this morning’s race officially started my 2013 race season, and i’m pleased to report it started on a good note. my team member Mike and i headed to neenah yesterday afternoon, and we were happy to find our hotel was a two minute ride to the race site. this made getting down to the transition area a snap this morning. i placed my things, did my warmup, and found my way to the start line around 7:25.
i have to admit i was a bit uncertain how today would go. i’ve been dealing with a weird shin thing the past few weeks, and as a result haven’t done any speed work on the run for about ten days. my allergies also kicked into turbo mode on THU and i’ve had three rough nights of sleep thanks to that. still, the park we were starting at was beautiful, the sun was shining, and no matter the result, i was just happy to be there – it’s been a long winter as we all know.
the race was a run/bike/run format, starting with a 2 mile run. i registered for the elite wave, and while i had no illusions about competing for the win, i knew i could hold my own. i also knew it would help not having to run through hundreds of other runners. turns out i did the right thing – starting in the first group worked out perfectly. i felt good throughout the first run, and came into the transition area with 11:13.56 on the clock. since i was aiming for a sub-6:00/mile pace per run, i was very happy with the 5:37/mi pace i ran. transition 1 took 58 seconds, and i was glad to be out on the bike.
the course was pretty flat, but there were some false flats that made it a bit tougher than i thought it would be. there was also a bit of a wind coming back in, but overall it want well. i knew i was pushing just a bit harder than i should throughout, but figured the remaining 2 mile run was short enough to fight through on tired legs. while my garmin showed i averaged 22.5mph @ 226 watts (3.67 watts/kg), the race site shows a total bike time of 49:54.25 with an average speed of 21.6mph. either way, i was also happy with this split having set a goal of a 225 watt average for the ride. (if you have no idea what i’m chatting about with the watts, i’ll fill you in: my bike has a special crank that calculates how many watts of energy i’m producing with each pedal stroke, and it’s considered the most accurate way to monitor your effort while riding. it takes out all variables like wind, elevation, how tired your body is, etc, and gives you a pure output number of how hard you are riding. make sense? good – so now you’re in the know.)
transition 2 took a bit longer than it should have due to the fact i forgot to get out of my shoes riding up to the dismount line, but i still managed to be off the bike and out on the bike course in 40 seconds flat. and that’s when the pain started.
the first three minutes of run 2, i couldn’t feel my legs, and had no idea how my body was making them go. the burn from the lactic acid was as bad as it gets, and worse yet, my watch was showing a ~6:30/mi. yikes. around minute four, i started to feel my stride coming back, and was able to pick up the pace to around a 6:15/mi for the next few minutes, which was enough to catch the guy in front of me. from there, i hung on his feet until the last corner were we both made like hell for the finish. i ran the last 400 meters at around a 5:45/mi pace which was enough to get me a 19th place overall out of 485 athletes.
total time: 1:15:17.30 (11:14 run 1 / :58 t1 / 49:54 bike / :40 t2 / 12:30 run 2). so while i missed a sub 12 minute final run by 30 seconds, i’m still really happy with how the day went. i’m also super pumped for my tri club members mike and dave – mike placed 5th overall, and dave passed him late in the run to finish 4th. well done guys!
my next race is a triathlon in a few weeks in green bay. it’s an open water swim, and it’s going to be all kinds of freezing during the swim, but i’m still really looking forward to it. for sure.