Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Swim St. Anthony's Triathlon/Duathlon

St. Anthony's Triathlon
1500 Meter Swim/40K Bike/10K Run
April 26, 2009
St. Petersburg, FL
Race Director: Philip LaHaye
Timing and Scoring: Alta Vista Sports

With a time of 1:55.18 I was 57th of 223 in my age group and 480 of 3556 finishers.

57 480 588 Chad Pilster 32 Deland FL 1:55:18 1:03 34 1:04:41 23.1 1:36 83 47:59 7:44

For the first time in the 26 year history of St. Anthony's the water was too rough to hold the swim. I'm sure some other factors played on it like three years ago there was a death in water that was also as rough. Also a recent report came out citing 13 of 14 deaths over a 2 year period in triathlon were during the swim.

They made it a bike and then run. You start at the end of the swim and run to your bike with whatever gear you want (Helmet, glasses, shoes, etc) and then run it out of transition.

I am not a strong runner, and it has been a rough and inconsistent training season up to this point. When you take out the swim my chances of being competitive for the top spots drop significantly.

There were a few positives this weekend.

Even though my times were very close to the previous year I felt strong. I don't remember feeling this strong last year, and maybe some of it comes from experience.

I had a chance to see the pros come out of the water. Usually I would be in the water at the same time that they are, but instead we waited by the end of the swim. It was the first time I've been able to watch the pros except when I pass them in the opposite direction on the course.

I had a chance to work on sprinting to my bike. Usually when I get out of the water I'm dizzy and it takes me a while to figure out if I'm even running straight. Without this, I was able to get my legs moving in the hundred yard dash mode. The scary thing is that I had my helmet and glasses on (I nixed the shoes because I felt I could run faster without them), and some of the pros who did swim had a faster transition time than me. I wish I had a chance to watch how they do this, but with 6000 people crammed into a tiny area, there was a wall between where I was standing to watch them come out of the water and the transition area.

Maybe I'll do 200m interval days where I sprint to my bike and throw on my shoes and then sprint another 200m with my bike.

My good friend Sara McLarty rocked the pro womens' field! She was first out of the water (no surprise), fastest on the bike, and then lost first by a measly 23 seconds and second by 6 seconds during a sprint finish. I saw her when I started my run and she was in second place, and I thought she had it. I can't wait to see her pull off a few upsets this year!

I qualified for the USAT Regional Championships by being within the top 33% of my age group. (I was at 25%) Although I am unsure if it will count since there was no swim.

Once I was on the bike it only took me a little bit to recover from the sprint, but I started moving pretty good. My bike time was 18 seconds slower than last year, but I would guess the wind was gusting up to 25mph. I don't know if I can attribute this to no swim before the bike, but I definitely would of been faster with no wind and that's a good thing.

During the ride I did a lot of passing. The roads were nice and open, most of the time, so passing was easy. About half way in I got a tail. Someone decided to draft off of me. Whenever he saw a USAT official, he would go wide like he was getting ready to pass, but rarely did. When he was in front he offered to let me jump on, but I dropped the three bike lengths back until I had the energy to pass him. He sat back there for a good 20 minutes until someone actually passed me. He jumped on their tail. This must of burned him out, because he dropped off of him and he didn't jump back onto my tail for the rest of the race.

My transition went much smoother than last year. I was off my bike without falling and into the transition area. I was a little sloppy through transition, so once again this is an area to work on. Maybe I'll set up a transition area by the TV and work on it while watching a movie.

Once I got out to the run I was feeling good. I held back my pace a little bit, because I knew I had 6 miles to go. At a couple points I thought about pushing my pace, but my legs would feel like they were starting to cramp in both the quads and the hamstring. I found a pace where I didn't have issues with this, but at some points I had to slow down more than I wanted to. I took my hydration, Gatorade and my nutrition and I still cramped up.

This has happened to me in almost every Olympic distance race I've run in. I was thinking it was the swim because I had trouble repeating it in training, but I was able to repeat it with the run and the bike. I believe that it may be my road bike setup. Now that I know I can mimick it with bricks I am going to try and train better for it.

Overall it was a good training day anda it told me that I am probably just a little bit ahead of where I was last year. I would probably be more upset with this if my training had been more consistent. Now I need to pick a couple more races to focus on this year, keep my training more consistent and do better!

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