Smile Train Triathlon

This was a very fun local race with a great cause, Turning Miles into Smiles.  The venue, sponsors, competitors, volunteers and FSSeries were all outstanding.  The pool swim was nice with one direction swimming in each lane, ten lengths in ten lanes. I did have to pass one competitor (Brian Goldman) in the swim, he was very respectful and gave me the best line to pass and continue my race, thank you Brian.  On the bike, I learned early that my new handle bars (base bar) were a bit loose, going over the speed humps my base bar and aero bars were moving, it took me some time to get them back to a comfortable location.  It was difficult to get a good pace going during the first three miles with a nice gradual climb.  Following the turn around, the bike is quite fast back to transition.  Heading into T2 my shoes came out of the clips while running over the curb, I had to run back and get them, a bit of frustration with my bike in this race.  The run is fairly hilly and difficult.  Overall very pleased with the run.  The race was competitive this year for the top competitors, four competitors within 19 seconds.  Congratulations to Justine Smith for taking first and I ended in forth.  Also, congratulations to Tara Wind on a second place finish.  Definitely a race to consider for future pool swim events. 

Rev 3 Williamsburg

Williamsburg was my first Rev3 event. It was also my first race with a pro field. It was a lot of fun to watch the best in the sport compete and to get to compete alongside them. Each race I have done this season has taught me something (or more like lots of somethings 🙂 ) new. The biggest thing I learned this time was that even if you warm up on the swim course the day before, the water maybe completely different on race day. The section I expected to be with the current and therefore fast was a lot harder on race day. The water was more choppy and I was surprised to finally figure out that the second buoy was a sight buoy and not the turn buoy I had been expecting! Still had a bit further to swim. Overall it was a good solid swim for me. The bike course was beautiful, flat and fast. Excited to say I had my best bike split so far. The run course was not so flat, 3 pretty significant hills. If you are familiar with the Tarheel 10miler, there was one that was a akin to Laurel Hill, then you also got to finish up a nice incline. Made for a challenging yet still fun way to end the race.

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Picture with teammate Josh West at the start of the race.

Rev 3 does a wonderful job putting on races. It was fun to be in the inaugural year of this race. I look forward to watching it grow and improve over the next few years.

Two Town Triathlon

This was a first year race for the venue and Setup Events.  Short sprint race with a pool swim.  In all, nice rolling hills on the bike and nice steady grades on the run.  Decent turn out for a first year race supported by the Kraft Family YMCA.
 
300 yard Swim – The swim was a normal swim for me, strong and solid.  I simply don’t have the short speed any more and that some of the younger competitors have.  A real nice thing with this swim was that it was a short run to transition.
 
On the bike is when it began to get interesting for me.  I flew through T1 and was able to get secured in my shoes fast.  Then in the first half mile, in a upward climb, my right aero bar broke.  Thoughts that passed through my mind were; quit, how will I shift, I can get through the race, hopefully still place and get series point.  The decision came quick, continue to ride.  I did back off and anticipate the gear changes a bit sooner than normal.  Stability was off, however I did manage to find some comfort until there was 3 miles left.  This was when I had had enough with the awkward riding and wanted to be be done.  Surprisingly I finished quite fast and had the fastest bike split. 
 
The run started with some heat and a tired body.  Struggling with some of the climbs, I wanted to get the run over with.  Finishing the race with a 2nd place finish.  Considering having my first mishap in a race, I am very pleased with the outcome. 

3 Little Pigs Triathlon

Swim:  It’s a pool swim, so not much to write home about.  If you have read my previous race reports, I tend to have calf cramping issues.  Well, I managed to get a cramp within 1 yard of the start, so a new record for me.  This time it was not the calves, but in my foot from pushing off the wall at the start.

 

Bike:  The route is flat and fast.  There is one short section of poor pavement, but the remainder of the road is smooth.  I alternated between pushing it really hard for a couple miles, then backing off for a minute or so, then back to pushing the pace.  I don’t have the high end speed and stamina to maintain a high tempo for the entire length, so had to compromise in taking short “breaks” in between intense efforts.  Even so, I was able to make my way through much of the field and get myself in good position for the run.

