Friday, October 5, 2007


Powerman Ohio Race Recap: this one took me almost a week to get up...but I have solid excuses. Being a college student while training is not an easy thing to do! I made it back from Ohio on Sunday night, passed out in bed, woke up to drive back to Champaign, have class alll day, then take a big Physics exam at night! Add in trying to get a few quick workouts, and I have no time to sit down at the computer for more than 2 minutes. But now that the week is just about up..I have a little time to write down what happened over in the "flat" state of Ohio.

My dad and I took off on the road on Saturaday morning to begin our suppose to be 5.5 hour drive over to Lucas, Ohio. Due to bad traffic and a missed turn, the drive ended up taking close to 8 hours. This was no good because I had a Pro mandatory meeting that I needed to catch. Well it ended up that I missed the meeting because of our detour through lower Indiana, but it worked out because the race director was great and took me through a personal one on one meeting. I rode a little bit and didn't think the bike course was too wasn't until I decided to run a few miles of the course that I started to get scared. Basically the run course starts off with a steep downhill followed by over a mile of straight uphill climbing with varying inclines of 8-11 percent grades. Well being from the Chicago area...all I have to deal with is wind. I get tired going up the slight incline of my driveway! So the fact that I had to race up these huge hills scared me just a tad.

Well after freaking myself out, my dad and I headed out to eat at a little local restaurant. The food was excellent (veggie lasagna) mmmmmmm. So after stuffing my face with good food, I headed over to the main highway to find a place to stay. Hampton Suites made a mistake on which rooms they had available so my dad and I ended up staying in a huggge suite for a cheap price...excellent! Two huge beds full of pillows and jumbo sized comforters....let me tell you it was amazing. So the night consisted of getting my gear ready and lounging around in bed while watching some college football.

Race Day:
In the morning, I took a new approach of actually eating some solid food. I typically stick with something really small, but this time I actually had some toast, french toast, and coffee. I started to regret the decision when it wouldn't settle in my stomach right before the race. But it all worked out because once the gun went off, I was in complete race mode. The Pro men's field had a lot of talent in those of Joerie Vansteelant (top athlete from Belgium), Tom Jeffrey (US National Champ), Aksel Nielsen (top athlete from Denmark), Michael Boehmer, Ryan French, and Kevin Smith. I try not to worry about other competitors and just focus on my race.

As usual in the pro race, the front went out fast. Joerie took off and I basically never saw him again. I ran with Tom Jeffrey for a while until the hills starting kicking in. I backed off a little bit because I was already feeling a little tired. I usually can tell if I'm going to have a good race by how I feel at the start. I didn't think I was going to have a good day! Near the halfway turn around of the first 8k run, there was another huge hill! I couldn't believe this run course. I have done plenty of hills in my life, but not this many while trying to race a long distance event. I came into T1 in 3rd place out of the pros with a 5:26 pace for the opening 8k. I typically will run under 5 minute pace for opening this shows that this was a tough course.

Two pics of me runnin' all alone finishing up the first 8k...

Onto the bike...I was drained! The first run took a lot out of me, and I was in no mood to ride hard for 1.5 hours. I did my best to get some power out of my legs, but it just wasn't happening. I rode alone for the first 10 miles until Aksel Nielsen from Denmark came rolling along. Once he passed me I did my best to just ride with him. Not drafting but keeping my distance and stagger rule. I pushed on the cranks and was able to hold my distance with him. The roads were junk out there because of the chip and it was hard to get a decent speed going. At about mile 13, a huge hill came into place which slowed speeds down to 8 mph. I turned the cranks and slowly got through it. At the top of the hill though my legs didn't want to move anymore! After a quick drink and mental toughness, I told myself to keep going and stay with Aksel. We made it through the first loop and onto the 2nd of the 36 mile ride. I actually started to feel better and passed Aksel. I tried to make a move but he stayed right with me. The second loop was actually easier for me and I ended up having a faster 2nd lap than thats a plus! I still felt that I didn't have my usual power that I have been having on my training rides. I'll be rested up though when Long Course Du Worlds comes along on the 21st this month. going into the last run I realllly wanted to get into the 3rd place spot and hold it. I was running with Aksel, but once the hills started, I had nothing. It felt like I was walking up these hills and basically just wanted to stop right there on the course and walk back to lay down in the grass. But of course would I really do that?! No way, I just shuffled along up the hills and basically enjoyed my 4th place position. I knew I didn't have enough energy to catch 3rd and 4th was about 4 minutes back, so I plugged along through the last 8k with no real goal other than finishing in my position. I made it through the last run with a 5:59 pace (slowwwwwwwww!). But overall, it was a good day and a decent race. I just wish I had the energy and power that I typically have. I did have a hard training week so that may have been the cause.

I ended the day in 4th place overall for the pros. It was good progress from my first Powerman race which was in Alabama this year.

Up next for me is the Long Course Duathlon World Championships in Richmond, VA on Oct. 21st. I will be racing in the U23 division for one last time. My goal is to place Top 3 in the U23 division. In the short course duathlon world championships I placed 5th for I'm looking for some improvement.

I was going to run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, but due to needing some time to recover and getting some solide workouts in...I opted to pass this weekend. I really love the Chicago Marathon, but right now my priority is to place well at LC Du Worlds.

*Last note..thanks to my dad for driving me out to all these races. Its been great having somebody to go with and having somebody that supports me so much. I wouldn't be able to do it without him!

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