Kenda Cup #2 -Bonelli Park

So I was pretty bummed that the "In the Dirt Triathlon" was cancelled this past weekend because I really wanted a good hard off road triathlon (which I have yet to do) before Xterra West Championships next month - but I had to roll with the punches. Since I had so much fun at Sage Brush, I decided to jump in Kenda's next race which was up in Bonelli Park this last weekend. The week leading up to the race was going well with my best swim to date on Monday, tested out my calf at the track Tuesday with a 5k simulation drill where I was punching out 2:30 - 800's scary easy, woke up Wednesday morning and did my first set of bike intervals of the year on the trainer...Then on my way to work, it hit. Sickness, feverish feeling. Terrible diarrhea (sorry...telling it like it is..). I roughed it through work the next two days (one of the negative things about being a triathlete---can't sacrifice vacation days because of all the races!). Friday I finally started feeling up to par. I had a late work event that night where they brought it like 200 pizzas that seemed like they had been sitting out for awhile. I was starving so I dove in. Later that night, I'm not sure if it was the pizza or a relapse of my sickness but it came back really hard. I was on the toilet the majority of the night, depleting every liquid I had in my body. I woke up Saturday feeling like I had drank all night. I just kinda slept and drank fluids all day, wondering whether or not I would be ready to race the next day...

Sunday morning, Amy and I got the kids together and headed out to Bonelli. I was feeling better, but definitely drained. I weighed myself in the morning and I had lost 5 pounds over the last three days...Definitely not what you want to see when you are about to hammer a race. But I was itching to exercise, get outside and enjoy the day with the family. The day was beautiful, this time we brought a bunch of food, some chairs a few beers and the camera...Come to find out our camera battery died. Bummer! So Amy just took some photos with her camera phone which came out pretty bad, but if you notice the pics in this blog, she used her sweet editing skillz over at a very cool site called Picnik. I highly recommend checking it out if you don't have time to learn photoshop. It's free and easy to use and she was able to make some poor quality pictures look cool.

I started my warm-up routine and was itching just to get on the course since I was unable to pre-ride the course. CAT 2/3 included a 5ish mile loop that went around the lake with about 750ft of climbing and some real rocky sketchy descents and technical sections. I think this really was my first REAL mountain bike race. CAT 3 was postponed 15 minutes so I was able to get a little more pre-riding of the course in. I felt very flat, drained and unmotivated to race (which is not like me). The call came for us to line up and I ended up in the 2nd row. They were sending two age groups 30-39 so there was a huge group of 40 of us, much bigger group then Sage Brush. As we where lining up one of the race official was explaining the course and said that anyone that breaks 1 hour will get an automatic upgrade to CAT 2. Sweet, I have a goal now!

The horn went off and I quickly pushed into the top 5 on the short concrete decent. The first hill is the longest and steepest so I quickly shifted gears to the granny gear so I could keep a high cadence and make my way up to the front. Unfortunately my chain dropped in the absolute worst place on the course. I got off, put it back on as quickly as I could but the damage had already been done. Literally everyone had passed me by the time I could find a place to mount and get going again. Then the course turns into technical single track for the next mile or so. So I had to make my way through a lot of beginner traffic as the leaders took off. I was screwed. I just decided at that point to have fun and work on passing riders whenever I could and see what I could do on the 2nd lap to break 1 hour.

After lap one I made my way up to around the top 15 and whenever there was a chance to pass someone, I pushed it. I crossed lap one in 30 mins and it gave me some extra motivation to break an hour and get the CAT 2 bump. I kept passing riders and then we hit a lot of traffic from the kids race which slowed us down more...CAT 3 sucks. I started feeling the effects of my sickness and started cramping up quite a bit but then I started using this hurt to fuel me. I started visualizing this point of the race as Xterra Vegas where I know it will be warm, I'll be hurting and there will still be people to pass. So I picked up the pace and went all out for the last 20 minutes. What helped even more was a guy I was battling. I finally made a move on a climb and then he stuck on my wheel for the remainder of the race. The competitive juices started flowing and I pushed it in the last 200 meters and held him off. I crossed the line in 57:06 and had a 3 minute negative split and I felt it. Amy says she's never seen me so done at the end of a race. I don't think it was the effort, I think it was the fact I had been peeing out of the butt (again, sorry) for the past 4 days and I was drained.

We chilled and waited for results - I had one beer and felt a huge buzz and it didn't agree with me, so I stuck with Gatorade and water the rest of the day...I ended up placing 4th only 30 seconds from 3rd which was a bummer because the awards were really sweet--had to settle for a medal. It was cool to make it to the podium (awards went 5 deep) again, despite everything that was against me and most importantly I was glad to make the bump to CAT 2. Normally I would have had to place top 5 in four races to make the upgrade. So now if I race again or not - I'll be happier to mix it up with more talent in CAT 2. Kenda Cup #3 in Fontana is in a few weeks, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it because April is going to be a big month for racing:

Week 1 -Carlsbad 5000
Week 2 - Xterra Vegas (A Race)
Week 3 - Ragnar Relay (21 miles of running)

I'm finishing up Base 3 in my training plan this week and will skip Build 1/2 and go straight to Peak for the next two weeks before I go into a transition and start all over at Base 1 and build that to nationals. I learned this from Friel who often does this with his athletes that have an A race at the beginning of the year. This way, you only go through Build workouts at only one period of the year.

I feel like I have completely recovered from my sickness and ready to hit a big week of training this week. Happy St. Patty's day everyone and congrats to Ryan (one of the athletes I'm coaching) for a PR at the St. Pattys 10k!


Ryan said...

Thanks for the shout out, coach! Good job moving up to Cat 2. That's a nice confidence builder: being sick and still making the qualification time.

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