Sunday, January 25, 2009

Race Report Try Melon Tri - Week 12 Summary

On Sunday, January 25th I made the drive to Muscatine, Iowa to compete in an indoor triathlon called the Try Melon Tri. I did this race 3 years ago but haven't been in any kind of shape this time of year to do it the last couple. The race consists of 9 waves of 9 people in each entering the pool every 30 minutes. The distances are 900 yards swimming, 7 miles biking (on the legendary Schwinn Aerodyne), and 2.5 miles running on the 100 meter banked turn track. When I arrived I saw they had posted the winners from every year they have had the event. My time in 2006 was 46:31 which was a record until it was broken by 2 seconds last year. This was the 15th year of the race. I thought with a good race I could go 45 minutes. The waves enter the water based on swim seed times and since the day gets really long I seeded myself slower than I knew I could swim so I wouldn't have to be there all day. As it was I was scheduled to enter in wave 3. I watched the first wave of the swim and knew I would have trouble winning. The swim in this event is pretty long compared to most sprint triathlons and that is my weakest part. I watched Chris Mann, a good triathlete from Muscatine who now competes for Iowa State's Triathlon club and Chris Scott, a great triathlete from Morrison, IL both swim really fast. Chris Mann exited the water around 10:40, and Chris Scott around 11:20. My swim goal was 12:20 so I knew I would have trouble catching them. I was able to see them get off the bike while I was warming up and I knew they were both going to break the course record. They were competing really well. Chris Scott had the lead entering the run and I knew he was a great runner. I didn't see their run since I had to move toward the start.

I started the swim at the far edge of the pool where my wife Jen and daughter Payton couldn't see me from behind the spectator glass. I was trying to stay relaxed and swim with good technique. It was a pretty uneventful swim except for being plowed into by the guy in the lane next to me about 300 yards in. I glanced at my watch at the 500 mark and saw 6:50 which was right on my goal time. I exited the water at 12:30 which was nearly a minute faster than last time I competed in this race but I knew that put me down almost 2 minutes to Chris Mann and over a minute to Chris Scott. After a quick transition I adjusted my seat and mounted the Schwinn Aerodyne bike which I wasn't looking foward to. I enjoy riding in time trial position, not sitting straight up moving my arms with my legs. I started off riding hard and it was TOUGH! I glanced down after I could see my RPM's were dropping and saw I had only ridden 1/2 mile! This was going to be torture. I kept looking at Payton and she had this look of "What is that crazy thing dad is doing with his arms...and why does he look like he's dying??" I continued to pursue through this pain for what felt like an eternity. I was watching the mileage add up but it couldn't hit 7.0 soon enough. Finally...7.0! I could now get off this thing and I won't get on another one until this race again next year! The time ended up being about a minute and a half faster than last time I raced here (possibly the longest 16:38 of my life). I made my way to the track with my glutes on fire due to my seat being too low on the bike. I started out not very fast around the 100 meter track but after about 3 laps my legs were in running mode and I started clicking off 20-21 second laps until the end. I tried to speed up the last 8 laps but probably just stayed the same pace. I finished the run and saw my time was 43:56, much faster than I thought I would go. It hurt a lot. As I made my way off the track I heard that my time was the exact same as Chris Scott's. Yes, we had tied! We both had great races and both beat the course record by over two and a half minutes! Chris Mann also finished well under the course record and had a great race. Overall I was very pleased with how it went. I didn't think I was capable of going that fast yet. My run split was a 5:33 mile average which was solid. I held pretty even pace for the entire run after the first few laps.

For the week I totaled 17.75 hours of training with 40 miles running, 100 biking, and 9,400 yards swimming. I lifted weights, did speed drills, and strides all three times, did lunges and plyometrics twice, and core work 6 times. My favorite workouts of the week were on Wednesday when I ran 8x 400 meter and 4x 200 meter hills. This was tough because I did it alone and it was very cold. I had never done 8 of the long hills. My other favorite workout was a long run of 13 miles. I was alone again and it was along the bike path in Rock Island and the wind was blowing 25-30 mph and I was FREEZING! My face burned from the cold. I ran the first 45 minutes right into it and kept reciting George Washington's quote from when his soldiers crossed the icy Delaware River..."These are the times that try men's soles." I wanted to turn back but didn't. The only other runner I saw out was Rock Island Alleman's state champion cross country runner Tim Hird so I knew I was being pretty dedicated. The next two weeks I plan to increase volume on the bike and run before racing 3000 meters at Augustana on Feb. 14th. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

hey Jeff I'm going to do the try melon this year and I'm not at all looking forward to the airdyne but what the heck it will be fun just to do a race of any kind right now. I hope to see you there.