Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Foothills Sprint report... training through a race.

So Monday was the Foothills Sprint Triathlon. There has been a fair bit of disappointment (and therefore much whining) this past week since Rev3 Knoxville, so I needed a race to help me get back in the swing and stop obsessing over a bad race. I wasn't going in with "too" high hopes, just a solid finish without any major issues. I was also training through the race, so I knew I wouldn't be in peak shape. The 3 hour ride on Sunday meant when I woke up early Monday morning, I was greeted with some fairly dead feeling legs.

My warmup was longer than what I usually manage... I got a couple of good accelerations on the bike, a long(ish) run and then a short swim in before lining up on the pool deck.

The only real scare of the day was when I pulled my bib out of the bag... 13! I get some odd looks when I request that they write the 3 backwards on my arm, and the announcer had a hard time at the finish line reading my upside down bib, but otherwise I think I steered clear of any ill effects.

Also, a rogue Mallard (duck) joined us in the pool at the beginning, but was disqualified for cheating when he took flight at the start of the race.

Anyways, on to the report.
Swim - 5:59

Getting passed at the end :/ So sad.

And so we're off. I line up about 10 people back and think I positioned myself about perfectly. I was passed at the end by a girl who had grossly underestimated her swim time, but otherwise it was a smooth time. I had planned on being right at 6 minutes, so I don't think it could have been much better. Before I know it I'm climbing the stairs and heading to the bike.

My swimming has been going pretty well considering I've been getting under 8k a week for the past few months. Someday I'm going to really learn to swim though!

T1 - 1:23

Buckets, buckets everywhere!

I hot foot it down the long trail to transition and find my way to my bike. I fumble with the seemingly tougher than most chin strap on my Bambino but eventually take a "woo-sah" moment and I'm out the gate.

Not a good T1. About 15 seconds slower than I was last year, which is no good. I really need to start practicing my transitions with a little more interest. There's no reason not to have the fastest T1 in a race other than laziness.

Bike - 28:04

Coming through the last turn to transition. Note the backwards 3 in 13 :)

And here we are on the bike again. After really paying for not racing my own race at Rev3 last weekend, I was a bit nervous to try and chase down the pace truck. I get low fast and start picking the few people in front of me off. I notice a few miles in that I've picked up a shadow... a relay biker who is BLATANTLY drafting me.

I know it's a try a tri, and I know that on a rolling course like this you get stuck in area's where "drafting" is sometimes tough to avoid, but this guy was full on bike race drafting me with no intention of passing. I give him the "elbow flick" a few times and eventually get so frustrated I turn and give him a few choice words... you sir should be ashamed of yourself if you are for some twist of fate reading this.

Eventually he's had enough of my pace and falls off and it's myself, the eventual winner and another guy all in sight of each other. We start hitting the end stretch which is very hilly and I content myself with just keeping the two of them in my sights. No need to gain a few seconds on the bike only to blow my run. (again)

Overall I was happy with my bike split for my fitness level. 2nd fastest of the day and faster than my split last year by a handful of seconds on 10 watts less power. (avg.) I'm back on the bike for real training now so hopefully that power gap is on it's way out. (or even better, on it's way the opposite direction.)

T2 - :35

T2 is tricky here, since the parking lot you come through is busted up pavement and massive speed bumps. I wait until the last second to flip my leg over and ride it through, but I'm on my feet running with no incidents. As I'm heading to my rack and removing my Kask, the visor launches and I have to turn around for it... problem of magnetic visors I guess. It costs me a second or two but I'm quickly off and running (with my upside down # belt)

Run - 17:10

On the long stretch home

Still no miracles happening here. Alan (the eventual winner) is a MONSTER of a runner (2nd place in the Knoxville 1/2 Marathon) and I knew going in that unless something crazy happened there was no way I was going to beat him, so as he exits t2 I can only wave goodbye. I battle off two other guys as long as I can, but my weakness shows in the last half mile and I have to settle on finishing 4th behind guys who can actually run.

I had hoped that my work on the half marathon training would translate over better to my short course speed, but it has seemingly not.  When it boils right down to it, I just need to start doing more fast running and at least be able to respond to surges from other guys. As it stands my strong bike is offset too much by my weak run, and other guys who know me know they can easily catch me on the run. I need to be a faster runner to make them bike above their fitness and level the playing field.

Alas, time will tell if I'll ever be a "good" runner or not.

Finish Time - 53:09

Fall down here
All things considered (like having a 3 hour ride Sunday) things went pretty good on Monday. I was a couple of seconds slower this year than I was last year, but given I was training through the race I feel like that's acceptable even if it's not thrilling.  Afterwards we sat around and goofed off waiting on awards and I picked up some more series points for the Fleet Feet Grand Prix.

Jenny must be pretty funny since we're all laughing!

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day, thanks so much to all who have served so that I'm able to write snarky blogs and boring race reports.

Until next time, thank you all for reading

-Christopher Morelock

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