Four races, 4 lessons

This past weekend was the end of my four races in four weekends and it went fairy well all things considered. This time I was down in Pueto Vallarta, MX for the Pan American Championships and my final ITU race of the year. Last chance to score some much needed Olympic and ITU pts going into next season.

Travel was smooth and leading up to the race the only thing I was concerned about was the fact that the day before the race we still didn’t know what the bike course would be due to poor roads and last minute paving/construction. The weather was gonna be hot. We knew it, everyone had to deal with it, but the roads were definitely an issue. I did the course preview of one of the options the day before and although it was a bit sketchy in parts wasn’t too bad.
Race morning they announced that they had finished the work and we would be going with option A. or the course we had previewed which was good I guess, and I made sure to ride the technical parts on my way to the start. There were still gonna be plenty of slick spots, rough spots and u-turns, but we were all doing them, so if nothing else it was extra motivation to be out front.
Due to low tides we were forced to do an in water start, which I definitely don’t like as I can’t use my swimmers background at the start but in this case it was a fair good one and I got out in front of most people quickly. I settled in as the third swimmer and went around the loops trying to do as little as possible while maintaining my position in the bath tub of an ocean we were swimming in.
Exiting the water I was in a small break and once on the road we were about 8 deep. I was psyched to see Matt Chrabot in the group and a few other guys that I knew would ride hard. By the time we hit the second lap we were down to a foursome and we were working together well. My legs took some time to come around, probably from the last three races, but they did and we hammered away a good tempo the whole ride building ourselves an almost 2 minute lead going into T2. For me though the biggest thing was to ride hard for myself, but also get Matt in a position to assure an American victory. Some may say I need to be more concerned with myself, but that is in my mind what makes ITU great, in that I can help a teammate, put myself in the best position all at the same time. I rode hard but knew the run was going to be a battle of heat and legs so I pulled on my Pearl Izumi Transitions, and gave it my best.
Luckily, there were 12 aid stations in the 10 K so there was plenty of water to be dumped, but I was dealing with tired legs, and a cramping side and wasn’t able to drink much. I did what I could, and out sprinted a guy at the line, but it was for a mildly disspapointing 21st place. But more importantly I made the 5% cutoff time and therefore achieved the goal of pts on both lists.
Now… as the title says I raced four times and learned four different lessons.
Pro Nationals – drink more in the heat, and make sure no matter what I race my race, even if it kills me.
LA – anti-biotics and me don’t get along so if something comes up, i.e. an ear infection be more pro active early on.
Dallas – need to improve my downhill running
Pan Am’s – more sleep and rest in between consecutive races, and work on running tired
The last two races of my season will be the Super Sprint Grand Prix in Oceanside on Halloween, , and then the Amica sprint in Phoenix the following week. Hopefully end on a positive note with some FUN short races.

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