Desert Triathlon – 4 March 2018

This was my 1st triathlon of the season.  I usually open with a running race or sprint distance triathlon, but I was sick in February when I normally race the Redondo Beach 5k/10k.  My original goal here was to treat the bike as a FTP test and then just survive the rest of the race.  Things didn’t turn out that way but I still had fun.

Desert Triathlon – 1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run

Game Plan – I just go into Olympics and redline and hold on for dear life.  I had come off a weekend of triathlon camp the week prior, so I wanted to use this bike as a FTP test.

I dabbled with BBS just to give me an idea of the course.  The link is here

Pre-Race – I had completed a triathlon camp the week prior so I was a bit fatigued.

Fitness – bit tired, here are the stats for the day prior (March 3):

ATL:  84

CTL:  78

TSB:  -13

These numbers mean that my fitness was high, but I’m racing tired.

Race Morning – The day before the race, we had a gaffe with the AirBnB so we left South Bay on race morning around 0300.  We got to the race around 0530.  I had 2 bananas and some coffee, then checked in, got my packet, and geared up.  The nice thing about this race (or bad) is that the Olympic distance didn’t start until around 0830, so we had ample time to mope around until the race started.  There was a slight wind but it had died down, so the conditions were very calm.  The lake was cold but not choppy.  The buoys were hard to see though and the sun had risen, so the sighting would prove difficult.

Swim – I was tired starting out, so I just kept this easy peasy and cruised.  There was a big stretch where it was hard to see any buoys, so I just followed feet as best as I could.  I got out and wasn’t too tired, just slow.

Final Swim – 25:41 – 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 IM website stand, but these are what I have based on what I hit on my watch.**

T1 – I dicked around with putting bike socks on after the swim, and it was a mistake.  I was still wobbly, trying to fit on socks and it cost me time.  This was one of my sloppier T1’s to date.

Final T1 – 3:54

Bike – I had only ridden aero once (the week before at Tri Camp) since October, so this would prove interesting.  We escaped transition and immediately hit a climb out of the lake area.  The road quality was a bit meh and we finally made it to the flats.  The first stretch had a nice tailwind, but some of the other sections had a huge headwind, so this bike was a bit tougher than I anticipated.  My quads were on fire here for the first ~38 minutes or so until my glutes finally kicked in.  I just focused on staying low and pushing through.  I had experimented with some gatorade on the bike in anticipation of pushing some decent watts (FTP test attempt), but it was a miserable failure.

Final Bike – 1:01:15 (PR) – link here

T2 – no real issues here – I was in and out pretty quick.

Final T2 – 1:05

Run – I started off well and felt great.  However, my gatorade bike experiment came back to haunt me and I had massive side stitches after the first mile.  I spent the next 4 miles with my hand in my rib trying to ease out the cramp.  I slowed down considerably, but was able to get another wind on mile 5 and pick up the pace.  My run here was pretty pitiful so I wasn’t too thrilled at the end.

Final Run – 43:13 – link here

Overall Time – 2:15:14 (PR) – link here

Results – 5th AG, 21 OA – link here

I managed to PR for a season opener while fatigued, so I’ll take it.  However, I was not too thrilled with any of the legs, so everything still needs work.

Key Takeaways:

1. My quads were on fire, so I went to tweak up my fit from Jim at ERO and we actually raised the saddle a little bit and moved my saddle back.  This helped tremendously and would prove crucial at Oceanside 70.3 (different post).

2. For Olympic distance events, I can’t take too much nutrition on the bike as it cramps me on the run.  However, depending on the race, I sweat a lot and lose a ton of salt an hour (~1800mg), so for hotter races, I still need to take something.  I’ll experiment with nuun and water for Olympics – it will have enough sodium but no carbs / calories to cramp me up.

Congrats to everyone who raced!

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