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Tejas Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Sugarland, Texas
United States
Outloud Productions
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 02m 40s
Overall Rank = 110/704
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 8/39
Pre-race routine:

Accidently woke up at 0200 and of course, could not go back to sleep. I would have to race on 3-1/2 hours of sleep and that rarely works out very well.

Ate my usual Clif bar, oatmeal bar, and drank a Power Edge while driving. Picked up my son and his girl friend who were coming along to spectate, cheer, and photograph.

I'm continuing my theme of minimalism. No extras, no distractions: no race watch, no bike computer, no glasses, no bike bottles, no tools. (If I get a flat, my race is done.) Nothing to drink or eat. It would be all or nothing.

My TA set-up consisted of a bike w/ helmet, 1 small towel, bike shoes, & run shoes. My race number was rolled up on a belt that was tucked in my shorts. I would swim & bike with it on, and unfurl it during the run.

I'm not a snob or elitist, but it was interesting to go down my AG rack and look at all the set-ups of the racers I probably wouldn't be chasing, examples...

Guy with jersey, gloves, glasses, socks: no problem.
Guy with (2)24oz bottles of his bike: suck my wheel.
Guy with jersey, gloves, glasses, socks, AND (2)24oz bottles of his bike: see you at the finish line.

Portacan, chip, couple of pre-race pics, 12oz of G-ade; good for go.
Event warmup:

Ate a gel, got in the water, peed, swam about 200 yards.
  • 14m 1s
  • 656 yards
  • 02m 08s / 100 yards

I know this RD and he's a fast athlete in the 50-54 AG when he races. Bless his heart he saw fit to start us old guys in the 3rd wave. Elites were 1st and then the 35-39. It was the 45 and up in wave 3, so there were 114 of us going. It was a narrow course with a 180° U-turn to come back. Can you say contact.

I found Rob, the guy who beat me by 12 seconds last month to take second place in our AG. We wished each other well and got in the water.

I hung towards the back to start, but didn't get clear until 200 yards later as the pack strung out. During the chaos, some guy's head hit my left elbow smack on the funny bone. My arm went numb for several minutes. Managed to stroke OK, but it sure did hurt.

Typical slow swim for me. Sighted OK and went through the usual episode of self-doubt until I finally settled down and started swimming better. One day, I'll put together a good race swim.

The return leg had another dog-leg turn before the exit and I breast-stroked some to navigate it cleanly and it slowed me down. They say you lose 20 seconds every time you stop stroking to pop up and sight. Maybe it's true.

I had no time goal other than getting it over with quickly so I could start the real racing.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster, but it ain't happenin' anytime soon.
Transition 1
  • 01m 4s

Longish run from the lake. I'm getting very good at transitions and was 3rd in AG. The fastest only beat me 9 seconds.

Due to the short course and funky bike start with the slight uphill and turns; I made the tactical decision to put my bike shoes on in T1 so I could clip in immediately and start riding fast from the beginning. I could not afford to take a chance on fumbling with the shoes.

The pic below shows me getting up to speed after passing 5 guys at the mount line. Good decision

In addition, I lubed up the bike shoes with Body Glide to help the wet feet slip in easier. Another good decision.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Run faster?
  • 24m 29s
  • 9 miles
  • 22.06 mile/hr

Two days before the race they had to shorten the course by 2 miles due to road construction. That was going to hurt me because I count on a strong bike to catch the fast swimmers who beat me out of the water. Cutting 2 miles was going cost me ~5 minutes of bike time.

Being in the 3rd wave gave us a clean course and it was pretty easy to hammer without much traffic.

There's a guy I met 3 years ago and we always manage to see each other at these local sprints. He's in the 35-39 AG and we're always within a minute of each other. One race he'll "win", the next race, I'll "win". (I think it irks him a little that I'm 14 years older.)

He'd had a bad swim and dropped his chain to start the bike, so his 4-minute headstart was gone. He came up on me at about mile 3 and called my name as he passed. I sped up and we leap-frogged each other the rest of the way until I dropped him during the last mile.

This helped me maintain a good pace. With nothing to drink or look at, I was able to push as hard as I could with no distractions. Passed a bunch of guys, some of whom were in my AG, but I didn't keep track. Anyone in front was a target.

