Sunday, April 06, 2008

2.4 Miles is Far

Today I did the 2.4 mile open water swim at Tempe Town Lake. It started kind of late, 10:30, which presented a minor nutrition challenge and meant that I would be doing my long ride during the heat of the day (almost 90). These early season, sport specific races are great for testing not only fitness, but pre-race stuff.

Today I focused on nutrition and being super chill, but focused. On nutrition, which seems to get easier with experience, I did my typical cereal breakfast (Kashi mixed with granola and soy milk). 1hr out from the race I ate a power bar. 30min out from the race I had a small bottle of PowerBar Endurance (check the goes to the best price out there...if you aren't already sponsored). I sipped on some water here-and-there. That was it. It seemed to work just fine. I probably won't do anything much different for Xterra.

On the "being chill" side of things, never underestimate the value of getting your gear ready the night before. You will sleep better and won't be as stressed out on race are less likely to forget things like goggles, your helmet etc. I am terrible at pre-registering, but I have committed, thanks primarily to my wife, to pre-registering for every race. 1 for 1. So, what all this amounts to is that I was able to focus on the task at hand. For me, physically walking slowly to-and-from the car, start/finish, body marking etc really does the trick. I am also finding that thinking more about execution vs. fitness and what-if scenarios is supremely better for my mindset. I have to have faith in my training and understand that I have been lining up for competitions of some sort for nearly 25 years.

Forgive me if I don't give a big race report. I swam a big rectangle for 58:10 minutes (1:22/100y) for 8th AG, 34 overall. I am ok with this I suppose, but I think it's slow particularly comparing to others' times who I regularly swim with. I left about 4:00 - 6:00 minutes on the table. My first 1.2miles (roughly) was 27:24 (1:17/100y). Oh goodie, Xterra races are only 1500m. I recently read a quote that said something about how Pros don't make excuses for their performance, they just fix it for next time. So, next time I won't crash my mountain bike the day before a 2.4 mile open water swim that has left me barely able to even lift my bike off of my hitch mounted bike rack. : )

I followed up the swim with a tough, 4hr road bike ride. I cruised out on the IMAZ course with a nice tailwind. Spun through Fountain Hills, where they always seem to have a festival that messes up traffic. Bypassed the coffee place that has killer coffee cakes....I was only about 1.25hrs into my ride, so I couldn't justify the coffee cake nor my standard 2x espresso. NORBA was in town this weekend at McDowell Mountain, so I road over to the park to check out the racing. The pros were getting ready to go off and all those dudes looked super fast. Pro mtb racers are kind of intimidating to me for some reason...more so that roadies. I ran into to Dan DeMos who rides for Focus Cyclery. He won his age group in Expert. Congrats. He also told me that Tom Obrien crushed the field and won the entire Expert class. Since Tom is an Xterra guy, I really hope I put like 10 min on him on the swim (which ain't going to happen). GO TOM!!! He really needs to give full-time mtb racing a shot. He would be pro in a season. From there, I headed through Rio Verde and up 9-mile hill. really is exactly 9 miles to the top. After topping out in Cave Creek, I headed straight back to Tempe as fast as I was brutally hot. Summer is (almost) here.