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American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Portsmouth, Ohio
United States
HPF Racing
88F / 31C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = 135/328
Age Group = M 40-49
Age Group Rank = 28/47
Pre-race routine:

This race was a 7AM start, so we were up early...5AM again...packed...and off to the site. The weather was going to be a race start it was 43 degrees, and race end it was well into the 80's. Spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to stay warm....

Got to transition, got re-body marked, set up transition (this is like old hat now, I think I could do it in my sleep), and talked to the Blink guys for a while.

Slithered into my wetsuit, so far, so good. Made some fake swimming motions in the air, and the shoulder HURT, but it was working. Good, it wouldn't even do that yesterday. Took a few advil, salt pills, and milled around until the TT start on the beach. The first few strokes would tell me everything.
Event warmup:

  • 32m 33s
  • 1940 meters
  • 01m 41s / 100 meters

Miracles do happen.

Ran into the water, dolphined 4 times, at the first buoy. Ok, here's the moment of truth - I extended my left arm and pulled. OUCH, dammit, that hurts, but hey, lookit this...I'm going forward!!! Let me try that again...and gosh by golly, it's hurting, but it's working!!! I think I'll do more of I did.

Bottom line...the shoulder hurt the entire time, but never gave it was a pain management issue. And frankly, it was kind of cool, because it took my mind off the cold water and lack of drafting and idiots at the buoys with a swimdeathwish and the mud and gasping and everything else.

The first lap was good, still gasping a little, still not a very long stroke, but toward the end of the first lap, everything clicked. I was breathing on the 3, swimming a straight line, gliding and pulling, using the core, exhaling underwater. Like swimming is supposed to work. I tasted the silt coming in from the first lap, laughed at the world (underwater), and knew the race was mine. I was going to make it.

The 2nd lap was sheer delight. Smooth, easy, just like you draw it up. Before I knew it, I was out of the water and headed into T1.

One weekend of 56 degree water - I pwn you.
Transition 1
  • 03m 19s

T1 was included a long run, so the actual transition was quicker than shown. The biggest concern was staying warm, so I took the time to throw on the arm warmers, always tricky when you're wet.
  • 3h 26m 20s
  • 55.5 miles
  • 16.14 mile/hr

Out of transition, hopped on the bike, and at this point, confidence is brimming. I just finished the swim, I was hydrated, I wasn't too cold, I had been growing into my riding legs, I knew I was going to finish. It was just a question of how fast.

Within 3 miles out of transition we run into a very large hill. Like it goes forever, climbing up into the sky, a gorgeous beauty of a slope with an evil bent. So we start climbing...and climbing...and I'm about to die. My legs aren't even CLOSE to warm, and I'm struggling, and I've got 52 more miles to ride and this hill (and others) to go over again. Great. Now I'm not all that confident. Grrr.

So we grind up the hill. After what seemed like forever, I'm losing my mind. It's a tread-hill, I'm going no where. Then, out of the blue, I look down and see a giant "HTFU RICK" spray painted on the hill. OMG, that's I bust out laughing, and the folks I'm riding with asked if it was for me, and I replied "I think so, and now I guess I've gotta Harden the Fuck Up. See you at the top". And I got out of the saddle and blasted my way to the top, and dragged 7 or 8 folks with me. How cool is that...thanks Jenn. :)

The rest of the first lap was uneventful, except I lost two more I did the first lap on more-or-less one bottle of Carbo-Pro. Not optimal, but whatever. I guess at this point I'm pretty much used to not having any liquid in my body, or on my bike. Why start now? But we did pass the Golden C spray paint coming back into transition, which again, was completely cool.

Rolling into the turnaround, I notice that my right aerobar is much lower than my left one. How'd that happen? Anyway, I need a hex wrench...but don't have one. One of the transition gals ran to get one, but after like 2 minutes, I was I gave the aerobar a tug back into position, and it seemed pretty solid, like it wasn't going to start flopping around (I think). So off I go, lap 2 coming up.

