US Open Toyota Triathlon Race Report (Repost)

I am reposting this race recap because tomorrow I will be racing the olympic distance again.  This time the race is in Austin and on a Monday.  It has been an odd weekend because the race is on Monday.  I had Saturday off as a rest day, instead of Friday, and to say I was not a happy camper is an under-statement.  I even took a nap to try to kill time.  I was on Twitter and seeing all these posts about racing and training and there I was a big bump on a log. This morning I got to go for a 30 minute ride and a 15 minute run.  Both had pick-ups in them and they made me feel human again.  After that quick workout it was breakfast time and I ate my heart out.  From there it was a 4 hour drive to Austin where I went over everything from the US Open Triathlon and how it was going to be different at the CapTexTri. I have goals and then I have stretch goals.  My goals I will share with you since it is 5:45pm and the race is in just over 13 hours away so I won't have the time nor the patience to think and re-think about them. Here are my goals and the comparison to the US Open Championships back in October 2010:  
        Goal:         US Open
Swim (1500 Meters):       0:30:00         0:37:33
T1:       0:02:00         0:02:39
Bike (40K):       1:20:00         1:18:16
T2:       0:01:30         0:01:20
Run (10K):       0:50:00         0:53:23
Total:       2:43:30         2:53:10
WARM-UP Phone alarm goes off at 3:25 and I’m expecting the wake up call at 3:30a…..nothing.  Nothing at 4, 4:30 and I was out the door by 5am…..thank goodness for my blackberry with alarm clock. Headed down to the transition area to get marked and prepare my transition area.  Had a clean setup and went through the process in my head and practiced the routine.  I was ready to roll from that perspective. Robert showed up and we did the same run I had done on Saturday.  20 minute warm-up run.  After applying tri-slide, I headed down to the dock to get a swim warm-up in.  In the water for about 5 minutes then waiting around and getting cold.  The wind picked up and the temps dropped.  Finally it was our time to shine.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="206" caption="The Swim Finish and ain’t she a beauty!!!!!"][/caption]   Dropped in the water and no issues with the goggles.  Let’s get swimming.  My goal was 35 minutes. I was swimming and every now and again I would hit a foot or get hit, but nothing horrible.  I was actually passing people as well but then…..a leak in my goggle.  I tried to swim through it at first and but eventually the water became a bother and I fixed it.  Get on going and swam buoy to buoy.  Feeling great and the buoys were going by quickly. Left turn and the chop hit.  The cross-current swim was choppy and I swallowed some of the scan0003water but kept going.  Buoy to buoy.  Did they forget to put some buoys in the water?  My spotting was right on and I felt really good.  Got to to the last buoy and turned left again… was on now. I spotted the finish line and just kept on swimming.  Passing other athletes and not getting passed. Go to the finish and ran out of the water and passed two more people on that part…..hey it all counts. I looked at my watch and I forgot to start it so I have no clue how fast/slow I was….oh well.  Run about .25 miles to the transition area….yes a 1/4 mile run UPHILL barefoot and wet.  Got in transition and away we go.


First portion of the bike ride is straight up hill but turns left and flat to a downhill then back uphill… you get the picture of this course? Up and down, up and down. I felt great and was really going.  One thing I never want to be is below 13mph on the uphill so I do whatever it takes to get me to that point if not faster then that. Of course at one hill the number was below 10 and while I don’t know what the speed was I do know it was below 10 because it was the only number on the cadence……a STEEP hill.scan0002 Once I got past that I was ready to roll.  I just kept looking for riders with a number of 35-39 on their calf.  Those are the guys in my age group and if I pass them here they won’t pass me on the run so I’m picking people off left and right and feeling strong. A couple of people passed me with numbers above 39….good or bad I’m not sure but as long as those guys had disc wheels I didn’t count them.  It is all psychological you know. Then I got passed by one woman who had a 50 on her calf but again she blew by me and so I said…..well she is elite and doesn’t count (remember psychological!) Right around mile 20 the bladder was full….what do I do?  Do I just pee here right now?  Wait until I get to the rack and pee before the run.  Take my mind off it?  I went with the latter and just kept on peddling and pushing. I would forget about it and then it would re-appear again.  Figuring at mile 20 I only had 5 more miles to go and I would be good. The return is all flat and downhill so I took the opportunity to slip my feet out of my shoes which I had never done before.  Out of my shoes and coasting down the driveway of the hotel and got to the dismount line. Got off and just ran to the rack.  No having to take shoes off or anything.  Great way to get through transition quickly.  Rack the bike, put on visor and grab the race belt to affix as I head out.


