Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tugaloo Olympic Triathlon, September 15, 2007 – 25th overall, 3rd place AG

Tugaloo is a hard race for Olympic distance, but I really like it. 1.5k swim, 42k bike, 10k run in north Georgia, about 1 hour out of Atlanta. It was the George State Championship and always attracts a good field from the southeast. A really hilly bike and run that lights a fire in the quads. I was anxious to race after my disaster at Ironman Louisville 3 weeks ago. I was really glad to do well at Tugaloo, 3rd out of 56 in my age group, top 25 out of 550 overall. Olympic distance is a lot of fun – none of the nutrition and pacing issues of Ironman, just go all out all the time! (I'd just gotten back from sweat testing at Gatorade Sports Science Institute 5 days earlier. See below)

My swim was . . . decent. Good but not great. That story is getting kind of old, don’t you think? My swim split was 12th out of 56 in my age group, about where it usually is, top 20% or so. Tugaloo is a time trial swim start, which I like because I can immediately get “free water” and don’t have to battle the bodies so much. As usual, my Omnipod insulin pump did perfect on my left triceps (see cycling photo). Thanks Omnipod!

Did my usual quick finger prick check of the BS (that would be blood sugar) in T1 on my One Touch UltraMini meter. I hate to stop to finger prick blood in such a short race when every second really counts, but the One Touch gives me results in just 5 seconds and its always dependable! I need that peace of mind before I head out on the bike. There’s too much danger hammering 25 mph on the bike, 40 mph down hills, without knowing my blood sugar. It was good, 125 mg/dl.

I crushed the bike as hard as I could. I love this bike course. It is only 42k, a little over 26 miles, but real hilly. I bet my heart rate never got below my AT (anaerobic threshold) the whole time. That means I had lactic acid simmering in my quads for 26 miles. I think I was taking out some frustration from my pitiful performance and disastrous bike in Louisville. Last year I actually rode 50 seconds faster, but I think it was more windy this year. Averaged just over 23 mph, posting the 2nd fastest bike split in my age group - about where I usually am . . .good in the swim, really good on the bike. Now let’s see if I can be good on the run.

Starting the run I knew I was up among the leaders. There were about 550 in the race and I felt like I was in the top 20 – 30 overall. Hard to tell since it was a time trial swim start, so I did not know where some of the athletes started. This just makes you go all out the whole time (at least it does me) since you don’t really know exactly where you stand at any point. I felt really good on the run – “good” in a “this hurts like hell because I’m going as hard as I can” kinda way. I was holding about a 6:45 pace the first 4 miles, even though it was a murderously hilly and twisty course through a state park. Lots of turns and short ups and downs that really pummel your quads! One short descent was so steep a guy running just ahead of me almost wiped out. I’ve never scene that on the run.

I held my position almost the entire run. I was pleased to run just over a 43 minute 10k, a 7:00 minute pace, so I slowed a bit the last 2 miles but good enough for the 6th fastest run in my age group. So what does the 12th fastest swim, 2nd fastest bike, and 6th fastest run mean? 25th overall, 3rd in my age group, a little plaque and a little redemption from Louisville. Only 10 minutes separated the top 10 through 25, so it was really tight.

Next race for me is the South Carolina Half Ironman in 2 weeks. I’m hoping to get in the top 20 overall and win my age group. We’ll see. I’m going to go hard. See you then!

1 comment:

May Lou said...

Hi Jay, Just wanted to say how enjoyable your presentation at UW-FVC was. My niece Jaclyn didn't make it that night. She did make Club Volleyball in Green Bay. I have encouraged her to contact you and stay in touch. She has been very active in sports especially since her diagnosis of JD.
I am a children's storyteller...listening to you was extremely inspirational. I felt as if i were running the race myself!
Stay in touch Mary Shelley