I slept very poorly at the Super 8 on a bed that could have just as well been a board, and probably some to do with anxiousness for the race. I was up and had some oatmeal for breakfast along with my First Endurance Optygen, like I do every morning. I loaded up a few bottles of other First Endurance products. One had a serving of EFS Grape and Pre-Race for before the race and another had EFS Grape for the bike. One final bottle had a serving of Cappuiccinno Ultragen for my post race recovery drink, but this remained unmixed for the time being. We made the 45 minute drive to Sioux Center and got there right at 7AM for packet pick-up and transition opening.
The numbers were assigned somewhat by your seeded swim time. They started with the 20 slowest swimmers, and then moved to the teams, and then finally into the individuals, fastest to slowest. I was number 62 with my 4:15 estimated time.
300 Yard pool swim - This pool swim was a bit different than I have done before. There was a single point of entry, where they plug in your number and then directed you to a lane. It was a 6 lane, 25 yard pool, so it would be a total of 6 laps or 12 lengths. Unfortunately your time from the mat to water entry would depend what lane they assigned you to. There would be 2 swimmers per lane, rather than the initial serpentine swim they have done in years past. I got sent to lane 5 and got in and started off well. I knew I was faster than my estimated pace especially the first lap or two. There was a guy who got sent to the lane next to me who started off very fast, and I could not tell if he was moving really fast or if I had slowed that much. I figured out that he had just started and slowed after the first couple of laps. I got out of the water and the Garmin said 4:07 as I hit the transition mat.
I have been using my TYR Nest Pro goggles recently and absolutely love them. They have never once leaked water, even with some really strong push offs from the wall.
Garmin: 4:07 (hit this a bit late after I had gotten into the pool, so even adding 20 seconds seems a bit much)
Chip: 4:55 (10th Overall) - Not sure how this is possible, but all swim times look to be a bit long
Goal: Met - Calling this met, although the chip time says otherwise, I am not sure it is really accurate of the real time.
The first transition is a bit odd, I am not sure from what point it measured. My thoughts are that it was from the mat right out of the pool, but my chip swim time seems much longer than what the Garmin said. From the pool, you had to run on the carpets out of the pool area, then along the back of a building, into the ice hockey part of the building, then back inside into the transition area. I can see based on transition time that it was measured from the first mat. There was also a mat that was on the entry to the bike area, but I am not sure how it was being used.
For my first transition of the year, it went very well. I had my goggles off easily by the time I got to my bike since it was quite a run, I quickly put on my sunglasses, helmet, and bike shoes and trotted out of transition with my bike. Unfortunately with the assigned transition spot, I was on the far side which makes it easy to locate my bike, but I had to double back on about a 150 degree turn to get out of the racks. Not ideal, but you take what you are given. I headed out and went across the exit mat.
Chip: Added into bike time... lame...
Goal: Met - Good pacing, great effort despite odd navigation
Time to bust out the Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL for the race. I decided to stick with the HED Stinger 9s and disc cover because the wind was not too strong. I think it was probably something like a 10 MPH wind with some gusts around 13 or so, so it was manageable with the deeper wheels! The 25k bike course was shaped like J. We headed east from the All Seasons Center and a quick right to head south to the county road. The wind was somewhat from the North/Northwest so heading south was fast! I was only on that stretch a few minutes before getting on a county road for a brief section before heading north on another county road. The turns were well staffed, and I was moving well although the field was rather thin of people. I did have one encounter with a semi going all of 50 MPH that hit me with a gust of wind that nearly threw me for a loop! I kept the rubber on the road and made it to my final out turn. The course was not terribly hilly, but was rolling with only a few longer flats to put it down. Once we started north, I could feel the wind and some of the hills required a pretty strong effort, but I never left the big ring up front.
As I headed north, I was picking people off, some were either teams or the first 20 swimmers. I did pass a few people with numbers very close to me, but the way the swim start was staggered, it was hard to judge how far "behind" you actually were. I started seeing a few people around the turn around and hit the 180 degree middle of the road turn around. I am not normally real good at judging these, but today it went well. As I headed back south, I was flying. There were multiple times I was in a 50/11or12 and moving like crazy. I would occasionally take some of my EFS Drink on the bike and made some good passes while heading south.
