Monday, June 8, 2009

Oly Done!

I finished the Festival of Flowers International Distance triathlon in 3:23:12. The results are posted now. I finished in 226th place out of 231 finishers, so I beat out 5 other guys. Plus 5 other guys that didn't finish. This is better than I thought I did. Race report, lemme break it down for ya:

First, the studs: Nick took 3rd in his age group at 2:13, 9th place men's overall. I knew he had gotten a lot stronger than last year, and he beat last years time by 6 minutes. Great job Nick! And coach Katie ended up 8th in the women's overall with a 2:24 time. Awesome job Katie. I got to speak with Katie several times which was great, but I didn't get to shake hands with Nick which was really dissapointing. I was looking for him.

Saturday Night: There is actually a festival of flowers going on in Greenwood. After packet pickup we went into downtown for some dinner, and found a car show. and took pictures. we don't care about cars, much less enough to take pictures.

There were also huge statues of floral designs.

Kelley with a flower swan

I'm hanging out with a giant flower elephant.

We made it back to Leigh's house for a nice relaxing evening to be rested and ready to go early sunday morning.

Yea right, my nerves didn't let me sleep much at all Saturday night.


5:30 came early saturday morning, but I was already awake. At my last tri I felt underfueled coming out of the swim, so I had more breakfast than normal this time. It worked, I was not underfueled. We got out to the state park, racked the bike, got bodymarked, and got my chip strapped on. Quick stop at the mens room and I got the bag unpacked while talking to my old friend Ashlee. I knew she was running the race with her husband, but you never know if you will be able to find someone you're looking for. And I didn't leave myself enough time to get TA setup at all.

The day started out cool and foggy. The damn swim buoys were so far out there you can't even see them from shore. That's when I knew I was in trouble.

Unpacking the car before heading down to TA for setup.

You people are a bad influence. Kelley said that after I posted pics of my last race that she felt an obligation to the fans of her photography to take lots of pictures of the male hardbodies at the race. Whoever was bib #28 was by far her favorite. I'm sure there's a few pics of him in here. Man candy, eye candy, call it whatever you want. I just know Glaven is going to enjoy it.

This guy just had a cool tri suit on. He looks ripped, huh?

More eye candy. I love how every other girl in this pic is also checking out this guy. too funny!

Still more eye candy. Oh wait, that's me headed down to the starting line. Notice how the other girl in this pic is not checking me out. I broke the cardinal rule here and raced in a new swimsuit that I just bought friday night. Now I'm counting on you, the unbiased public to tell me if it's a bad idea for me to ever wear this suit around other people again. I'd hate to show up for the next race in something less than flattering. Is it too short?

This race was the first time I had a deep water start, and it was certainly different from anything else I had seen. We got corralled into the water.

1500 meter Swim: goal 35 minutes, actual 42:28 fail

I really felt like I blew it on the swim. It was TOUGH!!!1! Not only was this the longest swim I ever attempted, it was not wetsuit legal. I didn't bring a wetsuit anyway, but I have to think that I would have made a better time with a wetsuit. I didn't really get as aerobically fatigued as I expected, but there was definitely a lack of muscular endurance in my arms and shoulders. You went out 600 meters to a buoy, then turned left. Then it was 500 meters in the middle of the lake to another buoy, then turn left again. That 500 meter part was where I really started to lose it. I vomited twice, both small. I didn't lose my entire breakfast. I rolled into a backstroke a few times, breaststroked a lot, just to let my lungs catch up and freestyle muscles recover a little. I got way off course, and had trouble sighting the next buoy a lot in the segment. One time, I looked up to sight and saw people swimming towards me, not with me. Oops, got a little turned around. Nothing like swimming in the wrong direction.

Getting into the water. That's me on the steps with my arm raised.

Here I'm the one with a fist in the air next to the steps. A deep water start, I walked off the end of the steps into water over my head. Kind of took me by surprise. Still, a fist pump gets me pumped up and ready to swim.

My wave getting ready to start


Finally I made it to the last turn in the swim, and it was only 400 meters back to the shore. I know it's a lake and there are no currents. But the water was choppier here, and I did a lot of swimming without getting any closer to the shore. I had gotten into a nice pattern of 6 breaths (3 to the right and 3 to the left) then breaststroking to sight and recover, then back into freestyle stroke. I swear I went through 4 cycles like that without getting any closer to shore. Finally I made it to 200 meters, then 100 meters left. That's when I started to cry. My goggles might have been too tight or not a good fit, but they were really hurting my face. I was soooooo ready to take them off and I could not get to shore!! My arms were ready to fall off. My hands hurt very badly. I didn't expect my face and hands to hurt like that. And crying into swim goggles really fogged them up, so I couldn't see very well either.

More eye candy coming out of the swim.

