Sprint – 1/4 swim / 14 mile bike / 5k run
Saturday May 30th, 2009
I really look forward to this race every year.. maybe because it signals the beginning of triathlon season in Seattle or maybe because it’s a course i ride on almost every week. This years race was made even more special because my beautiful wife decided to race along side me:)… Angela signed up for the Duathlon.. so she was doing the same race minus the swim. We couldn't have asked for better weather!
Alarm went off at 4am, eat pop tarts, throw gear in car, throw wife in car, start driving. We arrived at the park nice and early (i like being there EARLY) and managed to be the first few people into transition. Everything was set up, went on a warm up run, then a warm up swim… everything was looking good. I had a bit of time to socialize with my teammates (www.fjt2.com) and talked Angela through the next 90 mins one more time… i knew she was going to do great! I had long debated starting in the elite wave this year but a last minute change deleted the elite wave… so i was starting in my AG Wave #3.
For the swim i lined up on the inside at the front. Not sure what i was thinking.. I am not an elite swimmer and last time i was anywhere near the front i got run over, but i never liked the battle that goes on in the middle of the pack so this seemed like a better idea. When the gun went off i swam inside a little further and managed to stay away from everyone.. in fact i had no contact at all at the start and I was able to focus on swimming vs. water polo. I swam around the first marker buoy with a few guys then things opened back up during the long straight away. I passed a few guys from my wave who had let up and clearly when out way too strong and then some traffic from the previous wave. I rounded the final buoy which seemed to have come way too soon and picked things up for the final push to shore. Soon i was on my feet and running into T1. Swim seemed really short.. not sure what distance they had set up but i don’t think it was 1/4 mile.
As i ran through T1 to my bike i heard coach Jill yelling and cheering me on waiting for her bike relay to start. Found bike, wetsuit off, sunglasses on helmet on, shoes on, grab bike, run w/ bike. I have always tried to make my transitions as efficient as possible… clearly you can win or lose a race in T1 and T2. I have a process down and I try not to think in transition.. i simply “do”. If i start to think i will second guess myself. This is clearly working as i ended up with some great T1 and T2 times.
I mounted up my QRoo and headed out of the park. I started a little slow trying to get my HR back down and under control while getting the legs warmed back up. A few minutes into the race my teammate Blake zipped by as well as a few guys going what seemed like 30+ with their WHOOP WHOOP rear discs… I was feeling slow out there on the course but i was racing my plan and i wasn’t about to panic. As we left Issaquah i picked up the pace a bit more and started to go to work. I arrived at the first hill and attacked according to plan.. things were going well, legs were feeling good. After the hill i was lucky enough to see Angela heading the other way.. she was smiling and said hi… that was a good sign things were going well for her. I continued increasing my effort as i approached the u-turn and i managed to catch back up with Blake and other other guy. I approached the second hill and again things went as planned… with the hill behind me it was time to push it all the way to the end. My legs were feeling good and i was trading places with Blake and other rider for a few miles. I would drop back 20 or so bike lengths and then somehow with no effort change i would be passing them. I was worried the mentally i kept pushing to pass them (and not following my plan) but the numbers were right on and i was consistent in my power. I kept the speed up as much as possible towards the end of the bike… difficult to do with the narrow paths and some novice cyclist on the course. Soon i found myself back in the park and headed into T2… and the biggest surprise of all… as i approached the dismount line I looked over and saw this really cute girl also getting off her bike… it was Angela!… I had caught her just as we entered T2:) Overall i was very happy with my bike. Going into the race i felt undertrained compared to last year and I was worried i wouldn’t beat last years time.
BIKE: 37:46 23.83MPH
My body was certainly tired from the effort on the bike but i managed to fly through T2 Shoes off, Shoes on, helmet off… run run run.
My run has been improving over the last year but i am still not a sprinter. As i left T2 i felt my left calf start to cramp… grrrr the first 200 yards i had to stop twice and rub it out.. didn’t help much but i just wanted to stop it from full on seizing up. The last time i stopped was coming back to the park from the little out and back they added this year.. i got a nice view of the 10 guys that were about to track me down! I started running again and i even had a course worker comment that i looked like the rabbit being hunted by the dogs.. yikes! Not much longer the pack of guys (including Blake) ran by and my moment of being near the front of my age group in a race became a memory:). The calf cramp went away and the rest of the run was uneventful… just listened to my fast breathing and my heart screaming for 20 mins… the finish line was a very welcoming place to be! I finished 16th in age group (out of 116) and 67th overall (out of 929.) I am happy with the results and my performance.
RUN: 22:20 7:28/m
TOTAL TIME: 1:08:21
AG:16/116 OA: 67/929
Next up: Cascades Edge Oly June 20th.