Tri Indy - Olympic Course
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Tri Indy - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic
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I waited for what seemed to be forever to get in the water. After seeding myself in the "above average group I ended up waiting until the slower swimmers went off. It seems they were offering the faster swimmer the availability to move ahead of the rest of everyone waiting in line but I couldn't hear the guy on the bull horn.
Once in the water I hit the first 200-300 pretty fast and decided I wouldn't be able to keep that kind of pace for the whole distance so I began to back things down little bit. I started breathing to one side, every other stroke, in an attempt to keep from suffering from a little hypoxia as I seem to do at the beginning of most race swims. Trying this seems to have allowed the ability to set my rhythm up sooner and allow me a little more comfort from the start making my swim less stressful.
From the beginning of the swim I was constantly passing people. After leaving so late after the gun time (over 20 minutes) I had plenty of slow swimmers ahead of me to pass. Throughout the entire course I looked for someone that I could draft for a little bit to catch a little bit of recovery but there was no one swimming that fast ahead of me, I was just to far in the back at the start.
One of the things I was able to do was to "slingshot" people and blast by them in a hyper kind of state. I could tell as I was approaching these swimmers from the water currents around their kick. I would pull in slightly behind them and to one side or the other, lay back for maybe 2-3 strokes and launch a little bit from there. I was able to pass what seemed to be much faster and carry a slightly faster momentum for several more strokes on the way through. This saved me effort but not really much time. I had hoped that it would allow the preservation of energy for the bike and later on the run.
What would you do differently?:
I think I could have swam harder. I allowed myself to relax a little to much toward the end of the swim when I should have tried to kick it up a notch. For the last 100 yds I did try to nail a harder kick to get my legs a little more prepared for the ride.
Make sure I start my watch!! I am pretty sure I pressed what I thought was the start button but I either didn't hit it at all or missed it completely. All times for the swim and T1 are from the official race time and not from Garmin. I am also missing all of the stroke data that I love to analyze.
All went well in the transition area. I felt really smooth at this race. I'm not sure what I was doing so "right" but things were seamless as much as I could tell.
The only problem I had was getting my feet in my shoes....AGAIN. I couldn't get my feet on top of my pedals for a few seconds. Then I missed grabbing the back of my right shoe, which is normally the best side to put on, and had to take another few seconds to get my foot back on top of that one.
What would you do differently?:
More practice getting in and out of my shoes while riding. I had planned on practicing this with each ride during training but I seem to always forget to take them off while at the end of my rides, then I swear I'll do it next time and I forget.
Overall this was a very fast time for the day. According the race results I had the 6th fastest T1 out of all of the athletes on the olympic race.
As I began this bike I wanted to keep the intensity a little lower than the last couple of races I have done. My thoughts were that I was trashing myself so much on the bike that my run was suffering from the strain I had already put my cardio system through and thereby sabotaging my running pace.
My problem at the beginning, as it turned out, was a very high HR early on the bike. It didn't seem like I could get it settled down until after the first loop.
The entire first loop felt like a sufferfest. I was struggling with my effort and I felt out of rhythm all the way. I had trouble figuring out what was going on. I thought it might have been some kind of fueling issue but I felt that I had done all the right things the day and night before the race and even immediately prior to the race for breakfast. I decided I needed to fuel a little more because I didn't really slow any training down early in the week, at least not much.
Half way through the first loop the course turned quite rough, as it does every year, and I was struggling thinking about having to suffer through the same stretch again. This was all a mental mind game because I was struggling to focus at all. I even thought about for a few fleeting seconds about backing my effort down so I could regain some focus and strength to be able to finish. I opted to stay at the same effort, took in a gel for a little more fuel, just in case, and hoped for the best. I was able to maintain my effort and my speeds stayed in the same range and effort level for the rest of the loop.
At the beginning of the second loop I seemed to have regained my strength without having to back down any time on the first loop but my speeds seemed to increase as my HR seemed to decrease. Obviously I was a little confounded by what was going on but I think after I committed to staying in the same intensity zone and getting a little more calories in my system by planning on drinking all of my bottle (strong Heed) and hitting the gel that that was exactly what I needed.
The second loop went by at blazing speeds, it seemed. It felt as if I was a totally different athlete for this loop. By this time most of the sprint distance athletes were out on the course and I was almost always in the passing zone on the left side of the road. I actuall think that with all of the cyclists on the road we were creating our own "wind" and I was able to capitalize on this and gain speeds that might not otherwise have been possible for me on this day.
As I neared he finish, about 4-5 miles away, I planned my last few miles so I knew how exactly I would finish the bike. I determined to not relax at all but instead, keep the hammer down all the way through to the transition area. The only thing I planned differently was to grabbed a bigger gear and allow my cadence to slow but apply a little more power to the pedals so I could maintain speed and let my cardio recover while getting my legs ready for a different turnover. I finished at the dismount line almost as good as my 2011 Warsaw race where I slammed on the brakes at the dismount line and had the judge screaming at me to STOP!!! It was not nearly as dramatic but it seemed a good dismount.
What would you do differently?:
I would fuel a little bit better in the day or two ahead, especially since I didn't really drop my training back much in the week before this race.
Other than that I think the bike was alright. Despite not having the speeds on the bike I was looking for (about 23 MPH) for this race I feel it was an okay ride. Definitely not a stellar performance but decent no matter what.
I should have had a little better time in this transition than I do. If I could pull off a :47 on T1 I should have been able to do much better in the is transition.
My shoes seemed to give me a very slight problem. I also remember thinking about how I wanted to actually put mu shoes on AND I couldn't get my visor on my head the first time or second time. It took 3 times before I could get it on my head. This was what cost me a great time in this race.
What would you do differently?:
There's not much I could do. I might be able to find a difference visor but this is my trademark color so Lis can find me while I'm out on the course, so I'll probably stick to this for a while longer.
I started this run feeling better than I have felt over the past couple of races. The past 2 races I have hammered hard enough on the bike that I think I may have had a slower run as a result. This time I think I put together a good effort to allow a solid ruin for me.
As I left transition I allowed a little bit of time to collect myself and try to feel my way into the run more than just going for broke like I can do in a sprint race. I felt really good and my legs were strong, breathing was labored but under control and my HR was in check. I felt like things should work out.
About a half mile in I hit the part of the run that always comes at some point. Again, legs were good but I was struggling to catch my breath and actually get a deep breath into my lungs. I experience this every race and have come to know this is where the effort proves to become more of a mental one than a physical one. This is usually the beginning of the part where I think about slowing down and relaxing for a little bit. But every time I seem to be able to get into the physical part of the race and let the mental part fall aside and keep racing.
I still felt really good at the 2nd mile and checked my watch a few time to see my pace and other physical conditions. I had noticed before this that my average pace for the first mile was under 7:00 and I was really interested in trying to stay under this pace for the whole run segment. The way I felt as I crossed the 2nd mile and at the beginning of the 3rd, I seemed to "know" it was going to happen.
I began to plan the last loop of this 2 loop course in my head. I thought I would be able to go on an extremely good pace of 6:40 for the last full mile if things went well. My legs and HR were still in good shape and I had recovered from the seeming hypoxic state that I had been in earlier without having to slow down much. I kept this plan in mind and keep running.
I had a few bouts of self doubt that I could maintain the pace for the second loop but these were pretty short lived during mile 4 and 5. Then toward the end of mile 5 I began to feel the stitch coming on again. It was at this point that I knew I was running where I should have been the whole race. I also began to seriously reconsider whether I could go as low as 6:40 on the last mile.
The last mile began the suffering I hate when it comes on. My typical mantra during these last parts of a race is; "I can do anything for 7 more minutes" and "This is only going to hurt for a little bit longer."
As I saw the finishing line approaching i began to get pretty excited about the end of my pain but as I looked up from the ground after rounding the final corner, I saw the race clock. For the first time I remember noticing the clock and actually being able to remember how my time compared to my last Tri-Indy race time. I had cut time! After the feeling I had experienced on the first loop of the bike I thought there was no way I would cut time. I made it!
What would you do differently?:
I think this was a well planned run leg. I allowed myself to set a high goal of going sub 7:00 for the run, yet allowed some "in race planning" to go on real time. This seemed to work out quite well for this race.
I had to get some fluids in me. I had only taken one cup of Gatorade at the beginning of the run and about a half swallow at the beginning of the second loop and I needed to get something in me.
Once I got some fluids and my wind I went back to the canal and sank back into it and cooled down.
What limited your ability to perform faster:
Overall I would say that my lack of any kind of real taper had to have had some subtle adverse affects on how I performed but it would have been a very marginal one at worst. Where I was able to catch back up was on the fueling on the bike via Heed and 2 gels. With these 2 sources of fuel I regained my strength and was able to pull of a decent race.
Last year I placed 10/63 AG and 49/505 so I was pleased to move up in the AG standings as well the overall AND cut exactly 3 minutes from last year.
Last updated: 2012-01-29 12:00 AM
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75F / 24C
Overall Rank = 34/430
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 5/56
I finally had most of the normal, ritualistic breakfast of yogurt, coffee and milk. I was missing the granola and fruit I normally would throw on the top for a little more filling and a few more carbs.
I was out of bed a few minutes before the alarm went off and tried not to wake everyone in the camper, grab my gear, dressed and got on with everything else.
Once everyone else was up and ready we left.....about 5 minutes later than usual but with the incredible thunderstorm we got en-route to the venue and the 30 minute ensuing delay I had all kinds of time to get my gear set up and be ready.
I ran .8 miles at a comfortable pace which was a little slower than usual; but the walk to the swim start being 1 mile away would be a little bit more of a WU or at least it wouldn't allow me to much to cool down. I also rode the bike for a little over 2 miles but tried to hit it a little harder since it was after the run and the bike course is not conducive to riding until the actual race begins because of traffic.
The swim WU was pretty uneventful and I got about 200 yards overall with some up pacing toward the end.