Monday, July 27, 2009

2009 Tri-ing For Children Triathlon

Tri-ing For Children Triathlon
Eagle, WI
July 26, 2009
Olympic Distance
1.5K 40K 10K

Matthew Amman 3rd OA
S 18:18 B 59:11 (25.2mph) R 39:37

I expected this to be a challenging race both physically and mentally. I had a few prerace jitters because a number of tough competitors were expected to be there (and they were). Next I just couldn't get my mind psyched up. I tried to talk myself into it but it failed to work. This and a few other races in WI just fail to motivate me unlike Camp Whitcomb Mason, High Cliff, Devil's Challenge, or Lake Mills.

To win this race I knew that I needed to run a 37:XX 10K otherwise Joe Kurian was going to run me down! I wasn't too worried about anybody else.

Scott and a fellow Gear-Grinder Jordan Mathes took 1-2 in the swim with me exiting the water about 1 minute behind. I thought I had a decent swim minus my accident at the first turn buoy. When ducking under the buoy, my face caught the support line and took my goggles off my face so I had to spend some time getting them back on. As a result I lost another 10 yards to the swim leaders while letting the trailing pack catch up.

The bike course distance was spot on for once despite some last minute course changes because of road construction. I managed to bike into the lead after Scott and Jordan decided to question the first bike turn. After a quarter mile, they decided to turn around thinking they shouldn't have turned right but once they saw me coming at them they turned around again to follow me. With time, I pulled away and rode solo around the two loop bike course. It was a windy day with some rough roads. I had the fastest bike split and knew I needed it if I was to have any chance winning.

Coming into transition was hectic. The sprint and half-sprint participants were finishing with me. After racking the bike, putting on socks and shoes, I took off. It looked like I had a minute on Scott and Jordan. Short of mile one Jordan ran past me fast, sub 5:45 fast and kept truckin' ahead to get about 50 yards ahead of me until he eased off the gas. He lingered there the rest of the race. By mile two I had trouble. Yes, I had an inkling of a side-stitch but that was gone by the first mile, this time it was bodily movement #2 trouble. I needed to find a restroom.

Jumping back in time, on the drive out to the race I had an upset stomach and was forced to make an emergency stop at PDQ to use the facilities. My guess is that 8 jumbo chocolate chip cookies I ate the day before were the culprits. Gosh, they tasted soooo good that I just couldn't stop after 1 or 2.

Now back to the race. From mile 2 onward, I ran as fast as I could while keeping myself intact. 6:20 pace was plenty fast but the rest of the competition managed to catch me. Joe Kurian caught me at mile 3 while performing a 35:10 run split and in the final half mile, Pete Metz blew past me with an incredible 36:XX run split and vomitting a few times in the process.(Although he somehow got a 2:00 penalty on the bike dropping him to 5th in the overall standings. Bummer.)

Heart Rate Data:
Swim 164 bpm ave
Bike 165 bpm ave
Run 160 bpm ave

I'm happy with how I did. The high end run speed is simply not there this year from lack of speed training. I guess that's what you get when you're IM training. Long slow distance (LSD) training makes you just that...slow. Although I wanted to win, for this year I'll take it in stride. Joe Kurian and Justin Henkel continue to teach me that when it comes to triathlon racing, you need to develop the rockstar run of a 2:30'ish open marathon to really dominate triathlon running. That way you can run the following triathlon run splits: 16-17 5K or a 34-35 10K or 1:18-1:20 half-marathon or sub 3:00 marathon. That is what it takes to win anywhere on anyday.

When reflecting upon my strengths and weaknesses, I still believe I'm a fairly balanced athlete. When I started this sport in 2005, I knew I could coast on my high school swimming background for the swim section. As for the running part, Dad did a number of running races and a few marathons when I was kid, Grandpa too. As part of growing up I did few races with him as well until I got heavily involved in Soccer. Biking was to be my major performance limiter. My first big race was Spirit of Racine HIM in 2006 and the bike section killed me. When comparing myself to others in my age-group that year, I was a top swimmer, horrible biker, and ran mediocre considering that I fried myself on the bike. Three years later I've evened out my talents, especially at the HIM and IM distance. However, at the Olympic and Sprint I lack the raw running speed to put out a sub 17 5K or sub 36 10K run split. I chalked most of that up to lack of run specific speed training. When looking towards 2010, I see myself dedicating a lot of time towards that type of work.

- Stay away from chocolate chip cookies
- Breakfast: One Powerbar and 1/2 can Red Bull was fine
- 1/4 filled water bottle filled with HEED was fine
- Simply flushing mouth with HEED twice on bike was fine
- Experts agree, crack marks on the chainstays seem to be paint cracks and not frame cracks

Monday, July 13, 2009

2009 Lactic Edge Triathlon

Lactic Edge Triathlon
Stevens Point, WI
July 11, 2009
Sprint Triathlon
500yd; 18.12 mile; 3.22 mile

Matthew Amman 1st Overall
S-5:49 B-42:12 (25.7mph) R-19:12 (5:57 pace)

At the last minute Scott Bowe talked me (and our wives) into travelling to Stevens Point, WI to do the local Cellcom YMCA Lactic Edge sprint triathlon. Previous year, Scott and I were in the area for our epic IM training camp and did it. Scott won last year.

The race course was different this year. Construction caused the course to be slightly longer than last, hence when comparing times things don't match up.

The swim start was quick with Scott leading us out to the first buoy. In the first few yards I happened to get cut off by fellow Gear Grinder Tom Shepard. To prevent a gap between Scott and I, I pulled Tom underneath me. Not very nice on my part, but he did cut me off (he forgave me after the race). From there I sat in the draft touching Scott's feet--something he let know after the race he wasn't thrilled about. Gee whiz! But that's what you get for wanting to swim in the lead. Next time I'll be polite and not touch the feet. At the swim exit, I was a few seconds behind Scott and together we put a half a minute on the field.

Transition was smooth and I managed to leave T2 with Scott. He led the bike course for a 1/2 mile before I took over. I was working hard with the heart rate staying really high (around 175 (LT)) and after another mile I was happy to see Scott come around and pass me. I then eased off the accelerator to give myself a breather. With my reckless abandonment for speeding around the corners he never got more than 15 meters ahead. After another mile I was tempted to push hard again but decided to make my move around mile 8. Between Scott fading a bit and my love of perfect pavement, I hit it hard at the 7.5 mile mark--Sentry World--and pushed all the way to the finish. The effort and outcome was good but far from stellar. That lovely feeling one gets when racing tapered is addictive and racing when tried doesn't allow one to feel that unbridled energy. I was hoping to ride the final 4 miles in the 50-12 gear ratio, but lacked the power to sustain it. Bummer.

I came into transition with about 1:30 lead ahead of Scott and Tom. Transition went well and I managed to run with an even effort holding 5:57 pace. I did flirt with a right side-stitch but running sub 6 is fast enough for me. To get rid of the it would require a lot of track work and that's simply not compatible with IM training.

Congratulations to my fellow Gear Grinder teammates. Together we took 1-2-3 overall. Individually I was happy to win but felt my performance was mediocre. The Pewaukee Triathlon happened to be this weekend and I feel that there is no way I could have won that race if I showed up. David Thompson and Will Smith are much faster than me. I often wonder if I could get that fast. I remain skeptical meanwhile I'll be happy to be one of the local fast guys.

Adrienne placed first overall in the women's field.

Things to Remember:
* Breakfast of 2 Powerbar Protein bars was too much.
* I may be fast, but I have a ways to go before I average 27-28 mph on the bike and back it up with low 17 5k run split.