Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Kansas City Triathlon Race Report

The weather outlook was looking fabulous, compared to last year.  No thunderstorms on the radar.  The only minor concern was hopping into the car with the thermometer reading 39 degrees.

We arrived at the race site around 5:30.  I purchased the VIP pass this year, so there was no need to arrive this early for the purpose good parking.  The purpose was to get the $200 worth of credit to Ultramax and Elite Cycling.  The post-race grub and other swag was nice for the VIP people tho. Speaking of swag, this race gives you a ton of it VIP or not with 2 race shirts, headphones, hand towel, water bottle, trainer bike blanket, and probably more.  I'd be just fine if they would cut down on the swag to make the race cheaper.  Anyway...

I had my transition area mostly setup by 6:15 after chatting with tons of friends from work, twitter, MTC, and all over.  Quite different than when I did this the first time and really knew no one racing that day.

Transition area.  Getting smaller and less congested.  I promise.
At 6:30 I started to put on my wetsuit.  The temps were chilly but as soon as I did that, I never noticed any chill until after the race.

Once transition closed at 7:00, it was time to head over to the beach.

Erik, the blind, Kevin waiting for the race to start amongst the superhero convention. (Joke credit: TKB)
My wave was set to leave around 7:36.  Since I elected to not warm up in the water, I wasn't exactly sure what was waiting for me.  I swam Wednesday night at the lake, so I knew it was going to be a bit on the cold side but manageable.

Swim - 1,500 meters
I was lined up about 4 rows back.  I felt my swimming had improved enough to earn the right to stand with the bigger boys (but maybe not the BIG boys).  Once the horn blew, the rush to the water began.  I ran until I got about mid-thigh and dove in.  Taking a cue from something I read, I made sure to blow out as my face entered the water to lessen the cold shock to the face and it worked.  I got into a groove pretty quickly and didn't have to fight too much.

The sun was in my face and I struggled a little to site the buoys until the first turn.  I kept people on the left and right, so felt I was OK to stay in my current line.  I was concerned more about my goggles.  They were new but I did about 4 swims with them prior.  They would always leak at some point until I adjusted them into the sweet spot.  I ended up not having any issues at all, so that was comforting.

I focused on my form as we've been learning in masters swim class lately and kept pulling myself through the water.  I felt like I was passing a lot of people in my wave, then wave #2, and then the first wave.

In the final 1/3 of the swim I started thinking through my transition... and then my bike.  I remembered something that I had forgotten.  My bento box.... which had my bike nutrition.  For as well as I plan my packing, I couldn't believe I'd miss something this simple.  In my over preparation, I remember putting Gu and a cliff bar in my transition bag, which is right next to the bike.  I would just grab that on my way out of transition.

Soon my fingertips scrapped the sand and I stood up and started running to the shore (next time I may swim a little further though before getting up).

I'm actually taking off my watch right here.  It's just easier to get the suit off and plenty of time to do so.
Looks like walking, feels like walking. #XterraTrampStamp
Time: 25:55 / 1:44 per 100 meters pace
Age Group: 11 out of 68

I missed my goal by 55 seconds but I'm still happy with that pace.  My form felt great throughout.

Transition - Swim to Bike
This turned out to be way too long for what I would want it to be.  The wetsuit added to it, sure, but dealing with my shoes is not something I want to be doing in the transition area.  The buckles are too complicated to deal with on the bike.  New bike shoes will be in my future... someday.

I need a photo blanket of all my "Poop" race faces.
On Thursday Coach Ken gave tips on mounting your bike out of T1.  He said to practice "driving" your bike from the seat.  Guess I need to heed that advice and didn't realize it...

I elected not to put on the arm warmers that I had laid out.  Turns out to be a smart move.

Time: 3:36

Bike - 40k
Two loops that included some good hills and six 180 degree turns total.  Knowing that, I still hoped for a 22.5 mph average. I saw Coach Ken on the first 180 degree turn.  He gave a little encouragement as in "this is a race, get moving!".  Maybe he didn't appreciated me posing for this photo:

As JoeVI said, the most metal on that bike was my left hand...
I found myself pushing to pass people, which there were a lot of them.  I did get passed by a few people who were absolutely rolling.  With the uphills, I took advantage of the flats as much as possible. In the longest stretch, I hit nearly a 25 mph average over a 5 mile split.  The other splits weren't so fast but kept me close to my goal.

