I missed out on a couple of scheduled races in May so
I decided to race the Deuceman HIM in Show Low, AZ
earlier this week. It was a bit of a last minute
decision, but I thought I could do well there despite
a lack of planning. It was an altitude race: swimming
around 6300 ft, riding between 5500 and 7000 and
running around 6300 ft.
Unfortunately my altitude acclimization had faded
after 2.5 weeks in Grand Junction (4600 ft). I felt it
immediately at the swim start as I blew up like a
champ and was forced to throw in some backstroke every
100 meters to avoid hyperventilating.
The race just sort of declined from there. I felt
quite weak on the bike, but the thin air makes for
fast(er) bike splits no matter what so I was hoping to
at put together a reasonable run split and call it a
day. I ran one good mile off the bike and then began a
nice 12.1 mile jog/walk-aid-stations cool down. It was
frustrating, but it happens. In my case, it happens in
two consecutive races because of two entirely
different reasons. Lessons in humility, I suppose.
I had a race like this last year at Ralph's where I
limped into the finish line in 4:44 or something. I
finished this one in 4:33 so I made a subtantial
improvement on my 'blow up' PR.
I learned more about altitide as a result. Even though
I included training at 5000-7000 while living at 4600
ft, its not enough to show up at the race site 48
hours beforehand. The 24-hour rule would still apply
as my body had gone into 'acclimization mode.'
On the plus side, my two buddies, Chris and Marilyn,
won the men's and women's race and will be taking back
a grand total of 6,000 USD to Boulder. They both
looked really strong out there. They embodied the "I
want to look like him/her" characteristic. Real "Eye
of the Tiger" stuff.
I'm back in my adopted home of GJ again and its look
like there is a good chance that my father will be out
of the hospital on Monday. The fingers are crossed.
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