Monday, June 18, 2012

Quad Cities Triathlon Race Report and Results

On Saturday I raced in the hometown event known as the QC Triathlon.  This is a very well run sprint distance race that is now in the 13th year.  I was excited to compete after getting drilled in a pro race last weekend and after placing 2nd a year ago due to an error they made in moving the run course turnaround during the race.  I was also probably most excited because of the number of friends and family members that would be competing in this race.  My wife Jen would be doing her first triathlon and my brothers Justin and Josh would be doing their first QC Triathlon. 
My recovery from Kansas 70.3 went better than I ever could have dreamed.  I trained 4 hours on Tuesday which was just 2 days after doing a 1/2 Ironman.  This was possible because I took the recovery very seriously.  Immediately after racing in Kansas Jen gave me a bottle of protein that I had told her to make sure I got in right away.  I also had 2 more bottles to take in during the ride home.  That night after we got the kids to bed I drove to our training room at PVHS and got in the ice bath for 15 minutes.  Monday morning everything was good except my left piriformus was extremely tight.  I would not have been able to run if I tried.  I called Kaminski Pain and Performance Care and got in and saw Dr. Lake who worked her magic.  Later on Monday I had an awesome hour massage.  I swam about 3,000 yards easy to get new blood flowing to the muscles and also biked easy on the trainer for an hour.  When I woke up Tuesday I was 100% good to go.  I could have race another 1/2 Ironman just 2 days after the first one. 
On race morning Jen and I were up at 4:00 for breakfast.  I had not slept well at all.  I slept worse for this race than I have for a race yet this year.  I moved to a different bed at 1:00 am to change things up and fell asleep shortly afterwards so when Jen came and found me at 4:00 am I was going on less than 3 hours sleep.  We headed out the door around 4:45 in route to West Lake Park. 
Upon arrival it started to rain.  It was not a crazy strong rain, just something steady.  I didn't mind the rain at all but my only concern was that on the bike course I knew I would have to be much more careful rounding the corners.  I ran about 2 miles warm up, stretched, got on the bike for a few miles to make sure everything was working well, and then put on the wetsuit and headed to the water for about a 400 yard warm up swim. 

