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Friday, July 24, 2009

Heart O'Dixie - PREVIEW / 2008 REVIEW

Thursday morning was an easy morning trace ride. Normally it would be a group ride but it was only Robin and I that showed up. No matter. We still had a good 25 mile ride. We talked a lot about upcoming races and time trails. It seems like the boys of summer have dropped off for a little bit.

Friday morning I got a little swimming in at the pool - 3 sets of 300 yards + 200 yards with paddles – for a good 1500 yards. The swim felt good. I was really trying to over emphasize the roll – starting with my hips. A few weeks ago this felt very awkward but now it is not so bad. Starting the roll with my hips is allowing for my entire body to roll – not just my shoulders. It feels like my body is much longer and I am grabbing bigger chunks of water. Although, I have not seen any speed improvement, I do believe that I am swimming more efficiently.

From the Meridian Star:


“The Heart o’ Dixie is the oldest triathlon in the continental U.S.

This year’s race officially sold out some two weeks ago.

We normally don’t hit 300 until the week of the race and this year we’ve got 400 two weeks before the race,” said race director John David Williams. “It’s a growing sport. Everybody wants to do this race. It’s going to be a good day. I’m absolutely looking forward to it.”

I’m leaving for the Heart O’Dixie race a little later today – Ben is picking me up from work and we are heading out. This will be the 30th Annual Heart O’Dixie Triathlon – I am amazed that this race the oldest triathlon in the continental US – In the middle of Mississippi. I bet you would not have guessed that!


The start is staggered – you start every 5 seconds unless you are seeded in the top 10. Your start number is determined by went you register. I registered last week – I will start 419th. Last year I started 325. The good news is that my friends Keith, Raul and Tony will be starting 355, 430 and 431 (Tony is last) respectively – maybe we will go have some breakfast before the race (I’ll be starting about 35 minutes after the start of the race). On the other hand Ben and Mike will be starting 88 and 178 – I hope they save me some food. The race is a point to point ½ mile swim, 27.5 mile bike and 7 mile run.

2008 Heart O’Dixie Race Report
Total Time: 2:23:38
Overall Rank: 55/338
Age Group Rank: 10/50
Pre-race routine:

Ate 3 packages of oatmeal and drove to race. Set up transition.

Event warm-up:

Quick dip in lake for a swim. I cut my foot on something in the mud. Decide to wear socks during the bike and run because of this. I registered late for this race. It was a staggered start - every 5 seconds. I started at number 325. I got to see many people complete the swim before I even jumped in.

Swim: 14:27 - 1:38s / 100 yards – AG RANK – 13/50

I am not strong in the swim; however, I now realize that I am better than some. It was difficult passing the many people ahead of me. Starting so far in the back of the pack meant that everyone that swims better than me was out of the water. The only people left on the course were struggling. All in all I still had a decent swim for me. Still working on this.

What would you do differently?

Try to start earlier. Continue to work on breathing, sighting and speed. I AM A MUCH BETTER SWIMMER – I WILL TRY AND JUST PICK MY OWN LINE LIKE I DID IN THE SUNFISH AND CRUISE THE SWIM.

T1: 1:23

Bike was farthest from swim exit / bike start. Had to put socks on and run through grassy transition.

What would you do differently?

Work on running bike mount. STILL NOT DOING THE FLYING MOUNT – NO SOCKS THIS YEAR!

Bike: 1:13:50 – 22.35 MPH - AG RANK – 9/50

The bike was fast. However, once all the bikes had left transition the traffic picked up on the road. These cars were all of the racers families and friends going to meet the racers at the fairgrounds. This created a lot of traffic. This is 2 lane blacktop. I was travelling faster than the cars at many places. Got held up.

What would you do differently?

Remain in the zone. Keep concentration up. This was still a very good bike for me. WITH SO MANY RACERS IN FRONT OF ME I MUST USE THEM AS RABBITS AND KEEP IN THE PASSING ZONE. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO KEEP MY CONCENTRATION UP IN THE LAST 2 RACES!

T2: 2:05

Transition placement was again poor. Legs shaky. Dropped a gel and stopped to get it.

What would you do differently?

Practice dismount and riding with feet on top of shoes. STILL NO FLYING DISMOUNT.

Run: 51:55 – 7:25 min/mile - AG RANK – 9/50

First mile was a killer. I was with a group of fast runners in my age group that were also numbered near me. I tried to hang with them but I was not doing well. Had to take two 10 second walk breaks. Choked down a gel and picked up the pace. Found someone to pace with and kept going. Walked the water stops. Got some support back from a friend that is a good runner. He came by and I was able to use him as my rabbit.

What would you do differently?

Tough out the run. Remain focused. More bricks and speed work in training. STILL NEED THE MENTAL TOUGHNESS TO KEEP THE RUN HARD – REAL HARD.

Post race

Warm down:

Stopped cold and grabbed a wet towel and a water bottle. Ate some cookies and got in line for a massage. They worked on my calves and it felt great. Ate a whole lot of pizza (I had a long drive home and did not want to get spacey). Jumped on bus to take me back to race start. Grabbed my goggles and then drove to T2 to get bike. Started to rain - a real downpour for most of the 2.5 hour drive home. I was so glad that the rain did not hit during the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster?

Still building swim / bike / run. Become more comfortable during the swim so that the bike / run do not suffer. Pick the pace up on the run and become strong at hills on the bike. HOPEFULLY THE SWIM IS BECOME A NON-ISSUE. SURE I AM NOT GOING TO WIN IN SWIM SPRINTS BUT I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PUSH THE BIKE. NOW IF I CAN JUST FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE BIKE AND RUN!

2 comments:

  1. You're not going to win from your swim but you sure can lose from your swim so push it. I do tend to seed myself higher for those kinds of starts so I don't have to deal with people. Kick some ass, if it doesn't hurt, you're not doing it right.

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  2. James-

    Good race!! Hopefully I can ride with you guys some traveling makes it tough to train!!

    Raland

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