August 14, 2014

Tri Santa Cruz: First Race Back

After my ordeal at the Dallas PanAm Champs, I was taken back to Santa Cruz for some recovery time. It was awesome spending time with my family and recovering with my girlfriend Katie Hursey as she was dealing with an Achilles injury. We ended up getting an opportunity to live and train in Boulder, CO until we were both back on track, and it has been amazing! We are both back to full health and training full time and ready to finish off the season strong.

My coach Joel Filliol and I decided it would be beneficial to race the Tri SC because it was a low key, non draft, hometown race that had a nice little Elite prize purse. Since this was going to be my first race back after my seizures, it was a great way to kick things off to prove to my parents, my girlfriend, my coach, USA Triathlon, and myself that everything was truly back to normal. I didn’t have too high of expectations leading into this race, but what I really wanted to do was run a legit 31:40 off the bike.

This was an easy trip to make with a direct flight and my TT bike already being in Santa Cruz at Family Cycling Center. Thanks to all the guys at the shop (and a front wheel from Bevan Docherty) my race machine was already dialed in when I got home.

The Race:
The swim was actually pretty warm for the pacific ocean, but it didn’t matter too much as the buoys were set much to close. I wore my garmin the whole race so I could have some numbers to show afterward, and wasn’t surprised when my watch said 12:53 after exiting the two-lap “1500m” swim.

The run to transition is a significant barefoot barge, and so after T1 when I got on the bike I had about 1:20 gap to the next athletes. Once on the bike I just went for it. I tried to hold my cadence about 98-100 the whole time and had a goal time in mind (since I didn’t have power). The bike was 37k, a little short, but I finished in 52:06 which was just under three minutes faster than my previous best on this exact course!

Once I hit the run it was truly game time. I had my goal in mind (3:10k pace) and did my best to stick to it. The course has a sharp 100m hill just out of transition, and dodging other athletes and casual cruisers along the open path made it a bit harder to keep on pace, but I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the 5k turn around (also exactly 5k on my garmin)  at 15:50. It’s slightly uphill going out, so I knew after the turn around it would be a bit easier to even split the last 5k and I would be able to nail my goal time. I brought it home nice and strong and crossed the line in total time of 1:39.16 and when I looked at my garmin was stoked to see 31:41!

Not only was it an awesome first race back, but my parents, my friend Jason, and my sister (among others) all came out to watch! Even though this is my 5th year as a professional, this was the first race my sister has ever seen me compete in.

Next up is Kelowna PanAM cup in Canada, time to start racking up those ITU points again!

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