Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Giant Eagle 5150 recap

I signed up for Giant Eagle for a couple of reasons:

1) They were the only ones who responded to my emails about an entry (among others like the Philly Tri)
2) I would get to visit Ohio, where I have never been
3) It seemed like a good first pro race; competitive yet also not ridiculously competitive
4) the Behmes live in Ohio
5) A race sponsored by a grocery store chain is never a bad idea

So on Thursday afternoon I packed up the man-van and headed Northwest-ish for the 8hr drive to Troy, Ohio.  The drive was uneventful, despite the van struggling up some of the climbs in West Virginia.  Traffic was bad at times so I arrived at the Behme residence after a bit more than a third of a day.

The next couple of days passed smoothly and on Saturday afternoon we drove to Columbus to pick up our packets and attend the pro meeting.  The main things encountered in the pro meeting were "obey the stagger rule" and "while it isn't a rule, we would encourage you all as professionals to not dolphin dive the swim," (the water was extremely shallow on the inbound portion of the rectangle) both things I figured wouldn't be too difficult to follow...

The swim course
Long story short, we grabbed dinner with friend and MarkyV athlete Ben Meer (who we stayed with that night, thanks Ben!) and headed to bed, psyched (not) for an early morning (race start for me at 6:30).

Race morning downed bright and too-early and we drove up to the race site where John dropped Carrie and I off for the start of our race.  The swim was a two-loop rectangle, the bike was an extremely flat (net downhill?) point to point course into Columbus and the run was an out and back through the city.

I lined up with the other pros (near the back) before the gun went off...

Swim 1500m in ?

I have no idea what my swim time was because they didn't post the splits of us that DNF'd and I don't wear a watch so I have a general idea of what my swim time was based on other athletes but nothing specific and I don't like to guess.

The swim started on the beach and everyone sprinted into the water.  I lagged behind a bit as I didn't want to get caught in the maelstrom that was the main pack.  That being said, I was still sucked along quite nicely by the wash of 20+ dudes swimming as hard as they could.  Once we all turned left after the first buoy it began stringing out a little bit and I gradually lost contact with the main group.  I also experienced a mild anxiety issue so had to "collect myself" for a second or two before continuing on, which further distanced me from those in front.  The next lap and a half were uneventful and went by smoothly before being caught by the main group of women just before the end.  I came out of the water right behind them and ran up the beach into transition.

T1 in ?

I ran to my bike and since I was the only pro who didn't clip in their shoes beforehand I put on my shoes and headed out on my bike.  Relatively smooth, but not as fast as it could have been...

Bike 40k in 55:40 (unofficially, according to my power file)

I passed the pack of women pretty quickly (thank goodness... no offense ladies) and continued through the first 5k of the race at a nice effort level.  The first 1/4 to 1/3 of the bike is pretty rolling and a net uphill away from the lake.  I caught the lead women pretty soon and could see some guys off in the distance and began to gain hope that I may not actually be as crappy as I thought I was.  I put my head down and pushed, passing several guys, a couple of whom stayed with me through the end of the bike.  The course was pretty poorly marked and relatively poorly marshaled, as a car turned in front of me at one point forcing me to grab a pretty good handful of brakes.  The only markings were taped turn signals on the ground which, at 25-35mph, were not easy to see and react to but we all had the same issues so it was no big deal.  In the last 1/2 mile of the course I turned left as a policeman seemed to be waving me in that direction but unfortunately the subsequent yelling "wrong way!!" made me realize that I had, in fact, turned incorrectly.  I quickly got back on course but not before two other guys followed me down the wrong path.  I felt bad, but couldn't do anything about it.  I came into T2 quickly and hopped off the bike with smoothness.

T2 in ?

I had a really quick T2 and headed out well ahead of the two US Pro Tri guys with whom I had come into T2.

Run ? in ?

I headed out on the run at a very high rate of speed, feeling pretty stellar.  My legs felt nice and loose and my pace reflected it. John and Ben took a picture or two and yelled some encouragement as I climbed the only "major" incline on the course.  The run wound its way through downtown briefly before crossing the river and jumping onto a path along the river.  I carried on smoothly before eventually reaching a dead end.  I realized with some sadness that something was wrong.  I turned around and ran backwards before encountering Jim and Ryan of USPT and asked if they had seen a turn, which they had not.  We ran back to the dead end just so they could be sure before turning around and running back where we had come.  We realized we had missed a u-turn (or near u-turn) that would have taken us back up onto the road and across the river again.  We all ended up running back to the finish line and turning in our chips...


