Monday, August 2, 2010

WASECA TRI - Last minute decision to race

After the Chisago Half Iron last week I didn't feel too bad and over the next few days that followed I was feeling fairly recovered--but I wasn't thinking about racing.   Key words "feeling fairly recovered".  A few days after the half some friends asked if I was doing Waseca (Aug 1), but that was the first I even thought about it.  I road for a half hour just to spin the legs out and things were ok.  I had not intended to race for a few weeks after Chisago as I would need plenty of recovery time.  However, feeling good, I thought "I could maybe do the Waseca third iron."  Once I got on my bike on Thursday to loosen up for the TNT, however, that feeling changed.  I was sluggish, sweating more that I should be, felt like riding was more work that its worth, etc.  After about 15 minutes I loosened up and was feeling a little better, but couldn't imagine doing a 1/3 iron distance race (1 mile swim, 33 mile bike, 8.8 mile run).  Not many showed up for the TNT--probably because the majority of TriRochester members that do them just did the half or were preparing for the 1/3--but there were about 10-12 or so.  We did a 1/4 mile swim, 7.8 miles of cycling, and about a 2.2 mile run.  Just a short, but intense workout.  After that I felt pretty good--the bike felt great, but running was still very laborous an slow-motion-feeling.  Friday and most of Saturday the thought crossed my mind to race in Waseca, but NOT the 1/3.  If anything I would do the sprint (1/4 swim, 14 mile bike, 4.4 mile run).  Its sort of a 'run-heavy' sprint and with heavy-feeling legs, that would be painful, but I could get thru it.  Saturday afternoon came and I still hadn't decided.  Carin had been off work since Wednesday and took the kids to the lake.  I had done some projects around the house and was getting bored--missing the family--I figured I could take a break from home and do a short race.  I had about 12 hours before the race started and I decided to do it.  Andrew G. and I had emailed a couple times over the last couple of days--he was pre-registered and offered to drive so I took him up on it.

Pre-race:  We got there at about 6:15am and I had to register on the spot.  We got set up in transition...then waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  I wasn't going to wear my wetsuit, but Joanna H. convinced me that the time you spend taking it off will be saved in the water. Plus, less energy expended in the water.  I saw that Mederic H. and Jesse N., both doing the Sprint, were wearing them so I figured I'd better too. Doing a sprint that starts after all the 1/3 iron competitors were well into their swim makes it hard to warm-up so all I was able to do was get in the water and swim a 100 yards or so.  Then....more waiting.

SWIM .25 miles (goal: 8-9 minutes)
I decided to swim hard and fast.  For me that is more like an intent, than actually doing it.  I don't have many levels of swimming speed, but I tried.  For the Sprint, I was in wave 2--men 40 and up in wave 1, 39 and under wave 2.  I actually caught several people in wave 1 (they were wearing light blue caps, 39 and under wore white).  I got out of the water, but didn't see a timing mat.  The mat to end the swim was actually at the entrance of the transition area which had to be 75 yards from the water.  Swim Time- 8:53 (16th overall)

T1 (goal- get in an out, fast)
T1 went well and I was out and on my bike. Turns out I wasn't too fast in here.
T1 time- 1:10 (not even in the top 20)

BIKE 14 miles (goal: fastest bike split, to catch everyone, including those in wave 1, and the leader--probably Jesse or Mederic--and get to T2 first)
Within 2 blocks of getting out on the road, my chain fell off.  Yes, it did.  How often does that happen???  I couldn't shift it back on because it didn't fall to the inside--it hopped over the big ring and was hanging on my right pedal.  I stopped, got it back on, and resumed.   About 10 minutes into the bike, I caught Mederic.  I would need a lot of time on him because he can outrun me even if I am having a good day.  I caught Jason F. at about 13 minutes.  He's pretty quick for a newbie (not to mention his bike is intimidating--Kuota Kween K with Reynolds wheels--new and sweet looking).  I figured if I had any chance at getting out in front and staying there I would have to catch Jesse before the turn-around.  I was about 1/4 mile out from the turn when Jesse and I crossed each other.  He had a couple guys just seconds off of him too.  We saw each other and I'm sure that gave him a little more incentive to move faster.  After the turn around (mile 7), I clawed my way up to Jesse, but not until around mile 10.  He stayed pretty close for a mile or so, not close enough to draft, but too close for me to feel like I had a gap.  I opened a much larger gap at that point.  No one else was in front of me.  About 1 block or so from T2 there were a lot of spectators and volunteers cheering and yelling stuff.  I was sort of numb to it as I was thinking of how I could get out of Jesse's site ASAP once I left T2.  Bike Time- 34:21 (24.45 mph average, Fastest Bike Split, first to T2)

