Sunday, July 8, I will be doing the sprint race at the Shawnee Mission Park Triathlon! Although a fairly short race (500m swim, 9 mile bike, and 2.4 mile run), the race itself takes place inside Shawnee Mission Park, one of the hilliest areas around to race at. To add a bit more difficulty, the temperatures should be nice and warm! I love the tough conditions!!!
I'm especially looking forward to the race because it's the only one I'm doing this year that I did last year. I'm hoping to see some significant time improvements. Training after IMKS has been fairly sporadic, which included 10 days completely off following the half ironman. I've been specifically working on shorter distances and trying to get some speed back after focusing on endurance.
Another fun thing about the race will be representing the Kansas Beef Endurance Team! This will be my first race in the Beef Kit, thanks some injuries this spring. I've seen some other team members at other races, and couldn't wait to break out the new singlet!
|Max and I rockin' the cycling jersey!|
Last year, the conditions were really similar to what I expect Sunday: Hot and dry. (Last year's race report)... This year should be no different, other than I know what to expect. I felt like last year was surprisingly hot, where as this year, it's been 98+ degrees for the last 2 weeks. I know it's going to be hot, but at least I'm doing the Sprint!!!
Swim: My swim time last year was pretty awful, but turns out that others had the same problem. Shawnee Mission Lake has some currents throughout, and it looks like my wave got caught in one. My time last year was 10:23 for the 500m swim, or a pace of 1:54/100 yards. This year, I'd like to knock off at least 1 minute (9:23, 1:43/100y). I think it's absolutely doable if I sight and navigate well. The speed is there, I just need to execute with people around me!
T1: After exiting the water, there is a nice uphill run to T1. Last year, my time was 2:27, as I was unprepared for the longer run up to my spot and then struggled to get my shirt on. I will again struggle to get my shirt on, but I think I could cut off 25-30 seconds. If I'm right at 2:00, I will be happy.
Bike: Aww the brutal bike. I'm planning on HAMMERING the entire time! Out of the seat on climbs, not coasting on the downhills, basically hauling ass the entire time. As the day goes on, the temp will rise, and I don't feel it quite as much on the bike. I want to gain as much time as I can on the bike before I start the run. Last year, I was happy with my 30:04 split (18mph), but this year, I'm going to push for a sub 28:00 split (19.4 mph) that should set me up for a good hard run.
T2: Last year, 0:55. This year, 0:50. Should be quick and easy.
Run: I'm hoping at this point hammering on the bike hasn't completely trashed my legs (although it is definitely possible). Although the run is only 2.4 miles, it is flat for about 1/20th of the course. The rest of the time you climb steep hills or fly down them. There isn't a lot of cruising opportunities. I hadn't ran the course last year prior to the race, and died on the run. The last .5 miles of the race is entirely uphill, and I almost cried when I reached it. This year, I'm ready. I know where I'm going to push, where I'm going to back off, all knowing that the end of the race I'm going to be hurting up the hills! Last year's time was 19:53 (8:16/mile), and I'm going to objectively shoot for 19:10 (8:00/mile). It's going to be hot, and I will be hurting, but knowing the faster I go, the faster it's over should help!
Total: My goal time last year was right at 1 hour, but not knowing how much the run sucked really did me in. My overall time last year was 1:03:40, which was good enough for 2nd place in my age group. This year, my goal again will be 1 hour, but this time I'm prepared for the course! I'm going to leave it all out there, and hope my efforts will be good enough for another AG podium! If not, I'm still going to have fun racing! Can't wait!
Thanks for reading!