Monday, October 5, 2009

Scott Tinley’s Adventures

I was fighting a cold for about 9 days leading up to the Long Course race at Scott Tinley’s Adventures.  As late as Thursday I wasn’t even sure if I’d race … but I feel like the sickness was gone by Friday and that I was therefore clear to race on Saturday.  Sweet.  I went in with a pretty good attitude and an uncertain physical state.

I stayed with my friend Chris Stehula in San Luis Obispo. He convinced me to go for a run on some gorgeous trails around a hill near town immediately upon arrival. My head cold was nearly gone at that point and I could tell that it wouldn’t be an issue on Saturday.  Friday we went for an easy ride and I could feel that the sickness was gone.

In the past, Tinley’s has been an Olympic-distance non-drafting event with a deceptively hilly bike and a less-deceptively-hilly run.  I should make it clear that the run is quite hilly but does not deceive you in any way.  There is a brutally steep climb each lap.  This year Tri-California altered the course to make it a “long course” race – 1.5mi swim, 48mi bike, 9mi run.  So we got to run up the hill three times.

We had a rather small pro field – 13 guys and the top ten get paid – so Stehula and I both hoped/expected to make it into the money and to have a good chance at the top five if we had a good day.

We didn’t.

I never felt terrible in the swim but I just didn’t seem to have as much “go” when I needed it.  I did feel sort of terrible when I exited the water 60-90 seconds behind guys that I usually swim with…

On the bike I just tried to stay within myself and to let the legs come to me, knowing that there were still a few guys behind me.  With the back issues that I’ve had all year, I was hoping to ride just hard enough that my back didn’t flare up and to pick up the pace as the race went on and as the others came through.  Nick Thompson caught me around mile eight and Stehula caught me around mile 10.  I tried to stay near each of them for awhile but I each of them slowly pulled away.

I was far enough back on the run that I just tried to stay smooth and relaxed, pushing it enough to catch anybody who exploded. 

So all in all, it wasn’t a great day for me but I figure that I was probably a bit off physically after being sick … so I’m glad that I was able to get out there and race and kick-start my next big training block.

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