There were a couple scary points where someone wiped out in front of me on the bike near a rough patch around the bridge following a HUGE downhill.  I didn't see him fall, but was just far out enough to avoid him.  Be safe people.

I came into the finish with a flying dismount right at the line.

Time: 1:06:07 / 22.5 mph
Age Group: 5 out of 68

Nailed the goal and happy with the placement within the age group.  I guess my cycling is doing better than I thought it would, at least compared to others in my age group.

Transition - Bike to Run
As I was running my bike to my rack, I heard the dismount line monitor yelling to the race official.  I thought maybe I had gotten a little too close and incurred a penalty!  Eek!

Again, this needs to be faster. I had some issues with my right shoe putting it on.  Probably added an extra 5 - 10 seconds.  Argh.

Time: 1:33

Run - 10k
Let's do this.  This is where I was hoping to shine.  I knew my legs wanted to run but how bad did I beat them up during the bike?

Starting the first or second lap.  #PoopFace

I felt like a sloth coming out of T2 but my watch was registering sub-7 pace going up the hill out of the transition.  One thing I noticed was the temp was starting to rise.  I was not cold at all on the bike, so very happy with my decision to leave the arm sleeves on the ground during T1.

The first loop was relatively quiet in terms of athletes on the course.  A few people passed me and I overtook quite a few.  Couldn't remember the exact number.  On lap two it was full of people, mostly from the sprint race.  It was great because it provided a steady stream of fish to hook and pass.

My pace was feeling good and almost always under 7.  I remember back in 2011 during the Jackson County Triathlon at the same location hoping to hit my last mile as 7 minute pace.  I was hitting all of these under 7. My run fitness has come a long way.

My right foot was bugging me a bit but it was related to the issues I was having with my shoe in transition.  It wasn't bugging me enough to slow me down though.

I turned the corner and was happy to take the route into the finish line this time.  I heard cheers from TKB and pushed it to the end!

Heading towards the finish!  #PoopFace #ChickenWings

Time: 41:41 / 6:44 pace
Age Group: 8 out of 68

Nice!  Beat my goal pace by 1 second per mile pace!


Love this photo.

For one, no #PoopFace by default.
Second, my stride does not indicate my right foot flailing off to the side.
Time: 2:18:49
Age Group: 6 out of 68
Overall: 32 out of 298

I hit my top 10 finish but also top 10%!  This is also a 21 minute PR!

After talking with MTC Team members for a bit, TKB noticed Kristen was coming down the finish chute!  She was completed her first triathlon today and did an amazing job!  Sounds like she might have caught the bug!  Not too much longer and Erik crossed the finish finishing his first triathlon!  Erik is doing Chicago Triathlon with us.  I suggested he considering doing a local one first before that massive triathlon and within 30 minutes he had registered for KC Tri.  Glad he had a great time out there!

Kevin from work completed his first Olympic distance triathlon today in preparation for Chicago Triathlon.  He had a strong finish today as well!  Looks like we've got a great team for Chicago!

Congrats to all the MTC'ers out there!  I never realized how many of them were out there until I dawned the team jersey too.

A couple notes.

  • I did not get a penalty at the dismount line but the fact that they actually had USAT officials on the race course was pretty awesome.  
  • I did take a couple Gu gels with me on the bike but apparently when taking one I dropped my second one.  I don't think it hurt me in the end but I would have taken the second one near the end of my bike.  I made sure to drink some extra calories tho.
  • My stomach bothered me a little on the run but apparently not enough to remember how bad.
  • Post-race had water, oranges, bananas and near-beer.  There was probably an electrolyte drink as well but it was likely in 5 gallon jugs.  Consider the price, they could have had some more options.  We did partake in the Zarda BBQ as part of the VIP "experience" which also had some bagels.
  • I better go ahead and post this now so I can go to bed.... GOOD NIGHT!  Thanks for reading!

Race Prep.  Bento box is by the bike shoes... *sigh*
Just a few of the MTC'ers out there.

You know, hanging out with a World Triathlon Champion Kelly Dippold on my right.  Her son is racing on my Corporate Challenge Triathlon team. #FamilyNameDropped

Hanging out with Erik pre-race.

Hanging out with Erik and Kristen post-race.

Please don't look at Kristen's bib.  I said DON'T look at her bib. 
Chatting with a  bunch of Tri-peeps.

Love Erik's smile!

Does he ever stop smiling?  Not when he is levitating....

Kristen in the red cap on the left stripping for all to see....

1 comment: