Monday, June 16, 2014

QC Triathlon Race Report and Results

Saturday was the 15th annual QC Triathlon.  This is an event I have done many times dating all the way back to 2000 when it was my 2nd triathlon ever.  I have come a long ways in the past 14 years...especially with my swimming and biking.  This is the hometown race and one that I was fortunate enough to win in 2012.  Last year I missed the race because I was competing in a duathlon that made up part of the Scheel's Duathlon Series.  I knew this year would be a big challenge.  I was excited for it and believed it was a race I could win but knew it would take my best ever on this course.  I thought I needed to go 1:02:30 to have a chance and it was a time I thought I was capable of.

It was great sleeping in my own bed the night before a race and traveling only 30 minutes to the race site with Super Mom.  Jen was attempting to defend her win here from last year.  We arrived at 5:15 and warmed up the run together.  I was quite relaxed.  After a nice run I got in 5 miles on the bike starting very easy and gradually ramping things up to goal race wattage of around 300.  I expected this race to be tight with locals Cole Bunn and Corey Towle.  Corey and I have trained quite a lot together over the past year.  I knew he would be much improved since his win here last year.  He's gained a lot of strength on the bike over the past year and was already a great swimmer/runner.  Cole Bunn was one that many in the area didn't know about.  I was not one of those.  I had seen results and knew this recent high school graduate was the real deal and had a solid chance of winning.

SWIM: I started in the elite wave with 4 others.  It would be nice to see this wave grow but I still like having all the contenders starting together rather than a time trial start.  It is nice to know where you are in the race and guarantee that the first person across the finish line is the winner.  My plan for the race was to swim relaxed and breath every 3.  This ended up being a terrible mistake.  I did swim relaxed and was on a set of feet for only about 100 yards.  I think it was Corey's.  Corey, Cole, and Sam Lundry swam away from Seth Cunningham and myself.  We swam almost side by side the entire way.  Just before the half way point I could see the other 3 coming back and I counted in my head 10 seconds to the buoy.  I thought I wasn't in bad shape.  That meant I was down 20 seconds.  Not sure if I realized that would mean 40 seconds which is too much over a sprint distance.  I should have increased the effort but I thought staying relaxed I may cut into the deficit.  This was the wrong move.  I ended up coming out of the water and I was getting time checks from others anywhere from 1 minute to 2 minutes.  My spirit was pretty crushed when I heard 2 minutes as I mounted my bike.  I knew Corey and Cole were both too good to spot 2 minutes.  My best chance was now 3rd.  Psychologically it was difficult.  I really believed I had a chance to win and now only 9 minutes into the race the best I could do was 3rd.  I knew I needed to get that out of my head and continue on racing hard in hopes of making the podium.  I've always known that "you cannot win the race in the swim...but you can definitely lose it in the swim."  This was very true for me.  Looking back I wish I had swam as tough as I could to hold onto feet.  I still would have finished 3rd in the race but it may have led to a faster time because I would have had some glimmer of hope getting on the bike not so far behind.  Last week I swam really hard and I was 20 seconds behind Sam Lundry in a 548 yard race (500 meters).  This week I was just over a minute behind in a 600 yard race.  No more swimming relaxed in a sprint.  Lesson learned.  My swim rank was 15th after ranking 5th 2 years ago.  Work to do but still worth the trade off of spending more time at home by not swimming from October to April.

BIKE: Out on the bike I was passed by Seth Cunningham.  I dropped back 7 meters and waited a bit and passed him back.  As I passed him I said it would be to our advantage trading the lead every minute to 90 seconds and riding 7 meters legal distance behind one another.  He was a big help.  We didn't quite alternate every 90 seconds mostly because I did not have the power to match him.  He probably led us 70% of the time.  When I had my turns the pace slowed.  For some reason I couldn't get my power near what it was last Sunday.  I only averaged 256 watts after averaging 277 last Sunday.  It was frustrating.  I had taken the week pretty easy following 2 weekend races last week so I expected my power to be quite high.  At the turnaround I nearly crashed when my back wheel slid trying to taking the 180 turn too fast.  I was lucky to stay up on the bike and continue on despite the scare.  At around mile 10 Seth got away from me for the next 2 miles.  It wasn't until one of the last big hills when I was able to catch back up and take the lead back from him.  I felt bad about not being strong enough to share more of the work with him.  Overall my bike average was 25 mph which was the 2nd fastest split to Cole's blazing 26.1 mph average.  Cole swam and ran about what I expected but I thought the one area I had an advantage was the bike and I could not have been more wrong.  He told me he averaged over 300 watts.  Very impressive.  It was cool to see at the end that the top 3 bike splits were all ridden on Specialized Shivs.

