Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC
Total Time = 2h 59m 46s
Overall Rank = 1148/1892
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 60/141
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3:45, ate a banana, loaded up the car and left the house at 4:30. Ate a Luna bar in the car, and arrived at the race site by 5am. I was a combination of nervous and excited. I was confident I could do it, but just had a lot of nervous energy going on. Seemed to calm down a little by the time I arrived at the race site.

Did the usual body marking, setting up transition stuff. Nothing too eventful here. After double checking my transition area a bajillion times, I finally decided to get on a bus to go to the swim start. They were really encouraging us to do this early, and I was in the fourth swim wave, so I decided it would be smart to do so. Got on a bus around 6 or 6:15.

At the swim start area, used the potties a couple times, then put the wetsuit on up to my waist around 6:45. Ate a gel around this time, as I was starting to get hungry. Pulled wetsuit all the way up at the last minute and it was time to jump into the water from the boat dock.

Event warmup:

  • 32m 42s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 11s / 100 meters

So, according to the registration list, there were 267 people in my wave. It was bigger than any wave I’ve ever started in. The first few minutes were pretty congested, and I had a really hard time getting into a groove. I basically had to swim a couple strokes then I’d get swam into or I’d swim into someone’s flailing feet, then had to pop my head up before continuing on. It really sucked. Eventually, within a few minutes it started to clear out a little bit, but someone would still occasionally swim into me, but I decided I wasn’t going to let them throw me off anymore, so I just bullied back and plowed through.

The swim seemed to take forever. There was a bridge we had to swim under and I’d say once we reached that, there was only a few hundred meters to go, so the bridge was a target I couldn’t wait to reach. And it took forever. I swam and swam and swam, then I’d look up and think, “oh, almost there”, then put my head back down and swim for a few minutes, poke my head back up and look and think, “crap, not there yet”. Ha. It sucked. I really couldn’t wait to finish the swim. But I felt good about my swimming once I got through the congestion at the beginning. I felt like I got into a good rhythm, and sighted well, so it was pretty good.

What would you do differently?:

I would’ve like to have a better start. If I was a stronger swimmer, I could’ve started closer to the front and had more clear water ahead. Also, I took quite a few breaks that I would like to avoid next time. Especially at the beginning.
Transition 1
  • 03m

This was my first wetsuit race, so I almost forgot to start unzipping my wetsuit after coming out of the water. Luckily I remembered in time, and had it pulled down to my waist before entering transition. (We had a bit of a run before getting to transition). Had my cap and goggles off by the time I got to my bike and threw those down first. Had a little trouble with the wetsuit, it’s just so tight in my legs that it gets all hung up on my feet. I took a little extra time to fix my messy hair and rinse my feet. Then put the bike shoes on, glasses and helmet. Off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Okay, so I’m stupid. I think I could’ve managed without fixing my hair and cleaning my feet. I should’ve just waited til the run to fix my hair, who cares what it looks like under my helmet. Seriously. And the feet? Geez…I think I would’ve survived with a little grass on my feet. Next time, unless I’m skipping the water. If I have stones stuck to my feet or something, I’ll just brush them off. No water. Probably wasted 30 seconds here.
  • 1h 26m 23s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 17.26 mile/hr

The bike course was really a lot of fun. When I signed up for the race I heard about the hills. And I was scared of them. So I trained on nothing but hills (which is pretty much unavoidable if you’re going to bike any distance in my area). I really thought the hills on the course were nothing compared to what I’ve trained on. Or maybe it was just the adrenaline, but they sure felt easier. Not as steep, and not as long.

There were some scary sections, where you’d have to make a 90 degree turn at the bottom of the hill. But I’m a wuss. I swear I was holding my breath through some of these turns.

The one hill, Lemon Hill, was cool. There were spectators (I think a lot of Team in Training supporters) were lining the hill and cheering and ringing the cow bells. You could really feel the energy here and it really helped me up the hill. There was a photographer here too, so I’m hoping for a good pic of me here.

