Pacific Grove Sprint Triathlon (run by Trical)
September 15th, 2001
.25m swim, 12.4m bike, 2.1m (1/3 of 10k) run

This is the focal event of the season. Got a few races down, and this is the shortest and hopefully fastest of them all. Finishing under an hour is the target, though at the moment I fear I'm still a couple minutes short of that target.

Well, not even close. I burned out on the ride and cramped up severely in the run. Still, doing better than 1:02 was unlikely unless I had more bike power.

Overall 1:04:50 (50th of 324, 9th of 31 for 20-29)
Swim 7:32. Now that I know that the AP is only 270m, seems good.
Bike 38:40 19.2mph. Ugh. Hoped for much better on flat course.
Run 15:03. How I did 7:30 miles beats me. Cramps, short walk. Bad!
Transitions. 3:34. Outstanding

I think there is a lesson to be learned about doing the sprint race for what is really an olympic event. We needed to have our bikes racked at 7:15, but didn't race until 11. James and Mel got in at 1:30 the night before, then up at 6 to register. After, they tried going back to the hotel to sleep, but that never works. So we're out there watching the early waves. It's a bit cold, and we're probably not resting very well. I wanted to do the sprint because of the loop nature of the course and the wish to go really hard. Next year I'll go with the full course.

Trical did its usual good job running the event. Don't read the above as a condemnation of them.

The swim course was set in Lover's Cove. Out, left turn, Back. The sprint course turns right before the kelp gets really nasty. The oly course really gets in the thick of it, and they get to do two laps. In the early waves we noticed that the officials on surfboards don't let the pack expand to the outside at all. Tight quarters. However, the 350ish sprinters are split into 7 waves, so it's not a biggie. ~50 schedules for the 17-29 wave, though due perhaps to the unfortunate events in NY, it looks like a third didn't make it. Kelp swimming is great - it throws off the others and lets me regain distance. I thought I had a decent swim, and I flew out of the water in transition. Felt great getting onto the bike.

I hadn't ridden the bike since the Pleasanton race. It just isn't inviting riding around my home. I should either get the roof rack, or get a trainer for it inside the house. The effects were clear. I was making decent speed but struggling to keep my speedo over indicated 20. (I determined from the final results that it is reading 5% faster and longer than reality) Things improved when I was passed by another guy in my division as we came back from the first loop. I passed him at the turnaround and lead until the second half, where he pulled past and stayed, finishing 150 yards up on me. Still, it kept me going faster than were I just plugging away. Age group markings on the calf do serve a great purpose, at least with the guys pedalling slow enough for you to see it.

We started a bit after the Team in Training women's waves. Less politely said, we were riding with people doing their first triathlon, and an oly at that. Most stayed to the right. Several inexplicable thought it best to ride 15mph 2 feet to the right of the centerline. Hopefully some were penalized. I came up on one on a slight rise and couldn't gather the breath to shout out Left. I ended up passing her on the right - not the safest thing and a potential 2 minute penalty myself. Not as bad as the person who crossed centerline coming towards me, but still a mental lapse.

The transition to the run went as well as the first T. But as I pass the finish line out and see the clock, I know I can't make 60. The clock already reads 50 minutes. Oh well, I can still shoot for a fast run. But no. I was short of breath on the bike and that quickly hits on the run. The same awful side stitch that hit me in 2 of the first 3 races. Usually fades after a couple miles, but this course is only 2 miles! After about a half mile, I need to walk. No way around it. 10 seconds later (and another age grouper passing), I need to get going. I can't get to full speed until I near the finish and don't need to worry about oxygen. My final 75m sprint was something to behold and I rip past another in my div in the last 10m. I probably went twice his speed for that short section - he never expected to see anyone coming. I'm shocked at I ran so poorly, yet was doing 7:30 miles.

But at the finish I'm ticked off. I feel energetic, especially as my breath returns. I was unable to race to the limit. Need to solve this problem. Like at Pleasanton, I didn't eat, and I had just a smidgen of water after the swim. I think that's the right way, but unsure if I started the race at the right hydration. More likely the bike was the problem and I should have eased up for the last stretch, rather than race after the other guy. It might have cost me 30 seconds there, but gained me 2 minutes on the run.

Tri season is over for now. Going to go bag that 19:xx 5k, and maybe an 18:xx if I can.

More Pictures: By Assured again. Not as good as Sandman, but decent. Others are by my digital.
Me before start - M & J in Tzone - Start - fast swim exit - exit2 - Melinda exits - Andrew bikes - Me same - James ditto - Bad run - Ditto for Mel - She finishes - James finishes