Sunday, August 23, 2009

Santa Barbara Triathlon Report

Race Report Time Kids! Gather around! Ok...

The Santa Barbara Long Course triathlon this past Saturday was a bit tougher than I had anticipated. The 34 mile bike course offered treats such as potholes, twisty descents, X-Files-like false flats, and busy intersections open to traffic. Good times. After the tragic loss of Barbara Warren due to an accident on the bike course last year, I had no problem taking a very conservative approach on this technical ride that I had not pre-ridden. I still wound up with the 9th fastest bike split out of 780, which was surprising given that I felt like I was holding back considerably and slowing down almost to a complete stop at several intersections.

The 1 mile swim reminded me that I need to get back in the pool with purpose, and that I cannot fake it through a 1+ mile swim leg. Losing 5-6 minutes to the leaders is unacceptable and nearly cancels out any gains I usually make on the bike. This was a true wake-up call, and I am working on a plan to get back into swim shape; making this weakness my strength! At 6'2 and 180lbs (in race shape, I raced SB at 187!), I should be flying through the water instead of zigzagging slowly. Moving on...

The 10 mile run confirmed for me that I don't have much under the hood after running very low mileage the last several weeks while a peroneal tendonitis in my right foot healed. With low expectations going in, I focused on what I COULD control, like fueling with VITARGO S2 and pacing. I give myself an "A" for both, since I held back considerably on the bike and kept my pace consistent on the run, plugging away at 6:30ish/mile. Can't complain.

My fuel for the race: one bottle of 2-scoop Vitargo, 3hrs before the start, along with one Nature's Path "pop tart" and water. One 2-scoop bottle of Vitargo slammed 30 minutes prior to the start, along with some water. One bottle of 2.5-scoop Vitargo on the bike. One half bottle of 3 scoop Vitargo at T2...and the other half I sipped as I ran. One big mistake was not taking any FEIN caffeine along with my Vitargo on the run. That would have helped immensely as I faded a bit at mile 9 to 6:40s. I had to rally to get back on track!

I was passed by the 2nd place 30-34 in the last half mile. My mindset from the start of the race was to just go with the flow and treat it like a training day. That was a lame idea. I had no idea that I would finish only 21 seconds behind 1st place in my Age Group at the end. 21 seconds was very doable, since I was cruising the run to avoid any further injury. Even in "B" or "C" races I need to be more engaged. Gotta race with the killer instinct regardless of relative importance of the race. After all, these races are training for the "BIG" races. I can't wait to come back next year to try to take 10 minutes off my time and crack top 10 overall.

This was Lisa's first triathlon (she normally does adventure races and endurance mountain bike races) so the weekend was really not about my race, but hers. We stayed at our friend Chuck's house a few blocks off State Street, which is an incredible location. Chuck has it made in the shade! The Fast Fletchers: Slater and Monique, as well as Paul Cusick (from Intense mountain bikes) and his girlfriend Lisa joined us as well for the weekend.

This race gave me some good benchmarks and data for my upcoming push towards Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida. I will take one more "easy" week before resuming my normal training program and ramping up for my "last hurrah" for 2009.

This weekend I am off to Xterra Lake Tahoe with Lisa...I have been on my mountain bike just a few times this year so it should be pretty interesting. I have ridden the course before, during last year's Big Blue 24 Hour Adventure Race, so I know what to expect...pain!


1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hey Sean, Saw an article by Pete Thomas in the Times today mentioning that you are kayaking to Catalina this weekend. Good Luck and I hope you raise a ton of money!