|Great setup for the weekend|
Down at Lake San Antonio Recreation Area, Tri-California puts on one of the best race experiences in the country with different distances, mountain bikes, kids races, and a music festival to keep everyone entertained. A lot of preparation goes into this weekend for the participants as well since you almost have to camp (car camping), and bring everything you need for spending a few days and racing.
This was my third year, so I was probably a little over confident (new lesson learned later), but took Friday off work to have a chill day down at the lake and get my normal pre-race mini triathlon in. Getting in late Thursday wasn't a problem, and had the campsite set up and ready for bed by 10:30. At SF Tri we have an "Advance" team that goes down and sets up everyone's tents a few days early so we have a dedicated group campsite. Dan, Faith and Paulo deserve some huge credit.
Dinner time, some socializing as everyone gets into the park and time for bed.
|Adam, Tim and Dan|
|Dwight and Lewis from Tri-Scottsdale|
|Courtesy of Loren Geller|
Through T1 smooth and onto the bike.
Heading up out of the lake, I try to control my effort with my Power Tap. Such a great purchase. Got passed by a lot of people charging the hill, I'd see many of them later:) No reason to try to crush a hill right out of the water, besides, my coach preaches consistent effort, no matter the terrain. My goal was to hit 300 watts average for the ride, which meant trying to hold 320-340 watts on flats and climbs.
The temperature was perfect, but the winds were not. 20 MPH head winds coming out of the park, with the worst just before our major turn onto Jolon Rd. Speed down to 15 mph for the last two miles. Some draft packs started forming ahead of me and just on que, the Referee bike! Never so glad to hear the motorcycle roll by and the packs disintegrate and I go cruising by. (Ref's were doing their job, you can see a huge amount of penalties in the results) Making the turn onto Jolon and now time for some wicked cross winds. My new deep rim Williams 85 mm wheels were holding the line fairly well, so no worries in that aspect, but when I take an arm out of aero to try to get a drink or food, not feeling so good. Definitely lead to some inadequate fueling on the bike. (might opt for an aero bottle with straw next time in winds) The ridiculous part of the ride started when a military convoy and 18 wheeler rolled by the other direction.
Having to hold on for dear life as we get hit with 50-60 MPH wind blasts off the trucks while dealing with 20 MPH cross winds was INSANE! I didn't see an 18 wheeler coming later, and when the wind blast hit me I screamed like a little girl while I tried to regain control of my bike. The guy in front of my looked back and we both let out some calming expletives and laughed it off so we wouldn't think too much about how dangerous the conditions were today. There were reports of a cyclist running a rear disk that was picked up off the ground! He was airlifted out and I'm not sure what the injuries were, but I did see someone with an obvious broken collar bone. Crazy day in the wind.
Finishing up the bike with two more climbs, yes, two more after Nasty. Nobody really remembers them, but if you go after Nasty Grade too hard, they can destroy your race. Back into the park, keeping under control and down to the lake and T2.
|3,700 feet elevation gain|
Our of transition and along the lake, my legs felt great, what didn't was the extra weight I was carrying as I discover I ate too much, the day before and not too well. My dinner was and other meals were good, but sitting around the camp site, all those sweets people brought were too appealing and chocolate covered pretzels and other things didn't quite make it through me. You can actually see a bit of a belly on my in the race pics. Fortunately I could hold a good pace, even with the brutal bike we just went through. Passing quite a few people I catch my buddy Dan whose day was nearly over due to a back spasm. He we smart and pulled back the pace (had some good times with the college kids testing a new hydration system), and I'm proud he finished, even in a lot of pain. You can tell why this race is called "Woodstock of Triathlon".
|1,280 feet elevation gain|
Finish Time: 4:53:37 - 46th overall, 11th AG, 4 minutes 7 AG places better than last year!
Tri-Cal does some really cool stuff now, upping their game with free finish video's from their You Tube feed. Here's mine at about 2:30 into the video. The one thing I need to do is figure out what the imbalance in my running is that's causing me to be stiff on one side of my body and flail on the other?
Time for one more big week of training , a nice taper (EVIL!) then out to Texas for Ironman. Feeling good, and a bit nervous.