22 August 2012

Turning a Corner

It's been a while since my last entry, so lets take a step back here for a moment.

Nationals this year were in Edmonton at the beginning of July. Although I am not entirely content with my result, I feel I am racing with a new perspective. I do not have wattage yet, but I am monitoring my efforts based on heart rate. I now consider large efforts as "matches" and each effort where my HR goes above my lactic threshold, a match is burnt. This has been helping me to quantify just how hard I am working so I don't overdo it and turn into a useless quivering blob of muscle jelly. (Never a good position to be in.)

Moving onto the race:

I lead out the swim in a last minute decision to go for the swim prime of $500. Once on the bike my goal was to maintain a top 5 placing in the pack. Maintain good position, stay out of trouble and moderate my effort. I felt I did this until the final lap in which I was pinched out on the final 180 degree corner. Playing catch up I arrived into t2 at the back of the field when it counted. I ran ok but not what I am capable of. I finished a disappointing 13th overall and 6th Canadian.

Things would look up in racing to come though....

Upon arrival home, plans went into motion for our annual Hurricane Ridge Climb. My goal was to beat my personal best of 53min from the toll booth. With my HR monitor on I controlled my effort from the beginning, pacing well. I reached the top in a time of 51.44 from the toll booth. 1h 20min and 23 sec from the visitors centre. Good day of riding and looking forward to my next go at it. STRAVA.

Pre Climb Photo

Set as a training race I had been working on my TT position and finally I feel it is dialled in, comfortable and aggressive. I feel I put together a good effort from start to finish. I rode hard to load my legs and ran well off the bike. Results Found HERE.

Swim Exit.

The next weekend, I made a very last minute decision to jump into the Subaru Sooke International Triathlon. "THE CHASE." I enjoyed this soooo much last year and was super pleased to race it again this year. The challenge was to chase down the girls leaving 15minutes before the guys. Yet still competing against the other guys. With TSN out to cover the event it served as a great opportunity for exposure. I swam well, exiting the water with a 50second lead. I knew Jeff Symonds would be on his way. I rode hard to try and hold him off but he caught me as we entered into T2. We ran together for the majority of the run. I put a surge in, Jeff called my bluff and he pulled away. 2nd Male but the amazing Magali Tisseyre held us off to take the overall win. Results Found Here.
TT Effort

It was right into recovery mode for the following week as I had to prepare for the ITU Kelowna Premium Pan American Cup. We had a staging camp in Kelowna for the week leading into the event. It was crutial that I A) recovered from Sooke B) adapt to the heat and C) Activate myself enough to be prepared for the hills and the short efforts it takes for ITU draft legal racing. I entered Kelwona with a bit of a problem though. I discovered that my current race wheels are unfortunately not UCI Legal, meaning I would not be permitted to compete with them. Fortunately Coach Patrick lent me his Mavic Ksyrium wheels from his cross bike. Not bad wheels just not quite the same....

Race Day.

Swim Exit
I had a strong start to the swim but struggled to shake an athlete swimming on my hip. I did everything I could to get open water and eventually swam away. The pace was kept high, with competition between notable swimmers such as Dustin McLarty, Kalen Darling and Brian Lamar. I swam in 3rd place until about 300m to go where I moved up the side to exit in good position.
I lead out of the water with a small group of 8. After the first climb Andrew Russell had worked his way up to the lead pack. Our pack worked well together gaining about 30-40 sec per lap. By the time we reached t2 our lead had stretched to just under 4 minutes. I had a bit of a scare entering t2. Jumping off the bike, my hamstring cramped like no other. I limped my way through t2 worried that my day would be finished before I began the run. Maybe my salt tab finally kicked in but 30m into the run I found my legs and I was off. I worked my way up to the lead runners. Matt Sharpe, Andrew Russell, american Joe Maloy and I ran together for the first lap. I put a bit of a surge in at the beginning of the second lap and I got a small gap. Half way through the run Andrew Russell came past and set a strong pace. The gap between Andrew and I remained about the same for the remainder of the run. I ran hard to the finish for second place 9 seconds behind Andrew R, and 1 minute 15seconds ahead of 3rd. Results Found HERE.
Men's Podium.

What a relief. I have been struggling in the past years. I have had glimpses of positive performances here and there but in Kelowna I finally put together a race! I have had one of the most consistent years of training. From the winter on, I have had no injury, little to no illness and simply a "Pound the Rock" attitude. This is a step. A barrier that I had placed in front of myself has been broken and I hope to keep pressing forward.
Champagne Celebration
Home now we have an active recovery period. Frankly, I can't wait to get back to it with the guys and I look forward to the racing to come.

Hope all is well with everyone,
Ciao for now,
Andrew McCartney
Post Race Hike near Hope, BC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congrats.. I was stoked to see you doing well in Kelowna.
Nice pic of Bridal Falls