|Ready to hit the road|
St. George was scheduled as my fourth race in five weeks. Looking back, I was a bit ambitious with my early season race plans. In addition, four weeks of bronchitis left me way too under-trained to have a successful race. OK, excuses are done and out of the way....
1.2 Mile Swim (37:05, 1:55/100m)
|Team Pic at Sand Hollow Reserve|
The swim was fairly non-eventful, with no major collisions or wrestlying for positin. It's a deep water start, with about a 100 yard swim to the start line. The water temperature was probably close to 61 or 62, so chilly at first, but pretty good for a race. This is a very scenic course, and we actually swim around a small island before we exit the water. Also, it was pretty cool that the buoys were numbered and color-coded. I've read that this will be starndard for "M-dot" races going forward, which I think is a nice improvement.
Race morning, there were announcements that ALL of your gear was to remain in the gear bags, including helmets and shoes. I wasn't happy about this, since I was hoping to keep my shoes mounted on the bike and
run through transition barefoot. No, my flying mount isn't ready for primetime yet, but I wanted to at least gain a little time being able to run out of transition rather than the akward jog you normally have to do with cycling shoes on. Anyway, like a rebel, I left my shoes on my pedals and had my helmet sitting on my bike.
OK, backing up a little, I need to talk about my calf cramps. Yes, it happenned again. Coming up the ramp out of the water, and over to the wetsuit strippers, both my calves locked up as the volunteer worked on getting my wetsuit off. I had to sit there for a few moments while I tried to massage the cramp away. This happens too frequently, and it is really frustratiing.
Now, back to the bike and getting out of the transition area....My decision to run barefoot came back to haunt me. The pavement was SO rough, almost like running on a dirt road. I probably would have been able to run faster in my cycling shoes. Wah Wah Waaahhh
56 Mile Bike (2:49:33, 19.82 mph avg.)
After the bike, I moved up to 92nd in my age group, up 23 positions. The approximate elevation gain was 3,400ft.
Other than a couple little odd cuts through neighborhoods, the course was pretty nice. Road conditions were excellent, and there were plenty of volunteers at all the critical spots on the course. There are a few decent climbs in the first 25 miles, but the big climb, Snow Canyon, didn't come until the last 1/3 of the bike route. Snow Canyon is a long, 8 mile grind, and I was in my small chain ring the entire time. I guess it's not so bad that this is the slowest section of the race, because it is probably the most scenic too.
|This is a panorama shot of the climb in Snow Canyon Park, gotta love the red rock in St. George|
T2 (3:02, Ouch!)
In comparison, my T2 time at Oceanside was 1:20, for a similar setup.
Again, all of our gear was to be left in our gear bags in the transition area. As I approached T2, I got my feet out of my shoes so I could run barefoot (again) to my gear. Yes, again, the asphalt was awful. I know I have tender feet, but it felt like I was running on glass, and ended up walking most of the way to my gear bag. Oh, and it was hot too. By now, the temp was probably 80+, so the black asphalt was toasty too.
Oh well, running shoes on, and off to the run...
13.1 Mile Run(2:03:41, 9:26/mi)
The run course is a hilly out and back. There are essentially no flat spots on the run course, so my plan was to do my best up the hills and then bomb the downhills. Well, this plan backfired on me. I ended up "letting go" a little too much on a couple of the downhill sections and by about mile 6, I could feel pain in my knee. This was a familiar pain, something I had dealt with a couple years previous. I knew (assumed) it wasn't too serious, so I continued on run/jogging the rest of the way. I was too stubborn to walk it in or even DNF, and I had it in my mind that I could still break 2 hours on the run.
At the end of the run, I was able to jog in with fellow Wattie Ink teammate, Aaron. We were both having rough days, so I guess misery does love company.
Final Result: 5:36:26, 96th in my age group
|At the finish line (knee packed in ice)|
Looking back, this ended up being my 20th multi-sport race (triathlons and duathlons). I realized that although I know that I have progressed, I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go to reach some of my personal goals. I think that is why this sport can be so addicting, it's the personal challenge to take on every time to sign up for a race.
As always, thanks for my family for their support, and in many ways, putting up with me and my 'hobby.' Also, I can't say enough about the Wattie Ink team and all of our great sponsors (K-Swiss, Powerbar, BlueSeventy, Scott, Speedfil, Reynolds Wheels, FuelBelt, Kask, ISM, 454 Tattoo)
More pics of the weekend:
|Plenty of options, thanks to Powerbar|
|A pic of Sand Hollow Reserve|
|Early morning, before the race|
|Some fellow OC Tri Club buddies|
|My fellow Kestrel Krew, Al and Kristen Wade|