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MUSF - My First Tri! - TriathlonSprint

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Oxford , Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
59F / 15C
Total Time = 1h 46m 12s
Overall Rank = 434/589
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 21/21
Pre-race routine:

Seeing this was my first race I don't have a routine. I did arrive early and set up my transition area. I was able to pick my bike spot since I was there so early and chose the outside of my rack which gave me a little more room than those on the inside of the rack. After that I walked around and took in the sights.
Event warmup:

Not much of a "warmup" person so all I really did was some stretching.
  • 19m 20s
  • 437 yards
  • 04m 25s / 100 yards

The swim, which is my weakness didn't go so well, but I finished. It was a pool swim where they sent people every 3-5 seconds. Being #553 I had the opportunity to watch how others performed first. I kept telling myself to stay to the right and focus on breathing. I knew I wouldn't be able to swim the 400 meters non stop freestyle as I would like to. My plan was to stop at the end of each lap, catch my breath and do the next. The other alternative was to keep swimming with any stroke I could. This is the technique most of the less experienced swimmers chose, so I decided to do the same which was my first mistake. I should have stuck with what I had prepared for.

Once they called my number and I jumped in, my first thought was "here we go"! I finished the first lap, caught my breath and started lap two. About midway through lap two I became very winded but finished it freestyle. The next 5 laps I did 3/4 of the lap freestyle and then finished with my version of the back stroke. Since I was at the back of the pack and most of the remaining people had passed me, I had the lanes pretty much to myself. Getting to the half way point (lap 4) felt great and I knew I was going to finish at that point.

As I was ready to start my last lap I looked up to the viewer stands where only about five people remained, one of which was my younger daughter! That gave me a big boost and I swam the entire last lap freestyle.

What a great feeling to finish. I caught myself wanting to catch my breath, but then it hit me I needed to get on my bike!

P.S. - Since the race started in waves in the pool, by the time I exited the pool the leaders were entering T2! Talk about a dose of reality!
What would you do differently?:

I am a fairly stubborn person who was determined to swim the entire distance freestyle, because "that is the way it is supposed to be done". Until I get to that point (and I will get to that point), I will develop a second stroke to use. My goal on my next race is to complete the swim without stopping no matter the stroke and then transition to completing the swim freestyle without stopping, and them competing for time!

Relax, stay with what you can do. It is you against the water at this point. Don't worry about anyone else in the water.

Transition 1
  • 02m 48s

The distance between the end of the swim and T1 was a little longer than anticipated. Since completing the tri and not my time were most important to me I dried my self off. Yes it is true that putting socks and a shirt on a wet body is a challenge.

I put on my HRM, but forgot to put on my watch. Next time I will just wear the watch to swim. I also forgot to put on my sunglasses, which turned out to be okay since it rained during the bike portion and I really didn't need them.
What would you do differently?:

Scout out the whole course including the distance between the end of the swim and my spot in T1. Now that I have experienced it once, I will focus on the transition areas a little more in my next race to improve some time. I can now see where this is a critical area for those concerned about time.

  • 49m 52s
  • 12.43 miles
  • 14.96 mile/hr

This is the strongest discipline of the three for me, so I was excited to get going. The swim was behind me! In the first mile I caught and passed a couple of people which helped build a little adrenaline. I focused on a good strong pace. I wanted to stay away from the thought that I had to catch all those people that passed me in the swim. Focus on what I can do and the road!

I am cruising along at a good clip for me, when I come to a rather large hill to go down. Unfortunately it was followed by an immediate hard turn so I couldn't use the hill to get up a lot of speed. Then a thought popped in my head. "What goes down must go up"! As I came around a curve and looked to my left, I saw PAIN awaiting. It was a huge hill and there were about 7 people walking their bike up the hill. I was determined to make it up without walking my bike, so I down shifted and just kept moving my legs. I honestly don"t know if I have ever had my front gear in "1" before. I made it up the hill, and the first thought was - "you idiot, how are you ever going to run 3.1 miles if you have no legs"!

