Monday, April 18, 2011
Frogman Olympic Distance Triathlon
In order to get ready for my Half-Ironman in May, I signed up for the Frogman Olympic Distance Triathlon as a test to ensure my training was on the right track. The race started at 7am in Daytona Beach Shores so I had to wake up at 4am to get ready for the race.
Every race you learn something. This race I learned I need to bring a headlamp so I can set-up my transition area in the dark. A tip I learned in the past to help put my wetsuit on is to put my foot in a plastic bag. I was surprised the first time I used the plastic bag how easy it was to put my foot through the wet suit.
I was most concerned with the swim; this swim is only 400 meters shorter than the half-ironman distance. I have been training with a swim coach to help my stroke technique, but I have a tendency to freak out during my triathlon races. Swimming in a large pack and not being able to see in the water makes me forget my swim technique.
When I first looked at the water to check it out, the water was calm, but once the race started the wind picked up making the surf rough.
The race started with everyone standing on the beach and having everyone run into the water. I took my time getting into the water and shifted to the far right so the current would not push me past the first buoy. I jogged into the water and walked out until the water was up to my chest.
I freaked out again and swam with my head out of the water the whole time. The waves getting out were not too bad but the choppy water was making the swim difficult. I calmed down and just got into a rhythm which helped me to continue.
You can see me on the far left in front of the lady in the yellow shirt. Peter Edwards Photography took some cool shots of the swim portion of the race.
The swim course consisted an out and back triangle shape with three buoys. The buoys looked like they were so far away and the middle buoy looked like it was miles off shore. The picture below shows how far offshore the third buoy was, with the middle buoy almost twice as far offshore as that.
When I got to the middle buoy, I felt great knowing I was half way done. I looked at my watch and was surprised with my great 12 minute halfway time. I started to kick it up a notch seeing the coastline getting closer and closer. It felt great to be able to touch ground when I got to shore and was even able to body surf a way in when I was getting out of the water.
My official time for the 1500m swim was a kick ass 26:33 thanks to the strong currents.
There was a 300 foot run from the edge of the water to the transition area
The first transition area went smoothly expect that I forgot to put my watch back on.
Now that the swim part was done, I knew I could drop the hammer on the bike and the run. I was able to pass a ton of people during the bike part and was only passed by one guy. The bike course was nice and flat expect for a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway which we had to go over twice. There was a strong wind from the north so going south I was able to go 25mph easily but going into the wind put a hurting on my legs. The last eight miles going into the tough head wind made my average drop from 22.5 mph down to 21.9 mph.
My official time for the 24 mile bike was 1:05:56.
My transition from bike to run took some time getting my socks and shoes on.
It took some time for me to get me shoes tied. I wanted to make sure they were tied properly so I would not get blisters. The 10k run course was supposed to be an out and back course but due to some permitting issue, the course was now two 1.5 out and back along A1A and on the beach.
The first few miles I was flying running around a 7:30 per mile pace. I passed a couple of people who passed me in the transition area.
I was looking down at my Garmin watch at 1.5 mile mark expecting to turn onto the beach but the course did not turn onto the beach until around mile 1.75. I was worried about running on the soft sand but I was surprised how hard packed the sand was. We were running on the part of the beach that cars drive on so running on the sand was not that bad. The strong wind from the north helped push the pace up some running south along the beach.
Mile 2: 7:30
The runners were well spaced out so I did not have anyone running stride for stride with me, but there were a lot of people walking on the beach and cheering us along. Around mile three, I was expecting to be able to see the turnaround but mile 3 came and went and when my watch hit 3.1 miles, I knew this run course would be longer than a 10k.
Mile 3: 7:43
I finally got to the midpoint turn around at mile 3.5 which meant the run course was going to be 7 miles long. Once I made the turn around, I felt the strong head wind which started to kill my pace. The next mile and a half put an hurting on my legs and slowed my running pace down to 8:30 min per mile pace.
Mile 4: 8:00
Mile 5: 8:27
Running north into the head head felt like it took for ever to get back onto A1A to start heading back south. I was happy when I started to see the people turning to get back onto A1A. I got to the turn and saw this very steep ramp we had to go up which made my legs muscles scream in pain. Once I got back onto A1A, I was able to see the crosswalk with the finish line under it in the distance. Being able to see the finish line and with help from the strong tail wind, I started to pickup my pace.
Mile 6: 8:04
When my Garmin beeped at mile 6, I started to give it all that I had left increasing the pace to a 7:30 min per mile pace. The crosswalk kept getting bigger and I started to see the inflated finishing line arc. With a half mile to go I picked up the pace even more to a 6:40 min per mile pace.
I started to sprint towards the finish line when I saw Rachel take photos and decided to give her a great pose as I ran by.
My Garmin beeped at mile 7 and I noticed I was running a 6 min per mile pace for the last hundred feet.
Mile 7: 7:03
I crossed the finish time with my official time of 2:30:36. I was able to complete the 7 mile run in 54:28 with an average pace of 7:46 min per mile.
1500m Swim: 26:36
Bike: 1:05:56 (21.8 mph)
Run: 54:28 (7:46 min per mile)
After I crossed the finish line, I was surprised when I was handed a medal. This was the first triathlon I completed that everyone was given a medal when they finished, which was nice. I was bummed looking at the results that I placed fourth in my age group, losing to the 2, 7, and 10th place male overall.
After the race, we went over to UCF to drop off Rachel’s brother who was visiting us and stopped by Lazy Moon to get a slice of pizza the size of my face and a cold beer.
After Lazy Moon, we went and got some desert at Jeremiah’s. I heard some much about their great Italian water ice so I decided to try the sour apple flavor. I loved the Italian water ice and started to wolf it down, until I gave myself a brain freeze.
In the end, I think I had an awesome race seeing as this was my first triathlon beyond the sprint distance. It gave me a huge boost of confidence for my Half-Ironman coming up this May. My biggest fear for the Half-Ironman is the swim portion of the race and now I feel confident that I can complete the swim.
What is your biggest fear before a race?