Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon

This was a great weekend and a great race. CB an I had plans to stay at a favorite hotel near our old alma mater. It would have been about an hour past the race site, but we though it would be worth it to stay in our favorite room. However, the good rooms were booked (why stay in a riverside hotel in western NC if you can only get a room with a parking lot view?) so Thursday I had the epiphany and started looking for a cabin rental closer to the race. This was a little daunting since it is summer vacation season, but none the less I found one and at got it reserved at the last minute. Quaint two bedroom cabin for $129 a night right on a creek. Having the kitchen really made pre and post race dieting even easier.

This being my second oly in a row I am really starting to enjoy this distance. Short enough to hammer, but long enough to enjoy my time on the course. I say this as opposed to a sprint where when I finish it seems like I just started. Plus a short sprint has 4 times the prep time (travel, warm up, set up, etc.) on race weekend than I actually spend racing. Olympic distance seems to have a better return on the time investment. What is even better is that this race was a great benchmark. Not only was it my largest race to date, but it was a serious step up in competition. Interesting enough was that it was not the normal competition for this serious, since this was a qualifier for US Age Group National Championships it brought out a higher level of athlete- I didn't see a single mountain bike or cruiser on this race. There were even several members of US Pro Tri and some other pros. The race winner finished in 1:50 just five minutes faster than Andy Potts at the Philadelphia Triathlon.

My overall time was 2:42:02. This is a 4 minute 20 second improvement on my first race and I feel this was a more difficult course.

The Swim 35:33 Grade A
AG 16 of 21
This was a large improvement over last time. The wetsuit helps, but I also think the improvement in form, as well as the confidence building and sighting practice from open water swim class made a great deal of difference. I swam crawl the entire way with the exception of four misplaced frog kicks. Sighting was great. I was directly on line the entire time. This is the only time I have second thought about racing. It is during the swim I consider why I am doing this or consider quitting. In fact it is during the swim I think about a lot of things, such as my rescue squad, past role models, the rest of the race, swim class; I have a lot of time on my hands. I enjoyed this swim much more, but it was still tough.

Once you grabbed the dock and hoisted yourself out of the water it was a long run to transition and then it was an equal distance to my rack. I started off in a jog, got my wetsuit half off, goggles and cap off then by the time I was actually in transition I had to walk because I was still gassed from the swim. This was my first time taking a wetsuit off in a race. This is not easy, but I didn't have any real problems. Once you leave transition there was a 50 meter gravel road you had to run to get to the mount line so I elected to put my shoes on in transition adding a little more time. They had set up a grass lane after we left for the swim, I might not have done that had I known.
Bike 1:13:09 Grade A-
AG 16 of 21
This course was not the flat course they advertised. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't call it flat, maybe rolling except for a few serious climbs. I kept a 22 mph average speed until mile 17 where I started to bonk. I got it back up to 20 mph until mile 24 where the last climb slowed me to an average speed of 19 mph for the bike leg. Although I was going faster than my last oly, I was passed like I was sitting still several times. I got chicked a few times too :).  As always the climbs were my strong point and this is where I passed. Even on the last climb that killed me I was still passing people. I was doing it while sitting and spinning and getting "eat shit and die" looks from the guys stand up mashing. Overall, I probably should have gone a little easier to save it for the run. This course also reminded me I want to change to a double from my triple.

In and out, except I left my bike shoes on coming in thinking about the gravel road.

Run 50:25 Grade A-
AG 13 of 21
I realized on my way out I forgot my Garmin. I decided at this point to push, but have fun. I probably would have pushed harder had I had it. In the first mile me and another guy were almost next to each other so we decided to embrace it and run next to each other. We encouraged each other and cheer for others. We were both cussing the lie of a flat run course. It was three miles uphill and then three mile back down. In fact according to map my ride it was about 500 feet of elevation gain over the 3 miles to the turn around. My new partner and I decided once we hit the turn around we would hit the gas- and we did. Taking our 8:45 pace to closer to 7:30. Shortly after the turn around I noticed two blister one on top and one underneath my left foot- I kept pushing. At mile 5 I got a cramp and had to slow down till it passed. Once it was gone I hit the gas again and took down two guys in my age group I saw. I tried to push as hard as I could until the end. Sadly it wasn't hard enough for a pukie.

Overall, I was 15 of 21 in my age group, 149 overall of the 400 finishers (oddly this event was sold out at over 700, supposedly over 900 athletes with relay members, I don't know what happened to all of them ???). I thought I would fare better given the level of competition at previous races, but I did not do as well as I had hoped. I am still HAPPY and had a GREAT time!


Patrick Mahoney said...

excellent job!

Jessica said...

Nice job! I did this race last year, and thought the same thing about the "flat" run course and "flat" bike course! I'm from Florida- that hill at the beginning of the bike course was a beast!

LB said...


are you a WCU alum too?! my hubs graduated from there, i went there for 1 1/2 yrs.