September 13, 2006

Oh GLORIOUS rest week! / FLT report

Well, last week was the week that every tired and hurting triathlete looks for in his training schedule. It was a rest week. These are the weeks when training is cut down to (for me) 6-8 hours instead of the usual double that amount and you let your body heal and get to see all of the friends/family that you have neglected and also get a chance to clean up your abode and get your life in order for a minute.

My rest week was nothing short of that. I tipped the scales at a nice even 8 hours of training and even raced on Sunday at the Finger Lakes Intermediate Triathlon. I always thought I could do better than the 2:14 that I posted at Keuka earlier this year and this was going to be the last chance to bury that time. The registration confirmation list was out and Mr. Travis Money kept on emailing me and letting me know that none of the big names for Rochester triathlon (Eggers, Niezgoda, Meyers, Phipps, Moriarty, Johnson, etc...) were registered. (I advised him that there was still race day registration, but I would be lying if I told you that I wasn't thinking about a potential win...)

5am came and I was on the road packed and ready to go at 5:30, I arrived at 6:15am to find all the prime spots gone in transition, but settled my things and noticed how cold the air felt. I was sure glad that I had put on the toe covers on my bike shoes the night before. I said HI to a few friends, pulled up the neoprene and headed down to the lake.

We huddled in our wetsuits together to keep warm and I was in the second wave to go off. I lined up next to Jeff Henderson, director of the Musselman half ironman triathlon and the Fly by Night duathlon at Watkins Glen race track. Our wave started 3 minutes behind the previous one and I thought to myself, "why not try and draft off Jeff? I bet he is fast and I could push the swim with him..." I know realize, those were naive thoughts...

The gun goes off and I look to my left and Jeff is dolphin diving off of the bottom (because for like 100 yards it is really shallow) and he is pulling away from me. 30 seconds later, I realize that he is 50 yards in front of me. I pushed to try and catch up, but he was rocketting off and apparently was a good swimmer. (I find out later that he was a division one swimmer for Princeton in college...Graduated in 1997) Apparently he beat everyone out of the water that morning. I mean EVERYONE, the entire first wave included that had a 3 minute head start. I was the third fastest time out of the water with a 24:16 and I exited the water in around 23 minutes, but the time doesn't stop until you cross the mat in T1.

I hopped on the bike after some chain troubles in what felt like the slowest transition yet and I headed out hoping to hunt down Mr. Henderson. I never saw him over the 24 miles on the bike. Looking at the results after the race, I see that we split about the same time on the bike, so it makes sense. 23.2 mph and there were some nasty hills, especially about 5 minutes into the bike course. Had me huffing and puffing, but overall I was fast and not hurting too much.

I hurl myself into T2 off the bike and get out of there in a hurry. I begin the run, 2 loops of a 10k course (it was more than 10k I think, a little bit long...) I begin the pursuit and since this was kind of an out and back run course, I would get to see where Jeff was. I was hauling it pretty good and was about 18 minutes thru 3 miles, so I knew I was about 6 minute pace. I finally saw Jeff after 3 miles and began to reel him in. He was about 3/8ths of a mile in front of me and I was running out of room to catch him. I made sure to have fun on the course too as I did a spin move around the barrel at the turnaround and the volunteer lady looked at me like I was crazy.

I was gaining on Jeff and I could smell it, I pushed for all I had the last mile, but as I crossed the line in 2:07:27, he was still 31 seconds in front of me. It was a good race and I think he might be a M PRO, but I'm not sure. After the dust settled, I was the FLT runner up with a respectable 2nd place overall and a 7 minute PR from my time at Keuka. I was very pleased. I like racing at the end of a rest week, because it is kind of like a mini taper :) It was another podium spot and a good race in my mind. I think if there were more miles on the run, I might have been able to catch Jeff, but who knows. At least I learned that my body is capable of hauling it during the swim and not feeling too bad on the bike afterwards. Good to know :)

Well, this week is the first of the last 4 build weeks before IRONMAN Florida. These will be the biggest training weeks to date, every workout counts. I have 4 runs scheduled between 16 and 20 miles, 2 century rides and a few more 60-80 mile rides in there. Along with some monster swim workouts too (Just last night I did 20x100's on 1:30 and held between 1:16-1:19 and the last one was 1:13...rough, but good)

So there it is, I have a nice 12 hour training week scheduled and a wedding for my best friend Josh Mee in Buffalo on Saturday and the Danforth Fall Frolic triathlon on Sunday after the wedding. (should be interesting as this is a BIG race with an eliminator wave - which equalizes out the top men and women) My goal at that race is to place top 3 and break 1 hour. We shall see how that goes as there will be a star studded field there and I will likely be in rough shape after the wedding. And that is it, FL tri race report and review of the rest week. Good luck training and thanks for reading. I'll give a review of the Fall Frolic next week sometime. Cheers.

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