Excuse filled race report

Okay, okay.  This race report isn’t actually “filled” with excuses.  It’s more that they are thrown in there and are reasons for why my race did not go according to plan.

This race was a late addition to my schedule because I hinted at it to my girlfriend since my sister lives in NOLA so I figured it would be a great way to get a vacation out of it too since she’s never been there.  And that’s exactly how it went.  She was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to take the race as lax as I did but I think I did a pretty good job.

Race Week

We drove down to Nashville on Wednesday to spend the night and enjoy the city a little bit, and to break up the drive.  We left EARLY that day then got to Nashville, napped then headed out to Broadway St. which is the big street downtown that has bars, BBQ, and music.  It was pretty fun.

From the top of Broadway

From the top of Broadway

We woke up on Thursday for another 8 hours in the car to get to NOLA.  We got there, settled into my sister’s apartment then went to walk around her area.  She lives close to Magazine St. which has a lot of good food and shopping.  On Friday we went to the Zoo and the Aquarium and did a lot of walking (that will be the theme here; a LOT of walking around).  We visited the restaurant my sister works at and walked down Bourbon St. but that street is only really cool if you want to get drunk and party.  And neither of us really drink that much.  Oh, we also got beignets which were amazing!

Beignets!

Beignets!

Saturday was another walk around day but I also got my race packet and checked out the race area.  Oh, and I had a mad search for a place to charge my Garmin because it died somehow during the trip!  Luckily there was a local running store that had a charging station so I was able to get it all charged up.  We again walked around and my girlfriend did some shopping then we went to dinner and finally home to relax and head to bed.  But during the day my calve started to tighten up and cramp as well as my glutes, which I am assuming is from the mass amount of time sitting on them while driving.  Either way I think the hot and humid weather took its toll with all the walking we did.  But, this was mainly for vacation so I just went with it.

Race Morning

Woke up, ate, drank coffee, headed down to the race site.  Nothing special here.

IMG_0869

Swim: 26:01 1:36 /100 yards (5th AG)

Right when I got into transition we were told it would be non wetsuit which means I would be wearing my amazing Xterra Velocity-M Speedsuit on top of my Snapple kit.  Headed down to the swim start to play the waiting game.  Thankfully I was able to get into the Elite AG wave so we went off right after the pros.  This was pretty cool.  There was only about 15 of us, male and female, and we were supposed to go off in a time trial format but since it was small they let us all start together in the water which was nice.  But, me being a big dummy, I did not use the group to my advantage and try to stay with them.  For some reason they started wide and I took the buoy line.  It was a lonely swim.  Swimming is not my strength so I figured I would probably come out in the back of the pack.  I climbed the stairs out of the water then headed to transition.  Nothing crazy or noteworthy there.

Bike: 1:10:23 21.1 MPH off of 204 Watts

So this is when things got interesting.  And lesson learned here.  I thought it would be a good idea to try a flying mount without having practiced before.  Normally I just put my left foot on top of my shoe then swing my leg over but I wanted to try this way.  And boy did I pay for it.  I landed HARD.  I slammed my hamstring on my saddle and cut my inner leg on my bike somehow but because I smashed my hamstring it decided to seize up on me.  So the first 23 minutes of the bike consisted of pedal, coast, stretch, repeat.  I thought about dropping out because there was NO way I could ride the whole way like this.  But after massaging and stretching it went away.  The crappy part is now that I downloaded all my data it showed that I lost about 8 minutes in those first 23 minutes.  During that time I averaged about 17 MPH on 147 watts.  So when my hamstring was able to come out and play I time trialed and just went.  I wanted to average about 230 watts, based on 90% FTP, but I was feeling good so I went with it.  Ended up averaging 23.8 MPH off of 237 watts with my legs still feeling good.  Get to the end of the bike and all I am thinking is run, run FAST.  Hop off my bike and, for the first time ever, I had the fastest T2 time!

Run: 38:22 6:12 min/mile

My goal of finishing top 5 and getting a free entry to Hy-Vee was pretty much blown after the bike but I wanted to test my fitness and lay down a good time.  I wanted to try to see if I could run 6 min/miles with the fitness I had left over from Boston but since I hadn’t ran in the 9 days before the race because of a knee issue I wasn’t so positive I could do it.  But I kept pushing and pushing and when I saw ages on people’s legs I looked at their bib numbers because the AG Elites were in the 70-90 range so I was hoping to pass a few and hope that someone else might have had an issue like I did.  I ended up seeing, and passing, a few low numbers and one of them was at the turnaround on the last lap.  I counted he was about 45 seconds ahead of me with 1.5 miles to go but he was not looking good.  Somehow the weather was cooler and not that bad so I was able to push hard and make the pass.  Somehow I thought that might have put me into 5th place but that was just wishful thinking.  I ended the race; got my stuff, checked the results then headed back to shower.

Finish: 2:16:50 (6th AG and 39th Overall)

Overall this was a good first race of the season and only with about a month of actual triathlon training post Boston.  Now that I am playing the what if game I can say that without my little flying mount hiccup, and assuming I could have kept pace the whole ride, I would have ridden about a 1:01 so about 8-9 minutes fasters which would have put me at the finish at about 2:07ish, also assuming I could have kept that run pace.  But I am happy with it and now it’s on to the next one.

But the BEST part (insert sarcasm) of this trip was getting in the car and driving the 14 hours straight home!!!  We ended up getting back at like 1:30 Monday morning but it was worth it.  And since a trip that long needs fuel we stopped at Taco Bell to get some food on the way back.  And man was it good!

Taco Bell!!!

Taco Bell!!!

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Season triathlon debut this weekend!!!

Tomorrow I am headed down south for my first triathlon of the season!  I am going to be competing in the 5150 New Orleans.  This will be my first 5150 series race and I am excited.  This race is more of a B/C race though because I am heading down with my girlfriend and making a vacation of it.  We are going to head to Nashville tomorrow then get down to NOLA on Thursday to stay with my sister down there.  Not sure what type of training I will be able to get done down there but I have my bike trainer and running shoes so I am sure I’ll be able to get something done but nothing too crazy.  I want to be able to enjoy the city and go on a gator tour and other fun stuff without thinking about training in the back of my mind.  I went down their last year for the NOLA 70.3 but I went alone so I was not really able to do much walking around so this year will be different.

Also, this will be my first race competing in the AG Elite wave.  This is a wave that some races have that starts right after the pros and you must qualify with a certain time in order to be in it.  I was not planning on doing the AG Elite wave because I have ZERO clue how I will be able to compete since I am really only a month into true triathlon training after focusing on the Boston Marathon for the early part of the season.

This race series finishes with the US Championships in Des Moines called the Hy-Vee Triathlon.  The cool thing with this race is that they give the top 5 finishers in each AG a free entry to the race.  So if I am lucky enough to have a good race I get a free entry!  And a cool thing about the AG Elite wave is if I qualify for Hy-Vee I am eligible for money and a car!  But the people in this series are FAST.  Like seriously FAST.  I am excited to see how I race but because it is a B/C race there is not too much pressure on me to perform; well that’s what I say now!  But no matter what I will leave it all out there and race my hardest and have some fun!