Monday, February 08, 2010

Equador ITU

post-race "festivities" in Guayaquil, Equador
This past weekend I made the trip to Salinas, Equador to start the 2010 season. I have never raced in Februrary before (much less the beginning of it), so I knew my body was in for a few shocks!! Training throughout December and January was consistent, but a little light on total hours. In addition to the holidays, I got married on January 17th!!! While this was/is great news it also meant that I arrived to the start line a little "underdone" on the training.

Apparently since Olympic qualification starts pretty soon, ITU races in the middle of nowhere (even in February) are getting quite popular. The start list here was much stronger than I anticipated when I booked the trip. I guess there are no more easy "points runs" any more. You have to work hard to get your points! (Points are arbitrary numbers assigned to race finishes by an international organization that forces me to travel around the world and accumulate these little goodies in hopes of being eligible to go to the Olympics).

The race itself went ok. I had a great swim, and exited the water in about open water swimming seemingly just keeps on improving year-to-year. The bike was wet, dangerous, and tough (and I have not been biking much at all). Through my "wedding season" I focused on maintaning running volume, and thus the biking suffered. I was worried coming about it coming into the race, but I ended up managing just fine. I stayed out of trouble (the rain caused around 15 people to crash), and was in the first pack the whole way. Onto the run (the one discipline I thought would go quite well), I stuggled a bit. I just didnt have that extra "race" gear I need to run super fast. With only some solid base/easy miles in my legs, I was only able to run steady and fell from about 9th place at 5k to 13th at the finish. While my running fitness is decent the overall fitness package still needs lots of work!

All in all, I am happy with the race. 13th got me a few points, and I moved up to 97th in the world rankings. This will help me get into some bigger races later this year, and was the sole purpose of the trip. I am now back in Fort Worth getting ready for a huge 6 week block of training. It is time to get into serious training mode: lots of training, lots of sleeping, and a little bit of eating!

Next race is Mazatlan ITU on March 20th.....