Tri for Sight Race Report
The Susan Bradley Cox Tri for Sight is the last race of the central Kentucky triathlon series. It’s a long sprint (800m swim, 19.1mi bike, 4mi run) with typically good weather and a really really long T1. I’m about a month out from Steelhead and I haven’t really put in the effort I should have in training to keep my form, but I knew this was the last race of the season and I just was a bit lazy due to that. I was leading the series by about 8 minutes at this point and with a relatively short race to finish it out, I was pretty sure as long as I had a good race and was able to finish, I should take the win.
In the weeks since Steelhead, I did 3 hours (transition week), then 9.5 hours, 9 hours, and 7.5 hours leading up to race week. Like I said, my volume was down. I wanted to perform well at this race as I have set PRs for all the races I’ve done so far this year and I wanted the trend to continue, but I’d just lost the drive since my last big race was done.
Race morning was supposed to be COLD. It was 40 degrees when I woke up, so I bundled up and headed down to the race at 5:45am. I got transition set up rather quickly and went for a short run to warm up. I was number 37. The race was supposed to start at 7:15 and we were doing 20 second TT starts in the pool so I should have started around just after 7:27. Well, the race volunteers weren’t all in place on time, so they kept delaying the start. With the weather outside, I didn’t mind at all. The later they waited, the warmer it would be for me and I really wasn’t looking forward to running outside while I’m wet.
We got under way about 20 minutes late. I had hoped to swim the 800 meters right on 13 minutes which meant every 200 should be 3:15. So, I set my watch to alert me every 3:15, so I could know if I was on pace. Unfortunately, it never went off, so I really had no idea. I felt good and I was pulling a nice even stroke w/o too much exertion. Turns out I swam the first 400 right on pace and I backed off a bit for the last 400, but I felt good coming out of the water.
Swim time – 13:48 1:44/100m or 1:33/100y
Like I said, T1 is extremely long. The race is set up on University of Kentucky’s campus. The swim is in the campus natatorium and the transition area is across the street in the football stadium parking lot. The run from the pool to the bikes is 1/3 of a mile so keeping a high pace here is critical as you can really lose time if you don’t push. Since it’s such a long ways, I put shoes I can easily slip on just outside the building (it’s allowed in this race due to the distance). I put them on quickly and took off. It was freezing out there, but at this point, it didn’t really matter too much. I made the decision on the run over that I needed sleeves for the bike, so when I got there, I pulled on my Under Armor shirt. As you can imagine, trying to pull that on wet was about like trying to pull on socks made of duct tape. After wrestling with that for way too long, I grabbed the bike and was off. My T1 was way too long, but I was warm. I had planned to make it around 2:30, but looking at my Garmin data, I stood at my bike for 59 seconds losing time as I put my shirt on.
T1 time – 3:46
Out on the bike, I started to pass quite a few people, but most of them were duathletes who had started before me. I planned to go around 48-49 minutes on this course which would put me right around 23.5mph. It’s a rolling course heading south from campus and out into the edges of the county. The elevation gain is about 25ft/mile which is typical for this area. I wasn’t pushing as hard as I thought I should, and perhaps this was due to lack of training or lack of drive, I’m not sure. Either way, I came off the bike slower than I had hoped, but still in good shape.
Bike time – 50:34 22.6mph
T2 was painful as I hopped off the bike and my feet were quite cold. I was running across rough asphalt and I suppose the pain was evident in my face as well as my gait. My wife told me later she and the other girls were discussing whether or not I was injured b/c of the way I was moving through T2. Thankfully, I wasn’t. I just needed shoes.
T2 time – 0:58
Now off on the run, I was feeling good. I had hoped to push my HR up to about 170 and hold somewhere under 7 minute miles (wherever that HR landed me was what I’d take). I knew from the bike turnaround that my closest competitor in the series was Bryan. Checking my splits at the turnaround, I hadn’t put any distance on him on the bike (I was pretty sure, he had gained on me). I knew that I needed to have a pretty good run to keep ahead of him. With the TT start, I have to do a lot of math while I’m racing to figure out where everyone is. It’s not always an exact science though 🙂
The run is a 2 mile out and back course that’s not too bad. My first two miles were 7:01 and 6:52 respectively. At the turnaround, I needed to be at least 5.5 minutes up on Bryan and when I saw him, I knew it was going to be close. So, I picked the pace up a bit and ran the last 2 miles at 6:23 and 6:19 to close out strong. It’s a good thing I did. I just edged Bryan out by 39 seconds!
Run time – 26:55
Overall time 1:36:02
4th place overall, 1st place in my AG, and 1st place in the series!
Not a bad finish to the year. I wasn’t as happy with this race as I wanted to finish around 1:32, but looking at all the results, it seems everyone was slow this year, especially on the bike. So, maybe the weather had an affect? I’m not sure.
Post race celebration with my #1 fan and some of our family.
What I learned from this race:
- I need to train if I want to perform up to my expectation. With the lack of training, I suppose I can’t be too upset. I was 4th after all and the guys that beat me are very high caliber triathletes in my book.
- Go without a shirt next year. I think I would have been fine on the bike without it. It cost me nearly a minute. That minute didn’t hurt me this year, but it may in the future.
- My swim has improved to the point (at least in the race) that it’s nearly as strong as my run (or as weak depending on your point of view). I was 91st percentile in the swim, 98th percentile on the bike, and 94th percentile in the run.