Friday, July 29, 2011

West Point Lake Triathlon (Olympic) - June 12, 2011

Hi Everyone!

More than a week later than I promised via my twitter feed, but better late than never!  Try to just keep this to the race and I will follow up with some other general shenanigans (including IM training) after Thu (final exam in my Internal Accounting class).

Pre Race

My Roommate Robbie decided he wanted to come and watch a triathlon for the first time, so I decided he could be my tri-sherpa for the weekend.  Got everything packed and ready to go by about 9pm, and I was in bed by 10pm.  I always have trouble sleeping when I go to bed early, but I know with the hour and a half drive, I was gonna need the sleep.  Robbie decided he was going to go out to a show (he saw Lazerbeam Kitty, for any of you who know about that).

I got up at 4am to get some breakfast and get everything loaded into the car.  Robbie rolled in at 4:15am and I told him wheels were up in 15 minutes.  He quickly changed his clothes and grabbed his book bag and was ready.  I was packing the car and filling the cooler.  We got out of there around 4:45 am for our Trek down to West Point.  Still plenty of time, would probably have time for transition, run warm up and swim warm up.  Got about 20 minutes down the road and had the "Oh S!@#" moment.  There are some things that you tell yourself, "if I left it at home then I didn't really need it."

A wallet with your ID and money is not one of those things.

Did a quick turn around, however by the time we got back to the house and then back to where i had the not-so-glorious epiphany, another 40 minutes had passed.  After a quick mental calculation, I did not know if I was gonna make it in time for transition.  I was haulin' down I-85 and at least this time if I was to get pulled over, I had my driver's license on me.  Thankfully there were none of Georgia's finest on the roads (too busy at the coffee shop getting ready for Sunday Church traffic I guess) so I got there with a few minutes to spare.  Then I realized that the parking lot was about half a mile or more away from the transition area.  Robbie was a great help for me and we got there with about 5 minutes to spare.  If there was ever a category for fastest transition setup time, I would have had the award for this race.  After that I headed over to the swim start and saw Wes and Richard there getting ready to hit it with me.  AND....... We're off!


Let's be brutally honest about this leg.  Have not done much swimming this year.  Prior to this race I had about a dozen swim workouts in the 6 weeks leading up to this race, and most of those workouts were; WU, 3x500 free, CD, and done.  While I am technically covering the distance needed, I was not doing anything longer, I should have been doing AT LEAST 3 swims a week, since that is my weakest sport, and I should have had more variety in my workouts, such as negative splits and intervals.  After the race I did speak with Wes regarding the swim.  He puts his Garmin in his swim cap for a more accurate reading, and he said that the 1500M alert on his watch hit around the time we got to the last buoy.  Also after looking at the swim times of all the participants in our age group, I was very surprised to see that there were not more sub 25 min finishes with the swim than there were (nothing under 27 minutes).  Could have been a weak swim field.  My hair is longer now, so my cap kept coming off, which kept moving my goggles around.  Not necessarily gonna blame that on my poor swim time, but it sure as hell did not help.
Time               37:27
Pace               2:30
AG Place        14/16


Was pretty pleased with my time, I did waste a bit of time with getting a bit of nutrition in before leaving T1 because my sponsor's suit is a 2XU suit that does not have any pockets to hold anything.  I had gels in my legs, but I had some Cliff Shot Bloks that I wanted to use in T1 and T2.  Had a fairly clean transition.

Time               1:09
AG Place        7/16


My first quarter mile/half mile was a bit of a rough start, and this was solely due to the fact that I was having a bit of a problem getting my shoes on.  I put my shoes on my bike before the race so that I would not have to worry about that in transition.  My new bike shoes this year are not really good for walking around in, and furthermore with the Speedplay cleat designed the way it is, trying to walk/jog/run on pavement is not a good idea :)  Overall I felt like I had a pretty solid bike.  There was not too much elevation on the course, but what elevation there is, I did not perform well on.  Chalk that up to training for IMFL, where the only hill is a bridge so there is not really any point of training anywhere hilly.  There were a few people that I went back and forth with throughout the bike leg, however, when I finally got to the last couple miles, they were mostly downhill so I kicked it in.  Getting the shoes off pre-dismount was soooo much easier with a one strap.

Time              1:17:53 (19.1mph)
AG Place       10/16


A bit slower than I would have liked.  I was having a bit of trouble trying to get the rest of the Clif Shot Bloks down, so I did what I could and then just forged on out of T2.  Also had an issue with my socks.  I know, I know, I should be going sock less for any race Olympic and shorter, but I have not really trained sock less, and so I did not want to ruin my feet, not to mention I was still nursing my foot.

Time              1:56
AG Place       15/16

The theme for me here was "slow and steady survives the race."  Overall the run was good.  Not too much shade for the race, and it was sunny and HOT.  Did get some sunscreen on prior to the race so that when I was on the run I would not get burnt.  I did stop and walk a few times when I felt like my foot may not hold out.  I have never DNF'ed a race, but I promised myself if there were any serious issues during the run I would quit.  I saw Wes, Richard, and April on the run, and they all looked really strong.  The net increase in elevation did a bit of a number on me in the last few miles, but I need to keep reminding myself that the race I am training for is Florida, not somewhere in the Colorado Rockies. Good finish and Robbie was there to get some photos of me as I approached the finish line.

Time               1:02:36
AG Place        16/16


Time               3:00:52
AG Place        16/16

A few seconds slower than Peachtree International Triathlon.  I felt better on the run than I did at PIT, but I still did some walking because I did not want to re-injure my foot.  The big test was how my foot was gonna feel the days following the event, and it held up great.  Hopefully I will be injury free for the rest of the season (fingers crossed).  It was great to get out there and just race.  I also saw April Burkey out there, she passed by me on the way back in from the dam as I was headed out on the dam.  Robbie had a good time watching his first triathlon and although I don't think he wants to attempt a triathlon, I think he will definitely tag along again.

At the time I am finishing up this email, I have 7 weeks till I graduate with my Master's of Professional Accountancy at GSU.  I have 11 weeks till I start my new job at Deloitte in Atlanta.  And in 18 weeks and 6 days, I will be attempting my second Ironman in Florida.  It's been one helluva a year.  Both good times and bad have occurred in my personal and triathlon life, and hey that's life.  Not that I have a particular clock or countdown for 2011, but I would consider this my halfway point of the season.  Things never happen the way we plan, but in most cases, I am pleased where I am at.

Keep it up everyone!  We are halfway there.


Wenq said...

Check upcoming famous multi event sports this year, find out more information about the games below.

All Africa Games 2011
Pacific Games 2011
Commonwealth Youth Games 2011

Colleen said...

Great job with the race! Sounds like you have a lot of exciting things ahead of you too! I'll be at IMFL cheering my head off! So exciting!

Wes said...

I enjoyed getting to see you brutha murtha, and given your foot, you certainly were victorious at this one. I also love that your focus is in the correct place!

Looking forward to giving you some cowbell at IMFL!

Rhona said...

Congratulations Murtha! I enjoyed reading your race report, so I just wanted to let you know that we are running a contest on our website to win a Swimsmooth DVD (worth $60) - to enter you just have to do a race report. If you're interested have a look here: