Monday, May 17, 2010
Tempe International Triathlon Race Report
Slept OK, woke a few times during the night but was able to fall back asleep. Got up around 4:15am for coffee and a Cliff Bar. Packed up and left around 5:00am as Jamie was going to come down a bit closer to the start. I had some anxiety about this race in the weeks leading into it, it had a VERY competitive field at the front and I wanted to do well coming off my win at Las Palomas. Local pro Lewis Elliot was racing and would likely win. Then there were some very fast local AG'ers including Cam Hill, a short course 43 year old who was 5th to my 14th in the Nation in our AG in USAT rankings, a young 9:08 IMAZ'er named Kevin Taddino, and Brian Stover was up from Tuscon who was 3rd last year. It was a staked field and I felt if I could be in the top 5, it would be a good day and an improvement over my 8th place last year. Despite this, as I drove down to Tempe, I was very relaxed. I felt my condition was at a very high level and I was well prepared.
I found Cam relaxing near the swim start and I sat down with him to chat and catch-up. We were joking about the swim course as it has always been way too long and Cam is the best swimmer in the valley. I asked him if he slipped the RD a C-Note to make sure it was extra. :) He and i figured 1-2 would be a battle between Lewis and Kevin aned then he and I and a few others would be battling for the last podium spot. He's a great guy and it's so funny that 2 of the top M40-44 AG'ers in the Nation live within a few miles of eacthother. I'm just glad he doesn't race long course. :) We saw our wave was stagging and we enetered the water together. That was the last I saw of him. :)
Swim- 1500M, 23:28
It only took about 2:00 from when i enetered the water for the horn to sound. My good friend Matt was over on my left and I knew to keep and eye out for him as we usuaully exit the water close together, although today I never did see him again either. I swam a good, hard pace until I was undeer the mill Ave. bridge, about 150 meters or so, and then settles into a pace. The sun was in our eyes but high in the sky, but sighting was still tough due to glare. I choose an inside line as the turn buoy had looked close to the shore wall. I wwas all alone and was wondering if I had made a mistake as I could see a group to my left where I figure Matt was. It turns out I was a bit too far right but they were a bit too far left and we all converged on the turn marker together. Then I caught the back of the wave in front and navigating through them became the priority. I felt really good and started to pick up the pace as I neared the bridge again. I made the last turn and headed towards the stairs, moving to the far left to avoid the crowd trying to get out at the same spot. I hit the stairs and stood up and looked at my watch. Last year the swim was long by a lot and I had exited in 27:5x, this time I was very happy to see a more reasonable 22:4x. At least Cam wasn't too far ahead this time.
OK, I have to wown up to a little faux pas here. On Staurday after my ride, I did a few practice runs of getting into my shoes clipped in as I hadn't done it since last year. I was nice and smooth, no problems whatsover. Well, I hit the mount line, put my feet on top of the shoes and got out of the parking lot. Once on Rio Salado, I put my right foot in with no problem, kept pedeling, and then did the left. My foot slid in no problem, but when I reached down to tighten the strap, the strap came out of the little metal loop and I couldn't get it back through. I very quickly made the dcision to just leave it as opposed to stopping to fix it. I seemed to be able to pedal fine, in fact the more I pedaled in nice circles, the better, so I decided this would be a left leg drill for the race. So i did the race with my left shoe completely unstrapped.:)
Bike- 25 miles, 1:00:13
Once I had dealt with my shoe issue, I settled down and got to work. I was able to see Lewis and some other guys fromt he wave's ahead coming back from the far end of the course as I was headed out. I didn't see Cam but that just meant he was less than 4 min ahead. I felt very good, pushing a fast pace, using the turns for a brief recovery. The course wasn't nearly as crowded as last year, the wave starts and an early Sprint start really helped with the congestion. Riders were curteous and stayed right, so I was able to quickly move up throught the field, passing the majority of the M30-39, I love that. :) They always look a little pissed as I give them a gentle "on your left" and fly by. I had one bottle on the bike filled with water and 3 GU Roctane's mixed in for nutrition/hydration. It was getting warm, but not to bad.
By the second loop, it appeared I had put some time into Lewis when we passed again so I actually eased off just a touch. I wanted to have a good run and brought my HR down from 157 to 155. I still jumped up and hammered the hills, and coming out of the turns, though. I'm always amazed how few people in an Olympic attack hills and slow turns. I stood up on every climb up Curry the whole way. I amde sure to finsih off the water bottle before the end and I had no trouble getting out of my left shoe prior to the dismount, needless to say. :)
I made one obvious change to my T2 routine which i can't believe I haven't done before! Rack bike, helmet off, shoe's on, grab visor and race belt and GO! I used to stand still while putting on my visor and race belt! Duh, that was dumb. Amazing how little, obvious things can get missed even after 5 years of doint the sport. So this was nice and speedy.
Run- 6.2 miles, 37:08
Hit the south side of the lake and allowed my legs to fall into their race pace turnover. I feel so light in the ZOOT TT's, I love them, they make me feel fast. I Felt very good and steady and on the first lap and was feeling great. I was ingonring my HR but when I did look at it, it was suprising low relative to where it is when I train 10K stuff. I have come to the realization that I often train harder than I race sometimes. Need to work on that.
Anyway, I was motoring along when I notuiced a guy who was closing fast. He caught me on the south side of the lake at the start of the second lap. He went by and I glanced down at his calf. 41. Yikes, I hope he's in the relay, I thought! He was just running at another gear than I had, so I didn't respond and he slowly opened up a gap. Still feeling good about how I was running, I came around across the bridge and down to the finishing line. As soon as I crossed, I found the guy who passed me. Turn out he was in the AG race and I asked him who he was. "Troy Jacobson", he said. I said,"like THE Troy Jacobson?" LOL! Although I have never used Spinervals I always enjoy his articles in Triahlete Magazine. Super nice guy and although I swam faster and we were almost even on the bike, he ran a sub 36. The good news for me was that he finsihed 3rd in the OA and Cam crushed the course and was second OA, so I got the consolation "1st in AG although two guys from the AG kicked your ass" award. :) What KILLS me is that Kevin Taddonio, a 9:08 IMAZ'er, who I was sure would be battling Lewis for the win, was 4th and only beat my by :02!! DAMN!!!! I would have loved to beat him. Those :02 are going to bug me for sure. :)
Final Time- 2:02:24, 5th Overall out of 532, 1st in M40-44 out of 77
At the end of the day, despite missing out on 4th by :02, I believe this was a PR in the swim. I hit the stairs around 22:4x. I improved my bike time by :15 from last year but wasn't nearly as tired getting off into T2 and the run was better by 1:43. And yet, my coach and I can't help thinking I'm not racing hard enough. I feel like I train harder than I race sometimes. It wasn't a question of being too tired to push. I simply let my legs go to a point where I feel like I am running really strong and fast, but it does seem easier than when I am training and it clearly is a bit slower. In regards to being competitive, it's tough when I am racing alone. I'm flying by everyone and have no chance to run the race along with my competition due to my late wave starts. I am going to start trying to be in the elite wave whenever offered so I can for once actually feel like I am in a race against people as opposed to the clock and myself. I should have tried to go with Troy Jacobson when he went by, but he was really flying and at that point, I wasn't sure if he was relay or AG, but regardless, I should have responded. I have a very long course mentality when it comes to racing, it's all about "management" as opposed to "racing". That makes sense to me and I want to work on that.
Posted by Anonymous at 3:06 PM