Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jason Ross - Tri in HI


Here is my post for Tinman


Green Member: Jason Ross     


Event:  30th Annual Tinman Olympic


Location:  Oahu, HI

Class (yours):  M 35-39

Results:   10th AG, 58th overall;  2:11 total, with 14:30 swim (800m), 1:04 bike (40k), and 49:00 run (10k). 


Local Knowledge and Conditions:   I raced Tinman in 2006 as my first Olympic.  A lot of Hawaii residents who do Kona have historically used this race as an early race in their prep for Kona.  It also attracts some stout competitors who travel here for an "A" race experience.  Needless to say, the field is pretty stout for an Olympic race, especially one that is non-USAT sanctioned.  I pulled up to transition and realized quickly that my tricked out Felt was just barely keeping up with the Joneses.  Nevertheless, I'd been dying to go back to Hawaii and have another crack at this race.  I did 2:35 back in 2006, and was shooting for 2:05 this year, which would put me in contention for an AG spot.   This is a unique race because it is only an 800 meter swim (instead of 1500) and is literally in the ocean on Waikiki beach.  You start the race at 5:45 am, which is barely sun-up, and you can barely see in the water.  By the time you hit the bike, you enjoy a breathtaking view while biking on dedicated lanes with mountains on the left, the Pacific on the right, and the sun coming up over a ridge in front of you.  The run is a beast, as it circles Diamond Head and has some pretty good climbs and steep descents. 


Pre-Race Strategy & Warm Up:  This was day 4 of my trip to Hawaii, so my body had adjusted to Hawaii time making the 3:45 wake-up call feel every bit as early as that sounds.  In the days leading up to the race, I tried to balance resting for the race and playing with the kids on the beach, but honestly totally fried out my calves and groin muscles by running around in the sand and surf with my kids for 3 days leading up the race, hiking Diamond Head, and walking all over Oahu.  I couldn't get my calves or groin muscles to "release" and relax.  I thought I'd try to loosen up by riding my bike in the dark to the course from the hotel for my warm-up.  Unfortunately, I lost a water bottle with my entire pre-race drink out of my pack on the way to the hotel, so I started out with less than normal fuel/hydration.  Rest of the pre-race warm-up consisted of finding a D2 location (mission accomplished). 

Psychology:  I got distracted a bit due to a little dispute in transition over proper transition space with nearby other folks in the rack.  This laidback Hawaii race offers "open" racking, so space was really tight in places, and people were hanging their bikes in ways I'd never imagined and scattering gear generously.  (Ironhead Jack's folks would have had a field day patrolling this transition area….really made me appreciate the tight ship he runs in transition.)  I did a poor job of swimming straight lines due to waves, current and darkness.  I probably swam 850-900 with all my zig-zaging. 


Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned):  Take an extra extra water bottle and fuel so you don't get caught without.  I packed too light.  Also, if you do a race with an ocean swim that requires beach running to transition like this does, place a pan of water in your transition area so you can quickly get sand off your feet before starting the bike/run. 

Future Goals (include skills executed well and skills needing improvement):  Find another cool race in an exotic locale.  This really makes for a memorable race experience. 


Fitness (endurance, nutrition, hydration):  I wanted to try to stay a little below my 60 min power threshold on the bike, to make sure I had good legs for the run.  I had a solid bike split at 23.5 mph in the 20 mph trade windy conditions (2d in AG, 17th overall), which looks like it put me in 2d place in AG when I started the run.  Mile 1 felt great.  Mile 2 is a climb up a street called Monserrat that ascends part of Diamond Head and is dead into a 20 mph wind.  OUCH.  I got passed by 2 guys in my AG on this hill, and blew up trying to stick with them.  Once I eased back, I got passed by 2 more AG guys and tried again…to no avail.  When I knew my goal of AG medal was out of reach, I said to myself, "Your on vacation, today is your birthday, and you're in Hawaii…just enjoy it!"  So I did.  I eased up on the pain threshold and pretty much jogged the last half of the run.  I finished in 2:11, a few minutes off my goal, but still a 25 minute improvement from my last effort here, so I was pleased. 


Something funny that happened:  Early on in the bike I came upon a competitor who was drafting like this was the TdF.  He got passed by another rider, and promptly jumped over to his wheel to continue drafting.  Just blatant drafting…clearly I must say something to police this behavior!  When I caught the offending rider, as I passed at a high rate of speed I yelled, "Hey dude, try sucking on this wheel."  Well, turns out it wasn't a dude.  It was a female (I think)!  Oops!  It got even better because said "dude" actually tried to suck my wheel…maybe said dude thought I was being serious…but said dude was quickly dropped. 



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