My first Triathlon
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Tri Indy - Olympic Course - Triathlon
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65F / 18C
= 2h 11m 32s
Age Group Rank
The anticipation of this race had been building for a few months. Jeff and I were looking forward to racing head to head since early this year
). So I was really anxious in the 2 weeks or so coming into this day.
I met Jeff
(and his son Evan
) on Saturday for the first time. I helped him set his tent up and told him we could ride together to packet pick up and then to dinner. We were off with plenty of time to get downtown, pick up our packets, preview the course and then get to dinner. I think I was able to provide a lot of information for Jeff about the run course turn for the second loop that hopefully helped him have a good race. The challenge of this course in a couple of spots, if you aren't familiar wit the course, are the turns for the bike and run loops. As I was discussing these issues with Jeff I thought it would help both of us have our best possible races to make this as even a head to head match up as possible. We walked some of the areas out for the bike in and the turn for the second loop on the run course.
On race day we met in the transition area and were able to rack right next to each other. This was a pretty great deal! Each of us would be able to see if the other were out on a particular part of the race and maybe gain some type of advantage over the other. Although in hind sight I definitely had the advantage here, but more on that later.
We got our transitions set up and I started for the swim start area and Jeff went to his truck to get a sleeveless wetsuit. From this point on Jeff and I didn't see each other until after the race.
Other than these details my normal race night sleeplessness was the occurrence and my morning meal was the recent normal. I did figure out once Lis and I got to the venue that I had forgotten my Heed in the fridge at the camper. This sent me in a bit of a panic until I remembered I had my frame mounted aero bottle in my transition bag, so I simply needed to add some water or Gatorade.
The warm up was mostly the long walk with about 1/4 mile light jog to the swim start area and a 100 yard swim to loosen my arms and shoulders. As I was getting ready to go for another 100 yards I noticed Lis waving at me that Jeff just went into the water at the start. I had been glancing around looking for him as I got myself ready and had hoped to catch him so we could go off together. With this missed opportunity, I quickly got out of the water and made my way to the start and dove in. Lis signaled to me just before I got in the water that Jeff had went off about 2 minutes ahead of me.
The race was on!!!
01m 30s / 100 yards
As I dove in the water I tried to hit the start button on my watch to begin the race. I either missed it or it didn't start because I immediately rolled to my back and hit the start button again and checked that it was actually started.
Once swimming I was immediately caught up in the hype of this race. I knew Jeff was in front of me by what I thought was a couple of minutes and I wanted to narrow this margin significantly if possible, so I began to aggressively swim harder than I might normally have swum. I had been trying to do dial my efforts up on the swim for most of this season since I've not seen race day swim improvements that I feel I should be seeing.......Today was a test day!
The first 500 yards or so I felt really fast in the water. I felt like I had a really crisp rhythm and a smooth stroke. The traffic in the canal was light, from my perspective, sine I seemed to get off in a much better placement of the field this year than last.
(Last year I was late on the swim entry and swam through some really slow people.
) However, the second person ahead of me during the entry immediately began to breaststroke!?!? Really?? She would have to have had to put in "above average" or "average" in her entry registration and she's breast stroking the first 10 yards? Seriously??.......
Anyway, these first 500 yards were crisp ans clean feeling. I was passing people at will and I didn't even consider drafting at this point. Everyone ahead of me was much slower and there would have been no good reason to draft at this point and this comfort level in a race.
As I was swimming along using the right side to breath more than the left, because right is most comfortable, I could see Lis and Evan at first, but within a few minutes Evan was gone. I figured he broke with Lis and was headed toward Jeff. As I watched Lis on the side of the canal on my way through the course it appeared to me that I was cruising along fairly quickly. My judgement based on the appearance of Lis walking, what seemed to me, as pretty fast clip.
This year during the swim I tried to stay more in the center of the canal through the first, long straightaway to avoid some of the congestion that seems to occur on the outsides of the canal where people seem to use the side to navigate more clearly. The central swimming approached seemed to work well for me today.