Despite the rain, the course was beautiful. Out in the country with very little traffic. However, I was NOT prepared for how hilly it was. My entire training for this consisted of spinning classes in the winter and rides on my local bike path which is as flat as can be! This bike course was very challenging, which I liked.

I ended up passing a number of people and was not passed by anyone (kinda hard when I only left two people behind me in the pool).

The best part of the race was at the ten mile mark. My older daughter is a member of MUSF, which is the organization that put on the race. She and a friend were stationed there to direct and cheer on the participants. I think I got a little extra effort from her when I went by. It felt great!

It started raining hard at this point, which for some reason gave me a little boost, and I finished the bike strong.
What would you do differently?:

Without a doubt, I would find somewhere to train with hills! I was totally unprepared for it. Scout out the course prior to the race!

Eventually I would like to invest in a tri bike. I use a Trek Hybrid, which I like and it gets the job done.

Transition 2
  • 02m 47s

I expected rubber legs when I got off the bike, but actually felt good! I racked my bike, took of my helmet, changed socks, put on my shoes and my HRM watch (since I forgot in T1) and was off on the run. I changed socks because mine were soaking wet. I am glad I did as the dry socks felt good. I realize it took 30 seconds, but then again I wasn't on pace for a course record.
What would you do differently?:

At this point not a whole lot. As the transition areas become more crucial when time becomes more important for me I am sure I can find ways to be more efficient. For now I think it is a good time to take an extra 30 seconds to gather your self for the next discipline.
  • 31m 25s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 10m 06s  min/mile

The start of the run was a double edge sword in a way! I had the swim and the bike behind me and only had 30 minutes and 3.1 miles to go. On the other hand I had 3.1 miles to go. Ouch! I didn't have the rubber legs I expected, they just weren't moving very fast. As I began the run there were a number of participants who had already finished yelling words of encouragement. That really PUMPED me up. They could be getting a nice hot shower or eating or anything else, but they stayed to offer encouragement!

About midway through the run my legs were asking for a break and wanted to walk "just for a little bit". It was then that a lot of emotions came to mind. I remember the thread on BT about crying during a race. Not sure if I actually did, but it sure felt like it. All I could think about was the training I did for this race. Early morning, every weekend, on vacation, during lunch. I told myself I was not going to stop, and I kept going!

As I approached the turnaround it was very encouraging to have runners coming at me offer words of encouragement. When I got to the turnaround and started back I really started to feel like the end was near and I was really going to finish this.

There were a couple of points on the course where you had to step down a curb and then back up. the "back up" felt like it was a mountain! My legs were starting to get tight, but I just kept telling myself to keep them moving forward, and I did!

The biggest adrenaline boost of the day came when the Finish line first came into view. What a beautiful sight! My pace doubled and all that training I did had paid off!

The feeling I got when I was crossing the finish line with my family there cheering me and is indescribable. It's funny; one thing that crossed my mind was all the posts I had read on BT from all of you that said "make sure you smile". I didn't have to be reminded of this!

What would you do differently?:

For my first tri there isn't a whole lot I would do different. I probably could have trained more with bricks, but the weather this past winter and spring wasn't ideal.

Post race
Warm down:

Not much.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

At this point speed isn't a priority, so I am not sure. As I get to that point there are a number on things I can focus on. The swim would be priority #1, the run #2 and the transition areas #3.

Event comments:

This is a GREAT race! It is very well organized and the volunteers are awesome. To be out there that early in the morning in the cold rain and still have tons of energy is to be commended. Miami is a beautiful campus and the outskirts of Oxford is a great place for a bike ride.

They treat every talent level the same! The encouragement I received throughout the race was awesome!

I can't wait until next year!

