Monday, June 28, 2010

Wire to Wire in El Dorado

The El Dorado triathlon was new this year and though I had never been there I was pleasantly surprised with the isolated swim area and overall course design. I'd recommend it and I suspect this race will grow in popularity in the future. Right after the gun I found myself in uncharted waters so to speak by leading out the swim. Though it was a small race I've never led start to finish and found myself glancing behind me at the corners on the first lap to make sure people were actually following me. The swim course was admitted to be long by the director and as shown by the slow times but it was the best I ever felt in a swim and just cruised a long for the 3 laps. All my extra swimming may be paying off finally, though its tough to tell since I'll never know the total distance.
My goal for the rest of the race was just to go controlled and hold the lead which I successfully did with a sub hour ride and a little slower than I'd planned run but with the temps climbing to near 90, effort was relative.
My primary reason for doing this race was to get a better handle on my nutrition for olympic racing. I felt I succeeded at this and am looking forward to another in two weeks at the new mudwater distance at lake afton. With any luck I won't be coming out of the water so many minutes down to start my day there as has happened in the past.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

3rd overall at Kansas 70.3?...nope, but first Kansan.

If you have checked the preliminary results looking for my finish time you may have looked to far down the list. Right there in 3rd overall behind Chris Lieto (also apparently from KS?) and Andy Potts is an unknown age grouper...ME! As much as I'd like to tell you this actually happened, the truth is an accident in the timing will be the only way I am mentioned with these 2 greats for now. Or clock a 3.47 for that matter.
Following my finish I soon found out my chip had malfunctioned and I spent several minutes in the timing trailer figuring out where I had finished. Although they figured it out pretty quick, it has not been fixed in the preliminary results. I'm guessing they still need to add the start time of my wave. I actually finished similar to last year with a 4.23 which put me about 27th overall, 17th amateur, 6th age group and first Kansan out of about 2000 racers. A somewhat sub par performance considering my training leading up to the race showed I was capable of a sub 4.15. The great thing about sport however is the ONLY thing that matters is results, so I continue to wait for the breakout performance that I know I'm capable of at this race distance.
It was actually a beautiful day, calm and warm. The swim was wetsuit legal by .5 degrees at 77.5. This is a catch 22 in that you get the benefit of the wetsuit but at that temp you still get extremely warm by the end of the swim by being in it. My main goal in the swim was to stay out of trouble and not aggravate my injured shoulder. Well that and not swim slow. I was full length suit since thats all I have and was hot getting out of the water. On the bike it became evident how much when I looked down to see my HR at 180. For comparison of what that means last year my avg HR on the bike was around 160. This trend of high HR for moderate work rate continued and I knew would cause problems with speed later in the race if I couldn't get it under control.
We had a chance to practice our cycle cross skills mid race when someone spilled oil all over the road and we had to dismount and run through the ditch to avoid it and hop back on. The ride went well and I held back just a bit as I watched my HR still high (avg 166). Time was 2.25.
Out on the run it was as I feared as my HR was humming in the high 170s at a 6min pace right away. By comparison last year it was in the 150's as I cruised at a 5.30-40 pace in the early miles. I was overheating and I continued to try and stop the bleeding with ice and cold water with little success. Although we had 2 good weeks of warm weather leading up to the race to acclimate I think an entire month of training in Hawaii next year should do the trick :). I can tell my recovery will be quicker this year and will look forward to doing some local races as I prep for Branson 70.3. Thanks to my support crew and sponsors for doing everything they do.