Well my triathlon race season finally started last week at the Pleasant Prairie International Distance race. This is a race I have done a few times before. It is a great race! Close to home, good swim course, fairly fast bike course, and solid run course. My race season was supposed to start last month but the race got cancelled the day before the race because of “possible” weather issues. After the initial frustration of not racing I got back into training and things have been going smoothly.
Race morning went the same as pretty much every race; woke up too early, made myself a triple espresso, ate my pop tart and anxiously waited loading the car and driving to the race. Race morning was a bit chilly which was kind of a shocker since it had been pretty hot around the Chicago area leading up to the race but I will take it because it mean pretty much perfect race conditions!
Swim went a bit better than expected. I got off to a good start and got out to an early lead, shocking I know!, but that was short-lived when I got passed by one person about 500 yards in then another about 800 in. I tried to stay on the feet of the second person and was able to for a little while but then couldn’t hold on any longer and let them go. Got out of the water in 3rd place but right behind second. I heard my dad yell I was 90 seconds back to first so the race was on!
I had a little trouble getting my sleeved tri suit up and that cost me a bit of time in T1 but I chalk that up to the first race of the year. Got on the bike and wanted to push it early on to see if I could catch the leader early then keep pushing and see what the legs had. Caught the leader around 5 miles in then kept on pushing. I am always trying to find the right balance between pushing hard on the bike and running well but not pushing TOO hard on the bike and blowing up on the run. I think I paced it pretty well on the day. There were a few spots on the course where I could see how far ahead I was to the rest of the field but could never get a good idea so in my mind they were right behind me!
Jumped off the bike and sprinted through transition. Legs were feeling good early on and I was trying to test the legs to see if I could gain more time so that when the other racers saw me up the road they wouldn’t try to catch me! Well thankfully that never happened and in reality I had A LOT more time than I thought but whenever I am in front I try to run a little scared so that I never let up until I can see the finish.
Ended up winning the race by about 3 minutes. So all in all it was a great start to the year! And on another note my dad raced the sprint race and also walked away with some hardware!
This weekend I will be racing the Lake Zurich Olympic race to get another good hit out before the big one, 70.3 Racine! I am really excited to see what kind of fitness I have and how well I can race against some big guns in a very competitive midwest race.
As always, thanks to my wife, parents, friends for putting up with all of my training and racing. Thanks to EGO for supporting me through the year and for making the most amazing lawn care products out there! Thanks to SLF Motion and ICE Friction chains for making my drivetrain silky and smooth! Thanks to Greater Than Sports Drink for keeping my hydrated and kitted out with great shirts and socks!