Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let the Race Season Begin

I am in AZ this weekend - having just raced the Lake Havasu Sprint Triathlon. The CU Tri Team was racing their Regional Championship this weekend, against the likes of New Mexico, ASU, Uof A, BYU, CSU and some other schools. I've been coaching the CU Team since early November and the Team has responded well to the training we've been doing. The Team exceeded my expectations with some incredible race times.

The Men's Team took 1st, 3rd, 7th, 9th, and 11th overall. The Women's Team took 1, 2 and 11th overall. I have to admit, that's a pretty good performance. We won the Men's, Women's and Overall Team Titles. The Team has worked hard over the past few months and they rewarded this weekend with some great racing. I think we had 12 or more first time finishers - and some of them even won AG awards or placed very high for the Team. I think we have a great nucleus for years to come. We have a lot of work to do before Nationals on April 18 but the Team loves to work hard and hasn't shied away from anything I've asked them to do.

Personally, my race went well - I was 4th out of the water in my AG and then went as hard as I could on the bike. The coure was hilly and tried to keep my effort consistent but hard. I got off the bike hoping I could run a decent 5k. The run is definitely a strength course - it starts out with a short jaunt through some beach sand - maybe 200 yards worth, and then run up the 50 or so steps to the London Bridge. I took the run out easy until the top of the steps, then pushed the effort up a few notches, leaving another gear for the return leg. I passed one person in my AG close to the turn around, and then saw two more bearing down on me, so I picked up the pace as best I could on the return leg. I neg split the run by 34 seconds which is about 20 secs a mile. I pushed hard to the finish and was able to catch one younger competitor in the wave ahead of me. I encouraged him to run in with me and we ran shoulder to shoulder until we hit the sand section again and I was able to open a gap up and finish ahead of him by a few seconds. It was great to be racing again after an almost 12 month hiatus. I forgot about how much a Sprint hurts and how much I enjoyed the pain. The last 12 months have been the hardest of my life emotionally and physically but this past month, I've felt as though I've turned the corner.

I am looking forward to the 2009 race season!

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