The goal for this race was simple and straight forward – crack two hours, with a secret goal of winning the race. I knew that winning would be a tall order as there were a bunch of speedy guys entered.
My game plan was to swim HARD and put as much pavement between myself and the fast runners in the race (Joe Kurian, Pete Metz, etc). I figured I could bike more or less even with them, but knew that on a good day I’d lose 2 minutes to Joe Kurian and company in the run.
Leading into the race, I did a hard first part of the week and ended with an easy Thursday/Friday/Saturday.
17:18 (3rd OA)
Unlike last weekend at Racine, I hit the swim from the get go. Jordan Mathes (a UWGB swimmer) and I didn’t redline it – exactly, but we started out at a withering pace swimming side by side. At the first turn bouy a couple of hundred meters in, we turned directly into the sun. I had a tough time seeing the next buoy through the glare. I lifted my goggles, spotted the buoy, and *SNAP* – the nose piece of my goggles broke. With no other option, I just kept swimming – after not long I found Jordan’s feet and just stayed there – as it was the easiest way to swim and not worry about sighting to much.
We exited the water and charged up the beach alone – I didn’t see anyone near us, though my vision was pretty hazy from the water. I was happy to see the time on the clock, and figured even though the swim was a bit short, I’d have a good 2 minutes on the people I was mostly worried about.
1:01:28 (10th OA)
The plan for the bike was to ride strong but cautiously on the first half of the race and pick it up on the second half. Jordan made it out of transition first – remembering how he powered by me at Elkhart Lake, I settled in and just matched Jordan’s pace. I didn’t worry to much about power at this point, I figured if/when Matt came by I’d shift gears and follow him and try to put some more ground between myself and the runners.
About 2 miles in, Jordan and I took a right turn. Immediately after turning, I had this feeling like “I thought we went straight.” Jordan must have had the same though as he slowed a bit. We talked about it quick and decided to U-turn to be sure. As we got back to the intersection Matt went blazing by. That sealed it for us – we were directed correctly (Turns out the last minute course revision added the turn, with the original course having us head straight, and I simply reversed them in my mind).
Jordan accelearted back into the game faster than I could have, so I just focused on me. The first loop was pretty uneventful, it found Matt and Jordan pull away to specks. I worked the second loop a bit more and manage to pull into T2 right on Jordan’s heels.
After checking my powerfile it looks like I lost between 45 seconds and 1 minute due to my confusion.
41:11 (26th OA)
I ran out T2 and immediately regretted doing a Long Run this week – between Racine and that run, there was nothing my legs. I knew a 37:xx was out of the question, and just coming in under 40 would be a challenge.
The run went by in a blur of complaints from my legs. At the half way turn around I was ready to quit, but kept on seeing Pete Metz, Dennis Melowski, and Terry Labinski right behind me. The zipped past me pretty quickly on the way back out on the second loop. When Terry past I used that as motivation to try and pick up the pace, but my legs didn’t have much to give.
2:01:39 (7th OA)
I’d rate this race as about a 7.5/10 in terms of satisfaction (with Racine being an 8-8.5 and High Cliff and Elkhart Lake being in the 3-4 range). I came out of this race with some great insight into my rest and training patterns and it’s direct effects on performance – so definately not a bust.