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Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
United States
RAM Racing
Total Time = 2h 48m 46s
Overall Rank = 216/423
Age Group = 40+ Clydesdale
Age Group Rank = 3/10
Pre-race routine:

Got up at about 4:20. Immediately started drinking water. Ate 1 bananna and right before I was out the door (about 2.5 hrs b4 race) I ate two pieces of toast w/pb. On the drive out there I ate a cliff bar, drank probably about 20 ounces of gatorade, quite a bit more water and a mug of coffee along with another bannana. Got to the race, rode the bike a ways since ya gotta park a ways away. Setup and waited.
Event warmup:

I always like to force myself to get in the water and putz around a little. Helps to shake any nerves I might have (although with every race that seems to be getting better). Plus it just gets me acclimated to the water temp, sighting, breathing, etc.
  • 25m 48s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards

The last time I swam and OLY I went out way too fast on the swim so I really was determined to find a comfortable pace. I did that for the most part on the way out. I stayed to the left and tried to hug that side of the course which others did as well but I was in a very large wave so really no place to hide.

About 2/3 of the way out something extremely bizarre started happening. I could see the bottom of the lake where you've got sand with those ripples in it. It seemed like we were swimming into somewhat of a current and everytime I put my face in the water I had this feeling that a wave or current was pushing me backwards. Its weird but I totally thought I was either swimming in place or totally going backwards. I think those ripples on the lake floor created some sort of an illusion and also the current/waves also made it feel that way. When I lifted my head to the side to breath I could see I was moving but as soon as I put my face back in the water it seemed like I was going backwards again. It got to the point that I closed my eyes as I put my face in the water!

I rounded to bouy and it still seemed to be happening so I really thought to just put it out of my mind and after a while I did. I think then I did catch somewhat of a current behind me because coming back in I really felt now like I was movin.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Really pretty happy with this time and still felt pretty good as I got out of the water. Try not to freak as vertigo sets in or whatever I had.
Transition 1
  • 02m 42s

As you cross the matt out of the water you've gotta cross the street, go through a gate, run into transition and run quite a ways to get to bike around the racks. Wetsuit came off a bit better than Lake Mills. Everything else went fairly quickly so I fairly happy. Going w/o sox and having shoes clipped on pedals would be quicker but I would need different shoes.
What would you do differently?:

See comments
  • 1h 17m 51s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 19.15 mile/hr

Felt pretty decent coming out of transition. HR is usually spiked quite a bit due to being in a race but I think as a combination of training and keep calmer pre race helps to keep it down. To actually be down in the 140s at one point was good to see. Otherwise ride was really not anything out of the ordinary. Passed a decent amount of people and got passed by some really solid bikers but I feel pretty good about this.
What would you do differently?:

To increase my time at the race this would be the place to do it. I do think that I could get a t least another 1/2 mile/hr but that pace might have just spent me too much. I was a little concerned that I might not have enough left in the tank for the run but we probably all always think about that.

I had two full gatorade bottles with me and one bottle of water. I probably only drank two bottles out of the three. I really should have gotten that last bottle in too.

Other nutrition - I had three gels in my bottle and got as much out of it as I could but in looking at my bottle after the race, I probably had a half a gel left which more water in the bottle probably would have gotten it out better.
Transition 2
  • 02m 8s

I'm a little surprised at this time. I should certainly be under 2:00. I did slip on running shorts and had to change into shoes but still.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 00m 17s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 09m 43s  min/mile

My plan was to just start the run as slow and comfortable as I could in a race and try to build speed throughout. Let me mention here though that my minimal goal was to finish under 3 hours since the two OLYs I have done prior were both 3:07. My reasonable goal though was 2:55 and my out there goal was under 2:50 although I really didn't feel like that was possible yet. Coming out of T2 I saw that I was right at about 1:48 and change so I needed to run about 10 minute miles and I could hit my 2:50. Hmm.

Well during the first mile I could tell I was going to suffer some but it is a race after all. I saw the split at a mile though I I was fairly encouraged so instead of building I was just going to try to maintain the current pace for as long as I could and see what happens.

Saw my second split was 9:45 and now I'm thinking holy cow, this might just be possible. At mile 3 you are literally yards away from the finish line but you have to do the second loop for the OLY. I did see the clock at the finish like which read I think 2:35 or so. I was wave 4 so according to official time I was 2:20 in at that point. Just gotta get 3.1 miles in within 30 minutes and I was going to do something that I'm not sure I could pull off when I did my OLY last year!

I'm hurtin' though but I did take another gel right at the end of the first loop. It might just be mental but within 5-10 minutes those seem to give me a fairly good energy boost.

Even though the trail is mostly shaded there are parts where you are out in the sun and boy it is really starting to feel hot. Pretty much every water station I do stop to drink and a couple time I dumped water over my head. A fuel belt would be a good idea for the future.

Mile 4 I'm still on pace pretty much but I know this might be a bit close. I figure if I can just maintain then I'll be able to get a push towards the end simply out of adrenalyn. There is a decent climb close to the finish so I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for that.

