Hy-Vee Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Des Moines, Iowa
United States
Premier Event Management
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 37m 57s
Overall Rank = 375/1254
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 67/141
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3:30. Brushed my teeth and got dressed. Drank a Mountain Dew and ate a Powerbar (breakfast of champions). Jeremy and I got to VWM at 4:20 and took the shuttle to RR Park.
Event warmup:

Chad and I went for about a 3-4 minute jog to loosen up. I set up my T1 and then used the toilet. By then it was about time to get the wetsuit on. I got that on comfortably enough, and then we all made our way to the start line. I wanted to get a warmup swim in, but I heard they weren't allowing us to do that. Later on, I found out they actually were.
  • 29m 49s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

Good strategy by Doug to start near the front on the outside. I was quickly able to find a comfortable pace and room to maneuver. The joke went like this: "I'm like a European basketball player - I do better in space." I felt very relaxed throughout the whole swim. Perhaps a little too relaxed looking at my time. I actually was pretty happy being under 30 minutes, until I saw what others did. I should have been pushing myself a bit harder, I suppose. With a wetsuit on, I should probably have been in the 27-28 min. neighborhood. I did notice my lower back felt a little tight after 1000m or so - possibly because of the wetsuit? Thoughts on this would be appreciated. The fact that the swim felt so comfortable is attributable to 1. longer swims (3000m and up) and 2. not going hard enough. Next year, I'll do more of 1, and less of 2.

What would you do differently?:

Swim harder!!! I had trained an entire year primarily to do well at this event, and I kind of half-assed it through the swim. I never felt out of breath or panicky or anything. I don't know why I felt like I needed to save myself - the bike and run require leg strength. My sighting wasn't great, either - I think I zigzagged more than I needed to. Originally my goal was 30 minutes for the swim, but it should have been 28.
Transition 1
  • 03m 21s

First transition included putting the wetsuit in the "technical bag" (Read: white garbage bag) and putting on my Garmin. I got the garmin for things like this, so I might as well use it. I put my shoes on to run with the bike because the transition zone was grass.

What would you do differently?:

Not much. I practiced getting out of my wetsuit quickly, so I don't know if I could have done that much faster. I wanted my Garmin, so I freely and willingly gave up those 30 seconds to put on the HR strap and watch.
  • 1h 15m 22s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 19.78 mile/hr

Very poor bike segment. Never in my worst case scenario (outside of a flat) did I expect to turn in a time that was nearly 7 minutes off my PR, and 3.5 minutes slower than last year, on my hybrid. The course was actually about 25.4 miles, so that cost everyone about 2 minutes, but it evens out among the group. In addition to that, the course was much hillier that last year.

But my biggest problem was mechanical. On the first hill I shifted into the small chain ring. When we got to the flats, I tried to shift back into the big ring, and it wouldn't go. So I spent 24 miles on the small ring. I often didn't have enough gears to go as fast as I needed to. Plus, the chain was grinding across the gears, and the front derailleur was rubbing on the large ring the entire time. It made an awful grinding sound that was very annoying to myself and I'm sure to the other riders. To top it off, the chain fell off the front ring after the turnaround, which took me about a minute to fix.

All in all, the mechanical mishaps cost me about 4-5 minutes, I would estimate. I really shouldn't complain, though, considering what others had to go through.

What would you do differently?:

Reconsider my bike selection. I got my 2005 QR Caliente on Ebay for $850 last year, and I've had several problems with it. This most recent issue with the front derailleur has been a chronic issue, but I thought I had it fixed. I reared its ugly head at the worst possible time. The friction created from the derailleur grinding on the chain ring was sapping my power and speed. I'm hoping I can find a permanent solution to this latest problem. On the brighter side, the seat and aerobar setup is now great. Those who know me will be glad to hear that I won't be complaining about that anymore.

I also think it would be better for me to get some more mileage in throught the spring. It's hard to spend more time training. But if I could do some 2-3 hour rides, the 1+ hour ride would seem to be relatively easy.
Transition 2
  • 01m 53s

T2 went very well. My T2 time was significantly faster than those whose finishing times were around mine. I had my feet on top of my shoes which worked nicely. The quick tie laces and race belt were helpful too.
What would you do differently?:

I can't really think of anything. Maybe ride with the race belt on? Of course that would just add to the T1 time. It's hard to have a fast transition time with such large transition zones.
  • 47m 35s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 40s  min/mile

Mostly positive here. This was 6 minutes faster than last year, so that's good. This was probably about as good as I could do on this course. I thought I might be a touch faster considering I couldn't push myself as hard on the bike as I wanted, but that proved to be false.
What would you do differently?:

More run training. Don't have a knee injury. It's been a constant battle since last October with this. Everytime I start to get going with my running, the knee flares up and I have to back off. My MRI was normal, so I'm hoping it's just muscle imbalances and weaknesses. I'll have to take a step back and re-examine this situation in the offseason; right now it's all about damage control.
Post race
Warm down:

Slammed the first water bottle in about 5 seconds. Went to the food tent and probably down 1500 calories in about 10 minutes. Did some stretching and talked with friends. I think I ate too many ice cream bars because I had a little bit of a stomach ache for a while.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. Half-assed swim
2. Problem with front derailleur on bike
3. Lack of run training due to injury

Of course, I can always say I'd like to spend more time training, but there are limits to everything. I've spent a lot of time and money on tri's over the past 2 years, and I have no intention of taking more time away from my family to pursue my selfish goals of athletic training. I spend as much time training at night/early morning/lunch hour as I can so that I can spend my evenings at home. I don't feel guilty going for a bike ride at 6 AM when everyone is already asleep, but I sure do if I go out at 6 PM when I'm supposed to be here being a dad. So if I never break 2:30 or 2:20 or whatever artificial goals I set for myself, but I raise 2 (or more perhaps) healthy, smart, responsible children, it's worth it.

(Note to anyone who reads this: the above paragraph is mostly for myself to look back at when I do feel like I should spend more time training and that the family or job are holding me back. Triathlon is my hobby, not my life.)

Event comments:

With all the flooding we've had around here, it's been a nightmare for Hy-Vee to put this event on. From changing venues and going to a du, and then back to a tri, they did a great job setting things up and making the best of a bad situation in the middle of a natural disaster which was the flood. Of course it helps that their headquarters are in W. DSM, so that they could devote tons of resources and personnel to this project!

I was very happy to hear that the swim was on. There was not much more the directors could have done to make this a more successful event. I loved the post-race spread. The two transition zones were difficult to work with, but seriously, what else could they do? Great job.

And lastly, terrible news with the death of Jim Mulligan during the event. He was a business and community leader in Des Moines, and he'll be missed, especially by his young family. Thoughts and prayers to them.

Last updated: 2008-02-16 12:00 AM
00:29:49 | 1500 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/141
Overall: 0/1254
Performance: Average
Suit: QR Ultrafull
Course: Simple clockwise triangle, with just 2 turns.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:21
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:15:22 | 24.85 miles | 19.78 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/141
Overall: 0/1254
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some
Course: Out of the park and up the hill to Southwoods. Over I-35 and around Jordan Creek Mall - this was the only part that was a carryover from last year's event. Southbound from Jordan Creek to Grand, out almost to Booneville, and then back. The way back did not include the lap around JC.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:53
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Below average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:47:35 | 06.21 miles | 07m 40s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/141
Overall: 0/1254
Performance: Average
Course: I thought this was a very hilly course. The stretch along EP True from about mile 1 to mile 2.5 was flat, but everything else was up and down, with 2 really big hills at the midpoint and at the end.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4