Monday, January 28, 2013

Great Australia Day Swim 2013 Race Report

I love this race at Brighton, lots of fun however this year saw me swim the event recovering from a head cold. I didn’t train too much this week keep it light and kept up the fluids. I made  a trip to the doctor for the standard drugs. Race or not to race always the burning question. So the final call was to be made on Saturday morning.

Late Friday I felt ok but still a little blocked up, but an early night and see how I felt in the morning. I woke around 3am and felt a lot better, went back to sleep and woke up around 5:30am. Had a good breakfast followed by the shower, etc. I got down to Brighton Baths around 6:30 and put in a 12km run prior to catching up with Ellie and her mum and then the TA crew. Tri Alliance made the call to have the Short Course Athletes’ do our Saturday session at Brighton Baths. We were encouraged to Run and do the Swim event.

After we got the TA Taj up, Ellie, her mum and I got our race kits and then walked out along the breakwater to view the course for both my 1.4km swim and Ellie’s 650m swim plus to see how the 5km swimmers were going.

We headed back and got changed ready to swim, I jumped in and swam up along side of the pier and I felt good, headed back in to the shore then the walk out along the pier to the start line. Jumped in again another warm up swim cleaned the goggles and waited to be called up. The waves on the south side of the break water had a greater swell then inside the breakwater, the swell was southerly push which meant the swim should be fast. In my wave was some 60 + people, the horn sounded and off we went this group wanted to play rough, swimming over the top of each other. I tried to find clear water which took me some time but after the first can (buoy) I found clear water and was able to leave the rough stuff behind and push on. Passing all the buoys and turning into the harbor I pushed hard and it felt fast. As I was coming in I felt a massive crap in my right calf muscle which made me stop for a min to massage it out then I pushed on to the finish line. I run up the beach over the finish line.

Not my best race but I felt good considering the head cold and the crap.

After the race I catch up with Ellie and she had a cracker of a race. We changed then and made our way back to the TA Taj for catch up with the TA crew and the group photo.

Next race Geelong in 2 weeks. Can’t wait.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Portsea Swim Classic 2013 Race Report

Last Saturday saw myself and TA crew down on the Mornington Peninsula for the 1.5KM Portsea Swim Classic. Some of us drove own and some of the crew rode down.  We got down their nice and early to beat the traffic and get a park spot, the drive is some 100 minutes away from home. After collecting Ellie we started headed south on the way down we saw Steve who was riding down with his brother Mark. We pulled over and offered to take Steve’s bag with his swim gear down which he took me up on the offer.

 The trip down was uneventful we headed down the new Peninsula freeway and got down to Sorrento in around 90mins, time for a coffee before doing the last 4kms down to Portsea just as we hit the National Park. On the way down Ellie and I spoke about if she should do today’s swim or not, her "A Race" is the Great Australia Day Swim the following weekend, we agreed to view the conditions and if she ok with it, she should do it. We had to stop at the visitors centre as the park was not opening until 8am, we bumped into JoJo (Another of the TA crew) who was down early to register for the swim. Once the park opened we made our way in, parked and then over to the rego tent and race pickup.

Ellie & JoJo at the Rego Tent

After we all picked up our race kits we did a bit of a tour of the event had a look displays, the water, etc. and killed some time.

Shortly after 9am more of the TA crew started to arrive and before too long it was time to get ready and head over to the buses to be taken down to the start line. So we changed into swimwear / wetsuits (well put them half on) and head over towards the buses to run us down to the start line.

Steve and Mark

TA Ironman Crew who rode down

At the start line there was a little walk down the lane way to the beach. The beaches are just wonderful down on the Mornington Peninsula much nicer than the local beaches up in the city.

Down to the Beach

After a little chatting and standing around it was time to get a warm up in before our wave starts we all seem to have our own warm ups, after a few photos then in the water we got for our respective warm ups and then a short walk down to the marshalling areas before the start beach.

TA Crew Group Pic

I felt good and comfortable and ready for a good swim. Looking at the previous waves the water entry had a beach cove on one side and very shallow water start with some rocks. I made the call to let the pack go and then find my own space in.

Walk to the start line

Start Line

The horn sounded and off we went we went. The first 200m the water was not deep so it felt like it was going to be 1500m running event, but once the water got to my quads I dived in and off I went. At the first buoy I could feel the tide pulling and it made the swim light work and I went with the flow. Before you knew it I could see the finishing line turn past the final buoy and headed in. The swim was fast, very fast looking at my Garmin I registered a time of 15 minutes and 35 seconds. At first I thought it was wrong until I looked at the time of day and knew it was right. My Official time was 15 minutes and 15 seconds.