Coach Katie coming out of the water. She started 8 minutes after I did and finished way before. but that's why she's the coach. Did I mention she also ran the Ironman world championships in Kona Hawaii once? she's awesome.

Almost a mile is a fucking long way to swim.

Placed 213 out of 231 men. At least I still beat some other guys.

Being an open water swim, there were plenty of times when I would get passed on both sides by folks swimming into each other. That means they crashed into me at the same time. Like swimming into the middle of a V. The highlight of the swim was a really hot chick swimming into my ass. I was freestyle, and got a big smack on the ass, and I turned to get out of the way and it turned out to be a smokin hot chick. I think you know what she was really going for.

T1: 4:26

Swimming in my last tri, I came out of the water completely disoriented and dizzy. I was so glad I didn't have any of those problems this time. I had the goggles and swim cap off going into T1. on went the bike shorts, race shirt, socks and bike shoes. I took a gel and some water, caught my breath a little bit and it was off on the bike.

Transition times really should not be more than one minute. I need to practice this more before my next race.

24 mile Bike: Goal 1:20, Actual 1:26:31 I'll take it

The bike course surprised me a little bit. There were four long ascents that were steep enough to make me go back to the small chainring. I thought it was going to be flat enough to leave Jenny in the big chainring for the whole ride. What I got was a 16.64 mph speed. I feel like I managed the distance much better in this race than I ever have in the past. My gearing was smooth, I maintained a consistent cadence. I passed a few people, and got passed a bunch of times. Finally I got passed by this one girl keeping a steady speed, and tried to make my speed match hers. It worked really well.

Most of the course was small rolling hills. There were a lot of long slow inclines, no really fast descents and the four mini-climbs. But this time I was able to recognize sprint zones, gear up before the zone, then come into more of a standing position to really push the speed through the zone. 10 - 15 seconds later I was able to sit down and maintain that new speed until the next uphill. That was really cool. I've never really considered course management something to study in biking like it is in golf, but I can really see the importance of it now. And (like in golf) the ability to anticipate actions and prepare before they are needed is something that comes with experience.

I know I pushed myself on the bike course to turn in a fast time. I know my effort was well managed and calculated. I had a gel taped to the bike (which I took around mile 22), and went through both bottles of Heed like I had planned. The sun was out, and it was getting hotter. My hydration strategy was great. I am very pleased with my effort on the bike.

226th place out of 231 men

Apparently, all of the attractive men finished biking before me.

Damn it, more man eye candy. You people have created a monster here.

Wrapping up the bike, headed into T2

T2: 3:19
Total transition time: Goal 10 minutes, actual 7:45 Success!

Coming off the bike, I stripped off the bike shoes and bike shorts, threw on the running shoes and grabbed some water. Strapped on the Camelbak and took off on the run.

Again, transition times should be less than a minute each. If my 7:45 would have been 4:45 I would have beaten out 2 other guys. But when you have to tie your running shoes intead of using Yanx or something like that, it just takes a little while longer.

Man candy anyone? this guy was done before I started running. I can see why.

At least these guys were still running. Geez!

10k run: Goal under 1 hour, Actual 1:06:10 Good enough

Plenty of people were already done with the race before I ever started running. The finish of the bike course ran alongside the majority of the run course, maybe the first/last 2.5 miles. So when I saw runners while I was on the bike, I was very happy.

I set goals for these races, not expectations. While I was out running, I could see ahead and plan a strategy for speeding up and to be able to take the next hill. I know my pacing and speeds and what kind of stride length and cadence will get me the speed I need. So I can tell myself along the run course if I make this pacing I will break an hour. If I can keep this stride length, I will break an hour. If my goal was 1:10 and I came in at 1:06 it would be a clear goal met. But I wouldn't have pushed myself as hard as I did. When I had to walk in here, I knew that's not how I'm going to break an hour and I could pick up the pace. So mentally setting these high goals keeps me going.

Again I came out of TA and was running uphill. It's tough to let your legs stride out off of the bike when you're running uphill. So I walked some until I could really get my form into a rhythm. but that's not how you break an hour. I kept a nice short stride and quick feet, and had a good speed. It was really hot out there now, and I was sweating like crazy. About half of the run course was in full sun with some small rolling hills. I had to walk most of the uphills, but paced out most of that time during the downhills and flats.

Most of the time when I was walking for the first part of the run course, it was because of my abs. You never know exactly how much you use your core strength on the bike until it smacks you on the run. I knew I had been slacking off of my tri power workouts a little lately, and boy I felt it there. More core work to come!

This was near the end of the run. there was a good photo placement right before the last push to the finish line.

The run ends inside of the state park, right next to the swim start area. It takes a turn and finishes with a huge uphill that is more steep than anything else seen on the bike or run courses. that was tough, but I was so glad to see that hill come into view. There was the finish line and my first oly is in the books.