Alas, these things happen.  While it's certainly my responsibility to know the course and the fault was entirely mine, I've never raced an event that was as poorly signed as this one.  Both on the bike and the run, the markings were simply taped arrows on the ground.  I was the only one who had multiple issues so maybe it's just something I need to be more aware of in the future but it is a little frustrating.

I certainly was in no position to come in top 5 (I'm unsure if I would have been top 10, it would have taken a pretty phenomenal run split) so it's not as though I missed out on money but with the way my run legs were feeling I'd like to have had them vindicated by a good split.  I'm happy the DNF was a result of a mistake and had nothing to do with my fitness level.  It also was encouraging to realize that I CAN be competitive at these types of races (olympic, non-draft).  Certainly not with the top guys but I think a top 10 at a 5150 is not out of the question.  It'd have to be a perfect race, but I'm excited about the prospect...

On another note, just because I feel like I have to vent, I witnessed some pretty poor sportsmanship at this race.  It's incredibly coincidental that I am the one that witnessed this, but seeing a fellow competitor (and NC resident) incorrectly run the course and hop over into the finish chute (cutting off some of the last bit of the run) and yet not have a DQ is frustrating.  I believe it was an honest mistake, but to accept any kind of award or slot (to Hy-Vee, as this race was a qualifier) is very poor form.  I did not run the correct course.  If I had wanted an official finish time, I would have ran back to where I went off course and then run the whole course correctly.  I would not have simply adjusted MY run course.

Anyway, maybe there's some explanation of which I am not aware.  All I know is what I saw and see in the results.

Next week is my third year at Stumpy Creek International, which will be a hotly contested race for the top 5 spots so I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another week, this time a good one

S - 10,200 yards
B - 240.9 miles
R - 44.7 miles
Time - 21.82 hours

At first glance it would appear as though yours truly got in some good training this week! The first glance would be correct as it seems for the first time in quite some time I've managed to have a week of good volume.  It's been a while since I've been over 20 hours, due in no small part to the fact that I've raced a good bit this month.  So far one good (NC TT) and one not so good (Triangle); I'm hoping next Sunday adds one to the "good" side (Giant Eagle). 

The highlight of this week has to be our big ride in the mountains on Saturday, but seeing the ripple effect of my last post on swimmers is a close second.  I'll dive into the latter first.

First of all, please let me say that my last blog was in NO WAY meant to be demeaning, arrogant, or anything else negative.  It was simply an observation.  It was also my own observation.  Many out there who read this (so, like 3 of you) couldn't care less about my opinion on triathlons and/or swimming (and maybe everything else, who knows; it's your prerogative).  It wasn't meant for you.  It WAS meant for those out there that WANT to be better yet do nothing about it.  That's different than wanting to be better but not being capable of fulfilling that desire.  Injuries, time constraints, responsibilities, etc all get in the way of what is essentially a hobby (although I see it more as a part time job that pays nothing and takes everything...) and that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Having those extenuating circumstances, however, removes your right to whine.  There is no whining, no pre-whining, and no excuse-making.  Either do it, or don't do it. 

I was very, very happy last week to see some new faces at SwimMAC Carolina Masters.  I'm hoping more will show up in the upcoming weeks and months.  Those who do will reap the benefits over time.  They will take control of their own athletic destiny as opposed to leaving it to chance and stagnation.  For that, I salute you.

On Saturday a good group vanned up to Morganton, NC to do a loop of awesome in the mountains.  Myself, Scott "the Pro Destroyer" Woodbury, Andrew "Fletch Wound'' Fletcher, Jonathan "Profile Design" Story, Jenny "Butt-lifter" Leiser and Ashley "Honey Badger" Ackerman. 

Fog = chance of epic
The forecast all week had called for the chance of thunderstorms so we were all hoping they'd stay away.  On the drive up it looked like it could be epic with some good fog but once we got to Morganton the skies were blue and partly cloudy.  It was gorgeous. 
The Destroyer uses his muscles for something other than intimidation

MMmmm, Cervelo
The climb up Hwy 181 began in earnest and started the ride with a bang.  The Destroyer and the Honey Badger pressed the pace early with everyone else falling off their torrid effort level.  For a couple of miles the gap opened up slowly but surely before at the beginning of the steep middle section Tall Socks (me) bridged the gap with a hard effort.  The Badger and Destroyer set the pace the rest of the way up to the top of the 13mi, HC climb.  In my opinion the hardest of the day.  The next segment was the long, net uphill trek along the BRP before hopping on 221 and going by Grandfather Mountain.  The result of all that climbing meant that the descent into Linville was, as always, very rewarding, very fast, and very fun (except for the dumb Prius driver that underestimated our speed then gave us the double finger for our expressions of displeasure). 

