Endurance Magazine Tri at Cane Creek (my 1st) - TriathlonSprint

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Waxhaw, North Carolina
United States
Set-Up, Inc.
68F / 20C
Total Time = 3h 23m 11s
Overall Rank = 248/252
Age Group = 40-44 F
Age Group Rank = 15/15
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4:45 and drank some coffee while the rest of the family got up and ready to go. My 17 yr old son was also doing the race. We had packed our bags the night before and only needed to load up the bikes and go. We took breakfast to eat on the road because we had to leave so early. We left the house at 5:45, got to the race site at 6:45 or so. I ate a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and an apple on the way. I also had about 30 oz water. (I'm a big water drinker). Got to the site and was very pleased with the parking set-up. Unpacked the car and headed over to transition area. We put our bikes on the racks and set up our areas. I was very pleased to see that I was at the very beginning of a rack and therefore had the area between my rack and the previous rack as an extra set up space. I put down my Mickey Mouse beach towel, and then laid out my running shoes, socks, gu's, chapstick, ibuprofen, inhaler (exercise induced asthma), goggles, neon orange swim cap (more on that later), rented wetsuit, running shirt, running hat, sunglasses, two water bottles, race belt with number attached, biking gloves and sunscreen. I put my helmet on my handle bars. We then walked over to get marked up and pick up our chips from some co-workers of mine who had volunteered to work the race. My husband and 12 yr old son were so supportive and helped carry all of our gear from place to place. We were unsure about the timing of when we should put on our wetsuits. There was a pre-race meeting at the swim start area which was about 1/4 mile away. so, we just waited around until we saw other people putting on their wetsuits, and decided to do the same. We walked over with the other triathletes to the beach area for the swim start. I handed my flip-flops to my husband to carry back for me.
Event warmup:

I really didn't warm up. I got in the water and pulled open the neck of the wetsuit to get some water in it and loosen it up a bit. I swam a couple of freestyle strokes and was surprised to find that I couldnt' see my hand in the water in front of me. I had read about it, but having no open water experience I found it quite unnverving. I tried to keep calm and just kept telling myself "just swim from one buoy to the next". There was one other person with an orange swim cap. At the packet pickup, they had a sign that said if you would like the lifeguards to keep an extra careful eye on you because of anxiety or medical conditions, request an orange cap. So I did. I have severe open water anxiety. I was caught in a rip tide when I was 8 yrs. old and had to be rescued by the lifeguard.
  • 29m 41s
  • 750 meters
  • 03m 58s / 100 meters

I have several swimming and open water issues. I have never been a strong swimmer. I started swimming lessons at the beginning of March to prepare for this race. I paid the swim coach and booked 8 lessons (2 lessons/week) for the month of March and then we would decide how many for April. WELL, unfortunately there was some consistency issues with my swim coach. As of today, I have paid for the 8 lessons but have actually only received 6. Yes, that's right 6 lessons in the last two months. I started out going to the pool twice a week and then after querying the forums here, upped it to three times a week to work on my form as much as I could. I know it helped because in the beginning I couldn't do 25 meters without stopping. By last week, I was up to 75 meters without stopping. but then I would have to stop and catch my breath. About 10 days before the race I decided to rent a wetsuit because I knew I was going to have a tough time in the water. I am so glad that I did.
It was a wave start and all of us at the back of the water pack were nervous. We started out slow, there was no kicking or running over people. I started out with freestyle, but quickly found myself out of breath and a little panicky. So I flipped over to the backstroke. I did that for a while and when I turned back over to site, found myself way off course and the nearest lifeguart yelling "you're too far left!" Damn. All that effort for nothing. So, I regrouped and backstroked back on course. After about 100 meters, I found a kayak to hang off of for just a minute. Then I was out again, backstroking since I was still a little breathless. I sited the next buoy just perfect, and about 50 meters after passing it started to go off course again. One of the lifeguards got my attention again, and I got back on course again with the backstroke. I backstroked virtually the entire way. I don't know the sidestroke or the breaststroke, and I found that doggie paddling was very fatiguing. so, I kept at the backstroke. Towards the end I got into a really good rhythm, breathing and moving through the water, but I was so paranoid about going off course that I would stop about every 25 meters just to re-site. About 100 meters from the finish, I heard my name called from the side of the lake. I looked up and it was my husband, younger son, and two co-workers calling to me and encourage me. "You can do it!" and "You're almost there!". I was so good to hear. The last 25 meters was the absolue worst. You would think that I would be happy it was almost over but instead I was frantic to get to the boat ramp and I kept trying to put my feet down and there wasn't anything there yet. So then I'd stroke a couple strokes and try to put my feet down again...again nothing. I finally just told myself, Vicki, you idiot, it's a boat ramp, it's gonna drop off steep from the land for the boat to go into the water. duh. so, I stopped trying to put my feet down and just kept semi-freestyling (head out of the water) until the ramp. I walked up the ramp and had to stop at the top and hold onto the handrail for a few minutes to get my wits about me. I was out of breath and a little dizzy. I unzipped my wetsuit and walked about 10 feet across the timing mat. Then up a grassy hill (about 1/8 mile) to the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