RUN: Immediately out on the run I had company with Seth Cunningham.  I knew 1st and 2nd were locked up.  We would have to fight out the last podium spot on the run after riding the entire way together.  My legs felt great but almost immediately I had a bad pain on my gut when I inhaled.  It has been awhile since I've had this.  The deeper I breathed in the more painful it was.  I did not want to show any signs of distress so I tried to hide it.  It hurt quite a bit until about the half way point in the run.  Then the gut pain subsided and it was also about when I started to realize I was going to get 3rd.  I tried to run for a PR on this course which was 1:04:07 but I missed by 20 seconds.  It was not a very impressive run in 18:12.  It was the 4th fastest of the race.  Last week I came off the bike for 2 miles and comfortably ran 5:28 pace so this was disappointing.  Overall I was not terribly disappointed.  Even a great race probably wouldn't have changed my finish place.  The only thing I would have done differently is swim harder if I could do it over again.  I learned my body was not able to handle the 3rd race in 8 days like I hoped.  For that reason I decided to take next weekend off racing before going out to Atlantic City for an Ironman distance event on June 29th.  I'm very excited for this race.  There are 26 guys entered into the pro field.  I have no pressure for it and have not devoted my training to the Ironman distance.  I will go there to have fun, be competitive, and enjoy the day hoping to gain valuable information from racing Ironman distance with power being my guide on the bike.  The course is as flat as they come for an Ironman.  It was a great sign that I had no soreness the day after the QC Triathlon and was able to put in 3 hours of training.  This is a good sign for the Ironman distance event.  I hope to get a few really quality workouts in with a little more volume than I have been doing over the next 5-6 days and then get rested up for a good effort on the 29th.

Congrats to all who finished the QC Triathlon!  There were a lot of people out there doing their first triathlon and I hope you loved the experience and continue on training for more.  When I think back to where I was in 2008 I've come so far.  That year I was 1 hr. 11 minutes.  I weighed 191 lbs at the time.  This sport has changed my life in so many ways.  Now 6 years later I'm 32 lbs. less than I was when I was in my late 20's.  Many people do the opposite.  I hope the healthy lifestyle that I have gained through training for these events continues for many years to come.  I was really proud of Jen for coming back on the run to win her 2nd QC Triathlon in as many years.  She had been a little frustrated with her swimming and biking lately and both of them really impress me given the little time she spends on either of them.  Complete results from the race with splits can be found by clicking here.  It was awesome seeing so many friends and locals out at the race.  This event is very well run.  I was really excited for one athlete I'm coaching this year, Daniel Westbay who had an outstanding race.  I was felt really sad when I found out another athlete I'm coaching, Jason Rangel broke his foot on his bike dismount.  Jason is preparing for Ironman Wisconsin in September.  I have no doubts he'll persevere and still get to the start line in Madison in 3 months.  HUGE thanks to Phil Pancrazio and Jeremy Ginneberg for sending some great photos from the race.  Below you can see a picture that had a lot of hilarious comments when Jeremy posted it to my facebook page.  You may be able to see why when you look at Seth Cunningham who got off the bike right behind me...That picture and the comments definitely made my day!
I was pleased to earn $100.00 for the iHope Foundation by placing 3rd.  It was quite possibly the toughest earned $100.00 I have made for the foundation.  So far this year my races have earned $900.00 to help provide iPads and scholarships for low-income students in our community who display outstanding character and work traits.  If you'd like to help contribute to the iHope Foundation you can do so by clicking the links on the right side of the page near the top.  One link goes to the iPad fund and the other goes to the scholarship fund of iHope.  I have a lot of pride racing with a jersey that has logos of businesses that contributed $500.00 or more to the iHope Foundation.  I'm still stuck on 13 business sponsorships and am holding out hope of reaching my goal of 15.  Thanks for reading.  DREAM BIG!

1 comment:

Heather Rangel said...

You are definitely one of the most humble and honorable guys I know! Keep up the great work! Jason Rangel