Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Asia, revisited

China, like Portland did not quite go according to plan. I was really hoping for a top finish. I have had a good track record in Asia and was looking to keep the streak alive with this race--it just didnt happen. I think it was about one race too many this trip. Whereas Portland was just a case of being tired and missing 6 days of swimming beofrehand, China was probably too much travel with a combo of no run training.

When I booked this 4 week round the world tour, I wasnt injured and it still seemed like a tough schedule. Through a little heel issue into the mix and it was going to be not so much fun. I swam as much as possible between Portland and China (as much as you can in 7 days with 2 days travel across the Pacific), but it didnt seem to help much. I had a good swim, but not like the rest this year. I exited the water in 3rd place right behind the two leaders, but it was probably the hardest I have ever swum in a triathlon and the pace was not that fast. I dont know if it was residual fatigue form travel or just themeager swim training of the past several weeks (or both).

Into transition I was fine, but mucked up putting my feet in my cycling shoes and promptly had a 10m gap to the four leaders up the road. I road as hard as possible, but I couldnt bring them back. I finally had to sit up and wait for the next group. The group ended up being about 1:15 back out of the water so we had some work to do. Me and another Ukranian (we call him Nintendo) dragged the pack of Chinese around, but we eventually caught the front group. At this point my calves were cramping and I was seeing stars I was so tired, but thought after a few k's of recovery on the bike I would be ok. Not so much. I hopped of the bike and just couldnt go. From the first step of the run, I struggled. I was not going to pull the plug and slugged out it for a dismal 18th place. I think I scored about 3 ITU points and got a smack-kick in the pants from the Chinese.

As Manny, put it, "I saw your run split, bro. What did you do, stop for chinese food on the run?" Well, Manny I didnt, but it was slow. Race reports of bad races are always hard to write. They always take longer to put up than the good ones. Right now, I am back in the USA in California getting ready for my next race. In this case, "getting ready" means sleeping, eating, and not much training. I am racing a low-key race in San Luis Obispo this Saturday then heading back to Fort Worth. I have about 5 weeks between then and my next race which also happens to be my last race. Plenty of time to recover from this round of trips and smash myself into some good form for the last race.

forget about Irina?
In other news, I watched Haille G run an amazing sub 2:03:59 in the marathon this weekend, but it was Irina Mikitenko who caught my eye. She is a German marathoner who just became the 4th fastest woman ever in 2:19:19 (this time would qualify her for US men's Olympic trials). More importantly to me, she has a very short shuffly-type stride--very similar to mine! I have always tried to lenghten and change my lengthen my super-short stride, but people like her make me think it might be possible to run fast with my natural stride. And to boot, before she was a marathoner, she was world-class in the 1500, so she can run fast with her short stride. She is my new Hero!!

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