Grandfather Mountain ahead!
Next up was the first store stop of the day where two good things happened.  Firstly, we were complimented on our riding abilities by a young smoker on our riding abilities with the addition "I couldn't do what y'all do man."  No shi*.  Quit smoking.  The other was the Honey Badger's purchase of an 18" frozen popsicle and the attempt to unfreeze it by sticking it in his bibs.  The resulting facial expression was...priceless.  This store stop is also where the Butt-Lifter received her nickname.

Too soon it was time to head on and Hickory Nut Gap awaited.  At the beginning of the climb the Destroyer took off like a destroyer from hell, while the rest started a little more slowly.  Soon though, the Badger opened up a slight gap on the others in his quest to chase down the cobra.  Before too long, Tall-Socks felt the need to roadie it up and chase down the attackers.  After catching the Badger and both catching the Destroyer, Tall-Socks kicked it into the big chainring in an attempt to see what he was made of but by the top of the climb had still only managed a top 10 on Strava.  Oh well. 

They don't look particularly happy...

The Badger contemplates his next attack

The Badger contemplates the Destroyer off in the distance
 The descent off Hickory Nut was a little gravelly so nobody really pushed the pace (plus the big German wasn't there to flog the downhills...and uphills for that matter).  Shortly after turning left and passing Lees Mcrae the team climbed up 194 and descended shortly thereafter into Valle Crucis.  The skies were looking slightly more ominous than pleasant at this point so when the Badger suffered a cobra puncture wound right before the Shulls Mill Rd climb, the talk turned to things like vulgar stuff.  Nothing at all related to the skies. 

At the beginning of Shulls Mill the Destroyer once again attacked and all everyone saw were his huge calves flexing before he created a gap.  The Badger, fresh off his cobra wound, pushed the pace to catch while everyone fell behind.  Tall-Socks, as is his (my?) M.O. slowly increased the pace before reeling in the Destroyer, who had been passed by the Honey Badger.  After letting a slight gap open up in front of him to Tall-Socks, the Destroyer reached deep into his suitcase of courage, danced on the pedals and tip-toed his way back up to the leading pair.  The Badger set the pace the rest of the way to the top where Tall-Socks unmercifully attacked him just because he set such a fast pace. 

Once everyone re-grouped at the top, rain started on the descent into Blowing Rock, where the rain stopped.  The roads were soaked, however, so everyone had nice wet socks while crunching on their tasty treats.  Before too long, it was time to finish the ride.  The group headed back up the short but annoyingly difficult climb to get onto the BRP.  From Blowing Rock, the Parkway basically climbs all the way to 221.  It is an annoyingly long, hard slog and was made all the more difficult due to the sections of pouring rain.  The Destroyer, Badger and Fletch-Wound set a tough tempo that the other three were unable to match, due in no small part to the Profile-Design's insistence on sipping from his aero-drink.  Not shortly, the group re-grouped and made their way (post 221 intersection) on the mostly downhill stretch back to 181.  On this section, the Heavens quite literally opened.  It was POURING.  It was almost funny, but it was also not.  As they descended, however, the group got warmer.  This was fortunate, as being cold and wet is a bad one-two punch. 

At the intersection of BRP and 181, however, the skies cleared and the humidity oppressed.  Soon, the group climbed back up to the top of 181, with Tall-Socks lagging slightly due to cramps and the HB due to a crack in the armor.  Once at the top, however, the Destroyer and Profile-Design attacked immediately, getting a large gap on Tall-Socks and the Butt-Lifter.  Tall-Socks wanted none of this and subsequently put his chin on his bars and shot downhill at a high rate of speed, leaving the Lifter in his wake.  All too soon, the descent ended and everyone made their way (with time gaps) on the always-surprisingly-long flat section back to the brief climb up to Mt Zion church.  The HB had suffered another puncture, with only Fletch-Wound kind enough to stay back and help him so they were the last to arrive back at the vehicles. 

