General Smallwood Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Indian Head, Maryland
United States
Set Up Events
85F / 29C
Total Time = 2h 02m 7s
Overall Rank = 74/111
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 1/4
Pre-race routine:

I woke up with sinus pain at about 3am, so I was a little worried how my head would feel during the race. A cold has been making its way through the house, and I've been lucky to avoid it so far. I was able to go back to sleep until 5:45am. The race started at 9am, so it was nice not to have to get up at an ungodly hour to pack the truck and drive to the race site. By the time the race came around, the sinus pressure was gone -- or maybe I just was too anxious to notice it any more!

While walking to the transition area with hubby, the race director saw his bike (which he has graciously allowed me use in my first tri season until I get my own bike). It's an Italian, custom-made race bike that was made specifically for him when he was a triathlete in his teen years. The RD said it was the coolest bike he'd ever seen and gave us a free race belt. That was cool...and it made my husband feel good. I wish he were able to race -- knee surgery and back surgery means no more races for him. I asked him if he missed racing. He said he didn't, and he was happy to be there supporting me. I am truly blessed.

Saw Regina and Joe (Tink & LCSolutions) and their kids. Joe and a lot of BTers were doing the race, and Regina and kids were ready to cheer them all on! Saw my friend, David. We did several tris as a relay (I would swim, he would cycle, and my husband would run). Now David and I are doing them as individuals in our first triathlon season!
Event warmup:

Nothing except for walking the really long ~250m path to the transition area a couple of times.
  • 14m 34s
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

A lot of participants wore wetsuits. The water was probably 73-75 degrees, so I decided to forego the wetsuit and just go with the tri-suit. Anything over 70 degrees, and I'm comfortable with my own padding.

I was in the fourth and last wave (women over 35, athenas, and relays), which left 12 minutes after the first wave. Since some swimmers from the first wave would be finishing right about when we were starting, they got us in the water at the same time as Wave 3. The water was only about 4-6 feet deep, but lots of hydrilla and grasses made it icky to put your feet down. Then our group had a dead fish floating in front of us before we started. We were all making jokes about not drinking the water! We watched the first few finishers from the first wave finish, and treaded water and floated for about 6 minutes before we were sent off.

I started out on the far left of the start/finish buoy, away from everyone else. I am claustrophobic, so the washing machine is not a good place for me if I want to keep my head. The hydrilla and grasses were freaking me out, too. At one point, every stroke I was in the middle of grass that came all the way up to the surface and wrapped around my arms and legs. I did NOT like that - but I think it made me swim faster to get away from it.

I picked a line from the far left of the start buoy to the first buoy and sprinted as best as I could straight for the first buoy. That worked very well and got me out of the grasses. I started passing a few people from the prior waves, did breast stroke around the buoys where there was traffic, and went straight for the final buoy with my head down. The race organizer had sunk a picnic table next to a floating dock so that we could get out of the water onto the pier. Two guys were standing on either side of the picnic table to keep it steady so you could get out, and a few other volunteers were helping pull us out. I thought that was an interesting and creative solution!

I was the first woman out of the swim in my wave (according to hubby)!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I have always considered myself a swimmer (swam competetively year-round as a kid and I still swim masters too). This is always my best leg and my saving grace.
Transition 1
  • 05m 35s

Since the swim was moved due to hydrilla to a different pier, we had a ~250meter run from the swim to the transition area. At the last minute, I decided to move my socks, shoes, and a towel down to the swim finish. I ride my bike with my running shoes right now, so I figured it would be better to get my shoes on first and then run to transition. It worked well for me, and I didn't have to run all that way with bare feet or flip flops.

I had a great transition spot - the very last rack near the bike start. I think I took too much time to make sure I had everything I needed, but better safe than sorry. It took me a little longer than normal to get my shoes in the cage and get started. I also didn't want to get in the way of any others who mounted their bikes much faster than me, so I stayed off to the right and out of the way until I could get going.
What would you do differently?:

Be faster.
  • 1h 03m 22s
  • 16.4 miles
  • 15.53 mile/hr

On one hill, I shifted down and my gears jumped and my foot fell out of the cage. So I walked until my quads stretched out a little and I had a safe place to get back on and start again without getting in the way of other racers going up the hill. Other than that, I didn't walk any other hills. Great for me!

