It started a little cool and foggy, but when the first wave went off, the sun was rising and WETSUITS WERE LEGAL! Yes. August 21 in Kansas City and the water was cold enough to allow wetsuits! Thanks to some cooler temps and rain, Longview Lake has cooled and the high for the day would fall in the mid 80's.
I had some objectives for this race.
- Be able to finish, no injuries and not loose fitness. It wasn't exactly an A race. The Jackson County Triathlon is a larger race for around the Kansas City area. I wanted a strong performance but I had not geared my training to peak for this race. IM Boulder was 2 weeks ago so I needed a good mixture of recovery and maintenance. To add to that, the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon is this Saturday. I needed recovery, balance and build for a marathon. It was a touchy dance but I'm here today after the race, injury free and performed well under the circumstances.
- Get nutrition in check. The Midwest Mayhem and IM Boulder races exposed some issues with nutrition and GI stress. I was overcompensating for fears of dehydration with sports drinks and gels/energy chews. Jackson County was a chance to simplify. Instead of two bottles of sports drinks on the bike I replaced one with water to drink with gels. After T1 and T2, I sued water to help settle the transition to different sports and hit sports drinks hard at the end of the run. Mission successful. No bloated feeling and no sloshing. Breaking wind and burping were minimized as well. You're welcome fellow racers.
- Swim. You probably won't win a race in the swim, but get too far behind and you can loose it there. With the announcement of wetsuit legal, only half the field had suits with them. Always bring your suit because you never know. I knew I had a shot to get a good swim time in compared to the field. I lined up in the thick of it. Left next to the inner lane and GUNNED it for the first turn. It was a two swim loop with a beach run and I knew I had 5 minutes before the next wave start. My gamble paid off as I hit the first turn near the front, missing a lot of the abuse and got back in before wave 2 launched. It was a perfect culmination of circumstances and strategy. 08:35 / 35th of 253. That NEVER happens.
- Bike. It's been my achilles the whole season. I think a combination of biking more around home than other areas and losing 10 pounds (less momentum downhill with less work) has slowed me down. I have struggled to stay above 18mph but had a break out race this time. Garmin reported 19mph and race results reported 20.8. I'll take it. I think rest from IM boulder and a good course attack plan resulted in a solid bike leg. 01:13:48 / 123rd of 253.
- Run. My new strength it seems. I may not be burning it up like the pros, but sub 8 minute miles is solid for me. Nutrition was on, effort and plan payed off and I was able to consistently churn out 7:45ish miles. Water for first 2 miles after gel on bike and the SLAM sports drink. I only walked at two aid stations as the temps were friendly to runners so hydration wasn't as much an issue. 38:55 / 72 of 253.
Overall I was happy with the race. Shaved 7 minutes from last year but dropped overall rank. Stiffer competition? One item to note was the swim course was intended to be 0.6 miles, however, race organizers are looking into what happened there as it was noticeably shorter. More will come from that.
You can't ask for much more being an age grouper with a job and young family. Considering my aggressive race schedule at the end of the season, I'm (knock on wood) injury free and felt good finishing the race. Unlike IM Boulder no GI distress and cramping. I was running hard passing anyone I could see before the finish line.
Stay tuned for NFEC marathon info.
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