Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Murakami triathlon: Fall Gaijin Showdown

Murakami triathlon: The race was s'alright. I didn't get the coveted PB, but my ranking improved and a great time was had by all the international triathlon clubbies. My time was 2:20, 3 minutes slower than last year's PB. I had lowered the PB by 30 seconds to 2:17:02 in August and had sights on a sub-2:15 if the weather cooperated. It didn't.

We arrived Saturday to stiff winds and choppy seas on the Sea of Japan. There was talk of a swim cancellation. By the next morning the seas had calmed enough to do the whole race, but still the chop was noticeable.

Swim: A mass start with 300 of my friends it felt like. My first mistake was to forgo the warmup. The 2nd was getting in the inside lane. In the first 100 meters of chaos, I felt a popping sound/feeling inside my left shoulder. This is not supposed to happen to me, I thought. I swam a few more strokes gingerly and assessed the damage. The shoulder was work-able, but not in great shape. I pushed on with some easy breast strokes and gradually got back into the race. The shoulder felt OK. Later I realized that the endorphins and adrenaline must have masked the pain. At the turnaround point I was at 13 minutes, so a 26 minute ETA, a little worse than plan but the chop and bum shoulder must have taken some toll. However, I noticed Keren swimming alongside me for the last 400 meters, a good sign. He is usually a minute ahead so I was not having a bad swim after all?

Not looking so aero despite the helmet...

Bike: I transitioned quickly, benefitting from the T1 practice the day before, and attacked the strong bikers. I pulled up to Mark who is a great biker and traded places with him for several clicks. Keren was right with me as usual. Bike ultra-specialist Stefano passed me soon after. I worked hard to chase him down, overtook briefly, but he immediately passed me. All this playful rivalry was fun and helping my bike time. We had a pretty stiff headwind, stronger than last year, so needed extra effort to maintain pace. At the 20k turnaround we were all scattered. Stefano and Mark had dropped me, and I was trying to hold off Keren, Paul, and Danai. The tailwing helped me get up to 50 kph on the return. At 35k Paul came flying by me on the last hill screaming "get that PB Dave"! I dismounted the bike in 1:09 including 2 transitions, again 1 minute slower than last year.

Don't forget to hit that watch...

Run: I was out quickly from T2, passing Paul in the transistion area. He chased me and was literally breathing down my back for 2k of the run. Keren was just behind Paul. At 2k I felt well warmed up and accelerated slightly. I had a pretty decent run, similar to Aizu, at around 44 minutes. Maybe I could have ran a little faster if I had had more company?

Our gang at the race finish..

A shinkansen with a view...

Many thanks to Danai for the hotel management and Asako for the cool pics!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last night, it was cheers for good work out.
Triathlon finishers, congratulations. I am longing to athletic body. I am not good at to swim, but I like triathlon.
I want to run long distances with strong legs. Also Let's run together now.
I think your son is cute.
Yosuke Kimura