.25m swim / 13mi bike / 4.3mi run
Aug 21st, 2010
The return to the BLT … in 2007 Kevin talked me into doing this race… with no training… and I mean NO training… I signed up the morning of the race and I had never done a triathlon… didn’t even really know how it all worked. I couldn’t swim freestyle, hadn’t put on a pair of running shoes in 2 years… all I knew how to do was bike… so I figured why not! Three years later it finally worked out to put this race back on the schedule.. this time I showed up with a fancy red bike, fancy red running shoes, aero helmet, aero wheels, a power meter, a wetsuit and many other “tri geek” toys… let’s just say it’s been an expensive 3 years. I didn’t spend much time training for BLT this year, after the Chelan ½IM I got busy and didn’t get in much training but that was okay, I wanted to take a very relaxed fun attitude into BLT.. this one was for fun, no expectations… well.. okay… I had a few… beat my 2007 time by A LOT! Go sub 40:00 on the bike and run a sub 7 pace.
PRE-RACE: Woke up early, loaded up the car, picked up Kevin, and we were off. Breakfast: bagel with PB, pop tart, EFS Pre-Race, and a Gu 30 min before the start. Set up transition (I actually knew what that was this time!) Warmed up and strolled over to the lake. In 2007 I thought the swim looked impossible… this time around it looked really really short!
I hadn’t swam since Chelan and even at Chelan I felt slow… just haven’t found my swimming groove this year. I started in wave #4… which wasn’t much different than starting in wave #1… the BLT course never really jams up. Nothing too exciting out there, slower than I wanted to be but right where I expected to be. Came out of the water feeling good… in 2007 I came out of the water after breast-stroking and laying on my back for 10 min about to puke and pass out right there on the beach.
Not super fast… I was slow getting the wetsuit off and my shoes didn’t go on as fast as normal (they are worn out and starting to lose shape… I picked up a new pair last week but didn’t want to race in them without a few more rides.).. but soon I was running out of T1 with my shiny red bike.
BIKE: 40:42 PACE: 20.43mph (26/383 OA bike split)
The BLT bike course isn’t a leisure ride… I think it’s the most difficult sprint bike course in the Seattle area. The first mile I tried to take it easy and get the HR down… only to start hammering it on mile 2 and get the HR back up. My goal was sub 40:00 which I knew would be difficult but I believed my legs could pull it off. I passed quite a few people and realized the speed differential between me and some of the slower riders caused a few close calls. Almost took a girl out at the bottom of the big hill but I managed to swerve to the outside of the cones to avoid a crash (didn’t make mr. Sheriff very happy, but I figured it was better than my face on pavement. I hit the big climb feeling good but a little worried I had gone too hard too early… turned out I was just fine… I have ridden this hill a lot and I had my best climb up the beast… legs felt great and I was able to attack the entire length of the hill. Kept the speed up on top as I rode back to T2… feeling good. As T2 approached I realized I hadn’t been passed… not on the hill, not on the flats… things were looking good. I looked at my time and sadly watched 40min tick by just as I turned into the park.. grrrr.
I was a little slow dismounting and while running in T2 I was passed by a guy in my AG. Dropped off the bike, threw on the shoes and headed out… re-passed the guy who passed me… never saw him again.
RUN: 31:20 PACE: 7:16 (61/383 OA Run)
The run started out on an uneven trail… I passed the 100 yard mark.. significant only because this is where I started walking in 2007 and almost passed out… no problems this time around. The trail took us up a very short but very steep little hill… legs wanted to cramp but I slowed know to avoid that. Finally got my legs under me and felt good… and I started passing people! Not a big deal for most.. but I really can’t run and I am usually not passing ANYONE… and the other odd thing was that I wasn’t being passed by anyone… Go me!!.. I can finally sort of run! At the end of mile 2 I realized I wasn’t at the 1/2 point of the run and I was still running my 5K pace…. so I backed off the pace a bit… I hadn’t really thought about what pace to run for a 4.3 mile run. I ran mile 3 way too slow… got passed by a guy in my AG and let him go… more of a mental breakdown than anything else… I felt good, just worried about running out of gas before the finish line. I picked it up a bit for mile 4 but since I hadn’t done any recon of the course I had no idea how much further I really had to go to the finish… again.. more of a mental error. Finally got back to the park and went into a full out sprint when I realized I was actually at the finish… felt great and I had plenty left in the tank. I simply ran the second 1/2 of the course too slow out of fear of burning up. Next year I am going to stick with my 5K pace… the extra 1.2 mile hurts, but it shouldn’t change the game as much as I let it.
OVERALL: 1:21:13 AG: 5/26 OA 27/362
At the end of the race I realized I had only been passed by one person on the bike and run combined.. and that guy was of course in my AG… opps. I snagged 5th AG and 27th OA… 1st-3rd AG were way out of reach, but 4th was within reach if I hadn’t let that guy sneak by and get so far head in the run. I had a blast and really got to see how much I have improved in this silly little sport over the last 3 years. Did I accomplish my goals?... let’s see… sub 40:00 on the bike… Nope. Sub 7/min pace on the run… Nope. Had fun… absolutely, and I tied for my best finish yet. It was fun to return to the BLT 3 years later… once again with Kevin who talked me into doing this race the first time. As an added bonus some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while showed up and did the race… and my friend Maggie was living the dream I did back in 2007… her first triathlon. She finished with a smile and said she was hooked on the sport… I know the feeling.
Oh.. and just for fun… here’s my 2007 results compared to my 2010 results:
5. Greg Taylor 1:21:13 0:06:56 55 1:27 0:40:42 0:47 26 0:31:20
31. Greg Taylor 1:47:22 0:10:09 325 3:18 0:46:50 1:57 222 0:45:07