I came into my 9th participation of the Pat Griskus Olympic triathlon feeling fantastic. I took the week leading into the race a little easier as I was recovering from 70.3 Eagleman 6 days earlier. I finally started to notice my fitness coming into form during the week. It was such an awakening to feel good and fresh again. I had not felt like that since before the Ironman World Championships in October. I was actually really looking forward to racing.
I had a great warm up before the swim start. I was able to work in some high end efforts. This really helped me once the race started. My swim wave consisted of all male athletes age 44 and under. I knew there would be some really fast swimmers. I focused on trying to get out as fast as I could. I had some decent contact during the first 200 meters, but I was able to settle in after that. I was able to push my effort right to my hypoxic limit without going over it. My Blueseventy Helix felt fantastic. I was really happy with my effort for the entire swim as I was actually able to bridge up to a group of swimmers in front of me on the 2nd half of the swim. I came out of the water and made my way to my Quintana Roo Illicito.
I headed out onto the bike and I was surprised that I was able to get the lead vehicle within the first 2 miles. Once I had the lead motorcycle, I focused on dialing into my effort. There was a course change this year during the first 5 miles that made things a bit more technical and slower. The roads were still wet in places from the heavy rains the night before. I was a bit more cautious as I approached each turn. Once I was back on the original course, I focused on staying steady on my pedals. I was pleased with how steady I raced the bike segment. My variability index(normalized power/average power) was only 1.02. This steady effort allowed for fresh legs coming off of the bike.
My legs felt very fresh heading out onto the run. I usually have some cramping in my hamstrings as I dismount the bike. However, I have been using a product called Trace Minerals B12.
I have found that this supplement has really helped me with many issues I would chronically experience during races.
Once I got onto the run course, I settled into my rhythm. As the run course is a double out and back, I knew I would see where I stood shortly after the turnaround. My goal was to stay steady until I saw my first competitor. I used my Timex Run Trainer 2.0 to monitor my pace. As I was approaching the 2 mile marker, I saw the first 2 competitors coming the other direction. I figured that I had about a 6 minute lead, so I focused on my form for the remainder of the run. I tried to push the 2nd lap a little harder to bring my heart rate into zone 4.
Final Time: 2:04:59 1st Overall
This race is so well run. The race director, Tom Wilkas, and all of the volunteers do an exceptional job putting on a first class event.
Career Highlights: 2009 USA Triathlon Amateur Athlete of the Year, 2012,2013, 2014 USA Triathlon Masters Athlete of the Year, 2014 USA Triathlon Olympic National Championship Masters Champion, 4 X Ironman 70.3 World Championship Age Group Winner (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013), 18 X 70.3 Overall Amateur Champion, 9 X Ironman World Champion Finisher (4 X Top 10 in Age Group), 2015 American Zofingen LC Champion, 2nd OA IM Maryland
I started competing in triathlon in the summer of 2000. I had always been intrigued by the sport since the early ‘80s when I would watch the Hawaii Ironman on TV. I got into running at a young age (6yrs old) as my father was a big marathon runner back in the late 70’s, early 80’s running boom. I did my first 10-mile road race when I was 10 years old. I also played ice hockey throughout my childhood and I stopped running my sophomore year in high school in order to completely focus on ice hockey. I did not run again until the fall of 1999. During that race, a friend of mine mentioned that he competed in sprint triathlons, short duration races lasting around one hour. I was immediately interested and I signed up for my first triathlon in July of 2000 up in Falmouth, Ma. I was immediately hooked. I loved the competition. I especially liked the aspect of the three sports and how one could continue to practice and improve in each sport. I believe all three sports compliment each other. I also really enjoyed the idea of challenging myself to see where I could get. So, while triathlon is a competition, I see it more as a race against yourself then others. It is a very addictive sport, but I think it’s probably one of the healthiest addictions that I know of. The training is also a great stress relief. I worked in New York City for the past 5 years and down on Wall Street for 2 years. The commute and the lifestyle can get pretty stressful at times. The training really helped me de-stress and stay focused. I have three little boys and I really enjoy sharing the sport with all three of them. I don’t care if they ever compete in a race, but I do believe it’s important to expose them to healthy opportunities in life. I would say that the hardest endurance scenario I’ve faced was actually the first half ironman I competed in up in Laconia, NH, which was the Timberman race. I’ve completed four full Ironman events, but that half ironman was my first attempt at the distance. I feel, in hindsight, that I just was not properly trained for the event. It was an incredible eye opening experience. I don’t think I’ve been more tired then the moment I crossed that finish line. However, the human mind is fascinating, as I was looking forward to the next race less then 24 hours after.