As we headed back west, you could feel the wind and immediately into a hill. Nothing terribly eventful on the rest of the trip back. I managed to hold 245 watts for the ride. There were some times I felt like I was working like crazy and only doing 190 watts, and others I was pushing 300 with little to no effort.
I knew my estimated time was going to be slower than my prediction, but I was thrilled with my 245 watts. Exactly what I was shooting for, but the big question is how would it affect my run?
Garmin: 41:45, 8th Overall, 22.9 MPH, 245 Watts
Chip: 42:48 (including T1)
Goal: Hit wattage perfectly, unfortunately my time estimate was a bit off, but no biggy, would rather hit my goal wattage.
I managed to do a flying dismount very well with no real practice and cruised into the area. Again it was not ideally laid out, so I was doubling back a couple of times, but I got my bike racked quickly. I left my shoes on the bike before dismounting so it was a fast transition into my run shoes. I had put my Garmin back on my wrist while on the bike so I did not have to worry about it in transition. I snagged my race belt and headed out of transition, yet again through the 150 degree turn, over the mat and out I went.
Garmin: 54 Seconds - Seems a bit high, but again odd chasing through the transition area
Chip: Figured into the Run
Goal: I felt good, maybe I was a bit slow, but things went well and I did not mess anything up!
5k on a bike trail. I am feeling quick on my feet, and have set a goal to run a sub 20 minute 5k in a tri. Will it be this day? I started off and trusty Garmin lost signal inside during transition, so it took a few seconds to recalibrate when outside again. I knew I always start off fast, but I was not sure how much was from satellites being off and how much was just adrenaline. My legs felt fresh even after pushing the bike, so I just went with it, trying to make sure I was going at a pace I knew was close to what I could hold. I found that to be somewhere around 6:20s (Not the sub 5s I spiked to a few times) The pavement was really good to run on and we had some shade for the first section before running in a field area that was in the sun. Normally I wouldn't make a point about this too much, but I have only seen about 1 day above 70 this year, so running in 75 degrees and sun was a change. I was not sure how the body was going to take it. I made a few passes and quickly found a lot of open space, somewhere to the tune of 1/3 of a mile on the next runner.
I saw one runner on the way back, a quick check of the Garmin said I was about 7:30 into the run, putting me somewhere in my second mile. I must not have been running hard enough, or I am just getting good at working my brain on low oxygen because I was fighting at that point to keep my pace. I was trying to calculate how much ahead of me that guy started, and then my distance to the turn around vs where I was. I ended up figuring I was a few minutes back from their pace, but it motivated me to pick it up. I set my sights on the next person and kept trucking forward.
I have been running in my Avia Bolt IIs and althought I have my Bolt IIIs, I have been using the IIs especially for the race since the new ones are not broken in yet. Again back to weather, I have not been able to run without socks very often, so that was another question in my head, how would my feet hold up, especially only a week before my big Rev3 Knoxville Olympic Race? I had sprayed the insides with some Tri-Slide from SBR Sports to help reduce any friction. I hit the turn around dumped some water over my head and pushed on, finding a couple more people ahead of me to reel in. About 2 miles complete, I saw my lap pace was right in the area of 6:28 give or take, right at a 20 minute 5k. A mile left Jeff... You can do it. It is you vs them, you vs tomorrow, you vs cant, you vs no... If you have not seen the 2011 Versus Commercial, I HIGHLY recommend it! I pushed my body to a place it has not been and knew it was going to be splitting hairs at the very end, maybe even enough that the race clocks may say I am over, but Garmin pace got messed up and deceived me. Push through it anyway. Into the finishers shoot (on grass... one of my only complaints) and across the finish line. Whew... glad that is done.
Chip: 20:35 (Includes T2)
Goal: Met, I am officially calling this my first EVER sub 20 minute 5k. Especially after dropping 245 Watts on the bike, I am thrilled with this!
Overall Time: 1:08:17
Overall Place: 7th
Age Group: 1st due to roll down, 3rd since 1 & 3 OA were in my AG
Rev3 Knoxville Olympic, look for the pre-race report in the next day or two.
After getting home and showering, I did not get all of my numbers scrubbed off before playing 9 holes of golf in the sun. Leaving me with this little gem.