Monday, April 15, 2013

HITS Napa Half Ironman

This race coincided with my volume week, and I decided not to rest but instead include the race as a workout. I made a last minute decision to race the ITU San Diego race this weekend, thus, I needed to keep the training volume because Wildflower would be oh-so painful if I didn't. For some reason, I had it in my head the race was on Sunday, but after checking on Thursday, turns out the race was on Saturday, oops.

My swim continues to elude me. I got in early for a proper warm-up, and I changed the tactic to start out strong rather than a sprint. But still, I had the same issues plague me: burning arms and feeling hypoxic. I had to let the lead pack go and once again, I swam solo the entire time. The situation I'm in with my swim right now resembles a rough patch, and all I need is one good swim to break the cycle. I'm training to ensure that good swim will come this weekend in San Diego and that meant a 5:30 AM wake-up call to masters this morning.

I could not race the bike. When guys went by me, I tried to react and race them, but I just couldn't sustain the effort, and had I tried, I am sure I would have blown up. Instead, I just rode the bike at my pace all day sort of like I was on one of my solo training rides. I guess this makes sense considering that I did not rest for the race and I was treating this like a training day. Still, it was discouraging but I kept it together, and I did not get down on myself. The one huge positive about the bike is that I really had no low point, which means my nutrition and pacing was pretty spot on.

I was really looking forward to the run, a feeling I have not felt too often in the last couple of years. My run training has been going pretty well, and I really wanted to unleash it and reel some guys in. Off the bike, there was no hobble, my legs were firing! I wanted to build the run like I normally do in training, and go out in control. But even in control mode, as I went up the first hill, my breathing was way too labored and my heart rate way too high. C'mon Kiet, your short little legs, and fast turnover are made for uphill running. But the hills were zapping me, and I couldn't even recover to "float" the downhills. I was pretty frustrated as I saw guys run away from me. But just like the bike, I held it together, and I tried not to get down on myself. The way back did feel better than the way out, and after 4+ hours of not being able to "race", I finally was able to try and chase this guy back down. I failed in my attempt, but it felt good to finally be able to race! The big positive about the run, and the bike too I guess, is that I did not cramp! Though my sample size is only 2, I must say the Extreme Endurance tablets might be the reason. On this course, this early in the season, I should definitely be cramping, but nay. I will post about these magical little tablets later.

I finished in 16th overall, and 2nd in my age-group. My time was the most disappointing result of the race. I just wish I could have suffered more, 10 minutes more of suffering would have resulted in a time I think is indicative of my current fitness. Must. Get. Better. At. Suffering.

And I would say the highlight of the day other than the race was hanging out with the Irish Mafia, they too need their own blog post. They are simply awesome and FUNNY people. And they are damn FAST. Davie won the entire race! As his wife Maureen told me, Davie doesn't train too much or too hard, but he loves the suffering, and that my friend is how you get fast. I also ran into a former student who I taught more than 10 years ago. Oh wait, and then there was the 28 year-old who worked his ass off to run me down, telling me that he thought for sure I was in his age-group. You should have heard the expletives out of his mouth when the announcer told the crowd I was 42. Yeah, I may be looking young now, but without warning, I'm just going to wake up one morning and see an old asian man (that's how it happens with us asian folks).


Matt said...

Nice work, more so given you were in the midst of some solid training! On the bike I know what you mean but be easy on yourself, when carrying fatigue you loose that pop. Which is what you seem to be missing on the bike when wanting to push it. Keep pushing bro!!

jameson said...

solid training day dude. Good luck this weekend. Maybe I'll see ya down there.

Libby said...

lol on asian folks you crack me up. YEA for not cramping! that is huge progress. the key to suffering is to enjoy it rather than fear it :) its all a state of mind. nice work for a training race!