Lake Meridian Olympic Distance Triathlon Race Report (Multisport Lesson #3)

Lesson #3 (which will be made clear towards the end): Hammering the bike is not always a great idea, even if it is very fun to do.

Pre-Race: So I had another wonderful 45 minute sleep brought on by who knows what, and felt terrible when I got up at 4. I quickly downed a cup of oatmeal and some egg whites, and made my way to Kent, arriving at 5:15, and grabbing the most primo of spots. From there, check-in was a breeze, and I grabbed a nice rail spot and set up. Bodyglided and wetsuited up, and hopped in the water.

BIKE: Absolutely terrible. I think my wetsuit top is too big for me, which is great considering how much money I paid for it. It felt like it rode up, and after a 100 meter dash to the first buoy, which I arrived at in first place, I started hyperventilating and had to slow down. Bizarre feeling. After this, I swam about an extra 100 meters because I stopped siting for some reason, finally hitching onto some folks. I felt like I must’ve been in last place, but exiting the water and getting to the racks, everybody in my row was still set up there. Wow triathletes stink at swimming. I had no energy exiting the water, but the wetsuit came off pretty easily this time. Thanks Bodyglide!I think the course was a little bit long, as the guy who won the swim is a 26:30-ish HIM swimmer, and finished in 21:40. There was also a 100m dash up to transition, adding a solid 20-30 seconds for my lethargic ass. All-in-all, I’ll chalk it up to being a learning experience, and considering my hyperventilation, extra meters swam, a long course, and the dash to transition, I don’t think the time is reflective.

SWIM TIME: ~24:20, ~6/100-ish overall

T1: Much better than at Lake Samish, to the tune of a 42 second improvement; :58, not too much worse than rest of the top of the pack.

BIKE: Oh man… I absolutely hammered on the bike. Mind you, I’m still a definite work in progress, but I’ve been having a lot of fun pushing the bike as of late so I did that here. The course really was a lot of fun, and in the end, measured perfectly… to the tune of being with .02 miles of the 24.9 it should have been. It began with some downhills, which I cruised down at~26-27, and actually passed somebody on, which didn’t happen for the whole of the Lake Samish Sprint. After going downhill for awhile, we hit false flats for a huge chunk of time, which were frustrating, as I was afraid my tire was flatting or something.

We took a pull off of the main drag, and did a five mile-loop that was fun rolling hills, with a couple of legit climbs. I passed another guy (going up a hill!), but the non-swimmers of the bunch began to catch me, and over the span of the rest of the ride, 4 guys would pass me. A net of -2… not bad all-in-all. After the five mile-loop we hit the main drag again, enjoying more false flats. Of course, for the span of the entire ride, I was kind of a dope, and didn’t take a sip of water, and didn’t recognize this until a mile before the finish of the bike.

Looking at my Garmin, I could tell we would be hitting the turnaround pretty soon, but it wasn’t until a half mile out that I saw the first place rider… this was a markedly good sign. Unfortunately, once I hit turnaround, I took it very slow, and lost the guy I had been legally drafting for the prior six or seven miles, but oh well. It was slight downhill almost the entire way back to transition, and I began to hammer, much harder than  I should have. We started running into sprint and super sprint athletes, and I pretty much HAD to keep moving, or end up stuck. I caught up to two Olympic racers, and we legally drafted into transition. Unclipping and running into transition, I could already tell the run was going to suck.

BIKE SPLIT: 1:09:34, including two 100-yard dashes to and from transition and mount line. Average speed while riding: 21.6 mph.

T2: An improvement over Lake Samish, even if the split doesn’t completely reflect this. A 20-second improvement from 2:00 to 1:40, but I was able to suck some nutrition down, and double-tie my shoes. I also didn’t get completely flustered like I did last time.

RUN: Oh. My. God. This sucked. I’ve never felt this bad during any kind of competition before, ever. One guy had passed me through transition, and I quickly caught him, and the guys who I had entered transition with were right ahead. I went at a very good clip for the first half of the race, but the course was absolutely, disgustingly hilly. I had also chosen to put on my racing flats, which was a terrible idea. My dehydrated and nutritionally-starved self made it to the turnaround in slightly slower than 20-minutes, which was about what I was hoping to do, but I was pretty toast from then on. The guys I passed re-passed me, and all beat me by at least two minutes. I ended up walking the better part of the last quarter mile, and a guy went blowing by me, but thankfully he was a relay athlete. I just began to hurt right away, and still do.

RUN SPLIT: 44:43, no idea on placing, but terrible relative to overall. Only got passed by one guy, but ACK.

Final Thoughts: There’s no way I’m doing a half-iron this year. I need to build fitness. Going in my goal was 2:20, and while I ran my race completely contrary to my abilities and strengths (ie screwing up the swim, hammering the bike, dying on the run), I almost hit that. I’m planning on doing two more Olympics, and really think that I can fix any issues I’ve got.

As for the race itself, it was really well run, especially for a first year event, and I got some awesome pancakes as post-race food. Also got a glass for winning my age group. Sweetness!

OVERALL: 2:20:28, 8th OA, 1/5 AG

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~ by cdviking on August 23, 2010.

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