Monthly Archives: October 2009

1 more swim video


I filmed my swim again after my swim on Tuesday and I’m defiantly noticing a lot of improvements. My times are all dropping and from looking at the video I think my stroke is much improved from where it was when I first saw it a few weeks ago.

More Swimming Videos

More swim videos from today. I took these at the end of my workout. I had a good quick 2,000 yard swim at lunch today, most sets were 1:35 per 100 yards.

After the first set of videos I tried  keeping my elbow closer to my body during the pull and it looks a little bit better but I think the underlying problem is not enough rotation while I’m swimming. I tried to exaggerate my rotation but it doesn’t look that different.  

Trail Run

I went on a quick trail run after work today and took along my new digital camera and took some pictures and videos while I was running.






I went back to the camera user’s manual and looks like it has a shock reduction setting for both movies and pictures that I’ll have to try out next time.

I also tried some video of me running. I thought I was holding the camera steady and keeping it pointed at the trail but I obviously didn’t and the results turned like the Blair Witch Project.

New Toy

I got myself a new toy this week. A Pentax Option W80 digital camera. IMGP0011_edited-1

I have been looking for a waterproof/shockproof camera that I could stick in my back pocket to take pictures on my bike rides without having to worry about it and use to look at my swim stroke. I was leaning towards getting a cannon Powershot D10 but after seeing it in person it is a gigantic camera so I decided to go with the Pentax. It looks just like a regular digital camera.




I haven’t used it much this week because it’s been raining and I’m still getting over the flu so I don’t know much about the picture quality or some of the features but here are two pictures I took in the car on the way home.



But the main reason I wanted to get the camera was to see what my swimming stroke looks like, so here it is. This is me swimming at a relatively easy pace, I would guess it was about 1:45 per 100 yards. I;m thinking my stroke would look a little bit different if I was swimming at a “fast” pace.

Above water, it is very humid at the pool so I think that’s the reason for some of the fog.

Below water, it took  me a couple of times to get the camera in the right spot to capture me swimming. I have one sequence showing the ceiling for a minute and one minute showing pool tiles.

It’s interesting to actually see what swim stroke looks like because what it feels like I’m doing and what I am actually doing are not the same. Just looking at my two videos I noticed a couple of things, it’s seem like my head gets very deep in the water sometimes, my arms look very flat going into the water from the pool deck shot, and my arms swing out way too wide on the pull.

Here is a neat little animation of the freestyle stroke I look at every now and then to see what it should look like.

Giant Acorn Double

I capped off triathlon season number two last weekend with the Giant Acorn Olympic Distance and Sprint triathlon in Bumpass VA.  Just like the Giant Acorn last year and the Rumpass in Bumpass from this spring I stayed with family while there.

Overall(2:25:53, 60 overall, 6 AG)

Saturday was the Olympic distance. This is the same course as in the spring and I really wanted to see some improvement to end the season and I was happy to shave about 4 minutes off my total time.

Swim(28:12, 115 Overall)


I this was one of my best Olympic distance swim so. I made an effort to swim hard but and was actually swimming faster then what my time indicates because I had some major navigational issues on the third leg swimming back to the dock, I was out very wide for most of the time and had to go somewhat sideways to get back on course.


The problem was this leg was looking back into the sun and the tent that I was sighting off wasn’t in line with the finish like I thought it was. You can see the white tent in the picture below, it obviously is not the finish line. In fact the lead pack swam off course and went to the tip of the peninsula instead of the dock. Oh and we had to swim around the dock and hop up to the pier because obviously it was broken.



T1(1:36, 71 Overall)

It took a second to remember what row I was in but once I did I had another fairly quick transition. I also took the time to put on socks.


Bike(1:05:06 35 overall)

I would consider this a solid bike leg. Really I rode the 24 miles  sub 1:04:00 because the bike time included the run from T1 out to the road and back when you finished. The goal for this ride was to go at 250 watts and keep things nice and steady. I did exactly that and wound up with 247 watts and an average speed of 22.4 mph. Unfortunately my Garmin decided to lose the file so I don’t have any of the power data. This was about 10 seconds slower then the spring but it felt a lot easier.


