The Nation's Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Washington, Washington, D.C.
United States
TNT productions
72F / 22C
Total Time = 2h 43m 45s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 53/90
Pre-race routine:

My pre-race plans were foiled by a lack of planning and waking up later than I should have. I ended up sleeping in my van the night before the race and thought I was a short drive from the start. Unfortunately, the route I took to check out the race last weekend was blocked off by construction and race closed roads. I ended up getting lost and taking way too long to get to the transition area. By the time I got to the race I was running short on time to setup my transition area and I hadn't eaten anything or had anything to drink. I ended up scarfing down a cliff bar, a bannana, and some gatorade while I setup my transition area and I was punished badly for it later.
Event warmup:

My warm-up consisted of pacing up and down the boardwalk by the swim start wondering what the hell I had just gotten myself into. In spite of my best intentions I saved my first open water swim, first group swim, and first time in a wetsuit for race day. Ahhh good times. I was terrified.
  • 38m 42s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 35s / 100 meters

This swim was a world of pain and suffering. This was my first open water swim, my first group swim, and my first time in a wetsuit. I was mentally prepared for the group and the open water but I was not prepared for the wetsuit. I'm not a strong swimmer to begin with and I haven't been swimming for long at all (about 6 weeks total). My plan was to get on the far right and just get locked into a nice slow rythem just like I practiced. I wasn't going to worry about time and just concentrate on finding a rythem and sticking to it. After five seconds in the water I realized that I just plain couldn't swim like I'm used to while wearing the wetsuit. Normally I'm really relaxed and fluid in my training but in this suit I couldn't find my balance in the water and couldn't find a good breathing rythem. I was wearing a borrowed wetsuit and I think it was too tight around my chest. I felt VERY constricted breathing and in the shoulders and had trouble sticking to my three strokes before a breath plan. I would stroke three times and then roll to my side and huff and puff. I spent a huge amount of time just lying on my back and kicking. I wasn't paniced but I just couldn't swim in this suit. I never did find my stroke and was overjoyed to get out of the water. I was shocked to see that I didn't finish dead last in my age group. I think I would have done dramatically better if I had just swam without a wetsuit.
What would you do differently?:

I would have eaten better before the start. I would have practiced swimming in a wetsuit. I would have gotten a wetsuit that fit me. I probably should have just swam in my regular suit. I just need more experience swimming.
Transition 1
  • 05m 32s

The bike is my happy event so I was trying to put the horror of the swim behind me, relax, and just focus on how happy I was to be getting on my bike. I deliberately went slow because I knew my bike was going to be my best split and I wanted to get on that bike ready to rock. I was also planning to put on a new bike jersey that was super tight and not a fullzip so I spent extra time drying off and took my time with getting the shirt on. It was a bad transition overall but I think it was time well spent for my head. It's something I need to improve on but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.
What would you do differently?:

I should have taken a bathroom break before the start of the race. I needed to pee then but I just figured I'd pee in the water. For some reason I just couldn't pee while swimming and so I headed into transition with a full bladder. There is a lot I could have done to improve this transition but I'm fine with it for my first race.
  • 1h 06m 47s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 22.33 mile/hr

The bike is my love and I loved my ride. I held back on the first lap and then pushed a little harder on the second. I think I gave the right effort throughout the entire race and was really happy with my performance. However, I could tell that my stomach was freaking out and the run was going to be a suffer fest. I knew I was screwed but it wasn't that bad while I was riding. I also did a great job of staying aero with all the wind. I spent about 95% of the race in my bars and think I chose an excellent gear and cadence.
What would you do differently?:

I needed more training on flat courses where I can sit in the bars for the whole time. I'm used to hills and wasn't as strong as I could be in a 40k TT in the flats. My position on the bike could have been better too. My bike is setup for road riding and I could feel that I wasn't getting the power I should have been getting from the aerobars. I also needed to eat better. I could tell I was screwed on the run. I carried two bottles and both were filled with acelerade + water. I needed a straight water bottle or a gatorade rain bottle to settle my stomach. My hydration sucked but my muscles stuck it out just fine.
Transition 2
  • 02m 25s

This transition was ho-hum. I took time to dig some shorts out of my bag so I wouldn't have to run in my tri-shorts. It wasn't a good thing for the race time but considering how much time I had to hang out in race clothes after the race I was glad I'd added the shorts. I just walked and took it easy. I knew my stomach was screwed so I put my pain off for just a bit.
What would you do differently?:

Laid out my clothes better. I could have been more optimal. The nutrition problems really started catching up with me here and I had to pee REALLY badly.
  • 50m 22s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 07s  min/mile

This was pure suffering. I started the run with a bathroom stop and I knew that I was about to endure more pain than I have during any of my training. The first three miles of the run were the most painful exercise that I have ever done in my entire life. My stomach was bloated out of control and my abs were so cramped up that I had to clutch my side to just keep my legs moving. I really had to pull out the will power to fight through that start and try to get my self under control. Eventually I was able to relax enough that my pain became manageable and found my legs. Once I started running I found an awesome pace and really turned it up towards the finish. I had plenty of fitness and I held back perfectly on the bike but the cramping really screwed up my time. Next time I will turn in a substancially better time.
What would you do differently?:

I paid the price for terrible nutrition and hydration with three miles of pain and suffering. Next time I won't do that.
Post race
Warm down:

I should have warmed down better but I didn't care. I just sat on the ground and drank water. It was a good race but it would have been an amazing race if I had done the nutrition better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The bloating and cramping killed my run and the wetsuit killed my swim. If I had been able to have my oatmeal breakfast as planned and eaten the gels when I wanted to then I would have had a lot more energy. I also held back a lot more than I needed to. My training prepared me for a MUCH harder race than this was and I paced myself too slow. My body and mind was ready to completely crush this thing and had I eaten better, hydrated better, and held less back then I would have had the race of my dreams. Next year, next year...

Event comments:

I liked the race on the whole. The course was easy and very well managed. This is a great first triathlon. My only complaint was that parking was difficult and the finish was a long way from the transition. Traffic was TERRIBLE and it took forever to get back to transition to get my stuff. Other than that I was quite pleased with the overall experience. I'd do this race again.

Last updated: 2007-08-27 12:00 AM
00:38:42 | 1500 meters | 02m 35s / 100meters
Age Group: 72/90
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Suit: Full wetsuit
Course: The course went along the bank of the Patomac River. The race started upstream and the turned back downstream.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:32
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:06:47 | 24.85 miles | 22.33 mile/hr
Age Group: 22/90
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: The course was a two lap flat ride and wind was a big factor for the majority of the ride.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:25
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Bad
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:50:22 | 06.21 miles | 08m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 49/90
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: It was a flat run and rather hot with the sun beating down on me.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4