Toyota Desert International Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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La Quinta, California
United States
Klein & Clark Sports, LLC
80F / 27C
Total Time = 2h 31m 30s
Overall Rank = 229/445
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 17/30
Pre-race routine:

This was my first international distance tri after three sprints of various lengths. Can't really call this an "Olympic distance" race, because all three segments are short of the Olympic standard.

This was also the first "destination" tri for Liz and I--only a two hour drive, but we decided to stay over at a motel about 10 miles from the race site. We got to go to a "first timer's" workshop on Saturday at the site (I went for a 20-minute easy run on the course while Liz stayed for the whole workshop). Then there was an opportunity for a practice swim. We had planned to use wetsuits for the practice, but we decided it was too much work...we just went in in our swimsuits. Water was pleasant, but murky...good to get to find that out in advance.

We got up at 4:15 having packed everything up Sat. night and left the hotel a bit after 5 after each having a Nutrigrain bar to get something in our stomachs. There were a surprising number of cars in the parking lot already...I was pleased to find that I was the first to my assigned rack. Realized it was because my race was an hour after the sprint and most international race athletes were arriving later. (Liz wasn't so lucky--she was in the middle of her rack for the sprint.)

We checked out the swim exit and decided to place footwear there...long rough run from lake to transition.
Event warmup:

I saw Liz start her race then went off to trot around and stretch a bit then get in my wetsuit. I was in very last in and swam a little then lined up. Right on schedule, off we went.
  • 23m 20s
  • 1320 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

Time includes very long run to TA--I was out of the water in just about 21:30 (i.e., about 1:38/100 yds)

Sighted reasonably well and avoided contact going out on the long leg to the first buoy. We were heading into the sun, though, so I took more long looks than usual to make sure of my bearings. By about 400 yards in, I was passing the 40+ women/Athenas from the previous wave. Near the turn, a woman swam right onto me twice...second time, I pushed her off and told her to cool it.

As is my custom (*sigh*) I got off course during the long middle leg of the swim. Tried to parallel the pack, but I was sometimes paralleling swimmers who weren't sighting well themselves. I was in a groove, though. Once I passed the sprint distance buoy, I spotted the final buoy and stretched it out. Made the last turn for the beach and finished pretty strong with little contact. By that point, I was in the midst of the second wave ahead.

Got out of the water well and tried to hold the putting on of my aquasocks to less than ten seconds. Worked sort of okay...I was able to run quickly once they were on...without them, I probably would have had a long "mince and wince" over the sand and gravel road to transition. Very long run.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Pick a better landmark for the middle segment to sight off of. Stopped about three times to get bearings...really showed me how the wetsuit helps...could really tell how much speed I'd been carrying when I kicked off to start swimming again. I feel pretty good about the half iron swim this summer...wetsuit (first race using tri wetsuit) really supported the swim.
Transition 1
  • 03m 39s

Once again my T1 sucked. Got to my rack and rinsed my feet like I planned, toweled them off quickly...then realized I still had to strip off the bottom of my my feet would be wet again. Easily wasted most of a minute there.

Rest of transition was okay, I guess--setting my bike shoes up with Yankz so I could just slip on and close the Velcro strap worked fine--but I was 21 out of 28 in AG.
What would you do differently?:

Get the damn wetsuit off before anything else. I got it broken down to my waist on the run, then just didn't pull it off my legs right away. Had to take off my aquasocks first, anyway, but then I just jumped ahead to cleaning off my feet.

Probably would have tried the run with flipflops like Liz used...if I'd had any...
  • 1h 14m 39s
  • 24 miles
  • 19.29 mile/hr

Not only first race at this distance, but first race with both clipless pedals and jammer aerobars. I decided it was important to try to push the bike and see how I did. I tried to hold pace betw. 18.5 and 21.5 mph (except on the small inclines) and generally did. Pretty uneventful ride...passed a fair number of people...but, as usual, got torched by the elites (and some non-elites on "elite" bikes) like I was standing still.

