My coach and I went over the race plan Friday as well as a nutrition plan. Since I had been battle a respirator infection the last few weeks of training I wasn’t feeling as confident as I usually do since my training intensities were drastically reduced. But I was confident that I could at least get a top 5 finish and complete the distance. My projected time was 2:22:00 and it felt right after looking at all my training and the distances and doing the math. Saturday night I was excited and got everything ready before hand so it was ready to go. I went over every section of the race in my head including me crossing the finish line.
4AM wake up with an ensure down I was on the road to the event by 4:45AM after getting everything ready to go and mounted on the car. I was nervous about a few things. This was my first Olympic distance race, and they changed the swim route direction along with the bike route as well. Got to the transition and setup in what my opinion was my best transition ever I wish I took a picture but I wasn’t going to be that guy at the race taking a picture of his transition. Although I’m sure there was someone there who did it, but it wasn’t going to be me. I had fellow TCSD’ers around me and we chit chatted about the race.
The Swim: Expected time 22:00 mins. Actual time 33:04 mins.
The swim start/finish was at the same spot which was a change from the past years. We swam about 100M out to the start and had 1 minute before the start. The start was delayed to allow the tide to come in a bit more. But the gun went off and so did we. I immediately got into a solid rhythm of things and kept my cool. After that first right and turn you could immediately feel the stronger current pushing against you and really throwing you off course so I had to compensate quite a bit and I didn’t feel I was off by that much. Then I started getting into the slower swimmers of the other waves which caused some congestion issues but I made by way through the pack and even had a few people cut me off cause they were zig zagging around the course and really caused some issues of running into people. Finally after turning around and heading back towards finish I really starting to chew up the water and kept things calm and relaxed and swam my race. I knew once I was out of the water I had left the rest of my wave in the bay. The transition though was extremely long and the concrete got slippery fast as I saw 1 person almost slip and fall. I made quick work of the gear change and off I went to the bike. Overall my swim I didn’t push too much cause I didn’t want to use the gas I had in the tank but I felt I had a good swim.
The Bike: 2 Loops. Expected time 55 mins. Actual time 1:04:38
I nailed the mount with the shoes clipped in and didn’t have any issues with getting my feet into the shoes while moving. This was a huge improvement over my SDIT transition when I fumbled the shoes and had to chase one down. I breezed through some people and off onto Harbor I went. The road was ok at this point it looked freshly paved which was a huge improvement. This course had us going over train tracks that in the past destroyed peoples tires and wheels. The tracks also caused a few wrecks in the past. As I zipped towards them at about 22 miles an hour they had people out there telling us to slow down and no passing as we went over the tracks. I didn’t notice them on the first pass but they had put down plywood covers over the gaps which really made it much more pleasant going over. However everyone else was slowing down well into the low teen speeds so it was a constant shift battle to get back up to speed. Once on the Navy Base we had turn after turn which made the course much more enjoyable but it was constantly slowing down and speeding up. Thankfully the street was good and I was able to almost maintain a 19.6 to 22-23 MPH speed but again it was slowing and speeding up. Once off the Navy Base the road back towards the transition was just horrible and uneven. This caused other riders to ride in all areas of the road instead of staying right. So I did a lot of yelling “ON YOUR LEFT” and some people abided and moved over others sped up. Coming into transition I got my feet out of my shoes without issue and did the dismount all in 1 swoop and nailed it. I was a little fast but I still had control. I was struggling to get my HR down to our discussed 138 BPM the lowest it got was 150 BPM but I felt good and had a really fast run transition but almost left without my running bib so I had to dash back and grab it.
The Run: 2 Loops. Expected time 1:04:00. Actual time 1:05:44
Coming out of the T2 my calves where a bit crampy but I tried to keep my pace slow to the 10:40 for miles 1-2 but the first mile was 10:33 and 2nd mile was 10:42. My cadence was just horrible at 80 SPM verses my 90 SPM I was having a hard time finding my legs.Miles 3-4 didn’t get much better with 11:09 and 11:20 but I walked the aid stations outside of my 8-1 run walk ratio. This point I mistakenly took some of the TYR Drink and my body didn’t like that at all. but I kept trucking through and the last 2 miles got a bit easier. Possibly at this point I didn’t see anyone passing me with a C on their calve. My 5 and 6 paces were 11:54 and 11:11 at this point my quads where burning but I needed to finish strong. It was great to hear people cheering for the Tri Club the support from the tri community is amazing. Over all the run course was nice and included some grass running along the embarcadero. Had some outside runners on the course who just felt they needed to run along the path and yell at some of the runners in the race for telling them to move to the right. Coming into the finish line was great in my head I thought that I had to have got first place, I didn’t see anyone with a C on their calve pass me but there were a lot of people who didn’t put their divisions on so I was a little worried. It was great to see my family there cheering me on and Jojo made it down to cheer me and Diane on as well. I’m used to crossing the finish line with no one really cheering for me but it was great to run down the red carpet and finish with at the time I felt was a top 3 finish.
