Got the 2010 season off to a pretty good start at the Lake Havasu Sprint Triathlon, in Lake Havasu City, AZ last Saturday. Drove out from Phoenix with my good friend and fellow Valdora rider, Randy Kastler. Got checked in, registered and had dinner with two great couples, the Johns and Gibsons from Phx. Hit the sack before 9pm and the alarm went off at at 5am.
Started the morning by using The Stick lightly on all my leg muscles for some muscle activation and blood flow...felt great. Set up my transition area and warmed up with a short jog. Put on my brand new Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit. Fit like a glove! Grabbed my Barracuda swim cap and (Predator) goggles and headed for the water. Left my Valdora bike (thanks Pete and Kendra for letting me borrow one so I didn't have to fly mine down from Omaha) ready to roll in transition. I'd fueled up on my Hammer Nutrition products and felt great.
The water was pretty cold but the 500 yd. swim went really well. The wetsuit felt fantastic! I was in the top 5 out of the water and started rolling on the bike sporting my Zeal Optic sunglasses that are super clear and light. Only one guy passed me during the bike - another Hammer athlete, Bruce Balch who took 2nd overall and is a crazy fast cyclist. Hit T2, grabbed my Nathan race belt, threw on my new Avia Bolt racing flats and took off. The shoes felt amazingly light, comfortable and fast.
I hadn't gone fast/raced in 6 months since Worlds last September. Most all my training as been base work, inside, during the worst winter in Nebraska in 40 years. So, I just tried to settle in and have a solid run. Had a calf issue early in the run and started praying really hard. I had to slow down to a jog til it loosened up which it did about 3/4s of a mile later costing me at least a minute. Ended up taking 5th Overall out of about 300 on the starting list, and 1st in the 50-54 Age Group. Drank my Recoverite, used The Stick again on my legs and sat down in the warm AZ sun to drink in some Vitamin D.
I could tell I wasn't in prime race shape yet, but Havasu is always a great early season race to see where I am and where my fitness level is. Definitely carrying around a few extra pounds of winter fat which didn't help. I was happy with the results though. I thanked the Lord a ton for helping my leg to loosen up and get through the race, finishing strong!
Afterwards, as I reflected a bit, I wondered why I don't pray as hard when life hurts as I did when my calf hurt. I mean, I started begging God to help me and touch my leg when I felt it going. Often when I get that leg pain, I'm finished running for 2-3 weeks as the pain is debilitating. However, this time, the pain slowly went away. Lesson learned - lean on God and cry out to Him when the pain that life sometimes brings, hits hard.
Next race - Scenic City Tri in Chattanooga late April when we're on vacation. Gotta drop some lbs. and extend the swim and bike training in the next month...