Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sullivan Triathlon - 1:15:08.90

AG Place 7/20

Overall Place 51/267

SwimRank 12
Time  8:21.35
Rate 1.8

Rank 7
Time 01:33.70

Rank 5
Time 38:15.80
Speed 21.0mph

Rank 14
Time 01:26.10

Rank 6
Time 25:31.95
Pace 8:14/M

Overall: 1:15:08.90

Last season, Sullivan was my first real outdoor triathlon.  I was certainly excited to be back.  The conditions were remarkably similar, it was cold and very windy with showers most of the day.   This year Sullivan would also be Lana's first Triathlon, and to be honest I was probably more excited for her to experience this type of race than I was to do it myself. 

The swim went as well as it could for me.  I was about a minute faster than last year, but I'm still an awful swimmer.  Whenever I get in a hurry my form gets bad, and sprint races are as hurried as it gets.

I didn't fall on my face, so I'm going to call T1 a success.  My T1 was SLOW compared to others in my AG.  I need to improve on this, but I'm not going to take time away from Swim/Bike/Run to do it now.  This year is all about a successful Ironman 70.3, and fast transitions aren't required for that goal. 

My bike split was good overall, but I was also about 10 Watts under my FTP for the majority of the race.  I was wanting to be at 100% on the bike course.  I'm not completely sure why I couldn't get going to be honest.  It may have been my recent cold, but I'm not sure.  Any speculation would be just that, at this point.  At any rate, I averaged 21 mph on the bike this time around.  Last year was 18 mph.  Thats a nice chunk of improvement.  The bike is my strongest sport, and my favorite, so it's nice to do well. 

When I got into T2 I got some very bad news.  Lana's bike was back in transition, and her running shoes were gone.  She didn't pass me on the bike, so something was wrong.  Maybe she got lost, or hurt, or who knows what...  I was really worried of course.  I considered my options, and it really came down to this.  I could quit and look for her or I could keep racing.  I couldn't think of a scenario that would result in her being happier/healthier/safer if I stopped racing, so I decided the best course of action was to run fast and hopefully see her at the finish line.  So, that's what I did.  I tried to push the worry out of my mind and began my run.

I was surprised how fast I was able to run after a 95% percent effort on the bike.  The problem with being new is that you often have no idea how to pace.  After about 400 meters I had my cadence up and my legs were feeling pretty strong.  I really didn't know if I could stick the pace I was at, or if I would blow up and jog the rest.  I just had to mentally shrug my shoulders and say "well, I guess we will see."  Once I made it past the second mile though, I knew I had it and even a little bit more.  I managed to run down someone else that appeared to be in my AG, and finished strongly. 

Overall, I finished 14 minutes and 4 seconds faster than last year.  Thats a great improvement on a sprint distance race.  I'm still a long way from the podium of course, but that isn't really the point anyway.

After the race I found out that Lana had a flat just a few miles into the bike, and I was very disappointed for her.  She'll be back though, and I'm looking forward to seeing her finish strong at Tri-Shark!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Time Trialing!

Just out for a ride!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tuesday's Time Trial

This is sort of a follow up to my 2009 post titled “Three miles in my head.”  Anyway, this is the play by play of the 20k time trial I rode Tuesday, 4/6/2010.

My 20K warm up ride showed me that the course was going to be hard on this particular night. We had 30 mph winds coming out of the south west with gusts up to 36 mph, making about 2 miles of the course directly into a headwind, and 6 miles an awful combination of a slight headwind and a very nasty cross wind. I ran with my disc cover in back but I dropped my SRAM S80 front in favor of my Shimano R500 training wheel. I think the deep wheel was just too dangerous in the crosswinds.

Mile 1: Decent start, but I’m struggling to get up to my FTP (220Ws at the time), maybe there was too much time between my warm up and the start? First turn done, headed due south, no problem making watts now, wow this wind is strong!

Mile 2-3: My breath is extremely ragged, so I know I’m anaerobic. I need to push hard now though, because the wind will be on my side on the back side of the course. I’ll spin out of my 50x12 by then and bleed off power, so I’ll stay anaerobic for a while.

Mile 4-6: I’ve passed a lot of riders, but I haven’t passed Lana yet. That’s great news; she’s riding very well for having only done three TTs. I struggled to hit 15 Mph my first year, but she is pushing 16s and 17s already. Her race season is going to be pretty amazing I think.

Mile 7: Well, it had to happen. For the first time this season I was passed at a time trial. I’m doing well, and I can be a fast cyclist, but it’s going to take some time to get my legs stronger. I’m not sure how fast I can be, but I think I might have some potential to be top third of the pack at local events.

Mile 9: I sure can’t wait for our post race smoothie. I must be burning some serious calories. I wish I had nutrition, but even if I did I wouldn’t break my pace to take it in on a 20K TT. I might need a little more pre race food.

Mile 10: Hurray for a tail wind. I must be going more than 30. It won’t last long though; this north bound stretch is short. I did this interview today for a local paper and the reporter said I was inspiring. I’ll never get used to the idea of being inspiring just because I fixed myself by putting down my fork and picking up some running shoes.

I’m pushing hard. I’ve been on the edge, probably mostly on the anaerobic side of that edge, of my AT for about 30 minutes now, and I only have a few miles left. My vision is a bit blurred and grey on the edges at the moment, so I know I’m about at my max HR.

There’s Lana. I shout “I love you lambda” as I pass. She shouts back “six ahead.” She’s giving me recon on my position. That’s awesome, I'm a lucky guy.

Mile 11: This is it. I know my chance at a PR isn’t there today, the wind was just too strong. I also know I’m going to average about 4 watts less than last week. I’m more disappointed about that, but 4 watts is a level of variability I can live with. What I can’t live with is leaving the course without feeling like I left every last ounce of energy here.

Mile 12: After red lining it for so long, I have to finish up hill into a 30 mph wind. The adrenalin takes over and I’m out of the saddle pushing as hard as I can. I can feel myself getting very nauseous, but that is going to have to wait until after the finish line. I can’t hear anything but the wind, I can just hardly see the people standing at the line, and I yell out “20” my finishing number as I cross the line.

I hold back the nausea and cool down, seeing my HR in the low 180s after a few minutes I know I was really pushing. I wasn’t first, and I didn’t even beat my own power output from last week, but I do know that I gave everything I had to give on this particular day. I can accept that. I still don’t know that I’m ok with being someone else’s inspiration, but if I have to be inspiring I want the strength of my commitment to bettering myself to be what inspires other.  I'm better every time I ride, if only in small imperceptible ways, and that's what I'm trying to prove to myself every time I'm out here, doing my thing.