How about everything? No, really. I am very proud of my swim because I finished it. That was all I wanted to do. I had absolutely no goals for time. I only wanted to get from one side of the lake to the other. What I would do differently is my training. I would get a swim coach that I could depend upon. I would swim 3 x/week every week. I would get some open water swim time in. Once I finished the swim, I felt like I could handle anything. I really conquered some personal demons in that lake. yeah me!
Transition 1
  • 08m 1s

The transition time is a little long because I had to go up that grassy hill. I did not run up the hill. I walked it. Got into transition and started pulling off my wetsuit. It got stuck on my right foot first, and after wrestling with it for a while, I finally just reached down and pulled it off. Then it got stuck on the timing chip in my left foot. Finally got it off after struggling with it for a bit. I was a little out of sorts and had to start thinking about what to do next. I was a little overwhelmed. Then I dried off my face and put on suncreen, rinse and dried off my feet and put on my running shoes and socks. I had put some baby powder inside of my socks and boy did that feel good. Then I took two puffs of my inhaler, ate some gu, drank some water, put on my helmet, sunglasses and bike gloves. Walked up the hill to the bike exit. There was one woman who got out of the lake a couple of minutes behind me, she came into transition and left before me. I guess I took a little while in transition. Got on my bike out of transition, got on and started pedaling and I heard something snap and fall off. I stopped and got off my bike and said "what was that" to nobody in particular but a woman spectator replied that it was my reflector. Oh, that's okay I said and got back on and rode out. I was the last person out on the bike. I didn't care, I had just swam 750 meters in a lake!
What would you do differently?:

Before the race I had though about writing a checklist of whan I wanted to do in transition in what order...I wish I had because then I wouldn't have had to think, I could have just looked at the list and done. Also, because if I had a checklist I would have remembered to put a gu in my tri top pocket. big mistake.
  • 1h 41m 47s
  • 16.5 miles
  • 9.73 mile/hr

My training ride have been at about 12 miles an hour. Sometimes just a little bit faster. The last 4 weeks before the race and really worked on hills. I have a 12 yr old Murray 10 speed touring bike with strait handlebars. It weighs a ton and has 2 rings. Hills are particulary hard for me because I usually start in 3rd gear, shift down to 2nd, then when it gets really hard, shift down to 1st. But then I don't have any gears left. What happens is I'm really mashing the pedals but barely moving. My heartrate is through the roof and I'm panting. I didnn't want to buy a new bike for my first tri. So I just made the best of it. There were plenty of hills, and I did stop halfway up and walk on 4 of them. But then I got right back on my bike. I blew it in T1 by not remembering my gu. Because by the middle of my ride I was really getting fatigued. All I had was water. I was the last person on the course and the truck was trailing me picking up the directional signs. I don't have a HRM but I'm pretty sure I was in an anaerobic state the entire time. My heartrate never came down, my breathing never got regulated, I panted and huffed and puffed the entire time. AND, I got chased by two dogs. One was a pitbull and he charged straight for my bike. I felt his furry head against my ankle. It's a good thing I wasn't on a hill. I finally came upon the sign that said 15 miles, and I thought, Oh good, I've only got 1.5 miles to go, that's 10 minutes or less. I definetely can do this for 10 minutes. It was the longest 10 minutes of my life! I came around the last bend and saw my husband standing in the middle of the road waving his arms like a maniac and calling my name. Later he told me he was just about to send one of the course cops out to look for me. :-)
What would you do differently?:

If I'm in this for the long haul, I have to get a new bike. I need to go on more group rides to push myself harder. I need a HRM to make sure I don't go anaerobic. I definitely underestimated my nutritional needs during the bike ride. Next time I'm packing my bento box with lots of gu!
Transition 2
  • 02m 12s

I came into T2 and racked my bike. My 17 yr old was done with the race and my husband and younger son were very happy to see me because they thought for sure I had wrecked on the road somewhere. No darlings, I'm just SLOW. I put on my running shirt over my tri top and put on my race belt with number. I already had my running shoes/socks on. I ate some gu and drank some water.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 01m 32s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 19m 47s  min/mile

I really really envisoned myself running this portion. I enjoy running, and although I am not fast, I'm slow and steady. I tried running at the start, but immediately got lightheaded and faint. So, I stopped running just walked for a little while. Part of the course came right through the main race area and I tried to get some gatorade but it was all gone. Then I saw someone I knew and she handed me her almost full gatorade. Thank you Melissa! It tasted wonderful and I drank it almost all gone within a few minutes. Then I felt bloated and nauseas. At the end of the first loop I had to go pee really bad and found a park bathroom. So, part of that ridiculously long 5k time is from a bathroom break. Well, and also because I kept seeing people I knew and congratulating them along the way. I tried to run one more time but just didn't have it in me. It wasn't my legs, it was my breathing. I was breathing hard just walking the course, when I tried to run I got lightheaded and faint again. So, I just walked and I was okay with that becuase all I really wanted to do was finsih. I was the last person out on the course. I didn't care, I had just swam 750 meters in a lake! I can do anything!
What would you do differently?:

I needed to have that gu or something similar out on the bike course. I pushed myself really hard and paid the price on the run. I really wanted to finish strong and not feel like I was dying at the end. That didnt' happen and I am a little disappointed in that respect.
Post race
Warm down:

I consider my 5k walk a warm down. My 17 yr old had got me some oranges and water before they ran out. Thank you Trevor!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Open water issues, hill training, heavy bike, and not paying more attention to replenishing my nutrients.

Event comments:

My name is Vicki, I was the last person to cross the finish line and I am a triathlete. (My rank was 248/252 because 4 people didn't finish.) When I finished, most of the other triathletes were gone. There were literally maybe 5 triathletes still there. The masseuse was gone. The food was all gone. They were breaking down the transition area with my bike still in it. I overcame my fears of the water and finished the swim. I was lonely on the bike but kept going telling myself, It's just another ride, you've done this distance before you can do it again. It was as much of a mental race as a physical one.
This, my first triathlon, was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. But I didn't give up. I'm not a quitter. I AM A TRIATHLETE.

Last updated: 2006-05-22 12:00 AM
00:29:41 | 750 meters | 03m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 15/15
Overall: 247/252
Performance: Good
Suit: tri top/shorts with xterra wetsuit
Course: started in the beach area then arched to the right to finish at a boat ramp
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 08:01
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Bad
01:41:47 | 16.5 miles | 9.73 mile/hr
Age Group: 15/15
Overall: 247/252
Wind: None
Course: The race site said it was a flat course. Uh, I dont' think so. It was hilly in the start, the middle 4-5 miles was fairly flat, but the end was hilly again.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:12
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:01:32 | 03.11 miles | 19m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 15/15
Overall: 247/252
Performance: Bad
Course: Very very muddy trails. It has been raining a lot and the mud was so thick that it would suck your shoe right off your foot. But, it was all shady and that was nice because the sun was starting to come out. The course was 2 1.55 mile loops. I HATE LOOPS. Part of the loop goes right through the main setup area where all the booths and people are.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3