Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Season that was

Last weekend saw the last in the Melbourne Triathlon scene for the season.

It sort of feels a bit weird I've not done the do every Tri in the series but instead targeted races that I wanted to do well in. It started back in November 2011 when I signed up for Noosa in 2012, my first Olympic Distance Tri. This meant instead of doing a series of mini's stepping up to sprints. Over Winter 2012 saw me take on my first Half Marathon (Run Melb) then the 10km event at Melbourne Marathon which was my lead in race to Noosa. I was meant to complete the Latrobe Valley Tri but I was sick that weekend, so the Duathlon (Knox) would have to be my lead in race.  In September I took ownership of new my TT and along Belinda and Steve we trained together in September down at Mornington, Riding, Run of the bike and swimming. All of us where off to Noosa for the first time.

Ellie and I at the start of the Half

New TT Ride

Belinda, Steve and I

I went to Noosa with 2 goals - complete the event and have fun. Why is there always someone who says, what time do you want to do? I said 3hrs and I did that. I loved Noosa and I'm going back this year.

After Noosa I found that I enjoyed more the OD Tri's instead of sprints, so I signed up for Geelong. Few weeks after Noosa I completed Ride for Home along Eastlink. I used my new TT, got myself a Skinsuit and my Aero Helmet. I fly along Eastlink, on the track to slash the time from 2011 and then the weather turned and I played it safe and finished without crashing.

At the finish at Noosa

Flying down Eastlink

Tri season started and I went out to support the Club and help out as needed. Xmas came and went but it was kick off I needed to get my training in order for Geelong. My Tri Club runs what's called Hell Week, long rides, runs off the bike, swims everyday for week between Xmas and New Year. I had to also work so training was like 4:30 starts into the office by 9 then open swim after work, I felt good and started building a base for Geelong. Over Summer Mornington Peninsula became my  new training ground spent countless hours and time down there and I love it.

Earlier this year I did my first longest Open Water Swim at Sorrento 2km the water was clear and flat plus the swims are timed with the tide going out. I thought better do a warm up race and picked up Elwood, full dress rehearsal. Aero Helmet, new Trisuit, TT Bike with Race wheels. I pushing for a great time but just make sure I got it right for Geelong, everything went to plan but I know why I hate sprint distance. You are going 120% for the whole race where OD's you can recover during a leg if you need to and still make up time. Followed by another Open Water Swim at Portsea. Funny thing about this event spend 4 hrs in the car (2 there and 2 back) for 15mins worth of work. Oh well, heaps of fun and a drink at the Portsea Pub I not complaining.

At the Start at Sorrento

Elwood out on the bike

At the Start at Portsea

Drinks at Portsea

End of January came up and Australia Day, time for another swim, The Great Australia Day Swim at Brighton. This year was great as my Tri Club put up our Team Tent. Great to have more support from the Tri Club this year for this event. Next on the list was Geelong my 2nd OD race, another great weekend away and I walked away with 10mins off my Noosa time I could not believe my Garmin 10mins. I remember talking with the Head Coach, Ollie, who said Geelong is far more technical that Noosa is, meaning more time to be taken off this year. It was great weekend away and race. OD's are now my preferred distance. Was great have such a large number Tri Clubs members down at the event along with the Ta Taj.

Great Australia Day Swim

At the Finish line in Geelong

The Cerberus Open Water Swim at Black Rock, never raced it but again something new right? Home event and great swim, lucky for me my tetanus shoots are up to date, swimming so close the rusty boat you might catch something.  Great day out except for the wave start where like 30mins apart. A few of us from TA swam there, followed by another Beer and live music at the Pub.

Cerberus at Half Moon Bay Black Rock

Beer and Live Music (Jenny Biddle)

With my A Race's over time to have some fun, another Tri but this time Sandringham, a Sprint. Step back a few years Sandringham was my very first Tri ever. Guess what another PB took 4 mins of from previous year happy with that.
All done at Sandy and having fun

 In March Tri season for me over yet another Open Water Swim, Club to Club in interesting conditions. I have once raced this event and pulled out due to the conditions, but this time I finished it event. In April saw me try something on my Bucket List, a "Dirty Tri" ok a X-Triathlon. My Mountain Bike saw an airing, it had been a while, just don’t ask me about my Road Bike, it’s not been on the road much lately. I had a fun time and I might try another, it was small not well know event but different and fun.

Club to Club

Dirty Tri

 Ironman Melbourne 2013 came we were out in force to Support. Long day of Supporting our Clubs Ironman do us proud. We have 3 of our Club heading to Kona! The following Pics where taken at the Great Provider in St Kilda.

Sarah on her way to the finish line and Kona

Dave - class all the way

Andy - almost home

IM 2013 Party with Giant -what a night

At the last Tri of the season and series my other "Summer Project", Ellie did her first Tri. Ellie had a great season too, learning about Triathlon's, completing Open Water Swim's along with rides with Steve, Belinda and myself. I sure next season she will have a blast.

