Monday, September 14, 2015

Pitch Pine Olympic Report

While I had hoped to close out the season with a race in Hawaii, a small race in New Hampshire had to suffice. Three years ago I won the sprint at the Pitch Pine Challenge, and based on results from the past few years, I felt I should be able to win the Olympic distance race.

It's been a month since Tremblant, and I biked a total of five times and swam a total of four times in that month. I'd been running around 5x a week, so I felt that my run fitness was still decent. I'd also gained around five pounds, which certainly wouldn't help on the run.

The Olympic race only had around 50 folks racing, and the race had to be delayed close to an hour due to thick fog on the lake. Once the swim started, I felt ok, but my pace was a bit slower than what I swam at IMMT. I came out of the water in about 25 min - not swimming much is certainly detrimental!

After T1 it was on to the bike. The bike was two loops, as opposed to the sprint distance, which was one loop. For the most part the bike course was flat to rolling with a 250 ft hill thrown in the middle. I figured that I should aim for around 10% less power than usual for an Olympic, and ended up with 283 AP and 295 NP. My bike time was right at 1:02 for the 26.3 mile course.

As there were no out and backs, I wasn't sure if I was in first place or if there was anyone ahead of me. As it turned out, there were two people ahead of me. Some young 22 yr old from Montreal laid down a 17:25 swim and backed it up with a decent 1:06 bike split. Why drive all the way from Montreal for a small Olympic???

On the run I felt pretty flat and only ran a 6:55 first mile. After that the legs came around and I was right around 6:20's for the rest of the run. I passed one person but wasn't able to close the gap to 1st. I squeaked in under 39 minutes at 38:59 on the slightly short 10k course.

Overall time was 2:09:53 - I was a little over two minutes back from the Quebecer who won. Having not done much since IMMT I wasn't all that down. The only thing that I was a little disappointed with were the prizes, or lack thereof. OA winners got new Sketchers shoes and I got a sweet glass mug for 2nd!

Katie did the sprint duathlon, and she was real excited to finish. After having a miscarriage a week before IMMT, this race was a good thing for her and I to focus on over the past five weeks. I helped out a bit with her training over the past month, and we saw each other in the transition area after the bike, which was fun!


With the tri season officially over, it's time to begin planning for next year. My real goal over the next several months is to put in a big run block. My run has really stagnated, and I think that with a 4-5 month focus I can make some solid gains. I feel that I can maintain swim and bike fitness with around 1-2 sessions per week - probably alternating weeks (2 bikes & 1 swim one week, then switch the next). I'll be looking to run 6-7 days a week from now until the end of January, hoping to be at 200+ miles each of those months.

Northeast Multisport is going to be having Ironman Florida 70.3 in April as a destination race, and I'm trying to convince Katie that it would be fun to go. If I end up racing there, it would mean switching over to more of a bike and swim focus in February and March, while probably running 5 days a week.

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