Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009 Fort Leavenworth Triathlon Race Report

Here is on reason I like triathlons - Nothing keeps boy from finishing triathlon

The annual CGSC MWR Fort Leavenworth Triathlon usually kicks off my triathlon season. After 3 off-road duathlons and a couple long distance off-road mountain bike races, I felt a little out of place on the road bike. None the less, as you can see by the picture that Roger took I was happy that I can now focus on some upcoming events and not worry about promoting or large projects at work. Time to enjoy the the warmer weather, hit some races and put in some solid training on the tandem with Carolynn. Only 6 more weeks until the Ride the Rockies....

Goals were kind of low for this first tri of the season. Just put in a solid effort and see what work has to be done over the coming months for some bigger races in July and August. I am usually happy with finishing in the top 10 percent overall and maybe sneak in a podium spot if the legs feel good.

Swim was only 200 yards and is completed by swimming all the lanes in the Harney's Gym pool serpentine style. Swimmer go off every 10 seconds. This process kind of takes awhile especially with nearly 200 racers. I put down 3 minutes for my estimated swim time which seated me in the 35th start time. New this year was chip timing. Because of this your time started once you crossed the timing mat before you got in the water. To my surprise, everyone was diving into the water to start the race. Just like a swimming meet. Well, I have never dove into the water to start a swim. As the racers before me dove to start their race I did not know if I should attempt this or not. The last thing I wanted was for my goggles to fall off or for me to do some belly flop into the water. Needless to say, I was the first person to jump into the water feet first. At least I had my goggles on. Swim went well and I caught two people ahead of me and based on the splits had the 5th fastest swim split (out of 31) in my age division. I was happy with that.

Next up the bike. Course was different from past years and was just shy of 12 miles I believe. Mr. Harrsion warned me earlier in the week that the new course was on very rough roads and even suggested I use a cross bike. Well, I opted for my trusty DEAN road bike over my Colnago cross bike or Javelin triathlon bike. In the end I think this cost me a lot of time. The rough sections were very short and I really could have used some TT bars and a more arrow position. Still I put in a solid effort and caught about 2 dozen riders while out on the bike. I was also happy with the way I climbed. Currently I am about 14 lbs over my race weight so when I did most of my passing on the climbs I was kind of shocked. On the flats and rolling terrain I really didn't make up that much time. I descended well but not like I usually do. After the bike I was setting in 2nd in my age-group and top 5 overall . I performed a rather quick transition and set off on the 5K run in hopes of keeping myself on the podium.

Running has always been my week point in triathlon. I can remember back in Florida putting in bike splits that were the same has some professionals. Nothing like being in the top 5 out of 750 triathletes only to be passed by 100 of them on the run :-). But I digress, back to Leavenworth. I have put in some runs this winter/spring, but not the quality that I had planned. The first mile went well and I actually caught someone. Lost some focus and leg turnover on the 2nd mile and got caught by some guys including Bike Shacks Jeremy Covey who always seems to catch me on the. The last mile I just focused on trying to pick up my leg turnover and not over striding. My 22 min run slit cost me. Basically I am running 1 minute per mile slower than the top guys. I need to get down to the low 6 minute pace somehow. Maybe running more than once every 10 days will do it. Ya think?

End result was 10th overall and 4th in the Male 40 - 44 age group. Finish time was 1:04. I plan to really focus on running and losing some weight this summer. I have the power on the bike. My swim is solid and my transition are usually good. That damn run just kills me. Look for me at the local track this summer. I will be putting in some quality intervals to improve that run.

Thanks for the pictures Roger and Ben.


Anonymous said...

I told you i would be your running coach. I have an interval plan with your name on it!

Ex-sub 17 min 5K runner.

Anonymous said...

I have some intervals with you name on them.

The ex sub 17 min 5K runner.