After Leon's and Twin Lakes, I was a bit disappointed. Neither race went bad, but neither race went particularly well either. I really didn't want to wait until Vegas to race again so I made a last minute decision to race the Lake Zurich Triathlon. I decided to approach this race a little different. My typical Olympic distance or shorter race plan is swim hard, bike as close to LT as possible, and then hold on for the run. For Lake Zurich I decided to race an Olympic distance like a HIM and pace myself all day and pay attention to my nutrition.
Swim – It was two warm for a wetsuit which was good practice for me. I lined up slightly to the outside and decide I was not even going to think about drafting or packs or anything until at least 5 minutes or more into the swim. I did my thing and about 5 minutes in started to look around. I managed to lose the lead pack and was a good bit in front of the next group. So I ended up swimming 24 minutes on my own and came out with no one in sight in front or behind me. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with a 24 minute, solo, non-wetsuit swim. The best part was that I never pushed too hard and came out of the water feeling great.
Bike – Usually I leave T1 at full speed and see how long I can hold on in short races, this time I held myself back like in a HIM and let my heart rate settle. Then I took some calories in and slowly worked up to speed. Instead of trying to average my goal watts, I used the same target as an upper limit and never went above it. I slowly picked off the guys in front of me and worked my way up to second. 1st was far up the road but on the straight away I could see the lead vehicle. I really wanted to go after him but I stuck to my plan. On the second loop, I was passed on the bike. I felt my cadence pick up and I kept starting to close the gap but I stayed back and let him get a little in front of me. I really wanted a good run at this race so I just sat back the rest of the race and keep 1 and 2 in my slight up the road. I ended up riding just over 59 minutes and came into T2 in 3rd and down by about 15 seconds… but my legs felt great.
All in all, it was a pretty good day for me. I felt awesome from start to finish. I crossed the line feeling great and easily could have kept going. I didn't win, and even if I knew the guy that passed me was in the wave behind I probably could not have made about two more minutes on him. I'm pleased knowing that I put in a very controlled but solid effort. My gear, pacing, nutrition, and body all felt great.
Now onto a solid block of training to get ready for Vegas.