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Pokagon State Park Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Angola, Indiana
United States
Tri Fort Triiathletes
53F / 12C
Total Time = 2h 38m 2s
Overall Rank = 21/83
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 4/13
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5:30
banana, plain bagel w/peanut butter, Powerade
packed car and on the road by 6:15
finished powerade by 7:00, my eating cutoff time until pre-race GU.
arrived at 7:45
plenty of time to unpack car, get marked, set-up transition
Event warmup:

some jogging between setting up transition and pre-race meeting
Espresso Love GU and water before heading down to the water at 8:55.
2x50m easy swims to get used to the water temp
2x10m quick sprints in the water to get juices flowing.
warmed-up by peeing in suit...
  • 27m 21s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 49s / 100 meters

I lined up in front and started out a bit agressive with the fasties. I'm much more confident going into races this year than last. I ran, dolphin-dived and got swimming nicely off to a good start. I was up with the big boys as we rounded the first bouy; still in the thick of the sharp end and got pummeled, kicked, goggles knocked off. I ended up getting a little too jacked and my breathing got out of control.

I did the breast-stroke for about 20 seconds and settled my breathing down. It probably took another 200m of easy free-style to get my rhythm back and breathing under control. I tried drafting off some feet, but just didn't feel comfortable as I'd swim up onto to them, bump and get out of rhythm. I'm way more comfortable, swimming in open water.

By the time I got to the turn-around, I was feeling strong. I checked my watch and it said 13:30; faster than expected, especially given my start. Coming back, I settled and steadily built pace. I swam side-by-side some guy pretty much the whole way. It was like we were sharing a lane, bumping into each other every 50m or so. The final 200m, I picked it up a notch and kicked with a little more purpose and left that guy in my wake. I stepped out of the water and pressed the lap function on my HRM; the watched showed 25:54 - holy smokes!!!

I then had "the stairway of heaven" to run/jog up which added some time to my swim split and soared the heart rate into the 160's. Even though I placed well, I could have done much better. That's encouraging!

I couldn't swim 25 meters two and half years ago; now 1st in AG!?!?
What would you do differently?:

I need to settle into my swim better. I've read about the "race-specific" swim sets that have you go all out for 100-200m then settle in for 400m. I need to do some of these before my next race.
Transition 1
  • 02m 19s

I suck at transitions. I need to focus and remember that I'm still racing. I tend to relax too much in transition, even socialize. I'm a transition turd.

I took a Vanilla GU with water and put socks on in T1 to save time in T2. Read on, and see how that helped... NOT!

9th out of 13 in AG; 53rd overall.
What would you do differently?:

Just focus, get in, get out. I don't have tri-shoes and didn't feel comfortable placing my feet in the shoes on the ride. I practiced this on Friday, but didn't want to chance it on race day. My roadie shoes have straps that open TOWARDS the drive train - not something to risk on race day.
  • 1h 14m 34s
  • 24.9 miles
  • 20.04 mile/hr

I had a strong ride as I passed about 3 people in the first couple of miles. I got a couple more later on. I was passed by 3 guys in the first half of the race. Two Cervelo P3Cs and one Litespeed Blade. A couple other guys passed me on the second half, but I knew one of the them was the Duathlon overall winner. I averaged nearly 22mph on the first half almost exclusively in the big ring with cadence in the 95-100 range. I was movin'.

When I turned West to head back, the wind became quite evident. The majority of the second half was in the middle ring. Still I kept cadence near 90 and HR in the top end of Z3 to low Z4. However, I was pressing to average 18mph. My glutes were burning.
What would you do differently?:

I went pretty hard, maybe too hard. However, that was part of the plan.
Transition 2
  • 01m 13s

I got my feet out of my shoes before dismounting. This was the first race I've done this. (practiced on Friday night). Running to the rack is way easier without cycling shoes on! I lost my head again as I couldn't find my GU. After wasting seconds looking for my gel, I took a couple of swiggs of watered-down Powerade and headed out. It wasn't until I was off running that I realized my Gu's were on my racebelt. DUH!

Yes, I'm still a transition turd.

8th out of 13 in AG; 53rd overall.
What would you do differently?:

Just get my head out of my A$$ and think before entering transition area.
  • 52m 35s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 28s  min/mile

The first mile felt tough and I was shocked to see that I was on a 8:00 pace, as it felt faster/harder. I hoped to be running 7:30 per mile.

The next two were just brutal/demoralizing. I got passed at about 1.2mi by Brian (BT beadams) who from scouting his race reports, I knew was a stellar runner. Brian eventually took 3rd in our age group; edging me out of a podium spot. Well, more than edging... He smoked me on the run.

I developed a bit of a side-stich during mile two and just couldn't get my legs to turnover. Plus my lower back was hurting - poor core strength? My body and mind were not prepared to run. My HR was staying steady, but 8-10 bpm slower than where it was for my April half-marathon. Pressing on the bike through the wind and dealing with the ups and downs (mostly ups in miles 2 and 3) took a toll. Miles two and three clicked off at 8:19 amd 8:51.

