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Onion Man Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Walla Walla, Washington
United States
Walla Wall Multisports
60F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 12m 22s
Overall Rank = 150/192
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 3/4
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4, met racinmason at 4:30 to pack up and head out of town. Had breakfast of coffee, oatmeal and a banana on the 3-hour drive to Walla Walla. Got to the race site in plenty of time to get set up in the rain, take the bags back to the car and get my wetsuit on before the race meeting was over.
Event warmup:

As usual, getting my wetsuit on feels like part of the warmup. This time it was over wet skin. Got in the water and swam a hundred yards or so then floated around a bit. The water was pretty nice - cool and murky, but not too cold. I wore my neoprene hat which was a good call for me. Then I stood on the slippery slimy bank and waited for the start.
  • 34m 45s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 07s / 100 yards

This swim set the tone for the day - tough tough tough. It seemed to go on for a really long time, my arms were tired, and I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I was in clear water with no other people for most of the time, felt like I had a decent rhythym going, but just never felt easy or comfortable. I felt like I swam pretty straight with sighting every 3-4 breaths. Just kept swimming though, and knew that eventually I'd get back to shore.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know - I think the lack of swimming in the week before the race was part of the problem. I need to work on form in my wetsuit - it felt like my legs were too low...just more practice I guess. I've swum (swam?) in my wetsuit twice this year before the race.
Transition 1
  • 02m 9s

I swam until my hand touched the boat ramp and remembered to kick so I wasn't dizzy, stood up and started up the long steep hill to transition. I took the top half of my suit off on the way up, jogged a little, then walked some more. Tried something new that worked great...held my cap and goggles in my hand as I took my suit sleeve off and left them in there - they stayed and I didn't have to keep track of them. Thank you BT!

Going up that steep hill was a little tough after the swim. My suit stuck on my heels just a bit but came right off after I hooked them with my thumbs. Socks and shoes were wet from the rain but went on quick, helmet, glasses and ready to go. No gloves today. Had to go up more steep hill to the mount line, but both feet clipped in quickly. Thanks to racinmason for reminding me to check my gear - it would have been a lot harder had I not shifted down before I started!

Time was 2/4 in my group.
What would you do differently?:

Bodyglide my heels to help with wetsuit removal, otherwise it went well.
  • 1h 31m 32s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 16.29 mile/hr

Whew, felt like I was dragging an anchor. The first half of the ride was a giant pass-fest. It was uphill and false flats most of the way out, but there was NO WIND! Yay for no wind! (I'd probably still be out there if it was blowing like it did last year!) I definitely felt the lack of bike time today as this was a huge struggle for me. I was pretty unsteady and didn't feel comfortable riding to the right of the puddle in the tire groove, so I had to ride a little farther in the road than I normally like to. At least there wasn't much traffic. I sipped InfinIT from my aerobottle the whole ride which seemed to work fine.

After the turnaround, I really enjoyed the downhills! I had one pretty bad patch - lasted 4-5 miles - where my legs and hips and back were all cramping up. It was pretty awful. I eased up and stretched and pedaled and eased up and stretched and pedaled... finally it sort of went away. Wonder what that was about? By the end I felt pretty good. It took me about :55 to reach the turnaround, and :41 to come back - the ride back was a blast! Even though it rained most of the ride, it wasn't a problem, only a little cold after the turnaround when I went a little faster.
What would you do differently?:

Spend a lot of time on my bike BEFORE the race - more trainer time, more outside time, just more time. Ride lots!
Transition 2
  • 01m 26s

Had to ride down a hill, onto a skinny plywood path covered with carpet (yikes!) , then dismount close to where my rack was. Got off and discovered a sore knee - where did that come from? Remembered to unclip (yay!) and got the bike to the rack pretty quickly. I'm glad I learned to rack using the brakes, it's so much faster for me than trying to use the seat.

Bike shoes off, run shoes on soggy, drippy, numb feet, grab number and hat and off we go.