I talked to Jess (thanks for holding the bottles in the cooler, etc) for a few just after the turnaround, gave her my one lonely surviving bottle and took 3 more, two of which I would later donate to the Shawnee State Forest. See a pattern here? I kind of giggled because I pictured myself not even waiting until the bottles launched themselves, instead just throwing the bottles into the woods myself before the bike had a chance to. I'm all about being proactive.

Jess also shared that the Dollar had flatted on the bike and was having chain problems....dammit, not cool. He was having a killer weekend and didn't need that shiznit. She also told me that Mitchell was about a minute ahead of me....hmmm...was he going slow, or was I going fast? Maybe a little of both. But I'm feeling good, it's time to go get him.

The 2nd lap was very uneventful, but beautiful and peaceful, if you can call a brutal ride those nice names. Oftentimes it was just me, the road, the forest, and no-one else we were so spaced out, listening to the growl of the tires on the road, the whizz-click of gears shifting, and the birds. Kind of a zen moment or few, but amazing. I'll remember that.

With about 5 to go, i finally caught mitchell...he was hurting, the heat was starting to take it's toll. I rode with him for a couple miles, and tried to drag him up the hill leading to the Golden C, but his bike day was done...he was shelled out. He said 'go' and he's try to catch me on the run, but dumping good after bad on the bike wasn't part of his plan right I took off, and finished the last 3 or 4 miles into transition.

I'd never had a bigger grin than right there. I was having a good, a great day, against all odds. One more event.
Transition 2
  • 03m 10s

Took my time in T2. Ate some food, sunscreened (by this time it was off-the-hook bright, hot, with the laser-beam boring down sun), drank a bunch, threw down a handful of endurolytes, and tanked up on heed and water. And an oreo. And a pepsi. Now I'm ready.
  • 2h 17m 28s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 10m 29s  min/mile

The mind was working, which made it so the body could finish. This was a high mental effort run, to figure out how to deal with fatigue, nutrition, hills, heat, footing, you name it.

Started off the run at a steady far, so good. I had made up my mind to walk each steep hill on lap 1, at a decent clip so as not to lose too much time (thanks for the long-distance strategy, trix. In mile 1 I saw the 3rd and 4th place athletes finishing...including Eric Fernando, a local guy from Detroit. Nice work.

Before we hit the first aid station, Brian caught me from behind...but he was hemorrhaging early. He trudged past while I was walking, not lookin' too lively. I stuck to my 'run the flats and downhills and slight uphills plan', and a little after the first aid station, I caught him again. We talked about how to manage the heat and hills, and he decided that the run/walk plan was as good as any right we did the next mile really sharp hill we were walking up, and then all of a sudden, he's not there. This anecdote isn't about Brian, it was about the was so tough, you could get dropped WALKING UP A HILL.

Made the turnaround, and came back, hitting each aid station. One cup water, one cup heed, one cup icewater over the head, endurolytes by the fistful if they had 'em. Then continue trudging.

At mile 4 and change I was on my way back to start the 2nd loop, and Dollar comes flying up the trail. Good, he's lookin' solid, keep on keepin' on, brother.

The 2nd loop was more of the same, only slower. The first loop took about 1:05, the next loop was 1:17, mostly due to increased walking, a necessity of the day. Reaching the top of the last hill was magic; at that point I knew it was 2.5 miles downhill, and I was going to make it.

Crossing the line was amazing, the completion of the hardest thing I've ever done athletically, and the most mentally tough I've ever had to be, in terms of managing the race and overcoming challenges. I got the most out of me on this day I could possibly get.
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed the finisher's shirt, the medal, and went straight to the food tent. I got four of everything and ate them, right there and then. Then I ate some more. Wandered back out to see Brian finish, with Dollar right on his heels. Damn, Andrew dropped the hammer on the run. Nice work.

Sat in the finishing tent with Dollar, Brian, Jess, and chatted with many of the folks we'd met over the weekend, still eating. After a bit, GC and I went over to the turkey creek stream thing and sat in the water...a perfect ice bath. Pretty quickly after that, though, we packed up and took off, as we were going to try to get back to Detroit on Sunday and had 6 hours of driving ahead...

