General Discussion Race Reports! » Pittsburgh Triathlon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Pittsburgh Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
Piranha Sports, LLC
80F / 27C
Total Time = 2h 56m 26s
Overall Rank = 176/308
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 25/34
Pre-race routine:

I've been looking forward to this race for a long time. I volunteered at it last year before my first ever race, so I've been itching to do it ever since. I was excited to swim in the Allegheny, looking at the buildings I've known my whole life, and the stadiums, as well as seeing the skyline on the return journeys on the bike, so I had a really good attitude going into this.

Woke up at 4:30, took care of the dogs (couldn't believe they woke up), had a leisurely breakfast around 5:00, and drove to the race around 5:30 for a 7:00 start. A lot can be said for living less than 10 miles from a race! :)

Had a gel about 20 mins before the start. I bonked for the last 1 1/2 miles of the run in Morgantown 3 weeks ago, so my plan was a gel at the start of the bike, whole bottle of Accelerade this time (not let half of it spill out again), and a gel towards the end of the bike. Plus I ate 2 hours before the start instead of 3, so I was very comfortable with this plan.
Event warmup:

Rode the bike around the parking lot a bit making sure I still liked the position of the aero drink. It had the Accelerade powder in it already, so I kept saying to myself, "don't inhale" when my mouth was on the straw.

Before you know it I inhaled! Just like that, I had a mouthful of dry Accelerade. Swished it around a bit, and figured it was kind of like a gel! Got back to the car and rinsed it down. What a dingleberry...

As I was setting up in transition, the guy next to me said, "I've never done an Olympic without a wetsuit before, how about you?" SAY WHAT?!?! Turns out the water was 84, so that was a bummer. Oh well - just more time to admire the buildings! LOL!
  • 33m 37s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 03s / 100 yards

Got in the water and was very comfortable right away with the warm water. There had been a nice sunrise, but now it was cloudy. Shortly after the swim started I noticed it getting darker and I was beating myself up because I left my lighter sunglasses in the car and only had the dark ones in transition. There hadn't been a cloud in the sky all week, so I didn't plan on that. :/

I was also thinking about how long it was taking to swim past PNC Park, I wish I could have only chalked that up to going upstream, but I knew my swimming has been dreadful so no excuse there.

Rounded the buoy and started heading down river, looked up after a bit and noticed the next wave coming right at me! I had drifted too far right, so I fixed that QUICKLY! Noticed the sky getting darker still, and started to get passed by some of the faster women. So then I was thinking how tough it's always gotta be for the fast women to always have to go by all of us tanks in the water.

Then I started thinking that the problem with long swims is it gives me too much time to think!

As I was enjoying the view of the buildings (stuck to my plan there!), I felt a weird sensation - my arms were getting wet! Isn't that a funny thing to think while you're swimming?? LOL! Sure enough it was raining, and saw big splashes of drops, but didn't think much more about that.

Finally time to make the cut to shore, and I forced myself to swim upstream some for that which worked out perfect as I made a straight line for the exit. Others were going way down and trying to circle back.
What would you do differently?:

Really need to work on my speed and endurance. There's no reason I should be this far back after the swim and relying on the bike to catch up and pass so many people.....
Transition 1
  • 02m 5s

As I got out of the water, I saw how hard the rain had been. Very wet, and big puddles.... Ran by my family and had to yell to them for them to see me! The grass in transition was soaked as well.....
What would you do differently?:

Just keep working on speed, and get better technique getting on the bike.
  • 1h 20m 32s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 18.51 mile/hr

The roads were very wet...

Got on the bike and clipped in faster than ever, so I was pleased with that. Decided to get the gel right away, so went 100 yds, turned the corner and looked down to rip it off. Looked up -


A guy was stopped right in the middle of the road with his bike at an angle. I tried for the brake but nothing there and tried turning. The last thing I saw was my right foot and bike going sideways straight to his rear tire.

I felt that, my whole left side hitting the ground, and my helmet banging off the cement. My left foot unclipped, but the right was still in, and after tugging a couple times, remembered to turn it instead and got out.

Just as I noticed my aerobottle was completely EMPTY, I really started feeling my inside right ankle and my elbow. Both were bleeding pretty bad. My sock was torn, but I didn't think much about that at the time other than the cuts. People were asking if I was okay, and I kept saying yeah.

The other guy didn't even fall. And he was saying either he stopped because he couldn't get clipped in, or he was in the middle of the road because he couldn't get unclipped. Either way I was in a daze and didn't understand what he was talking about.

I swore a few times during this, ripped the aerobottle off, threw it, and accidentally hit a Toyota Corolla parked in the lot. An older couple was standing there, so I was embarrassed a little by that, but not enough to apologize. :/

Just as I wanted to go, I saw the chain was off. I got in on with no problem, but that might have been a good thing to happen because it forced me to take a breath and think it through rather than just go while I was still all flustered.

So I started going and I looked down and the rear tire looked low, so I decided to stop again, and now there was no rear brake at all. Eek! Got it stopped, and checked out the tire. It felt soft, but maybe stupidly, I thought I would just go and see if it would last.

Sure enough, it did last thankfully, and that was more than I could say for the dozen or more flats I saw throughout the course.

After reading the Garmin data, I was going 19 mph when I hit, and comparing the time on that stretch to the 2nd time around, the total delay between the crash and stopping again was 2:07.

