Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series #4 – 8/16/09

Being somewhat self-absorbed, I’m continuing to update on races and what I’ve been doing in Charleston. Unfortunately there aren’t any pictures this time.

Quick Update:

Last week I had the full Charlestonian experience: kayaking in the Ashley River on Thursday, off-shore fishing on Friday, relaxing on Saturday, and racing and hitting Folly Beach on Sunday. Now that I’ve spent more than enough time in the sun and on the water, maybe it’s time to get a job! Still no offers, but I haven’t given up all hope yet.

Extended Race Report…and as promised, a few poetic elements are included:


A triathlon was raced Sunday,

Swam around a lake not a bay,

Bike went down Folly Road,

Heavy legs are a load,

Second place finish is okay.


Better swim this time

Faster transitions did help

Missed riding with George (explained later)


Not going to happen this time around. While I don’t have a job, I do need to be a bit more productive with me time than composing complicated poor poetry!


Sunday’s event was the final race in the Charleston Sprint Series and it served as the series championship. There is a points system for the series and this one counted double, which didn’t impact me since I had only done one other race of the four. You need to complete three out of four to qualify. It was good to race two weeks ago, and after debriefing with my coach (Jessie) it was determined that I needed to swim, bike, run and transition faster. All in all, a solid strategy to drop time.


Again, my entire warm up strategy was based around my bladder and the copious cups of water and coffee I consumed (a little alliteration for the English majors – copious cups coffee consumed) throughout the morning. I went for a short jog, a short spin and a longer swim. I looked for tires to change and people to help, but everyone seemed to be in good shape.


I had a better idea of which legs to follow, which I accomplished through the first turn. At that point I lost the draft and finished the swim alone in third place in my wave. All of the swim times were faster this race, but I think I still swam stronger throughout. No kicks to the head and the goggles didn’t fog, so it was a fairly successful portion of the race.


Jessie commented last time that I needed to speed this part of my race up significantly. I left my shoes clipped to my bike so all I had to do was throw on my helmet, grab my bike and go. My transition time was faster, but…


This was a bit slower than last race. I didn’t do an extensive comparison of participants’ times to see if everyone was slower, but I’m attributing this to never really getting my shoes on properly. While I saved time in transition I may have lost the same amount of time by fidgeting with my straps for the first have of the bike leg. I was passed by the same person as last race but I couldn’t keep up this time around. By the end of the bike I was in fourth place, 30 – 40 seconds off of the lead.


Again, one of my better parts of the race.


I started the run in fourth and I felt like I could run at least one person down in front of me, and I hoped to hold off the faster runners from behind. By the end of the first mile the eventual overall winner had opened up a larger gap and it didn’t look like he was coming back, but I picked off the fourth place finisher and I was closing in on second place. I continued to run steady, reminding myself to lean forward, relax my shoulders and to pretend that I’m a Kenyan-like runner (strong imagination). By the end of mile two I moved into second place, and this time I was able to hold off challengers from behind during the final out-and-back section to the finish line. Only one woman had a faster run split, but I beat her in the overall and she looked like a hardcore runner.


Overall I was happy with my race and feeling good about finishing on the podium (no, there really wasn’t a podium). I was able to pick up a few spots in the overall standings and my final time was faster than the previous race, which is always good. With that said, my good feelings were dashed when Jessie and I found out we missed riding bikes with George Hincapie, the namesake of our cat and our favorite pro cyclist. Apparently George was in town and did the Saturday group ride on John’s Island. This is the ride Jessie and I have been doing almost every week, expect for the weeks I raced since I wanted to save my legs for the following day. George showed up, rode steady in the pace line, stopped at the halfway point for water with the group and then posed for pictures post-ride!

Triathlon quotes worth repeating:

From our favorite Denver resident who routinely who seems to be world class without training said, “The difference between beer season and triathlon season isn’t the beer; it’s the swimming and cycling.”

From an elite level Master’s competitor who will likely qualify for World’s this weekend, “There aren’t too many things I like to do more than eat.”

Results are posted here:


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