The Nation's Triathlon - Triathlon

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Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C.
United States
The Nation's Triathlon
65F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 42m 36s
Overall Rank = 639/2860
Age Group = 3539
Age Group Rank = 101/316
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:50AM in order to be out the door at 4:30. Pre race shower, bathroom, etc. Grabbed some coffee and a bagel with peanut butter and met the team in the lobby at 4:30. Road the shuttle to the race site. Bus driver got lost in D.C. after spending 20 minutes going the wrong directions. Another athlete helped her get back on track.

Bike was already racked, so pumped the tires, taped the gu's, lubed the shoes, etc. Another trip to the jon and then hung out with the team. Jamie, Jana and Lucas arrived at this time and we just relaxed until the race start.
Event warmup:

I spent 2-3 minutes doing some jogging barefoot through the grass. Nothing more. Not swim warmups were allowed.
  • 31m 36s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

It was a time trial start, but swimmers were required to sit on the boat dock and jump in feet first. No diving allowed. Every 5-10 seconds a group of 8 would go. I leaned forward at the whistle and kind of dove/jumped in so I landed feet first but falling onto my belly. This put me in a good position to just start swimming and I already had forward momentum instead of being completely stopped.

One of the benefits of the TT start is that there is less congestion at the start. This is helpful to me as I don't get too freaked out like I have in the past. On the other hand, it makes drafting very hard because the faster feet are already gone and it's tough to latch on to a new set if I get passed. I swam pretty decent and at about the 250M mark started seeing new color swim caps from the previous wave. At the 600M mark I was pasted by a new color cap and this guy was flying. This swim course is great because there is a bouey every 100M and each one is marked with the distance. This makes it easy to concentrate on "one 100 at a time".
What would you do differently?:

Not much, just get faster. Execution was pretty much what I was trying for. In hindsight, I always wonder if I could have pushed harder, but overall it went well.
Transition 1
  • 02m 27s

I ran out of the water and passed many people along the way. Many were walking and I was surprised by the lack of urgency on the part of many.

This was the first time to bike without socks (in a race) and the first time I've used rubber bands to place my shoes on the bike.

This allowed me to knock off over a minute from last year's T1.

I was able to mount the bike but had a little more trouble that I had hoped getting my feet off the tops of my shoes into the shoes. I spent about 15 seconds wobbling around trying not to get hit by anyone as I negotiated my foot into the right shoe. I had practiced this several times the day before to make sure I could do it, so I wasn't too concerned...but I knew the race nerves were making it a little more difficult. This slowed me down at the beginning, but even so I was off and going much faster.
What would you do differently?:

Continue to practice getting my shoes in.
  • 1h 11m 43s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 20.79 mile/hr

Overall, I'm pleased with my bike time. I improved nearly 2 MPH over last year and considering the change in the course, I consider this to be a huge improvement. I'm also pleased that I didn't blow a tire or wreck considering the course.

I started to tire a bit about half way through the first lap, but I think I warmed up a bit afterward and never had that feeling of "is it almost over".
What would you do differently?:

Not too much. As bike fitness continues to improve, my time will improve. This course was *much* slower than last year's and my bike time was faster, so I think that means I was *much* faster.
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

My transition was pretty quick. I was at a far end away from the center row and actually went down the wrong row, but I don't think I lost any time because of it. My shoes had Body Glide stuffed in my known hot spot and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

  • 55m 17s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 54s  min/mile

My run time was below my goal. Last year I ran an 8:28/mile pace which was/is far and away a MUCH faster run time I've ever done, anywhere. I've always been suspicious of that run time. That said, I had been doing a bit of speed work and had started thinking that I may be able to approach or beat this time. That was the goal. I knew it was in jeporady as soon as I started off. My legs were just not responding. Even though I didn't have my watch, I knew my pace was way off 8-8:30. I never found a good pacer that I could hang with and I started to get a little frustrated as I saw many in my AG pass me. I'm used to this, however, and know that this is my area to improve upon.

At about the half way point point I saw a lady who passed me at mile 1 up ahead. She seemed to be moving at a good pace. I decided to pace off her and try to pick her off. I timed her using a cone and realized I was about 23 seconds behind her. At the next landmark I was 25 seconds behind, and then 28 seconds behind. I was going the wrong direction.

At mile 5 I saw my TNT Coach. She spotted me and started cheering me on. I was on a loop portion so I saw her for a while. She ran with me for about a hundred yards and I stepped up my pace. My last mile pace was around 8:15 but as a whole I just couldn't get moving fast enough.
What would you do differently?:

In hindsight, my improved bike time may have been at the expense of my run. I didn't feel like I had pushed it too much, but I couldn't get it going. Also, I may also have had too high expectatons of expecting a 1 minute per mile improvement over previous races.

I need to continue to improve my run fitness.
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line and received my medal. This is such a great event with all of the fellow TNT team members. I met up with my wife sister in law and we went down the run course to encourage other teammates. We stayed until the very end and cheered all of the other Mid-America racers.

We headed to the TNT tent and I got to talk with Dave Scott for quite a while. That was fun.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Overall, my run just need improvement. I'm making strides in every area, but this is still my weakness and my focus for improvement.

Event comments:

I love this race. Two huge disappointments, however tarnished the event.

#1 was the bike course. While it was spectator freindly, it was not athlete friendly.
#2 was that they ran out of medals. Only the top 30% of finishers received them. This is inexcusable. This race has many first-timers and people who were just trying to "finish". To run out of medals is unacceptable. I received one, and like it, but it would mean alot more to many people who had never competed in a triathlon before.

Overall, with the exception of these two issues, the event is great and fun.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-04-29 12:00 AM
00:31:36 | 1640 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 97/316
Overall: 772/2860
Performance: Good
Suit: TNT trisuit
Course: shape of Washington monument
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:27
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
01:11:43 | 24.85 miles | 20.79 mile/hr
Age Group: 93/316
Overall: 561/2860
Performance: Good
I chose to race without my HR monitor and my watch set to show my nothing but altitude. I wanted to race purely by "feel" but still have some data to review post race.
Wind: Little
Course: I'm still shaking my head about this course. The good: being a 2 loop course, it was very good for spectators and I had underestimated the boost that I would get from seeing my family and friends. In most triathlons that I've done my family see me once, or twice. Usually in transition. Due to the new course, they were able to see me at least 4-5 times as they figured out when I was going to fly through. The bad: everything else. The race organizers announced the new bike course very late, only a few weeks before the actual race. I'm sure they knew there would be back lash. Each lap had two "no passing" zones that were about .25 miles each. This was very frustrating as I was forced to slow way down during this time. Also, the course itself was very rough, with lots of potholes, bumps, gaps (joints in the bridge). There was also a plywood built ramp at one of the turn-arounds that I witnessed at least one person blow a tire on. Overall, this course went from a fun, fast course to a course riddled with obstacles.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:55:17 | 06.21 miles | 08m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 171/316
Overall: 1113/2860
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat run 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: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5