Appalachian Power Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Huddleston, Virginia
United States
Set Up Events
Total Time = 1h 31m 44s
Overall Rank = 154/250
Age Group = Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 7/12
Pre-race routine:

Drove down to deepest darkest Virginia from DC area the night before. Arrived late to one of the recommended hotels. Was kind of creepy going down little country lanes in pitch black with the occasional glare of the lake. Upon arrival at the lakeside hotel, no sign of anyone at all. This was feeling more and more like a cliched horror movie or an episode of scooby doo! Anyway got my room eventually and slept poorly as nervous about waking up on time to drive the last 30 mins to the race venue.

Terrible start in the morning when I realise my Garmin has managed to lose its whole cahrge overnight, not sure how that happened, so take 20 mins to recharge it and then panicking about getting to the venue on time to set up. Wolf down some gatorade and muffin as am driving, get lost, find way eventually and am relieved to see everyone is being very leisurely and am in plenty of time.
Event warmup:

A couple fo short jogs around car park and a quick dip in the water. The water was surpringly pleasant. When I woke up and looked out at the lake, there was mist coming off it and it really looked rather chilly.
  • 15m
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 50s / 100 yards

Course was great, and simple, the sighting was okay with big yellow buoys for the two turns and one of those big blow up crazy man things for the landing.

My pool times has been good and I always seem to go off quite fast. So I thought ets be confident about this and stood at the front of the fourth wave on the beach waiting for the horn to blow. It goes off and my first open water swim is underway. Very soon, I realise this is not going the way I expect. Although my suit feels about 2 sizes too small, water is coming in at the neck which surprises me. My goggles mist up which makes it difficult to see much, and then half the field seems to come over the top of me! At that point I also realsie I am having trouble breathing properly as the suit feels constricting. This really was not how I had envisioned it.

So I take my time do a bit of breast stroke to orient msyelf get breathing under control and get out of the crowd. I then concentrate on slow even steady stroke and that seems to work. I go round first buoy okay and then open up a bit, manage to draft someone for a while up to second buoy and then go for home. I am overtaking a lot of women from previous wave at this point which creates some trffic hazards, but overall feel not too bad coming in.
What would you do differently?:

Get some new goggles which are bit more expensive than my 5 year old speedos which are all scratched up.

Get out of the way of traffic at the outset, the little time I lose doing this will be made up as I get into my stroke quicker.

More practice I think. I should be able to do 12 mins or so fairly comfortably and need to get that initial good start
Transition 1
  • 03m 19s

Well this was a disaster. I had practiced getting out of suit in my lounge at home the night before, with my wife in fits of hysterics laughing at me. However had got the main technique for removal of suit. On the day though, I think being wet and stuff, jsut menat I could not get it off my ankle. As I tried harder, overbalanced and fell over, feet in the air as I wrestle with this stupid suit. The whole time some well meaning spectator saying what a great job I am doing. Get there eventually and in fact my T1 time is not outrageously slow.

Second big problem was my bike. I have not gone for cleats yet, although I probably should, and just have the toe holder starps. However could not get one to tighten and the one came undone and was dragging on the ground with every down pedal turn. I thought about leaving it like that, but it would ruin the whole thing, so was forced to stop, rethread the buckle, start again, then tighten both straps, probably wasted about minute and half doing all this.
What would you do differently?:

Practice suit removal more.

Think of investing in cleats or at least make sure that the straps are all working fine
  • 44m 24s
  • 12.43 miles
  • 16.80 mile/hr

The bike is the thing I have spent most time training on, so was really quite disappointed with this. I was shooting for round 40mins which I think would be just 18mph.

I think i was so concerned about burning out that I took it too easy. The course invovled a long downhill a U turn then all the way back up. I had not driven the course, so had not real idea of how steep or not it was or where main points were. So probably saved myself up too much and should have gone for it more.

After the uncomfortable swim, really did appreciate the bike though, was such a beautiful day, and amazing location, really fetl priviliged to be doing this.

On the way back up the hill, did see two nasty accidents, where it seemed like some ladies had lost control. Neither looked good, I hope they are both okay. That was quite sobering and made me think how these things can happen to anyone, and I am sure when standing on the start line it finsihing under these sad circumstances was the last thing on the midn of either of the two ladies.
What would you do differently?:

Just push it harder. I should probably get a cadence thingy and also I was not wearing my heart rate monitor, but should probably try to keep heart rate up around 155 or so, whereas I suspect I was down to 130 for large parts of it.
Transition 2
  • 00m 46s

Well this bit was good, and ranked 17th out of whole field and 1st in the clydesdales (+200lbs gentlemen). This is pay back for not having cleats and being able to rack and run!
What would you do differently?:

not a lot
  • 28m 18s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 09m 06s  min/mile

Well this was frankly a bit pants. I have been doing 24mins 5km runs on treadmill at work, after cycling 14 miles into work. No problem at all, so why can't I do a bit better on the road!

Right from the off, I struggled and had to physically will my legs to take every stride. I jsut kept thinking I have paid $100 or so to register, i have bought a wetsuit, have bought a bike, and msot importantly I am away from my wife and three little ones for 24hours so I can do this, so I am absolutely not going to allow myself to stop and will keep on running to the end and push myself over the line.

The one mile marker seemed to take an eternity, was an out and back course, with the out mostly uphill which was hard.

Shoe lace came undone and whislt I was doing it up was overtaken by a fellow Clydesdale constestant, I had him in my sights and went back past him quickly and tried to stretch on ahead. However for the next 2 miles I could sense him 30 yards or so behind me.

As we came towards the last mile or so, I am motoring down a hill, but can hear this surge behind me and these huge thuds or someone putting on a power sprint, sure enough my nemesis comes flying past me. I desperately try to keep up, but find that my stomach tells me that if I do it will disgorge my morning muffin. I try to keep an even pace, with possible sprint finish.

The finish is at the top of a final unexpected hill, which puts pay to anby sprint finish, and I cross the line, happy and a bit frustrated. I know I can do each of the individual bits fast enough to give me a time of 1:20 to 1:25 so 1:31 was kind of dispapointing but equally have my first OWS under my belt and can only improve from here.
What would you do differently?:

honestly I need to get to around 200lbs if I am goign to start hitting 8min miles which is what I shold be doing.
Post race
Warm down:

drink, then 4 hour drive back to DC, jsut in time to cheer on the Lucky Shamrocks, my daughter's softball team

What limited your ability to perform faster:

preparation on the swim, should have driven bike course beforehand, need to lose weight to speed up on run

Event comments:

Setup did a great job, everything was smooth,e asy to follow and straightforward. great location.

Last updated: 2011-05-09 12:00 AM
00:15:00 | 820 yards | 01m 50s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/12
Overall: 103/250
Performance: Below average
Suit: yes
Course: 250m out, 250m across and 250 in
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Good
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:19
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
00:44:24 | 12.43 miles | 16.80 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/12
Overall: 174/250
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: Beautiful course winding through woods and then around the lake. A bit hilly in parts but nothing too bad.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:46
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:28:18 | 03.11 miles | 09m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/12
Overall: 183/250
Performance: Below average
Course: out and back, uphill then back down
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4