SuperSeal Olympic Triathlon – 19 March 2017

This was my first Olympic of 2017.  I came into this race with considerable fatigue from the Solvang Tri Camp (March 4-10) and a week of good training.  I managed to PR, and considering this was a non-tapered “B” race, I’ll take it.

Game Plan – I had made some cursory goals in January regarding this race and coach approved so here they are:

Superseal Olympic – 1640 yard swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run – 19 March 2017

i. “A” Goal – Swim 26 minutes (1:35/100y), Bike 1:03, Run 39 minutes: <=2:10

ii. “B” Goal – Swim 27:15 minutes (1:40/100y), Bike 1:06, Run 41 minutes: <= 2:16

iii. “C” Goal – Swim 28:15 (1:43/100y), Bike 1:09, Run 43 minutes: <=2:21

I had also loaded in the bike to Best Bike Split.  I used about 90% of FTP based on 260, so the watts were supposed to be in the mid-230s.

BBS link here

Pre-Race – I swam hard on Friday and biked about 30 miles on Saturday, so I was coming in already tired.  Work has been stressful this week so my sleep wasn’t perfect either.  I got up pretty early Saturday morning to head to ERO Sports to tweak up the fit after a snafu at Solvang, so I needed to re-adjust the aerobars slightly.

Friday’s swim here

Saturday’s bike here

Pre-race nutrition wasn’t ideal either.  I had McDonalds for breakfast and lunch, then a big pizza and Root Beer for Dinner – not great, but I needed fuel and was too busy running around.

I also stayed on one of the Navy bases in San Diego, and navigating that was a pain, so that added additional stress and time.  I managed to get to bed at 10pm Saturday night with a 0330 wakeup.  I had coffee and 2 bananas then left and arrived at the race venue around 0520.  Setup was smooth and I was racked and ready pretty quick.  After setup, I warmed up with bands for awhile then headed over to swim start on the beach, and managed to swim around for a good 5-8 minutes to loosen up.

Swim – Nothing too special here.  Tactically, I think I did well – I let the masses go then started picking apart draft packs and hopping forward.  Sighting was on point here and I never had any issues.  In terms of fitness, I was pretty tired.  My lats, shoulders, and forearms were pretty tired from training so I just cruised the whole time.  I can usually negative split the latter half of the swim and start picking things up, but this was just a relaxed jaunt today.  I’m not too thrilled but it’s about what I expected for swimming with fatigue.

Final Swim – 27:51 – link here

**Note** – My Garmin time is a bit different than the official time on the website.  I hit my watch as soon as I touched the sand and began running, but it looks like the timing chip portion was a little further ahead.

T1 – T1 at this swim is a big pain.  We have to run through a tunnel under the highway.  Compounding this misery was the fact that my bike was all the way towards bike out, so it took me a minute to get there.  I managed to get the wetsuit off pretty quick (liberal use of body glide beforehand), then get helmet/sunglasses/shoes on very quick and go.  The mount line was a decent way ahead of bike out so that added more time.

Final T1 – 3:13 – link here

**Note** – My Garmin time is a bit different than the official time, see note above.

Bike – My legs were on fire as soon as I started.  I just focused on staying in aero and “tucking” as much as I could until my legs started to come around.  It took me about 15 miles until my body decided to finally wake up.  I started to throw down a little bit and keep the head low for tucking.  On the last stretch in, it’s a single road with both inbound and outbound bikers, so I had to slow down while getting my feet out of my shoes, so that cost me about a minute until I hit dismount.  I wasn’t too pleased with this time but it’s about what I figured I’d be considering how I felt.

Final Bike – 1:04:17 – link here

T2 – This was pretty quick since I was racked right next to bike out / bike in.  No real issues here, very smooth.

Final T2 – 1:24 – link here

Run – I started the run and my legs had a little snap left in them, so I figured this would be a good one.  I kept the pace even and started hunting down everyone in front of me.  I took in gatorades and waters, but started to get side stitches so I just stuck to waters after that.  I managed to drop about 7-8 guys then laid the hammer down towards the end.  The run is pancake flat but the end has 2 left turns and a decently long straightaway to the finish line.  I turned it up for the last bit to make sure no one surged, but I was good.  I had checked my watch on the way in and saw I was close to a possible sub-40 minute 10K, so I surged pretty hard but was unable to close the time gap, so I need more work here…but I’ll have my revenge!  I felt quite strong throughout and I could have held that pace for awhile, so I’m quite pleased with this run.

I had 2 guys come up to me after the race and they said they tried to keep pace but couldn’t hang, so I was quite pleased with how I tactically executed.  There’s an old saying in triathlon – “Bike for show, run for dough.”  These guys started with me on the swim and bike and put some good time into me, but you always have to save some gas in the tank for the run and know when to push and when to cruise.

