Sunday, July 11, 2010

Colonial Beach Olymic Triathlon Race Report

So last night I got a great nights sleep and woke up promptly at 4:15a. I ate some wheaties for breakfast and left as soon as my cousin came in around 5a.

It was a cool and almost clear morning. We arrived around 6a as the sun was coming up over the horizon. It was really cool. I quickly got numbered, picked up my timing chip, and had everything set up for my race. I had a few butterflies, but I have always been told having a few butterflies was a good sign, so I felt pretty good about what I was about to do.

Once I got everything set up, I saw my buddy Lars. We talked for a bit and then headed to the water to warm up for my swim. They said water temp was 82 degrees and it felt GREAT! Also, the river was a salt water river and I could feel the extra boyancy.

They lined us up in the water right off the shore and blew the horn. We had to swim into the sun, which made sighting the boeys a little bit more challenging. 250m into the swim we made the 1st right hander and I could feel a current pushing me. 250m again and we turned once again towards the shore. Once we reached the shore, we had to pop out of the water, run over the timing mats, and then pop back in. As soon as I hit shore, I was a bit disoriented(spl?)and struggled to find my land legs and my heart rate spiked. So getting back into a rythm again once I hit the water was tough at first. 200m before the swim was over, the fastest female swimmer caught me and flew right past. I tried tucking in behind her to draft, but it only lasted for maybe 50m, and she was gone! She must of been a year round swimmer. My 1500m swim lasted 26:30.

I hit the shore and ran into T1. Threw my bib belt, shades, and helment on and took off. It went SO smoothly and fast, I thought for sure I had missed something, but a quick glance over my stuff and I couldn't see anything missing, so I took off. I was in and out in 1:19.

The coolest part was as I left T1, the Bell family was waiting there cheering. They are one of my swim families that I coach swimming year round. Kudos for them waking up so earlier and driving an hour down to watch me race! THANKS GUYS, YOU'RE AWESOME!

I mounted on my bike and once I got going, slipped my feet into my shoes. It took me like 15 minutes to find my land legs. I had 6 miles of flat rode before I started hitting the hills and it took me 4 of those miles to be able to get use to being vertical again. It was tough at first, but once I really got going, I was flying. Even some of the uphills I was flying at 21-22 mph, it was just a fast course and Everything just felt Great! I took gel packs at 10 min and 50 min into bike for fuel and water every 10 minutes. The middle 12 miles were rolling hills and actually weren't as bad as they had looked on friday. There was one nasty climb going both ways, but other than that, I was flying. I finished my 40k(25 mi) bike in 1:10:35 or an average pace of 21.4 mph. Absolutely the fastest bike ride I have EVER done, by far.

I slipped out of my shoes maybe a 1/10 of a miles before T2. I ran into T2, set my bike on the rack, and sat down to put my socks n shoes on. The socks slipped on almost effortlessly, despite being moist from sweat. Slipping out of my shoes before T2 helps evaporate any moisture. Then slipped the shoes on and pulled the draw string shoelaces and took off. Again, everything went so fast, I had to take a 2nd glance to make sure I got everything. I took my last gel with me. I was in n out of T2 in 1:24.

As I ran out, I saw my cousin and the Bells. The adrenaline was pumping and I felt SO good at first. I thought I was going to blow away this 10k run. Then maybe a 1/4 of a mile out, it was like my legs were hit with a hammer. Everything tightened up. I took me 2 more miles before I was able to loosen up and open up my stride a bit. I took my gel maybe a mile n half in. I didn't want to take it too soon off the bike and get sick. There was 3 water stations placed almost every mile for the 1st 3 miles, and then you hit the turn around and hit those same 3 again. It was nice being able to grab water every mile. The run was pancake flat. I felt alright up to mile 5. I was starting to hurt a bit. I didn't have much after hammering the bike. I felt myself slowing up a bit and a couple times I almost walked, but knew I was only about 8 minutes away from the finish line. I finished with my cuz and the Bells cheering with a run split of 46:15 or a pace of 7:28. That pace shocked me a bit when I saw my results. I thought for sure I was barely hitting an 8 minute mile, but I'll take it. No Complaints!

Overall I placed 26th out of 176 entries with a time of 2:26.04ish (not sure how many entrants actually showed). Also, I placed 1st in my age group! and won a $25 gift card! I was quite proud. lol =) Overall, it was a great day! I tried thinking what I could do differently, and honestly I really couldn't find much. Probably should of kicked more at the end of the swim to warm up the legs. Kind of zoned out in the swim and forgot about that. And minor tweaks here and there. Everything just went so smoothly.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Colonial Beach Triathlon on Sunday!

Today I went to packet pick up. My race isn't till sunday morning, but I decided to go today to see if I could ride the bike course and get a good feel for it. As I was driving into Colonial Beach, however, the roads that the bike course was on, were narrow and had a bit of traffic on it, and with a speed limit of 55, I didn't feel comfortable riding by myself. I did however drive the course. It is an out and back ride. The first and last 6 miles are FLAT, almost as flat as a pancake. Afterwards you hit a few rollers and eventually you get to one big hill. Its bigger on one side, so I will only go up that side once and then coming back will be able to fly down it.
The run is even more flat and runs along the shore. It's a pretty cool run course, and driving around it, there was plenty to look at.
The water looked choppy today and had white caps all over the place. I've never swam in such a wide body of water before. The past tri's were either in a calm lake or a pool. I'm looking forward to battling the chop! The whole course looks like a lot fun and fast.

I know a lot of people make predictions or goals to try and accomplish for their race, and I am typically one of those people. But this weekend, being its my first race in over a year, I've decided to go out and just hammer away and see what happens. I just want to give it my all, leave everything out on the course, and have no expectations and no pressure. Just do my best and I get what I get.
With that said tho, I want to beat my competition too! lol. I found out that the relay team I am going up against has a state champion cross country runner. I already knew they had a jr national swimmer. So I don't think I stack up very well against them, the only way I know I can beat them is to beat their cyclist up pretty bad, but I looked him up on google (i know, stalker lol)and found some results dating back over the past decade. Looks like he's experienced, and cyclings my weakest leg. So, I am not going to be too concerned with them.

On the other hand, ever since my buddy got me into triathlon, ive been wanting to race him. And everytime we sign up for the same race, something happens where one of us can't race. Well hopefully, if the weather doesn't rain, I think I'll get my first shot at racing him. I am much faster on the swim and run, but the man is sick nasty (yes I said sick nasty lol) on the bike. So he'll easily erase any lead on the bike, and I'll have to track him down on the run, maybe.

Also, theres only 5 guys in my age group. I'm sure 1 or 2 of them will be really fast. I'll let you all know how I stack up to them on Sunday.