The Nation's Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.
United States
The Nation's Triathlon
72F / 22C
Total Time = 2h 46m 36s
Overall Rank = 818/3138
Age Group = 3539
Age Group Rank = 124/336
Pre-race routine:

I set my alarm for 4:30am. As usual, I did not sleep well. I tossed and turned most of the night, so it wasn't really hard to get up. I immediately start drinking water. I have a tendency to cramp so the last few days have included lots of hydration. I did my usual morning stuff and pulled on my Team in Training uniform. I loaded up all my stuff in a 5-gallon bucket and my wetsuit in a small back pack and headed to the streets of D.C. I had about a 2 block walk to meet the rest of the team and catch the shuttle. I had planned to stop at one of several bakeries/delis on the way to buy a bagel. None were open. I settled for a banana and bummed a granola bar from a teammate. I'm never really hungry before a race, but I know I need some calories for energy.

After meeting the team and a few photos, we stood in line and rode the shuttle to the race site. This was much better than driving as D.C. is not a good city for driving, plus many of the roads we closed.
Event warmup:

Arrived at the race site at about 5:45. I had plenty of time to set up my stuff exactly how I wanted it. It rained pretty hard the day before and I didn't bother to cover my bike. My grips and seat were all wet but this doesn't bother me a bit. I then had to make the dreaded trip to the Porta-potty. This is a family friendly report, so I'll spare the details: let's just say that triathlon porta-potties are NASTY. Every porta-potty is gross, but keep in mind...for some reason nearly every triathlete uses the bathroom (#2) before a race. It's gross...but it has to be done and this is one of the least appealing parts of the triathlon.

After that, I did some basic stretches: quads, calves, hamstrings, lats, groin, adductors and basically just tried to relax.
  • 33m 23s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

The race start was great. This was my first "time trial" swim start and it is by far my favorite. Each wave lined up in the corrall and approached the dock. Every 7 seconds, the next 6 racers would line up and jump in at the sound of the whistle.

I got off the dock fast and I think I hit the water before the other 5 in my start. I left the other 5 in my wake. I don't know if I was a faster swimmer or just off the dock faster, but I "felt" like I was gone. I was in a full-on sprint to start off with. I noticed that within 20 yards I was already passing people and within 400 yards I was passing swimmers with different colored caps (different age group/wave). I had very little contact with other swimmers. At the turnaround point, I started hitting other swimmers as it became a bit more congested as everyone moved closer to the bouys. The first half of the swim was up-river and I expected the second half of the swim to be a little faster as I was now swimming with the current. I think this was a bit of a mistake as I started to relax and probably did not maximize my speed. At this point, I got passed by a few stronger swimmers.
What would you do differently?:

Keep pushing the entire swim. I relaxed because I was passing alot of swimmers. I don't need to hold back on my swim because I really don't feel the affects of the swim on my bike and run. But it's easy to get lazy while swimming. Once again, I was disappointed in my time as I thought I was faster. I need to get faster in the water and stop relying on my natural swimming ability and get better and more efficient with my stroke.

I am quite disappointed in my time, however after reading many other race reports, it sounds like slow swim times were prevalent across the board...everyone was slow. This makes me feel a little bit better.
Transition 1
  • 03m 21s

I just don't do flying mounts. I also don't rubber band my shoes to the bike. I'm still running with my cycling shoes. There's alot of other things to work on before I bother with refining this step.
  • 1h 15m
  • 24.85 miles
  • 19.88 mile/hr

I felt much better on the bike this race than in Omaha. I felt like I was racing. I was passing lots of people and only getting passed by a few (those real expensive rigs and aero helmets). The time trial swim start spaced everyone out nice and evenly, allowing for a nice "seek and destroy" approach to the bike (I could spot, chase down and bury people one or two at a time).

At the turn around point on the bike, I hit a sunken manhole cover pretty hard and it actually knocked my aero bars down. Instead of being level with the ground, they were actually pointed downward changing my position on the bike. I tried to jerk them back up, but it wouldn't work. I was afraid that I blew my front tire, but it seemed to hold just fine. This didn't really impact my race at all, but it was a bit of a scare.
What would you do differently?:

Continue to improve bike fitness. The extra saddle time I spent over the past month really paid off today as I was much stronger today than in Omaha. It was an easier course, though. I was much stronger today and feel that with a strong off season I can be toward the front of the pack on the bike. I was never passed by any Team in Training members. I was still fatigued after getting off the bike, but some fatigue is to be expected.
Transition 2
  • 02m 26s

Used a 5 gallon buck to sit on in transition. This was good for me.

I tried to run with the bike and was uncomfortable so it was more of a hobble/trot.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 52m 27s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 27s  min/mile

My run felt decent. I was actually VERY surprised at my time. My GPS watch was not working so during the race I had no idea what my pace was. In hindsight, this may have helped me.

As the beginning was paced next to another runner who chatted with me a bit. He was a former KCMO police officer and is now in the FBI. He dropped me. Next, I spotted a Coast Guard officer running and I decided to keep pace with her. She was one of the few women running and must have been part of a team (most of the women were farther back in a later wave). I hung with her and eventually dropped her. I got passed by quite a few people, but this does not bother me too much. I know the run is not my strong suit and just tried to keep pushing myself. I was passing some people so I felt pretty good. At one point, about the 3 mile mark, I lied and convinced myself that I felt fresh and I was going to overtake people. I really tried to increase my pace and felt my last 2 miles was pretty strong. I could see that it was getting close to 10am and my goal was to finish in under 3 hours. Since the first wave started at 7am I knew I needed to push to beat my goal. I passed FBI guy as he had slowed way down because of cramps.
What would you do differently?:

Keep working on the run and get faster. I don't think I could have done much differently today. Overall, my pace turned out to be almost 1 minute per mile faster than what I expected. I was extremely pleased with this run.
Post race
Warm down:

I was watching for my family as I entered the finish area. I didn't see them (they missed the finished because I finished faster than expected and they were caught in the D.C. Metro boondoggle). I received my medal, water and gatorade and wandered around. I was able to see two of my TNT teammates cross the finish line and cheer many others on.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not a fast runner!

Event comments:

This was just an awesome experience. I tried to really take everything in on the run: the monuments, the sites, the fans. I participated as part of Team in Training and it was great to give and receive encouragement from so many team members and the support team. The course is unique. It's a little bit weird to run and simultaneously have so many different emotions: pride in country, pain in the race, compassion for those who I had raised money for.

My goal was to finish in under 3 hours and I beat that goal. I finally felt like I was "racing" a bit, and not just trying to finish. This is likely my final race of the season and it is a great way to finish. This race gives me confidence that I can build on and go into next season with expectations of being competitive in my age group. I won't be winning any races, but I am shooting for higher finishes going forward.

Last updated: 2012-05-18 12:00 AM
00:33:23 | 1640 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 97/336
Overall: 903/3138
Performance: Average
Suit: TNT trisuit
Course: Rectangle, up river, turn around, down river, turn around and finish.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:21
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:15:00 | 24.85 miles | 19.88 mile/hr
Age Group: 146/336
Overall: 897/3138
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: The course was actually not as flat as I expected. It wasn't grueling but there was enough of a headwind that I never felt "fast" on the downhills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:26
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:52:27 | 06.21 miles | 08m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 165/336
Overall: 1085/3138
Performance: Good
Course: A tour of the D.C. monuments. A pretty flat course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5