Navy Tridents Sprint Tri

First triathlon of the year for many in NS, is the Tridents Tri Club race at the Shearwater base in Dartmouth.

It’s a pool swim based on self-seeded time estimate for 750m, with 12 racers in the pool swimming 2 per lane. The bike course goes up onto a runway, three laps around cones at each end and back. The run follows a crusher dust trail out and back.

I did this race in 2012, skipped it last year in favour of long training miles for ironman. In 2012, I swam pathetically, had a decent a bike and a reasonable run for 11th place. That’s a common story for me and triathlon, but my swimming showed signs of improvement last year. On the flip side, I’ve done next to no swimming over the winter, and for whatever reason, I don’t seem to have the same bike speed in early season training I’ve had the past couple of years. For good or ill though, this race is a good indicator of where your tri fitness is at…

I estimated a 15:xx swim, though expected to go a bit faster, but determined to pace it better than I did last time (I went out way too hard!), so that gave me a 12:30pm wave start time – a leisurely start to the day! Got to the race in plenty of time, watched some earlier heats, got registered and set up in transition. So far, so good.

As soon as the race started, I regretted my decision to where my tri vest in the swim. It felt like I was dragging a sail behind me. My club top is getting a bit worn and saggy and was definitely catching water. Hmm… my lane mate eventually pulled a little ahead, but I concentrated on pacing evenly and not pushing too hard. When I finally climbed out, I was disappointed to see there were only 3 or 4 people left in the pool, and my time was about exactly as estimated, not under. Hmm…

Onto the bike, and I blew past many of the wave on the first hill out of transition. I was trying to go hard; with that, and confusing cones and marshals, I managed to go off course a couple of times, lost a bit of time. Once on the runway, the wind was picking up, but I felt great, blasting down one way and riding strong and aero up the other. On the way back I was by myself with noone else from my wave, or previous waves in sight. Reasonable transition and out on the run course. A cool breeze kept the full sun from being unbearably hot, perfect conditions really, and I felt ok, working hard but under control.

I was quite happy the way the race went… until I saw the final results :-( On the positive side, I was a couple of minutes quicker than in 2012, was 12th out of 188, and actually enjoyed the race. On the negative, I was 84th in the swim (!!), was not dominating on the bike at all (10th and relatively slow avg), and only 6th in my AG.

Let’s dissect…
SWIM: no winter swimming – won’t do that again – thankfully the pool is now open in Bridgewater. I need to swim regularly year-round, not a lot, but regularly.
BIKE: wtf. I need to put some serious miles in, and quickly, if my HIM races are going to amount to anything this year. Is it even worth me signing up for the ITT Champs in 3 weeks? Going to get my ass kicked.
RUN: can’t complain too much, it was adequate; it’s just that everyone else seems to be upping their game more. Sigh.

Binned the idea of racing for the next 3 weekends, I need the bike training time. I need a better focus. I’ve been slacking, partly from feeling tired and drained a lot, but still… I’m going to have to find the added spark. I have 5 weeks to Challenge St. Andrews, 9 weeks to Bridgetown Long Course, and 12 weeks to the Yarmouth marathon. I was starting to feel a bit of a return to form, so don’t despair or try to do too much and knock myself in a hole, just add some focus and get serious about training again

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