Title Sponsor – Avia
Location: Encinitas (San Diego), CA
Last year at this time I was racing the Rev3 aquabike Knoxville and coming off of cryosurgery for my plantar faciatis. This year I’m staying closer to home base and have finally starting to ramp up my running. I did this event a couple years ago so it will be a good test to gauge my recover, training progress and compare to my previous effort here.
Saturday, I wason and off my feet all day at the festival expo (at the TCSD booth supporting the Tri Club and Oasis One-Twelve)… not complaining just giving some background. I normally would have been out for a long training ride but wanted to race with fresh legs. I did id not bring breakfast or lunch but was saved by the Mix 1 for the samples they had available and some horrible tasting baked potato chips.
Working the expo allowed me to scope out the parking situation for race day… limited parking near the transition. So race day, up early and out the door by 4:15am.. Transition opened at 5:30 or so this assured me a prime spot in transition. Rack space were assigned by waves and my wave/age group was along the outer perimeter so no need to deal with finding my bike amounghts the masses during the race.
This was going to be a real race for me, not just a hard training effort. There was no competitor list to review and let me knew who was going to beat me before the race even started and at the expo I did not see any of the heavy hitters. I was finally going to get to use some of my new equipment in a race situation, TYR Hurricane wetsuit and Avia Avi Stoltz (the fluorescent orange and blue version) running shoes. Full products reports are in the works.
The swim is at Moonlight Beach and transition is an “easy” jog up to street level. The swim is a simple out and back course with a land start… just had to gauge the current and hope our wave start would be optimally timed to make it thru the three to four foot waves.
With a late wave start I was able to practice my ocean entry and avoiding and catching wave. It’s been a while since I have played around in the surf. Watching the early waves, it gave me an idea of how much to adjust for the current. I started on the front row of our wave and when the “gun” went off I took off north for about 30 yard on the sand before heading into the surf. Our wave was pretty small, about 50 guys, and everyone seemed to scatter. Our wave start ended up being synched with the waves perfectly. No waves to push you back or big one to throw you back, just up and over and thru. I ended up mashing it out with one guy for about 30 yard side by side and somehow we split apart and took our individual lines to the far buoy. The current was not as strong as anticipated, so I had to back track/adjust my line just a bit, may have been able to save 10 seconds if all was perfect. Past the breaking waves there was sill a bit of chop, I noticed that my kick was not very effective for this reason, so I focused on a strong pull. After the far buoy there was a little push of the waves but missed the big one to ride in. The exit sight line is the lone/tall palm tree and I had a very straight line to the swim exit.
Its a long jog up to the transiton so no rush on getting the wetsuit off.. On the jog up, I took the top half off and one at my bike slipped the lower half off. The racks appeared to be still pretty full of bike so it was hard to judge how may were already out on the bike course. For all sprit triathlons I use my Pyro Platform to avoid and extra shoe change in T2. During the week I went for a few rides and made adjustments for the platforms to fit perfectly but for some reason, things were not perfect and my saddle also felt a little low. I am sure I missed out on optimal power production. There were four of us who exited T1 at the same time, one guy took off after the first half lap an the remaining three battled it out back and forth, but I ended up back in T2 slightly ahead of them. I was off focus during the bike segment, I did not have the killer/go fast mind set for some reason this day. Will keep this in mind for the next race and make sure I stay focused. It was a two loop course that included residential streets with long straight a way segments on PCH. With the dips and turns in the residential area I was a bit cautious and on PCH was able to keep up the speed.
Now in T2, I could really see how many were ahead by how few bikes were already hanging on the transition racks. In the past my run is where I am able to make up ground but today something was off. May be my lack of run training, lack of speed work or the half marathon I did last week. I usually recover pretty quick but I definitely felt my heavy quads. I had no turn over and it sucked. About a hundred yards into the run I was passed by Mark E. (who I usually pass on the run). We ran together for a bit but I could not hang and he increased his lead and ended up with a faster run split by 1:07.
Messed up on setting the Garmin correctly, thought I had it set for auto multi-sport. I was focused on getting my shoes foot fit/feel right in my platforms at the beginning of the bike segment so did not activate the start button on time. I like the technology, but it sucks when the wrong or no buttons are pushed. Since it was still on bike mode during the run, I was not able to properly view my pace. It displayed miles per hour not minute mile pace. Yes, I know the higher the number the better, anyways being a 5k run I really did not have time to worry or bother with looking at my watch.. it is just run, run, run. In T2, I did not cinch my shoe laces all the way so my Avi Stoltz felt a little loose, but I did not want to waste time to tighten. Probably should have taken the time to fix because if tighter/better contact around my feet I know I could have run faster. So my lack luster run paced out to be 6:40. I am hoping by the end of the year to have that back down to 6:15 or so. But with my iron distance race in September (Rev 3 Cedar Point) I will have to work more on endurance than speed.
Still waiting for race images but here are the results:
Swim: 15:31, 10th in AG – Over 3 minutes slower than last time I did this course (fastest swimmer this year 11:30, fastest swimmer last time 8:56)
T1: 2:01, 2nd in AG – 1 second slower than last time.
Bike: 36:42, 12th in AG – 15 seconds slower than last time.
T2: 0:30, 1st in AG – 1 second slower than last time and still the fastest overall
Run: 20:32, 8th in AG – 1:02 seconds slower than last time.
So that makes overall time of 1:14:42. Good enough for 6th out of 52 in AG and 51st OV out of 632.
Lessons learned: Focus, have all equipment dialed in and verified twice! I am on track for this seasons end goal. It’s already about mid season and now time to go into phase two of the training season; add a few more longer rides and add two more run days (one being fast/tempo) to my weekly schedule.
images courtesy Brightroom.com