White Lake Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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White Lake, North Carolina
United States
Set-up Inc.
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 07m 15s
Overall Rank = 362/
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 22/22
Pre-race routine:

Got there Saturday to see the Half-ers finishing up. That's good motivation right there. Did a quick 6 miles with Elena and Andy, and saw quickly that my Commuter bike, while GREAT for commuting, wasn't going to keep up with their race bikes. That and the 6 miles burned my quads something awful. At that point I started to panic about Sunday morning.

I'm always calm about the bike, I love biking. I know I can make up any time I lose in the swim on the bike. I was even confident that my knee wouldn't act up while running. I was mostly worried about the swim, but when I saw them burning me on the bike, I knew I couldn't make up any time. Panic city. Dinner was NOT tasty that night.
Event warmup:

Walked with E and A to the site from the car, stretched out my quads and inner thigh, hoping that my knee wouldn't act up when the run started. I didn't have to worry about it.

Getting into the wetsuit was fun enough, said some prayers for me and my fellow triathletes, then spent the rest of the time BSing and hoping that I would seriously think it was really for fun and my first Triathlon, instead of a competition. Said goodbye to my wife Mel and son Jack, and into the water.
  • 28m 45s
  • 820 yards
  • 03m 31s / 100 yards

I knew the swim wasn't my strong point when I started this race. But I started the swim too competitively, trying to keep up with Andy. Mistake number one. Number two was forgetting everything I had learned with TI, just stroked the old way, and quickly lost all my breath and energy. Thank God for my wetsuit. I didn't have to hold on once because of it, and treading water was a lot easier.
I reached the first buoy and said, "What the hell am I doing? I should just quit." Didn't help to see a gentleman in better shape than me clinging to a surfboard for a rest. (He went on to pass me, btw.) Instead though, something told me to head for the next buoy; when I made that, then the next. By the time I reached the first turn I was alternating freestyle and backstroke (Mistake number 3: kicking too hard on backstroke=quads starting to hurt in the water.)

At the second turn into the home stretch I remembered all my TI teachings. I wasn't going to quit at this point, so I pushed it hard from the second to last buoy to the pier.
50% freestyle, 50% backstroke. Slow, but I made it.
What would you do differently?:

Definitely train swimming more. I had a great reason for not training enough, and it involves 3 hour commutes one way and 12 hour days. But that won't help in the water when you are thinking of quitting. And it was a really strong feeling.
Transition 1
  • 04m 38s

The wetsuit got stuck on my wrists, but I got it off before I reached my rack. I was near the bike exit, which meant a long run through T1 to the bike, but it worked out. Suit got stuck on my heels, then my shirt wouldn't slide on right (yes, wet body, dry tight shirt, DOESN'T WORK!) Then got the bike out and started running but forgot my sunglasses= turned around, find out that someone broke my lens when they transitioned out. So no glasses. (Weren't really a factor though, just squinted my way through.)

Mel, Lynn and Fam were there in the chute to T1, cheering me on, making me feel good I didn't give up on the swim even if i was last. Pushing me on through and to T1, where Lynn was cheering me on to give it a good try!
What would you do differently?:

BRING MY STUPID RACE BELT! The reason I wasn't wearing my shirt underneath the wetsuit was that I didn't have my belt, and needed to pin the numbers. Big mistake. Poor planning. Everything else went as expected though, even the tight wetsuit.
  • 54m 41s
  • 14 miles
  • 15.36 mile/hr

And the mountain bike. My trusty steed that saw me through the Tune up Tri with such ease. Slick tires, rigid, lugged frame... Cranks are too small, no drop bars, no aero bars.... ouch. Left arm was killing me from the start of the bike. Left calf cramped about one mile down the road, and to compensate I tried to push and stretch with my calves. (Big mistake, see run.) I passed one person on the bike. And that was at the end of the second lap, when I was pushing it.
Elena passed me a little bit past halfway through the first loop. I tried to keep up with her, but she was too strong and pushing a good cadence that my power output wouldn't match. We shall speak no more of it.
What would you do differently?:

Get a road bike. Or better cranks and gear ratios. And aero bars. Def aero bars. I just wanted to bend and lean on my mountain bike bar, my arms were killing me.
And drink more. My bottle cage was new, and very very tight. I couldn't get my bottle out once.
Transition 2
  • 02m 35s

I stumbled dismounting the bike. The seat nailed me and I almost fell, lost my bearings. But ran in, racked it the long way, unbuckled and tied running shoes. Thinking I'd need the nutrition, I pounded a hammer gel, which never helped do anything but cramp my stomach. Put on the "cho pat" strap for my knee, and was off. See ridiculous looking picture!
Lynn was there cheering on T2, just like t1. Mel and the family were there as I biked in and ran by out.
What would you do differently?:

Take the get in T1. No knee strap. Lack Locks or Yankz or SOMETHING.
  • 36m 38s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 11m 47s  min/mile

I started out strong. Pretty strong, I thought. Andy passed me on his return just as I was heading out, good motivation, high fives. Person in front of me smelled horrible though, so as much as I tried to draft (which I also don't know how to do) I couldn't stand the smell. So I slowed my pace a bit and let the person get ahead, then my calves cramped. Both of them just stopped.

At that point though, I was about 3/4 mile in, under 2 hours, thinking, "I can finish." (It's nice that the horrible quit thoughts of the swim were gone.) I kept trying to job, but my legs weren't working right. So I decided to walk, even if it meant walking to the end. I passed Elena at this point, she was still going strong. High fives all round.

The walking helped my calves, surprisingly enough. It stretched them out nicely, and with a couple water stops, I made it halfway. There I stopped, stretched my legs, then began a slow jog back up to the finish. I figured I could run at least 1 1/2 miles. I jogged for a bit, walked for a bit, and at mile 2 I jogged it out. I had taken my strap off and was trying to compensate for my knee, anticipating the pain that usually comes at mile 1 1/2. It started acting up with 1/2 mile to go, but at that point I could hear the music, and was determined to finish.

I know it sounds goofy, but there is nothing like that final chute. The music, the name on the loudspeaker. It's only a Sprint, but I felt like I was the king of the world. I ran through that last bit with the strong pace I trained at, all tiredness gone, goosebumps all over, very very glad I didn't quit. I heard my wife and family cheering, Andy and Elena cheering, pushing me through the finish.

Thanks guys, I couldn't have done it without you.

What would you do differently?:

I don't know. I couldn't control what happened, I just had to survive. I guess I would stretch a lot sooner than I did to help the pain, but who knows if I would have had to stop again.
Post race
Warm down:

Powerade. Took off timing chip right away, and just bent over and breathed. (I'm still feeling the pain of breathing.) Hugged my family and fellow triathletes. That's all I needed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Didn't train enough, obviously. Didn't have all the proper/necessary equipment.
Will be remedied for the next race though. (And there will be another race.)

Event comments:

For my first Triathlon, this was perfect. It pushed me my limits and made me break through them, on the swim, bike AND run. Each one was a different challenge. Thank you to all the BT'ers that helped me train, and gave me inspirational stories about your own races that helped me not to quit.

And if you don't mind, I'm going to call myself a Triathlete.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-02-28 12:00 AM
00:28:45 | 820 yards | 03m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 22/22
Overall: 364/
Performance: Average
Suit: Billabong 3/2 Surf Wetsuit
Course: Odd shaped Triangle
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:38
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:54:41 | 14 miles | 15.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/22
Overall: 348/
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Flat, two 7 miles loops. HAd rained the night before, some puddles, some bumps, but overall smooth
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:35
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:36:38 | 03.11 miles | 11m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/22
Overall: 348/
Performance: Below average
Course: Flat, subdivision, shady.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5