Last updated: 2008-04-20 12:00 AM
00:19:20 | 437 yards | 04m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 21/21
Overall: 533/589
Performance: Below average
Suit: tri suit
Course: 50 meter pool.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:48
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
00:49:52 | 12.43 miles | 14.96 mile/hr
Age Group: 18/21
Overall: 290/589
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: VERY hilly! Was not expecting it. I thought the road conditions were okay, but I don't have a point of comparison with other races. There were a couple of very steep hills as well as a few long inclines. Very challenging but fair!
Road:  Wet Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:31:25 | 03.11 miles | 10m 06s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/21
Overall: 428/589
Performance: Average
Course: The course was through campus, which is one of the prettiest campus' there is. The only thing I didn't care for was it was run on the sidewalk.
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-04-20 12:58 PM

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: MUSF - My First Tri!
Well here it is everyone! My first report on my first Tri! I had an absolute blast! I can not wait for my next one.

The MUSF does a great job and kudos to all the volunteers! I can not wait until next years race.

Edited by jacasa 2008-04-20 1:17 PM

2008-04-20 2:33 PM
in reply to: #1349811

Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Very good, very good.

I am looking forward running mine and posting my race report.

Congrats, you are a triathlete.

2008-04-20 5:26 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Good Job! Sounds like you had a good time with your family. I was glad my family made it to my first event. You may want to edit your bike time. Now back to training.
2008-04-20 5:31 PM
in reply to: #1349811

Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Thanks for the report.

You did a great job! It looks like you overcame many of the fears you had mentioned in your various BT posts. No equipment or clothing malfunctions (besides the watch) and you ran without stopping. I bet you have a ton of confidence for your next race! Awesome!!
2008-04-20 8:00 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!

Great Job! I've followed your posts for a few weeks and was anxious to read how your race went.

I would work on improving the swim but not worry too much about it. On a sprint, your out of the water pretty quickly. If you go longer in the future, some Master's swim classes will help.

2008-04-20 8:03 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!

It's been a joy to read your posts here on BT and the lead-up to your first tri.


2008-04-20 8:55 PM
in reply to: #1350071

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Schrup - 2008-04-20 6:26 PM

Good Job! Sounds like you had a good time with your family. I was glad my family made it to my first event. You may want to edit your bike time. Now back to training.

Not until I take a few days off! LOL.
2008-04-20 9:23 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Great report and way to go!!! I have my first tri in a month. Reading reports from "newbies" certainly gives me a lot to think about. Congrats on competing and completing your first tri.
2008-04-20 10:27 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
GREAT!!  Congrats on becoming a triathlete!  
2008-04-21 7:15 AM
in reply to: #1349811

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Whoo Hoo!! Way To Go TRIATHLETE!!

The feeling I got when I was crossing the finish line with my family there cheering me and is indescribable. It's funny; one thing that crossed my mind was all the posts I had read on BT from all of you that said "make sure you smile". I didn't have to be reminded of this!

I'm glad to hear your enjoyed your first race!
You put out a great race report and I'm willing to bet you already have your next event marked on the calender (if not already signed up for it).

Keep at it
2008-04-21 10:16 AM
in reply to: #1349811

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Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Congratulations! I cry at my own races, but last weekend I cried when the first three heats were getting out of the pool, as they were mostly first-timers. Your race report was awesome to read, and I have to admit, my eyes are damp. Way to go!

2008-04-22 12:05 AM
in reply to: #1349811

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Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
great report and great job out there!

I also raced and was one of the first few people off the bike (i was the idiot racing in nothing but shorts with flames on them). it was a great day out there and nice to see so many folks toughing it out in the rain!

very good job and i hope to see you at another race soon!

as someone else mentioned, you may want to check back on the HFP site and update your times (you may have wrote this before they updated it), as some of the times have been changed to reflect the correct times.

2008-04-25 5:47 AM
in reply to: #1349811

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!

You did it! Congratulations on getting that first one behind you.

2008-05-02 4:27 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!

kudos to you for making it up that1st hill...i dream of going that fast on a bike one day!  enjoyed reading your race reports and your positive!!!

it must have been really emotional having your daughter there to watch!

congrats to us for finishing out 1st one!!

2008-05-03 9:08 PM
in reply to: #1349811

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Robbinsville NJ
Subject: RE: MUSF - My First Tri!
Great job finishing and officially becoming a Triathlete! I've enjoyed following your emotions and thoughts leading up to it. Way to go.
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