Reston Area Triathletes RATS.net Logo

Race Result

Racer: Mike Tine
Race: Reston Triathlon
Date: Sunday, September 9, 2007
Location: Reston, VA
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 2:14:46
Overall Place: 16 / 473
Age Group Place: 9 / 77
Comment: Very happy with time/place given this was my "off year"

Race Report:

Swim 25:21 (47sec faster than last year!)
T1 1:15 (same as last year)
Bike 59:19 (34sec slower than last year)
T2 0:56 (9sec slower than last year - socks!)
Run 47:57 (3:13 slower than last year)

Background/Excuses ;-)
For those of you who haven't yet heard my excuses (before, during, and after the race), this was an off year for me. By that I mean that I literally didn't get on a bike for 6 months over the fall/winter, I swam about once every 3 weeks up through late spring, and ran when I could which was still not much. I'd increased my training a bit once June hit, but I was still "only" working out 5-6x per week total. This is 1/2 the usual and my workouts were shorter/slower than prior years too. I had burned myself out last year with training for the NYC Marathon, a few back-to-back triathlons, and tons of work and travel. So I took this year to "smell the roses". I've enjoyed every minute of it, except that others were getting faster while I was getting slower. I also used to love knowing I could jump on a 70-mile ride if I wanted and not get dropped too badly. Not this year. But I still thought I'd done enough to get top 25 in Reston (I was right). And thought I had a small chance of beating David Orton (I was very wrong).

Race day:
Since this was going to be Karen's first Oly, we decided to get to T2 early (5:15) to ensure a good parking space and plenty of time to lay out our transition areas and get ready for the race.

Once laying out our T2 gear, we began the dark ride over to T1. Thankfully we both had flashlights, so that made the ride easier.

Arriving at T1, we skipped body marking to dump our gear on the racks. The body markers were extraordinarily chipper at this hour of the day. Thankfully!

Upon getting our gear laid out, we learned that the officials were still testing the water temperature because they had an initial reading of "77-3/4", just below wetsuit legal temp of 78. I was nervous because I'd left my non-wetsuit tri-suit back up in the car at T2. So after hemming and hawing, I rode my bike back up to the car to grab it. Of course, upon returning to T1, they announced that it was wetsuit legal.

By this point, it was 6:30 and time to think about warming up. But of course, I needed to use the restroom. Since for some reason there were no port-o-johns at T1, the line was a bit long and I got back to my rack at 6:50. No time to warm up in the water, so I thanked my lucky stars that I'd warmed up a bit with my ride back to T2 for my tri-suit!

Hopping in the water, it was so great to see Steve that I tripped over the cement/pond drop-off (no Steve, I wasn't bowing down to you ;-)). It actually was great to see everyone at this point. I felt like I personally knew 1/2 the wave! I realized I'd also forgotten to eat my PB bagel so I was hungry. But I was confident that my Accelerade (and extra weight) would pull me through an Oly.

I set myself up towards the right of the wave, about one row back. Once the tone went off, I waited for about 2 seconds to let the first wave "go horizontal" and get out of the way. Then, according to Will Waskes, I took off like a torpedo. I didn't realize I did this, but I guess I launched myself from the start (as if off a block!) and took several powerful strokes to get moving. This effectively moved me through the first few people blocking my way and allowed me to push towards the front. I eventually settled into a rhythm, looked up every 20 strokes or so, and just tried to swim "long and strong" as is my mantra. I knew I wasn't going to break any records this day, but I didn't want to get too far behind. As it turns out, I was 22nd out of the water. I was happy.

I was nervous about my transition because I was trying to use the "helmet sideburns" for the first time. These are pieces that attach onto the side of my aero helmet to make it even more aero by surrounding my face. But because they snap on, they also can snap off! Thankfully, a quick and uneventful T1 got me out on the road quickly. I'd decided not to wear sunglasses this year due to fogging, and it was definitely the right decision.

As expected, the first lap had me breathing very heavily. Since I expected this, I didn't panic and eventually settled into a rhythm. Despite only training about once a week on the bike, I felt good. In fact, I probably could have even pushed a little harder but I knew the run was going to be tough. I called off one guy who was drafting as he went by. He dropped back, to be seen only once again as he tried to keep up without drafting. Kona Kevin Kunkel caught me on the 2nd lap and went flying by just as I passed Karen. She looked great! It was good to see Rob Weitzel on lap 3 too as he gave me a boost of energy.

I did my standard running dismount off the bike, but was a little more cautious this year since last year's Reston Tri was the first time my shoe had ever come off the pedal during dismount. I easily found my bike and did a slightly slower T2 since I wore socks for the run this year. Last year's decision to not wear socks was not smart as evidenced by the two large blood blisters on my insteps. 9 seconds slower was not bad given the addition of socks.

Upon running, I actually felt a bit better than I did last year at this point. Julie Gibbons passed me going out of T2. I passed her once on the steep downhill after the elementary school, but otherwise she took off. I tried to just "plod along" at a reasonably fast and uncomfortable pace. I basically did 7:40, 7:30, 7:40, 7:50, 8:00, 7:45, push last 1/4. Slow for me, but good for this year. It was great to see Steve/Dave battle it out on the trail. It was great to see Kunkel and Orton flying along. And then to see everyone as I ran along was a boost and a lot of fun. When cheered (Go RATS), most of the time I just gave a thumbs up since I had nothing else to give. I gave everything I had on that run. My longest run this season was 6 miles with zero bricks and only one track session. Given that excuse, I was thrilled with my overall time.

Next year, I would like to compete for top 10 overall. 16th overall was great for me this year. I was actually thrilled with it. But with some training, I think I can crack the top 10. Orton and Kunkel may be out of reach now (see, I'm already sandbagging!), but I will try to keep them in sight. These two guys were my inspiration this year. Both showed tremendous committment and it's showed in their results. I'll do my best to give them a run for their money next year!