Monday, June 13, 2011

Kids Tri at the J

So, if you were wondering why Julian didn't ride the Mesquite Rodeo Ride with us this year even though he had in the past, it's because he had a triathlon the next morning.  Originally we had him scheduled for the kids event at the Playtri Festival but switched to the Kids Tri at the J due to proximity.  The added bonus was the switch from Saturday to Sunday which allowed us to participate in the bike event in the first place.  Also, my mom happened to be in town helping with my sister's kids while she went for a little run in San Diego.  This was fortunate as it gave her an opportunity to see Julian in action for the first time.

As you may recall, 2 weeks prior he had participated in the Buffalo Creek Kids Triathlon.  We were surprised at his second consecutive struggle in the swim.  So much so that his big goal of the year (IronKids in Round Rock) got scratched.  Don't worry - he understands and is working hard to make sure he can be an IronKid next year.  Expect to see more on that in a future post.  This event was going to be a good stepping stone as the swim leg was 100m as opposed to the 50m of the last 2 events.  We were all curious how he'd handle it.  Well, he started off great!  The first length of the 33m pool was a solid swim.  Then he rolled onto his back and stayed there way too long veering side to side in the lane.  Kids were swimming around him and he just wasn't making progress.  There was no "race urgency" at all.  We've seen similar reactions before where he fails to distinguish between a training approach and a race.  As a result, his swim split was near the bottom of his age group placing 25th of 27.

The general lack of urgency continued in transition and was quite frustrating to watch.  Still, we hung on hope to the fact he sometimes starts slow and finds his groove as he goes.  I had set up his laces and we had practiced but it seemed like an eternity for the shoes to get on.  I'll be putting some Yankz on them in short order.

The bike route was 3mi long and looked to include at least one decent uphill segment.  There may have been more but we didn't scout the course so it was a bit of an unknown.  Julian's MO on the bike has been to have decent, but not great, efforts as his tendency is to reign things in a bit.  The average speed on his bike split seemed to indicate that's what happened once again.  However, he felt he pushed the bike pretty hard this time out and indeed he may have as he came in with the 4th best bike split in his age group.  Obviously he made up a lot of ground on the field with that result.  I believe he carried the momentum through transition though I didn't get to witness that (I was running across a field from my photo location).

The run, as most of you know by now, is Julian's strong suit.  This event like many others has a short run segment - in this case, only 1/2mi.  Unfortunately that works against him a bit as he's purely an endurance runner, not a sprinter, and 1/2mi just isn't enough time to do full damage on the field.  Even with that being said we were a bit surprised at first with his run placement putting him 11th out of the 27 competitors in his group.  We found out after he crossed the finish line that he had been fighting a stomach cramp that slowed him.  Oh well, that kind of thing can happen.  He still gutted out that 1/2mi and managed to finish 6th place in his age group.  Considering the hole he dug in the swim segment and the stomach cramps during the run, that was quite an impressive result.  There were positives (and lessons) to be taken from each phase.  The first pool length of the swim was excellent, the bike split placed highly, and the run was still respectable while fighting cramps.

All in all, with each triathlon he's getting closer to putting it all together.  He has the potential to absolutely demolish his current times and that day will surely come.  In the meantime there are some duathlons on the horizon so be ready for some eye-popping numbers.  While lack of urgency is sometimes a problem in kid-oriented events, that is a non-issue with full-blown adult events.  That's when he lays it all on the line (for proof, revisit the Fast&Furious race report).

My mom, Julian, Angelia, and the Amusing Athena (Jessica)


Caratunk Girl said...

That is so awesome!! Congrats to Julian! I think that is so cool they have kids tris near you - they don't here.

Miguel Vieira said...

Wow, I stumbled upon your blog while looking ar Triathlon resources online and its great to see a family so involved in the sport. Keep up the good work and i will be stopping by to read some more soon :)