This is primarily a race report post, so I will break it down starting briefly going into the race and then go through each leg and transition.
The TriJesus was my first sprint. I did not want my first tri to be in my hometown, however there are only 2 in Quincy, and the other one is the same weekend as my teams half marathon, the Peapod Half Madness. I wanted to do one there, mainly so my father, who is too sick to travel to a tri, could see me. He is the reason why I first got the tri itch...that sounds like a STD....so off to Quincy I went. If I knew one thing about Quincy, that was the fact that Quincy is literally a city built on a hill. That meant I would be battling hills. I have trained on hills, so going into the race, I thought I was prepared. I was definitely wrong.
Pre Race Nutrition:
I believe that race day performance begins every day during your training. No amount of carb loading or anything can take the place and substitute for good nutrition to fuel and recover your body while you train. However, 72 hours before race day, there is little to no room for mistakes....you must get it right! So food consisted of oatmeal & a banana with breakfast and a grande skinny latte everyday. Lunch was a sandwich of some sort. consisting of lean meat, cheese, avocado, greens, and tomatoes, on a whole grain or spelt toast. All the essential, proteins, carbs, fats and nutrients I would need. Dinner was actually much of the same too, usually a fish or chicken, green veggies. I keep my grain carbs to a minimal for dinner, simply because I may have a beer in the evening or I am afraid to sleep and allow that to sit and convert to simple sugars. Finally water is key. I have a rule on race week, that I must make 100ozs of non caffeinated beverages...mainly water.
There is a good chance I drove the bike coarse 10 times in the 48 hours before the race. I planned out every move on my bike. The hills were terrible. I knew a quarter of the race would be spent in my little chain ring on my crank....it was ugly. There were only 4 miles total, out of 13 that I knew I could ensure a high 90+ cadence and 21+ mile per hour speed. The rest of the miles would be spent getting really aero and shooting downhill and standing up and mashing up hill. The bike was only 1/3 of the challenges though. The pool was only open for a week before race day, so that meant possible cold water. I went the day before and the water temp was 76 degrees...not bad. The only negative, was no pool lines. I was having to mentally readjust for some line of sight work. The run was going to be a struggle. The hills did not scare me, but a mile and a half of the course was scary. See they wanted to keep the entire run within the park. Understandable, but to do that, meant the run could not be all on the road. Right smack dab in the middle of the coarse was a trail run. I am used to a little crushed limestone from the prairie path, I could even handle some hard packed dirt. Unfortunately, no luck. The park had just a couple of weeks prior installed brand new white stone, about 3 inches deep. When I say stone too, I am talking about golf ball size stones. It would be essentially like running in ankle deep snow for a mile and a half of a 5k. I ran it, but could not figure a plan of attack out pre race...my mind was baffled.
The morning of the race was awesome. It was in the mid 60's at 4 AM, the sun started creeping out right as I was loading my bike on the back of the Jeep. I did my same breakfast mentioned before, only I began to sip on UR Driven about an hour before the race. I was the 2nd guy at the race, first to be inked with my numbers, but I got the best spot in transition. The first row next to transition was too close to the fence, so I knew that I would have to do a spin around to get out, so I chose the second row and on the end. I only had to grab my bike and take 10 steps out of "bike out." After setting up a great transition spot, I grabbed my ipod and sat under a tree to get some "zone" time. I was very excited when my eyes focused on a pair of tri shorts with the Multisport Madness logo on it. I had a teammate racing with me in a small town over 5 hours from Chicago! I had to contain my excitement and walked up happily, but really wanting to give him a hug and kiss:) It means a lot when you see a teammate on the coarse and during some of my foot races I have experienced that. It takes you out of the pain element and gives you a sense of camaraderie.
