Monday, April 19, 2010

TOA Sprint #2

Well I finished the Triangle Orthopaedic Associates Centennial Sprint Triathlon for the second time yesterday. Here's the short breakdown:

750 meter Swim, 10.5 mile bike, 5k run
Last year: Swim 18:55, T1 6:18, Bike 41:49, T2: 2:53, Run: 30:53
Current Goal: Swim 13 min, Bike 35 mins, Run 30 mins, Transition 2 mins, Total 1:15
Current Actual: Swim 17:26, T1: 4:23, Bike 38:07, T2: 1:53, Run: 27:58, Total 1:29:44
PR for Sprint Tri's and this course!

Kelley got a TON of fantastic pics. But the highlight has to be Bigun! She was really loving helping me prep the night before. She even insisted on putting on my wetsuit!

She got up at 6 AM and came out to the whole race with me! Of course that meant Kelley had to watch her the whole race, and didn't just get to relax in the sunshine and boy-watch like she normally does at my tri's. Still, she did see this guy:

and he's not going to disappoint the ladies OR Glaven. So we were all up at 6 am to get ready, get out the door, and go about 6 blocks away to the NC State Centennial Campus for the race.

I got bodymarked by this little girl who seemed scared to touch the athletes. It was really cute. But she marked the back of my hands, I thought that was a bit odd. Still, Bigun loved making faces with me. It was really cold at the start; in the high 40's somewhere. She had to stay wrapped up

And she did stay warm the whole time. It got into the 60's pretty quickly, and the water was warmer than the air still. Time to suit up and get ready for the start!

I got this wetsuit around Christmas thanks to a special deal worked out with Coach Katie and XTerra. It was awesome! The suit is a great fit, and I was very bouyant and flying through the water. This was my first open water swim in the suit.

That's me in the middle with the stupid grin. I get a little excited at the starting line. Adrenaline and all pumped up and ready to go!

Swim: 750 meters, 17:26, 2:19 / 100 m pace, 14/24 AG
This was a timed start, not a mass start. So we hit the water individually and started swimming from a standing position about waist deep in the lake. Again, the water was warmer than the air then so that was a good thing. No diving in like last year.

Check out that form! What I've been working on in the pool lately is Total Immersion methods, and that looks like it's really paying off. I'm the top swimmer there, and I've got the right shoulder angle, and my top arm has the correct entry angle into the water. You can also see the forward thrust and rear wake I'm making, which is exactly how it's supposed to be done.

This, on the other hand, is not exactly how it's supposed to be done. I'm still picking my head up to breathe instead of rotating it and leaving one eye in the water. It's not bad, but it does throw my balance off a bit.

This is also the time when the Triathlon is Stupid Committee came to order for it's annual meeting. Thanks for putting that in my head Snail. Why do I hate open water swims so much? I really hate the mental component of swimming until you are blue in the face and feeling like you've gotten nowhere. In running and cycling we have landmarks. I'm going to run until the end of this block, or to those railroad tracks, etc. In a lake, they put three buoys out. Swim past the first one, turn right at the second one, turn right again at the third one and come back to land. It was almost half a mile. Actually I can't swim straight without the nice lane line, so I'm sure it was well over half a mile. I will breaststroke some to catch my breath since there's no big breath when I'm turning around at the wall, and that always makes my hands hurt.

Do you like OWS more the more you do it? I really want to get into a 50 meter pool instead of the 25 yard pool I use now just so I can try longer stretches. But I'm really starting to hate on OWS.

At least this time I came out of the water without being disoriented. Without swimming ever at all last winter, I turned in a time of 18:55, and this year I did it in 17:26. Really? Only a minute and a half faster? I swim 3 times a week now, and a longer distance than this every time. I was really expecting to see more gains here. My average time in the pool for 100 yrds is 1:40, or 40 seconds faster than in the open water. I like speed.

At this point last year, I thought I was going to puke. This time, I wanted to puke but still didn't. Off with the goggles and swimcap! Top half of the wetsuit is stripped! Loved the XTerra wetsuit. Yes, big positive there.

T1: 4:23, 17/24 AG
After crossing the swim mat, we had to run up a huge hill, down a street for a ways (all barefoot), and I could barely breathe. Friday night, I started feeling a little scratch in my throat, so I started taking Airborne. Saturday I started coughing some. More Airborne. When I came out of the water there was a real tightening in my upper chest and my breathing was very labored, which is expected after a hard swim. But I knew a damn cold was on it's way. In the pic above I was trying to get up the hill, but walked it once I saw Kelley and Bigun sitting there. That's when she grabbed that pic.

Transition times shouldn't be more than a minute or two each, the best tri guys can do it in less than 30 seconds. I'm happy being under 90 seconds. But when you throw in how long we had to run just to get back to the transition area (on pavement, barefoot, while I wanted to puke from cold and swim nausea), then strip off the wetsuit, throw on socks, bike shoes, helmet, and catch your breath enough to get back on the bike, I thought 4:23 was ok.

