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Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont - TriathlonSprint

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Fremont, California
United States
Total Time = 1h 13m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 4/25
Pre-race routine:

I got up at 6 a.m. and was ready to go by 6:20, but Shizu's husband was running late so they didn't get to my place until 6:30. We loaded the bikes, went to pick up two more friends, and were on the road by 6:45, which was a little later than Shizu and I would've liked.

The place was packed by the time we got there, about 7:20, and the duathlon had already started. A volunteer told us not to bother racking our bikes with our AG and to just look for an open spot wherever. Fortunately, we found a couple of places across from each other and got to setting up transitions. All in all, we had plenty of time, but I still felt a little rushed. We put on our wetsuits about 20 minutes before my start time and headed down to the water. The tri-for-fun women had already started swimming, so it was fun to watch them and cheer as they came out of the water. These were all newbie triathletes and obviously a lot of them struggled on the swim, which made it that much more exciting when they finished.

I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat at home, then had a shot of coffee in the car. I took a gel about 45 minutes before the race start, which was kind of dumb and pointless.
Event warmup:

I got in the water, which was very warm and peaceful, and swam a little. I think next race I'm going to do a real warmup.
  • 11m 42s
  • 437 yards
  • 02m 40s / 100 yards

Eh. I haven't been swimming nearly as much as I should, but I was still hoping for a better swim than this. I'd been going back and forth on whether to use the wetsuit and finally decided I might as well. I'm glad I did, I guess, because the added buoyancy makes it feel so effortless and at the very least helps me conserve energy.

The swim was a running start, which was new for me -- we all started on the shore then ran into the water and dove in as soon as it seemed deep enough. That worked fine for me. It was pretty crowded; I'm used to seeding myself at the back of the pack in my wave, which I didn't do this time. It was fine, though, since crowds don't bother me much.

I felt pretty tired right away and kept slowing down so I wouldn't ruin my bike and run. I don't know why, but for some reason my form just disappears in open water. Even if I think about it and concentrate on the basics -- stay long, rotate from the hips, don't cross over, blah blah blah -- I just...can't. I never did feel comfortable and smooth in this swim, which was disappointing.

On the plus, I did great at sighting. I got into an easy rhythm of swim four strokes, sight, swim four, sight. The nice thing about swimming in a crowd is if you don't happen to see the buoy, you can sight off the other people.

About halfway between the first and second buoys I caught a woman who was *flailing* in the water -- her arms and legs were all over the place and swimming anywhere near her was miserable. I tried going around her but it was like she was blocking me, and I tried slowing down, but she seemed to slow down too. Finally I stopped, watched her, and made a concerted effort to move faaaaaaaaaar around her, and she still managed to find me again! I eventually lost her on the last 100 or so, but she was making me crazy.

Like a good girl, I swam for as long as I could and didn't stand up until my fingers were scraping the floor of the lake. Then I waded out and started on the long, steep hill to T1.
What would you do differently?:

Train more.
Transition 1
  • 03m 22s

This transition includes a pretty long run up a steep hill from the lake. Still, I need to get faster at transitions. At least I'm improving -- I left my cap and goggles on while I unzipped the top of the wetsuit, and I'd lubed my ankles before the race so stripping off the bottom was smooth and fast. I probably still took too long with basics like wiping off my feet and getting a drink of Gatorade.
What would you do differently?:

I never practice transitions, so yeah, practice.
  • 34m 5s
  • 11 miles
  • 19.36 mile/hr

This felt nice and smooth. I gave myself the first lap to warm up and find a comfortable-hard pace, but I think all three laps ended up being about the same time.

I passed a ton of people on the bike, and was only passed by maybe four people, two of whom had full aero set-ups, and two of whom I ended up trading places with for most of the race. One of those women I met up with on the second lap, and she was kind of making me crazy. I'm sure she was a better cyclist than me (I think she ended up finishing maybe 15 seconds ahead of me), but she kept fiddling with her bike and slowing down. So she'd, like, sip from her aero bottle and I'd pass her, then she'd pass me, then she'd reach down to tweak her shoes and I'd pass her, then she'd pass me, you get the idea. I was like, dude, it's 11 miles, why all the tinkering? But she seemed nice enough and yelled out encouraging things to all the people she passed, so I guess I'll give her a break.

When I'm having a good bike day it feels easy and effortless to go pretty fast, and that's how I felt today. Sure, it'd be nice to be a 20-plus mph biker, but I'd need to put in a lot more time to get there, and I'm OK with 19 mph for now.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. Maybe go out a little bit harder right from the start, but I think I'm at about my limit given the amount of training I do.
Transition 2
  • 01m 43s

This should've been a lot faster. I deliberately skipped socks and put Yankz in my shoes just so I could get under a minute. There's no reason I should be at 1:43.
What would you do differently?:

Practice pratice practice.
  • 22m 8s
  • 2.5 miles
  • 08m 51s  min/mile

I felt pretty great right from the start -- didn't really deal with the bike legs for very long and found a pace that felt quick and strong. I didn't wear my Garmin and there were no mile markers (which was super annoying), so I had no idea how I was doing. So I concentrated on keeping a pace that felt fast and just a little painful.

