Cambridge Triathlon

750m Swim, 30k bike, 6k run

Pre Race

The day before the race I went out for a relatively easy 90k ride.  I did this to get in one more longer ride before Syracuse.  I didn’t look at my power meter, I just kept it light and easy.  I wasn’t overly concerned about what I ate the night before the race, I always eat pretty well, and got an alright night’s sleep.

Race morning I was up just after 5AM.  I had my standard breakfast of 2 english muffins with almond butter and honey, pomegranate juice, and a tablespoon of chia seeds.  I brought a bottle of water and a handful of jujubes with me to snack on in the car ride and time before the race.

The race started at 9AM.  We arrived at about 7:45AM with gave us (Lisa was also racing) lots of time to register, set up in transition, and get into open water for the first time this year.  I didn’t pay too much attention to those people around me, I wasn’t overly concerned with how I placed, today was meant to go through the motions before Syracuse next weekend (but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give it my all).

Swim (13:51, 1:51/100m but I’m pretty sure the timing mats were in transition and not where we got out of the water, so I think my swim was low 13:00’s)

I didn’t make it to the Open Water Race in Peterborough this year so this was my first time in open water in 2014.  I did a (very) short warmup in the water, as per usual, and then got to the start line ready to go.  My wave didn’t seem to have too many people, and I positioned myself right at the front.  Next week in Syracuse there are 186 people in my AG so I decided I could use the practice being jostled around.

The horn sounded and we were off.  I was excited to finally be doing a race this year.  There was some bumping at the start, but nothing too serious.  When I was sighting I did notice there was a pack of swimmers that were separating themselves from myself and the rest of the field.  All the was to the first turn buoy (about 250m) I felt a tightness in my chest.  I don’t know if it was anxiety or what.  When I was breathing I felt like I was sipping air, but I just kept moving trying to relax my mind and trusting it would pass.  Sure enough around the first turn I had forgotten about it.  The swim to the second turn was rather uneventful, from very early on I didn’t have any feet to follow, and I didn’t feel like I had anyone right on my toes either.  As I made the second turn and had 250m left I began to think about transition and what I needed to do.  I always do this, and repeat the steps over and over as I swim towards short (helmet, glasses, shoes, bike, watch).

T1 (1:09)

My transition was a little slow.  I got my wetsuit off relatively easily but I decided not to have my shoes attached to my bike.  I hadn’t really practiced this much this year and the start of the bike course was really bumpy.  This proved to be the right decision because I passed 3 people right after the mount line as they struggled to control their bike and slip their feet into their shoes.

Bike (47:32, 37.9km/h)

When I hoped onto my bike the OAT official let me know I was 4:08 down on the overall leader and in 15th place.  I’ve never received this kind of split before and thought it was pretty neat.  I always enjoy getting onto the bike and began picking people off.  Because I knew I started the bike in 15th I would count down in my head every time I had passed someone.  The bike course has some rolling hills, but there were only 2 short climbs going each way that I needed to get out of my aero bars for.  By the time I got to the turnaround I was up into 5th.  At the turnaround I heard a scraping sound, and would discover later that was the non-drive side of my wheel cover coming untaped.  Right after the turnaround I was passed by a much faster cyclist who was flying.  I didn’t even attempt to chase.  Not long after the turnaround I saw Lisa heading the other way, it’s always nice to see familiar faces.  The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful.  Throughout the ride I tried to hold my power around 230 watts, but don’t have an exact number of what I managed.

As for nutrition I had 1 bottle of Scratch (sports drink) on my bike and a waffle on the bike.  I ate half the waffle going out, and half coming back.  The Scratch I drank throughout.

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T2 (0:58)

My T2 was also slow.  I made the decision the night before the race to run in brand new shoes that I had never worn before.  I wore them around the house as I was getting my things together to ‘break them in’.  I put speed laces on them and when I arrived in T2 and tried to pull them on I realized they were way too tight to slip my foot it.  If felt like ages, but was likely only 0:10-0:12, but I finally got my foot inside and headed out to the run.

Run (24:07, 4:01/km)

In the online description of the course it said much of the course was one trails.  They weren’t lying.  The run quickly made its way into the park and onto trails.  I wasn’t a big fan of the run course.  It was only sparsely marked, had a bunch of tight turns, and twice had you running across the face of a slope.  During the entire run I didn’t see anyone in front or behind me.  Not the courses fault but my Garmin also went a little wacky in the woods and had my pace jumping around a bit.  I think I passed 3 aid stations and managed a little water at each one.  I’d have liked to have run under 24:00, but I was satisfied with how I felt.

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Race (1:27:31, 1st Age Group 25-29, 7th overall)

Ultimately I accomplished what I wanted to.  I got in an open water swim, went through the motions of a race, and identified some potential problems (wheel cover coming off and speed laces too tight).  I would have liked to have gone a bit quicker in every segment, but I’m happy to be moving on injury free and ready for Syracuse 70.3 next weekend.