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.