Swim finish line

After the race I caught up with Ellie to see how her first race was and she loved every minute of the race.

Us at the finish

A few of crew headed to the Portsea pub for a drink before we headed back to town. Over a beer someone pointed out a long way to come for just a short time to swim, but it was fun.

Drinks at the Portsea Pub

This weekend it time the Great Australia Day Swim at Brighton Baths.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Elwood Race Report

With Geelong coming up soon and being my “A Race” I wanted to make sure that I sorted out my race plan. So I registered for Elwood Sprint which would be a full dress rehearsal for Geelong.

Race morning came and the weather was not too cold nor too hot great for racing. I showed up at the team Taj, got myself ready then headed into transition racked my bike and setup my transition area. I headed back to the tent dropped my bag off and then headed down to the beach to watch the Active Feet race.

The water looked somewhat flat and nice before too long it was time to put on the wettie and head down for my race start. I got my warm up swim in and then waited for my wave start the horn sounded and off we went. 500m of white water fun, for me the swim has got easier over the years. I pushed on through the course and run up the beach into transition.

I grabbed my helmet and bike and headed out for 2 laps on the course. It’s always nice having other TA support from both on the field and from the crowd. Before I knew it 2 laps had been done and I was coming back into transition.  I racked my bike put on my runners and headed out for a quick 5km run.

I finished in a time of 1hr 21m, not my best sprint time but still good. My race prep felt good which was the main key for this race.

Transition Setup Ready to go Coach

Out of the swim heading towards T1

Out of the swim heading towards T1
At the bike turn around near transition
At the bike turn around near transition

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year and Sorrento 2km Open Water Swim Report

Ok it’s now 2013 and it’s a New Year, as I type this blog up, I notice it’s only some 36 days until my next Olympic Tri (Geelong Mutli-Sport Event). I used the previous Xmas Period to put some training in. My Tri Club runs an event call Hell Week, Basically, Bike, Run and Swim all in one day. It’s more about completing the distance not at a fast pace.
I had to work during this period so I had plan my hell week a little differently, lucky Coach Sarah arrange the working days for a 5:40am start which allowed those who had to work to get everything done. I managed to  get in around 55km on the bike, 3-4km off the bike and around 500m-700m swim in.

On the other days I was able to put in a longer ride and swim. Over all I was happy with Hell Week, nothing sore or a problem afterwards.

I also signed up for 2km Open Water Swim at Sorrento my first real long distance open water swim of the season. Few from the club have signed up for this event as well.

Race Day - I got up earlier and did my standard breakie routine, Sorrento is approx a 90min drive from home plus being a Saturday, Holiday Session and a nice day traffic was going to be a little mad. We headed down the coast and got there around 7:30 with the registration tent not opening until 8am we decided to go for a look around Sorrento and get a coffee. Not much open for a beach town at 7:30am. We managed to get a coffee and wait for the registration tent to open, I picked up my race kit, t-shirt, etc and caught up with Steve on of the TA crew down for the race. We listened to the race briefing then a quick bathroom break before heading off to what the Novice Race (600m), on the way down to the start I ran into Ryan Mannix,  who run the Triathlon Level 1 Coach course, we had a chat about coaching, racing, etc. wished each other good luck and head off to the start.

The novice race was fairly quick we managed to get back to the finish line just in time to see the winners cross the line.

Novice Start

We head back to the car to pickup my gear bag then headed down to the start line which was a 20minish walk.

Once there we had some 30mins to the start, so I changed into my wettie, Pam’s Hubbie Sam took a photo of us all before we all did a warm up swim before the race. 

TA Crew at the start line

At 11:10am, we all stood at the start line waited for 11:!5 our start time, the siren sounded and way we went out to the first buoy then a turn to the left and out to open sea. I found this no very fast almost like the water was keeping me steady but I did manage to keep moving. At the third buoy the turn towards the finish line it felt very fast and at the same time being pulled out towards the middle of the bay. I was some 10m away from the buoy line but I made the call to aim for the final turn buoy towards the beach. As I came up on the final buoy I found myself way off course I turned towards the beach and headed in. I found the shore line and run into the finish line. Mr Garmin said my time was 29m 57s but swam another 250m. Oh well, I was happy with that time I did manage to catch up in the swim some other TA members in the previous group. Meg said she thought I had swam some 4mins quicker than she did as she had only been on the beach for minute or so.

Coming into the finish line

Great event certainly I will be back next year and this is a real shoot in the arm for Portsea and Geelong.  I am yet to make a call if I will race at Elwood next weekend or not.