Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Philly Triathlon- 4th place

This past weekend was the philly triathlon.  This is one of the coolest race courses on the circuit.  The swim is a point to point, the bike is a hilly 2 lap course right through the most beautiful parts of philly and the run is an easy, flat double loop that is mostly shaded…amazing.

I was happy with my race and effort. I defiantly need to perk up my swimming a bit though. I was about 40 seconds further down than I usually am (the lead girls got to draft off the men cause we started together and that front pack cut the last buoy- bummer for me who stopped and redirected myself around that last buoy  =(  )  Starting a little further back after the swim was tough on this course because it is so turny and hilly that you can’t see anyone up the road.  Nonetheless, I had a similar bike in terms of watts to last week – which means I was hammering the bike- and my run was better than last week I thought. The run was cool under the shade and temps were in the 70s- perfect for a fast day.  They top 3 women broke the course record so it was evident that conditions were perfect.   All in all a good day putting me second in the series now- I am definitely consistent if nothing else!  Now Greg has some new things to try for swimming and time to go back and work on that now… There is always something to work on when you are doing 3 sports!! 

Congrats to Kaleb, Kyle and Greg for also dominating this weekend- Kaleb had a great race in Munich and Kyle showed his running prowess in his first continental cup!!! Nice work guys!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Washington DC Triathlon- 2nd Place

Washington DC Race Report
Maybe it is all about the bike?

So this weekend I came 2nd behind a formidable Alicia Kaye by 30 seconds even.  I was really pleased with this result and even more pleased that I learned a ton about myself and about strategy. Greg has been telling me to hammer the bike but I am not quite sure I understood what that meant before this weekend.  Greg has had me swimming and biking a lot more in the past two weeks and it really paid off during the race.  Unfortunately I still ended up swimming alone for most of the 1500m but I emerged only about 1 minute down from the leaders.  Getting on the bike I was quite far back in about 15th place – this field seemed to be very heavy with super-swimmers and I passed only a few people in the first lap of the bike.  Then I had this moment of revelation- about ¾ of the way into the first bike lap I thought to myself, “What if I tried to pretend this was a 40k TT all out with no run afterwards??  Maybe I should just see what happens?” 

I have never really bonked on a run in triathlon before- I actually think this is my race strength. When it is hot or freezing or I drop my water bottle and have no water or lose my nutrition or it is terrible conditions- I can always hang on in the run while a lot of the field falls apart.  This strength has caused me to probably over-perform in several races already (like 3rd at USAT elite nationals last year behind Laura Bennett and Sarah Groff in my first ever ITU race- of course I wasn’t at that level yet but it happened to be 95 degrees when we started the run….so the entire field came back to me)  How can I leverage that strength in races when it is not 100 degrees out?  I think drilling the bike may be the answer for me and a unique asset of my physiology? Or maybe this is what everyone does in Olympic distance racing and I just caught on for the first time last week..? Either way- it worked.

Anyways, so I took the risk and went really hard on the bike.  My husband Wes knew exactly what I needed to hear and kept yelling split times down from the leaders every time I saw him which was super helpful.  I posted the fastest bike split by 30 seconds and put myself right behind the leaders going into the run. My run was probably 30-45 seconds slower than it has been but I still had the second fastest run split and I know Greg is waiting to train up my run until we get closer to big races later in the season.   I still ended up way ahead of the game at the end of the day with an awesome result for me at this point- I didn’t bonk on the run and I finally learned how to utilize what I have known for a while is a strength in a race. I just can’t wait to put all the pieces together when the time comes…how exciting!!  Greg has been telling me to drill the bike and now I understand why. Having a great race and learning something that you can use in future races is the best feeling ever!!! 

I think the take away point that everyone can use is:  Try to identify your strengths.  Maybe they are a little unconventional and a little more specific than, “I am a good swimmer.”  Maybe they seem situational and difficult to leverage but then keep thinking about it and brainstorming creative ideas to use your strengths.  It wasn’t obvious for me at first.  Just keep thinking on it and it will become clear eventually…

Kaleb is racing in Munich this weekend- how awesome is that!!! Good Luck Kaleb!!!