The end of a season...
Wow! I sit here this morning at my computer, and it has finally sunk in. A third year under my belt, with many (mental) highs and lows. I think I am going to save most of this talk for my next post though, since it will be my 100th post on my Triathlon Blog.
Lets get down to business...
PRE RACE (LOTS HAPPENED HERE!)
I went to go and pick up my race packet on Saturday afternoon, and sure enough, Transition was bigger! I think that this race might rival the size that Tri-PTC was this year, next year. SWAG bag was pretty good. I did not realize that Hahnsgrohe was a company that sold shower fixtures and other bathroom stuff. What an interesting sponsor. Oh and going to pick up my race packet was between job #1 and job #2 the day before the race. By the time I got in bed Saturday night and fell asleep it was after 1:00am. That means a bit less than 3 hours of sleep.
Oh, and lets take account of how many workouts I did between the 4 weeks between races.
0 Swim workouts
+2 Bike workouts
+4 Run workouts
= Almost no training for a triathlete!
I got up at 4:15am, and got everything in the car. My roommate helped me pack my car since he was still up from the night before. Come to find out many of my friends were partying Saturday night so late that they were either still up or just going to bed when I was waking up. I picked up Jackie and we were off to the race. I was so tired I fell asleep for about 15 minutes or so in the car on the way up there. We arrived about 5:50am, and then I got my gear out of the car and rode my bike to the transition area. The parking lot was further away from the race this year, which was fine, since the previous year the parking lot they used was right next to the run/bike exits, which was bad for everyone.
Brought my headlamp, and began setting everything up. Pre race fuel was a banana nut clif bar, some oatmeal raisin cookie from my swag bag, Orange Burst Gu, and Accelerade. I also had some water as well. Went to the bathroom the first time, and then came out to stretch and take in some more fluids. Then as "the call of nature" hit me, the most horrible thing happened in my triathlon experience thus far...
MY GROSS STORY IS WORSE THAN YOUR GROSS STORY!
So I "answered my call of nature" by going back to the porta johns. Got inside and was about to take care of my business when I kinda slid on the seat. Now I was one of the earlier arriving athletes, so not many people had used the porta johns when I got there. Much to my horror, there was a reason why I slipped on the seat. It seems that someone tried to squat and "missed!" How you miss when the hole is probably 10 inches in diameter is beyond me, but it happened. And what is even worse, is that I still had to go! I am a guy, but that was the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me in my life! I cleaned up as best I could, used almost the entire sanitizer spray dispenser in the john, and then ran to the lake (the only place where I had lots of water access) to clean up. I am done with this paragraph, I just cannot take it anymore.
Head back up to the transition area to grab my cap and goggles, and a few people commented that I went for an early swim. I half - heartely laughed and then went on about my business. Walked back down to the swim start site to listen to the USAT ref give the essential items out over the speaker phone, and said hey to my fellow Team Javelin race buddy! Swam about 100M to warm up, and then it was to the start line to begin the race.
I felt really good on the swim. I think that I am getting used to open water swimming, my times are improving, and I am not feeling uncomfortable in the water like I used to, which caused my breathing to be erratic. I started towards the back of the pack, and I regret it. This is a fairly new race (this was the second year), and it is not a USAT gold/silver/bronze event, and is not directly tied to any regional or state championship race. So as you can assume the average swim times were ratched up a bit. I bascially had to change direction and swim sideways to get to the outside, and then swim in the correct direction! People were breast stroking, back stroking, doggy paddling, etc. Now I don't have a problem with this, I just thought it strange happening the first 50M of the event, in the Men's 20-24 and 25-29 wave. I was very happy with my time, out of the water, except that the pad for the swim/T1 line was about 100 yds away from the water, and uphill. So needless to say that my swim time had an additional 30 seconds or so (give or take) of me running up "Mount Transition." Last year they actually had the mats about 10-15 yds away from the water, so although everyone's transition time was longer, it was a more accurate representation of the swim. Well now it is time to climb "Mount T1!"
Time: 9:59 (it is relative for everyone, but matt location added about 30 sec to my time)
Rank: 28/44 in AG
I actually jogged up the entire hill this year, maxing out my HR, and passing about 10 or more people heading to my rack position. As I got to the top of the hill, I saw my Javelin teammate, Andrew, at his rack position getting his helmet on. My rack position was awsome!!! It was right next to the bike exit, so in both T1 and T2, I spent the majority of the time running without a bike and cleats in tow. Since I was not trying to break any records in this race, I decided to strap my shoes on, especially since the bike exit was a bit treacherous.
Rank: 4/44 in AG
Lets begin by reminding everyone that this was not an "A" race for me, and that I was here to do this race for fun! (No, I am not trying to have a pity party for myself, just to make a point) This course has short hills, yet there elevation grade is much steeper than almost all of the races I have done this year. Indian Springs had a few steep ones, but not as many as this race does. There are also two long incline grades, and the largest one is coming back into the park from miles 10-12. So there were two times during the ride where I purposefully slowed down because I did not want to overexert myself from lack of training. I was also having issues with the banana nut clif bar during the ride, so that was not helpful. I was supposed to take a Gu on the bike, but all I could get down was the Accelerade. I went a bit light on the mixture with the Accelerade, and I might do that more often, since it tasted lighter.
Oh and Andrew (my race teammate), DNF'ed a mile into the race. As I was riding by, he was about 10 feet away from his bike sitting there, and he saw me ride by. He did not have a happy look on his face. Bike did not look too bad, but he was cut up on his arm and knee really good.
Distance: 13 miles
Avg Spd: 18.8 mph
Rank: 14/44 ppl in AG
Again, taking my time was the theme, since I was not worried about this race. I wore socks this time, so don't worry about my poor feet. I still have not "quick laced" my new shoes, so I was wearing my old Asics. Took water on the run this time, instead of Nuun, so that I could pour water on my body if I wanted, as well as drinking it. I think for shorter races I am just going to work on getting the right nutrition pre race, and then AT MOST taking in one gel and some Accelerade/Gatorade Endurance on the bike. And were off...
Rank: 24/44 in AG
I remember this run from last year. 3-4% grade all the way out to about 1.25 miles and then downhill and flat until about mile 3, and then it goes back uphill into a flat finish. Piece of cake right? Sure, until I got to the uphill portion... I was pushing close to a 10min/mi pace at one point, and then I finally got it together, in addition to taking advantage of the downhill (like i did in my last race). My usual regulars that I see at every race passed me, and I think I just finished before the first female. Literally, like 5-10 seconds before. I finished really strong. My heart rate was getting into upper zone 4 by the second mile, and stayed up there for the remainder of the race. I ignored it. My rate of perceived effort felt a bit easier than what my HR was reading, so I went with it. My pace coming back in was close to 8:00min/mi. I feel like I should have something more to say here, yet I do not, this particular run was fairly straighforward.
Distance: 3.1 mi
Rank: 22/44 in AG
Time: 1:21:00.00 (BROKE LAST YEAR'S TIME BY 7MIN 50 SEC!!!)
AG Rank: 17/44 ppl (38%)
Mens Rank: 176/404 ppl (43%)
Overall Rank: 210/677 ppl (31%)
Man! If I knew I was going to do that well, I would have shaved my transition times and not let off on the bike portion, and I could have gained 2 minutes. That would have placed me top 15. With that in mind, I am very satisified with my results!
Don't quote me on it, but I will probably post something later this week, as well as update my blog links and such, and begin philosophying and discussing things that may be next year. There have been some new and interesting developments in my life as of late, and it may or may not affect my season next year (I certainly hope not!). As for now, my focus shifts to the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day.
When I get pictures, I will post them to the site.