Bike: 38:07, 10.5 miles, 16.5 mph speed, 19/24 AG
This was an incredibly strange bike route. I knew last year that I had left Jenny in the big chainring the whole time, so that was the plan this time as well. I had forgotten how many hills they had on this course. I should have adjusted my strategy.

This one legged girl kicked my ass. She was fast. I got to talk to her some before the swim, she was really nice too. Still, I got beat down by a girl with one leg. It's almost as bad as the 12 yr old girl that beat me by 20 minutes last year.

Ready, Steady, GO! I'm out of TA and onto the 10.5 mile bike course. It was hilly, and I'm still getting used to the shifters on the new bike. So I saw the first big hill coming, and downshifted appropriately. Then I stood up to really push it up that hill and build up some speed. Remember the goal was to hammer the bike course and keep a 20 mph average speed.

Meanwhile, guess what Kelley found leaving TA? Yep, Man Candy. WTH?

So I looked down at the chain after sprinting up that first tough climb only to discover I had gotten the shifting backwards. Instead of going down to an easy gear to climb in, I went up to a really hard gear only used when going downhill. ARGH!!! Of course I was still dripping wet and out of breath from the swim, and really wanted to puke at that point. I thought for sure I was going to blow chunks. But I knew I had to maintain a pace to make the time/speed goal, and hammering the bike was the main target this race.

That only lasted until I ran out of gas. The sinus cold kicked in, the lungs just didn't have the capacity. I couldn't stop the labored breathing long enough to take in any Gatorade. And since I know what's good for me and what isn't, I backed off. I kept a slow enough speed for the last 2/3 of the bike leg to maintain even breathing. I still wanted to take in about three times as much gatorade as I actually did get to drink. Still, that bike leg could have been much worse. There was lots of coughing and spitting and rockets being blown.

The roads were absolutely horrible. Asphalt was all chopped up, we had to bike around potholes, there was a fair amount of car traffic on most of the course, all of the usual complaints about road rides. But this time the road conditions were really worse than I expected. I knew we had a lot of freeze/thaw cycles over the winter. The city of Raleigh usually takes care of the college area pretty well, but this time they hadn't been touched at all. I really thought I was going to lose a tire out there. I ride the roads around town here some, and I've never seen asphalt in such poor condition. I hope they change the course for next year if that doesn't get fixed.

There was also one fantastic descent. I took it really fast, holding into the aerobars and leaning through the curves. It comes down Avent Ferry Rd right next to a lake, and the scenery is just beautiful. Might have been Lake Johnson, which has a running trail I really want to check out.

With about a mile left on the bike, I started seeing runners. That's when I took a Roctane I had taped to the top bar of the bike and some water from my second bike bottle. Then I pulled in here:

I really thought I was going to puke on the bike.

I hope this pic can be embiggened. It's a great shot, Kelley got a great angle for the light. And my arms & shoulders look really muscular I think. Very cool. I might try to reverse it and use it as a blogger profile pic.

Off of the bike, and it's time to run into TA again. I like how my calf looks in this pic, you can really see a lot of definition.

T2: 1:53, 19/24 AG
That's what I'm talking about. Under 2 minutes baby. In and out.

Roberta comes home.

Off with the bike shoes, throw on the HeadSweats visor, race belt, and running shoes (with Yanx) and it's off for a little 5k. Can you see how cold it was out there?

Run: 27:58, 9:00 min/mile pace, 19/24 AG
The run was awesome. The course starts out running through campus, so you're on sidewalks between buildings, not near a road or anything. It still started out with some hills. Then eventually came over to a more level section and had a nice downhill finish. I love a strong run finish. The hills on the run course were not as steep or as tough as the bike hills, but they were noticeable. I did walk twice out there (side note: remember the marathon where I went 18.7 miles without walking? yea, I didn't expect to walk at all.) but it could have been much worse.

I remembered a lot of the run course from last year, so it was nice to see familiar roads. The only downside? Last year they had a sorority manning the aide stations. This year I think it was all underprivileged youth. They were not nearly as hot as the sorority girls from last year.

This was the one leg where I made my goal time of sub-30 minutes. I really wanted to keep an 8:00 to 8:30 pace, but with my legs being gassed from the bike and the chest cold really sinking in; I took every 9 minute mile I could get. Even steven, I held the exact same pace the whole time. It rocked.

Meanwhile, Bigun decided to beat up the finish line. Kelley said she kept punching it.

At least she seemed to be having a good time!

Finally here comes daddy! That was the biggest smile I could muster when crossing a finish line. Yes folks, that's what happiness looks like. This is a great shot. The light and angles are just right, someone suggested it would make a good magazine cover shot. I don't know about that, but I was very happy to see the finish line and my daughter.

You can see the clock in the background of this one. I started swimming a while after the first guy did, and that's when they started this clock. Total race time: 1:29:44, a PR for the course of almost 11 minutes, and a PR for the sprint distance. My other sprints have had longer bike legs.

I'll take a PR any way I can get it.

Bigun loves rolling down hills. She had a blast playing on campus all morning.

Finally she walked me back to the TA to get my bike & gear, and we all headed home. This was a fantastic way to kick off the Triathlon summer season. I really gave it all I had out there, and even if I didn't have enough to give to meet all of my goals, I'm satisfied with the performance I turned in. I don't think I'll do this one again next year though. Maybe, if they repave the roads. But there's something funny about swimming in that lake I can't put my finger on.

