Reviewing my stats from the Grand Colombian 1/2 iron distance triathlon vs. last year I noticed a few consistencies.
Swim time exactly the same, (- .2 sec)
Bike time +2 min
Run time +2 min
Overall I was quite a bit lower in the results due to the large amount of Kona bound athletes that came out and rocked the course in preparation for their big race. All in all, I am quite pleased with my performance.
My plan was simple: finish, and feel good.
To finish smart I had to plan a strategy that would allow me to finish the entire race. Since I'll be racing again the following weekend, same distance. I need time to recovery and race again within 6 days.
I chose to race purely on a set HR. In my experience I can bike and run comfortably near 150 and 160 respectively. So I decided to split the difference and go with 155HR as the target. When ever I looked at my watch I wanted to see 155, ignore everything else! Only HR, only HR, only HR.
For nutrition I allocated 2000 Kcal for the whole race. The plan is to intake nearly 1/2 of the expected output of energy.
As I met up with my fellow teammates from KBA RACING, on Friday afternoon all of us are talking about race day plans and some are looking over the list of entrants, sizing up the competition, I just listen quietly and tell myself to stick to the plan. It is very easy to get sucked up in the hype of a race and go after someone and race THEIR race not yours.
Race morning, it's wet outside, but the sky's are clearing, hmm not so bad. I love the 9AM start, exactly how my body likes to start. We make our way over to the start area, check the bike, get all our bags in the correct places, body marking, idle chit chat and eagerly await the start.
Race starts: Swim course is nicely laid out, with a line about 6' underwater to follow. Head down, go! After rounding the first buoy, the swim gets strung out and I find myself just behind the leaders 15m, but ahead of the chase group, ahh clean water, I find my smooth stroke and just glide along all the way. Not being a fan of drafting in the swim and getting hit an kicked, I like to swim alone.
Bike: Grab my bag run into the changing tent and get ready for the bike. Since the chip seal roads are quite rough, I chose to wear an additional pair of bike short for the bike section. This turned out to be a smart choice. Bike course covers about 53.5 miles with over 5000' of uphill. It seems to be 2 miles short. Within the first 2 miles the road goes from a nice flat to a 10% grade! Cars struggle up these type hills! This is when I start to check in with my HR, as expected it is well above. Knowing that it will be high until the grade levels off I choose to just keep spinning. Once the road levels off, near 3% now, I settle into my HR strategy. I start to look around some and notice there is a wind coming out of the South East, this is both a blessing and curse. In the early part of the race it is a side-head wind but it will be a nice tail-cross wind to push me up the long hill after Elmira. So I take note to use it to my advantage. On a short out and back I see KBA Racing team Mike and Chris having a great bike leg, not too far behind only a few miles at this point. Once turned around, I see Phil, then Heidi. After a few shouts of encouragement I settle back into my focus on HR. Somehow in this next 15 minutes I seem to get away from everyone, not sure how. I had a view down the road for a few miles and could see no one. I took a quite peek behind and again no one. It would stay this way nearly all the way to the finish. I knew I was on course, but being out their alone was strange. Just kept eating and watching the HR and soon I was flying down the hill into the transition. Felt good on the bike noted a max speed of 46mph.
After a quick change into running shoes, off I head into the double out and back. I settle into nice smooth run after about 1/2 mile. Note to self, more brick workouts. Get into the groove and start running well after the first mile. Quick HR check and now it's time to cruise. Wondering where I'll see the leaders and fellow teammates. Stick to the plan, walk through every aid station drinking 2 cups of drink, then start running again. Felt great all through 10 miles or so. This is when the lack of training set in. Just switched into the move efficiently mode, gave the arm swing all the effort. The last uphill I slowed while the arms worked hard to get me up, after this the last 1/2 mile is down to the finish. I just let go and flew knowing I'll be done in a few minutes.
I came in just 2 minutes slower than the year before. Pleased with my race.
Later, I check my watch info and my average HR was 155.
Total calories burned 5235, Kcal consumed, 1970 +/-100
KBA Racing placed 2nd in the Team catagory. Good day for racing.