Verona Triterium is done and dusted and my legs are still shaking from the race!
I have been wanting to do the Olympic Distance for quite some time as i've always heard its extremely challenging! I am fortunate to get to ride these roads for training, but to be racing on them is a different feeling. This year they changed the course due to construction, which forced us to ride up and down observatory road twice! I find that many people seek out races that are flat so they can get the fastest time possible, as fast times look good on paper. I won't deny that I pick races that are flat and fast and racing on flat courses do present their own challenges, but this is one i wanted to conquer for awhile. Believe it or not, Verona Triterium Sprint was my first ever triathlon! This season, one of my goals was to race a lot for than i typically do. I find that racing a lot of sprints and olympics really puts me out of my comfort zone, something i often struggle with.
The week leading into the race wasn't an easy one. While ive wanted to race VT, it wasn't a key race for me so i was training quite hard till Thursday night. Madison Multisport was doing our key run session and i was slotted for 6x800 at 5k pace, with 1 minute of rest. It is a killer session and i had intentions of going easier because of the race on Saturday, but the workout was going great, i was in a good mindset, so i kept pushing.
For shorter races, I do warm up in all 3 disciplines. Bike first, run second, swim last. The run i go through 10-15 minutes of a progression, 5min easy, 3min moderate, 2min at race pace. I then walk for 1-2 minutes then complete 3-4x100m pick ups, with 1 minute of rest. I was feeling ok, not fresh, but just ok.
I need a swim warm up! I typically never swim well without one. I was able to get in a solid 300-400 warm up and felt good. The race started and i was off! The swim was 3 laps where we had to exit after each loop and dive back in, i loved this! Shorter 3 laps is much better on the mind than 1 long triangle. This is why i love IMAZ, 3 short bike loops make the race go by quick! the 1st lap of the swim, there was alot of pushing and knocking... 2nd loop, i found myself in the front of our group knowing that Vant was ahead. It was a confidence booster as it felt like i was swimming well, then somewhere in the 2nd loop my arms started to fall off. 3rd loop i tried my best, but i was suffering to keep them moving. A wave started about 20 second after i went past them and could see a bunch of white caps coming up on me quick, i had extra motivation to get to the buoy before them as i didn't want to get clobbered!
Swim done, 2nd out, cool.
I was passed by Ben in T1 which isn't a surprise, I am very good at Ironman transitions, short course transitions I might as well bring a bucket to sit on and a beer to drink. Once i started riding the first hill, i could just tell my legs were toast. The hard week of training was certainly knocking on my legs! Oh well, carry on! They quickly flooded with lactate and i couldn't generate any power... here i am riding a 40k course with 2,000ft of elevation gain and i'm suffering one Hill #1... sweet! Here is where i tried to settle myself down, "It will be fine, you arent warmed up yet, you'll come good" Nope... i didn't come good. Luckily, no one passed me and i held 3rd the whole ride.
I was convinced that the run was going to be a struggle, but once i started running i felt ZERO fatigue. I felt fresh and light on my feet! At this point, Vant and Ben were probably 3-4 minutes ahead of me and i was trying to hang on to 3rd and have a solid run. Mission accomplished.
Overall, I am happy with the race but it was what it was. I pushed hard when i didn't feel strong but gave it my best. 3rd isn't too shabby but looking for better at Pardeville and Door County Half.