Hello from sunny San Diego! Well, it’s my final night here in California and it has been an amazing trip. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous with temperatures between 65 and 80. Yeah… it’s a rough life. Just as a refresher, I was out here in San Diego to work with the Navy’s dolphins and sea lions used for various reasons that are strictly classified.
Along with training the mammals, I was able to get in quite a bit of triathlon training to prepare for my first race of the summer – the Los Angeles Triathlon in San Dimas, CA. Coming off of my last race where I failed to finish the run, I was mainly worried about my stomach acting up again. The entire week before I was guzzling the proper fluids and doing extra stretching. Well, to start off the race was a very nice local tri. Even though it was very low key, great athletes such as Ironman World Champion Heather Fuhr stood on the starting line with me. With that said, I knew I had some business to take of.
The start got off smoothly. I was able to draft off of the eventual swim winner for roughly 400 yards but I fell off to come out in second place with a very strong time for the long distance. The bike course was tons of fun. It was a very challenging three loop course. What made it even harder was that I was riding my road bike instead of my race bike: Training wheels, big round tubes, no aero helmet, no aerobars, etc. So from going from 2nd to 5th definitely made me think of how many minutes I would have saved with all my normal gear. So after killing myself on the bike to minimize the amount of time I was losing, I opened up the run focused on not repeating what happened before.
The first mile went by at a moderate race pace to make sure everything was ok. After getting past the single-track off-road portion, I started opening up the speed. Not only did I pick up the speed, but I was flying. For a very hilly run course, I was feeling great. By the end of the run, I brought back 4 minutes from a runner ahead of me going from 5th to 4th overall. After seeing the results, I ended up running a 34:40 10k split which is a HUGE PR especially after DNFing Columbia! I am extremely happy with these results and even more excited to see how I’ll be improving over the summer. Race results - http://runraceresults.com/races.asp?id=rcgr2007
The day after the race then I headed out with 5th place finisher overall for a long ride in the hills of LA. This huge ride took us to close to 6,300 feet and a total of 8,000 feet of climbing. Attached also are a few pictures from the ride. Well, with that I head back to Hershey, PA. It’s been a great time out here in California. Thank you all for your support and help and I’ll see you soon!
Derek Oskutis http://web.mac.com/derekoskutis