Mountain Lakes Triathlon - Triathlon

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Guntersville, Alabama
United States
Team Magic
Total Time = 1h 36m 30s
Overall Rank = 123/288
Age Group = 55-59
Age Group Rank = 12/21
Pre-race routine:

My first triathlon. Up at 4:30 AM to eat oatmeal, orange juice and banana then drive 1 hour to Guntersville. Got there about 6, but after parking and walking bike and equipment to transition, didn't have enough time to set up, get marked and go to bathroom to change into tri clothes and not be rushed. Next time I will wear the tri suit from home. Got hung up also trying to help my wife find her race numbers,she had left in truck. But we got to swim start in time to get in the water and warm up for a few yards and get on swim cap to get ready.
Event warmup:

Only swam a few yards to warm up. Not enough time before start as we were running late getting set up. Didn't think it would matter since they were doing a time trial start instead of mass, and I thought we would be standing around forever waiting to start. I was dead wrong about that.
  • 12m 41s
  • 600 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

Once race started, I was expecting a lot of time before starting with bib number 197, but before I knew it I was at the water's edge and it was time to go. Had planned on having a gel about 15 minutes before start, but too late for that, we went in fast. I immediately messed up trying to start auto-multisport on the Garmin. Had not used it enough to have it down pat, pressed the wrong button, and was trying to mess with it walking into the water. Finally abandoned trying and started swimming, but lost precious seconds.
No visibility at all in the water. I started off too fast trying to make up the time spent fooling with the watch, and got winded and just couldn't get into a good groove on technique, especially bilateral breathing. The right sided breathing caused me to constantly be pulling to the right, so I was zig-zagging the whole course trying to stay straight. The lack of visibility and veering off course caused me to try to try to sight a lot more, which caused my legs to drop and really messed up my stroke and kick, which were just getting decent in the weeks leading up to the race. But I somehow managed to exit with 12:41 which was faster than I had been doing the distance in the pool. Not sure why, unless it was adrenaline or the course distance was off?
What would you do differently?:

1. Not fool around with the Garmin! Either know how to run it or forget it.
2. Start off steady with good technique and not allow myself to stop breathing on both sides since I veer off course so bad breathing to one side.
Transition 1
  • 03m 46s

Not sure what happened here, but my time was terrible. I had practiced transitions, but not after the full swim. Was a little more winded than expected after swim, so I spent time drinking water and sitting on the 5 gallon bucket getting myself together. Being my first tri I was also nervous about forgetting a step and went too slowly through everything. Had too much stuff in T area also, not organized enough. Was not practiced enough to start with shoes on bike, so had to clean and dry feet a little before getting the socks and shoes on, and also lost time with the decision to put on bike gloves. I think I also was disgusted about the way the swim had gone and kind of gave up thinking my chances of being in top of age group were already shot so I took my time in T-1. Bad attitude!
What would you do differently?:

Get gear streamlined, forget the gloves, keep my head in the race and just go!
  • 49m 24s
  • 16.2 miles
  • 19.68 mile/hr

Started off a little slow, should have sprinted up to speed quickly. I was aiming for 20mph average and missed it with 19.68 but was a great run for me. Not experienced enough with pacing to be sure how hard I could get away with riding and still have enough in the tank for the run, so I held back a little too much. I was passing a ton of people right off the bat. After passing a couple guys in my age group I started regaining my confidence after the crappy swim and transition and started to hammer more. Was only passed by 3 people, 2 younger guys on tri-bikes and one older guy on tri bike also. So I felt it was a great run, but it is my strongest sport.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, maybe just start a little faster at the beginning.
Transition 2
  • 01m 55s

Again, had bad time in transition. I fully stopped back and dismounted, had not practiced jumping off. There were a small traffic jam going into T area anyways so I had time to dismount. When I was turning into my T area lane, a girl was coming up inside going straight past me, so I had to stop to let her pass. Just another piece of the puzzle along with the slow dismount and traffic jam. Once I finally got to my T area things went smooth though and I got off to the run pretty quickly I thought.
What would you do differently?:

Speed it up! Maybe get feet out of shoes before dismount and run the bike in socks even if I'm not going to try to mount with shoes on the pedals.
  • 28m 42s
  • 3 miles
  • 09m 34s  min/mile

Started off with good pace and grabbed water at all the stations and dumped most of it on back, chest & head after drinking a small amount. I had drank a full water bottle on the bike, so I felt adequately hydrated to not need to drink much for the short 3 mile run. Tried to encourage a lot of other runners and enjoy the experience and be positive. Ran a good pace for me, especially considering that until 4 months before the race I hadn't ran in over 20 years and due to an old knee injury thought I'd never run again. But the bike training, buying some decent shoes, and starting off slowly and using a run/walk training regimen did wonders. Had enough left in the tank to pick up speed over the last half mile and mount a bit of a sprint into the finish. Felt great throwing my arms up over the finish line and smiling for the camera!
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Was a comfortable, smooth run overall for my ability level at this stage.
Post race
Warm down:

Just walking around, stretching and watching for my wife and friends to come in as they had started behind me.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Age, lifestyle leading up to commitment to get fit, and experience.

Event comments:

Overall a great race for my first triathlon. Well organized, professionally run and a beautiful, fast course. I was secretly hoping to be closer to top of age group, but I knew that was unlikely for my first race. Almost let that undermine my effort after the bad swim, but a good bike run, encouraging other racers in bike and run and finishing fairly comfortably physically gave me the confidence to get psyched for my next race and do more triathlons. I had set a 1:40 goal based on my training times, and that would have put me in top 4-6 in age group based on previous year's times. I beat all my goal times in all 3 sports except for the first transition, and beat the 1:40 with 1:36:30 which would have been 5th the previous year, but was 12th this year. Not sure why that was, unless just faster competitors or conditions this year. Overall had a great time, and felt satisfied with my performance.

Last updated: 2015-08-10 12:00 AM
00:12:41 | 600 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 12/21
Overall: 172/288
Performance: Below average
Start type: Wade Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:46
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:49:24 | 16.2 miles | 19.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/21
Overall: 82/288
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:55
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:28:42 | 03 miles | 09m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/21
Overall: 171/288
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
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