No I am not talking about a symptom of a night of imbibing in a few too many spirits, but better still a Triathlon in Ellensburg Washington that rides up and over a hill with that very name. I had heard how this was a notoriously hard bike course and after my near misses and progress at the last couple races, I was hungry for something big to happen. The wind was blowing at a good clip, about 20 mph when we arrived at the river where the swim portion was being held. My coach Daryl said, “This is your course Brent. It is a rough swim and a giant hill for 12 miles on the bike with a headwind the whole way, it was built for you” We started the swim and I was determined to not let the front group put too much time into me. I came out of the water in 29 minutes, for a mile swim it was not bad.Swim stats I got on the bike and went to work. As you can see from the bike file of the race, it was a rough slog up with the hill and I caught first place at about mile 10, from there I put it in my mind to put as much time as I could into everyone else. When I am in that much pain on the bike I always remember the words of one of my personal hero’s, world champ Sebastian Kienle, “If it is hurting me, it is killing them” I pushed on and after what seemed like an eternity, I saw the transition zone and hopped off the bike in a great state of mind. I would find out how far the others were behind at the turnaround point at mile 2. I ran at a good pace, and was feeling great at the turnaround point. I kept on the lookout for 2nd place. When I saw them I gained hope. They all looked tired and I knew all I had to do was finish. I hit the last hill and got a side ache but slowed a little and ran through it. When I saw the finish line I was overjoyed and hit the tape in Peter Sagan fashion.Run Stats I might have been watching a little too much Tour De France lately. Afterword I did a small interview with the local paper and it felt amazing when second place came in 3 and a half minutes back. I am always humbled and amazed at the support of my girlfriend Leslie, my coach Daryl Smith and everyone that works so hard at these events. Thanks to wander brewing with supplying me fuel for the journey. Looking forward to stepping up the competition at Lake Meridian here in August. Here are the links to the newspaper articles if you wish to see some quality journalism. http://www.yakimaherald.com/sports/recreation/bellingham-s-hartwig-wins-whisky-dick-triathlon/article_b1c47bf6-34f1-11e5-844a-33168d839f38.html
I promised a bargain based blog and today I deliver! Two races for the price of one. First Chelanman in Lake Chelan, WA. The races started with initial excitement that I did not prepare for as I was at the transition zone trying to get everything ready that morning, my lovely girlfriend, Leslie, said, “Ok, got your race number? Shit. Nope. Got your timing chip? double Shit.” Luckily my friends who we were staying with rushed them down to me and in the nick of time I was off on the swim. I fought for position in the first 200 meters then settled into a comfortable stroke. Being used to swimming slowly I caught a pack and drafted for over half of the distance, while in hindsight I should have went around and surged for the next group.Swim stats I came out of the water in 27 minutes and went to work making up ground on the bike. It is a fast bike course, being fairly flat and I put the power down.Bike Stats I came in under an hour and then proceeded to run the first 3.1 to the turnaround point. At the turnaround I saw that the person behind me was making ground but I thought I could hold him off perhaps but I could still feel him gaining with every step, I just wanted to see the finish line. He caught me at mile 5 with 1.2 to go, like Lake Padden we ran the last mile together and I kicked early just to see what he had left. He had a lot more than me in the tank, he flew past me on the last hill and I came in to the finish with 10 seconds put on me in the last 300 meters.Run Stats I was disappointed a little but very happy overall as I had set a personal record by almost 5 minutes from the last year. In a later wave the same guy who has won it for the last couple years, Tony, took first by 30 seconds, so I was still on the podium with a 3rd place finish overall and 40 seconds out of first. I knew I could do better but I was very pleased with my progress.
at the finish line I had done everything I could have but all a little too late. This is the nature of short course racing you have very little time to react and to eat deficits put into you on the swim but enough with the caveats. The start was perfect, perfect weather, perfect companions and perfect water temperature. It was a out and back course of a little less than half a mile, the gun went off and the sprint was on Swim stats. I swam well, a little conservative but well. Unfortunately I had to clear my goggles twice because of water and swam a lot of it peaking out of one eye so considering that I was very happy with 12 minutes coming out of the water. I then proceeded to follow my race plan which was to try and chase down the race leaders on the bike. I knew that I would have to have one of my best rides ever to chase down the strong bikers of Kyle Carrick and Chris Hughes as I knew they would be out of the water before me. I did not account for another local strong biker, Joseph Giannetto, after dispensing with him, or so I thought, I went to work looking for the leaders. It was not until the second part of the bike section that I realized Joe had latched on to my back wheel. Now this was a non-draft legal race but I had never dealt with someone drafting off of me in a race so it was weird. I made up my mind to race my race and not worry about what he was doing. As we headed in for the last downhill section before the big climb, aptly named “Bertha” out out of Fairhaven, Joe passed me and I dropped back to the three bike length out of the “draft zone” I tried to pass again twice but he was on fresher legs then me so I decided to wait for “Bertha” to try to make my move. I sprinted up the hill and did not look back flying into transition to the run, T2, I dismounted got my shoes on, to the cheers of my family and friends and ran off. (Bike stats) The ride had put some pain in my legs and so for the first two miles I tried to find my rhythm. At mile 2.2 I saw 2nd place, Kyle Carrick, who is a world class runner, and a slight bit of hope hit me. I put some gas on the fire but no response so I settled into a rhythm again and tried to hang on for the second lap, knowing the whole time that Joe was chasing me down. On the second lap I was shooting for a negative split of time from the first lap compared to the second. I was running through and Joe caught me at mile 4 out of a 5.2 mile course. I was spent but he spurred me on with encouragement to run my fastest mile split and finish strong. We sprinted the last 200 meters and he beat me out by 5 seconds for 3rd place.(Run Stats) I crossed the line exhausted by thrilled with my 4th place overall and a personal recorded from last year off 6 minutes shaved off my total time. The beer and Ice cream did flow, let me tell you! Next race is The Chelanman and I look towards it with great anticipation as I have a couple of hard build weeks here and am feeling great right now.
