Monday, August 1, 2011

Jason Ross, Tri-Waco Recap

Green Member:  Jason Ross    


Event: Tri-Waco Sprint (400m o.w.s.; 12.8 mi bike; 3.6 mi run)


Location:  Waco, TX

Class (yours):  M 35-39

Results:  1:11:18, 3rd Age Group, and 21st overall. 


Local Knowledge and Conditions:  None.  First time to do this race.  It was VERY WELL run, and the City of Waco puts a lot into the race.  I HIGHLY recommend going to Waco in 2012 and at least doing the Sprint, if not the Olympic.  The Oly run course has the same first mile and last 2 miles as the Sprint, but adds a 3 mile loop in the middle miles with steep hills through Cameron park that dramatically alters the run.  If you go, reserve a room in the host Hilton as early as possible.  You literally walk out the back door and into transition.  On race day, it was hot.  Water in the mighty Brazos River was 90 degrees and swampy.  Not much current.  T1 is long due to the distance up to Transition from the River area.  Bike course is pretty dang flat, with possibly a false flat on one stretch, but no hills whatsoever.  Can get a little windy, and it will hit you from every direction at some point on this out and back curved course.  The 1st half of the run course is great, slightly downwind and very shaded.  The 2nd half of the run course seems like it goes on forever, and is completely exposed to full sun and at least a cross-wind.       


Pre-Race Strategy & Warm Up:  Just go have fun and use this as a baseline before I start training for US Open.   

Psychology: Try to swim strong with good lines, lay down the law on the bike, and see what's left on the run. 


Race break down: 

Swim-  8:22 (400m)

Bike-  31:31 (12.8 mi; 23.7 mph)

Run-  27:51 (3.6 mi; 8:11/mi)


Felt like I had a great swim and stayed on good lines, so I was stunned to see 8:00 on my watch when I climbed out of the river.  The swim seemed very slow for everyone.  Perhaps it was just due to the warmth of the water.  Course certainly didn't look long, but everyone had slow swim times.  Our wave was the 3rd wave to hit the water, so there was some traffic in the water and on the bike course.  (I never understand why some races start the fastest AGs behind slower AGs.)  I was pleased with a strong bike split, which was only 10 seconds behind the overall race winner's split (his was the fastest split, and mine was 2d or 3d fastest overall).  I apparently came off the bike with about a 2 minute lead in the AG, which I lost just past mile 2 marker to Barry Brooks, who took our AG to the house!  At that point, my dang shoes weighed about 5 pounds each due to my natural excessive sweating, and dumping too much water on myself, and I was starting to blister badly.  Hobbled the last mile and unfortunately got passed very late, which slid me into 3rd


Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned):  This was the first time to race in the new ProSoap kits.  They performed very well, on a short course at least.  Since I'm a massive sweater, I may consider wearing socks in even a sprint when it is this hot/humid to avoid blistering.  Consider whether the few seconds of putting socks on will save more time than that on the run, and make for a less miserable experience.  My pace/mile went way south once the blistering hit.  Also, be careful how much water you pour on you during the run to avoid shoes filling up.   

Future Goals (include skills executed well and skills needing improvement):  Will definitely go back to Waco!  Great venue, and great race support. 


Fitness (endurance, nutrition, hydration): I had not run much at all in the past 3 months, due to vacation and a focus on a cycling event in Colorado.  It showed late in the run.  And I literally had to reassemble my tri bike the week of the race, as I hadn't touched the tri bike since it was shipped back from St George IM 10 weeks prior! 


Something funny that happened:  Some Baylor-tri-shorts wearing college age dude was drafting behind a girl like this was a NASCAR event. When I passed him at a considerably faster speed, I told him to knock it off and I received a loud "thank you" from the girl whose wheel he'd been sucking for who knows how long.  As I'm leaving T2, I see this same dude literally run with his bike all the way through transition and go out the T2 exit with his bike.  The volunteers are yelling at this guy like, "hey, go back to Transition and leave your bike."  He ignores them and then darts off the run course for a nearby tree.  Apparently he was racing Tri-Waco as a "bandit" racer and had his own little transition area under the tree.  Ah, those starving college kids…

Monday, July 11, 2011

Race Recap - Peter Barnard @ Iron Brothers Sprint for Team ProSoap!

Green member: Peter Barnard

Event: Iron Brothers Sprint (500 ms/19 miles/5K)

Location : Joe Pool Lake, Grand Prairie

Class : 45-49

Results : 1st place age group, 14th overall

Local knowledge and conditions : A little breezy, a little chop in the water.......not as hot as I'd expected

Pre-race strategy : Get warmed up, swim hard to the first turn and then settle into a strong pace. Continue to push through the bike keeping an eye on my heart rate so as not to blow up when I started to run. Have run into overheating issues in the past and have been working on getting over that particular handicap.

Swim 9:45  
Bike: 51:42 (22.1 mph average) 
Run: 22:18 (7:09 splits)  

Review: Felt strong throughout the swim, have actually been doing more strength training which has definitely helped. Settled onto the bike and just tried to keep my power reading within the planned range. The wind was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be and was able to stay on pace without feeling like I was having to work too hard. I knew there was one guy chasing me on the bike and so I pushed it a little harder on the final return leg of the bike. Transitioned to the run and was able to settle into a good pace within the first 200 metres, have made a point of shortening my stride and increasing my leg turnover which has definitely helped make my run more efficient. My only issue was an energy drop right at mile 2 of the run, a friendly reminder that once you go over an hour in racing nutrition becomes an issue and it's necessary to make sure you are fueled.

