Monday, August 18, 2014

Race Report: TriFitness Norwalk Sprint

Got up around 4 for a 6:45 transition area shutdown, planning to get there at 5:45. Had a half hour ride, plus some time to pick up my buddy in town, who was going as well. Warmup was nothing special, some quick sprints up and down the sidewalk, fit test in the water with the wetsuit to get acclimated, but nothing deep. I've been wary of overdoing the warmup of late, after the cramp\tear experience in June and subsequent training.

Settled into a smooth stroke right off the bat, sighting often and staying long as I've been doing in training. The higher my turnover lately, the worse my stroke, but if I keep those points in mind, everything gets good quickly. I moved into the back of the front pack and stayed long, as others started to fade I kept moving up. Zero issues today. Could I have gone a little faster? Yes, but I was so in need of a solid swim performance this year, I just stayed in rhythm and let it go, a comfortable, all day pace of 1:35\100 yd. Hopped out, unzipped and got on the bike ready to lay it down.

Solid bike, stayed right at FTP the whole time as planned - an 11 mile bike, figured the transition would give me the recovery. Made one bad turn (overshot a right turn and had to go through a gas station), which probably cost maybe 5 seconds. Surprisingly I ended up with not the best, but the second best split on the day, behind the overall winner who I didn't know, a very strong female rider. It's not often I get caught on the bike, and it's a first for a female, and on a roadie no less. That's some serious speed, I tip my cap!

Being a sprint, I was redlining pretty hard setting out the run, and held on to a 7:20 pace as long as I could, which turned out to be a mile, at which point I had to settle down for 50 yards before setting out again at a lower pace. At this point I was in 2nd overall as far as I knew, as I hadn't seen any women yet. I burned a lot of matches on the bike and the transition was not enough recovery, and I was paying for it. 3rd OA came up and hung with me a bit before motoring on - I wasn't going to get him - and I saw the two women leaders, including a friend, an ex ITU pro. The one in front was looking very strong and was clearly going to pass me, and in some quick calculation I figured out I was out of the top 3 at this point and wasn't going to get it back....going for the AG win. The course afforded me a long look at the competition and I was several minutes ahead of any in the group, so I stayed easy and finished well within myself. Handily took the AG and sixth overall! My best AG finish to date, albeit in a sparsely attended race, but a win is a win.

Even more good stuff, my buddy surprised himself with a personal best and took home his first podium finish, which elated him enormously. Great to see the sport take root in a good friend!

If I'd dialed it back a tad on the bike I could have run a bit stronger, but it's a trade I won't make. I can make up too much time on a bike that I can give back on the run. The only thing I can do is what I have been - get the bike as dominant as possible and continue to increase my bike threshold to give myself more cushion to get to my run pace with matches to burn. Swim is building well towards Hunter, I'll continue the build for the next 3 weeks and be at peak.

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