Race Recap: Mission Bay Triathlon 2023
That felt good. Some thoughts on my first race back.
12 weeks ago I was out of shape, really sad about life, and in need of something good for myself.
Yesterday I didn't hit my goal time at the Mission Bay Triathlon but I did achieve my "more important" goal of just competing again. In my brain, I always want to be the best. I'm competitive and I always want to win. That's fine but stepping back for a second, I feel really good about training and about what I did this weekend. I finished the race and completed a few training cycles.
He are some thoughts:
The swim was a beach start. Lame. Starting from the beach is tedious as it drives up my heart rate really fast. About 150 yards in I was out in front but I felt like I was cranking hard–a bit too hard. Looking at the data, I was maxed out. Fortunately (kinda) we caught up to the group in front of us and it slowed us all down as we navigated the traffic. I wonder though, if I took the first 150 a little easier somehow, would have that translated to a better back half? Possibly. That's how it would've worked in a pool race.
I estimate I was third or fourth out of the water. It's hard to tell and the results don't have that info. I pulled up a little early because I thought could touch the bottom but I was wrong. Add a couple seconds there.
My pace was about 1:30 per 100 yards. I'd really like this to be down around 1:15. Thinking about Couer d'Alene in June, it might be wise to get in with a masters group. Working out by myself is hard. I think I can do it but it comes a lot easier with a team. It's just so hard to line up schedules with the way life is right now.
Overall, I'll give myself a B+ for the swim. Reviewing the data, I was right at where I've been training so it's not really a surprise. That's kind of the theme for the day. One thing I messed up was not eating a gel before the swim. I just forgot I had it in my pocket. I don't know that I needed it but I'm a little disappointed with my focus there. All good though. I still had a great race.
For the swim to bike transition I decided to do a flying mount. I used rubber bands on the cleats and had them attached. It worked out fine and my transition was quick. Only drawback was running chewed up asphalt. That wasn't pleasant at all. Everything else went smoothly though.
I need to add some watts to the average power. I averaged 196 watts for the ride which is in line with where I've been at in training. Of course, I want more watts. That's like saying "if we scored more points we would have won". But in general, I need to make that a focus in my rides. I definitely want to get a bike trainer. I don't know that it's very easy to get that kind of work in out on the bike. With all the variables out on the roads, it's just not reliable. Hoping there will be one waiting for me on my birthday.
Anyway, the bike course was fine. A couple of tight turns slowed things down but Fiesta island is always nice. Wind hadn't picked up yet so there was no headwind or anything. The road was pretty beat up in places but otherwise good.
I'll give my bike a B. I'd like to give myself a C but I think that's too harsh considering the average power was right at where I've been in training the last few weeks.
I decided to keep my shoes on for dismount. The transition area tore up my feet so I wanted to protect them a bit. I had a little mishap on the dismount, though. I knocked my water bottle off. When I went to grab it I lost control of my bike a bit and almost collided with someone. I was a mess. I don't like the placement of my rear bottle cage. It's too high–case and point. I think I'll dismount without shoes next time. It's just easier not having to take the cleats off at the rack.
The run was great. I thought I needed to be around 8:30/mi, and I was right. Probably one of my better 5ks that I can remember. I'd have to look at past races to verify. I didn't stop and I felt pretty good the whole way through. I'm pretty happy with this result.
I'll give my run an A-. The pace was great considering I couldn't get under 10:00/mile just 6 weeks ago.
I need to have more focus pre-race. It's exciting to be out there but I need to be on my game a little more
Practice mounting/dismounting the bike with the cleats on the bike
Make sure to get powder in the running shoes too
Adjust my water bottle cage
My off-season focus for me will be generating watts on the bike and speeding up my run pace. Both will take time and I am only 12 weeks into this thing. Need to give myself a break.
I think I need to add flexibility and strength to the mix.
I really enjoy triathlons and am going to embrace it for what it is.
The day after, I'm not as sore as I have been in the past. My question here is that because I didn't work hard enough or was I in shape? I think the latter.
I can't shake the feeling that I can get really good at triathlons. I've not been able to train as consistently as I have the last 12 weeks and it make me wonder if I did this for 6 months to a year, how good could I be? It will be a juggling act but I'm here for it.
Related side note, this was my fastest Mission Bay Sprint race ever. Kinda makes me think.