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Race Result

Racer: Jesse Leitner
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 21, 2006
Location: Columbia, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 2:46:20
Overall Place: 358 / 941
Age Group Place: 89 / 199
Comment: a meeting with my swim demons!

Race Report:

As usual, I'll have to rant about my events leading up.
Three days before the race, I was out for a ride and I
couldn't get my foot removed from the pedal at a critical
time, so I had to forcefully yank it out. Didn't really
hurt at the time, but later that evening my ankle suddenly
came down with a severe pain, to where I could hardly walk.
It hurt the next day when I got up, so I took it easy.
The following day, the pain remained, but I ran 7 miles on
treadmill with absolutely no pain. Friday night it was
as bad as ever and I could barely walk when I woke up to
the alarm on Saturday morning. I put my running shoes on
and the pain went away. Not sure what that was about. I decided
I would go for a run and continue on as long as it didn't hurt.
Completed 21 easy miles with no further sign of pain, even
afterwards. In the afternoon, I popped on my backpack with
my running shoes and towel, and decided to ride the course
one last time before dropping off my bike. All felt ok and
I survived the traffic on 108 to get into Centennial. I swapped
my shoes, put my helmet and bike shoes in my back pack, then
ran home. Ankle pain completely gone.

Sunday morning, I packed my bag, left my house at around 5:45
and ran over to Centennial (kind of awkward with such a big
bag full of stuff). I carried two bike bottles of accelerade,
although I knew it would be overkill for this distance. This
was my first Olympic tri and my first with open water swim.
I was very comfortable with the open water from the Sandy Point
swim a couple of weeks ago and a previous swim in the ocean.
However, I was not ready for my crowded 35-39 men's wave.
Water felt good when I got in, but I knew I wasn't feeling quite
right. I swam around a bit and went under several times, but
I knew the start wouldn't be pretty. The first 15 minutes
were pure hell. A mix of doggy paddle, breast stroke (which
didn't work), side stroke, and simply treading water. Energy
pouring right out the door that I would have preferred to use
later. After about 15 minutes and about 50 yards of forward
motion, most of the pack had broken up and I told myself I'd
better start swimming, so I did. I thought I was on target
for about an hour, but I must have raced through when I really
started swimming because I came in just under 30 minutes.
I wasted over 5 minutes in T1, regaining my composure and being
very careful with my wetsuit. When I put on my shirt, I ripped
the number right off, so I spent a minute or so kludging it
back on (without the aid of holes). My legs were so rattled
that I couldn't get my shoes into the pedals until I got all
the way up to 108 - what a hectic time. Somehow I was able to
get some pedaling in. I'm used to riding the course at easy
pace, so it was quite a new experience doing it at race pace.
I found myself passing more than expected on the ups, making
sure I kept my heart rate under about 170. I finished the
bike course in 1:20:55, which included a lot of time getting
started and getting off. I really nickeled and dimed myself.
I felt pretty good on the run, but I was definitely feeling the
effects of my energy drain on the swim and my harder than usual
ride on the bike course. My run was steady and conservative
and that last downhill to the finish felt great. I made the
mistake of thinking I was done when I passed over the first mat,
so I just stopped and hit my watch. I then started looking
around and noticed that the actual finish was another 30 or
40 feet ahead, so I picked it back up again after wasting
30 seconds or so. So the run ended up at 48:45 - nothing
special, but overall I was satisfied with a good race and I
was darn sure glad I made it through the lake. Big question
is whether it will be less painful in eagleman!