||Spud Long Triathlon
||Sunday, June 13, 2004
||Indian Head, MD
||Triathlon - International Distance
||Male 30 - 34
||1 / 361
||I had fun! ;-)
This was probably the seventh time I have done Spud and it remains one of my favorites. This was one of those races where everything seems to come together and nothing really went wrong. I won this race for the first time a few year back but never managed to pull together another win until now.
Special "thanks!" to PBN and Pedalshop for their continued support!
- Fast transitions are an easy way to make up time; take advantage of it! - I passed 10 athletes in the swim/bike transition to move from 12th place leaving the water to 2nd place starting the bike.
- Time off from training for a week or two is never a bad thing
- Always wear sunglasses - keep the bugs out of your eyes on the run and help's hide how you're feeling on the run.
- Always smile for the camera and other athletes...it's supposed to be fun! (or at least look that way) :)
Four weeks before Spud, I was pondering whether or not I would be running or biking the rest of the summer (or if ever for that matter). While commuting to work, I had developed painful soreness behind my left knee. After riding home that evening (unwise), it became a sharp, shooting pain. I could not put any pressure on that leg while bent without wincing. I played through several scenarios in my head and figured I was done racing for a while. Maybe I could become a real swimmer or pick up a new hobby or two... :)
After consulting with Lindsey who's a PT, we ruled out bursitis and a meniscus tear. She thought it might be tendonitis which I confirmed with my doctor a few days later. Knee brace, ice, rest, and lots of Ibuprofen.
My doctor: "Do you depend on triathlons as a source of income?"
Me: "No, I answered."
My doctor: "You probably shouldn't race this weekend [Triple-T;] otherwise that will probably be it for the rest of the summer."
So that's why I did not do Triple-T.
I took a week off of biking completely then slowly added in easy Lifecyle spinning then easy outdoor spinning at the two week point. I did no running for about 2.5 weeks. I did get a lot of swimming in but had to use a pull buoy and couldn't push off the wall with my left leg the first week.
[Note: In hindsight, I was starting to get run down and over trained. The time off and rest were much needed and I now have a much sharper focus as I near Lake Placid than I probably would have.]
My fitness for Spud was somewhat of an unknown. The sharp knee pain went away after about a week but a dull ache continued. I opted for Ibuprofen on race morning.
I did taper for this race making the week before relatively light and taking Tue or Wed completely off. I have trained straight through for shorter races to use them as training races in order to focus on key, longer races.
It's a little an hour from Ashburn to Spud start at Indian Head. We arrived near the park just before 6am, thinking we had lots of time (1.5 hours to Olympic start), to find a long line of cars completely stopped with the park entrance out of sight and around the corner somewhere. Forty minutes later, we parked.
Brad's races are pretty low key. In past races, you had to bring your own swim cap if you wanted to wear them. This year, caps were color-coded by wave. Transition racking is first come/first serve. I opted to rack my stuff at the end of a rack near the run start to take advantage of "the shortest distance between two points."
Swim was uneventful although Spud Sprint started about 20 minutes late since many athletes, like ourselves, were late trying to get into the park. I seeded myself at the very front near Tom Crandall and Dave Cascio. The water was surprising cool given recent heat wave. I choose a sleeveless wetsuit but probably would have been comfortable in a full suit.
BANG! Triathletes surged and arms started churning. The start was chaotic as I was fought for position near the front. I moved quickly into Tom's draft but left it not long afterward as we diverged. For most of the swim, I swam near other athletes but was unable to draft. Course was well-marked although single line of buoys meant running the risk of running into someone swimming in the opposite direction.
I exited the swim right behind Tom and sprinted up toward the transition area while removing cap and goggles and unzipping my wetsuit. Arrive at the rack. Remove the suit. Grab the shoes. Grab the helmet and glasses. Grab the bike and run like crazy to other end of the transition area.
Volunteer: "You're #2 leaving the transition area."
To leave the park, you have to climb. No chance to let the heart rate recover a little from the swim exit.
There was always a steady line of Sprint athletes to chase until the courses split. I tried to give words of encouragement but was sucking wind as I was pushing hard. I wanted the front.
Me: "Good, huh, job, huh, gasp, Keep, ugh, it, huh, up!"
I saw and caught Cascio at about mile 5. We exchanged "Hey, Dave's" and I kept pushing.
It's lonely at the front. You never know who's behind you or how close they are until they start to close within site. I wanted to build several minutes on the next person as I was not sure about my running legs. I had no way of knowing who was behind me or how close they were. I kept throwing glances back at turns but did not see anyone.
Bike to run transitioned seemed a little slow as it took me a couple of tries to get my running shoes on (poor balance). No socks. I decided to take my chances with blisters. No worries.
I left transition through a long, somewhat convulted chute. I remember having to take a left then a sharp right on a slightly embankment...could have been a twisted ankle. I kept looking for the next rider to come in. As I turned onto the road, I saw Crandall and figured I had a 1.5 to 2 minute lead. It was another heart busting climb out of the park.
Once I left the park, my running felt smooth. My heart rate was high but I felt I was "in the groove." No worries. Just cruise. OK, it was very uncomfortable but it was also manageable. Time seemed to go by quickly.
It was not lonely on the run until the Sprint athletes turned around. Lots of folks to offer a thumb's up or "Keep it up, you're almost there." Past the Sprint turnaround, I kept myself occupied by watching the bikers coming in the opposite direction to finish up the bike leg.
Run turnaround. Grab some water. How far back is #2? I passed Crandall in the other direction. We high fived each other and kept going. He had gapped the next couple of guys (Cascio and someone else). Everyone seemed to be moving very fast.
Last mile or so is through the park. Lots of twists and turns and not much of a chance to see who's ahead or behind. Keep moving. Run across the bridge. Flash the "V" sign (peace sign), smile for the camera and cross the line.