A Jim of All Trades

Triathlon Results

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The triathlon I’ve been training for was last weekend and I’m writing to tell how it went.

The swim was a 300 meter pool swim. You had to enter an expected completion time when registering, swimmers were lined up in order from fastest to slowest based on that time, and started one by one 10 seconds apart. You go down one side of the 1st lane, come back the other side of the lane, move to the next lane, repeat, and so on until complete… 6 laps total. Like this:

Pool Swim
image taken from hempfieldrec.com

In years past there have been some really fast swimmers but that wasn’t the case this year. In fact in some places it got quite log jammed due to people being slower than they signed up for and it being extremely difficult to pass in a crammed pool lane.

The swim was uneventful for me. I had hoped to finish in 6 minutes but, when signing up a few months ago, entered the time of 6:16 because I just wasn’t there yet with my training. In the past weeks I got 6 minutes a few times in training and was feeling confident, but in the race I only finished with 6:30. Part of that is from having to change lanes. I hadn’t practiced turning to my right and ducking under the lane dividers and it cost me time. Otherwise, I was just slower. It was okay though, I didn’t slow anyone else down and still caught up to the person in front of me right at the finish. I passed them running to transition.

It was a chilly morning and a bit of a wake up call running from the indoor pool to the transition area. The temperature was about 50º F (10 C). I was planning on wearing arm warmers in the bike ride, but I had trouble getting them on so just threw them on the ground and did the bike without them. Brr. I also lost a few more seconds tightening my timing chip, it came loose in the pool and felt like it was going to fall off. All that said though, I had one of the faster T1 times and was still on the bike pretty quickly.

The bike leg was a 16 mile course of small rolling hills and it went really well for me. I had trained on the bike trainer all winter and was able to keep my speed up and pace myself well. I passed a lot of people and was only passed one time while on the bike, and that was by someone I had just passed… I think it was a wake up call for him and he passed me going up the next hill, and kept increasing his lead through the rest of the race.

I finished with my fastest bike split ever, averaging 20.3 mph for the course, which still isn’t blazing fast, but is faster than I’ve ever done before. I have been messing with my bike setup trying to get more comfortable and aero, and I did get an aero helmet, so those things helped, but the improved fitness has to be the biggest factor.

Getting off the bike I was cold. Literally shivering. I hadn’t noticed it much on the ride but when I stopped moving I began shaking while sliding on my running shoes.

I also lost a little time in T2 messing with my timing chip again. In the last miles of the bike I could feel it loosening and sliding around my leg, so I had to put it back on so it wouldn’t fall off while running. Next race I’m bringing a safety pin or something to hold it together, I probably lost half a minute messing with the durn thing.

The race finished off with a flat-ish 3 mile out and back run and thankfully it really started to warm up shortly after I started. I was very comfortable after only a half mile.

Starting the run I hit the wrong button on my watch and stopped it rather than switching to the next leg. While I don’t think it really impacted my overall time, it took me almost a mile to notice it and it was frustrating getting it going again and using it for pacing.

The run went okay, but wasn’t quite as good as I wanted. I finished with a 7:35/mile average but wanted to be closer to 7:00. I gave it my all though and don’t think I had any extra energy to do better, so I’m not disappointed. One nice thing is that I wasn’t passed at all in the run leg, which is rare.

Overall I finished in 1:18:39, which ended up being good enough for 2nd in my age group (out of 16, I think) and 10th out of 84 overall. I’m truly surprised, this race had more and better competition than the duathlons I’ve been doing, so I didn’t think I’d fare so well. Just the way it goes, had one or two faster people shown up I would have been bumped down. Anyway, I’m not complaining, and got a glass for placing in my age group:

2016 T4L Glass-s

In the background you can see some of how I celebrated. I also ate a lot of pancakes and animal crackers. Don’t judge me.

So yeah, it was a good race. I took this week fairly easy and didn’t eat so well, but next week I start training for another sprint triathlon I’m doing in early June. Fun-fun!

Thanks for reading and happy racing!


Written by Jim

April 22, 2016 at 7:30 am


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