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Morro Bay Triathlon - Olympic Kayak - Triathlon


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Morro Bay, California
United States
All Out Events
65F / 18C
Sunny
Total Time = 3h 19m 2s
Overall Rank = 7/13
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Not having my own, I picked up a loaner kayak from my coworker. Being his wife's it was a little small for me and the paddle was short. I still felt it would be faster than my slow (yet very stable) SUP I mostly use to paddle support for a local open water swimming group. Next up was packet picket and dinner at a seafood place on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay where I enjoyed fish caught by the local fishing boats.
Event warmup:

Drove out to the event site, unloaded the kayak, parked my car then made it over to the transition area which was already getting crowded. Found a spot and set up my transition. With some time before the race start I took a few pictures then went down to the water line. After the first two waves of swimmers I launched my kayak and paddled to the boat start.
Swim
  • 32m 40s
  • 3000 meters
  • 01m 05s / 100 meters
Comments:

The paddle start was a mix of kayaks and SUP's in a loose flotilla. As we awaited the start it was a little tricky to stay in position as a breeze was pushing us down the course. Finally the starting horn blared and we were off! A couple of the very fast looking race kayaks leap out to a fast lead while the rest of us formed a loose pack. I was surprised to see the SUPs keeping pace with the kayaks as I expected them to be a little slower.

Being in a sit-in loaner kayak that was a little small I found my knees a bit cramped and the small paddle made it hard to get a good solid stroke. Not having done any kayaking in a couple years I wasn't ready for the arm work out as the muscle demand is different than paddling on a SUP. After about 5 minutes I was able to get into a groove however most of the pack had pulled ahead of me.

The course first went by a couple working piers with fishing boats docked, past a floating platform occupied by curious harbor seals, then followed the shoreline of the Embarcadero and the restaurants that faced the water. Hopefully we provided some entertainment for anyone enjoying an early breakfast.

At the turn around the gentle tailwind became a gentle headwind. Those on SUP's near me slowed and I was able to gradually overtake them. My arms were getting tired as I finally finished the paddle at back the starting beach. I jumped out, volunteers pulled the kayak up off the beach, and I jogged up to the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

A more appropriate sized kayak and paddle would have helped my time. Otherwise I was pleased considering my lack of kayaking leading up to the event.
Transition 1
  • 04m 2s
Comments:

Jogged my way to my spot, about half to a third of the bikes were still racked so there were plenty of riders out there for me to try and pass. I removed my water shoes, cleaned the sand off my feet, and finally got my socks and cycling shoes on. Took a few moments to down a Clif gel shot before donning my cycling gloves and helmet. I could have eaten the gel on the go however I find that a bit distracting on the bike. Grabbed my bike and jogged to the exit, mounted and I was off!
What would you do differently?:

Could have hustled a bit more to save a few seconds or opted to eat the gel on the bike instead of taking the time to do so in transition.
Bike
  • 1h 26m 27s
  • 40 kms
  • 27.76 km/hr
Comments:

After exiting the event area the first mile of the bike route makes it way to the coastal highway. Once on the highway I settled in and got my legs in gear. Right away I was able to overtake a good number of slower cyclists from the other divisions, from sprint participants on all sorts of bikes to the occasional Oly racer on road bikes.

As the route exited Morro Bay the ocean came into view with 6' waves breaking upon the beach and a steady offshore wind curling the spray off the waves. While the sight was to behold the offshore wind was not as enjoyable on the bike as it acted as a headwind and it would be a factor over the next 15 miles or so.

A few miles up the coast as the highway went past the sleepy beach town of Cayucos was the only major climb, not very long or steep but enough to allow a couple stronger climbers to catch up and pass me. On the resulting downhill I passed them again and I joked with a couple of them as it was a pattern that repeated on some of the smaller inclines.

Heading to the turn around was a gentle incline as the highway turned away from the coast. The offshore wind was more of a headwind after turning around which cancelled out the downhill. Returning to the coast the view down to Morro Bay was excellent, with Morro Rock looming in the distance. I continued to pass the occasional rider however my legs were starting to feel the miles and my shoulders were feeling the effects of the paddling making it harder to stay in aero position.

As we returned to Cayucos the route left the highway to pass through the sleepy town. The day prior was a classic car show so there were still some nice wheels parked on the street as we rode through. A handful of spectators cheered from the coffee shops as they enjoyed breakfast. After exiting town it was back on the highway for the coastal stretch back to Morro Bay.

