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Jailbreak Triathlon - Triathlon


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Columbia, Tennessee
United States
Columbia Cycling Club
60+F / 16C
Sunny
Total Time = 1h 35m 9s
Overall Rank = 1/142
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

Less warmup than typical. In this race it's debatable whether warmup helps because there will be an hour delay between warmup and race start.

I had to get Evan up and ready for his soccer game early. To do this race I had to arrange for his coach to receive him at his house then get him to the game for me. :(

Did that then got to the race site, which luckily is local.
Event warmup:

Not much...

Jogged a little an hour beforehand. Did some pushups before putting the canoe in the water to wake up the upper body.

Swim
  • 38m 57s
  • 4000 meters
  • 58s / 100 meters
Comments:

First off, the Jailbreak 'tri' format is Canoe/Bike/Run...so this describes the canoe leg.

We got the hole shot and had ourselves in 2nd place pretty early on. We maintained 2nd place all the way in, but couldn't overtake the lead canoe.

Unlike last year there were no canoe mishaps and no mistakes of steering. :)
My partner Shaun and I got out together the week before for 5 miles of practice. It helped a lot. Shaun isn't an upper body guy and is a typical 40+ endurance athlete (albeit a good one)...about 150lbs. I didn't know what to expect relative to the rest of the field having had a partner last year that was a diesel engine. But we did quite well together in the canoe!
You always hope to do well in the canoe because it's absolutely true that you can lose this race in the canoe. It's far more critical than a swim because it takes pretty close to as long as the bike does.
You just hope the super bikers happen to be bad paddlers....
What would you do differently?:

Nothing
Transition 1
  • 00m
Comments:

This was a canoe to bike transition and this transition time is included in the canoe split. I was the team member in the back of the canoe, so right off the bat that gives my teammate a headstart in T1 because I have to carefully make my way from the back of the canoe, over the water, to the front of the canoe and out on to the beach without tipping.
For the first time, this year, I tried wearing running shoes in the canoe. These aren't the shoes I would race in, but I wanted to try shoes with rubber bottoms that would give a little grip on the canoe bottom as well as make running the 100 or so yards up hill to T1 faster.
Well, I don't think it made any difference. I was still dreadfully slow up the hill so now I can't blame that on cycling shoes! After canoeing for so long and so hard I'm aerobically challenged even though it didn't feel like it in the canoe. And all the blood has gone to the upper body. And on top of that it's an uphill run. I think wearing cycling shoes in the canoe is the way to go, but not by much.
When I did get to transition, my teammate was gone! I got my helmet on, got my bike shoes on, then got out on the bike before fastening my shoes. That would have been great if they were Velcro closures, but they aren't. They are Sidis with a ratchet buckle...it was the first time I ever tried to fasten these while riding and it was actually difficult. I had to ride with open shoes the first mile until I got to an open field before I could mess with them on the move....
What would you do differently?:

I suppose I will go back to wearing my cycling shoes in the canoe.
Bike
  • 38m 42s
  • 8 miles
  • 12.40 mile/hr
Comments:

Well, before the race I was talking to someone that flagged me down and we chatted a bit. I was feeling good being the defending champion (by virtue of my 'team' winning last year...and last year's partner Brad wasn't here this year...he was the only individual that finished ahead of me last year). And as we are shooting the breeze he sees someone walking up and calls him over. He then tells me this kid is a professional cyclist. uh-oh...In the process of making introductions he tells the kid that I won it last year.
Stink! the gauntlet gets thrown down before the race. I'm hoping that he can't canoe well and that he can't run well.... And consoling myself with the knowledge that he is in a different category than I am anyway....There is a 'masters' category. The combined ages of the teammates is 80+ years. So at least Shaun and I should take the 'age group' win....

