October 31, 2011 on 1:53 pm | In Athlete Profile, Random Musings, Sponsorship | No Comments
By Team TriSports athlete Thomas Gerlach
While most people were busy preparing their Halloween costumes, this week I got to work making myself into a real-life walking zombie. I knew I hit the mark when I walked into TriSports on Saturday for the Tinfoilman packet pickup, and the staff actually commented on how much I looked like a zombie. But that was the plan, and with both the Amica 19.7 Sprint Championship and Ironman Arizona fast approaching, I had little time for rest during my hardest training block ever.
The goal of the Tinfoilman was to get in a fast threshold workout and compare it to a race earlier this year on the same course. Now to be fair, I had crashed 10 days prior to that race, but I thought it would be a wash with the extra fatigue for this one.
Run (17:17) I got back to transition, racked my bike, and swiftly put on my run shoes. I had a GPS watch that I was going to use for data, but it served little purpose in trying to chase down a future Olympian.
I took off on the run with the mindset that I was only 20 seconds down – surprisingly the legs felt pretty good. It always amazes me how much fresher legs feel after short races than the longer races that I am accustom to. On the downside, fresh legs means there are no excuses but to run fast.
The run is a flat 2-loop course that offers multiple opportunities to grab splits. That first opportunity came at about 1K and I was roughly 250 meters down. Ben looked strong, but the gap didn’t seem unreasonable so I pressed hard. I was flying by other participants from earlier waves but my gap to Ben was growing and the signature smile was fading to a grimace. I continued down the homestretch and could only muster a faint “on your left” as I flew by participants. I left it all on the table, but in the end I would finish nearly a minute and a half down.
Overall (55:34) I had my best swim ever swimming 825y in 9:59. That may not impress many – but it continues to show that my swim work is paying off, and a strong swim is key to my success at the next level. The bike was lacking today but I knew it would be and the run was on par. Overall my time was 55:34 and good for second place and was a good minute faster than my race back in May at 56:37.