Thoughts: Only that I really love this long term goal is still to qualify for Kona even if it takes the next 30 years to do so. I have calculated that by the age of 80 it won't be so much a case of beating other racers as simply finishing under 17 hours. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Peter Barnard - Race Re-cap

Green member: Peter Barnard

Event: Metroplex Sprint Day 1

Location : Joe Pool Lake, Grand Prairie

Class : 45-49

Results : Overall Masters Winner , 12/243

Local knowledge and conditions : I know the course very well so no surprises there, was actually quite happy to see the lake had some chop as that gives the stronger swimmers an added advantage coming out of the water.

Pre-race strategy : Usually warm-up, easy run, 10 minutes in the water and some light stretching

Swim 8:21  Would have been faster but a canoe decided to park itself in between me and one of the buoys forcing me to stop and then go around it
T1: 01:05
Bike: 23.4 mph average
T2: 00.51 (felt really good about that T2, one of the smoothest I've ever executed)
Run: 14:32 (7:16 splits) 

Review: Going out in the last wave I had assumed there would be a little traffic on the back side of the swim course so planned on going hard to the first buoy then swinging a little wide to avoid traffic. Worked well until that bloody canoe decided to park itself in front of me and for whatever reason refused to move as I plowed towards it. I felt good about the swim but the comment shouted to me as I came out of the water by Jack Weiss 'what were you doing out there, having a party?' threw me off at first. Within the first mile I passed a guy on the bike from the same wave start that started me thinking that perhaps my swim had not been as good as I had thought and I started to check ages on every bike I passed. I did not come across anyone else from my wave until the turn around. The guy who had actually led our wave group out of the water was US Navy which I guess explained his swim speed and I caught him at the bike turn around. We swapped places a couple of times before I figured that he did not look like a guy I wanted to have a foot race with so I decided that it was time to push it and see what happened. I was able to open up a good size gap between us and after what I felt was a fast T2 I went on the run with my legs feeling good. I have been spending a lot of time working on my run, shortening my stride and increasing the turnover to create a more efficient run. It seems to be working as I find I am able to go hard without my heart rate climbing significantly. I pushed the run hard right up to the finish line which was a good thing as I only won the Masters award by 2 seconds......

Thoughts: This has been my best season by far, a number#1 ranking in our region for my age group (granted that will likely last for only a week or so more but I am still claiming it lol) and today I received received confirmation that I'd qualified for US Nationals.  I am not what you would call exactly physically gifted, my first Tri was actually this race back in the 1990's where at 210 lbs I was in the Clydesdale division. My aim was to actually finish the event forget about racing! Since then I've been through a marriage, a divorce, started 2 new businesses and will be getting married for the 2nd time within the next year. During that time Triathlon has really played an important part in keeping me sane and focused, I look forward to each racing season and the challenges that it brings. With the variety of event lengths and vast array of event locations both here and around the world there are many ways to enjoy this great sport. I want to thank Tri-ProSoap was allowing me to me a member of the team as there is now doubt that it has helped me to 'go faster' !

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jason Ross @ Dirty Rock Tri - Race Recap

Green Member:  Jason Ross    


Event: Dirty Rock Off-Road Sprint


Location:  Rockwall

Class (yours):  M 35-39

Results:  59:01, tied for 3rd Overall, and slid into 1st Age Group (thanks to Greg Diamond lighting it up and winning the overall title).  This was hands-down the MOST FUN RACE I've done in a long time.  I highly recommend this race.  In addition to fun, this race is USAT sanctioned and counts just like any other Sprint for team points…which means we racked up a boatload of points for the team, with 1st overall male, female, Clydesdale, and several 1st AGs. 


Local Knowledge and Conditions:  Conditions were perfect.  Moving this race to June from April was a good move for trail conditions.  The trial is fully built, so this year's race should be the pattern for future years.   


Pre-Race Strategy & Warm Up:  Go have fun.  Don't hit the trees.  And pray that Lexie wouldn't pass me…MTB is her thing! 

Psychology: I haven't raced a Sprint in a long time, so I knew this was gonna hurt!  This race is so short you have to go all-out, but keep your wits and focus so you don't pull a George-of-the-Jungle on the trail.  I haven't done really any "speed" training in nearly a year, due to Leadville-Arizona-St George, so I didn't really know what to expect in terms of splits. 


Race break down: 

Swim-  02:10

Bike-  40:00

Run-  14:38


The swim itself is so short, it is almost irrelevant.  However, being seeded well is extremely important for the bike.  The higher seed you get, the less traffic you will face on the trail.  The run feels long to everyone, but I'm confident it is 2 miles (I GPS'd this last year when we created this race).  I've always suspected that some races actually have shorter than advertised run courses, which means we all feel better about our run-splits. This course is not one of those races.


Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned):  Definitely practice the trail as much as you can before the race.  It will pay dividends.    And I should have practiced transitions with MTB gear a bit. 

Future Goals (include skills executed well and skills needing improvement):  I rode my 26inch carbon hardtail MTB.  I plan to get a 29r mountain bike later this year and do this race again next year with a 29r.  I had two guys pull away from me on the paved trail to/from Squabble Creek (the 2d place guy and the guy I tied for 3d), they were both riding 29r carbon-hardtail MTBs, and get so much better speed on flats and paved surfaces.  It wouldn't have mattered for beating G Diamond, though…he's a beast in the trees and absolutely flies on short runs like this! 


Fitness (endurance, nutrition, hydration): I've got endurance, but that does no good here!  Time for speed work!!! 


Something funny that happened:  This race attracts a lot of first-timers (as it was designed to do). Nothing "funny" happened, but it was sure enjoyable to see how much fun everyone had—whether new to tri or seasoned vet.  As for seasoned vets, I think we can get sucked into the seriousness of training and racing, and this event is a very welcome reminder of how to go have fun and do something a little different.  When's the next MTB-tri, G Diamond, Hartley, and Lexie?