This past weekend was the 2nd leg of my four weeks of racing and it was a significant improvement over the first. For starters the weather was a whole lot better and the race was non-draft which is still a considerable advantage for me. I have done the LA Triathlon three times now and this was my best finish, first time being in the money. Which as a pro I guess you could say is the ultimate goal at any race.
The day started off well, really early waking up at 3:45, but well. Got to transition, plenty of warm up and had a good swim start. At LA it is a beach run in, which is always interesting because not only are you fight for position amongst the racers but also with the waves to get out to the first buoy. I didn’t have a great run in but was able to swing wide of the guys and get some clean water heading out through the surf. About the first turn, Gomez and myself were at the front where we stayed for the entire swim. However, as with coming out going back in is a battle of the waves and usually ends up as much luck as skill. If you miss your wave or get pummeled, lead lost. I came out right on Javier’s feet and had a decent transition onto the bikes. Gomez, myself and Docherty hammered the first part of the bike and were able to gap a few guys that had come out near us. I lead for a solid part of the first half of the race but was soon caught by Andrew and he blew by me. Legs felt ok, but no real pop to try and stay with him. I maintained my position about 45 sec ahead of Docherty but had unfortunately given up almost 90 sec to Starky. Beginning the run I felt good, which after the last couple races was great, but with the giant hill we go up and down twice that feeling quickly vanished. I made it up ok the first time but coming down began to struggle with some side cramping as well as my quads starting to lock up. Definitely need to work on my downhill running!
Finished the day in 6th, which wasn’t what I had thought possible but certainly the guys that out ran me are some of the world’s finest. Either way it was a positive step in the right direction leading into Dallas this weekend. Neal Henderson, my coach, and I were smack talking about the Iowa vs. Penn St game Sat night, both our aluma maters, and he had some wise words. “It’s not how you always start but rather how you finish.” Now we was referring to the beginning of the Penn St beat down by the Hawks but I will take the words and apply them to these four races. The start was poor but it is improving and the end will be the best part!
Next up… Dallas US Open on Sunday. Stay tuned…