Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Miami Triathlon - Fall 2011 Results

The FALL2011 Little Miami Triathlon on October 2nd was a great time! The temperature turned out to be PERFECT! It was 38 degrees when I arrived but 48 degrees by the start so I just wore my tri shorts and Jersey with a long sleeve shirt underneath and I was fine. It was probably still only 53 degrees by the finish.

This year we had 1 team participate:
Dave (brother) and I were DOS GEMELOS which means two twins in Spanish.

But Dave S. was sick so Dave D. stepped in and canoed with me which was awesome!

Meanwhile Molly (sister-in-law) and was there as the ATHLETIC SUPPORTER and my parents were tracking my GPS online. Meghan was home being pregnant. :)

"Hey Apple Jacks - Are you the guy with the blog?" - YES I AM!
For the second Little Miami Triathlon in a row someone recognized my Apple Jack Jersey and said they had used my blog to help prepare for their first Little Miami Triathlon. I guess I will have to keep racing in the Apple Jacks Jersey. Blog: Tips & Tricks blog for the Little Miami Triathlon.

On to the results: PERSONAL RECORD!
After figuring out how to run the Little Miami Triathlon I was stuck in the 3:30 range. The 3:28 was before the "cobbles" were added to the bike course so I consider them to be equivalent. I finally broke through and though it doesn't seem like a huge difference - after 3 triathlons where I couldn't find a few extra minutes this was definitely my best finish and by far my best percentile finish (by about 10 percentage points).

Canoeing ~6mi [60 min, +1 mins from last FALL]
Dave D and I were in an interesting canoe heat. There were a number of teams with the fiberglass canoes as they were in the "masters" division so they seemed to have much faster canoes than our huge metal canoe. This led to a lot more traffic initially and in general the water seemed slow.

It was perfect weather for canoeing and we had a great time. I was very appreciative of Dave to step in at the last minute and help me set my Personal Record in the triathlon. I only drank one water bottle on the canoe but ran with the other and finished it after a few miles which worked out well.

In the personal record department - it was my 5th Triathlon in a row getting the "inside lane" for the canoe start which is tough to do every time!
Molly got a great pic of us from the bridge!

Running ~5mi [63 min, +2 mins from last FALL]
The run was great. With the cool weather I felt good and my heart rate was fine.I know it says I was 2 minutes slower from last fall but that was also the year I ran the half marathon so I think my running was in better shape then. I was 2 minutes faster than this spring which was hot.

Killer Hill + Transition ~0.5mi [11 min, -2 min from last FALL]
I think the cool weather helped me feel great on the hill too. I was blindly following some people ahead of me and we took a wrong turn on the hill and had to backtrack, but otherwise I felt the best I ever had at the top and didn't need any time to recover before getting on the bike.

It seems no matter how I slice it - I end up getting on my bike with 1 hour and 15mins to go to beat my PR and it usually takes me 1:15 to bike - so I was in the exact same place here as I have been in my 3 previous triathlons. It all came down to the bike.

Biking ~18mi [71 min, -6 mins from last FALL]
At one point I realized how slow the first mile is of this triathlon. You have to bike uphill through the Fort Ancient Park traffic and I tended to go slower than most other miles of the biking. This time I decided to just go as fast as I could for as long as I could from the very start. Since this summer my mantra for biking has been "You can bike faster than you think" which came from Cousin Christopher as we were talking about biking. I think it's true - people often get faster by biking with a group of "faster" bikers not just because they are training but because they train themselves to expect to be going faster in your natural biking state. If you aren't paying attention and just biking - you have to set your status quo speed to a higher setpoint to improve and the funny thing is you really can bike faster than you think.

I thought the weather was great and I felt really good on the bike. It was a bit windy as usual but I would say it was in a favorable direction compared to some other years. I didn't really have any cramping issues - I only had to stop pedaling a few times but no major cramps like some previous years. I did pass a few people walking their bike up the hill over the highway which is one of the toughest spots. I again saw some poor guy wipe out and be covered in blood all over his face on the transition from the paved road to the tar and pitch "cobbles". Don't worry - he was receiving medical attention when I passed and he looked to be in good shape and standing besides being scraped up.

The "cobbles" - tar and pitch road surface.
I think I only drank one of my water bottles on my bike and I was fine - the cool weather made it easy.

I was counting down the miles and checking my personal best time and it was close every split. I wasn't sure when I hit the finish how close I was but I thought I had a good chance to beat my time. I felt great when I finished and had a meaningful improvement (finally) in my time. It was so hard to get these minutes that I think in order to take more time off have to dramatically improve my running AND biking - which will be my longer term goal in this triathlon.

Anatomy of a 6 minute bike improvement:

Well - it was another great triathlon and I look forward to breaking my PR (Personal Record) in the Spring!
If you read this blog to this point you must be interested enough to try it in the Spring of 2012!


David Dow said...

It was awesome being out there with you, Tom! I've canoed my entire life, but I've never competed in a race. I'm so glad that my first time being in a canoe with you was on your way to a new personal record- congratulations!

Dave D

Ivette said...

I love the picture from the bridge so much!

bbistor said...

Did you race the LMT Spring 2012 and/or Fall 2012? How did you finish?

Tom said...

bbistor - sorry I was late with the post (but it's up here I competed in the Spring 2012 but missed the Fall 2012 Little Miami triathlon. I'll be back in the Spring of 2013!