Friday, August 13, 2010

Mountain Man Triathlon Olympic Distance

This past weekend turned out to be a pretty good one despite the rough start to it.  I had planned a long run for Friday morning but only managed to make it a mile before my stomach turned into a knot and forced me to stop and sit for awhile.  So what I hoped would be a great long run turned into a mile run and a mile stagger back home.

Saturday I helped Nathan with a mountain bike ride he organized by being at an aid station.  For my efforts I ended up cooking a lot of bacon for the riders who decided to continue the ride despite the pouring down rain.  Oh how I love the smell of bacon.


With the weather being so terrible on Saturday I was not sure I was going to finish the race on Sunday as I had decided if it was 50 and raining I might just do the swim and be done.  Luckily race morning when I got up there was no rain and the temperature was perfect.

My wave started at 6:40 and I got to the race site around 5 to rack my bike and get my transition area set up.  The organization of the race was not the greatest.  It seemed like nobody there knew any of the rules for racking bikes so people were taking up tons of space and tons of non racers were just getting in the way.  I found a spot in between two people who had 2 full towel widths between their bikes, so I just put my bike it in the middle and there was still plenty of room for everyone, so I thought at least.

The water was a nice 70ish degrees so I was able to use my wet suit.  The swim went pretty well for me, I started out pretty slow as lots of people seemed to be thrashing around at the beginning.  By the time I hit the first buoy I was in a rhythm and felt pretty good.  The first transition went pretty well with my foot only getting somewhat stuck in the wetsuit.

I headed out on the ride.  Luckily for me I know the ride course pretty well as it's one of the only safe roads to bike on up here.  The first 7-8 miles are relatively flat but the last few before the turn around you hit a series of hills that can just kill your speed.  Luckily for me I've had some practice so I made it up them ok but some of the people from lower elevation were definitely gasping for air at the tops of them.  After the turnaround it's a fast ride back to transition as with the downhill you don't have to work very hard at all.  I felt pretty good on the bike but there were still a few women who blew by me so I know I need to work on my biking a lot more.

 After the bike I started the run.  With the stomach issues I had on Friday morning I wasn't sure what to expect so I started out pretty slow for the first mile.  I was feeling pretty good so as the run went on, I started to increase my speed.  At around 1.5 miles the hill began, you gain 400 feet in a mile.  Luckily I had been doing lots of uphill trail running so it didn't feel that bad.  After the hill there was a bit of flat before the turnaround and at that point I felt pretty good so I decided I was just going to go all out for the second half of the run.  I flew down the hill and when I hit the flat road again with 1.5 miles to go I just kept the pace up and ended up picking off a lot of people.  Best part was of course out sprinting a guy at the end, he thought he had me but he was wrong.  As he pulled even to me I took off for the last 10-15 seconds and victory was mine, see photo below.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the race.  I didn't taper at all and had some hard hill and trail runs the week before and I still felt great.  I was also really excited by my run time as I feel like I'm finally starting to get my speed back which is exciting.  All in all a great day for a race, and I hope to be much faster next year.  After my next big race, Trans Rockies 3 day run which starts next weekend, I plan to focus mostly on biking for Sept and Oct as I feel my running is in a good place.

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