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Thursday, August 18, 2011

SF Triathlon at Treasure Island Race Report

Just as a reminder, these were my time goals:

  • Total: 3:16:40 (oops Math mistake, these add up to 3:06:40)
  • Swim: 36:00
  • T1: 3:00
  • Bike: 1:25:40 (17.5 mph)
  • T2: 2:00
  • Run: 60:00
Here  are my actuals:
  • Total: 3:18:51
  • Swim: 43:00
  • T1: 4:31
  • Bike: 1:28:19 (16.8 mph)
  • T2: 2:17
  • Run: 60:44
A couple of notes first.  The run was actually 10.5 km.  So that's worth about 2:55 to add to my goal.  Also, I had a couple of racing mistakes.  First, on the bike I really had to use the bathroom.  There was a porta-potty on the course.  I stopped.  It was occupied.  A funny scene ensued where I asked if the occupant would be long who gave a response consistent with him either puking, shooting up or having just shot up.  San Francisco, you gotta love it.  So I held it and went to the bathroom after T2.  I don't know how much time I wasted, but I couldn't hold my bike pace much after that stop.  I hear in longer distances people just let go while still riding.  I'm just not that hard core.  The other racing mistake was I dismounted too early at the end of the bike course and had to get back on the bike.  No biggie, but it definitely cost me 30 seconds or so.

Anyway, I was really pleased with my performance.  I thought my goal was 3:16:40 and I'm pretty close to that.  In fact, with the extra half km of running, I beat it.  Of course, if I had added correctly, I would see that I missed my overall goal and basically the goals in each leg.  But, if I had added correctly, I would have adjusted the splits to give me a goal around 3:15.  3:06 was not a reasonable goal.

So how did the race itself go?  The swim went badly, but I did freestyle the whole way.  That was a first for me.  It was a two lap swim and the second lap went much better.  I just stopped kicking with a couple hundred meters left and sped up considerably.  Collin Mui and I came out of the water exactly together.  The first ever triathlon for both of us was SVST and he passed me right at the end there.  So Collin is a little bit of a barometer for me.  Maybe I am for him, too.  But anyway, we came out together, but it was obvious my legs were in better shape.  I ran off and left him.

I was really focused on transition and I think I did much better in T1.  4:31 is much better than 6 and 7 minutes I've done at other events.  Anyway, there's still some time to wring out, but until I switch to tri shoes and alter my wetsuit, I think there's not much more than a minute I can take off.

So I got out on the bike and things were going pretty well.  A woman was about the same speed as me and we passed each other a couple of times.  But my heart rate was a bit higher than I liked so I slowed down.  Then I had the bladder issues and a strong headwind developed on part of the course.  I think we had to do six laps and there was one little baby climb.  I always passed a lot of people on the climb.  I've decided I don't care much for courses where you have to do multiple laps.  So anyway, I finished the last lap and was heading to transition.  There was a volunteer waving a flag and I thought that was the dismount point.  So I hopped off and she yelled that I was too early.  So I hopped back on and rode for another 100 m or so.

T2 went well.  I have laced shoes so I had to tie them.  And my bladder was very near bursting.  I found relief in a porta potty.

Then I got out and started running.  I had to do three laps.  I got my heart rate where I wanted and really enjoyed myself here.  I lost focus a couple of times and found myself drifting off my pacing.  But I'm such a number hound that I glance at my Garmin habitually and correct myself pretty quickly.  On the last lap I tried to push it and just couldn't find the gear.  So while I was hoping to push my heart rate into the high 170s, I could only peak it out to 175.  I think part of it was mental -- there wasn't anyone for me to chase.  I guess I need to get more imaginative there.

I did see Collin again.  I think he was two laps behind me.  I ended up finishing fifteen minutes ahead of him.  I saw a coworker, Lito, on the run, but he was in a later wave.  Our final times were within a couple of minutes of each other.

So my swim time was really the only part I was unhappy with.  I did have something of a breakthrough mentally on the second lap.  I'm writing this report late, so I can tell you I have gotten much faster in the water since then.  I think if I were to swim that same course tomorrow, I'd finish at least ten minutes faster.

I'll probably do this race most years.  It's an easy course and it was well organized.  It really was a good race for my first Olympic distance tri.  Now if they could just measure the run distance correctly....

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