Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tidewater Internation tri race report

Distance was a little odd for this race.
1500 meter swim / 21 mile bike / 10 k run - so not officially an olympic distance, but close enough.

Had to travel to Virginia Beach for this race, and it was on a Saturday so the schedule was a bit hectic, but we managed to get up there, eat some pasta, check into the hotel and get settled just before 10pm, so I was happy to be getting close to 6 hours of sleep. Woke up race morning at 4:20, watched the weather channel until 4:30 then got up to eat. That's when I realized I forgot to stop and get milk and water for breakfast. Went out of the room to check for vending options, but they only had ice. Downstairs everything was closed and I could not see anything close out the doors. Luckily the tap water did not suck and I went ahead and had my grapenuts with dried cranberries with just water. In a pinch it ended up being not bad. Then started the packing up process and was out the door right on schedule at 5:30.
Arrived at race site at 6am and parked and was in transition in no time. One snag that bugged me was they advertised on the site women's specific sizes and since my wife is small and always complains that she never gets a shirt that fits I ordered a woman's small. When I went to pick it up the lady looked at it funny, then up at me and I said, "yes I asked for a woman's small, it's from my wife" she said, "oh okay, I need a woman's small" response was we are out of woman's small but he can have a men's small. I said if you can't give me what I ordered, give me an extra large. The woman was like you can't change sizes, so I said ok, I asked for a woman's small, give me what I ordered. She looked a bit confused then went to ask someone. She came back with, take the small and come back at 7, side note race starts at 7, and we will try to exchange it. So I took it, then went back 2 minutes later to someone else and said, "they gave me the wrong size". he looked at me, then at the small and said, yes they did, what size do you want. XL please, here you go.
So luckily the rest of the day was uneventful, at least until the results...
On to the fun stuff
Total time: 2:27:07

Swim: 26:44 - The swim was a two loop 750 meter course. with a short run in the middle. The first loop I nailed my sighting and directions and swam straight to the two turn buoys, I jogged back to the start and looked at my watch and saw 13:00. The second loop was not as smooth. I had the bright idea to swim left and let the current carry me to the turn buoy. I guess there was no current as I went way left and wasted some time getting to the first buoy. I hit the turn and knew I was behind so I picked up the pace and pushed all the way back. Ended up going 44 seconds slower on the second lap so my bad directions cost me about a minute.

T1: 2:31 - long jog to transition, full wetsuit to remove, then helmet, glasses, shoes and go.

Bike: 1:00:48 - This also was two lap course and it was an out and back. It was all flat and there was not much wind, so very fast. Early on I had picked up a shadow and didn't want to get a drafting penalty so I put in a couple surges and lost him. then on the second loop one guy went by me and I tried to hand on, at legal distance of course, and this helped me pick up the pace again. Just under 21 mph ave it was one of my fastest bike splits, so I was very happy. But the run in the humidity was about to come.

T2: 1:51 - pushed hard on the bike so this transition went slower than I would have liked, but nothing went wrong and I remembered my number and hat, so I'll take it.

Run: 55:15 - guess what, another 2 lap out and back flat course. Started off ok, legs felt heavy, but not bad and after 1/2 mile I started getting smoother and feeling better. First mile was 8:35 so I said to myself when I get to mile 2 I'll walk until 18 minutes since my goal was to break a 9 min pace for the run if I could run an 8:30 with a walk every two miles I would be right on, but I got to mile 2 at 17:15 and was feeling good so I just kept running and decided to walk when I got done with lap 1 at the water stop. But once again I got to mile 3 at 25:05 and had a nice cushion of almost 2 minutes, but I just couldn't stop and walk in front of all those people, so I kept going. Mile 4, then 5 came and went still no walking, still kept saying I'll walk at the next water stop. But then finally I turned onto the final stretch with about 1/2 mile to go into a head wind and I had just gotten water and it was still in my hand so it happened, I stopped and walked while I drank and mentally got ready for the final push. started running again and hit mile 6 at 52 minutes I was thinking I would finish under 54, but someone apparently messed up the course marking as the final .2 took me 3:15. still broke the 9 minute per mile goal with an 8:53.