T2 (goal- get in and out fast, duh)
T2 is beautiful when you don't see any bikes, but your own!  While I was in T2 putting on my shoes, I heard the crowd roaring again.  Jesse was within a block of T2.  I thought I was a little quicker in and out, but...
T2 Time- 0:52 (26th overall)

RUN 4.4 miles (goal- 6:30's. As I started the run, I had another goal--to maintain second after Jesse catches me--lets be honest, the guy ran 5:38 average last year here).
I got out of transition and wasn't even a couple hundred yards away when I turned  a corner and could see Jesse exiting transition.  I ran steady not trying to hold him off, but not slowing.  Jesse caught me at about the half mile point.  He said "Mederic was with another guy."  What?!?!  I thought...  He must have seen them in T2 or knew they reached T2.  I kept Jesse within about 50 yards for the next few minutes, then I think two things happened: 1) I started to slow down a bit, and 2) Jesse was moving faster.  Over the next mile or so his gap got bigger. And bigger.  Did I say bigger?  The gap was growing.   I looked back and saw another guy coming.  A minute later he was closer.  Mile two I was just under 13:30 so I was at about 6:45's.  Just after mile 2 he was on me.  I thought he had to be on a relay team.  Nope.  He said he was solo.  I was now in 3rd.  This guy (later known to be Matt "Mad" Maxon--ok, I made up the "Mad" part) kept his speed and was actually gaining on Jesse--Matt was pulling away from me fast and in no time had to be 2 to 3 hundred yards up.  I was hoping he'd eventually "pop".  I look back again and now I see Mederic.  What is going on?  These guys are cruising.  Mederic was closing the gap fast.  I started to kick in a little more effort and started gaining on number 2 as he seemed to be fading.  Matt was no more than 200 yards up on me and Mederic was no more than 100 yards behind.  The last 1/4 mile I ran as hard as I could.  Mederic was so close I could hear him.  We entered the park and could see the finish banner.  I was about to BLOW UP, but held off Mederic until we crossed the line--he was only 5 seconds back!  If we had to go even 100 feet further, he would have got me...
#2, but not Matt Maxon
Run Time- 27:53 (6:20 pace if it was 4.4 miles; 6:29 pace if it was 4.3 miles--6th overall)

Mederic pushed me so hard that I was only 17 seconds off of 2nd overall.

TOTAL TIME- 1:13:07
3rd overall Finish; 2nd in AG 30-39 (they went with 10 year groups, and day-of race age)

OVERALL average heart rate (HR): 173 bpm
Max HR hit:187 bpm (most definitely in the last 50 feet of the run!)
Swim 00:8:53 (154 bpm)
     T1 00:1:10 (162 bpm)
Bike 00:34:21 (174 bpm)
   T2 00:00:52 (172 bpm)
Run  00:27:53 (174 bpm)

WASECA 1/3 IRON and SPRINT results are HERE


Joshua Grenell said...

Nice race summary. Love your write ups.


Brian said...

OK, your new name is Andy. Anyone who has a chain fall off in a race this year is 'Andy', period. No argument.

How weedy was the water this year, Andy? Last year it was green and weedy....not great water conditions. But it was dry last year and with the rain this year, maybe it was better?

I recall I liked the bike course (save the hill about 1 mile in) and that I loved the run. It was the run at Waseca in '09 that set me up for a strong August overall. Gained a lot of confidence there.

Good job, Andy! Very solid result.

Mario said...

At first I thought you meant Andy Potts, but then of course--Andy Schleck. You could say I really "Schleck'd up".