Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lake Padden Triathlon Race Report

This is going to be a two-part piece as I competed in the morning competitive division and also the run leg of a relay in the afternoon recreation race.  Firstly, I want to say "Hats Off' to Lance Romo, the race director, and all the the volunteers.  This was by far the smoothest local race I've competed in.  The fan support and small-town vibe let me focus on my best-executed race to date.  Let's just get into the thick of it already.

Overall 1:47:51  18th Place

Swim 800 meters-12:09 (1:31/100m) 47th
Being a small venue, the swim started in self-selected waves of 50 participants.  I knew I couldn't really hang with the top guns on the swim, so I opted for a later wave.  I used the facilities one last time and migrated down to the crowd funneling towards the water.  My lack of haste put me in the 4th wave.  The first 200 meters was somewhat chaotic as it seemed everyone on my sides wanted to swim on top of me.  I threw in a couple of hard bursts to get out of there.  After the turn-around I got into a good rhythm and found myself passing people from the previous waves.  I knew this because they were treading water.  A quick run up the grassy hill and it was go time.

T-1 1:03  9th
Prior to the start a spectator gave me a couple of rubber bands to hold up the heels on my pre-clipped bike shoes.  It probably saved me 10 seconds.  I did a flying mount for the first time and I was off.

Bike 21 miles - 1:00:15 (21mph) 23rd
This course is beautiful but challenging for the distance.  It starts and finishes with climb.  There's also one leaving Lake Samish right in the middle.  I've ridden this course a few times, so I knew what to expect on the hills.  I stayed aero on the flats and spun an average 100rpm cadence.  Even on the hills I hovered around 90.  I burn out quickly when I mash a hard gear because my legs aren't super strong but I can spin fast so that helps.  A couple weeks ago I lowered my handlebars to make a smaller wind target but didn't put in a lot of time in the saddle for my body to adjust.  I felt my lower back tightening up on the rolling hills heading West but it went away or I ignored it on the flat going back to the Lake.  At that point I thought I could make it under an hour but I wanted to run hard so I didn't push it.  Next year it's getting crushed.

T-2 1:04  84th
I'd never worn these shoes w/o socks before.  They say don't try anything new on race day. 
Dang socks.

Run 5.2 miles - 33:20 (6:24min/mi) 14th 
I left transition hard and didn't let up until the finish.  The course is 2 loops around the lake. The first 1.5 miles on the south lakeside of the 2.6 mile loop is hilly then it's flat coming back around to the start/finish.  I am the most proud of this part of the race.  I've been working hard on the run lately and it really paid off.  Below I highlighted the flat parts of the race.  I knew there was only a mile to go so I jumped on the pain train, kept my shoulders down and pulled every last drop out of my legs.  It hurt, bad, but it also felt great to finish strong. 

It should say Comp: 2 laps, Rec: 1 lap

As I said before, this is a two part report.  I met up with a couple of guys who also competed earlier, well one did, the other thought the races were the next day.  At least he remembered in time for the recreational race.  Tom swam the 1/4 mile and Jon biked the 10 miles before I got the timing chip.  My goal was to run another sub-17 minute lap but within 1/8 mile my stomach rebelled.  I could maintain 6:45 min/mi but anything faster and the bouncing really cut into my side.  I realized later it was probably the one hard-boiled egg white I had in between races.  It was still fun to be part of a team.  Also we were the first relay team to finish and fifth overall, so not a bad shot in my book. 

Now on to the next challenge.  Probably Ocean Shores 70.3 July 13.  Since I must have slightly rolled my ankle, it's time to jump back in the saddle.  With Summer finally here, I'm thinking some new bike rides are in order.  Mount Baker, I'll see you soon.