A few things to catch up on in the non-stop world of this age-grouper. Following Hyannis I toed the line for the Holyoke St Patrick's Day Road Race. It is a very hilly course that is flat for the first mile, then goes up hill for miles 2, 3, and 4. As soon as you hit the 4 mile marker you take a sharp right turn and its almost all down hill from there. Don't believe me? Just take a look at my splits:
To sum it all up it was a stand alone 10k PR that could have been a few seconds faster had my shoe not come untied at mile 2.3 in the middle of an uphill. Regardless, I was more than pleased with this race, especially my final kick. There was another Cyclonaut that was still ahead of me with less than half a mile to go. He had passed me when my shoe came untied and I hadn't been able to close the gap up until that point. I picked up the pace, and as I pulled up along side him I encouraged him to push it and finish hard. I didn't look to see if he responded, I just kept the pace up! It hurt like hell but I was able to open a small enough gap to out kick him to the finish. I am very happy as this teammate of mine is a very talented runner and triathlete that is getting ready for an early season IM (I think cDA).
Following the 10K was supposed to be the Sheriff Sprint Tri. This was a race I had done at least 2 times prior, one of which I was able to win the OA. I was excited to race it again this year as it is a very early season race (beginning of May)and it gets me excited for tri season. After signing up for the White Lakes half I decided that it wouldn't be a great idea to race this super sprint only 2 weeks before WLH. I am glad I didn't race as I'm not sure I would have liked the outcome. This year the Cyclonauts swept the podium with "The other Paul M" (Paul Mikuszewski - a rapidly improving 30-34 year old), Andy getting second and Ochoa rounding out the top three. All of them had very fast times, Paul's was even a few seconds faster than my time from the year prior. With that decision made, it was time to simply focus on WLH.
I am getting very excited for my first race of the season. I have to be careful to prepare properly. My first IM was in 2008 and in 2009 I did not have a stellar year because I had the mentality of "I can do an IM so this wont be that bad." As a result I was often less than prepared and bonked on at least 2/3 half irons that year. This year I am challenging myself to 5 half irons so I need to make sure I put the work in. White Lakes and Rev3 are primarily tune ups for Prov 70.3 which is my first focus race of the season. I hope to get some solid results in North Carolina and CT and have some confidence heading into Rhode Island in July.
One last bit of news is actually pretty exciting for me. The USAT rankings recently came out for 2010, and for the first time in my entire athletic life I received All American Honors. It really doesn't have the same excitement to it as being a high school or collegiate AA, however it gets me fired up! Out of all of the male triathletes between the ages of 25-29, I ranked 40th in the country! This is in large part due to the guidance of QT2 and Coach Pat (who ranked 19th in my same age group)last year in prep for IMFL. I am actually headed down to North Carolina with Pat for the White Lakes Half for both of our season openers. It should be a fun race, that will likely have a small bet placed on it to make matters interesting. By my calculations, I am going to need at least a 5 minute lead when I get off the bike if I am going to have a chance. Curious to see what happens. Check back in a few weeks to see what the outcome is!