This past Saturday, I competed in my third World Championship Series race for the year. This was my third time back to Spain; as I competed previously in ’06 and ’09. This year, conditions proved to be warmer than usual with temperatures in the low 90’s and water temps in the mid 80’s. Fortunately, Madrid’s climate is similar to Colorado in that it is a very dry heat, so my body is more adapted to this type of weather. Next weekend I will be racing in Des Moines, Iowa…so I will be prepared for the heat + humidity of the Midwest.
All the race action took place at Caso de Campo Park in downtown Madrid. The race started at 1:15pm; however, this was 5:15am back home in Colorado. My nutrition prior to the race for breakfast at 10:30AM was 2 pieces of peanut butter and jelly toast, 16 oz of EFS and 6 oz of Pre-race. I also made sure to take my Mulit-V supplement. Since my body felt like it was getting up at 2am, I wanted to get some Pre-race in my system early to help “wake” me up. While arriving at the race course, I continued to drink another 16 oz of EFS drink and 100 cal of EFS gel flask. At this point, my body was nutritionally ready to go!
The swim was two loops in a large pond, eight loop bike that included a 1500meter climb, and a mostly flat 4 loop run. On the swim, I was first at the turn buoy, but was very cautious about expending too much energy too soon with the warmer conditions. I led the first lap and settled into second position on the second lap behind Jessica Harrison of France.
We had a 300meter run to T1 and all went smoothly. I got on my Fuji SL1-RC outfitted with Zipp 404s, Oval handle bars and ISM Adamo Racing Saddle; working on the first lap, but also conscientious of staying within myself. I had a gut feeling that if I really attacked the bike and pushed the climbs I could dehydrate myself for the run portion. Near the 6th of 8 laps, a large group of riders all merged together, so I made sure at this point to stay near to front to avoid any crashes. I led up the climb on the 7th and 8th laps and rode strong, but did not attack. I wanted to maintain my lead heading into T2; however, with 800 meters to go on the bike I was stuck behind a group of riders and unable to come off in front. There was a crash right near the finish, which was very scary, but I was lucky not to be in the path of the crash. I was very aware of my nutrition during the race and made sure to drink every last drop of my 20oz water bottles. I drank two full bottles of EFS lemon before I exited my bike.
I dismounted the bike near the top 1/3 of the pack, but I had trouble racking my front wheel into the rack and lost a few precious seconds. I started the run relaxed and at a comfortable pace. I didn’t worry about surging up to the leaders too quickly. By the 1k mark a group of six of athletes was running together at the front and I continued to run with this pack until 1 lap to go on the run. At this point, I was beginning to feel the effects of the heat and unable to respond to any surges.
I finished in 5th position, and I am happy with my progression so far this year. I will continue to be working towards my goal of a podium finish in the next two WCS races (London and World Championships in Budapest). Congratulations to the winner, Nicola Spirig…that’s two wins in a row for the Swiss team.
Currently, as I type I am ready to get off the plane!!! I have been up for nearly two days straight with a few power naps in-between, so I am ready for a good night sleep tonight. Tomorrow I will get this body moving again and flushed out so I can get in the last bit of prep training before Hy-Vee on Sunday. Hy-Vee is always a special race for me since it is so close to my hometown I have many friends and family members making to drive to Des Moines to watch the race. Nate’s 30th birthday is on Saturday, so it will be a nice way to share the birthday with family---and hopefully a nice paycheck the following day!