Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lake Norman Sprint Triathlon

S - 12,500 yards
B - 136.8 miles
R - 39.5 miles

Time - 15.44 hours

Lake Norman Sprint Triathlon

I was a little tired for this race given the normal week of training and I had some tight spots and so was a hair nervous I would suffer as a consequence during the race.  Jenny and I drove up there and got ready only to discover that Ross (who would've been racing his first triathlon of the year) had forgotten his bike shoes.  This made me realize that I had forgotten my goggles but luckily I was able to run back to the van and grab a pair from my swim bag.  The rest of the morning passed uneventfully and we all lined up to start the race.

Swim - 11:21 (2nd)

On the front row Jenny, myself and Frank took off expeditiously.  I could feel some movement behind me and some slaps on my feet in the first 100m but ignored them figuring they would drop off eventually anyway. Jenny was on my right and Frank was on my left stroke for stroke almost all the way to the first buoy.  I had fallen behind Jenny and Frank had fallen behind me and Jenny went around the buoy and got a gap on me.  I put in a 150% effort to try and get back on her feet but I just couldn't close down the gap.  At the next buoy I backed the effort level back down a hair and hoped that I could maintain the pace through the end.

Jenny stayed in front all the way to the last turn buoy, visibly about 20-25m ahead and I could feel Frank (at least, I assumed it was Frank) on my feet.  As we rounded the last buoy (about 75m to go) I took a quick glance back to my right and saw Frank and to my left I saw another swimmer.  I was surprised but then I remembered Jen Keith was doing the race and she is a good swimmer so I put my head back down and carried into the finish.

T1 - 1:19 

I moved pretty quickly into T1, leaving Frank and Jen to their own devices. This is a pretty long run to transition and then a fairly large transition so my time isn't crazy fast. I ended up passing Jenny in T1 but only because she took a really bad route through the bikes.

Bike - 43:05 (1st)

I made a rookie mistake with my bike pre-race and had the bike in the biggest gear to go up the hill out of the YMCA parking lot. Luckily I have Di2 so shifting into an easier was relatively easy (push button push button push button) and I didn't rip my rear derailleur off so that was good.  I made it up to the top and carried on through downtown Davidson.  The first part of the course is flat and fast and on good pavement.  I made it to the roundabout and took a glance back and saw three people a fair distance behind me.  Once we made the left turn on Shearers (I can never remember how to spell that) and the pavement took a turn for the worse (but that was expected).  There's not that much to say about this bike split.  My watts were awful and my legs were dead through the first half but they started to feel a bit better once we got on the long flat road leading into Davidson.  Like last year, the bike course takes about 1000 turns in the last 2 miles of the course which is really frustrating as you lose a lot of speed but it is what it is.  I was surprised at the lack of volunteer preparedness on the course this year.  Several times I went through turns where there were either no volunteers (at least that I saw) or volunteers that were paying absolutely zero attention.  I don't blame them, triathlon is pretty boring, but if you sign up to be a volunteer it's your job to help with the safety and direction of the athletes.  I came back into transition with what I felt was a good lead on everyone else.

T2 - :49

T2 was quick and easy although there were a ton of people in transition who were ending their swims or just standing around.

Run - 17:24 (2nd)

As I was running up out of transition onto the course I heard some brakes squealing down the hill so I figured Donny was about to enter transition which meant I had at least a minute lead on him so that made me happy.  I took the first part of the run relatively easily to let my legs come around and made it to mile 1 quickly and with lots of good feelings.  There are a lot of turns as you go through the neighborhood and in a couple of spots there were families out in front of their houses so that was pretty cool.  The weather was not that hot so it was actually quite a pleasant run.  I continued to try and build pace and came back to the beginning of the loop feeling good about my run.  I carried into the finish line hoping to have achieved something I have never done before: split 1st in each of the three disciplines.  Unfortunately young Jack kept that from happening with a faster swim and run but he did not start in open.  I was alone the whole race from the end of  T1 so I was happy with my ability to push myself.

Overall - 1:13:57 (1st)

Unfortunately Donny and Binny took a wrong turn (or failed to make a turn?) and came into the finish line several minutes ahead of me so when I saw them I was a bit surprised but knew I had done the course correctly so was confident in my win.  This is the first win I've defended from last year so I was pleased, especially considering the amount of training I had done during the week.

Also of note, 2012 results

Swim - 10:42 (3rd)
Bike - 43:46 (2nd)
Run - 17:31 (2nd)
OA - 1:14:10 (1st)

It's interesting that the swim is so much slower than last year.  I am curious as to why that would be because the course, as far as I can tell, is placed on the same buoys every single year.  So while my time is only a bit faster than 2012 my swim was almost 40s slower (despite being in far, far better shape in the water than I was in '12) so I gained good time on the bike and the run versus last year where I had Donny racing around me to push me and motivate me.

All in all, it was a good race.

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