Sunday, September 11, 2011

Max Muscle Sprint Triathlon

my Rotary's Max Muscle Triathlon - Sprint triathlon individual results

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.”

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