Sunday, July 26, 2015

Chula Vista Double, 2015

I have done the Chula Vista Challenge twice.  Last year they introduced the South Bay Sprint, and the option of doing the double.  A sprint on Saturday and an Olympic on Sunday.  However, I was training for IMAZ, and it did not work with my training plan.

However, the double intrigued me, and I signed up for it this year.  While I consider myself a long course guy, 70.3/140.6; I was curious as to how the body would react to racing two days in a row.  So, here we go.

Saturday, day one of the “double.”  500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, 3 mile run.  Well, that was the plan.  We get there, and a San Diego rarity: A thunderstorm.  Lightning over the bay. If you are not familiar with Southern California weather, this is about as rare as it gets.  Real lightning, splitting the early dawn sky as if Nikola Tesla was conducting an experiment.  For safety reasons, the swim was cancelled, meaning it became a duathlon.  A one mile run now in place of the 500 meter swim. 
We migrate toward the start, they play the National Anthem, and then the first group, elites and over 55 will go off in two minutes.  I wish my friend Andrea luck, and get ready as men 50-54 are next.  Holy cow, this is 50-54?  All these guys look like they are 35, and really, every one looks FIT.   Did I accidentely get into a championship wave?  As a note, sprint races usually bring out beginners, and some, um, pudgier dudes.  Not here.  Despite being a now five year veteran, I was the pudgy dude.
If you have read my blogs in the past you know running is the weakest of the three sports for me.  And now, I get to run more.  

They send us away, and I am immediately at the back.  I mean the back of the pack.  We turn around and I realize there is only one person behind me, and I am gaining on one other.  I catch and pass him, and see nobody else.  I get into transition, pretty sure I was 14/16 on the run.  (Confirmed by race results that was right).
                                               Sprint course, on the bike.  Must go FASTER
On to the bike.  Flat terrain, let’s GO!  Flat, but a bit technical with a few turns, one bridge to go over four times, and a bit of rough road.  Two laps, and I was passing people, but not a lot in my AG.  The bike was pretty uneventful, but felt like I could have been faster.  Got off in just over 31 minutes.  Meh.  Would have liked 28.  But okay, it was 6/16 in my AG.  Then run number two.  I deploy a Galloway run method of run/walk and prorate the amount of run vs walk on distance and desired effort.  For the one mile, I just ran it, and ran an 8:50 mile, which is strong for me, despite being at the back of the pack.  I wanted to see if I could sustain that for the 5K.  However, after about ¾ of a mile I realized no, and went to a 90-30 run-walk.  The humidity was taking its toll.  Florida like humidity where the air felt thick, like taking a gulp of whole mile when you are used to skim.   I finished the run in just under 30 minutes, not bad for me, but 13/16 in AG, for an overall of 13/16 in my AG.  Man I need to get better at running. 
Nice post race spread courtesy of the Chula Vista Firefighters!  And a chat with Andrea; who had a good race.   Then the thunder started back up, and it was time to depart.  The afternoon was bizarre.  A light show and bowling tournament courtesy of Mother Nature.
Day two.  Chula Vista Challenge.  1500 meter swim.  40 Kilometer bike.  10 Kilometer run.  Point to point bike.  So logistics, we park near the finish, and get a shuttle to the start, where we left our bikes the day before.
We had a big storm Saturday afternoon, about 1.5 inches of rain.  In San Diego that means bad water quality in the bays and oceans.  That means no swim.  For an Olympic, that swim is now a 5K run!  Uh oh. 
My plan for the day is this: 90-30 run-walk on the 5K.  Ride a bit conservatively because we have a hilly, hot, and humid 10K to finish, which I will go 30-30.
Remember yesterday’s Florida like humidity?  It was more intense today. 
I execute the run plan, and again am at the back of the pack, but felt pretty good.  Just under 30 minutes, and on the bike.  Wow, not even 8:00 AM and scorching hot and humid.  The first 10 miles are pretty flat, then we get about 1200 feet of gain in the last 14 miles.  Kept it steady, with minimal tension on the legs to try and keep them fresh for the run.   Despite this, the sweat poured off my body as if I was a faucet.  At least I did my part to help the draught.  The bike took 1:27, and I felt okay.  Go through the “Ironman style” T2, where a volunteer takes your bike, they bring you your gear bag and you sit on a real chair to change your shoes.  After the shoe change, I am off.  30-30 run-walk.  Jeez it is hot.  I’ve done this before, I know its hilly, but was it this hilly?   Mile one done, mile two.  This is getting hard.  Hard to keep 30-30.  Mile two done, maybe I’ll make it more 25-35.  Yeah, that seems to help.  Mile three done.  Maybe I’ll just go to 30-60.  Okay, much better.  I got this.  Slower than I’d like, but doable.  Mile four done.  Me, run interval, go.  My legs.  No.  We are done.  Me, it is just 30 seconds, we can do anything for 30 seconds.  My legs.  Usually yes.  You realize it’s 93 and Florida like humidity, right?  Me yes, but just two miles and we are done!  My legs, and it will be a slow two miles.  Me, okay, I’ll walk for a bit.  The last two miles were tougher than any point I had during two Ironmans.  Tougher than just about any run.  I have done, but I was done!  The weather, and the course teamed up to crack me like a weak egg, then fry me up.   1:28 to run a 10K.  Ouch.  I track PR’s, not PWs, but that has to be my 10K PW.  I was not last in my AG, I saw an incredible number of people who looked a lot fitter than me walking and struggling on that run.  That is a tough run course without a bike in front, on a 55 degree day.  Put a triathlon the day before, a 5K and a bike right in front, and add in the weather, and it seriously was as tough if not tougher than the marathon in an Ironman. 

                                            Somehow managed to "run" across the finish. 
                                            is that both feet off the ground?
Big thanks to Mike Drury of HT Bikes and Pulse Endurance Sports and his team for putting on this race.  They are always good to the participants.  It is a smaller race, and many people seem to avoid it due to its often hot and always hilly run.  But folks, it’s called the Chula Vista CHALLENGE.  And didn’t we get into triathlon to take on a challenge?  So sign up, it is a good race, nice course, and a challenge. 

Swim:  None used
Bike: Specialized Transition Comp, 50-34 chain rings, 11-28 cassette, Williams 58-85 wheels, Xlab hydration
Run: Saucony Kinvara 5 shoes.

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