Thursday, June 21, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon #1

On June 16th I raced in the 2012 Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon at Eagle Creek.  I did this event last year and was looking forward to seeing how much I have improved in a year.

This triathlon is a 500 meter open water swim, 10 mile bike, and a 3 mile run.  Overall, it was a great race for me as I beat last year's time by over 5 minutes.  I fell a little short of my goal time of 59:59, but I am pretty excited about the personal record. 

Race Summary

Swim:                 12:24
Transition 1:          1:19
Bike:                   27:55 (21.5mph avg)
Transition 2:          1:20
Run:                    21:12 (7:04/mi avg)
Total Time:    1:04:10

Overall Place: 87/465
Age Group:      11/47

The Swim
The swim went better than last year by nearly one minute, but I was a bit disappointed in my swim time.  The water temp was 76 degrees so it was wetsuit legal.  I debated long and hard on whether to wear mine or not.  The water temp was comfortable but the air temperature was hot and it was humid.  Given those variables I went sans wetsuit.

The open water swim gremlin still gets to me.  My open water times are about 30 seconds slower per 100 meters.  I wish I could figure these open water swims out, but that just takes practice.  My open water swim time should be slower than my pool times, but I don't think they should be that far apart.  Who knows, maybe the actual distance was slightly longer than 500M meters. =)

There was some congestion in spots especially around the buoys. There were a few times in traffic where I got hit, pushed, and elbowed, but that's all part of the game.  I did my fair share of making space too.  You do your best to be as polite as possible, but after a certain point you have to get physical and not be intimidated.  

Transition #1

In this race you have assigned racks based on your bib number.  I got there early enough that I was able to get the end spot on my rack.  Once out of the lake you run about 50 yards to transition.  I found my bike with ease and was on my way out of transition and onto the bike course.

The Bike

The 10 mile bike course took you through the park and out on some city streets.  It is a out and back course.  The course had more hills on it than from what I remember from a year ago.  The course was clean and free of traffic and the police and volunteers did a great job controlling traffic.  I was able to power up the hills well and had a lot of fun speeding on the declines.  My bike times keep improving with each race.  Still waiting for that race where I can break out and average 22mph or possibly 23mph.

Transition #2

When you come back to transition from the bike you are flying down the hill a fast speed.  I was able to slow my bike enough to get a good dismount and then run to my rack.  I got my bike racked quickly and did a good job switching to my running shoes. 

The Run

This 3 mile out and back run was flat with the exception of the hill right out of transition.  This was my slowest triathlon run this season.  I believe I pushed too hard on the hill and was never able to find a good rhythm in the beginning.  The humidity was not really noticed up to this point in the race.  However, a lot of the run was in the sun and you could really start to feel the humidity.  It seemed like the run would never end and there were a few times I wanted to slow down.  I had to win the battle between my ears.  At this point in the race I knew I wouldn't get my goal time.  This mindset and thinking was effecting my run so I told myself, " I can't get my goal, so get over it, and just smash my personal record for this race".  After the turnaround at mile 1.5 I was mentally back in the game.  I got passed by one guy who was running at the pace I wanted to so I decided to match his pace and follow him.  I finished strong.


I did this race last year and was excited to do it again.  It is very well ran and the volunteers do a wonderful job.  One of my favorite things about this race is that they serve chocolate milk, amongst other items, after you finish.  Nothing beats a cold chocolate milk after a hard race.

Train.  Race.  Repeat.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Race Report - 2012 Tri Shark Triathlon

Swim Start

On June 2nd I raced in the 2012 version of the Tri Shark Classic.  The event takes place in Comlara County Park/Evergreen Lake in Hudson, IL.  It is a very popular event that often is sold out within weeks of when registration opens back in December.  Needless to say, but I have been looking forward to this race for a while.

This triathlon is a 600 yard open water swim, 13 mile bike, and a 5k run.  Overall, I did pretty well but I was a tad disappointed I barely missed placing 5th in my age group which resulted in not getting a cool trophy.  

Race Summary

Swim:                 11:19
Transition 1:          1:21
Bike:                   36:41
Transition 2:          1:05
Run:                    20:37
Total Time:    1:11:03

Overall Place: 45/490
Age Group:      6/38

The Swim

There were a couple of firsts in this swim.  It was the first time I have used my wetsuit in an event and the first time doing a wave start in an open water swim.  The water temp on race day was 66 degrees.  Prior to the pre race meeting I did a warm up swim in the lake to get a feel for the water and how the wetsuit would be.  After swimming for about 15 minutes everything was a go.