One final gentle climb as the highway entered Morro Bay, at the top of the bluff I could see the aid station and turn around for the run and I realized how unhappy my legs would be the next time I see it. From this vantage point I could see runners on the beach. Last year the tide was low making the sand dry and soft. Today was a very high tide, the beach was very wet and I looked forward to nice firm damp sand to run upon.

The last few miles through Morro Bay I backed off a bit to give my legs a rest, however the damage was already done. As I entered the event area I slowed down and dismounted at the transition area, happy to be done with the ride but not really looking forward to running on my cooked legs.
What would you do differently?:

Backed off a bit to save my legs for the run.
Transition 2
  • 03m 20s
Comments:

Smooth and uneventful transition. As I jogged out of the transition area I ate a gel for a boost of energy to get me through the run.
Run
  • 1h 12m 31s
  • 10 kms
  • 07m 15s  min/km
Comments:

The start of a run in a triathlon is always on wobbly legs for me and this was no exception. I kept my early pace easy so my legs could get used to the new motion. A half mile in the course veered onto the beach to go over a creek crossing. In years past the creek has been mostly dry due to the drought. This year we had some rain a couple weeks prior so the creek had flowing water. Add the very high tide with large surf and the creek crossing was wide and ankle deep resulting in unavoidable wet feet. I just hoped I would not get a blister. Fortunately my shoes drained fairly quickly but my socks were wet.

After getting through the creek the course went down a great trail through a grove of trees that formed a tunnel. The shade was very welcome as the sun was getting warm. Out of the trees it was on to a running path through a park leading to a quiet neighborhood. The offshore wind from the bike ride was nowhere to be found and the heat of the sun started taking it's toll. After two miles my legs and my mind had not quite made it into running mode and I already started taking short walk breaks. Knowing the turn around was just a mile away I pushed myself to keep going as best I could and gave myself a break going up the bluff to the turn around and aid station.

Heading down the stairs from the top of the bluff down to the beach my legs really started to complain about how hard I pushed on the bike. My thighs threatened to cramp up and I was very glad this was the only downhill stretch of the run. At the bottom I could see Morro Rock once again looming in the distance, now just 3 miles away with the finish line at it's base.

As with the creek crossing, the high tide and surf made the beach a wet mess. It was not the nice damp firm sand I had hoped for. Instead it was large swaths of standing water from where waves pushed water on flat areas of the beach separated by patches of damp sand covering the entire beach up to the dunes with no way to avoid it. A few times a large wave surged the water up into my path reminding me of playing "avoid the water" on the beach as a kid. This time the only choice was to run through it.

Finally after slogging through water and wet sand the end of the beach was near. In past years this meant running through soft dry sand up to the parking lot, however the high tide made this easier as the sand was damp and firm. Back on a running trail I pushed myself to keep going all the way to the finish line where I was happy to finish the grueling run.
What would you do differently?:

Better mental focus during the first half would have helped. The conditions on the beach were tough but manageable had my legs and head been in the game.
Post race
Warm down:

Cooled down and stretched my legs and very happy to be done with the run.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Pushing too hard on the bike without enough bike training leading up to the race cooked my legs. Conditions on the run just compounded the issue.

Event comments:

Fun and challenging race in a very scenic location.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2016-11-07 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:32:40 | 3000 meters | 01m 05s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 10/13
Performance: Good
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1438458590/1
Suit:
Course: Down the bay along the Embarcadero to a turnaround and back.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Shot
Water temp: 61F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 04:02
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
Biking
01:26:27 | 40 kms | 27.76 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 4/13
Performance: Good
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1438458590/3
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Out and back course heading north up the coast out of Morro Bay and past Cayucos.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 03:20
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
Running
01:12:31 | 10 kms | 07m 15s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 8/13
Performance: Below average
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1438458590/5
Course: Up the coast through a quiet neighborhood then down the beach to the finish line.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2016-11-08 12:05 PM

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Regular
866
5001001001002525
Central Coast, CA
Subject: Morro Bay Triathlon - Olympic Kayak


2016-11-08 12:29 PM
in reply to: #5204369

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Expert
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Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Morro Bay Triathlon - Olympic Kayak

You race in the coolest places.  Well done!

2016-11-08 3:22 PM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Regular
866
5001001001002525
Central Coast, CA
Subject: RE: Morro Bay Triathlon - Olympic Kayak

Thanks! California is full of wonderful places to race

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