Sunday, August 19, 2012

Folsom Olympic Distance Triathlon (Troy)

August 19, 2012 – Lake Natoma, Folsom, CA
1kmSwim -40km Bike – 10km Run

2:09:02 (23:41-00:45-1:02:48-1:03-40:45)


5th, M40-44


Dale Jackson in AquaBike; Dave Campbell

Robin raced yesterday in the long course and I was amazed how well she did.  A 5:10, which is a good time even for the men.  She went into it undertrained so we than the Lord for giving her a great performance.

After she worked so hard, I feel obligated to get a fast time, too.  I'm also not fully prepared. Since Vineman I've spent more time catching up at work, than training and resting.  But Vineman went great and going from Ironman distance to Olympic distance is a mental boost.. relatively it's a short race!

I'm imagining swimming fast, fastest yet, without fatigue, and then pushing hard on the bike from the beginning, without having to "save energy for later", and finally dashing out on the run without regard for how I feel because it's only 6.2 miles.  That would probably put me near the top.  Ok, I'm excited to start.

We have a pre-race prayer down by the water. About 6 of us.  I swim a little in the surprisingly frigid water of Lake Natomas.  I glad I have my Aquaman Tri-Blitz from  Patty Stokes there got a warmer, better fitting suit.  It's a little thicker so I'm be perfectly comfortable, and it comes off much faster, too.  We watch the disabled athletes start their swim after getting helped into the water.  So impressive.  And now we're ready.  Everyone comments on the sun directly in our eyes.  It's like swimming to Heaven!

The Swim
Go!  I start well.  Sighting is working well actually by just swimming a little right of the sun.  Momentarily I get a couple drafts but most of the 1st leg is by myself.  Swimming in the open is always nice and calm.. no need to chase or avoid swimmers.  I'm swimming strong, but hope not to die coming back.  We come together but I get a clean turn around the 2 buoys.

Now the long back stretch.  I sprint over to a guy swimming a little faster.  Drafting is normally both helpful and uncomfortable.  The periodic sighting on the swimming ahead and subsequent zig-zagging to get back behind him is annoying.  This time (thanks, God!) it's perfect!  There's no splash & bubbles because he doesn't kick much and it's clear enough to see his feet underwater.  I never have to sight!  I just keep my head down, relax and follow his feet wherever they go.  This point in the swim I'm usually struggling to go fast but it's so nice now I'm really enjoying swimming along without having to sight.

With 100m to go I have to leave my great leader and try sprinting by.  There's 3 of us side by side.  It's exciting.  With all the energy I saved, I'm actually able to pull ahead to the shore.  I high-five Anna & Ariel next to Robin and continue unzipping & removing goggles and cap.  By the time I'm ready to take my suit off, I'm already in transition.  But it still comes off easy.  Love it.  And I'm quickly running out with the bike.

23:41 (6th in age group). (TBF tri was 23:30)

The Bike
I'm motivated and excited. I'm always thinking about the 25mph goal which I've never gotten.  But reality is showing me already that 22, 23 is about all I can get on the flats.  I'm going to do my best from beginning to end… now go, go, go!  I push it up the hills and accelerate the descents.  I'm excited to try the great position I felt in Vineman.  I'm not feeling it yet.

I'm passing a few and a couple guys pass me.  But I feel like I'm going really fast.  I forgot how much climbing this course has.  I'm amazed that Robin did it twice yesterday and averaged 20mph!  I'm only just over 20mph now.  The farther I go, the more I start feeling the great aero position I experienced at Vineman.  The main difference is that now I'm trying to go 2mph faster.  It's hard to relax and power at the same time.

The leaders are coming back.  I'm counting.  They're all "Every Man Jack" athletes.  That team has got a lot of talent!  I'm 23rd to the turn.  I'm excited to catch a few on the way back.  It's mostly downhill.  It feels great to be going so fast on straight roads.  There's another side-road out-and-back.  Now it's back down to Folsom.  I'm trying to get up to 23mph, which I did at the TBF race.  It's going up..22, 22.1.  I get to the final flat section and know this is the last chance to move the pace up.  22.4, 22.5.  Up over the pedestrian bridge, behind the park and 22.6 is my pace.  Pretty good.  Now I quickly pull my feet out and get ready to dismount.  A great dismount into a full run.. all the way through transition.  I hear Robin and the girls cheering.  It's a great transition, for the athlete and the spectators.  Lot's of cheering.  Makes you go fast.

1:04:36 (with transitions; TBF tri was 1:04:40). Bike split: 1:02:48 (23.6mph, 7th in age group, previous '08 time: 1:03:21)

The Run
I sprint out.  The swim and bike have been exactly the hard effort I wanted to do.  Now, to make it complete, I need to run fast from beginning to end.  It's only 6.2 miles!  But the legs are a little stiff.  I think about the Coronado Independence run and the good form I had there.  I think about TBF and how fast that was.

  1. 6:30   I see a guy ahead in yellow and focus on catching him. 
  2. 6:22.  At 2 miles I do catch him and now am counting the runners coming back.  Wow, those Every Man Jack athletes are still dominating.  They're all spread out.  I had hoped a few would bunch up just ahead of me.
  3. 6:37.  At the turn I'm happy with my pace, about 6:36, and I think I could break 40min!  I'm in 21st place but the next runner is quite a ways ahead. 
  4. 6:36. I'm drinking at every aid station and take 2 Hammer gels.  I'm keeping the pace but it's getting hard.  The weather is perfect today.  Not hot and no wind.
  5. 6:38.   1 mile to go and I think of the final mile at a track workout.  I'm just about spent, which is a good sign, but I have to push all the way.
  6. 6:25.  It feels like a great race, everything just as planned.  And there's Anna and Ariel!  Robin has them staggered so Ariel is already going down the finish chute.  Holding hands the 3 of us cross the finish line.  Wow, that was great!120819_folsom_olympic_troy_finish

40:45 (6:34 pace, 5th fastest in age group)(TBF tri was 40:15).
Total: 2:09:02, 5th place (TBF tri was 2:08:24, 1st place)

The girls get waters for me, go with me to shake hands with the guy in yellow that I passed on the run, and help me walk and jog around to cool down.  Whew!  Thanks God for a great race.  Even with the perfect effort, I didn't place and I didn't break 40min in the run (I realized later that the pace needed was 6:26, not 6:36).  But it's great because I felt the Lord wanted me to put out the high effort, while being a good sport, and the goal was met.  A victorious day!  Thanks, God.




Age Group





DALE JACKSON AquaBike 1:31:00 MEN 1st 25:02 1:04:00 NA



2:09:02 M44-49 5TH 23:41 1:02:48 40:45
DAVE CAMPBELL OLY 2:13:11 M55-59 1ST 24:41 1:06:29 40:14