Y Freedom Tri - TriathlonSprint

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Pearland, Texas
United States
84F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 16m
Overall Rank = 53/179
Age Group = F 30-34
Age Group Rank = 11/32
Pre-race routine:

Up at 3:30, half glass of Gatorade since I was out of grapefruit juice. Drive to Pearland and had 1/2 PB&B sandwich about 5:00. Last race I had some stomach cramping I think due in part to too much food and too strong Gatorade pre-race, so I wanted to cut back a little, and I think this was a good portion for a hot race.
Event warmup:

~ 1/2 mile jog around the park and 200m swim
  • 05m 35s
  • 328 yards
  • 01m 42s / 100 yards

I don't know where to start with this commentary. This was a frustrating experience when it didn't have to be. I am also identifying this swim as "below average" - not because of my ability, but because of the obstacles that resulted in a below average swim time.

This swim time is based on my watch when I exited the pool. The chip time was waaaaay wrong...and the only thing I ever have a chance to brag about (swim time), I can't when I look at the results. It's quite deflating.

My biggest complaint is that way too many people mis-seeded themselves. I submitted a faster time than I swam last year, yet I was seeded 7 spots lower than 2009. Looking through the entire results list, and ASSUMING the swim times are accurate (aside from the 44+ minute swim listed for me) I SHOULD have been seeded 31...or at least somewhere in the top 50.

So this spelled trouble from the get-go for me. In the first 50 I passed 3 people. Fortunately, there was either space to pass, or I was allowed to pass at the wall. I think I passed at least two more people in the next 50, but also ran into trouble here. There was a swimmer ahead of me I wanted to pass at the wall at the 100. Tapped the feet, and could not have been more obvious. But instead of waiting, the said swimmer flip turns, goes under the rope, and keeps going. So I do this for another 50 and don't have a chance to pass on the left. To the wall again and another flip turn with no consideration of waiting at the wall. Finally at the last turn I pass on the right as the flip turn is occurring and I pull ahead. I should never have to had resort to that, and there has got to be a better method of seeding for a pool swim. I'm confident that getting hung up cost me 30 seconds, which is a shame, because I have been swimming great this season.

I started the swim breathing every 5 strokes...which is typically the minimum I will do, especially in a swim this short. The goal was to do 5-5-7-7-5-5. I did mostly 5 in the first 50, then once I got caught behind slower traffic, it was mostly 3 with a few 5s in there...but not a great rhythm at all.
What would you do differently?:

Submit "fastest female" if I ever do a pool swim again. I know there are other faster females, but at least this would actually seed me closer to a realistic position than submitting a time, which was not remotely close to being accurate because of all the misrepresented times. I really wanted to call out all of the misrepresented swimmers here, but decided not to.

Otherwise, I don't know what I could have done within my power. Maybe pool swim tris should require a certified swim time or if you have done the same tri previously, you could submit a time within 10 seconds of your previous best swim time in the past. Of course if they use that method next year, my swim seed would be 44 minutes and 48 seconds since they messed up my timing for the swim.
Transition 1
  • 00m

Timing chip issues again here, so no idea what my time was. I didn't feel overly slow, but probably could have been a little faster. Had to readjust a sock, but otherwise I was in and out pretty quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Need to seriously explore the option of going sockless. May check into that before the next race.
  • 36m 28s
  • 12 miles
  • 19.74 mile/hr

This is my best race pace to date. It's a good course and with the time trial swim start, there doesn't seem to be a lot of packing on the bike course. I passed a few and also got passed, but I was able to keep a great pace and worked through my gears effectively. Tried to keep a higher cadence spin going, but would drop down and hammer a bit if my speed was dropping too much by spinning. Kept looking at the Garmin and was holding anywhere between high 18 to 20+ mph. Unbelieveable, but very proud of the effort.
What would you do differently?:

Keep working on the bike. 20mph is within my reach, I just have to stay committed to getting out on the bike and working hard.
Transition 2
  • 00m

Again, no time listed here. I got in and out and think it was a smooth transition. I even put my race belt on while running out of transition to try and save some time.
What would you do differently?:

Work on a bike dismount, possibly.
  • 32m 7s
  • 3 miles
  • 10m 43s  min/mile

I felt like I was going at a much better pace. The first mile I was getting my legs under me and I settled in by mile 2. Had an older gentleman pace with me...he was struggling, but I let him hang there, because I know the feeling of struggling! He pulled ahead up to the second aid station when I decided to kick. He was with a pack, so I didn't feel too bad for dropping him. I felt like I was running at a good pace. Then the last half mile I picked it up even more. I don't think I could have given anything else on this run......

