After XTERRA the second points chase series are the 5150 races in attempting to qualify for the 5150 Hy-Vee Championship over Labor Day weekend. Ironman 70.3 California was the first race I did with points and did not score as well as needed to qualify for the race putting a bit more pressure to score better in the following points races. St. Anthony’s triathlon was next on the list to score points and like Oceanside the field was extremely deep. I had raced St. A’s before in 2006 and 2007 and had some good familiarity with the course and flew in later to the race so I could stay a bit longer with the family in Tampa and be able to enjoy it a bit.
Though I don’t like the early mornings that road tri’s bring I am thankful that we are out of the heat as I do not have the best track record in hot humid races and this was one of many 6:50 am starts with the sun just breaking the horizon as the horn blew. The start of the race was very rough with 50 some odd guys basically climbing all over each other trying to find clear water. I elected for a position I don’t normally take starting behind a few of the swimmers I knew to be faster and would have a bit more clear water to my sides at the start. It worked well off the line for about 50 meters then the guys that were getting spit out of the front line I was then swimming over but I was holding and maintaining position well through the first half of the swim as I was at the tail end of the front pack. At the first turn buoy we turned away from shore and straight into about a 4-5 foot swell that the wind kicked up. I started to struggle a bit sighting and following feet but it wasn’t until the next turn that I lost contact and the pack started to get broken up and every body started to get spread out. On the last leg into the swim exit some of the swells were large enough that if I happened to sight when I was in the trough I couldn’t even see the tops of the trees on the shore. At the exit I was about 1min down from the lead and with the quality of the swimmers in the field I was pretty happy with but I knew I had some hard riding ahead to get in the front group. After a bit of a struggle in transition I was off.
After getting across the cobbled street out of transition I strapped the Sidi’s and started pounding the pedals. I looked down to make sure I hadn’t lost my 1st Endurance Liquid Shot only to notice that I forgot to put my SRM PC 7 on my bike. In the shorter races I rarely pay attention to the numbers on my SRM in the race so it was not critical immediately. My coach Derick, and I use it for post race analysis. I focused in on the task of catching anyone and everyone ahead of me, trying to make sure I was maintaining the stagger and no drafting rules at the same time trying to work in with a group of other riders to work our way to the front pack. All signs were that I was pushing as hard as possible but I was loosing time to the group ahead and I was not able to keep pace with a few of the faster cyclists coming up from behind. I slowly progressed through a few other riders gaining most of my time in the corners and more technical parts of the course. Overall I felt like a rode very strong through the entire ride and never faded but the pack dynamics up the road were too much to overcome losing about 3-4mins as I hit T2.
Transition was anything but smooth again but I got rolling only to have the couple guys behind me fly past in the first half mile. I struggled with some stomach cramping for the first couple miles I think from eating a bit too much at dinner and that parlayed itself to affecting my normal pre-race breakfast as I was tasting it a bit early in the run. Though it was tough I knew that I still needed to hydrate and I put down little bits of water until I was able to work the cramps out about 2 miles into the run. From then on I really felt like I was rolling along well but guys were still going by me. I cruised into the finish in 35th, well off of where I was hoping and nowhere near the points I needed to help my 5150 standing.
In looking back at the splits from the race, I was able to walk away with a few positives. My swim was solid, there are certain things you can’t help and water conditions being one of them but I was in with the front group and will continue to get stronger. The bike I fought like hell and pushed hard but need to play the game better to stay with those groups. The run was as strong as I have felt in a long while, I negative split by 20 seconds per mile not fading as the temperatures started climbing. Though the speed was very much lacking compared to even the middle of the pack pros it is something that will come. Derick has been very focused on me making sure I know that we need to build a strong base that has lacked in previous years and we can build the speed on top of that.
It is a very quick turnaround I raced the Ironman 70.3 US Pro Championship in St. George Utah on Saturday. Race report from there coming soon!
Nitty Gritty Details:Clothing: 2XU Long Distance Tri Suit, 2XU Compression Calf Guards
Swim: 2XU V:2 Westsuit, 2XU Race Goggles and 2Toms SportsShield.
Bike: Pro Cycling Specialized Shiv Pro, 808's with Zipp Tangente Tubulars with Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex sealant, SRM Rotor 3D+ crank 53-39 Q-Rings, Sidi T3.6, Rudy Project Wingspan helmet and Rudy Project Hypermask Performance w/Multilaser Blue Lens
Bike Nutrition: 1-24 oz bottle of 1st Endurance EFS Orange, 1/2 Flask 1st Endurance EFS Liquid Shot, 1-24oz bladder of water.