The week leading up to the race was very light in terms of training following Jackson County the previous weekend. Plus, Rach and I made a quick and fun trip to San Diego for a wedding. The place and wedding were beautiful, I had a few too many beers, and danced like no one was watching into the wee hours. We returned home 36 hours later, and arrived home around 11:30pm the night before the race, and still had to pack my stuff up.
When I woke up race morning, I knew I wasn't about to have my best race of the year. I was wrecked from traveling, the beers, the dancing, no decent meal the day before, and lack of sleep. I immediately decided to just have some fun in my last race of the year, and be content with that.
Rach and I got to the race site around 6:30am, which provided enough time to get set up, go on a short ride, and get a 5 minute warm up swim in before my wave started at 7:30am. The race itself was very small, but there was a lot of "talent" in the long course race. There were 2 men's waves for the long course. Mine was the first to start, with about 25 people in the wave. I saw Pete, my training buddy, in the wave and decided to try and stick with him like I did for Jackson County.
|ME with the BEST sherpa ever!|
Our little wave started at 7:30 without any contact. The group began to spread out quickly, but I had to navigate my way around a few people in front of me because I didn't have enough time to get positioned in front before starting. I quickly saw Pete to my right, and began to try and pull onto the group in front of me to draft. I never really caught the group, but kept them within striking distance much of the first lap, although there were a few guys off the front.
|Swim start. Chaos.|
I really began fatiguing the back half of the second loop and could consciously feel my legs sinking, really wishing the swim was wetsuit legal. My feet began to cramp about 100 yards from shore. I tried to focus on a good body position and strong pull till I got to shore, again a few second behind Pete.
|This is what the pros call "exiting the water".|
Distance: 1500 meters
Pace: 1:37/100 yards
Age Group: 2/3
Once on shore, I just ran to my bike, threw on my aero helmet, and took off. I already had my shoes clipped in, and had an excellent transition spot! Always helpful!
AG: 1/3 (tie)
OA: 2/73 (tie)
The bike course consisted of four 5.2 mile loops around Lake Miola. The course itself has been compared to riding on a running track. It's flat, but has quite a few little turns. There was also a minor wind out of the South that was more annoying than problematic.
Out of transition, I was immediately passed by Pete and a short course racer. I tried to keep up with them, but I just couldn't. My legs were not feeling like riding hard, and my heart rate was really low, despite just getting done with a hard swim. I started drinking some water, wondering if I was dehydrated (probably from the weekend). After a half lap, Pete and the short course racer were out of sight. I actually couldn't see anyone, either in front of me or behind me.
|Getting da party started... Terrible position.|
|Better position, but not liking the pointed toe...|
|Ready to be done...|
Distance: 20.84 miles
Pace: 23.1 mph
I did a rolling dismount and kept my shoes clipped into my bike. I just hopped off, ran to my transition spot, took off the helmet and put on my shoes. GONE!
This run started out exactly like last week's awesome run: with Pete setting the pace. Unlike last week, I was unable to hold it for more than a half mile. I quickly began to slow down to something I could maintain for 5 miles, and let Pete go. I soon realized the run wasn't going to be fun, as I began heating up and my legs just didn't have much left.
The run was the same loop as the bike course, so it was nice and flat, but had absolutely no shade. I was hot. I was able to catch a few people in front of me, but I would have caught them if I was jogging. I kept running, and only walked to take in water at each aid station.
As the miles went on, my pace continued to drop. By the middle of mile 4, I was in full-on damage control mode, feeling like I was about to have some serious cramping in my quads and hamstrings. The sun was brutal, the humidity was worse, and the only thing that prevented me from walking the last mile was the final aid station on the course. Volunteers could tell I was struggling with the heat and they drenched me with ice water. My spirits quickly improved, and I was able to finish the race without walking (or dying).
|Black was a bad choice...|
Distance: 5.2 miles
Upon finishing, I quickly found Rach and went and sat in the water for a few minutes to get my body temperature down to a more realistic level. I found Pete, who beat me for the second week in a row (getting you next year...), had a few (more) beers, and watched the finishers.
All in all, I thought the race went about as well as I expected. I wasn't expecting an amazing race, and I didn't have one. But that's okay. I still had a great time at a really great local race. I was pumped about the AG podium, but I really didn't care too much about that. I would have podium'd by walking the entire run... But I am happy about placing in my Age Group in every race I did this year!
Well, my triathlon season is officially over. I definitely want to keep racing and training, but I feel like I need a mental and physical break. I also started my fall semester the next day (no coincidence), so my time will be put towards that. I'm going to take a few weeks off of anything structured, and will then begin half marathon training for a fall 13.1.
Be back for a season recap! I progressed A LOT!!!
Thanks for reading!