Tempe International Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Tucson Racing Inc.
91F / 33C
Total Time = 2h 30m 37s
Overall Rank = 68/361
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 11/43
Pre-race routine:

I covered my week old road rash on my shoulder with plenty of sunscreen and Aquaphor to protect it during the race. I also popped a Hammer gel and a Red Bull shot about 5 min before getting in the water. The water temp was pleasant compared to the chilly waters of Lake Mead. Unfortunately, the start was delayed by more than 40 minutes due to road closure problems. This meant that the heat and wind would play a bigger role later on as the race unfolded.
Event warmup:

Just a few practice jogs from the water exit through transition to help memorize my bikes location.
  • 24m 10s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 37s / 100 meters

For this race, I decided to wear my Xterra Volt sleeveless wetsuit. Firstly, the water was plenty warm and I didn’t want to overheat. Secondly, my road rash was still quite sore and a full sleeve would only exacerbate the issue. The swim course was a simple rectangular out and back through the murky waters of Tempe Town Lake. The wind was not significant and the chop was minimal. The sun would be in my face on the outbound leg and at my back on the return leg.
My wave was made up of males age 35-44 (consisting of 92 athletes) - a very competitive group. It was, by far, the most violent and frenetic triathlon start I have experienced thus far. In the first 50 meters, I was kicked, punched and climbed over numerous times. To my dismay, I was slapped more than a few times on my road rash, sending searing bolts of pain through my body that took my breath away. After sputtering and gagging for 200 meters, I finally found some clear water and settled into a rhythm. I swim bilaterally, taking 2 breaths on one side before switching to the other side for 2 breaths. This was effective as I could easily keep track of the swimmers around me, the buoys, and the shoreline to help with my navigation. I knew that despite my ungraceful l start, I was starting to make some good time because less than 10 minutes into the swim, I began to overtake swimmers from the start wave that left 5 minutes before me (I could tell because they wore different colored swim caps). In my age group, I was the 5th guy out of the water and in the wave of 92 that I started with, I was 14th. I am pretty pleased with that as there were some really fast swimmers in my group. I averaged 1:37 per 100 meters which is a personal best for that distance!

One caveat: My swim time, according to the official results, was actually just over 25 minutes. The discrepancy is because I stopped my my watch as soon as I was vertical whereas the chip time ended at T1 -quite a distance from the beach. I just added that extra time to my T1.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing but do more swim starts so I can psychologically get used to wrestle-mania at the start gun. LOL
Transition 1
  • 02m 38s

Once out of the water, I quickly ran up the beach, across a parking lot and up 50 steps to the transition area, all while simultaneously pulling my cap, goggles and upper portion of my wetsuit off. Having taken the time to memorize the location of my bike, I quickly found my rack and removed the rest of my wetsuit. Shoes and helmet went on quickly, and I was off out of T1. Total time in T1 was around 2 and half minutes. This was mostly due to the longer distance I had to run from the swim exit and the larger size of the transition area in general.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 08m 52s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 21.65 mile/hr

At this point, the wind and heat had picked up some but compared to the conditions I am used to in Vegas, they were not hurting too bad yet. The fact that the streets were mostly closed to traffic allowed me to take wide angels and cut the corners without having to slow down much. With my Giro Advantage aero helmet, Felt B16 and disc cover, I was able to maintain an average speed of just less than 22mph. I was shooting for 23mph. Maybe I was starting to get a little hot. I was able to drink about every 10 minutes and had another shot of Hammer Gel after one loop. I was feeling pretty good at this point. I finished in 1 hour and 8 minutes, 9th out of the 42 guys in my age group.
What would you do differently?:

I noticed that I was a little squeemish tackling the turns at full speed. Maybe a little post traumatic stress from my crash last weekend? Hmmmm...
Transition 2
  • 00m 54s

Not much to say here. I think I executed the transition well. I was calm and collected. Running shoes on, hat on, race number on and I was out. I was starting to notice a nagging ache coming from my bruised hip that I received in last weeks bike crash. I crossed my fingers that it would not get worse as I quickly headed out to the run course.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing that I can think of.
  • 53m 56s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

Now the heat was starting to become noticeable. I was thankful for the aid stations with the ice sponges. Those definitely kept me feeling refreshed. I started out at around a 8min/mile pace with the intention of slowly building speed. I was shooting for a sub 50min run. I should have discussed this goal previously with my hip because he was not having any of that. Around 3.5 miles in, my left hip started protesting loudly and I was forced to drop speed. Like last year at this very same event, my run performance would be compromised by injury. Oh well. We'll try again next year. 3rd times the charm as they say.
What would you do differently?:

Not crash my bike at 35mph the week before the race.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around the finish area talking with my friends and eating some watermelon and oranges.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I think this time, my fitness was where it needed to be. My swim was great. On the bike, I think I could have pushed a little harder and I shouldn't have slowed so much for the turns. My run was wrecked by a throbbing hip. Maybe It was a case of needing to HTFU, but I really don't want to injure myself because I have an Ironman to start training for and I want to be in tip-top shape for that.

Event comments:

Just because I didn't perform as well as I'd hoped doesn't mean that I had a bad race. I still PRed my olympic distance time by almost 10 minutes and also had a phenomenal (for me) swim. This was my 4th full olympic distance tri (well, actually 5th but the swim was cancelled on one).

My first finish time was- 2:55
My second - 2:51
My third - 2:39

In just over one year, I have chopped 25 minutes of my finish time and I feel that I haven't even come close to tapping my true potential. With IMAZ dead in my sights, I look forwards to whittling away my weaknesses and honing my strengths.

Last updated: 2011-02-20 12:00 AM
00:24:10 | 1500 meters | 01m 37s / 100meters
Age Group: 5/43
Overall: 0/361
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Volt
Course: Rectangular. Buoys on the right. Turn right after the 4th buoy, turn right after 1 buoy, turn right towards shore after the 3rd buoy.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current:
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:38
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:08:52 | 24.85 miles | 21.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/43
Overall: 0/361
Performance: Good
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: The bike course is a 2 loop course through the streets around Tempe Town Lake. It has several U-turns and 90* corners. The course is mostly flat, with the exception of a moderate climb about ¾ of the way through the loop.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:54
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:53:56 | 06.21 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/43
Overall: 0/361
Performance: Below average
Course: A 2 lap course around Tempe Town Lake. The course is basically rectangular in shape with the addition of some convoluted turns at the corners and the lap/finish fork. Generally flat except for some ramps, stairs and hills where the lake path and the bridges converge.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4