Sunday, August 2, 2009

Crossroads Triathlon Race Report and Results

On Saturday I drove to DeWitt, IA for the Crossroads Sprint Triathlon. The race fell in the middle of a 10 day intensive training camp I set up for myself so I planned to use the race as my hard speed workout for the week. I won the race last year but wasn't sure how it would go due to the high volume the 3 days leading up to it. In the 3 days before the race I biked 183 miles, ran 32.5 miles, and swam 10,400 yards. The day before the race I woke up with extreme soreness and I put in another pretty good day of training. The night before I finished camp for the day with a 9 mile run including speed drills and strides. I thought the drills and strides loosened me up quite a bit. On race morning I drove to DeWitt and dropped off my running shoes and race number at the second transition. This race is point to point. I then drove to the lake for a warm up consisting of a couple miles and speed drills and strides before putting on the wetsuit for a short swim warm-up. I was feeling pretty decent considering all the work I had put in leading up to the race. I knew the race would be tough with the wind out of the southwest because we finish the bike course with a 4 mile stretch straight west due to the point to point. What it meant was that 10 of the 15 miles would be into the wind.
Swim: I began the swim in the 3rd wave. The women went off at 8:00 a.m. and the 30-39 year old males went at 8:03. My wave began 3 minutes later. On the start I began by swimming hard to get out of the mess of the chaotic wave start. By the time we hit the first bouey I was in 2nd or 3rd from my wave. I pushed hard since the swim was only 500 yards and soon was leading my wave and passing swimmers from the wave ahead of me. I felt great in the water and knew I was having a good swim. I exited the water with the 4th fastest swim time of the 214 racers. I believe it was my best swim of the year. My swim time was 7:13.

Bike: Out on the bike I began passing riders who started in the waves ahead of me. I enjoy having people out ahead of me from other waves to catch. It makes for a much more enjoyable ride when there are people out there and I don't have to set the pace. The wind was pretty rough...I'm guessing about 15 mph. I was so glad to not be riding my Zipp disc. With a disc on the rear wheel I would have been getting blown all over the road. Thanks to the sponsorship from Healthy Habits and Zipp I was able to ride a Zipp 808 front wheel and a Zipp 1080 rear and I felt in complete control of the bike. This wheelset is very light so they are super fast on hills as well as handling the crosswinds without any trouble. At the first turnaround 5.5 miles into the race I spotted the leader, Chris Scott about 2:20 ahead of me. Chris is a great local triathlete that finished 2nd in this race last year. There were still a few other guys from the 30-39 year old wave in front of me as well as a few of the women's leaders. At the turnaround we began the last 10.5 miles that would be into the wind. This is where I feel very strong riding. I have gained a lot of power on the bike from spending a great deal of time in the weight room and doing lots of hill intervals this year. By mile 14 I was able to pass Chris Scott to move into the lead ahead of all the guys who started in the wave ahead of me. For the ride I averaged 24.9 mph which was pretty solid considering most of the ride was into the wind. My bike split was the fastest of the race by 2 minutes and 13 seconds. It was my 3rd race this year posting the fastest bike split.

Run: Exiting the 2nd transition I put on the Garmin GPS watch. I used this in Racine and liked having it on because I could constantly monitor my pace. I was hoping to try to run 5:30 pace as long as I could hold it. In Chicago for my peak race later this month I'm hoping to average 5:35 for the 10k. I'll be much more rested for that race. I began the run very fast and at the mile mark I was at 5:29 pace. At the turnaround I was at 5:30 pace and I pushed hard on the way back. When I finished the Garmin had me at 5:28 pace but it is either a bit off or the course was a touch long as the official results had me at 5:34 pace with a run time of 17:15. My run split was the fastest of the race by 48 seconds. I finished the race in 1:02:07 which turned out to be the winning time by 4 minutes and 7 seconds. I was very satisfied to race that well on tired legs. It was the fastest time on the course in the last 4 years and considering the direction of the wind I was very happy with the race. I was 2 minutes faster than last year when the wind wasn't bad at all and I was much more rested for that race. Complete results from the race with splits can be found at http://www.theracershub.com/files/290-648.txt

It was great having so many members of my family at the race. I really appreciated their support especially considering it wasn't very nice out with some rain early on. It was also great to see a big group of Team Tri-Fit members doing well in the race. So many of them have made tremendous improvements over the past year and it inspires me. Congratulations to club member Jessica Imm on winning the women's title with a great race. I hope Team Tri-Fit will continue to grow over the next year. We are currently up to 50 members which far exceeds my expectations for the first year. We had a great club cook out on Friday night before the race and it was nice seeing everyone there. Thanks to Dr. Kaminski of Kaminski Pain and Peformance Care for having me ready on race day even with all the volume I had put in.

I had a great week of training...mostly from the 5 days of camp. I ended the week with 300 miles biking, my highest total ever not counting RAGBRAI many moons ago. I also ran 67.5 miles which was my most since competing at Augustana College nearly 8 years ago. I swam 13,700 yards and lifted weights twice. I did lunges twice and core work 4 times. I plan to continue my camp for 5 more days before taking a day off next Saturday...I'll need it. As I'm finishing camp these days my thoughts are on the approaching race in Chicago on August 30th. This is my big peak race for the year. I'll be tapered and rested up for this one hoping for my best race ever. My main goal is to break 2 hours for the Olympic Distance course. I know it can happen. I'll put in the work now so I can rest up later and reap the benefits of that work in Chicago. Thanks for reading...Congrats to all the Crossroads finishers. DREAM BIG!

2 comments:

John said...

Congratulations, Jeff. I'm sorry to have missed Crossroads this year. I always enjoy cheering you on. Your an inspiration.

Jeff Paul said...

Thanks John! I appreciate your kind words. I hope to see you soon!
- JP