Sunday, June 13, 2010

Race Result: Liberty Olympic Distance Triathlon

Event: Liberty Triathlon
Date: Saturday, June 12
Location: Independence, MN
Results: Oly Results, Long Course Results

Personal results
Goal: First time at this event. Goal was to finish. First Oly in 21-years.
Actual: 2 hours, 22 minutes, 3 seconds
Overall: 17th (164 total); top 10.3%
Overall Male Age Group (45-49): 3rd (17 total) top 17.6%

The Recap

I was very apprehensive about this race going in. This would be my longest open water swim ever. I need not had worried. But we'll get into that. The air temperature was 55-degrees and the water temperature was 68-degrees. Overcast and it did eventually rain but not until I had finished. The winds were light at 7 out of the NNE. Damn near perfect.

For those wondering on my nutrition, post my bad experience the week before, I had a much lighter calorie load 3 & 1/2 hours before my start time. This consisted of a Hammer Nutrition bar, 1 & 1/2 scoops of Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem laced with a packet of Starbucks Via coffee in a water bottle, and a cup of Activa yogurt. And that was it. On the bike I had a water bottle of Hammer Nutrition HEED (1 & 1/2 scoops) and I consumed about 1/2 while on the bike.

Let's get into the race segments.

Swim - 1.5K
Goal - Finish!
Time - 27:01 (1:39 per 100 yds)
Overall Rank - 43rd (164 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 3rd (17 total)

The DeSoto Water Rover performed flawlessly once again. I love this suit. There was a fair amount of traffic for the first 200-yards but then things opened up and I had smooth waters until the end when I was catching the previous wave and the later wave was catching me. I kept it very easy at the start, just to get relaxed and into rhythm. After that, I picked up steam and was surprised how quickly the turn-around was upon me. The back half of the swim was just maintaining form and listening to the little voice in my head to remain calm.

To tell the truth, I was a little surprised my time was not faster. It felt more like a 24-minute effort to me, but I was not complaining. I'm sure I had a very silly grin on my face as I exited.

Lake Independence is a good sized lake, murky, with a nice sandy bottom. There were some clingy weeds near the shore. I would not hesitate to swim in this lake again for practice.

Goal - None, first time at event
Time - 2:39

Yep, second event in a row in which I exceeded two minutes in the first transition. Well, like any other is easy to say, "Wow! You really must have had a bad time in T1"...without knowing how long the exit is. In this case, you have to navigate about a dozen wooden steps then run a good 75-yards to the transition area. And if you look at the 45-49 T1 results, all but two of the seventeen athletes went over 2 minutes. My T1 was seventh best overall in the AG.

I'm also still learning how to remove my two piece wet suit while running. Two pieces is a bit of an issue but I'm getting better.

As soon as I stand up in the water I am unzipping the upper piece. Unlike the normal wet suit, this one unzips bottom to top. Then you have to deal with removing it and not lose your goggles while getting over your head. I'm now removing goggles, holding in one hand while removing the upper and switching hands as I pull free.

By the time I have accomplished this I am usually at my bike. If still running I am getting the lower john off down to my waist. At the bike, I'm stomping the lower off. I figure I am losing some time with the two piece suit in T1 but I know without doubt this is greatly outweighed by the time gained in the water.

Also, I am no longer leaving the bike shoes clipped into the bike. I am putting on my shoes before leaving T1. Yes, I fully understand the time lost here. But also understand that I have had catastrophic results with losing a shoe or two as one or both come unclipped when I first exert pressure. Maybe this is something I work on when doing wind trainer rides.

Also adding to my T1 time at this event was that my helmet chinstrap went all goofy and I had to remove the helmet and try again. I think we've all had this happen at times.

And finally, I wore socks. Hey, my feet still have some open wounds from previous events. With a 10K run looming at the end I took a few seconds to put on socks and prevent further damage.

Bike - 40K
Goal - None, first time at event
Time - 68:15 (22.9 MPH)
Overall Rank - 26th (164 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 3rd (17 total)

You know me by now. I'll always be brutally honest. I'd love to be able to tell you I rode 22.9 MPH for 40K. Um, no. The course was most certainly short. This is really where I miss a water resistant GPS watch (see previous discussions on Timex GPS and Garmin 310XT). My bike computer is not exactly calibrated spot on, but I would guess that the average bike MPH shown in the results are inflated by a factor of 1 MPH. So my effort is closer to 22 MPH than 23. Just wanted to state that up front.

