Saturday, September 10, 2022

2022 Littlefoot Triathlon

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Water Temp - 70 degrees
Air Temp - 50 degrees (overcast and drizzling)

Bib 224
13/17 (50-54 year old male)
147/166 (all men)
216/261 (overall)
750m swim (22:07)
T1 (3:29)
15K Bike (43:15)
T2 (2:34)
5K Run (37:39)

This week I did 3 Crossfit workouts and took the day off Friday before the race.  
Last swim was 8/31 (10 days)
Last bike was 8/13 (28 days)
Last run was 8/27 (14 days)

I ate light the night before the race and slept reasonably well.  I woke up a few times anticipating my 5 AM alarm, but felt rested.  I took my daily meds, had a donut hole and started loading the car.  I had a good bowel movement, but still opted for an Imodium.  It was a cold, foggy morning.  I wore my running shoes, sweatpants, ATC track jacket and a baseball cap.  I arrived at the venue around 6 AM and grabbed my race packet and t-shirt.  I started setting up transition around 6:20 AM and had plenty of time.  I urinated around 6:40 AM.  I kept most of my stuff covered as it was raining.  I had some fun chatting with the other racers and spectators.

Around 6:50 AM, I donned my wetsuit and got body marked.  It would have been nice to have disposable flip flops and sweatshirt, but I was otherwise fine.  Race briefing was at 7:10 AM and the first wave left at 7:15 AM.  There was a long gap between wave 1 and wave 2.  I was in wave 3 took off at 7:35 AM (about 10 minutes later than planned).

Water was nice and warm, but the overcast conditions did not do my goggles any favors.  I would have preferred clears.  Sighting was OK on the orange buoys, but more difficult on the lime green bouys.  I felt smooth and confident and did not get bumped nor did I jostle others.  I have added Tyr Nest Pro Goggles with blue lenses to my wish list.

Transition 1 was good.  I got in OK, put on helmet and sunglasses (orange tint) and then smart wool socks and shoes with Pearl Izumi toe caps.  I zipped up my windbreaker and then secured my Excel full finger gloves.

The bike was cold.  I would have liked to layer up more, but did not have any good ideas.  Maybe knee sleeves and warmer gloves.  Maybe I should have put on the skull cap.  The course was wet and chilly and I coasted the ride.  I did drop a chain at the first out and back, but put it back on quickly and without fuss.  I am surprised that my Garmin pace was 12.3 mph.  I was very comfortable with the course which was out and back in one direction and then out and back the other direction.

Transition 2 seemed fast, but wasn't really.  I parked my bike and removed helmet.  I donned my visor, took off my gloves, swapped shoes and grabbed my race belt.  I grabbed my gloves on the way out, put on my sunglasses and left transition.  I urinated before getting on the run course.

The run was a plod.  It felt like my shoes were really pounding the pavement, kind of as if I were running in dress shoes.  I started to loosen up around mile 0.5 and then kept up a steady 12 minute mile.  It was an out and back on a familiar concrete path.

I took a few minutes to collect myself and then gathered up my bike and loaded everything in the car.  I changed back into sweats and a jacket before going back for food and checking on awards and raffle prizes.  It would have been nice to have a dry knit cap and warmer gloves.  Campus Cycles was a no show, but they may have still given a bicycle away.

The volunteers were great and the Mustang Cadet chapter of the Civil Air Patrol was on hand as course marshals.  The pancake breakfast really hit the spot.  All in all a very fun Racing Underground Event.

This was my first race using my Garmin Fenix 6.  I set up triathlon mode the night before, but would forget to hit the lap button between events.

Mike Ricci won the M50-54 category in 1:10:22 (14:16 swim, 0:53 T1, 28:31 bike, 0:47 T2, 25:23 run).

Overall I had a great race.  I trained consistently all summer and felt good to finish a sprint triathlon.  I was not prepared for the weather and typically will not train in cold and drizzly conditions.  I will be careful signing up for late season events.  This is not hugely unusual for September, but felt unusual.  I am glad it was wet suit legal.

This marked my triumphant return to racing after a 7 year hiatus.  My last event was the My Way or the Tri Way 8/30/2015.  I became very interested in Crossfit in 2015 and planned a race calendar for 2016, but then bagged it.  In 2017 I was laid off and working in the oilfields through 2018.  2019 was marked by a 5K and a mountain bike relay race.  2020 and 2021 were "pandemic" years and I did not even consider racing.  2022 allowed me plenty of time to train and enjoy Crossfit, scuba, tennis, golf and archery.

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