Crawfishman Triathlon 2023 Race Report

Crawfishman Triathlon 2023 is likely to be the last running of this race. It’s a shame because it’s one of the few remaining sprint triathlons really convenient to the New Orleans metro area.

Crawfishman Triathlon
Sunday, May 21, 2023
7:30 AM 11:00 AM
Bush, LA, 70431 (map)

A triathlon tradition that takes place in Grande Hill Estates each May. With a 1000 meter swim (400 meter option), 18 mile bike and 4 mile run, it is a great early season race.

From the FRESHJUNKIE Racing Website

Crawfishman is a great little local race in Bush Louisiana. It is organized by FRESHJUNKIE Racing racing.

The reason this is likely to be the last year is that the property where it is held was recently sold.

It is a slightly longer than a standard sprint with 1000 yard, swim 18 mile bike and a 4 mile run.

The Morning of Crawfishman I found myself having had a couple of nights of poor sleep

Though I know better, I did have a couple of glasses of wine and some nighttime treats before bed. This led to my waking with a higher than usual resting heart rate.

Caleb, the 16 y.o. raced with a number of his friends this time which was very cool. Because Caleb and one of his friends were wearing the Nth Degree kit I decided to join them, rather than either of my other team kits Team Infinit, or Merge Multisport

The Swim

The swim felt exceptionally slow for some reason. I was confident I had a good line, but still found myself swimming alone. Which either indicates I was in the middle of a widely dispersed pack, or I was off the line.

The few times I did get passed directly. I did my best to grab onto their feet, but it was not particularly fruitful.

The fastest swim was around 12 minutes, and mine was around 23.

It did feel very slow. I did not feel like I was underworking or overworking, so that was great. But given how slow it felt, it also felt rather long. And I started to feel my shoulders by the end of it.

At transition, I saw Brian Merceron, which was awesome. Brian recently had a heart attack and bypass surgery (like I did almost 10 years ago), and I’m excited to see him out spectating and will be even more excited to see him back racing.

He is a lovely fellow, and I know that he will have a wonderful recovery.

My swim to bike transition was pretty great. If I’m going to continue doing shorter races, I probably need to do a little bit more flying mount practice.

The Bike

I am one of the few who leaves my shoes clipped in, which is very helpful in the transition.

My goal of the bike was to hold a 20 minute Lap Normalized Power of around 140 to 150. This is a metric which is newer to me and is prescribed by my coach Thomas Skelton. It accounts for the variability of both the course and the conditions, such as the brief ups and downs of passing, cornering and the like.

Given where my heart rate had started the day, and my overall sense of effort, I was working to keep it at 140 watts.

On some of the hills and , other obstacles, I did see my power spike above 200. But most of the time it was very well managed.

About the halfway point I started having significant trouble breathing. This also made it more complex to take on nutrition and water.

I did manage to get down about 2/3 of my nutrition which was a mix of two of my Infinit packets in the internal bladder on my Shiv. I drank very little water, but I did have a significant amount of water and hydration in the days prior and so I didn’t feel particularly dehydrated. 

I ended the bike well out of my shoes with a flying dismount.

Transition Two was a little rough as I was having a hard time gathering myself to head out on the run. I did hit my inhaler one time while in transition to try to get my breathing under control to no avail.

The Run

The run started painfully slow. I managed to run the first couple hundred meters and then walked for a fair bit of the first quarter to half mile. I finally got it together and started jogging a little bit and wound up in the 14 minute mile range.

I tried to remind myself that I probably wasn’t going to die on the run. I also remembered that everybody hurts when they’re running hard.

My self talk at that time was to embrace the suck and keep pushing.

Each mile was successively faster, but none of them was fast. In the 4th mile about a quarter of a mile in I was passed by a guy with a 59 on his calf.

As of my birthday this year, I will turn 55 and therefore he and I are in the same age group.

With worry of being last in my age group having been passed by my competitor, it was motivating for me to find the pain place that I had not yet.

I passed him back around the half mile, mark (you can see him right behind me in the picture above), and kept him behind me the rest of the way.

I found that pain place for real in the final 8th to a quarter of a mile, and maintained a good pace all the way to the finish line.

Angie tells me I looked like I was having a hard time at the end, and I was. 

And, good news, I was 10th of 14 in my age group. Not last 🙂

My training so far this season has been rather inconsistent, even leading me to cancel 70.3 Florida a couple weeks ago.

At this moment my coach, Thomas, Skelton of Merge Multisport, and I are working hard on building my V02 max with a bike focus at the moment.

My biggest challenge since the start of the year has been work.

In addition to still carrying client and production work as we work on hiring, I have been very excited about some of the developments around AI and SEO and I am working more hours than would allow for an appropriate level of travel and training.

At the time of the race, I was sorely, disappointed in my output, but with the distance of a few days, I am more pleased.

I am especially pleased that having gone deep into that effortful place allowed me to finish strong and will hopefully be a lesson in what that feels like for next time.

I’m sad, though that I somehow managed to leave my race shirt at the venue. So if anyone has a Large race shirt they don’t want, let me know.

I hope FRESHJUNKIE finds a way to keep this race going.

One thought on “Crawfishman Triathlon 2023 Race Report

  1. Janel Mumme

    Find a way to keep this local long time traditional race going. The venue is one of the best Crawfishman has ever been held at. Hope it can remain here. But it has been other places and other distances. If need be to continue the tradition, relocate yet again.

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