Knowing the course relatively well after having swum this race 3 other times I knew I was about halfway through when I noticed Evan and Lis back together. When I noticed this I wondered if I was getting close or passed Jeff. I really had no way of knowing for certain if Jeff was close by, but I felt optimistic. After leaving the start in the neighborhood of 2 minutes +/- of Jeff I thought this might give me an opportunity to put a gap in between us that would be harder for him to erase.
For the next little bit I pressed a little harder to try to gain some ground on Jeff, not really knowing if I was actually ahead of him or if this harder push would place me over the redline toward the end of the race.
After another couple of hundred yards I allowed myself a little bit of a break when I caught the heels of another competitor I had been noticing ahead of me for a minute or so. I was approaching him slowly and in his route of travel, so I pulled up just to his right and drafted for a few seconds to help recover and simply reduce my effort briefly. Once there it seemed that he was trying to swim a little of the line. I pulled back a bit, because I was headed toward the wall slightly, and came up on his left side to draft a little longer. Now it seemed he was making his course correction and coming back to the left again. I paused for another second or so and launched past him.
I was now getting about 250 yards or so away from the finish. I was beginning to figure out where i was going to launch into kicking a little harder to begin to get my legs ready to ride. I decided I would wait until I reached the last turn and swim the last 30-40 yards with a strong kick. Once I began to kick harder I could feel a huge amount of propulsion and I watched as a I passed a couple of more people I had worried might slow my swim exit.
What would you do differently?:
I don't think anything. I had been trying to figure out if I had been going to easy over the swim I have been doing for the entire season and it seems I had been after a look back on this race. This was a harder effort that proved I am capable of dialing the swim effort up without having a diminished effect on the bike and run.
As I came into T1 I had to remove my watch and cap and goggles before trying to get my wetsuit off. The swim out and the rack were so close together that I didn't have a chance to even unzip my suit before I was standing in front of my bike.
Then I felt like I was fumbling around with everything I touched! I was really frustrated. Lis commented after the race that she could see me shaking my head in frustration and she knew I wasn't feeling right about my activity in T1.
As I was struggling with these things all I could think of was that I didn't have time to be making these errors and beat Jeff. I knew he was hot on my heels and a slow transition time was going to burn me later.
Then as I was headed out on the bike I had all kinds of trouble getting into and even ON to my shoes. It felt horrible!! And all I could think about was Jeff burning through me on the bike!
What would you do differently?:
It sounds counter intuitive but I would slow down. My hurriedness seems to cause me to loose my abilty to be determined with my movements.
1h 02m 36s
As I left on the bike I was feeling the pressure of Jeff being behind me. I know he's a better cyclist than I and i felt like he would be coming up behind me at anytime throughout the course.
As normally experienced, I felt as if I were dying for most of the first loop. My HR was elevated and my breathing was heavy. As I approached the end of the first loop I was beginning to feel like I was at the proper effort and my HR seemed to fall into line with where I would like to see it.
The entire first loop was at an effort that I had hoped was sustainable while very challenging. As I was bolting through the course I don't remember being passed at all by any riders. I felt like I was cruising very fast and passing people at will.
The first time across the rail road tracks on W White River Parkway I was able to stay at a solid speed because there was little traffic at this particular point. There were no sprint athletes out on the bike yet and this allowed for fewer obstacles to move in and through. Once across these tracks the road smooth out for a while and the passing continued...............And I kept listening for the sounds of Jeff's disc to be coming up behind me.
As I entered the Velodrome drive I noticed the asphalt was very new. This made for a very fast section of the course and some hard fast cornering through some of the tight turns that last year had been laced with sandy gravel and small crevices that made for treacherous conditions of riding to fast in the corners. I was able to nail this section very well.
