Rewind the clock to 2012, and if you ask multi-sport endurance rookie Brian Sica what he would change, the answer would be, “I should have been a Duathlete, swimming sucks.”
Fast forward to June 28th, 2015, Trirock announces that the swim portion of the Philadelphia Triathlon has been cancelled. My first reaction, “Now I definitely won’t place.” Seriously dude? It’s amazing how my perspective on the sport has changed over time as my swimming has made leaps and bounds, while the other two sports have come along a little slower. However, part of the event being cancelled isn’t reason enough to not race, as my first coach told me in the middle of an attitude scolding, “Brian, you’re not a pro, unless you’re hurt, you have to finish.” Last year at Philly, in a holy attempt to raise the metaphorical middle finger to my old coach, I did hurt myself. This year was a shot at redemption.
40 KM Bike – 1:02:32 – 39th Overall and 2nd AG:
The bike has been a big pain in my *ahem* for the past two years. Quality workouts are hard to come by, and they haven’t stacked on top of each other as neatly as I would like. That being said, this was a really great ride, and this season I can feel some real progress in the aerobars. It helps that I love the Philly ride, it’s technical, has a little bit of everything, and keeps you engaged the entire time. There are opportunities for every type of rider to excel, and since I excel at nothing, but do everything reasonably well, I excel…did you follow that?
Still, progress is not only absolute, but also relative. I still have a little ways to go to catch the people out in front of me, so I am back at Computrainer two days after racing.
10 KM Run – 39:01 – 50th overall and 2nd AG:
The Philadelphia run is commonly perceived to be “fast” because it’s flat. For some reason, I have never thought of it this way. The run is very hot – I am in the last wave, so that doesn’t help – and the last half is a great opportunity to work on your tri tan. On a more personal note, I don’t seem to do very well with flat runs. The run at Westchester has scattered inclines and declines and then finishes with a flat section; those hills in the help me stretch my legs and hold the flat sections hard. I doubt this phenomenon is unique to me, but it means that I am not in the majority of athletes looking to PR this run.
Don’t let my excuses fool you though, that’s not the only reason why I was a bit slower on this run. I can see into my future and it tells me I need to up my run volume soon because I can feel a 37-39 minute 10k plateau coming. Honestly, I’ve never had big time run weeks – I have always feared my body would betray me if I did too much running. Pretty soon though, 20-30 mile weeks aren’t going to cut it, and I wonder how successful I could be if…I don’t know…doubled it? It is something to think about.
Overall – 1:42:32 – 43rd overall and 1st AG:
I really, really wish that they hadn’t cancelled the swim at this race. Progress in that discipline over the last 6 months had me shooting for less than 20 minutes, which was not only possible, but also expected given the quality of my swims recently.
However, of the 42 people ahead of me, only 6 were in the proper Age Group category – the other were men/women pros, or in the Elite AG division. Rewind the clock to my last finish at this race and the number was a whole lot more than 6. All-in-all, I can’t argue with progress, just need to put my head back down and power through.