Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008 Triathlon Season Part 1: Races

This year got off to a rough start. After getting sick I jumped back into training too soon because I wanted to do well at the Death Valley Century this spring.

Death Valley Century 105mi. 7:31
I placed 12th in this event, probably because I paced myself well (still being a little nervous after my previous illness) and ended up facing 40mph headwinds the whole ride back.

Solvang Double Century DNF

Only weeks after the DV Century was the Solvang double. I figured I'd ride 100mi. or so every saturday and then back of the weekend before and be fine. WRONG. Around mi. 115 my knee started hurting. BAD. I KNEW I needed to stop when I couldn't even ride uphill on my bike and ended up walking.

La Jolla Half Marathon 2:22:02
So I wasn't racing this, and the time might not say so but this was a good result. It was HOT. A LOT of the people I saw start in the earlier group (8min/mi. supposedly) I ended up passing because it was 90+ degrees and humid early this day. Of course there's a TON (>2000') or climbing and descending on this course as well so it was tough.

Wildflower

2007 4:12:13 32:48
2008 3:20:05 26:11 04:02 01:39:43 00:03:02 01:07:04

Last year I lost my chip, probably when I took my wetsuit off so I didn't have splits. Still I know I took 6:37 of my swim time and distinctly remember feeling WAY more fresh out of the water. Having 2 lower gears helped a lot on the bike, and while I did still have some stomach problems at the beginning of the run again I still took 52:08 off from last year. That's a 25% improvement over last year's performance not really racing this event. Oh yeah, this was only 1 week after the LJ Half Marathon!

Fitstop
While I had been using the Fitstop for testing and felt I had improved my running a LOT on my own using that data I started using Ken's coaching services as well starting in May.

Rock and Roll Marathon 4:53:35
Granted that time looks crappy, but there were 2 silver linings to that result. I ran the first half in 2:07:35 @ 9:45 pace and indeed kept that pace through 21mi. feeling great considering I had done only 1 run over 8 mi. in 5 months (the La Jolla 13.1) and did a full weeks workouts that week with no taper. Even better was the fact that when my foot started hurting, again real connective tissue pain, not muscle pain I stopped and walked the rest of the race. This was GREAT because the pain went away after a couple of days and I was able to immediately start running again. I was proud of that move, along with DNFing in Solvang which allowed me to go through the season with no major injuries.

Chicago Triathlon
Chicago Triathlon (8-24-08) 29:28 2:08 1:15:22 2:43 59:21 2:49:03
SD International (6-24-07) 16:18 4:18 1:02:06 3:03 1:08:00 2:33:45

These races were not the same distance but the conditions were similar and they were my easiest races and courses of the year. Still the runs were 10K for both races and I even though the Chicago tri had a longer swim and bike I ran the 10K 8:39 faster this year. Not only that but I didn't "race" the Chicago tri so year on year it's a 15% improvement in just my run speed.

Austin 70.3
Cancun (Sep/07) 34:38 8:13 2:41:09 4:18 3:07:48 6:36:06
Austin (Oct/08) 29:56 3:41 2:57:30 2:00 1:45:45 5:17:52

This race was executed perfectly. I went to the site 1.5 weeks early rode the course a couple times and acclimatized. My coach had reduced my long efforts for a couple weeks and the last week no high intensity only race pace. I was feeling good! Thanks to Mark Barnett and Josh Fogelman for hosting me in Austin this week. I think having a kitchen to cook in was VERY important in my ability to eat well the week before the race.
My swim felt GREAT! I came out 5 minutes faster than last year and felt more fresh yet again. I think that is demonstrated by my faster T1 as well. I know that this year I was at LEAST as fit on the bike as last year, if not a little more but I knew that last year I went WAY to fast on the bike and had to walk the whole time. Austin had WAY more rolling hills and WAY more wind than Cancun as well so I think it was a very respectable bike split. Clearly it left me plenty of energy for the run. The run was indeed at the top end of my expectations. I had done 1hour runs at 8min/mi. pace and longer 1:30-2:00 runs at 9:00min/mi. so running @ 8:05 at the end of a 70.3 was pretty amazing.

Once again this represents a 25% improvement over last year. This was a great year. In part 2 I will discuss my training from the last year, and part 3 I will discuss my plans for next year.

1 comment:

Kareem said...

dude.. you're a lunatic. seriously. congrats on such an awesome set of accomplishments!