Recap of Carolina trip and Clermont ITU sprint

This is about a week overdue but none the less figured I would fill everyone in on the 2nd half of my trip to Carolina that included the inaugural USAT Sprint National Championships.

After some really good training with Justin, my knee had gotten a bit sore so I backed off the last couple days before Clermont. Still not sure exactly what the issue is or was but it seemed like the very beginnings of tendinitis. That said I pretty much laid low on Thurs and Friday and Justin and I drove the 8 hours from Chapel Hill to his cousin’s house in Sanford. It was awesome to have a house to stay at and since it was a 1:30 start on Saturday the hour drive wasn’t too bad either.
As I said the race was Saturday afternoon so we enjoyed sleeping in a bit and then lounging around before the race. There are not that many things that I like specifically about ITU races, but the late start is always a plus. Had a good breakfast, along with some First Endurance EFS to make sure I was hydrated. Amazing how even in March, coming from CO, Florida seems like the jungle with humidity. We got to the race and set up shop in transition. There were races going on all morning so no bike warm up, but as I was looking at this as a training race to end the camp that wasn’t a big deal. I went for an ez jog and surprisingly was pain free. This was a nice lil surprise since the next 50 some minutes or racing were full gas.
Did a bit of a swim warm up, but really it was mostly dolphin dives as the “swim” was barely 3 min long during the race. Not exactly what I was hoping for to try and split up the 75 man field. Once the horn went off 75 dudes ran on water and splashed a bit for 7 or so minutes, came out in a huge line and got on the bike course all together. So far the knee was still good but wanted to let it warm up a bit on the bike before hammering too much, so I sat in the group…not my best idea. All weekend Justin and I had talked about staying at the front to stay out of trouble, so of course I wasn’t and I had to dodge a crash at the very first turn. Now I realize its first race for most people, first pro race for some but come on guys, crashing on a u-turn when you are almost stopped????
So instead of taking my plan at the front I dropped directly to the back, the way back, and began yo-yoing myself off the corners to get in the effort I wanted without risking any incidents. With MIT on the 20th I just wanted to ride hard and then try and have a good run. Which I feel like I did. Its not often that I pass a bunch of people in an ITU run so I was happy with my effort, and although 31st isn’t exactly a stellar result it was what I needed. An effort that is harder than training and a chance to get a race under my belt before I do one that counts.
After the race, knee stiffened up a bit but was ok. It still is a bit of a bother today but I have been able to mostly train through it and hopefully it will fade out as I rest a bit for MIT next weekend.
Post race Justin and I had to jump in the car and make the drive back up to his place because I was flying out the next day. Not the best race recovery but we got in a good cool down, threw on the compression socks and hit the road.
Really good trip in all, got in some good run training and reminded myself how much I love training with people that are faster than me. Big thanks to Justin and his wife for their hospitality, check him out at www.justinparkracing.com and @jparkracing on twitter.
First big go next week in Miami, first stop in the quest for Hy-Vee…

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