Sunday, July 19, 2009

Strawberry Fields Tri & HyVee

Today I raced the Strawberry Fields olympic tri in Oxnard, and got some encouragement from it. I still have a lot of work to do but am pleased with my improvements. A year ago I won the sprint race there on my birthday, which was my first real dabble in triathlon, although I didn't train much for that race. So I realized I've been in the sport now exactly one year, and started real training around November of last year. It was nice to be able to drive there the morning of for once. I didn't sleep the night before the previous races this season, which I'm working on, but I slept better last night after takinga sleeping pill, and got 4 1/2 hours of sleep, which is 4 1/2 hours more than I have gotten in past races so that felt great.
I finished 4th in 1:58:15 and lost to 2 pro card holders (Brett Brown, and Henry Hagenbuch, an ex-UCLA steeplechaser who just won the Escape from Alcatraz amateur race and earned his pro card there a few weeks ago. He had the fastest run split in that race by 50 seconds, faster than all the pros..Andy Potts, etc.. Impressive.) Brown was 3rd at the Wildflower olympic this year. I lost by about 2:15 to Brown & 1:40 to Henry today. The swim was crazy wavy, a true ocean swim. Swim times were super slow with the chop and a nice current and I think the distance was a little long. We swam straight out to sea for the first 7 min. or so...true shark territory. It was crazy how far that buoy was out there! For some reason my cramping has been less severe in ocean swims, and I don't know why (different stroke/less kicking? swallowing salt H20 helps? Who knows?). In retrospect, I should have hammered the swim harder though, as I felt pretty fresh the whole time. I came out of the water 7th. We all got our butts kicked by Brown in the swim, but I came out in front of Henry by 4:00. Talk about spread out early between the top group. Basically that says Henry is a beast of a bike/runner (he split 31:50 on the 10k!), and I need to work on my swim! The bike was flat and fast and was probably 3 minutes short, but the swim may have been equally long to make up for it.
No one passed me on the bike, but I didn't know what place I was in entering the run. Turns out I was in 3rd, then Henry flew by me about 5k into it. I knew he was coming fast since it was a 2 loop course, and was going to try to latch on, but it didn't happen. I ran a 35:07, which is rather poor for me. I need to be mentally stronger when I'm hurting. I've run much faster off the bike, so I wasn't necessarily excited about my run. Overall I was pleased with the result though, and had no cramps for the 2nd time ever which has been my huge issue, so no cramps was great. I tried lactic acid buffer pills before the race, salt tablets on the bike, and got back on my probiotics/super green veggie powder this week, so one or all of those might have helped.
Hy Vee in Iowa was a cramp fest from the start. No wetsuits allowed. 2500+ people. 83 degree lake water. I cramped in the quads 14 min. into the swim, hobbled into T1, cramped off and on during the bike in the hamstrings and hips (that was a new place for me), and struggled on the run. The course was slower than I thought it would be, and a lot of competitors showed up. I finished 25th in 2:06:08, very disappointed and frustrated with my body, but that stuff happens, and I need to learn from the big race experiences and take something positive from it. I was very impressed by the race organization. It was an incredible production, with the world cup pro race which had all the Olympians, grandstands, helicopters, NBC cameras all over, $2 million in prize $, etc.
It was a long day, as my race started at 6am. After we Dutched as much free food and drinks our bags would hold, my cousin Brent and I hopped in the car and drove 10 hours to Denver and arrived by 9pm

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