If you like flat and fast, this is the race for you. At just under Olympic distance, 21 on the bike instead of 24 something, you can really fly. In fact the swim had more hills on it than either the bike or run.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Gary Kirby Sprint Tri - Race Report

Finish time 1:08:14. Wanted to break 1:10:00 so very happy with my time. It was a great race and fsseries, the volunteers and participants were all great. I had one negative and I want to get it out of the way first. They seem to do this at all races, and it's not just fsseries. when they post results they don't put category and they never post a break down of age groups. And this race, they didn't give out age group awards so I finally put together a really good race and I am still wondering how I did in my age group? Once you have the final results it just can't be that difficult to print them out and post them. but like I said, other than that it was an awesome day. So on to the race.

PreRace: it was a small race and I arrived in plenty of time to get my packet and setup my transition area. The bike course was 4 laps of a 3 mile loop so I figured I would ride one loop as warmup and get a preview of the course. Well I got lost as the marking was not that great. Backtracked my way to transition and was nice and warm. I went looking for a race map when I got back but none were available. Odd? I found a staff member and told them my concern and he assured me there would be plenty of volunteers to show us the way during the race. So onto the pool to do some warmup laps.

Swim: 5:17 - wanted to do sub 5 but if you count getting out of the pool and running to the mat I think I would have been close enough. The side to go under the lane lines was on the opposite side of what I was used to so it took about 5 laps to get used to and then just when I got the hang of it, it was time to get out.

T1: 00:45 - I was number 26 and number 28 passed 27 and was right on my heels so we both sped through transition without any problems and were onto the bike.

Bike: 34:42 - My first 21 mph race ever. I was worried about the 4 loops course, but really enjoyed knowing what was to come each lap and had a great bike. Legs were feeling awesome and really pushed it. The course was basically a flat section followed by a hill, followed by a downhill. The hill was long, but not steep so I could stay in the big ring and aero the whole way. There were two traffic circles on the downhill that I needed to come out of the aero bars on, but it was easy to keep the speed up. Really enjoyed the 4 lap course as the spectators were cheering loudly each lap. And like they said no problems getting lost :-)

T2: 1:06 - Yes I did put socks on, I figured it would cost me 10 seconds and that was about right, but I was very happy to not have blisters after the race.

Run: 26:26 - This was hard, no other way to put it. First mile I was trying to keep pace with a 17 year old guy who I had found out early played lacrosse at this high school, I went by him at mile 1 and he said. "This is so hard" He was number 4 so made up a bunch of time on him. first mile was 8:50 Next I was chasing number 17 ( I think), she was a 14 year old girl who I had passed coming in on the bike but she ran out of transition just before me. She stopped to walk at about 1.5 and I never saw her again. It was hot and very humid. Not really hilly, but I felt each one. At the mile two water stop I was at 17 minutes so I took a walk break to drink some water and dump some on my head. The kids at the stop got all crazy excited when I did that and I told them to just through some at me. This made them even more hyper, but gave me a bit of a lift. Number 29 passed me leading up to the last hill but he was not in my age group so I didn't need to beat him, but I did use him to pace off of until the last hill that seemed to go on forever before a short downhill finish. It felt so good to be done and almost made my goal of breaking 26 for the run. With the heat and humidity I was very happy with the result.

I will update this with the official results when they come in some time tonight. It looked like I might have won my age group, but like I said at the beginning I just don't know... yet.

One quick observation that really made me laugh. After the race there was a guy on my bike rack that was showing his daughters what he had to do for the race. When he was done he said to the youngest, now I am going to ride my bike home. She said without missing a beat. "Why didn't you bring my carriage so you could pull me behind you?"

************************************* results finally posted ****************
Overall / swim / Bike / run out of 122 men
14th / 19th / 12th / 42nd
Clydesdales out of 17 clydesdales
2nd / 1st / 3rd / 2nd
thought I had signed up for age group, but I guess not, but if I had still 2nd
2nd / 2nd / 1st / 7th out of 20 aged 40-44