All in all, a great ride with a great group.  Hopefully many more mountain trips to come this year!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Going to bat for the swimmers

Alright, it's time to vent.  Lay it all out there.  Put it on record.  Get it off my chest. Go for broke. Tell it like it is.  You get my drift.

I couldn't count using my two hands plus the hands of several of my friends how many times I've heard a triathlete say - not exactly like this but close - "Swimmers have it so easy." Even, "swimmers are so LUCKY."  Or some other form of excusing their own lack of swimmerness.

There is so much wrong with that thought process.  It's SUCH a cop out.

While I don't have personal experience, I'm pretty confident in saying that in terms of sports, swimmers have it the hardest.  I'm not speaking to the "big 3" sports that dominate American athletics (football, baseball, basketball), those are irrelevant in this discussion.  Top level high school and collegiate age swimmers can hit 80,000 yards (or more?) per WEEK of training.  Maybe not every week, maybe not more than once or twice a month during a big build you can bet your boots that many swimmers are hitting double workouts each day and totaling well over 10k a day.  Just think about that for a second.  10k a week is a fairly big number for most triathletes.

Collegiate runners may hit 100 miles a week or more but they get to go out and explore trails, paths, roads, etc and run and converse with their skinny buddies.  I'm not discounting how much work they do, they're just limited by the fact that running is so high impact.  100 miles a week for a good runner is, at most, ~15hrs a week of actual running.  They fake their way through strength training and other such non-running activities but the bulk of their work is probably in the 12-18hr a week range.  100k a week of swimming is probably double that. Then add in dry-land.  Then add in strength.  It's ridiculous how much work swimmers do in their ''careers.''

So to say something like "oh they have it so easy" is preposterous.  They worked HARD for that strength. I do not feel sorry for myself in any way that someone like Doug Van Wie can put 2+ minutes into me in a sprint triathlon.  I admire the work ethic, dedication, and athleticism that put him in that position.  It took him extremely far in his prior sport (to the Trials and a world-record if I'm not mistaken?) and will take him extremely far in triathlon.  It's impossible to begrudge him (or anyone like him) that kind of "advantage." To even call it an "advantage" is frustrating.  Everyone else had the same opportunity to get in the pool at a young age.  Everyone could have started down that path a long time ago, but few chose to do so.  I know I toyed with the idea of joining the swim team in high school but didn't because they had to wake up early.

Think swimmer's "don't know how easy they have it?"  Why don't you go and try to do a workout with a real swimmer.  They don't have it easy.  In a triathlon, they don't have it easy.  It doesn't get "easier," you just go faster.

Too many triathletes putz their way through swimming thinking they'll get better with their pathetic swim workouts.  It's not going to happen.  You don't just "get better." It's a long, patience-driven and sometimes frustrating path of years and yards.

Triathletes seem to understand that to get better at running you have to run more and sometimes harder.  They also understand that to get better on the bike you have to...umm...ride more and more harder.  Yet somehow that knowledge and understanding is lost when it comes to swimming.

Take a look at this list and what stands out:

Kenneth Svendsen
Sebastian Binneman
Scott Woodbury
Ashley Ackerman
Mark Carey
Nick _____
James Haycraft
Donny Forsyth

Every one of these guys (and I'm sure some I'm forgetting, sorry) will be at or near the front at a local race (some even near the front on a bigger scale).  As far as I know, none of them grew up a "swimmer."  All of them put in year after year of hard work in the pool to get where they are.

Speaking from personal experience, 4 years ago I did my first ever open water swim at the Lake Norman YMCA sponsored swims.  It was the longest 1500m of my life and took me a little bit over 30 minutes.  I had started lap swimming (for the first time in my life, I might add) in June of that year.  So four years ago I would have swum 30-32 minutes in an olympic distance triathlon.  Now I would expect to swim under 22 minutes and come up within a minute or two of the fastest swimmer (unless Doug, Matt, or Duff show up to race) at any local race.  Anyone can look at my training logs.  I had never stepped foot (or dipped a toe I should say) into a pool with the intention of becoming a faster swimmer until the summer of 2008.  And now I expect to emerge from the swim and get on the bike in the top 5.  Progress. 

And all these swimmers didn't get better by busting out weak-ass swims of 5x100 pull on [insert low effort interval here].  They did it by hammering over and over and over, day after day, month after month, year after year.  Swimming all out 100s until your arms and legs tingle so much and you start seeing stars.  Gut-wrenching sets of 500+ yards at an effort level similar to a 20 minute power test.  Over, over, and over again.  

