Sunday, July 12, 2009

Today was the Journey for Joann, which looks like its going to be a perennial race day event for a few of us in our little group. I did this race with Lou and Alex last year, and for 2009, Mike decided to jump into the action was well.

First, the results:

Swim: 11:32 for 1/4 mile. Its the exact same time I posted up last year, down to the second.

First Run (3/4 mile): 4:35-ish (I left my Garmin on through the first transition, and I figure I was in there for about 30 or 40 seconds).

Bike (9.6 miles): 28:57 for 9.6 miles.

Last Run (5k): 26 minutes-ish (I kept my Garmin on after I finished, so it read 27 minutes and some change)

Overall, I clocked 1:13:08 time. That time put me in 15th overall out of 50 finishers.

There's some interesting metrics that can be observed, comparing this year's results to last year's results. Firstly, I shaved more then three minutes off my overall time. Let's break that down by event:

First Run: I ran this leg of this year's race a little slower then last year, give or take a couple of seconds. My Garmin sports watch allows me to break out the split times for each event, but I didnt start the "new"split until I was completely out of the first transition. I dont think I was in there for more then 30 seconds. The Garmin says I ran the first run in 5:43; deduct 30 or 40 seconds from that and that puts me at a 5:00 time.

The Bike: My training log from last year says I did this portion of the race in 31:08, at a average speed of 18.58 mph. This year, I killed that number with a 28:57 and bumped my average speed up to 19.6 mph!! I think the time is also a good 30-40 seconds long, because I didnt start the "new" split for the last run until I left the bike transition. So, my bike time is probably closer to the low 28 minute range. Assuming I did keep it in the low 28's, I think I might have broken 20 mph average speed. FYI, a graph of the bike course is below. As you can see, its not exactly flat

The last run: This year, the Garmin said the course was long -3.25 miles. Last year, it had me at 3.14. So, to keep things even, if I just look at average pace, in 2008, I logged an 8:36 (min/mile) pace. This year, I logged an 8:23 min/ mile.

So, in summary. I broke even on the swim. I killed the bike. I killed the run.

The funny thing is, I didnt have a lot of bike training going into this race. I have been spinning alot, mountain biking here and there, but last year, I had alot of dedicated road miles in on the old Fuji Tri bike. So why did I do better? Well, the bike I used this year - Tim's carbon Klein - is a huge upgrade on the bike from what I used last year - the Fuji TT bike. The Fuji climbed like a lead weight, which is typical of most tri-specific bikes. The Klein climbs and accelerates like a dream. If I ever splurge and get a road bike again, I will definitely go with carbon. But the equipment only gets you so far - its the engine that matters, and the fact is that I did not have anywhere near the bike training going into this year's race, relative to what I had last year.

Running: I have to admit I felt like poop for the first run. I ran it 30 seconds slower then last year. But, I ran the second run faster and I felt better as the race went on. Why? No speedwork. My legs werent conditioned for an all out blitz, but, I have been doing enough longer-ish running that benefited me for the last 5k.

The fact of the matter is that I dropped three minutes off my time, and I dont care how I got there :)

I have to mention something about the swim. I had exactly two swim workouts prior to today's race. Thats two more than I had going into last year's race, and my time was exactly the same for 2008 and 2009. So, if and when I decided to do this again next year, I can either a) train and try to better my swim time or b) dont train, swim in 11 minutes, and devote more training time to the bike and the run

Also, friggen Mike did some kind of half-assed doggy paddle/ freestyle/ frogleg breast stroke thing in the pool, and he beat me by 30 seconds!!! This is an outrage!!! I took a ride to Delaware on Thursday morning to train with him down at his YMCA. I did ten lengths in the water in the same time it took him to do six!!! I smell a conspiracy!! I demand an immediate investigation!! There is collusion at the highest level!!! This is an abomination!!!!

After the race was over, I wanted to challenge him to a one-on-one swim-off in the pool. Mark my words, there was some kind of tom foolery going on today, and next year, I am going to be watching the people timing the swim very closely. Very, very closely....

When it was all said and done, Mike, Lou and I came within a minute (or so) of each other's time. Mike would have really smoked me if he decided not to stop and have a sandwich in the second transition, given how time he had put between us on the bike leg. He passed me at the top on the bottom half of the third lap of the bike course. He must have put at least 45 seconds of time between us going into the transition. Upon my arrival into T2, I see him sitting on the ground fumbling with his shoes. At first, I had thought he hurt himself. Ok, so he wasnt really eating a sandwich but the point is that he took a long time to change his shoes and put on his dress. I mean running shoes. All along the last run, I could see him about 60 or 70 yards ahead of me, but I could never close the distance. As the run progressed, he, like me, was getting faster.

Surprisingly, Lou never passed me on the bike. We ran the first run dead even. We got into the first transition at the same time, and I was out first, but I am not sure by how much. So, Mike killed the both of us on the bike. And if he hadnt cheated on the swim (conspiracy I say!!!) he would have blown us out of the water in the overall results.

Mike took 2nd in the age group. Lou and I came in 4th and 5th respectively. Alex took 2nd in his age group with a 1:20:17 time. I think we all won a door prize - I got some kind of canvas bag that I will add to my collection of bags I use for dirty gym clothes. I really had my heart set on a tea pot gift basket that was donated by one of local stores. I would have taken that tea pot home and filled it with beer.

Pics are coming shortly.....

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