Mile 5 my split is 9:55 so I'm thinkin' if I just don't trip I'm in pretty decent shape. Just hafta gut it out and maintain. Got to the hill and really powered up fairly well which surprised a little but now just a few corners and I knew I would see the finish. I knew I needed to see under 3:05 on the official clock to be under 2:50. I'm thrilled to see 3:03 and change as I come around the corner. I've got a guy next to me who looked a lot more like a races than me but he and I are now starting to battle to the finish but I'm pretty happy I'm stayin' with him. Then I notice a woman from the wave b4 me on my right and now there's three of us pushin' towards the finish. I don't know who crossed first and I don't really care - I finished really pretty strong.

After I crossed the finish line and saw that I was 2:48 I'm actually getting quite emotional. I really didn't think that would happen at this race. Part of me is all pumped up from the finish and I'm ready to punch somebody and part of me is actually teering up a little bit. I feel fortunate always to participate in these and frankly I'm quite surprised on what I'm actually accomplishing!

At 250 lbs yet I'm racing fairly well and to finish MOP in a very competitive overall field I'm very, very happy with. I'll never be FOP and that's OK because I'm improving as time goes on and I know I can still get better!
What would you do differently?:

Having more to drink would certainly help. More speed work in training. Still, almost a sub 1:00:00 10k at the end of an OLY for me is outstanding!
Post race
Warm down:

Took a few minutes to catch my breath. I'm very sweaty. Grapped all the liquid I could. Walked a little. Ate pretzels, bannanas, small cliff, etc. Kind of a lonely race as the fam couldn't make it and never hooked up with other BTers which is unfortunate.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not much. Maybe the next time I run this race I can be 20-30 lbs lighter which would certainly help but besides that, I'm thrilled!

Event comments:

Good race with a fairly nice setting. Unless I missed it there wasn't really a race meeting at all. Pre race check in is kind of a pain having to drive somewhere else besides the going to the course. Furthest road on the bike is in very bad condition. I think it's a WI/IL border road so that's probably why it gets ignored.

It's a good race though and I would think I'll do it again.

Last updated: 2008-04-06 12:00 AM
00:25:48 | 1640 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 76/423
Performance: Good
Avg Hr 155 End Hr 181
Suit: Yes
Course: Wade start going mostly parallel to shore although angling out into the lake some as we got to the turnaround mark.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:42
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:17:51 | 24.85 miles | 19.15 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 180/423
Performance: Good
Avg HR 160 Exit HR 156 (Approach to Tranisiton is coming down a decent hill so little pedaling and an HR decline.
Wind: Little
Course: Pretty decent amount of hills. Kind of a goofy out and back turnaround at one point.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:08
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:00:17 | 06.21 miles | 09m 43s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 313/423
Performance: Good
1 10:01 168 2 09:45 169 3 10:51 171 (hit lap buttom late) 4 09:34 175 5 09:55 178 6+ 10:11 183
Course: Trail run through Big Foot State park. Several hills but I sure like the shade over the majority of the course! OLY has to do the trail 2x.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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] 4

2008-06-23 9:31 AM

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Mukwonago, WI
Subject: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance

2008-06-23 9:36 AM
in reply to: #1482931

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West Allis, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
2008-06-23 9:45 AM
in reply to: #1482931

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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Wow Mark, I'm seriously impressed.  That is a phenomenal race and especially a phenomenal run!  That course is deceptively tough...the whole first section if I remember is uphill and sorta fugly.

I know you work this stuff hard, and I'm thrilled to see your huge improvement!!!  SOR is dead in the water! 

2008-06-23 10:03 AM
in reply to: #1482931

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Waukesha, WI
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great job out there.  Sorry we didn't get a chance to chat.  I think all Bt'rs/donkeys should have to put up a poster board by their bike so we know where to find each other.  I think I saw you racing in with the other guy and gal.  Are you the same three that ran in and she took a nose dive about 5 feet from the finish line?  Big fat bummer, but a great photo I am sure.  The agony of defeat.  I hope she was okay. 
2008-06-23 1:23 PM
in reply to: #1482931

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NW Suburbs, Illinois
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great, Great Race!  Awesome finish to that run, too.  Unbelievable PR and improvement over last year.  You have to be very happy with that effort.  Its interesting, and I see this in my own races, but when you take it easy at the beginning of a leg, how much stronger you are at the end.  It seems like you did that with both the swim and run, and it paid big dividends.  See you at SOR!
2008-06-23 8:59 PM
in reply to: #1482931

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Muskego, WI
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Nice job! Really too bad that we didn't hook up for you! (and hoot and holler for your hardware pickup!)

2008-06-24 12:44 PM
in reply to: #1482931

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Great race Mark! Way to push it on the run. See I always swim in races where you can't see the bottom...or your hand. Its just like swimming with your eyes closed.
2008-06-26 1:23 PM
in reply to: #1482931

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In The Peleton
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Congrats Mark!  Totally impressive race--let alone for a clyde!!!
2008-06-26 1:34 PM
in reply to: #1482931

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Great job!  I always cry when I see those fast swim times.

I didn't think anyone else would focus on "weird" things while swimming!

2008-06-26 2:07 PM
in reply to: #1482931

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Bigfoot Triathlon - Olympic Distance
Wow..impressive swim!! Awesome race all together..nice job!
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