After taking time away and running on trails for the last year or so i have had a burning desire to get out and swim, bike and run my way to a new level.
The last couple weekends I was able to jump into two local triathlons and it reminded me why I love racing so much. After doing so many races over the last few years I got into a train_to_train in 2011 and in so doing only raced a single triathlon in all of 2011. Boo! As I recently told my buddy Nick, “training is cool but racing is where the magic happens”. Races are what make the training meaningful and promotes an environment where we can explore, test and even expand our limits. Racing is FUN!
So on with it!
On Thanksgiving weekend, I raced the Turkey Tri in San Demis – A sprint tri and my first sprint tri since I did the Turkey Tri back in 2007. From that time I have only gone longer and longer so it was a good kick in the balls to get out and try to go FAST!
With little swimming and specific riding over the year I think the distances were just enough for me to make it without a fade(not like I had the next weekend at the Half Ironman) but it was really hard for me to push solid watts on the bike. Stuck in steady/mod-hard effort it was hard to shake it out and really sprint. This is exactly why I need to do more races like this. Good times and I will save the the details of the report but here is my log if you want to check it out.
Official times –
s11:33/.5mi, t1-1:38, b36:35/14mi, t2-:49, r28:10/4.5mi =1:18:47
Next up was the HITS Championship race in Palm Springs the following weekend. I raced the half ironman distance and wanted to race these a week apart to see if the sprint would be a good tune up. For the lack of specific training I think it was actually a big help and I held close to the same paces all day. The distance, however, particularly on the swim but also the bike really took its toll on me. I cracked at the swim heading out and then was so far in an anaerobic hole on the second lap that I swam across the rectangle spotting the wrong buoy before I realized I had to turn around. Happy to get out of the water I though I would make up time on the bike but my legs were just not ready for it yet. The flat course was much harder than expected and nothing like a mountain bike ride…ouch!
The HITS series has a long way to go if they want to be competitive with any other long course (or short for that matter) tri events group although they are already charging full price. That is all I will say about that… I was stoked to be able to race locally in December and get to race with my good buddies Rick, Keevin and have support from Monique. Living the dream!
This was a breakthrough race for me however because it had me racing a very different race strategy than I have in the past. I also had fitness from running all year but not specific fitness and there was a lot of learning in all of that! I found that there were many, many things I was doing right all along and this just confirmed that but I also learned to adapt and be ready to use the swim, bike or run as a strength. Again, my log blabber is over here if you want to take a look at more of my notes but this race got me really pumped to get out and RACE some triathlons next year and find out right where I was at in my form, mind and motivation.
Official times –
s-27:47/1.1mi, t1-2:05, b-2:18:00/56mi, t2-1:10, r-133:26/~14.(long)mi =4:22:29
Me and Paul Amey who took the overall win at the finish line. Hope to see you out there at the next one!