Titanium Man Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Kennewick, Washington
United States
3 Rivers Road Runners
85F / 29C
Total Time = 2h 50m 6s
Overall Rank = 160/206
Age Group = F 40-44
Age Group Rank = 6/8
Pre-race routine:

Well, this was not too routine. My alarm was set for 4:35, but either didn't go off or I didn't hear it. I suspect it didn't go off because my husband didn't wake up either. Not sure why, when I checked it later it was still set. Sigh. Racinmason was going to be at my house at 5:00, and I woke up and looked at my clock at 4:58. Crap. Rushed downstairs to call him to tell him I was late, met him outside so he could load my bike and stuff (thanks!), mixed bottles, gathered breakfast and got dressed as fast as I could, and I think we left about 5:15 or so. It was a 2 and a half hour drive to the Tri-Cities, so I had time to eat breakfast (bottled Frappacino and wholewheat bagel with peanut butter) in the car about 3 hours before the race. I re-read the Hammer Nutrition guide recently and learned about not eating within 3 hours of a race/training, so have been trying it the last couple of weeks and feeling pretty good. I had remembered directions this year (yay!) and we made it to the race site without any wrong turns.
Event warmup:

T1 and T2 are located in different places, and the swim start is in yet another place.

First stop - Swim start to get checked in and marked.

Second stop - T1 to set up the bikes. Racks looked really full but there was enough space. They have these really nasty thorns by the river that can puncture a tire, so everyone carried their bikes over the grass in the transition area.

Third stop - T2 to drop off the run bag - shoes, socks, hat, number and gel in a pre-numbered bag.

Fourth stop - Swim start again to hear the race meeting, put on the wetsuit and get in the water.

The water access is a narrow space between bushes and over ouchie rocks into the river. We only had a few minutes till race time, so I got in, looked under the water and only swam a few strokes out and back. The current was nice and strong and it was fun to watch the swimmers warming up swimming upstream and not moving. I did my little swim, stood on the shore and ate my gel, then with a couple of minutes to go, waded out to about waist deep so I wouldn't have to wade over the rocks at the start.
  • 18m 39s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 08s / 100 yards

I swam out in a diagonal line following the crowd then headed downstream. I remembered from last year to sight off a point - the only thing you can really see from the start, then after the point to start looking for the finish. You REALLY don't want to miss the finish with the current - plus there are not a lot of good places to get out of the river - the brush grows right down to the rocks in most places.

I breathed toward the shore the whole time and sighted off the crowd in front of me for most of it. I had a tough time seeing anything on the shore when I sighted - the swim is into the sun. I could see people in front of me, but after a bit, the crowd seemed to be closer to shore, so I moved back over into the people. I may have gone out too far - I never looked to see if anyone was further out. I angled back in and got in the crowd, then followed the people again. I stopped once (although with the current I was still moving pretty quickly) to find the finish - and had to adjust my angle more than once and swim harder to not miss the exit. I also remembered to kick a bit and wasn't dizzy at all when I stood up.

Transition 1
  • 02m 20s

They had people standing in the water, one grabbed hand, pulled me up and then unzipped my wetsuit as I went by. What service! The exit was on gravel up to a paved path, then along the path to the grass where the bikes were set up. I walked on the gravel then jogged on the path, then walked through the bikes.

The top of my wetsuit was off by the time I got to the path, and one foot came out when I stepped on the other leg. The other one got stuck pretty good, but one being stuck is better than both. The grass had been mowed and I had a ton of grass stuck to my feet, so I washed them off with the water bottle I brought - this took a long time and I still had to pick grass out from between my toes. Shoes went on, packed wetsuit, towel, cap and goggles into the bag. Put Garmin, glasses and helmet on, and carried my bike to the road.
What would you do differently?:

Fold my towel so I can easily unfold it and stand on it to rinse off the grass. Run to my bike instead of stroll.
  • 1h 23m
  • 24.85 miles
  • 17.96 mile/hr

I like to ride. I had trouble getting my feet clipped in again, so I just rode and clipped while I was moving...duh, why didn't I think of this earlier in the season? I swerved around more than I like trying to get my feet in - big apologies to the rest of the competitors! My bike computer had also gone to sleep so I had to get it started, then mess around with it so the display was what I wanted. It was set before the start, but when I pushed the button to wake it up it changed the display. Back to the instruction book.

Once I got started I realized that while I had turned on my Garmin and zeroed it out, I hadn't set it to the Multisport function. Looking back it didn't really matter since I only used it for HR on the bike, but I spent some more time pedaling along pushing buttons to get it set. Sheesh, it's amazing I ever got to the turnaround.

