It has been quite a while since the last update. There’s really no excuse for why I haven’t updated, other than the usual, “I’ve been to busy” excuse. So here I go…an attempt to condense two epic race weekends into one post.
Let us start off at Challenge Quassy, a season opener for many triathletes here in the Northeast. On Friday, Tim and I drove up from NYC to Quassy, CT. Tim was racing the Olympic distance race on Saturday, along with two other PFC Elite teammates, Emma and Amy. Friday was more eventful than planned – we did a practice swim in the lake, followed by tons of mingling with athletes and friends. Staying on our feet all day was definitely not the best course of action, but we managed. We spent the night at a friend’s place in Essex, CT – just an hour away!
I got the privilege of ‘managing’ the team on Saturday, making sure that Tim, Emma and Amy were fully prepped for their race. They were all racing in the Elite division, which made logistics a lot easier; all of their bikes were only a few feet apart. And of course…a team photo! Check out Tim’s race recap here.
Race Day – Tim and I got to the race about an hour before the start. Transition setup was a breeze, having my bike racked right at the end of the elite division. Challenge spoiled us with an estate of transition space.
Swim – this was my 2nd time wearing the Zone3 wetsuit. It was super comfortable! The elite wave, consisting of only 12 guys, went off at 6:50. I found a couple of guys to draft off of for the first couple of minutes, but then it was a solo effort. After making the first turn, we swam into the sunrise. Buoy visibility was ZERO…so I swam towards the sun…and it worked! It wasn’t long until I hit the second turn buoy, then made a beeline towards the shore. 34:36
Bike – The Quassy bike course features over 4000 feet of climbing. Fun stuff. I picked off a few guys on the bike. Nothing to boast about, especially since I produced only 230 watts of Normalized Power. I left T1 in top 20 and left T2 in 9th position. Bike split: 2:39:41
Run – this is where I could not find another gear. The run course changed from 2014, adding a new portion of the run that featured more climbing, but that wasn’t the issue. This was all me…and all I could do was hold my heart rate between 165 and 170, but not higher like I normally do for tempo effort. 1:34:16
Other than a 6 minute improvement in the water and 4 minutes on the bike, I walked away with some race experience. The best part was when Tim and the rest of the PFC Elite team took an epic selfie during the final climb of my run!
And now let’s fast forward to IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman the following weekend.
On Friday afternoon, I made my way down to Maryland. The last time I was in Maryland was for the inaugural IRONMAN Maryland. I knew the drive was going to be a drag so this time I had prepared a library of podcasts! Friday night was uneventful, so I was able to hammer out a few hours of assignments for school before passing out.
On Saturday, I did a quick shakeout ride around Easton. The power numbers were looking good. Since I was still rolling solo, I made my way to Rise Up Coffee in Easton…had way too much of their ‘fair trade and organic’ coffee. The rest of the day involved a quick checkin, meetup with some other athletes, and dinner with Tim. Broccoli and pepperoni pizza…from the best pizzeria in Easton, Maryland 😉
70.3 Eagleman Race Day
Swim – too hot for a wetsuit and I didn’t bring a swim skin. The course felt a bit long and there were many sections where the water got so shallow that it was a choice between water-running or dolphin until failure. 39:45
I left T1 15th in my division so I had my work cut out for my on the bike.
Bike – Luckily, the conditions were calm for the most part. It was hot and humid but manageable with some more fluids. I clocked the first 29.5 miles in 1:15:30 (25.04 mph) and then closed with a 1:07:08. There were so many lonely sections on the bike! The power meter did not function properly, even though I had calibrated it in transition before the start of the race. I raced based on heart rate, which wasn’t necessarily a bad fallout plan. I entered T2 in 3rd position. First in my division was 2 minutes up the road; 2nd place and I both racked our bikes at the same time!
Run (What Heat?) – I immediately felt the fatigue once I got on my feet. My body seemed to be overheating so I slowed down right out of T2 to get some water and ice down before running again. A mile into the run, Kevin, who I passed late on the bike, had passed me like I wasn’t moving! I kept chugging along but I couldn’t get my legs to fire. At each aid station, I walked…something I rarely do, but I needed fluids, lots of it! It was ugly – I ran the first 6.6 miles in 52:55 (7:58 per mile). After the turn around, I tried firing the legs again and felt a bit better. It wasn’t until the next aid station that I really started to pick up the cadence. To my surprise, my pace improved and after the aid station, I realized I had passed another guy in my division, making me second, with Kevin leading up ahead.
The sun was beating down on us really hard but somehow the Coke and Red Bull must have kicked in…because at Mile 10.5 I was still in 2nd, but by mile 12, I saw the Maryland tri suit of Kevin. There was one mile to go. 4 laps on a track. All I can think about was…”how many times have you run 4 laps on a track?” I decided to make my move and kick hard past Kevin. No looking back. Looking back is for someone who thinks he’ll be caught. I closed the gap, probably the creating the largest negative split of the day…45:31 (7:02 per mile). My run split was 1:38:26…good enough to help me take the M18-24 win.
The takeaway from IRONMAN 70.3 Eagleman – It’s not over until it’s over. Give it your all.
THANK YOU PFC Elite Team, CEEPO Triathlon Bikes, SCODY, Zone3 Wetsuits, ISM Seat and Newton Running for the support!
It was a fun two weekends of racing. I got to see friends and teammates race. Shoutout to Ginny for winning her division at Eagleman. And also special thanks to Tim for the race support and post race celebrations. Enjoy the following snapshots!
Next up is Toughman Tupper Lake Tinman Half Triathlon on June 27th.
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