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NYRR Sprint Triathlon 2010 Race Report

August 1, 2010 2 comments

My first official outdoor tri.  Well, semi-outdoor, the swim was in a pool, but this is the first time I would be swimming and then getting on an actual bike and not a stationary bike (a la Jack Rabbit Indoor Tri Series).  The 2nd Annual NYRR Sprint Triathlon 400m swim, 13mi bike, 5k run (although not exactly a sprint, a true sprint has 750m swim or often 500m, 400m was enough for me).  Types of Triathlons Link

But let me start from the beginning.  The VERY EARLY beginning.  My alarm went off at 3:30 AM, and after only 4.5 hours of sleep I felt surprisingly fresh.  I did get good sleep all week and have been getting up at 6 AM most days ever since I returned from Poland.  I have a love-hate relationship with waking up early.

The reason for me waking up before the Manhattan Nightclubs closed is that I needed to make it the Mets Stadium in Flushing Queens by 5:30/6ish to check in.  AND this destination required 2 trains and about 40 subway stops.  The 4 train was more crowded than I had anticipated.  A mix of late-night party goers on their drunken train ride home and others apparently on their way to work at some job I wouldn’t want.  Strange train events of note…a guy gave a random couple of girls a nutrition bar after they said they were hungry (not homeless, just hammered), she tried a nibble, but didn’t like it, so a different random guy asked for it and ate it.  Then a crazy girl from the other end of the train came down and started ranting and raving about why Brooklyn is the best and she is real and represent Brooklyn.  She tried to pick a fight with the original nutrition bar recipient girls, and then got off at the next stop.  Just your regular NYC madness at 4AM 🙂

Once I arrived at Grand Central and the 7 train platform, the triathletes had started to accumulate, which made for a crowded train ride.

Arrived at the race start with plenty of time to spare.  On the walk over actually met a girl from Gross Point who also went to U of M (I was wearing my UM Cross Country shirt)  small world.  She was also doing her first Tri.

The check in was fairly straightforward.  Everyone got their race number written on both shoulders and their age written on their calf  with some sort of black grease pen.  Then I found my bike rack and got my transition area ready.  Looking around a quickly realized I forget to bring flip flops to walk around in.  Not a big deal, I just kept my running shoe on until we need to go to the pool.   Got a 10 minute jog in at about 6 AM, then just stretched and quadruple checked and rearranged my gear.  Side note:  Even though the “MC” kept announce the proper way to rack your bike only about 25% of the people actually did it correctly.  The spot next to me was vacant, so I didn’t care.

The start finally rolled around and 600 of the triathletes and tri-relay competitors made their way to the pool.  It was a 400 meter swim and everyone had to start 1 by 1 at 10 second intervals, the fastest seeds going first.  This is really the only way to do it since the swim “course” was an 8 length zig-zag of the 50 meter pool.  This would be my 1st time swimming in a 50 meter pool.

Note to self:  If you plan on doing more triathlons, it would be a good idea to actually practice swimming…I mean to go to the pool and swim laps, but I always end up going for a run or bike.  Swimming is what I’m least good at, so I neglect it.

I seeded myself in the 8 minute group.  In my last training swim (the only one in the last 4 months 😦   ) I had been averaging about 45 seconds for 40 meters, my YMCA pool is 20 meters.  So I figured even slow, I could do 50 meters in 1 minute.  So my liberal goal was to do the 400 meters in 8:40.  If I was only so fortunate.  The seeding groups went from 6 minutes to 13+ in 1 minute increments. As I approached the front of the line, I tried to breathe deep and relax.  I really wanted to take the swim easy since it’s my weakest leg and the shortest percentage of the race.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe it was the 50 meter pool, maybe the fact that I felt pressure to go fast since there were people right behind me, maybe because I don’t spend enough time in the pool.  Probably all 3.  By about 150 meters I was so short of breath.  Like, really short of breath.  I started to panic and I think I was actually hyperventilating a bit.  I just couldn’t catch my breath.  I felt like I needed to breath every stroke.  I tried to do the breast stroke for a little and keep my head out of water.  It was awful.  Not fun.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  At 200 meters I actually just stopped at the wall and waited until my breathing was back to near normal, then started again.  It took nearly 2 minutes, but felt like an hour as swimmers streamed by me.  Finally my breathing became closer to normal, I started swimming again, much better, relaxed, easy strokes.  The thought of quitting entered my mind during this panic, but only briefly.  I really wanted to tell the story of my first tri, and I wouldn’t be able to if I quit.  Besides, I don’t quit things.  I can do these last 4×50 meters, I thought to myself, just take them 50 meters at a time.  I’ll just have to rest a little at each end.  OK, finished them, barely.  Almost 13 minutes, not the plan, but I’m still in the race.  I’m sure the lifeguards were breathing a little easier when I left the pool too 🙂