SWIM: Thankfully for me the swim was wetsuit legal by 1 degree.  I got killed last weekend in my pro swim without the wetsuit.  The QC Triathlon starts 2 competitors at a time about every 5 seconds.  They choose the time trial start rather than the wave start because it calms the fears of the beginner triathletes not having a massive group of people to swim around.  I prefer the wave starts because it gives me more options for drafting.  I headed to the front of the line looking for some good high school kids I could draft off but I really didn't see any of them this year.  Typically there are some really good high school swimmers that do this race and last year I had a nice draft from an all-state swimmer on the Bettendorf High school team.  He was not in a wetsuit of course and I was.  Since I couldn't find any I decided to go in as the 2nd pair out with a good swimmer behind me.  I thought he would for sure pass me and I could try to get on his feet.  I started with Seth Long who is a great up-and-comer that competes for the Iowa State Triathlon team and his swimming has really improved tremendously over the past couple years.  When I heard them say go I took off and began dolphin diving until the water was deep enough to start swimming.  I got away from Seth a bit with the dolphin dives.  I quickly closed the gap on one of the two swimmers who started ahead of me.  Further ahead was Charlie Cunnick who is a ridiculously fast swimmer.  I knew I would not be catching Charlie who was doing the race as part of a relay this year.  I was really surprised at the first bouey that Charlie was not that far ahead of me and no one behind had passed me.  I was swimming a solo effort and focusing much more on staying in a good comfortable fast rhythm that I could sustain.  In a normal race I will redline a bit if that is what it takes to stay on someone's feet but there was no sense in doing that when I was not drafting.  I was strong to the 2nd bouey and still no one went by me.  As we rounded that one and headed for shore I was quickly tiring.  Charlie was beginning to really put a lot of ground on me.  I knew someone would go by me any second but it never happened.  I got out of the water 2nd and was thrilled knowing it was a great swim for me.  Overall my swim time was 8:23 and my swim rank was 4th.  I have come so far with my swimming.  4-5 years ago at this race I was barely in the top 100 swim ranking.  I have steadily improved and with the help of my swim coaches Stacey Zapolski and Tara Christensen I have made very big gains over the past year.  I am excited for my next pro race to see what I can keep the gaps to on the swim. 
BIKE: I wanted to push the bike extremely hard.  I had trouble getting into my shoes to start but once I did I focused on keeping the effort high.  The roads were wet and on the first hill I got out of the saddle and my back wheel was slipping so I decided to stay in the saddle for the rest of the ride.  I got to the turnaround and started the time check.  The first person behind me was about 1 minute 20 seconds back but it really means nothing in a race with a time trial start because I had no idea how far back anyone started.  I saw a lot of people I knew on my way back in including my wife Jen.  I was shocked by how far up she was when I saw her.  I thought I may be able to make it half way back before I saw her but she was only 7 minutes or so back.  My bike time was 35:58 for a 25.0 mph average.  It ranked 3rd.  I'm a little frustrated with how I've ridden in my past 3 races.  I was super fit on the bike 6 weeks ago but my times compared to last year have been slower by a few tenths of a mph in my last two similar events.  I'm hoping to get refocused with the interval work and increase the miles before my next race and hopefully that will solve the problem. 
RUN: My only mishap of the race was when I grabbed my race belt I guess the number got caught on my bike and ripped off.  I was just leaving transition when the volunteers told me I had to go back and get my number.  I didn't even realize it was missing.  I went back 1/2 way and one of the volunteers handed it to me thankfully.  The mistake probably cost me 20 seconds because I hit the split to start my 5k when I left transition the 2nd time and my 5k split at the finish was 17:21 and the results show 17:42.  The run course is not easy at QC.  The start on the trails make it tough to get into an early rhythm.  I got going after the turnaround and finished the run at a decent pace.  My overall time was 1:04:07 which was good enough to win my 3rd race of the year.  It felt great to win this race because of the awesome local support that was out on the course.  It's been over 10 years since it was won by a local on the guys side so it felt good to bring the title back to the QC.  It was awesome to see women's winner Jessica Imm from Davenport represent in impressive fashion on the ladies side.  She won for the 2nd time.  Jessica has set the table well for some huge races at longer distances later this summer including Ironman Wisconsin.  I have no doubts she'll be climbing those hills with impressive speeds!  Jen had a GREAT race for her first one.  I knew she would run well but to be honest I never would have predicted how well she would run.  Her 18:19 5k split was faster than any of the females by over 2 minutes and she was faster than every guy in the race except 3 of us.  I was also impressed with her bike time.  She averaged 21.3 mph which is nothing to complain about.  Her bike training was a 13 mile ride and an 11 mile ride both last week.  Her swim is what set her back a bit.  Her swim training over the past year included one 10 minute open water swim with me in Kansas last weekend.  I do know she could be great if she wanted to pursue this sport.  About 5 years ago she trained for a few weeks for an indoor triathlon (that she won).  In the few weeks of training I was amazed at how fast she was swimming.  She could be a good swimmer, a great biker, and you know about her running.  I have no doubts if she made triathlon her sport she could do VERY well as a female professional.  I think Jen could be a podium finisher at pro races if she chose that path.  At this time however she wants to continue her running ambitions and leave triathlon in the closet for a while longer.  She wants to hang onto the bike just in case but said her next triathlon will be next year at the QC Triathlon.  She is continually improving with her running and I'm amazed by the progress she continues to make.  Congrats to all the finishers out there on Saturday.  There are way too many close friends and family members for me to name them all but it was super fun for me to watch the finish line and see so many of you guys finish with smiles on your faces...knowing the training you did to prepare for this day made you more fit than you've ever been.  Complete results with splits can be found by clicking here.  The QC Times ran a nice story on the race compliments of Dan Angell.  You can read it by clicking here
Up next I will begin a 3 week block of heavy training.  Lots of miles biking, running, and lots of yards in the pool.  I will tear myself down a bit over the next three weeks and then do a full 6 day taper for Racine 70.3 hoping for the best race of my life.  That course has been good to me with my two best 70.3 races coming on it including my top pro finish of 6th a year ago.  I love that course and I will bring a ton of confidence with me.  I'm already getting lean again, down to 153 since hitting 161 just 2 weeks ago.  I expect to race faster than ever at 144 in Racine Wisconsin on July 15th.  Thanks for reading!  DREAM BIG!

1 comment:

Journey to 2012 Leadville - Byrne said...

Great race Jeff - for both you and Jen! Keep up the great work!
John Byrne