Monday, October 09, 2006

2006 Emerald Pointe Triathlon Race Report

Happy Columbus Day!!!

Man, I love Federal Holidays! I can really appreciate them considering I had jobs most of my life where they were open everyday, including holidays. I worked nights, weekends, holidays, all the time at one point. So I think I have the right to celebrate today. But now for my race report...

Pictures will be here as soon as I get them from the company as well as friends who took pictures.


So I woke up around 5:15 in the morning. After a late night of watching the Dawgs lose to Tennessee, I could have left when the first half was over and get some sleep if I knew what the second half was going to bring. Jackie spent the night, so we left together around 6:15am to head to Lake Lanier. I had a Espresso Love GU and a Snicker Marathon Bar. More on the Snicker Bar later... I stopped off at McDonalds and picked up some breakfast for her. Got to the parking area of Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park, and found that there was not enough parking for all of us... Good thing we brought her Jeep!!! Went straight to body marking and then proceeded to get my chip and unpack at transition.


After unpacking at transition, I went down to the lake to check out the water temp. It was around 75 degrees. Yeah! But the air temp was around 58 degrees and a slight breeze. Booo! I headed to the back up to the transition to get my cap and goggles and then headed to the bathroom before the start.


So I am up in transition, and who do I see two bikes down from me, but Josh Nickell, a friend from high school! I have seen him on Facebook online and he had asked me questions about triathlon stuff since he had started training for one, and it turns out that this would be his first event. I thought that was great, and I hoped that he would do well during the race. He ended up finishing in about 1:37:?? not too bad for his first race.


My age group consisted of about 30 guys and we were the first to go promptly at 8:30am. Swim was 400M, and was point to point. Yeah! No rounding turn bouys and then getting caught up in the tri-swim blender (with me being the fruit). I got in the the water for the start, then the horn went off. I started off in the back as usual to get out of the way. Again I had some problems getting into a three stroke rythm, and I did not do it too often, but I was a bit smoother, and felt a bit faster than the previous two lake swim races. Water temp helped out alot compared to the air temp.

Time 9 min 30 sec


We might as call this section... "Climbing Mount T1." The distance to get inside the "pen" (transition area), was about 200 yards away from the water, and you basically had to run straight up a 25 degree embankment to get up to the top near the pen. Finally got into my area and quickly put on socks and shoes, helmet and glasses. I decided not to go with arm warmers, which in the end was ok. My arms got dry quickly on the bike, so that was a good choice. I would say that my "real" T1 time without the 200 yard uphill summit would have put me at 1:30-1:45. However, everyone had to do this, so that keeps everything relative.

Time 3min 02 sec


Damn that was a miserable experience, but I got my mind focused on the ride, and that got rid of the cold weather feeling. Please do not berate me if you are doing triathlons up north right now. I know it is colder up there, but I live in the South, so it is all relative. Because of the cold and the hill summit in T1, it took me 5 minutes to get my legs going!! 5 Minutes!! That is not good at all if you are in a Sprint Triathlon. After that I got my legs going. Lots more hills than Tri-PTC in August. Mile 7-13 was pretty much false flats and downhill with the exception of 2 decent hills. Finished pretty strong but early hills and my first slow 5 minutes kept me averaging 17.1 mph for the entire ride.

Time 45 min 43 sec


There was a no pass zone going in and out of the bike of about 20 yards, and it was really steep. You basically had to be in your granny gear or be Jan Ulrich. After the race when people were still coming in on the bike, I saw multiple people fall coming up that hill, they just lost momentum, and it was worse for the people who were clipped in. The pen was small, although there were 630 competitors and my rack was #2 on the left when I came in from the bike. I was quick on the transition and took a bottle with me so I would not have to negotiate in and out of the water aid areas on the course.

Time 1 min 15 sec


The run course did have elevation changes in both directions, but there were never any major hills or anything. I had a problem getting my legs going. #33 and I had spent the 2nd half of the bike together and got out of T2 about the same time, so we hung together for about the first mile or more and then he pulled off after the water station.

I really needed some water to pour over my head (Gatorade Endurance was in my bottle) and I got caught up in traffic of people trying to get it. I tried to catch up with him, but it was not working. I was trying to save a bit for a stronger finish towards the end. When we made the halfway turn, there was a man right behind me, and I decided since I was in front of him I would swing wide and let him pass since he seemed faster than me. When he got up next to me he started talking about some kind of cheating on the run and I could not understand what he was saying, so I was like "whatever" and let him pass. I don't know what he was talking about, but I know that I was not violating any rules or regulations on the run course, so he can just shove it for all I care.

About 400 yards from the finish I picked it up and finished strong with my small cheerleading squad cheering for me.

Time: 29 min 22 sec

Total Time 1hr 28min 50sec (17th place in age group)

Soooo, what does this mean overall. Well first off, I busted my Ass at the end of August with some really good training ( I thought) and pulled about 1hr 22 min and a half, and here I slacked off the last three weeks and pulled a 1 hr 28 min 50 sec race. Now in a sprint tri, that is a lot of time, but it leads me to believe that I was plateauing late in my season. To be quite honest, this race was like randomly waking up one day without any training and then completing the event, only 6 and a half minutes slower than your fastest time. I should nock off about a minute for that damn hill, but there is nothing I can do about that.

I was happy with my finish. I am happy that I had people there to support me. Thank you Jackie, Melissa, Charlie, and Bharat. Josh, great work on your first Tri! I hope that there are many more races for you to come in your future, you will do great I am sure.

Now I have the next 5 weeks off. I will be doing some strength training and some base work, but other than that, no serious schedule and no serious training. I think I am going to go online and get one of these training programs. I have looked at some, and I think I am going to choose Crucible Fitness's 16 week HIM training program. Please let me know if you have any suggestions in this area. I also want to set some goals for next year, since I am upping the number of races, as well as the variety of distances that I am tackling. After I figure out what those are, I will post them on my blog so that we may see how I progress through the next year.

Well that is about all for now, I will talk with you guys and gals later. I need to finish this Miller Lite on my day off, it is beginning to get warm...



Steven said...

Great job in your race! Looks like you executed very well.

I hope you enjoyed that beer, too! I know I always do after a good race.

Rachel said...

Enjoy your rest before your HIM training (like me; gulp). Congrats on your race. You did fantastic! Always good to end with a bang.

Comm's said...

Solid output. Maybe you could have suggested to the runner that drafting on the run is not allowed and to move up?

Sheila said...

Good job! Times for sprint races can be all over the place depending on temperatures, etc., but the more experienced you become, the less those outside factors will have an impact on you. Sprints are short enough that it's tough to experience nutritional or heat/code issues with the exception of rain, which slows everyone down on the bike.

Drafting on the run IS allowed and I would encourage you to do it whenever you can. There's nothing like shadowing a runner in front of you so they can hear you breathing, knowing that at any moment you will pass them!

The only way I know of cheating on the run is wearing an iPod or other music device. That's disallowed by USAT rules, but if the race isn't USAT sanctioned, I supposed some people will take advantage.

Of course you know I will recommend CF training plans--Rich is my coach! Be sure when you sign up that you check the forum at the website regularly--all kinds of good discussions and tips there!

Josh said...

Thanks man, it definitely was a blast. I leard a hard lesson about paseing and sighting. I swam a zig zag formation made it out 4th in the clydesdales or 9th in the agegroup and then wanted to die. Oops. Anyway its got me pumped about doing more. I'm signing up for the atlanta marathon in march/april in preparation for a late season Half iron. With some other races thrown in for fun - thanks for the ideas!