After Party: Wrapping it up.
The crowd was huge this race has gained popularity for sure. After getting my shirt from the transition area I met up my family and Jojo and found Diane. We checked out the results and I stopped reading after I saw that I was first in the Clydesdale/Athena division. Then Diane said she got 2nd in her AG, yeah we rocked the TriRock. I had done better than I expected and I was happy, more so that it hasn’t really sat in yet as I write this. But I have to say hearing the MC call me up at first place and then announce my swim time of 33 minutes I felt like a winner. Showing everyone that just because you’re a big guy doesn’t mean you can’t achieve what you put your mind to.
Looking back on it a day as I write this report I feel that I should have pushed myself harder on the swim I’m really not happy with that swim time but after looking at my Garmin I actually swamp 1866 meters. Who knows that extra 366 meters could have taken at least 4-5 minutes off that swim time. The bike I knew would be a bit slower than projected cause of all the turns, but over all I was able to keep my average speed up. I wanted to shoot for an average speed of 21-22 MPH but it would have completely spent my legs in the long run. The run, well I am not happy with it at all and I need to really get that under control this off season.
This race was my “A” race of the season and back in June I bumped it up from the Sprint to the Olympic distance. Before the distance change I told myself that this race will be my entry into a more competitive aspect of the sport called “Triathlon”. I told myself that if I trained and put in the effort that I could get on the podium. Back in June after I signed up for the 70.3 Oceanside in March I increased my TriRock distance to Olympic and told myself I’ll use it as a gauge for how I will do for the 70.3. The last couple weeks of training I’ve been congested and sick with a respiratory infection of some kind and still a bit congested and wasn’t feeling 100%. But my goal was top 5 and a top 3 “podium” finish would be nice but I just wanted top 3. When I checked the results all I saw was 1 out of 15, I had gotten first in a my first Olympic distance race and a race I thought went like crap! As of 3:38PM in the afternoon I still can’t believe it. My family came down to cheer me on which helped add to the pressure (I put that on myself btw.) My mom was just happy I was doing it since triathlon has become a bit of a passion. My family was super excited to be there and cheer me on. Jojo came down as well to cheer me and our friend Diane who raced the Sprint distance with Team Challenge. Diane killed her race and placed 2nd in her age group.
It’s been a long 3 months and I’m super happy it paid off with the top spot. What really separated this race from the past is that I was I got some coaching through TriDot and I joined the Tri Club of San Diego (TCSD). TriDot developed a custom training plan for me and we adjusted it every 4 weeks. I had made the commitment to triathlon and being more competitive in the sport. I enjoy it and while at times the training can suck and you want to just take a day off, you push through it. Joining TCSD was something I should have done years ago when I did my first triathlon. There are workouts every week in some type of sport that are complete free and the people are awesome and always willing to help one another. Now some people will say I caught the tri bug, I like to say I finally embraced it and believed that it was something I can be good at.
The race report will be coming soon.
Sorry for the late post but the past 2 weeks I’ve been battling a respiratory infection of some type and training has been kept to a minimum. Between the antibiotics and the other lovely drugs I’ve been off in la la land for the most of the past 2 weeks but coming on up on race day here and trying to get back to 100%. I’ve put in the training time and some days I didn’t put in the intensity but I got the workouts done. I initially signed up to do the sprint distance back in January but decided after I did the ITU that it was time to bump up to the intermediate. It’s double the distance of the sprint I got this. So what’s this intermediate distance I speak of, it’s 1500M Swim, 21 Mile Bike, and a 6 Mile run to round it out. I’m expecting a 2:25:00 and a podium finish, but after these past 2 weeks I’ll be happy with a 2:30 finish in the top 5. The course is super flat so I should be able to make quick work of it all. I haven’t competed in a tri since the SDIT back in June but I’m feeling pretty good about it and my decision to bump up to the intermediate distance.
