Last weekend Purse and I raced the Vineman 70.3. She'll report later on her end, but from my perspective, I am happy to report that I survived the race, foot intact, and more importantly, LEARNED WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO ACTUALLY RACE!
I love the Vineman course..the bike course, that is. In years past, Matt has watched me repeatedly self-destruct on the hot and hilly run course so I wasn't so psyched about that...and I'm not one to rave about swim courses.
I was a bit worried going into this race as I'm still recovering from my foot issues and haven't done mad amounts of running. Both the god of all podiatrists in the Bay Area and Paulo gave me the go ahead, so I trusted that if Paulo said I could race, that I'd be trained enough to not die out there on the course.
For those dedicated blog readers, you'll know that I haven't nailed the whole mental thing yet, so I decided to use this race as an opportunity to work on mental stuff...such as staying positive and "in the moment" rather than exhuding my typical negativity.
Anyway, the gun went off, the fast swimmers went off, and apparently I did not go off, as after 200 yds of swimming I Iooked up to see a speck of dust on the water which was the first two packs. I did manage to stick with a pack of girls for most of the swim and got out of the water in a time significantly faster than my wetsuit swim time from my previous Vineman attempts. This is progress.
Leading (the third pack) out of the water.
The bike was a good time. I kept a girl I know to be a killer strong cyclist in sight for awhile until she dropped me on a downhill. (Who gets dropped on a downhill?). After surviving an exploding vanilla powergel episode, I focused on keeping up with my nutrition. Amazing what calories can do for you in a race. Around mile 30 I started passing people and this is where the fun began. For the first time in my triathlon career I was RACING. I wasn't just slogging along the course hoping not to embarass myself. I was focused on executing my strategy of riding hard.
TEAM PATAKY in action...matt practicing not being chill.
I came off the bike in 7th-ish place and prepared for the sufferfest that is the Vineman run. I took Paulo's pre-race advice to heart and just tried to focus on performing my best at each moment and each mile. I forgot about all of my issues and pushed it and tried to stay in the race. Unfortunately, I was passed by 2 girls around mile 9ish and then another 2 girls with less than a mile to go, but I did what I could with what I had on that day and am happy with the results. I finished in around 4:35 and change and had a faster run split here with heat, hills, and minimal training, than I did at Oceanside, with perfect conditions and lots of training. MORE progress.
I really don't know what to say about my form here.
RACING as opposed to "participating in a race" is a good feeling and I plan to use the motivation I got from RACING last weekend to fuel the big IMC training block that looms.
PS: I want to thank my nutrition sponsor, Lindsey Jerdonek, for providing me home cooked meals the entire week prior to Vineman, as well as race day. She went so far as to purchase a mobile GRIDDLE for our race day breakfast, which she promptly installed at 3:30 AM in the bathroom of the Holiday Inn Express Windsor.
The famous bathroom griddle.
Post race "shock therapy" with Purse and Tracy. They promised the shock therapy would prevent soreness. Why am I still sore on WEDNESDAY?
Ronin did not get Paulo's memo declaring July 18th a "chill day."
Lindsey's post-race "nest" in the back of our car.