Somewhere during the second half of mile 4, I started feeling better and managed an 8:45. As crappy as I was feeling, I was actually passing people; a couple were walking the steeper hills. Did I say it was a tough run? Miles 5 and 6 were sort of flat and I managed to pick it up a bit. However, at this point, I was on my own and knew there was no catching Brian. I managed 8:19's and passed a few more people, including a young guy that was struggling, grabbing his hamstring. The final 0.2mi included a big time climb that I made sure to run the whole way. Reflecting on the entire run, I could've gone harder, but just couldn't get my head into it. I didn't perform well mentally.
What would you do differently?:

I think I need to run some 5k's and 10k's to get used to "uncomfortable" running pace. My bike fitness was pretty weak coming into this race (under ten outdoor rides since Spring thaw) and pressing the bike against the wind probably had something to do with my performance along with a little HTFU.
Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed a water, chatted with Brian, did some light stretching. I scarffed down two pancakes (nice choice for post-race food).
I drove back home to catch end of daughter's dance receital and go out for ice-cream with the family.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Bike fitness and lack of "bricks"
Transition focus
Mental toughness on the run
Core strength hindering run

Event comments:

This is a great race and it's only in it's second year.
It's organized extremely well.
The venue is at a really nice state park - nice family destination.
The transition area has plenty of room on a flat, soft grass surface.
The swim is in a beautiful, clean lake (Lake James).
The bike course is nice, but roads were a little rough.
The run course is a gorgeous trail that BEATS YOU SILLY.
The post race food (pancakes) were great.
The AG and overall awards were nice plaques.
The swag was awesome too (technical tee, custom-printed beer glass, water bottle for bike, finisher's medal, Hammer Nutrition samples).
Plus the proceeds go to Pathways (crisis center for youth).
Good value at $60.

The event consisted of only 83 triathletes plus 17 duathletes this year (plus one team). It will definitely grow as it's a high quality race and few other choices this early in the season for an olympic-distance race.

Last updated: 2008-01-03 12:00 AM
00:27:21 | 1500 meters | 01m 49s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/13
Overall: 17/83
Performance: Good
Suit: sleeveless plus neoprene cap
Course: out and back, clockwise near shore
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:19
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:14:34 | 24.9 miles | 20.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/13
Overall: 22/83
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: The course was hillier and more technical (turns) than I expected. The wind definitely played a factor.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:13
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
00:52:35 | 06.21 miles | 08m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/13
Overall: 22/83
Performance: Below average
1) 7:59 w/AHR of 157 2) 8:19 w/AHR of 159 3) 8:51 w/AHR of 158 4) 8:45 w/AHR of 159 5) 8:19 w/AHR of 160 6) 8:19 w/AHR of 161 the last 0.2 consisted of a monster climb that got my HR up to 167 and took 2:03 which would be a 10:15 pace. I didn't feel like I was going THAT slow. Maybe it was a little longer than 0.2. Or it could've been that hill.
Course: All on trails, tons of hills, valleys, ravines... Considering the technical nature of the trails and the rain the evening before, the course was in great shape.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-05-18 9:09 PM

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Subject: Pokagon State Park Triathlon

2008-05-18 10:55 PM
in reply to: #1409824

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Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
Awesome Race! What a great accomplishment on your swim! How cool is it to make that kind of progress! That's awesome. Transitions will get better with practice. At least you didn't have to sit down and rest. You did great for the first tri of the year. Looks like you are off to a great start! Nice job!
2008-05-19 1:45 AM
in reply to: #1409824

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jacksonville, FL
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
For the first race of the season you kickes a$$ so keep it up buddy, you are doing amazing!
2008-05-19 7:05 AM
in reply to: #1409824

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Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon

Awesome race!!!!  Nothing like taking on a tough course like that to "ease" yourself into the season.  

You are going to do some amazing things this summer!

2008-05-19 8:30 PM
in reply to: #1409824

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
Wow, that was a hard fought race. Excellent job out there!
2008-05-20 8:05 AM
in reply to: #1409824

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Charlottesville, VA
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
Man that's a solid race -- good job!

2008-05-20 10:45 AM
in reply to: #1409824

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Extreme Veteran
Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
Great job!!  1st in your AG in the swim and 4th in your AG overall?  Awesome!  Especially with the transition goofs and tough run.
2008-05-20 2:07 PM
in reply to: #1409824

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
Great race!  Awesome on the swim.  Yep more bricks and 5k's will help with top end speed.  Your run was great too!
2008-05-20 6:39 PM
in reply to: #1409824

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Ft. Wayne, IN
Subject: RE: Pokagon State Park Triathlon
That swim was fantastic for you, I knew you did well but 1st in our AG - wow. Biking was rough that day too, you did great and came in way ahead of me on both. If I could have pee'd in my wetsuit I would have, I have to remember that one! You must have antifreeze in your veins. Thanks for the props in the post, I am blushing We would have left before the awards if you had not said anything - thanks for being a good BT'er.
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