Triple T races 2 and 3

TTT Race #2 The second race of The Triple T started today at 7:30. The air temperature was about 40 degrees. I hate cold. I will be the first to say that I don’t do well in the cold. So I tried to figure out how to stay warm coming out of the water and onto the bike in temperatures just above 40 degrees. Thankfully I brought a couple jackets and some 100%. Play Harder gear to use as a scarf. I was really concerned about getting hypothermia… but I figured I would do it, since everybody else was. A little of peer pressure, maybe??

Again the swim started in a time trial start. I opted to use my TYR Cat 5 Hurricane wetsuit since the water temperature dropped to 65 degrees over night. It was definitely a good choice. I felt smooth in the water and by the end of the swim, I felt warm. Good to know that my core temperature was a little warm for heading out onto the cold bike course. I exited the water in about 7th place. I took my sweet time in T1 putting on things to stay warm… 3 minutes of sweet time! But most people took about as long.

The bike course was very techinical. Most of the course was on paved fire roads. Winding and twisting up… and steep, fast, with lots of blind corners. I played the downhills very conservative. With all the hills and turning, I was maybe in my aerobars for about 50% of the 25 mile bike. But, the good news was I never felt cold. I rolled into T2 able to feel all of my body! T2 was much faster… strip off the two jackets and slip on some Swiftwick socks and my Newton MV3’s and out to the 6.55 mile trail run.

It took me about 1.5 to 2 miles to find my legs since it was mostly uphill on a two track path. Finally, my legs started feeling good.I wanted to finish in the top 5 overall (including the teams) to get a :30 time bonus at the end of the weekend. I eyed the competition as they headed back to the finish line (the trail is an out and back). I could tell that I could catch one of the guys, maybe two. I pushed the pace and with about 1.5 miles left to go, I closed the gap of about ½ mile from the 3 mile marker. I cruised into the finish at 5th place, securing my time bonus, but was the first of the solo division across the line. This race moved me into 1st overall in the solo division by about 2-2.5 minutes. Time to rest up for the next Olympic distance race at 3:00.

Race #3

Race number three isn’t your typical triathlon. Bike, swim, run. Another time trial start, but this time we tackled another hilly (but less technical) 25 mile course. I felt good… better than the morning race. The warmer temperatures seemed to help. I paced off the team that started in front of me (they were drafting off each other since they are allowed to) for the first 10 miles or so. I lost them on a very techinical descent with lots of gravel. I wanted to pace this bike about what I would do for a Half Ironman or slightly less. My power was right it needed to be. I never was passed by any of the teams that started behind me. In fact, I think I put about a minute or two on them.

T1 is interesting. People getting off the bike and trying to put on wetsuits. People like using wetsuits mostly to prevent cramping in the chilly water. However, I will be the first to admit that I am not fast at putting on a wetsuit. I probably would have a 10 minute T1 if I put on my wetsuit (on a good day). I opted to use my TYR Torque swim skin. I made up a lot of time in T1 on the team in front of me, because they opted to don their wetsuits. I ran to the water… which was probably 65 degrees still, or even colder since the high today only hit 60. I jumped into the water did a few dolphin dives before getting into my freestyle stroke. The water literally took my breath away. After a few dolphin dives, my body seemed to adjust to it enough and I now I had to swim 1.5K in freezing cold water, and hope that the compression of the swim skin would be enough to keep me from cramping. I actually made up some time on the team in front of me, and exited the water about 30-45 seconds behind.

Since taking off a wetsuit takes much longer than taking off a swim skin, I managed to exit T2 about :15 behind. My feet were numb from the swim, and the rest of me was very chilled. Out to the same trail for another 6.55 mile trail run. I passed the team about ¼ mile into the run. But swimming caused me to get a bit of a side stitch. I guess the advice of not eating or drinking anything for 30 or 45 minutes before swimming is true. I did a fair amount of burping to try to get the stitch to go away. Finally about 2 miles into the run, I felt that I start drinking some nutrition and running again. I had took a sip of Infinit’s NAPALM highly caffeinated and was looking for a pick-me-up. I felt it work a few minutes later. I made it to the turn around with a :30 lead on the team, and probably about 3.5 minute lead on the next solo guy. I kept a steady pace into the finish and managed to cross about 2-3 minutes ahead of the team, and about 10 minutes ahead of the next solo guy.

Tomorrow is a big day. We have a 70.3 to do tomorrow… so half of the distance happens tomorrow. Still anyone’s game at this point.