Terrible time. Ultimately, I learned a lot, but was extremely disappointed. This was a 400 meter swim. a 50 meter pool that you would serpentine till you got to the other side. The participants were staggered in the start by projected finish time. In training I finished 400 meters at 8:35. So I put myself in the back of the 8-9 minute finish corral. What I learned was some people that were faster than that, put themselves in the slower corrals, so the could feel good about passing people. This worked against me. After 150 meters the first guy passed me, but literally just camped out in front of me...then came the second guy. The 2 of them just swam together side by side like they were out for a Sunday morning run group and talking about their work week. I was either gong to have to fight them, or just try and make it up on the bike. The nice guy in me won, and I let them have their swim....ps, I passed them both in the first mile of the bike. Coming out of the water I was not overly tired and ran to transition. I was surprised to find that you are not timed out of the swim and into T1 until you get to the entrance to the bike transition area, which is 100+ meters away from the pool. I would have thought the timing pad would be right there as you got out.
Great transition! In fact one of the best out of everyone in the race. I ran quickly to the bike, slipping my feet into my shoes....I do not fasten them to the bike....I believe you have to be great at this to make the time matter. The only thing I will do different next time is put my glasses and helmet on first.
Am I capable of a sub 40, 13 mile course...ummm yeah. Remember though..hills! For the first 3 miles I went back and forth with a guy. I had drove the coarse enough, I knew how to make him pay for trying to pass me. Because of my aerodynamics I would pass him on the down hills. He was not quitting though, so he would mash past me on the uphills. By the end of 3 miles he was spent, and we were beginning a 2 mile stretch of flat land. I never saw him again until the run where I ran by him on my way into the finish and his way out to start the run. Sorry dude..its a race...you lost mentally, therefore you lost physically. I was only passed 2 times during the bike, and passed 15 or so myself. The 2 that passed me were old guys...but they has some nice Red M Dots on their calves...So I was ok with that. Also though, after passing me, they were always within eye shot of me, so its not like they smoked me:) The hills were challenging, but overall I managed to average an 18:11 mile per hour ratio on the bike. Along the way I took on about 30ozs of UR Driven to refuel and prepare for the run.
Not a great transition. New Nike Frees, that are a bit snug. I had just gotten them 3 days prior to race day. I really struggled getting them on. Hopefully I will stretch them out in the 2 weeks I have until my Olympic. overall though I was not tired and did not feel I needed to take a second to get my composure going into the run.
TERRIBLE! I am capable of doing a 26 minute 5k, and I run at an 8:30 pace during races. This was unacceptable! I Started out strong. I noticed My pace was a 7:30 and in my mind I saw my coach yelling at me and throwing her shoe at me to tell me to slow down....negative splits! I slowed my pace to an 8:30 and ran. I was doing great, all the way up until I hit the gravel path. Then I noticed my pace slow to 10:22. I found the best solution was to run in the grass next to the path, which still slowed me down from a normal asphalt pace, but sped me up from the gravel path. I finished mile 2 with a 9:27 pace. After coming out of the gravel hell, it was nice to see my MSM teammate there cheering "Go Madness!!". His son was running behind me and he was following him on the run to keep him going. It was a nice encouragement for me though too...i saw him 3 more times on the run, each time it was awesome. Hills and fatigue kicked in quickly. It was all mental though. I knew I was almost done and I was starting to go into celebration mode before the race was even done. I finished the last mile at 9:43. Now this is where it is strange...do the math...I should have had a sub 30 5k. It takes around a 9:40 pace to do that. Somewhere they messed up. I have learned a long time ago not to zigzag on the coarse, so I ran straight and true. Still though my Garmin said I ran over 3.25 miles. It should have been around 3.1, give or take a little with GPS failure. Anyways it was what it was. I have also learned not to worry and complain about discrepancies. If I want to finish sooner then I should run faster.
Finish Time: 1:26:19:95
I had no finish goals, this being my first tri, so that will do. next year I will plan on doing a 1:15 or less. Overall I finished 3rd in Clydesdale division. At the time of the awards ceremony, there were a few guys trying to argue their way into that division, so who knows if the ranking will stick. I personally could not care less. Mainly because I raced to be a Clyde's, they probably sucked in AG and decided to try and get into Clyde's. I asked right before the ceremony if there were awards for Clyde's and they said only for 1st and 2nd, so I left.
Overall I had a great time. My entire family came to cheer me on, and even for a sprint drove all over to cheer me on through out the entire race. I love triathlon, and am glad after investing a fortune to do it:) Next up is the Pleasant Prairie Olympic Triathlon!!