Friday, July 20, 2007

Race report: Old Colony YMCA Triathlon Olympic Distance

Race report:
The race was a blast, and I can’t wait for my next one.

The cool factors about the race:
The race is in the town I used to live in, and it was a great home coming.
I got to race with two great guys from my old neighborhood.
My wife and kids got to help man a water station and the kids got to give me water.
Post race beers with old gang.

The swim:
Due to a tragic incident the week before the race the race promoter FIRM Racing decided it would be better/safer if the swim was two laps rather then the one lap they have used in the past. This way if a racer thought they could not complete the swim they could bail after one lap. So, the course went from 1 mile, to what should be ½ mile, but I think winded up being longer. I checked swim times for the top 10 athletes for the past few years and this year’s swim times were approx 30% longer than any other past race.
So the swim for me kicked my but, I have a hard time with open water swims. I just get a little freaked out in the dark water, and I just can’t control my heart rate. Toward the end of the first lap I regained my composure and was able to swim like I wanted, and the second lap went fine. I did side and back swim a bit because I needed a break, the longer distance really killed me.

Coming out of the water was the best, I made it!
I got to T1 and thought where the hell are all the bikes?
T1 was 50-70 meters from the swim, and I was able to get in and out in 2:49. Not too bad for me, I did have one issue, I did not dry off enough and my socks got a little wet, and this would haunt me on the run because the wet sock rubbed a whole in the heel.

The bike:
The course was 4 laps of a nice quite loop.
I did not ship my bike, but instead I was able to borrow a very nice bike from a friend, who is a super triathlete. It was a nice ride, pretty flat with just a few rollers. So I got on the bike sucked down a gel and a bottle of Gatorade and tried to make some miles.
My borrowed bike had aero bars and this was new for me, and I have to say I like them. I liked them so much I just installed a pair last night.

Not much here, in and out in 1:51.

The run:
At T2 I decided to leave my bottle of Gatorade and Hammer gel, I did not think I needed it, big mistake. The only thing on the bike/run course was water, this was bad, and I think that FRIM Racing and the YMCA has to do better next time. With that said in the goody bad was a Hammer gel and packet to sports drink, so they did provide us with something.
So without my calories I really felt flat and I had really hard time on the run. Now that’s not to say that the missing nutrition was the reason for the pain but it added to it. Many factors played in to this, my lack of training, I am still a newbie and this was my second ever race, and the longest. I should have checked to see what they would have out on the course for food. I had been sleeping on an air mattress for four nights and had not been able to get regular nights sleep. I am not trying to cop out in anyway, I need to prepare better.

Final thoughts:

This was a learning experience for me, and I took away from this more that I thought I could. I mean to say I am much better racer and person because of it, you really get to see what kind of metal you’re made of. This was a challenge for me, I never thought I could make the swim/bike/run, this was a battle of mind and body, one that I am glad I took.
3 hours 43 minutes and 1 seconds of excitement, tension, anxiety, pain and many other emotions.
I am happy with my race.
I kicked ass.


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