Colonial Beach Sprint is the only race this year where I get to compare myself and see my acomplishments for the amount of training I have done since December, as this is the only race that I have previously done. All other races in 2016 are brand new to me (thus setting expectations for the years to come). I knew I could PR (Personal Record) the course due to my fitness levels improving in all three disciplines, but this year we had MUCH better weather to endure compared to last year Colonial Beach Sprint race. And to note, I did PR in all three sections! But of course, something irritated me and I’m having to take time to calm down and put things back into perspective and congratulate myself on a good performance.
First, I would like to note that the course has improved compared to last year as the last right hand turn is now a completely new intersection which is nicely paved and slightly less than the 120˚ turn1.
Another PR for me in terms of course times and average speed. I beat last year’s time by 8 MINUTES AND 39 SECONDS! Of course this is not quite fair as I had a transition issue on my bike last year plus the conditions were completely different, however, it’s significant enough for me to confidently state I killed that bike course. How much? I averaged 23.5 MPR over the entire course! Also, check these stats:
This year’s run was so much better than last year in terms of pure enjoyment. Don’t get me wrong… watching the angry mob of ducks SWIMMING by the route in 2015 was entertaining, but not having waterlogged shoes stomping through a 5k definitely helped. I beat last year’s time by 20 seconds2, but again different race conditions should have resulted in better times regardless. My run has not nearly improved over the year as my bike skills. I will have to work on that for next year (YES and swimming needs work… I didn’t forget that! UGH! GET OFF MY CASE!!! HASHTAG StompsAway).
You may be wondering with a Bike and Run Course PR, epic results on those two, and everyone knows by now you can’t swim for $hit… why am I pissed? Because I received my first penalty. I don’t know the official reason for the penalty, but I believe it was on the bike segment and it would be for drafting3. Four of us were basically matched for speed on the back half of the course and somehow we started leapfrogging each other. I’m sure we were too close, thus we got dinged for drafting. Because of this penalty, I was awarded two minutes on my total time, bringing me from Fourth place to Seventh. It may not seem like much, but that is three spots and I’m trying for Super Series points for 2016 so I need all the help I can get, and now this race is almost worthless in terms of points. I won’t know for sure for another week or so until the Super Series points page is updated.
Among the Male 40-44 category there were 23 athletes (excluding the Overall winners)
|Colonial Sprint||750m Swim||T1||14 Mile Bike||T2||5k Run||Total|
Last year I nearly had a head on collision with a car last year, but fortunately traffic was stopped and I could safely maneuver around their front bumper. ↩
I would like to give a shout-out to the teanage girl behind me towards the finish line. I thought you were the dude in my Age Group that I just passed at mile 2.5, and I could hear you sprinting to the finish line. You had me scared… I sprinted too… and my HR data show my HR peaked to 193. You almost killed me, but thanks for the push. ↩
“‘Drafting’ is basically riding right behind another competitor on the bike course. By drafting behind someone you gain an unfair advantage because it allows you to ride at the same speed as the person you’re following without exerting as much energy. In the sport of triathlon for age group events here in the U.S. drafting is not allowed” - VTS/MTS website FAQ ↩
Goal Times were based on: 2:36 /100m swim (based on Jamestown horrible performance, then minus 20s /100m), 21mph ride, 7:21 /mi run. ↩
With two minute penalty. ↩
After last week’s poor swim performance at Jamestown International, I decided I need more opportunities for Open Water Swim (OWS) to hopefully get out of this head funk I have for swimming. Fortunately there was another race this weekend, the Rev3 Montclair Sprint! This was a good race to participate for two reasons:
The main goal of this race was fun! So, no post-race thoughts… no section-by-section analysis, just confirmation that I went out and did a OWS in a lake with no wetsuit and didn’t hate (all) of it. Plus, I was able to spend some great face-to-face time with teammates that I haven’t seen since our Sherpa Virgina Training Camp.
Last but not least, I had a pretty awesome private cheering section.
VTSMTS Jamestown International Triathlon is the place to go when you want to PR your International race distances (1500m Swim; 40K Bike; 10K Run)! That is unless the heat out side has raised the water temperatures to 82˚ F (making the race wetsuit non-legal), you have 10 mph winds to create some chop that is exhausting, and then you get to run in 90˚ F in the blistering sun… then it is not the place to PR1.
Picture provided by Arnel
I was feeling good! Fun bike, great T2… but I may have felt a little too good as my first two miles was definitely too fast for a 10k in the heat. I had a 7:30 pace for the first 1.5 miles, and I knew that wouldn’t last long so I tried to bring myself back down to a more reasonable level of 8:00 pace. This lasted for only another mile before I started to NEED the aid stations. After mile marker 2.5 I stopped at every aid station for water to “sip, spit, sip, swallow, dump on my head”. The heat was brutal. I began to be concerned about what my heart rate around mile 3.5, and that is when I noticed my watch said 182 bpm. I usually feel like puking when I hit that number, so I forced myself to walk even though I didn’t feel tired. The remaining three miles were a repeated pattern of “run till my HR was too high, walk”. I’m trying to convince myself that I was racing smart and essentially saved myself to ensure that I finished by listening to my HR, but I’ll never know what could have happened if I just pushed through. The good news is my knee and hip issues didn’t surface during this run (not sure if it was due to the flat course, or the double dose of Advil).
