Friday, February 24, 2012

Sweetheart Aqua Triathlon Race Report

I withheld something from you all. It was my A++++ race of the season, The Sweetheart Aqua Triathlon down in DC. The race itself is done WITH a partner and the distance was a 500 yard swim, 200 yard kayak (split between you and your partner), finishing with a 200 yard aquajog. I had THE best partner, Beth, who is a fish in the water, expert kayaker, and literally wrote the book on aquajogging. I was in good company :) (you can read her race report HERE)

I didn't want to publicly disclose this race ahead of time because I figured the pressure of this race would be too much on me, that you all would have too many expectations for me, and that if I had a bad race my performance in this race might affect your future performance in triathlon. I was this serious about it!

So I stayed silent, trained hard, and tapered well.

This race........WAS my season!!!

Here goes (I considered breaking this up into a 4 part race report. It is my A++++++ race of the season, after all!):

I used the Jeff Irvin approach of doing an all protein diet for three days followed by 5 days of carbo loading. I think I ate every form of pasta known to man during those 5 days. I was loaded!!!

Before the race, I knocked off 3 hours on the bike to get my legs warmed up and then replenished my glycogen stores with about 15 homemade snickers cookies.

I was so nervous when I arrived at the pool. The competition looked FIERCE. They were all giving us the evil squint eye. Not just the evil eye, the evil SQUINT eye. So much worse! I had to guard my goggles in anticipation of them sabotaging them. But Beth and I were ready!!!

The Swim:
500 yards is a LONG distance. I had to pace this smarterly so as to not blow up. Fortunately I was using my Trislide to prevent chafage, so armed with that my pacing strategy is as follows: First 200 yards, Zone 1. Next 100 yards, Zone 2. Final 200 yards, ratchet it up from zone 2 to zone 5c. I was hoping to be cooking by the end!

Awesome flip turn, right?
(I actually just jumped in and hit the gas and held on for dear life for the entire thing, but! I nailed every single flip turn (really!). It was a true 6 week test of me learning flip turns. I am getting there with them! Beth dusted me with a 6:45 and I finished in around a 7:30-7:45)

As soon as I finished the swim I was gassed! (This is all true, btw) I had to haul myself out of the pool, help get the kayak into the water, keep it stable while Beth hopped in and she did the first 100 yards.

My arm tan lines clearly hastened our T1 time. Tandynamics!

She took off, did her first turn, and our referee said, "That is THE best Kayaking I have seen all day!"


The Kayak:
Once Beth finished, I hopped in and took off with the rage of the DEVIL!

My turns......uh.....well.......sucked. Haha! I should have practiced them more in training. But once turned? I FLEW!!!

The Aquajog:
Um, what is aquajogging? I soon found out! Uh, I mean, I trained sometimes up to 6 hours a day for this leg of the event. Yes, thats what I did!

We donned our belts, and hopped in.

Gonna guess that splash is Beth's? Where did she go?
I quickly learned that aquajogging is a LOT harder and a LOT slower than you think it is. I also had a bad habit of NOT staying vertical, which are the rules. Oops!

But I hung with Beth as best as I could. I may have given us a penalty...(sorry! first timer here...)

It was a SUPER fun race! That swim was a real breakthrough for me since I have been struggling a lot with my swim since I (stupidly) decided to take off 4 months from swimming last Fall. This swim brought together my flip turns and the endurance that I have. I am quietly confident my swim times will improve more.

Beth is an amazing swimmer. Her goggles filled with water, so she stopped at 200 yards, adjusted, and continued on and STILL put up an awesome time.

After the race we continued swimming (she knocked off another 3300, while I squeezed in another 2200. Then we ate some celebratory BBQ (it was so good!) and some more homemade snickers cookies.

It was a good day :) I mean, 3 hours on the bike + a bunch of swimming in the middle of February is enough, right?


  1. Hah! That sounded like PURE fun! You guys rocked it, and you looked ripped in those kayak pictures. Take it easy on the ladies!

  2. This looks like serious fun!!! Cant believe you hid this from us, we could have left comments for you to print and put in your transition bag, like "Your going to rock it " and my favorite " THIS IS GOING TO BE EPIC!!!!"

  3. Tandynamics AND ass shots, that's the best possible way to document your A++++ race of the year. Now you can just sit back and enjoy the "fun" races like ironman and such :)

  4. I was extra careful to get ass shots of you. I thought that it might slow you down but no luck. So much for sabotage.

  5. Jon congrats to you and Beth for killing your A++++++++ race! Now you can both take the rest of the season off and get ready for 2013.

    Good call on replicating my protein-fat-shredding-crash diet. You know it is executed correctly when after a week of nothing but protein you are too weak to even tie your running shoes. BUT then the carbs bring out the rage and this is proven in your first kayak pic - well done!

    BTW - you guys are so cute {{hugs}}

  6. I love all three of your race reports! This looks like such a silly fun race :)

  7. The planning, the hard work, the ups, the downs, the struggle, the triumph. I'm so proud of you!

  8. I hope you have big plans for your off season!

    I'm guessing the reason you only did 2200 yds afterwards is because Beth had already done her 3300 and was sick of waiting on the pool deck for you??? ;)

  9. That looked like it was a lot of fun!

  10. In the pic where you are helping Beth get in the kayak, it looks like you are giving her a good luck smack on the ass like they do in football haha. Oh and the girl in the next lane looks like she is throwing up something vicious.

    Dude, I understand why you hid this from us... while I am a bit hurt... I understand.

    This looks like a lot of fun. I would not have signed up solely because of the water running, that is pure hell.

  11. your flip turn looks fabulous. but what is your arm doing?

  12. You literally do haul yourself out of the pool.....check out the chick in the lane next to you as you are setting Beth up for the kayak.

    WTH is she doing? Is she going to roll the legs up over the top and do a flip turn OUT of the pool?

  13. looks like a great time! nice work ...for sure the protein diet / carbo load did the trick

  14. I would have loved to be a spectator of that race! :)

  15. Holy CRAP!! This looks awesome...and super fun! What a great partner you had, indeed!

  16. I'm still disappointed in myself that I missed the chance to spectate this A+++++ race.


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