Papa Johns 10 Miler & Shelbyville Tri #3 Race Reports

I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach the back-to-back races last weekend. I knew that in order to do as well as possible in the Triathlon, I would need to skip the 10 Miler…BUT I really enjoy running that race…SO I decided to do both. The plan was to run the 10 Miler at a pace that wasn’t going to destroy my legs. The hills were going to be tough, but I figured that I could play it conservative and still have some juice left for Sunday’s Tri.

I rode to the Papa John’s 10 Miler with fellow Triathlete and neighbor, Jeremy. We got there in plenty of time to chat with some people and get in a warm-up run and do some dynamic stretching. The weather was perfect, mid 50’s temperature and no precipitation. I planned on running around a 7:30-7:40 minute per mile pace for the first 5-6 miles and then see how I felt. My first two miles were 7:10 and 7:11. Despite feeling like I was taking it easy, the pace was too fast. This is why I like to wear my Garmin GPS watch. Without knowing my actual splits, I would have thought I was running a much slower pace. So I made an effort to ease off the gas going into the park. I took the uphills slowly and the downhills even more slow. Most people try to use gravity to their advantage and speed up the pace on downhills. This destroys your quads. The pounding of every step hitting the pavement is what leads to the soreness in the days following the race. So I purposely shortened my stride and increased my cadence on the downhills. I maintained a 7:40-7:45 pace through the hills and felt pretty good coming out of the park. I maintained a steady effort for the last few miles of flat road and my pace went back down to 7:30 or so despite a strong headwind. I finished in 1:15:53 (7:35 / mile pace). This placed me 41st out of 360 in my division and 343rd overall out of 6006. I wasn’t running based on heart rate, but I was happy to see that my average HR for the race was 151 bpm. This is right in the middle of my endurance zone, so at least my cardiovascular system wasn’t taxed too much!

Sunday morning was a little hectic. I had all of my gear packed and ready to go on Saturday night, so I woke up and ate half of a sweet potato and some almond butter around 6:00am. I knew that our littlest one had been up a few times during the night coughing, and when Jessica woke up, we thought that maybe a trip to the doctor would be a good idea. So I was thinking that I might not do the race. My very loving, supporting wife knows how hard I train and didn’t want me to miss the race, so she urged me to go ahead. I ended up getting to the race about 30 minutes later than I normally like to, so I was a little rushed setting up my transition area and getting ready. I nearly forgot to get body marked and then misplaced my swim goggles right before the race started. I managed to find them (they had been knocked off the ledge that I sat them on and had fallen down in a bin full of kick boards by the pool) and made it out to the start line with only a few seconds to spare.

The race started with a 5K run. About half a mile in a knew that the 10 miles the day before had left my legs fatigued. As I was being passed and unable to keep up with the guys that I normally run with in these races, I knew that despite taking it “easy” the day before, I was in for a struggle. My level of exertion felt like a 6:30 per mile pace, but I was actually running closer to 7 minute miles. I struggled all the way in to transition and was glad to be done with the run!

5K (3.1 mile) Run

21:06.5 (6:47 min/mile pace)

4th out of 14 in my Age Group

14th out of 90 Overall

I had a very fast transition as all I had to do was take off my shoes and put on my helmet. I was able to pass a few people in T1 and make up some of the time I lost of the run.

T1 (23.8)

1st out of 14 in my Age Group

5th out of 90 Overall

I got settled in on the bike and was ready to push it hard. I was out on my new Zipp race wheels for the first time and wanted to see how they felt. I was only about a mile in when I noticed that the back tire felt weird. The thud-thud-thud feeling told me that I had a flat tire…which in a Sprint race is a disaster. So I came to a stop and reached back to check. To my surprise, the tire had air pressure. So I thought maybe there was something stuck on the tire, like a piece of trash from the road. So a lifted the back end up and gave it a quick spin…no debris. So I clipped back in and started riding again. The 10 or so seconds that I was stopped isn’t s big deal, but when I factor in the loss of speed and momentum and then having to get it all back, it’s say it cost me a good 30 or more. So once I knew that I didn’t have a flat, I hammered down. The thud-thud feeling was still there and I spent the remainder of the ride trying to figure out what could be causing it. Was it a problem with the new wheels? Was it a bad spot on the new tire that I had just put on the day before? Either way, I felt good on the bike despite that constant burning from my quads. I managed to pass a few people and headed back into transition just behind another.

12 mile bike

31:00.0 (23.2 mph)

4th out of 14 in my Age Group

8th out of 90 Overall

I took my feet out of my shoes and took my gloves off as I coasted into T2. So this transition consisted of racking my bike, taking my helmet, sunglasses and socks off and starting the run through the grass to the indoor pool. As I ran, I pulled my long-sleeve shirt off over my head. I unclipped my race number belt and with both of them in hand, I ran into the building. I tossed them under a table by the door and grabbed my goggles (which were thankfully still where I had left them). As I ran in the building, I passed my buddy Greg, who I had been trying to catch the whole time on the bike. He was getting his shirt off and putting his goggles on. I always seem to make up some ground in transition. I put a decent amount of thought into how to make my transitions as fast as possible and it usually pays off, gaining me a spot or two through the course of the race.

T2 (1:08.8)

2nd out of 14 in my Age Group

4th out of 90 Overall

I’m not a fan of these reverse races for one reason – doing the swim last. I’m not the greatest swimmer and my foam breaks down when I get tired. Bad form = slow swimming. Getting in the water for a 400 yard sprint is not easy after a 5K run and a 12 mile bike. I knew that Greg was right on my heels, so I made an effort to put a little distance between us over the first 50 yards. I honestly thought that he was going to catch me because I was so exhausted I felt like I was swimming in jello. I could see some guys in the lanes ahead of me, but I had no thoughts of catching any of them. I was concentrating on keeping my form as good as possible, but I knew it was falling apart. I pushed it hard to the finish and was glad to be done! I wasn’t passed and didn’t pass anyone in the water…seems to be a theme with me and these races.

400 yd swim

6:54.0 (1:43/100yd)

4th out of 14 in my Age Group

16th out of 90 Overall

Overall, I’m happy with my race considering the toll the Papa John’s 10 Miler took on my legs. An age group podium and a top 10 overall finish are always good. I took two days off from training after this tough weekend and I’m sure my body appreciated the rest!



3rd out of 14 in my Age Group

8th out of 90 Overall

After inspecting my rear wheel after the race, I discovered that my new tire had a flat spot on it. That’s what was causing the thud-thud. I’ll get the tire replaced, but this is once again a good reminder to never change anything on your bike right before a race. If I had ridden just once on this tire prior to the race, I would have noticed this and put a new one on.

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