Okay, so on to the action:
I was aware of the 3rd place canoe being close behind. I could hear the commotion behind me as I ran up the hill to transition. One of the guys from that canoe was in transition with me, moving very fast....I didn't look at him, but I think that was one of the reasons I breezed by buckling my bike shoes before leaving.
I knew that the first canoe was probably already out on the course. My partner, Shaun, was already on the course and someone else from canoe #3 was about to be on the course. So I booked it.
Once on the bike I rode hard, but kept forcing myself to stay within myself...especially while the lower body is learning to use oxygen again after going in to hibernation during the paddling.
But I heard the next cyclist on the trail behind me which meant he was really close. So I just focused on handling the bike right to maintain my best speed through the turns. There are a couple of short, steep climbs that I take in my big ring with short out-of-the-saddle sprints but I probably shine most on the turns since I know these trails so well.
This first mile is basically an elongated loop, almost could call it an out and back. Every time the trail gets straight I hear the guy on my rear wheel. I was expecting to hear him calling for a pass, but there was never much time before a bunch of tight 'S' curves would come and I would put some gap on him.
I was ahead of him as we came out of that first trail section right by the transition area and the spectators, into the open field for a while. As soon as we got there he blew past me with some serious speed while I let off the pedals and reached down to put my straps through the buckles of my shoes.
We had just about reached the guy that was first on the course from Canoe #1 and he was going slowly, so wouldn't be a factor....I didn't know at the time, but his teammate was still in transition when I left so there was no one else on the course after him except my teammate Shaun and this person who just went by me..
As that fast rider went by me so impressively, I confirmed he was the pro cyclist I had met before the race. Crap! just my luck he would be in a fast canoe...plus his teammate was also on his cycling team and would probably turn out to be elite...I was bumming.
By the time I buckled both shoes and blew past that 1st guy on the course myself there was no sight of the pro kid nor of my partner Shaun up ahead.
But now I was in my element. My shoes were tight, my legs had started to work, I was alone on a trail I know very well and there was good traction nearly everywhere.
Just after the 2nd mile sign I began to see Shaun up ahead. He's pretty good on a bike so it was another mile before I was right in passing position and since our speeds were so close we rode together and talked for a while.
We came to one of the more challenging climbs out there that was just stage 1 of a multi-stage climb and at the top he offered to let me by. At first I thought I'd wait because he's lighter and perhaps should be a better climber, but I realized we had stage 2, 3, 4 to go of this climbing section then a super fast downhill that I would be stuck behind him for a long time...so yes, I took the pass and fortunately never regretted it. I didn't have an opportunity to look back at all, and never heard him.
I felt freaking fast out there riding all alone with full concentration on the trail and trusting my traction. I just kept holding back an appropriate amount to avoid a pacing error...there were a lot of flat sections where my speed would hit the high teens and downhill sections over 20 which is an amazing feeling when careening over rocks and roots within a trail that's only 3 feet wide!

I came in to transition all alone on the trail...no sign of the rider ahead and no sign of anyone behind me.

What would you do differently?:

Definitely buckle my shoes before getting on my bike! Or else choose my Velcro cycling shoes...
Transition 2
  • 00m
Comments:

There is no T2 split in the race. T2 time is included in the bike split.
I did a flying dismount in to a run at the dismount line and moved fast enough to elicit comments from spectators about it. :)
As I ran down my row to my transition spot I saw the pro cyclist kid running out of transition....either he is really slow at transitions or I kept his lead on me to a very small gap!!!! (I prefer the latter explanation).

But unfortunately his pace as he ran looked youthful and energetic. :(
Even while noticing his run pace I knew with my logical mind that he couldn't be a very formidable runner....did I mention his thighs are the size of my waist?

I got my bike shoes off and running shoes on quickly and grabbed my race belt and left. I even, for the first time, walked for 5 or so steps to get my race belt on before beginning to run...this because the race is not automated and the timers need to see my number as I go by to get splits...but then I took off.
What would you do differently?:

Nada.
Run
  • 17m 30s
  • 2.5 miles
  • 07m  min/mile
Comments:

As I left transition I realized I was at nearly a full sprint, but it felt good. Shortly after entering the woods and dropping down a steep hill I hit a flat section and began to relax and slow down and find my pace by feel...without regard to the guy in front of me. I've got enough experience to know that you either catch someone or you don't and its best just to run my race.

I had no concept of exactly how much time had elapsed between him leaving transition and me leaving transition (splits reveal it was 26 seconds). I don't remember ever seeing him on the first mile of the run. That's the nature of twisting single-track trail. There is one spot near the end of the loop as it turns back near itself that I thought I might see him through the woods if he were only 50 yards or less ahead of me..didn't see him and feared he was still far ahead.
As I came out of the woods the first time, this is there by transition and spectators, we enter the open field for a while and the 1 mile mark is there...and lo and behold he was just about only 20 feet ahead of me! He may have stopped for a moment at the water table there and perhaps that's why I suddenly came upon him?
This is poetic because it's the exact spot he passed me on the bike. :)
I encouraged him as I went by and he was surprisingly gracious and encouraging to me for someone having the lead snatched from them.

I continued on running comfortably, knowing he wouldn't be coming back but also realizing that there might be other fast people there and since this is a team race I needed all the time I could get in case Shaun didn't beat this kid's race partner.

As I ran the remainder of the course all alone and as the first athlete on the course I soaked in the feeling. This is my home course and all the volunteers are club members, and other locals, so there were people calling my name as I went. Probably a lot like a famous athlete gets wherever they race! This was juxtaposed with periods of isolation in the woods all by myself just like on so many of my training runs out there on those same trails.

The finish has us coming out of the woods in to the field then running AWAY from the finish line and looping back to add distance. It's also probably good for the spectators to see who's coming and any battles that develop in the sprint to the finish---but for the athletes it kinda sucks! :)

After crossing the line I looked back and didn't see my chaser. The longer it took the better I felt about our team's chances. He crossed the line 1:15 later which means I beat him by something like 1:41 in the run split. Not enough of a margin to feel like I'm hot stuff....

