Greenwich Biathlon 2010

I came into this race with a heavy loaded training week, already having posted over 16 hours of intense training before getting to the starting line so I wasn't sure what to expect or how my body would hold up. I felt much better going into this Sunday then I did the previous one, but I was still unsure if I would be able to actually "race". The short distances go by quickly but they also hurt so much more than racing long distance. I warmed up with a quick easy 2 mile jog and then made sure my transition area was all set.

Run 1 (2.5 Miles)

I started off in the front like I normally do, I just find it takes too much energy to move around people that don't properly seed themselves. I justify starting out front myself because I typically start like I got shot out of a cannon and then slow down from there. The gun goes off and there I am once again leading a race I have no business leading. I know from looking around the start line that there are some fast athletes racing today and I am not close to their caliber yet. As I stare down at my watch to see how fast I am actually running I cringe when I see its under a 5:00/mile pace, its a good thing I looked because I could have easily cooked the whole race right there. I backed off on my pace and watched the faster athletes pass. I was still hacking a lung, but a little more controllable at this point but I was suprised at how many people were passing, but I stayed within myself. About 2 miles into the run another runner catches me, looks at me as if to stare me down and then sits on my tail for the rest of the run. I hit the transition area in 15:00 exactly for a 6:00/mi pace. Not too shabby, I'll take it..

Bike (10 Miles)

I recently started biking outside in addition to teaching spin classes so I thought that this is the leg that I would lag on. I haven't done much speedwork all year so I decided I would be happy just not to lose any places on the bike instead of picking them up. When I got on the bike I remembered why I never usually pick up any spots on it in this race, I'm just not used to riding after running! I started the bike with the two lead women right on my heels in fact they both came out of transition with me at the same time. I tried as best I could to pick up spots on the bike but about halfway through it became a matter of just keeping my place instead of picking up any. Not only could these guys run well, they could also ride. I thought I lost the two lead females until I hit Palmer hill and I lost the big group and then got passed by eventual overall Female winner Donna Kay Ness and another male rider. They hit the top first but I quickly regained my ground on the descent. I was able to dial it up a notch as I knew the back end of the course was flat to downhill and the one major climb was done. I tried my best to catch the large group I lost on the hill, but they must have had the same idea that I did. I came into transition ahead of both Donna and the other male rider and took off with Donna right on my heels out of T2. I was on the bike for about 24:39 which is almost 24.4 mph, I didnt feel that fast since I got dusted on that hill, but I guess the numbers dont lie. I'll be interested to see if I can keep that up for longer on flatter course.

Run 2 (2.5 miles)
I came out of transition on a mission. I was in pain, and I wanted it to be over. I figured if I ran the first run in 15 minutes anything close to that would be a solid finish. As I came out into the first turn I could see some of the other athletes that I lost on the bike, and I could see that I was gaining on them. I looked down at my pace and could see I was holding 6:00 again, but this time it felt different, maybe because I was warmed up, or maybe because I knew if I kept it up I would be able to pick off a few more racers. Through the first mile I managed to pick off and pass 2 runners, and I could see someone who I knew was in my Age Group. I continued to push and I passed 4 more people until I was right on his heels. Just as I was feeling good about myself I got passed by the other guy that was riding with me at the very end like I was standing still. Not only that but it seemed to spark the guy in my Age Group to pick it up as well. We were about 1/2 mile out from the finish and the way they took off I knew I didnt have enough ground to catch them. I stayed my pace and just tried to finish as fast as I could. I crossed the line for the second run in 13:54 negative spliting the run by over a minute. I think the second run is slightly shorter but I'll take it.
I crossed the line with a 2 minute PR from the last time that I raced and in 15th overall, with a 3rd place Age Group award. It's comforting that I can still push my body after a 16 hour training week and get an award among such a strong field. Definitely happy to be back to racing at full strength.