“It don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, Winnings Winning.” When Dominic Toretto said this in Fast and the Furious, I don’t think that in the back of his mind he was thinking ‘Yea but I’ve got a nicer car or, I’ve been training my whole life’. This idea also led me to recount Mirinda Carfrae’s Ironman World Championship win in 2010 when Chrissie Wellington (one of the greatest Ironman athletes of all time) remarked that there shouldn’t be an “asterick” next to Mirinda’s name. Chrissie said that just because she wasn’t able to start the day, nothing should be taken away from Mirinda, who won that day and became the best in the World. So, just because one races against a field that may be less serious or not have the physical capability to win, a winner shouldn’t discount what they’ve achieved.
Yesterday I won the 8th Annual Tri for Acts of Kindness triathlon. I included this sprint triathlon in our season build up to IRONMAN Arizona while planning the season a few months ago in Alice Springs, Australia because I wanted to go back to the basics, starting small and working up. I looked to it as a way to gain more experience on the 57+ triathlons already completed, maybe meet some new people in our new home, and have fun. And at $90.10 it was by no means cheap when I was spending $5 back in Alice. But, it was for a good cause: “to put smiles on the faces of underprivileged at-risk, and medically fragile children.” (Search The Shyann Kindness Project for more information).
Friday after work I headed to pack-it pickup near the Oro Valley as TriSports has now closed. I got home and legs felt yuck. I decided to take the day off to be fresh for the race. Fiona did my prescribed workout of 3x15min @ FTP on the trainer. We still are not back on the vegetarian diet and opted for pepperoni pizza and a box of wings. I flushed it down with a half bottle of red wine, hit the sack at 9:30pm and arose to the alarm at 4:15AM.
2 pieces of Raisin Toast and a regular Red Bull. We left at 4:45AM for the 45min drive the La Mariposa resort in Eastern Tucson. Upon arrival, we set up our bikes in Transition and I soon realized that the emails were correct, this would be all about fun. I saw one person with a disc wheel, 1 aero helmet, and a few TTs. I didn’t use my disc or aero helmet but had my ASTC Tri Suit since I’m still waiting on my gear from our Australian shipment. There were more than 200 athletes performing in the 5k, duathlon, and sprint triathlon. Race review and then we headed to the 25yards x 4 lane lap pool.
After 5 minutes of one woman trying to get the 3 stubborn ducks out of the pool, we began. For the next two hours, Fiona and I sat patiently at the side of the pool watching first-time triathletes attempt the 300yard swim. At one point 8 swimmers were doing backstroke. And I then saw one using a snorkel. Really? As soon as one swimmer finished, a new one jumped in. They started with a blind girl bib 56 and Fiona 176 and me 182 knew it would be a wait. The ducks continued to swim across the multiple lanes. Finally, it was our time having finished a second red bull and packet of shot bloks, 2 hours earlier.
Fiona jumped in and took off. A few minutes later, guess which lane they put me in? My swimming has been minimal lately and I’m glad the swim was only 300yards. I past Fiona; I knew she’d be pissed. At 4:10 (1:31/100meters) I emerged to great support and ran to T1. I decided to wear my shoes for this race and ran with my bike to the mount line, knowing I need a ton of work on my swim…
I headed out straight on the road which was complete crap; basically a colander or a siv on its side. Once at the main road, it didn’t improve but I was passing the field and pushing as hard as I could. Thankfully my Garmin 920XT was picking up my power but my HR wasn’t picked up and my Garmin 820 Edge wasn’t picking up anything! So to the person that wondered why I had a computer on my bike? Yea, I was wondering the same!
Near the half way point I past Fiona and had a cheeky moment by putting my finger into her butt cheek during the pass at 24MPH. I saw one guy on a TT riding with his shirt off. Really? I also past the young bloke from the UofA who was wearing a TriCats kit who I thought would be my main competition. Head down, the power was hovering on 307 watts NP but then fell down to 290 at the finish w/ my inability to power through the mine field. The course was short from the 13.3miles advertised to 13.0. I covered it in 33:14 @ 23.49MPH and 291NP which is a 90% IF. My FTP test from the prior week was 323, so this was pretty decent. It was only 10 watts lower than 2 years ago when I won the 31st annual Alice Springs Sprint Triathlon.
Off the bike w/ shoes still on because I didn’t want to run and the tough bitumen I sat down in T2 to put on socks. My new Altra Torin 3.0’s on and cap and I took off. HR wasn’t working but I just wanted to run as hard as I could on the day. After the first mile in 7:00, I went again 7:00 and then 6:58 finishing the final .6 mile (way longer the 5k advertised) at 6:56/m. I went 21:44 for 5km. I’m pretty happy with this run. It’s not as fast I’ve gone over the last 5 years but it’s not that far off. I’d say my self-coached training plan is working quite well.
I ended up the overall winner and Fiona was the overall female winner and 4th overall. We had fun and loved seeing the spirit of triathlon completed by so many on the day coming from so many different backgrounds and body shapes. I don’t expect the other 200+ athletes to be doing what Fiona and I do but I do hope that we inspired some of them when they saw us out there on the day. We love triathlon and are so happy to see others enjoy what has really impacted both of our lives.
The race took up much of the day and really put a hammer in our training for the day. But I ended up doing 2hours easy on the trainer followed with a 37min 4.3mile run at 3pm when it was around 95F-100F.
Sunday I started off with a 4.5km swim at Rancho Sahuarita and then joined Fiona for a 5hour 97mile ride from Sahuarita to Pistol Hill. Fi saw Professional Triathlete Heather Jacksons Instagram from there just the other day and I said we’d check it out. We did it twice then headed to the 200mile long Loop around Tucson. We headed back past the airport and Fiona finished with a local Strava KOM near the Casino.
With 19.8hours split between 27miles run, 231miles bike, and 6miles of swim, I’m not terribly happy with my Build 1, Week 1. But it is more than Base 3, week 1 of 14.3 hours. I’m still struggling to find my groove and motivation but understand that comes with building habits and just sucking it up.