Rex Sprint Triathlon in Knightdale, NC. September 18, 2016
A great venue and close to Raleigh, NC. I love this race because I only have to run 2 miles instead of a 5K (I’m lazy). The pool is a little congested as the swim is down and back in the same lane but I started first so I had clean water this year — Thank You Brent from FSS for letting me squeeze to start in front. I tried to work the bike this year. I had previously crammed three solid weeks of bike work in leading up to the race. I tried to keep a heavy breathing through out the bike. I’ve found when I stop breathing that I am relaxed too much. For a sprint, there isn’t time to “settle in” on the bike. I came off the bike first and felt good about that. My bike leg has been my weak leg for a few years now, so I’m glad I didn’t get passed. The run is all down hill until the turn around. I really like this. I saw James Duff made a lot of time on me on the bike as he was now charging down the hill chasing me. I guestimated he was about a minute behind me and at that point. I told him “you got this,” to reassure him that he won already. I wasn’t sure how far back he started behind me in the pool but I knew a minute wasn’t enough to get me an overall win. Even though I wasn’t coming into this race to win, I just wanted to feel in control and never have the feeling of wanting to stop. I crossed the line first but finished second overall. I was happy with the day and yes, I felt in control. My time was overall faster than the previous two years. This leaves me to think….do I need to train all the time. What about just cramming three weeks before. Hmm.
Hats off to other team members for a good race. James, Doracy, Kerry, Cath. The guys swept the podium, 1, 2, 3.
I’ve been dealing with bad hips for many years, which have been getting progressively worse. During the off season, the pain had gotten really bad and after consulting with Dr. Almekinders found out that the bone had degraded to where it was almost flat near the head of my joint and hits every time I take a step instead of smoothly rotating. I’m not ready for a major surgery yet, so have opted to do what I can for now, realizing that it will always be painful and flare up like that every now and then. So, I took a lot of time off during the first half of the year, which did actually help. I had signed up for Ironman Lake Placid last year and had no idea if it was even feasible to be able to get there again, but that was the goal even though time was short when I started to train again.
I was pleasantly surprised that the extended time off did help quite a bit and I was able to run with a lot less pain than before. In an attempt to lessen the contact, I tried to change my stride a bit to make it shorter with less hip drive. Yes, I know this is not conducive to fast running, but if it means being able to run or not, I’ll take it.
To make a long story short, I only decided to actually race Ironman Lake Placid maybe 5-weeks beforehand after finally being able to finish a 15-mile jog. Game on. The week before I left I did my first race of the season; the Rex Garner Super sprint. It went decently well and was the fastest I had run in a very long time. The bad thing was that I woke up the next morning with my hip screaming at me again – ugh. So, I cut out the running before Placid and went up there to enjoy the day and take whatever came my way. Interestingly, without the pressure of trying to perform to any expectations, I had a blast. I just kept the swim and bike nice and easy knowing that I was going to need to be as fresh as possible going into the run. The run was still very slow, but I was able to get through it and was completely pumped to finish this one!
I should have known, but the main problem about doing an Ironman with almost no running volume is the recovery. For the elite team, I had to get in a few more races and had little time to do so. So, I have done three Olympic distances races not too long afterwards including the World Champs in Cozumel. They were all hot races, but the main issue was that my legs/body just weren’t recovered and felt dead in all of them. To make matters worse I pulled a rookie mistake having to use an old bike and new race wheels that rubbed the entire ride in my second one. Still, I was happy with my swim and bike performance in Cozumel (6th out of the water and right with the top 10 off of the bike), and did what I could with the run. Now, I only have one more race next weekend at Battle at Buckhorn. After that, I plan to rest a bit and then try to do a few things to get some better run times back next season.
Always happy, never satisfied!