Nathans Sprint - TriathlonSprint

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Tempe, Arizona
United States
Nathans Triathlon
90F / 32C
Total Time = 1h 47m 49s
Overall Rank = 338/486
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 42/53
Pre-race routine:

Drank some coffee and ate a Powerbar and a banana before heading to Tempe. Being a sprint and having checked the bike in the day before, there really wasn't a lot of last minute packing and preparation to do. Jenna and I hung out with Cody and Adam before heading down to the water, and saw the rest of the gang (Rick, Tanya, Jen, Josh, and Paulette) right before the start.
Event warmup:

No real warmup - didn't have much time in the water before the start.
  • 30m 56s
  • 820 yards
  • 03m 46s / 100 yards

Terrible, terrible swim. I lost my composure at the very beginning (and this is the real mistake) never regained it. We found out the day before that wetsuits would not be allowed, so I started to fall off my game when I learned that. It didn't get better after getting in the water. The start was rushed and there was little time to get used to the water. It was very crowded and with the sun right in my eyes, I couldn't see a thing. I could hear the announcer loud and clear and was anticipating the next wave starting and being swum over by another group. About 200 yds in, my HRM fell off my wrist, so I had no idea what my heart was doing or how much time had passed. I slipped into survival mode and used breast and side stroke to get around the course. My breathing never got under control and I never calmed down. Between not being able to swim or breathe, I didn't really do any swimming as much as propelled floating for 750 meters.
What would you do differently?:

I'm going to have to start wearing ear plugs for all open water swim races - hearing the start of later waves only brings the panic again. They have worked well in other races where I have worn them. I am counting this as a throwaway swim, an aberration, and not a continuation of my open water problems, since I think I have gotten them under control for the most part - it was just a bad day. The thing I have learned is that when I do have a problem, I need to be able to put it aside and move on. I don't have a very wide comfort margin to play with - I get thrown off easily. What I NEED to do in the future is when I run into an issue, I need get into some clear water, calm myself down and get into a normal swim. I gave up on my regular technique way too easily and soon in this race. I missed not having some time to get used to the water, and not being able to wear the wetsuit, but these are not valid excuses. I am a much better swimmer and I am much more comfortable in the water than I showed in this race.
Transition 1
  • 02m 16s

Transition was smooth and quick. I have learned that I can't balance myself to get my shoes and socks on, so I immediately sat down to get them on. This worked out well and I didn't lose much time.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing - I am satisfied with this transition and it was in the top half of the field.
  • 40m 42s
  • 13.86 miles
  • 20.43 mile/hr

Despite the course being crowded, I had a good bike segment. Unfortunately, my drink was still frozen at the beginning, so I didn't get a chance to drink anything until midway through the second lap. My speed was consistent, but passing was challenging. I felt strong and don't feel that I burned my legs out.
What would you do differently?:

I won't freeze my drink before the next event - since the weather is cooling down, there isn't enough time for it to melt before the bike start (although I gave it a LOT of extra time to melt during the swim!). I finished in the top 20% of the field for the bike, so I am happy with the performance - I made up a lot of time that I gave up in the water.
Transition 2
  • 01m 47s

The transition went smooth and was fairly fast. Once again, I just sat down to change shoes rather than trying to balance. This works for me, and I didn't lose much time. The transition was (barely) in the top half of the field.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing different - I got through the transition and was ready to run.
  • 32m 11s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 10m 23s  min/mile

The run was okay - not great. I was secretly hoping to come in under 30 minutes for the first time in an event, but didn't make it. It was a little hot and I felt that hy HR was running pretty high. I feel good about the pace, but I would have liked to have known what the time splits were and might have tried to push the pace if it was close to my goal - I was really missing my HRM during this portion. I saw Cody and said hello and met Rick toward the end - we ran together during the last half mile and he had a little kick left coming down the chute, so he went ahead.
What would you do differently?:

As it was a sprint, I might have been better off skipping a water stop or two. I slowed down to get a drink to avoid any hydration issues and probably lost a little time. It may be a better idea to just carry a water bottle instead of relying on the aid stations. I finished in the top half of the field for the run, so it was a good effort.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with the other sprinters to cheer on the olympic distance people during the run.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

A rough swim, crowded course, and flying blind as far as HR and time data. I am used to being able to monitor the time as I go, and not having that information and going entirely by feel probably hurt.

Event comments:

Although there are some bright spots, this was not the race I was hoping it would be. I really wanted this to be a 'statement' race, where I put everything together and really showed what I can do on a good day. I had adopted the mantra 'leave no doubt' for this race. I wanted to erase the problems that I have had in previous races and demonstrate that I have learned and improved all the way around - decisively. I didn't entirely come through as my run was a little off what I wanted and the swim was a disaster. However, it was, overall, a good race. Since the swim was a terrible, my overall placement suffered and I came close to wriggling out of the back of the pack into the middle third (70th percentile). All of the other numbers look good. My transitions and run were all in the top half, and the bike was in the top 20%. I'll still have to wait for the 'put it all together' race, but maybe I'm getting closer. I need to put the swim out of my mind. I can't have it haunting me at Pumpkinman and Soma. I can swim in open water and I will at those races. I just need to get my head straight, stay calm, and do what I know I can do. At the upcoming events, I don't have time to mess around in survival mode - I need to get in there and SWIM to make the cutoffs. That means no more messing around. That means no more succumbing to panic attacks. That means no more letting everyone go ahead until there's no one left to throw me off. If I experience an HR spike or hyperventilation, I can flip over or grab a kayak, get it over with, calm down, and move on. I have to remember that the swim is being timed as well - I have fallen too easliy into 'the race begins when I get out of the water' way of thinking. I don't have try to be blazing fast or expend too much energy, but I need to go at a comfortable pace in the neighborhood of where I train. If I do this, I can have the races that I want to have.

Last updated: 2008-06-18 12:00 AM
00:30:56 | 820 yards | 03m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/53
Overall: 338/486
Performance: Bad
None - lost HRM
Suit: None
Course: Out under bridges to first buoy, across to second buoy, back under bridges to third buoy and into the finish.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:16
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:40:42 | 13.86 miles | 20.43 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/53
Overall: 96/486
Performance: Good
None - no watch or HRM
Wind: None
Course: Crowded but flat. Able to get good speed but maneuvering through the crowds and passing was difficult.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:47
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:32:11 | 03.1 miles | 10m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/53
Overall: 238/486
Performance: Average
No HRM or watch.
Course: On the path around the lake; a couple of small inclines
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4