Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Steelman Race Report

It's Sunday July 3rd and the alarm went off at 5AM as it does for all my triathlon weekends, but I turned it off and went back to bed this time! Thats right, I didn't skip my start wave, it just so happens that for this race all waves started after 11AM, which meant a nice long sleep....unusually long sleep for a Sunday, really. Well, I didn't get up at 5AM but I got up at 7AM to get the car ready as my car dealership was finally able to pull the finger out of their ass and get me the bike rack I ordered back in November 2010. Ridiculous!! Anyway, I get the rack up on the car and give it a good wash before the drive off.

We had talked to some Spanish friends about coming out to spend the day with us so when we finally got the girls ready and loaded into the car we drove off to pick them up before heading out to Dorney Lake.  It was a good 45 minute drive from my house but the ride was fun with the GL packed, and we finally get to Dorney. What a beautiful venue!

We arrive at about 12:30 and as the girls go off to the bouncy castles I headed out to the registration to get my number, pink swimming cap, and timing chip.  Whats up with the pink caps? Its the third I get in three consecutive races! I wonder if someone is trying to tell me something. Anyway, I go off to set up my bike and bag in transition and then I head up to the stands were Sonia, the girls and our friends were sitting. I waited  until 1:30 to go down to transition to have my gel and warm up a bit before the swim.

"DAMN.. its a long swim!" Thats all I was thinking. This was to be the longest triathlon I'd ever done since all my previous races have been sprints, and I was feeling butterflies all over again. "PINK CAPS.... PINK CAPS" they called out, as to make us feel really manly about our wave.  Off we went to the water and we had to wait in the water for about 2 minutes before the start and then.....BANG! Massive start fun! Well, not that massive but still, about 40 people on my wave started swimming for the 2 laps we had to do.  I was able to keep up with the group until halfway to the turn, but then I had to relax a bit.  This is where I got passed by a large group of guys and all went to shit on this leg. I basically just wanted to survive the 1Km swim but it seemed to go on forever.  I have not been spending enough time at the pool, and the 25m:10s swim makes it quite obvious.

I make it  out of the water safe and sound make it out of T1 in a whopping 3m:08s.  I really need to work on this but, if I may, this is mainly due to my lack of swimming fitness which makes me slow down in order to pick up my breathing once Im out of the water. That and the absence of triathlon specific shoes clipped on to my bike (summer wish list with the Exocet). Anyway, I hit the road for the 30Km around the lake and as soon as I leave I am able to pass a couple of guys who I am pretty sure were on my wave.  However, soon after that, I was passed by a group of what seemed to be 5 SWAT team triathletes as these guys were all wearing the same black tri suit, same bikes, same disk wheels, and they were ALL DRAFTING! WTF? Anyway, its supposed to be an event to improve your times so who cares, definitely not me.  
I got up to a group of guys who kept changing position between them and I joined in for a couple of laps.  While all this was going on a few more pro racers went by to add to my frustration, but hey, I was there to do my best, so forget the rest (how cheesy)! Back to the guys I was with, one of which had a TT bike: Right, so I stay with these guys for a few laps and I then get off my saddle and hit it hard for about 300m to get away, which I did.  I managed to be on my own and I did not get passed for the last 2 laps, which I used to chase two guys I could see in a distance.  I managed to get to them both before T2, but my legs were really hurting at this point. I finished the bike leg in 56m:41s. Room for improvement there as well. 

I managed T2 a bit quicker than T1, in 1m:40s, but I still feel I can do it quicker.  On this transition its the bike shoes again (summer wish list...again), and the socks. Check out my fashionably correct socks on the bike! Hell yeah.... :) Anyway, back to the report: T2 out of the way and I'm out of transition onto the three laps for the 7.5Km run.  Surprisingly enough my legs were actually ok after the long swim and ride.  Could the calf compression socks have anything to do with it? Hmm.. I hope so. On the run I managed to keep an OK pace of 5:22 for the distance while only being passed by 3 people.  I managed to pass about 8 people, many of whom were in my wave, and were on my age group, and that felt great! :) Total run time for the 7.5Km 37m:10s.
It was a great feeling to finish the race, specially after my initial thoughts of calling it a day during the swim. Looking back I can definitely say that my training needs to be a bit more focused on swimming or better yet OWS for these types of races.  I ned to shave about 10mins off my swimming if I want to compete with these guys.  The bike leg was not bad to be honest, specially if I consider the fact that I came out in 49/79 overall and the chap in the 17th position had a slower bike leg than me...but kicked my ass on the swimming! The run was abut average with the rest of the guys, but a couple more brik sessions would not hurt either.

On a personal note I must say I was bit pissed off with my wife as they spent most of the time (not to say all the time) watching the Wimbledon final and not my race! But oh well, thats one a year and I race every month.

Very cool venue, great atmosphere, and a perfect track to come back to and beat previous times as it is completely flat.

TIME: 2h:03m:49s

Next race is Barcelona on the 17th of July.


  1. Solid race....if it makes you feel any better my swim is horrible, always at the slower end. The benefit to a slow swim is that I am always passing people on the bike and run though.

    Be happy that your wife and kids were at the event, mine missed all but one of my races last year, it must be nice to just have them there at the finish. Keep up the good work.

  2. Sounds like a solid race to me. You've got me beat on the swim and probably the run as well. Very respectable times and you know where to put the effort in training. That's a win-win.