Saturday, June 30, 2012


The sprint is done!  Woot!

So, Friday morning, I felt like shit.  Absolutely horrible.  I think it has to do with living it up at a baseball game the night before, but it wasn't a good outlook 24 hours before the big race.  It was forecast to be a hot day.. With the race at 9:30, I was a bit worried.

Fast forward 24 hours.. Temperature was warm, not terrible.  I felt absolutely fine, as well.  Winning!

It's funny, you sign up for these races months in advance, and all of a sudden, you're heading out the door for them.

In case any men are interested and stumble across this post as a "What do you wear to a sprint triathlon? search", I wore these tri shorts, and just a C9 tank top.

I got registered, body marked, and found a spot to set up my gear.  Problem.  My big fat tires didn't fit into the 2x4 bike racks they made.  Sigh.  Once again, I look around, and I see the mountain bike is not a bike of choice (there were 2 others though).  I did manage to stuff the tire in and turn the handlebars enough to make it semi stable.

OK, so I go and look at the swim course.. It's a triangular course.. Go to buoy, swim left, go to next buoy, swim left, swim to shore.  Damn.  Those buoys are damn far out.  This whole "skipping the swim" thing probably wasn't a great idea in training.

So, coming into the race, I wanted to have fun.  I had no idea what to guess for time.  I wanted to finish in 2 hours.  I was hoping for a half hour swim, an hour bike, and another half hour for the run.  (Yes, that doesn't leave time for transitions, but whatever).

Before I know it, it's go time!  And.. we're off.  Swim swim swim.  Are we at the turn yet? Oh, no. Not even close.  That's pretty much what I felt like the whole way.  The women and relay participants were let loose in the second wave, so not only did I get to feel the men crawl all over me as they left me in the dust, I got the womenfolk doing the same.

In my younger years, I swam an open water mile a couple of times.  That was 20 years ago, sadly.

I finally made it to shore.  I had debated waiting to take my Gu midway through the race, but I opted to take it now.  (I had actually decided that about 2% of the way into that hellacious swim).  I futzed around a little while just to get my bearings back. As a result, my T1 time wasn't stellar.  I was one of the last people into transition, so it was easy to find my bike. (I wasn't last, though!)  I guess that is a positive way of looking at it..

So, to the bike!

Course elevation looked like (I missed a half mile due to me forgetting to turn on my Garmin):

Yeah, it was hilly.  At about the 2 mile mark, I started feeling a little better.. I think the Gu kicked in. Wise choice taking it early.

In my bike training, I mainly have been doing hill repeats.  A bit sadistic, but I think it helped me today.   I did get passed by a couple of people, but I did pass others as well.  

I passed a guy that was 68.  I hope I'm still doing this sort of thing at that age.

I really started to push it, and I'm happy with the results:

A couple of times I wound up above 30 mph.  That's pretty cool.

The course was an open road, but the county sheriff's office did a good job slowing down traffic for us.

Around mile 9, I was riding along and somehow hit a sawzall blade lying on the side of the road.  Really?  What the hell is it doing here?  I noticed no ill effects on the tire, thankfully, and finished my ride without further issue.

Yeah, I know it's not an uber stellar ride, but for me it was above what I expected.  That was an average speed of about 12.7 mph on a fairly tough course.

I had started my Garmin about 4 minutes late, but I knew I had a decent shot at getting in under an hour, so I kept pushing. 

OK.. T2 time.  Easy for me.. no cycling shoes, I just have to park my bike and go.  Park my bike, start to head away and.... that damn narrow tire slot bites me.  My bike fell over.  Sigh.  I wound up dragging it to the middle of my spot and just leaving it on its side.  Whatever.

Off for the run.  So, at this point, I actually have no idea how I'm doing timewise.  I knew the bike was close to an hour, and probably under.  Other than that, no idea.   I felt pretty good, so I decided to go for it.

Originally, I was going to try to break 25 minutes here at this race, rather than doing the 5K I did earlier in the year. I wised up to that plan and did the 5K instead, just in case I was gassed at this point.
This course was relatively flat, except for the scramble part going up the side of a damn, and later back down:

It was an out and back, with a water station placed at the top of the damn, so you could get water twice.

I hit about 8:24 for the first mile, which included that powerwalkish thing I did up the damn.  OK, let's go for it.  At this point, my core muscles were definitely feeling it.  I had thought about this Friday saying "I should have done more core work.. I haven't been doing that too much lately".  Unfortunately, thinking that the night before doesn't do too much good.

Mile 2 was just a mental game trying to hang on.  I finished that one with a 7:52 pace.  I heard my watch beep indicating that mile was done.  All that was left was to get some more water, scramble down the hill, and run to the finish.

What they say about your ability to calculate times, splits, etc in your head at the end of a long race is true.  My brain was turning to mush.  At one point I thought I could go for a 10 minute mile and make it.  This was just another bear down and pick off people along the way sort of mile.  I squeezed out a 7:37 mile here.

Coming into the finish there were two guys ahead of me.. I beat one, but the other heard me coming and turned it up.  Eh, good for him.  
At the finish, the DJ was saying people's names that crossed, which was a very nice touch.   I got to see the clock, too.  Holy shitballs, it's reading 1:50 something!!

I crossed at 1:50:51.

Splits were:
Swim: 24:48  (beat 30 minutes!)
T1: 3:37
Bike: 56:49 (beat 1 hour!)
T2: 1:11
Run: 24:27 (beat 25 minutes!)

Wow.  Absolutely incredible.  All goals met.

It was a fun race, and I had a great time.  What did I learn?
My swim form isn't that great.  More time in the water needed.
My bike form isn't that terrible, really.  I felt good the whole way.  I was certainly of the slowest bikers, but I think more practice will get me better.
I need more core work.
Running wise, I was of the better runners there.  Go me.
T1 would have been better if the swim hadn't wiped me.  T2 would have been better if my bike didn't fall over. I'll have to look into buying a kickstand or something.

I had a blast.  I think it's probably the last triathlon for me this year, though. I was debating an Oly tri, but the logistics aren't going to work out for me.  I do need more bike time in general first, too. (And swimming. Of course).  I do plan to do more of them in the future, though.  No doubt.

Keep on rockin!

1 comment:

Carolina John said...

You can put some small tires on the mountain bike frame and instantly get that bike speed from 12.7 to over 15 mph with the same effort. Tires make that much of a difference.

Great race! It's tough to save enough energy for a good run, so you pulled really consistent times across the board. I shoot for 90 second transition times, and you nailed that. I say good job all around.