Desert Triathlon Race Report

Well my 6th triathlon is in the books and with it being the first one of the year, I was fairly happy with it. Considering that this was a "C" race for me, the plan James had mapped out for me didn't really give me much resting leading up to the race which was fine with me. IMCA is the main focus at this point of the season and this race just served as a great tune up for it. We were going to head out to the desert Friday night but decided to stay home that night and go after my workouts in the morning, just in case any mechanical issues were to arise (and to save $$!).

Saturday I woke up feeling so so and after a 2 mile run with some strides and an 90 min ride with some race pace efforts, I could tell my legs were not going to be quite there for the next day. And it's a good thing we stuck around because the valve on my rear race wheel that The Bike Shop hooked me up with was leaking! No biggie, I road right over after my ride and John at The Bike Shop fixed it on the spot and low and behold, the TVTC/Bike Shop Tri jerseys came in, so it ended up being great timing. Thanks Rick! Here's the racing singlet for the day and the Slice, race ready thanks to The Bike Shop.

Before I dive into the race report, one important thing I want to mention is my nutrition leading up to the race. It was SPOT ON. I've been working on it over the past few months and during race week James had me eliminate gluten and dairy; something I rarely have in my diet anyway but this week I was really careful not to consume any. I also eliminated alcohol for the week (the hardest one to do!) and just ate as clean as possible leading up to the race. I seriously felt a difference. Not to get to graphic, but usually race morning I am hitting the head to go #2 like 3-4 times. And it's not your typical dump, it's like I was on an all night bender!...Not this time. One and done! More importantly during the race I had no stomach issues what so ever. The nutrition plan is working.

Race Report. Sorry if this sounds informal -I just copied and pasted what I wrote the day after my race in my training log....

Race Morning. I actually got decent sleep in the hotel. I headed over with some long-time family friends of ours to transition. Got a great spot on the rack at 5:30. After setting up and hitting the bathroom, at about 6:30 I headed out for a 1.5 mile run, found a quiet spot stretched went over my race game plan, did some light drills and a few strides. Legs on a scale from 1-10 (10 being GREAT), I was probably around a 6.5. Not a whole lot of pop to them but good enough to lay down a hard effort. I headed back, threw on my Xterra Vortex Wetsuit and hit the water around 7:15 for a 15 min warm up in the lake. Lake was warm, felt great. I put in a few hard efforts and felt some fatigue in the arms from Friday's swim but overall I felt super relaxed/confident, probably the best place I've ever been mentally going into a triathlon.

Perfect conditions
Swim 3/4 mile: 21:56 (1:39/100 pace):
The water was glass. No wind, perfect temp, I was ready to go. It was a beach start so I lined up in the 2nd row to the right. 1st buoy was really hard to spot in the sun, so just used the palm trees as a guide. Start went off and I pushed fairly hard (prob not hard enough). My heart rate always sky rockets in the beginning of the swim. All of the kicking and washing machine chaos that goes along with the starts always takes me out of my game for about 10 mins. I finally started to get settled in, calmed down, focused on form and started reeling people in. As soon as I hit the first buoy I picked up my pace and really found a rhythm. My sighting was good, I swam fairly straight and I started passing people from the first wave (a first for me). As I passed the last buoy to head in, I definitely started slowing due to fatigue. I was ready to get out. There was a long (prob 40 secs) run up to T1. Although it was slower than my goal of 20 mins, it was still a faster pace then I have ever swim in a race.
Time to play catch up...again
T1: 1:18 *T1 PR
Been working on my transitions so I was stoked to see it pay off. I threw rubber bands to my shoes for the first time and it made a huge difference. Flawless getting in and out

Bike 40k: 59:28 (24.3 mph) *PR
First 1/2 mile was on crappy roads so I just used it as a time to get in my shoes, take in some FLUID Performance and bring that HR down a bit from the swim. This ride was pretty ridiculous. Flat, fast roads. No wind, no hills. Definitely NOT what I'm used to so it really didn't play very well to my strengths. There was also a TON of drafting going on. I didn't see any Marshall's on the course so there were packs of guys everywhere. Especially once we caught the 29 and under group. I did my best to race my own race. I kept doing a lot of work for these guys but then also getting boxed in. I didn't want any of that so I chose to lead. I know there are drafting benefits to leading as well, but I'd rather be on that end of it then get caught drafting behind. I didn't time the first lap, but I think I hit it a little too hard. My legs started loading up and I even felt my calves cramping a bit which I never feel on the bike. I backed off the pace a bit and after I hit the first lap I dropped my bottle of calories. I had only drank about 1/4 of that bottle. Couldn't believe it, I've never dropped a bottle before! It was dry and starting to heat up, so I just had to deal with it. The 2nd lap came and we merged with the other racers that were starting their first lap. I just did my own thing and kept reeling people in. I passed a TON of people on the ride. I came out of the water in 23rd place and came off of the bike in about 5th or 6th.

