Monday, May 14, 2012

Season Opener

My first race of the year was a repeat of the first tri I ever did.  The event is May Madness in Effingham Illinois run by Cutting Edge Events.  The folks at Cutting Edge do a nice job so if you are in the area and want an early season tri to get the season started, check it out.  This year the weather was perfect, upper 50's to start, sunny and calm, nothing like it was two years ago at my first tri. This year I also got to meet up with a friend from work, his wife, and a BT friend, so it was much more fun than racing alone.

Race day, I got up at 4 am (for the third time in four days).  It's about an hour and a half drive, but with no traffic at 4 am, I was able to make it a little lot faster :-).  It was pitch black when I left, but drove into a nice sunrise to start the day.
nice start to the day
Once at the race site, I quickly registered, got body marked, and started setting up.  I was set up in no time, and just hung out and visited.  Ran into a super fast guy from my fitness class and chatted with him and his wife for a while.  Chatting with friends does wonders to limit the pre-race anxiety I feel.

The water was a nice 66 degrees (with a wetsuit) and smooth.  I started near the back since I'm a slow swimmer and didn't have much contact.  I felt pretty good on the swim and sighted better than normal.  I'm just not a real strong swimmer.
beautiful morning

distance looks longer in open water to me
The bike route was a flat out and back with a couple little rollers at the beginning.  My goal was to make sure I was breathing hard the whole time. I managed to do that most of the right until my knees started feeling bad so I backed off a tad.

The run is also a flat out and back and I had the same goal as the bike, keep pushing it.  I ran as fast as I could and just tried to hang on.  I passed a woman with a Garmin at about half way and asked her our pace.  7:42, yikes! No wonder it was hard, that's fast for me.

My goal going into the race was to shave three minutes off my time from two years ago.

2010 2012
swim 10:53 10:03
T1 2:00 1:23
bike 41:10 39:23
T2 1:00 0:51
run 26:53 24:35
 total1:21:54 1:16:14

I'm a little bummed my bike average was below 20mph but it doesn't surprise me given my knee issues.  I was pleasantly surprised I was able to run under 8 minute miles, actually more like ecstatic!  I haven't run a 5k that fast in 20 years.

I did manage to take home some hardware.  3rd in my age group! Don't tell anyone that there were only three in my age group, that would make it an attendance prize :-).

The TYR tri top almost hides the 8 pounds I'm trying to lose :-)

Looks like I need some spray on tan and to work on my guns :-)
Sprint tris are a lot of work for a short race.  I probably spent two hours packing my gear, racking my bike, etc, an hour and a half driving there, an hour and a half driving back, then another hour cleaning up my mess all for a little over an hour of pain. I think I like the Olympic distance the best.
back seat mess

front seat mess
Overall, it was a great start to the season.  My first Oly is next week and I'm dreading the swim.


Kathy said...

WOOT! Great job, Mike!!! What a great improvement and you ran a fabulous 5K in the end - awesome! You earned your 3rd in AG - don't sell yourself short!

Kate Geisen said...

Hey, congratulations!! You improved in every single area. That's pretty awesome.

And my car is still a disaster from my weekend. And it'll only be worse after this next one probably.

Jill said...

I was going to say, "Hey..." but Kate beat me to it. :(

Great job on the huge improvement, that is fantastic and what this game is all about! And knocking out a 5K 20-year PR is super sweet, I smiled bit when I read that :).

You didn't just get some little ole hardware, you got some kick-ass trophy - that's fantastic. Great job...who cares if there were only 3 - a win is a win! :)

I was just thinking when I was packing for a 5k this past weekend that all this getting ready stuff really is time consuming. Then coming home and cleaning up is almost worst. But the trophy is worth it, huh? :)

Unknown said...

I like your season opener. You made improvements in every segment over last year. That's awesome! Wow, and an Oly next week. Looking forward to the next race report.

Anne B said...

Way to go Mike, improvements in every segment for a 5+ minute PR is fantastic, especially in a sprint distance! Agree with you about sprint being a lot of work. I predict PR at Carlyle!

KovasP said...

Great improvement and a podium's a podium, congratulations!

The Unexpected Runner said...

Fabulous time! I can't even imagine running that fast at the end of a tri! Awesome!

Christie said...

What a great way to kick off 2012, Congrats Mike! A PR, in a sprint distance especially, is awesome. Nice way to finish the race strong on the run :) I hope the knees don't bother you at your Oly next weekend.

Patrick Mahoney said...

Nice Job! Good luck with the Oly...

ajh said...

Great job! You took a lot of time off. How long was the swim? Do you like everything better in the Olympic distance? I don't see me ever doing that but I will be out there for a lot longer time in my sprint so maybe it will feel more worth it. My first one will be about 45 minutes away. I think I will have some people there cheering for me which will be fine as I will need the support.

ajh said...

Oh yeah. There is no such thing as an attendance prize. You are beating all the people just sitting at home. Totally a real prize!

AMcConn said...

Great job and amazing improvement!!You earned that trophy... enjoy it!

Another great post... FYI, my backseat looks the same on race day (I try not to let the front seat look like that as I drag Moms to the races! haha).

RockStarTri said...

Nice job! Sounds like a great race and hardware too!

Game on!

Theia said...

Woo hoo!! That is a great race!

And I love your photo caption -- the swim distance looks WAY farther in the great outdoors.

ajh said...

I did lube my bike chain amazingly enough. And yes, my son races although not often. He is going to do a 2 person relay with me soon in the Vermont City Marathon.

Raina said...

This is GREAT Mike! A 5 minute PR? And a 20 year 5k PR as well - during a tri! Amazing how just a few weeks ago you were wondering if you'd be able to race since you were injured. Bummer your knee didn't like to go fast on the bike, but I'd say this was a great start to the season. Best wishes this next race!

Cory Reese said...

Wow. Those pictures are incredible! Congrats on such an awesome race! That is some good looking hardware.

On the Right Track said...

Oh my Mike...great job!!! You look and sound like a pro! I am really nervous for my first sprint tri...probably because i am totally not ready for it. When you mentioned gear, I panicked. so, in your opinion...wet suit or tri suit? do you just stay in htat suit for hte whole race? NY open water...suggestions?