I was worried about my new club tri top - it rides up and I really didn't want to show off a stripe of white jiggly belly between my shorts and top. Discovered when I clipped my number on that not only was it a number, it was CAMOUFLAGE! It covered the white belly strip - woo-hoo! I wore it after the race until I changed clothes for the drive home. :)

Time was 2/4 in my group.
What would you do differently?:

Put on hat and number while I'm moving. Not sure why I didn't, but I thought about it just the time I was clipping my number on.
  • 1h 02m 29s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 10m 04s  min/mile

Raced without my Garmin or even a HRM today - wanted to just try by effort level. I think it was ok, but I think I like having my Garmin for HR and pace. The rain had pretty much stopped for the run.

I ran fairly hard for me, probably not quite as hard as I could have, but the effort level felt about right for a race. I actually passed a couple of people on the run, which just about never happens. I only walked the four water stops - drank water and a sip of my concentrated InfinIT each stop. Oh yeah, one more walk. I had just turned back on to the dirt path and looked up to see a long hill - inside I just kind of went 'ugh' and I started walking. Figured it was stupid so I started running a few steps later (with my hat brim pulled down so I couldn't see the rest of the hill. :) ) Picked up the pace for the last mile and finished with not much left in the tank.
What would you do differently?:

Keep up the run training. Again, felt like the week off before the race hurt more than it helped me here.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank the cup of water and walked until I had caught my breath. Cheered a couple more people in and went to pack up my stuff. As usual, that was an exercise in itself. I was really tired - I guess that's a good sign.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training. On the bike, particularly. My swim was quite a bit slower than last year which seemed odd - I suspect (hope?) that the course was set longer since I think I'm a better swimmer than I was last year. My run was actually a couple of minutes faster this year, even after the tough bike. More training in the future for me.

Event comments:

I really like this race - it's a great way to start the season. The fees go to cancer research, they are organized and they have a great BBQ at the end! I hope we can get a few more of our club members to go next time - it'd be fun to have a bigger group there.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-04-03 12:00 AM
00:34:45 | 1640 yards | 02m 07s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 130/192
Performance: Average
Suit: full-sleeve plus squid lid
Course: 2-lap triangular course.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 62F / 17C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:09
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:31:32 | 24.85 miles | 16.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 171/192
Performance: Below average
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back - first part over a terrible road with a lot of speedbumps and short steep rollers, second part on bumpy chipseal, last and longest part on nice smooth road. Uphill most of the way out.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:26
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:02:29 | 06.21 miles | 10m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 166/192
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back along a stream. First mile was on grass then clay path (read muddy and gross with the rain today) but I like trail running. The rest was on a nice paved path beside the stream. You run out on the dirt, then a while on the path, then cross a bridge, turn right, go away from the stream for a bit and through a parking lot before getting back on the path, then follow the path for what seems like a long time before the turnaround.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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] 4

2008-05-26 9:37 AM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: Onion Man Triathlon

2008-05-26 3:05 PM
in reply to: #1424391

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Subject: RE: Onion Man Triathlon
Way to go out there yesterday!!  What a tough day but I think we built up some character for sure!  Good job on the run too!  You looked very smooth and relaxed out there whereas I was kind of plodding. Fun to see you out there too and thanks for driving!
2008-05-27 12:27 AM
in reply to: #1424391

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Madison, Wiscansin
Subject: RE: Onion Man Triathlon
Nice race! I'll bet your strong run is because you didn't use the Garmin

It looks like a few aspects of the race were less than perfect, but it's still early in the season, so with patience and perseverance those things will improve. You just have to work the last off-season kinks out.
2008-05-28 5:59 AM
in reply to: #1424391

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Granvile, Ohio
Subject: RE: Onion Man Triathlon

Great job on your race!  It sounds like it was far from the best of days, but you sucked it up, didn't whine about it, just went out there and raced hard!  Congrats on a solid performance!

2008-05-28 9:50 AM
in reply to: #1424391

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Onion Man Triathlon
WTG!! Sounds like a tough day... especially with the rain. Congrats on getting it done!
2008-05-28 11:03 AM
in reply to: #1424391

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Extreme Veteran
Spokane, WA
Subject: RE: Onion Man Triathlon
Great race! It's great to see your continued improvements each race!

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