chest high water in a solid line. As the cannon went off I did something different from last year. I didn't CHARGE into the swim and really spike my HR causing a huge lull in effort around the 500m mark. I started hard but it was very controlled and out of the water I was only 1 minute down on the leaders. I did lose about 25-30 sec since the feet I was following falsly turned at a buoy but I think it was pretty minimal as I was able to pull everyone back on the bike who I could.
Bike Course -
We start on the cobbles, heart rate flaring as we try to build speed and slip our feet into our shoes which have been flattened out due to pedaling on top of them. A few hard turns and we're onto our first straight, an out an back. My goal was to push around 325 watts for at least the first half of the ride but I have to say my stomach was not feeling chipper. I was super bloated and burping up some salt water and honestly, 320 was a bit tough at that point but I was patient UNLIKE other years and held steady. I know I could pull back time in the corners since I usually stay aero and attack with speed rather than sitting up for safety. By the time we hit the winding part of the golf course I was in 6th place with a 45 sec gap to 4th and 5th. Sitting in 4th place was Jackson Laundry who I knew would ride a bit faster than me so I wasn't planning on catching him but the 5th place guy was riding way harder than he did years before so I couldn't pull them back. Additionally, on a very fast/hard right turn which was quite narrow, a police car decided to STOP and chat with his fellow officer, somehow forgetting I was coming up at 28mph! I had to stop, while yelling and finally he got the Eff out of the way! On the next long out and back section I saw I had at least 2 minutes on the next group of 5 behind me so I just held 310 to 315 and dealt with the pain. All in all I was very pleased with the ride but the legs were feeling pretty tight at that point and since I was still a bit bloated I was hoping to hold on to some leg speed.
RUN RUN RUN
- I've been hitting some VERY solid run intervals off the bike so I really wanted to hold 5:30min/mile for this 10k and honestly I was confident I could. In the game of fantasty vs reality I realized my legs were just not at that level so I was stuck running 5:40 / 5:45 pace after about 3 miles of burping up liquids. I decided to go sockless in a shoe which should 100% have socks...so I came away with some nasty blisters but I didn't want to waste any time in transition. Looking back, I had time for socks....damnit. All in all, I ran well enough to hold of the boys and finished 5th in my home town. Moving into 2019 this is really a strong boost in confidence and overall drive.
Tomorrow I race 70.3 St.George and I'm sure I'll have a lot more to say about that. Aslo, I've updated my 2019 Race Schedule! Check it out!