Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bridgetown Continental Cup

This weekend, I traveled down to Barbados for a continental cup. I got down to Barbados two days before the race on Sunday, April 22nd. Training leading up to the race was tough with the very sketchy riding on small roads with lots of cars, but it was fun being in a different country.
The swim was nice to train for since I could walk from my hotel room to the ocean and get in great swimming right in front of me!

The morning of the race featured what a lot of Barbados people called "liquid sunshine" or rain.  The country gets very little rain until the summer, so the roads were covered in oil and became very slick. I was slightly excited about this as I felt comfortable handling my bike on slick rainy roads. With two 180 degree turns, this would be paramount.
I got on the pontoon next to two guys who I have biked with in past races, so I figured I was in a good spot.  I started the swim well and was swimming next to Andrew Bysice and Jason Wilson (the eventual winner) the whole time.  I felt comfortable exiting the water in 9:50 with the leader only 10 seconds up on me.  I was stoked to be that far up and thought if I was in that group, I could win or get top 3.  That was, until T1 when I failed to buckle my helmet for a good 20 seconds and watched that group ride away. That was frustrating, and then a crash caused a lead group of 5 guys to get ahead on the bike and we never caught them.
The bike was chaotic as there were so many crashes, and guys were putting their feet on the ground to make the 180- degree turns. I never had to do that and even made a small break with Eric Lagerstrom after a 180 turn when people took it very slowly.  The break did not materialize, but it was good to keep the pressure up. After riding fairly comfortably, I was confident in my run.
I got out of T2 hard in pursuit.  Alex Hinton got a small gap on me early, and we caught some of the early leaders.  I moved from 8th to 7th in the last 1/2 mile and was pretty happy, but not satisfied.  If I had not had the hiccup in T1, I could have contended, but with variable change, there is really no telling of what would have happened.   

Next race up is REV3 Knoxville in two weeks time. Time to get on the TT bike.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Delaware Valley Duathlon and Philly Pro Team

Last weekend, I decided to get a tune up race in before heading to Barbados for a continental cup later in April.  I traveled to the Delaware Valley Duathlon with the knowledge there were a few other fast guys that would make for a good race. I had raced Dave Slavinski and Holden Comeau before and knew they were both very good multisport athletes. They are both training for longer course races, so this would probably be an advantage to me for this particular race. The distances were 5k run/ 25k bike/ 5k run.

Pre Race:
Woke up at 6 AM to do a 15' run with some drills. Was COLD! 30 degrees with winds 20 mph from the northwest. I was immediately scared about biking with no booty covers! My feet were going to be in for a cold morning. After coffee and some PowerBar energy chews (cola flavored), got to the race site to set up and do a long warm up.

1st 5K: Went out solid but very controlled. Dave was right behind me for 0.5 miles and then he said he would see me on the bike (after joking about my goofy running form, which I completely agree is odd). I felt pretty comfortable the whole first 5k and had garnered about a 30 second lead with a 15:47 first 5k.

The Bike: Was Cold! http://app.strava.com/activities/47532495 is the strava file from the race. It's visible as to how hilly the ride is. You are almost never riding flat, so it was either uphill or screaming down (where the feet really started to get numb). First race since Philly Tri last year on a TT bike, so my goal was to just maintain my lead. I was expecting to see either Dave or Holden come by me during the ride as I was unsure of how far ahead I was.  At the first turn around, I had 40" to Dave and I believe one minute to Holden.  The second turn around (about 2-3 miles from the finish) I still had 40 seconds, but on Holden this time.

The 2nd run: Felt a little cramping on the run and the end of the bike so I tried to drink. Mostly calf pain and I didn't want to repeat duathlon worlds last year.  The 32 degree weather probably didn't help my muscles stay warm either.  I started out the run very gingerly as my calves were objecting a bit, but as my legs warmed up, I was able to speed up.  Didn't have to push the second run much and ran a conservative 17:10 for the win
Dave, myself, and Holden L to R
Had a very nice talk with Holden after the race about developing as a triathlete, especially during the swim. Just another example of the great community in triathlon.

I also won a pair of Scott running shoes. These shoes are awesome, the T2 EVO are really awesome. I wore them the day after the race for a 15 mile long run and they were awesome.  I am looking forward to trying more Scott shoes as it's a company I've never tried before.

Also, I will be working with the Philly Pro Triathlon Team starting immediately.  They are a great group of guys racing together and an awesome organization trying to professionalize triathlon even more. I am excited to begin working with them.

Only about 11 days until the Bridgetown, Barbados continental cup. Starting to rest up and get ready for another big race.