Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Midwest Meltdown Triathlon Recap - 8/26/12

The weather was in stark contrast to the other races this year...
The weather forecasters kind of got it right.  No storms, but we did get much needed rain.  If we weren't like 2 feet below average for the year, I would complain more about the specter of racing in the rain.

But, it was only heavy mist at transition setup and chip pickup and by the time daylight hit, the rain had pretty much stopped leaving 70 degree temps, a little humidity and damp roads.

It was a meeting of Team Wheaties, Kansas City division...
Mark, from Young Enough to Tri, was in attendance for the Meltdown Triathlon short course and we explored all of what Wheaties had to offer for endurance athletes.  High quality stuff!

Looks who's sporting Team Wheaties tech tees and visor!

Hey, check out what Wheaties has to offer!

Wow, look at all of that nutrition!

Ready to kill the course!

Honestly, I'm a cereal FREAK and being a part of Team Wheaties is like Chazz Michael Michaels going to sex-a-holics meeting (Google Blades of Glory for that bit of cinematographic nugget of gold).  Wheaties in, triathlon PR's out.

Athlete meeting, last minute port-a-potty stop, GO!
The swim is a little inlet of the small lake that has NO waves and NO issues.  Smooth like glass, no glare from the sun and easy sighting.  It was a two lap swim totaling 1500 meters and went like this;
Find a groove
Avoid getting swam over from faster swimmers
Avoid swimming over those in other heats from second lap doing side, breast or dog paddle.

This strategy resulted in 1500 meters in 24:53.  Around 1:37 minutes per 100 yards.  Not.  Too.  Shabby.  That was good for 11th best of 76 athletes.  It also helped that it was wetsuit legal.  Thanks to the past two wetsuit legal races, I'm in the top third of swimmers coming out of the water.

And then we hit the roads...
The road was mildly wet.  Some puddles with the middle drying out.  When I had the chance, I grabbed a line on the dry middle and gave it all I had.  There was VERY mild headwind in some spots, but the course is pretty much pancake flat.  I rolled with a cadence around 75 to 85 on the headwind/hill sections and dropped the hammer on the flats and downhills.  It was a 4 loop course around the lake.  Closed roads and sweeeeeeet.

I wanted to leave a lot on the bike course, knowing the run was the same loop as the 4 loops for the bike leg.  Flat and little wind.  I knew the run would not be as difficult with low temps, clouds and easy course.  This got me 1:01:09 for 20.8 miles for 20.5 mpg average.  It wasn't as impressive as the heavy hitters going at 22 to 25 mph, but my best pace for the season.

Run it off...
1 loop around the lake and then the 2012 tri season would be over.

The first mile was just getting my feet under me and chasing the rabbits to pick other runners off.  It's great to negative split the course since the run into the finish line is the "downhill" portion.  I noticed with 2 miles to go turning a corner I had a group of 10 runners closing in 1/2 mile behind me.

I wasn't about to be overtaken, so I hit the gas and left it out on the course.  I was passed once with 3 miles left and ran it home in 37:41 over 5.21 miles.

The results are in...
This was probably the best all around race for me of the year.  The swim was on, the run was the best pace I've put out yet and the bike speed was over 20 mph.  I had hoped for squeezing more out of the bike, but the first two loops were more cautious with wet roads.  After feeling it out, I was more comfortable to race more and think less about the damp roads, if that makes sense.

My effort was good enough for:
15th overall out of 76
3rd out of 8 in 35-39 AG
2:06:10 - best on this course for the long course by 9 minutes in 2009.

I didn't crack under 2 hours, but the only guy that did won the race.  I can live with that.

It's bitter sweet.  Sweet that there are no more nights before races sweating out having everything packed for swimming, biking and running.  No more 4:30am wake up calls on Sunday for race day.  No more sweating transition location.  No more sweating when to get in line for port-a-potties before putting on the wetsuit, sealing up for the race.  Bitter that it's the last tri for 2012.  I have to wait til next May for the first chance in KC for another triathlon.  Ho hum.  That motivation has to last all winter to get me through 8 months of training and building.

It was a great wrap-up race for the year.  I'll take it.

Coming home after the last triathlon of the season is like finding out your box of Wheaties is empty.... very sad.

Oh ya, and the wife raced!
Well, sort of.

She hit the swim and right as she was about to stand up and run out to T1, someone grabbed her foot and pulled enough to pop it out of socket. It was her ankle that she had surgery on a few times, and for a normal person it might not have been anything. For her, she was done for the day.  It's usable and she's "ok", but it was better not to make it worse during the race.

That sucks since it was her first attempt back since 2 years ago before our son was born.

As I rode by transition on lap 2 of the bike, I saw her standing in transition and she gave me the ok sign, but I knew she wasn't racing.


Maybe some duathlons next year?

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