Sunday, June 15, 2008

5430 Sprint - Race Report

Paul TaylorMy first 5430 race is in the bag and I can't say it was easy. For some reason, I just wasn't "feeling it" today. It may have been a combination of factors including heat (it was a lot hotter today than last week for Greeley and Bolder Boulder), hang over from Greeley last week, allergies or letting the fact that my wave got changed (4th wave) the day before the race to the last wave (9th wave). For some reason, that last one really bothered me. I didn't want to be last and I was glad when the waves were posted on Wednesday that I'd be in the middle of the pack. I shouldn't have let that bother me, but it did and I think it diverted my focus. Can't let outside factors, particularly those that I don't control, have a negative impact. The one benefit of being the last wave was no line porta-a-potty time. As every racer can attest, there's nothing like waiting in line prior to a race. Last wave, no problem, take your pick and take your time. Ahhh... I just didn't have it today.

So, the day started at 5 am, shower, breakfast (oatmeal, bananna) and I was off to the res with Craig. We got a headstart, with the wives and kids close behind. We got to the res about 6:30 am and there was a line of about 200+ people waiting to get into the transition area. The line went quick, but by the time I got inside, there was no room left in my designated area. The volunteers were scrambling for additional bike racks and I finally got one, right next to the run exit. I setup my stuff and proceeded to wait, which I carried in myt my new transition bag / bucket! Very handy, handles everything I need and something I can sit on to change my shoes. The time difference between the 1st and last wave was almost 45 minutes. (The winner was almost done when I started.) I killed time with the ipod and did some stretching, but I was anxious to get started.

15 minutes before my wave I started putting on the wetsuit and headed down to the reservoir for a quick warm-up. The water temp was just right. I was finishing up my quick warm-up when I noticed a boat on the beach and I immediately thought of Rick & Dick Hoyt and the associated video I had watched earlier in the week. Very emotional, tried to block it out of my head.

Paul TaylorFinally it was time. I put myself right in the middle of the pack and I was off. It was slower going than I remember from my first open water start at the Sodus Point Triathlon last year, but I managed to escape without any major touching or damage. I've struggled with the wetsuit, just doesn't feel right and about 200 yards or so into the swim I was ready to quit. I was just totally freaked out. I don't know what it is, I just don't like the feeling of confinement. I settled down, got comfortable and it was pretty uneventful from there on in. The buoy turns were fine, sighting was good and I felt good when I reached the end in under 14 minutes. I finished with the Dad pulling his son in the boat, which is absolutely amazing. I was hoping to catch up with him after the race, but I didn't see him on the bike or run.

Paul TaylorAfter a quick jog up the beach into the transition area across horribly painful pavement, I transitioned in just over 3 minutes, which I thought was relatively good considering the distance from water, fumbling with the wetsuit and transition position. I felt good getting on the bike and I was off. Felt good on the bike, passed a lot of people on the ride out, which is a steady incline for the first 5 miles. The next 5 miles are a steady decline and I was maintaining 25+ mph tucked down on my aerobars, feeling really good. The next 5 miles I lost some focus and my average speed suffered, but overall pretty happy with the bike and I made it in under 1 hour, 58:59. Still room for improvement, but 2 for 2 on goals so far. And then the RUN. Ugh.

Paul TaylorIf you've been reading the blog or know me at all, you know that me and running are like oil and water, it just doesn't work. Despite the nagging back pain on the bike, it only appears on the bike and as soon as I get off, I'm fine, no lingering affects from that. (I've had my bike position checked at CMS and chiropractor visits, just haven't found the problem yet on the bike) I started off good for the first .5 mile or so and then thoughts of walking started to enter my brain and by the end of the first mile, I took my first walking steps. Boooooooooooo. Once you start walking, it's hard to stop. I attempted to restart, but soon after found myself walking again. The course is an out and back on dirt trail around the reservoir with no shade at all and by this time it was getting quite hot. I don't have any good excuses here, just didn't feel like running today and the result was 33 minutes for the 5k.

Paul TaylorOverall, I finished in 1:53, which exceeded my goal of 1:45. I didn't meet my goals but I still feel good about the race overall. One thing it really brings to light is that I've got a lot of work to do before July 20th and the 5430 Boulder Peak race. I've got to get comfortable in my wetsuit (lots of open water swimming), I need to start training for Old Stage (Yikes!) and I need to start a consistent running program. I also need to consider transition times in my goals, because I spent 5+ minutes in transition.

It was a nice day at the reservoir with family and friends, a great way to spend Father's Day.

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