Thursday, June 19, 2008

Race Report - Batavia Sprint Triathlon

Way late race report but before Jen races this weekend I thought I should play a little catch up. Or Ketchup (or if you prefer generic, then Catsup).

June 8: Batavia Illinois
Sprint Distance Triathlon (SW: 400M, BK: 14.7 Mi, RN: 4.1 Mi)

This is the only HIS only race of the season. Jen didn't feel so good in the morning and the weather was threatening so I insisted that she stay home as opposed to not feeling good, waiting around for me and also being cold and wet.

As it turns out, although it was drizzling at the start, we hit a nice meteorological window and the sun came out for a good portion of the race before getting cloudy again soon after the finish.

Had to get up early for this one. In fact during another stage of my life this would have been going to bed late. Up by 3:40 to try and leave by 4:15. I mentioned the weather already but when I got up it was pouring. Looked up the radar to see if there was reason to not go and climb back in bed. Nope. Gathered my belongings, ingested a mini-Clif Bar and made my way around to finally leaving at 4:30. Cruised the expressway to get to Batavia (way west of Chicago - like you've heard me say before and I will continue to say...that far west and we might as well have been in Iowa). Really EZ parking and EZ getting the race chip and getting marked. Loved my marker for this race - she didn't mess around. No 8pt font with this chick. Everything was big and bold.

I was set up in no time at all. I've got this part down. I am routine and very specific and do the same thing every time with no deviation. They had us racked by number so I wasn't able to jockey for a better bike in/out position. Decent facilities but need to make a note to keep spare roll of toilet paper in my transition bag. I met up with a few familiar faces and got in line for the swim. I felt pretty relaxed for this race (very unspazticly-characteristic for me). Just kept to myself mostly and really didn't over think it. This wasn't an 'A' race for me so I was treating it like just another training day. Albeit a very aggressive training day with over 520 of my closest tri pals.

Although this was an outdoor swim, its in a quarry so its more like part lake, part public pool. The 400M is divided into two 200M loops. Racers go one at a time every 3 seconds. So you have this flow of people making their turns into the second loop and people entering the water to start. It gets pretty crazy. You just have to try and find and in and go. One side of the loop is fairly shallow (one side of the quarry is zero depth which is how we enter the water). Too many people take to running along the shallow edge which is weird and takes too much energy but whatever.

If I do this race again I will cheat my finish time to get myself in the lower numbers to start toward the front (we're in line by approximate finish time) . This would also get me toward the front side of the transition area.

I transitioned just ok. Really need to work on T1. This is an area that I give too much time back to my competitors.

The bike course is pretty flat and fast but it was fairly windy out and a strong headwind on the return. I felt I gave a pretty good effort on the bike given the road and wind conditions. I pretty much moved through the pack and only got passed right at the end.

T2 was a non-event. It went about as good as it could. A month or so back I wrote a review of the new Zoot triathlon running flats. Boy howdy are they a transition wonder. They have been a time saver in both races so far this year. A smart investment. I made it out of T2 and was feeling it. My first mile clocked in at 6:22. I was passed by one guy right away but moved up through the ranks all through the run (until some schmo jumped me right at the finish line). Unfortunately I had some slight quad and side cramping develop into mile 2.5ish. So I dialed it back just a bit to more like 6:45-6:50 fearing the worst. Nothing became of all of it but probably cost me about 45 or 50 seconds on my run time.

Overall I felt good about my race until I saw the results. I finished 9 of 70 in my age group and only 2 minutes separated 2 through 9. Shoot. I can certainly find two minutes in hindsight. Overall I was 40 of 524. I wanted to be competitive this season and I feel I'm heading in the right direction. That's it. Not much more analyzing to do than that. My only take away is to start tweaking my sodium and other electrolytes to rid myself of this cramping once and for all.

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