Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kona: October 4th

Things officially got under way today nere in Kona with the Hoala Ironman swim.  Judy and I were up at 5 or so and headed over to the pier around 6.  Once in the parking lot I realized that I had forgotten my Garmin 910 and so Judy went to get my packet and I went back to retrieve my watch.  Back on the scene I bumped into Chris MacDonald, who had joined the XC crowd back at Lake Tahoe in 2013. (he went on to win that race).  We chatted for a while and both lamented the cancellation of Tahoe this year--it's such an awesome venue--it would be a shame if it didn't survive.

I met up with Midge and Mark Johnson--one of my XC colleagues--before the start.  We registered and soon found our way into the clear, warm waters of Kailua:

I had come to Kona this year with my two prior Kona swims being: 80:27 (2010) and 81:38 (2012)--I'm just not a good non-wetsuit swimmer (my wetsuit best is 66 minutes).  I really wanted to break 80 on this swim and I had worked hard on my swim this year and felt like I was ready to do so.  I started way off to the left away from the pier and got off to a very good start.  I could tell pretty early that I was going to break 80 minutes and for most of the swim I felt I could go under 75.  I tired a bit towards the end and I think the cool spring water current slowed me down a bit as well over the last quarter mile as we swam up onto the beach in front of the King Kam.

I hit the beach with a time of 76:48--a non-wetsuit PR for me by 3:39!  I was very pleased with this result.  I was 12th out of the 22 guys in my Age Group, which given the calibre of swimmers here is very satisfying.  I measured my swim at 2.49 miles:

I think the course was pretty accurately measured (I know there is a permanent buoy out there) and the extra 0.09 miles could of-course be a Garmin error or as you can see above, I didn't necessarily swim the straightest course.  

Here is what my quarter-mile splits looked:

1: 7:01/252 strokes/35.9 spm/1.75 yps
2: 7:10/260/35.2/1.69
3: 7:49/283/36.2/1.55
4: 7:17/267/36.7/1.65
5: 7:48/280/35.9/1.57
6: 7:26/250/33.6/1.76
7: 7:50/281/35.9/1.57
8: 7:55/286/36.1/1.54
9: 7:59/296/37.1/1.49
10: 8:32/317/37.1/1.39

A cursory look at these numbers shows that my cadence (spm) held up well throughout the swim--I really was conscious of working hard throughout.  However, you can see how I tired over the last mile as my yards per stroke fell off--especially in the last 1/2 mile.  The average stroke length of 1.57 or so can be compared to my 2.0 number I was hitting late this summer in my wetsuit swims.  This is a function of more drag as my relatively poor body position without a wetsuit really slows me down.  With a wetsuit and hitting 2.0 I would have been around 60:05--which is about the wetsuit fitness I demonstrated in a number of long distance swims this summer.

In any event, I'm quite pleased and would gladly take this time next Saturday, during the real thing!

One final note, my training partner Midge, finished 2nd in the F50-54 YO Age Group beating out one Paula Newly Fraser--pretty awesome if you ask me!!!!

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