Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Orange County Olympic Tri

I have been a bit absent on the interwebs in the last month so this race report is coming before I have had a chance to write up my trip to Tempe and a couple of reviews but as it is fresh in my failing mind…well you know!

This was to be my second ever Triathlon and to be honest after a disastrous swim at the Desert Tri in March when I stood on the sand with 30 seconds to my wave went on Sunday morning to say I was a little nervous was an understatement. Added to which was the distance of the swim 1500m (1640 yards or 0.93 of a mile) would be longest swim without any toys, (pull buoy etc), my longest open water swim ever (and only my third OWS) and the first swim in a new wet suit…so yeah about that nothing new on race day thing!

I got to the start in plenty of time, I had dropped my shoes and visor at T2 the day before, and set up my bike, it really didn’t take that long as most of the stuff I had done the night before. So with an hour to go I headed to the water to get wet and acclimatized to the temperature etc. I was very pleased that the water was pleasantly not cold, almost warm and with a wet suit it was perfect, most people were wearing wetsuits although there were a few hardy souls not bothering.

I waded out and swam out and up and down, there was no one in the water except me and that was fine. After a while other racers arrived and we made nervous conversation with each other as we “warmed up”. The water was clear and there was a sharp drop off once you got to the “beach swim line” bouys which was a little off putting but I tried to stay well within myself and focus on the space I was occupying only and really not worry about anything else. I felt based on all the time in the pool that the first couple of hundred yards would seem dreadful but once I got into a groove I could just keep going.

I stayed in as long as I could, try to get used to the water, making sure I got it down the back of my suit so as not to get a nasty shock later and playing with the floatation of the new suit. Finally I waded out as we got the brief of the course, fuck those buoys looked a long way off I kept thinking!

Finally the first three waves went and it was my time to stand in the lapping waters. With an airhorn we were off and I waded back out till I was up to between my waist and chest, I floated up and was off. For the first 10 or so stokes I sighted and then I hit my my 4:1 pattern and was off (I prolly need to work on the bilateral thing but one thing at a time). I wasn’t too worried about ongoing sighting as I figured that as long as I could see someone or better still more than one person on my right I would be ok. The course was a clockwise square with a left turn at the end. I will spare you a stoke by stroke account but my line was fine and I managed to get away with very little contact. In reality I was actually pretty comfortable, the suit worked really well. I was overtaken a bit and then overtook some others, a few who even had caps from earlier waves.

I made the second turn and was surprised how quickly I got there, without wanting to get ahead of myself I just kept moving towards the big red buoy on the distance. On thing that had happened right from the very start was one lens was leaking, by around the 1200 meter mark I decided to empty it and broke into a breast stroke and rolled onto my back. My right hamstring teetered on the edge of cramping and I made an effort to relax it off, (stretching it for me only makes it worse), with some of the water gone I continued. It was a bit of a bun fight at the end and the last 200 meters took forever. I missed the turn and went past the buoy then over compensated as was outside of the buoys to the left of the exit boat ramp. Eventually I could see sand then the ramp and then my fingers could feel the bottom and I was done…I was so happy!image

I ran out towards T1 and instantly misshit my Garmin effing up the data for the whole day but I didn’t care. I pulled off my wetsuit and to my joy it slipped off easily, so much better than in March when I had sat on the floor and wrestled with it for 5 minutes. Bike kit on a short run out of T1 and I was on my way.
swim I’ll be honest that my focus had been so much on the swim that I hadn’t thought about the bike at all and I was expecting (for no real reason) a flat course, oops! Here’s the profile, yeah about that flat!imageThat being said my biking is pretty good and this year I have racked up close to 2000 miles already. I was pleased that there was some climbing to be honest as I like it. So I dug in and started passing people, a lot of people. In fact I was overtaken on the bike only three times and each one I caught back up to, of course with the ups come the downs and most all my hesitancy I have about descending at speed disappears on race day, I topped out at 37 mph, which is pretty respectable.
The nothing new on race day continued as I flew into T2 with my feet out of my shoes for a flying dismount, I almost nailed it but my feet are pretty big and my shoes caught the ground so I simply picked up my bike and ran…easy! Socks, running shoes and Visor on and I was off! The first couple of mile clicked by sub 8 minute miles and then the fun began, we were directed into a housing community and with a couple of sharp terms there was a park to cross, a dirt bank to run up and then a horse trail to run along…no really! Then there was the hill, OMFG, it was steep and then a bit steeper. Yeah I walked! I topped out ran down and out of the weirdness onto a road, back up and down and then back up, I walked a bit more, fending off a cramp. At the top I ran and didn’t stop until I finished!image
run finish
Official stuff:
  • AG 29/46
  • OA 221/490
  • Gen 191/330
  • Swim 40:36
  • Bike 1:21:25
  • Run 54:01
  • No transition times so I guess they are baked into the Bike and Run
Here is all my Garmin Data:
Some after thoughts:
  • Needless to say I am super pleased with the swim, while I still have a long way to go to get to 2.4 miles (4200 yards or 3480 meters) this has boosted my confidence in my ability to do it, I do need to work on my endurance and speed and still focus on my form but I will get there
  • My bike could have been better, I am still wrangling with how hard can I go on a bike and get off and run. I think this is something that will come with experience, time and more brick workouts. While I am a pretty good climber I need to get comfortable in that 40mph + zone and also in the aero position for a long period of time which IMAZ will need. My bike is going into the shop this week to be refitted with a new grouppo and new wheels are next so that will all make a big difference I think
  • My run was pretty crappy and that is testament to amount of time spent not running, I need to work on that and throw in some trail time to toughen me up some
  • I need to work on my hydration and nutrition, I can bluff it over this distance but anything longer and it’s critical
  • Getting to grips with the technology, I love my 910xt so I need to use it properly
  • And of course a big thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me on this journey so far. I look forward to sharing my ongoing adventures with you!
So with 54 days to Vineman 70.3 and 180 days to Ironman Arizona it’s time to get my shit together!

Here are some more photo’s from the day…


  1. Nice job, especially for only your 2nd tri. It was great to meet you. :)

  2. Congrats on a great race! The hiccups you had were all pretty minor and you have plenty of time to work on your swim fitness and to get the run back before Vineman or IMAZ.


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