Monday, July 25, 2011

Solana Beach Triathlon Race Report

Smug & Cocky
Q:  Who was the smug & cocky sonofabitch who claimed he could finish the Solana Beach Triathlon in under an hour?


A:  Me

Yeah, well that didn't happen.  I finished in 1:06:03 instead.  Yet, I've really got nothing to complain about.  My normal inclination would be to moan about the swim.  But that actually went pretty well - I stayed with what I'm calling the "middle pack" the entire time.  In fact, I drafted behind a guy on the beach bound segment (the course was "U" shaped around two buoys beginning and ending on the beach) and didn't have to sight the entire way in.  Why I put complete faith in this guy's navigation skills I'm not sure, but this guy ended up being a regular Magellan and before I knew it I was on the beach running the 1/3 of a mile up the ramp to transition.  My final swim time (including the run to transition) was 13:44.  At first I wasn't super stoked on this, but after the race I heard almost everyone complaining about their swim times so I felt a lot better about it.  I'm guessing either the course was longer than a 1/4 mile or there was some sort of current working against us.  Either way, I think I ended up doing OK on the curve. 

Slowing and turning somewhere...
I was in and out of T1 in 1:57, and I'm generally happy with anything under 2 minutes.  Once on the bike, everything went fine.  Well, almost fine - I had a little bit of trouble clicking in to my pedals.  But it's always the things you do a million times that go wrong at the worst possible moments, so I just went with the flow.  The course was two 4 1/2 mile slightly rolling loops on Coast Highway. There was a moderate cross/headwind going north and a cross/tailwind going south.  My average speed for the first and last mile where a mildly disappointing 18.5 MPH I'm guessing due to a fairly long haul between the timing mat and the actual mount/dismount line, but the rest of the time I averaged between 20 and 23.5 MPH depending on the wind.  This is where I am at in terms of bike fitness at the moment so I'll take it.  Plus I passed plenty of other riders.  My total bike split was 26:22.

Run finish
T2 took me 1:37, so I was happy with that too.  As far as the run, I held an average pace of 7:20/mile.  The first mile 7:23, the second mile was 7:27 (weird), and the last mile was 7:14 for a total split of 22:21.  Again, nothing to really complain about there.

In the end, I was 23rd of 87 in my age group and 260th of 1100 overall.  I finished 1:47 faster over last year.  A year older and almost two minutes faster?  I'll take that.  I also feel I raced to the best of my ability and made very few mistakes.  And through the entire race I felt I maintained the perfect combination of hard work and enjoyment.

Chris K, Ian and me
Mary, Ian and my Mom (who is in town visiting) came down to cheer me on.  Chris K from the Manly Runner lives in the area and also came down.  This was very cool and much appreciated.  And a big thanks is due to Chris for the bike and run pictures - I think they are pretty good.  Cheers for that.

After the race, we went to breakfast at a local place called Honey's.  If you ever are in Encinitas, check it out - it's a very legit breakfast spot.  We had a nice conversation about all sorts of things, including some quality reminiscing about our mutual pal Kovas.  I ate pancakes and drank a bunch of coffee.  Basically it was the perfect meal.

So how did I talk myself into thinking that a sub one hour race was possible?  This is how - I over estimated my abilities by a minute or two in every discipline.  I didn't leave enough time to get from the beach to T1, I didn't factor in the wind on the bike course and I didn't have the legs to run a 21 minute 5K.  But despite the fact that my prediction of a sub one hour sprint triathlon will be publicly displayed on the Interweb forever, I'm 100% OK with this race.  But now it's time to go longer - it's about 7 weeks until the Big Kahuna 70.3 in Santa Cruz.

32 comments:

Kovas said...

Sounds like a good race all in all, except for seeing ChrisK. Long transition runs can add quite a bit of time, so there is that to look at for next year. Older and faster? We'd all take that.

Jennifer said...

Super job Patrick! You look fit and healthy and the Big Kahuna will be a piece of cake!

Tri4Success said...

Sounds like everything came together for a great race day experience, even if it did fall short of your "pie in the sky" goal. Congrats!

Michael said...

Sounds like the race went great!! Ahh...Chris K, what a great guy!

Laura said...

