Max Muscle Sprint Triathlon
September 11, 2011
Klineline Pond/Salmon Creek Park, Vancouver, WA
Total Time: 1:30:28 (8/13 age; 16/67 overall)
Last triathlon of the 2011 season. Even though I have not been specifically doing triathlon training this year, it has been important to race as much as I can to gain experience and employ appropriate race strategies for given situations (remember when I forgot my liquid nutrition for the Rev 3 half-iron distance event?). This event is a lot of fun and put on by some great people at Max Muscle nutrition stores in Vancouver. Plus it is in my ‘backyard’ at the local park less than 2 miles from my house where I do most of my training runs and open water swims.
Swim: 750m 14:45 (1:58/100 yds), 5th out of 67
This was the cleanest I have ever seen Klineline Pond. I could actually see the bottom up to about 10 feet. They started all of the sprint distance men first. Finally a starting official that doesn’t give a bogus countdown… just sound the flippin’ gun and get us going. I despise countdowns. Anyway, off we go. Since I didn’t do any form of warm up, I wanted to just take it easy and enjoy the swim. I immediately had to protect myself from getting kicked and hit from the guys to my sides and in front of me. But I have been through this a lot so it didn’t freak me out. I started stroking and got moving. I was right next to this guy for about 200m. We kept bumping into each other and I saw that I wasn’t going any faster than he was, so I stopped for a moment and then tucked in behind him to follow his draft.
We got to the first turn buoy and I looked up and could still see the leader just about 20m ahead of me with about 7 guys in between. What? Are ya kidding? I am in the lead pack! This has never happened before. Let me see what I can do for the rest of the swim….
I dug deep as we rounded the turn buoy, cutting it very close to reduce the distance. I then focused on smooth gliding strokes and a good technique. From photos from previous events, I notice I pick my head out of the water too far, so I tried to keep my head down. I quickly zoomed by 3 guys. Cool! We went another 200m to the next turn buoy and I could still see the lead guy about 40m ahead now but just 2 guys between him and me. I came around the next turn buoy and quickly passed the next guy, I was now in 3rd down the backstretch. I swam hard and was getting tired but didn’t care what it was going to do to the rest of my race, I didn’t want to get passed.
My hand touched the bottom of the pond and I got up. Whoosh! I am dizzy. I wanted to take off running right away, but had to walk a few steps to get my bearings. I came out of the water in 3rd place, but was quickly passed by 2 guys before I got to the transition timing mats. Still pretty cool for me!
Into transition and my head was spinning. Ugh! I got to my bike and I was seeing spots. I tried to take off my wetsuit, but I almost fell over. I needed to slowdown and hold onto my bike while I peeled it off. Then I fumbled around with my shoes, bib, GPS and everything else. Ugh. I entered transition in 5th and left in 10th. Not good!
Bike: 12 miles 43:56 (16.4 mph) 18 of 67
A challenging but great course. We headed out and had to climb a hill outside the park. Then a few rollers with an awesome downhill followed by a steep uphill. I got up to 43 mph on my bike. Ooooh baby! My heartrate was redlined at 152 bpm for quite awhile. I tried to get it under control but could only get it down to 138 for a short period.
Much to my surprise I wasn’t getting passed very much. Usually I am toasted numerous times and it is disheartening. I got passed just a couple of times before the turnaround. As the riders went passed me the other way, I counted and figured I was in 13th place overall at mile 6. I dug deep and didn’t want to get passed again.
Got passed a couple of times on the huge, and I mean huge, hill out of Salmon Creek. Many riders were walking their bikes, I was in my granny gear, standing up grinding away. Two guys come flying by me up the hill. Goodness sakes!
Into transition and I am already dreading the 5K run. Slam my bike onto the rack, change out my shoes and then fumble with my helmet and hat. Then grabbed the American flag I had on my bike and headed out on the run.
Run: 5K 29:03 (9:20/mi) 32 of 67
The run continues to be my slowest discipline. Today’s time was cruddy because of poor triathlon execution during the swim and bike, which I knew was going to happen, but come on, a 9:20 pace for 3 miles? I should have been able to do 9:00 for sure. But I was really tired and it was hot. I had guzzled all 24 ozs of my water during the bike. I was so parched I had cottonmouth. The aid station wasn’t until the turnaround.
My initial pace was pretty good at about 8:30. I even passed a couple of guys! All right! But then I had to slow down about mile 1 and it seemed like everyone was passing me. I got to the turnaround and hung out at the aid station for about a minute guzzling water.
I was carrying the American flag and I got lots of cheers and compliments, “nice flag!’ “love that flag” “never forget” etc. Pretty cool.
Came into the park for the big finish. I raised the flag above my head, I could hear people cheering and clapping. Then I could hear the announcer Tracy shouting out “here comes Mike Rudolph, our resident Ironman with his American Flag. Mike you’ve got someone closing fast on your heels!” I turn around to see a guy sprinting up to me as we had 100 yards to go! I gesture like “oh my goodness” and took off sprinting. We were in a dead run and I barely held him off before the finish! I turned and gave him a high 5, “Hey, I wasn’t planning on that,” I declared!
Finish: 1:30:28 8th out of 13 in Age (M40-44) and 16 out of 67 overall.
Oh brother! I was tired. My right ankle was very sore from overuse during the Hood to Coast relay a few weeks prior. I was spent. It was great to see Wendy there at the finish! Yay!
Overall a good day, although my execution wasn’t very good. I still had a great time and am glad that I did it. I look forward to next year when I get to do Ironman CDA in June.
Thank you all for your support
Quote: “There’s no such thing as a successful triathlon with a great swim split followed by crappy bike and run splits! A successful triathlon requires great discipline, patience and execution of all 3.”