The bike went well. I knew the route as I train on portions of the race course three or more times a week. I was in my element. I held back a tad as I had not tackled this distance in a race for some time. And I was worried that the calves would act up as they had in much shorter distances this year. They did not.

USAT officials were on their game at this event. A fair amount of penalties handed out for those considered blocking by staying on the left and making no effort to stay right. Near the end I was worried as I was going back and forth with Katherine Schlaefer (I believe), the eventual female overall winner on the bike. She would pass me on any climb and I would pass back on level ground or descents. We verbalized to let each other know when passing and clear and stayed out of trouble.

Goal - None, first time at event
Time - 1:32

The only mistake I made all day. I ran down the wrong bike corral alley. Luckily I didn't lose much time as I had parked at the end and simply had to turn back up only three racks. I was obviously not thinking at the time! No other issues here.

Run - 10K
Goal - None, first time at event
Time - 42:39 (6:52 per mile)
Overall Rank - 13th (164 total)
AG (45-49) Rank - 2nd (17 total)

The first 1/3 of a mile of the out-and-back course was a nice little climb on a wood chip trail. I heard a lot of people portray this as a 'major' climb post-race. To those people "DO MORE HILLS IN TRAINING!"

The run was chilly. Not sure if it was the air temp combined with being damp or what. But I was chilled. It took a bit to get warm. But as I passed by the aforementioned Katherine Schlaefer....she giving me a "great job!" and I returning with a '"great bike" I was in form and running sub 6:50 per mile pace.

At the 5K turn-around, I was starting to hurt. I knew this would just be a 'how much gas is in the tank' moment. And both hamstrings were starting to tighten. I just concentrated on picking off runners in the distance, shortened my stride as things were starting to cramp up, and keep form best I could.

At the start of the run, I felt I had a chance to go under 2:20 which would have been nice. But now my only goal was to finish. And man, it was close. With 200-yards to go and the finish line in sight the right hamstring went completely. It tightened up like a piano wire. I gimped it in. No surrender. Personal glory of finishing an event I was doubting. Next!

Event Notes

This event was hosted by Final Stretch. They did a superb job of communication leading to the event. I have never gotten so much detail prior to an event. Traffic control was first rate as were the volunteers. The course was great (albeit the bike course was short IMHO). Post race food was very nice. They had a TON of terrific door prizes and I scored a bottle of Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes ($20 value). My only complaints...petty as they are:
  1. No finishers medal for the Oly. I'm sorry, but if I'm going to work that hard I want something to remember it by.
  2. My age group award was a somewhat chintzy quartz timer. Maybe I'm old school, but I want some hardware. Not a bag. Not a hat. Not a timer. That's stuff for a drawing.

Overall, a great run event and course. I would recommend to anyone considering a early distance Oly or 1/2 IM.

Next Event: Bismarck (North Dakota) Sprint Distance triathlon on June 20. My goal will be to take four minutes off my previous time (last raced in 2008).


Adam Beston said...

Nice work! I think you motivated me to actually sign up for an OLY this weekend. That was a well balanced race for you.
BTW a 22.9 is a 1:04:58 for 24.8 miles or 40K so something is up with those numbers. On second beer sans supper bc of getting caught in hailstorm during 10 mile TT so I am not going to try to decipher that conundrum right now but get back to me. Anyway great result and that should really help your short course confidence. A few OLY's are good for you.

Mario said...

Excellent race! However, if its not a half or full IM, and if you are experienced and have been training, NEVER, EVER, EVER say your goal is to finish. Come on dude... Like you wouldn't finish (save for a crash, or other medical emergency, freak out, etc).

Brian said...

@Adam - The only thing I can do is eventually ride the course with my Garmin. I should be able to do that within a few weeks. I hope no one thinks they rode as fast as the results say...cause they didn't.

@Mario - It was the 'freak out' in the swim that had me worried. But with the Desoto Water Rover....I'm solid. Trust me. You cannot drown in that suit. I can just roll to my back and float..literally, should I ever need to.

Dr. TriRunner said...

Hey there - just found your blog. Awesome job at Liberty!! Several of my teammates were there for the Oly, and did really well!

I also have 97% all good things to say about Final Stretch events. The support and communication is GREAT, but yep - I have one of those timers sitting in my "training" drawer in my desk. Still in the box. And my size S shirt is down to my knees... I'll definitely do more of their events in the future though. St. Croix Valley?!