This was my 10th triathlon of the season and 3rd Olympic distance triathlon of the year. I had just kept up the bare minimum training since the end of Superfrog 70.3 and did this race for fun. Two relays challenged our work directorate so I figured I would race against them – 2x teams of 3-people vs. me seemed alright.
Trick or Tri Olympic Triathlon – 300m swim, 40k bike, 10k run (swim shortened due to fog)
Game Plan – No real plan here, just hammer it and see what was left in the legs. My fitness and training were bare-bones for the month but I’ll post the numbers for posterity.
Tail end of fitness, here they are:
ATL – 43
CTL – 61
TSB – 12
This means I’m rested but my fitness was a shadow of its former self…so this would hurt.
Race Morning – I stayed locally so the drive to the race site was short. I was up around 0415L, ate 2 bananas and coffee, then geared up and rolled out. I got to the race site around 0530L and checked in to pick up my packet. Everything was chaotic and since there were no wristbands, transition was a free-for-all with anyone coming and going. The transition racks were small clamps that went around the rear bike wheel. These sucked and I was not a fan. Once I was setup, I warmed up with my StretchCordz and continued to warm up while I socialized. The fog was thick, and the swim was delayed. After waiting another 20-30 minutes, the swim was shortened to 300m for all participants. I removed my wetsuit as I figured it would take me longer to remove it in the small transition area as opposed to grabbing the shoes, helmet, and going. We all migrated towards the lake and waited. The folks doing the 70.3 distance went off first, then we waited 20 minutes.
Swim – This was a slugfest. Lots of kicking, punching, grabbing, and general mayhem. I did what I could but it was so short it was so short and chaotic that this was just a tough push. Nothing too special here, just getting it over with.
Final Swim – 4:23 – link here
**Note – My garmin times are different than the official times. I stopped my watch as soon as I hit ground, but I think the timing chip portion was a little bit north of the swim exit. The “official” times on the website stand, but these are what I have based on what I hit on my watch.**
T1 – Packed and crazy. 2 college kids ran by me in transition with their bikes while yelling for folks to get out of the way, so I vowed revenge for their impudence. I got to my bike, threw on helmet / shoes / race belt with number (rule at this race), then gently grabbed the bike out of the clamp and threw the throng of folks and escaped.
Final T1 – 2:23
Bike – We headed out of the park and then made a U-turn, then eventually made our way to the dam/reservoir. The roads were smooth as silk and I started to throw down the hammer. I passed the folks doing the 70.3 distance and all of the folks who had exited the swim before me. I caught the college kids at mile 5 and kept pushing.
I noticed a guy who was ahead of me then passed him, but he stayed with me, so we spent the rest of the race leapfrogging back and forth. This was a 3-loop bike course, so he exited the turns far more crisply then I did, so his bike handling was far better and he made decent headway into me. Once on the straights, I would push it and pass him, and this went back and forth for the rest of the race. After the third loop, we started the last straightaway into transition. We both exited together so our splits were essentially even.
Final Bike – 1:02:16 (PR) – link here
T2 – Since we both came off the bike together, I realized this would be a tight race. I hustled to my bike spot, threw the bike in, ripped off my helmet, threw on my shoes / hat and took off. We both exited T2 together and it was fast.
Final T2 – 0:58
Run – I opted to push a little bit out of T2 so I could make a gap on the other guy. I thought he was done and gone so I settled into a rhythm and just focused on breathing / form / technique. My stomach started cramping so I unzipped the front of my tri suit to let my flabby gut get some breathing room (took ~360 cals / 1200mg sodium on bike).
The run was 2 loops, and we spent most of it on the asphalt, but we hit some gravel / trail for a bit so I lost some speed here. 2 college kids came and dusted me on the run and I let them go – they were moving so fast it wouldn’t do any good to try to keep up unless it was the last mile. I was fine until mile 5, then I heard some shuffling behind me and realized the guy from earlier had hung with me for the entire run, so I knew this would be a tight finish.
At mile 5.1, he peeled off slightly to grab some water but I pressed ahead as I didn’t want him on my shoulder. I started to pick up the pace and build up speed so he wouldn’t get next to me for a final chute sprint. At mile 5.8, I turned on the afterburners and pressed. I wanted to make sure he stayed behind so I opted to run the last bit as a track interval, which I usually don’t do at a race until the bitter end, so that time had now come. I managed to push and cross the finish line 5 seconds ahead of him. This was one of my closer races in awhile and I was pleased that I was able to hold the surge and block an attack. I’ve learned over several years of racing to time your kick at the right moment, otherwise it’s game over.
Final Run – 40:32 – link here
Overall Time – 1:50:32 – link here
Results – 1st AG, 4th OA – link here
- Bike for show…run for dough. Always save some gas in the tank on the run, and know when to time your kick.
- When the main part of your racing season is over, keep training one of the disciplines…for me it’s the swim, and I can pick up the run and bike back pretty quickly. With swimming 3-4x a week still, I kept my endurance / cardio while letting my legs rest from the beatdown of September.
- Once done with your season, enjoy the break, both mentally and physically.
I was quite pleased with my results, considering October was just holding onto scraps of fitness while I focused on moving into a new apartment. I managed to beat both relays that challenged us at work so I achieved my primary objective and won my age group to boot, so I figured this was a good way to end the season. I also PR’d on the bike and managed to get the 2nd fastest bike split of the entire race, so it looks like all the bike work on the trainer paid off.
Congrats to everyone who raced!