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LA Championship Tri Series #3 San Dimas 2017 Race Report

Created: Saturday, 27 May 2017

I had a rare free weekend in California, so I signed up this race. My 3rd this season. Just before the race I learned this Olympic distance race is part of a championship series. Now the title of the race made sense. It also means that the race will be highly competitive. My training is not even close to where it should be due to work away from home, living in a hotel, frequent traveling, and recent injuries. Despite the situation, I was determined to have a fun race day and have a strong performance. I did both while experiencing a few surprises!!

I woke up at 4 am to find the strap on my Garmin 920xt watch had broken! Ugh!!! I already lost one 920 after it was kicked off of my wrist in a race the other year off of the quick-release strap. I grabbed a zip tie to hold the strap together. Prepared my nutrition with Hammer Heed, Gel, and Bars. Loaded up my Quintana Roo PRsix bike, and I was race ready!
The race was in a reservoir in San Dimas, CA, outside of Los Angeles. I arrived an hour and 15 minutes before the race start, and that was not enough time. The registration line was slow moving since there were separate lines based on the racers last name. The bike number was to be held on by twist ties. That’s different. After prepping my bike and transition area, I checked my ziptie holding my watch together, and it came off! How does a zip tie just fall off? I don’t know either. I grabbed an extra twist tie to fix my watch strap, and just prayed it would hold. Time was flying, it was now time to race, and I hadn’t had a chance to warm up. I got to the lake with just a enough time to take a quick dip to get adjusted to the water temperature.

Swim - 0.93 miles, Time: 39:39

Actual distance 1,769 yds (1.01 mi), 2:13/100 yd pace Rank: 138/165
Swam fairly straight.
I was in the first wave, with the rest of the orange caps. I started near the rear and to side of wave. The group was very aggressive, but there was plenty of room to find a safe space. Other than a few leg grabs, it was an uneventful swim. I saw the lifeguard come to someone’s aid. I quickly blocked out all negative thoughts by singing throughout the swim. My Zoot Prophet 2.0 wetsuit performed very well, keeping me balanced atop the water (not just boyouant) and very flexible shoulders. Sighting was very good. There was just one moment where the GPS showed I started to veer off to the right, then quickly corrected. The latter half of the swim was very straight. The swim exit was a great relief! I had flashbacks from my last race at Lake Mead when I had to run on top of sharp rocks. This beach was all sand, then a rug led us to the transition area. Thank You race organizers!! I glanced back, there were plenty of orange caps like mine still getting out the water. I was pleased knowing I was not in my typical position of being one of the slowest swimmers!

 

Finished the first leg with swimmers behind me!
T1 - 1:54
A glance at my wrist, and my watch is still there! I zipped through T1. The wetsuit took longer than expected to get off of my ankles. Transitions are routine at this point. Sunglasses... helmet... bike shoes... then bike.

Bike - 25 miles 3 loops, 86:48

17.2 avg, 39.4 mph max, 1,608 ft of climbing Rank: unknown, timing systems missed about 40 riders
 
3 loops on a hilly course. The first loop was crowded in sections since there was a Sprint distance race also going on. The 2nd and 3rd loops were very spaced out. Not much passing. The roads were pretty chewed up in sections. I was warned before the race to be prepared, so I moved my water bottles from my rear cages to inside the frame at the beginning of the ride. Great advice. I raced real strong. Looking at the Strava flyby, I crushed the course! Since this was a very competitive race, there were plenty who blazed past me. Overall, I biked very well.
A few times, I would leap frog with someone. My bike would prove to be worth it’s value as I exerted less effort to drop them as well. Nearing speeds of 40 mph, it was an exciting bike course.
 
Speed!
On the second loop, I leaned over to drink out the straw of my aero bottle, positioned between my arms. The freakin’ straw fell out! Ugh, now that bottle is just dead weight. There was plenty Hammer nutrition left in my 2 water bottles. The multiple loops were annoying, but I actually enjoyed knowing exactly what to expect. I finished the 3 loops very motivated to crush the run.
 
Blazing on the bike! Minus the aero bottle straw

T2 -

The plan was to take off my shoes while on the bike, to speed my transition. I wasn’t aware how quick the transition line would be after the last sharp turn. I only had time to undue the velcro strap. The rest of the transition went smoothly. I was able to quickly put on my new Zoot Aki’i shoes. With the Boa quick lace system, I had a tight and secure fit in less than a second!

Run - 6.2 miles 53:48

Rank: 84/165
The run course was unfamiliar to me, but the other runners were nice enough to let me know
Run was full of hills!
what to expect. The pavement soon turned to dirt trails. I was running at a very fast pace, as my legs felt strong. This is meaningful, since I was recently hampered by a pull hamstring and inflamed IT band. All this came into question when I was warned about an upcoming sharp turn down a very rough patch of dirt and a steep downhill. I didn’t slow down, which led me jumping down this section hoping I don’t twist an ankle! I made it.
The run was full of hills. My pace stayed strong, around 8:30/mile. Much faster than my usual run after a swim & bike. At one point, I found a run buddy. I looked at my Garmin, and saw my pace slowed to 9:20. WTH?! So I let him go, and returned my usual form. I finished with one of my fastest runs at this distance.
 
 
Running strong in my Zoot Ali'i shoes!
My ranking was lower than expected, but the race competition was extremely high. This was a great race performance for me considering my high traveling schedule and reduced training opportunities. This race leads me feeling strong heading towards Ironman Louisville!!!
Overall: 3:04:00 Rank: 106/165 Age Group: 24/35
 
Finish Strong!
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