Monday, June 15, 2009

Shout out from San Diego!

Greeting from "sunny" San Diego!! Now it really is "sunny" as the last couple of weeks have been rather gloomy. I wanted to check in with all you as I have been rather entangled in my day-to-day life/training . I've really enjoyed reading up on some of your races and accomplishments and I finally had a result I was happy with and wanted to share that with all of you.

So just a quick run through of my season thus far:
Super Seal Olympic Distance: 3/29/09- This was my first race of the season and was a test of my fitness. The course is very flat and fast. The only thing that can be a factor is you'll get a head wind half of the bike, but it wasn't too bad this year. In addition the first mile of the run has a soft-sand section and will definitely put your legs to the test. I ended up third pro at the end of the day with a time of 1:56.

St. Athony's: 4/26/09-I was really looking forward to this race for lots of reason but most of all the competition that was going to test me. I competed in the Elite Amateur wave and I though I was very well prepared for all aspects of this race, except when the swim was canceled for all Age groupers. I was sooo bummed when they made the announcement, but then thought well certainly they'll make it a duathlon (run/bike/run). Apparently, the logistics were an obstacle and they simply cut the swim and made it a bike/run, not exactly playing to my favor. So I tried to remain positive and gave it a go on the bike and closed with a 33:50 10k. I am still improving on the bike so my final result was not what I had hoped. There were so many talented cyclists out there.

Wildflower Olympic Dist.: 5/3/09-I was really anxious for this race as last year I finished well (2:06/2nd in AG/6th O.A.). So I was hoping to come back and improve my result, but the back-to-back races proved difficult for me and I just didn't have it. I ended up 7th or 8th overall with a 2:10. I struggled throughout the entire race.

Encinitas Sprint Tri: 5/17/09-I don't know about you, but the sprint triathlons are much more difficult for me than any other distance. The speed required to do well is an intensity I can rarely reach in a typical training week, especially when you're training for 70.3s. I was the returning champ and I knew I was going to have to be much better than last year. In these sprints you need to get some points of separation and I knew that with a good swim I might be able to create the cushion I would need on the bike. But unfortunately, the conditions were completely flat with no surf. Once I saw the conditions, I knew there wasn't going to be much of an opportunity to separate from the field. From the gun the competition was tough. I was first to the buoy by a ways, but a guy was catching up and ended up drafting right up to the surf zone. I was looking back for something resembling a wave, but I came up empty and had to swim in the rest of the way coming out of the water 2nd. Once the bike started I was pushing but there were some strong cyclists in the field. Five guys gapped me half way through this short bike and I just kept trying to hold on until the run. The top guys had minutes on me going into the short 5k run. So I closed the best could with a 16:53 5k and ended up 5th overall pro. It was a tough race, but under the circumstances I was happy with my result.

Biose 70.3: 6/13/09 This race was the race I was waiting for. I have been putting in the mileage and I felt ready for this race. The weather was a bit volatile as one minute it was warm and 75degrees and there was wind followed by lots of rain. And so it went the entire race. The race had a unique 2pm start, which was more difficult to manage than I expected. Planning meals was a detail I don't usually deal with when you race first thing in the morning. Anyway, it was warm when we started. But half way through the swim, the wind started and you could feel it pushing so it was difficult staying on the buoys. I was first in my wave out of the water 27:11, a little slow but I swear it was longer. :) The bike course starts with a very fun descent for 2-3 mi and climbs a little hill and flattens out for a good 10 mi. This is when the first downpour happened. Maybe people in other parts of the country are used to this, but in S.D. we don't get weather like this and it was literally pouring out of a faucet on top of us. At first it was fun, but by the end of the bike I was taxed and couldn't wait for the wind/rain/bike to stop. I have been working on my bike and was very happy with how I performed-2:27. A huge improvement for me. The run provided no respite from the rain. At least it wasn't hot, right? I decided not to wear a watch this race and wanted to go with how I felt, go with the "feel." Well the first 3 miles "felt" way too fast and by mile eight I was "feeling" like I was going to crash. I managed to hold on with a 1:20 half-marathon. Next time, I'm wearing my suunto. This being my 2nd 70.3 I was happy with my resullt of 4:17. I ended up the 3rd amateur overall, 2nd in my AG 30-34, 22nd overall.

This update is a little longer than I intended, I'll try to keep you all up to date in a more concise manner next time. I hope your training is progressing and everyone continues to improve. It's good to hear from all of you now and again. Go Zoot!

Dave Valencia

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