S - 14,100 yards
B - 184.9 miles
R - 47.9 miles
Time - 18.78 hours
This week brought with it the first batch of real humidity and I definitely suffered a little bit consequently. I had to bail halfway through a threshold run workout on Wednesday since my PRE was so much higher than my actual pace would suggest it just didn't seem worth it. Once we moved into Thursday though the weather seemed to realize how annoying it was being and cooled off a bit. Although it wasn't so much the heat, it was the humidity. Every year this seems to come as some sort of surprise to me; it's going to get humid and hot and I asked for it all winter!
Not a lot to mention about the swims; I've been a little inconsistent lately but that's primarily due to racing (taper/race/recovery) and I did miss a swim on Saturday since the MAC was closed but made up for a bit with my first real OWS of the season on Sunday with the North Crew. It was also my first longer swim in a wetsuit since Triple-T last year and with White Lake traditionally being wetsuit legal that's definitely good to get in a swim with your body condom on before actually racing! Otherwise it can feel really terrible...
Cycling was good this week; not too many exciting things to report (which is so different than normal!!) but I felt a little flat all week for no good reason other than the fact that it was a little warm. It worried me a bit heading into the race on Sunday since I knew the course would be fairly challenging. Luckily it didn't seem to be an issue.
Besides the previously mentioned middle-of-the-run meltdown I felt pretty good most of the week. A little sore and crampy but I think since I got hot I haven't been hydrating quite as well and that showed up a bit during a couple of runs.
Morganton May Day Biathlon Race Report
1st OA, no course record
Brian suggested I do this race back in January and it seemed like a great idea since it was close and cheap (only 30 bucks!) and they offered prize money for placing and a big prize if you broke the course record (set back in 1992 by one of the best duathletes/triathletes of the 90s Jay Curwen).
Woke up Sunday morning feeling super tired as I didn't get much sleep the night before but that was nothing a little Dunking Donuts couldn't fix. Made the relatively quick drive to the race site where I signed up, set up my bike and went for a warm-up run with a couple of efforts at or around LT pace to activate that system and get the blood moving. I felt pretty awesome on this run actually - however brief - and was exciting about trying to go run a fast 5k.
As an aside, my previous open 5k best (so not including sprint tris where the course is always in question!) was a 17:27 I believe, back in August of 2008 at the Greekfest 5k. I consider this biathlon 5k to be an "open" 5k since it was first and since I didn't hold back (knowingly anyway). I did notice that Sonni and Jay were both at the race, so that was two "known" competitors that I hoped would galvanize some fast times.
5k - 16:32 - 1st, 5:19 avg
Lined up on the front and started off pretty quick. One guy jumped out really fast immediately with another guy chasing (the "other" guy was obviously out of his element...) so I settled in and temporarily led a "chase" pack about 10m behind the frontrunner. Within a quarter mile I was passed by two guys and setttled in behind them to work on my already excellent drafting skillz. Just before mile 1 a shorter guy (ended up coming in 2nd) created a gap in front of the dude in front of me so I decided to bridge and caught him at about mile 1, which we went through in 5:04. There was a long, gradual downhill after that and I continued to sit behind 2nd place guy and felt very in control for the next 800m or so. Just before mile 2 on a slight incline I decided to back off the pace a bit just to make sure I still felt "comfortable" and ended up losing my pacing buddy just at mile 2, which we passed in 5:13ish. I tried to hold a steady effort level and mile 2-3 involved some effort level so my pace slowed a bit as a consequence. I still felt strong and smooth and went through the mile about 100-150m behind 2nd place guy in 5:33ish. At that point it was mostly flat to the finish and I held 5:11ish pace through the finish line for a 16:32.5 official time. Obviously, huge PR in the 5k with no real speed-specific work. Very encouraging stuff!
Transition - 1:02 (unofficial since I just hit my lap button and there were no mats to cross)
I was first across the line in terms of biathl(etes?) and made my way to my bike. Unfortunately I had put my bike in an awkward place not knowing the layout of run in/bike out so that was a silly mistake. Put on my helmet and bike shoes and made my way out of the parking lot
Bike 19.3 mi - 47:48 - 1st, 24.2 mph
Headed out on the bike hot on the tails of the police car and the first part of the bike was relatively flat. I was definitely tired but not overly so and was pumped about how fast I had been able to run on a course that was actually a 5k (3.12 miles!) so I was riding pretty hard initially. I eventually managed to settle in and put out some power over the rolling course. There were several climbs where I shifted into the small ring and one big one up to a dam that was pretty awesome. To the left was the water and 100ft down to the right was where I had just ridden. Pretty cool. The course was quite challenging but not in a way to disrupt the rhythm. I was able to hold good speed over the top of hills and power over the shorter ones. There were relatively few "flat" sections but I was moving well and pushing at the burn point without blowing up (yet). There were never any other racers in sight behind me so it was somewhat hard to stay motivated to push hard. I knew that, barring catastrophe or some ridiculous cyclist catching me, I was likely going to win but I still hoped to sniff the course record so I was able to mentally overcome my body telling me to slow down. As I got closer to the finish I realized I wasn't going to be close to the CR (turns out, later in the same year he set the record Jay Curwen went 3:47ish at the Gulf Coast Half...disgusting!) but still rode strong and crossed the finish line with 1st place well in hand.
Full Results Here
All in all, this was a really fun event. An interesting format that made for a great VO2 max workout and a chance to see how fast I could go off relatively little to no "go-fast" training. I've now had a painful blister re-emerge after it went away post NOLA so I'm a little discouraged by that and hoping it doesn't affect White Lake on Saturday.
With the way the weather is looking for White Lake we may see some fast times, especially on the run. While I can't hope to PB every time in my 70.3s, I'd love to this weekend for sure. The swim is always slow there (at least for me) so if I swim 30mins I'll be (relatively) pleased; on the bike I'll be able to ride much steadier than NOLA and so hopefully that will net, if not a faster time, a smoother ride and therefore less strain on my legs. I'm going to try and take the run out a bit slower than in New Orleans but depending on how the race shakes out I may not be able to do that. This will certainly feel more like a "race" than New Orleans and we have a big, fun crowd heading over so it'll be a really fun weekend (as long as my stupid foot cooperates!!)