T2(1:20, 109 overall)

I didn’t have elastic laces on my shoes so I had to take the time to tie them but I didn’t waste to much time in transitions. This winter I plan to work on the flying dismount to see if I can save additional time.

Run(49:41, 86 overall)


This is where I need to make a lot of improvement this winter. There is no reason I shouldn’t be able to run a 44-45 minute triathlon 10k.


This is actually a tough run course, it’s two laps on some "rolling" country roads and the road has a big slant to it in a couple of places.




Then I spent some time relaxing in the lake.




Next up was the sprint on Saturday morning.

Overall(1:09:45, 27 Overall, 2 AG)

This race is on a similar course to one I did last fall, the run course is harder on this one but it’s close enough to compare to last year. This is far and away the best race I have ever had. Maybe I should do a warm-up race the day before more often.

Swim(11:36, 36 Overall, 5 AG)


This was a breakthrough swim for me. I lined up near the front and went hard from the start. I was able to stay with what I think was the second pack of swimmers and I felt like I was going hard the whole way and didn’t let up. The swim course interesting. I was similar to Saturday but the turns were sooner. In an effort to make the course more spectator friendly the organizers put one of the buoys to close to the piers and i guess the water depth changed with tide but it got so shallow in the middle of the swim that it was quicker to run for about 15 yards or so.


This part was actually really phone, I was running along and then did some dives to get swimming again. Using my knowledge from yesterday I took a much better line for the last leg of the swim and saved myself some time by coming in right at the dock. I am very, very happy with this swim, it comes at to around 1:25 per 100 yards which means I worked hard and took advantage of the gains I get with wetsuit. Compared to last year this is 2-3 minutes and about 100 places better.


This is a funny sequence of shots I would like to share that show what happens when people decide they don’t want to swim in the same directions as everyone else.

 DSC07364 DSC07365 DSC07366


T1(1:12, 24 Overall, 3 AG)

I felt like I had a good swim and to save my self some time I decided to go without socks so that is where the 20 second improvement for Saturday came from.

Bike(33:22, 20 Overall, 1 AG)

Another solid bike ride, I wanted to put in a solid ~275 watt ride but after a few minutes I knew that wasn’t going to happen because my legs felt a little drained after yesterday so I toned it down and finished up was 260 watt average. There was a decent amount of wind out on the course so that is why the speed didn’t go  up as much for the increase in watts.


In terms of the actual ride it was interesting, I beat the people I swimming with out of transition so I didn’t see them on the course. I did catch someone who came out of transition right ahead of me on the first downhill and within the first two-three miles I passed a couple of swimmers . I got re-passed by the transition person around mile 5 and I kept him in sight for most of the ride but there was No One else on the course until around mile 9-10 mile when I saw two people up the road who I eventually passed.


T2(1:00 60 Overall, 9 AG)

I found out why there was nobody else on the course when getting back to transition I hear the announcer say "we have just had the last of the top 5 into transition" I counted one person ahead of me so I was in about 6-7th off the bike. Kind of neat. Again I forgot where my bike was and went down the wrong isle so I ducked under a rack to get to my bike and lost of couple of seconds. I went with the old Asics that have the elastic laces for this run so I saved a couple of seconds. 

Run(22:38 44 Overall, 5 AG)

The run course was one loop of the Saturday course except you went out of the marina on the grass instead of the road. There isn’t much to say about the 5k run. You just go out and run hard.



Just like the bike course the run course was empty and I saw mountain bike for the leader right before the turnaround and he recognized from Saturday and said hi. I only got passed once and for the last half of the run I just kept someone insight and stayed on their shoulder.

Post Race

I watched my little cousin while Aunt successfully first triathlon.



Oh and I won a prize for getting second in my age group. This was a great weekend to cap of triathlon season #2


So far I have done four races at this location and is a great place to have a race. The swim is close enough to the pier spectators can see everything and the water is warmer then normal because of the Nuclear plant so it makes it a great place for early and late season races. The bike course is on nice road with just enough rolling terrain to make it interesting. The run course has changed a couple times but if the race directors are able to get their new plan in place by next year it would make this race even cooler. The plan is to  be able run on the damn out and back as the run course. I included a picture of it below as seen from the pier, it would make for some nice views and cool pictures.