Monday, June 25, 2012

Race Report: Kal R.A.T.S. Sprint Triathlon (Matt)

Racing in Vernon last weekend resulted in some nagging disappointments, which was the main reason for signing up for another race this weekend - I wanted to fix the the issues while they were still fresh. To start with, it was the first open water race of the year, and I was not prepared. I started right in the middle of the pack, and after three or four elbows and kicks to the face, I was definitely thrown off my game, and spent awhile getting out to the edge of the course to find some open water. I never really got my rhythm back after that, and came in from the swim pretty slowly.

This put me in an awkward position, since I passed all of the people around me going up the first hill, but was way behind the main pack. I usually do best when I can chase down person after person ahead of me, and this race I ended up riding solo with no one in sight from about kilometer 3 onwards. So I was lacking in motivation - not that that is a good excuse, but I didn't put much effort into the bike leg, and the results showed it.

So two things to fix:
1) Don't get trampled in the water.
2) Ride harder.

This weekend, I was ready for swim and was completely comfortable elbowing all of these strangers / enemies right in the face. It was great. Felt very liberating.

Only sort of kidding.


I ended up coming out of the water feeling pretty good, in about my usual placing these days - at 48th place coming out of the first transition, I was about one third down the field of 140 or so.  This is good for me.  Like 33% faster than last year good.


The bike ride went really well also.  I had done a trial run of the course on Friday afternoon, and took one planned and one unplanned break as I rode it, coming in at 30:00 minutes flat (riding time).  Today I had no breaks, and arguably time lost running to and from transition, and came in at 30:17, for an eighth place finish overall on the bike leg.  Very satisfied with that, and it moved me up 30 places, to 18th.


I gave away five places in transition dealing with a few issues that I will correct for next race (this is why we have signed up for all of these races this year.  Every race you learn at least three new things.), and headed out to the run course.  At this point I was rationally hoping to make it halfway, based on last weekend, and irrationally hoping that the Superfeet I had put in my shoes would be a magic fix and I would win the whole thing outright.

I made it about 950 meters before both of my knees flared up.  "[unprintable in this blog] frustrated" doesn't really describe my emotions at this stage, but is a good start.

The rest was a run-walk.  I think this is the worst thing I have ever experienced in competition.  Just awful.  All of these people passing you.  All of them trying to be friendly and helpful.  I wished I had an "I'm walking on purpose" sign.  Just drives me mad.  I got:

"Come on young buck, you can do this"

"All downhill from here, why don't you give it a jog in?"

"Don't let me catch you.  I'm coming up behind you.  You got this.  Don't let me catch you" from some [unprintable in this blog].

"You know, if you just slowed down your run pace a bit, you wouldn't have to take so many breaks" from a 16 year old.

THREE separate pats on the back.

I hate nice people.  How dare they be helpful and encouraging when I am trying to be wallow in my own misery.

(3rd for my age group - 51st overall)

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