Tri the Parks - Indian Springs State Park - TriathlonSprint

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Flovilla, Georgia
United States
Blue Sky Sports
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 35m 28s
Overall Rank = 386/490
Age Group = 35-39M
Age Group Rank = 48/55
Pre-race routine:

The nice thing about flying in the night before is that 4:30 doesn't seem early at all (9:30 UK time). Easy drive and setup. Also, I still enjoy the Tri The Parks tradition of alphabetical racks, as I got to catch up with a couple of friendly faces.
Event warmup:

Just a minute of swimming to get the blood flowing and check the goggle seal.
  • 14m 34s
  • 656 yards
  • 02m 13s / 100 yards

The pace is actually quicker than that, because the time includes the hill up to T1. This was probably my best triathlon swim performance ever. I just got in the water and swam aerobically. I was really, really straight, sighting about every 9 strokes. I never broke my stroke, breathed bilaterally (every 3 strokes), and used the sun to 'sight' underwater. Even when I caught some of the wave in front of me, or was caught be the folks behind me, I swam like I was just out for a stroll, holding my line and gently rolling over (or being rolled over by) my fellow swimmers.
What would you do differently?:

I'm definitely not fast at this pace, but I'm fast enough to be proud of myself, and to not be a risk to anyone else (top 50% overall). I'd like to swim like this, but without the neck and shoulder fatigue that affects me later on the bike. I think I can do it.
Transition 1
  • 03m 53s

This is a long, hairy transition area. This is also where the jet lag begins to play a part. I just couldn't get the order right, and couldn't get my head in the game enough to really hurry.

Honestly, I was also just really shocked to be in the transition area with lots of bikes and not a lot of people. I know most of y'all are used to it, but it was a nice moment for me.

I took two salt caps and five big swallows of water.

Finally, this time includes my first pause or two to try to figure out what was going on with the bike. I may be slow, but overall, this has me in the bottom 15 out of over 490.
What would you do differently?:

Yeah, I know I could shave at least a minute here. I wish I cared more, but I know that my heart isn't in sprints, or sprint-style transitioning... With apologies to to JB the senior, I'm more of a sunday driver than a nascar driver, and think of transitions more as scenic overlooks than pit stops.
  • 43m 29s
  • 12.8 miles
  • 17.66 mile/hr

Okay, so before the race, as I always do, I spun the tires. Everything was smooth. Then, I'm running the bike to the mount line, it's like a bad shopping cart. Not exactly the Cervelo smoothness that I risked my marriage for. I stopped, and thought I was crazy because it was fine. Of course (yeah, I'm not fully there), the next time the wheel comes around, it siezes for second again with a little 'honk'. I get to the mount line. I pedal with my hand, thinking it's a casette or derailer problem, but don't see anything. I know at least that it's the back wheel. I can force it through the honk. I figure that it must be a rubbing brake, so I open up the quick release, make sure that the brakes still reach, and just decide to suck it up.

I stop again briefly after the first downhill, because I realize that the honking wasn't affected by the brakes, and dial them back on. Momma didn't raise no dummies. I notice then that the rear wheel is actually hitting the frame at the cutout and rubbing. I look at the adjustment in the back, realize I don't have any tools anyway, and just decide to give it a go, since I'm still keeping up with folks.

In the end, it probably affected my time much more to stop. There wasn't a lot of friction, just enough to make a honk and stop the wheel if it was in the air.

Moving on to brighter news, I love the new bike. I need to recut my aerodrink straw (too low - I guess I didn't notice that I had to look down to get a good drink when I set the length on the trainer). I also need to fasten it in better, as it almost shook out as I went over a series of potholes (holding my line while getting blown away by the fast women who started a long way behind me). I love the feeling of power I have while in aero. For those considering the tri-bike thing, don't use 'how it feels in aerobars' to visualize what it feels like to be in an actual aero position with a forward seat. It's completely different, and I'm a big fan.

My neck was definitely hurting by the end - I guess that sighting and holding aero are almost the exact same muscles. I felt it this morning as well.

I got in about half of the aerobottle, half of a small water bottle on the seat rack, and half a pack of clif blocks.
What would you do differently?:

I've gained a lot of bike confidence this year, and I'm gaining it even on the new bike. I'm okay in traffic, with slower and faster cyclists, and even changing a tire. I still have almost no mechanical experience or confidence, though. I'm going to try to spend some 'tinker' time with my bike, to the point where it actually would make sense for me to have a tool or too on me. I did solve the mystery after the race.

