Monday, August 17, 2009

Report: Hansen Dam Triathlon 2009

Total Time = 1:20:11.1
Overall Rank = 284/562
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 58/82

Pre-race routine:

Woke up, drank some water, and waited for the digestive system to switch on. Then got dressed, put on the backpack I packed the night before, and hopped on my bike. I live about two miles away so I cycled to the race site, which was pretty cool.

Event warmup:

They did allow us into the lake beforehand, which was nice. Swam about 100 yards then waited for my wave to start.

Swim:

Distance: 500 yards
Time: 12:02.4
Age Group: 34/82
Overall: 224/562

This was my first real mass start where I mixed it up with a bunch of people. Having a water polo background, this didn't freak me out but I have to admit I didn't like it very much. Too much time worrying about people when I would rather be worrying about my swim.

After the first buoy things started thinning out a bit so I could spend more time thinking about the swim. I was hoping to pick up the pace after the second buoy but mixing it up in the first hundred yards took a lot out of me and, thanks to my shoulder layoff, I didn't have the fitness to swim faster. Oh well. I can't say I'm very pleased with my swim but I will learn from the experience.

I was pretty pleased with my sighting until I headed back to the ramp. I ended up veering way off course. I got lined back up again but misjudged where I could stand up at the ramp and really sucked at getting out of the water.

What would I do differently?

Don't have a shoulder injury that makes me lose fitness.

Swim almost all the way into shore instead of trying to judge it.

I wish I could swim in that lake a few times a year for practice.

T1:

Time: 56.1

Because my run sucks so much, I need to get speed where I can and one of the easiest places to do that is in transition. This is my place to shine so, even though this wasn't a transitalon, I wanna brag: I had the fastest T1 in my age group, 16th male, and 19th overall.

Though I would like to declare myself Master of T1, I did have a problem getting into my shoes on the bike: I forgot how to do it! I am so not kidding, I was trying to slip my feet into my shoes and instead of grabbing the shoes from the front, I was grabbing them from the back. This is the second race where my brain had a post-swim fog that affected getting into my shoes. Crazy! I am just going to have to keep practicing that over and over and over.

What would I do differently?

Remember how to put my feet into my shoes. Oh, I also forgot to have the Garmin already on so I should turn it on as soon as I rack my bike instead of waiting for later. It's a sprint, the battery will last. Lost a couple of seconds there, like a dummy.

Bike:

Distance: 11 miles
Time: 34:04.8
Age Group: 32/82
Overall: 204/562

This is my home course (literally--my house is on the route). I know the hills, the bumps, where to change gears, and things pretty much went according to plan. See my T1 comments for a small amount of time I lost because of shoes. I knew I was pushing myself because when we got to the Wentworth hill and turn, something I do two or three times a week, I did my usual pop out of the saddle and hustle. This time, though, I had to get back on the saddle just before the top. That's okay, though, because it meant I was pushing.

Things were going well when I got to the top of the dam but then I saw that it wasn't coned off, there were pedestrians on it, and they didn't open that first gate. WTF? This caused a few anxious moments but no disasters. I flew through that small gate because I have done that several times on weekends.

My finest moment was when I was passed by a guy on his aero bars wearing an aero helmet. The plan was to just go hard on the first half of the dam, then upshift and push it on the second half. That's when I passed Mr. Aero and he didn't catch me until the run. Did I mention that I ride an 18-year-old 14-speed road bike?

My next finest moment was my family cheering me when I passed our house. They even wrote notes on the course in chalk.

What would I do differently?

Lose weight, keep training, new bike next year. Going from not riding one year ago to how I did today, I'm very happy.

T2:

Time: 1:12.7

I passed one guy at the dismount line and another guy while I was running to the racks. No Lock Laces this race so I was slowed down by tying my shoes. I think I did a better job of running while putting the race belt on. 35th in my AG so a pretty average T2.

What would I do differently?

Lock Laces.

Run:

Time: 31:55.3
Distance: 3 miles
Age Group: 77/82
Overall: 461/562

My run is simply horrible. I know it and it is reflected in the results. It will get better the more I train (I've only been running since February) and the more weight I take off (230 but going down). For me, I was at a great pace so I am pleased with the run. I had shin problems that I had to work through after the first half but they did go away the last few hundred yards.

Funny (to me) story: towards the end there was a guy who had passed me but was walking before we hit the last hill. Looked like he was saving himself so he would have a strong finish in front of the crowd. Whatever. If I had anything left in the tank I would loved to have outrun him at the finish but I left it all on the course.

And I never stopped to walk.

What would I do differently?

Train more. Lose weight. It takes time but I am making progress (if you think this pace is slow, you should have seen what it was a couple of months ago).

Event comments:

The race organizers had a lot of amateur hour moments. My swim cap wasn't in my registration bag so I had to go back and get one. When I did I saw that by that point they only had shirts for the bags and they had run out of caps in the right color.

The bag was also missing helmet and bike numbers, which meant we had to spend race morning in a line to get them.

Then there was the top of the dam with pedestrians (no cones) and closed gates. Lame and potentially dangerous.

I'd rather not focus on that, though, because the course itself is wonderful. The lake was the perfect temperature. I love the bike course. The run course was a blast. My friend Lisa travelled from the San Joaquin Valley to try the race and she loved it so much she's coming back next year.

1 comment:

Adrianne said...

Hi Clyde - alsgislady from BeginnerTriathlete.com - discouraged beginner - I just read your tri account - thanks for the inspiration. I really do feel better. I just started practicing the transitions - riding with my shoes on the pedals to start and I'm in the market for lace locks too. This is certainly a "gear intensive" sport isn't it? LOL

Adrianne