Friday, July 23, 2010

Lake Waramaug Sprint

After having the swim cancelled at Mooseman I decided I wanted to throw a sprint onto the schedule prior to Providence 70.3 in order to test out my new Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit. I used to have a sleeveless, so with the addition of this new full body wetsuit I wanted to get a race under my belt that way I would be comfortable with T1.

I headed down to Lake Waramaug on a Friday afternoon for this sprint that I have done twice. The last time I did it I had the lead until about a mile and a half to go on the run. It was at this point that I was passed by one pro and one former pro. I was able to make a final push to finish within a minute of both of them, however I was still disappointed with giving up the lead. This year would be different.

I had an unusual confidence going into the race as I had put in some significant base mileage compared to years past. I went through my pre-race routine (check in, set up bike, transition, scope out competition, etc) and was getting very excited. Two buddies of mine from college were there to watch their mom do her first race which got me excited to see her as well. After a few motivating words for Maureen I headed down to the swim start. It was going to be women and relays followed by the men 4 minutes later. Gun went off and so did I. My plan was to hammer, hammer hammer.

I made my way through most of the wave ahead of me as well as my wave. I came out of the water first in my wave with only 10-15 women or teams ahead. I made it through T1 safely and hit the road pedaling. There is a 2 mile downhill followed by a right turn and a very flat and fast loop around the lake before making a sharp left turn and hitting the 2 mile uphill back to transition.

I was making my way through the women and teams looking for the lead biker. Nobody had caught up to me until just before the climb back up. I noticed someone behind me that initiated the pass, almost came up next to me, then dropped back behind me. I was sure if he was drafting so when we hit the hill I decided to crank it up a bit. As I got to the top I took a quick look back and saw that I had gapped him fairly well. I continued hammering up the climb to T2.

I went out for the run feeling good and knew I would have 3 opportunities to see who was in front and in back of me. I saw 2 people ahead of me (both teams) and the same guy from the bike behind me but couldn't tell if I was gaining or loosing. When we made the final turn with a mile to go I saw that I had a pretty substantial gap to second place and tried to put in a hard kick to go for the course record. I crossed the line in first with a new course record by about 3 minutes. WOOHOOO!! This was the first record I have ever set and was thrilled!!

Overall the race was a huge success and it got me even more excited for Providence 70.3 which was now about 3 weeks away. For now though, its back to the training

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mooseman Olympic

This season I decided to switch up my races a bit. Rather than doing the normal sprints and olympics around here that are part of the FIRM series, I went with a few new ones. The first was the Mooseman Olympic. This was on a Saturday and was followed by the half iron on Sunday. I knew a good group going up, some racing the oly and the rest racing the half. I stayed with my good friends Andy Salmon, and Jim and Kelly Sullivan. We had an awesome condo right on Newfound Lake.

Fast forward to race morning, there were showers and thunderstorms in the forecast so it shouldn't have been a surprise when we were woken up to thunder, lightning, and torrential rain at 3am on race day. Kelly and I were doing the oly so we were up and having our race breakfast as we were looking at the radar. Race is scheduled for 8, but it looks perfect around 9:30.

We venture over to race start to set up transition only to find there has been a 90 minute delay, no swim, and they are shortening the bike from 26 miles to 17 and keeping the run at 10K. The bad news: swim is my strongest leg, bike is next strongest, run is weakest. Good news: we get to race. The race will start in order of race number and we will begin on our bikes in 3 second intervals. I decide that I am going to hammer the bike and try and hang on for the run.

All goes well and according to plan and I feel like I am cruising right along on the bike. The weather is nice and so is the pavement. I move through the pack and hop off the bike in second place about 30 seconds down to the leader. I hit the road running, and as I do so the leader appears to be gapping me big time. I get passed by a few more racers including coach Pat and try as hard as I can to not loose too much time. I turn into the park, head for the shute and finish 3rd in age group and 7th overall. I was able to average 25.1 mph on the bike and 6:19 per mile on the run. Overall I was very pleased with the results given there was no swim.

With the next scheduled race being Providence 70.3 it was time to get back to the plan and have a serious build for my only scheduled half of the season.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Changes from 2009 to 2010

Sorry about the last post, ADD must have kicked in so it was never completed. I am going to try and bring you all up to speed on the 2010 season as it has had some pretty big changes.

In November of 2009 I decided to get myself a coach for a year and give Ironman racing a really good amount of dedication and effort before really setting down, starting a family, and increasing my responsibilities tenfold. Since hearing about Quantitative Training Systems (QT2) Triathlon coaching I have been very much interested. They have a very methodical and calculated approach to the sport that has yielded some incredible results. Most importantly they have a very detailed nutrional approach with is something that I believe too many triathletes overlook or dont take seriously enough (myself included). It is for these reasons that I signed to have them coach me for the winter of 2009 and more importantly for 2010 and Ironman Florida.

I was told Pat Wheeler was going to be writing up my program, and after burying the hatchet from seasons past, I couldn't be happier. Pat is a very accomplished triathlete that is in my age group. As I write this he has placed 4th in age group at Lake Placid in 08, won the age group in 2009 thereby qualifying for Kona, raced Kona in '09, and most recently won his age group at the inaugural 2010 Ironman St George once again picking up a Kona slot. This all while under the wing of QT2. If that doesn't sell anyone, I don't know what will.

My winter block was going to be from November 2009 to March of 2010, culiminating in the Westfield Half Marathon. Without getting into too many details, the winter block went well and I was able to PR at Westfield with a 1:25. That was a 13 minute improvement for me! I then took 2 weeks off before starting a 30 week block for Ironman Florida. With the training comes some intense nutrional changes. At this point I have lost about 25 pounds since November and dropped my body fat from 24% (tons of fun) to around 14% (a little more lean). The goal is to get somewhere around 10% by November for the IM. I have already noticed a tremendous difference and look forward to seeing future improvements while onboard with QT2 coaching services and Coach Pat