Consistency Part 参 (San)
Yokohama WTS or Yoko-hammering It
Japan was the final leg of this journey, as I flew into Tokyo for the Yokohama World Triathlon Series race. After less than ideal WTS results in Auckland and Cape Town, I was gunning for something at least consistent with my World Cup racing.
Since the training in Yokohama is pretty tough, we opted to fly in on Wednesday, in time for the briefing Thursday evening. Fortunately, this briefing covered everything important, including emergency evacuation plans in case of a tsunami.
I roomed with the legend himself, Mr 4 time Olympian Hunter Kemper. We had very similar sleep schedules and training plans, which was great. Fortunately he doesn’t talk about his chickens too late into the night (he has 5 and just picked some random cities to name them after: Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London, and Rio).
I felt much more relaxed after leaving China, but I and few others were suffering from some really annoying allergies. The wind had picked up at the end of our stay in Chengdu and for some reason it affected a bunch of us. Weird. After a couple swims and race day rolled around, however, everything was copacetic.
Race morning it was pouring rain and the women’s WTS endured quite a number of crashes. With a bunch of the dreaded ‘luminescent paint’ making the course slippery, I was pleased to see that the rain let up and the course had mostly dried by the time our race started. Mr Sousa made sure to email us to deflate our tires to a safe psi, so obviously I heeded his omniscience. I even had some lighter lenses so that I could see in the overcast day, so I felt super prepared. Like, omniprepared.
I was pleased with my swim, being right up there after lap 1 and then barely missing on the break for the front pack. I was still in a good position onto the bike, but one of the weirdest things about these races is seeing Alistair Brownlee just hang out in the pack. I’m so used to seeing him crush the bike that it’s surprising to have a WTS all come together by the run.
I wasn’t in a spectacular position out of T2, but I opted to not go with the customary 1k sprint. One of the biggest things I’ve worked on this year is having a more evenly paced run. It’s very exciting to go out at 28:00 pace, but it’s a risky gamble which usually turns out painful and embarrassing.
By halfway things had evened out and I was in around 20th, just chilling with a couple other ‘mericans.
About halfway through I still blew up briefly, but rallied-ish quickly and had a strong last few k, moving up to 17th. It was nice to switch up my strategy a bit from Chengdu and pick up the pace over the last 2k. The results had me at 16th for a little while, somehow beating out the 15th place Brit in the least close photo-finish of all time:
I was more relieved than pleased with the race. It was solid all the way around and my previous WTS races had been less than ideal given my fitness. However, 17th isn’t spectacular and certainly a ways from being where I want to finish at trials. WTS races are so competitive that just a little bit off means a big difference in place, so I need to make sure all the little things are done perfectly. Just look at the run splits for positions 14-19:
I’ve been very consistent over the first half of the year, but have I had any knock-out races in this period? Sadly no. That would have been really nice. Much for fun, too. But this season is about figuring out how to crush the trials events later in the year, so first and foremost I wanted to stay healthy, get used to racing again, and not completely screw the pooch (wow, that expression seems much worse written down. Somebody really doesn’t like pooches). I’ve moved up to 37th on the points list, but this solid racing doesn’t mean that I’m doing all that’s necessary in order to have the caliber of race I want in Brazil:
Paulo and I need to figure out how I’m going to make the jump to the next level over the next couple of months. All of the tools are there, but we need to use them to make something pretty incredible. And it’s often difficult to figure out how to actually use your tool box:
Now it’s time to use this smooth consistency to make something explosively texturous during the upcoming critical races. Like a gusher. You think it’s just a candy, and then bam! it erupts all over your mouth. Only hopefully I’ll explode in a less disgusting and more high performance related manner.
Thanks for the support. Follow my next race at 8:30 on June 14th, the Huatulco WC http://www.triathlon.org/events/event/2015_huatulco_itu_triathlon_world_cup
As always, I appreciate the constant support of Kestrel Bikes, USA Triathlon, NYAC, Brooks Running, and my family.