I thought it was pretty congested out there. I had to pass a lot of slower riders and it was tricky when they were riding too far to the left. There were also a lot of people passing on the right. I had one person actually squeeze in between me and another rider. It occurred when I was passing someone, so were about side by side for a moment. It was scary because were pretty close. I guess some people don’t want to be bothered by going all the way around. I also had someone just barely pull ahead of me, then slow down to my speed. Argh! So, then of course I have to slow down, then repass him. I was pissed so I sprinted by him.

I witnessed a really close call coming down Black road in the first loop. A rider was going too fast down the hill before a curve in the road. He swung too wide on the turn and ended up just barely going off the road. The side of the road had a small section of rough grass, then it was brush. He narrowly missed a spectator who was walking their bike up the hill in the grassy section. You could hear him getting all snagged up in the brush, it was crazy. Somehow he managed to stay upright and guide the bike back on the road. Amazing. And on a tri bike too. I would’ve been toast.

I was sad for the bike portion to end. I knew the run would be long for me.

Bike nutrition (1 gel at start of bike, 1 gel an hour in)

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, besides be a little more confident on the down hills.
Transition 2
  • 01m 53s

Ran in, racked the bike, helmet and glasses off, shoes and socks on, grabbed race belt and took off.

What would you do differently?:

Felt really good about this. Only think I could’ve done faster I guess is go sockless. But, my feet aren’t anywhere near ready to go 6 miles sockless. They can barely get through 3.

  • 55m 45s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 59s  min/mile

Oh, the run. Considering I had only run 6.2 once in training, I knew this would be tough. I would’ve loved to run longer in training, but I was too scared of injury. I did do a lot of 5ish mile runs, so I knew I could get through it but I knew it would not be fun.

They start you off running a few tenths in the grass. Man, that’s really rough. It’s a little uneven and just took a little more effort than running on pavement. Not fun. My legs were really hurting for the first half mile or so. At first, I was discouraged by this, but then I remembered that this is normal for me, and they would feel better before I hit the first mile. The first mile was by far my slowest mile at a 9:30 pace. My goal was a 9 min pace so I was a little worried at this point. I really didn’t think I could go much faster. But, now that I was on the pavement, and my legs were adjusting, I was feeling a lot better. I was taking splits with my watch (no Garmin) and by mile 2 I was running an 8:50 pace. After mile 2.5ish you have to run back past the transition area (grass again!) and then back out the other way on MLK Drive. I drank water at each aid station and I noticed that it helped a ton. I seemed to be rejuvenated after leaving each station.

I started getting side stitches around mile 3 or so. I was able to keep them at bay by doing some deep breathing.

At mile 4.5, my right hip/butt area started to feel weak. I’ve felt this in training before as well. It almost feels as though it was going to give out. It actually made me pick up the pace because I just wanted to get to the finish before it got worse.

When I neared the finish line, the pain seemed to go away. The spectators were great. Lots of screaming and cheering and cow bell ringing. I sprinted as best I could (didn’t have much left) to the finish line. Hit stop on my watch after passing the photographer and was elated to see I beat my “optimistic” goal time of 3 hours by a whopping 14 seconds. Talk about cutting it close!

What would you do differently?:

I would’ve preferred to train more on the run. But, I feel I did the best I could here. Running more in training only increased my chances of not being fit to race. I would’ve hated to DNS just because I wanted to squeeze in a few more 6+ mile runs before the race.
Post race
Warm down:

Just walked around a little and did some stretching (although probably should've done more).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Limited running in training. Would've like to do more.

Event comments:

Well run event, fun bike course, and great volunteers. Spectators were great too! I plan on doing this one again next year.

Last updated: 2007-11-04 12:00 AM
00:32:42 | 1500 meters | 02m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 89/141
Overall: 1271/1892
Performance: Average
Suit: Yes
Course: Straight down the river, starting at the boat house.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 03:00
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:26:23 | 24.85 miles | 17.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 62/141
Overall: 1304/1892
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 2 loop course around Fairmount Park including 4 hills
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
00:55:45 | 06.21 miles | 08m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 50/141
Overall: 973/1892
Course: Two out and backs along MLK Drive in opposite directions
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5