The Race That Wasn’t – 6/25/17

While I did not qualify for Nationals, I was still excited for Pleasant Prairie and racing in the PC Open wave. Having been there two weeks prior for PT camp, and having had a good day of practice on Saturday, I was extremely optimistic for Sunday. Specifically, I thought I’d set a PR by 10-12 minutes.

That was a good thought going in, but unfortunately belief and reality separated Sunday morning…

In the last two weeks, I had swum more than a mile in Lake Andrea. Even with it being choppy on Saturday, I was able to make it through the 750m swim without issue. However, at some point in the first 150-200m, I started to have problems with breathing. Long story short, I think it was a combindation of CO2 buildup and a little bit of panic about not getting enough air when the buildup started. My guide was able to help get me calmed down and doing other strokes to get back to normal breathing. While it all worked out, the breathing issue added an extra 8-10 minutes to my normal swim time.

T1 went well, and so did the actual bike ride. However, when we got to the dismount line, I didn’t realize that my left foot had clipped back in. This meant that when I went to plant my left foot, the bike tipped over with me still on it. I was able to catch myself with my hand, so it wasn’t anything major. But I still lost at least 5 minutes between having to stretch out my leg and shaking out my hand.

T2 went well, and so did the run. This was the bright spot of the race. In each of the previous outdoor races this season, there’s been an issue during the run (tight leg, tight back, etc.) that’s ultimately made it a mess. With Eric’s help, I was able to run throughout the 5K outside of about 60-80 seconds for aide stations and a few seconds during a steep uphill.

While it wasn’t the outcome that I wanted for the race, three main points came out of it:

1) That the T1/T2 times are continuing to decrease. While they’re down dramatically from last year since I’ve taken some gear out of the mix, they’ve also been decreasing throughout this year.

2) That I’ve found a way to make running a 5K possible as part of a triathlon. I’ve talked with my coach about ways to not only continue to make that happen but also to increase the pace. That will be implimentated throughout the rest of the year.

3) That I’ve finally got the first fall out of the way, and that it didn’t lead to injury. And even more to that point that I’m able to have a ‘if it isn’t broken, worry about it later’ mentality rather than an ‘oh shit’ (I just fell, let’s quit) one.

I had a chance to meet Aaron prior to the race, and he was coming back from his bike as we were going out. An amazing athlete, and we’ll see what USAT decides to do with the math for Men’s PTVI QTs for 2018. There was only one other athlete able to qualify with a 12+ minute decrease from 2016 to 2017. As a side note, they did not show up to compete, so the category was just Aaron (who rocked it at less than 65 min.)

Odd Man Out – 8/23/16


Last Sunday, a large group of my teammates competed at PT Nationals in Santa Cruz. Of the 23 total team members, 19 competed. Two of the remaining four are on their way to Rio shortly, so they may have opted out of Nationals to keep training for Rio. All of this means that I was literally the odd man out of Nationals from the Dare2Tri teams.

For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know of the struggles I’ve had this year. A short synopsis for those of you who haven’t is 2 races with flats, equipment delays and challenges while training. It hasn’t been the year that I had envisioned or hoped it would be. So knowing that I hadn’t qualified for Nationals, I could look at the situation from the normal glass half empty or glass half full scenario.

Instead I choose to look at it from a glass present scenario. What I mean by that is the opportunity to do triathlons in general, and Nationals (and beyond) might not even be there. If it weren’t for the tremendous support of Dare2Tri and my coaches, none of what I have done, do or will do, would be possible.

So even though I wasn’t at Nationals this year, I know it will happen very soon. My goal is to be there in 2017, and I’ve started to build a pencil schedule around that goal. Once I know where a few Tetris pieces will fall, I’ll work on a final one. And I know that I’ve got the coaches and support system to help me reach that goal for 2017, as well as a VERY strong desire not to be the odd man out again.

While I wasn’t there, my teammates did an AMAZING job. IIRC, 5 National Champions and a lot of total hardware!

And while I’m starting to think about 2017, my focus is on the PT Mid-East Regionals this coming Sunday. The event is the Chicago Triathlon, where Lake Michigan kicked my ass last September. I’m looking for redemption in the water and a strong showing overall! For those of you who want to follow me through the Race App, my bib is 4055.