San Diego International Triathlon RR

Well everything finally came all together. I got my first win of the year and argueably my first overall amatuer win which I'll get to later. As I said in my last post, this course suits my strengths really well and it showed. SDIT is a 1000 meter swim, 30k bike and 10k run down in San Diego. The swim course is a super calm and glassy (love) followed by a hilly bike course (+ love) and a really fast/flat run (+++love!). Perfect. Just need to execute and this time I did.

SDIT brings out a lot of local talent, which in my opinion - San Diego is a triathlon mecca so the local talent scale is super squewed! Last year I felt like I had a pretty good race and finished 6th in my age group, this year I came in with one more year's worth of experience and an arsenal behind me - Champion Factory Coaching and Wattie Ink. The combination of having elite coaching, Wattie team mates to push me and the sponsors that come with it is huge. K-Swiss, KASK helmets, ism Saddles, Speedfill, Xtreme Endurance and LOOK pedals. I use all them, believe in them and have no doubt that they make me faster. Sure, gear and support can make you faster, but you have to put in the work and the right kind of work and James was a big part of that and my ridiculous 6/7 minute PR I had from last year. Here's how it went down:

The 60 mile check in...
First of all I must say as much as I love triathlon - there are a lot of things that drive me nuts about it. One of those is checking in...the day before...60 miles away...on a Saturday. It's like I had 2 races over the weekend. Packing all of your gear, rolling down for a 10 minute check-in, going over the course - next thing I know it's 2pm and I'm NOT spending time with my family. Lame. At least I had good company though. I rolled down with my buddy Ryan who was doing his first "real" triathlon. After doing a bunch of sprints and tri club races he finally entered into something longer and killed it with a 9th place in the same age group...and once again beat me out of the water! Next thing I know it's dinner time, Olympic Trials time, bed time only to be awaken by a 3:45am wake up call. ouch. Amy didn't want any part of that (I don't blame her) so I again, met up with Ryan and rolled down to the race arriving about an hour ahead of my race start.

After getting body marking and transistion set up I went on a quick run warm up and just knew I was going to have a killer race. My legs were just bouncing and begging to hammer. We absolutely nailed my taper this race - which is soo different for everyone. I pretty much kept my workouts the same (no changes) and then gave myself  2 days of recovery. Perfect. I had a short chat with James where he confirmed with me what I was thinking all along, this race is mine for the taking.

Before I dive into the race/splits, my timing chip did not function properly - so on the results, no, I didn't swim 19 mins and run a 14min 10k..ha. The good news is I came out just behind my buddy in the swim, timed my 10k run and got my "REAL" finishing time at the end so I can guestimate pretty good what my splits were.

Swim start
Swim: 1000 meters, 14:50ish (1:21/100yd)

The goal for the swim was to line up in the front and swim as hard as I can for the first 200-300 meters or so. I've never really done that before, but this time I was confident with my recent swim progress so I just let it rip at the gun. To my suprise I looked up about 200 meters in and there were only about 5 swimmers ahead of me. One of them being my super fast swimming buddy, David Lipke who I'll get to later... I just kept swimming hard and then right around the turn around reality hit and I started to tire. Just then I run right into my "swimming nemeisis" Ryan at the last turn around and it was deja vu all over again as he pulled away as soon as he saw me. My sighting/swimming straight skills were a lot better for this race. I was able to draft a bit and navigate the course pretty flawless until the last 50 meters where I start b-lining it to shore only to run right smack into the paddleboarder yelling at me to go around the last red buoy. At least I wasn't the only one, Wattie team mate Chris Masilon did the same thing! Oh well, probably only about 15 seconds lost there.  As I made a b-line to my transistion I saw Ryan enter his rack about 15-20 seconds ahead of me, hence my "time." This is a 2 minute improvement from last year's swim and a 25 second 1000 meter PR. The swim put me in right around 16-17th place entering the bike

T1: 1:30ish

Not sure if I was that quick, but I'm giving myself quicker T times and slower race splits in case they actually correct the results! I know I was pretty quick, in and out. I actually put on my shoes this time. I had great success doing it that way in Encinitas and I feel at this point I can clip in a lot faster than riding on my shoes and slowly putting them on.

For some reason this pic cracks me up.
I look so tiny and fragile...and hurting!
Bike: 30k (18.6 miles), 44:50ish (24.9 mph)

I am convinced that this course is more fast then it is slow. There are a lot of hills and rollers, but there is also downhill to match those. You are pretty much either going up or down - a lot of fun. I pretty much went all out the entire ride. I probably only took 3 breaks from pedaling and that was at the beginning of a downhill to sneak in some FLUID nutrition. I passed a ton of people and was only passed by one guy (a pro) who was starting his second lap. I paced off of him (legally) for that first lap and he really pushed me faster then I was comfortable with which worked out great. As I made my way on the last mile stretch home I was kind of wondering if I threw my race away on that bike course. I was hurting. I am very pleased with the effort and as much as I'm happy about my run, I'm most happy about the bike. I've been working really hard and I really think that my bike fitness in coming into fruitition.

