Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kure Beach Double Sprint Results and Reflections

Race #3 completed this morning. I was up at 4:30 to load the car and get some oatmeal and coffee down before leaving. I got to KB just before 6, got my timing chip and marked (they write your bib number on your arms and legs), and headed to the bike transition area for tech support. Tech support was the usual pumping up tires. It's sort of amazing to me that triathletes aren't generally more bike savvy. I'm no genius, but I can pump up a tire. I was on the beach by 7:45 to set up my beach transition area before the 8 am start time. This race is unusual in that there are two transition areas rather than one. The beach TA is used for transitioning from the swim to run, and then back from run to swim at the end of the race. There I place a bucket of water to rinse my feet, my running shoes, and socks. The bike TA just housed my bike and helmet. I didn't get really nervous until right before the race, which went like this:

Swim 1 (375 meters): The water temp is a very comfortable 80 degrees. The wind wasn't bad, and the Frying Pan Shoals buoy predicted 2' at 7 secs, so I planned on decent swim conditions. Despite this, there was a fair amount of chop on the water, and the waves were 2-3'. I still had my best race swim yet though. I was in the second wave, which started at 8:04. My coworker Covi and I stood at the back of the pack to avoid being run over by better athletes. At the buzzer we all ran out into the water and started pushing through until it was about waist deep, which was a bit out. I think there was a little bit of a rip, because before I knew it I was rounding the first buoy. I still sidestroked a lot, but there was more crawling than previously, so that's good. I eventually made it back onto the beach, where I dragged my ass through the soft sand to the TA, dropped my swim cap and goggles in my water bucket to await my return, and put on my running shoes.

Run 1 (1.5 miles): I'm a slow runner, especially after a swim. My legs felt like dead weight. It got better the further along I went. There were lots of nice folks standing on their lawns (the run went through a residential area) cheering us on and spraying hoses into the street for anyone who wanted to cool off. It was a very hot run. Volunteers did a good job distributing water at 3 or 4 points on the run course. Covi and I ran the last half mile or so together. Arrived at bike TA and slapped my helmet on.

Bike (20k or 12 miles): The bike course was almost perfectly flat and smooth and very fast. It ran out and back in 3 mile legs, and so was done twice to get in the full 12 miles. Heading out there was a little headwind, but not bad. Covi and I jockeyed for position. A lot of people passed me. I drank my bottle with electrolyte replacement and snacked on GU Chomps. Overall the bike went pretty well, but there isn't a lot to say about it. I checked my computer when I got home and I averaged 19 mph (its probably a little higher because my ride to and from the TA and any walking around with the bike is included in that average). The bike is still my favorite part. Into the TA, racked the bike and stowed my helmet.

Run 2 (1.5 miles): Out of the TA and back to the water the way we came originally. Not far into this run I had to stop and stretch my legs for a minute, which wasn't good for the rest of my race. Second run was hotter, because the sun climbed higher while I was biking, and there wasn't much breeze in that neighborhood. Finally got back to the beach, stripped the shoes and socks and picked up my cap and goggles, which I put on as I ran up the beach to the swim start (about 250 yards on soft sand, brutal).

Swim 2 (375 meters): I kept telling myself that the last swim would go fine, and mostly it did. It felt sooo good to get in the cool water. Once again I was around the first buoy in no time at all. I sidestroked very little this time, I think because my nerves were settled and I was almost done. Usually the swim is first and I think I get psyched out by the fact that I'm racing and swimming in the ocean. This time I relaxed and just freestyled along at a comfortable pace, breathing every other stroke and checking my heading every now and then. I felt cramps looming in my legs, so I trying not to use them too much. They set in after I rounded the second buoy and turned towards shore. At first it hurt a lot, but it didn't really matter because part of my swim training has been with a float in the pool so that I don't use my legs at all and I use my upper body to pull through the water. But when I got to where I could put my feet down I did so because I was exhausted, which exacerbated the cramps. I bodysurfed in as much as I could, but I had to run up the beach about 20' to the finish line, which was very hard and very painful because my thighs were locked up in a continuous cramp. Still, I managed across and just got out of the way and started rubbing the muscles to relax them. I hobbled over to a water table and sat down and kept massaging my thighs and drinking water until I could walk.

Then I was done. I got my stuff and packed up and drove home.

Swim 1 (375 meters): 11:00
Run 1 (1.5 miles): 15:11
Bike (20k or 12 miles): 36:14
Run 2 (1.5 miles): 16:33
Swim 2 (375 meters): 13:46
Total Time: 1:32:42
Place Overall Men's: 229/289
Place Men 30-34: 32/33
Still not last in my age group! Not the improvement I was hoping for, but that's ok. TRAIN HARDER. This may have been my last tri for this year. We're moving to FL in August. So now I'll go into a long term training mode, and hopefully by the time I pick it back up again I'll have something to show for it. Either way I'm having fun and getting fit.


  1. Josh, you run past our house. We got home from surfing the north end about the time they were picking the cones up.

  2. I thought about you guys, but I was in my headspace and I just followed the instructions of volunteers, so I wasn't fully aware of where we were running. How was the NE? Your pier was pretty choppy, which I observed from the most intimate way possible by swimming twice just N of it.