Not only was I bummed because I did not get to race the ITU San Diego race, but I also was a bit worried for my preparation for Wildflower. I lost some much needed speed work that was to be the San Diego race, and I missed three days of proper training. After a brief consultation with this guy, I decided to add a last minute sprint race this past Sunday. The day prior to the race, I rode 78 miles at a solid pace, and ran 7 miles off the bike, with three miles at half-ironman pace. I'll come clean and say that I'm not so great at taking care of the little things like ice baths. But with a race the following day, I forced myself to sit in the ice bath; and I have to tell, I really think it was the difference between having semi-fresh feeling legs rather than bricks for the race.
For the first time this season, my arms did not burn, and I did not feel hypoxic during the first 200 meters of the swim. I wouldn't say it was a great swim, but it was solid. T1 from swim to bike was almost a half mile run and I took advantage of this and passed several people. The 20K bike was 3 loops and pancake flat. I felt great on the bike, and my legs had no memory of the prior day's training. The only problem is that it's been so long that I've raced a flat course, that at times, I had no idea what to do. Should I mash the gears and do low cadence? Should I try to keep my RPMs up instead? Sit forward? Sit back? I vacillated between decisions, but what remained constant was the hard effort. I kept telling myself, make it uncomfortable and hurt!
Approaching the last loop of the bike, this relay cyclist went flying by me, and tucked in right behind him was a guy from my wave. That bastard! About 5 minutes down the road, a USAT marshall appeared in sight, and the drafter jumped off the train. Without the draft, I was slowly reeling him back in. As I came up on him to make the past, I thought, this guy wouldn't have the audacity to draft off me would he? Well, he sure did have the audacity. So I quickly swerved right to communicate to him I would have none of that. About a minute later, I looked to my left to make another pass, and guess who was right there? I was so pissed I shouted, "Get the F___ off my wheel!" He responded by bolting away from me with his huge quads. I knew he was stronger, I just had more endurance. I vowed at that point that I was going to beat this guy. As I entered T2, I saw him slipping his shoes on, and I said, "You better run fast with those fresh legs because I'm coming after you." Ha ha, I was just so mad, I wanted him to feel like he was being hunted down. I mean why do amateurs blatantly draft? I understand loop courses get crowded, and the whole timed passing rule is hard sometimes, but blatantly tucking in and sitting there, unacceptable. I made the pass within the first 400 meters of the run, and I decided not to say anything. My passing him was the only statement I need to make. He knew. In fact, he knew he drafted because post race, he avoided me like the plague. He's not the only guy drafting out there, drafting pervades our sport, and it's the main reason why I don't enjoy racing. My inclination is to print his first and last name right here, and the club that he races with, so that he'll think twice about doing that again. I thought about emailing Gina Kehr, who is coaching his team, and asking her to do what she can about educating her athletes. But just like my lack of attention to things like ice baths, I'll probably just let it go. Too funny, Gina's personal website used to say "Let It Go".
Well, the anger must have fueled me for the run because I ran an 18:59 5K off the bike. Finally, a decent run! I got the age-group W, and finished 7th overall. I had a great time racing with my high school students and their parents, and I was so thankful that my body cooperated and allowed me to push myself into the hurt box! Onward to Wildflower!
I'm basically interested in all things funny, health and triathlon related, and sustainable living. This blog used to accompany a website I built to raise awareness about cancer as well as raise money for different causes.