Monday, September 10, 2007

PCT Race Report... another training day.

My recovery week is done and my final prep for Tahoe is now starting. I capped the recovery week with the Pacific Coast Triathlon up at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach yesterday, and it was a good time.

I headed into the race with no expectations other than to get a good workout and just have fun. I headed up Saturday for packet pick up and ride the 12 mile bike course. I was trying to decide all week whether to ride my Cervelo TT bike or my beloved Orbea Onix. I decided to go with the Orbea because the course had quite a few climbs and I wanted to race with my power tap to get some data. So I put on some mini clip-on aero bars (ITU style) and was ready to roll. I knew I would probably be a bit slower on my road bike with out race wheels and no aero helmet, but this race was just for fun.

Race set-up:

Sunday, race day:

I had to drive back up to the OC for the race so I was up at 330am for some coffee and to load up my truck. Transition opened at 530 and I wanted to be around 545-6 because the race was sold out and I had heard transition at this race is croweded... and it was. I got a good spot but before I headed down to the swim my stuff had been knocked over twice and people were now setting up against the temporary fencing because there were no more spots.

setting up transition:

The swim (750 meters):

view of swim course from transition:

The water was cold. I head someone in transition say the water was only 58 but I figured they were just trying to vibe people out, but they weren't lying. The official race water temps was 58. I got into warm-up and couldn't believe how cold the water was. I just tried to keep my face in the water and wait for the "ice cream" headache to fade. Eventhough I hate the cold I was trying to stay positive and think about how this was perfect prep for Tahoe where the water temp will likely be sub 60. After my warm-up I waited on the beach for my wave (2nd) and tried to stay warm, which really didn't work. My feet were completely numb even before I started the race.

my wave waiting for the gun:

My wave started and we all bolted for the water. I got kicked square in the face and had my goggles knocked off. I got them back and made my way to the first buoy. The swim was pretty uneventful. I didn't push it, I was cold and just wanted to get through it. I definitely could have went harder but was glad to getting out. Right out of the water you run up the beach and then up a steep ass ramp to transition.

the ramp:

again... steep ass ramp. Not fun with numb feet:

Pretty horrible. My feet were completely numb and I had some problems with my wetsuit.

bike (12 miles, rolling hills):

Once on the bike I fumbled around a bit with my shoes. I couldn't feel my feet and couldn't tell if my shoes were tight enough. The plan was just to lay it down on the bike, have fun, and attack the climbs with no regard for the race or run. There were some guys ahead of me as we came into the first climb and I just jumped out of the saddle and attacked. It was fun as I dropped the guys pretty easily as they stayed seated on their TT bikes. I did this at every climb throughout the whole race and was having fun just hammering the climbs. Quite a few times I would blow by guys in full TT set up (wheels, aero helmet) going up but then they would get back to me on the down hill on in the flats. It was pretty much what I expected but I was just having a blast attacking. Unfortunately the 12 mile bike came to end and my feet were still totally numb but my legs were feeling good.

again, horrible. With numb feet I had quite a bit of trouble putting on my race flats. It was like I couldn't control my feet.

Run (3 miles, rolling):

I was stoked to be on the run and was feeling good. I caught a pack in the first quarter mile and just motored past.

busting a move:

I continued to pass people and just kept feeling better and better as the race progressed. The run course was pretty killer with rolling hills, 1/2 mile of running on the beach right next to the water, and another steep ass ramp up to the finish. I passed quite a few people including people in my AG, but really had no idea what place I was in and really didn't care. I was just stoked to be running hard and feeling great.

finishing the run:

3rd in AG
*overall results and splits have not been posted yet.

I was definitely stoked to finish on the podium, especially when I found out that the guys that came in ahead were going to race Elite, but the Elite division got thrown out due to lack of entries. Not a bad day and it was a killer workout. I also made some mental notes and about swimming in cold water. So even though I hate the cold and racing the entire race with numb feet sucked it was killer prep for Tahoe. I definitely need to find a way to keep my feet from getting so cold in the swim. This was probably the most fun I have ever had at a Sprint race because the course is challenging eventhough it's not long. If the race fits the schedule next year I will definitely be back, and maybe break out the aero gear and go for the win.

Post race Photos (thanks to beth for getting up mega early and being my personal photog):

talking with winner of my AG and Overall winner:

me and jon, one of my xterra homeboys:

Podium (I'm on the right!):

It was pretty interesting to look at the power numbers after the race. Race morning I weighed in at 130lbs (I know, I'm huge!). I averaged 231 watts over the course which equates to 3.9 w/kg, which I don't think is a bad power to weigh ratio.

Here's all the numbers. If anybody has any insight I would love to hear it.

The power numbers:

Entire workout (231 watts):
Duration: 36:25
Work: 505 kJ
TSS: 65.3 (intensity factor 1.038)
Norm Power: 259
VI: 1.12
Distance: 12.639 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 473 231 watts
Cadence: 23 116 85 rpm
Speed: 3.9 36.2 20.8 mph

Peak 5s (435 watts)
Peak 10s (423 watts)
Peak 20s (405 watts)
Peak 30s (390 watts)
Peak 1min (343 watts)
Peak 2min (322 watts)
Peak 5min (284 watts)
Peak 10min (265 watts)
Peak 20min (255 watts)
Peak 30min (251 watts)

power graph (yellow power/green cadence):

Mean Maximal Power curve:

Time to get back to some bust-ass training... updates to follow.


erik (tete) said...

wow great job...always interesting to see how a road bike can compare to a tribike. 9 times out of 10 it comes down the engine (athlete) not the bike.

Beth said...

glad to help out. sorry for all the butt shots. i'm a little slow with the camera. or maybe that's just an excuse for gratuitous photos. anyhow, great race..good to see you in action-james don't mess around.

Sam said...

I'm just trying to imagine what 130 lbs feels like...I think if I were 3% bodyfat, I'd weigh 170. Oh well. You're still kicking ass more than I would be. Nice job dude.

barndog said...

Looks like a fun race, but someone left a red sock in with your whites again. Seriously, VERY GOOD power especially 5 min. Probably gave away :45-1:00 w/o the aero helmet. Dig In!

Benson said...

Good report and fun to read.
Great race too! You surely would have won without the ice cube feet and with the TT bike. Dust them next year.

As my "thick" teammate would say,"eat a pork chop would ya."