Saturday, September 7, 2013

Frantic Frog 2013 Race Report

Frantic Frog Triathlon, 7 Sept 2013 
400m Swim, 24K Bike, 5K Run

This is my tenth triathlon of 2013.  I always like to mention what went on the day before a race.  It’s very rarely relevant to racing, although sometimes it can impact the race day performance.  I think it’s important to enjoy the sport and be competitive, but still enjoy the rest of your life.  Some of “us” (me included) can occasionally let our triathlon training take over our lives.  I haven’t met anyone lately who is making a living doing triathlons, and “triathlon” will not shed a tear when we are gone.  So keep it real and have fun racing. 

Rocketman 2011
Callaway Gardens 2012
On that note, my Friday night was spent watching local high school football.  Later that night the Bius Family drove up from South Mississippi to spend the weekend with us.  Great to see friends and looking forward to racing with my good friend Joel for the third year in a row.  He is the one to blame for my triathlon habit, since he talked me into doing the 10K as a relay team with him in 2011. 

A late night made race morning came early since I wanted to get a bike rack near the bike in/out.  Normal morning routine and I even shared my superstition nutrition with Joel.  Since he has been short on training time this year, I knew he could use the boost. We departed home at 0500 hours. 

As we arrived at Goosepond, it was evident that two cultures were trying to occupy the same space.  Bass fishing and triathlons…interesting mix.  Just for the record, most of the bass fishermen were there long before the triathletes began to arrive.  I enjoy bass fishing when I have the opportunity.  But I can honestly say I never got up at 3:00 a.m. to fish!  Wish I could say the same for triathlons.   

Even though we arrived at 6:00 and went straight to the bike racks, we still weren’t the first bikes to claim a space.  Packet pick was nice and simple, as always at this race.  Then I had time to set up my transition area and enjoy the time catching up with lots of folks at the race.  Got a good warm-up on the bike, but took longer than I normally do.  This resulted in no run warm-up, and I missed the team picture.  

Frantic Frog with Joel Bius 2013!!
I made it to the dock as the swimmers were lining up.  My bib number was 18, even though I think I was closer to 30th going in the water.  No, I’m not that fast, but I had to be back in Madison to coach a soccer game that started at 11:00 so I took a “few” seconds off my estimated swim time.  Added bonus of being at the front of the line was seeing all of the fast people at the beginning of the race, instead of while they were finishing as I started my run. 

Last year, I was putting my goggles on as I jumped off the dock.  This year I was goggled up and ready.  Unfortunately, my right goggle must have been over my swim cap and filled up with water almost immediately.  I can swim with one eye, but at the turn buoy, the left goggle fogged up.  I should have emptied them and resealed, but (for some unknown reason) I didn’t.  Since I started at the front, there weren’t very many swimmers to follow in, and I couldn’t see anything but swimmers going the opposite direction.  I tried to stay towards the buoys and keep the outgoing swimmers in view.  This resulted in swimming back towards the starting dock and then angling over to the swim exit.  My gps track showed I swam 543 meters in 10:11.  Last year’s swim time was 07:41, so I’m thinking the swim might have been a little long this year.  I also compared some of the top swim times and most of them were approximately 1.5 -2 minutes longer this year. 

I made it to the shore eventually and jogged into T1.  This run felt a lot longer than it really is, but in and out.  It is a psychological boost to see all the bikes in transition as I’m headed out.  Who cares that it’s a time-trial start, I like the mental boost.

Right out of T1, Will Barnwell comes by me doing warp speed…mental boost gone.  Overall bike seemed to be a very fast course this year.  I passed a fellow age-grouper around mile three.  Since my calf sleeves cover my age, I politely let him know (as I passed him) that if he needed any motivation that we were in the same age group.  It must have worked because we proceeded to pass each other about 6 times for the remainder of the bike course.  This may have helped him, since he was 8th in our age group and I came in 11th, but it helped me to push harder on the bike, too.  My average bike speed was 22.3 mph compared to last year’s 21.8 mph. 

T2 was quick and my fellow age-grouper and I departed on the run at the same time. 

I introduced myself and enjoyed the first ¾ mile with Jeff Summerlin-Long.  He told me he usually runs about a 7:15 pace and I knew that I couldn’t keep that pace on the winding, rolling Frantic Frog run course.  He ended up running a 7:03 to my 7:22.  Another PR for my 5K pace in triathlons this year!  I also owe part of that time to Dink Taylor.  He started to pass me in the woods a few hundred yards short of the finish.  Yes, he started the swim way later than me, and is a fast bike and crazy fast runner, but out of principle I couldn’t let him pass me at the end.  I can say that I crossed the finish line ahead of a 6-time Alabama 50-miler state record holding runner.  He ran a 6:15 pace and finished in 1:09:20, great job Dink!!

All of this made for a great day and I still got to coach my younger daughter’s soccer game and watch my older daughter play soccer later in the afternoon.  Shout out to my pastor and friend, Andy Wulff, for completing his first road triathlon.  He beat his goal time by 4 minutes.  Great job by Doug Wright today, he also exceeded his goals for the race.  Fleet Triathlon Team took 12 of the top 50 overall places and 12 podiums.   Scottsboro Trisport Club puts on a quality race with great after party.  Looking forward to racing in the 40-44 age group here next year.  David Rawlings captured the 1st place podium this year in the 40-44 AG, and he only beat me by 9 seconds.  Maybe I won't have to ride a mountain bike in the rain to get a podium next year.

I mentioned in my last report how important it is to be fast in Transition.  Almost prophetic, since this race I was 57th, 63rd, and 53rd in the respective race events.  However, due to my  transition times I ended up 39th Overall.  Four weeks and “a taper” remaining before the Goosepond 70.3 grand finale!  

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