Quickie: The 2012 Summit Solstice Triathlon Race Report
It has been a fun week of racing for this triathlete. Right on the heels of Alcatraz, I headed back home to participate in the local sprint. This baby is put on by my work in my hometown and I didn’t care how tired I was from traveling; I had no intentions of missing the home game. I’m already busy with work, so this is going to be a quick one. Grab a hold of your screen and hold on!
Preparation for this race was about the exact opposite of Alcatraz. In San Fran, the morning of the race was a carefully researched orchestra of events that had to play out in order for me to jump off the boat. On race morning, I woke up when my wife nudged me and asked “when do you have to be at the race again?” A quick glance at the clock showed that it was 8:00; transition closed at 9:00. Up on my feet. Brushed teeth and went potty. Into my racing kit and onto the treadmill. 10 min ramp up to about 8:30 pace and then 2 quarter mile repeats at 6:50. Worked perfect to warm up; just starting to sweat good by then. One gel in followed by a cup of coffee in the car. Threw gear in back of truck and to race site I went. Arrived at 8:50 and setup my rack by 9:00, just in time for race meeting. Quick warm up and it was go time.
Swim: ½ mile, 15:27, 3/14 AG, 17/85 OA
I really had no plan for this race; just needed to go fast. I started off the front. I started hard, but not too hard. Last time I sprinted, I started too fast in the swim and hurt the rest of the way. So I just let myself ramp up towards the first buoy.
I found some feet to settle in behind and drafted out to the first turn. Made the 180 turn no problem and kept form back across the lake to the far buoy. Water was refreshingly cold but nothing to worry about. It was just as cold, if not colder, than San Fran. After I made the second turn back to the swim exit, I got a little off course and ended up zig zagging back home. At the exit, it was pretty muddy and I ended falling on my face on the way out. Hey, it had to happen eventually. FACEPALM.
Not my fastest transition. Out of suit okay, but some difficulty with the shoes.
Bike: 12 miles, 36:20 1/14 AG, 7/85 OA
Getting started, things were a little messy. Not my smoothest exit from transition. Anyhow, I got onto my old yellow P2-SL and hit the pedals. That’s right, I raced on Old Yeller. Why? Because my beautiful new P2 is apparently having a fun time STILL in San Francisco. The aforementioned “conveniently located” bike store that is shipping my bike has taken at least a week to even mail it out. I can’t wait to unleash a piece of my mind digitally on Sports Basement. But I digress.
Off I go. I know this course well; I train on it all the time. There is a hill at the beginning and then its downhill pretty much all the way to the turn around. So, I hammered up the hill as hard as I could and then kept up my speed as I started the descent. No numbers for this ride; I forgot to start my Garmin. I was hurting pretty hard on the way down hill. Apparently I was in the right crowd because it took me the whole downhill (six miles) to catch anyone. I made a pretty hideous turn around at the traffic circle and the it was back up hill. I was definitely missing my carbon ride on the way up. It felt nothing like I was used to. Oh well. I kept hammering up as hard as I could go. I started playing the passing game with another rider; he did a great job at keeping me pushing. Plenty of false flats on the way back as well as a good steep hill. Took in another rider on the last major hill and then it was pedal to the medal back to transition. I had practiced doing the famed “out of shoes rolling dismount” and I was determined to get it right this time. Of course, as I tried to pull my foot out of the shoe, the whole cleat came undone. Oh well. Regular dismount and into transition.
T2: 38 Seconds
Felt bad. But apparently quick.
Run: 3.1miles, 4/14 AG, 19/85 OA
Started and as expected, I felt horrible. Not as bad as The Grizzly though. I focused on moving my legs. Major pain. Hit the neighborhood and legs were burning. Also had some small cramping. Pushed on. I came to a small bump up in the road and I strided up. This opened up my legs some and I started feeling my form as I hit the flat before the big hill.
This would be the same big hill that I have been training on. As I hit the start, I was feeling worse than I expected. This was reflected in a slower pace than I had hoped for on the way up. I was able to at least hold off some feet creeping up behind me. Made the turn in a grimace and then it was back down. As painful as it was on the way up, my legs were really opened up by that point. Hit the flats again and things were feeling smooth and fast. Made the turn to a long downhill and finally took in another spot. Progress.
Made it to the turnaround for another small bump and then it was back towards home. I was feeling great as I headed up into the last 100 yards. Crossed the line with no close followers.
Synopsis: 1:16:07, 2-3/14 AG, 10/85 OA
It’s always nice to be able to roll out the door and support the local community too. I wouldn’t say this was as flawless of a race as I had wanted and thus, it was a great learning experience. Nevertheless, this was a great way to start Father’s Day. The best part was being able to have AND see my family on the race course.
I look forward to more training and more progress. This was my first podium finish and it was great to get it on Old Yeller. Sure, it was a thin crowd, but hey, showing up counts for something I guess. The real reward is that I was faster than when I last did this event back in 2010. The course was a little different then, so I can’t compare very well. I can say that the bike course was longer this year, but I was over four minutes faster this time. Progress.
Things I Learned:
1. No matter how comfortable I am with swim, swimming in the right direction is key. Must keep my sighting regular.
2. Need to work on that rolling dismount.
3. Keep pushing the run. It’s still my “survival” portion of triathlon.
4. Don’t ship my bike via Sports Basement in San Francisco