Saturday, July 19, 2008

Turtle Trot report.........

Some days go as planned and some do not, today would be in the do not category.

The Turtle Trot is always a blast to do and this marks Karyn's and my third time participating in it. Today I was hoping to do nothing more than beat last years time in the overall event and to go faster in the run and bike. The swimming goal is simply not drowning, I can swim I just don't train at it nor enjoy it. So unless the attitude changes this will be the only triathlon that I will ever do.

The day started out as it always does, Ben reviewed the course, the rules and identified the volunteers so that we all could thank them and emphasized that we were there to enjoy. We sang the national anthem and a neighbor said a prayer and then we were off to the starting line.

The 5k course is an out and back on a bike path, it has a couple of gentle down and ups but is not a difficult course unless it's hot and the weather wasn't bad probably mid 70's with some humidity. The bell sounded and off we went, my result for the 5k race was my worse ever time in a 5k - 31:06, ouch, ok, I don't do many 5k's but my best is a 20:48 (granted it was in 94), last year I ran a 27:42 at the trot and I didn't think I was in very good shape. I tried to go out hard but frankly the pace didn't seem too fast just hard, it turns out it must've been as I ran the 2nd half slower. How much slower, I don't really know as I didn't look at my watch but I know it was a struggle.

The swim is 1/2 mile swim that also is an out and back and it went ok, remember that in the Turtle Trot you can touch bottom if you need to. So I did my normal swim, some freestyle, some backstroke, run a bit and then repeat. I got through it and thought to myself as I was coming back that I am not sure I want it to end, it felt good.

The bike is 10 miles and is a double loop course with a couple of gentle downhills and uphills. For me, the bike wasn't good either, I started slow as I was messing with my Ipod, then I kicked it up and within a 1/2 mile my legs were rubber and I was struggling. I muddled my way through but my bike time was 5 minutes slower than the year before. Last year I remember the bike going well so I expected the same this year.

The good news for the day was that the problems I had were present on both the run and the bike, a quick summary - my legs and lungs didn't work. I had no energy. The bad news is that my time was 7 minutes slower than the year before. My analysis of the day is that I had an off day, I am not in 5k shape by any means but I don't think that I am that much slower than last year. My weight is probably lower, my mileage is higher but my speed training is non-existent as the tendinitis in my knee makes speed workouts a bad idea. So I will continue to work on marathons and ultras this year and then get the knee healthy over the winter and work on the speed, my core and my strength. Next year, with just a little work I can PR once again.

After the race we had our cookout and caught up with the folks we know from previous years and we got to talk to a few folks we don't know which is really the point for the day. Meet some folks, share a few stories and enjoy the day. Our thanks to Ben and Kirsten for another great Turtle Trot, hopefully we get invited back next year.

So to sum up the Turtle Trot , a disappointing day on the competitive front but a great day overall....................

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