Got through transition really fast and thought about going to port-o-potty to pee but thought just run-it will go away.  Sure enough it did for that moment. Heading up you go….you remember…..’Stairway to Heaven,’ and I felt like I was going backwards. I passed one athlete and he pushed to pass me back. He had a 30 on his calf…not my direct competition but still competition.  He passed me and then all of a sudden he had to stop and I had him. Getting passed on a hill is a killer.  I got to mile 1 in 9:01….good time considering the hill but Iscan0004wanted to be at an average of 8:00/mile. From there the course flattens out a bit and you can open up.  Mile 2 done.  At this point I saw Eric and I had told him…’if I see you at Mile 3, I will catch you so you better swim fast and ride fast.’  he was at 3.25 miles and I was at 2.85 miles or so. I caught him at 3.5 miles and knew he was done.  I found another guy I know not to much further up and passed him.  Again, I knew he wouldn’t catch me.  I just kept finding people with 35-39 on their calved and made them my prey. Catch and move on.  It makes it easier for me to run this way because you’re not focused on miles, just focused on the next catch.  At mile 5 I knew it was all downhill and I just opened up my stride and let it roll. I was so thrilled to know that I was finishing my first Olympic and finishing it strong. Passing people on the way to the finish line and yelling and screaming I smiling from ear to ear.  I looked at the time and it said 3:20…..I was about 30 minutes into the water at the start so I figured that I was in at 2:50 or so.  Under 3 for my first Olympic…..great results. scan0001 Well, here are my results: Swim – 37:33 for an average of 2:18/100m…..thrilled since 35 was my goal and I know I can shave those 2 minutes T1 – 2:39 Bike – 1:18:16 for an average of 19.0 mph…..happy but my last sprint was 19.7 and was hoping to be closer to 20. T2 – 1:20….thrilled.  Getting my shoes off on the ride was key Run – 53:23 for an average of 8:37/mile…..happy but looking at 8:00/mile since my Hottest Half result was that. Overall – 2:53:10……very very happy with my results.  Cannot complain about a sub-3 for my first Olympic. I do believe there are 8 minutes I can cut to get down to 2:45.  Those 8 minutes move me up 80 slots but thinking back on the race I am thrilled with my results.


Saw Jon Gilchrest at the finish and he is such a great guy.  We chatted for a bit as I was working my way through and apple, a banana, a bagel and water. Still haven’t pee’d at this point either…..must not have been a big deal. Finally saw my cheering crew……best part of racing is seeing my wife and step-son and hearing ‘great job and we are so proud of you.’ Got home and for recovery…..3 Michelob Ultras, a NY Football Giants win, and lots of sitting around.  I will get in the shower soon and then pizza with my family after Karen gets back from her 3 mile run. Decided to use the spray biofreeze that I purchased last night.  Karen sprayed it on me last night and no issues.  I did it myself today and let’s just say that it is called a spray for a reason. It went everywhere and even places it shouldn’t…..please don’t make me explain but it is tingly and I hope goes away soon. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="237" caption="Getting a kiss for recovery and not commenting on my stink!"][/caption]  


a BIG Thank You to Coach C for her training, her belief in me, her positive attitude about everything in life and the inspiration and motivation to know that I will be in the gym tomorrow working out again. To the CH Locos…..great races by and kudos to Juan, Robert, and Eric. Great race to Jon Gilchrist and to Brent Wade of 24 Hour Fitness and Margaret English. I will definitely be buying the professional photos of this race and will post them as soon as they are available. Thank you for reading and if you have tips on peeing on the bike post a comment.  If you don’t have tips on how to pee on the bike post a comment anyway as all comments are appreciated and will get a reply.
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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