Kid’s Soccer game on Saturday got rescheduled so the weekend opened up. I got the OK from the Boss to run over to Scottsboro and do the Frantic Frog Sprint Triathlon. It’s been a few years since my last visit and fortunately some of the club was racing too. It’s a 400meter swim, @14.5 mile bike, and 5k run. The bike course is historically fast and the run rolling.
I had an early wake-up to pick-up my packet. Got to the race site 2+ hours before race start and was joined by 30 other participants. Obviously, they’d rather be doing a triathlon than sleeping as well. I felt immediately at home! It’s not a USAT-sanctioned race so gladly I didn’t have a billion race numbers to apply. Rain and possible thunderstorms were forecast but luckily we stayed dry until after the race.
The swim is by twos in a time trial fashion off a pier. The course is basically an out and back. I snapped this picture after the race. As you can tell, overcast skies and rain clouds circling. I jumped in(..no inglourious face plant this time), and started out fast with few breaths. I looked up after 100y, through fogged googles…Awesome!, and noticed my path was less than straight. After correcting for that, I circled the last buoy and headed back to the shore. There was a buoy out to the side about 50y from the shore. In my ignorance, I thought we had to keep this to our left before finishing…Nope. So, through fogged googles, I squinted and noticed most swimmers were heading straight to the beach. I corrected my course again and pushed to the exit. Was that all the fun? Nope. Last 30 yards was something out of The Swamp Thing. Nothing like swimming through weeds. Hope there were some race pics taken.
It looked something like this: Actually, this picture doesn’t do it justice. Imagine in addition, brown thick sludgy water. I exited in 7:19 good for 28th overall. My Garmin showed a total swim distance of 472 which seems close to me. The map of the swim detailed quite well the couple of deviations I suffered.
Overall, the swim felt very easy. The higher volume, in this recent build, is finally paying off.
Onto the bike, I was ready to put down a good split. There was a N-NW wind that hurt for the first 5miles then either helped or be crossed. My legs took their usual couple of minutes to realize, “Oh, we’re cycling now, Sorry”, and started pushing. I was moving good until turning into the wind. My speed plummeted from 24-25mph to 21mph with the same power. I decided to just maintain at threshold through this section then hammer the last 9 miles. It ended up being a good decision. One rider who passed me at the start came back to me by mile 9. The rest of bike was fast. My average power stayed right at threshold with an IF=.99 and a VI=1.02. That impressed even me. I wanted to alternate between pushing some bigger gears and higher cadence work. Looking at the power files, I was very steady with a pedaling cadence of 89rpm. I finished the bike in 37mins, good for 15th overall.
Better yet, my legs felt very fresh running out of T2. I ran in my Saucony Kinvara2 shoes and finally, no blisters! And note to self…half the cost of other sockless-friendly shoes, e.g. Zoot. My 5k split was 21:32. No records on the run today but I was thrilled to have bouncy legs. The course is rolling with lots of turns but at least it wasn’t boring. My run was 24th fastest and my race left me in 9th place overall excluding the relayers. I finished as the second Masters (40+year olds). Technically, I was 3rd in my age-group but the other two guys finished 1st and 3rd overall in the race.
This will be my last prep race for my A race in October. Rest of the month will be volume and select intensity workouts. I rode 44 miles of the Goosepond-Half Iron course after the race. Sadly, it was raining by then. Got soaked but at least no lightening. It didn’t deter my new dog friends either. I hope they’re corralled for the race. Don’t know if I’ll get another chance on the course but I know the bike course well enough to plan my race.
Happy Training. Thanks for reading.