Monday, May 24, 2010

Redemption after 2 years

American Triple T.

It is a stage race with a short sprint prologue on the first day, 2 olympics on the second days, and half ironman on the final day. I just finished it and I feeling pretty blasted but so HAPPY.

It was maybe the best race of my life. I have only had two races where I was absolutely over the moon. One was 2007 olympic collegiate nationals where I drag stripped a 1:56. I couldn't believe it and haven't replicated it until this weekend! FINALLY!!!!

The first day I got out to a good start in 6th place of 600 or so. I pushed pretty hard and, despite falling asleep in transition, I was in a good spot in an insanely competitive field with 3 pro triathletes and about 50 top tier age groupers. It was really a stellar tightly packed field.

Second day... I felt fresh and started out the olympic feeling pretty comfortable. The bike routes in these races are the most difficult routes I have done in my triathlon career. Very hilly. That being said, not many courses are hard so it doesn't say much. Either way it's hard for everyone. I did very well relative to the field on the bike and basically shut it down on the run just to be safe. I figured if I had anything left I could give it up later. I finished in 18th I think. I was pretty bummed to drop that much but it was a long wknd so I focused on getting in some food and trying to stay strong for the next race in 4 hours.
The 2nd olympic started with a bike, then jumped in the water, then the run. Same bike course and I dropped the hammer again. I actually swam out of my mind and finished 1.5 minutes faster than the last olympic despite my arms feeling like they were lead. I cruised the run like it was a half ironman and finished 11th and only faded about 2 minutes from the morning race. Moving on up.

Final Day-
I slept horribly. I felt like I was having hot flashes and woke up about 40 times. I ate 3 donuts in the middle of the night, desperately trying to get some sugar. Regardless, I felt alright when I woke up.
Race start was super cold but the swim was exceptional for me. A low 24 for 1.2 miles??! I was freaking out in t1 I was so pumped. On the bike in 25 minutes!!! It was a bit short but no more than 2 minutes so still a rock solid swim. I got on the bike with the top 5 guys despite starting 5 minutes behind them. ( all the races were TT starts) We pushed hard for the first lap and came through to the special needs station. It was the only aid on the course, so I figured everyone would stop. Wrong. No one stopped and I got dropped bad. I rode the second loop alone. Apparently I am the only one who drinks water in this race. As I got into t2 the boys were about 1-2 minutes up on me. It was an out and back course 2 times. Up hill out for 3.3 miles, down hill back. I just settled into a pace of around 7:00-7:20's. I walked a portion of every uphill to get myself under control as people were detonating all around me. The top 10 looked like a death march. I moved into 9th, then 8th, then 7,6,5. By mile 10 I was sitting in 5th and hunting. My quads were dead but walking and coke had saved me. I pushed hard and caught 4th place with a mile to go. I was jumping out of my skin as he had dominated all weekend. The last .5 miles was like the promised land. It was so gratifying. I beat my best case scenario by 40 seconds!

This race to me, was much more challenging than Ironman. The course and the intensity were unrivaled.

RESULT: I ran myself into 4th overall! It was a really competitive field and after sitting in about 11th going into the final day, I was hoping to just get into the top 10. But 4th?! Out of the question. My best friend told me I could get top 5 and I sort of shrugged it off, just focusing on finishing and getting around the course. I can't even express in words how happy I am to rip off a race like this.

It has been a long time but that makes it a lot sweeter.

Speaking of sweeter, I am going to be eating snickers bars all week. Pizza too. I can't wait to chill out because I have no regrets from this race. I am incredibly content right now.

Far out.


RobbyB said...

DUDE! Excellent work! Seems like holding back on the Oly runs worked in your favor. You're proof that racing smarter is racing faster.

Enjoy the week of sin.

Amanda said...

Nice work out there! I'm sure I was cheering for you at some point. It helped take my mind off the fact that i was climbing for the first 2.5 miles of each run loop. (i was on a coed team. we took second. so we weren't as fast as you, but we got awarded.)

what a fun fun weekend. i was literally on a high last night driving home. figured i could die happy after that.

Mary Lou said...

golden boy! you never cease to astound me! the home base is so very proud of you and not at all surprised. hard work does pay off, especially when you're lucky!

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