So, I just underwent one of the toughest races I have ever done, specifically related to the bike portion. The whiskey dick triathlon has been around for awhile, and been tweaked here and there, but it is a grueling race! It consists of a 1 mile swim in a huge river, a 28 mile point to point bike (the worst bike you could imagine) and a 10 K run to finish up.
The race started off with a 1 mile swim in this local giant river that had a pretty strong current. The water temp was a mildly chilly 59DEG, so chilly to jump in but great to swim hard in with a wetsuit. So the gun was shot and we were off. I took off mildly fast from the gate, and before I knew it I was swimming all alone off the front. I was pretty stoked for the race to play out this way because it had been awhile since I had led the swim of a race.
I exited the water with a :40 sec lead over the second place guy, and had a super fast transition getting out of my wetsuit and onto my bike. The only upsetting thing about it was that the guy that came in second was on a relay and all he had to do was pass his chip, so my :40 second lead plus the time I would have added in t1 boiled down to a dead heat coming out of transition. The bike course is a bitch of a ride, the first 12 miles consists of 2000 feet of climbing (through the Washington Desert) which does not include any downhill or flat portions, only 30 story wind turbines. Not to mention a 20-30 MPH head wind the entire time. So starting the ascent I felt alright, switching right into my small ring, and buckling down for a painful ride. I was dropped pretty quickly by the other rider from the relay, not due to the fact that I swam first and he was fresh, but rather because my pea shooter legs are far from used to the hilly terrain out here.
I reached the top of the 12 mile climb, and had lost 4 other places so I was sitting in 6th place. Some of these guys out here can really bike! My average through the first 12 miles was a mere 11.3MPH, very very tough climb. The last 16 miles of the bike went very well, I woulodnt say that i felt strong, but I started to pull back a good amount of the time that I had lost early on in the hill climb. So that is a good sign that the fitness is there, but the strength is not, so that is the focus for the next 2 moths b4 kona.
Coming into transition my race mind was pretty out of it. I was so frustrated that I had given the race away on the bike that when i got out on the run I was just going through the motions. It was not pretty. I am usually a tough racer and dont just lose focus or give up mid race, so this worrys me a bit because now a days when I race, I dont find it as fun anymore. Constant sub par performances are really wearing on my race morale.
Overall I finished 5th place, 11 mins behind the relay team who would ahve been tough to beat on a good day, and 6:30 behind the 2nd place guy who was first individual. Ive got things to figure out in regards to my run, but I really need to do something miraculous in 2 weeks at Lake Stevens 70.3 in order to go into kona with any momentum whatsoever.