Thursday, June 18, 2009

1 day out.

Well in about 12 hours or so I begin my odyssey to Massachusetts, to begin my 2009 tri season. Money's a little tight from some unplanned expenses so that has me a little on edge, and racing wise I'm hoping my run training's been good enough. I've been averaging between 16-24 miles per week for the last three weeks I even ran a 5k in my racing flats last night to see how they felt. I've got to load them with baby powder because I need to save time where ever I can on Saturday because I want to Podium in the elite division and fully finish in the top 20. A tall order when I look at my competition. Tonight has just been a chill out night. No training eat some carbs, watch some ITU highlights, listen to some angry stuff on the i--pod. Tomorrow I'll shave and then make the long drive out. Part of me is really hoping for a good result, but worst case scenario it will be a good training day for Providence. I already have my plan in place. Go for bragging rights on the swim. Stay strong on the bike, and run like a man possessed. Part of me is thinking of taking the first 7 miles more conservative than normal but I know I have a hard time kicking it up the second half of races. The tempo runs with Tony have helped because on Sunday I was going at 1:45 half marathon pace for 11 miles. The nerves have hit but right now I have more important shit to be nerveous about. This is supposed to fun. This is why I punch a clock for 6-8 hours a day, to pay to do this. The past week my mind's been in a really dark place, part of me was really considering just loafing this season and calling it quits until today at work.

One of my co-workers asked me if I got paid to do this. I sort of laughed annd explained at most races I compete as an amateur so there's usually no dinero in it for me. One of my other co-workers chimed in "So why you do it?"
"Because I enjoy it."
Her response "How do you enjoy it if it doesn't make you money?"

For a second I had to think...I ended up pulling one of Macca's interviews out of my memory banks. He talked about younger pros just being in it for the pay check and for him how it's the win he cared about the checks are a bonus. I guess that's where I'm at. I sit around money all day, I worry about money all day, I deal with people that worry about money all day. For me sport is a welcome break. It's something I do for the pure fight. It's something I have to work at. And while on Saturday I'll be racing in the elite division the rest of my racing season I'll be going for nothing more than bragging rights, maybe another Timex watch, a couple of Free water bottles and hopefully the honor to throw down some coin and race on the Big Island.
To be cliche I'll quote Bon Jovi: "You live for the fight when it's all that you got."


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Patriot Triathlon Scouting Report...

Well I just went through the Elite Men's division of the 2009 Patriot Triathlon in East Freetown, MA. Those who don't know they offer an open division ,usually to try to attract local pros, and wannabes like me, who maybe if the planets cosmical align in the right position and everything goes right might bring home a check.

Well as went through the list of guys in the Elite division I saw two familiar faces:

Ray Botelho who won the elite division last year and John Hirsch, the national Champion of the People's Republic of Block Island, and 10th at Ironman Louisville last year.

Now I knew I was going to lose to Ray but still had a remote shot at the remaining check, with John in the field it looks like I'm racing for the paper weight for third. Part of me has thought about emailing the race director and going back to the age group ranks, but I seriously hate having to swim around guys from the previous waves,Plus my age group goes last wave so there are tons of people all over the place and the sun is usually pretty high in the sky on the run. Besides Patriot is a race that I do to push myself, and see where I stack up with New England's best. Plus with Providence being A+++ priority I don't mind having a 58 mile tempo ride with little to no traffic. But enough on me here's how I think this thing is going to go down.

John, Ray and I are all within about a minute of each other on the swim. My plan is to go hard and see if I can't throw down the day's fastest swim for the second year in a row.

The bike is where John and Ray go bye-bye and battle for glory.

I only know the times of one other dude in the division, Craig Sheckler, everyone else is unknown quantity, but Craig threw down a 4:49 here last year and looks to be at my goal pace on the bike and run. So if I can stay in front of him on the bike or at the very least hold on to him I will definitely bust the 5 hour barrier and hopefully hit my goal of 4:45.

My strategy this year is different than last year. While I fully plan on throttling the swim, I'm going to break my bike leg into quarters, go hard the first half of the two loops and tone down the second halves to try to keep my legs somewhat fresh for the run. Figure I average about a 2:40 so if I can go between 2:35 and 2:45 I'll be happy.

The tempo work with Tony has me confident that I can break 1:40 on the run. But I know I usually end up going about 1:45. This year I need to hammer the run. Hopefully they'll have flat cola at the aid stations although last year they didn't bring it out until late in the race, and needless to say I was suffering through the run.I can't explain it but for some odd reason Coke works for me.

All these plans look well and defined on paper but once you actually get into the race it's amazing how it doesn't stick to a script. A key competitior getting a flat here...a bad night of sleep there, a missed water bottle, the leader deciding to hammer fest the bike and the rest of us driniking the "kool aid" and trying to gun after him. I guess that's why we run the race...nothing is certain until we cross that finish line.

Trying to get pumped.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The New Shoes

Yep I went out and bought myself a pair of New Balance 769's by mistake they were marked as $59.99 and as a result got them $30 cheaper than retail. To celebrate and vent off some life frustrations I went for a 9 miler to break them in. Yesterday was the infamous grad party..mainly my source of stress, I had mentioned it in passing to some of my friends none showed up granted I really haven't I still wait for one grade so I can get my diploma. My sisters' friends showed and they had a good time so I guess it was worth the money I had to shell out for it. So no training went down. Today I got a call from Tony and so hauled out to Southington for an 11+ mile tempo run. We finished in 1:27. It was a good hard run that my legs sorely needed.The 769's worked like a charm as they felt like pillows on my feet. My base is strong from all the swimming and cycling so my cardio was fine, but the legs have needed more mileage. Tony and I have similar running pace but different strengths he tends to come on strong at the end and has a developed kick. I tend to go out like a house on fire to try to build a lead because I have absolutely no sprint speed. So the whole 11 miles we took turns pacing when I felt good I pace ahead and build a small lead, then when he felt good he'd come along side. And in the final sprint he kicked ahead. Tempo running with a training partner is defintley better than running alone as you tend to push harder when someone else is going hard with you. Today was a true test of my pacing and I feel confident going into to Patriot and Providence, that I can hold in the mid-7:00's.

Feelin' Fast