The three hour drive back home I was simply pissed. I know I could have done better on the run and WAY better on the swim. The guy in my age group that was 10th place in swimming beat me by over 10 minutes for that portion of the race. The difference between 3rd and myself on the run was only three minutes, so I know everyone gave it all. Hopefully I’ll get some more Open Water Swim time with my Speed Sherpa team mates in the next couple of weeks before Colonial Beach… which reminds me I need to change that from the International distance to the Sprint… because SCREW SWIMMING!
Among the Male 40-44 category there were 26 athletes
|Jamestown||1500m Swim||T1||40k Bike||T2||10k Run||Total|
Dear race volunteer, I will not slow down on the turns… it’s a race! ↩
First time I’ve done this course, so times were based on results from Reston Olympic and Kinetic Half: 2:00/100m swim, 20mph ride (Kinetic 2016 Bike), 8:27 minutes/mi run (Reston 2015 Run). ↩
There are simply too many words to describe the past couple of months, but the end result is I finally finished my first “Half” (70.3 mile) triathlon. Mental toughness is required, as the numerous temptations to quit continuously ‘punch you in the face’: between drinking five gallons of water during the swim, the soreness of your legs and your “saddle” area while cycling 56 miles, or on the run where everyone simply looks beat down… trying to muster enough strength to finish their half marathon. Knowing that I was able to overcome all of those and cross the finish line was great (plus there was free pizza and a finishers medal).
Overall, I’m glad it’s over… but really happy that I finished. It was also amazing to see the onslaught of Facebook props my team provided once I returned to my truck and grabbed my phone. It would have been great to have a fellow team member race, but now I get to sit back and relax and watch some of them travel to TN while they race their Half IRONMAN in Chattanooga.
Among the Male 40-44 category, I was able to be competitive, but that swim killed my rankings:
Oh, and pro tip… you should really really really wear sunscreen
|Kinetic||1.2 Mile Swim||T1||56 Mile Bike||T2||13.1 Mile Run||Total|
First place finished in 4:16:20, and is the same age as me! ↩
I really had no idea what to expect. Times based on slower times compared to Smithfiled: 2:00/100m swim, 17mph ride, 9:00 minutes/mi run because of current injuries. ↩
Apparently VTS/MTS races and myself have an issue, and the issue is RAIN! Similar to last year’s Colonial Beach Sprint (although not as bad of a downpour and no open water swim with gasoline fuel on the top), we were challenged with Mother Nature… and she did not disappoint.
The Smithfield Sprint is a pool swim start, because this early in the year in Virginia most lakes/bays/ocean is simply not warm enough for people to go out in open water (unless you are REALLY crazy and thik something like Norseman would be a good time). With a swim start you have to stagger swimmers in hopes that you won’t be impeded (slowed down because there is a large group in front of you, or force to let someone pass yourself thus holding on the wall) while everyone is in the pool. This dictates a one person start every 10 seconds. With over 520 people starting every 10 seconds, you can imaging that the first people will definitely finished before others get into the pool. Thank goodness this year I was able to do with fellow teammates from Speed Sherpa! Between Madi, Melissa, Peyton, and Will; we were able to pass most of the time (for me a 1 hour and 41 minute wait) chatting in the hallways while trying to stay warm and dry.
Now that I’ve began the race (officially starting at 11:41.45), here are my thoughts on each part:
After the race we were served some excellent Carolina Style BBQ (as there was no sauce but only a hint of vinegar) with some beans and slaw. The Speed Sherpa team found each other and shared some highs and lows (one crashed) from each other’s race experience, but quickly knew that one of the “sherpettes” was going to place in the top three of her age category. I decided to stick around so I could snap a picture of her on the podium, while she waited for the remaining racers to crossed finish line. Little did I know I placed third! I’m really surprised by this as I know VTS/MTS has some excellent racers and the Male 40-44 category is one of the toughest to compete (hello fellow mid life crisis friends). When I was looking at the results for my category, I thought I was fifth vs. third. What I then later discovered was the gender/age categories did not separate out the “Masters” and Aqua Bike racers.
I don’t believe I place again this race season so I won’t let this get to my head, but greatly appreciate the support from my coach, teammates, and family to get me this far. Here is to the next race, my first Half at Kinetic!
Among the Male 40-44 category, I was able to compete at a high level across all three sports for the first time:
If you want accurate pace info for races, I’ve been using Running Free Online’s Triathlon Race Calculator.
|Smithfield||300m Swim||T1||10 Mile Bike||T2||5k Run||Total|