Training for This Race
As I mentioned in my last race report from the Jailbreak 5k, my main goal going into the week between races was to recover enough to feel fresh, yet ready to race hard. So, the day following the Jailbreak, I took a full rest day and then was back out running on Monday. Tuesday was a short brick workout, followed up with a swim on Wednesday. Thursday I was back out for a 5 mile run and then was feeling good enough to go for a bike ride that evening. Friday was just an easy day with 4 miles of running in the morning. Saturday was a full rest day, but not only in terms of exercising. With my recent change of work places, some guys from work took me out for dinner and drinks on Friday night which left me feeling a little sluggish on Saturday. On top of feeling sluggish, it was also a day full of coaching 5 and 6 year olds flag football in the morning followed up with yard work and "Healthy Kids Day" at our local YMCA. It was a busy and slow moving type of day. A perfect day for a day without working out.
My nutrition plan was pretty simple but actually had some consistency to it compared to my recent shorter races. My goal was to finish in the 1:15-1:17 range, so I wanted to take in some fuel. I started my taking in 2 Anti-Fatigue Caps an hour before the race. Once the race started I planned on drinking about 100 calories worth of Hammer Heed during the bike leg. During the bike I also took one tablet of Hammer Energy Surge right before one of the only climbs on the bike course. During the final run leg, I took a second tablet of Hammer Energy Surge to give me a strong final kick.
2 Mile Run (11:22.73)
The race started with a 2 mile run throughout Riverside Park in Neenah. My main strategy was to hang with the front of the pack, no matter how tired it made me. After the first mile passed, I was comfortably in 3rd behind two very strong runners. I finished the 2 miles in just over 11:22 (5:51 pace), which ended up being the 7th fastest run split. As we entered the transition area, I felt strongly that I had a chance to pass one if not both of them in transition. I was wrong. Even with a strong T1 (00:36, 9th fastest), I was still 3rd out of transition.
20 Mile Bike (0:51:06)
Coming off the bike, I once again just wanted to lay the hammer down, even if it meant blowing up during the second run. Early on during the bike I was able to work myself into 2nd place. I was actually able to hold that position for the first 5 miles or so. That was the point where the guys with the nice, pricier bikes passed by me with ease. The wind was tolerable with a head wind for the first half. As we made the turn to the east down near County Hwy GG and Interstate 41 I was ready for a tailwind. This was the point in the race I was not expecting. The past years that I have raced this event when it was in Neenah, we would head north on the frontage road of HWY 41. Not this year, we went straight east on HWY GG. This was fine, until I started to hear a train whistle. I got nervous, I knew there was a railroad crossing coming up and I did NOT want to get stopped by the train. As I approached the crossing, I saw the stop bars dropping down and the red lights began flashing. I said a few choice curse words and began to slow down. The stop arms came to a rest as I reached the crossing and the train was still a ways away from the intersection. I asked it it would be alright to continue through the crossing since I was able to do it safely. I was granted permission and I immediately stood up and began to hammer down to try to quickly get back up to speed. I had roughly 8 miles to go and I didn't want to loose any more ground. I gritted my teeth, sucked it up, and just focused on maintaining a consistent cadence. I finished with an average speed of 22.6 mph, a little slower than I had hoped, but I was happy with my time. I then entered T2 with one goal in mind - get in, get out, and finish strong. I ended up with a T2 time of 26 seconds, the second fastest T2 of the day. I was extremely happy to see that, as transitions are free time. Now to just hammer down for the final 2 miles.
2 Mile Run (12:04)
Coming out of T2, I was able to see the next runner ahead of me. I guessed he was about a quarter of a mile ahead of me. I knew it would take one hell of a run split to even make it close, but I immediately made it a goal to pass him. As tired as I was, I knew that I am a strong runner and I am always able to make up ground during the run leg. I stayed focus on my cadence and just listened to the steady beat of my feet striking the ground and tried to maintain an even rhythm. I was able to catch the guy in front of me with about a quarter mile to go. I finished the final 2 miles in 12:04 which was the 5th fastest split and a total time of 1:15:37 which placed me 9th overall and 1st in my age group.
As I came in from the bike I heard Sarah and my girls cheering me on. I believe that is what kept me going during the final run leg. So, after the race, I spent some time with my daughters and shared the post race french toast buffet with them. We stuck around for the awards ceremony, since both Maya and Delaney not only love me getting awards, they have come to expect me winning awards. I really don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I guess, I'll take it as a positive for now....
What's on Tap
My future race schedule is truly up in the air at this point. I realize that I have already scheduled out my entire 2015 year, but truly, that is simply just an ideal plan. With me starting a new job at a new department, I have to take a realistic approach to my racing schedule. Who knows if I'll be able to finish my goal of completing a race in each month of the year or not. I'll do my best to do it, but if I can't make it happen, then it wasn't meant to be. Simple as that. I'd really like to race the Toughman Wisconsin Triathlon on June 20th, but we'll see if I can make that happen. That would be my next race, but like I said, I really have no clue what my future holds for my race schedule. I do know that I will be racing the Race the Lake bike race around Lake Winnebago in August and that's really about it. For now. :)
Thanks for reading!