Awesome job...faster every year we get older sounds good to me.

steady pursuit said...

This post makes me want to do my first sprint tri.

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

I would say something was really off on the swim distance. But, where was the timing mat? If it was up the hill this could account for the time...

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Very solid performance! Cool that Chris came out to cheer you on.

Christi said...

Congratulations on a great race!

Matty O said...

Is that another picture of you SMILING??? haha.

Great job man! Yes, I too have been putting blind faith in the people in front of me swimming lately. I need to stop doing that, I hate swimming more than I have to haha.

It's hard to gauge your times based on day of the race happenings and transitions. When I got off the bike at Muncie, there was a pile of people and bikes haha, how do you account for that in your time ? ;)

Great job, keep up the great work man!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Sounds like a great race even if you didn't make your expectations you still did better than before. You will be the BIG Kahuna in a few weeks!

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

Nice job on the improvement from last year! That's always exciting. Congrats on the race, all those times sound excellent!

J. L. said...

Great job on the race. Funny how we forget how minutes add up a bit. Loved your race report, too! Older and faster definitely sounds nice. Congrats!

Dax said...

Nice job on the race. That ramp is a beast especially on wobbly post-swim legs. I tried to run fast up it a couple years ago at the Solana Beach tri and I felt like I really paid for it on the bike.

Nice choice for post-race breakfast.

ShutUpandRun said...

Congrats on a race well done. I think it's good to have very high expectations. Then you can just disapoint yourself.

I am planning on doing the 70.3 sub one hour. I totally think it is possible.

lindsay said...

Congrats on te improvement from last year! I always seem to forget the age factor from year to year and just expect myself to get faster regardless.

Kate said...

Chris K not only came to cheer you on but also took pictures? Nice! Hope he bought your breakfast, too...now that would be a stand-up guy.

You may not have met your goal, but I'd always prefer to have a goal to push for rather than to coast. Well, that's actually the opposite of what I do. Usually I set a very unambitious goal and then hope to beat it. But it sounded good when I wrote it. Anyway, nice improvement on last year's time.

Mike said...

Congrats on another solid race! Faster than last year is awesome too.

ajh said...

Great race! Nice improvement. There must be some seriously fast people you are racing against. Nice to have someone take pics of you racing. I always appreciate that.

XLMIC said...

Friends don't let friends make typos in their titles ;-)
You felt on your game for the most part, your transitions were better than in your last race, you were faster here this year than last year…just clean up your proofreading and I'd say you can justifiably give yourself a little 'smug and cocky.'

XLMIC said...

And are you just remarkably muscled or is Chris just remarkably scrawny?

Emz said...

freaking awesome job!
2 minutes. love it.

photo with Chris....ehhhh you should have photoshopped him out.

Awesome p-funk.

TRI714 said...

That is solid.

Great job P.

Colleen said...

You said it yourself... you raced to the best of your abilities. What more can you ask for? And you PRed by 2 minutes... can't complain about that! Congrats!

Chris K said...

@XLMIC, yeah those iphone cameras get all screwy...it always makes the people on the right side of the photo look really scrawny. In real life I'm buffed.

Patrick, as Dax pointed out, the ramp from the water to T1 is really sketchy. It's long, slippery, and very steep. Not to mention you still have to run across the park and the street to T1. I can easily see that taking an extra minute.

As for the run. You did not mention that it was HOT by the time you started your run. A cooler day would have helped. Not sure it would have given you that minute. And, you haven't been doing speed work for very long. Speed work makes you fast. Beeeeeleive it.

Chris K said...

Crap, and I'm not blowing smoke. It was a good result. Congrats.

Aimee said...

Even though you didn't break the 1hr. mark, you did AWESOME! Woohoo!! Nice job with your race!

Caroline said...

Like Kovas said older and faster...I mean that is a + right? and a better time...AND you had a famous cheerleader...I see this as very positive!
Nice pics!

it's all about pace said...

nice race... LOL re: Magellan in the H2O

DRog said...

great race all the way around! especially w/ fam and friends around...

Caratunk Girl said...

Awesome race!! You rock, so cool that Chris K came along!

valen said...

that a pretty flash race suit, it kind of glitters in the photos. nice job!

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