Monday, May 23, 2005

Race Report: 2005 Galena (IL) Triathlon

First, the gory details: The overall winner's time was 1:18:05; I finished in 1:47:51, good enough for 179th place out of 661 total race participants. In my age group, the winner's time was 1:33:06; my time ranked me 14th out of 45 racers. I equalled or bettered my pre-race targets in all areas except the bike:

  • Swim : 12:07 (Rank: 366/661; Target: 13:00)
  • T1: 3:01 (Rank: 233/661; Target: 3:00)
  • Bike: 56:11 (Rank: 154/661; Target: 50:00)
  • T2: 1:46 (Rank: 343/661; Target: 2:00)
  • Run: 34:48 (Pace: 8:06; Rank: 212/661; Target: 35:00)

Some reflections: I swam the course twice on Friday with no problems, and the race's first 150 yards were great. I was swimming in the front third of my wave...then it all went to hell. My brain couldn't handle any level of possible success in the swim so it started to tell me "You can't do this! What're you out here for? You can't breathe! You'll never make it...!" Mild panic attack symptoms set in and it wasn't until the final 150 yards or so that I got any semblance of a groove back. I easily could have - and should have - been out of the water at 10:00 instead of 12:07.

i still need to work on hill climbing to improve my bike times. An important lesson is that you can't make up on the downhills what you loose on the uphills, though I did hit 73K per hour (45.3 mph) on one particularly long, steep downhill stretch. Yes, it did scare the living crap outta me when I looked down at the computer and saw how fast I was going, but it was toward the end of the bike, I knew I wasn't going to hit my target, and I was PISSED! I bombed the entire hill, top to bottom, no brakes, pedalling furiously all the way down. Not too smart but really, really fun!

My average speed was 18 mph - the same as in the duathlon several weeks ago but on a much tougher course, so I guess I should view it as improvement. 50 minutes still seems like a reasonable goal for 2006.

The run's first mile took me about 11:00 minutes since I (and many other racers) had to walk part of the diabolically steep first quarter mile. To average 8:06 as I did, I must've been flying on the last two downhill miles - thanks to Karyn who insisted that I learn to RUN on downhill stretches and use them to make up time. I probably passed 10 runners in the last 1/2 mile who had stopped racing and were just struggling to stay upright on a steep downhill. Next year I'll shoot for a 7:30 pace and NOT walking on that first uphill.

I am reasonably proud of the fact that, while I had people pass me on both the bike and the run, by the end I'd reeled 'em all in and re-passed each and every one. Sometimes ya gotta focus on the small battles too. I wasn't terribly good at any of the three disciplines, but I wasn't really bad at any of them either. Consistency does pay off once in a while.

Most importantly, I had a great time - though I am not a fan of the point-to-point format with two transition areas, remote parking, shuttle buses and all the accompanying logistics. The race itself is well organized, very well staffed and enthusiastically supported by Galena's residents. And if you've been to Galena you know it's far from a bad place to hang out for a weekend.

By the way, congratulations to Blogroll member Sam Yount for his 4th place overall finish and time of 1:20:45. He's obviously gotten the right training-to-blogging ratio going. Maybe there's a lesson in there for me. Course it helps to be 23 years young, too.

And thanks to all of you, dear readers and bloggers, for your kind words and positive thoughts.


mipper said...

WTG! It sounds like it was a really good experience. You did great!

Comm's said...

That was a great race report. Karyn will be proud of you. I think you make some good distinctions between the du and the tri.

All in all sounds like you had a good race. Right on.

White Salamander said...

Great Report! Thanks for posting it. Sorry to hear about your mental side letting you down on the swim. Next time you can be ready for it and do even better.

Great time though.

Anonymous said...

Karyn IS proud of you. Now get on your bike and make thos hill repeats COUNT Davis!

Glad your walnuts survived the 62 degree water! We were thinking of you on our NO wetsuit swim in Memphis!

Great work Steve, keep up the Vertical work!

nancytoby said...

Congratulations!! It sounds like you absolutely rocked that course! Hitting the majority of your goals right on the head is an outstanding day indeed!!!

Shelley said...

Congrats, you did fabulous...14th out of 45??? That's aweseome!

Flatman said...

Good job, man. We are very proud to have such a dedicated and determined person to be a part of our group. I predict a top five in your age group next year if you keep training like this!

soccerdad said...

awesome job, steve! 14th in your AG is incredible.

Phil said...

62 degrees!?!?!? Wow.

It sounds like you enjoyed yourself. That's the part I like the best.

Wil said...


I can't believe that insane speed on the bike downhill - holy crap, I'd have freaked!


nancytoby said...

I was just looking at your placements and times, and your bike placement, when you did NOT meet your target, is the best of the day! So that says that perhaps your target for the bike was a little too aggressive, and not consistent with your paces at the swim and run, perhaps??? Just a thought.