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Run training. Nutrition. Hill training on bike.

Event comments:

Without getting too philosophical, this race took me to a new level. I had train in ways I hadn't before. I had to race in ways I hadn't before. I had to overcome injury, managing the races, nutrition, temperature, logistics, hills that I hadn't prepared for. And with one minor exception, I did it.

Thanks to Brian, Andrew, Jess, Jenn, and it was good meeting Jared from Jackson, Rob from Kalamazoo, Martin from Salt Lake, Nevada from Idaho living in Columbus, her friend, Paul (STL-Tri-WOG), Bruce the tan guy on my bike rack that ran in Hawaiian shorts, Russ the stony creek guy that killed the bike EVERY event.

And thanks to the many folks I didn't meet personally, from the elites to BOP'ers, that offered a kind glance, a thumbs-up, or even a smile and a 'good job' to others, especially from the folks you knew needed the encouragement worse than you did. That was amazing.

The races themselves are a challenge, but the event is fantastic. It's the best value in triathlon, as hard a challenge as there is, full of top-caliber athletes. Incredibly rewarding on every level.

Last updated: 2008-01-01 12:00 AM
00:32:33 | 1940 meters | 01m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 81/328
Performance: Good
Suit: Fullsuit
Course: 2 laps, out to the first yellow buoy, then a funky andy warhol counterclockwise triangle back to the start, up and around the construction barrel, and back for lap 2.
Start type: Dive Plus:
Water temp: 56F / 13C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:19
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
03:26:20 | 55.5 miles | 16.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 0/328
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Two laps of a 27-mile course with three major climbs and 3 major downhills per lap.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:10
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:17:28 | 13.1 miles | 10m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/47
Overall: 166/328
Performance: Average
Course: Two laps of the 'usual' course. 3.2 out, mostly uphill, 3.3 back, mostly downhill on fire roads with lousy footing.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2008-05-28 1:16 PM

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Rochester Hills, Michigan
Gold member
Subject: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial

2008-05-28 1:35 PM
in reply to: #1428790

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Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
Great report and better yet great race.  I loved the dude with the Hawian shorts on....everytime I say him on the run I got a great big high five!  I never really got to meet him though because by the time I got done with each race most folks were gone....LOL
2008-05-28 2:38 PM
in reply to: #1428790

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Washington Court House, Ohio
Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial

Hey good job.  Nice bounce back after the second oly the day before.  Real tough racing.  Great training.  Makes wish that either I swam or they had a Triple-T duathlon (really I don't think I wish they did have a tripel t duathlon, that would be horrible).

Nice story.  Good reports.  Thanks.

2008-05-29 2:03 PM
in reply to: #1428790


Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
Whoa. A true journey. Great report.
Now don't you think the next leg of training this summer is already elevated by what you accomplished?! You should be psyched.
Heal that shoulder. Eat up and kill your next race!
2008-05-29 4:18 PM
in reply to: #1428790

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Ida, Michigan
Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
Awesome series of races and great race reports--thanks for sharing.
2008-05-30 9:25 AM
in reply to: #1428790

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Shelby Twp
Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
GREAT job Rick..!! It sounds fun! In a painful way that is. I'll see you out at Stoney soon.

2008-05-30 2:06 PM
in reply to: #1428790

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Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
Many congrats to you!  YAY!
2008-06-02 2:06 PM
in reply to: #1428790

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Nashville, TN
Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
Dude you rocked this race.  Awesome job.  Just think how much MORE fun it will be in the next time you race it.  Great weekend!
2010-03-26 10:14 AM
in reply to: #1428790

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Vestavia Hills
Subject: RE: American Triple T Race # 4 Team Time Trial
...I pictured myself not even waiting until the bottles launched themselves, instead just throwing the bottles into the woods myself before the bike had a chance to.

Shpreeeew! ... there went my coffee all over my computer screen.  Hysterical - but typical of the approach you took to the completing one helluva series of races over the weekend.

Thanks for the awesome race reports.
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