Sunday, June 04, 2006

Training Log Entry #49: A hard day at the office

Today I raced my first triathlon of the year, and personally I have mixed feelings about my performance. An objective analysis says my race went about as it probably deserved to go. The swim was a ho-hum 30 minutes for 2000m; same as last year. I really don't like swimming through loads of people and today, being in the next to last wave, I had to do just that. Had I started in an earlier wave, (and not had goggle issues), that swim becomes as 29 or 28 and change, which is acceptable. My transitions were really slow, partly on purpose. I say partly because I didn't count on having as much trouble getting out of my wetsuit or into my bike shoes as I did. I did count on having a really hard time pulling on my long sleeve top over a wet body. This is a step I wouldn't normally do, but the air was cool, it was raining on and off all day, and since I wasn't trying to win anything, I just didn't want to be cold. The jersey is not skin tight, and this could have contributed to my slow bike time. I was getting passed on the flats, not something that usually happens. However, the single biggest reason for my slow bike performance (2:44 for 56 miles), is the fact that I only started riding again at the end of April after a layoff since last September (not even trainer rides). How slow is that time for me? Well last year on this same course I had an equipment breakage, had to stop, flag down some tourists for tools, fix my bike, and then start riding again, and I was still 5 minutes faster than this year. When I'm on form this is a course I'd typically do in darn near 2:30.

Sounds like a lot of excuses right? Well no. I accept that my result on the bike is about what I deserved given my lack of prep. The good news is I've increased my bike mileage for the year by 20%! The downside of my poor bike prep, is that I really had to put a hurting on my legs just to get that time. This impacted my run. However, there is a silver lining: Even having to walk on the run to shake out leg cramps left over from the bike, and even though I had to run the uphills slowly because my legs continued to want to cramp, I still broke 1:30 for the 1/2 marathon, which makes this my fastest run leg in a 1/2 Ironman ever.

My final place was 61st overall and 9th in my age group with a total time of 4:47; 15 minutes faster than last year.

I race my next 1/2 in August, by which time I should have the bike in order. This should be a double win as well. Assuming I keep my run speed, I can improve my ride by say 10 to 15 minutes (putting me back in my normal range), and because I'll be more efficient on the bike, I could run even faster than I did today. The effort was there. I didn't give up or puss out today, despite the rain and the fact my rack space was in a pool of mud and water. I just didn't have the legs on the bike. However, I do "know how to ride" (it's usually my best event), so I'm confident it's just a matter of time before I'm cranking out the speed again. My energy levels were great today, and that says a lot about my base. If you've got a good base, things will be okay. It just takes time.

The numbers:

13.1 miles run

Terrain: Asphalt/Sand/Dirt

YTD Mileage: 426.27
MTG (Miles to Goal): 773.73
M/R (Miles per run avg.): 8.70

YTD Mileage: 334
# of Rides: 12
M/RD: 27.83