the above photo sums up this race perfectly. with it being a short 5k run, 17.6 mile bike, and 3k run, you pretty much go balls to the wall the entire time, and at the finish, you’re completely spent. while the weather was a bit chilly and rainy, it proved to be a good day and decent confidence booster coming off my bad race in Kansas last week.
run 1: a 5k is always a tough way to start a race. really, a stand alone 5k is one of the tougher races i run, and it’s really hard to get right. the lead group formed pretty quickly from the start, and i ran with them for about the first mile or so at around a 5:45min/mi pace. knowing this was a bit fast for my current training levels, i eased back to around a 5:55 pace, and held it pretty constant back to T1. total time heading into transition was 17:45, a time i was very pumped about. i had yet to go under 18 in a multisport 5k race ever, so seeing the time split on my watch was huge.
T1: coming into T1, i was in 7th place. but thanks to my primo spot in the transition area, my run shoes were off and i was out riding in 24 seconds flat. leaving transition, i was in 5th.
the bike: the course at this race is pretty flat, with a few long rollers and false flats along the way. my goal was to push 230 watts (3.6 watts/kg) the entire time, and knew this would be a tall order for me. still, that’s what these short races are all about – go until you blow. i passed two people early in the bike, and settled into a good pace by mile four only to be passed by some skinny dude like i was standing still; back to 4th place i went. with a guy who finished the run in the lead group hot on my rear wheel over the next eight or so miles, i pushed it a bit harder than i thought i could. knowing he was a faster runner then me, i decided i needed to get a gap on him or he’d run me down in the final leg. so, towards mile 14, i did just that. i’ve ridden the course a few times before, and figured i could crank up a small hill with a long decline i’d taken note of earlier. pushing nearly 330 watts (5.2 watts/kg!!!) for about three minutes, i was able to get about a twenty second lead on the guy in 5th behind me. i didn’t know if it’d be enough, and i was hoping the gamble of pushing the bike didn’t come back to haunt me in the run, but it was a risk i chose to take.
with a time of 45:53, i entered T2. average watts for the ride was 237 (3.73 watts/kg) with a 23.0mph average speed.
T2: my fastest transition time ever: 15 seconds.
run 2: i actually felt ok starting the run, and was pleased to find i was cruising around a 6:00min/mi pace early on. i held this for the first km, then went for broke. through a crazy side stitch, i pushed myself to a 10:43 final run split, running at an average 5:45min/mi pace. it was pain the entire way, and the result you saw in the photo above. 100% done with nothing left in the tank, wincing from the pain in my side.
total time: 1:14:59, good for 4th overall and 2nd in my age group. my team members Mark and Mike took 1st and 2nd, respectively, and the skinny dude who passed me on the bike went on to take 3rd. come to find out, he’s moving to the area, wants to join our triathlon club, and is also running Ironman WI this fall. so not bad, having the top four finishers all on the same club.
i now get to enjoy a long break in racing until the end of july, although that only means a long build period of training miles awaits. my body feels great though, and i’m ready for the challenge. i also recently downloaded a bunch of new podcasts, so that won’t hurt either.