Transition Practice in the local park

Ellie head out on her run

So what's ahead? In a few Weeks I'm running up in the Dandenong's against a train (Puffing Billy), then start training my 2nd Half Marathon (Run Melbourne). Tomorrow see's our Club's Goal setting from there will came a list of events I want to complete. Again not every Tri under the sun, but target races.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ellie’s First Tri

Today saw Ellie complete her first Triathlon. This has been in the making for some time but during an injury this was hold, last year she tore her plantar fascia. No running and  various treatment. About 2 weeks ago the doc she said she could start running again, but not more than 15mins. However she was able to train in swimming, and riding. She had completed 3 Open Water Swims lots of riding – minimum of 30km  up to 100km. Perfect for Olympic Distance Triathlons, however as the run was the weak part she would need to pick a short event. During one of my races (Elwood) she volunteered the event we she got  a free race entry. We picked St Kilda the last race allow her foot some time off to heal.

The last few weeks was crash course of transition practice, I went out and purchased the bits and made my own transition rack for around $100. 4 session later transitions later she felt ready. My next trick was to enrolled her in the Tri Alliance Race day tips and tricks. During the session our Tri-the-Try coach Bernadette asked who was going to run out of transition with shoes on the bike, Ellie was pointed out and said I know you are! Ahhhh my training paying off.

Transition Practice in the local park

This morning I picked up Ellie and drove her to the event, when we got there we walked over to the Tri-Alliance Taj filling up water bottles on the way through. After dropping he bags off in the TA Taj we went over to transition. I left her to rack her bike and setup her transition area. When she got back to the tent we went through everything in transition to ensure all was ok, it was not she had racked her bike the wrong way. A quick dash back in transition and change of setup ready to race.

Around 6:20 I asked her to start getting her wetsuit on, just as she was her mobile rang, her mum was coming down to see the event and Taxi had dropped her off at the wrong spot. I took the phone from Ellie and get her get the wetsuit on while I gave directions. Once the wetsuit was on time to walk down to the swim start and listen to the race briefing, followed by a quick warm up swim. Ellie’s mum found me and I arrange a spot where she could start to watch the event. As Ellie’s wave was about to start I got Dave to call out good luck to Ellie in her first Tri, the horn sounded and off they went. I found a spot on swim exit to support her, she came out and run to transition. As she worked her way through transition and out on the bike I cross over to the bike course to support. I saw her pass me approx 2.5km in and again at the 9km mark. I then quickly headed down to get pics of her on the run course, followed by a quick dash to the finish.

Swim Start

Ellie coming out of the swim

Heading out to the turn around on the bike

Heading back to transition

Heading out on the run

Final turn before the finish line

Ellie finished in 50m 44s, not bad for her first Tri.

We did a race debrief and Ellie knows mistakes were made, but at the end of the day the brief was to finish and have fun, which she did.

Monday, April 1, 2013

CCTS Dirty Tri Race 4 – Race Report

On my Race Bucket List has been a X-Tri. X-Tri is basically a Cross Country Triathlon instead of swimming in the bay you swim in a lake or river, instead of using a TT or Road Bike you use a Mountain Bike and then the run is a true trail run.

Over the last few weeks I’ve dragged out my MTB (Mountain Bike) at Saturday morning training. This has been given a few strange looks, but when you say you’re doing a Dirty Tri you get even more strange looks.

On Friday we had a social Easter Ride and over breakfast the subject of the Dirty Tri came up and Coach Sarah loved the idea and I think she might even do the final race of the their series.

This morning we headed up to Lysterfield Lake, home of the Commonwealth Games in 2006 for MTB. We parked and headed down to the lake and found the CCTS organizer, Jess, registered read the maps, etc. The first bit of fun was the swim buoys, these where blown up and yes we found Nemo!

We grabbed all the stuff from the car and setup transition, while the water felt warm the wind was not. It was a clear cold night and the air temp was around 10c with the sun coming up. There was 2 races the Sprint (500m/12k/4k) and the Mini (250m/6km/2km ) the field was a total of 15 people. With the coolish weather I made the call to wear my long sleeve compression top under my Trisuit. Not sure if this was the right call or not, but it felt right. Most of the people in the sprint went with the wetsuit option (me included). I jumped into the lake yes it was warm but was brown as you could not see the anything passed you hand.

Wetsuit time
We lined up on the beach waited for start and off we went. Into the brown water and out to catch the first Nemo (Buoy) I felt good and headed up to the second Nemo and headed back in. I noticed that the water was very different lack of salt and didn’t feel like a pool.  Once I hit the beach a quick 50m or so run into transition, on with the helmet off with the wettie. Putting on gloves with wet hands is never fun but I got them on grabbed my bike and off I went. Out into the trails. I felt ok on the bike but makes me realize I need more time on the MTB, I followed the trail markings and thought the mud around the trails.

Trying to get the gloves on

Heading out on the bike

Once I got back to transition I re-racked my bike on with my socks and shoes and out on the run, 2 laps, out on the beach to the dam wall, across the dam down the trail behind the dam and up to the MTB trail to the top of the car park and back down to the boat ramp.

Heading out on the run
 If I had my time over again I think I would not have used the compression top, but arm warmers. My time over all was 1hr 41m 37s

Must say I don’t feel as sore as I normally do after a tradition Tri.