Friday, August 26, 2011

Balance achieved

I'll keep this one somewhat short... busy day : ) I did a local sprint triathlon about 3 weeks ago, and the good news is that I had one of the most balanced triathlons that I can remember. I have always done pretty well at running, and although I've been getting better on the bike, it still lags my running. Swimming has always been a "how much time will I lose" proposition, although that has gotten a little better. I have been working real hard at the bike and swim the last couple years, though; and at this race I decided I'd just give it all I had on those events - and let the run chips fall where they may. And it worked! : )

First, on the swim; I decided that I'd still line up on the outside, but closer to the front and really go for it right from the beginning. The swim was only 500 meters, so there really wasn't any point in pacing; I just swam as fast as my little arms would take me. I got out in just over 9 minutes, but since swim courses are always different; I'd have to wait until later to see how that played out in my age group.

The bike started up a little hill, but I just hit that hard and kept going from there; never letting up the gas. Up the hills hard, down the hills hard; just kept pushing myself, using my HR to prompt me whenever I started slacking. Finished the 14 mile bike with a 21 mph avg; pretty good considering a lot of small rollers and really horrid road conditions on the back half.

Finally it was time for the run, where I always feel at home - and again I went for broke right from the beginning. The full out effort on the bike took a little bit of a toll, but I was still able to run the 3 miles at a 6:45 pace; and felt great coming across the finish line at just over 1:11 total time. Now, it was time to see where that left me...

Turns out that I finished 2nd in my age group (out of about 48). That was great, I always enjoy and appreciate when I can crack the top 3... but the best part for me was when I saw my final split results for my age group. I actually managed to have the 4th fastest swim (?!?), 2nd fastest bike (!), and 3rd fastest run in my group; which is by far the most balanced effort I've managed in any triathlon I've done : )

My friend Glenn was there, and he placed 3rd in his age group, so that just made for an even better day. And High Five events always has a great post-race setup, including burgers, ice cream, beer, etc. (all for free) - and some hilarious "generic" trophies; which were coffee cans with a paper award wrapped around them that read "Jack's Generic Triathlon AWARD". Fun stuff...

Now I'm back to training for a new half IM triathlon in Kerrville, TX (also put on by High Five); and then the San Antonio Marathon in November. After that, I'm going to cut back on the training volume for at least a couple months. Who knows, maybe it's time to cut back to a more normal training/exercise level for good. This is a great sport, but not the be all and end all of life... and I must continue to strive for the right balance.


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