AF Race Report: Lifetime Olympic Triathlon

Smooth sailing, no injuries and a time of 2:46:09

Mill Ave. Bridge at Tempe Town Lake in the morning

Last time we spoke, I was getting my bearings after a rough bout of idiocy, recovering from an infected foot, and cautiously preparing for the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon*: 1-mile swim, 24.6-mile ride and 6.2-mile run, and my last triathlon before the big one on November 17.

Even though this race was significantly shorter than Ironman Arizona, it was a big test for me.

Why? Because, of the three races I mapped out at the beginning of this year, it was the first I’d been healthy enough to complete in its entirety.

I had to skip the DIY Olympic Tri scheduled in March thanks to posterior tibial tendinitis.

In August I still wasn’t quite ready for the Boulder Ironman 70.3‘s half marathon section, and I limited myself to just the swim, bike and half the run.

So I was more than ready to test myself, unleash the fury and cross my first finish line of 2013 at the Lifetime Olympic Triathlon on September 22.

Then a couple weeks before the race a blister on my left foot got infected, and took me out of my training routine for about a week.

By race day the swelling had subsided and the wound had scabbed over. It felt fine. It looked fine. But I still worried, and promised myself to pull the rip chord at the first sign of a problem.

Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.


I finished the race in 2:46:09 (a mere two minutes shy of my personal record, 25/57 in my 30-34 age group and 187/556 overall.

Here’s a quick list of the Awesome and the Not Awesome from the race:

The Awesome:

  • Arrived super early on race-day morning. Stress-free and calm before the storm.
  • Bike: 1:11:27, avg 20.7mph (19th fastest bike time in age group).
  • Run: 49:26, 7:58min/mile (15th fastest run time in age group).
  • No injuries or letting up. Foot, body and soul all intact.

The Not Awesome:

  • Slow swim: 40:37 (48th out of 57 in my age group).
  • My legs were feeling it on the bike.
  • Clunky transitions. Wasted time fiddling with socks, shoes and watch.
  • Mild chaffing under my armpits. (Body glide will be my friend at IMAZ.)

All in all, a great outing and a much-needed boost of confidence heading into IMAZ.

But you know the drill: always be learnin’ – never be satisfied.

Here are my two main takeaways:

  • Speed up the swim. I think my Total Immersion technique is about 3/4 of the way there. To fill out and speed up, I need to work on keeping my head down when I come up for air, smoothing out my breathing, and moderating my kicks so that I generate more power with one kick per hip rotation.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before transition opens on race day morning. This gives you time to calmly go through your routine: set-up, memorize where your spot is in transition, warm-up, stretch, warm-up and get your mind right.

– Live Every Day –


*I’ve been mistakenly calling it the Nathan Olympic Triathlon this whole time. See my previous post for why this might have happened.