Which is why it's disappointing in the same sense. I'm just not improving on the run. I don't have any answers as to why, either. Mental, physical, form, or a combination of everything? The swim and bike have improved a lot in the last year, but I don't feel as if there is anything to show on the run. However, last year I had to hobble in this race because of a foot injury, so I am fortunate that I had the chance to do this race healthy this year.
What would you do differently?:

More speed work, hills, get a running coach? I need some answers and need to see some improvement.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a bit, massage, ate a couple of breakfast tacos, a banana, ice cream sandwich.

What's with races not having Gatorade anymore? I'm not into these new fangled "energy sports drinks". Call me old school, but give me a Gatorade, Powerade, or heck, even the generic HEB Thirst Quencher. I don't want caffeine or any other crazy stuff in my post-race refreshments.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mis-seeded swimmers and a jerk that wouldn't let me pass in the pool. Also, just being a slow runner. Some day I will break that 10-minute pace in a tri!

Overall, though, this is the best race I have done. I almost cracked the Top 10. Finally I can say I was front of the pack...both in the age group and overall! If I ever figure out the run, I could do some damage in the standings. =)

Event comments:

This race has the potential to be great. Unfortunately, there are some things that need to be addressed. Before I get into the negative, here is what I liked about the race:

*Fair, fast course. It is good for anyone looking for a PR, and the bike/run routes are safe and well-manned.

*Plenty of post-race food. So much so that even the spectators were welcomed to enjoy once all the racers had the opportunity to go through the line.

*Transition was a bit more spread out than 2009 (which was a complaint I had last year).

*Well-stocked aid stations. Last year both run aid stations were out of water when I arrived. This year, everything seemed to be under control.

*Volunteers on the bike and run course - they even had volunteers at the side streets to make sure racers did not go off course.


*Swim seeding needs to be better. Swimmers should have to have a certified time or something more effective than a "guess". Too much traffic in the pool and inconsiderate swimmers that don't know repeated tapping on the foot means "let me pass you at the wall".

*Rude/antagonistic race directing. Ok, fine if you don't want spectators in the pool area. You don't have to tell them "If you don't leave you will be escorted out." Nobody was arguing about being asked to leave...also, why not post signs so spectators know in advance? Also, when I was talking to Nik about my swim time as I was looking at the posted results, a red-shirt started snapping at us and telling us to go to the white tent, that it wasn't her issue. Really, all I was doing was kind of chuckling at such a ridiculous swim time and sharing that with Nik...I wasn't complaining or even directing my comments toward her, so I didn't need the attitude.

*Not enough body markers entering transition. I counted 3 volunteers here at 5:45...and am very appreciative for their efforts. However, they needed help! There was a very long line backing up to get into transition.

*Chip timing was out of wack for me. Swim time, T1 and T2 were all added in with the bike time and 'counted' as my swim time, so I have no account for how well I actually did in the swim, aside from the split I recorded on my watch. I also heard other racers saying their entire race time was not recorded and they were not on the results list.

I do like this race for the most part, and it's a great venue to PR. However, the swim seeding and the antagonistic red-shirt will have me thinking twice before I enter this race next year. If I am paying to do your race, I should not be verbally attacked, especially when I wasn't even taking up the issue with you.

Last updated: 2010-06-23 12:00 AM
00:05:35 | 328 yards | 01m 42s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/32
Overall: 0/179
Performance: Below average
159 avg
Course: Pool swim - long course; down and back in one lane, under rope and repeat twice for 300 meters total. Water was warm again this year, but did not feel as hot as it was last year.
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:36:28 | 12 miles | 19.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 11/32
Overall: 0/179
Performance: Good
165 avg
Wind: None
Course: Mostly out-and-back, kind of a loop thrown in there too. Nice course. Very flat and fast. The revised bike course from last year took us down a road that was a bit bumpy, but 98% of the course was perfect.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:32:07 | 03 miles | 10m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 17/32
Overall: 0/179
Performance: Average
178 avg.
Course: Out-and-back loop. Partially on a gravel running trail. Mostly on residential streets. Good shade in most areas but a couple of spots where it was full sun and hot!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3