Sunday, July 25, 2010

Solana Beach Triathlon

Transition

The Solana Beach Triathlon is a fun race.  It's short, fast and mostly flat.  As far as atmosphere, the whole area between Ocanside and San Diego is incredible: Carlsbad, Encinatis, Solana Beach and Del Mar are all cool beach towns with beautiful coastline.  I love coming down here to race and Mary and I both agree that if we didn't have things keeping us in Orange County, we would move there in a second if we could.

My night in the hotel ended up being quiet enough (thanks for your concern, Barbie), and I was asleep by 11:00.  I was out the door at 6:00 this morning.  By 6:30 I was at the race and by 7:00 I was all set up.  I had over an hour to kill until my wave start, so I headed down to the beach for a long swim warm-up.

But as nice and relaxing as the pre-race routine was, today's "Dipshit of the Day Award" needs to be presented early.  This time I'm awarding it as a result of a technical foul - me believing my own Bulls**t. 



I know I said that I theoretically could have done this race in under an hour but with (and I quote) "the right conditions", would probably finish in about 1:04.  Therein lies my mistake - I made the fatal flaw in forgetting that theory has nothing to do with race day.  And what the hell are "the right conditions", anyway?

 Smug look = now off the face

I ended up with an aggregate finishing time of 1:07:41, which is 13 minutes faster than last year.  I'm happy with this, but it took me most of the afternoon to get there.  It wasn't until I saw my results, 27/74 AG and 364/1102 overall, that I finally stopped whining and felt good about the race.  I've said I wanted to start finishing in the top third this season, and this race pretty much put me there.  But I shouldn't have needed to see the rankings to appreciate the time improvement.  My bad.

THE SWIM - 1/4 MILE

I thought the swim was going well until I glanced at my watch as I exited the water and saw that I had been in the water for twelve and a half minutes.  Granted, the start gun went off as a big set of waves was rolling in and so we had a pretty confusing and physical start.  But I thought I got past the shore break quickly and was swimming stronger than I have in the past.  I did get completely and utterly rolled by a wave on the way in, but this probably helped my time as I tumbled head over heels towards the shoreline.  I was really hoping for a ten minute swim.  That said, I came out of the water in a group, which rarely happens.  So either there was a larger than normal number of slow swimmers in my wave, or the course was actually longer than 1/4 mile.  I dunno which.

There was a run of maybe 400 yard steep uphill from the beach to transition.  So by the time I got through transition and on to the bike, my watch was showing 17:34.  Not really the start I was looking for.

 Solana Beach about an hour after the race

THE BIKE AND RUN - 9 MILES AND 3 MILES

This would be a good time to mention that after I hit the split button on my watch when I started the bike, I forgot to do it again until the finish.  And since they will not be posting split times until Wednesday, all I know is that it took me 50:08 to bike 9 miles, transition and run 3.  My guess is that since I turned went to the wrong bike rack at first (again), that my T2 time was at least 2 minutes.  So that leaves 48 minutes of moving time.  Since I feel like I made a great effort on the bike but probably left a little on the table during the run, I'm betting my final times will be in the 25 minutes/21.6 MPH bike and 23 minutes/7:40 pace run range.  But regardless of how the times split up, my entire 13 minute improvement came from the bike and run.  I was definitely passing a lot of people.  It will be interesting to see how I rank in the bike and swim as compared to the overall.  I think I may end up being pretty happy there.

So now I have a benchmark for my first year of racing.  Who knows?  If I get my swim together I might be on fire and everyone will have to start calling me "White Lightning" or something similarly as cool.  So I suggest this - If I ever break 1:50 per 100 yards in a race, then I promise to wear a super-hero costume at the next race.  You guys can vote on which costume, it will be fun.

21 comments:

FLATOUT JIM said...

Theory goes out the window on Race Day.

You wouldn't think 5 hours and 45 minutes in a half IM would get you a ticket to Clearwater, but It did, and I got the shirt to prove it.

Luke said...

GREAT NEW TIME! Glad to know I am not the only one that deals with unexpected variables during a race. I hope you get hat swim time, mostly because i want to vote on the costume.

P said...

Such a bummer to start out with a rough swim (story of my life), but way to make it up on the bike and run!! Awesome time and congrats on the one-year improvements!
Can't wait to see the super-hero costume... :-)

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Congrats on smashing your time from last year. 13 minutes in no small feat in a sprint and you should be proud!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

White Lightning? Why not hooch, mountain dew, or screech? Unless you're refrring to the DC villainess: "I fight the good fight – but I can't do it without you! You're the faithful! You know the drill! Big score tomorrow night! Minimum danger... maximum thrills... and the authorities get egged!"

Jennifer said...

You killed your time from last year! But that's what superheros do, right? I think any superhero costume would be fine, just as long as it's made of Lycra.

Angie said...

Congrats on improving you ltime from last year. That is a heck of a job and you did it! And I love the superhero idea. Will be interesting to see what recommendations people come up with :)

DRog said...

Great race! Nice improvement...the description of the swim makes me really want to do a West Coast Tri, sounds like an amazing experience battling surf and getting "rolled" Superhero has to be Ironman no? great bike and run passing people...
-Derek

Laura said...

Congrats on the improvement! You swimmers are mad I tell you...mad!

skierz said...

race day is a different beast! way to go, still reached your gaol of top 1/3rd! a lot os races to go and it will be a new adventure every time!

Bill G said...

Great job - any PR is a great job!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

you shouldnt be beating yourself up over not getting under an hour, a 13 minute PR is a HUGE improvement, now you have something to work towards next year.

bob said...

Awesome PR and great race. I'm voting for "The Flash" ...but the one with the red suit...not that other, you know, um, more skimpy one.

KJ said...

I agree with Jennifer - costume doesn't matter, as long as it's lycra!!

Congrats on beating your old time!

abbi said...

Great job on your improvement over last year. Thanks for stopping by my blog and looking forward to reading more here!

Barbie said...

You beat your time by 13minutes, thats awesome. And yes, so glad to hear you got some rest.

valen said...

13 minutes is some serious improvement. well done!
I vote for "the punisher"

ajh said...

Nice job on the improvement and making the top third!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Woohoo! You did awesome! Beating your time by 13min. is amazing! I know you wanted to beat 1hr., but you did awesome!

Glenn Jones said...

Man! A 13 minute improvement is outstanding! All the hours of training are paying off.

Chris K said...

Patrick, great job. I'm glad you had a good time down here. With regards to me wearing my Newtons in Eugene, unfortunately, the Sports Doc prohibited running until my bone scan this Friday. Fingers crossed.

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