Jack's Generic Sprint Triathlon - Race Report

Everything was better this time. I guess everyone has to get one under their belt in order to know what to expect. And the more you do, the more you know, which also allows one to improve.

I had only two goals for this triathlon; improve the swim and second, catch plenty of pink caps (women in swim wave ahead) while not allowing the white caps (women in swim wave behind) catch me. I had no expectations for transitions, the bike or the run.

I felt before the race that transitions would be faster and they were. This I think was mainly due to having done one triathlon before. I got to the race early enough to get a great position at the end of the rack. Last tri, I spent 9:06.0 minutes in T1 and T2 combined. Today, I spent 3:36.3 minutes in T1 and T2 combined. And this time I took the time to put on socks.

I felt the swim would be better and it was by far, the most improved area of the tri. Not only had I put in many more swim miles this time, but I had also been coached by Da Fish who improved my stroke. I went out for a warmup swim before the start and I think this helped my nerves. Last time I had some anxiety going and combined with the limited arm motion of the wetsuit, it cost me some time. Rather than sit in the back of the pack, this time I attacked and maneuvered through swimmers. I got one shot to the ribs but that was the worst of it. Everything else involved hands on the legs or my hands on their lags. I was able to site the buoy and find the open spaces.

By the halfway point in the swim, swimming lanes opened up a bit and I could I was coming up on some pink caps. I felt great and could see the finish so I put a little more into it. This swim was shorter than the last one but it definitely was better. It was also better as this was the only leg of the race that I beat the Governor. He kicked my tail all over the road last year during running events. Today, he was announced over the speaker and was two swimmers in front of me. Today, I got out of the water ahead of him. It was a good thing as he went on and kicked my tail in the bike and run.

I had a feeling that if anything suffered this time it would be the bike section. Since the last tri, PSB had some new parts; an aero front wheel and a carbon fork. These two alone should've shaved a few seconds off the bike and I think they did. What didn't shave any time was the total lack of bicycle legs for the 15 miles. I had allocated all of my training time to running and swimming. Well almost. I did some cycling but nothing near the amount of mileage I needed for today. Translation, 17.2 mph last tri. 17.4 mph today.

Everything was going fine on the bike. The first big hill I went through like butter. I passed a few people and even more on the descent. Something happened on the second hill. A total lack of leg energy dropped me to five mph and much of the advances I made on the swim were negated. It was weird but I'd catch a burst of energy and then have none. Then loaded, then depleted. So this back and forth caused me to pass people and to be passed. The last 1/3 of the bike, I finally settled down and got into a similar cadence with a couple of riders. I was ready to get off the bike.

The transition from bike to run was different this time for the muscles. Last tri I felt it in my calves. They were tight and eventually loosened up. Today, I felt it in my quads and hips. The calves were fine but the quads and hips felt numb of all things. The first half of the 5K was mostly uphill. This put more strain on the numb parts. It wasn't until the turn around point, where I stopped for a cup of water that the legs felt normal. I accelerated for the second half of the run and found a twenty-something and a thirty-something to strike up a conversation with. At this point I felt I had accomplished what I set out to do and was wanting to refocus on having fun. Just as I had that thought a white cap caught me and passed. Time to put the hammer down. I accelerated but came just short of catching the white cap before the chute. As I passed a couple of younger athletes, I guess that evened out with the white cap. The run was better than last time, 9:19 m/M versus 9:12 for this race.

It felt great running across the finish line. Not so much for the accomplishment, but for the lack of mental mistakes this time. The better swim, the knowing my bike legs could be better with more training time. The feeling of not being such a newbie.

Jack and Adam's Bicycles really put on a great triathlon. I thought having it at a ski ranch was going to be iffy, but it was great. No nutria, no rats, no piranha. Nothing but semi-green water. Great schwag, friendly volunteers, great after-race food and beverage. This race met all of my criteria for a race and then some. Don't take my word for it. It was featured in this month's Triathlete Magazine as the best "Under-the-radar" triathlon. In that same section, Austin was rated #7 Top U.S. Tri Town.

Race Results

Race Photos

Onward to Dilloman next week.

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