The best part of the day was having Bigun there with me. It was her first time coming to a race and she loved the environment. She was surprised by how much walking she had to do, but overall I think she enjoyed it.

I went home and slept most of the afternoon, and this cold started showing up. Then today at work it really kicked into full force. By 5 pm my head felt like a bowling ball sitting on a golf tee. Time for some pomegranate juice and drugs. I have got to feel better before doing the century ride on saturday.


Aron said...

great race and great race report!! congrats on the PRs all around :)

Unknown said...

Great race! Great pics! Great PR! And great that Bigun was there with you. :-)

Michelle said...

So awesome!!! Those photos are all so great!!! Nice definition in the calf there!!!!

Congrats on a great race and PR!!!!

Your ball and chain said...

Great race report babe, your photographer rocks! The only thing that was missing was my favorite Bigun quote of the day, "I thought it would be more fun than just walking."!

Stef0115 said...

This is a great report!

I can tell you, unequivocally that YES OWS does get easier. Given my history with swimming I can say that. I used to hate OWS with a passion and now I prefer it to pool swimming by far. So, there is hope.

Kelley is a GREAT photographer (and I stand by my comment about the magazine cover shot).

Congrats on your PR!!!!

Amber said...

Haha she's too cute in that wetsuit!

Great job! It took me A LOT of practice to get in the habit of keeping one eye in the water when breathing - not sure if I could do it in an open water swim!

Tryon Running Club said...

GREAT race report and loved the photos to really tell the story. Felt like I was there. So special that your "Biggun" was there to share it with you. Congrats on the PR!!!

Kim said...

woohooo, fantastic PR!!! you did great! awesome photos.

Matt said...

Great job! You Got a PR, had some nice photography and got to spend some time with your kiddo...that sounds like a pretty good day to me. Congrats!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Congrats on the PR, brother!

I hope this pic can be embiggened. It's a great shot, Kelley got a great angle for the light. And my arms & shoulders look really muscular I think. Very cool.


I like how my calf looks in this pic, you can really see a lot of definition.


This is a great shot. The light and angles are just right, someone suggested it would make a good magazine cover shot ...

Wow, Cletus. Reading a race report from you is sometimes a liiiiitle too close to reading someone's auto-homo-erotic sex journal. So I know what you meant when you said you wanted to blow chunks because there were parts of this report that made me feel the exact same way. The sight of two people in love can be beautiful. But seeing one man in love with himself?

Unseemly at best.

Why don't you and yourself just go get a room already?


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Bigun is adorable.

Fanstastic race recap. Kelley got some grat shots! I need to like pay someone to follow me along on my races or something. No spectators for this chicadee unfortunately.

hope the cold goes away very quickly. Colds freaking suck!

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

Congrats on your tri & your PR!!! Your daughter is adorable- I love the wetsuit picture. That's fun she was able to come see you race & have fun!

teacherwoman said...

Great job, CJ! Those OWS are a whole different ballgame from a 25M pool. That's for sure. I look forward to swim team outdoors this summer for the sake of using a 50M pool rather than te 25yd pool at the HS.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Jess said...

Awesome job CJ and reallly great pictures! I love the one of Bigun in your wetsuit. She's too cute.

And also, I am dyyying at G's comment. Seriously, it's been way too long since you guys have taken jobs at each other.

Wes said...

LMAO @ Glaven. we are going to nominate you as White Hot in training!! Chiseled muscles, skin as white as snow :-)

Loved your race report!! Way to bull through it despite the cold coming on. I can't get over you were in the lake. Its still too dayum cold!!!

Nice job on the PR. You'll keep rockin it!!! and I hope you learn to love the OWS like I do. Its really all about being free :-)

Al's CL Reviews said...

Great job on the PR! Nice race report. I love the man candy pics!

The one pic where you said you liked your muscles... I thought it before I read it.

Great report!

Georgia Snail said...

Great job PRing, especially with a cold coming on!

I think the TISC might have a larger committee...good job keeping them at bay!

(Awesome! My word verification is "Pasta")

raulgonemobile said...

Nice race and report! Glad you got to share it with Biggun..

Rest up and take care of that cold

Unknown said...

WOO HOO! Great job and a PR to boot! I loved the pictures too... although I especially loved the commentary for each one! You are too fun! Congrats!

joyRuN said...

Congratulations on the PR, CJ!!!!

Kelly is a fantastic photog. That pic of the barechested dude on the bike? Simply beautiful.

Alisa said...

Nice--PR is a PR!

Your run was awesome---can't believe there were walk breaks in there.

Jess said...

Great job on the PR! And, man, I like your wife's eye for the man candy!

Anonymous said...

I always love reading your recaps. :) Congratulations on the PR and a big HULLO to Muscle Man Candy!

Christine said...

at first I thought there were dolphins in the water...but I guess it was you :) Great job!

Badgergirl said...

Awesome job! Great race report and I loved the pics! Congrats on the race and the PR!