Sunday, April 8, 2012

And heeeere weeee...go!

S - don't wanna talk about it
B - 206.8 mi
R - 49.7 mi

Time - 17.13 hours

Well, it feels like a lot happened this week.  I was sad to leave California behind.  It seems as though it has gotten harder every time.  Not only is it a gorgeous place but there's a gorgeous person there as well!  Well, there's actually a ton of gorgeous people in Santa Barbara but only one that actually finds me somewhat entertaining.  I'll take what I can get! Especially when I'm outkicking my proverbial punt coverage!

After that bit of get-points-for-myself blurb moving along; my travels back from the west were tough to deal with.  My flight out of LAX was scheduled for 12:00pm ish on Monday, which is an awkward time as I had to travel from SB to LA (~2hr drive no traffic) and needed to be there well beforehand to drop off my rental car and check-in for my flight with two bags.  So, I left at 6:40 am or so.  The drive was fine until the 405, which apparently is always miserable.  But I made it with more than enough time as I totally overestimated how long it takes to drop off a rental car (never having rented one before), breezed through check in, and waltzed to my gate.

My first flight from LAX to PHX was uneventful and I made it to the airport and had about 3 hours of layover to kill.  I walked around a lot and eventually made my way back to my gate and found out I was sharing a flight with Alex Mcdonald and Justin Park; Alex I had spent camp with and Justin was returning home after racing at California 70.3 (formerly Oceanside 70.3).  It was good to sit in between two like minded guys for the four hour flight and much was discussed.  I was able to geek out about aero stuff with Justin (who wants to make better use of the 360 watts he pumped out over the bike leg at CA 70.3!)  and discuss the Hunger Games with Alex (who was just starting book 1).  Landing was smooth and bag pickup went well.  I got back to my van at about midnight or just after.  Now, for the three hour drive home...

I didn't get to sleep until a hair after 3am and then woke up for work shortly thereafter.  While this may seem like a short term effect on training, it actually ended up having week-long consequences.  I felt like I was having to catch up on sleep all week.  Not ideal.  I mixed in some good workouts (Tuesday IOS ride, Wednesday hard run) with some bad and started riding my tri bike in anticipation of the coming week's races.

This week will have some seriously hard efforts, mostly on the bike.  The plan is for Wednesday night to feature the first Lowe's 10mile TT of the year, Saturday morning Belews International (whose competition level has been growing steadily) and Sunday not one, but two bike races here in Charlotte.

This schedule is a bit intimidating but I think it's going to be a TON of fun.  The Lowe's TT's are always incredibly painful but I *think* that I'll be better served this year than last in my quest to set a record time.  I actually have the 25-29 AG course record but it is not too impressive so I'd like to lower it.  Belews is going to be a competitive race.  Of all the names on the list, Matt Wistoff's certainly stands out the most.  There are some other names that I don't recognize and it's important to remember that there's always an unknown or 8 that can beat you.  I certainly don't expect to win; I just want to have a solid race and, more specifically, a fast run.  If Tom and/or Kenneth aren't racing I'd like to have the fastest run split of the day.  Sunday will bring even more pain but hopefully no carnage.  I'm signed up to do the Cat 3/4 crit at 2:30ish pm (45 minutes) and the 2/3 crit (50mins) at 4:00 pm or so.  Needless to say, the second race is the real humdinger.  I think I should win or close to it in the first race but will be surprised if I finish with the pack in the second.

I always find it amusing when triathletes say that they're going to do a bike race as a "workout."  As if there is any other way?? They find solace in the fact that they broke away for a lap or two and got in some "good TT work" but then blew up and had nothing for the sprint.  That is a bad way to race.  Triathletes too often approach bike racing in an entirely inappropriate way.  The goal is to win.  Plain and simple.  Expend as few matches as possible to save the power for the five to ten seconds when you REALLY need it.  It's not a good race if you blow up, even if you were AWESOME and went off the front (and showed how bad of a bike races you are).  It's important to set your triathlete self aside and approach it in an entirely different way.  Use your strengths to your advantage.  If you don't have a sprint, make a go with 1 lap.  If you have a sprint, sit in and use it!

That's what makes bike racing so much fun; it's a chess match played out at 25mph.  Nobody has any idea who is going to take the W, which is very different from triathlon.  I have a pretty idea of the top 5 for men's and women's on Saturday, but I have no idea about Sunday.  I may very well be the strongest person in the 3/4 race but if I race like a moron it's not going to get me anywhere.

Anyway, if I ruffled your feathers, I'm not sorry.  Bike racing is totally different.  I'm no expert, but I know a LOT more about it than most triathletes.  So, I'll call myself an expert.  That's just the way it is.  Deal with it.

Sorry, I digress.  I'm just excited.  It's going to be a fast week.  I'm excited to race my first tri of the year.  I'm not nervous.  I'm going to have fun.  If I know you I'm going to try and yell at you.  If I yell at you then you had better go faster.  Or slap me in the face, depending on the context.


Anonymous said...

I'll be seeing you at Belews. We raced at Myrtle Beach last year. Little did I know that I'd be relocating from IL to NC this winter. I need a scouting report on the local talent. -Greg Thompson

James Haycraft said...

Was wondering if that might be you, look forward to this weekend. Some fast guys. Van Wie and Wistoff will be fastest swimmers for sure. Carey/Forsyth/Fawcett/Bailey all fast. I'm sure there will be some surprises as well.