Monday, October 4, 2010

[NECTC] MightyMan Sprint 2010

This is it for 2010!
0.5 Mi SWIM --- 10 Mi BIKE --- 3 Mi RUN
It was tough going into this race knowing that I was in no way rested for my Championship race of the year. I mean, I did great at Westchester with all the swimming that week leading up, but I think I got lucky because my body wasn’t beginning the break-down point yet. This week, my body was not in tip top shape anymore. Luckily I only had doubles M W, and swam singles on T Th F, one less than last week and still around 38000 yards of swimming. But this race was Saturday morning, leaving me less recovery time from swimming as well.

Marc was driving me and Luke. Too many negative emotions and frustrations came through on the way to the race. I was frustrated about how tired I was going to be from all the swim practice we had done. And then to top it off I realize that I forgot my yellow Powertap computer right as we’re in the thickest part of traffic on Long Island. Noooooo! That thing is my savior on the bike. Luke calmed my spirits reminding me how short the bike is and that all I need to do is push as hard as I possibly can. Very true, but I was still annoyed.

After a ridiculous number of hours getting to Montauk, we finally checked in at the race site field and found the team at the Italian restaurant for dinner.
Our hotel was on the beach! Falling asleep knowing we get to play on the beach after the race the next day is a great feeling. We went to bed as soon as we could.

Warmup for this race didn’t go as well as it had at Westchester. I think my legs were not in racing condition and I actually just got tired as I attempted to warm up. It probably helped a little bit as I got the blood flowing but I was concerned. Lack of confidence going in = no bueno.

As usual, it was freezing. We had to set up in the dark and the light slowly creeped up on as we neared the start time. We were in the first wave for this race, just like last year.

Race directors need to understand that when you start a swim wave, you can’t just yell GO! You have to give some sort of countdown to let the athletes know the start is approaching. The start this year was horrendous. All the people who had watches knew that the start time was nearing, but we heard nothing. I was in a cluster of Stevens folk and Matt and Will and I started joking that they were probably just going to sound a horn and tell us to go without warning… guess what? We jinxed it because that’s totally what happened. I wasn’t prepared at all and I ended up getting trampled by people who had a good foot hold to push off and swim. Little short me was in no good launching position and the first stretch of the swim was just a fight to pass people. I hate that so much. Big guys can take advantage and get ahead in the beginning, and then they just die and get in my way. Frustrating. I need to get better at the start positioning next year.
Swim= 13:31 – 8th fastest collegiate swim time

So as I’m fighting my way to get a good position on the swim, I see that there’s a lead pack of swimmers in the distance. They have a significant lead on me because of my terrible start, so I do everything I can to put my head down and swim in their direction. Apparently that’s what everyone else was doing because following the leader led us all to an extra few minutes on the swim. The way the buoys were positioned, we couldn’t tell which one we were supposed to be going towards. The leaders picked the wrong one and the stupid kayakers out there were dumb enough not to notice until right when they got to the wrong buoy. So we got redirected and all the lead people definitely got screwed over with the detour.
I couldn’t catch the leaders; guys like Evan up there were out of my league. But I had them in sight at the finish. Running out and to transition was tough because it was so cold. I noticed the West Point girl ahead of me. She was out of transition quickly and I wanted to catch her on the bike. I wish I had a better start on the swim because I knew there was no way that she was good enough at swimming to have that big of a lead on me. Frustrating.
T1= 1:17

Bike=29:52 – 16th fastest collegiate bike split
Average power = N/A
Average speed = N/A

My bike time was nothing special. I couldn’t tell you the average power. I just played the game of finding the person ahead of me and cranking out to catch them. This method worked pretty well!
I knew this course from the year before, so I knew that I had to push the first half, especially the uphill. I blew through the downhill part and as soon as I saw the potential to catch Evan, Luke, and Matt all together, I turned on my game. Eventually I did pass all three of them, and I knew that they are all better runners than me, so I might as well give it my everything to pass them on the bike and see what happens on the run.
The fast Drexel kid passed me at one point on the bike and I tried to keep a safe distance behind him and stick with him as long as I could. Surprisingly I did a good job with that, just wish I was a better sprint runner.
Swim & Bike Average Hear Rate =

T2= 1:04

Run = 21:14 – faster than last year's split!
Average Run Heart Rate =

This run was gut-wrenching. This was the last run of the year! I had to give it everything!
I was getting passed left and right by the top runners who had bad swims. Those guys were hauling ass like crazy. I couldn’t even keep up with them if I had a flat start rested race.
At this point I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch the Army girl because West Point produces running machines. I just needed to put out my best effort and not let any other girl pass me. I did just that and sprinted my hardest through the finish on the grass field.
Hooray it was over!

Overall time = 1:06:56

Body heat and the cups of rice soup were to die for at the end. I was happy to be done so that we could have a nice relaxing weekend and celebrate the end to an awesome NECTC season!

I ended up with a 2nd place female collegiate finish! Not too shabby with all those swim practices. I know I could have done better though. And had I not been in swim season I would probably have taken the overall female point leader... but maybe we'll save that one for next year??

Nick braving the storm-generated waves in Montauk

Bonfire festivities with the NECTC gang were in order and we relaxed on the beach til the wee hours of the morning. Fare thee well, NECTC 2010 season, it’s been a blast!