Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Clemson Sprint Triathlon Race Report

The Clemson Sprint Tri was a bag of mixed feelings this year. I raced it on '08 and was really dissapointed with my results overall. Last year the swim was anaerobic, the bike was abysmal, and the run hurt bad...oh, and T1 got my wetsuit stuck and T2 had the insoles of my shoes all wadded up twice. This year I set out to improve in all disciplines, race much more in control, and I predicted a 1:07:00 finish time. Here's the rundown:

Swim: Started raining 5 minutes before the first wave. No problem, I'm going swimming! 750m in-water, wave start, 2nd wave. The elites went first, so there was no worrying about catching anyone. The horn went off and I went hard for about 100m before settling into a groove. I was sighting about every 12 strokes except when I got to the turn buoys where I was looking up about every 8 strokes. My sighting was good and I swam pretty straight throughout. I felt like I was right on pace until I exited the water and my watch said 13:00. What the crap happened there?!? I should have been around 11:30-12:00. Either I didn't push hard enough or the course was long. Here's a picture of me looking at my watch in disgust. The total swim time included a 0.2 mile up a hill to transition. 14:27, 7th AG, 60th OA.

T1: Got to my spot quickly. I had hung my yellow Fca-e t-shirt on the end of the rack so I could spot it easily. Wetsuit came off ok. I put on shoes and helmet, but left the sunglasses since it was still raining. Got out and on the bike ok, but not in the pedals fast enough. 1:18

Bike: 11 miles. Last year I averaged 18.9 mph on this course, which stunk!! I was looking for a dramatic improvement. I knew I was doing well because I was actually passing people. I was only passed by one or two from my wave and one or two 40-somethings who where hammering (I heard Jeff B's disk wheel roaring up on me from 50m back!). The course pretty much climbs for 9 miles and then descends for the last two. Nothing major just a lot of steady grades. I tried to keep my HR below 170bpm. I averaged 169 and maxed at 181. Once I got to the downhill I tried to get my speed up and coast in a few spots to lower my HR before T2. I also took in a gel in the last mile. Rain also stopped about midway, but never was a real factor. I was happy with my time of 31:21 for 46th OA, 5th in AG and 21.1 mph. But what a crappy place to set up for a photo. Right in a hard, fast turn. Couldn't they have picked a gentle downhill and got me looking super aero!?!? The look on my face said, "You're taking pictures here?"

T2: Racked bike, slid on shoes, dropped helmet, and off. Was I forgetting something? Oh well...0:34.

Run: This 5k course goes down a smooth hill for a mile, then up a rediculous grade for 100m to a flat dike turnaround and back from whence you came. Last year I charged up that hill and nearly died. This year I was more conservative on the way up and it helped a lot. I picked off two guys in my AG by the turn around and saw a pack of about 5-6 about 500m a head of me at the 2 mile mark. I closed the gap to about 100-150m but could not bring them back by the end. Frustruating because one of them ended up in my AG and beat me by 14 sec! Anyways, back to the T2 I made the last turn towards the finish I reached back to turn my bib number around and it wasn't there!! This is a 2 min penalty, yikes!! Ok, so the race at the end of last year I remembered not having my number in front at the finish, but I came through in a sprint to catch a few guys and blew through the chute so fast that I didn't get a penalty. So that was my plan, the only problem was I was all alone. Well I went in full sprint mode and crossed the line at a 4:45/mi pace and it worked again!! My unpentalized time was 18:53, 17th OA, 1st in AG.

Total time of 1:06:30 for 34/333 OA and 3rd in AG. Beat my prediction and last year's time by 6:09. So I was definitely pleased, but I was hoping for a better swim time and I felt like I left too much on the run. Not bad for a season opener though...

1 comment:

Nick said...

Good good nailing your podium spot in the first race! Well done!

Everyone wants to win, few want to prepare.