Out of this section and onto the E White River Parkway began the worst of the roads. The riders here wer no where near where they were supposed to be. Many of them were staying in the center of the lane or on the right side of the lane. I passed a couple of people on the right because I would have been in the oncoming traffic lane had I not passed on the right. I would have been wise to do as Jeff did and call out that I was passing on the left rather than take a chance on being penalized for an illegal pass. I will say it was aggravating to have to figure out if the riders were going to stay in the current position or move to the right when they heard me coming. If the riders were in a questionable position I would call out that I was passing.
As I was approaching the end of the first loop I noticed there were very, very few people that were on the bike course ahead of me. It was really encouraging to see the course spread out more than I normally have seen it. I knew this wouldn't last much longer because the sprint athletes were now out on the course in full force and I just had to make my way back into that section for the last loop.
The second loop had me thinking Jeff had to be coming really soon!! I was almost waiting for him to pop around me. I kept telling myself if I can get to the point or that point on the course I should be alright with the gap I had left from the swim. But I never pulled back from the effort.
The second loop was almost as uneventful as the first other than the continuous passing I was doing. I was almost completely unable to get onto the right side of the road anywhere because there were so many people on the course. The second rail crossing was something that caused me to pass another rider on the right because he suddenly hammered his brakes and came so close to stopping that I had no choice but to move to his right and go around him. The alternative would have been to slam into the rear of his bike launching both of us out of the race.
What would you do differently?:
I am missing all of the lap data from the ride
). I am not really sure what happened to cause this. There must have been something change that caused this to happen. I'll need to figure this out before another race. I was unable to see much information during the ride so I was riding nearly all on RPE, but it worked out well........So I guess I wouldn't change anything other than making sure my watch was operating properly.
My shoes were flipping on the ground like they did in Muncie a few weeks ago. I didn't notice until after the race but I threw my chain off the chain ring while headed to the rack.
I seem to have had a better transition here but there seems to be much less to do and I was more comfortable for this one
What would you do differently?:
06m 53s min/km
The beginning of the run was better than I have had for many of the races over the past couple of years. I think I have finally learned to pace a little slower out of T2 than I had been for the first couple of years. After the past few races, excluding Defiance, I have been trying to run a little bit more controlled out of T2 rather than trying to get right up to race pace in a hundred yards or so. This seem to reduce the feeling of poor air exchange.
Leaving T2 I felt in control of my run. I wanted to try to work my way into another PR for the run as opposed to a PR only on the bike at this race, unlike what I seemed to get caught up in at Muncie. At the first mile marker I noticed my run split was about 6:47 and my HR was in the low to mid 160's, which should be about right for a 10k run off the bike. These splits were the last I would see. Something happened to my watch that caused everything to drop. It may have been as Jeff suggested; I lost satellite reception. I have no splits at all for the bike or the run and cannot gauge any of my race based on laps.......Frustrating!!
The run course was somewhat empty kind of like the end of the bike course. I hadn't seen the run course with this few a number of participants in the previous years I had been racing. When I came to the bridge crossing the White River I had no one to pass on this first loop, something I usually have had to navigate. I felt like I was well ahead of the field. Except for the runner that passed me just before the bridge I had not been passed on the run to this point but I had been passing other runners myself.
As I headed back into downtown it seemed I could feel the wind on my back and it seemed to provide a slight push combines with the very slight downward grade. I felt like I was cruising pretty decent at a reduced effort. I think this is where I began to feel like I could back my efforts down some. My pain cave was beginning to get darker and I may have allowed my pace to slow a but at this point. With no data it's hard to say, but at the halfway point in many of my races seems to be where I find myself giving up some.
As I approached the turn
(About a half mile out
) I saw Evan and suggested he trip Jeff when he came by, just to ensure I would win of course. And then I was rounding the small bend where I saw Lis beginning to snap some pictures of me. As I passed her I asked where Jeff was. She replied; "About 10 seconds back." At this point I began to think about the gap on the swim and I wasn't sure how much it might be and that I had 1 more lap to go on the run. I began to wonder if I had enough in me to pick up the pace and make sure he passed me as late as possible to make sure I could pull off this win.