BTW, during all this, I still had (for me) a rocking bike split, especially considering there was at least one period of 0 MPH.
Transition 2
  • 02m 46s

So, did I mention I was jetlagged?

I ran up the steep transition hill, up the long (~180 bikes per rack) rack to my spot near the top, hooked my bike up like a pro, got the helmet off, and was putting on my visor, when I realized that I don't wear a visor. I wear a hat. So, um... you could hear the gears grinding as the brain tried to get the body to stop... How did my hat turn into a visor? Am I sure I had a hat (yes, I don't even own a visor). What's on the visor? Some sort of triathlon thing, just like mine. Pause. Look around. See my hat. Damn, it must have got blown a whole rack over! Right over there by my shoes, and my towel, and my... Gulp.

Unracked my bike, ran up to the end of the rack, and back down the correct one. Racked my bike again. Believe it or not, after that the transition went fine, and I drank the rest of my aerodrink, took two salt tabs, and headed out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

I think that perhaps it would be optimal to rack my bike in the correct spot.
  • 30m 45s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 09m 55s  min/mile

I stubbed my toe about 200 yards into the run while transitioning from the running path to a grass hill. I did it in full stride, went to the other knee, and then kept moving quickly before I could decide whether I was hurt. I hopped on it for a while, and decided that nothing was broken. I put it down and tried my best not to limp. I could just hear my RRCA instructor - a good runner can run a long time without hurting themselves, but, no matter how well trained you are, you can't limp for a mile without hurting something else. I sucked it up and ran as straight as I could.

Also, I got 'pregnant again'. Big, big belly, pushing the boundaries of spandex in unattractive ways. Burping in unpretty ways as well. I decided since the course had some shade, I would just pull the shoulders of the trisuit off and let it hang from the waist. Sorry, ladies, but it immediately made me feel much better.

My foot feels fine a few days later, but I do have tight hamstring. I guess I did limp a little bit.
What would you do differently?:

I need to rework nutrition, and really spend some time figuring out whether my pregnancy is gas, dehydration, overhydration, or something else.

In the meantime, I may need to consider giving up the 'onesie' although I really like it for swimming and biking. Anyone have any thoughts?
Post race
Warm down:

It may sound like a tough race, but I finished it in 1:35, from the second wave of like seven. That means that the course was still crowded behind me. I grabbed a banana and water, took off my shoe to count my toes (still there, I'm a big baby), and went back to watch finishers. The high school(?) girls they had volunteering as chip strippers were really 'grossed out' by the big sweaty guys and gals, and were complaining, even in front of the athletes. I offered to take a spot, and pulled chips through the last finisher (Go Bud! Last year of silver before you open up the 75-59 AG!).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Okay, so after everyone was in, I did a walk of dread back to my bike. I just had images of a bike in a shop, Ferris' name being changed to the money pit, etc., etc.

There was rim glue on the tire (not mine - I clinch). A spot, about 2-3" long on each tire, with a thickness of at least a quarter inch. When the glue hit the frame gap, it had to be compressed. I must have rolled over a glue patch (or a glue tube?) in transition. Despite a need to throw away tires after just a few rides, I'm incredibly relieved.

I'm not sure how much the rubbing limited me, and I would guess not much. Not knowing what was up took a minute at least. Jet lag took of a minute here and there with bad decision making, especially in transitions. That's four minutes or so.

The next biggest limited was my belly, not heft, but behavior. GasX? I've got to dial it in, because it's also several minutes, and run minutes, when I should be having fun. Besides, nobody wants to see a middle-aged lumpy guy with his tri-suit halfway off.

Event comments:

Another TriBlueSky race - they put on a nice show, with an emphasis on safety and fairness a deemphasis on schwag, hand-holding, and advance info. The runs are always adventurous.

Last updated: 2007-06-24 12:00 AM
00:14:34 | 656 yards | 02m 13s / 100yards
Age Group: 37/55
Overall: 241/490
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU Tri
Course: Counter-Clockwise 600M triangle, with 100M between buoys. Waist-high start and steep beach finish.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 85F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:53
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:43:29 | 12.8 miles | 17.66 mile/hr
Age Group: 46/55
Overall: 348/490
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back - one decent uphill right out of the gate, which was a fun downhill coming back home. Other than that, really pretty flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:46
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:30:45 | 03.1 miles | 09m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 51/55
Overall: 397/490
Performance: Below average
Course: A tough hilly course, without a flat spot. Lots of water stops.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4