J-Hawk Late Bird 2009

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I had decided to do this race a couple of weeks before IMWI.  I thought doing it would be fun, would force me to do a threshold workout, and make sure I had an intermediate target between IMWI and IMFL.  Long story short, it was a success on all counts!

My wave was projected to start at 10:55 AM, so Mary, my parents and I left Milwaukee at 8:30, which would give me about an hour and a half to do my deal.  Well because of a traffic detour we showed up a little late at 9:45.  I go to check in and find out that they are running WAY ahead of schedule and they expected my wave to start around 10:20.

HOLY CRAP, I have like 30 minutes to rack my bike, change, flail about in a panic, and WARMUP.  So I hurriedly pulled my bike off the car rack, put on my race wheels, and did all that other stuff.  In a world record for me, I stepped out onto the pool deck ready to go 10 minutes after 10.  I checked in with the staging folks and they said 10:25.  I hopped into the diving well figuring 15 minutes was better than noting.  At 10:23 I got out and checked with the starter again and they told me 10:40 is the official time for my wave.  I was stoked another 17 minutes to warm-up!!!

I just floated around skillfully in the diving well for another 10 minutes or so, visited the bathroom and then headed over to the swim start area.

The swim was pretty uneventful, one of the people assigned to my lane didn’t show, so I only had one lane-mate.  We had a nice wide lane, and split it – with me on the lane line side 🙂 

5:45 later I was out of the pool and out the door to the timing mats.  Did the usual stuff at the rack and ran to T1 exit.  At the mount line I started to attempt a cyclocross mount, but chickened out at the last minute.

The bike was uneventful, I just drilled it from the get go, I rode hard trying to keep 320-330 on the screen (evidently I was a bit to generous with myself on getting up and stretching on the downhills as my average was only 300).  The first few miles I spent between 28-30+ mph with a nice tailwind.  As soon as the course turned into the wind it was a struggle to keep the speed above 22.  As a side note I had a tough time finding a good gear on those stretches – I found 320-330 very easy pedaling ~90-95 RPM, but I couldn’t find a good gear for that range in the headwind, and was between 80-85 which felt harder for the same power, I was riding my 12-27 10spd cassette, in retrospect I should have taken the time to install my 12-23 10spd…. but I digress

At the one out and back on the course I had ~2 minutes at the person behind me, at this point I figured I would win the race, but I knew stranger things have happened.

Finished the bike and started the run.  For the record, I don’t enjoy this course, in fact I don’t enjoy any run that include a significant portion of it cross country style (grass, dirt, mud, but particularly up, down, around, down more, up, up, up, up, WAY down).  Anyways – the run was pretty uneventful, except for the jar of homemade salsa I consumed Saturday night that was trying to work it’s way out.

Overall – that race was a great success, I went 40 seconds faster than the April race, a little on the bike, a lot on the run, and slower on the swim.