Warm up race for Syracuse 70.3- Cooperstown Tri

Posted: May 28, 2012 in cycling, Running, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlons
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This past few days had been worrisome for me.The club duathlon this week went well, and I was especially happy that I got a little speed out of my legs. I woke up Friday, and my had severe cramping on the inside of my right calf. Not sure why it happened. With 27 days until the big day, everything is a worry. Being older, it is not unusual to have aches and pains. Just the same, I’ll continue to fret. My wife Lee, is an occupational therapist and a rehab director for a skilled nursing facility. She works mostly with geriatric patients. So I qualify :). After a few days of deep tissue massage, stretching with a foam roller, my right leg is much better. I begrudgingly backed off training to recover. So close to the ‘A’ race, peak before taper. being a little under trained is much better than not being at the start line due to injury.

Since starting this journey, I have had to adapt to my older body, and more importantly, adapt my thinking about training. Since joining Endurance Nation, I made a lot of gains in the out season training, and some in the Half Ironman training. Jumping up the volume of work has been a struggle, and I have to modify the plan some for my current fitness. Historically, I have never been able to tolerate more than 3-4 runs a week, or much over 30 miles in a week. The biggest challenge over the past month is dealing with overuse injury, while trying to keep my gains, and while training for a half ironman. Mentally I have to keep focused on what I have learned, and listen to my body as it reacts to the stimulus (training). Like most, once you obtain certain paces, you really want to keep them. Coming back from minor injury is perplexing as it is a fine line of getting a workout in, verses pushing it over the line.

I signed up for Cooperstown sprint tri many months ago, as a warm up event for Syracuse. Even though my training plan has several race rehearsals scheduled, I like the social aspect of races. The danger is in going too hard for a non ‘A’ race, and have it interfere with the training plan. With my right leg giving my some issues, I would treat it as my long course, pace wise, and keep testing execution, transition, etc.

Kudos to ATC endurance, and Score-This for putting on a great race. Well organized, and just plain easy for the athlete to get situated. Very scenic course, and an enjoyable event.

The day before, I drove out and picked up the race packet. While I was there, I drove the run and bike course. I goofed and drove the bike course backwards. Sure would have been fast and slick if ran counter clockwise! 4:40 AM Race morning, Lee and I drove out, and got there 6:15 AM. Easy set up. Picked up my timing chip, and was all set to go. I was a little nervous, as this would be the first time doing a triathlon in over 15 years. I had a plan of attack, and was ready to go as we corralled into the swim start.

Swim started out just fine, Water was not too cold with a full wetsuit. It would be my first time out in a new wetsuit. May not have been the best idea. I stayed in the back third as to not be swam over. I am not a fast swimmer. Being amped up on gatorade, and power bars, I made a huge newbie mistake. I went out the first 200 yards way to fast, and blew up. The combination of going out way too hard, swimming in a new wetsuit, and being fueled up had me in red zone. I panicked a little, then realized that my breathing and heart rate was just racing. It took a long time to calm down, and had to alternate from back stroke to forward crawl several times before I settled down. I lost better than 6 minutes to it. I had figured 18-20 minutes (like I said, not very fast) for the 800M,and ended up 25:08. Way slower than I had hoped for. I was glad that I regained my composure and saw it through, rather than pull out.

T1 (first transition) was 3:58, not bad, considering I had trouble getting the last bit of the wetsuit off. Bike went well. I liked the course, and rode it conservatively as I worried about my right calf. Spinning easy up the hills, pushing a little on the down hills. I actually felt my legs stretch out some from the spinning. I averaged 16.4 MPH on the bike, and figured I could have pushed out closer to 18-19 mph average if I was racing it hard.

T2 (second transition) was 1:05, and I was pleased with that. I eased into the run with no twinges in my legs. I left probably too much out on the bike course, although it paid back nicely on getting my legs under me quicker during the run. My run goal for the day was to hit my long run pace, and take it to my half marathon pace (8:27) the third mile. I hit close to my desired marks although it was so tempting to run 7:50-8:15 a mile. With the slower pace, I concentrated on form, and being smooth. Heart rate stayed close to 144-150 bpm. The relaxed perceived effort allowed me to enjoy the scenery that much more.

I crossed the finish line in 1:42:47. If I had been pushing it or racing it (and not blow it on the swim), I might have broken under 1:30. Legs felt really good after the finish, and I was all too happy with the choices I made on the bike & run while racing it. Goal accomplished! I have a big week of training before Keuka Lake Tri this coming Sunday. It is the plan that I will execute much the same way as I did this race, and hopefully do a better job of easing into the swim and getting it done without difficulty. Key item for next event: I will have to seriously prepare mentally to keep it together on the next swim.

  1. […] Mike Joyner (photo at left) raced in the Cooperstown sprint tri and finished in 1:42.  He said “Using the lessons I have learned from being on Team EN helped me salvage a blown swim, and keep my wits about me while executing a race simulation and not get caught up in “Ricky Racer” mistakes. Working out a long course pacing on a sprint tri, helped me enjoy the event, and not overdo it while recovering from an injury.    Thanks EN!”  Visit his blog for a full race report. […]

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