The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

3 Races in 3 Days

Day 1, Race 1: Friday August 8, 2014 - CMC Open Water Swim, 1500 meters.

The plan: Grip and Rip it. Hard off the start, hard through the middle, hard to the finish. No gliding: if you're not stroking, you're slowing down. 26:xx would be sweet.

The reality: Went probably too hard off the start, tried to keep up with Mark W for too long. Got a bit tired. Finally settled into a rhythm. Went head-to-head with MiKe P for a while. At the 1st turn around, I decided to save some energy and draft behind him, but he started drifting off course too much, so I uncoupled and did my own thing. He swam back around and left me in his dust (but fortunately, he was only doing 750). After the second (of 4 turns), I was swimming side by side with Steph L.  He got to the third turn a hair in front of me, so I cruised behind for a bit. With 150m to go, he was pulling away from me. With 100m to go, I was right back on his toes. I pushed hard, and passed him. We had one more 90 degree turn to make before the short dash to the finish line. I tried to take a straight line to buoy and cut him off so he'd have to swim behind me - but he wasn't having any of that, and we muscled each other around the turn. He won, and took the last 20 meter drag race to the finish. I came in a handful of seconds afterwards - completely spent. It was definitely the hardest I'd ever swam.

Final time: 27:36 (1:50/100m), 4th overall. I think the course was probably longer than 1500m. My shoulders and upper chest were killing me the rest of the night and next morning: I had worn my long sleeve wetsuit. I'm not convinced its faster than my sleeveless.

We won Cookie medals for "most aggressive swim"
(or most entertaining, I can't remember exactly, it could have been "most awesome" too).

Day 2, Race 2: Saturday August 9, 2014 - Maple City Triathlon (Ogdensburg, NY) - 750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run.

It was the first year for this small town triathlon. A pleasant 1 hour drive upstream from Cornwall across the border. The organizers, themselves triathletes, had done a good job putting it together, all the i's had been dotted, and the t's crossed. There was a good contingent from Cornwall in the mix, it was shaping up to be a fun day. At the risk of sounding cheeky, I was gunning for a podium spot. I knew Wyatt would get first, and Rob second - the only uncertainty - barring some local fast dudes showing up - was, could I put in a fast enough swim, hold it together on the bike, and not implode on the run long enough to hold off CupaJoe.

Wearing my sleeveless wetsuit (and not regretting it), I lined up on the first row. At the gun, I went out full guns a-blazing. I tucked behind Wyatt and then Rob, but got left behind quickly enough. I was swimming on my own until I felt a couple of knocks on my toes. The swim was a triangle course, and the back-side of the triangle was over top of a shallow sand-bar. Technically, I could have stood up and run faster than I was swimming, but thought better of it, as it really wasn't in the spirit of the race. I got passed by a Relay swimmer on the final stretch, and exited the water 4th overall, but 3rd in the mens race. A 4th man had caught me, and we ran neck-and-neck into transition.

I fumbled a bit in transition, but got out ahead of the other guy. The bike course was much more rolling than what I had expected. This exposed my weakness on rollers, and I was soon overtaken for 3rd place.  I continued the bike, going as hard as I could - constantly shifting between big-ring and little-ring through the rolling hills. I was expecting CupaJoe to have passed me by the turn around. I saw him approaching when I was .75 km past the turn - I had a 1.5k lead on him overall - approximately 3 minutes. Would that be enough!!!???

A smooth second transition, and I was out running. I tried to hold back a bit at the start, to keep some in the tank. There were no mile or km markers on the course, which may have been a good thing. Approaching the turnaround, I could see the lead man approaching me, it was the guy who was right behind me in T1. Rob was second and Wyatt third. I hit the turn in 11 minutes exactly - not bad, I thought, on track for a 22/23 minute run. 38 seconds past the turn, CupaJoe was streaking in on the other side. Some quick math - I was 70ish seconds ahead at that point - I figured he would catch me close to the finish line. Plan B: Run like you stole it!

I picked up the pace, as much as I could, but it just felt like my legs were rubber. With about 200 m and the finish line in sight, someone said "Don't let him catch you!"  - I knew Joe must have been close behind, oh crap...  Well, I think 2 things happened next - I picked it up as much as I could - and secondly, as much as he won't admit it, I think he let up for me. (Thanks Bro, I owe you).

Smiling at the finish line.

Final Stats:
750m Swim - 0:14:29.55 (plus run to T1) @ 1:56/100m - pure swim was 14:11
T1 - 0:51.85 (I should have left my shoes on my bike)
20K Bike - 0:34:58.64  @ 34.3 kph (includes 15 new-found Watts)
T2 - 0:33.78
5K Run - 0:21:26.94 @ 4:17/km (unexpected big time negative split).
Final Time - 1:12:20 - 4th male overall (5th finisher - overall winner was a woman) - 1st AG M40-44.

The Cornwall Gang. Wyatt did end up winning 1st male, Rob was second, me 4th and CupaJoe 5th.
Guylaine was 6th female and 3rd AG.
Bonus Round: After crossing back into Canada at Johnstown, Guylaine let me out and I biked 80K home.

Day 3, Race 3: Sunday August 10, 2014 - Great Raisin River Foot Race, 5K

Have I ever said, I hate running 5K before? Of course I have. It just plain 'ol hurts. This year wasn't going to be any different. Although with a start time 30 minutes earlier than usual, the heat would be held off a little longer.

The plan: (Now, finally admitting "Time in the Bank" doesn't work), was: 4:30 - 4:00 - 4:00 - 4:00 - 4:00; 20:30 final time - or at the very least, sub 21.

The actual: 4:20 - 4:07 - 3:53 - 4:17 - 4:26; final time:  21:05 (4:14 pace); 14 OA, and 4/10 AG.

Oh well, it was good run. I wasn't too fond of the new course, or finish line arrangement. Could have found 6 seconds in there to go sub 21... probably, but the Suitcase of Courage will stay on the shelf for Aug 30 when I might really need it.

The running Barneses. Guylaine had a PB on the 11K and came 1st AG. Andrew had a consistent run.
Laura had a great run, despite being humbled by the heat, but was obviously smiling by the time this picture was taken.

All in all. A fun three days. Now time to chillax for a bit. One final big volume week, and then bring on the taper.