|The Double Weekend|
Coming into the week I was absolutely destroyed. One thing I failed to mention in last week's update was how deep I had to dig in the last part of the Decatur triathlon. Although I recognized it at the time and backed off at the very end, the damage was already done and in the end I would get knocked off the podium in the final 1/2 mile of the race. It was a pretty bitter pill to swallow as I could have avoided the whole incident had I done my homework, got the start list, and researched everyone's capabilities. In this case there was a 29-min 10K guy who I simply was not aware of who is apart of USAT elite development program - he ended up running a legit 4.5 miles @ 4:57 pace on a cloudness hot and humid Decatur day. Anyway, the end result was smashed legs. In fact, the legs were so bad on Wednesday that all I could muster was 12x800 at 3:15 with 400 recovery. Normally I should be able to do something like 12x800 at 2:30 or faster 400 with recovery. I was able to get in a solid group ride on Tuesday that may have also contributed to the leg fatigue for the Wednesday run. Anyway, as a result I decided to take Thursday completely off and took a normal easier day on Friday before heading to the Evergreen Triathlon.
I had been looking forward to the Evergreen Triathlon all year. Last year I had a so-so race that left me immediately sick after the race and ruined my double last year which was to be complete with Ironman Racine the following day. Needless to say I was itching to get back and see what I could do. However, that all changed after arriving at my homestay with fellow pros Bryan Rhodes and Brooks Cowan and finding out that Colin Riley and the guy who ran me down the previous weekend would be there. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't worry about competition, it was simply that I wasn't really looking forward to getting in a real dog fight and the race was shaping up to be one for sure. Ideally if you are going to get in a dog fight you want it to be the second race anyway.
Evergreen race morning came quickly and I chatted with Colin Riley in transition and I explained to him that there was a very good runner in the field capable of running 31:XX in the 10K. Triathlon is 1000% more tactical than people think it is. Onto the swim and I had a great swim hanging just off the back of Colin Riley's feet. The last time we raced was at Copper Creek triathlon in 2012 and he came in about 1 minute ahead of me in a swim half the length. Onto the bike I forged ahead but the gap wasn't opening up as fast as I would have liked so I opted to soft-pedal and wait for Riley. Riley did the heavy lifting in catching back up to Rhodes and Cowan - which was about 13 miles in - and then I went to work in making sure the group was riding as fast as possible to get as large of gap as possible over Justin Roeder who was the guy I was worried about for the run.
We rolled into transition and we went out four strong on the run with Riley making an initial surge and gaining ten yards. I was able to see Justin Roeder still coming in on the bike and I knew I had at least a 4-5 minute lead at that point. I surged a bit to pass Rhodsey and then Brooks surged and passed myself and continued on past Riley. The interesting dynamic in this group was that Brooks, Rhodsey and myself were all pulling the double, and I especially wanted to relax a bit on the run. Then with a stroke of luck Rhodsey backed it off and I knew at the point I just had to run 36:30 to guarantee the final podium spot. And that is exactly what I did as Brooks went on to win and Rhodsey took 5th.
|Men's Elite Podium at 2013 Evergreen Triathlon|
Immediately after the race I went for a quick cool-down jog, then grabbed some protein powder and Nestle Cocoa to make a recovery shake and then downed bottled water after bottled water, and got a light flushing of the legs. I knew with the little sleep the previous night, the 3+ hour drive home, and the early 3 am wake-up call that I would need to make recovery a priority. When I got home from the drive I felt surprisingly good and I didn't even bother foam rolling or stretching, but I did bother to clean, wax, and relube the bike. The one thing I have learned from working with Atomic is a clean and lubed bike is a fast bike. I also wanted to thanks Dr. Dennis Killian for the very last minute homestay at his lake house. It was awesome to meet a serious triathlete cardiologist and I can't think of anyone better to see in the Chicagoland area if you are a active endurance athlete in need of a cardiologist. Check him out at: Heartland Cardiovascular Center.
The 3am morning wake up call for Pewaukee was a slap in the face. There was no time to waste as the 75 mile drive to Pewaukee with a 6:15 start was already going to have me struggling to get everything done. For Pewaukee, I was registered for the sprint while Rhodsey and Brooks were doing the Olympic. Dan Hedgecock was also coming down after competing in the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon the day before so we had four-doublers on this day. In the end I would have a so-so swim, hammer the bike only to have to break a 45mph descending speed to stop for a train. Fortunately after waiting the 2:16 (according to my Garmin) I looked back before stomping on the gas and I saw no one still. I knew at that point I could just cruise and would be fine and that is exactly what I did as I came in for the win.
After the race I was able to watch the Olympic race which was a ton of fun. The two loop bike course for the Olympic was awesome as it was super spectator friendly to see the bikes flying thru main street in the quaint little town of Pewaukee. However, the highlight was towards the end of the run when Brooks was side-by-side with fellow pro Chris Wichert. I watched them for 3/4 of mile but they could have been running with each other for much longer. The last 1/2 mile was up hill and in to the wind and in the end Brooks would have the better kick in the finishing shoot to complete the podium. I knew Brooks was in the hurt-box big time and it was great to see someone who refused to quit. Rhodsey won easily and Dan Hedgecock took second.
Overall the weekend was a major success. I was able to get in a successful double without killing myself in the process and continuing the fitness build. I was going to take a little taper into Ironman Racine next weekend, but seeing as the field is so strong and there is little chance for a payday, I am likely going to swim hard, bike hard, and cruise the run. Of course that could all change if I find myself in the right opportunity but right now I am still focused on building fitness for late season Ironmans.
My weekly swim, bike, and run totals:
Total: 185 Miles / 18 hours 46 minutes
Swim: 24,156 yards / ~14 miles / 7 hours 26 minutes
Swim: 24,156 yards / ~14 miles / 7 hours 26 minutes
Bike: 142 miles / 7 hours 36 minutes
Run: 30 miles / 3 hours 42 minutes
Core: 0 sessions / 0 hours 0 minutes