Thursday, June 23, 2016

Griskus Olympic: Fitness is coming back, just slowly..

I was very relaxed going into this race. I knew that my fitness was equivalent to where it normally is in February, not in June. I track my fitness levels using the Performance Management Chart in Training Peaks. My Chronic training load is trending higher, but still depressed after my spring health hiccups mentioned in my earlier post. So, I was being realistic with myself. I will always try to give everything I have on the day, but I like to know what I'm capable of on the day. My goal for the race was to continue building my high end fitness back. There is no better way to do that than to get out and race. Swim: 24:28 I knew that I would not be able to match the speed of the top guys this year. Normally I will still try to go out as fast as possible, but this year I decided to try to build my effort and not blow up 200 meters into the swim. I ended up doing the entire swim on my own. I exited the water 4th in my wave and had the 9th fastest swim time on the day. Bike: 1:04:48 While my fitness was not where I wanted it to be, I knew that I would need to push the bike harder than I had at REV3 Quassy two weeks prior. However, I did not want to get caught up looking at my numbers every couple of minutes. So I made the decision to just go by feel. The bike course is very hilly and there are no real places to settle in. I had two notable moments during the bike. The first came about 10 miles into the course where there is normally a sharp right hand turn while coming down a steep descent. As I was approaching the turn, I noticed that there were no volunteers out on the road and no turn signs. I blew past the right hand turn and quickly remembered the race director, Tom Wilkas, mentioning that there was one course change from the previous year (I missed the race in 2015). Oops, my bad. The second incident happened about 5 miles later as I was descending on a very curvy section of road. A landscaping truck had managed to get on the course in front of me and it was not in a hurry. Oh well, better to be safe and come back to race again than try to blow past the truck (although that thought did cross my mind). I came into T2 and heard over the loudspeaker that I was 4 minutes down. Run: 34:23 So I knew I had one racer, Spencer Rahlston, out in front of me, but I did not know who was coming from behind (M45+ started 3 minutes behind). I was pleasantly surprised that my legs felt fresh coming off of the bike. I decided to run as hard as I could while holding form. As I progressed through the run, my form held up. This was the first time this year that I actually felt smooth running. It usually takes me a while into each year to get my run form back on track. This year has taken longer due to my spring break. It's a two loop run course, so you get a chance to see the other athletes three times. I knew heading out that I was not going to catch Spencer. The only question was if I could hold off the runners coming from behind. I was able to run a decent time and just squeaked in ahead of Mitch West by 17 seconds. This put me in 2nd place overall. I always enjoy racing at the Griskus race series and this year was fantastic!

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