Bridgeland Sprint Tri - TriathlonSprint

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Cypress, Texas
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 23m 2s
Overall Rank = 136/600
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 9/25
Pre-race routine:

A little pre-pre-race and this will explain everything...

On Saturday afternoon my wife had fixed a half-gallon jug of strongish green tea. I pretty much drank the whole thing while working outside and during the evening thinking I was "hydrating" before the race. Never thought much about it until I tried to go to sleep.

Between tossing & turning and getting up many times to pee, I didn't fall asleep until after 2:00 a.m. When the alarm went off at 4:45, I was not feeling good. Oh well, let's go.

Drove to the site while eating my standard race day breakfast and snagged a decent spot on the rack. Visited the portacans a couple of times and set up my stuff: Two pair of shoes, bike and helmet. I wear my number belt in my shorts and carried my goggles and cap.

I had checked out the competition from the registration list posted on the race website and I knew who all the fast guys were and who I should be able to beat. My soft goal was to snag a spot somewhere between 4th and 6th in the AG.
Event warmup:

Drank 12oz of Gatorade and 20oz of water trying to get some more fluids in me before the start.

Got in the water and swam ~150 yards easy to get loosened up and double-check the goggle fit.

A quick jog back over to the portacans for one more visit after the first wave had started.
  • 13m 36s
  • 527 yards
  • 02m 35s / 100 yards

The start line was to 5-10 yards away from and perpendicular to the lake edge, and you needed to tread water waiting for the start. No big deal, but I needed to conserve energy, so I stood near the lake edge waiting the 5 minutes for the wave start. We had a pretty good-sized wave with several age groups and relay folks mixed together and my plan was to get to the inside position next to the buoy line toward the lake center. I wanted to avoid getting squeezed in between the pack and the shoreline.

The announcer called 30 seconds to go and I just wasn’t paying enough attention. All of sudden the gun fired and I was caught flat-footed and in between the main pack and the shoreline; exactly what I wanted to avoid. I had to maneuver through the tangle of slower swimmers (slow as I am, there are people slower) to get to the clear water.

The contact was typical, but not bad and soon enough I was on my way; pretty much an uneventful swim from there on. I just sighted on the big high school buildings in the distance until I got to the turn buoy, so that part was easy.

Never really tired or had any issues; just an average slow swim for me and I stroked it on in to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Be focused at the start and not get caught out of position. This cost me some time and effort, but it wasn’t a race killer.

Lack of general swim skills and fitness during this year of reduced training.
Transition 1
  • 00m 46s

I had a decent rack position and I blew through.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, every move was perfect and smooth.

Fastest in AG.
  • 39m 37s
  • 14 miles
  • 21.20 mile/hr

Mounted cleanly and hit it hard. First few miles I was smoking and averaging 23-24. I need a good bike and run to make up for my slow swimming. The road and conditions were perfect and I was excited about putting up a good time.

But the lack of sleep and energy started to catch up with me and a guy in my AG passed me; this never happens. Normally, I can outbike the slower swimmers and catch half of the faster swimmers. Not today. I did pass two AG guys during the first part.

I started fading at the turnaround point and dropped to 20-21. I was still having an average ride and passed a couple more AG guys, but really had to work at it. At the second turnaround I managed to speed up some, but I knew I had a sub-par ride.

Got out of the shoes a 1/4 mile from TA and hit the dismount line fast and cleanly.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, rode as hard as I could given my condition. Should've been 22-23 mph, but wasn't.
Transition 2
  • 00m 35s

I had a decent rack position and I blew through.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, every move was perfect and smooth.

Fastest in AG.

(I transition well, too bad it's such a small portion of the race.)
  • 28m 27s
  • 3.3 miles
  • 08m 37s  min/mile

Well, OK, the bike is done, now I can put up a good run time and still try to salvage the race. I left T2 running hard and trying to establish my stride and breathing rhythym while getting up to race pace. Normally I can run 7:00 to 7:15 miles; not today.

Not only could I not get up to pace, I was starting to fade just a mile into the race. I had passed the guy in T2 who had caught me on the bike and now he came around me moving very well. I hung with him for a while, but he eventually pulled away. Shoot, there goes an AG spot.

The legs started to want to cramp and I got a side stitch. I never get side stitches! Grabbed a cup of water at the second aid station, but a few ounces of water weren't going to help me at this point.

I managed to hang on and not get any worse. I could see the finish line area and was just cruising on in. I passed the first mat that registers your name and town for the announcer and as I was nearing the finish line mat, a guy blazes on through at an all-out sprint. I glance down and see a "50" on his leg. Dang it! He'd had me lined up in his sights, nipped me right at the end and beat me by 2 seconds. One more AG spot lost!
What would you do differently?:

Given my physical state, there's nothing I could've done differently; just keep pounding away and get it done. Almost succumbed to the temptation to walk, but never did.

Slowest run in a sprint race in 4 years. Should've kicked at the end and finished 8th (but I had no idea he was on me).

Another thing: The fastest guy in our AG ran 7:47 miles and he normally runs a LOT faster. We all ran "slow" on this particular day.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, found some friends, looked for something to eat and drink.

Looked for the BT folks, but didn't find them because I don't know what they look like because all triathletes look pretty much the same; missed out on something cold to drink.

Chatted with a guy I met at other races while we waited for transition to re-open. Packed my stuff and left.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Losing 2 weeks of training during July with a badly cut thumb, oh and...

Drinking a half gallon of green tea the afternoon and evening on Saturday, getting jacked up on caffeine and 3 hours of sleep, peeing all night and going into the race dehydrated. Crap, what a huge mistake.

Note to self: This pre-race hydration plan sucks; never do that again!

This is not a "woe is me" report, I still had a fun race with an acceptable performance; I just had the potential to have been so much better. If I'd had my usual bike & run, I would've finished 4th or 5th. It happens.

Event comments:

It was a well-run race, especially for a first time event. Found out the story behind some issues that I thought were the fault of the race management, but were NOT...

1. The lack of ice and cold drinks (& beer) was the result of a medical emergency that caused a disruption in activities. (The person is OK, I've been told.)
2. There would've been plenty of pizza, but there were spectators stealing whole pizzas and not just 1 or 2, but as many as 10 and heading to their cars when volunteers were busy. WTH?

Everything else was fine.

Last updated: 2009-08-06 12:00 AM
00:13:36 | 527 yards | 02m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 14/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Average
Suit: Black
Course: Point-to-point: Straight for 300 yards, turn right at the big yellow buoy, another 200 yards to the finish. Well marked and easy to follow. Water wasn't bad; I've been in a lot worse.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 87F / 31C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:39:37 | 14 miles | 21.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Basically, a straight out & back with a couple of turnarounds. Smooth roads, flat and fast. Had a whole traffic lane to bike in: awesome.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:28:27 | 03.3 miles | 08m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Below average
Course: Looping through a nearby park. Sidewalks and a little bit of gravel path, some shade in places. Flat, easy course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4