Thursday, June 30, 2011

San Diego International Triathlon

San Diego - Love This Town

There must have been some sort of Lord Of The Flies fan convention at the San Diego Travelodge I stayed in Saturday night, because when I went to bed around 10 there were still about 50 kids in the swimming pool making noise and causing indescribable chaos, without a single parent to be seen anywhere.

Luckily for me, the air conditioning unit in my room was one of the loudest I've ever encountered, so it drowned the noise of the kids out.  But in and of itself the AC was only slightly less annoying than the kids.  Finally, around 11 I fell asleep.

The alarm went off at 5:00.  It was easy to get up - I was looking forward to this race.  I got dressed, had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, a cup of Greek Yogurt and a small bowl of strawberries.  I was out the door by 5:30. 

The race was just down the freeway so I was there and parked in 15 minutes.  I had dropped my bike off on Saturday afternoon, so all I had was my transition bag.  I walked into transition, got my body markings, walked over to my bike, set my stuff up and put on my wetsuit.  It was now about 6:30 and I had 20 minutes until my wave start.  So I headed to the beach, got in to the water and did 3 or 4 100 yard warm-up "sprints" (to the extent I can actually sprint).  By then it was time to line up for the start.

Swim Start
San Diego is a deep water start.  There were 100 guys in the 40-44 AG.  I've come to not give a crap about the "meat grinder" at the start - If I get kicked I get kicked, whatevs.  So I lined up to the inside right on the front.  Chances were excellent that at least 80 of these guys were going to be out of the water before me, so I might as well take every advantage I can get and make it so they all have to pass me.

The horn went off and I started swimming.  We were swimming one big 1000M rectangle in a protected marina so the water was totally calm.  From the start, I could tell I was getting passed by a lot of guys, but funny enough I didn't actually make contact with anyone.  In fact, the only time I hit somebody was at about 400M when this one guy was cutting right across my line at a 45 degree angle.  We collided but it was no big deal and I kept going and ended up passing him.

Two turns later and I'm on the backstretch.  The swim was going OK for me, so I was pretty optimistic that I'd come out of the water pretty much on goal.  And I did - at 20:30, a minute faster than last year.  A good start.

Swim - 1000M 20:30 (approx 1:54 per 100 yards)

But this euphoria was short lived, because when I got to my bike in transition, a weird thing happened.  For a few seconds, I FORGOT WHAT I HAD TO DO.  Sure, I knew the ultimate goal was to get on my bike, and I had entered the transition area with my wetsuit was already stripped down to the waist.  But the "wetsuit off, helmet on" normal order of things had somehow completely escaped me.  When I finally got my bearings I of course made things worse by fumbling to get the wetsuit off my ankles.  But with the wetsuit finally off, I got my helmet on and ran for the bike exit, although it was 40 seconds later than it should have been.

T1 - 2:38

The Climb
Once on the bike, I got going quickly enough and slipped into my shoes.  The first 4 miles of the course is uphill to the top of a small penninsula called Point Loma.  But I had forgotten how "uphill" this section was.  I could have sworn that it was only about 300 feet of vertical, but it was actually more like 600.  Not that this really mattered, but I found myself doing more climbing than I had anticipated.  Oh well, adapt.

I summited the climb and started the first of two 5 mile loops, each with 4 short but punchy climbs to deal with.  So there was never a nice long stretch where I could stay aero as I decided to attack each climb pretty aggressively.  I got the two loops done and then got to go down the first long climb back to transition, finally in aero for a nice long stretch.  This went fine, but could have been faster - I kept overtaking small bunches of riders spread across the road who were being a bit more cautious on the descent, and I didn't really feel like getting in a tangle with any of them.  I did the 30K bike course in 54:17, two and a half minutes faster than last year.  Things still looked pretty good.

Bike - 30K (approx 18.64 miles) - 54:17 (20.6 MPH)

T2 went a hell of a lot better than T1, yet it still took me 2:05.  Why this took so long is a mystery to me, though in my defense it seems like a lot of the other guys in my AG had transition times higher than I'd expect.  Maybe the run from the timing mat to the bike racks was longer than I realize, dunno.

