HITS Triathlon Series: Napa Valley - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Napa, California
United States
HITS Triathlon Series
Total Time = 2h 44m 26s
Overall Rank = 66/310
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 13/33
Pre-race routine:

The event was on Sunday in Napa and the wife and I spent all of Friday and Saturday sight-seeing and having fun in San Francisco. Had an awesome breakfast Saturday morning (scrambled eggs, ham steak, french toast with a orange glaze, orange juice, and lots of fruit), and a pretty good dinner Saturday night (some pasta with a tasty tomato based garlic and onion sauce and some chicken, oh and garlic bread because lay off me I love garlic bread). Tried to stay hydrated all day. Headed up to Napa in the late afternoon to check into the hotel and try to go to bed early. Probably got to sleep a little after 10. Later than I wanted but probably as early as reasonable all things considered. The wife was sleeping in to have a spa day, so I woke myself up at about 3:45 to head out the door at 4ish to get to the race. I had not checked in the day before, because I didn't want to sacrifice the vacation time with the wife, so I wanted to be sure to get there early. Transition areas were supposed to open at 5, I get there at about 5:15 and they were. Announcers were active, things were moving. At check in you hand over your license and they give you back your license and race packet, and I didn't realize until I got back to my car that they had handed me back someone else's license and packet. So went back and they found the guy who had my stuff and switched it all out, no harm no foul. Glad I got there early. :)
Transition spots were assigned, so I wasn't in a hurry to reserve the perfect spot. I ended up being assigned a great spot though. Aisle ran down the middle of transition, bike exited one end and run the other, and I had a spot on the aisle about halfway down. So I took my time to set everything up, made sure everything was where I wanted it on my little towel. Met up with some friends who were doing it with me and socialized. Very relaxed. Eventually headed down to the water.
Nutritionally that morning about 2.5 hours before race I had a cliff bar, and about 2 hours before race I had a banana and a small strawberry-banana smoothie. And all morning I was drinking skratch. About 15 minutes before start I had a serving of cliff blocks.
Event warmup:

Got in the water and swam a few hundred. The water was cold but really only on the face. It was shocking to the face, but after a few hundred I didn't notice it, so I was very glad I warmed up.
  • 31m 22s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

Disappointed in my swim. I felt fine, and thought my stroke and pacing were good, but I couldn't swim straight to save my life. I need new goggles. My current goggles have been in use for way too long but I can't find a new set that fit me as comfortably as these do. But I can't see out of these well enough to race in. Couldn't spot the bouys. There were two distinct times that I got so far out of line that I was all by myself out there. Once had to ask a lifeguard on a kayak to point out the bouy to me because even with my goggles off I couldn't find it in the glare of the sun. So I probably swam at least 100 more than necessary, if not more. Also, and this really annoyed me, they were doing the Oly right after the sprint and because of how they had set it up the Oly folks had to follow the same path as the sprint folks, including getting out of the water. So we had to go around the bouys, get out of the water, run to the other side of the pier, and get back in and do it all over again. I really didn't like that, completely messed up my momentum. I mean it is what it is, but I didn't like it.
The lake was clean and beautiful though. And I felt great coming out of the water. I just think if I had swam straight I'd have gotten out significantly sooner.
Oh and at some point during the second lap both of my calves started to tighten up. Bad cramping. Tried to relax them while I swam but it didn't really lessen up until I got on the bike. Don't know where that came from, not normally an issue with me.
What would you do differently?:

Swim straight. Get new goggles.
Transition 1
  • 02m 4s

Need to work on the flying mount. I did it, but it just wasn't as smooth as I'd like. More specifically when I was already moving and went to put my feet in the actual shoes I felt like it took way too long. Just need to practice. Also I had to sit down while I finished taking the suit off because it got caught on the timing chip and my calves were still really tight. Still, 2:04 was good for 6th of 33 in my division.
Oh, and nutritionally I was waiting until about 10 minutes after I got onto the bike but I was only bringing one bottle of skratch with me on the bike, so I had another bottle set aside in transition that I took a long swig of before leaving. I didn't have a second bottle holder.
What would you do differently?:

Practice. Get a second bottle holder so I can just bring two bottles with me.
  • 1h 20m 29s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 18.53 mile/hr

So many hills. There was no flat, just either up or down. And it was gorgeous but I was kind of focused on the area five feet in front of my bike the whole time. For the most part the road conditions were nice, only one or two spots that bugged me. I need new tires (I've got a set of Conti GP 4000s on the way) because I just have the stock ones and I didn't trust them on some downhill curves so that cost me a few seconds. The roads were not closed off to traffic which sucked. There was one point where a car came up next to me and for some reason wouldn't pass and he was making me more and more nervous. Thought he was going to run me off the road. Anyways, my pacing was good I thought. Pushed it about as hard as I could and still have energy for the run. Had a bottle of skratch with me which I finished by about 2/3 of the way through, and two gels, one at about 30 minutes in and one maybe five minutes before the end. My stomach felt a little upset towards the beginning. Don't know why for sure but I felt at the time like those clif blocks from the beginning were to blame so I think I'll leave those off the menu from now on.
What would you do differently?:

Bring two bottles of liquid maybe. Spend a lot more time on the bike in training. More hill time. Life and work got in the way, but I know I can improve on this in the future.
Transition 2
  • 01m 26s

The transition came up on me pretty suddenly so my feet weren't out of the shoes early enough. But the actual dismount and run to put the bike way went great. Took a little bit longer to put on the shoes and belt and hat. And I took an extra few seconds to put on some more sunscreen. Took a swig of the extra bottle of skratch I had in transition. I was hoping for sub 1 minute, but 1:26 was still good for 6 of 33 in my division, so I can't complain.
What would you do differently?:

Get my feet out of shoes earlier on bike. Have an extra bottle on the bike so I don't need to mess around with it in transition.
  • 49m 4s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 54s  min/mile

Not much to say. Beatiful area to run in but man by the time the bike was done I was sick of hills, and the run was just more of the same. First 5k was signficantly faster than second 5k, the hills just got to me. I didn't stop running (except for stutter steps at the two water stations) on the uphills because I thought if I did I wouldn't start again. Passed 2 people in the last 50 meters or so when I started to all out sprint.
What would you do differently?:

Probably could have pushed it harder on the little flat and the downhills. Train more. :shrug:
Post race
Warm down:

Had my chocolate milk and they had oranges and some other snacks at the finish line. Did a little bit of stretching but not much because I was caught up talking to my friends. Two of them had done the sprint, so they were waiting and taking pictures. Felt good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need to train more. Training was going well until about 1.5 months before the race and then there was a month where I was sick, and the family was sick and then work and life got in the way. But I think I did about as well as my conditioning allowed.
I need better tires, but that's not saying much, everybody has 100 things they want to upgrade on their bike.
I need new goggles and I need to learn how to swim straight.

Event comments:

Not much in the way of post-race activities. No aid stations on the bike (not unusual for an oly) and only two on the run. The ribbon attached to the medal says "Naples Valey, CA" instead of "Napa Valley, CA". But it was actually run well. The transition area was great. Plenty of what food there was afterwards. The course was beautiful. And for $50, it was a great deal. Would do the race again, or would race with HITS again if the location was appropriate.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-02-08 12:00 AM
00:31:22 | 1640 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/33
Overall: 95/310
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless with added sleeves and Neoprene cap
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Time: 02:04
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Below average
01:20:29 | 24.85 miles | 18.53 mile/hr
Age Group: 16/33
Overall: 85/310
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:26
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:49:04 | 06.21 miles | 07m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 14/33
Overall: 73/310
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4