Triathletes can (and should) swim hard at almost every swim session they attend.  The standard formula should be: wu of 500-1000, main set of 2.5-3.5k, warm down.  2,000 yards + of hard swimming 3, 4, or 5 times a week.  When I hear or read about triathletes who really feel like they are "putting in the work," my initial thought is to never believe them.  No, your pathetic swim workouts are not enough to make you get to the level that you think you are capable of.  When you swim 15+ minutes in a race and *think* you should be at 13 (or some analogous time difference), there's a big discrepancy.  No, it's not because the course is 2+ minutes long.  It's because you're not as good as you think you are.

So, in short:

1) Stop complaining
2) Work harder to get better
3) Come into T1 closer to the front than the back
4) Problem solved

It's simple.  Just that step 2 takes a while...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Triangle Triathlon

Triangle Triathlon 7/14/12
750m - 17.5mi - 5k

I drove up to Cary, NC to drop off some bikes at Inside Out (unfortunately I had brought the wrong ones with me; further, I would forget to bring one back that I had said I would...alas) and register for the race (since I had forgotten online registration) on Friday afternoon.  Besides me being out of whack, mentally, everything went fine and I headed to Mark Carey's house in Chapel Hill to spend the night.  We made a trip to the ol' Harris Teeter where I made the fateful decision to purchase a pint of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ben and Jerry's (well, I suppose the fateful decision would be eating the entire thing in ~10 minutes, not necessarily purchasing it).  Needless to say, it was delicious.

We woke up early Saturday morning and headed to the race site at 5:30am.  I was a little nervous because I felt as though something...wrong...was happening inside me.  We made it to the race, loaded up and rode that bikes to the transition area where I set up on my rack pretty quickly (I was a high # since I registered at packet pickup, unfortunately not in the same place as the other opens in whose wave I was racing) before realizing that I needed to hit a porto.  I needed to to hit it stat.  Unfortunately, the stop did little to clear away my issues.  Having never dealt with something like this before; I didn't think that much of it.  I figured I could get away with a lot in a sprint.  Any maybe I could have, but not this time.  Oh well.

Swim - 12:27 (7th)

I lined up to the far left next to Mark and Doug and as the gun sounded took off at an extremely ambitious pace.  Almost immediately I felt hands slapping my feet nice and gently and I looked up to see only (who I assumed was) Doug ahead of me.  Only a minute into the swim he already had what appeared to be a 50 yard lead.  Ridiculous.

I made it to the first buoy ahead of everyone but Doug and pressed on until at about halfway Mark, Chris (Tommerdahl) and Greg took a different path.  I thought my line was straight so continued on directly towards the second, and final turn buoy.  I saw them off to my left the whole time and they weren't gaining any ground so I was content to remain where I was.  At the second buoy our paths naturally merged and I found myself on Chris' feet, with Greg off to the left and Mark ahead of her.  A little ways onward Mark let Chris take the lead and got on her feet while I stayed behind him; it was like being in a jacuzzi staring straight at a couple of the water jets. There was a lot of noise in the water, so I was content to sit there and enjoy the draft as my arms and legs tingled from the effort level.  I exited the water close behind Mark and Chris and a little further back from Greg (and we were all 2+ minutes down on Doug).

T1 - 1:37 (27th)

The run up to transition was a long one and I didn't push it for fear of dying.  I got to my rack space (which was close to the swim exit but far from the bike start/finish) and had a not-perfect transition before heading out onto the bike course.

Bike - 41:34 (2nd)

Once out on the bike we had to negotiate some fairly narrow bends marked by cones and I pulled ahead of Chris as she was doing up her shoes and kept pace with Mark.  After the cones were gone I concentrated on not doing anything stupid.  A little ways onward I passed Mark with Greg only a bit up the road.  Once I caught Greg and passed him I looked back to see Greg pacing with me and Mark a little ways back, which surprised me as I expected him to be right there as well.

Regardless, I pressed onwards but without my watts I was unsure of my effort level.  I mean that in the sense that I don't care if I'm OVER my target, I care if I'm UNDER my target.  I'm a slave to the numbers and, for the most part, I think it's a good thing.  I think I should have ridden this course harder, but with Greg being a constant presence it became "easy" to use his pace as opposed to setting my own.  Oh well, tangential word vomit.

