Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunfish Triathlon Race Report

I have a confession. I have been talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes to training. I preach about following a training plan – any training plan but I have lapsed. You see, if I do not have big goals then I let things slide. After I qualified for the Boston Marathon at the end of February I have been in the need of a new goal. I half assed it with the half ironman in New Orleans. I coasted on my existing fitness and finished in 5:08 – A PR but not my goal time. That is what happens when your longest ride of the year has been about 45 miles.

Just some of the Hattiesburg Crew!

Then I found a new goal and that was the pump and run challenge. I actually trained for this event. I was back in the weight room and back on the track doing speed work. Working the plan, as always, paid off – I won that challenge. Since then I have now raced two triathlons with less than stellar results. I have just gone through the paces and not actually followed a plan. And my results show this lack of attention. Now, my fitness is not in question. I am still exercising and eating a healthy diet. But exercise without purpose is not training. To do my best I need to train. Running haphazardly with friends, doing whatever in the pool and attacking at group rides will not pay the bills – so to speak.

So after the Sunfish Triathlon on Saturday I was upset with myself. This has been the first year that I have failed to have PR’s at all of my races. I have only myself to blame. The races have simply not been as important to me. In the Sunfish this year I was 1:12 longer on the bike and 23 seconds longer on the run. The swim was also a lot longer – 1:59 – but everyone’s swim was longer.

Enough whining. The weather was great for the Sunfish and I had a decent swim. I went a little wide out in the lake but with the time trial start I had no contact with any other swimmers. I swam an easy pace. I tried to keep Robin in sight and was right next to him for 2/3 of the race. Going wide on the last buoy I lost him. He ended up finishing the swim about a minute ahead of me.

I had a good transition and jumped on the bike. I pushed the pace from the start. There are some large hills on the bike coarse and they had me huffing and puffing. I attempted to attack each of the hills and keep the intensity high. I was only passed once on the bike, however, it was from someone in my age group. I was not going to let them go but once I crested the hill I never saw them again.

The bike was over before I even knew what hit me. I had remembered previous years where I thought the hills and 16 something miles would never end. It was like BAM – that’s all folks. I really thought I had put together a solid effort on the bike. I thought that I was faster than last year and I still had legs that I could run on.

Leaving T2 I saw Robin about 100 yards in front of me. I knew that I could not match his speed. I did not even try. I watched my GPS too damn much and kept my heart rate in check. This is a race – I should have let everything fly…

With about a quarter of a mile left I picked up the pace. I simply had too much in the tank. I ran fast and hard and finished much too strong. After the race my friend Ted said that I looked to comfortable. He was exactly right. For this race I only went through the motions.  I finished overall 1 postion better (24th out of 300 something) and one better in my age group (5th).

Still, we have a good turn out from Hattiesburg. Sam won the race. Chris won the masters. Robin placed second in age group. Brad placed second in age group. Raland placed 4th in Clydesdale (missed third by one second). We also took home the relay title by 25 minutes!

2010 Sunfish Results


Jennifer said...

What a great looking group of people! I think it's OK to not be 100% all the time. Besides you are an excellent competitor and your love of the sport transfers to everyone around you. Hattiesburg has a great group of folks and I think your enthusiasm has influenced that. Now, don't you think it's time for a team kit?

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Sounds like a great race for someone who "left some on the course" Congrats!

Big Daddy Diesel said...


Matty O said...

"But exercise without purpose is not training."

That right there sums up my life. What is the point unless you have a destination. I continue to set the bar high in competition in order for me to stick to the plan.

Good luck getting back in the groove... find your motivation!

Your comment about having small wheels so you don't fall hard was right on. I need to reassess things. Thanks.

Barbie said...

Awesome race report. Great job.

bryan said...

Hey James!
Good entry! We triathletes think that we need to be "balls to the wall" 24/7. However, it is OK for us to take some time off. Many times, a short break will help us rediscover the joy of the sport. Good luck!

lindsay said...

Congrats on your race all the same! I have been mindlessly "training" for months and am feeling very disappointed in myself. Hope we can both get ourselves in gear!