J-Hawk Early Bird 2009

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I was not very confident going into this race.  Earlier this week I fell on a run and had a bit of a pinch in my back.  I had a friend work on it a bit, and it felt much better, but not perfect. 

The other ding to my confidence is my perceived fitness level – compared to a year ago, my CTL was significantly lower then last year, I intended to give it my best and execute better as compared to last year.

Swim – 1st OA
5:39 Split (~5:25 at pool exit)

As usual not much to say about the swim.  I was disappointed to be third in my lane as it meant I would probably have a repeat of last year and have to deal with passing people.  Luckily for me, I had two guys that wanted to PR the swim, and ended up dying fantastically.  So I just drafted off of them successively until they each died.  And to think back in the day I struggled to swim in the 5:40’s! 

Bike – 3rd OA
35:09 (34:25 mount<->dismount)
298 AP/304 NP

Last year I biked way to hard, way to early in the bike.  The plan this year was to start out more conservatively, build to slightly higher than FTP and hold it.  I was the first out of the water so the first onto the bike course.  I hit the road and settled right in around 280 watts. 

About 5 minutes in Matt Amman, passed me, flashing an upside down peace symbol.  I don’t know if he was wishing me luck, or commenting on our in-side joke regarding who was going to come out on top at the race.  Despite this being a sprint, I stuck to my guns and just opened the throttle a little bit.

The race continued that way – Matt slowly pulling away, me slowly adding a little gas.  Until around mile 8, other than the occasional person from a previous wave, it was an empty course.  About mile 8 there was a small out and back section were I was able to eyeball the competition.  I was about 60 seconds down on Matt, and behind me by about a minute or so was Nick Langer (small world – we lived together for a summer), and a little behind him was Terry Harth.

The rest of the bike was just keeping the needle in the red, gaining on no one, and losing on no one.

Run – 4th OA

The run was pretty uneventful, other then feeling like I was staring on an episode of mXc while sliding through the mode and yuck.

Overall – 2nd OA

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised – not only with my execution but my result!

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