70F / 21C
|Total Time = 2h 06m 14s
Overall Rank = 9/350
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 2/31
I kind of snuck this race in as a confidence booster a little while after I planned my season. I’ve been concentrating so much on HIM distance, that an olympic here and there can really help keep the motivation rolling. Being a local race, of course I had my sights on winning my AG and finishing well overall. But, as most know, in the age group ranks because of the vastly different levels of abilities, it really is more a function of who shows up rather than how well you execute your race. So in reality, I was just trying to come back from my Boise meltdown with a well executed and well thought out race.
I’ve really been watching my nutrition and hydration over the past few weeks since Boise and I can honestly say it has made a nice difference. Not so much what I eat but when I eat and how often I’m drinking. Training has been pretty stout these days and with the weather getting hotter and workouts getting more frequent, longer and more intense, each day needs to be approached carefully…and I’ve been really diligent in paying attention to what my body needs. My workouts have improved because of this. Recovery has also improved….
Karin (who did the sprint distance) and I headed up to the race venue early to get in….wait for it….A WARM UP! ;) ……..Something I literally have never done.
For the first time, I can honestly fill out this “warm up” section of my race report….because I actually did a warm up. As I mentioned, Karin and I arrived early and decided to ride the course for 30 minutes and do some pick ups along the way. Get the legs moving and ready to work right when we got on the bike during the race. Not take 15 minutes warming up during the race….which is obviously pretty stupid.
Ride went great and we returned to the car, grabbed our stuff and headed down to Transition. Setting up took a matter of seconds and we milled around and talked to everyone. I love local races because there are so many people you know to hang out with and talk to.
After getting all set up, we headed down to the water for a little swim. Karin didn’t go off for an hour after me, so she waited a bit to get in. I got in a swam a little more than I usually do. The start was delayed just a bit. I could already tell 1, my arms felt good and 2, my race wetsuit was finally starting to break in and become a little more forgiving.
Got out, chatted with some folks and headed to the line. My wave was 30-39 so a few people not in my division.
- 21m 58s
- 1500 meters
- 01m 28s / 100 meters
|00:21:58 | 1500 meters | 01m 28s / 100meters|
|Course:||Two lap swim course in the bay of Ventura Harbor. You did have to get out, run around a mat and re enter.|
|Water temp:||64F / 18C|
This race always attracts some good swimmers. Not that it is a swimmers race or anything, I just think the area somewhat lends itself to swimmers. Whatever, I don’t know really. Anyhoo, gun went off and we headed in. Felt really good and smooth but was getting gaped by a sizable group right off the bat. It was so early however that I wasn’t about to get into it just yet. Plus, the speed was not something I could hang with anyway. I found my group of about 3-4 guys and we seemed to be going back and forth. Upon exiting the first lap, I was in 7th (in my wave) and about :50 seconds back from the leader (split courtesy of Karin). Ok, let’s just swim another solid lap. I headed back in and felt good. Arms were not fatiguing and breathing was slow and steady. I passed one guy in my wave and this dude decided he was just gonna sit on my feet. Ugh, so annoying. Tap, tap, tap, tap….DUDE! Just tried to put it out of my mind.
I seemed to sight a bit better the second lap and I think I swam a little more of a direct line to the turn buoys. Exited the water and felt good about everything so far. But I normally exit the water feeling good…so didn’t now how things were going to pan out just yet. Turns out I was in 4th at this point.
Nothing….really solid swim.
- 01m 12s
Need work here…lost 20 seconds to the eventual winner. Unacceptable.
Need to work on getting my suit off quicker….and perhaps running quicker through transition.
- 1h 03m 1s
- 25.6 miles
- 24.36 mile/hr
|01:03:01 | 25.6 miles | 24.36 mile/hr|
|Course:||I put in actual course distance of 25.6 Miles although it is billed as a 40k.|
This course is pretty dang flat. Which, can lead to its own challenges. ie no resting…constant pedaling. My goal was to ride hard. I can usually tell what that means when I get on the bike. I don’t race with a goal wattage in Oly distance races. I just go hard but not so hard that my legs start to get fatigued in anyway. Normally, that works out to right around 85% of FTP. In this particular case, it was about 86-87%. Really solid for me.
It’s a three lap loop that we have to do. First half of the first lap I was behind the female elite winner Adrienne Hengels and I must say, she was on the gas. I thought about passing a few times but it would have taken a big effort to do so. I was happy to sit in and stick to my plan. About 2/3’s through the first lap, I was passed by a younger athlete from my wave (not in my division) and Adrienne had backed off just enough to make a pass warranted. I got around her and then stuck behind my new pace maker…..oh and I shouldn’t have to write this and I hate it when people do but some of you are pessimists and I have to qualify, yes, I was riding at a legal distance…..
