The Triple T is a race unlike any other, so I’m not real sure on how to write a proper race report on it! But I’ll do my best. I’ll be attaching the power files from each ride at the end.
250m swim/5 mile bike/1 mile run – although the bike is a bit short
This year for the prolouge I decided to wear a wetsuit. Previously, I have gone without, but after the frigid water of last year, having an old beater wetsuit that I could cut the legs short to ease exit – I figured why not! All races at the Triple T are a time trial start, due to the number of entries this year they started us two at a time.
I started in the 5th pair. Due to it’s shortness this swim amounts to an all out brawl – I more or less swam as fast as I could – exiting the water I was in third place.
Moving onto the bike I expected to be passed, as I simply don’t have the tolerance nor the strength to hammer it out. My plan was to ride the course (which is basically a downhill, a huge climb, a flat section, and a roaring downhill) – at FTP up until the climb, climb @ 5 minute power, and then resume riding at FTP.
I executed as planned, and hit the run. Being a one mile run, for most people it’s a great opportunity to show how fast they run – for me it’s a great opportunity to run a 6:2X mile and then say “jeez – I could have done that FOREVER”, but not run any faster.
I finished the race in 23:04, about 45 seconds faster then last year – placing down in the middle of the bunch. My teammate Matt roared to a 5th place finish – earning us a 30 second time bonus.
Saturday AM Olympic
1.5k swim/40k bike/6.55 mile run
2:18:57 – 20th OA
I love Olympic distance races. Short enough to work really hard and go FAST, but long enough to really get some good momentum behind you.
Swim – 19:17 (18:48 water exit)
I was looking forward to this race, mostly because it was my first chance to wear my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The fit of the suit was wonderful – my movement was totally unrestrained, it had excellent bouyance, and it didn’t leak like my old suit.
My time at the waters exit is one of my fastest Olympic distance swims, and it was also one of my easiest!
Bike – 1:12:56
My plan for the bike was to right just under FTP, mostly because of the difficulty of the course and it being ~70 minutes long. I was not to worried about frying myself by riding so hard for so long, because the last 3 miles into Transition is a huge open descent that is great for a short recovery.
The ride started out great, Matt was out of the water shortly behind me, and closed the gap by about 15-20 minutes into the ride. I paced off of him, until shortly after the first big climb on the course where he pulled away.
I continued to ride strongly, but starting around 30-40 minutes in, I started to increasingly feel as if my speed was not right for the combination of power/terrain. Finally – around mile 20 halfway up the final climb I decided to stop and check things out. My front tire had pressure, but it was basically flat.
My initial reaction was to think – 1/2 mile up hill, 3 miles downhill, then transition – and I ripped the CO2 off my spare and reinflated the tire. It instantly had pressure, but started hissing like something other. A few bad words out of my mouth, with riders flying by, and I decided I should change it – until I realized that I had just burned my only CO2.
In the end, I decided – well I’ve already who knows how far with no pressure, what’s another 3.5 miles – I cranked up the hill, took the descent fast, but wary because of the tire pressure – and cruised into T2 just under 2 minutes faster then last year.
Run – 44:51
The Triple T run courses were chosen by a mad man. 2.5 miles up hill, bomb downhill for 3/4 of a mile, and then turn around and run back.
The run went pretty well, I felt strong, but almost immediately I felt as if something was wrong with my stomach – the gatorade I had on the bike just didn’t sit well. This was especially noticeable on the downhills as my stomach would just sort of “goo” around on the downhills.
I finished the run a little slower then last year – most likely partially due to stomach issues, and partly due to biking a little hard because of power/speed confusion from the flat.
My time was slower then last year, but if you consider that last years swim was on the short side – the times are pretty close to even.
Pretty uneventful, except for me changing my front tire, gluing up another spare, and have some terrible gas as my stomach ungooed.
Saturday PM Olympic
40k Bike (Team Time Trial)/1.5k Swim/6.55 mile run
2:26:03 – 26th OA
The Saturday PM Olympic is a unique format – you get to start off on the bike, slip into your wetsuit while nice and sweaty, and then finally go for a run.
Matt and I started towards the front of the line. This year our plan was to roll out with me leading, and start us at a steady 300 watts or so – rather then repeat last year where Matt went crazy off the front towing me along behind. Despite starting off with better pacing the bike turned out to be a very painful experience for me, just holding on for dear life.
