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Jun 16, 2014

St. Peter's Rec-Plex Triathlon (Spring 2014)

St. Peter's Rec-Plex Triathlon (Spring) - 6/15/14

One of my favorite races of the year! I just love so much about the St. Peter's Rec-Plex races. I normally do both the spring and the fall so I get to play there twice each year. I'm just coming off of Xterra Eureks Springs triathlon last weekend. However, I didn't have my normal Tuesday night Crit race and also got rained out on Thursday night's dirt crit race that I was going to do. So, relatively speaking, I'm pretty rested. I hadn't even done much of any training through the week either. Maybe I even did too LITTLE. Say it ain't so!

It was great to see so many familiar faces. With my parents and my dog, Penny, there as well it was a very social event. I had a pretty laid back morning and made my way into the line waiting for the start. Before I knew it, I was off and swimming. I felt pretty good on the swim compared to my last few races. With the competitor order being in the order you signed up and not by projected swim time, there can be a bit of traffic in the pool. The first and last lanes are split in half to get the added couple of lengths to get the distance. Despite passing countless people and even a 3 person pass in a "half lane", I actually didn't have much trouble and didn't feel like I was held up. Unfortunately the Strava data only shows about half of the swim distance, but it was a faster pace than I was swimming previously. I've had a little trouble with my Garmin properly tracking my pool swims. It doesn't like the way I do my turns and occassionally misses them, but this time, I think I forgot to set the proper length of the pool beforehand. I had a good measure of my competition ahead of me and knew my swim time was right there with Brian Shoenholz.

A quick transition and I was off on the bike. Cycling is easily my favorite of the three disciplines and this is one of my favorite courses. Most of it is pancake flat and you can just hammer! There is know to be some wind that goes along with that and today was no exception. I also had a blast on the big hill descent and got up to 48.5mph. It was enough speed to get me airborn over the railroad tracks at the bottom without even trying. I really pushed the bike hard knowing I was possibly right in the mix with some of the best athletes there. I actually don't really look at my garmin much while I'm going, but I did catch one of the 5 mile auto-lap times and knew I was doing good. I could feel it though. I had to hope that it wouldn't hurt my run to be putting in this type of effort on the bike.

Another VERY fast transition. I almost stopped before heading out second guessing myself about forgetting something. That was probably stuck in my mind from last week's missing shoe insole thing. Out of transition and onto the run course. I continued to pick people off in front of me. With a later start than normal, there was plenty of slower people in front of me to catch. I was giving it everything I had, but I just felt like it wasn't as fast as I'd wanted. Sometimes it feels that way after coming off of a 20+mph average on the bike. Brian Shoenholz passed me on his way to the finish looking fast and strong. I started to try to do the math in my head to figure out if I was "virtually" ahead of him or not. What I came up with was that it was close and I needed to push the whole way through. It didn't help that I wasn't 100% sure of his starting number, the run distance, or how far into the run I was when we passed. I like to do calculations in my head while racing though. It keeps my mind off the hurt and can make the miles go by a little faster. I felt like I was slowing. Passing Mike Barro on his way onto the run is enough to make anyone feel slow. He just flys. My post race data showed that I actually started out pretty close to the pace I wanted, but I faded as the miles went by. Happily greeted at the finish with cheers from the crowd and my parents. I heard awes from the crowd at the finish when Penny found me on the ground and enjoyed licking the salty sweat off of my face, so excited as if she hadn't seen me in weeks.

When I finished I was in 3rd overall, but I knew that wouldn't last. I had seen Mike Barro absolutely flying on the run and knew he would certainly push me down the standings. He did and so did some others. I ended up in 7th overall and just 3rd in my age-group. After you take out the top 3 on the day, two of the three remaining athletes that beat me were in my age group. Brian Shoenholz ended up ahead of me by about 2.5 minutes (all of which was made up on the run) and took first in our age group. Congrats to Mike, Brian, and the other athletes for a great race!
Related links:
St. Peter's Rec-Plex Triathlon
St. Peter's Rec-Plex results
Strave Swim race data (incorrect distance)
Strave Bike race data
Strave Run race data

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