Monday, August 31, 2015

My Way or the Tri Way

I had the pleasure of participating in My Way or the Tri Way this past weekend at the Aurora Reservoir.  As usual, Racing Underground hosted a well organized, well supported, and fun event.  This event was on the Arvada Triathlon Club calendar so it was nice to see 8 members in attendance (2 with podium finishes) along with a few of my other friends.  I will certainly keep this event in mind next year.

My wife picked up my packet Friday from Campus Cycles.  Friday night, I packed my gear using my new Rudy gear bag which worked out great.  This thing really swallows gear, even as I have a tendency to over pack.  Friday night I visualized the race several times and that really made everything feel much smoother race morning.

I opted for the “Tri Way” and prepared for a Swim, Bike, Run order.  After setting up in transition, hitting the port-o-let, and donning my wetsuit, I did a few bobs in the water to make sure I had no goggle or wetsuit issues.  The water was a brisk 68 degrees, so I was glad to have the wetsuit.  All participants started from transition.  From transition it was 150 yards to the water, most of which I walked.  This took me about 1:30.  My swim leg was officially recorded as 22:38 and that includes the walk back into transition.  That was very much on par with my 19-20 minute plan.  I sighted reasonably well and was tight on the turns.  I made sure I hit ground with my stroke before running up the beach.  It was great to see Jeff and Cliff out there capturing images and cheering.

Transition 1 was pretty smooth by my standards.  My left foot got hung up on the wetsuit, but otherwise I was smooth and controlled.  I exited transition after 3:00 minutes.

I felt really good on the bike leg, primarily because it all starts downhill.  The course was well supported with plenty of course marshals on the simple out and back.  I was getting passed constantly on the bike leg.  I kind of neglected biking in my training as I knew I could roll through a 20K bike without issue.  Unfortunately that resulted in a 52:41 bike split which was my weakest leg relative to my competitors.  I did take on a GU about an hour into the race and hydrated well.  I averaged 123W on the course which is great for me.  Unfortunately that translated into an average speed of only 13.4 mph with my mashing cadence of 64 rpm.  I was hoping to finish in around 45 minutes (16 mph) so this was a little disappointing.

Photo Credit - My Race Shots & Racing Underground

Transition 2 was really quick.  My feet were nice and dry and slipped right into my shoes.  I grabbed my visor and race number belt and was off.

The run started with a stop at the port-o-let.  After relieving myself of over-hydration, I took off on the rolling course.  The loop style run was 3.5 miles, but I felt pretty good and was pacing at about 10 minute miles for most of the course.  My official split was 37:38 and considering my training, I was very pleased with that.  I would have liked to have finished in 32 minutes, but did not have a 9 minute pace in me.  I took on Gatorade at the first aid station and water at the second aid station.

I blasted through transition the final time and it took me 1:18 to dash down to the official finish in 1:59:03.  I was 147/257 Overall, 92/126 Men and 26/29 Men 40-44 in the Swim-Bike-Run division.  I was mentally targeting a 1:50-1:55 finish and felt like I left 95% of it out on the course.  I might have been able to shave a couple of minutes, but really enjoyed myself and was happy to have a tri on the books for 2015.

Post race it was fun to hang out with the club, grab some food courtesy of Noodles & Company and watch the awards session.  A good friend of mine had his first podium finish and it was really great to see him pick up his award.  I didn’t win anything in the raffle, but it was a great morning for racing.

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