Run:  I entered transition just behind Steve Lewis, so I figured as long as I paced off of him I should have a good run.  My left calf had a different idea though, as it started cramping up as soon as I got off the bike and progressively got worse as I started the run.  I had to stop three times in the first ¼ mile to stretch and massage it before it finally loosened up, so I lost some time there, but I was able to finish at a good pace as my last mile split was 6:09.

This was my first time competing in this race put on by FS Series.  It is a great venue and plan on racing it again.  This year I came home with 1 little pig trophy.  Maybe next year I can get a little faster and get the big bad wolf.

Kerr Lake Triathlon

Kerr Lake International, longer distance race than the sprints, so I was not to sure how I would fair with the longer run.  Setup Events and the volunteers did an outstanding job, may have been my most enjoyable race yet, including my performance.  Nice rolling hills on the bike and manageable grades on the run.  Definitely a race to consider for 2014.
 
The race was off to a late start due to high winds and rough water, leading to some difficulties getting the swim course buoys out.  This also meant choppy conditions for the competitors.  The worse of the chop was for the first 500 meters, after this distance we were swimming more with the wind and the choppy conditions were not hitting us head on.  Spotting the buoys was difficult and I found myself swimming more to the right of the course than I would have liked, again wind related.  Exiting the water I saw that I had a great swim time and was ready to get on the bike for the rolling hills.
 
The first ten miles or so of the bike was very fast, so fast I was concerned that I may have gone out to hard.  Then the hills and a head wind began, there went the fast average speed.  The hills we not difficult and followed with nice down hills.  The head wind on the other hand wasn’t as friendly, there were a few times that I look at my speed and then legs; ask myself what was wrong, why are they not going.  The last three plus were nice with a down grade and allowed the fast speed to return and the legs to recover some before the run.
 
On the run I had a similar start as the bike, fast.  Here it was important for me not to go out to fast, I wouldn’t have the legs to finish strong.  The course was a two loop course with a slight incline on the way out and then the down grade back.  I continued to monitor my pace and telling myself to slow down.  Felling very strong and comfortable until mile four, then the heat began to set in and I saw Dwayne Dixon tracking me down toward the end of the run.  Despite the legs being fatigued, my pace remained strong and faster than my goal,  Holding off Dwayne until the last half mile, I was extremely pleased with my run and entire performance, second place and crushing all goals.
 
Following the race, meeting up with follow competitors, staff, volunteers and the refreshments were awesome.  Even with the heat and windy conditions, this will remain as one of my favorite races for quite a while.  Great event by Setup Events, supported by excellent volunteers from the Henderson YMCA and at a very nice venue.  Looking forward to racing here in 2014.  

Raleigh 70 dot tree

Swim:  I had heard water temp’s ranging from 76-79° the day before the race.  With the warm weather the days preceding the race, I made the logical decision to leave the wetsuit in the car.  And of course the water was miraculously just below the wetsuit threshold.  Unfortunately the immutable laws of physics contradict the whole premise of this account…that is one magic thermometer.  Oh well, the water was warm enough, that with my full wetsuit I most likely would have gotten too warm anyway.  My pool time has been lacking so far this year, so it really would have helped.  Came out in 38 and change.  Pretty slow, probably should spend more time at the pool.

Bike:  I felt good on the bike and pushed at a good tempo for the first 25-30 miles.  Similar with the swimming, I am behind on where I want to be fitness-wise.  Because of the cooler than warmer weather this spring and rainy/windy weekends, I haven’t had many long rides so far.  So I backed off on the effort for the remainder of the ride hoping to have “fresh” legs for the run.  Course time was around 2:20, which is where I expected to end up going into the race.

Run:  The run is where my fitness level really shows, or is exposed.  Although my legs felt OK, the heat of the midday was a large factor on my finishing time.  I don’t do as well running in hot and humid weather, but the better my fitness level the less the weather affects me.  For the first few miles, my splits were in the upper 7 minute range.  They gradually increased to the upper 8’s, but I started dumping ice down my tri suit and putting some under my hat, so I was able to cool both ends of my torso.  Around the second loop near the art museum the ice cooling started to pay off and was able to finish stronger than I started.

Overall this was a fun race.  It was really well done for a point-to-point race.  I ended up finishing 20-25 minutes slower than I was anticipating when I initially signed up last year, but am happy with my results relative to where my fitness level is at.  I would race it again.