Red Bank has been the start of my tri season for the past two years but this year had me kicking things off in Tempe for a long-er course race. It went alright and is detailed here. But I've been suffering from some serious lack of motivation. Though lack of motivation probably isnt the best description because I've still been getting the work done. Trainings just become such a burden. Exercising for 15 or more hours a week, while working a full time job and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life is never really that enjoyable but I've never lacked that fire to get out and get the work done like I have for the last few months. I guess thats the best way to describe it all - I just lack that fire/desire. But, all my numbers look good. I'm swimming faster than ever, powers up and I've not seen this sort of run speed - ever. So its all sort of weird what I've been going through mentally. And none of that changed heading into Red Bank.
Race morning was wet and cold. And I was having none of it. While it wasnt raining at the start, it had been off and on all night and more rain was right around the corner. I had two buddies also racing and told Mike that if it was raining at the start, I wasnt racing. Looking for any out. And of course, it wasn't raining at the start so I started prepping to race. Red Bank, now in its third year, has grown every year since its debut. There were over 700 people racing (apparently) on the day, despite the crappy conditions. And because of that, transition was crowded, port o potty lines were long and check in was a bit messy. Each year, they've had an "open/elite" wave that you could register for online prior to race day but not this year. They still had it, but you had to enter on race morning. Which I did, along with my other buddy Matt.
SWIM - 22:XX
Transition closed and all of the athletes made their way out to the dock area. Its a deep water start race so you have to lower yourself into the water and then swim out to the start line. But because of the massive amount of people and my lack of urgency, I didnt notice that the elite wave was already in the water preparing for the start. As I'm getting zipped up, I see 15 or so athletes in green caps take off. Even though I had a yellow cap (that messy check in process), I knew that was the elite wave. I started hollering "what wave is that?!" as I'm rushing the person zipping me up. "Thats the elite wave." Great. No gun or megaphone or any other indication of a start. I run down to the race director frantically asking what wave just went off. "The elite wave but you've got a yellow cap, so you're fine." Quickly explaining that I'm in the elite wave, I look down over the edge of the 6 feet tallish pier and ask how deep the water is below and get a stern "DON'T DO THAT" from the race director. So then sprint to the closest ladder into the water, jump in and start sprinting. By this time, the groups passed the first buoy and I pull up thinking its senseless to try to proceed given that I lost last year by seconds, not minutes. I pulled up and considered just jumping in with my age group but then put my head back down and took back off. Much to my surprise, I see another green cap heading out the same time as I and we're both swimming nearly the same pace - like we're trying to swim away from Jaws. Turns out it was Matt! He didn't realize it until we got out of the water but we ended up swimming with each other for nearly the entire swim. I was on the gas from the start and swam a little harder than anticipated, obviously, to try to make up some ground. My swim fitness is better than ever (thanks to Red Tide Masters team) and despite giving up over 2 minutes to the group at the start, I had passed all but 4 people by the time I exited. I swam 19:30 in 2012 and officially 21:58 this year. I'd like to think I swam a little faster than the year before so its possible I gave up more than 2:30 at the start. BAH! Nothing like keeping things interesting.
BIKE - 1:03
As I headed out on the bike, Brian from PBN Nutrition yelled out that I was down 5 minutes to the leader. I figured it'd be that much considering the mishap at the start but still sounded like a lot to make up in an olympic. But put my head down and started the chase. My legs were immediately there. My plan was to go out at 280 watts for the first 15ish minutes, evaluate and bump it up, down or hold steady accordingly. But considering how I was feeling, I jumped out at 290-300 and just held steady the rest of the way putting on a tiny surge in the last 10 minutes of the ride. The ride was pretty uneventful. Its a slow course with lots of turns and was wet so not ideal for going fast. I managed to catch two people but still had two more in front of me. But, they were relatively close - I was coming into transition as they were coming out. I do want to call out some numbers which I normally dont do. The following are from 2012 and 2013 power files.
|AVG Heart Rate||162||159|