Tuesday, October 12, 2010

American Triple-T White Lake

The unimportant week of the past two weeks (week before Triple T)

S: 10,000 yards
B: 175 miles
R: 35 miles
Time: 15.7 hours

Not much to report from this week; ended up riding more miles than I really meant to but my running and swimming stayed consistently sweet.

The week of Triple T looked a little like this:

S: 10,400 yards
B: 165 miles
R: 35.5 miles
Time: 15.1 hours

So the race format is something like this:

Friday 4pm: Super Sprint Prologue (250 meter swim, 7 mile bike, 1 mile run)
Saturday 7:30am: Olympic (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run)
Saturday 3pm: (40k bike, 1.5k swim, 10k run)
Sunday 7am: (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run)

Now, if you are competing as a "solo" athlete the format remains the same throughout all four race.  If you are racing with a teammate, however, the strategy for the second two races change and teammate are allowed to draft on the swim, run AND bike (unusual for triathlons, obviously) and must stay together and finish together in each of the last two races.  Scott, Fletch and I drove to White Lake on Friday morning and were staying in what was essentially a dressed up trailer about 2.5 miles from the race site (on the same road as the bike/run routes each day) so it was very convenient.  For each race we rode to and from the site (on Saturday this meant riding back and forth twice...tiring!), thereby saving the environment.  Also, every race started in a time trial format, meaning that based on submitted half-ironman time we received numbers and every racer went off after assembling in a double-wide line (Lisska was #1, Scott #11, Me #14, Fletch was #20) two at a time.

Friday Super-Sprint PM - 29:24 (5th place)

Swim - 5:43 (5th)
Wore the speedsuit and jumped into what was pretty chilly water at 70 degrees, although with the air temperature at 85 degrees it felt glorious.  Unfortunately, the singlets they issued all participants were very poor-fitting and I could feel it moving around underneath my speedsuit.  I wouldn't go so far as to say it slowed me down but I would go so far as to say that it felt decidedly uncomfortable and weird.  Swam hard but slowly and made my way to the dock.  Each swim includes the standard long run down the dock and all the way to the transition area...

T1 - 0:55
Not much to report.  My timing chip had come off when I removed my speedsuit and I had to remove it so I lost a good bit of time there.

Bike - 17:15 (3rd)
Rode hard but felt like I was going pretty slowly.  Never felt like I could truly push, although for a seven mile time trial it's hard to even feel settled in at all.  Came into T2 and a bus was blocking me so I coasted a little more than normal.  Got a sweet draft though, but don't tell anyone!!!

T2 - 0:26
Put on the shoes and took off the helmet.  Thought about how much I hated doing triathlons.  Got going again!

Run - 5:04 (7th)
The course was a simple out/back that ended up being a little less than 1/10th of a mile short so the times were super fast.  This didn't really feel particularly good but luckily it was over quickly.

Saturday AM Olympic - 2:08:58 (6th)

Swim - 23:01 (16th)
After riding to the site and freezing our butts off we got our transition area setup and headed over to the swim start with not much time to spare (5 minutes, tops).  Putting on the wetsuit in the cold morning air was a miserable experience.  We all lined up in the same format as the day before and jumped in when it was our turn.  The swim was a somewhat confusing two loop course (a theme to be repeated throughout the rest of the weekend) and I made my way through it pretty much on my own this morning.  The sun was just coming up and it made sighting extremely difficult.  Added to that was a layer of mist/fog that was sitting on top of the lake.  That being said, the swim felt pretty easy and I finished up after running across the mat (again, all the way down the dock and to transition area).

T1 - 1:19
A recurring note from my transitions throughout this year has been about how slow they are; that will not change here.

Bike - 1:05:01 (5th)
I took the time to put on socks while in transition and soon after mounting my bike I started the process of putting on gloves.  It took a pretty long time and I never really got them all the way on and I was freezing regardless.  I never really felt settled in on the bike ride and was astonished to see how far ahead of me some of the racers were; John Kenny had swam 18 minutes, Lisska 20 and several others were sub 22 and most were putting time into me on the bike.  To see them at the turnarounds was a bit depressing and I was confused because I couldn't see Scott ahead of me yet I knew he was out of T1 before me as I had seen him leaving T1 when I was getting to T1 (later found out he had a flat and I apparently looked right at him on the side of the road but I had no idea what had happened, weird!).  The bike finished up altogether way too slowly (not actually a 40k but a 25.2 mile course, still, I was going slow) and made my way back into transition.

T2 - 1:05
Another slow one.  Surprise!!!

Run - 38:30 (7th)
Started off on the run feeling pretty good and consequently clicked off the first 2 miles under 6 minute pace then quickly realized that I had a lot of work left to do over the weekend and slowed down a bit.  I felt pretty in control on this run once I slowed the pace down and ran well enough to finish just out of the top 5.  The run course (both this one and the afternoon course as they were the same) measured out almost a tenth of a mile long due to a weird route we had to take around transition area before getting to the finishing straight.

Part two of the race reports will be for another post!!! I bet you can't wait!!!!!!

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