I raced the Blue Lake Olympic last Sunday and am happy with the result.  I really did not know what to expect going into the race for several reasons.  1) I had just race my first A race of the year 2 weeks prior 2) I had done very little training since Boise 3) Blue Lake Olympic  draws the toughest competition of any local race… It is also the TRI Northwest Team Competition so there was a great deal of Ironheads racing. 

I approached this race like I do all races and set my 3 goals.  I reached my C goal, to get an AG award.    I arrived at the race about 90 minutes prior to the start.  I was feeling really relaxed, and it was cool chatting and b.s.ing with the other Ironheads.  I went for a light warm up jog with Jason and Ryan, then put on my wetsuit and headed to the water.

I went in the first wave and lined up in thefront. I sprinted the first 300 meters or so, I think I led till then, but my shoulders were burning already and I let up to a good comfortable pace.  I caught a nice draft for a couple minutes but then decided that this group was probably a little to fast for me and I would have to let them go.  Just after I made the turn, Frickin Ian Thorpe or Michael Phelps passed by me.  Seriously, I think I could have water skiied behind this guy.  Not to gloat but I think I am a pretty decent swimmer and this guy started a minute behind me and flew by me at the turn.  Anyway, I began to struggle a bit, and I am bummed that I cannot seem to find a consistent pace for these mile type swims.  I either go out to hard and don’t have enough left by the middle, or go out too slow and have too much left.  So I came in at 21:28 for just under a mile swim, not bad but I expect to go faster than that.  I also stood up to early at the exit and I seem to do this quite frequently also, so I could not run out of the water, because I was still too deep.


 T1 was fine no hang-ups, in and out in 2:01.  Solid.

Out on the bike I was passed immediately by a woman, what? Yep!  Don’t worry, as soon as I got my feet into my shoes I passed her back, but it made me realize that I have got figure out how to do that faster (Not that I don’t know that there are women faster than me).    So out on the bike, I just could not get my legs going.  I was given a power CAP by my coach for the first 10 minutes, and I could not even come close to reaching it let alone worry about going over it.  My heart rate was also very low for the perceived effort I was giving, I say perceived, because clearly the actual work was not there.  So once again I began to get discouraged on the bike and as I approached the turn, the six guys in front of me started coming back toward me.  The first 3 were clearly out of reach, but I set out to grab the other 3 one by one.  At the last turn, I could see that Ciaverela  was making up some time, and so was Bill Thompson who started a minute back.  Bill was flying! At mile 19 I passed the 3rd guy, but gave him a ride for a mile or two and he passed me back and went into to transition right ahead of me.  He was also in my AG so this pissed me off.    Bike split: 59.46 not so happy about that.  But I am ertain that I negative split the bike.

T1 was fast, 1:16, and I passed said guy, Dave Campbell, in transition.

I was not feeling the run, the legs were sluggish to start, and I knew that Campbell was a runner and knew he would be coming for me.  I also knew Ciav would be coming in due time.  I pulled the ultimate rookie mistake several times and kept looking back to see where they were.  I seemed to be keeping Campbell off, but at the turn both Ciav and Campbell were 30 seconds back.  See Ciavs blog to get the low down on that race.  So with a mile to go I could hear the familiar footsteps and breathing of my favorite training partner!  He said to me “perfect day”; and I am thinking “not really time for a weather conversation Dave” He passed me at 5.5, and I hung on his feet.  He made a few surges and I battled to hang with him, just as I thought about making a push to pass him at the 6 mile mark he surged again and I had to let him go, I was happy to finish 6 seconds behind him.   Run Time 39.36, I’ll take that for this race!

Overall, happy with the results I finished in 2:04.08, good for 6th overall and 2nd in my age group however I got the 1st place AG award because Roger Thompson, 39, was the overall winner, and AA sports does not allow double dipping in the awards ceremony.

I learned a lot in this, my second Olympic distance race.  Dave Ciaverlla, who has really mentored me this season, gave me allot of much appreciated advice following the race.  I have really been enjoying the racing scene this year and with great consultation from Scott, my coach, we have decided to add some more, shorter racing and incorporate them in with my Ironman training.  Next up is Hagg lake Sprint on July12th, followed by the Deschutes Dash Olympic in Bend the very next weekend.

I am excited to leave tomorrow for Ironman Coeur De’Lene, to get some solid training in, volunteer at the race and sign up for next year!  I m going up with teammates Jake Barakat, Ryan Jasperson, Jason Kurian, and Darin Shields.  Should be fun!