Sunday, June 20, 2010
2010: High Cliff HIM
I was rushed this week and it carried over to the race on Saturday. The morning of the race, I struggled to get Adrienne's new Planet X Exocet bike working. I had tubular trouble with the Bontrager XXX rubbing on the seat stay. After various attempts at fixing it, it was a lost cause and so I had her race with it rubbing. Thank heavens that after a number of miles, she noticed it stopped. Yea, that's a watt sucker.
Ah, I kinda of like it when we "have to" swim. Year after year, the swim portion of triathlons are turing into deep water walking events. As expected, the weaker swimmers get to exit on the heels of us faster ones. This race was no different. Jeff Tarkowski and I even managed to have a conversation during the first quarter mile because of shallow water, plus the distance was short.
I exited T1 in third place. Out on the bike course, I caught up and passed Craig Lanza as Tarkowski started pulling away. I knew that he was going to, I just wanted to minimize the damage.
At mile 20 I came around a corner and suddenly got a flat tire. It didn't seem to do any tire damage, but I must of hit something hard causing a blowout. On the side of the road, I found out I grabbed the wrong spare kit from the car leaving me without any tire levers. After a while, a fellow racer threw me a set and I was able to get back on the road. I lost somewhere between 10-15 minutes. It was long enough that Adrienne rolled up next to me as I was getting back on the bike. I chatted with her for a moment before pressing on at "Matt" speed.
It took me nearly 23 miles to catch up to Jackie Arendt, the first female. I then rolled into transition as Alan Mast was finishing up lacing his shoes.
I got off to a good start staying alert to my running form (low arm swing). The ubiquitous side-stitch was present again. After two miles, I was up to speed going sub 7 minute miles but the gas tank felt low. I stayed strong for the first lap, but eased up during lap 2. The magic wasn't there and I simply held on at IM pace for rest of the run. I trickled in at 4:30.
In the end, it was a good learning experience and although the flat altered my time, I learned a few more things:
1. Ease up on the bike more -- keep HR at 150 for once instead of 160 then having it drop to 155bpm
2. Running fast is result of high motivation and proper bike pacing. I had neither this time around.
3. Side-stitch therapy - have 2 saltstick tablets for breakfast, eliminate water during the bike portion and substitute MotorTabs instead, have more salt tablets during bike and run
4. I prefer tubular over clinchers (easier to fix a flat, better feel for the road)
Also, it was great to see Jeff Tarkowski put on a show. The guy is incredibly fast and it's wonderful to be able to push him along a bit. Mister nice guy Mike Lavery did great as well taking second. Chris Wichert, unfortunately, came to the race already tired from some gruelling early week workouts and had to pull the plug a few miles into the run. I hope he keeps his head high. The other personal notable was Paul Eicker. He's a former swimmer of mine from when I used to coach a swim team. He's lightning fast and placed in the top five.