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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Langley Pond International Triathlon

My 2008 season began this weekend at Langley Pond. So how did I measure up to my aggressive expectations? It wasn't 100% of what I hoped for, but it was a really close.

Getting the bike off the truck and having my Performance Enhancing Drug (coffee)

First of all, it was a really strange race. Thunderstorms delayed the start for over an hour and were responsible the shortening of the bike course by 4.4 miles. There was some talk of making it a duathlon, but thankfully they kept the tri format. Actually, I think the delay may have worked in my favor in that I was really quite nervous and the break gave me a chance to calm down some.

Standing around being nervous

By the time the swim was about to begin I had to pee really bad. I tried to get in the water when they let us down to the beach but as soon as I stepped in the water they ordered everyone out. I knew the horn would blow any second so I had to just let it flow in the wetsuit on dry land. No sooner than I had finished the horn went off and we're we're running into the water. The swim wasn't that great for me. I did a lot of zigging and zagging but in the end reached my goal of a sub 27 minute swim. According to my math, it should be around 26:02 which would be a PR at this distance for me. Coming out of the water I was feeling very disoriented and wobbly. This made for an inefficient T1, I'm guessing 1:30.

Feeling pretty woosy

Once on the bike, I quickly was able to get my mind back in the game. Right out of the gate I passed a bunch of guys that I never saw again. After a about a mile of relative flat, the climb began. Here I began to battle with some guys that I would dual with over the course of the two laps. Once on top of the ridge it gets flat again and then comes the downhill section which is 53x11 hammer dropping fun. It was on this section that I caught up a friend that I met at a 10k earlier this year and yelled, "Come on, man" and he did. When he caught back up with me I mentioned that he must have had a great swim, thinking back to before the race when he mentioned that he hadn't swam in a month. That dude must be scary fast in the water. We went back and forth passing each other until we reached the beginning of the downhill for the second time. From there I hammered away and didn't see him again until the turn-around on the run.

Climbing the hill

This was a very good bike for me. I reached my goal of being #1 in the AG, 16th overall with an average speed over 22 mph with about 1000 ft of climbing.

Here's how you want T2 to look when you get there. My tan sucks!

Another rough transition came next. I did not feel good off this bike. I'd been having BAD reflux all through the race from some spicy sauage I had for breakfast and it really hit hard when I started running . A work to the wise ... sausage before a race ... don't do it! Along with that came side stitches. I ran fairly slowly and concentrated on exhaling deeply and they went away within a half mile and I started feeling better. The run wasn't everything I hoped for and again was my weakest segment. I missed bettering my outright 10k PR by 13 seconds, but in the end I had the fastest 10k in an Olympic distance tri that I've ever posted by over 3 minutes. 42:04. I'll be continuing to work on the run and won't be happy until a sub 40 is expected every time I step on the line to race.

Getting ready to high-five a team mate. Looks like I'm a heel striker after all.

All in all a good race. 2:03:59 / 19th overall / 4th AG and a PR for each segment. I feel like the 2:12 (or at least bettering my 2:14:38 PR) I predicted would've been possible with the extra 4.4 miles of bike, so I'm happy. I regret not getting hardware, but that'll come again soon enough. I can't control the depth of competition (Uhem, Rafael Fiallo ITU pro from Venezuela racing as an age grouper in my AG), only my performance ... and I'm satisfied with this one for the most part.


David said...

There was a lot of crazy competition from out of state in our AG, for some odd reason. I should have done the sprint! But you rocked it, Nick! The way I figure it, you went 1 in the AG for the regular racers, which means I went 2. Yay!

Mendy said...

Nick! You did fantastic. Congrats on a great race!

Wes said...

Great race, Nick! I'm trying to track down and accurate mileage on the bike route. My computer said 18.9 (19), and I've seen some other folks say that, but you say it would have been 21.5?!?? Inquiring minds wanna know!!!