Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Report: L.A. Tri Series, #2 2010

Total Time = 3:02:48
Overall Rank = 219/258
Age Group = Clydesdales
Age Group Rank = 8/10
Pre-race routine

Woke up at 4am. Had Nutella on toast right away. Drank just a little water as I was already well-hydrated. Everything was already packed so I hung out until it was time to get dressed and go. Left at 5:25, which was a ten minutes later than I wanted to leave. Still got to the site in good time. Picked out a great spot in transition. Once I setup my area in transition I found that my Garmin was DOA. D'oh!
Event warmup

I went out for an easy bike ride, which did feel good. However, there was a bit of an incident when I got back into transition. As much as I liked the ride, I think it's better if I don't do one to warm up again. I wanted to do a short run, too, but I ran out of time. In the future, I'll stick to doing just a warm up run. Got on my wetsuit and did a short swim in the lake.


Distance: 1km
Time: 23:15
Pace: 2:08/100y

Water temperature was perfect for wetsuits. Not too cold, not too warm. I wonder if it's going to be too warm for wetsuits next month.

There were fewer swimmers this month so the start was better set up. I was in the front and since we were spread out on the beach, I was about halfway down from the inside, a good place to start. The race started and I got out fairly well. Instead of having to swim past people, a few people were swimming past me. Maybe I should have started farther out? After about 200 yards I started feeling good. Just like last month, I don't think people were using their heads sighting but were just following everybody else. The course had a first buoy, then we turned slightly to the left. There was a second and a third buoy. The third buoy was what we would make a full left turn on and the second buoy was just on the way. Problem was, the second buoy was in towards the left of a straight line from the first to the third buoy so if you went to the second buoy, you were adding to your swim. That's what most people did. I know because as I got closer to the third buoy, I met up with people who would soon pass me (again).

As we got closer to shore, we met up with one of the sprint-distance waves. Much congestion so the last fifty yards into shore were pretty slow. On the other hand, I did breaststroke in to shore, flexing my feet to work on my calves before getting out of the water. That seemed to have worked because my legs did feel better than last month's race.
What would you do differently?

I was trying to do some heads-down swimming (i.e. not sighting so often) but when I finally sighted I often found that I had drifted off course. I'm going to give up on heads-down swimming and sight more often.

The drifting and the congestion did contribute to my slower-than-expected pace. However, I think the length of the swim was the main reason. Can't do much about that other than keep training.


Time: 2:25

Your basic T1 here. Everything went well here except the slow run in and a dropped a water bottle when putting it on the bike after squirting my feet.
What would you do differently?

Nothing. Well, maybe I should try that taking the helmet off while removing the wetsuit thing. Looks like fun!


Distance: 40km
Time: 1:32:20
Pace: 16.15mph

Mostly the same course as last month but with an additional hill thrown in and three laps instead of two. Since this race is longer, the plan was to not go as hard so I'd have something left for the run. Looking at my pace, I did a good job of that. I didn't have the Garmin with me so I relied on how I felt for pacing so that worked out well. The second half of the last lap I went one gear lower than usual on the hills so my legs would get ready for the run. Also did some stretching as I got near the end of the course. This helped transitioning to the run.

I wanted to take in all my nutrition on the bike. I had some sugar water w/ electrolytes (it's an experiment), water, and a gel. Sugar water the first hour, water and a gel after that. That all went according to plan. Man, when that sugar water hits you, it's a weird feeling. I need to keep playing with that.
What would you do differently?

Just get stronger on the bike. I pretty much did what I wanted to on the bike. I was slow in the group but it was a good ride for me.


Time: 1:23

Really good T2.
What would you do differently?



Time: 1:03:25
Distance: 8km
Pace: 12:46 min/mile

I felt pretty good starting the run. Good, not great, but I didn't feel horrible, which is how I have felt in my other races this year so the bike-run bricks are working. Hilliest run course I've ever been on, which I wasn't expecting. I had to walk the two steepest hills--there would have been no point trying to run up them. It would have been no faster than walk pace anyway. I felt good on the flats but those hills really did me in. I took my metronome with me to help with my cadence. I wasn't able to keep up with it so after a couple of miles I shut it off.

On my recent training runs I have noticed my feet slip-sliding in the shoes from the sweat coming from warmer days. That peaked today and the result was a spot on my left foot that rubbed raw in the last couple of miles. Oh joy. It didn't slow me down but it was annoying. Next race I'm going to have to bite the bullet and put socks on since I can't go a full 10k like that. If the course was flat there probably wouldn't have been a problem.

So, it was my typical slow run but I think I actually did better than usual on it. There is hope!
What would you do differently?

I felt my left quad edge towards cramping the last couple of miles. I need to take in more electrolytes on the bike and maybe actually drink water on the run course rather than just pour it on my head (which felt really good).

I need to do lots more hill work.

No metronome. I wasn't able to take the Garmin on the run but next race I'm not even going to bother.

Wear socks...or get better-ventilated shoes.

Post race

Warm down

After experiencing light-headedness after the last race I immediately went to town on the oranges and water. The light-headedness did return (along with the light sensitivity) so I found a bench to sit on and it went away after a couple of minutes. I wonder if it's a sugar thing? Maybe I need to have some Gatorade in my bag and go straight from the finish line to the bag and start guzzling. I sure would like to know what's going on.
What limited your ability to perform faster?

Longer distance, slower pace. That's just how it goes. I'll get faster the more I train.

I'd love to use the "I was one of the two oldest Clydesdales, give me a break" excuse but the other 48-year old took second. So much for that. :-)
Event comments

It's funny. The race organizers sent out an email earlier in the week touting the casual nature of the race, including no body marking. However, this time we were bodymarked and our bikes numbered. Why? Apparently some people walked off with bikes they weren't supposed to last race. Nice to see they're addressing the problem.

Oranges and bananas were nice but I wanted to guzzle some Gatorade and all I could find was water. Oh well, I guess I'll have to bring my own.

Challenging course for me but do-able. Next month's full Oly should be interesting.

8th Clydesdale in the swim, bike, and run. I'm Mr. Consistency. It does explain why I didn't see any Clydes passing me.

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