Monday, September 11, 2006

Los Angeles Triathlon - Race Report

The race is over and I have never been so happy to just finish.

This race was a pretty big deal. Lifetime Fitness is really doing something awesome to promote triathlon and give back the amatuers trying to compete at the highest level. This was the last event to qualify for the Elite Amateur Championship race next summer at the Lifetime Fitness Tri in Minneapolis. Next year they are going to have 4 qualifying events (nyc, chicago, liftime fitness, and LA) and then have championship race in Ocotber '07 on a brand new course in Dallas. It's all still in the planning stages but at the Elite meeting they gave us the inside scoop.

back to my race...

I headed to the expo to check in and attend a mandatory meeting for everyone competing in the Elite Amateur race. At the meeting they went over the rules, qualifying, and the point to point course. They also went around the room and had everyone introduce themselves and tell everyone what some of their triathlon accomplishments were. Wow... there were some accomplished, fast dudes there. National champs, sub 4:20 half Im'ers, Kona qualifiers, and former LA tri winners. It was nuts and kind of intimidating, but everyone was really cool.

I watched the start of the men's pro wave and then went to the holding bay. The elite wave went 5 minutes after the pro women. I was actually really loose and not really nervous. I figured I didn't have anyting to lose. While I was standing there waiting for the women to start my stomach started cramping out of nowhwere. I need to go to the bathroom (something that couldn't be taken care of while wearing a wetsuit) but I didn't have time. I was going to have to hold it. Great.

Swim: 1500m
So we're off... a full sprint to the water. There was a pretty good swell in the water and I was just diving through the waves. the swim was pretty uneventful. I really didn't push very hard and just kind of cruised. I really don't know why I didn't swim harder. I came out of the water in the middle of the pack and then ran 100 yards to transisiton.

swim time: 24:59

I got to the race and some knocked my bike almost off the rack and my stuff was everywhere. I got my helmet and glassess on and then fumbled stuffing my wetsuit into the bag (it was a point to point race so you had to stuff everything in a bag after the swim).

T1 time: :59 (worst t1 ever)

Bike: 40k
I booked out of t1 and jumped on my bike. I had my shoes already in the pedals and kept in place with rubberbands (typical set up for me). As I started pedaling there was a ton of resistance. I looked down at my front brake and it was rubbing on the rim. So I jumped off tweaked it back so it wasn't rubbing and then had to rip my shoes off the pedals and put them on because I had already broken the rubberbands by pedaling on top of my shoes. All I can think is theat when whoever knocked into my bike they hit my front brake becuause it wasn't like that prior to the race.

As soon as I got on the bike I knew it was going to be a long day. I felt like crap. I posted earlier this in my blog that I felt tired and flat all week and I still did. I had nothing in my legs. No juice at all and my stomach also began cramping like crazy. I pushed through it and the course was pretty challenging. There were a lot of false flats, rolling hills, a couple good climbs, some super fast descents, and the roughest roads that I have ever ridden on. Even with as bad as I felt I only got passed on the bike by one guy and he was in the 30-34 AG that started 5 minutes after my wave. He was hammering.

Overall the course was pretty awesome. Riding through Hollywood and downtown LA on closed roads was pretty cool.

Bike time: 1:07

T2: Uneventful. In and out.

run: 10k

By now I was really feeling bad. I usually love this part of the race. I always look forward to getting off the bike and laying it down. Not on this day. I was hurting. My legs were completely dead and the stomach cramps were getting worse. My stomach was so bad that I actually considered bagging the run but I couldn't let myself quit. I pushed through and passed a couple of guys in the elite division and the guy that passed me on the bike. While on the run I also saw Greg Bennet and Craig Alexander finishing which was rad. They were hammering. The run course was pretty tough with a lot of hills including one long steep climb right out of t2.

After 4 miles I had caught all the people that I was going to be able to so I pretty mush shut it down. I had a big enough lead that nobody behind me was going to catch me so I just cruised to the finish.

run time: 35:57

Results: 2:09:44 - Place ??

I was the 12th elite to finsh, but 3 or 4 guys ahead of me got DQ'd for missing a turn on the bike course and cutting off about 4 miles. So once things get sorted out I will probably have finished 8th or 9th. I was just so happy to finish. I am really glad I pushed through it. This was the first time I have ever had to deal with anything like that. I am also stoked that I was able to run a 35:57 10k without even pushing it. I know now that I am defintely capable of running in the 33's when I feel good.

If I wouldn't have raced Elite I think I could have won my AG even with how I felt. The winner of 25-29 went 2:09:02 and ran a 37+ 10k. I am pretty confident that if I would have been able to push myself on the run if I was racing in the same wave as the winner and contending for the win.

I learned a lot from this race and am glad I raced elite. Putting the pressure on myself and seeing where I stand with top amateurs was way more valuable than placing in my AG. It's the reason why I like racing. It's not to collect placques and trophies. It's to push myself as hard as I can and go as fast as I can. Racing faster guys is the only way I am going to find my limits.

Next season I am really going to focus on the Lifetime Fitness Series and try to qualify for the 2007 champs in Dallas.

I need to figure out why I felt how I did all week. This race was a last minute thing so there was really not tapering. My big races are coming in the next couple of weeks and I need to make sure that I dont' feel then how I did yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Nice job, that is a great time especially considering you were off. I heard it was a little crazy out there. Jim is having a tough race season it seems.
You going to meet up with us on Friday?

moonpie said...

Dude such an awesome race performance. You would have CRUSHED your AG, which was freakin' huge!! Welcome to the Elite ranks (from someone who is far from elite) ;)