The last time I did this race was in 2009. This was the inaugural race and also my first race as a triathlete. I decided to go for it this time around to see how my fitness has progressed over the years.
Swim start was in the Olympic size pool in Flushing. Having swam in the Aquatic center the last few weekends I knew that the water would be on the hotter side. My strategy was to start easy and get acquainted to the temp then slowly progress my speed at the latter half. I did exactly that and may have gone too conservative with my plan. As per my watch my mat finish time was 7:38, but official results stated 8:05.
The condition of the bike course has not improved. It is still as bumpy as I remembered. With quite a few technical turns and bumps it’s difficult to get any sort of rhythm out there. I did my best to have a safe race for me and the bike and finished averaging 21.7 mph.
The run started a bit slow, but I was able to catch a steady flow and effort quickly.
Posted by alpaul on June 30, 2012
We took the 4:10pm ferry to Liberty Island. Race start was 6:45pm. The race organizers stated in the pre-race meeting that they used an algorithm to figure out the seeding of swimmers. Average mid pack swimmers were seeded in wave 1 and 2. Then faster to slower swimmers were seeded respectively. There was a total of 10 waves, approximately 330 swimmers. I was placed in wave 1. The full distance of the course was slated at 1.2K.
I decided not to use a wetsuit in this event because I need to get use to swimming without the assistance of one especially in non triathlon events. In swim only events wetsuits are seldom used by the masses. If I aspire to be a stronger swimmer I need to swim like one.
Our wave was commissioned to a race designated ferry which would be the point where all swimmers would enter the water. Two swimmers were allowed to jump off the ferry at a time. After jumping into the Hudson we swam to the yellow buoys for our official wave start.
Off we went after the final race countdown. We first headed towards Manhattan to make our way around Liberty Island. The current was definitely stronger in that segment of the race. At times I felt like I was in an endless pool. I just relaxed and knew at some point the swim would become easier. The water was also choppier in that section. I used my tinted Aquasphere goggles, they were okay but still allowed a considerable amount of sunlight in which impaired my sighting. Sunset was still at least an hour away. I did my best to hang on to a draft to gain some “free” speed, but many of those swimmers zoomed away. Sighting was a huge issue as I kept having to stop to catch my bearing. I kept swimming and breathing after every other stroke. After 25 minutes I was swimming my way to the finish and feeling considerably strong.
This is my first only-swim event and it couldn’t have been in a better New York City venue. There was also a post race BBQ but due to the NYRR Sprint Tri in the morning we had to leave immediately after the race. There were two ferries provided to swimmers and their guest to transport us back home; 7:45 and 9:05pm. We were able to catch the 7:45 to Manhattan.
Liberty Island Swim Course
Finish Time: 25:29
158/322 finisher. Algorithm was dead on I guess.
Posted by alpaul on June 29, 2012
Yesterday I signed up for my first Hill Time Trial Climb. I was contemplating doing the Alpine TT and was further motivated to do it by this weeks CRCA coach, Tara Parsons.
The bike commute to Alpine River Basin was about an hour and a half. This is the second time I’ve biked via River Road. River Road is a much quieter and scenic route to the Nyack, with this comes a more challenging climb to 9W. I was scheduled to start my TT at 9:12am in the Cat 5 group. I arrived about 20 minutes before my TT start and start times were being delayed 10 minutes due to an overall late start. I hanged out, stretched and watched other racers start their climb. I observed that most racers started their race out of the saddle to gain forward momentum and quickly sat to preserve their legs for the 1.3 mile climb.
When it was my turn I was called to the start line by the announcer. It took me by surprise that the countdown was only 5 seconds, that mistake or lack of experience caused a slight delay in my start because I wasn’t fully clipped in.
After pushing off and being on my way I did not find myself in a comfortable rhythm for the first 2 minutes or so. My HR and breathing was all over the place. On the later part of the climb I was able to find my rhythm and cadence was comfortable and smooth.
I finished with a time of 6 minutes and 34 seconds, far from my sub 6 minute goal time. However I was quite thrilled with today’s race performance being that this was my first TT climb. I am very excited to try the Alpine TT climb again in the fall, next time around I would like to be better familiar with the course and my overall race strategy.
Posted by alpaul on June 23, 2012
Posted by alpaul on June 17, 2012
Cat 5 riders, that’s me! we were assigned to complete a total of 6 laps around Central Park, while the Cat 4 and Cat 3 did 7 and 8 laps respectively. There was also a women’s clinic going on today. The CRCA clinics are great I did the Mens clinic earlier this year, highly recommended for new racers such as myself. Goal for todays race was just to remain safe and off the asphalt and do not get dropped. Both were attained while having a blast of riding fun this morning. Made sure to keep taking in nutrition (2 scoops of accelerade and carbo gain) when it was safe to do so. Legs held up great. Race ended with a sprint finish, I did not participate in this finish since my right knee is not a 100% for that amount of pressure and strain.
I am quite satisfied with my performance today at my first official bike race. The adrenaline bike racing provides is incredible. Being alert and trusting riders around you to do the right thing is critical in remaining safe.
Lap Times (Averaged 24.2 mph)
1 0:15:17 includes additional 3/4 lap
Posted by alpaul on June 16, 2012
Swim went on perfectly as far as I visualized it would be. Best and fastest open water swim so far. However having not practiced enough transitions off a hard swim effort would cost me time in transition. At my bike in T1 I was temporarily stopped by an official because of my extreme visual dizziness. He allowed me to continue after being sufficiently convinced that I was normal and okay to start the bike leg.
Again I was able to nail the bike portion of the Flat as a Pancake course. Coming into this race I was adequately prepared to handle a high threshold bike effort. I finished the bike with an average of 23.4 mph.
Transition was a bit slower here than I wanted but again my hard efforts leading to transition wiped out my legs.
My 5k running legs were absent for the better half of the race. I was able to push through and finish the run at a 6:47 pace slightly slower than predicted and last years 6:39 pace per mile.
Overall this is my personal best at Flat as a Pancake. Again better practice needs to be put into place to nail faster transitions post hard swim and bike efforts.
Video shot and edited by Anh
Overall finish time: 1:03:12
5th in my Age Group
Posted by alpaul on June 9, 2012
I was extremely happy and proud to help a fellow friend of mine run his first 4 mile race today. The race took place in Central Park, a venue widely used by the New York Road Runners for much of their races. I helped him train and get prepared for this event for the last month or so. He was able to run practically the entire 4 miles with some short walks at aid stations and at a hill close to the finish. Days like these when I’m able to share the fun of running with others is extremely satisfying.
Posted by alpaul on June 3, 2012