2017 Tri-PTC Race Report

Tri-PTC Race Report Header

Tri-Peacthree City Sprint – Sprint Triathlon

Date of Race: 8/19/217
Total Race Time = 1h 24m 11s
Overall Place = 90/319
Age Group = Male 40-44
Age Group Place = 13/28


Pre-race:  

Woke at 4:30AM and ate a piece of almond butter toast with cinnamon and drank a cup of coffee. Having packed the night before, I got dressed and made the ~ 1 hour drive to Peachtree City. During the drive I sipped on a premade bottle of Infinit run to have some electrolytes in my system prior to the race.

I hadn’t picked up my race packet, so I did that at check in, numbered up my bike, helmet, etc and headed to transition.

The walk from the car to the transition area helped get my legs going. I also did some dynamic stretching prior to the start. I didn’t get in the water prior to the swim, though it would’ve been a good idea.

About 15-20 mins prior to the start, I consumed a Huma gel for quick energy during the swim and the start of the bike.


Swim:

On the walk to the start, I ran into Harold Waldrop, a fellow ATC member from Smyrna. We stayed in the swim line together and chatted up until the race start, which kept me from getting too nervous or excited. The swim start was a rolling 2 by 2 start, which is nice to keep everyone from running over each other. I actually prefer this type of start. I swam pretty directly towards the first buoy, only fully raising my head to sight once or twice. One of my primary swim goals was to keep my head down and just keep swimming. This became more difficult than expected during that final 100 meters or so. However, the close the swim exit got, the more focused I became on getting out of the water strong.  I swam until my hands hit the bottom, stood up and ran from the water to T1.


Swim Time: 11m:44s

T1:

The transition area was all grass, which made for a comfortable run from the water to T1. The entrance to transition was nice and wide, making it very easy to head down each lane. My bike was racked on the far right side of transition in the last section before bike out, making it easy to locate and quick to exit. It took a little longer than expected to wipe the grass and moisture off of my feet, but I was able to move fairly quickly out of transition once I had my shoes on. I did waste a few valuable seconds trying to stick a gel into my tri top. I never consumed this gel, so I will skip it next time for this distance, or have it attached to my bike, if needed. While I do eventually want to premount my shoes to the bike to improve transition and mount times, it would not have been a good idea in this race (with socks) due to the wet grass transition area.


T1 Time: 2m:22s

Bike:

Honestly, I was looking most forward to the bike leg of the event because of my new tri bike. This would be my first race on my new Cervelo P2 and FLO 60/90 race wheels. The course was mild and rolling with a good bit of uphill out and downhill back. I was able to maintain good power and wasn’t passed by many other athletes. I did struggle somewhat on the hills. I think I attacked them too hard, attempting to pass others, only to be retaken on the downhills. I was able to stay in the aero position for all but the steeper hills and I feel like this made a difference in my time. Drinking from the Torhans bottle between the aero bars was nice, but the top kept flopping open and splashing Infinit all over my bars and Garmin – to the point that it would change screens on my computer due to the touchscreen. I may need to lock the screen settings to prevent this in the future.

Bike Time: 0h:40m:17s

T2:

This transition was much quicker. Having already put on my socks, I was able to quickly rack my bike, swap shoes (with Lock Laces) and grab my hat and number. I put both of those on during the run out as usual, to save time.

T2 Time: 1m:10s

Run:

Just after exiting transition, my calves tried to cramp on me. However, I was mindful of my heart rate and made sure to keep it dialed back for the first half mile or so. This avoided cramping up and gave my legs time to get going. After the initial half mile (9:39 pace), I was able to increase my pace for the remainder of the run to 9:12. Even though much of the run course was shaded on a path around the lake, it got hot. The end of the run was downhill and fast, but there was an uphill just prior to the finish line.

Run Time: 0h:28m:47s


Post Race:

After finishing, collecting my medal and returning my time chip, I stayed at the finish line to cheer for Harold, who I knew wasn’t far behind me (I had passed him on the run with about a mile to go). After he finished we went to the food area and grabbed a bagel and a water. We both hung around a while waiting for the official times to post. The initial group of results were up, but they hadn’t been updated in a while. After I skimmed back through the results and noticed I was out of an age group podium, I headed back to transition to pack up. I repacked my bag, gathered my bike and exited transition. The area between transition and the finish area (which was on the way back to parking) was natural and wooded, so I carried my bike to avoid punctures, etc. On the way home I had a Clif Bar and continued to drink water.

