Wednesday, May 9, 2012

White Lake Weekend

Swam ~18000 yards
Biked ~ 130 miles
Ran ~ 31 miles

Time ~15 hrs

This week was really all about the weekend.  There were some good run and bike workouts from Monday to Friday but the anticipation was really set for the ICE Racing relay beatdown scheduled for Saturday and the White Lake Sprint for Sunday.  I actually managed to get in some great swims as well, which is awesome and surprising.  It's almost as though something just "clicked" last week.  It's hard to describe the feeling as I've been somewhat sucking for months with regard to swimming. I had a few good weeks here and there (most notably in Arizona, but I had to impress Moose) but for the most part I lacked motivation, consistency and consequently really lacked volume.  It's sad because I really loved swimming.  It's so much fun, it's a great workout, I like getting better, and girls in swim suits is never a bad thing.  So finally here I am; excited again about swimming and making big leaps in the pool.  Boom goes the dynamite.

On Friday afternoon Jenny, Ashley and I loaded up the man-van and headed to the bustling metropolis known as White Lake.  Jenny and I had no desire to do a complete half early in the year and Ashley had just completed Charleston two weeks earlier so we figured a relay was the best way to go.  Ashley agreed to run (thusly getting the short end of the proverbial stick ha!), Jenny would swim and I'd do my best on the bike.  We picked up our packet and arrived at the house generously offered to our group by Heath Dotson, Adam and Jamie.  The ICE team went for a little evening swim before heading into town for some mexican food and calling it an evening.

The relay was great fun and I biked a lot faster than I expected beforehand.  I'll leave the full recap of that day's performances to the ICE Racing blog when we can assemble our three separate experiences but suffice it to say that the relay was a lot more fun than doing the full thang on that very warm day...

Sunday dawned bright and relatively early with the prospect of another race.  I was a bit tight (mainly in my butt area) from the ride on Saturday but other than that felt pretty normal.  I had seen Matt Wistoff's name on the participant last earlier in the week and was hopeful of being able to give him a good race.  I set up my transition area then went for a warmup run before making a neoprene burrito out of myself with my wetsuit and heading to the water for a bit of a frolic in the lake, which was extremely choppy this morning (and warm, despite being "wetsuit legal").

Swim 750m in 10:25 (6th)

I lined up on the front row along with Matt Wistoff and Dan Young waiting for the start and upon the signal began swimming into the chop at a pretty quick rate.  So quick, in fact, that I found myself on Matt's feet.  Unfortunately, Matt kicks a heck of a lot so that plus the chop was like riding out a hurricane in the water.  Sighting was made difficult, as well as breathing.  Luckily Matt quickly decided to drop me (despite not wearing a wetsuit) less than halfway to the first turn buoy.  Dan pulled up alongside me and gradually moved in front.  Once we turned right it got a little easier and it was somehow more predictable in between the chop.  I plowed on and felt like I made up some ground on Dan but once we turned right again it was hard to see where he was.  The waves were pushing us left so I aimed fairly far right of the dock, which ended up being a good decision.  About 50 yards from the ladder another swimmer sprinted past me to get there first, which really pissed me off.  It was the first girl and she was sitting on my feet the whole time, letting me do the sighting and pacing work then sprinted around me in the last 10s of the race.  I was annoyed. I exited the water and ran down the dock behind her while taking off my wetsuit.

T1 in 1:18 (20th)

It's a long run in a wetsuit and I had a bit of trouble getting mine all the way off then headed out onto the bike.

Bike 14(ish) miles in 33:06 (2nd)

I headed out just behind Dan and gradually made my way up to him before passing him somewhere in the back half of the first loop.  Once past I couldn't see any indication of Matt ahead of us so I continued onward.  At the end of the first loop I felt pretty good and decided to keep feeling good on the second loop.  So that was my mission the rest of the bike.  There were a lot more racers on the course but I just kept on feeling good right around the lake.  It was a good decision on my part.  I wasn't putting out a ton of power, I wasn't going crazy fast but man, I sure did feel good.  I came to the end of the bike knowing Matt was probably beyond catching but still resolved to give it a fair college try.

T2 in :51 (4th)

I ran into my spot, took off my helmet and put on one shoe but as I put on the second shoe I pushed the insole up to the front of the shoe which forced me to take a bit more time and adjust before heading out of T2.  Thus, my time suffered.

Run 5k in 18:17 (4th)

I ran out of transition pretty expeditiously in an attempt to look good for the fans.  Once they were gone, however, and I was in the neighborhood my pace became much more pedestrian.  There's really not a whole lot to say about the run; it was pretty flat and boring.  About 1/4mi from the turnaround (maybe a bit more) I saw Matt heading the other way and knew he was too far ahead to even think about catching and I think my pace slowed further with the realization.  Coming back I just kept turning the legs over knowing I had second place well in hand.  Crossed the finish line and that was that.

Fast out of T2

Slow into finish! Perfect
1:03:54 2nd OA

Overall I was pretty happy with this race.  I was definitely a little fatigued from my hard effort on the bike the day before but a second place today was a good result.  If Matt had not signed up late in the game I would have won by a decent amount, which is small (but not too small) consolation.  I think I'm getting close to being able to give it the full gas in these short races on the bike, but only time will tell.  I hadn't been planning on it, but I'm tempted to sign up and do Latta.  I don't like that race and think the course is crappy but I know that doing more of these sprint distance races will help me in the long run.

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