T2: 1:12
Had a bit of a mishap here. Went down wrong transition area so had to pick up my bike and cross over. Just wasn't thinking. Slipped on shoes, visor and ate a GU on the way out

Run 6 miles: 34:02 *Run was a bit short
After slight cramps in the calves on the bike I was a little worried, but they seemed to subside after taking in a GU and some water. First 2 miles I was flying (prob around 5:25 pace). I had pretty good running legs and was passing a ton of people. I had no idea what place I was in. The course was 2 laps. Toward the end of the 1st lap I started feeling cramps coming again...This time right above my knee on right side. Same spot as I had them in SD Int'l last year. So I started recruiting other muscles and then my hammy started to tighten. Started working a little harder on my other leg and then right above the knee started cramping too! At this point I had to slow down quite a bit before they really started to grab. I took in as much of Gatorade and water as I could at the aid stations to keep them away. No dice. My second lap was terrible and I slowed down big time. I was still passing a ton of people but cramps were my nemesis again. I finished up the best I could without having to stop and stretch them out. I was sorta bummed, but it's the first race of the year! Time to figure things out and make adjustments!

Video of my finish:

1:57:56, 2nd in AG, 22nd overall

Podium time

So I really need to figure out this cramping thing and get faster in the swim. Dropping calories hurt but I also think I probably need to take more like 4 salt tabs before the race, then maybe 4 as I leave out of T2. Dunno. Maybe drink more? It sucks because I had A LOT more fight in me that day. I could have gone faster on the bike and a WHOLE lot faster on the run. I was never able to get into the "pain cave" I just had to adjust my efforts based on my cramps. lame.

Either way, 1st place in my AG crushed me by like 4 minutes - so cramping or not, I need to get faster in the water. The speed is coming, just slower than I had anticipated. After the race I was able to meet a lot of my teammates from the Wattie Ink Elite Team who all crushed it themselves. We have some fast guys and girls on this team and I can't wait to race and meet more of them at Oceanside later this month.

All snuggled in at the hotel
I want to thank Amy and the kids for being such great supporters for me this weekend. Amy had to get two kids ready on her own, hike 2 miles BOTH WAYS from the parking lot to the race. Cheer me on and keep the kids happy in the desert heat. Thank you! Thanks to James for taking me from an average tri guy to the podium. We are just getting started! Also, huge props to The Bike Shop for hooking me up with some race wheels, tuning up my bike and fitting me with a very cool racing jersey for the race. This podium was for you! Also thank my other sponsors Rudy Project, FLUID, SportMulti, Xterra Wetsuits and H2O Audio. Then next month it's time to rocktheW! We'll be getting our racing kits and gear just in time for IMCA. I'm excited to work with all of the sponsors associated with the Wattie Ink Elite Team and represent them alongside my personal sponsors.

I'll leave you with some more pics from the weekend:
Mr Sean Wattie himself (left) and OVERALL champ, Heather Jackson (yes even over elite men!)
A few of my teammates that raced and crushed it!
Yummy Snow Cones

Moving from 3rd to 2nd here on first lap
Good friend Patti rocking it in her 50's!!! Nice race!
Good friend Rudi taking care of Patti and I race day, thanks!!!
The kids cool set up for the day!
1st lap
Starting 2nd lap..flat course, but poor footing
Kiddos waiting on dad to finish
At the finish. DONE!

Wife was convinced I podiumed...I was not. She caught a pic of me
pointing at her after I just found out I did...relieved!

 And finally....after a week of no beer...never tasted so good. Cheers!


jameson said...

"Earning" you post race beers is the best... and you definitely did! This race was definitely a step in the right direction and your on track... no doubt.

Post a Comment