Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Triangle Triathlon 2013

Every year I end up racing in Harris Lake County Park, and every year I swear it's going to be the last time I race in Harris Lake County Park.  It's the lakewater that cools down the nuclear reactors at our local power plant, so the water is usually warmer than most others in the area.  Racing when it's been over 90* and raining for the last few weeks makes it really "special".


The Triangle Triathlon put out a pretty big field this year.  My AAA Triathlon Team sponsors the NCTS series, so we're all required to do one SetupEvents race each year. Triangle is the only local race in the series, so if I didn't head out to Harris Lake I'd have to do one of the Charlotte or SC races and they didn't fit into the calendar.  Triangle used to be run at Crabtree state park, which is one of the dirtier lakes you will ever swim in.  So Harris is a nice upgrade.

Before, getting my TA setup

Ready to race!  I guess.

Going into the swim start

We got up early (for Kelley - it's the normal time I get up for morning workouts) and had no trouble getting out there. It's a long walk from where you have to park.  I got into the transition area with plenty of time and got all of my stuff setup.  I got in the port-a-let line at the swim start and literally walked straight out of there into the water for my race to begin.  I did see some local friends on the way.

Swim: 750m 14:59, 12/49 age group
I saw a friend Jason once we all got in the water, and my age group was the second to start, after the elites.  Jason and I got to talking so I didn't exactly position myself well enough and ended up caught in a little bit of traffic. I found my stroke, found some open water, found some debris, found some really warm spots, eventually found the swim exit.
Hanging with Jason early.  His brother Troy also raced.

Pretty big age group, and a beautiful day to be in the water

And we're off! Crap, I'm too far back.

that's me in the green cap




This is exactly what the swim coaches try to correct! Low arm angle, my elbow should be high up and the forearm down in a more relaxed position.  damnit! A 15 minute swim and I'm already breaking form.

I look like "The Thing From The Black Lagoon"

Now I look like "The Drunk Thing From The Black Lagoon"

Where's transition?

T1: 2:59 23/49 ag
This included a really long run up a hill and around this tremendous TA.  Socks on, bike shoes on, helmet on, ride.

they had trouble with the waving man

that seems excessive

too long!  grab it and go! I need new bike shoes and an aero helmet.

Ready to roll

GO

Bike 17.5 miles: 55:31, 18.9 mph, 26/49 ag
People rave about this bike course.  It is one of the nicer courses around, with a few decent climbs and some nice descents.  I was really pleased at how much time I was able to spend in my biggest gear and the whole thing was in the big chainring. And most years an 18.9 mph speed would be great, but this year I should be over 20.  So close!

The strangest thing that happened was right after I got out of the park and back onto the roads.  They were closed to traffic, but there were still shuttle busses going to the remote parking lot and it seemed like one was chasing me down on that road.  My buddy Brian said the same thing, he thought it was too close while he was still inside of the park.

This race attracts the fastest bikers out there, and this area has a lot of fast bikers and really fast runners.  I got passed a lot on the bike.  This is also one of the larger local races, with upwards of 600 people out there.  I would catch a break sometimes when a group of riders would fly by me, then have a few minutes of peace before the fast bikers from the next swim wave all came by me. I went form 12th place to 26th place in my own age group on the bike alone, and still got passed by just as many people from other age groups.  It was a bit disheartening. My biggest goal was to stay ahead of Brian, and he passed me about halfway through the bike.  His age group started 4 minutes after  mine did so I had a head start.  He ended up beating me by 10 minutes.

This is a great shot
T2: 1:09, 6/49 ag
Finally I nailed something. Running shoes on, grab the other stuff and get out of there.

Run 5k: 24:08, 7:47 m/m pace, 23/49 ag
I hate running at Harris Lake. It goes through the parking lot and onto a trail, double track with lots of gravel and rocks. Hills in all the wrong places, and enough trees to keep any breeze at bay while providing not much shade at all. 

I was sluggish.  Couldn't get my legs into a good rhythm, it was hot and I was pouring water over my head to try and cool down and knock the bugs off.  The gnats in the woods were pretty awful too. 




Finish: 1:38:45, 19/49 age group
The best part about this race (for you) is that Kelley took some more pics of the eye candy showing up at the finish line.


All of those black dots are gnats



Finally here I come

So glad that's over

Now it's ok to fall over dead

Done!  Happy day at the race

Check out those stupid bugs on my face!  Gross.

My buddy Brian photobombed this one. speedy bastard.

That mister was so nice.  Like having a cold outdoor shower.
I'm so glad this race is done! I finished ok, 19th out of 49 in my age group is still in the top half.  And I approached it like a hard training day to finish off the base phase of my training plan. I'm glad I got to go out and sing for the sponsors, and next year I'll be able to do more NC and SC races in the series.

5 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Nice work! But omg, the bugs. Yuck. That first transition did look REALLY long! Kelley got some great shots! I always appreciate some eye candy ones. ;)

Alecia Taylor said...

Thanks, Kelley, for the eye candy! And eeewwwwww! The bugs!

Alisa said...

Do you do the "shark" fin drill at RAM practice? You should. It will help with the low elbow. You literally bring your elbow out of the water at a ridiculous shark-fin like angle and then lightly drag your fingers across the water and get a good strong pull and repeat.

Still, a very solid and strong race. I can only dream to have bike splits that fast...forget out run splits in the 7;s.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Great job! Those bugs are nasty though! I would be so annoyed! The funniest part of this post -- "I am the one in the green cap". Te hee

Rhen_21 said...

In a more extreme scenario, poor training could lead to something like a heart attack. Keep in mind--this is highly unlikely. But it is a real, if rare, possibility, and thus you have to take serious training seriously. Pace yourself and build up gradually.


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