Hy-Vee Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Des Moines, Iowa
United States
Premier Event Management
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 31m 57s
Overall Rank = 281/1403
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 35/151
Pre-race routine:

Slept at Rob's house. Got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep, which, amazingly enough, was more than I had the previous two years since I wasn't in a hotel room with the kids and the wife. Got up at 3 AM, took a quick shower to wake up, ate two bananas and then drove to Valley West mall. Got on what I think was the first shuttle and got to the site right at 4 AM. Interstingly enough, they weren't ready yet for the body marking so we had to wait. I think I ended up being the second one to get marked for what it's worth. Then went to pick up my chip where they also weren't totally ready yet but that took a minute and I was the first to get their chip. Then off to the transition area to get set up.
Event warmup:

Did an easy 1.5 mile jog, listened to some music, then did a brief swim before they got us lined up to go.
  • 31m 50s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 56s / 100 yards

We lined up in a fairly compact space compared to last year (maybe 75 feet wide). I was on the far left (the first buoy was on the right). There was a man who had his video camera on a tripod right in front of me about 5 feet in the water. The athlete I was next too and I decided that we'd go to the left of him and get comfortable in space. When the gun sounded, we did just that. My original plan was to go hard the first 100 yards or so to avoid the mass of humanity but I just couldn't get going so I just went at a reasonable pace. I made there turn at the first buoy and was okay, but after that, I really struggled and never got entirely comfortable in the water. Soon after I got that, "What the hell am I doing out here?" feeling and so I had to flip over on my back to calm myself down. Once I did that, I began swimming again but was zig-zagging all over the place. When I did finally get somewhat comfortable, I didn't/couldn't push it too hard since upper body was somwhat spent with all the trashing around and I still had a long ways to go. This time is 14 seconds slower than when the race was not wet suit legal 2 years ago which I would have never thought that would have been the case going into the race. The bottom line is I need to practice OWS.
What would you do differently?:

Practice OWS. I did so two or three times before this tri two years ago. Last year I didn't do any, but because it was wet suit legal, I was fine. I figured that I would be fine this year and that obviously was not the case.
Transition 1
  • 01m 53s

I was very happy to be back on land. I wanted to take it easy and catch my breath, but then I recalled my plan to go hard during the transitions since obviously they are part of the overall time, but it is something that people take it easy during.
What would you do differently?:

I think the only way I could get faster during T1 is to clip my shoes on my bike so I wouldn't have to put them on during the actual transition (that and not wear socks but I don't think I'm going to do that any time soon). My hesitation with clipping my shoes in is that I have three straps that fold to the inside (when they are not velcroed, as opposed to triathlon bike shoes that have one strap that folds to the outside) so I'm woried that one will get stuck in the chain or something. Maybe new triathlon bike shoes will be a Christmas present for me this year.
  • 1h 11m 49s
  • 40 kms
  • 33.42 km/hr

I struggled on the first half of the bike as well. My legs were pretty tired from the swim and my right hammy was tight throughout the ride. I hit the 20 k point at something like 38:30 so that means I dropped the hammer (well at least as well as I could) for the second 20 k and did that in just over 33 minutes. I figured I would make up some time there since the first half was into a mild wind and had more ups than downs (I'm sure this was probably the case for almost everyone). Took two gels on the bike, one at about 5 k and one at about 25 k (I had told Rob the night before hand that if I bonked during the race, it wasn't going to be because of nutritional reasons). Still, I need to spend more time in the saddle. This time was exactly 1 minute slower than my bike time two years ago, which again, I never thought that would have been the case since I felt this was overall a flatter course. Also, I had that this was slightly over 25 miles. I thought it was odd that we hit the 20 k marker and had to keep going another 1/4 km or so considering the course was an out and back but oh well.
What would you do differently?:

More bike training. Including this race, I'm not even at 40 hours on the bike. Need to spend more time in the saddle if I want to get faster. Also, I told Rob and Tyler that this would be the last time I did the Hy-Vee with my road bike. It has been a good introductory road bike for three years now, but I am committed to getting a tri bike by next spring.
Transition 2
  • 00m 58s

I continued with my theme of going hard during the transitions and got in and out fast. Having a sense of urgency helps.
What would you do differently?:

  • 45m 29s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 19s  min/mile

Finally, a discipline that I did well in. I started out hard and continued that way (for me) throughout most of the run. The run actually seemed to go by pretty quick from a mental persective. My previous run times at this race were 46:22 (1st year) and 46:12 (last year, on much of the same course), so definate improvement. My (approximate) splits were as follows:

Mile 1- 6:54 (pretty good for coming off of the bike but I tried pushing hard right away so I wouldn't be left with too much left in the tank and regretting it later).
Mile 2- 7:18 (starting to climb the first big hill)
Mile 3- 7:35 (finished climbing the first big hill and then down the other side and then beginning to climb another decent size hill up to Southwoods. My right hammy was started to tighten up here and I thought I was in trouble but it went away fairly quickly)
Mile 4- 7:07 (down the hill from Southwoods to the turn around point, and back up to Southwoods. Took a gel at exactly the 5 k point to get me home)
Mile 5- 7:30 (climbing the hill last hill, pretty big and challenging at this point of the race, both of my quads were starting to cramp here and my feet were on fire. I just kept looking at the Garmin telling myself only so much distance to go after each minute passed)
Mile 6- 6:41 (mostly down the other side of the big hill and giving it all I had which wasn't much at this point
Remaining .21 miles- 2:19 (I tried pushing harder but just didn't have it in me to go any faster
What would you do differently?:

Probably nothing during the run itself, but as always, more training, especially more bricks after my training rides.
Post race
Warm down:

After I crossed the finish line, I had to stop just stand there with my hands on my knees for a good 30 seconds as I was pretty well spent (not to the point of collapsing but I didn't have a lot left in me). Got some water, meet up with Rob and Tyler, walked around, hand an ice cream sandwich and some chocolate chip cookies and just took in the aftermath.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Problems in the swim.
Not having done as much bike training as I would have liked to have done/should have done for this type of race.

Event comments:

This is just an awesome race. Hy-Vee continues to improve each year which is amazing considering how well the race is already. I just wish that this wouldn't be my first tri of the season always.
Finally, a big thanks to Rob and Tyler for their hospitality this weekend and for getting up early themselves to come cheer me on. I know how much it hurt them to not be able to race this one for their different reasons but it really meant a lot to me. Plus I know they will be right back where they should be next year, lined up next to me on the far left of the swim start!

Last updated: 2008-10-14 12:00 AM
00:31:50 | 1640 yards | 01m 56s / 100yards
Age Group: 54/151
Overall: 0/1403
Performance: Below average
Suit: Speed suit
Course: Straight for about 75 yards, 90 degree right turn, out for about 750 yards and then back again.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:53
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:11:49 | 40 kms | 33.42 km/hr
Age Group: 58/151
Overall: 0/1403
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Pretty much an out and back. A fair amount of ups and downs, but never just a huge hill that you had to tackle.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:58
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:45:29 | 06.21 miles | 07m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 24/151
Overall: 0/1403
Performance: Good
Course: Had three pretty big hills and a fourth minor hill that were challenging but that also meant we had all those hills to come down as well. Otherwise fairly flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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