Tuesday, October 2, 2012

6th at Galveston, 12th at Herbalife!

5i50 Galveston—

I traveled with teammate Chris Foster to Galveston Island, Texas for the first opportunity to earn points towards the 5i50 Race series for 2013. Upon arrival, the conditions were hot and windy but that was to be expected for this location. Temperatures were in the 90’s and the wind was UP, but we anticipated both to be a bit subdued at race time (7:30am).

The water temp was 83 so no wetsuits, but I was able to wear my Xterra Velocity speedsuit, which helped tremendously. It was an in-water start of a small but quality Pro field. I was in a good position through the first half of the swim but started to fall off the pace. Perhaps the water temp got to me, but I didn’t have that UMPH in the second half. Out of the water in 8th, 19:28.

Out of T1 I put one guy in my rear view for good. On the bike it took a bit to get going on this out-and-back, FLAT course. I was also trying, for the first time, a bottle mounted between my aero-bars. I rather liked that! My new aero position is pretty extreme, at least for what I’m used to, so my shoulders and neck were screaming – I was frequently having to shake out my arms. I stayed in contention on the bike in 7th, 59:02.

I posted the fastest T2 split on the day and headed out on the run ready to reel some guys in. Also for the first time, I chose to run with a visor which I figured would keep the sun out of my face and thus help keep my core temp down as the outside air temp sky-rocketed. That was a mistake. My visor was lined with a fleece-like material and I felt constricted and over-heated the WHOLE time. I couldn’t abandon the visor either or else I would have received a stand-down, 1-minute penalty. I pressed on as best I could, catching one guy with a few miles to go, and finished 6th, 1:55:09.

Herbalife Triathlon—

Back-to-back race weekends can be good and bad. Good, because you can keep that racing-momentum going. Bad, if you’ve sustained “battle injuries” from the previous race. The water in Galveston was particularly salty and despite the copious amounts of body glide administered to my neck, I chaffed up probably about as bad as I’ve ever done in my career. My feet were also pretty cut up, I guess in-part due to not having raced in 7 weeks and in-part due to all the liquids that flowed into my shoes during the race, thereby increasing the friction! Needless to say, these “battle injuries” weren’t going to heal in time and I was just going to have to live with it! This tri was conveniently in my hometown and I was happy about waking up in my own bed on race morning. At the same time, though, I wasn’t my usual nervous, edgy self the day before the race and my overwhelming nonchalance unnerved me. I also slept well the night before the race…weird…

The wetsuit swim took place in BIG surf down at Venice beach. I positioned well through the surf and thought I had done so again after the first turn buoy, but I soon realized that I felt too comfortable in my swim pack, which meant I wasn’t going fast enough! In an effort to distance myself from that pack, I got a bit off course, due to the large swell which hindered my vision of the buoys. Instead of swimming a straight line to the next turn buoy, it ended up being more like a crescent-shaped route which added more swimming distance..ugh. Coming in, that pack of 4 or 5 guys was able to hang with me. At the last minute I was able to catch the white water of a LARGE wave and rode it into shore, putting 10 seconds between myself and the rest of the group. I hit the beach, 16th in 21:41.

I had the fastest T1 time on the day and hit Venice Blvd. ready to roll. Maybe because I lived here, but I hit a rhythm on my bike WAY earlier than I normally do. I started eating up the road and I was also surprisingly comfortable in my position. I had raised the sit a smidge and that seemed to help! All encouraging, I kept pace and towards the end of the ride I was able to catch training partner, Mauro Cavanha, which was a surprise for me. He’s a strong biker! I was really pleased with my bike leg, 15th 59:58.

Out of T2, I noticed another training partner, Damon Barnett just up the road ahead of me and that too was encouraging because he had a great swim and a good bike and I was surprised to see him so close! I set out to reel him in, turned onto Grand Ave. and saw the behemoth of a hill that I would have to tackle TWICE! Grand Ave was a straight road that went up and it’s summit seemed to get lost in the clouds…for dramatic purposes ;-). It was basically up and down, up and down and you were done. The first time wasn’t bad. The second time? SUCKED. I caught Damon after the first lap and was able to reel in a couple more, but it was painful. I hit the tape, 12th 1:55:23.

The Pro field this past weekend was the biggest and deepest they had ever had and I was happy with 12th. I had a good strong second-half of the season and I was pleased to have finished my Olympic distance racing with that result. I say Olympic distance racing, because I’m not done YET! I have my final race of the season in a month, on Oct 28th in Austin, TX – my first 70.3! Better dial in my bike position or else that’ll be a long 56 miles!

As usual, thanks to all my incredible sponsors. I was very happy to see Champion Systems, Zico and Skechers there this weekend! Also thank you to Gu, Xterra Wetsuits and Kask Helmets.

5i50 Galveston results. Herbalife Triathlon results.

Thanks for checking in. Talk soon.


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