Friday, June 15, 2012

Aquathon #2 Race Report

This aquathon was a blast.  The format makes it tough but fun.  It's a 300 yard swim followed by a 1 mile run, then you repeat that two more times.  So there's five transitions included in your swim times.  I ended up finishing a few minutes slower than last year's time, but took third place in my age group.  It's my first ever AG award!  I'm very excited.
Ready to race!

This sandy lake beach was the transition area
We got there a bit later than I wanted to, but still in enough time to get my timing chip on and get TA setup.  The key that I remembered from last year was to bring 2 extra bottles of water to wash the sand off of my feet before putting my running shoes on.  Last year I ended up with bloody toes from all of the sand in my shoes, and I certainly didn't want that again.  Before I knew it, we were ready to get in the water.  This time was the first time in the aquathons that we had a crowd big enough for two start waves.

Ready to swim!

Notice how white Bigun's dress is.  It's a progression, really.
Swim 1 & T1: 7:17

All of the men started in the first wave, and we took off.  It was pretty crowded at the start, which I expected.  But I knew by the first turn buoy everyone would be spread out a bit.  300 yards doesn't take incredibly long to swim, so I expected other people to be in my way for the first lap.  I was not disappointed.  We swam counterclockwise, so turning left twice in a triangle pattern got me back to shore.

They are getting farther into the water now and didn't notice the swimmers in the background.

Still feeling strong coming out of the water!
 The transition consists of washing the wet sand off of my feet, sliding on the running shoes, chugging some sports drink, grab the visor and getting on the road.  No time for socks, so the feet had to be pretty clean.

And it's time to run.
Run 1 mile: 7:30
My goal for the race was to get a mile under 7 minutes, and that didn't happen.  I hit a steady pace out of the gate and just tried to hold it.  No garmin out there, so I had no idea what kind of pace I was keeping.  But running right after a swim will really set your lungs on fire if you're not careful.  I had to really work on lowering my heart rate during transition so I'd be able to run effectively.  Run too fast and you've got nothing left for the next swim, so this one had to be played very carefully.

The run course was just half a mile of road to an aide station turnaround, then back to TA.  This time I could see how many people were in front of me, so that was pretty good.  I counted about 12 people ahead of me when I hit the turnaround, and on the way back I got passed by the women's eventual winner.  The women started 2 minutes after the men, so she really made up a lot of ground.  Very impressive.
Coming in after Run 1
 T2 - Swim 2 - T3: 9:00
This looks like a longer time than it would normally take to swim 300 yards because of the transitions.  Coming in I ran back to my towel, kicked the shoes off, threw down the visor, found the goggles and headed back to the water.
That look on my face really means "holy shit not again"

Dolphin diving in the shallow water.  The funniest thing about this picture is that my belly is the first thing creating a wake.  Pretty cool shot.
I took off swimming pretty strong for this lap, and Kelley got some great pictures at this point.  In particular, this is an INCREDIBLE shot:
Check out that breath!
Swim form lecture:  What you hear about swimmers and don't want to believe is that 90% of your body stays underwater the whole time.  This is quite true.  You should rock your shoulders back and forth while dropping your hips to create a whole body roll that propels you through the water like a fish.  Every third stroke your head can turn asynchronously with your shoulder turn to catch a fast breath.  If you go fast enough your head creates a wake that relieves a pocket of air that you can breathe in.  This picture proves that you can still have both eyes under water and get a full breath.  You can clearly see the wake coming up around my forehead and the bowl of air that it creates on the surface of the water.  You can see how fast I'm going - check out the splash created when my arm came out of the water.  The distance it took for my hand to break the water surface is another measurement of speed.  My arm looks relaxed in recovery so I'm going to be comfortable for a long swim.  What you don't see is my kick.  My legs are still too far under the water creating more drag than they should.  As perfect as this is from the waist up, I can still improve my form and get faster.

That kind of form leads to this kind of speed.  Watch as I totally school this guy:
He's a good 8 feet in front of me

I never even saw him there

BAM!  Passed like he was standing still.
I knew swim 2 was going to be the roughest, and the wind started to pick up some in there as well making the water more choppy towards the end.  Just push it a bit and come out of the water clean.
Just glad to be out.
Transition 3 was sit down, wash off the feet, shoes on (no socks), toss the goggles, grab the visor and get back out there to run!

Run 2: 7:49
By this point the field was pretty spread out.  I was running behind some of the people I was with the first time around, but everyone was really about the same speed.  Not fast enough to win, but not so slow that we might come in last.
Out for mile #2

The girls are getting a little farther out into the water, but aren't completely dunked yet.
The run itself was uneventful.  I kept a steady pace, I passed one person and got passed by one guy who also passed me the first time we were running.  The same thing happened on the third run too and that guy beat me by just a few seconds in the end. bastard.

Eye candy?  It's been a while.

More eye candy.  At least she got some hot girls in this one too.

That's my "wow I'm glad that's done" look.

T4 - Swim 3 - T5:  8:56
Now they are all in!
Shoes & visor off, grab the goggles and get back in the water for the final swim.  This is where the swim form really starts to break down.
Time to pass that guy.  Get it!

They aren't even trying to be clean anymore.  And really don't care what daddy's doing in the water behind them.

Thank God that's done.  Time for one last run.

Wash the feet, shoes on, chug some sports drink, grab the visor and go

Run 3 to the finish: 7:37
Again I just went out with a steady pace and no clue how fast I was going. Running with the same people, I saw the women's winner coming in not long after I went out on the run course again.  I hit the mile, ran it steady, and came on in to the finish glad to be done.
Hitting the mat

She cut off my timing chip with her butt in my face.  I was too exhausted to care.

So glad to be done.

That's the happy face.  I know I gave it my all out there.
Finish 48:12, 30/72 overall, 3/6 men 35-39
Last year I was over 2 minutes faster but finished 7/8 in my age group. So the field was just uncompetitive enough for me to snag an AG award.  I'll take it any way I can get it.  I didn't get a sub-7 minute mile in there like I wanted, but that's ok too.  I'm feeling good and the speed is coming in this year, which is really exciting.  This was a great race, and I had a ton of fun.


Katie said...

this sounds like so much fun! congrats!

Theresa@ActiveEggplant said...

Sounds like a grueling event! Congratulations on the AG placement too!

Fair Weather Runner said...

uhm.... all i saw was words words words EYE CANDY, words words words. ;) I KIED.

nice race though, that looks incredibly tough. well done, sir!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Next year you'll know to trip a few more people on the run, since you were clearly killing everyone on the swim.

hebba said...

Wow, sounds like a fun race, though I'd probably be dizzy from the swim, run, swim, run. COngrats on the 3rd place age group finish!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Thanks for the eye - or I should say, thank you Kelley. :)

Way to go. Gosh, going back and forth between swimming and running sounds SO hard!! Nice job and way to snag an AG award!

raulgonemobile said...

That looks like it was a blast! Nice job on the race!

Lisa said...

looks like fun. and good job on the AG award. :-)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That looks like fun, except the thing that scares me the most is the transitions, and there were a lot of them! You did really well on your miles! Also, you run without socks? Do you not have any problems stemming from that?

Colleen said...

Looks like fun! :) Congrats on the AG award!