Now from this point on I began to watch for Shaun, and also for this other guy's teammate. Time went on...
I was talking to a club friend who did it in a relay with his daughter (he rides a little faster than me), he was there waiting for his daughter to finish her run...he said that something had happened to Shaun's bike on the course....Ok, I can handle this...Even though our team finish is ruined I can feel great about my individual performance.
I didn't know any details, but confirmed that he HAD come in to transition with his bike and had set out on the run course.

It was over 8 minutes before Shaun came running in, but in the meantime I hadn't seen the other guy's teammate (easy to spot because he was in the same cycling kit).

Despite a bunch of finishers coming in between me and him, only 1 of them was part of a team (versus a relay) and Shaun's overall finish time was still the 3rd fastest in the non-relay divisions of the race!
He had broken his chain with 1 mile left on the bike and run it in the remainder. He explained how he was running along and being flabbergasted by the fact that NO ONE came along behind him!!!
Of course eventually one or two did, but they were all members of relay teams. So when he got to T2 and began his run he was still very much in the race and his run split wasn't bad at all for a non-runner who had already run 1 mile.

I'm really glad he stayed in it and finished so courageously. As a result we won our team division (80+) and were also the overall fastest team beating out the young bike racers.
(to be fair, I found later that these bike racers were roadies...even the pro....so not in their element).


What would you do differently?:

Nothing
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around for a while, but mostly stood by the finish line waiting, watching and congratulating others.
I noticed something weird. After racing I could actually walk still...without a limp...
Haven't felt that way in 2 years. Weird. But good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The canoe can never be compared from year to year because we just have no idea at what rate the river is flowing. Our canoe this year was a few seconds faster than my canoe last year with Brad, but Brad is a STRONG paddler. Of course we had a few mishaps during which slowed us down..
As for the bike and the run, I was slower in both this year. I need to check the speeds of other bikers year over year too. I think that other consistent cyclists about my speed were slower too. There's no consistency on the trails. Things change, trees fall, soil erodes.
However, the run should be pretty comparable. The temps were mild both years, even better this year and I was slower by a small amount. :(
Just not improving year over year for the first time since I really went all-in with my training....

Event comments:

Ok, so during the awards ceremony Shaun and I got the team win and a trip to the podium.
They also recognize the fastest individual male and female in the race (of those who did all legs, not relay peeps). That was me! It was pretty cool to get that honor. But guess what? When they called up the fastest female, it was my daughter Morgan!

It was pretty cool when the names were called and everyone realized she was my daughter...!!!!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2013-10-07 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:38:57 | 4000 meters | 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/142
Performance: Good
This is not a swim, but a canoe!
Suit:
Course: Downstream point to point on a small river
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding:
T1
Time: 00:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
00:38:42 | 08 miles | 12.40 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/142
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Awesome singletrack! Lots of fall leaves covering the ground, a couple of soft/slick places but I knew where they were. Big old seed pods the size of grapefruit fall in large numbers this time of year and sit on the trail...must watch and avoid!
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
T2
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
00:17:30 | 02.5 miles | 07m  min/mile
Age Group: 1/
Overall: 2/142
Performance: Good
Course: rolling, twisting singletrack.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2013-10-17 12:44 PM

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Master
2326
200010010010025
Columbia, TN
Subject: Jailbreak Triathlon


2013-10-17 1:38 PM
in reply to: #4879250

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Veteran
493
100100100100252525
Redding, CA
Subject: RE: Jailbreak Triathlon

Awsome race Jeff. Way to defend your title and congrats to your daughter on her great race too. That sounds like a really fun event.

2013-10-18 7:20 AM
in reply to: JonnyVero

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Expert
1361
10001001001002525
Tallahassee
Silver member
Subject: RE: Jailbreak Triathlon
Congrats...you own that race! Wow it sounds like a lot of fun...again congrats!

and yes the true bikers have huge legs...I had the opportunity to stand beside a TourDeFrance rider... it is like the NBA, they don't look that big until you get beside them.
2013-10-18 2:57 PM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Expert
2343
200010010010025
Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Jailbreak Triathlon
Jeff congrats on a great race and finishing 1st overall defending your title. I really enjoyed reading your race report as always. I'm also glad to hear that you had a better canoe ride this year. I do remember the mishaps from the last race. You had a great bike and run as well. Also pretty smart strategy in not getting caught up in the race and letting things play out for you. Congrats to your partner and to Morgan as well sounds like she had a great race as well, you must be very proud of her.
2013-10-19 5:14 AM
in reply to: #4879250

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Master
3462
200010001001001001002525
Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Jailbreak Triathlon

Outstanding race!!  I loved the read!  This is causing me to want to run some trails and grab a mountain bike and expand some of my triathlon to Xterra events. 

The cycling leg began to make the RR one of the best one's to read for a long time.  I hadn't looked at the time or placement info before beginning the read, and this is not normally the case, so I had no idea how this would turn out.  It sounds like a great race and you're a great tactician going into your events, making for an even better storyline as you write.

Congrats to you and a huge CONGRATULATION to Morgan as well!!

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