A Jim of All Trades

Triathlon Results

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Two weekends ago I did my second triathlon of the year and I’m finally getting around to posting about it. The tri was in Roanoke Virginia, a few hundred miles and a 5 hour drive south of where I live. My sister, brother in law and their sons live there, and my wife and I visit them a couple times per year. When coordinating the visit I was able to work in the race and they came along to spectate and cheer. This was another sprint (short distance) race.

The weather was great for the race; it was clear and warm, but not too hot during the morning. I got there early and was able to get a good spot in the transition area.

Swim:
The race started with a 300m swim in a 50m outdoor pool. The pool was pretty cool, I had never swam in a 50m pool before and it was nice to swim for a bit longer without having to turn around. Since it was only for 300m, you only had to do three laps. They started people 15 seconds apart on either side and you worked your way towards the center, exiting from the middle lanes. Like this:

OTR Pool
photo credit

I have been working hard in the pool and, though I’m still slow, I have shaved a little off my time. I wanted to finish in under 6 minutes but ended up with 6 minutes and 11 seconds. That does include passing two people though, otherwise I would have been a bit faster. One of the passing situations was sort of funny, and I don’t share this to make fun of the person, but it was just odd. At the end of the second lap I caught up to a woman who was running in the shallow end. I assume she was just having a bad swim, but it really caught me off guard when I saw that she was running. What was she going to do in the deep end?? Anyway, she let me by at the wall and hopefully was able to finish okay.

T1:
After the swim the first transition didn’t go as well as it could have. My helmet chin strap got tangled inside the helmet and took some time to fix. Then, when mounting my bike, I almost ran into someone who stopped on the mount line. I try to do running mounts but am not super graceful at it so had to swerve and stop to avoid a collision. I doubt I lost much time due to the two issues, but it was frustrating, especially considering I had practiced the transition quite a bit in the weeks before. More practice is needed.

Bike:
My bike segment went well, it was my best of the three. The course was short, only 15k (a bit more than 9 miles) total out-and-back, and it was relatively flat. There was a section through the city on some rough roads and with some really tight corners, but I got through it okay. I did see one person get a flat tire and heard of another. Overall I pushed pretty hard and managed a good pace [for me]. I finished averaging 20.5 mph for the bike split, which I’m pleased with. I could have probably squeezed out a little bit more, but my run would have suffered.

T2:
The second transition went really smoothly, nothing much else to say about it

Run:
The run was a 5k (3.1 mi) out-and-back on a pedestrian/biking trail. The path was paved and well maintained, and most of it was in the shade. I was expecting it to be flat because it sort of followed a creek, but I was unpleasantly surprised to find hills. They weren’t major, but enough to make me labor over them and disrupt my pace. I tried to hold too aggressive of a pace from the start and ended up fading as I progressed. I wanted to finish with as close to a 7 minute per mile pace as possible, but actually ended at 7:4X pace (I forget the exact seconds). So that was a bit disappointing. I need to (1) remember to pace myself better, and (2) work on my running more in general with speed and pace work.

Overall:
I had hoped to finish in under 58 minutes but my actual time ended up being 59 minutes and a few seconds. So close… mostly due to the run section, but also from the problems in T1. Oh well. I’m competitive, even if just with myself, and don’t like being slower than I plan for, but considering more went right than wrong and I had fun, I’m pleased with it overall. My finish was good enough for 2nd place in my age group out of 6 people, and 11th overall out of, I think, 98.

The absolute best part of the race was having my family there. My nephews made some posters as a surprise, setup where I could see them, and did a great job of cheering me on. Everyone genuinely seemed to enjoy the experience too, so that was great. I don’t know if I’d do this race again because it’s quite a lot of work to plan and bring stuff along that distance for such a short race, but I’m glad I did it once.

I have one more triathlon scheduled this year in the beginning of August. It’s another sprint race very close to where I live. The swim is in a pool again (don’t judge, it’s my first triathlon season and next year I’ll do some open water swims) and distances are comparable to the first race I did this year. I took this past week easy but am jumping back into a training regimen to prepare. Hopefully I’ll be a bit faster yet come race day.

Thanks for reading and happy racing!

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Written by Jim

June 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm

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