I actually passed some people on the bike -- what a shocker! I stayed behind one woman for a while, making sure I was back far enough not to draft. Then I passed her and found a guy to follow for a while, again making sure I wasn't drafting.

The back half of the race was nice. More downhills than up and a lot of it was in the shade. Reminded myself to drink while coasting, so I think my hydration was good.

I would have done better if I had ridden the course prior to race day -- I was hesitant and conserving my energy not knowing what was going to be around the next turn or hill.
What would you do differently?:

Instead of following, pick a person to pass and do it. Train more hills. Ride the course beforehand.
Transition 2
  • 01m 17s

Until I get my own bike/shoes, I ride with my running shoes, so I don't have to change shoes in this transition. All I have to do is take off my helmet and gloves, and put on my visor and my race belt. I practice this each time I ride, so this was a good transition for me.
What would you do differently?:

  • 37m 22s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 12m 01s  min/mile

The run out of the park was all uphill. That was hard, and the legs were not cooperating. I felt like my heart rate was off the charts, so I walked almost the entire first mile to get it down and under control.

Although the RD said there would be water stations at every mile, there was only one water station at around 1.5 miles that you passed, turned around a few minutes later, and passed again. Both times I passed it, I dumped one cup of water on my head and drank one. I realized that might be the only water station and unfortunately, it was.

After that, you were directed onto a gravel road that went into the back entrance of the park. Large rocks that shifted under the feet were not good for running and I was afraid of twisting my ankles, so I walked. The path turned into dirt, so I ran. Then it turned back to gravel, so I walked. Then it turned into a paved road, so I ran. Turned into a wooden bridge and I heard people at the finish, so I ran to the end. Hubby and Joe were cheering me on, and Joe's girls high-fived me at the last turn before the finish -- they are too cute!!! Grinned as they announced my name as I crossed over the finish line. My second sprint triathlon was done!
What would you do differently?:

Get a fuel belt since water stations were not where promised. More run training.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed water, Gatorade, and an apple. Went and took a nice, warm shower after talking with hubby, David, Joe and Regina & kids. More water and sat in the shade while waiting for awards. My husband did not want to wait around long -- he was feeling miserable due to his cold and his back was not happy. Long periods of standing and sitting just kill him.

The race director said he would pass out the Athena and Clydesdale awards first, since they are always last. He also said that there was a mixup by the trophy company so they didn't have any trophies to hand out, so they would have to be mailed out instead. I knew there were only five Athenas registered, so I've been telling myself for weeks that I couldn't get less than 5th place (as long as I finished). I heard the 3rd place Athena's time and knew I had beaten that. Then I heard the 2nd place Athena's time and knew I had beaten that, too. Then he called out my name! Wow! I got first! I hugged hubby and went up to shake RD's hand and the other Athenas. That was so wonderful! I'm still grinning today!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training on bike and run. For my first season, I'm still happy with my performance so far.

Event comments:

I just want to keep training, learning, and having fun. As long as I'm still smiling at the end of a race, I'm a happy camper. Winning my division was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed this race. Athenas rule!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-08-22 12:00 AM
00:14:34 | 820 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/4
Overall: 7/111
Performance: Good
Suit: Tri-suit
Course: Start & finish in same spot. Course was rectangle with four buoys.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 05:35
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
01:03:22 | 16.4 miles | 15.53 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/4
Overall: 76/111
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Large loop. Sloping downhills and uphills. Last few miles was in the shade. About half the course had wide, smooth shoulders. The other half had older, cracked roads with no shoulders. Very little car traffic.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:17
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:37:22 | 03.11 miles | 12m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/4
Overall: 97/111
Performance: Below average
Course: Run out of the park, onto the road where the bike leg was, turnaround and go back into the park. Gravel road in the park through the woods, onto a paved road, over a bridge, and then onto paved path to the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4