In this event all men age 39 under all started at the same time.  I positioned myself about halfway in the pack.  When the horn sounded we were all off and fighting for open space.  The first 200 yards was like a  giant washing machine with everyone kicking, punching, elbowing, pulling, and pushing each other.  It was actually pretty fun.  After the first 200 yards (or after the first buoy) things spread out a little and I was able to get into a more normal swim rhythm to finish out the remaining 400 yards.

As I exited the lake I immediately unzipped my wetsuit and pulled it down below my waist.  Another nice thing about this event was that there were strippers there!  That would be wetsuit strippers.  These volunteers are ready and willing to rip your wetsuit off for you.  All you have to do is lay down and put your feet into the air and they do the rest.  Just remember to hold onto your shorts.  They stripped my wetsuit pretty fast  and I was off to T1.

My swim time includes the run up from the lake, the wetsuit stripping, and the remaining 15 yards to the timing mat before T1.  I was hoping for a faster swim time since I had my wetsuit on.  My times in the pool for 600 yards are a lot faster, but no one is kicking, pushing, and hitting me either.

Transition #1

T1 was uneventful as I was able to locate my bike with ease and get out with my bike with no issues.  My transition spot was close to the bike-out and bike-in which was good for me.

The Bike

The 13 mile bike route went around the lake, out through the country, and back around the lake.  The roads were in good condition and relatively smooth.  It was a little windy on this day and seeing the wind turbines spin around didn't help me mentally.  Most of my mile splits averaged in the 20-25mph range.  There was a stretch of 3 miles were my average was in the high 19mph average.  One mile was brutal with a 17.5 mph average.  The rest of the miles I was hammering down and felt really good.  On the way back to transition the bike traffic picked up a bit.  I was weaving in and out of competitors and some of the competitor's bike shoes as they fell off when they unclipped from their pedals.  I made it through the carnage and proceeded into transition #2.  

Transition #2

I got a little lost finding my rack in T2 and went past my rack by about 15 yards.  Once I found it it was a pretty smooth transition to the run.

The Run

 The 5k run took you out of the park and out on some country roads.  It was a simple out and back course with a few rolling hills, but it was generally flat.

I was able to get a pretty good pace from the beginning.  During the first mile my calves felt like they were cramping a bit but they quickly worked themselves out.  First mile average was 6:41.  The 2nd an 3rd mile were about a 6:30/mi pace.  I only got passed once during the run but luckily he was in a different age group.

About a quarter mile from the finish I caught a guy in my age group.  I stayed behind him for just a bit as I tried to time my pass so that he would not catch me at the finish.  As we got a little closer the spectators were cheering and I got a burst of energy.  I decided this was my time to go.  So I passed him and sprinting to the finish.  Ended up beating him by about 13 seconds.

Overall this was a really good event and was well ran.  Competition was fierce and the volunteers were great.  It was nice to do the wave start because you are actually racing with the person next to you.  The post race food was great and results were posted almost immediately.
Now onto the next race.....another open water swim!

Train.  Race.  Repeat.

Age Group Awards Trophies.  Pretty sweet!  I'll get one next year =)

Swim Course Pano

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Play That Funky Music White Boy

We all get into a rut from time to time and no matter how good your routine has been you just get into that funk.  This is where I have been for the past week.  My workouts, when I have done them, have been mediocre. 
It feels like I have lost focus or motivation, but deep down inside I know I haven’t lost any of that. It is hard for me to become unmotivated when I in the middle of racing season because I am focused on specific races and training specifically for those races.
So what kind of funk am I in?
When I really sat down and analyzed what the issue is it was apparent that the funk I am in is related to the change in the routine I have gotten used to.
The past two weeks the pool that I swim at was closed for it’s annual cleaning.  Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you are used to swimming 2-3 times a week and suddenly stop, it threw me off a little.  Additionally, the weather has cooperated most of the spring.  However, we have had more rain recently which can derail a training plan.  The biggest issue I recognized is that our family schedule changed.  We all of a sudden went from only having a couple of kid’s activities per week to having something four of the five weeknights.  Just so you know I wouldn’t change that for anything.  My family and kids come first.  I need to make an adjustment that allows my family to stay first and also permits my training time.
This means more early morning workouts, but the problem is I am having a hard time adjusting to that early morning schedule.  Human nature is to resist change and if you know me, I really don’t like change that much.  It must be done to keep my life balance in check.
Now it’s time to refocus and get back on track.  We have all arrived at this fork in the road at some point.  Just remember the roughest and hardest road leads to the greatest rewards.
I think I just talked myself out of my funk.  Thank you for listening.  One of my favorite WWE wrestlers to watch as a kid was the Ultimate Warrior.  I am shaking the ropes and ready to get after it.  As the Ultimate Warrior once said, “Full of the juice to carry the spaceship as far as it wants to go”.