Encinitas Sprint Triathlon RR & some changes...

After a great weekend of training last week, come Monday I was pretty smashed but I got an email from the BSK coach David that day seeing if I wanted a comp entry into the Encinitas Sprint the next weekend. Heck yea I'll take it! The thing that is holding me back the most right now is the lack of open water AND triathlon racing experience. Since this was a beach entry start, even more reason to get my feet in the sand and notch another triathlon under my belt. The result? Who cares about my place and time (although, I'll get to that in a bit), I had fun! As much as I want to enjoy long course right now, I'm starting to find out that I have so much more fun in the shorter stuff and like my buddy Irving said, my miler/fast twitch muscles enjoy the shorter stuff waay more. I think I'm starting to agree.

Slice ready to go, thanks
Ryan for loaning me
some Zipps!
We decided to train through it, so James set up the schedule like any other week - A pretty long Saturday with some race intervals thrown in and then instead of my long run on Sunday, I raced and then put in an hour run afterwards. Since it was going to be an early wake up call and drive down to Encinitas, Amy and the kids were still sound asleep as I slipped out the door to what would be my 2nd Sprint triathlon. I arrived, said hi to Doug (fellow Wattie team mate), chatted with some other friends, body marking - short run warm up - ouch my legs are sore! Next thing I know it was time to get out of transition and head down to the beach start.

The conditions were absolutely perfect. The sun was out and the water apparently warmed up over night up to 65 degrees and it felt great. The waves were 2-3 ft with an occasional 4-5 foot sets coming through. The last time I swam through waves was probably back in 2005 and it was with a surfboard. The current was heading south, so as the first waves started going off I was checking out all of the different approaches racers were making. There really wasn't any big sets coming through until like the 3rd or 4th wave I think where the announcer said, "Well, sent them off at the wrong time..." and you'd see some swimmers get plowed over...and it was actually pretty funny, cause I knew that's probably going to happen to me soon!

Swim: 750 meters - 14:50 (1:49/100yd pace)

This was actually the Pro's start...Cool set up and venue
30-34 age group was sent off in two waves according to last name. I actually don't like this format because it's so hard to tell what place you are in even if you win your heat (which I ended up doing). I was talking with my buddy Lipke and he said the same thing happened to him last year. Plus in this case our heat (of course) had some bigger sets come through at the start. I got nailed a few times pretty good, it was a completely different experience. Sprinting all out into the water, diving in, sighting for waves while swimming as fast as you can. The first set that came through I dove under and I let all of my air out right away like I was still swimming! So I came up gasping for air and it shook me up a bit and everyone around me seemed to be getting pummeled. Finally I made my way through it, looked up and I was in 5th place. So that pumped me up quite a bit and I sprinted as hard as I could to the first and only buoy before heading back. On the way back I veered a little too far to the right where another paddle boarder told me to get further to the left, so once again my swimming straight skills are quite there. This ended up costing me a few spots but I still managed to come out in 7th in our heat which was the best I've ever done coming out of the water. I made the 100 meter sprint on shore to the timing mat and started T1.

T1: 2:01

After the timing mat we had a long run up a very steep hill to the parking lot at Moonlight beach - so times were a little slow. I was in and out quickly once I got there

Bike: 20k (12.4 miles) -34:31 (21.6 mph) 3rd fastest split in AG

Rock & Roll
So when I first saw my time I was pretty disappointed because it seemed so slow! But after seeing the overall results, nobody really threw down crazy fast times. Barely anyone broke 33 so the course was slower than I was expecting. It had some gradual rollers and a few technical turns - either way I had the 3rd fastest split in my age group so I made up a lot of time on the bike after loosing some in the swim. The best part about a sprint? You just sprint. No strategy, no nutrition plan - you just go balls out (not literally, prob get a DQ). So as soon as I started riding I hammered throughout. I passed a ton of people, got passed once but I stayed on his wheel (legally) and before I knew it - it was time to get out of my shoes and hammer this run.

T2: .57

Easy quick transition, saw James on the way out (he did the bike leg of the relay) and I just started hammering.

Run: 5k -16:52 (5:26/mile) 2nd fastest split Overall

Fun run!
I knew I was ready to nail a 5k. Last year at Thanksgiving I ran a 5k Turkey Trot on tired legs and ran 16:16. Fast forward about 6 months later with a ton of more fitness I knew I could run fast on this course. After hitting up the track on Tuesday I was hitting 5k pacing at around 5:10ish so I knew 5:20's would be attainable. I tried to nail it from the get-go but the legs weren't there yet. Although I didn't wear a watch I imagine that first mile was around the 6 minute range, then finally at mile 2 the legs started coming around and I pretty much went all out for the next 2 miles. Just a guess, but mile 2 had to be around 5:20 and mile 3 close to 5 mins flat. For the first time ever in a triathlon I didn't cramp up. I felt free on the run, I was finally able to run to my potential. The thing is, I wasn't tiring, I still had a lot more in the tank. This gets me pretty pumped up to do another Olympic race. See how it translates to a 10k. Coming into the finish I was pretty confident that I won my heat. You go through a lot of traffic and u-turns during that run so I was able to see everyone for the most part.

1:09:13, 3rd in AG, 33rd Overall

After cooling down I met up with James and talked about the race. And after checking out results, once again the swim lost the race for me as both 1st and 2nd place beat me by ~4 minutes on the swim. We then got into talking about strength training and the importance of it for me. To tell the quick story, I used weigh 180 pounds about 2 1/2 years ago. Now I weigh 135, sometimes I dip under a buck 30 after a hard weekend of workouts! That is waay too light for triathlon. In a sport that requires power in the swim and bike, being runner skinny does not help me, it hurts me. I haven't touched a weight or even done a single push up or sit up in about 6 months. My time schedule is so strict, it ended up being just one of the things that needed to go. But it's time to back off on something else, I need to bulk up a bit.

Picking up my award
Podium count 2012:
Short Course 3 for 3
Long Course 0 for 2
On another note, I have decided to call off racing at Ironman Boise 70.3. After racing just average at Oceanside and Wildflower and crushing it at all of the Sprints and Olympic distances so far this year, it is obvious that I don't have enough strength to be competitive at the longer stuff yet. Not just strength training but hours and hours in the pool and on the bike -something my competitors have way more of then I do. I only started training seriously last November and even though I expected myself to crush the longer stuff this year, it's just not realistic. I'm going to approach this year much differently now. I'm going to race as much as I can locally (sprints/Olympic), have fun and just put in a lot of hours in the water and on the roads so I can handle the longer stuff better next year. I haven't totally given up on qualifying for WC's in Vegas, but the stars would have to align perfectly to find a race that isn't sold out, something I can afford, and something I can hit when I am very fit and healthy. Instead I kind of have my eyes on the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, VT in August. I qualified for it last year and doing the Olympic up against some of the best in my AG in the US appeals to me. Plus it's a lot later in the year which would give me to time to train for it. We'll see. Up next is an Aquathon I'm jumping into this Thursday night (1000 meter swim, 5k beach run). Then I'm on the waiting list for San Diego International...which I'm sooo hoping I get in.

Few more pics...Thanks for reading!

Spent the day before with the kids at check in
down at the beach. Those kids love it!!!
Celebrated with my victory mug...
Then recovered w/some greens, Tour of CA and a red.


jameson said...

good work out. that was a sick run. the speed is there no doubt and the bike and swim are no doubt better than 6 months ago. It's just takes time. do the work!

Damie said...

1. I LOVE sprints too- I love just going hard with no plan. Just hurt!!!
2. The swim loses many races for me as well. Many. Keep at it- and I will too.
3. Good idea on the half, and I will probably be at AGNats, so we can meet up!
4. Congrats on an AG place....and a solid race. Awesome.

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