Most memorable moment: Guy passes me and says, "Hey, K2" (my bike brand). I look and he's riding a K2 roadie, also (though a nicer one than mine). I laughed and said, "I figured I was the only one on the course" and he replied, "Usually I am."
What would you do differently?:

Maybe take it slower, but I wanted to average 20 mph and managed 19.8 for most of it and mostly stayed in the cadence I wanted (wasn't afraid to back off when I needed to, esp. in headwinds, which were a factor)...lost some average with the two hills in the last 1.5 miles. But I paid a price...
Transition 2
  • 01m 44s

Not much to say...legs were cashed coming off the bike, but I did a flying dismount and managed to trot to rack...pulled off bike shoes and pulled on running shoes, also set up with Yankz for the first time. Liz was there rooting me on...though when I pulled up to my rack she said, "Did you have a flat?" Uh, not a good sign to hear that when you were out there pushing it for 24 miles.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really.
  • 48m 6s
  • 6 miles
  • 08m 01s  min/mile

OMFG...the first 1.25 miles of this run sucked ass. My glutes were absolutely trashed--I'd never experienced that before (I'm guessing it was racing with clipless pedals I'd only had for 3 weeks). Bottom of glutes/top of hammies screaming...bad enough that I briefly worried I'd DNF. Just not something I'm used to...normally the run is where I'm in my comfort zone and here I think I'm going to be hobbled for 6 miles.

By about 1 1/2 miles in, there was enough improvement that I knew I'd finish. By the end of the first lap, I knew I could negative split the run. For the last three miles, even though I was painfully slow by my usual standards, I was passing people much more than being passed.

I think the mile markers were way off (curious to hear if anyone with a Garmin might confirm that). But in any event, I got to the four mile mark and knew that my goal of 2:20-2:25 was not happening, but I had a shot at sub-2:30. I said aloud, "How bad do you want it." (Don't usually talk to myself like that...) I was at 2:14:30, so I had about two 7:30 miles to go to make it to sub 2:30. Got to five miles at 2:21:38, so I thought I had it...knew I had at least 200-300 meters of kick in me. But I got to the beach and the homestretch and--despite having picked it up after the 5 mile marker--I saw the clock was ticking over 2:30. So I think the mile 2/mile 5 marker was short. Several people yelled out versions of "Way to finish strong!" But I crossed in 2:31.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I guess not push the bike, huh. I felt fine in terms of stamina and all of my system...except those damned glutes from the bike. Oy...miserable, miserable start to the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Liz was waiting at the finish and we walked around a bit...I had to keep moving. After a while I stretched, but I was pretty hobbly after the finish.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My bike fitness is teh suck. That's it. When I won my AG in the sprint in September at Bonelli Park I was 4 of 54 in my wave on the run and 8 of 54 on the swim...and 27 of 54 on the bike. Today? 14 of 30 in AG on swim, 11 of 30 on run (as crappy as my run start was)...but 26 of 30 on the bike!!! It's time for a new bike. Can't afford a really good one, but anything is better than my current roadie and I think I need to get that out of the way before my HIM in July.

Event comments:

Fun event. Nice workshop the day before. Chip timing. No expo and limited food/drink after finish. Pretty site and comfortable swim course.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-02-29 12:00 AM
00:23:20 | 1320 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 14/30
Overall: 224/445
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex 2
Course: Roughly triangular -- two left turns
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:39
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:14:39 | 24 miles | 19.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 26/30
Overall: 300/445
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: 2 miles out of park then two 10-mile loops then 2 miles back to park. Loop is mostly flat, some rough pavement in places. A couple of short uphills in last 1 1/2 miles.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:44
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:48:06 | 06 miles | 08m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/30
Overall: 187/445
Performance: Below average
Course: Two circuits of lake. Mostly flat. Some sand and loose gravel, some concrete and asphalt, some hard pack.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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