Kinetic Sprint, Race #4 - TriathlonSprint

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Spotsylvania, Virginia
United States
Set-Up, Inc
60F / 16C
Total Time = 1h 40m 15s
Overall Rank = 162/364
Age Group = M 45-49
Age Group Rank = 14/40
Event warmup:

Took a practice swim with the new wetsuit. Water was cold on my face, not so bad on my hands and feet. Got dizzy after coming up due to the cold water in my ears.
  • 17m 10s
  • 820 yards
  • 02m 05s / 100 yards

This was my first event with my new wetsuit and I was very interested to see how I handled in it from start to finish.

At the lake, we were told the water was 65. But, as I headed out for some practice swimming, it sure did feel colder than that. Definitely cold on the face. My hands and feet not so much. Now one thing to take note of is that the cold water can have an effect on you where it can get you dizzy after getting out of the water. The cold water in your ears does this. And this happened to me in the practice swim. So, I was at least aware of this possibility for T1. I think if I do the event next year, I may get a cap that covers my ears. I had earplugs but forgot to put them in. In any case, I felt pretty comfortable in my wetsuit during practice and thought I was ready to take on the swim.

The swim waves were 3 min apart and I had time to wish other members of my club well in our respective competive groups. This was a running beach start, something I hadn’t done before. So I was a little bit anxious but not too much as I had 3 open water race swims under my belt. I lined up outside but out in front. And when the horn went off, I charged into the water and took a couple of dives into the water in the shallows before really starting the swim. The course was triangular shaped, with the base of the triangle out in the water. Orange buoys marked the course and yellow ones marked the two turns. Oh, and the rain had temporarily stopped with a bit of sun rays on the far end of the lake. There was a bit of hope.

But, this was not to be my day of a good swim. First, unlike my pool swims with relatively new googles which had no problems, my right google started to leak. I tried to ignore it but it was really bothersome. Finally turned over and cleared it. Then I broke a cardinal rule of triathlon swimming - I didn’t relax. Instead I found myself breathing with every other stroke rather than every third! One would think this would’ve gotten me really tired and it did seem to later. But what it really did was mess up my direction. I probably swam about 100 meters off course by going way outside and then back to the real course. I sighted enough but kept going left. I did meet a bunch of folks in my wave at one of the turns so I didn’t think I was doing that bad. And I was able to draft a couple of places. But, without good form, I was really doing myself in as far as time went. Since I know I’m slow, I estimated 16 min for the swim. My time was 17:10.

What would you do differently?:

I should've cleared my goggle right away instead of trying to ignore it. And I needed to relax and settle in my swimming style vs getting caught up in the excitement. I hadn't done what I did during the previous open water swims last season. The running beach start may have added to the excitment.
Transition 1
  • 04m 19s

Problems continued out of the water going to T1. First, I couldn’t pull my wetsuit zipper down. I can’t wait to see what the picture of me coming up out of the water looked like. Here I am desperately trying every which way to pull that thing down with the camera person taking pictures. Imagine trying to scratch something in the middle of your back you just can’t reach. That’s how I looked! Fortunately, a person behind realized I was having difficulty and got the zipper loose. I thanked him to no end as I jogged to try and find my stuff in transition. Mike Matney, my tri club buddy, later said that I shouldn’t undue the velcro before pulling as the zipper clasp can get stuck upright and the zipper won’t pull down then. I’ll have to practice that.

Now, something I haven’t forgotten in the past and won’t in the future, is to remember which row you’re in! I ran up one aisle not finding my stuff, went another way, and doubled back before finding which row I was in. I usually practice a bit coming in from the swim and counting the bike rack rows so I know where to turn. Lesson learned for all future events.

Next T1 problem - couldn’t get my cycling shoes on! Since everything was wet, things kinda stuck and collapsed inward. So it took me several tries before finally getting them on. Plus, remember the dizziness coming out of the water during practice? Well, it was there as well. Fortunately that didn’t last long. Now, since it was only around 60 and of course the rain had started up in earnest again, I did take a bit of time putting on a windbreaker, something I don’t regret doing as it kept me warm on the bike. And since everyone was tromping in and out of the bike in/out area, the ground had gotten quite muddy. On top of this, I couldn’t completely see as my visor was quite spotted with raindrops. T1 time- a slow 4:19. Boy, do I need the transition clinic!

