Monday, September 24, 2012

Santa Cruz Olympic Triathlon

When I returned from Europe, I started my exercise routine; and after four weeks, I started to feel fit, and the unstructured exercise transitioned more to organized training. I managed enough training to want to go out and compete against others/the clock in a swim, bike and run.

Once again, my swim did not reflect my fitness nor the amount of work I've done in the water (I think some of you can relate). Within 100 strokes of the swim start, both my arm and legs were burning and felt totally heavy. I knew exactly why. Lack of a proper warm-up. Actually, I did do a proper warm-up but the race was delayed for over an hour after said warm-up. And instead of being diligent and rewarming up, I chose instead to socialize with friends I hadn't seen in some time. But this poor swim is not isolated, but rather the norm for my swims the past two years. I just want you all to know that I'm not delusional, that I've actually swam fast workouts in training (like 10 x 100's on 1:10) to make me think that I can actually pull off a fast swim. I'm frustrated but I haven't given up, my swim mojo will come back. I came out of the water a good 2 minutes slower than the guys I'm accustomed to swimming with, but oddly, I was not feeling dejected when I saw my split. Instead, I tried to make up as much time as I could during the 600 meter or so run up to transition.

The bike pretty much went exactly according to plan. I've definitely felt more smashed post 40K ride, but the goal was to ride at my fitness level, stay slightly conservative and not take any risks of bonking. A major difference I found is the amount of time I was able to stay in the aero position, and I really think this is a result of all of the weights/single leg squats I've done in the the past several months. They changed the bike course slightly, making it just a tad more difficult, and I rode a 1:05 versus a 1:01, which is my best time on this course. I rode myself from fifth to third, and only one person passed me on the bike, my teammate who rode 59 minutes!

Coming off the bike, my legs felt awesome! One goal I had going into this race was to really push the run, take some risks, maybe run above my fitness, and see if I could hold on. The pace for the first two miles were a bit suicidal, and my friends watching the race pointed that out to me post-race. A little after two miles, I felt my quads twitch, and that lightheadedness that only comes when you are running too hard. I backed off but I didn't slow down, there's a difference ;o). Mile 4 was about maintaining, and mile 5 was trying to finish strong though I was tiring. My friend Gardie was the only person to pass me on the run, and when he went by me, I put in a surge to stay with him. But I immediately felt that lightheadedness, and I knew instead of surging, I had to keep it steady and build more gradually to the finish. I noticed that the original gap he put on me in the pass didn't increase much and that we were running the same pace the last 800 meters. I finished the 10K holding 6:20 pace, a bit slower than what I had hoped to do, but totally on par based on my training. I finished 18th overall and 3rd in my age-group, and I'm totally satisfied with my race. I didn't intend to rock the speedo because this race is typically cold, but the sun came through, and warmer temperatures made me don the speedo. I'm glad because once again, I got lots of positive feedback during and post-race. Who knew a budgy smuggler (what the Aussies call speedos) could cheer people up so much? I'm not sure what is next but it's nice not having anything planned.


Steve said...

Good Job Kiet. Speedo. LOL, now that takes courage. ;)

Beth said...

Great work Kiet!! Loved that you rocked the Speedo and had a smile on your face too. :)

JC said...

Congrats on the race Mr.

Matt said...

way to put yourself out there and rock that speedo...oh and take risks too! Nice work

Jennifer Harrison said...

HA! LOVE THE SPEEDO - rolling old school! Congrats on your race!