I would be lying if I said I'm not disappointed with Timberman 70.3, I'm disappointed but I'm not terribly upset. I think for any triathlete in the business, if you've been around for more than 5 years, you know that you have more a lot of ok/bad races than good races. I have some friends that travel across the country just to get a mechanical issue on their bike. And It's even rarer that you have a "great" race. So I wasn't too down when I finished. I was just unsatisfied because I've put a lot of work in the last 9 months to hopefully have the break out race I was looking for.
But at the end of the day, you can only keep your chin high, and look to do better at the next race.
SWIM: 29:40 :[
I was hoping to swim at least a 27-28 but 29:40 isn't too terrible for my first non-wet suit swim ever. I lined up behind some second pack swimmers and swam the first 400m as fast as I can. I latched on to a draft and realized the swimmer ahead of me if the only swimmer ahead of me. We've lost the pack. I swam back to shore as best as I can.
10 minutes into the bike I knew something was wrong. The weather was really warm and humid that day and I could feel it already 10 min in. I've suffered a lot from heat sickness before so I know the feeling. I noticed my power was 5-10 watts lower than at Vineman and just decided to go by feel. I caught up to a group of riders by mile 12 and it was a long downhill. The group wasn't making up any grounds to the athletes up front so I decided to move to the front and see if anyone comes. No one came...
I knew the rest of the bike ride was going to be lonely like a lot of bike rides from last year. I soldiered on, keeping my efforts steady, and managing the sufferfest in the heat, drinking extra fluids, etc. Rolled into transition ready to run my hearts out.
RUN: 1:25:29 (btw, course was long by 0.2miles, and major sad face)
I feel pretty good the first half of first of two laps. I held 6 minutes pace all the way til the turn around when things began to unwind. It wasn't really bonking, or fatigue. I just didn't have it. It was just hard to suffer and stay in that pain cave. It was damage control til the finish so I did the best I could, even managing to pass net 2 pros (passed 3, got passed by 1).
It was just really hot. I tried drinking coke, water, gatorade, gels, nothing really worked. It was a depressing 2-3 miles mid race thinking that my race is basically over. But I hung in there to finish in a decent time of 4:10:43. Basically as fast as my best 70.3 time from last year.
After dissecting what could have gone wrong, my coach Nick and I pointed to a couple of things: fatigue/stress of traveling, time zone, humidity, and mainly dehydration. Not to make a bunch of excuses, but from the last couple races including last year, we've seen a continuing trend of great 3-4 miles of running at 6 min or even sub 6 min per mile pace, before a steady linear decline and sometimes even worse like this race. with the heart rate slowly rising even though the effort is the same (or less). At Vineman a month ago where I had the best race of my life, there was still a decline from 5:55 to 6:20s by the end of the race. We're thinking that I'm probably dehydrated starting the run, and after running 20-30 min, the body is even more dehydrated
I also realize that I've been doing less mileage after my knee injury from last year. But even last year when I was doing more mileage I've observed the same thing. I've also run a lot less hills due to fear of reinjuring my IT band again. The next 8 weeks we're going to experiment more and try to fix the problems.
Also, here's some notes more for myself for the next race:
1. Bring more clifbars and food like bagels, nuts, and granola with you at all times. And don't be afraid to eat them. Since I tapered a lot for this race, I was afraid of over consuming calories. But in hindsight I should have kept my glycogen stores steady and not have long bouts where I have no real access to food because of logistics and hectic traveling schedule.
2. Don't overpack your carry ons. My dumbass realized that my backpack was really heavy on the way home when I was REALLY tired. Next time I'm only bringing my laptop, and essentials so I don't have to log around 20 pounds worth of stuff. Probably going to invest in a bigger suitcase.
3. If you're not flying southwest, and have assigned seats, wait until everyone has boarded, and the last possible moment to get on the plane. The tunnel down to the plane has a line. And that line takes forever. You can't control the line in the TSA security, but you CAN control this one. Sit down, relax as much as possible before you gotta do in to the plane. Go as far as being the last person to sit down so you can stand minimally on your feet. I've yet to figure out what to do with Southwest's seating system so I'm gonna raincheck on that.
That concludes my Timberman blog. Would like to thank:
Casandra and Juli for cheering me on in a foreign city! and taking great pictures. I really enjoyed your company
Bizlink Tech and Accell for sponsoring me. Traveling is expensive, and thanks to these two great companies I'm able to do what I love.
Nicholas from Tridot for guiding me the past 8 weeks!
My family. My Mama's cooking beats wholefoods
Wholefoods for lunch. those spring rolls and chicken...that place is alive.
P-fits for the adjustment. Super aero. Super comfy.
*Visting New York City*
I visited New York City after my race to see my roommates and buddy from college Alec, and also Ginny. It was great seeing good friends in an iconic city.
I had great time hanging out with Alec, also jammed a bit in the NYU med school music room! It was good old times like in college when we used to jam together as a band. And saw a live show with Husky playing.
I really needed a break from training, working, and just everything. Seeing the live show and hanging out with Alec, weirdly really inspired me more to pursue my dreams in triathlon. Most of the bands that play nightly in small lounges are very little known and independent. They don't have the most beautiful voices, or evolutionary sound. They're just doing it. Rocking it. Doing what they love. Jammin'. Even though there were only 10-15 people watching them, those bands would still jam out like there were thousands of people. Maybe one day they will play in front of thousands of people. And maybe one day I will be at the more pointy end of a triathlon.
For now, it's back to training and working in September. I will be racing Silverman 70.3 in Oct 4th and Austin 70.3 on Nov 8th.