Took my time at T1 after being suffocated in the water.  Ate a couple Clif Shot Bloks and some water, pulled on my Brooklyn Tri Club shirt for its debut, pulled on my bike shorts (swam in swim shorts and pulled bike shorts over, might have cost a few seconds, but I’d never swam in my bike shorts and decided its probably not a great idea to try it for the first time in a race).  Got my shoes on, helmet, glasses, (no gloves, only 13 miles) and started to run  my bike to the mounting area, about 60-70 meters away.  I felt good, the swim was over, forget about it.  Make up some time on the bike, was my mindset.

The bike course was 2 loops of 6.5 miles.  Very flat but pretty technical.  A few 90 degree turns and a couple 180 degree turns.  The road was in good condition in most places but there were some spots that were very bumpy from potholes which demanded full constant attention, since it was my first time on course.  I used my aerobars sporadically, I didn’t really feel comfortable being in them too long because I’m not used to them yet and the technical nature of the course.  I could definitely tell the increased speed in the aero-position, about 1.5 mph, but it was a slightly different muscle group, and it was hard to hold for extended period of time.

I enjoyed the bike loop.  It was longer, more spacious and much less crowded than the Prospect Park loop where I train.  When I came around for the 2nd loop I focused on picking up the pace a little more.  My average speed was 18.0 mph for the 13 mile course.

Off the bike and into T2, bike shorts off, running shoes on, hat, race number belt…and I jet out.  I am used to the semi-sluggish feeling of running after being on the bike, but I know now that it passes quickly.  I immediately start passing people which pumps me up with much needed energy.  I come through 1 mile at 7:07.  Not bad.  I’d like to be a little faster, so I pick it up, feeling less sluggish now and finding a bit of a groove.  I am enjoying seeing people’s age on their calf as I pass them, and especially when I pass the younger guys.  Even though nobody has any idea how they are doing in the race placing since it is staggered, it’s still fun to pass people.

Mile 2 split is 6:41.  NICE.  That’s more like it.  Got a couple cups of water to dump on my head, which felt great.  I say “Good Job” to everyone I pass, as I continue to steadily go by chunks of racers.

3rd mile split:  6:35.  Feeling tired, but happy to have vindicated my poor swim with a solid run.  Come around to the finishing line I’m glad I didn’t quit during the swim.  I will be doing more triathlons next year, hopefully an Olympic distance, and some swim coaching for sure.

Final time (unofficial) 1:20:09

It was a very well run race and I will do it again next year.

Official Results

Total Entrants: Men – 371    Women – 264    Total – 635 (I think some of these are relay people, there were 19 relay teams) 434 Finishers in the individual race

Swim  12:47 (316th)

T1    2:45 (160th)

Bike  42:11 (94th)

T2   1:25 (90th)

Run   21:03 (21st)

Final  1:20:09 (71st/435)

17th/57 in 35-39 Age Group

Well, those stats make me feel better about the blow-up in the pool…live and learn.

Nothing like a 6AM Brick to wake you up!

July 29, 2010 1 comment

Crawled out of bed at 5:25 AM, had a Rev3 (healthier than Red Bull) got my bike gear on and headed out. My main goals of the brick were; 1) to do it, 2) practice transition 3) make sure “no socks” was doable
Accomplished all 3. Transition was fast and no blisters. The shoes I’m using are Zoot, got ’em on sale at Jack Rabbit during the Seventh Heaven Street Fair. Half Off! Really comfortable and they have quick pull elastic laces.

Zoot Men's Ultra Tempo 2.0 Triathlon Shoes

And I wore my bike shoes sockless, which I had done before and it was fine.  I used this product called Blister shield that I had got a sample from at some race, maybe NY Marathon.  You’re supposed to dump the powder in your socks and it prevents blisters.  I dumped it in my biking shoes instead and it worked great.

Did 3 loops (3.3 mi per loop) on the bike then about a 30 second transition and 1 loop running.  Felt good, didn’t push too hard, good easy pace.  Achilles felt good.

Afterwords went to R & A and got my gears and brakes adjusted, new handlebar tape and aerobars.  I’m psyched.  I’ve wanted aerobars for a while now.  They look cool.  Here’s a pic of the new and improved speed machine 🙂

Souped up bike

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