Going without socks in the shoes was excellent -- thanks for the lubing tip, Yanti! I'd lubed my shoes in all the chafing spots the night before and I had no problems.

The course did a lot of twisting around, which sort of threw me off because it was impossible to tell how far you'd gone and where you'd be running next. There were lots of water stops (especially for a 2.5-mile run), but I didn't feel the need to use any of them. The volunteers were spirited and great.

What surprised me was how many people were walking. I swear at least two-thirds of the people on the run were walking. And not just walking -- which is fine, obviously, and totally expected on a race that's popular with first-timers -- but, like, strolling. Several times I came up on groups of three or four or even five women, walking side-by-side at a very casual pace and chatting. It was bizarre (and a little annoying at times when I had to run around them).

I passed loads and loads of people until the last eighth of a mile or so, when two super speedy women blew by me. I passed one woman with about a mile to go who ended up sticking right on my tail for a long time, which was kind of annoying. I hate that sound of someone else's pounding feet!

Anyway, I was having a pretty good race, I think, until the last 200 yards when I hit The Sand. Who the hell thought it'd be a good idea to end the race in sand? And it was thick, soft sand, too -- no packed stuff around. It was actually kind of funny because everyone was swearing when they hit the sand. I swear that stuff added a good 30 seconds to my time, at least.

I've figured out that I'm never going to be satisfied with a run. I was first on the run among Athenas (by more than a minute), and nearly in the top 10 percent overall, but I'd been hoping to be much faster -- closer to 8-minute miles. I do feel like I could've gone a little bit harder on this run. I think more experience in short, standalone road races will help me get comfortable pushing myself at this distance.
What would you do differently?:

Run faster.
Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed a bottle of water and got ready to watch Shizu finish. Her swim wave was 30 minutes behind mine and my friends said she was probably still on the bike. So I went back to transition, took off my shoes and put on a T-shirt, and then there she was! Shizu looked great coming off the bike. She told me she'd hyperventilated during the swim, which sucks because that's her strength, but she seemed very positive and she said she'd had a good bike. Her transition was super speedy, and she was off! I opted not to tell her about the sand finish. *g*

I walked with friends back down to the finish line and we staked out a spot close to the sand entrance. Shizu looked fantastic coming in and finished strong, cursing about the sand all the way.

We hung around for 20 minutes or so, packed up transition, then headed off to brunch.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I've been doing minimal tri training since early May, so my expectations for this race were petty low, and I met them. *g* I'm happy enough with the results, though.

Event comments:

Other than the awful sand finish, this race was a lot of fun (and the sand finish was pretty funny, anyway). It was well organized, and I love all-female races that focused on first-timers. There's just an excellent aura to them -- very supportive, very encouraging, lots of smiling and laughing. I was happy to be a part of it.

Last updated: 2008-04-29 12:00 AM
00:11:42 | 437 yards | 02m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/25
Overall: 0/
Performance: Below average
I don't actually know my exact swim time because I forgot to hit the lap button on my watch until I was in transition, and my chip apparently didn't register until after the bike.
Course: One rectangular lap.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:22
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:34:05 | 11 miles | 19.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/25
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Like the swim, I don't know my exact time here, but I did a better job of hitting the lap buttons so I think this is pretty accurate.
Wind: Little
Course: Three loops on mostly city streets, with a small section on a paved but not very smooth path. Mostly very, very flat.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:43
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:22:08 | 02.5 miles | 08m 51s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/25
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
My timing chip worked here, so this time is actually accurate.
Course: Mostly flat, twisty route on dirt trails, with an awesome 200-yard finish on SAND.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
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] 4

2008-06-15 11:02 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont

2008-06-15 11:13 PM
in reply to: #1468182

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Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont
WTG Erin!  Sounds like a fun people watching race with the leap-frog biking and dodge-body running Tongue out
2008-06-16 3:08 AM
in reply to: #1468182

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont

Wooooheeee what an awesome race for you! I know you think the swim and run should've gone better, but ... it really isn't you--WTG on the #1 Athena split!--it's just the riotous, delightful vicissitudes of triathlon. You're an awesome triathlete ... I do believe (really?) that one day, all the stars and our efforts align and The Perfect Race happens.

In the meanwhile, this was a helluva practice! Think of it this way: today, you PRACTICED your transitions perfectly ... next time, you'll execute them perfectly, too.

My jaw's dropping at your bike time. THUNK. There it is.

2008-06-16 7:30 AM
in reply to: #1468182

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont
Great job out there!  You had an awesome day on the bike and that's a rare thing to hear you say.  Terrific!!
2008-06-17 10:43 AM
in reply to: #1468182

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Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont
Congrats on another great race, Erin! Please give Shizu "kudos" from me as well.... very cool!
2008-06-18 12:22 PM
in reply to: #1468182

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont
Great job Erin!  Super fast - even with  The Sand. 

2008-06-18 1:38 PM
in reply to: #1468182

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Subject: RE: Mermaid Triathlon - Fremont

Great job, Erin! Especially on the run, you are freakishly fast, girl! Run is my achilles heel, I lost all my advantage from swim and bike during the run. Bummed that we didn't get to meet at the event. What other events are you doing? My next tri is Tri for Fun on 07/29 in Pleasanton.


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