I tried to dial the pace up a just enough to have a faster pace but not so much that I would have to dial it further backward than I had already been running. My goal was to even split these last miles but I have no way of knowing how my splits actually came in. The first mile and a half of the loops were a slight incline but only just enough to add a little bit of effort, so my pace was likely slower on this part of the second loop than the back half.
I took a little bit of water at the first aid station, near the run and bike out's but only enough that I could wet my throat a little bit. The rest went over my head.
The rest of this loop had me passing many of the sprint athletes and I don't recall being passed until late in the second loop. I could hear the footsteps coming for a minute or so and wondered if I were going to get that tap on the shoulder. It turned out to be an olympic athlete who was cruising fast enough to pass me and finish about 1-15 seconds in front of me. I tried to even up our paces and use him as a pace setter for the last mile or so but I was beginning to fade slightly and had to let him go. As we headed past the final aid station I took a little more water and poured most of it over my head after taking another small sip.
The final push was started at this point and I was about 1 mile or a little less from the finish. I planned to push myself a little harder, possibly catch up to the previous runner and set another solid PR for the overall distance. Because of my watch malfunction I had no idea what kind of overall time I was expecting to put down but I felt pretty good. It was during this last mile that I knew I had the head to head competition between Jeff and I won, but I was now looking to bury my old Oly PR if I could. Now, after the race, I wonder if I would have been able to set a much higher goal for the next time had I known what the clock looked like at this race. It still grieves me that I couldn't see the time and splits I was running because I'm such a data junkie.
As I crossed the finish line I immediately turned to look for Jeff. Lis caught this in digital format from her perspective. I was looking to see when he might come in and for Lis to see if she had seen where he was and so I could ask what he was wearing.
(I hadn't seen hit race top prior to the race.
) When I saw him coming I waited for him and for the "high ten" for a great race.
What would you do differently?:
Push slightly harder through the first loop but not for the first half mile. The first half mile felt like I was dialed in.. After the first mile or so I think I allowed myself to relax a little for the first loop and began to pick up the tempo when Lis told me Jeff was only about 10 seconds back at the turn to begin the second loop.
There was none. Jeff and I talked about the race from each of our perspectives as we panted heavily and Lis retrieved some Gatorade for us. After a few minutes we began to wonder around the finishing area and grab some food and pick up our personal items that had been left at the swim start.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Besides the head to head competition I had been looking forward to
(and been nervous about
) for several months I had another purpose to race harder than I may normally have been able to push myself. As I prepared my transition area I felt very relaxed and only reminded myself of my primary motivational factor occasionally through the morning until I began the race. I feel like I could have run harder for the run for sure and may have been a little faster on the bike too, but overall the only thing that could have made this race faster for me would have been fitness. I think I was as physically prepared for this race as I could have been.
This is a really good race and venue. I love the large race feel and this is Lisa's favorite race as well.
More post race commentary:
After the race and grabbing some small portions of food, we all headed back to the campground and hung out for a couple of more hours. We sat at Jeff and Evan's campsite and chatted for a couple of hours and talked about this race and others and about all of the training plans we had in the coming months. It was great to be able to hang out and get to know Jeff a little more in more practical manner. Jeff and I both commented about how we would have had a really great time if all of the Junkies could have made the trip as planned. We also discussed that maybe we could do it again next year and get more participation if there were an earlier planning process for everyone.
Last updated: 2013-07-09 12:00 AM
00:24:35 | 1642 yards | 01m 30s / 100yards
This is along the canal through downtown Indianapolis and sighting isn't much of an issue
75F / 24C
Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:02:36 | 24.85 miles | 24.04 mile/hr
No credible data! The watch got some bug and recorded the absolute minimum data.
2 loop course through the northwest side of the downtown area.
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:42:10 | 06.21 kms | 06m 53s min/km
No credible data! The watch got some bug and recorded the absolute minimum data.
The course was a 2 loop course that is mostly flat to a very slight elevation gain on the way back toward the finish/transition area.
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]
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