Pleasant Prairie Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
United States
63F / 17C
Total Time = 2h 35m 54s
Overall Rank = 140/497
Age Group = 35 - 39
Age Group Rank = 36/84
Pre-race routine:

Arrrrrrgh. This was a hard race to get up for. Literally. It rained almost all day yesterday. It rained all night. And it was still raining when I got up at 4am. I also checked the morning weather on the internet. The forecast? Rain, rain and more rain. I knew if they didn't cancel the race altogether, they would probably shorten it or cancel the swim. Oh, and I was going to get wet. Very wet. Fun. Yeah. Let's race.

However, not making the drive down to Pleasant Prairie wasn't an option (how's that for a double negative?) After all, I had to check my bike in on Saturday, so If nothing else I had to go pick up my poor, lonely, wet bike that had spent the whole night out in the rain. And although I had covered it in plastic bags as well as I could, I wasn't sure it was going to greet me too warmly for the way I treated it.

So, after having my usual breakfast of oatmeal and OJ, I loaded my stuff into the truck and set off on the hour long drive south.
Event warmup:

Although I'm usually an early bird for races, because of my complete lack of enthusiasm for racing in the rain and the uncertainty over whether the race would even go on, I arrived at the offsite parking lot just 40 minutes before transition was to close. After making the 10 minute walk to the shuttle, I realized I had left my running shoes in the Tupperware container I had put them in (to keep them dry) back in the truck. That meant another ten minute walk each way (in the rain) just to make the shuttle. Fortunately, I learned the RD had decided to push the start back at least a half-hour before any decisions would be made on the race.

When I got to transition, it was evident that no one had yet set up their transition areas and most of the bikes were still wrapped in plastic. In fact, many people were taking their bikes out of transition to head home, not wanting to test the conditions. Despite my flagging enthusiasm, I reasoned I had paid my $100 and made the hour-long drive down, I might as well stick it out.

Finally, the RD announced that the race would go on as planned with a half-hour delay. However, if lightning was spotted, the race would be called immediately. So everyone began quickly setting up their transition areas. I decided to leave my running shoes in the Tupperware in case in started raining harder again and quickly got into my wetsuit. Although I would have really liked to have pumped up the tires on my bike, I didn't see anyone around with a pump handy so I just decided to get in a quick warm-up swim.

I swam out about 75 yards and turned around. On the way back, I proceeded to swim squre into another guy who was heading out and we bumped coconuts pretty hard. I hoped this wasn't an omen for the day.

While waiting for my wave to begin, I also saw hangloose and his friend Paul lining up. After going solo at Camp Whitcomb, it was good to see some BT'ers!
  • 29m 32s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 48s / 100 yards

Weird swim. Although I thought I was swimming with fairly good form, I felt the whole time like I was swimming really slowly. It seemed like I was getting passed a lot and the whole thing just seemed to take for-freaking-ever. Maybe it's because I had just done a Sprint last weekend and the Oly swim is so much longer. At any rate, when I checked my watch upon exiting the water, my jaw almost hit the beach: 29 minutes and change. For me, that's a decent swim.
What would you do differently?:

I thought I got off to a decent start, beginning on the outside and rear of the pack and easing into the swim. I got whacked pretty good a couple times but recovered nicely. However, my navigation wasn't great compared to recent races and I made it a longer course for myself. I also wasn't very successful in staying on a good pair of feet, despite having chances to do so. Much of that was because I just wasn't swimming straight enough to follow the feet ahead of me.
Transition 1
  • 02m 3s

When I got to my spot, I saw the person across the rack from me had scattered their plastic all over the place. I had also placed a plastic jacket over my stuff to protect it from the rain. This meant it took some extra time to locate and make sure I had all my stuff. Howvever, I got my wetsuit off very quickly by just pulling it down to my knees and and standing on the suit with my opposite foot to remove each foot. This technique has been working really well and I'm going to continue to use it. I also did a good job running with my bike holding only the seat to the bike out.

My T1 rank was 19/84.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. The things that cost me time-- my neighbor's plastic, my less-than-ideal rqack location-- were largely out of my control.
  • 1h 12m 12s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 20.65 mile/hr

Prior to the race start, the RD warned everyone that the pavement was wet and the corners would be slippery. "No one will be setting any personal bests on the bike today, so just be careful," he proclaimed.