The TriRock was my first triathlon back in 2010 and I did it just say that I did it. It was just the sprint distance and the 3 mile run seemed like it was an eternity. I didn’t think that I’d ever say that I’m going to attempt to make a podium finish especially in the intermediate distance. The TriRock will also hold that special place in my heart and will most likely be an annual race for me. Last year I did the relay with 2 of my friends Josh and Jojo (FloJo) and we had a blast. Sadly I missed the 2011 one but my Vikings where in town playing the Chargers and at that point in time Football > Triathlon. Go Vikings! Sadly they lost and McNabb really did suck. But 4 more days so bring it on!
I have 2 more weeks of hard training till my taper then I go into an almost solid 2 months of different races. Here is the breakdown starting with the Tri-Rock. Tri-Rock Sept 22nd, Tiki Swim Sept 29th, Swim Leg Mission Bay Tri Oct 6th, Lifetime Triathlon Oct 20th, Bike the Coast Nov 2nd, Las Vegas Half Marathon Nov 17th, Father Joe’s Turkey Trot Thanksgiving. I’m feeling really good about all of them. I’m going for a podium finish in everything but the Bike the Coast, Las Vegas, and the Turkey trot. I think I can get top 3 overall with the Tikiswim based on my training times. I feel like it’s a late start for me in the race season though but I’ll take it.
With my last 2 weeks of training before my taper I can really feel things coming together and I can really see some solid improvements and confidence in my abilities. My swim has got faster with less effort, my cycling has improved to where on the flat tri-rock course I’m pretty sure I can put in an average of 22-24 MPH but realistically as long as I can push out 22 MPH I should be in good shape. My run has steadily been improving to where my 5K time started at 11 min. miles are now down to 9 min. miles. I’m still pretty confident that I’ll make a top 5 finish for the Tri Rock’s intermediate distance.
Friday night I decided that I wanted to swim 2 miles round trip and gauge my time for the Tikiswim where I think I can place in the top 3 overall in the 1.2 mile. I swam it casually from La Jolla Cove to La Jolla Shores and did 1.8 miles in 48 minutes (it helps when I start my Garmin 910 when I actually start instead of 1/4 mile in)! But I got into a rhythm and I was off to the races. It also sparked my interest for doing more swim type races next summer!
Saturday was a whole new challenge, a 50 mile inland bicycling ride with the Tri Club of San Diego. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive at first, I had never in my life rode that far. I figured it would take me 4 hours to do so. I figured it would be a good test ride for the Oceanside 70.3 not so much the hills (which I grossly underestimated) but to be on the road for 50 miles and how I could handle it mentally and how the bike would hold up. Halfway through the ride I made a wrong turn and completely lost the group and couldn’t seem to catch up to them. But that was ok I was out of water and electrolytes so I made a stop at Jamba Juice for some water and a pick me up. Rested for 10 minutes before going back out on the road back. For the most part being alone for the last 30 miles was truly a mental test for me, cause my Bluetooth headset shut off to I guess it can’t hold a charge past 2.5 hours of straight play. Every time I saw another hill in the distance to climb all I could do was sigh in disbelief that it didn’t get any easier. Finally after I finished the 51 total miles I realized with all my quad cramping that there was no way I could finish a 13.1 mile run in the amount of time needed. So I know where I need to improve. But overall I’m glad I didn’t need to call anyone to come get me. It was a huge personal hurdle that I jumped over.
These last few weeks I’ve been training on the treadmill cause the streets here in Pacific Beach are crawling with tourist and people not paying attention so I can’t really focus on meeting the training needs when I’m concerned with my own safety. My legs have been sort for the last few weeks so it makes me think that if I had just done this at the start of my 16 week program I would have had more gains. But it’s too late to worry about that now. I just need to focus on what’s ahead. I’m hoping by next years triathlon season is here I’ll have my run down to a 7 minute to 8 minute mile.
Ok, so why so many races so close to each through the end of November? Well, I’m a short distance racer and I love it, but I decided to branch out and do some single sport races like the Tikiswim and the Bike the Coast. So many people do running events but I needed to branch out, so it just happened that the race days for those 2 fell with plenty of time in between the others. Then the relay race Oct. 6th is with some TCSD members and a 500M swim is a walk in the park for me so it will replace a training day. The lifetime triathlon at a signup cost of 70 bucks I couldn’t pass up for a preview of what Oceanside will dish out to me come March so it will be my last triathlon this season. The Las Vegas Half was fun last year and the course is super flat so it’s a good way to close up the year in Vegas!