Once I got all the dumb stuff out of the way, I was able to settle in and ride comfortably. This is the third year I've done this race, and the hills seem to get easier each year (I guess that's a good thing.) They are still challenging for me as I'm not much of a hill climber - everyone and their brother passes me on the uphills. I do have a weight advantage on the descents and I exploited that today - pedaled down the hills to make up time. I pushed on this ride to the point of having those weird cramps, then eased off a bit, but still had a good ride.

My stomach was a little weird all day but the Perpetuem went down ok except for the first gulp - it was too thick and kind of coated my throat which made it hard to breathe. Ewwww.

Just a comment about the people I raced with. I got passed by a tall guy on a mountain bike (good thing I have my new fancy tri bike!) who seemed like he was having a good time, and was really nice. We laughed and chatted as we played leapfrog for half the ride. Boy was he strong - he was big enough to be a sail with the wind, and still was riding his mtb at ~20 mph. His little boy was out there with a sign that said "Go Daddy!" I really enjoyed riding with him. Then there was another guy who I passed probably 3-4 times and passed me back - he seemed irritated and crabby, and not nice at all, plus he rode all the way to the left so people had to either cross the yellow line (no-no) or pass on the right (a lesser no-no). He seemed to take it as an insult that I passed, and made what seemed like kind of snide comments when he went by again. The last time I passed him he had just taken a gel and threw the wrapper on the ground. I gave him the benefit of the doubt until that point, then had to write him off. He was definitely the exception as most people where I was were having a good time.

I made an effort to smile and thank all the volunteers, and to be nice to all the people who passed me and the few that I passed on this ride - it felt good, and came back to me at the end of the race.
What would you do differently?:

Get everything set when I set up my bike. Figure out the computer so I don't have to mess with it while I'm riding. Get new shoes so I can leave them on my bike, then learn how to start with my shoes on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 01m 25s

The volunteers grab your bike and take your helmet and yell your number up to the run-bag volunteers. Then you run up some stairs where another volunteer hands you your run bag, then you go around a corner and sit in a chair to change shoes and transform into a runner.

Well, they handed me someone else's run bag so I had to turn around and give it back, then I stood there looking for mine and couldn't find it. I had to get the volunteer's attention and ask where it was. She yelled around and finally we found it - another one was holding it. It seemed to take a long time. No problem though, I think they felt bad but it really wasn't too big of a deal. I walked over to the chairs and changed shoes, grabbed my stuff and walked off. You have to go over some big rocks under a carpet then down a steep hill. I walked over the rocks and started running down the hill.
What would you do differently?:

Hurry! Run between points in transition (see a theme here?)
  • 1h 04m
  • 6.21 miles
  • 10m 19s  min/mile

This was a good run. I pushed myself hard enough and finished feeling spent, but didn't have to walk. I did walk the aid stations (5 of them) and sipped at the flask of diluted gel I carried. I passed a few people and got passed by a lot more.

Near the finish, one of our team members drove by hanging out the window and told me that my brother was 'just up there' and to 'reel him in.' Wasn't happening today. :)

Saw the clock and wanted to break 2:50, just couldn't quite get there.
What would you do differently?:

Just keep training to get a little faster.
Post race
Warm down:

This was where the smiles came back to me. A guy I didn't recognize caught me after I finished and was very enthusiastic about my finish. Apparently he noticed and appreciated my grin and comments when we passed during the bike segment. That's cool - I'd like to be remembered for smiling or for being nice out there.

After I finished I had to stop while they took off my chip - I hate having to stop dead like that - makes me feel icky. But it was fine, then they handed me a bottle of ice cold water (mmmm) and I was able to walk off. I drank my water too fast (it was SO good!) and had to deal with some stomach cramps for a bit, but it wasn't bad. I walked around a lot, stretched a little, and visited with my brother racinmason (who had finished almost two minutes ahead of me :)) and our other team members.

Rode my bike to the car at the swim start in my running shoes, carrying a big plastic garbage bag with my swim stuff and bike shoes. That ride was hard, mainly because it was so unsteady and uncomfortable. I think my bike seat shrank between the race and the ride to the car.

Changed clothes, drank Recoverite and headed home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Body weight, training and genetics.

Event comments:

This is still one of my favorite races. The organizers are...well..organized, events are on time, the swim is downstream (what's not to like about that?), the return trip on the bike is fast and the run is flat.

Last updated: 2007-05-21 12:00 AM
00:18:39 | 1640 yards | 01m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/8
Overall: 83/206
Suit: Long-sleeved BlueSeventy Reaction
Course: Downstream in the Columbia River. The farther out you go, the faster the current.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 02:20
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:23:00 | 24.85 miles | 17.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/8
Overall: 150/206
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Out and back. There is only one hill on the course (so I was told) but it goes all the way to the turnaround. :) Actually it wasn't that bad, but it seemed like a net uphill out.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:25
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:04:00 | 06.21 miles | 10m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/8
Overall: 181/206
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back along the road and trail by the river. Mostly pancake flat except for an uphill right at the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4