So Leo and I drove down to Philly Friday afternoon to race on Saturday morning, and the family would meet us the next day since it would be a really long weekend if everyone was there from Friday night through Sunday.
Sprint race recap:
I think I was more excited going into the Sprint than the Olympic. I really wanted to test my speed and figured I would be less tired since this race was first. Looking at the times over the past few years, I thought I had a good shot at some type of podium finish. So pushing the pace was definitely in the agenda.
For the sake of length, I'll combine all disciplines into a single recap. So starting off with the swim, I felt good. I knew I wasn't going to be the fastest, but I figured I could do well enough to keep me in position to make up ground on the bike and definitely the run. My swim actually felt like I was doing well for me. With the mishaps of Knoxville, I wanted to see how fast I could push without burning out. The swim had a tiny bit of current, but the problem with the swim was they did a time trial start with rolling waves based on Age Groups. So while I was pushing myself, I kept catching and having to pass the waves before me weaving in and out of poor swimmers. This definitely took time off.
When I finally hit my bike, within the first 2 miles, I knew it was not going to be my day. I couldn't get any speed going and the course was flat. My legs were just dead for some reason. All week, I felt like this, but I figured I would be able to push through. The course was 2 loops around Fairmount Park in Philadelphia which wasn't flat, but wasn't too hilly. I expected a little bit more flat roads, but was prepared. My problem was I just didn't have it in my legs. I thought I would try and conserve energy for Sunday's race, but mentally I can't do that. I pushed as much as I can. The same problem that occurred on the swim happened on the bike. All of the faster bikers kept having to pass the slower cyclists on the 2nd loop of the same course. I wouldn't say faster, but maybe younger? The waves started with the higher ages so when it was my age group and even younger, we were sharing the roads with a lot more people and having to weave in and out. Not ideal at all. I felt like I was screaming "on your left" all day. And yet, no one would move over to help us out.
Finally racking my bike, I grabbed my Skora's and headed out for the run. Being only a 5k, I really wanted to kill it. But my legs, and at that point, my mind, wasn't into it. I kept just wanting the race to be over. The run course was flat and fast and even so I managed a 19 minute 5k, which I guess I expected. I would have liked faster, but knew I had to save something for the next day.
I wanted a better result in this race, but sometimes knowing your body is more important. I didn't want to ruin 2 races so taking my foot off the gas, even a little during this race, definitely help me for the next day.
Overall time 1:18 for a .5 mile swim, 15.8 mile bike, 5k run. Top 3% of entire participants
The somewhat bright spot was I was pretty close to Ironman World champion Chris McCormack in my race. He raced the sprint race and had a bunch of issues during his race, but still I wasn't too far behind him.
After the race, it was time to wait for Leo, meet the family who came for the end of the race, Riley's first race, and to see Philadelphia.
|The family after my race, and right before Riley's first race|
|Grandpa, Daddy, and Riley walking back from dinner|
Olympic Race Recap:
After getting somewhat of a decent night's sleep, it was time to strap on the boots again and go racing.
I was more excited for the Olympic race for some reason after not doing well in the Sprint. I felt I had a better shot at having a good race and that my speed would be able to keep me in the mix more.
The Olympic race was also a race for the Pro's, so some big names like Andy Potts, Cameron Dye, Matty Reed and others were there. When they got out of their swim, the announcers said they finished in like 15 minutes so the current was giving us about a 4 minute advantage. Being an average swimmer, I was excited. Anything that helps my swim, I'll take.
Once my swim started, I was cruising. The only problem was that I think I forgot to start my watch. I have a timer on my watch to go off every 3 minutes during my swim. It helps me know where my pacing is. So when I got to the 100 meter buoy, there was no vibration, then the 200 meter one had nothing. I knew the current was fast, but I didn't think it was this fast. It was around the 300 meter mark that I just accepted I didn't start the watch. I was bummed, because I thought I was making good time. Ultimately I was, but my watch wasn't letting me know.
The swim was finally over and I grabbed my bike, started my watch, scrolled through my settings and went to town. The first 4 miles or so was a breeze. I was averaging about 22 mph, and I thought it was going to be a good day. But then some technical turns occurred, hills happened and I lost my bike mojo. The course was essentially the opposite of the day before, but with added mileage. I knew the course and took advantage where I could, but for some reason, my speed wasn't there. I just don't get it. How could I have such great training sessions, and when race day comes, I can't push it and drop the hammer when I need to? After finishing the 25 mile bike, I didn't know where I was in placing. I figured I was either near the top, or towards the bottom since I only passed about 3 people in my Age on the bike, but only got passed by 2 people. The run was where I needed to do my damage.
|Coming through the finish to end my weekend|
I crossed the finish line and at that point my weekend was done. it was time to stop being an athlete, and start being a daddy again. I cooled off and took Riley away from the wife and took care of him. We walked around, waiting for Leo, cheered him on, got some snacks, and then hung out.
Olympic Time: 2:22 for .9 mile swim, 24.8 bike, 6.2 mile run.
Overall, I am not happy with my placing for the race, but I realized that I can't control who enters the race. I can only control my race. If I place 1st, 400th, or anywhere in between, it's out of my control. Whoever enters the race is not something I can worry about. If I'm only going to race where I might win, then I will never hit my full potential. So I have to look at other things that are in my control. The Olympic race is the first race where I am happy with all 3 disciplines at the same time within a single race. My times might not reflect it, but I executed my game plan the way I wanted so I can be happy about that.
|2 races down and wiped out.|
I wanted to quickly thank both SunRype and HoneyMaxx for my race kits. It was the first time I was able to race in kits provided by sponsors. They both felt and looked great. It's nice to have something across my chest to know I'm racing for other people as well and that I have partners that I'm proud to help support.
|After a long weekend of racing, Riley and I couldn't keep our eyes open|