Proudly hitting that finish line!

Run placed 213 out of 231 men

I actually sweat the numbers off from above my knees. They body mark with a permanaent marker, and that's all that was left. that pic makes my knees look horrible, though.

After effects:

Kelley helped me pack up the transition area. This might be the closest she ever gets to running a triathlon. That's her choice, I always encorage her to tri with me.

My nipples took a beating on the run course. I didn't want to take the transition time to put band-aids on. I've got to find a tri suit to race in, those are either one piece or have a skin tight singlet to prevent chafing.

After cooling off some, I ate and ate and ate. Today I am still hungry and sore. very very sore. I've never been this sore after a race. That's how I know I gave maximum effort. Anytime you know you did your best, you didn't fail. So being this sore tells me I am pleased with my results in the race.

Yep, that's what happy looks like.

We got to talk with a few people, cleaned up TA and got the heck out of there. It took about an hour and a half to get back home, I slept most of that time. Got a shower and took it easy the rest of the day. Gave the girls a bath and went to bed early.

I did also discover I was not the biggest idiot there. After the race, I heard one other guy asking the girl he was with if she still felt like running the marathon tomorrow. I do not feel like running a marathon today, but that girl felt ok. I have to run a marathon on saturday.

Wow, I have to run a marathon on saturday. Is 6 days enough recovery time? we'll see. I'm going to be stretching and rolling my legs out often. Might even try and get in a chiropractor visit. But I also have to cram 5 days worth of work into only 4 days this week, so it's going to be busy.

It's monday. Friday we head to West Virginia so I can run this hillbilly marathon. Wow.


Sarah said...

Nice job on the race! The more open water swims you do, the better it will get, I promise!!

Love the man candy. Thanks Kelly!

Ok - Transitions. Yes! Free time!! It should be super fast - any eating and drinking, you can do on the course. My coach stresses this and I had some really good transition PRs at Jekyll. If you practice, I swear it will help.

And yah, you need a tri top and shorts. Something you can wear the whole race so that the only thing you are putting on your body is your shoes.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

CONGRATS!!! You did great, now i wanna do one... of course, once I can run again.

Now get some rest, you have a maraton to run!

Oh ya , be sure to thank Kelley for her *ahem* amazing photographic contribution :)

carrie said...

Congratulations, I think that is awesome! You make me think about tri-ing....

Good luck Saturday. There is a couple from my town running that race, too. We've been passing each other on the trail during our training all spring and I finally asked what they were training for. Is it weird I told them I "know" someone else running the same race? :)

Jenny said...

you did great! makes me want to try one someday---i just need to work on swimming and biking....a LOT....

you'll do great this weekend. no worries!

and keep up the excellent photography, kelly :o)

kelley said...

MORE EYE CANDY!! I know I had more pictures of #28 to share.

kelley said...

btw, I'm glad to see you gave the guys a little candy with that hottie in your TA!

Missy said...

Congratulations! Yay for you. You're right, swimming in open water is no joke, lake or ocean (for all different reasons).

You can totally wear that bathing suit to the POOL. You need to find something to wear from start to finish, no changing clothes (or adding them) in transition...other than a visor and shoes!

Even if Kelley doesn't tri, would she do any one of the three?...Do I smell a relay!?!

Thanks Kelley for the eye candy, very hawt, always a treat!

Congrats again and get a massage to help get you right for this weekend.

Wes said...

LOL @ Kelley...

At my first Olympic distance, I looked at the line of buoys extending out from the swim start, and I thought: f*ck... This is going to be a long way. Of course, I was swimming with my swim safe belt.

The swim distance alone at these Olys teaches you to respect the distance, and to do that, you have to train seriously.

I so admire you for the grit and determination you showed. You are an Olympic distance triathlete now. No one will ever take that away from you.

Good luck with your recovery! This time next week, you'll be a marathoner...

Unknown said...

Great job on sunday - I'm the person that spoke to you as you were walking out of transition before you went home.
Thanks Kelly for the eye candy - if you find those last few pictures - post them!! ha ha!
Good luck on your marathon this weekend.

tfh said...

Congratulations! That's AWESOME. I also always set challenging goals so it seems to me coming so close to your own challenging goal is as good as meeting it. From the sound of the swim there's no way I would call that a 'fail.' I say this finish will HELP you through the marathon because you've proved again how tough you are-- get excited!

By the way-- you + Kelley have the best race reports. She takes great photos. And I'm not just saying that because of all the eye candy. I look forward to another after next weekend.

Runner Tammy said...

Congratulations on your TRI!!!

