Another hot one this weekend and I have a sunburn to prove it...
But I played it safe and smart at the triathlon. I just got sun burnt boating with friends after the race. Amazing how I was all over the sunscreen when exerting huge amounts of effort to run a triathlon, but while sitting on a boat sipping beer and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sunscreen was the last thing on my mind. Odd.
I've raced this event for 7 of the past 8 years...
It's been a mix of the sprint and long course, but I can safely say I'm a veteran of this course.
Over the years they had some issues with people getting lost on the bike course and it's always HOT for this event. This year I can say it was a solid event from sign up to finish line. They had goodies, swag and plenty of cold water for the run.
It's been an odd year this year race wise...
Well, probably not odd more than predictable. I've focused on riding this year and my times have shown an improvement, but my running has suffered. Last year, I had piss poor bike splits and break through run splits. Odd how that works.
I guess that's what you get with constrained training time. You have to pick and choose what you want to focus on.
On to the race!
It was somewhat surreal as I got there around 5:30am and transition was usually dead. People slowly trickled in and it wasn't nearly as full as years past. I had plenty of time for set up, potty stop, warm ups in the water, potty stop, final equipment check and the last potty stop. I also spaced out the start was at 7:30am and not 7, so I was a bit early. But, the race probably had 100 fewer athletes than last year between long and short course. There have been a couple more races popping up in Kansas City and last weekend, the SMP Triathlon actually got to finish and wasn't called for weather. I guess those wanting their July race got it with SMP and didn't need to hit this race.
Whatever works. It doesn't matter to me the number of people that line up.
The swim was uneventful and that's the way I like it. Ear plugs, check. Swim cap, check. Garmin, check. Goggles, check. I hit the swim lined up in front and wide. I avoided getting kicked and found my rhythm quickly for a 31:08 swim time over 1500 meters. Good for 1:54 pace, good for me, not great. Of the 3 times I have raced the long course, this was my best time by 3 minutes. Score.
The bike was shaping up to be a hammer fest with low winds heading out, but turning south on a few stretches killed my hope for a 20+ mph average. What also killed me was the front break lever arm slipped off and I had no front breaks to start out. This would be a major issue with some of the hills coming up, but I was able to slip it back on in the first miles on some flat stretches. Know how your bike works people, it could save you a headache during a race. I also realized my left arm pad had split, so I could not put too much pressure on the pad or my arm would just slip off. I'm not sure what happened there, but I'll be taking it back to the bike shop since I only bought the bike 3 months ago. That made for an interesting bike leg and a time of 1:17:32 for an average of 19.2 mph. Best by 1 mph for this course. Score.
The run went a lot better than 2011. Last year I was in the midst of realizing sports gels were not working for my causing GI issues. I limped along to 8:28 min/miles last year. This year I played it smart and gambled a little here and there. Sips of water at the aid stations and the rest of the water went on my head. I took along a Simple Hydration bottle and it worked great! Had my own drink in there for extra calories and finished with negative splits. My time was 47:43 for 8 min/mile pace. Best for this course and distance!
Overall it was a PR for the course...
PR by around 12 minutes. That's not bad for a year's difference. I improved in all 3 aspects, but oddly not in transition times. Go figure.
22 of 80 overall
4 of 13 in age group
21 of 65 dudes
Below is a screen shot of my past results.
It's cool setting a new PR. Secretly I was hoping for a better bike split, but you take what you can get. It was a day on the bike managing mechanical issues and dealing with a slight head wind and hills.
Next up will be the Jackson County Triathlon ran by the same event organizers. Time to get more time on the bike! =)