Overall 2:23:59 (11th AG, 60th Overall)
I’m bummed out about this race, the weather was bad so that had something to do with the results but I know I am capable of a much faster time than yesterday’s race. This was the third year I’ve done this race, and was 3 minutes slower then last year. The 2010 and 2009 reports are: here and here.
Heading into this race I didn’t exactly have an ideal taper. I was in Atlanta all week for work, flew home Friday afternoon and then woke up at 4:30 to drive to the race site.
The weather forecast all week did not look promising with some strong thunderstorms and heavy rains forecasts for race day. Fortunately the thunder held off until later in the afternoon but starting around 7 it rained most of the day in varying intensities.
Swim 29:56 (17th AG, 106 Overall)
The race directors were keeping an eye on the forecast to decide if they would need to delay the start for lighting but with 15 minutes to go they gave the go ahead for an on time start, so I got in the water to do a 10 minute warmup.
The water wasn’t horrible with a temp of 68 degrees but I decided to use a thick swim cap warmer underneath the regular cap they give out to keep some heat in and seemed to workout fine.
My starting wave wasn’t very big so I lined up on the front line on the inside which looking back was probably a mistake. I wound up swimming the first leg of the triangular course mostly by myself with no feet to draft off of and added some extra distance getting to the first buoy.
During the second leg of the triangle the water started to get a bit choppy and I had trouble finding the next turn buoy and probably added some extra distance and again had no feet to draft off of, which turned out to be the theme of the swim.
Coming back to shore on the third leg was fine, and I think I took a good line in but was still swimming on my own most the way.
I got the dock and was very disappointed to see 29 minutes for my swim time. I knew I didn’t have a great swim but was really expecting to see 25-26 at worst. 29 minutes for 1500 meters is a 1:50 per 100 yard pace and when I’m in the pool doing a long set or warmup I usually swim around a 1:40 per 100 yard pace. And in theory a wetsuit should give you a 10 sec per 100 yard time savings not a disadvantage, so I really don’t know what my problem was but it’s something I need to get fixed.
T1 1:57 (13th AG, 76 Overall)
Because of the cold and rain I decided to wear a jacket but other than that it was a normal transition.
Run to bike while taking wetsuit top off:
take off rest of wetsuit:
put on coat:
put on helmet:
run out of transition area putting feet into bike shoes after getting up to speed:
Bike 1:10:11 (17th AG, 111 Overall)
The bike course was two loops of a rolling/flat area around the lake.
The race plan was ride first loop at a certain HR and then bump it up into the next zone for the second loop.
The first lap was fine and after settling the HR down in the first 1/2 mile I stayed right in zone for the lap but was surprised to see an average speed of only 21 mph. The roads were wet and it was a bit windy but I had on my race wheels and aero helmet so I would have expected to see a faster split.
The second lap I was never able to consistently stay in the next zone and as a result only averaged 21.3 mph for the loop.
I didn’t find the weather to be much of a problem, there weren’t a lot of puddles and the road didn’t get too slick (I only saw one person go down). The part that was a bit unnerving was the crosswinds on the some of the bridges. I had a disk wheel on the back and deep section rim on the front so I got pushed around by the wind. But knowing that it was coming made it possible to account for.
One thing that didn’t work as well as I thought it would was my rain coat. The only one I have is a couple years old and at least a size to big. This leads to a lot of flapping in the wind which is bad and wastes energy, so I thought I was being clever and pulled some of the seams in and duck taped it together.
But I didn’t really get the shoulders right and the sleeves were still way to big so I was riding with what was effectively a sail.
T2 1:06 (4th AG, 13th Overall)
T2 was quick: just the normal flying dismount, rack the bike, slip on the shoes, and put on the race belt while starting the run. The rain had really done a number on the transition area, turning it into a mud pit. This is what my shoes looked like after the race:
Run 40:52 (5th AG, 37th Overall)
This was far and away the best part of the day. The run course was two loops and I got out in the first 1/4 mile and knew I had a good run in me.
The run plan was to run the first two miles a certain HR, bump it up for the next 3, and then increase it again for the last mile.
I got going and averaged a 6:29 pace for the first 2 mile section feeling great, like I hadn’t even biked or swam.
The next three mile section I slowed a bit to a 6:34 pace but that included an off road section on some slick mud. It was really tough to navigate and keep up the speed in my racing flats that basically have no traction.
Then I picked it up for the last mile and brought it in with a 6:34 pace including the off road section again. I was getting tired and never really hit the high HR levels the plan called for in the last section but I was still pushing it.
After crossing the finish line I was initially very disappointed with my results but after thinking about it more I’m still not happy but I can at least rationalize the bike results. This winter / early spring was spent really focusing on my run and I have made big time progress, this was a 5 min triathlon 10k pr, but it has been at the expense of some biking. It wasn’t until after the Atlanta Half marathon that things switched from bike maintenance mode to really adding some serious intervals and long rides. This was first race of the year and is not really a priority for me, so if the run can stay where it is and the bike gets back to or past where it was at the end of last season I’ll be happy.
The swim, I have no excuse or rational for. I just needs to get better if I want to reach some of goals I have.