Monday, May 28, 2012

Victoria's Du and Woodstock Race Reports

I thought I would give you guys a little update on where I am in life. Since the last time I posted I have been super busy training, racing, and working in the shop. My training schedule has been all over the place this month with the only group swim being 8:45pm-9:45pm and trying to fit in other workouts as well. A good example is Tuesdays where I work from 10am-6pm, hit the track from 6:30 to about 8 and then quickly grab some food and get to the pool for 8:45. I have an awesome group to work with though, and if they are doing it with me I can't complain to much. As for races I have done 2 since I last updated,  Victoria's Duathlon and  MultiSport Canada Recharge With Milk Woodstock Triathlon.

I will start with Victoria's Du. Duathlons hurt, the end!

Now Woodstock. This was my 3rd time doing this race, and I like to use it as a guide to check early season fitness after Knoxville. Each year I have moved up the finishing order and was hoping to be atop the podium this year. I knew it was a possibility to win the race, but you never know who is going to show up at local races and I recognized a couple names on the start list. For a condensed race report: I managed to get the w in a time of 1:24:11, almost 6 minutes faster than last year. For the long version continue reading.

The swim - 750m 10:49 6th overall (about a minute faster than last year)

After feeling like crap in most of my swim workouts leading up to the race I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I was feeling good during the warm up. I was as cool as a cucumber and was not nervous at all. The gun went off, and I managed to get on some fast feet. At one point I went to breathe and noticed I was actually ahead of Angela. I lost the feet of the group I was with at the first buoy and swam solo during the back stretch. Going around the second buoy someone started tickling my toes so I eased off, let him pass, and got on his feet. Turned out the guy tickling my toes was Mark Linseman, a strong Ontrario triathlete. We swam together the rest of the way home.

The bike - 30k 47:09 5th overall (almost 4 minutes faster than last year)

After putting the hammer down in transition and making up some time on the people ahead of me we were off on the bike. Mark took off fast and I couldn't hold on. I was feeling 1000x better than at Victoria's du, and it was showing in my numbers. I wasn't sure if Mark was a fast runner because at the time I had no clue who he was (I know peoples names from studying results but not faces) so I tried to keep him in site as long as possible. At the turn around I estimated he has about a minute on me. After the turn around I was passed by two more guys and lost site of Mark. I was getting a bit nervous at this point that I was not going to be able to close the gap on the run.

The run - 7.5k 25:02 1st overall (almost a minute faster than last year)

I was confident that my run would be faster than last years after having some good workouts with the TPT/MultiSport Zone crew and seeing some positive test results on Wednesday, but I was not sure if I was going to be able to close a gap that had grown to about 1:45. Woodstock is a tough course to run people down because it is not an out and back and when you are in the trails it is hard to see the people ahead. I came out of transition hard knowing I had to run fast and made my way into second by the 1km mark and could see first at the other side of the dam. The next 5k was the most painful 5k of my life and numerous I wanted to slow down, but I was not going to be second in another race. At around 3k I caught another glimpse of the lead and the gap had come down quite a bit. This was a great boost, that helped push through those mental lapses. At around 6k I finally caught him and moved to the lead. I wasn't sure if he had been saving it up for the final kick so I eased off a bit so I could recover a bit before a final move. The road kicks up just before the damn, and I knew this was where I was going to make my move. With a little surge a gap had opened, and now I was running scared for the finish hoping my legs didn't blow up. Coming into the final stretch I gave a quick glance behind me and the realization of finally winning a race set in. It was awesome to come down the home stretch with my family and grandparents there watching.

Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer me on. Thanks to Cliff for getting me ready. MultiSport Zone, Franklin Terrazzo, and Terrazzo and Marble Supply Companies for all their support, without them I would not be able to train and race as much as I do with such incredible gear. Congrats to everyone else that raced this weekend, the MultiSport Zone had some awesome results with Derek Quick winning the sprint Saturday, Angela winning the women's race on Sunday, and so many other overall podiums and age group podiums that I can't even list them all.

Next up will be some down time to refocus on training and get some mileage in. The swim and bike volumes are going to go back up as I still need to see some improvements there. I am still deciding if I want to attempt some draft legal races this summer or stick to the non-draft. Only time will tell. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rev3 Knoxville - Race Report

Rev3 Knoxville was almost a week ago now, and I figured it was time to give my thoughts on the race. The race was extremely well run by the Rev3 crew, and even with a few hiccups everything was amazing. The city of Knoxville is an amazing city with an amazing bike course, a nice run, and well a river.

I traveled down to Knoxville on Thursday to allow my legs to recover from the 9 hour drive and give myself plenty of time to relax. Friday I biked the course to see if anything had changed and was confident I would have a good bike come Sunday. Saturday went for a little run and swim but was not feeling as good as Friday. I figured it was better to be tired the day before the race then the day of the race so I just shook it off and moved on. Saturday afternoon was the first big hit of nerves. I was sitting in the Pro tent for out meeting and when I looked around and saw all the talent there I was like HOLY F@*! I have to race these guys.

Race Day!!
Woke up nice and early Sunday, and I was feeling ready to go. Arrived at transition around 5:20; I like being early to races as it settles my nerves. Once I start warming up I forget about everything else and get into my zone.

The Swim.
This was the next and last time the nerves would kick. Sitting on the start line I look to my left and right. I tell myself I belong here, and if I get dropped on the swim I will catch some guys later. Sure enough I was only in the pack for about 50m. Josh estimated they went through the first 200m in about 2:10!!!!!. I still managed to swim 4 minutes faster than last year and was close enough I actually passed 2 guys in transition.

The Bike.
The Knoxville bike course is amazing. There is not really a flat spot on the course, but not to hilly, with some awesome descents. I was able to keep another guy in site until the final climb, and once again caught him in transition again.

The Run.
This is where I was really hoping to make my move. Even though I was injured a bit during the winter I had some excellent workouts leading up and ran a 25s pb in the 5k in one of my tune up races. Knoxville has a tough run course as it is slightly down hill on the way out and then up hill on the way back with a net elevation gain. I came out of transition with one other guy, who I raced last year here, with a couple guys slightly ahead. About 100m into the run my calves started to tighten up, but with a couple guys up the road I tried to push through. We caught our first guy about a kilometer in as he started to walk and was hunched over as we passed. Did I mention it was in the mid 80s and super humid? The heat definitely took some victims on this day. I know I could feel it as I have maybe only trained in warmish conditions a handful of times. About 2k in I caught Josh. He was having a rough day but watch out for him in his upcoming 70.3s. From then on the run was pretty boring. My calves were in balls and I wanted to walk so bad.

In the end this was a big eye opener for me, and it is time to get back to training so next time I will be more competitive. I did manage to finish about 4:30 faster than I did last year so I am moving in the right direction. Next up is the Woodstock Triathlon.

I have to thank all my sponsors, MultiSport-Zone, Franklin Terrazzo, Terrazzo Marble Supply, and coaches, Cliff from Transition Point Training and Ken Fitzpatrick of the London Silver Dolphins.