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Stanford Treeathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Stanford, California
United States
Stanford University Triathlon Team
Total Time = 1h 46m 14s
Overall Rank = 380/413
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 12/14
Pre-race routine:

I went to bed a little after midnight and actually managed to sleep a little, unlike last time. Shizu spent the night on my couch, and we both got about about 5:15 a.m. and ate some toast with peanut butter. We picked up Annie and Michael and then drove the 45 minutes to Redwood City. We should have left earlier, because with parking and then walking my bike to the start, I didn't get to the transition area until about 6:50, and pretty much all the spots were taken. I finally found a place at almost the very end of the transition area, but I didn't like having to hunt for it.

I was in line for the bathroom when they started the pre-race meeting. At the end of the meeting they announced that several athletes were missing the metal plug things that go on the ends of the handlebars, and I was one of them! Which sucked, because I knew they were going to be looking for those things and I'd checked my bike just the night before. I later found out that it had fallen off at my car. Anyway, I went to the on-scene bike mechanic to get a new one, but that meant I lost my place in the bathroom line and there was no time to go before the race. Ugh.

Anyway, before long they said they were going to be closing off the transition area in a few minutes, so even though my start time was still about 45 minutes away I got into my wetsuit. They were serious about shutting down the transition area and we were all herded out. I walked out with my support team (yay team!) and we watched the first swim group get in the water. I was getting nervous!
Event warmup:

When they called my swim wave I said goodbye to my friends and joined my group walking down to the pier. A bunch of us sat at the edge of the pier and dipped are legs in the water. Some poor woman slipped on the pier and fell in the water! All we heard was a scream and a splash and there she went (she was fine). After a few minutes women started hopping into the water so I jumped in too. I bobbed around for a little while, ducking my head occasionally and just getting used to the temperature (someone said the water was 45 F). Once I felt OK I swam a few strokes, but that was about it.
  • 24m 10s
  • 547 yards
  • 04m 25s / 100 yards

As per many suggestions here at BT, I started at the back and to the side. By the time I got in the water I didn't feel nervous at all, just ready to go. It didn't take me long to get into a rhythm, and sighting was *much* easier than OWS practices because all I had to do was look for the big group of people splashing ahead of me. Plus, the buoys were big and bright.

Overall, I really felt fine on the swim. I didn't have to stop at all, and I even passed a few people (mostly early on, but I don't think many of them passed me later). Of course I was slow, but I didn't worry about the people around me and just did my own thing. There was one woman breast stroking who I couldn't seem to get away from for awhile -- I kept bumping into her. There was also one very brief point about the middle of the swim where I felt tired and just wanted to stop, but I calmed down and got back into my rhythm and got over it. Still, I was so happy to see the end and hit that ramp out of the water.

My friends later told me that one woman in my wave was plucked out of the water. I also heard several racers say later that the water was really choppy and they swallowed a lot of water. I didn't think it was particularly bad, and I didn't swallow much water, but I did feel like I inhaled a little because I noticed it rattling in my chest for most of the rest of the race.

The swim time must have included the transition too, because I know I'm not *that* slow (and also, the first-place swimmer had a time of about 9:30, which would be way slow). Also, the swim was the only thing I managed to time on my watch, and I had about 17 minutes.
What would you do differently?:

Not a lot, honestly. I felt fine, I didn't panic, and I didn't come in last! For my first swim race, I'm perfectly happy with this.
Transition 1
  • 00m

The transition included a 200-yard barefoot run from the water. Not fun! It was rough pavement and my feet were freezing. I walked at first just to shake off the disorientation from the water, then jogged the rest of the way to my bike. I'd pulled off the top of my wetsuit when I saw the photographer and realized I was standing there in my sports bra. Heh. Not that I mind, it just seemed like a silly photo.

This transition took too long, if my watch time is accurate (17 minutes for swim, 24 minutes total, so seven minutes in transition?). It didn't seem like I struggled with the wetsuit, but I should practice taking it off anyway.

I grabbed a gel and ran out with my bike.
What would you do differently?:

Practice taking off the wetsuit.
  • 50m 15s
  • 12.43 miles
  • 14.84 mile/hr

And here's where things started to fall apart. I immediately felt *wasted* on the bike, just really tired. People were flying by me on their fancy bikes, and I hardly passed anyone. I never felt like I got a good pace going and just felt tired and awful pretty much the whole time. I kind of psyched myself out toward the end of the bike, thinking about how I was going to do double the distance at my next race. But I kept pushing that thinking aside because it was pointless, obviously.

It was pretty windy and on one of the long straightaways we were riding into a pretty hard headwind that only got worse with each lap. Other than that, the conditions were fine. I stayed on the middle ring the whole time, which sucks (last race I was on the big ring). My hands started getting really numb about halfway through the ride, and not because of the cold. Clearly I need a bike fitting because that can't be normal.

Just like with the swim, I'm assuming the transition time was included in our bike time (the first-place biker only hit 22 mph, which is pretty slow considering it was a very flat, straight course). But I forgot to hit the lap button so I have no clue how long it really took me.

