This was just kind of a crazy idea my wife and I had (she credits me) to break up the monotony of marathon training. It forced us to add some more cross training (biking and swimming) and gave us an intermediate goal. I was always a bit slower on the swim than my wife, but I really enjoyed the time I spent on the bike. I came to enjoy biking days about as much as I enjoyed running days. Leading up to the race, I did my fair share of bricks and had been putting in 2 days a week in the pool and about 45-60 miles per week on the bike. I probably wasn't as trained as I had hoped to be, but I knew I could finish it.
So the race... 500 yards in a lake, 15 on the bike, and 3.2 miles for the run. My goal was to finish, but I was thinking it would be nice to be under 1:30:00. All times are based what I remember when I saw the prelim results. I'll post the official times when they are online.
I was in the first wave on the swim, and since I am not very fast in the water I stayed to the back of the pack. I tried to focus on being smooth and not working too hard. I even slowed down a good bit to keep from swimming on top of some of the people in front of me. I got into a good rhythm and passed a few people. I don't think I'll ever be the fastest out of the water, but I took this one pretty easy and was therefore very happy with my swim time. I could have been faster if I hadn't been cutoff around both buoys.
I should have thought more about this transition. I stepped on my towel; put on my shirt, sunglasses, and helmet; threw on my socks and shoes; put some sports beans in my jersey pocket; un-racked my bike and headed out of the transition area, galloping like an idiot in my cycling shoes. In hindsight, I should probably wear a tri top in the water, and that would have saved me 30 seconds of trying to wriggle into my shirt while wet. I will also practice mounting with my shoes already in the pedals next time.
Bike: 48:00 or something like that, 18.6 mph
I was expecting a little bit slower, so I was happy. I did have some issues with a few riders who would pass me and then slow down. Next time I will be more aggressive and work harder to separate myself. Also, a portion of the bike course was on very rough roads that had me worried about flatting out. I think this cut a half mile per hour off my bike speed overall. Dodging potholes and pavement patches slowed everyone down. There was a long hill (about 1.5 miles long) on the return that was tough, but it crested and brought you downhill to the finish. As you round the last corner after the downhill coming near the transition area, I was on my brakes since it was a sharp turn and there were people all round directing us. One of the guys that I was working hard to stay in front of cut in front of me rounding this corner and I nearly took him out. After cursing him under my breath (;-)) I get unclipped and coast to the dismount line.
It's awkward jogging in my cycling shoes. I just made sure I didn't fall, threw on my shoes (love the elastic laces!), hat, and race number belt and was out.
Run: 22:59 (7:11 pace)
So this run was one of the toughest runs I've ever had. It's a very steep uphill to the dam, flat across the dam, and then another steep uphill to the turnaround point. From there, it's the same route in reverse. I get out of transition and am immediately aware of how sore my butt is. I push through it and finally loosen up. I passed 6 or 8 people on the long uphill at the start. Two of the people I was battling on the bike were walking most of the way on the run, so that was disappointing. Coming into the second uphill I mentally lose it a little. I walked about a quarter mile on that hill leading to the water station at the turnaround. Two cups of water (one down my throat and one down my face) helped a ton, and I pushed hard on the downhills. More passing people. I hear someone gaining on me down the last hill, so I push a little more. Coming into the area leading up to the finish I end up passing someone who I didn't think I would catch. I was very happy with how I finished the run, but was kicking myself for walking that section. I could have been closer to 21:30 without the walking. Far from my best time on a run, but for my first tri, I was very happy with it.
Overall: 1:25:something, 77th overall.
I beat my goal of 1:30:00, and felt great at the finish. I did learn a few things for the next time (whenever that is).
1. I need to do more bricks. I did some, but I need more.
2. I should work harder on the bike. I don't think I pushed myself enough. I think I could crack 20 mph next time just by having my first race under me.
3. I will line up closer to the front on the swim next time. Not at the front, but closer, since I got blocked in a few times and slowed down by some slower swimmers.
4. Practice transitions!
Thanks for reading! Now back to marathon training... :-)
Looks like you had a great race.
I too started this tri stuff to break up the running. I am in love with biking, swim not too much. But all the crosstraining has benefited my running!!
And you even surpassed your goal
2007-08-21 3:08 AM
2007-08-21 3:08 AM
And somehow I pulled out third in my age group. My wife got second in hers.
2007-08-23 8:56 PM
Congrats on the great finish. I hate when the hills are at the beginning of the run...it takes me half to a whole mile to get warmed up, so putting it right at the beginning pretty much kills me.
You snuck this report in while I was on my Hood to Coast trip! Sorry I didn't see it earlier. Congrats. It sounds like our tri-training rationale is the same. You did great, especially for the first time out. I did the shirt while wet thing in my first, but haven't repeated it. Also, you may want to consider going without socks in a short race like this one. Congrats on the AG placements for both of you.
Brilliant idea to break up your marathon training.
You are a very fast runner, hills, schmills.
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