Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pat Griskus Olympic Tri

Hadn't planned this one in the calendar, but my buddy talked me into it. I was planning a couple of hours of tempo riding, but an Olympic makes a nice proxy.

Got there nice and early at 5am, picked an easy to find spot near the swim exit and set up. Took a 20 minute nap in the car (love the minivan!). Felt chilly, went for a 1/2 mile run to get the blood moving, helped enormously. Wetsuit on, brief warmup swim to test that the goggles (using the backups, expecting a glare this morning) were airtight, then ready to go!

For some reason I didn't line up on the front and push my way to a lead spot, so I had to watch some slow feet for 50 yards or so until I sprinted past and staked out my own water. From there, I held pace and line wonderfully. Stroke felt really good and even, although the chop after the first turn made it difficult to hold form. By the second turn, everything was very powerful and I motored in to a 45th best swim overall on a 1:30 pace, quite respectable for me and how much I (don't) swim (enough).

Crap transition, still can't get the damn wettie off the feet. I'm going to cut the ankles up a bit to the calf, this is starting to piss me off. Cost me at least a minute futzing with the damn thing. Finally got on the bike and started off.

Hurray the power meter is working today! Quickly dialed into FTP pace and was surprised how I couldn't feel the difference between 250W and 300W. Yay for adrenaline? Anyway, I fought the whole ride with thinking I was pushing hard enough and looking down to see I had more to give. I need to spend some time on the trainer getting those two in sync again! Overall, a nice bike, 17th overall, which slid me in to about 20th judging by the bike count in transition. Average power was 220W, normalized 250. There's a LOT of room in there to ratchet up, could've given myself another couple minutes, but I was pleased. A good T2, no mistakes.

Run felt fine - feet a little frozen, but I'd taken the time to get socks in T1, so they came around fine. Great course - starts out flat, then a nice descent, another flat, turnaround, two loops. You get the nice hill in there at about 2.5 miles and 5 miles, and it's a slog, but it's quick and offers relief afterwards. My cadence was way too quick starting out and I didn't figure out what was wrong until the overall 3rd passed me on his final lap and I got a good eyeful of a nice long powerful stride. The switch went off in my head, I started rotating my hips wider and driving from the core and boom, off like the dickens I went. I couldn't manage much more than a shuffle up the hills, but nobody else did either. My old nemesis\racing friend Peter passed me just before the hill on the second lap and bested me by a minute to the finish, and at the moment it happened I knew I'd lost a podium spot. Crap. Ended up 3rd AG, 27th overall, and could've easily had that minute (or more) back with a better T1. Everything counts!! Regardless, my best run performance to date with a 42:21 10K with solid hills.

Only disappointment was the watch - I tried using 'lo-fi' mode for the bike and run to maximize the battery to see if that would work better for the iron distance, but alas it's useless. I had no pace information at all on the run, and the tracking looks like a 2 year old's art project. I'm going to experiment with the 5s GPS recording mode to see how that drains the battery - I'm skeptical of the 15h advertised time, especially with the 1h swim which records at 1s intervals. If it won't make it 12 hours, it won't cut it.

Superb day, I went to the Bronx Zoo with the kids, wife, and my father who was visiting from out of town, then drinks and grills for dinner to celebrate an early Father's Day. An excellent summer day, with an excellent race. I'd go back for sure, well run and a great course.