T2: 1:00ish

Sprinted to my rack to find a pretty empty one, threw on my K-Swiss Blade Lights, threw on my Garmin, grabbed a gel and I was outta there. As soon as I hit start on my Garmin I instantly hit that "zone."

Towards the finish. Thanks Masi for pic and kind words!
Run: 10k (6.2 miles), 34:47 (5:37 pace)

Leaving T2, I had a feeling I was probably top 5. I was looking for my buddy David Lipke the entire ride but never saw him. At the mile mark I hit 5:37 and James was there and said everyone is just up ahead. At that point I knew the race was for my taking so I picked it up to 5:30 for mile 2 where I saw Lipke running the opposite way and he was a little further than I thought he'd be. He's a strong runner so I knew it was going to take a big effort to reach him. So I started throwing down sub 5:30's for the next 2 miles. I slowly gained on him each mile, passed a few guys from my age group and then with about a 1 1/2 to go I came with in about 20 meters to him. I was pretty gassed from doing work, so I gathered myself a bit and then went by as hard as I could so he wouldn't come with me. It worked and with one more mile to go I tried to pick it up even more and then had another deja vu incident from last year. I got those dreaded cramps right above my knee again. Same exact spot as last year where I had to hobble the last mile in. I got a little worried and kept just slapping and punching them to try and get them through that last mile. I ended up running my slowest mile of the day (5:47) then altered my form a bit to get through that last part of the race. I looked around behind me to make sure Lipke was no were to be seen and I was relieved because I was hurting! I came up on my team mate Chris and then headed to the finish. I was looking around for anybody in my AG and didn't see anyone. James was there and said he didn't see anyone, Lipke came in and said I won it and I was pretty stoked.

When I crossed the line the clock read 1:47:02 which I couldn't believe because that put me at 1:37:02 (my wave started 10 minutes after the pro's). I knew it was a huge PR from the year before (1:44 I believe). It feels good to win a race in my age group and even if I was the overall amatuer it's pretty cool, but it's still not totally satisfying becuase there where pro's and "elites" that still beat me. Even though I beat a handful of those pros/elites I still have a lot of work to do to get where I know I'm capable of. After gathering myself I went over to the results and noticed they didn't even have me on there. Whaa?? I figured they just screwed up so I went over to the results table just to make sure I was counted. They couldn't find me and my chip didn't register...Figures...the one race I win. They did however handwrite all of the numbers that came through the finish in order. So what they did was take whoever finished ahead of me (in real time) and the who was behind me and gave me the time in the middle which ended up being 1:38 and change after factoring in wave starts (way too confusing). I was bummed because I worked hard for that extra minute but whatever, a win is a win and I'll take it. Afterwards I hung out with friends and team mates. Heather Jackson won an epic showdown against Leslie Paterson both racing as Wattie Pro's. It was a fun race and I'll definitely be doing it again next year.

Where do I go from here? Dunno. I've been pretty strapped for cash so traveling outside of here to try and get an Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifier is out of the question. It sucks because I really feel like my fitness is where it needs to be now to kick out a good one, but I'll just have to stay local and chase that dream next year. Next up for sure is a huge 10k that happens everywhere in San Diego, the Scripps Ranch 4th of July 10k. I've been doing this race since I was like 14 and everyone that runs in San Diego, makes this a part of their 4th of July festivities. It's flat and fast, just the way I like it. The beer garden and the talent runs deep in this one though. I plan on shooting for a 32:xx 10k and that will barely get me in the top 10! I'm pretty confident I can nail a sub 33 especially after this race. I ruined myself on that bike and I still kicked out a good one, so we'll see. We'll see how I recover too, I am more sore than I was for Oceanside and Wildflower combined!

I would also like to thank my wife for nuturing this passion of mine and my personal sponsors: The Bike Shop. Hands down I wouldn't have any of the success I've had so far if it wasn't for Rick at The Bike Shop. Thank you for loaning me some fast wheels and doing all that you do! Xterra Westsuits for a big PR swim, SportMulti for keeping me heathly. Ever since I started "double-dosing" I haven't been sick (knock on wood), Rudy Project sunglasses - MONEY!, FLUID nutrition for keeping me hydrated and caffeinated and H20 Audio for keeping my long days of working out entertaining regardless of the conditions!

Some more pics from the weekend, thanks for reading!

Eating clean: Grilled Wild Alaskan salmon w/Quinoa
and a salad from our garden
Kicking it pain but doing it the wrong way.
Relaxed face = Relaxed body = Faster...not so much here.
Me, Massi and Wattie
Then us with the champ, Heather Jackson

BBQ in full force this summer

And of course, lots of beer and Olympic Trials
going on at this house. Cheers!


jameson said...

awesome race dude.... i couldn't be more stoked about your progress. At this rate you'll be towing the line with the elite's next year!

Ryan said...

Great post and great race, man. It was fun watching you take the checkered flag (from 7 minutes behind you).

Andrew Callaway said...

Man I'm glad we're not in the same AG! I saw you Watties out there beatin' up the field. Great race James! I'm glad I found your blog, enjoying reading about your progression and digging your writing, keep it up!

James Adams said...

Thanks gents! and Andrew looks like you had a stellar race too. Nice job!

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