Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pleasant Prairie Olympic Tri Race Report: Him

Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin....not much to tell....little town that sits just north of the Wisconsin/Illinois boarder. They have an outlet mall. That's about all I know about Pleasant Prairie. 

By my score card I believe Pleasant Prairie is one of the best run races in the area. This is my fourth PP race since 2006. We stay a mile away from the race site and having done the race multiple times, we now know exactly what to do, where to do it and when. And in this year of the Mayan I can honestly say that this was some of the most fun I've had leading up to, during and after this race. Not due to performance or weather or all the chicks checking me out in my wetsuit but due to the sheer number of triathlon peeps who were there to race with us. This cult sport of awesomeness has placed so many purely fun and good people in our path. Saturday and Sunday we found ourselves either having plans with or running into; friends, friends of friends that are quickly becoming friends, fiances of friends, neighbors, friend's neighbors, friend's co-workers, fellow tri club members, coaches, co-workers, and even my TRX personal trainer from the FFC. It was absolutely brilliant.

Don't get me wrong...when the gun fires it's game on but boy howdy it's good to see a friendly face out on course and to exchange shout outs, a high five or to even use someone up ahead as a rabbit;)

Enough preamble...let get on with the race recap.

This year marked the second time in 4 years that the race had to be shortened due to overpass or bridge construction on I-94. This is good and bad. BAD - because instead of one sprawling looped course all riders are pinched into the same loop twice (along with the sprint distance btw). GOOD - since I've done this exact shortened course in 2008 I had a baseline for comparison.

Woke the chickens up at 3:30am. Out the door to shake the system loose. Perfect. Back to the hotel for outmeal and java. Hmmmm sweet joe. I like to keep it simple race morning. Stick to the routine. No surprises. No stress. Plenty of time for everything. Thank you to Jen, Nicole, Matt, Kevin (GO KE-VIN!!!!) and Jeff who humored my early morning eagerness and agreed to leave the hotel wheels rolling by 4:30. Got to the site. Did some socializing. Got in around 250-300m swim to warm up. Hung out in the bull pen they had set up and waited for my wave start - seriously - it was a fenced in area for all the was like a cattle call....just find your color cap and wait your turn.

28m 09s 1500.00 meters 01m 53s /100 meters
Tried something new...I shot out behind the lead guys in my wave to get out of the churn, on some feet and really raced the start balls out. Worked for the first 150 to 200 meters....then I had to back off or die. Wow. Very cool if my heart wasn't all up in the back of my throat. Then my sighting went in the crapper the whole rest of the first leg - I was like drift wood. I prolly added 100+ meters of course correcting. I was elephant swimming (you know FAR  RIGHT - get it? its political humor - keep up with me folks). Overall had a pretty good swim - for me. I'm not breaking any records but I was shooting for sub 1:50 per meter and think if my sighting hadn't been off that I would have gotten it. Swim time included run up from beach.

T1 | 1:34
Ok. I've done way better. Wetsuit. Can't live with em, can't live without em.

59m 04s 21.3 miles 21.64 Mi/hr
Last weekend's Horribly Hilly Hundred still lingering deep in the quads. Made the best of it but any "climb" (read overpass) felt harder than it should have. Right calf gremlin whenever I came out of saddle. Those are never fun. Not bad considering I'm all up in the middle of training for an IM. Oh and I totally jettisoned one of my bottles in the first handful of miles. Fortunately it was my water only bottle and not my sports drink. Really really craved pure water throughout ride. Bummer. I made it through all 24 oz of other bottle (GU Roctane laced with two Salt Sticks) but could have used about 8-10 oz of plain old H and 2 Os.

T2 | 1:14 
What is my problem. Should have been sub 1:00 ez. Forgot gel - stupid - had it in hand dropped it putting on shoe and didn't pick it up. Ran almost out then ran back for it. Freakin rookie.

45m 45s 6.20 miles 07m 23s/Mi

Goal - please God no quad cramps. Last year every race I had me a raging case of quad cramps. The kind that make you go all Frankenstein. Every race. Marathon included. So I throttled down and ran the first two miles around 8 minute pace. After mile 3 started pushing it. 4 and 5 even more and then ran last 1.2 in 7:20 (6:06 ave....nice). Course winds back on itself a couple times so really easy for the hunters to see the hunted. Its not the straightest course but it is flat.

So yeah, to bottom line this thesis...back in 2008 a 36 year old Schmitty did this same course in 2:21. Yesterday's 40 year special edition Schmitty did it in 2:15. Just like a fine wine baby.

- Him

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