S - 17,625 yards - 5:13:10 hrs
B - 218.8 miles - 10:56:08 hrs
R - 47.1 miles - 5:37:51 hrs
Total - 21.79 hours
Not much exciting to report on the swimming front this week. Ashley and I swam together a couple of times and had good workouts on Thursday and Saturday but the rest was just a little of the same things I've been saying this year: consistent progression. Saturday's main set consisted of an 8x400 and I was swimming those at a faster pace than my 500 yard TT from one year ago. Not too shabby. It's also important to note how up and down swimming has been for me lately. Two Saturdays ago I could barely manage 1:20/100 yd pace during some longer intervals and 2 weeks later boom goes the dynamite. Lots of ups and downs with this sort of training volume.
The biking was the big "mental hurdle" this week. Looking at my schedule when I received it last Sunday I saw several important things
Tuesday: anaerobic power test, 2 hours total ride
Thursday: 2.5 hrs aerobic
Friday: aerobic threshold power test (30 minute time trial), 2 hrs total ride
Saturday: 2.5 hrs aerobic
Sunday: Cool Breeze Triathlon
Ok, the whole week was "important." That's a lot of hard riding. So for about 25-30/220 miles this week I was riding pretty much as hard as I could. I was quite happy with my 30min TT on Friday. Not necessarily with the results (wattage numbers), but the fact that I put it more power throughout the 30 minutes and that I did it after 2 days of riding, a long run with a 30min progressive tempo on Wednesday and a run with a fartlek/interval workout on Friday morning. It's also the first 30min TT I've done before so just making it through one of those is a mental butt-kicking. Anyway, the short story of my cycling this week was that it was difficult. I was pretty tired in the legs on Saturday so my expectations were quite low for the bike on Sunday.
Running was consistent again, not much different to report on that front. The long run switched to being a longer, progressive effort in the middle so that was fun (it wasn't). I executed pretty well though and managed to string together some good runs overall this week, including Cool Breeze's run split.
Without further ado
Cool Breeze Triathlon - 6th OA, 4th "open"
Swim (250 yards) - 3:10, 9th
Considering I was seeded 8th based on my submitted swim time (1:15), I'd say this wasn't too bad at all. The fastest swim was 2:59 so the top 10 were only separated by 12 seconds. The start was rather hectic and Setup really pulled up a botch in terms of the swim start. There was virtually no warning for when the race started and I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. I started 10 seconds behind Mason and made up a bit of time on him in the first 50 yards and then held a steady gap the rest of the swim. I figure the climb out and run to mat takes about 8-11 seconds so I was swimming at roughly 1:11-1:12/100 yard pace which makes sense. I had set a long sleeve jersey on the bleachers so I began putting that out as I headed out the door, where I was greeted by a freezing cold blast of air (it was 38-39 degrees and misty at this point...) and ran across the mat into transition.
Transition - 1:02
I felt like I didn't waste any time going through here but it took me a little while standing still to get my jersey fully on; I had put the gloves in the pockets so I didn't bother with those just yet. I put on my shoes and helmet and headed out onto the bike.
Bike 12.6mi - 34:08, 17th
Wow. 17th fastest bike split. I would never have guessed that. In all honesty going in, despite the fact that I knew I was tired, I expected to have a 30-31 minute bike split on this course (all else being equal, which of course it never is...). Last year I was the fastest split (by 3 seconds over Capets) in 31:31 so the course was definitely slower this year (fastest this year was 32:31, Capets was 2nd in 32:32) although I wouldn't have guessed a full minute slower. Be that as it may, I made my way out on the bike course just behind Mason and settled in for a cold, windy race on the bike. I let Mason lead for a little while and at the 10 minute mark came around him to instigate a little back and forth action to motivate and speed up the both of us. Just after I went around him we made a right turn into the wind and started a climb, so I shifted down into my little ring. Unfortunately, the chain fell off to the inside. Most of the time I can shift the chain back on but that was not the case today. I messed around shifting for a bit then resigned myself to getting off the bike and manually putting the chain back in the big ring. I also didn't realize until after the race but my derailleur cage was rubbing on the disc cover in my two largest rear sprockets (more drag, great). I got back on my bike but at this point Mason was a long ways up the road and had become a black dot instead of a person. I meandered on through the rest of the bike course, still putting out a decent effort but at this point my motivation was gone and I was starting to get cold from my time standing still in the cold wind. As I made my way back toward the business park I dropped the chain again shifting into the small ring (didn't learn my lesson the first time) but luckily this time I was able to shift back into gear. Coming back into transition I was contemplating just dropped out to save myself the embarrassment of a bad result so I got off my bike casually (I probably looked like a moron as I couldn't really decide what to do and crossed the timing mat. BLAH
Transition - 1:09
I definitely thought it was MUCH slower than this so I guess I can't complain about my own dumb-ness too much. I trotted over to my bike (in my shoes, since I hadn't taken them off on the lead in to T2) and took off my cycling shoes to put on my running shoes, grabbed my number and took off my helmet before heading out onto the run course.
Run 5k - 17:51, 11th
So 11th might sound a little slow, but given that 5 guys only did 1 lap (and thereby took splits 1-5 to their disqualification), my run was actually the 6th fastest. Sidenote, how is it that zero women did 1 lap but 5 men did? Are they that much dumber than women? Don't answer. I made my way out onto Verhoeff rode and began the sharp descent to the turnaround (2 loop out/back course this year). I was a good ways behind Mason at this point and figured some other people were technically ahead of me but I was running okay so at the turnaround I headed back up the sharp descent that had magically become a difficult uphill. Made my way through the crowds and to the more gradual part of the road. This whole section was a false flat and also into the wind. I was trotting along pretty nicely and made my way to the next turnaround and started on the net downhill/tailwind section. That felt MUCH nicer. I was beginning to be able to feel my feet at this point so I was enjoying myself a little bit, convincing myself that I was probably running 4 minute miles but luckily, since I wasn't wearing a watch, didn't have to verify that assumption. Went past the crowds to the sharp downhill, turned around and made my way back on the second loop. Ran through the tough section to the last turnaround and then cut off the road to follow the course to the finish line.
I left before knowing the actual results so before I actually found out what they were I was pretty uninterested in the actual results. I knew I had a good swim as I believed I closed the gap a bit on Mason, who is a very good swimmer. I assumed my bike would be terrible, but I didn't feel that bad and my watts were good so I knew that the split would be a combination of my mishaps and the fact that I was on a borrowed bike and hadn't ridden a tri bike for more than 6 days in the past 5 months. I was happy with my run as I feel like I held a good effort level and negative split the 2 loops. Upon seeing the results, I was pretty accurate. Not the best performance but considering I had ~19 hours of training including two bike power tests, 180+ miles on the bike, two run workouts, 40+ miles of running, and four swim workouts and 16k+ yards in me as of Saturday evening I was not surprised.
I expected to place better but expectations and reality are often quite different ;)
Also, Navy brought in a bunch of ringers. That was kind of weird and random. Good job to all who manned up and raced out there today. Not a great day for racing (or being outside) at all!