Clear Lake International Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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League City, Texas
United States
Outloud! Productions
90F / 32C
Total Time = 3h 15m 46s
Overall Rank = 183/319
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 25/40
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4:20 to shower, drink a cup of coffee, eat a Clif bar. Packed a softside cooler with Gatorades and a frozen water bottle. Drove ~15min to race. Checked bike tires, put on helmet, threw bag on shoulder, and rode to transition. EZ setup in transition, got chip, BS'd w/some people. Went back to truck for cooler full of cold stuff.
Event warmup:

Walked around drinking a quart of Gatorade and eating my 2nd Clif bar. Filled aero bottle and left "frozen" bottle in cooler. Talked to some BAM! buddies and to uhcoog. Porta stop, then about 50yds of the swim finish just to get wet and checkout the ladders (more on that below). Watched the sprint waves go out, then cheered them coming out of T1. I am always excited at the start of a race, but this being my first Oly I was trying to stay relaxed.
  • 36m 22s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 13s / 100 yards

The contact started when we jumped off the pier to stage. The starter was trying to get us to hurry, but people would jump off the pier then sit right there. Lots of bumping going on. We treaded water for about 2min then took off. It was pretty much a scrum for the 1st 500m, all within our wave. After that we started to spread out but then the leaders from the next wave started catching and swimming over us. By the last turn the field was all thinned out but we were passing swimmers from 2 waves and swimmers from 2 waves were passing us. Somehow through all this I beat my goal time by 4 minutes. And that is WITH the climb up an 8-ft ladder and about 20yds to the timing mat at transition. I was trying to draft as much as possible w/out increasing the amount of contact, but the speeds never seemed to match right. I guess I was actually racing the swim?
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. My 1st Oly race swim and my best swim ever. I can always get faster, but that's not my focus right now.
Transition 1
  • 02m 5s

No problems here. I sat on my towel to put shoes (mtb shoes) and socks on. Stuck the no-longer-frozen water bottle in and jogged out. At the mount line I had my left pedal forward so I just stepped on it, swung my leg over and took off. This part of racing I have down.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. 22/40 in AG. Transitions are not my weakness.
  • 1h 28m 42s
  • 28.4 miles
  • 19.21 mile/hr

I have ridden this course a few times; the only real challenge is the bridge, but there was some moderate wind to make things interesting. Though advertised as a 40k course, I knew from experience and mapping it that each loop was more like 14 miles, plus getting in/out of the resort area. I rode "blind": no heart rate monitor, no watch, no bike computer, partly by feel and also just watching my gears, which I can equate generally to mph. Took the 1st loop kinda easy, but did top out on a nice tailwind partway through. Took the bridge moderately hard, I sit and spin to climb, and passed several people going up, took it easy going down. Hit a headwind on the backstretch flat, so took it easy, refilled the aero bottle from the H20 bottle, and let the legs recover from the bridge effort. Took the 2nd loop a little harder, had a Hammer gel, topped out for a few miles on the tailwind, hit the bridge hard, then let off a little for the headwind section again. Backed off a couple of gears for the last mile. Perfect dismount at the line.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I can ride faster, but the temp was approaching 90+ and I had a 10k to run next!
Transition 2
  • 01m 27s

I ran in my mtb shoes, racked bike, then sat down to change shoes. I drank a few sips of my Gatorade then walked out of T2 w/my watch and race belt. Put them on as I jogged over the timing mat.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. 14/40 in AG and I was walking to get HR down for run.
  • 1h 07m 9s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 10m 49s  min/mile

Not sure of the actual temp (I started run around 9:35am) but I believe it was right around 90F. It would be 105 by the afternoon, so keeping cool was key. My legs felt great and my HR felt ok, so I just focused on breathing like my training runs and getting to the 1-mile aid station. There I walked long enough to get a cup of water to pour on my head and a cup of Gatorade to drink. Same story at the 2-mile station, then go back out to do it all 2 more times. I did start asking for water w/ice so I could put the ice in my jersey pocket, which helped a bunch on keeping cool. I was not moving fast (this is my slowest run pace in a tri ever) but I kept passing people walking, including a couple guys who normally beat me. I tried to be upbeat and encourage folks on the way. It was just really hot and a lot of people had either gone too hard early, overheated, or both. It turns out I went plenty easy, as I had enough for a full-on sprint effort for the last 200yds.
What would you do differently?:

For this race? Nothing. It was damn hot out there, and it was my 1st Oly. I focused on finishing on my feet, and I did it. I met my "safe" time goal, and placed higher in my AG than I expected. I now have enough experience to know I can go faster on the run, and I will focus on better pacing in the future.
Post race
Warm down:

Got cold water at finish, walked around, got some pizza and a Muscle Milk and talked to other finishers and my dad and stepmom who were nice enough to brave the heat. Was really enjoying the post-race until I heard a buddy had crashed on the bike and went to the hospital. After that I felt kinda down so I got my gear and eased on out of there. Did treat myself to a double cheeseburger on the way home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Experience, heat, and run fitness. I am 8 weeks into a HIM training plan, so my overall volume is good, but I didn't have the run volume or Oly experience to push any harder.

Event comments:

Outloud! does a great job. This is the 1st year for the new venue, and I thought it worked great. I enjoyed the race last year (my 1st tri ever) but there were refinements this year that I liked better. I know there were a few bike crashes, but it sounds like most did not involve motor vehicles. The bike course was much less congested than average. Clear Lake tri was my 1st Sprint and now my 1st Oly, so it has a special place in my heart.

Last updated: 2011-07-08 12:00 AM
00:36:22 | 1640 yards | 02m 13s / 100yards
Age Group: 25/40
Overall: 0/319
Performance: Good
Suit: Aevero tri shorts, LG tri top
Course: Funky triangle left (the sprint portion) down/back 1 channel of marina, then another out/back to the mouth of the marina.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:05
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
01:28:42 | 28.4 miles | 19.21 mile/hr
Age Group: 25/40
Overall: 0/319
Performance: Good
I am using the distance reported by other racers on Daily Mile. Race results show 28 miles, but I am pretty sure there is a little more to it.
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loops around Clear Lake. Well-controlled course, mostly flat w/a little mini-bridge then 1 tall bridge.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:27
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:07:09 | 06.21 miles | 10m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/40
Overall: 0/319
Performance: Good
No HR data. I wore a watch, but just to have a general idea of the time.
Course: 3 loops of an out/back through the resort and neighboring streets. 1 little hill (maybe 12 feet) mid-way through. Several different surfaces.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %2.5%
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
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