What would you do differently: Next time I will plan better for nutrition. I won’t worry with a gel on the bike for a sprint distance – or at the very least will have it taped to my bike or in a bento, like in the past. I would like to attach my shoes to my bike and work on a flying mount / dismount to save time during bike transition, but this will take a lot of practice.

Rate your overall experience (1-5) with this race:

Location: 5
Course: 5
Performance: 4

This was a well organized event, in a great location. I really liked the course and would do this event again.

Hotlanta Half Marathon Race Day!

Race Day - Ep 27

This is the recap video of my first half marathon – the Hotlanta Half on June 12, 2016. It was hot, humid and hilly.  I set a PR (first at this distance), met my time goal and most importantly had FUN! Can’t wait to run my next one.

Buying a Road Bike for Cross Training and Triathlons

Trek Emonda ALR 5

I’m in the market for a road bicycle. I’ve been researching them for quite some time now and I think I’m getting close to making a decision. I just have started building my running mileage, so why am I looking at bicycles? You guessed it – I’m thinking about triathlons. Sprint and olympic distances at first. Baby steps.

I started with online research, but quickly became overwhelmed with all of the information out there. I have several friends that ride with groups here in town, so I began reaching out to them. I stopped into a couple of shops locally to chat with the owners and get a feel for what they offer. I like the local feel and community of the smaller shops, but they do have a major drawback. Each shop I went to carried a single different brand. While I would like to think that this is because they strongly believe in that brand and chose to focus their efforts there, sometimes it seems like a business decision. Maybe the brand they carry was the easiest to stock and sell. That’s when I decided to broaden my search a little.

Atlanta Cycling Road Bikes
Wall of road bikes at Atlanta Cycling

We live about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. When I opened up my search to Atlanta, I found many more shops to choose from. In order to prevent overwhelm once again, I asked a few friends which shop they would recommend in the Atlanta area. Both of them said Atlanta Cycling. They also had two brands that overlapped in their “big 3” list: Trek and Cannondale. Ironically Atlanta Cycling carried both of these brands, so I decided to make a trip to the shop.

After hearing I was interested in a road bike for group rides, cross training and triathlons, the previous shops I visited wanted to show me a bike right away. Again, I sort of got the feeling that it just happened to be a bike they wanted to sell me (hopefully, I’m wrong). However, Atlanta Cycling was different. They started by going over the brand their shop carries, why they carry them and how each might fit my goals. Knowing that fit is the most important aspect of a positive cycling experience, they then offered to do a fit analysis on me to determine exactly what setups work best for my specific body. This is something that I was very interested in, especially after going through a similar process for my running shoes at Big Peach Running Company.  Atlanta Cycling uses the Guru fit system – a high tech scanning and measurement system that works in conjunction with an experienced shop employee to get a precise and customized fit on a bike. The process didn’t take that long at all. Afterwards, based in my fit data the system recommended several frames for me to test. The cool thing was that a few of the models were already on my radar during my research.

After getting the test bikes dialed in with my measurements, I was able to take each for a spin on the road. Being new to road bikes, I wasn’t exactly sure what to look for in the feel of a bike.  Brian told me to focus on the feel of the frame when comparing the rides. I took four different bikes out, both aluminum and carbon models from Trek, Cannondale and Cervelo.  After discussing each with Brian, I began narrowing down the selection and he would hang the bikes back up as we eliminated them from the discussion. Based on my limited experience and the fact that I’m just getting started, I’m not sure the $500-1,000 premium for a full carbon frame is worth it for me (at this time).

And so I think I’ve narrowed my selection down to two bikes – the Trek Emonda ALR 5 and the Cannondale CAAD12. I’m ready to start riding, so I want to make a decision soon. I’ve got my eye on a sprint distance triathlon at the end of August, so I need to start training. I’m now comparing the pros and cons of these two bikes and will likely take another test ride between only these two prior to making my decision. As Brian at Atlanta Cycling told me – “you’ll love whatever you chose, almost to a fault.” I sure hope so. I’ll keep you posted on my decision and my training as it progresses.

Trek Emonda ALR 5
Trek Emonda ALR 5
Cannondale CAAD12 105
Cannondale CAAD12 105