The life of a Dad who strives to be the best dad possible

Tempe Sprint Race Report

Tempe Sprint Race ReportSometimes, you just gotta go for it.  That was my attitude going into the Tempe Sprint triathlon.  I hadn’t planned on doing it when I charted my year, but with no races on the near horizon, I decided to do the sprint.  One hour of tough effort seemed manageable and tolerable.  I also knew the impact on my training calendar would be very minimal. Plus, in the air of total candor, I felt I had a good shot of getting on the podium in my age group.

Admittedly, I always advise against having goals that are not within one’s control. But, I believe you can have goals like mine on two conditions.  One, the goal must be reasonable. If my goal had been to win the race, well, that wasn’t going to happen.  Totally unreasonable.  And, two, you can’t base the success of your day solely on externally-controlled goals.  That’s a recipe for failure and unhappiness.  Did I think I could age-group podium?  Most certainly.  Was my sole focus on just that objective?  Most certainly not.  My focus would be on my effort and, if that yielded a podium finish, great.  But, if not, I’d be ok with that too.

With that in mind, here’s my day:

Tempe Sprint: Pre-race

So, with this being a sprint and all, I slept in and arrived late.  Not late enough to miss anything, but getting ready took very little time.  I literally spent more time putting my shoes on my bike for a flying mount than doing everything else combined.  Sprint races are nice like that!  Eventually, my wave entered the water and the day would soon begin…

Tempe Sprint: Swim

With the swim being a mere 400 meters, I was mentally ready to go and go with nearly red-line effort.  As soon as the start horn sounded, I went straight to maximum effort. I felt great, but the amount of contact and jostling was unreal.  For a sprint, it was shocking.

Regardless, I kept my effort high and swam over anything in front of me.  My “I feel great” lasted until about the first buoy, 75 meters away.  At that point, I had used all the muscular glycogen I had and my body was wanting more oxygen than I was giving it, you know, with the whole “I can’t breathe water” reasoning.  Each breath, I would suck in as much as possible before my face was submerged again.  My back, arms, shoulder, lungs, and even chest were burning.

Thankfully, a 400 meter swim doesn’t last too long.  Soon enough (but not nearly soon enough for my cardiac system), I made the last turn and was headed towards shore.  I gave that last 100 meters all the swimming strength I had left.  I swam until there was only about six inches of water until the bottom, sprang up, and sprinted towards T1.

My swim time was 6:43, putting me in 4th place in my age group and 14th overall.

Tempe Sprint: Transition 1

For the few people who actually beat me out of the water, I was ready to get a few seconds back on some of them.  I wore my Blue Seventy Swim Skin PZ3TX and had it down to my waist before reaching my bike.  Ditching it, donning my helmet and sunglasses, and sprinting out with my bike took a whopping 46 seconds, 2nd fastest in my age group.

Tempe Sprint: Bike

Sigh… as long as I race triathlons, the bike will always be my bane.  I know I am better than some, but I always seem to play the same song when I race: Good to great swim, give time away on the bike, try my hardest to run down as many people as possible.  Sometimes (e.g., Panama 2014 and Boise 2013), it works great but not always and that includes the 2014 Tempe Sprint.

I biked with nearly everything I had to give.  My breathing was ragged, my legs were burning, and I was pushing with as much effort as seemed prudent, given that whole “run” part after the bike.  Even with my effort (and my Reynolds Element disc), I managed a 33:29, losing 1-2 minutes on the top three people and placing a mere 8th in my age group.  Sigh…

Tempe Sprint: Transition 2

Ahh, I love T2.  This is a great place to make up time on everyone.  Three years ago, when I did the olympic version of this race, I had a 26 seconds T2.  This year, I settled for a lightening fast 34 seconds, 2nd fastest T2 in the entire race.  Can’t do much better than that!

Tempe Sprint: Run

3.1 miles of pain, that’s all I had left.  My plan for the run was to start with about a 6:45ish min/mile and try to push the pace the closer I got to the finish.  This seemed pretty doable yet somewhat painful…

Tempe Sprint Race ReportAt the start of the run, I felt great, unsurprisingly.  That lasted, ooohhh, about 30 seconds.  Then, reality set in.  Annoyingly, about that time, some 44 year old (i.e., some dude in my age group) came flying past me.  Crap, there’s one spot, I thought.  I decided to pick up that pace and keep him somewhat close in case he faltered.  I realized after about a minute that I was making a dreadful mistake and decelerated.  Annoyingly again, another age-grouper caught and passed me.  F*** THAT, I thought and pushed the tempo to match him.  I gave him about 10-15 seconds, but no more.  I knew if he got too far away, I’d have no chance of retaking him.

The rest of the run was actually pretty mellow.  I held my pace for about the first two miles (actually covering them in a 6:48 and 6:46 respectively) and, upon starting the third and last mile, I began to push the speed to try and catch the dude in front of me.  (The other guy was longggg gone.)

Now, I don’t know if the dude in front of me had some elaborate mirror system, but I swear he knew every single time I made a surge.  he’d speed up and match.  I’d surge again, he’d match.  The closer we both got to the finish, the faster we both were running and the less and less space I had to use.  Sadly, try as I might, I failed to overtake him, couldn’t do it, and he literally beat me by 10 seconds.  Ugh, all I could think about was whether he finished 3rd in our age group.  If he did, I’d just cry…

Tempe Sprint Race ReportLooking at the finishers’ times, I ended up 5th in my age group (phew… I guess). My final run time was a 21:16.  That seems long for a 5K, but the distance was actually a 3.2 miles, meaning about 40ish seconds of extra time. Obviously, I didn’t get the top 3 in my age group that I wanted.  But, I gave the race, especially the run, all I had and did my best.

Reviewing my data after the race, I am pleased with my effort.  I raced hard and smart.  That didn’t get me a little trinket of a trophy but I still am proud of my effort.  Comically enough, even though FIVE dudes in my age group beat me, I ended up finishing 14th overall (probably my best overall spot to date) out of 304 athletes.

The moral of the story is that I need a new age group!  🙂

Ok, not really, but in any other age group, I would have won or been second.  Sigh….  The real moral of the story is to be happy with your outcome and do your best.  You cannot control who shows up at any given race; you can only control what you do.  Could I have run faster?  Maybe, but during the run, I sure felt like I was giving it all I could.  Looking back, I feel confident that I did the best I could on that day and, so, I am happy with my race even though I missed out on the podium.  Hmmm though, maybe I need something that once served me so well: a fake ID!  (Kidding, of course…)

Thanks for reading!

Related posts:

Leave a Comment



Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

Get Subcribed Here

Subscribe to Ironman Dad

Close this popup

I am here to help you stay accountable to and change your life in so many ways.
For more information and tips, get subscribe to my mailing list.

  • stay-at-home Dad
  • Independent Coach
  • Beachbody Bussiness