What would you do differently?:

I need to practice getting my suit off a bit more. I was so glad the guy behind helped. Don't know what I would've done otherwise. I think I will practice with putting my shoes on the bike beforehand and getting in and out them instead of what I'm currently doing. I think most of my problem is getting into the shoes. The rainy conditions didn't help. Though it slowed me down, I think the wind breaker helped but I think I need to get a pullover one as I was a bit slow getting it zippered. Also, remember to practice coming into transition from the swim and bike to see what row I'm in.
  • 52m 50s
  • 18 miles
  • 20.44 mile/hr

Now, the bike course was 18 miles and took us out though the park road in a big loop west of the park before coming back on the same park road to the transition area. Despite the very wet conditions and my helmet visor, I felt very strong on the bike and flew past many people. One person caught me but I passed him again not too long after that and didn’t see him again I think until transition. Like I said, the roads were very wet with rain still coming down. But I was charging the entire time except taking it very easy on the turns, which there were only 3. The course was rolling and I only remembered one hill where I had to go into my smaller chainring. I was glad I wore the windbreaker as my legs at first were chilled and I imagine my upper body would’ve been much of the ride since it wasn’t doing as much work. I was so focused that I wasn’t looking at my bike computer too much. One person asked me as I passed him what mile we were on. I answered “I don’t know” and he laughed at that. Other folks saw that I was really moving and encouraged me to continue with my pace, which I did. As in a couple of other events, I had to tell a few folks that I was moving on their left so they wouldn’t run into me. At least no one swerved into me like one of the events last year. I also remember chasing down a few guys where they were maintaining pace with me up ahead and then during their pauses and/or on slight downhills, I charged ahead and passed. What a feeling! Bike time - 52:50 (avg 20.44 mph)

What would you do differently?:

Not much really. I had an awesome ride for the conditions. Maybe put on my wheel cover to cut down on resistance a little more.
Transition 2
  • 03m 28s

Coming into T2, the mud had gotten worse entering transition and I was afraid of slipping. Now, the same problem with shoes plagued me again in T2. Couldn’t get my running shoes on. Very frustrating. But, finally got it together, took a deep breath to relax, and headed on the 5K course.
What would you do differently?:

I think I'll practice taking my shoes off on the bike and running barefoot to T2. This would've helped some. Getting on my running shoes while wet though I'm not sure about. Maybe use a shoe horn. Could've helped. I'll have to discuss at the club's upcoming transition clinic.
  • 23m 1s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 24s  min/mile

The 5K course took us through the park. Unfortunately, our first challenge was a hill, not something you want after coming off the bike. But, I took it okay. I tried to chase a gal in front of me a bit but she was setting a higher pace and I let her go so I could settle into mine. Interestingly enough, as the rain picked up, so did my pace and I was passing several groups of people. When my level of intensity didn’t fade, I knew I could keep this up the entire distance. The rain I think actually helped as it cooled me down. I took one water but this was a mistake as I really didn’t need it. Only paused for a sec with one gulp. During the last mile, the rain was pouring down. One guy I passed said, “I thought there was only 1 swim leg”. Yeah, it sure did seem like we were swimming through the rain here. The last 1/4 mile was through a fairly steep paved walkway downhill to the finish and I saw a torrent of water flowing across it here and there. All I could think of was “Don’t slip, don’t slip, don’t slip!” I still passed a few people during this time though. A few zig zags along a walkway and sprinted to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

I felt pretty good on the run and not too much to change. Had to be a bit careful considering the conditions. The only thing I would've done a bit different is not grab the water at the halfway point. I really didn't need it considering how much water was falling and the fact I wasn't overheating.
Post race
Warm down:

There were thermal blankets, pasta, biscuits, water, and diet soda awaiting us at the finish. Even in the pouring rain, it was a terrific feeling to have finished in good form. Packed up, took everything to the car (in plastic bags as everything was soaked), got my dry clothes, and headed to the changing room. There were showers there but I had enough water for the day, thank you.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The rain during transitions made my feet and shoes wet. So, a good deal of difficulty encountered getting them on. Plus, I didn't settle into my swim rythmm at the start.

Event comments:

Considering the rainy conditions, the organizers did a good job of managing this event. The only thing I think they could've done to help us with the conditions was put mats at the exit/entrances in transition as that part got real muddy. I'll probably come back next year to see if I can try it in different conditions.

Last updated: 2008-01-08 12:00 AM
00:17:10 | 820 yards | 02m 05s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/40
Overall: 205/364
Performance: Average
Suit: 2XU
Course: Triangular with the base of the triangle out in the water
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 65F / 18C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:19
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:52:50 | 18 miles | 20.44 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/40
Overall: 112/364
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Out of the park and in a big loop out to the west in a big loop that took us back through the park. Rolling on road which had some rough spots here and there. Only one hill of any significance.
Road:  Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:28
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:23:01 | 03.11 miles | 07m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 13/40
Overall: 128/364
Performance: Good
Course: Course ran through the park and campground area. Steep last 1/4 mile (or less) along a paved walking path to the finish near the beach.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4