Thursday, August 25, 2011

Age Group Nationals 2011

Transition 2

So here is my race report from AG nationals in Burlington, VT September 20, 2011. This race wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but after a few days, I saw a lot of positives from the race. The run was really the only problem because I bonked on it, if it wasn't for that, I would have made the overall podium and fulfilled that goal.

First, I traveled with my Mom and girlfriend via car to Burlington. Got there the Thursday before the race, and Friday was my 21st birthday! On Friday, met with some of the crew from the collegiate recruitment camp and swam, biked, and ran on the course. Also sight saw the Ben n Jerry's factory which was delicious! To the race:

Pre race: Woke up at 5:20 (sleeping in for a tri!) and jogged for 10 minutes, ate my usual breakfast, showered and off to the race. Set up my transition area, and relaxed for awhile as my wave started second to last in the whole race. I knew this would mean I'd have to pass people during the whole race, and not have a great idea of where I was relative to my competitors.  Warmed up with surgical tubing.

The swim split was 20:02 which put me about 6th out of the water in my age group, only 45 seconds behind the leader. This was a really choppy and physical swim as we started out behind so many waves that we had to swim over to of them. Everybody on the swmi course got off course at one point. It was bad enough that everybody was treading water at one point looking for the next bouy. Exited the water in front of most of the contenders for the race. Got into and out and T1 pretty well with wetsuit coming off pretty well and rubber bands on the shoes.

This was a phenominal bike ride for me! Got out of T1 and immediately passed Dan T from camp. I figured that meant two things. First, I had a good enough swim to be that close, and two, I was moving on the bike pretty well. The beginning of the bike was very uphill, so I stayed mostly on the horns and in a lower cadence. Was battling back and fourth with another guy in my age group when I saw the eventual winner, Kashar, come by up the hill on I189. I tried to hang with him for a little, but the course got so congested at parts that I eventually lost sight, and he was flying. Only finished about half of my water bottle during the ride, which probably led to the problems on the run. At one point, there was a course marshall actually blocking me as I wanted to pass some of the people in front of me. That was not fun, and I was a little worried I'd get called for drafting. Once I hit the turn around on Dorset, I stayed in the aero bars the whole way in. I did get out of one shoe too soon as I misjudged the transition area, but sprinted with feet on top of the pedals to the dismount. 

The actual run was disasterous. 36:10 for a 10k. Felt ok off the bike, but that huge hill really made me work. Felt fine once I crested it and I immediately started passing people in droves. Got a huge side stitch around mile 2 that I tried to forget about. Once I started downhill, the side stitch really was hurting, and then my stomach started hurting all over. At this point, any water I tried to take in just made me feel worse. I had to REALLY mentally focus on just finishing. I do not know if I have ever hurt that much physically and mentally. I was dry heaving, and actually had what I think were tears coming out of my eyes. Weird stuff. i put any effort I had into the last 100 meters, and thought I may actually collapse after. This was completely my error by not consuming enough carbs/sugar on the bike leg. With such an improvement on the bike leg, I was just not ready and prepared to run my best off it.

Post race: 
After the race, I was initially dissapointed, but then I thought about a few things. First, if I had run 32:30 (what I normally would run), I would have been 6th overall and beaten a lot of guys just by moving up by only a minute. I am not a 5:51/mile runner, so this was not an indication of my ability, but rather my best effort on the day. Second, I have only been training since late May for triathlon, and I am already able to stay with most swimmers (off relatively little swim work compared to future winter plans), I just biked 24.2 mph for a 40k (which is a 2 mph improvement over Philly less than 2 months ago!) and I already know I can run with anybody in the country at the end of the race, barring today. Overall, this was a positive experience, but I do wish my run could have been on.

nearing the end of the bike

The Bricks Squad and myself (left)

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