It looks like you had a great race and finished with a smile on your face. That's all that's important (well at least that's what I tell myself when I come in 2nd to last in tri's because I take ~20 minutes in an ultra athlete I have to take care of my feet is my defense! Oh yeah and I really stink:-)

Savor your TRI victory. Well until this weekend when you can savor your marathon victory also.


P.S. love Kelley's eye candy for those of us who can appreciate eye hot is the "ripped suit" guy?!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Congratulations, brother!

Sounds like it was pretty grueling.

FWIW, I still think you were the biggest idiot there.

No need to thank me.

I'm THERE for you, man.

I agree with tfh - if you came through that swim without drowning, consisder it a success.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

You never cease to amaze me! You're an inspiration to us all.

P.S. Can you find one of those hunkie race guys you take pictures of who might be single and Jewish and um, well, give 'em AG's number?!

teacherwoman said...

Nice job on the race, dude! I think you did awesome. You are too hard on yourself on the swim.

Now, it's time to refocus and think MARATHON!!

Thank Kelly for the man candy. very nice!

Ryan said...

Cotton shirt = Nipple Sandpaper

Ouch! My areola hurt just seeing pics of you running in a wet shirt, but then they feel much better after seeing #28 :-)

Umm just so you signed up to swim 1.2 miles in about 5 months. Stroke Stroke Breath...

Well done on your finish.

Marcy said...

First, CONGRATS CJ!! What a fine performance ;D ;D Sorry about the nips. Ouch!

Secondly, THIS WAS THE BEST REPORT EVAH!!! Oooohh sweet baby J! Oy, oy, oy. Now why am I not a triathlete again?!? DAYUM!

healthy ashley said...

Wooohoooo!!!! You beat 10 people and showed up the rest of us who are too nervous to tri! Congratulations, John!

I love that you were able to spend time in town the day before the event. That always gets me excited!

And tell Kelley thanks ;) The photos are very entertaining!

Steve Stenzel said...


- I LOVE that tri top of the muscles! Sweet!

- So I think that suit is JUST FINE! I want to get one that length - did you like it?!?

- Nice job getting through the "yaking" during the swim! You handled that like a champ!

- Great job on the bike!

- Stupid nipples. I had that issue once. It SUCKS.

WAY TO GO, MAN!! Congrats!! Now rest up, get some good stuff in you to help those muscles heal, and good luck this weekend!!

nwgdc said...

Hilarious race report, but go ahead and sign Kelly up for an event so you can man the camera. That was RIDCULOUS.
Glaven loved it, I'm sure.

P.O.M. said...

Much thanks for the man-candy. I think I might have to make "spectating" my new sport!!!

I would have died after the swim so you're way ahead of me on that one.

Alisa said...

Great job! I love reading your Tri reports since at some point this summer I hope to be doing one (or two). Probably not for at least another month and a half though.

I've heard really good things about the two piece tri suits. I'm planning to go try some on...sadly, I heard everything runs small so I'll probably end up with an XXL =).

Thanks for the man-candy...tell your wife it was much appreciated!

Good luck with the marathon this weekend! Can't wait to read about that experience too.

Badgergirl said...

Congrats on the tri and good luck with the marathon this weekend.

Oh yeah, tell your wife I loved the man candy. :)

Sarah Bowen Shea said...

Congrats!!! Love your sense of humor throughout it all (or, at least, looking back on it!).

Good luck in marathon this weekend!!

Katie said...

Hey - I was in that race and I did not even see all that eye candy! Thanks for taking pictures for me to enjoy too.

OK - John you finish up your marathon and then you and Kelley need to come up to the lake for a swim session. I can and WILL help you with that. I might also have some other tricks in the bag for you :o)

Katie said...

I think I can hook you up with a tri top too - but you have to come up for an open water swim session :o)

Jess said...

Congrats on your race! Fantastic job.

Tell your wife "thanks" for the eye candy pics!

Lily on the Road said...

WOW, Great report, you were / are AWESOME!!

Holy moly, you're doing a Marathon on Saturday? You are hard core!! Good Luck.

and Kelley, THANKS....good job!

RBR said...

Easy there Sparky! What is with slamming a swim time that was 30 seconds FASTER than the oly swim time I was bragging about? *Harumpf*

AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME job!!Wow! What a blazing time!

Yes, save the ta tas! You need a tri suit. I am looking for the rep email.

Oddly, after my saddlebag comment they have not contacted me. My honesty can be in acquired taste. ;o)

I CAN.NOT.WAIT. for your marathon report!

Amber said...

GREAT JOB! Congrats on finishing, that's fantastic! Can't believe you have a marathon in 6 days now. Eeek!

Ashley said...

NICE WORK, Friend!!!!

Great race report, all around! You definitely had me laughing at several spots, which totally made my day. :) What a great accomplishment and you have a great attitude to go with it - thanks for sharing! And thanks for the encouraging words this morning too. :)