Greg and I swapped the pace setting duties a few times as we tried to catch Doug.  As the course continued it became clear that it would take almost the whole bike to do so (hopefully, anyway).  It was exceptionally humid and my visor was fogged over completely so I kept trying to push it up but it didn't want to.  I kept expecting my legs to warm to the effort but unfortunately they never did, and Greg and I continued onwards until we caught a glimpse of Doug a ways up the road.

Unfortunately, we didn't catch him until literally T2.  I hopped off my bike with expeditiousness, hoping to run my way into the lead.

T2 - 00:45 (3rd)

I had a long run with my bike but had a quick transition.  My T2s do not appear to be a problem.  It is T1s that need some work...

Run - 22:21 (69th)

I went out and over the mats only a couple of feet behind Doug, but could tell almost immediately that my stomach was going to have none of this fast running.  I managed to hold him in my sights (that doesn't mean I was close to him sadly) until we turned onto the trails but after that I slowed dramatically.  My stomach felt very knotted and/or riled up and running fast made the sensations extremely unpleasant.  So I basically resigned myself to a nice trail run and tried to cheer (lamely, because I suck at cheering) everyone I saw.  Anyway, I ran slowly (very slowly) to the finish.  A bit disappointed, but happy to still finish 5th OA.

I was not happy with the outcome of the race, but since it was my first bad race of the year and it's July, I can't take too much away from it.  I made a bad pre-race decision and paid the price.  That's the way the cookie (dough ice cream...bang!) crumbles sometimes.

Next up is a good week of training, then a little more training, then Giant Eagle 5150! I'm excited to see how fast I can do a true olympic distance and still get my butt handed to me by some legit professionals.  Hopefully I don't slip up and ask for any autographs!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And so it begins...

6.25 - 7.1
S - 12000 yards
B - 181.5 miles
R - 34 miles
Time - 16.87 hours

7.2 - 7.8
S - 9,100 yards
B - 170.6 miles
R -  50.1 miles
Time - 17.36 hours

My title would lead one to believe that something epic ensues.  The title would be mis-leading.  I have, unfortunately, done nothing brutal and/or epic as required by the triathlete's creedo.  I did not have an "epic" 6 mile run or a "brutal 2k swim."  Most of the brutality these past two weeks was a result of my lack of sleeping.

Sleep is a glorious thing and something I cherish.  It's frustrating to get into that vicious cycle of laying there in bed, not falling asleep, then worrying about not falling asleep, then thinking about why you're worrying about not falling asleep, and not falling asleep.  It's terrible.

On June 30th I cracked like an egg during the Taco Ride.  It was so hot. I was miserable.  I rallied for a good week last week, concluding with the NC State TT championships near High Point, NC.  To summarize the race:

Drove up to High Point after leaving at 5:30am.  It's already muggy.  I got to see the sunrise, which is always both cool and mildly depressing.  I'm not really an early morning person.  I'm trying to be, but it's a long, patience-driven road of grogginess.

Got to the race site, picked up my number, warmed up for a while and set off at 8:35.  The first 15k or so of the course was pretty rolling; the course had a total ascent of ~1200' according to the ol' Garmin.  Several climbs with (one in particular) resulting descents (hit 48mph in the aerobars, which was interesting).  My power was high and I caught my minute man in the first 10 minutes.  My two minute man was not far away and I shortly caught him.  

The middle third of my TT was not very impressive.  It was very, very humid so I was sweating a good bit, although I don't think I slowed b/c of the heat.  It's hard to maintain focus for an effort like this.  In a triathlon it's somehow easier because the bike is just a way to get to the run and out of the swim.  It's bookended quite nicely.  A TT feels so finite that it's hard to really crush it.  I definitely didn't ride any harder than I do in an olympic distance triathlon.  I think a lot of people feel like they need to not ride hard in an olympic.  I do not feel that way.  I ride as hard as I can.

Anyway, My 20-30k portion kinda sucked but during that I caught my three minute man who, despite looking fit and wearing pink socks, was not going very fast.  Pink socks are only acceptable if you are very fast.  Yes, I wear pink socks.  You do the math.

Last 10k I pressed decently and crossed the line a hair under 55:40.  I was pleased with the result, although the course was a bit short so the times/mph are slightly misleading.  My time put me as second Cat 3 and 8th overall.  The winner, Ryan Jenkins, was one of only two guys to go under 53 minutes (52:11) so to be a little over 3 minutes down on a cyclist of his caliber was definitely awesome.

Full Results

Next up is a little sprinting on Saturday at the Triangle Triathlon so I'm definitely moderately excited about that!