First off I would like to congratulate my friend and training partner Andrew Bauer on his win yesterday in the Stanford treeathlon (changed from triathlon to duathlon). We both competed in the race on a very cold morning and I was actually happy that there wasn't a swim. For one reason because it was freezing and the other because I was doing the race to get in some hard, fast work and I knew that taking out the swim would eliminate my strongest leg and thus making the race that much harder for me. My goal before this race was to race on very tired legs and I definitely was able to accomplish this goal with having one of my best two week training blocks of the season. (Short Colorado vacation must have done me well).
The format for the race was a 2km run, 20km bike, and 5km run. I was probably most worried about that first 2km run because of the lack of speed work that I have been doing with my training. I have been doing a lot of base miles and longer runs as I am preparing for some half ironman racing so I knew that a 2km run to start out the race would be pretty painful. I also knew that with Andrew in the race that he was going to tear up that first leg. As I had predicted before the race, this happened and I found myself basically sprinting to try to limit the amount of time I knew I would loose.
Luckily that first leg was only a 2k and even though I was slightly behind it didn't take very long to work my way to the front of the race on the bike (while managing to loose my only water bottle on a pothole...glad it was only a 2okm bike). I pushed the bike as hard as I could weaving my way around other racers on the 3 looped course while there was, in my opinion, a substantial amount of drafting going on behind me and off of me. I kept a good rhythm on the bike and went into T2 first (with that pack of riders right behind me).
Out of T2 there was a small group of 4 and we started out with a pretty blistering pace by my standards and the group started to spread itself out. As we slowly spread out we ended up running about 10 seconds apart from each other and no one could gain any time. I tried to put in a few surges to close the gap but every time I started to make up some ground I would slowly loose it again and fall right into that 10 second gap and that is exactly how we finished...Andrew about 20 seconds ahead of me and Noah Beyeler from Cal 10 seconds ahead.
While I was a little disappointed to not have been able to defend my title at this small race, I was happy with the effort that I put out. I had two decent run legs and a strong bike on tired legs and I am starting to learn how to maintain my run pace while my legs are tired. Through years of swimming I knew how to pace a mile. I could hit the 1000 yard mark and feel like I couldn't go on, yet I could still manage to close out the race at a faster pace than I started. I am nowhere near this for running but I am starting to have a better understanding of the feeling and I think that is one of the most exciting things that has happened this off season for me. I think that I will be able to get so much more out of my body in a race...specifically on the run.
This race marks the end of my base/off season/non racing season and from this point on I will really start to gear up for the triathlon racing season. I am very happy with what I was able to accomplish over the past few months and I have a lot of people to thank for that. I have mentioned some of these names before but they are worth mentioning again...Marlia at athleticamps.com for giving me nutritional guidance (I have lost some of that "swimmer weight" finally) My coach John Hansen, also at athleticamps.com, who has really put together a great plan for me and I just hope that I can race up to my potential. My friend/roommate/swim coach Trent Richardson (http://coachtrent.blogspot.com/) who has really helped my swimming over the past few weeks with an ass kicking swim training plan. I look forward to some hard training and also my first real race of the year in Miami in 3 weeks. Its going to be an exciting 2011.