All too soon the bike was over and I came up on transition before I had time to get out of my shoes. It was too late to do it properly, so I just came in fast, dismounted sharply at the line and clip-clopped the 20 feet to the grass.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, rode as hard as I could.
Transition 2
  • 00m 45s

Another fast transition, despite not getting out of the shoes on the bike. 3rd in AG again, the fastest beat me by 9 seconds again.
What would you do differently?:

Do a better job of knowing exactly when & where to get out of my shoes while on the bike.
  • 22m 19s
  • 3 miles
  • 07m 26s  min/mile

Came out of T2 intent on pushing the pace hard and putting up another run in the 21 minute range. Pulled my number belt out and got my bib flattened out.

First 3/4 mile was a very fast pace, but my lack of sleep was catching up with me and I couldn't hold it; I was starting to fade. The next half-mile was uninspired running just trying to will myself to go faster. It was only partly successful.

I was passing guys, but I wasn't doing too well. Then along comes my salvation...

A guy passes me at a good clip and I notice he's in my AG. There's my motivation right there. I had no idea about how far back I am, but there's one place right in front of me. I sped up and hung on his left heel. According to the finish times he was running at a 7:14 pace. For the next mile and a half, I forced myself to not let him go. When he sped up, I sped up.

At about 200 yards to go, I saw an opportunity, and made my move. I waited until he was coming up on a slower runner and a lamp post. I went around the lamp post on his right, dropped the hammer, and never looked back. If he had anything left, he'd have to catch me.

I beat him by 4 seconds and finished 8th. The pic below shows him back behind the other runner.
What would you do differently?:

Try to run faster, but I did the best I could with what I had to work with.
Post race
Warm down:

Stumbled around catching my breath while the chip girl was chasing me down to get my chip... "Come on, I just ran a hard race, can I have 30 seconds, please? I know how this works, I'm not going to take the chip; I promise."

Found the family, got something to eat and drink.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of sleep for sure. Just didn't have the energy like I normally do. This is always a well-attended race with lots of good athletes, so my main goal was to finish in the top 10. I did that, so I'm pleased.

But I have to say that coming out of the water in 24th place is always going to hurt me. With even a modest improvement in my swim, I could be top 5 AG in any big race.

BTW, I did beat Rob by 1 minute.

Event comments:

Always a good race and venue, 3rd year to do it. Too bad they had to cut the bike, but that's not the RD's fault, it happens.

Saw several BT'ers; Luke, Joe, Bonnie & joetex23.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-05-06 12:00 AM
00:14:01 | 656 yards | 02m 08s / 100yards
Age Group: 24/39
Overall: 0/704
Performance: Below average
Suit: Tri shorts
Course: Out & back with a couple of dog-leg bends.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:04
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:24:29 | 09 miles | 22.06 mile/hr
Age Group: 8/39
Overall: 0/704
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Big loop out of the neighborhood and out onto highway frontage roads, and then back into the neighborhood.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 00:45
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:22:19 | 03 miles | 07m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/39
Overall: 0/704
Performance: Average
Course: Sidewalks through the neighborhood. Quite a bit of shade.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2008-06-12 10:39 PM

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Waller County, TX
Subject: Tejas Triathlon

2008-06-13 7:05 AM
in reply to: #1464026

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Subject: RE: Tejas Triathlon
i like it. strong bike and strong run. its funny how we need others in the race to go faster. i use the same thinking by trying to beat people out of the water so when they catch me on the bike i can use them to pace myself. great job and keep working on that swim. get more comfortable in the water and fine tune that stroke and you will get faster without trying any harder. see you at jacks.
2008-06-13 2:06 PM
in reply to: #1464026

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Subject: RE: Tejas Triathlon
nice job jim. I like the idea of finding that person to help propel me along, especially when in your AG. Keep plugging away at that swim.
2008-06-13 6:26 PM
in reply to: #1464026

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Fishers, Indiana
Subject: RE: Tejas Triathlon
Nicely raced!! Fast fast bike and run!!!
2008-06-13 7:01 PM
in reply to: #1464026

Subject: RE: Tejas Triathlon
Wow!  Great race.  Congrats on the fine job!
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