Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More 3 Little Pigs!

Last year I did the 3 Little Pigs sprint triathlon in Smithfield, NC about 45 minutes away from Raleigh. It quickly became my favorite local sprint. The 2014 race did not disappoint! I came into the day with a plan, and I executed the plan perfectly.

In 2013, I pulled a 1:34 pace in the swim, a 20.0 mph speed on the bike, and a 22:48 5k run (7:21 pace) for a 1:10:54 overall, 15/42 in my age group.

I barely had enough time before the race to get all of my stuff setup, get my pre-race poop done, and talk to all of the friends that I ran into. I still missed a few people. I did get some warmup done, but it wasn't really as much as I wanted to do to get ready. I was bib #37, and they swim start one person at a time based on an estimated swim time.

Ted found me in TA, we're both racing with the AAA Car Care Triathlon Team this year

feels just like home in a crowded TA

Swim 250 yards pool: 3:39, 1:27 pace, 4th place age group

With a pool swim, you swim across the pool, duck under the lane rope and swim back. We had to do 10 lengths like that, this pool is pretty fast to begin with but this was a great time.  We lined up according to an estimated swim pace, that's how they seeded the bib #'s. Jason the race organizer is a friend of mine, and his coach was bib 36 so she started right in front of me. That's when I knew I had estimated my swim time wrong. Actually I estimated a 1:26 pace and swam a 1:27 so I was dead on, but she has finished Kona 3 times and finished 4th overall female, so I knew I was fighting out of my weight class.

They sent people off every 10 seconds, I started with a sprint. The guy behind me looked pretty fit too, so I thought he would be chasing me. After the sprint first lap, I settled into a strong pace and just tried not to get passed. In the end, the coach got out of the water 2 seconds before I did! I still can't really believe that I made up 8 seconds on her. Insane! My plan was to hit the last wall and push myself out of it so I could get a quick run to transition. That ended up with me stumbling my way up the ladder trying not to barf or fall over.

T1: 1:23

You know how they say never to try anything new on race day? I was trying not to use socks to save the transition time. It worked, kind of. The first bike shoe went on, but I fell down flat trying to get the second shoe on.  Oh well, I still broke 90 seconds, so that's a win in TA.

Bike 14 miles: 41:56, 20.0 mph, 14th age group

Rolling with both shoes on

This ride is kind of a false flat uphill going out for a ways, then when you come back you can feel the speed of a slight downhill with a tailwind.  The garmin gave me mile splits in the 3:20 to 3:45 range going out, and 2:30 to 2:50 coming back. Thank goodness the average was still 20.0 mph (that's an exact 3 minute mile if you're counting at home) because this bike course was fun, kind of challenging, and really allows you to push the limits pretty hard when you want to. I took my only gel around mile 11 on the ride, and it kept me fueled through the run too.

Ready for T2, shoes off

T2: 56 seconds

This is a win every time. I got my feet out of my shoes before getting back to the TA so I was able to speed dismount and run into the rack. Then throw on the Zoot running shoes, grab the other stuff and take off.

Run 5k: 23:03, 7:26 pace, 7th age group

The run course goes out kind of hot, but quickly gets shaded. You run around a baseball field and through a park, so it's mostly cool out. I tried to establish a nice pace and hold it, and I did that pretty well for the first 2 miles. The last mile really started to fall apart, my pace slowed a bit and it got harder to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level. But in the end I still had a strong finish. And a 23:03 time in a standalone 5k run is pretty respectable, but doing it in a triathlon is quite pleasing.

Finish 1:10:59, 50/321 overall, 9/29 age group

So I got a few seconds slower than last year. This race showed me how this year is going, and that's exactly what I expected would happen. My bike speed just isn't there. My legs don't have the comfort level pushing the pedals around that I got from riding so much last year. That's expected, and I made peace with it.  All of those miles last year still didn't get me under a 7 hour bike split in the ironman, so I'm not pushing it so hard this year. The run felt good but my threshold speeds aren't there, and that's a bit disappointing.  I have to accept that more zone 1 and 2 miles make for faster marathon times, not faster 5k times. 

Overall I had a plan and executed it. I got the results I wanted and I'm proud of the performance I was able to give on that day. The best part about being a fast swimmer is the early start time. When I hit the finish line and was done with the race, over half of the TA was still empty with bikers on the course! So I missed racing on the hottest part of the day, which is also a valid plan. This was quite a fun sprint, and reminded me why I called it my favorite last year.

Cool shot after the race was over


Unknown said...

I know nothing about how it feels to run a tri, but remember seeing you post your time on your Facebook or IG or something for this race and thinking HOLYCRAP I couldn't run that fast if being chased by a lion and people run like that after swimming AND biking. You are awesome - that is all!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Nice work! Your age group placement is really good! Sounds like a fun race and it looks like it was a beautiful day!