Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chugging along

S: 7000
B: 120
R: 52

3 swims this week, one of which was very promising.  I had more speed than I've ever had in the pool before, averaging 2:31 per 200 repeat in the one good workout.  The rest was just filler but I AM starting to feel more comfortable and loose again.  I'll probably swim 3 or 4 times a week through March but I don't plan to try and really kill it in the pool.

A slightly down week in biking with most of the time coming indoors in spin class.  The main effort was doing the bike relay portion of the Charlotte Long Course Duathlon (3 mile run, 30 mile bike, 3 mile run) where Behme did the run portion.  It was a fun time but I had psyched myself out by the time Saturday came around; there were some pretty fast guys at the race: Brian Duffy (Inside Triathlon's Amateur Triathlete of the Year), Tim Surface (first year pro consistently in the low 4:0x at the 70.3 distance), Justin Park (another pro), and Will Haas (2nd place last year and a good short distance duathlete recently converted into triathlete).

Behme started out hard right on those guys' heels with a 5:35 first mile before finally coming to his senses and backing down a little bit before coming into T1 at 18:30.  I quickly grabbed his timing chip and headed out for the hardest 30 miles I have ever ridden.

Headed out on the bike in roughly 10th place and almost immediately reeled in 4-5 guys in the first 3 miles. Stayed on the gas and caught Will Haas just before the turn onto Willowside and the ridiculously hilly section of the course. I believe at the point I had moved into 4th. I saw Justin Park at mile 7 off in the distance but it took 3 more miles to reel him in; I was closing the gap hard on the hills and he was maintaining it on the flats. Haas had been trying to pace with me for a while but by the time I passed Justin I hadn't seen him for a bit. Passing him was a huge mental boost and I needed another shot in the arm for the next 20 miles. At mile 15 Carrie and Melinda were at the top of probably the most difficult hill on the course so I couldn't really say hi or thanks. For the next 8-10 miles I was pretty much by myself. I had opened up a pretty big gap on the guys trailing me and I knew nobody was closing the gap so I had to bear down and push myself even though no carrot was in sight. I saw Tim Surface around mile 22 or so but he remained off in the distance for a little longer until I caught him going through Mt Holly where Dave was stationed. I passed him and moved into 2nd place - Duffy was no where in sight - on the long uphill stretch to the right turn towards the tracks. I kept the pressure very high and put in a little minute-ish gap on Surface before handing off the timing chip to Behme.

John then promptly gave up 2nd place to Tim Surface who was running at about 20 miles an hour before cruising to the finish line for a 3rd place overall (first relay) with an 18:56 final 3 mile split.  In training shoes no less (only because he wasn't ready for me when I got back to T2 unexpectedly quickly!).  

All in all a really good day for us; we both had very promising performances.  I was especially pleased to have the fastest bike split (yes, I was a relay but mentally it felt good to have guys like Haas, Park, and Surface all try to hold my wheel - legally - and fail) and set a new course record (with an asterisk).  It would have been cool to see Nick race this year.  I think he would have had his hands full but at the same time it would have been a really good race.  

Running was also promising, culminating in a fast finish long run of 15 miles with the last 2 at roughly 6:10-6:20 pace on Davidson trails (last 1 mile was miserable as it was on the hilliest section of the trails) and my fourth consecutive week of 50+ miles.

I still haven't decided about Corporate Cup next weekend.  I really just want to do it as a long tempo run.  If Behme decides to actually run it I'll probably just end up running with him.  Then a weekend break from race and then it's Atlanta marathon.  w00t.  

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