UCLA IronBruin Sprint Triathlon – 26 February 2017

Triathlon season is underway so I figured I’d dust off the gear and sign up at the last minute for a random sprint triathlon.  I like racing sprints first in the season so I can iron out any issues before jumping right into any Olympics.

Pre-Race – I didn’t get to bed until about midnight-ish the night before, then got up around 4am, so this was a light-sleep race.  I had a banana then grabbed gear and rolled out.  It was in the 40s/50s, dark, and raining the entire time to the race, and once I got there, I just followed the crowds and shivered in the packet-pick up line while getting soaked.

This was a point-to-point race, which means that T1 and T2 are separate.  We left our bags by the sign-up (T2) then walked over with our bikes to T1 which was right next to the swimming pool.  I was in the 3rd heat so didn’t start until 0740L, so I had time to get some good band work in and use the warmup pool on the side to get ready.

Swim – This was a 400m swim in a 50m pool, so we would swim down one lane, go under the lane lines, then swim down another lane for a total of 8 times.  I got lapped by a bunch of folks within the first 50-100, so I just focused on hugging the right lane while everyone passed on the left.  I pushed as hard as I could but my swim still needs work.  I lost a bit of time trying to sneak under the lines and push off, and my legs were just dangling the entire way…still a lot of work to do here.

Final Swim – 07:50 – link here

T1 – I felt pretty good coming out since I didn’t use my legs.  We had to leave a plastic bag with our stuff next to the bikes so I took a bit to try and tie it up since it was raining but no luck.  Threw on shoes, helmet, glasses, and ran out.  I actually had to stop and wipe off my glasses since the rain was coming down and they were fogging up.

Final T1 – 2:00

Bike – This was probably one of the gnarliest bikes I’ve done in recent memory.  I haven’t actually rode outside since December, so coupled with the crowds, rain, and riding rust, this was going to be fun.  As soon as I started, the rain was coming down thick and it was pretty cold.  All I had on were a pair of shorts so everything was numb.  Luckily, I have plenty of winter “insulation” left so I fared better than some other folks.

The bike course was altered on race morning so we were now doing 5 loops and turning into transition on the beginning of the 6th.  After the second loop, I could not longer shift any gears as I found out the hard way my battery died.  I had charged it up last night but evidently the flashing light from my charger meant that the charge wasn’t good, and it’s looking like the wall outlet is bad.  I ended up having to soft-pedal a lot of the latter part of the bike then surge hard up the hills as I was stuck in just one gear.  I was pretty pissed as I was putting out acceptable wattage and keeping up with the young kids.  I opted to keep most of the ride conservative with turns, etc due to the rain, slick roads, and other new riders all over the place.

Final Bike – 44:09 – link here

Considering the surges, rain, roads, other folks, soft-pedaling, and lack of shifting, I’m alright with this bike.  Not my best but it’s more power than I’ve been able to due for awhile and I thank the fit, Zwift, and Coach Mike for getting this more squared away.

T2 – This was kind of a boondoggle.  The dismount wasn’t properly marked so it was kind of slow down and ask people where to go.  This was so sudden I still had my shoes on like a newb and ran into transition.  I dropped the bike off, and like most newbs, didn’t put speed laces into my new shoes, so I had pre-laced them up before and slipped in with socks, then took off.

Final T2 – 1:13

Run – I felt pretty good on the run.  We hit some decent hills not far into the run so this wasn’t an even pacing effort – it was more push the hills and then just get into a rhythm as best as you could.  I started putting the hammer down and dropping the young college kids, but otherwise just focused on doing my own thing and working on form and technique.  I felt like I could have pushed harder if the run was longer but this is what I was able to pull off today.

Final Run – 19:35 – link here

Overall Time – 1:14:46 – link here

They haven’t posted the results online but they posted the sheets before I left.  It looked like I had gotten 2nd in my AG…but out of only 2 open males that registered for 30-34, so 2/2 – haha!  I’ll update this when I found out the official results but here’s the race link.

**Update as of 1 March 2017**

38th overall, 2/2 in M30-34 open division…meh


Overall, this wasn’t the best or worst race I’ve had.  I feel my fitness is alright after all the training but I hit my objectives in doing this race – clearing off race rust, seeing if there are any technical or medical issues that flare up while racing, and trying out a new venue.  Here are some key lessons learned for the next few races:

1. Double check battery charge on the bike.  After the race, I actually hooked my bike up to my laptop to do a diagnostic and make sure everything was working, but all it looks like was the bike was in sore need of a charge, which I did via the USB Cord.

2. Get triathlon shoes for the bike.  I’ve been using my normal training shoes for awhile, but I need to invest in a dedicated pair of shoes just for racing.  They are easier to get on/off (rubber band them and hop on) and I won’t have a soggy pair of bike shoes for any easy rides I need to do post-race.

3. Weight – I’m still about 10 pounds too heavy from goal race weight and I could feel it today.  I think I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in, but need to keep moving forward.




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