Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chelan man 2009

I had Two goals for this race
  1. Swim a halfway Decent swim.
  2. Execute a successful nutrition plan
The swim
My plan at this race was to get an actual warm up in, and I for once I did. It was not a long warm up, but it was better than nothing(which is what I did at my last race). We waited for what seemed like an eternity for the race to start and eventually they got us rolling.

I did not get bumped around at all at the beginning of this race, which was a nice change. From the start I saw a pack forming on my left, and knew the majority of the fast swimmers were in that pack. But as I started swimming I noticed a line running under the water, that was set for us to follow. I quickly decided not to join the pack on my left and shot over to the line. This was when I realized the first great thing about the Chelan man. The water! You can actually see, its clear and clean. If you accidentally take a big gulp of it, you really don't feel so bad because it tastes like bottled water.

As a swam along the line that was hooked to each buoy and ran under the water, I didn't really bother to look up. I think I hit every buoy head on, but that didn't matter and It did not slow me down at all. I knew I was staying in a straight line with every buoy beacuse I hit every one head on, without glancing up once.

I did not feel as relaxed at this swim as I have at other races, but sometimes that just means you are pushing harder, If you are not pushing hard it is kind of a given you will have a relaxed swim. One thing that made me think I might be pushing the pace harder was, right after the turn buoy I suddenly threw up. There goes the clean water! Luckily all that came up was the Gell I took 15 min before the start, and if I am being honest Gu tri-berry gels taste great when you eat them, and really don't taste that bad when you throw them up.

I kept on pushing not knowing what my time would be, and followed my nice white line. I reached the finish and as I stood up and looked at my watch I saw 30+ minutes. Sweet! I thought to myself. that is definently and improvement for me.

Swim time: 30:22

I got through transition pretty much un harmed and headed out on the bike. For this race I sat down about 3 days before the race a wrote out my whole plan from start to finish. My plan was to stay controlled on the bike untill mile 7.5. I feel Like I did a better job of this than at Iron man Boise. I slowly worked my way up in a "controlled" manner.

At about mile 7 I caught up to the lead of the race, and was sitting in second. But shortly after I gained my second place position I was over taken. I droped back and imeadiatly passed back as we started a climb. After the climb I was passed again, and again I passed on the next hill. Eventually the two of us caught up to the leader of the race, and I passed him. I led the race for about 3 or 4 miles at this point. I was started to realize my strenght was on the hills. I would quickly gain ground every hill we hit, but loose it on the downhills and flats.

Eventually I was passed again and droped back to second. I knew I needed to stop attacking, and just stay relaxed or I would quickly ruin my race. So I sat back in second and just tried to keep pace with the leader ahead of me.

Chelan has two very big climbs, on the second half of the bike, and I was slowly gaining on the leader all the way to the top of the first climb. Once we got to the top, the leader quickly vanished on a long decent, and third was very slowly chipping away at the lead I had on him. Going down the long decent I think my legs were spinning well over 100 rpm. My head was inches from my bars, and I was trying hard not to loose ground! I made it to the bottom of the decent still in second, and started the second climb.

On the second big climb of the day I was gaining on the leader again, but noticed that third was gaining on me. At one point we were all together again and as we topped of on the hill, I found myself in third. This is where we hit a slight surprise!

after a short quick decent we came upon a sign that said road construcion, and right as I came around the turn I saw a gravel road for about the legnth of two football fields! Great! I was given a heads up that this might be here, and I told myself that I would walk it and not risk getting a flat. but as I looked ahead the two leaders were riding to the right of it on some smaller gravel, and not wanted to loose them I rode right through it. Luckily I did not get a flat, and I really hope no one else that was racing out there that day got one either.

After the cyclocross section of the course we had nothing left but a long downhill. The leaders put some more time on me but I was ok with that. At this point I was already thinkging about the run.


I rolled into T2 about 3 min down from the leader, and 30 seconds on second place. I knew the win was dooable if I just stayed relaxed and did not take off too hard like I did at Boise. From the start of the run I kept telling myself to SLOW DOWN! The race will come back. I felt like I was jogging, but with the temperatues getting very hot I did not want to blow up in the heat. after about a mile I could see the lead and second place up the road. Normally I would pick it up and quickly try and catch them, but I knew sooner or later I would catch up.

I kept my relaxed comfortable pace going, and at about mile 3.5 I ran into the lead. I kept telling myself the race does not start untill the turn around, and was not in a hurry to drop second place. He was running strong, and was not fading.

From that point I was slowly gaining time, I was grabbing aything and everything from the aid stations, and still telling myself to SLOW DOWN!! Ok, yes I was a little bit afraid of blowing up again like I did at Boise. So I was running very conservative. as I hit the turn around my lead had grown. I told myself that at mile 8 I would put in a surge, but mile 8 came and went and with no one behind me, I kept running comfortable. mile 9 was suppose to be the next surge, but still with no one in sight I did not execute. I was afraid of blowing up. It was heating up quite nicely at this point, and there is no shade what soever on the half marathon course.

The last mile was a long one, but it was a good one! I could not see second place behind me, and I was still running strong. My nutrition plan got me through the race, and I was almost done. I rounded the last turn and finished strong.


Total time: 4:30:35

This was my first win at any triathlon ever and I was stoked that I executed my plan and got the win. I met my two goals, and did not blow up. I don't know what it is about racing, but the more I do it, the more fired up I get to train harder. As the season progesses I find more motivation to train harder and longer. I am excited to hit the training hard again, and get ready for lake Stevens :)!