Very few races have required me to dig as deep as the last mile in this one, and I did so while watching 3rd place slip through my fingers no matter how hard I tried. Every race I have had this season has been many lessons learned and this was true once again for this race. As you can see in this picture
- 1:40:46 Overall
- 12:29 Swim
- 1:09 T1
- 52:11:00 Bike (fastest)
- 0:43 T2
- 34:17:00 Run
P.S. Also got my pic in the paper woot woot
So the Lake Padden, 26.7 world championship is this weekend! Woo Hoo. All of the Bellingham area triathlete greats will be racing it, some coming off of very big races and great performances a couple of weekends ago. It will be a great race to say the least. Unfortunately I have been battling a cold for the last several days and recovery from this has cut into my building days but I will be well rested for sure, and after a quick run through tomorrow we shall see how the ol’ muscles feel. Today on the docket I have feet up and a little light yoga to keep it loose. The course itself is a classic with a very short swim across the lake, less than 1/2 of a mile and then onto a very popular bike around the Lake Samish, with a finishing two laps around lake Padden. We all know the course well and we all say that we are running our own race, which we are but somewhere deep inside we also are competitors and it will be interesting to see how it plays out amongst friends with perhaps some non-locals sprinkled in there. The one change this year that will be interesting is that it will be very hot, above 80 for the day, which is unseasonably warm and some of the roads have been repaved so we should see some fast bike splits. Either way feeling great.
So let me start off by saying that the race was indeed a great success, just in case I failed to bring that point across. The Location of the race, in Moses Lake, Washington and the weather which had been quite warm had finally cooled off to a pleasant 80 degrees. The lake was warm at 75 degrees and I was worried about it becoming a non-wet-suit legal race. As a adult onset swimmer, the idea of a non wet-suit race makes me shutter as it adds about 15% of a time penalty because of the decreased buoyancy provided by the wet-suit. My childhood friend Dan made the trip with me and we found a great place to camp out and did a quick run through of the course to familiarize ourselves. I was nervous that my legs had not recovered from my Mt. Baker climb the weekend before but in the run through they felt great so it was time to put them up and grabbed some dinner. I have had great luck with sushi as a pre-race meal as it has a good balance of rice carbs, which my body loves, fats and proteins. With sushi ate and the last gear check finished we closed up the tent and got some sleep. The morning greeted us with clear sky’s and comfortable temperatures, as we made our way to the course. Set up was a breeze and I got in the water for some warm-up strokes. Recently my coach, Daryl Smith, had tweaked my stroke length and I had seen significant improvements in the pool but as this was the first race of the season I had yet to see if it translated in the open water. We all lined up in the water and the gun went off at 8:00 am. With heart pounding in my chest I battled for the first buoy. I found several people to draft off of during the race and I felt as if several times that led me a little off course so as I came out of the water I was expecting a time of 28 minutes or so for covering the 1 mile distance. I was blown away, 24:30! (Swim Stats) I went to work on the bike picking off people as I went and approaching the turnaround on the out and back course. I saw one rider on a beautiful Cervelo P5 (a 10,000$ bike) coming fast back. My heart sank a little as I saw his ITU jersey with his name on the back, signifying that he had been to the world champs at some point in his career. Still, on I fought, pushing that much harder. (Bike Stats) I flew into transition and found my legs quickly off the bike. The goal was to keep comfortably fast off the bike, with a good rhythm until the turn around on the 10 KM course. I saw the leader again when he hit the turn around and it looked like I was slightly gaining on him. I put the hammer down but my form fell to shit and as a result so did my split on mile 4. I regained composure on mile 5 and waited till mile 6 to hit it again. (Run Stats) My legs responded better and I finished the race with a time of 2:01:53, 2nd place overall, and with PR’s in all three categories! I conversed at length with the race winner Mike Vrbanac, a racing legend, who had just moved back from North Cal and learned a great deal about racing in general. It is amazing to talk to someone with over 30 years of racing under their belts and still going strong at 57 years old! Inspirational for sure. Overall i could not be happier with the outcome and I feel very good about the upcoming races for the rest of the summer. Also this is my new pump song. Racer X out.
As Huey Lewis says, It is hip to be square.
All the forgone beers, watching what I eat and working out most every day, we shall see if it pays dividends. I am feeling really good about this race coming up, the Moses Lake Olympic distance (well just shy of Olympic) despite the fact that it might be too warm for wet-suits and the fact that I climbed Mt Baker on Sunday and my legs have felt much better, it could be worse. I am looking forward to a great weekend of racing followed by some nice relaxation with some of my favorite people. Usually I like to put in some more work before a race, with a true taper program but I feel like I have been sitting around trying to recover from the Baker climb that I hope it all comes around in time. The course should be hot, windy, hot and flat. Sounds like a blast. I am looking forward to a fast run though and Budu racing usually puts on great events. I am hoping for a top 5 finish and if all conditions are right a time of around 2 hours and 3 minutes. Time will tell!
Happy Monday! Here are the cheats for the week, more philosophy than hard facts but they set up very well what I am trying to do here.