UCLA IronBruin Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Los Angeles, California
United States
UCLA Triathlon Club
67F / 19C
Total Time = 1h 30m 16s
Overall Rank = 156/260
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 3/14
Pre-race routine:

Sucked last night's cold coffee out of pot, straight. Drank water. Ate 1/2 goody-bag Myoplex bar on the way to race. Dear Dolores fetched me even though she was sick as a dog--and did the race anyway.
Event warmup:

Easy 500 in warm-up pool; treaded water lightly for a few min. waiting for wave to start.
  • 06m
  • 437 yards
  • 01m 22s / 100 yards

Outstanding, and about what I'd expect for the distance and type of course. Came 3rd out of water in wave (first 2 were relay).
What would you do differently?:

Be more aggressive in speed in rounding the buoys (treat them like walls--accelerate in and out). Push a little harder (stayed on the feet of the leaders/drafted); it's a sprint and it's okay to puke in T1. Oh, and hit my watch for a split.
Transition 1
  • 03m
What would you do differently?:

Remember to rack my bike in the direction I need to leave so that I don't have to walk around the whole rack (wasn't possible to duck under it). Time to move on to shoes clipped to bike already, too. I rolled my socks, but maybe need even looser ones--hard to pull on esp. w/nothing to hold on to for balance.
  • 50m 42s
  • 13.5 miles
  • 15.98 mile/hr

There was a lot of scary hype about the hills, and though I took them slower than I'd have liked, I felt very strong. I really loved the nature of the bike course--even hillier and steeper would have been great.

There was a 10-year-old doing his first triathlon, but he needed to know what ON YOUR LEFT means--when I said it to pass, he looked left, crossed right in front of me, and crashed into the bushes. I slowed down considerably, watched him crash, and though I felt bad about not stopping--you've got to know what ON YOUR LEFT means! (Also, some volunteers saw and were coming over).
What would you do differently?:

Put a different cassette on so that I have one more gear to spin up in. Train on hills more (not just in Spinning(R) class, although that did me very well). Be more aggressive in passing people on downhills before the braking bottlenecks at the turns. Blow my legs up a lot more--it's a sprint. Move quickly past an accident, even if it's one I caused (by following the rules!)
Transition 2
  • 03m

There was nowhere to rack my bike when I got there--I had to put my bike on the end of the rack, and then retrieve my running shoes out from under the bikes to put them on, no way to just slide my feet in. Transition hogs!!!
What would you do differently?:

Yankz/bungees on shoes--doesn't really matter how they're laced for a sprint (I usually use butterfly lacing, which lends itself poorly to Yankz).
  • 27m
  • 2.75 miles
  • 09m 49s  min/mile

A wonderful achievement--ran the entire run, no walking. May have been faster with walk breaks, but I doubt it. This is by far the fastest run pace I've hit for a race.
What would you do differently?:

Run the course beforehand. I would have pushed harder on the uphill if I knew the rest was downhill, and zoomed the downhill more.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around. Tried not to yak. Ate a bit of bagel and coffee with lots of cream and sugar, then drank some free energy drink. Ran in with Jocelyn, then Dolores. It was a pleasure to meet Cash Mason and chat with him for a bit as we waited for runners coming in near the finish line.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight, no recent familiarity with course, better bike handling skills to not get caught behind slower riders on turns, better T1 planning, T2 rack hogs. Slept wrong on left knee and woke up with it tweaked. Stayed up way too late carousing and was a bit sore from Friday evening. Too much bike volume this week.

I'm not going to whine about how I was negligent, and the transitions and bike course turns sucked, and how if I were less of an idiot and the course were better planned, I'd at least have the 16s to break 1:30, if not 2min to have hardwared in the 31-50 age group. (Ha, there, I just did). As it is, I placed 3rd in 30-39 (in case you missed that in the numbers up top :)), and I hauled azz.

Bottom line: the race was fantastic, and so was I. I am much more confident about being prepared for and able to finish CA 70.3 now.

I've come a long way from when I did this, my first tri, in 2005. (Different course but it seems the overall/winning division times were roughly comparable). I went from 2:12 to 1:30. Back then, I finished 7th to LAST (2nd last in my division).

Event comments:

Packet pickup was very smooth and the goody bag/contents was the best ever.

The swim was a no-worse cluster fcuk than most open-waters, though slower swimmers (like slower bikers) should have been advised to stay to the outside. It is a bit bizarre in a sprint to have first/last waves 2 hrs apart. It means the slower runners in the latter waves will have to run in traffic.

Bike course was hilly and technical; even a few inches or a foot wider on the 90-degree turn lanes at the bottom of downhills would have been very helpful. For safety, no passing on turns is important, but it was very frustrating, not to mention dangerous, to get stuck behind a bunch of bikers riding their brakes and weaving on those end turns.

No mile markers and no water on the run.

Volunteers were very plentiful, very helpful, and just rocked.

End-of-race expo was small but wonderful. Food was good and plentiful. Raffle was neat and more giveaways for all at the end.

Overall, a very well-planned and executed race (especially for what was essentially now an inaugural race).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-03-02 12:00 AM
00:06:00 | 437 yards | 01m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/260
Performance: Good
Swim split incl. T1 was ~9:00, and I remember seeing the time of day on my watch when I got out but not being able to hit a split (duh, 'cause I wasn't on Chrono!) Looked at watch again as I left bike--about 3 min. later.
Suit: Trisuit
Course: Counter-clockwise around buoys along the outer edge of a pool.
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:00
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:50:42 | 13.5 miles | 15.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/260
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Four laps; mostly uphill or downhill. Screaming downhills all followed by sharp 90-degree turns in narrow lanes.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 03:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:27:00 | 02.75 miles | 09m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/260
Performance: Good
Course: Uphill the first half and downhill the second; one loop.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5