Final Run – 40:27 – link here

Overall Time – 2:17:12 – link here

Results – 16th AG, 47th OA – link here


Based on my goals going into this, here’s the breakdown:

Actual Swim – 27:51 – Between B and C, so I give it a “B-”

Actual Bike – 1:04 – Between  A and B, so I give it a “A”

Actual Run – 40:27 – Between A and B, so I give it an “A-”

Actual Total – 2:17:12 – Between B and C, so I give it a “B”

I’d give this race an overall “B” ranking my actual times vs. predicted.  I managed to PR my Olympic time by roughly 3 minutes, so I’ll it considering this was a non-tapered “B” race coming off a triathlon camp with heavy cycling.

Here are some takeaways and actions for upcoming season:

1. Weight – this still needs to come down, so it’s back to cooking very soon.

2. Recovery – My quads are still loaded with heavy fatigue and I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I need and my physio / mobility work has gone downhill, so those are the focus until Oceanside.  I need to shed all the residual fatigue or I will break down and not improve.

3. Aero – I think my tucking and positioning is good, but it’s time for a new helmet.  I’m using an original Giro Advantage that I bought in 2010.  It has been a good helmet, but I find that when I need to slightly pop out of tuck to sight the road, the tail pops up, and I think I need a different style of helmet vice the long-tailed version.

I also use an XLAB Torpedo BTA bottle.  It’s good, but I still use a sponge to not get any water in my face, but they’ve come out with an upgraded lid that negates the splash, so it’s time to invest.

I’m tempted to get some type of aero testing done this year.  It’s a significant investment, but I think it will be useful while I still ride my current setup.  It’s hard to turn down free speed on the bike.

Training Update – February 2017 – 1 March 2017

February update – broke in the tri season with a cold opener, work is sending me to an early grave, and gaming is coming back with a vengeance.

February 2017

I started my new job on 1 February 2017 and it’s been an interesting ride so far.  It’s more stressful, has longer hours, and my ability to control my schedule is wiped, so I’ve had to keep a very tight training regimen with few deviations.  This has the side effect of annihilating most of my social life, which is somewhat of a buzzkill, but I’m still able to train consistently, so it’s pretty much just work and training.

By the numbers:
Swim – 34,035 yards // 10:04:39 // 14 swims
Bike – 285 miles // 16:32:08 // 13 bikes
Run – 84.1 miles // 10:50:12 // 15 runs
Strength – 3:45 // 5 sessions
Total – ~41:12


Here’s a better summary of the nerdy info:

Of note, I averaged close to 700 TSS/week on roughly 10-11 hours of training.  This is sustainable week in, week out and this is where you grow real fitness.  In my 20s, I was all about throwing down big smokefests on the weekends with long building blocks to races, etc.  However, over time and with Coach Mike’s guidance, the key thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that sustaining a consistent regiment that you can repeat day after day and week after week is where you make real gains.  Here are some good articles that explain more in depth:

Article 1 – Slowtwitch Read

Article 2 – Slowtwitch Read

The chart above is a screenshot of something in Training Peaks called the “Performance Management Chart” or PMC.  I’m not going to go in-depth as this is covered here.  Suffice to say, my fitness as of this writing is almost the highest it’s ever been, and I’m pretty much in the best shape I’ve ever been in…right now.  This means that 2017 will be a great year!

Other happenings in February

“Tri”cation in Atlanta

I took a short notice trip to Atlanta in mid-February to visit my friends Ed and Michelle as well as a few other friends in the Atlanta Triathlon Club (ATC).  One of my other reasons for traveling on this particular weekend (Feb 10) was to see John Wick 2.  Seeing everyone and catching up was great, and I also got in a really good block of training (13.1 mile run on Saturday, 2x back to back indoor bikes at Energy Lab on Sunday).  Ed and I also rifted really hard, which leads me to my next February update.

Diablo 3 – Back to Rifting

For those reading this who have no clue what any of this nerdery means, check this out.  I hadn’t touched Diablo 3 since the end of one of the seasons in April 2016, but we hit it hard.   We powerleveled a barb on my end but we decided that wasn’t optimal and went Witch Doctor instead.  The most viable and fun build I’ve tried is the Heltooth / Gargantuan build.  This build has proven quite effective in high end Greater Rifts, but right now as of this writing we’re stuck in 71 and can’t proceed.    I’ll keep grinding out this WD until the end of the season or when Mass Effect Andromeda comes out…we’ll see what’s first.

Television – fun times while Foam Rolling

I’ve been stuck on two shows this month, and I’ll shamelessly describe them here.

The Bachelor

Those who know me well know of my affinity for “trash” tv but I have no shame here.  I’m not going to get in the weeds as there’s plenty of other info out there, but suffice to say I’m still #TeamCorinne and her time will come.


Taboo is probably one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent memory, and I think it will end up ranking up there with my favorites like GoT (some of the actors are familiar to my fellow GoT watchers).  I won’t spoil anything, but for those reading this and wanting to find a new show, I highly recommend checking out Taboo.

Future Planning

With this new job, my free time and ability to flex is severely limited, so I’ll most likely curb any travel races and only travel for weddings and special events while keeping the rest of the races local until next spring when I fulfill my year-long commitment at work.  The next few months will be filled with hard training to gear up for the late fall races.  The struggle now is to find the balance so I can keep up with my mobility, meditation, and healthy eating.