Race Report: Silicon Valley International

This is how I felt about SVIT:

Ali may have you believe that I looked a bit like this guy too.

Ali may have you believe that I looked a bit like this guy too.

Ohhh, it wasn’t that bad. I mean, this happened:

See, I have proof, guys.

See, I have proof, guys.

The weekend

It was actually any awesome weekend. Down in hot and sunny Morgan Hill, the SVIT is a comfortable reservoir and surrounding farm/vineyard area. Virgilio, Vince, Ali and I stayed at a hotel on Saturday, where Ali got to watch Vince and I show off our utterly impressive butterfly strokes in the pool, while Virgilio did handstands in his Euro speedo.

If ever in Morgan Hill, go here for some meal-time entertainment: http://www.yelp.com/biz/hang-ten-pizza-and-pasta-morgan-hill. Just don’t do anything like a triathlon after eating there.

Race morning

I woke up just feeling…off. Shook it off, ate breakfast and off to the races.

Vince, Virgilio and I got a solid warm-up in. After feeling rushed at Oceanside, a nice jaunt, drills and strides were money.

Swim

Remember Hang-Ten pizza circa 5 sentences ago? So I was…occupied…shortly after warming up until about 5 min before the race started. By the time I got down to the shore, it was 3 min ’til race start – which was 200 yards off shore. Which meant I was going to have to essential swim race pace to the start line and then start the race. What could be viewed as a nice warm up was just mentally unsettling, rushing to the start line.

As you’d guess, I started to tire out pretty early in the swim. I took a moment to mentally gather myself and charged on, settling into a pretty solid groove.

Here’s the interesting thing:

Last year, 27 min

This year, 21:37

This was HUGE! Maybe the biggest moment of my season yet. Stoked about that improvement! The dividends of the work in the pool continue to be self evident.

The Bike

Nothing special, nothing awful. I wanted to be on top of the watts, but I was just a hair shy of where I wanted to be. When Dan Ross passed me, I made a mental note that I was going to press to keep pace instead of being the runner who “let’s them go to get them later.” Yeah, that didn’t work and as a result, may have burnt a match here going outside of myself. Nice riding, Dan.

T2 Blunder

When I race, I don’t wear contacts because of open water concerns and my sunglasses aren’t prescription. So sometimes I can’t see very well (freaked out yet?). As I came into T2, I thought I was about to miss the dismount line.

Non-triathlon people: The mount and dismount lines are where you must get on and get off your bike, before and after the bike portion. If you mount before or dismount after, you get a time penalty.

Jonny Brownlee got a dismount penalty in the Olympics and it likely cost him Silver. Since I had as much to lose as Jonny, I obviously hopped off my bike at a high speed and gracefully slammed my right heel into the blacktop. Ouch. I knew that wasn’t good.

Anyways, I just ignored it, and proceeded to have a slow T2. Vince rolled in and as I headed out on the run, he wasn’t 10 seconds behind me.

The Run

Vince caught up to me in the first 200 meters. We’d talked a lot about how we were going to attack this run. It was exciting that we were going to get to do it together. Each of us could tell that we were in the zone and now it was time to put that plan to work.

So we did.

Cruising step for step against the pace plan. Rocky and Apollo, in that order.

Cruising step for step against the pace plan. Rocky and Apollo, in that order.

I could feel my heel, but just tried to ignore it, while being in tune with any “oh, that’s really not good,” sensations. Luckily, none of those materialized.

Go time…not

When we hit the turn around, it was go time. At least, that’s what we’d planned. We worked the uphill on the way back and now it was time to cash in on the rollers and downhill with some high turnover on the way back.

We hit the first roller and I said something to Vince about not blowing it out, to which he rightfully responded, “Come on, MV. It’s GO TIME!”

Godspeed, Vinny!

Godspeed, Vinny!

The combination of waking up feeling tired/off, the “episode” before the swim, the heel in T2…there just was no more go for me. I was maxing out. I knew Vince was gunning for this race and just ready to lay the smack down so I fell off.

The last couple of miles were just sheer pain. Normally this is my wheelhouse, where I open it up and just curbstomp the finish. Not today, friends. Virgilio said the difference of Vince and I coming the opposite way were marked – I was in damage control mode.

Still turned in a 34:43, but this is almost the exact same time as I put down a year prior. Was really thinking 33 and change was where I was at this year.

Not your "game face" finisher's photo...

Not your “game face” finisher’s photo…

But…

Even through all of that, Vince and I went 2 and 3 in our AG respectively. Big hats off to Vince – he was gunning for this race and put down the most complete race of his short tri career. Phenom Yoni Doron-Peters beasted and won the whole race (including elites), on top of winning our age group. Nice work, Yoni – never cease to impress!

Full extension was so good, had to post again.

Full extension was so good, had to post again.

Key Takeaways

The Swim – VERY happy with the YoY improvement. Even after a rough start, I was able to real it in.

The Bike – Sure Olympic isn’t the focus this year, but I have to be able to produce those top end watts.

The Run – Just didn’t have it. I think the work I’m doing is putting me in the right place, so I won’t read too much into this one.

Other – The T2 blunder was a big deal. That HURT – so much so that I got an x-ray a couple days later. Thankfully, nothing was broken, but it did knock me out of a few workouts for the week. If I’d spent more time surveying the transition areas before the race, that would have prevented the confusion. I also need to be more calm and calculated (certainly not slower) in transition.

Thank yous

As always, my family and friends. The M2 Revolution community. GU for providing the best pre, during and post race nutrition. Ali, Virgilio and Vince for a really fun weekend, salty baby faces aside. Bravo, Vince!

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