Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Westchester Triathlon

Coming off of Rev 3 Cedar Point I had by far my best Ironman recovery to date.  Consequently I made the decision to race on just two weeks recovery.  I know I am fit and wanted to take full advantage as one of the lessons I've learned the past few years is you cannot take great fitness for granted, it doesn't happen by accident.  The Westchester Triathlon was the race I chose to tackle, an olympic distance race with a smaller pro prize purse taking place about 20 miles north of New York City.  After driving the course on Saturday and making note of the seemingly endless number of multi-million dollar mansions and exotic cars along the route I did a little internet research and learned that Westchester County NY is the 7th wealthiest in the entire country.  That explains it.

Swim:  19:20  8th fastest split
The race venue was beautiful and the swim one of the more enjoyable I've done, in the ocean water of the Long Island sound.  With only 9 pro men competing I expected the race to be pretty spread out.  I didn't expect 8 of us (plus two women) to all be the same swimming ability and have a large pack the whole way.  I exited the water in 8th place but just 20 seconds down on second place.

Bike:  59:12  25.4mph  2nd fastest split
The bike course was very urban, lots of intersections and turns, lots of bad pavement and obstacles, several significant climbs, and a bit of traffic to contend with.  After driving the course and seeing it for the first time Saturday I had pretty much written off the possibility of breaking an hour.  So I was really happy with the way I rode, I wasn't quite as strong as I was two weeks ago in Cedar Point but I'm still riding very well right now.  Out of T1 I was sitting 8th and made my way into 3rd within the first 5 miles.  My plan for the bike was just to push as hard as possible and never fall into a comfort zone.  I knew coming off of Ironman racing that endurance wouldn't be an issue and I just needed to have the guts to really hurt the whole way.  I gave up a little time on a few descents and in a few corners being conservative since I didn't know the course very well but overall still a quality ride, second fastest on the day and by far the hardest 40k course that I've ever broken an hour on.  Into T2 in 3rd, two min back of the lead and one minute down on second.

Run:  36:42  6th fastest split
Starting the run I knew that the win was probably out of reach but I believed I could catch second and that's what I set out to do.  However I realized in checking my splits through the first few miles that I was not running my typical 10k pace despite my efforts.  There's only so much you can ask your body to do two weeks post-Ironman and for me a sub-34 10k might not be one of them.  Although I was running 10-15 seconds per mile slower than the effort felt I was visibly pulling back second place, slowly but surely.  I focused really hard on bringing him back and with two miles to go I timed the gap at 23 seconds, it was going to be really close.  But then, out of the blue and with no warning or prior discomfort, I was suddenly overcome with a sharp, intense, and debilitating pain in my lower left calf.  In the span of 10 seconds I went from charging after second to stopped on the side of the road barely able to walk and unsure if I could finish.  After being unable to move for a few seconds I started to get things under control and assessed the situation.  I had just over a mile to the finish and knew I had a good 3 minutes over 4th.  Not enough time that I could walk the whole thing like what probably would have been smart, but enough of a lead that I could afford to limp home.  I realized I couldn't really run at all because I couldn't put any pressure on the ball of my left foot but I managed to find a way to limp/gallop at around 8min pace while pushing off the ground with only my heel on my left foot.  It was pretty awkward but it got me to the finish in 3rd place with 40 seconds to spare over 4th.

Overall:  1:56:42  3rd place
A decent result which is good but now I'm hurt which isn't good.  Post race I could barely walk and it was straight to the med tent for treatment.  The pain was so general at the time that I was really worried it was my achilles as I've observed through others how nasty achilles problems can be.  But now that things have settled down a bit more I'm pretty certain it is my lower calf, I'm hoping nothing more than a severe calf strain.  Monday was a scheduled off day and today (Tuesday) I won't be running, likely not Wednesday either.  I really want to race the Pocono 70.3 this weekend and Rev 3 South Carolina on October 9 but won't race either if I'm not 100%.  So we'll just have to wait and see how the healing comes along, it seems to slowly be getting better.  I'm very fit right now and think I can get on the podium this weekend if I am able to race so am doing everything possible to speed the healing.  Below are top-5 results.

1     Jordan Jones             7 19:08    8    0:51 9     57:18  1    0:47 5     34:25  1   1:52:26
2     John Kenny               6 17:43    1    0:50 7     59:41  3    0:52 7     35:21  3   1:54:26
3     Daniel Bretscher         8 19:20    10   0:50 8     59:12  2    0:39 1     36:42  6   1:56:42
4     Patrice Hamelin          4 18:54    3    0:49 6   1:02:06  4    0:43 4     34:52  2   1:57:22
5     Matt Mangen              1 19:00    6    0:56 10  1:02:36  5    0:53 8     36:46  7   2:00:09

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