West Point Triathlon: Olympic

I had never really raced this early in the season. Last year was first race was in the end of May, so it was relatively warm. I took a forced sabbatical year on my triathlon training so I don’t thick I remembered how triathlon season really felt. Therefore, an Olympic race in April sounded so much fun (in January when I signed up for it). Well, let’s register in writing this for my own sake… April can be really damn cold in the early am, which means cold swim. Yeap, a really cold one. That being said, I am ready to go into my race report and remember the good rings about the race.

IMG_0664The races was located about 1 1/2 hours from Atlanta. In order to avoid the stressful morning drive, me and a friend got down there the previous afternoon/night. We had enough time to have dinner (I had a burger, not sure it was a good pre-race dinner) and passed out. I never sleep good on the previous day of the race, the nerves kick in and I seem to never fully rest. It was not different this time. I kept waking up every couple of hours. Argh!

The day of : Woke up at 5:30, got ready pretty quick and had breakfast. Then, off to R. Shafer Park, the race location. My set up was pretty easy and quick. I had everything named and divided into plastic bags as usual. I got a little ambitious and let my cycling shoes already on the bike (I practice with my coach last weekend as well as some during the week). It was nice to see a bunch of familiar faces (my Swim buddies from Life Time as well as couple of other friends) while standing and waiting to get in the water cold water. Yeap. It was low 60’s. I had a long sleeve wetsuit on.

Swim: Self seeded. So unless you are completely off from your swim time, there should not be anyone swimming over you. I am not a great swimmer so I try to be conservative and stay behind. Because I’d rather be the one swimming over people. I did not feel the water before hand, I hate the feeling of cold water. Me and my friends Shannon and Scott started pretty much at the same time, but boy, that water was really cold. There was no wind and it felt like a swim pool. Well, a very cold and dark one. It was an easy swim. Just bait confusing on the way back in. There was a sprint going on, the sun was coming up and I was kind of confused where I should be swimming to. A kayaker hit me on the butt and told me to change directions, apparently I was going to the sprint finish. I looked over my watch afterwards and I ended up swimming almost 1,700 meters instead of 1,500. Time: 31:42

T1:  Wetsuits and me: love and hate relationship. I could not take that thing out. Argh! My right leg got stuff and I had to sit down. Good ting my coach Kris was not there to remind me: NO SITTING! Time: 1:54

Bike: My shoes were in the bike and I was successful putting then on while cycling. I was cold, my toes were numb. It took me about 30 minutes to warm up, the sun was out and I started to feel my toes again. The rolling hills were more gradual ascents. I am not sure that I was able to use the descents to go uphill. The first couple of miles are the same for Olympic and Sprint, so I got to pass some master swim friends and cheer on them. Some were doing their first sprint tri. My friend Scott giving me crap about how much fast he would be (I guess he holds a grudge from being slower on the previous Olympic race we did together) so I kept on the look out for him. I am a much faster swimmer but he is a better runner and we are about the same bike. On mile 20ish, there he was, 2 miles behind me. Damn, is he really passing me? Argh! Keep pushing. Then I saw Shannon kicking butt, she was racing sick and with a broke foot. What a bad ass, right? Mile 23-24, Scott passes me. argh! Shoes off while cycling and it feels I am getting good at this. Time: 1:25:24

T2: Bike racked, socks and shoes. Get my hat and on to the next thing. Time: 1:05

Run: Flat and hot. You have along stretch on the damn with no shades. My right calf has a bruise that does not go away and that hurt when running. It took me about 2.5 miles to get it together and push through the pain. Around mile 4ish, there one short and steep hill that felt like Mt. Everest. I was hurting but the fact that I had so many friends on the course might have played a role into me pushing. Time: 57:409

Overall, the race was great: small, very well organized (by Georgia Multisports) and fun. I have never participated in a triathlon that I was able to see so many familiar faces around the course. I loved that experience. Plus I am absolutely astonished that I was able to break the 3 hour mark for the Olympic distance. if you want to know more about this race, you can click here.

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