Thursday, February 27, 2014

Your top end is shit & Race Report

This weekend went out to smash myself at a local race the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon.

My race was summed up perfectly by my coach's response afterwards, "Your top end is shit"

Luv it!  I'm not the type of athlete that likes to be coddled. I don't want a coach to tell me I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread, or hold my hand.  I want an honest assessment, tell me how to improve and egg me on a little bit.  I want something, he will tell me bust your ass and get it done.  Thats why I've been so successful working with Lucho.

So race plan for this race is something that I keep saying I want to do but haven't been successful with.  Just go hard on the bike and see if I can hold it together in the run.  I got called out on the Endurance Planet podcast, talking about mistakes in first Ironman races and it was for going too easy on the bike.  I had an issue with my seat post slammed to the bottom the last 30 miles, but the first 80 odd miles I did take it easy, 5 beats below the top of my MAF range (zone 2ish), that unknown of the run looming.  I 100% agree I could have pushed that more, and most likely would have run the same time, everything from training says so.  I finished well in 10:56 but really with my fitness could have been around the 10 hour mark.

Where it really stands out is in my half Ironman racing...I pretty much did Ironman watts for every race, which is silly because its half the distance!  WAY too conservative if I want to be top of the podium in more than just my AG.  I always thought of myself as a runner so would back off when it started to burn, and even though my bike is faster in relation to the field now I never bet on it.

Anyways back to the race!  Ok bike, go hard, thats all that was going through my head.  I had a pretty solid warm up going into this, about 10 miles with some intervals above lactic threshold watts to get the legs warmed up and start the buffering process.  The previous 3 weeks I had put in some solid work, more time than I did in the lead up to Ironman last year so the legs weren't feeling fresh, but thats the fun part of these races just go hard, suffer and try to hold on :D  It was also my first time racing in my Hammer Nutrition kit, you cant miss me in this neon pink get up!  I used Hammer HEED to keep things topped off while doing my warm up, I also had some on the bike just for a sugar boost along the  way.

I was so excited to see Brandon and Theresa, they popped up to say hi when I was waiting for my wave to head off.  Seriously cool that they came out on a windy chilly day to cheer, met them through the MaccaX tri team and it is the most supportive group of people. Check out their blog!

The race format was a 10.8 mile bike, 4 mile run.  It was bizarre starting with the bike, I've always had to swim or run before the bike.  We started off in waves of 5-8 on 1 minute intervals, the buzzer when off and I went out hard.  I was in wave "P" going in alphabetical order, so there was a lot of passing people in the waves ahead.

I was going to try to build to my previous FTP.  I started solidly, HR was climbing, breathing was picking up, ok breathing harder now, omg I cant breathe!  At this point I was 3 minutes into the race...Yea legs are working hard, but not hard enough for such a short race, breath was coming in gasps even though HR wasn't really that high.  So Stiletto and I battled the wind, crazy bumpy roads to T2.

Stiletto and I battling the wind
Yup top end is shit.  What a minute, you mean if I don't train it, it wont magically be there on race day?  Huh, who'd have thunk it.  Use it or lose it people...I lost it.

Hopped off the bike in T2 wondering what the run legs would feel like, and unsurprisingly they were fine.  I know the goal was to go hard on the bike to see that my legs would still be fine on the run, but really I wasn't putting out that much power event though effort was at redline so I was pretty sure run legs would feel ok.  I got some side stitches during the first 2 miles of the run, couldn't get air.  The last two miles a woman came by me and I decided I was going with her, I knew she was in a wave ahead so if I could keep less than a minute between us I would finish ahead of her. That urged me on a bit more, but I didn't go to max on this run.  I had thought so much about bike and not about the run at all, so my head wasn't in the same place to push to the redline like I did on the bike, that was a mistake.

Seriously you cant miss me in this kit :p
I was coming up to the finishing shoot, and was so happy to see Brandon and Theresa there, felt like a super star as Brandon ran along side me in the finish cheering me through the last few meters and Theresa waiting for my photo op across the line :p  Thanks guys!!

Love these small casual local races, just go out there and bust it up.  Especially this duathlon series, its the most random formats and it was fun to start with the bike this time, especially after last times run/bik/run/bike/run (with helmet and bike shoes) transition practice format.  I had a blast, I ended up finishing 2nd in AG, 4th overall, I didn't do the first race so I had no standings in the series.  Have to say I was really impressed with how well it was run and marked, and the banana bread at the end was reason enough to come back!

Well this got me fired up for training, exactly what I needed, so time to get out there and put in a solid bike/run brick.

I'm good guys, just going to try to breathe

Carpe Diem!


  1. Congrats on a great race! I saw your photo with Tawnee and Lucho on the EP facebook feed and also heard your shout out on the podcast. I saw and heard that and I was like....Hey I think I know her through the Hammer Team! Pretty sweet! I can totally relate with your previous experiences on the bike. I find myself to be primarily a runner and I have always held back on the bike (or so I believe). I did my first IM last year and now am focusing on sprints so I will definitely be experimenting with just hammering on the bike and then just holding on for the 5k at the end! Good luck this year and look forward to following your progress!

    1. Thanks Matt! Yea it's hard to get past that runner mentality and let the legs burn a bit on the bike. Some sprints will be great to experiment and see what you can do on tired legs :). Hammer on!