This is one of my favorite “home town” kind of races. It is not far, so I drive there in the AM, and most importantly I get to start really late (usually around 11) because the seed the fastest swimmers LAST!
I was a little concerned about this race because I would be camping with the Boy Scouts the whole weekend. And, as it turned out, it was cold and pouring rain the entire trip. Here is us working the fire-building challenge… and it was a challenge!
So I knew I would come into this tried, but it was not an “A” race just a training day to get back into the groove and shake off the rust of the winter.
However, in late Jan I got sick (flu, cold, whatever) and starting feeling really tired, so we pulled back my training of course, and unfortunately this pattern just continued this spiral downwards until the point where by March I wasn’t training much at all and I was sleeping all the time. My swimming was a little bit of a concern, considering I didn’t swim between the State Swim meet and this race I figured I would just have to fake it. Really, my training as a whole was just not there. After consulting my coach it was decided to go and just have fun, go through the motions of “racing” so that when it matters – I will have that skill practiced. Bonus, Rocky Rococo pizza was waiting for me after the race! 🙂
So it was fairly uneventful morning, I got up there, warmed up, met with some friends (surprisingly low crowd from my area this year) and settled in.
The race itself was an utter mess (not them, me!). We shared lanes, this year 2 per lane. So I was swimming next to a young man who had a team Czech fully body suit, about 2% body fat, and looked like he was 12 (ok, maybe 21, the 12 year olds race later). As soon as we started BOOM he was gone. However, within 100 I had reeled him back in and passed him. However, my lack of training showed and by 300 he passed me back. I would love to know my splits but I bet they would look something like this (per 100) – 1:20, 1:30, 1:450, 2:30, 3:00. I mean I died off, BAD. In the end a 9 minute swim. My worst at this venue by almost a minute. I’m almost always under 8min. Ug.
Fast transition and off on the bike. Immediately there are 2 hills, my lack of training showed as I just did a slow grind up them. I was possibly recovering from the swim but OH-MY I had no top end. I went from “middle speed” to “death march” with nothing in the middle!
The rest of the bike was the same, I simple could not produce any real power. In the end, I averaged 15.6mph, a far cry from my normal 19-20mph. The scary thing is the course was LESS hilly than prior (just as windy) but I was super slow.
Transition 2 was pretty slow (3min), no idea why, just was.
The run, well, it was an absolute shamble. I got out there and I just couldn’t run. Whenever I tried one thing or another would cramp up. I tried adjusting, modifying, adapting and in the end… walking. I pretty much walked 99% of the run. No high end and every time I ran my HR would shoot up into that non-existent high end. The body simply was not going to tolerant any of this running crap I was trying to do!
It was a really pretty day, temps were great, and I was solo for much of the run so it wasn’t so bad. Really, this is just a first world problem, I took a deep breath and just walked. I did manage to run the last 200yds but it hurt… ouchie.
So, with my worst sprint tri time since 2004, I finished it off.
Was I sad? Nah. I knew going into this it was a training day and honestly, some training days just stink. Better now when it doesn’t matter than later when it does. You do this long enough (this was race 80 something) you realize that it is going to happen. My body was undertrained, still chronically fatigued, and I would have been foolish to expect anything great out of the day – except maybe a lesson in humility. I was DFL in my age group, but the final finisher was 2:45. I could have opted to not start?
and for my non racing friends
And yes, I got my pizza after 🙂