Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Road to DuaWorld: Series Finale, Part 4

Hey All,

With much anticipation, this is the final chapter of the The Road to DuaWorlds mini series! Thank you all for bearing these LONG entries! Enjoy and I'll see you on the other side!

The Road to DuaWorlds, Series Finale Part 4

My road to DuaWorlds continued this past week with a few solid training sessions, followed by my last road race before I took off for Europe. Again, my emphasis was on fine-tuning my run fitness, in addition to maximizing my level of comfort in an aggressive bike pack.

I’m no stranger to pack riding, as I’ve included these types of rides in my overall training regimen since the beginning. This type of riding can be like a game of Chess: each rider having to predict another riders’ tactics in addition to using tactics of their own. In order to be in a position to both predict and execute, one must ride towards the front, always aware, putting out a solid effort the entire time. In draft-legal races, like DuaWorlds, there are constant attacks and attempted break-aways. At this race in particular, preventing this from happening is crucial because it’s only a 5k run, not a 10k off the bike. As such, I’ve become a student of group riding as of late, so there won’t be any surprises come Saturday.

On Wednesday, I had my last solid track session before heading to Europe. It was another track-trainer BRICK: 3k run @ sub-5:10 pace; 16 minute TT with 4x30 second pick-ups during the TT; off and run 1,500 at 5k race pace. I felt smooth and comfortable during the 3k, knocking off 74-76’s per lap. I jumped on the bike and was able to locate that rhythm, even despite the 4x30 second pickups which jacked my heart rate. I got off the bike and powered through the 1,500. I hit the tape at 4:29, more or less the pace I want to be hitting come DuaWorlds! This was yet another confidence building speed-work session, just ahead of my Huntington Beach 10k.

Saturday rolled around and I was ready for a race! My legs felt OK and I was looking forward to putting up a good 10k effort. The gun went off and once again, I found myself racing the lead biker along PCH. I hit the 5k turn-around point at 16:00 and wasn’t too pleased with that time. Heading back against traffic, I decided to put in some consistent surges to keep the pace honest. I hit the tape around 31:30, negative splitting the 5k’s – 16:00 to 15:30. I felt better after the race than I did prior and better after this race than I had after any of my previous four races! And if that wasn’t enough, I won a nice little $150 prize, which subsequently helped fund my taking out the in-laws for a pancake breakfast.

Looking back on the last 5 or so weeks of training, I can come away with a few thoughts. For one, I stuck to the program my coach and I created and I feel great. I feel ready to take on the world’s best duathletes and ready to even surprise of few! Two, reconnecting with regular road races has been quite beneficial, not only physically but also mentally. Physically because I feel my running is at a place where it used to be and where I want it to be going forward. Mentally because it is what I used to do and what I used to love by itself before triathlons. With adding the swimming and biking, I lost touch with my original passion, but having found it again over the last several weeks, I feel rejuvenated and back to my old self! On the 24th, I’m going to give them hell in Gijon and I dare any of them to step up!

Thanks for all the support, as usual. I will check in with you all once I touch down in Gijon! Talk soon.


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