T2 - 2:05

I set out on the run and felt great.  But just like last year, the run was a little weird - there were not a heck of a lot of people on the course.  I ran a fairly solid 10K in 49:17.  Solid yes, but I have faster.  I have a theory about this though.  Since runner traffic was light, I had no one to pace off of.  All my best/PR running times have come from big road races - the Surf City Half Marathon and the Dana Point Turkey Trot.  I think that running with more people makes me push my pace whether I realize it or not.  I'm not trying to make an excuse here.  Rather, I'm making a mental note to myself that I have to stay on top of myself a bit more on a traithlon run.

Run - 10K (Run was actually a little long @ 6.3 miles) - 49:17 (7:49/mile)

My final time was 2:08:42.  Last year's time was 2:13:30.  So despite my transition issue, I shaved almost 5 minutes off of last year's time and had time improvements in every leg.  I'm obviously pleased with this result, yet I was secretly hoping for a 2:05 finish.  I reckon a 2:05 would be a pretty good indication that a sub one hour Solana Beach Triathlon is possible in a few weeks.

So there you go, another one on the books.

25 comments:

Kovas said...

All in all it sounds like a well-run race. Not sure you could pick up an additional 3 minutes in Transition, so you've got to pick it up elsewhere. My guess is that, as strong as you are, you should really push the bike more.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I'm glad you shaved off 5 minutes from last years time that's pretty good! I'm sure you'll get to that 2:05 soon enough!

Michael said...

Nice job!! I think it's awesome to shave that much time from a previous race. Great times!

Christi said...

Congratulations on your PR!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

5mins off LY is excellent! Very nice race! Congrats!

Kat said...

Great report, great results.

Congrats!

TRI714 said...

that sounds awesome. Great job P. Your run is sick off the bike. That is a great pace (obviously) to my slow ass runs it's world class. Keep building your confidence on the bike and swim, gain back the 1.5 to 2 minutes in trainsition you lost and you got the time you pine for. It's all about repetition and your doing that so it will come. I see you crushing Solona,baring no mechanicals. Your confidence at that distance is going to amaze you.

Chris K said...

Good job. I was impressed with your "whatevs" attitude. What the heck got into you?

Dude, if you told me you were racing I would have come and cheered for you. Maybe it would have made you run faster.

ajh said...

Nice improvement! Looks like it was a pretty one too!

Tri4Success said...

Nice job improving on each segment! Solana Beach is yours to take.

XLMIC said...

Lucky for you, the Grammar Police are on vacation this week. But I AM going to call you out on getting stuck in the wetsuit ;-) Nevertheless, really a great job…faster in each leg than last year and topping last year's overall time despite your transition issues is impressive. But not as impressive as your arms in that bike pic…

Emz said...

5
Minutes
Down.

Freaking. Awesome.
One day I'll understand bike & swim distances/paces better. But I know your RUN went awesome.

Great. Job. My. Sniper. Friend.

ajh said...

Amazing that you know just the car I am getting.

Dirtbag said...

Sounds like a great race! Way to push it.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

My goal is to get as fast as you in the run come IMNYC..

Not sure who follows who in this blog world.. but I guess this was the same race that Charisa Wernick (blogger) was in. There should be a law against someone being her fast holding down a full time job...

Megan said...

Noice. Good point on your expectations of the hill on the bike. Why complain because it's steeper than you remembered? Just adapt and ride it.

Glenn Jones said...

Tremendous year to year improvement! Congrats!

ShutUpandRun said...

Awesome job and a T1 of 2:38 is not so bad considering you lost your mind for a bit.

valen said...

5min is not bad and totally get it 'bout the pacing thing... entirely up to yourself. just curius about the tri suit, is it all blue or is there black in there?.

Jill said...

5 minutes is excellent, especially with the transition issue. Congrats! :)

The Green Girl said...

I agree, congratulations on PRing in spite of your little hiccup!

Stacey (aka UltraPrincess) said...

Great work.... 5 minutes is a great improvement!!!!

Gotta run.

Jason said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this report but let me first say great job.

Second let me just say that I agree with you on the fact that when there are more people I push myself harder and that is the competitor in us. I don't care if they are on their first loop or third because I want to pass them.

Great job and keep going for that sub 1-hour sprint tri.....u have it in you.

Colleen said...

5 minute PR is awesome! :)

DRog said...

GREAT PR
I always forget what Im supposed to do in transition
dont let go of that Solana goal hit that goal

D

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