I’m going to say that Orlando was my first race of the season after my horrible showing at Galveston!
Planning travel to races is always a pain in the butt and a big risk. As you might remember from previous posts, I travel standby and only get on if there is a open seat. With the airlines cutting routes and reducing frequency of flights to locations it has been interesting to, say the least, getting to races. So when my good buddy and training partner Justin Park said he was driving down from N. Carolina, I quickly hopped on board. It worked out perfectly since I could make the short hop over to him . Justin lives in Chapel Hill, NC and I have made several trips to train with Justin and to also drive to races. It is always a great feeling knowing I will be arriving at races on time despite car travel to Orlando being 8.5 hrs.
North Carolina has made a huge impression on me the past couple of years during my stay with Justin. Beautiful location, awesome training grounds, plenty of trails to run on, and great tri community. Heck, Lindsay and I are even contemplating a move there next year if all our stars align. Just a fantastic place. I have logged a few hours of porch time, drinking cold beverages, and playing gin in the locations below.
Race morning was very ominous with a huge thunderstorm over head race site. With all the lightening we saw during the drive in, I was certain the swim would be canceled or delayed in order for the storm to dissipate. Eventually the storm fizzled out and the race was going to be a triathlon!
The swim was fast with Potts, Kahn, Collington, and Hackett present. With the splits I was putting up in the pool I was certain I would be able to stay with Hackett for the swim. I was wrong. At the half way mark he slowly started pulling away. The gap wasn’t huge and the long transition run was my saving grace as I made up most of my deficit to the leaders in T1. It took another 5-10 min on the bike to catch them. Guess, I will have to work a little bit harder in the pool.
The bike was where I imploded big time. My Quintana Roo is a great bike and goes very fast, it was just my engine that was faulty today. Once I caught up to Hackett I was still feeling pretty good. It was the uncomfortable comfortable feeling which is always the feeling I get when I know I can hang with the pack for 56 miles so I was a happy boy. Hackett and I were riding well switching off rounds of being pace maker up front and all seemed well. On all the out and back fro first 20-30 min it looked as if we were maintaining out lead over the pack behind us. However after a while it became evident that our pace was slowing and the catch would be made. It was disappointing since that pack that caught us had Kriat with them and he has been in fantastic form with a killer run. Anyways, around mile 43 I was in trouble and my legs were pretty cooked. I was yo-yoing back and forth from the back of the pack. There was a fair amount of disorganization with the pack with guys not wanting to pull and it kept me near for another mile or two and then it was all she wrote. The pack was gone and I was focused like no other to limit my loses. Whenever things don't go as you like, accept the situation straight away. If you sit around soaking up feeling of disappointment, that disappointment can result in you coming into T2 even further behind. I was disappointed but what I limit my loses. That being said it wasn't fun coming in about 5 min to group…yes I was hurting.
Bike Nutrition: Bottle #1 First Endurance Liquid shot (400 cal) mixed into 24oz water. Bottle #2 EFS fruit punch x2 scoops (180cal). Total calories= 580
Looking at past run splits in Orlando indicated it was going to be very hot and humid as most of previous top run splits were in 1:17 range. The plan of attack was to run the first loop at 6’ min pace, second loop at 5:50, and the last at 5:50 or below. I figured this would allow me to pick off a fair amount of guys and get me top 5 spot. First lap went well and I was making up ground and was spot on 6’ min pace. Second loop the pace increased and I was top 10. Third loop was rough. I was getting very close to 5th and 6th place athletes and thought there was a good chance I would catch them. The gap was 5min at T2 and with a mile left, it was 300m!! However, when you run out of steam you run out of steam. Finished the day with a average 1:20 split for seventh overall.
Literally straight after the race, Park and I packed up and jumped on the road for the 9 hr haul back to Chapel Hill. With all the fast food we ate during the drive home (Wendy's, Taco Bell, Subway) I made sure to have a GTS Kombucha to settle my stomach! You need to try this stuff if you ever get a unsettled stomach. My favorite is Cranberry. I followed it up by getting a healthy dosage of omegas and fats with my NUTTZO fix once we got home. Thank goodness for real food!
I think my little mini camp (camp lone wolf) went well and I received a good boost of fitness but there is a small amount still to go, or just more racing is needed to get that pop back in the legs. I’m going to count Orlando as first race of season and build from here on out.Onwards and upwards!
Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida
Disney World, Florida
May 15, 2011
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:53:14
2. Maxim Kriat (UKR) 3:57:10
3. David Kahn (USA) 3:58:13
4. Stanislav Krylov (RUS) 3:59:01
5. Andres Castillo (COL) 4:02:01
6. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) 4:02:24
7. James Cotter (NZL) 4:03:12
8. Andrew Hodges (USA ) 4:07:40
9. Brent Poulsen (USA) 4:07:44
10. Sebastian Pedraza (ITA) 4:08:25
Sunday, May 1, 2011
After a call to my coach, Matt Dixon, we set up a 10 day plan to get me into some shape to be a competitive athlete.Since my swim was where it needed to be, it would be a very tough ten days with the focus being on cycling and running. Last year we worked so hard on my cycling and it was tough being left behind. As much as I hate the alpha numeral Z4, we would get to meet and greet again in 2011 and get to become pretty good friends. There was nothing crazy on the camp, just long hard work.
The running in Austin is simply awesome! There are soft trails everywhere that are all so easy on the knees :) Where we live we can walk out of our front door and have access to 20 miles of soft rolling trails. When things start to heat up trail running tends to be very interesting as the snakes come out to play. Last year I had three rattlesnake kills and a total of seven sightings. Always gets your heart rate going when you hear a rattle! Here are some trails shots from closer to my secret location! I managed to go in a cycle of two day on and one day off which resulted in no pain at all. Came out of this little camp with lots more confidence and faith in the strength of my knee.
Riding in the hill country has to be one of my top three rides I love to do. The other two rides would be the Kohalas loop and the ride Cameron Brown took me on in Auckland, New Zealand.
Riding the hill country, once you get there, is top notch. Very little traffic, rolling terrain, and great views. Perfect roads to do 30-60 min efforts without any interruption. I pretty much spent all my time on Fitzhugh road during this camp. The roads and terrain are just very tough and rugged looking. I love it. For all other specific hill work Riverplace was where I was at.
Camp ended a while back and I had a great time. I achieved all the goals Dixon put out for me and ended up at a good level of fitness. Next up is the Orlando 70.3 on May 15. I hope everything will pay off and I end up executing a near perfect race.
Hope you enjoyed some of the pics of Austin, TX training grounds. Until next time.