I had a great cheering section, and that was wonderful. Shizu and Annie stationed themselves up the street a bit and would call me a rock star every time I passed by, and then Henry, Michael and Shannon were at the main intersection yelling. I love having my fans there!
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, I don't know why the bike was so awful this time. I definitely need to get out and do more biking on the street, and do more routes that are just flat, constant cycling (rather than lots of up and down). But I shouldn't have struggled this much.

I'm going in for a bike fitting next week. I'm also going to go clipless finally. Eep!
Transition 2
  • 00m

I felt so sluggish after the bike. I mostly walked my bike through the long path between dismount and where my bike was racked.
What would you do differently?:

Run a little, despite feeling so tired.
  • 31m 48s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 10m 16s  min/mile

I don't even know what to say here. This is the worst run I've had in, wow, I don't even know. Well over a year. I felt awful by this time and I was frankly just determined to run the whole thing. I'm glad I did, but still, this is crazy. I felt out of breath pretty much the whole time, no matter how slow I was going. I never got over the post-bike shakiness (usually it takes me half a mile or so when I'm doing bricks). I was on my second lap before I realized I wasn't breathing like I normally do (timed to my footfalls) or looking at the ground a few feet ahead, which is how I usually run. I was just all out of sorts.

They offered water on the laps section of the run but I didn't take any because I didn't want to break the weak rhythm I'd developed. I was afraid if I even slowed down I'd never be able to start again.

When I was done with the loops and started toward the finish, my friends were posted at several spots along the route and yelling for me to push hard because the end was near. I did speed up, but I couldn't see the finish and before long I just felt sick and had to slow down again. It was terrible!
What would you do differently?:

I have no idea. Running has been my strength all along, and even on my worst days I always run way faster than this.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around the finish area for a bit and grabbed some water and a banana. Took pictures with friends. Watched Henry chow down on the bagels that were supposed to be for the athletes. *g* Shizu bought me a race belt!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Now here's the question. I've been trying to figure out why this race was so bad, and here are some possibilities:

1) The swim, obviously. That was the main difference between this race and my race in November (and the many bricks I've done). But I have a hard time believing the swim alone would have wasted me this much.

2) Training. I'm training for the oly, and I did this race just as I was coming off of a peak intensity weak. I'd had several rough workouts in the past week so clearly I was tired. Maybe the race was just a little too much for my body?

3) Nutrition. Maybe I just need to eat a little more before the race?

4) Just one of those days. Bad races happen, right?

Anyway, I'm trying not to take this as a bad sign for my oly. And honestly, I'm thrilled to have finished my first full triathlon, and I did have a lot of fun. If I hadn't had such a great race in November, I don't know that I'd be bothered by my time in this one at all. But knowing that I can do a lot better and that I've been working so hard definitely makes the results here frustrating. Especially the run. Because seriously, what the hell???

Event comments:

This was a fun race. It was much lower-key than the one in November, but that makes sense since it's mostly a fundraiser for the Stanford tri team. It's a little annoying that they didn't break out transition times, but otherwise, everything seemed well run.

Last updated: 2008-02-06 12:00 AM
00:24:10 | 547 yards | 04m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 13/14
Overall: 373/413
Performance: Average
Course: A straight line from one pier to another.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:50:15 | 12.43 miles | 14.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/14
Overall: 361/413
Performance: Below average
Course: Three laps: two long straightaways and a wide loops around an office park. Very flat.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:31:48 | 03.1 miles | 10m 16s  min/mile
Age Group: 12/14
Overall: 386/413
Performance: Bad
Course: Short run to a business park, three laps around the park, then a short run back to the finish line. Very flat, mostly on roads.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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] 4

2008-03-03 10:18 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Stanford Treeathlon

2008-03-03 11:44 PM
in reply to: #1250533

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Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon

Hey there,
Congrats! You finished your first race! Learn from it and improve.

I did the treeathlon, too. I swallowed a little bit of the Bay water, too..
But it was a fun event

2008-03-04 1:14 AM
in reply to: #1250533

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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon
Hey, you finished, and you did well!  It's great that you can look back and see where you can make improvements the next time, and it will improve.  I am sure you had more adrenaline in your body than you know.  I am proud of you and am a big fan!!  Keep working hard and we will both Oly with grace later in the season......
2008-03-04 2:23 AM
in reply to: #1250533

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon

Wait, you had a super hot piglet comment on your RR? Now I don't feel sorry for you at all Tongue out

SUPER CONGRATS on finishing your first full tri. It's a vast accomplishment, one very few get to enjoy, even more so because you toughed it through not feeling on top of your game.

It was your first, but not your A race. It was a good one to get your funky mojo out of the way on. If you were not fresh and fast in your workouts this week, you were probably overtired. (And YOU, lassie, are in chronic sleep deficit anyway. Go sleep for a week now.)

2008-03-04 5:51 AM
in reply to: #1250533

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon
Way to stick it out when things were falling apart.  There's a lot to be said for he inner strength to hang in there when is sucked!  Good race, now on to some well deserved rest
2008-03-04 10:43 AM
in reply to: #1250533

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Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon
Nice job, Erin!! We'll do an OWS soon...

Congrats again on you race!

2008-03-04 7:18 PM
in reply to: #1250533

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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: Stanford Treeathlon

Erin - nice job on your RR!  You did a great job of finishing even though you didn't feel your best - you will be fine when it comes to your Oly

We are proud of you!

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