While I was able to keep up and take a fair share of turns at the front, I struggled up the climbs, and shortly after the turn around started to feel a cramp coming on in my left calf. I had not brought any salt tabs along (I had taken a couple before the race), so had to borrow a couple from Matt.
Swim – 23:01
I was happy to pull into transition, looking forward to relaxing a bit on the swim before hitting the run. Unfortunately, I should have used my faster T1 to hit the water before Matt, my struggle continued to the swim. Matt and I hit the water together, and I took an extra 5-10 seconds to get my goggles adjusted – figured I’d make up time as I did last year. Unfortunately, that was not the case – Matt and I exited the water having swam about the same – not a big deal to be honest, but I considered it a bad sign.
Run – 50:45
Despite my struggle on the swim – I had a positive outlook at the start of the run. Matt and I started it in the midst of a few others – initially I thought it would be good for us to have a group of people to pace off of. As we ran up the first short climb, I knew immediately that my mission was to survive this run rather then run strongly. Matt and the group we were with quickly dropped me, and I had to call Matt back.
We settled in to a decent pace around 8 min/mi or so and got through the course. On the way out to the turn around, I really struggled up a couple of the tough inclines fighting off a quad cramp that had been hiding since the AM race.
Undeterred, we continued forward at a solid clip, each mile a little faster then the one before, but I was dreading the climb up out of the turn around, but I knew if I could make it up that I would be able to run pretty solid the whole way back.
Sure enough, the 1/2 mile or so climb right after the turn around caused me no end of misery – my right leg, yelled and screamed. A combination of running, shuffling, walking, and being pushed got me up the hill and I considered myself home free. Two and a half miles of downhill running – I could manage that!
Things continued pretty well, until a mile or so left when i got a massive side stich/cramp in my upper right chest – it made breathing nearly impossible – it was incredibly painful. Matt coached me through breathing it out as we ran, and after a couple of minutes it had worked out.
Sunday Half Ironman
1.2 mi Swim/55.5 mile bike /13.1 mile run
Matt and I started Sunday solidly in 3rd place in the Male Team Division. We were several minutes behind second place, but nothing a well executed half ironman could not overcome.
Swim – 25:57
Matt and I decided that we would swim this race separately. Last year we had tried to stay together, but on the second lap especially it was just to crowded. I swam a pretty relaxed swim, and felt very good as compared to Saturday. I exited the swim and Mary told me that Matt was just a bit behind – so I figured I’d get a nice breather in T1 🙂
Bike – Crash @ mile 21
Matt and I were the first team onto the bike course – the plan for the day was to let Matt lead the way and do most of the work. I felt bad about this, but my confidence was pretty shattered after Saturday and I knew that I needed to pull out a very solid run for us to be in contention for second.
A mile or so into the ride the leading Male Team (USPro Tri) passed us – we accelerated to keep them in sight and pace off them. It quickly became clear that we could not catch and repass them, but it was equally clear that they were not outriding us – I tossed Matt my vote of “Let’s ride with them until they punch it”. At this point I actually felt pretty good, and my confidence was pretty high.
So went our ride – staying 15-20 yards behind them – sometimes gaining on them, sometimes losing ground to them, but never being dropped.
All was great until mile 21. I came to the top of a small climb on Big Run Road, crested and began the descent. The next thing I knew I was experiencing the odd sensation of flying through the air, bouncing, skidding, and rolling along the ground. I quickly stood up, looked around in a panic for Matt, and my bike. My first thought was something along the lines of “Damn, we lost those guys, and wow I hope Matt waits for me.”
Matt quickly appeared and went to work untangling my chain, while I paced up and down the road fairly uselessly – the full implications of what just happened sinking in. A few choice words came out of my mouth, some riders went by – one of which had a rear flat coming down the descent I skidded down. Turns out he was running clinchers and didn’t have a spare so his day was done too!
By this time my my right knee had a bump on it that looked like a tennis ball had been implanted beneath the skin – Matt saw that out of the corner of his eye and declared us as done.
We ended up the day with an easy ride back into transition. Our riding time to transition was only a minute or so behind our pace from last year, and at the time I crashed we were on pace for a ride 5-10 minutes faster than last year – so a lot of what ifs lingered in mind that night as I pondered the WKO file.
A DNF was a hard piece to swallow, especially considering that it pulled Matt down with me. Not only that, my performance over the weekend left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Mary and I reserved a cabin for next year, and I intend to go back again next year and give it a better go.