Friday, August 13, 2010

Race Report

National Capital Olympic Triathlon July 31, 2010
Race Week: A week a felt a little “off”, the only thing I can pin point was on Sunday I was stung by a hornet (which hurt a LOT) then Monday and Tuesday I had a huge headache, consequently all week long my workouts all felt a little off. I even had a cramp in my foot swimming (haven’t had that happen in ages) on Thursday. I was also trying to wrap several things up at work (as I was taking the next week off) so the whole week was a little “off”.
Race Morning: I had planned to get up at 5:15 but ended up sleeping in till 5:50am. I got up and tried to eat breakfast but couldn’t eat much which is pretty normal. I ended up leaving the house a little late (I was biking in to the race venue) I guess it was fair to say I was a little unorganized this morning. Further evidence of that was I forgot my one of my water bottles and my energy gels. LESSON LEARNED: plan ahead, have a plan for the race and race morning no matter the size of the race.
Warm up: I biked into the race (about 40mins) and again felt off, had a small stomach cramp (not a good sign). Once at the race I set up my transition area (for those that aren’t sure what a transition area is: it is a the large area at the race where racers rack their bikes and “transition” between sports, each racer has their only little spot to set up their bike and running shoes and anything else they need). My run warm up was fine, felt good on the run. I got a quick swim warm up in as I didn’t have much time left (see Race Morning Section!)
Swim: My plan was to stick to the outside away from any contact. In a couple of previous races I have gotten boxed in with a bunch of other swimmers and it really isn’t a good feeling. I felt ok after the first 250m, from 300m to the turn around I really struggled with my motivation (not sure why) but I even took some breatsrokes when I really didn’t have any reason to do so. After the turn around  I really got going I think I brought it home fairly strong and swam a pretty straight line. Time : 25:58

SWIM LESSON LEARNED: I could have swam harder. I also have to trust my training  (but I still need more more longer straight open water swims) I keep looking for reasons _not_ to push it in the swim, if I want to get faster I will have to push it more in the swim.
Transition 1: I past 3-4 people on the run up to t-zone, wetsuit came of great, watch strap didn’t go on well (despite practicing it) passed one more person running out with the bike. Mount was OK.
Bike: I wanted to really push the pace one the bike. The course was a 4 * 10km loop course (for 40km) and the out portion was into the head wind and you would get the tale wind on the back portion. On a course like this (closed to traffic and multi lap) my plan was simple: bike as hard as possible and take nutrition on at each turn around. Everything went according to plan, so there is not much to say about the bike. The only problem was that my chain would skip on the bottom three gears so I could use them on the downhills (lost a little time there) and at about half way the hips felt a little tight but the legs felt great the whole time. Time: 1:03:33
Here is the Speed vs Heart Rate Graph from the race:

One Race shot from the race photographer (notice the drafter stuck behind me....he is hard to see as he is stuck to my wheel after I past him, something you are not aloud to do! HINT: look at the second shadow behind me)

T2: very good in and out no wasted time
Run: felt great starting the run I purposely held back because I know that first 1kmcan be really fast especially on this course, I even tucked in behind a guy who started talking about how some guys on the bike hand only done 3laps????) everything was going good and I was feeling really good until a slight downhill at 4.25kms and my hamstring tightend up, crap!@!!! Not good, I kept running but had to slow my pace up a fair bit… I didn’t give up instead I shifted my focus to counting my steps to distract my brain from the hamstring tightness, this seemed to work and after about 1.5kms I was back to normal. But I wasn’t running with a full stride ( I saw a duathalete running who was a pure runner, and that is how I should be running in a tri). A 8.25km left I picked up my pace and passed I guy that had been in front of me for a while, I tried to bring it home as hard as I could, the last km has a huge hill in it and it _HURT_ , with 100m to go you turn of the path and run up a small hill to run to the finishing shoot, I ran that as hard as I could, I running down the shoot I looked up and saw the clock and it said 2:14:33, I had 27secs to break 2:15 and only about 50m left, I put my head down and ran as hard as I could. Time: 40:15
Here is the run splits from the race guess where the cramp hit??

RUN LESSONS LEARNED: I still think I have another notch on the run (avg HR 173 for a 10km it should be closer to 177) it is hard to keep and even pace on this course but if possible I should have done it.

more photos here
Overall: Crossed in 2:14:42 good for 10th place I a, Happy with placing and time (about 2min improvement over last yea), but not happy with my swim performance. I think my run could have been better as well.

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