The Day at the Beach Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Hermosa Beach, California
United States
Total Time = 1h 12m 41s
Overall Rank = 205/695
Age Group = 36-40
Age Group Rank = 38/79
Pre-race routine:

First triathlon, so I couldn't really sleep ... very excited. I made an idiot mistake on Friday night by playing soccer with my work co-ed rec team, and I took a knee in the middle of my left quad that had me limping all day Saturday. I was really on the fence about whether or not I'd even be able to race, but I'd been working so hard for this that I figured I'd leave it up to how I felt right before race time.

Woke up at 4:00am (tried not to wake up the wife and kids in the same hotel room), took 4 extra strength Tylenol, and started stretching my quads. Still to early to do anything, so I went down to the lobby, had a coffee (#1, this will be important later!), and used the house computer to check yesterday's football scores. Not happy :)

Headed down to Starbucks by the pier to hopefully meet some BTers ... didn't happen. Had coffee #2. Went to the racks, set up, rubbed IcyHot all over my quad and got into my wetsuit to warm up. Went to Coffee Bean, had coffee #3 ...
Event warmup:

Ran down the beach to the start area, left leg seemed alright. Confident I could do the race. Jumped in the water and it was freaking COLD!!! Swam out a bit, felt good, swam back and got in with my AG.
  • 11m 40s
  • 440 yards
  • 02m 39s / 100 yards

Don't know what happened, I'm usually very comfortable out there. Got a good start, wasn't overrun by anyone, didn't freak out with the number of bodies hitting the water. But it was cold. And I had too much caffeine. 4 Extra Strength Tylenol couldn't have been helping either.

First time jitters, whatever ... I couldn't swim. Had a real hard time catching my breath, and breast stroked after the first turn. Relaxed a bit, swam about half way, kept going with a mixture of free and breast strokes. Not good.

Happy to make it to the beach because I wasn't sure if I was going to. Walked a bit to catch my breath, then jogged up to T1.
What would you do differently?:

Drink less coffee, relax, just find my groove.
Transition 1
  • 03m 38s

Long-ish run in from the beach, but not too bad. Suit came off fine, sat down to dry my feet, got my socks and shoes on without problem. Put on a cycling jersey over my tri-suit, and glad I did because it was a bit chilly. Race belt on, helmet and glasses on, and a jog through T1 to the bike start.
What would you do differently?:

Maybe move faster, but I was in no hurry. Still catching my breath and trying to recover after a crappy swim.
  • 28m 13s
  • 10 miles
  • 21.26 mile/hr

Fun ride. Very flat, but narrow. Not real conducive to passing, especially heading south. Got bumped outside the cones once while passing and the people in front of my were edging to the left. Got yelled at, but I only missed one cone and I'm thankful for not getting the DQ.

The second turn (on the south end) is kind of technical, and I could see that it might cause problems. I thought it was fun :)

Saw one crash that was pretty bad, but it was cleared by my next time around. Fun group out there on the bikes, and I found a couple of guys to "push" with. Passed a lot of people, lapped a couple, and felt good overall.

Just to add, after a bad swim, the bike really helped me calm down and actually enjoy myself! :)
What would you do differently?:

Could have gone a lot faster. I had read that the northbound part of the course was a "false flat", so I think I paced a bit too much in anticipation of a climb. Never happened. Not a challenging course, and I should have ripped it up harder.
Transition 2
  • 01m 35s

No problems. Caught my breath and headed out slowly.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing to change ... I don't think.
  • 27m 33s
  • 3 miles
  • 09m 11s  min/mile

I went into this knowing that the run was not my strength, and I was still worried about my left leg. My initial goal--before hurting myself playing soccer--was to run a 10 minute mile pace. Do that, and I consider this a major victory for someone who really, really doesn't like to run!

Took off slow, knowing that speed would come. Legs felt wobbly after the bike, but no soreness from the left quad. Good sign.

Really, I just took my time. About a quarter mile in, I really, really had to go to the bathroom, but I knew that if I stopped, I would have a real hard time getting started again. Luckily, there are no pit stops along the way ... at least none that I saw.

Just kept at it, didn't try to sprint or outdo myself by trying to pace faster runners and kept the pier in sight. Once I saw the people lined up and cheering everyone on, I knew I'd made it ... only to find the sick joke of having to turn onto the beach for the last 20 meters or so and having to run through the sand. I though, you've got to be kidding me! :)

Saw the wife and two kids along the ropes and they were cheering me on, and I was so proud to have them there! Great feeling!!!

Run felt really slow, but apparently I did a 9+ minute mile ... MAJOR VICTORY!
What would you do differently?:

Train harder (did I mention that I suck at running?), drink less coffee.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk back to hotel.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Where do I begin? Bum leg, too much coffee, not enough sleep ... good time had, though.

Event comments:

I rated this "Best", because it's my one and only. They really went out of their way to stress that this was a beginner's race, and that helped a lot. Good, easy swim. Flat bike course, though somewhat technical. Straight run. Didn't stick around for post race activities, but it didn't look like much was going on other than a few tents on the beach. A shower and more coffee sounded better :)

Last updated: 2008-10-12 12:00 AM
00:11:40 | 440 yards | 02m 39s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/79
Overall: 0/695
Performance: Below average
Suit: QR
Course: Out, north, in.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:38
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:28:13 | 10 miles | 21.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/79
Overall: 0/695
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Pretty easy, small climbs here and there, but not even really "rolling". Mostly flat northbound, some downhill speed heading south. Too narrow at times, and technical turnarounds. Oh yeah, cross traffic with northbound riders meeting the first-lappers turning left into the course, and third-lappers turning left to finish the course is pretty dangerous. If you're moving and don't know where to go, this could get ugly. This is where I saw the one wipe out.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:27:33 | 03 miles | 09m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/79
Overall: 0/695
Performance: Good
Course: Mostly an out and back with a small flight of stairs kind of in the middle.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5