Where to start?!

Seriously, where do I start with this one?

I think I’ll go with the fact that I won a race!  I’ve learned from the past, wins are super hard to come by and that it’s really important to bask in the victory.  With all the time, stress, and sacrifices that go into training – both for me and what Alice does – it really deserves sitting back, relaxing, and being proud of the accomplishment.  For all I know, that’ll be the last race win of my career.  So that’s where I want to start – I freakin’ won the race!

2

A few other things that made this one extra special:  After a very sudden and debilitating battle with cancer, we had to put our dog, Casper Jake, of 9 years down on Thursday.  He was a huge part of my life and running – in fact a few years ago we ran a 5k together and managed to take first overall.  I had his dog tag around my neck for the race and dedicated this race to him.

CJ5 CJ4 CJ3 CJ2 CJ1

Due to a hurricane canceling Watermans ½ in 2015, and a broken toe just 7 weeks ago (and two more missed triathlons that I had really trained hard for), I had not raced a triathlon in 399 days (not that I was counting :).  I figure I had about a zillion miles of swim, bike, and run training logged since that last race and I was super eager to get out there.

Finally, to get a win on a day that was filled with “issues” really made me proud.  Some of the challenges were self-imposed:  I only had 20 minutes total of warmup and didn’t have a chance to swim at all before the race;  Wanting to be super careful not to bang my previously broken toe I took T1 and T2 EXTREMELY slow,: That coming out of T2, I completely forgot my race number, had to run back into transition, grabbed the wrong one at first (sorry #40), and then backtrack back out on to the race course.   And some of the challenges were not quite so self-imposed:  The nosepiece on my goggles snapped as I was pulling them over my head, 3 minutes before the start (fortunately, I had just enough time to sprint back to transition, get a spare and sprint back to the start before the gun went off); I got a flat rear tire somewhere on the bike course (looking over my power/mph numbers it probably happened the last third of the race and was just enough so that I couldn’t “feel” it although it likely slowed me down a bit; I actually only noticed the flat when I was rolling the bike out of transition after the race).

All that being said, I’m just pretty happy  to get the win. And a few good takeways from this one:

  1. Keep bringing an extra set of goggles to races (and an extra helmet, and an extra everything…)
  2. The normal warm up that I had been doing for sprint races (a lot more than I did for this race) is critical unless you want to feel like crap
  3. Swim and bike fitness can really cross over to run fitness. I had just 6 total run workouts over the past 7 weeks and all but 1 of them went terribly.  However, I felt pretty darn good on the run and if it wasn’t for me being a bit nervous about my toe, I am confident I could have pushed a bit harder.
  4. Don’t overlook the basics in regard to transitions. e. Don’t forget to put on your race number!
  5. It feels great to be back to racing and I can’t wait for Rev3 Williamsburg ½ in just a few weeks!

Thanks once again to an AMAZING wife who helped make Fathers Day 2016 an extra special one.  Taking care of a 1 year old while simultaneously cheering me on is quite an undertaking.  Special “shout out/kudos” to fellow triathlete Katie Palavecino for winning the women’s race.   And thanks to the Snapple Tri team and all our amazing sponsors: Rudy Project, Xterra Wetsuits, First Endurance, Rev3, Training Peaks, Louis Garneau

 

Gavin FirstPump

Giving Gavin a first-pump as I come down the finish chute