Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Two weeks ago I raced the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon on October 3rd. This was a weekend after my race in Alabama and my second ever Lifetime Fitness Race to the Toyota Cup race. I drove down with my friend, training partner, and now eligible new pro Andrew Bauer the Friday before the race and somehow managed to make it through LA without hitting traffic (probably the first and last time this will ever happen for me). The race was on Sunday so we spent Saturday morning out where the swim was going to be at the beach because we wanted to see if there was any swell and to practice our run/swim out in the waves and also our swim/run out of the waves. With Andrew being from Michigan this was the first time I think he had gone for a swim in the ocean and I do have to say it was pretty funny watching him go through the waves for the first time. (To his credit it didn't take long for him to get good at it). There were a few sets that came in sporadically so we knew that the difficulty of the waves would really just depend on what the ocean was doing when the gun went off. After Nationals I was pretty excited to redeem myself with some good races and I woke up race day morning really excited to get out to race. This field was the strongest field that I had faced at a race and I was ready to see how I could race with them. (There were 5 Olympians in the field including the current World Champion). When the gun went off for the swim there really weren't any waves so it was relatively easy getting out to the first buoy. I found myself sitting in 3rd for most of the swim behind Cameron Dye and Javier Gomez and was happy to just hang out there knowing I wouldn't be able to push the pace any faster. The interesting part of the swim came about right after we made our right hand turn to head towards the beach...for those of you that have been in the ocean before when a wave is starting to form it starts sucking water back towards it. So if you are swimming right in front of a forming wave you will typically have the feeling as if you are being pulled backwards. Unfortunately I was in this position when the not a huge wave but definitely the largest we had seen so far that day was forming. I was in the position where I was too far in front of the wave to actually catch it and in the perfect spot for it to land right on top of me. As soon as the wave hit me I started flipping and tried to use some of the wave for any sort of forward momentum (this is also the point where the guys who caught the wave were able to ride it way past where I was). After I was able to get myself out of the water I had lost contact to Cameron Dye, Docherty, and Gomez and I was with Matty Reed and Andrew Starykowicz. I knew that Andrew would be pushing the pace on the bike and did my best to hang with him at the beginning of the ride but he quickly dropped me. At this point I was by myself and knew that the guys ahead of me would be hammering it so I did my best to really work the bike and I was feeling pretty good. (especially after I paced Gomez who would then later run by me so fast it made me wonder if I was actually walking instead of running.) At the turn around on the bike I saw that I was in 4th and saw the quality of guys behind me and just continued to ride as hard as I could to see what would happen. I ended up coming off the bike in 4th but was quickly passed my Greg Bennett as soon as I got onto the run. After the hard bike my legs felt really heavy and the steep hill that we had to run twice didn't help. I ended up having a pretty slow run and fell to 8th which I was happy about because of the quality of the field but also pretty disappointed about because it was one spot out of the money. Overall I was glad that I was able to follow up Nationals with a good solid effort. This was also the first race in which I feel the work I have done on the bike actually paid off. I still have the very obvious weakness in a my run but that will continue to be a work in progress. I have one Olympic race left for the season and that is next weekend at the US Open Triathlon in Dallas.