Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oshima triathlon: deja vu all over again

In summary, a harsh swim, nice bike, and mediocre run. This was my second trip to Oshima, a wonderful, quaint island only 2 hours by jet boat from the Tokyo bay, and the result was like dejavu all over again. I finished in 42nd place. 2 years ago I finished in 43rd place, although there were more participants 2 years ago.

Swim: 31:59 78th place
Bike: 1:09:28 38th place
Run: 46:21 55th place

Total: 2:27:48 42nd place out of 190 men.

I was happy to get a PB, although the race 2 years ago was a 2:11:15 with a shortened swim of about 0.8k. So I figured I would have gotten about 2:25-2:30 that last time, so only an official PB. Last year's Ishigakijima tri was a slow one also at 2:30:55 due to a hamstring injury.

Swim: Right from the start the going was tough. We had to step gingerly over rocks for several meters before wading into the waves. And it was super wavey! I thought it would get better after we got past the surf, but there were swells throughout the course, and I never really got into a good rhythm. After I got around the furthest buoy, I checked my watch and saw 18 minutes, so figured it was straight back to the beach. But at the next buoy, the lifeguard directed us out to sea again! I groaned and realized that I wasn't going to get anyway near my 27 minute goal. I tried to pick it up on the 2nd loop but arrived at the beach just under 32 minutes, cursing the surf and rocks.

Bike: After a long 4 minute transistion and some needed encouragement from Megumi, I jumped on Hillary Swank and zoomed up the coast, hoping to make up the lost time on the bike. The ride went pretty well. I averaged 37 KPH, passing many bikers in the first 20k. My 10k splits were 16:53, 16:00, 15:40, 16:11. I even got to practice for ironman by eating a onigiri on the 2nd lap. It felt good to hold this pace and I didn't feel much fatigue throughout the 40k.

Run: I started out slow, feeling some tightness in the legs and knowing well that my my 2:20 goal was out of reach. I was also worried about my sprained ankle and lower back aches. Both held up well, and I accelerated at 2K with the wind behind me. I saw Chris flying by at my 3K point, so figured he would finish in a sparkling 2:10-2:15, than hit the turnaround at about 24 minutes. Shortly after I saw Keren bearing down on me, about 500 meters behind. Fearing ultimate shame, I sped up and finished the 2nd 5k in about 22 minutes. I didn't feel very tired at the end, just a sore lower back. It was a frustrating run again as I realized I should have hit it harder on the first 5k.

I suppose I need to lower my expectations after 2 tough races in a row. Hopefully a better result in Zurich will be in the cards next month. At least the swim in Lake Zurich won't be as rough, albeit longer. Oshima is a great scenic course and I will be back next year if the timing is right. Many thanks to Stuart for setting up the entire trip. Thanks to Megumi and Robin for great photos and support. And a big omedeto to Anthony for completing his first tri.


Joachim said...

great report, Motozo. Very inspiring. If Tri would only come without swimming ;-) Good luck and success in Zurich! Enjoy Europe.

David 元三 Rubenstein said...

thanks Joachim