Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 U.S. Championship - TriathlonOlympic

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Des Moines, Iowa
United States
Hy-Vee Triathlon
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 39m 49s
Overall Rank = 296/959
Age Group = M 30-34
Age Group Rank = 48/96
Pre-race routine:

I learned a lot of lessons about traveling to a race with small children. The main lesson is that it might not be a good idea :). Between the nearly 1-year-old in the pack and play and the 2.5 year old between myself and my wife in the hotel room bed, I didn't get much quality sleep before the race. Plus everything just gets harder with the kids. Getting ready, getting to the race, etc. My wife is a saint for hauling them around while I was racing. Just loading up the double stroller into the SUV by herself deserves a medal.

Anyway, woke up at 4:30 (a little later than I'd like, but had to consider the family). Had a bagel with peanut butter and a mini-muffin with some coffee. Then we spent about a half hour getting the kids and all their gear rounded up and finally headed toward Gray's Lake. Got parked and headed in. I felt a little rushed setting up transition, but I ended up having about 10 minutes to spare. Grabbed my goggles, cap and wetsuit (which I was lucky to have... I checked Facebook when I was still half asleep and thought it said the water was 78.6, not 76.8 and almost left it at the hotel!).
Event warmup:

None. I chose to spend as much time as possible with the family before the race started. My son is a typical toddler, and can be tough to keep reigned in, especially in public. My wife deserved as much help as she could get.
  • 35m 55s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

Most people would be horribly embarrassed by this swim time, but for me, it's progress. I've done 3 1.5K tri swims before this one, and I shaved 1:38 off my previous best swim time.

I've recently started working with a coach, and he's got me moving in the right direction. I felt like the first 200-300 meters were really fast, but I just haven't built up endurance with the proper mechanics. So when I get tired, I revert to my old inefficient stroke and things go downhill fast.

Even though I was rushing to get over to the start area, I ended up being in one of the first few foursomes in my AG to start the time trial. The lake gets pretty deep, pretty quick and we were off. After a few hundred meters, there was a shallow spot in the lake where a lot of people (myself included) chose to walk. Thank you drought, for the ability to momentarily drop my heart rate and compose myself.

The rest of the swim was generally uneventful. As is normal, I spent a lot of the time being swam over and lamenting the fact that I suck in the water. And of course, a good amount of time vowing to spend more time in the pool this offseason.

Sighting was ok. I didn't swim perfectly straight, but I didn't get very far off course, either. I should have paid more attention to previous swimmers, because the right turn around the last buoy caught me by surprise, and I took a very bad line to get there.
What would you do differently?:

I've just got to put in the time in the pool.
Transition 1
  • 02m 54s

A decently large transition area, but this time is still pretty sad. Nothing went terribly wrong, a little trouble with my suit, but not awful...maybe 5-10 seconds. Socks went on pretty well.
What would you do differently?:

At some point I'm just going to have to try riding sockless.
  • 1h 12m 33s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 20.55 mile/hr

What a perfect bike ride! Nice temperature, no sun beating down, roads were great (except on George Flagg, but NBD) and most importantly NO WIND. I seriously don't think I have ever ridden my bike when it was so calm.

I saw my wife and kids just past the bike mount. I'm not sure I've ever seen my son so excited. He was screaming "GO DADDY" so loud, it really made my heart melt. Talk about motivation. My wife said people around her were all laughing and commenting about how excited he was. We might have a future triathlete on our hands.

Compared to my normal stomping grounds, the course seemed really flat. I was able to open it up a bit more than usual. My heart rate was higher than I normally would tolerate (averaged 160), but my perceived exertion was low, so I rolled with it. Felt great the whole time. This is what racing is supposed to make you feel like.

I averaged 20.6 MPH, which is 1.5 MPH faster than I have done in any tri at any distance. I have to give it up for my coach on this one, he put together a solid bike-focused plan for me, and it paid off.

I drank one bottle of Gatorade/Carbo Pro on the bike and ate about a half pack of GU Chomps. Seemed to be about right. I drank a bottle and a half at a race a few weeks ago and fought a full bladder during the run. This was much better.

Only downside is my calf started feeling tight somewhere around the halfway point. I had felt something weird going on during the swim, but it didn't really manifest itself until the bike leg. It didn't slow me down, it was just enough pain to let me know something was up.
What would you do differently?:

I could have MAYBE pushed a bit more in the first 10 miles, but based on my run I'd say probably not. I really think this is my best executed bike leg to date.
Transition 2
  • 01m 39s

Not terrible. Not great, but not terrible. Shoes went on a little slowly. Overall I'm ok with this transition.
What would you do differently?:

  • 46m 51s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

Relative to the field, this is my best performance of the day. Relative to my ability, it's my biggest disappointment. I can live with it, though. I have really been focusing on biking with a little added emphasis on swimming, so I knew my run would suffer a bit.

The course was very flat until the last quarter mile. It afforded every opportunity for a quick pace, especially since the sun was hidden until the last mile or so.

Generally I felt alright, with some intermittent light cramping in my stomach. I alternated water and Gatorade at aid stations trying to thwart whatever was wrong in my stomach. I had a GU with me that I grabbed in transition, but never ate it. There was an aid station right around the 3 mile mark that really lifted me up. Loud, upbeat music and a lot of cheering. I rode that high for at least a mile.

The end of the course is a bit of a tease. You see the capitol...it looks so close! Then you turn a 180 and run away from it :(. That was right about when the sun came out and instantly started to cook me. I am so happy I wasn't in a later TT spot where I would have had to be in the sun more.

My calf was tight throughout the run, but I don't think it slowed me down any.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I think I need to make it a habit to eat a GU as I'm leaving T2 in case I don't feel like I can handle it later.
Post race
Warm down:

My wife didn't make it to the finish, the kids were just being too difficult. So I grabbed a Gatorade recover and a water (and my medal of course!) and headed for the shuttle ASAP. I was back at transition in no time.

Pretty quickly after my wife picked me up, I noticed a red line on my calf that corresponded to where the pain was. I also had a very prolific knot in the muscle. Some quick research indicated that these were potential symptoms of a blood clot. So once we got back to the hotel, I showered up and headed to an urgent care center to get it looked at.

The doctor at the urgent care seemed like she wasn't worried about a clot. But since I had a knot, a weird red line and some substantial swelling, she sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound.

Ultrasound was clear, so I'm the proud owner of what appears to be a calf strain and a bunch of upcoming medical bills. Yay!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not much. Missed more training sessions than I would have liked, but with young kids I'm doing the best I can.

Event comments:

What a tremendous venue and race. Volunteers were awesome. Staff was awesome. Spectators were awesome. I loved the course.

I can't wait to do this race again.

Last updated: 2012-09-03 12:00 AM
00:35:55 | 1640 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 76/96
Overall: 875/959
Performance: Average
Suit: BlueSeventy Reaction
Course: Single Lap Rectangular
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:12:33 | 24.85 miles | 20.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 46/96
Overall: 344/959
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Relatively flat out and back with a few rollers. Nice mix of scenery and fast. I wish I could do this course at every race!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 84
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:39
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:46:51 | 06.21 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 32/96
Overall: 229/959
Performance: Below average
Course: Point-to-Point from Transition at Gray's Lake to Iowa State Capitol.
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