At this point, heading on to the last lap, I really felt good. I was actually taking down fluids (not normal for me in a Oly) and felt really solid. I decided to make an effort on the last lap to pass the guy in front of me and put in a nice effort to T2.
Came off the bike with a great split and ready to run.
- 00m 50s
Again….lost another 9 seconds to the winner…that’s 29 seconds in transitions and I lost the race by 30 seconds…hhhmmmm.
I can’t get any simpler in T2…I just gotta hustle more.
- 39m 11s
- 6.2 miles
- 06m 24s min/mile
|00:39:11 | 06.2 miles | 06m 24s min/mile|
|Course:||Flat out and back….|
|Keeping cool||Average||Drinking||Just right|
Coming into T2 and I saw a bike….ugh. I knew that Karl Schultz often does this race and we are the same age. He’s a fantastic athlete but someone I feel I can compete with. He’s a fantastic swimmer and knew, if he was there, he would be ahead of me because I didn’t pass anyone in my AG during the bike.
My goal here was to run fast. Just head out at a hard, quick turnover and see what I could hold. I didn’t peg any pace. I would run through the first mile and just see what it was. I’ve been running a lot and a lot of my fitness is new and untested. This would be my first real test. Boise was suppose to be, but we all know what happened there. Not this time…this time I was ready to do my best, whatever that meant.
There were several people in front of me that I knew I was gaining on. Problem was that we were jumbled up now with athletes from the sprint race. I could see up ahead though a tall figure with silver hair and a recognizable kit….Karl…ok, here we go.
You have to understand my abilities…I’ve NEVER run anyone down. My races consist of swim and bike fast and hold on. But not this time. I’ve actually worked very hard on my run the past 6 months and I was ready to see what I could do. In the first mile, I definitely made up some time. I ran through at 6:17 and this was about what I thought it was going to be…so my brain was jiving with my body. Good. No negative thoughts. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to hold the pace. Because this was a new pace for me, it really felt fast. I know it’s not “that” fast….but it sure felt fast. Especially for a 10k.
Made the only turn on the course south and it looked like I had to make up about 30-40 seconds to take the lead. I was actually still chasing a group at this point but all but one, Karl, made the turn at the 5k sprint turn around and we were on our own. Miles 2-3 clicked off both at low 6:20’s. I slowed a TINY bit but was still basically running the same pace. Problem though, I wasn’t making up time. The gap was the same. So at the turn around I saw that it was indeed Karl and that I had about 30 seconds to make up. I had two choices….one, run as hard as I could to close the gap or, stay the course and see if the gap came down. #1 sounded like a horrible idea because what the hell do I do when I close the gap? I was on the limit as it was. Yeah, I could probably muster 1-2 minutes of super hard running and catch up but then what? Walk? So there was nothing left to do. I had to stay the course, solidify my current position and hope he faltered.
Well, he didn’t. I was running as hard as I could and it wasn’t going to be enough today. The good news, pace didn’t slip and I wound up averaging 6:23’s. Not bad. My goal this year is to get my 10k Oly Tri run down to 6:00 miles. Tall order but a cool benchmark.
Actually did a small jog for a warm down. I figured I felt so good after the race that a short jog might keep everything feeling good for the next day. Well, I feel good the next day so #1 it either worked or #2 I just felt good in the first place and the warm down jog was a waste of time…lol….never know.
I would have to objectively say that this was my best race to date. Everything went well, I paced well and I raced hard on the run. I out split the leader, which NEVER happens and really forced him to go hard till the end. A real race!
Now, transitions. I mentioned that I lost 29 seconds in transitions and lost the race by 30 seconds….believe you me, that will never happen again. Not in anything shorter than a Half.
What a great confidence boost heading into Vineman. With my Vegas slot already obtained, I’ll be going there to just try and put together a solid race and bring some confidence in that distance to Vegas. I’ve already got a lot of good ideas on what I’ll do different than Boise.
On a side note, Karin raced the sprint, first race since Kona last year and finished 1st in her age group and second overall with a jogging run. Look for her to light up the second half of the season as she continues to get back in race shape and build her run.
Special thanks to all my sponsors Wattie Ink, blueseventy, KSwiss, Reynolds Wheels, Scott Bikes, ISM Saddles, Power Bar, Kask Helmets, FuelBelt, 454 Tattoo and Speedfil. Corporate Sponsors 101 Pipe & Casing, Kurt Orban Partners, and Wins Wheels.
My coach, Brian Stover, from Accelerate 3.
My body mechanic, Blair Ferguson, from Ventura Training and Athletics.
My girlfriend, Karin…who I learn from everyday and every race. She is the reason I took the time to warm up for this race and it really helped.
Next up, Vineman 70.3