Well, Mr. RD, I got news for you. This may have been my all-around best ride in a race ever and it was indeed a personal best bike split. So nanee-nanee-poo-poo. :)

Throughout the ride, I kept telling myself to keep my pace down and cadence up so I wouldn't repeat my fiascos at Memphis and Racine where I pushed it too hard on the bike. I didn't let myself get caught chasing faster riders and just maintained my pace. Following this strategy, I wound up passing many of these guys who passed me anyway, and set myself up for a solid run.

However, I really wish I had the new Guru for this course. As it's flat and exposed to the wind, it's practically made for aero bikes and I did once again feel at a disadvantage on my road bike. Also, once the Oly course merged with the Sprint course, the riding got dicey with slow and inexperienced riders all over the road. They didn't have a clue about staying to the right or holding a line in turns, so I rode extra defensively to avoid getting taken out by a newbie (not that there's anything wrong with that. ;))
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This is probably the best I can ride right now and still save something for the run.
Transition 2
  • 02m 13s

Once again, I ran with the bike well and racked it quickly. The only thing that took extra time was getting my shoes and socks out of the sealed Tupperware container. Because of the wet conditions, it also took extra time to get my socks on because I didn't want to step on the wet pavement. I at least wanted to start the run with dry feet.

My T2 rqnk was 40/84.
What would you do differently?:

Stop the rain so I wouldn't have to keep my shoes in Tupperware.
  • 49m 56s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 02s  min/mile

Thanks to my balanced bike and all the racing I've been doing lately, I got off to a strong start on the run. It took me no time at all to fall into a solid stride and I ran my first mile in under 7:30, which is solid for me. Sure, I was passed by some strong runners, but mostly I just reeled 'em in, one after the other. Once again, I had Danzig's "The Hunter" in my head almost the entire run (although for a while it was Midnight Oil's "Blue Sky Mine" for some reason) and spurred on by the driving bellows of the Evil Elvis I held a good pace throughout.

At the 4-mile mark, when I saw I had an outside shot at my dream goal of 2:35, I cranked it up a notch and ran right at my LT of 175. I thought I'd be OK doing that with the cool conditions and it turned out to be the right decision. This was the first Oly of the four I have done where I really felt like I was "racing" the run, not just trying to survive it and that felt great.

I passed every person ahead of me that I thought I should, and I started my kick at about .6 from the finish. As I kicked it up a gear, I found I still had quite a bit in the tank and ran the last 100 yards or so at a dead sprint as the crowd cheered me on. Perhaps that means I need to push it even harder throughout the run, but in the end I felt I pretty much left it all out there. No complaints.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe-- maybe-- push it a little harder earlier.
Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed a water, then snuck back in to grab a Gatorade ( I'm a thief, I know.) I also spotted a Tri-Donkai jersey, which turned out to be maggyruth, who had just finished the Sprint race. We chatted a bit, then I headed off to transition to gather my stuff in case it started raining again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm still not 100% sure where my limits are for pushing the pace at each distance.

Event comments:

This was a race I had mentally checked out of before I even began it, and it turned out to be my best race ever at this distance and probably my best all-around race at any distance. I beat my PR for this distance and on the same course by around 9 minutes and very nearly made my "dream" goal of 2:35 for the course.

To me, this was finally the proof I was looking for that all the extra training volume I had put in my for my first HIM had really paid off. Plus, I improved in EVERY area from my race here last year, including my transitions.

Now I still have to finally decide whether I really want to take another crack at an HIM before the season ends. If I could go sub-6 on that, it would complete a really satisfying tri season.

Last updated: 2007-07-26 12:00 AM
00:29:32 | 1640 yards | 01m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 55/84
Overall: 0/497
Performance: Average
Suit: promotion full
Course: The course is set up as a single loop around Lake Andrea, a beautiful spring-fed lake. The water temp was perfect and the water feels "slippery". It's a great place for a swim.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:03
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:12:12 | 24.85 miles | 20.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 30/84
Overall: 0/497
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Flat as my highschool girlfriend. Great course to set a PR.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:13
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:49:56 | 06.21 miles | 08m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 45/84
Overall: 0/497
Performance: Good
Course: Flat as my college girlfriend (detect a theme here?) It's a winding course around the Lake, about as gentle as it gets. A perfect course for a PR.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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