Monday, September 11, 2017

Patriots Race Report

This weekend I made the hour drive to Williamsburg for the VTSMTS Patriots Half Distance race.  I really enjoyed racing the Colonial Beach weekend back in July and am a fan of racing local so it made perfect sense to jump into this race, especially after a disappointing DNF at Steelhead.  The low-key fun atmosphere was fantastic and I enjoyed getting to know a few athletes ranging from first-timers to old pros.  One of my best wins in previous years came at Rev3 Williamsburg so the start of the swim made for a nice stroll down memory lane as I navigated the shallow water.  I found a quick rhythm at the front of the field and enjoyed the blueseventy helix in my first wetsuit legal race of the year.  My goal for the day was to do a bit of a dress-rehearsal for IM Louisville in 5 weeks and all day I was asking "could I do this for double the distance".  Thanks to years of experience, the answer for the swim is almost always YES.  I was happy to see my new favorite sherpa Sue who was able to snap a nice shot me looking good in my Wattie Ink kit running the long transition run.

Long run to T1 with flashbacks to Rev3
The bike ride started out a bit slow as I made sure to adhere to the very specific posted speed limit.  Once I got out on the road and warmed up, it was a matter of dialing in my goal IM power and clicking off the miles. My usual Dimond/Alto/ISM/Pioneer/ICE Friction/SLF Motion set up made the ride as fast and efficient as possible as I enjoyed the rolling course. With the colder weather, I had to pay attention to taking my my calories in the form of 4 servings of First Endurance EFS Pro.  Even though I wasn't thirsty, I knew I needed to stick to the fueling plan.  By the time I dismounted in T2, I had put together a solid ride of IMish 275w with a few Strava KOM's for good measure.  I was fueled and feeling well within my limits to see what my running legs would bring.

Taking off of the run, I felt great with perfect weather and relatively fresh legs.  My goal was to really nail down my stride and find a sustainable power/pace.  I've been using the STYD power meter more and more and have found it to be a great tool for pacing while finding my legs in brick runs and races.  I settled at 345w and relaxed while sipping on my First Endurance Liquid Shot every mile.  The miles clicked by at roughly 6:15 pace which is faster than I'll be able to run the marathon, but the effort was in line with what I should feel for the front half of the run in 5 weeks.  I was able to slightly negative split and come in just a few minutes slower than my goal of 4 hours.  In my mind, I accomplished my goal of simulating an IM dry run and gained some confidence knowing that my fitness is finally coming back from the hernia setback earlier this year.

Running form is coming around
I took home the win and the course record on the day while enjoying the great race production and awesome athletes around me.  I also drew energy (and hopefully gave some in return) from the Cameron K. Gallagher SpeakUp 5k in Richmond.  It really was a great day and I'm hoping the positive vibes carry me into Augusta in 2 weeks.  More importantly, the solid effort allowed for me to take the day off on Sunday to recover, watch the incredible performances at 70.3 worlds, and start the career of soccer's next superstar.... to be continued!

Recovery Soccer!