Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Man's Race

The Battle at Buckhorn is in the books for 2012.  This sprint triathlon had a 750 meter swim, a 17 mile bike ride and a 5k run.  It's my only sprint this year, so I wanted to take a hard approach even though it was really just a warm-up race for next weekend.
Getting my TA set up before the race
I had to get up at 5:30 to get there on time.  This "local" race was about an hours drive away and you "had" to be there by 6:45.  I showed up at 7 and still had plenty of time to prep my area.  Chip pickup, body marking, bike is in the rack, and all the gear is laid out.  I did some pushups and yoga for a warmup and I was ready to swim.
Check out that showoff behind me.
Beautiful day to be at the lake! 
Trying to get a shot with my bike and helmet in there.
Kelley had to stay home with the kids, it was way to early to get them up and gone.  So all pictures are shot with the "self portrait" style which is never as good.  There was a much larger crowd out there this year, and apparently it was all old fast people.

Swim 750 meters: Goal 8 minutes, Actual 16:17
So I miscalculated when I stated my goal time on thursday.  I thought for some reason that I was swimming 1 minute hundreds when it was really 2 minute hundreds.  Duh.  I'm not an olympian.  This is still pretty slow compared to the two mile open water swim last weekend.  I finished this one at a 2:03 pace, and last week's pace was 1:47 per hundred meters.  So go figure.  This time had a lot more traffic and I was trying to save my legs a bit for the bike and run.

The start was really crowded.  It was a one loop course, so we had to go out and turn left twice, then come back to the boat ramps.  I took off about in the middle of the pack and it was incredibly crowded from the start.  I was in the first wave to start, all men under 39.  I didn't want to get passed by a green swim cap, and I didn't see any green caps pass me.  I did get bumped a lot before the first turn, and even got a nasty cut on my arm from someone else's fingernails. 

After the first turn it was only a few people running into me.  Surely the crowds would thin out by then?  nope.  Still tons of people hitting me and swimming right next to me.  After the second turn?  more of the same.  No green caps, but still tons of people.  Too many people.

T1: Goal under 90 seconds, Actual 1:22
Ran into TA, slid on socks and bike shoes, strapped on the helmet and got out of there.  My typical T1 times are more like 2 and a half minutes, so this was great.

Bike 17 miles: Goal under 1 hour, Actual 52:06
I really wanted to hit 20 mph from this race, but it was starting to get hot out there.  We had one good hard climb to get up, and 3 or 4 other small hills that took some effort.  Lots of tight turning, lots of traffic.  I averaged 19.6 mph, short of the 20 target and finished about a minute slower than last year.  It was still a bike ride to be proud of.

I'm calling this one the old man's race because of the bike route.  The swim wave that started after mine was the men over 40 wave, so I got passed by two people in my age group (I was keeping count there) and maybe 10 people over 40.  I also passed a bunch of 20-somethings, which turned out great. 

T2: Goal under 90 seconds, actual 39 seconds!
Yea baby.  That was fast.  I got my feet out of the bike shoes as soon as I turned back into the park, so I hit the dismount line running.  Racked the bike, tossed the helmet, threw my running shoes on, grabbed a visor and took off.  Spectacular.

Run: Goal 23 minutes, Actual 23:42
I felt pretty good when I got to the run.  It's a two loop out and back course so it got really crowded quickly, but I felt good seeing the race leaders start running as I was pulling in on the bike.  Of course it turned out he ran a 17 minute 5k so I had no chance to catch him.

I did set my pace and hold it.  I passed my good friend Scottie about half a mile in after he had passed me with a mile left on the bike.  Bragging rights are always nice.  I didn't use the garmin so I had no idea what kind of pace I was keeping, but I held a steady pace over the entire course without feeling like I had pushed the pace really hard or knew what kind of time I was trying to keep.  I just wanted to be steady and not be so worn out that I had to walk.  I took a gel with 2 miles left on the bike so I knew I was fueled up and ready to go and I really didn't want to bonk with it being that hot out there.

It didn't feel as hot as it was. The course wasn't really shady or flat, but it just felt kind of comfortable.  I wasn't trying to push a really fast pace ever, just keeping it comfortable.  And comfortable doesn't win races, but it does make for a happy finisher.  I beat last years time by about 4 minutes, hitting the finish line in 1:34:11.

Finished Goal 1:30, actual 1:34:11:
61/215 men overall
13/29 M35-39
Last year there was only 101 men overall, and only 4 people that put up a 5k time under 20 minutes.  This year I got 3 people in my age group that ran sub-20 minute 5k's.  So I really thought that I was in line for an age group award, but you never know who's going to show up or exactly how big the crowd is going to be.  I was pretty shocked when I saw 13th place in my age group, last year there were only 15 people in my age group.  So a much larger and faster crowd turned out this year.  I'm glad to see the race get more competitive, but dissapointed with my results.  Not by much, but I think I could have shaved a minute or two off of each category.
The happy face, changing clothes after finishing!
I ran this one without a shirt or tri top in the new Zoot 6" tri shorts I got for Father's Day this year.  They were amazingly comfortable the whole time.  Love Zoot gear.  Temps got up to about 103* during the day, and after I finished it seemed much hotter than that.  I still wasn't one of those triathlon hard bodies that you girls (and Glaven) like to see out there, but I will admit that I didn't look out of place running topless like that.  I got a lot of people telling me how strong I looked on the run.  So I can be proud of that.

I also have to brag on being a good husband.  Friday Kelley found a deal.  We've been trying to replace her car for a while now.  We just got it last year and I never was very happy with it.  Your depressing thought for the day is that we bought this car for $7900 last spring, and only got $3700 for it on trade this year.  But the car we found made it worth the deal.  We were able to scrape together enough cash plus the trade to get her a 1999 Mercedes station wagon.  It has a really cool third seat that comes up in the back, which was really the selling point for us.  I loved having a van and really hated the station wagon because it would only hold 5 people, 4 comfortably with the kids' car seats.  This puts 2 more adults safely in the trunk.  I'm a good husband, I bought my wife a Mercedes.  That thing floats down the road too.  Big ol' sweet ride.  She loves it.  I like it a lot better than the Subaru she had before.

So that turned out to be a really good weekend!  Hope you guys had some fun too.  We're loving the olympics and Big Brother right now too.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Nice work! I think you did awesome. You have gotten so fast and you really did well in all 3 sports!

That's great that you found a new suit right for Kelley!

Unknown said...

Yay for the new car. :)

I know that's not what the post was about. You had a great race John. Definitely a tough age group - be proud of what you did out there!!!

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Way to go! You're starting the season off pretty well.

Alisa said...

Holy cow 103, I would melt!

I think you did great. I can't imagine what 19 MPH avg feels like, I just found out what 16+ feels like =).

It is fun to pass people younger than you...not that that ever happens for me, except in the water =).

I agree, I am much faster at swimming when it's not in the cluster of tri swims. I need to work on being more aggressive in the first 100-300 yards though.

Great race!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That arm scratching swim is partially the reason that I am scared to do a tri! I hate crowded running races; I can't even imagine how it would be if it were a swimming race!

Okay, random, but I was thinking of buying a used Subaru. Why didn't you like the one you had? What year and model was it?