Now the problem was the nutrition. I realized I should have picked up the gel that I dropped in the crash. It was still completely full. So 39 secs into the bike I was down to 1 gel and a water bottle. I remembered I had an extra gel back in the transition, and I knew that at the top of the hill there would be water and Gatorade (that's where I volunteered last year!). So my plan was to have the gel at the start of the 2nd loop, and make sure I drink all the water by the 2nd time I passed the station (3/4 of the way through the bike), throw away my old trusty bottle, and get a Gatorade for the calories.

Started passing a lot of folks going up the hill with no problem. Plus it hadn't rained here at all. Grrr... Coming back down was a blast at 35 mph and kept passing others. However the gears weren't good. No 9th, and some other gear a little lower wasn't engaging. All the 3-4 low gears were rattling. Did have 10th for the downhill, and did have both front rings, so that was good.

But I was really feeling my ankle bad. I thought that as I went around if I saw my family I'd yell for Motrin for when I came back again. I didn't think that would really work, but it would be worth a shot. Sure enough, I didn't even see them, but I did feel good whizzing by the spectators at 25 mph! :)

Had the gel to plan at the halfway point, headed up and traded the bottles as planned as well. Started going down again (now over 1 hour into the bike). But about halfway down, started thinking there was a strong headwind. At the bottom I felt like I was pedaling through peanut butter. Uh oh, I knew I was bonking. Eased up, and kept drinking. Got back into aero and a woman rode up beside me and we were talking for about 1/2 mile. That was pretty fun.

Coming into transition I completely forgot my rear brake wasn't working good. I see this little red line coming too quickly, so I had to use my Flintstone Foot Brake Technique to stop! I heard a guy yell "Nice Save!" and chuckled at that.

Turns out about 5 guys crashed bad here, including the leader who went head over heels. He didn't go out for the run. There was no dismount sign, and you didn't see the line until you were on top of it. A woman was yelling, but it was deceptive where to stop (that wasn't my issue though).

Just glad to be done with the bike without anymore problems.
What would you do differently?:

Not crash.
Transition 2
  • 01m 53s

On the bike, I planned on taking my time here and have the gel. I thought it was on the towel, but I couldn't find it. Turns out I had put it back in the bag, so that took some extra time.

I had that and some water that I also left there and gathered my thoughts.
What would you do differently?:

Wouldn't normally stop for a lunch break, but that's the way it goes.
  • 58m 20s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 09m 23s  min/mile

My only goal now was to run nice and steady and take it easy. I had no chance for good run time. So I went out and just tried to enjoy it now.

At one point when the surface switched to limestone, I thought, this is what I normally run on, so I'm just here training, doing a nice LSD. Alternated between water and gatorade at the 4-5 aid stations, and only walked for a few seconds at a couple of them, including the turn around.

A lot of folks passed me at the start of the run and throughout it, I probably only passed a few.

I felt my sock bunching up and a blister coming on on my right instep. I didn't understand that at all because I've never had that before. Upon further investigation after the race, I realized that the hole in sock from the crash meant that there was no elastic holding up the inside portion of the sock, so it slipped into the shoe and bunched up. Another bummer.

At around the 4 mile mark, I saw my pace drop to 10:00, and I said to myself I don't have to go that slow! So I picked it back up again, and finally for the last .2, was down to 8:00/mi, but that was all I had at that point.
What would you do differently?:

Not crash.
Post race
Warm down:

Right at the end of the chute a guy was standing there with a hose, so I took a nice cold shower - that alone was worth the price of admission!

Had the medics clean up the cuts, and walked around a bit and had a sandwich and drinks.

I saw my aerobottle at the start of the 2nd loop, so I told my older daughter where it was, so she was proud to go retrieve it for me. That made me smile!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Losing the Accelerade slowed me down for both the bike and run. I might have had a shot at 2:45, but just had to take it easy and make sure I finished.

Event comments:

Lots of volunteers - last year at the bike turn around there was me and one other woman. Couldn't believe it this year when there were 6 there!

HOV lane is what it is. I think the flats were from people riding too far right, the middle seemed fine. Definitely needed a dismount sign though.

Great views of the city and stadiums, and lots of fun.

Last updated: 2008-01-15 12:00 AM
00:33:37 | 1640 yards | 02m 03s / 100yards
Age Group: 23/34
Overall: 203/308
Performance: Below average
Suit: Tri Suit
Course: Clockwise loop on the Allegheny River, about 1/3 up river, 2/3 down river, then 100yd sideways cut against the current to finish.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:05
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:20:32 | 24.85 miles | 18.51 mile/hr
Age Group: 23/34
Overall: 153/308
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: 2 x 12 mile loops up the HOV lane, virtually all up hill on the way out, then back down on the way back. Nice view of the skyline on the way back. Mainly smooth surface, but the lanes have been under construction, so there was a little more stones than normal since cars haven't been on it to blow them to the side. Wet to start, then dried up.
Road: Smooth  Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:53
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
00:58:20 | 06.21 miles | 09m 23s  min/mile
Age Group: 24/34
Overall: 193/308
Performance: Below average
Course: Variety of surfaces (asphalt, concrete, crushed limestone, hard packed dirt), but flat as a pancake along the Allegheny River. Most of it was nicely shaded.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Ok
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

2008-07-22 8:19 AM

User image

Subject: Pittsburgh Triathlon

2008-07-22 3:32 PM
in reply to: #1548150

User image

Subject: RE: Pittsburgh Triathlon
Great race report Bob. Think you did a marvelous job recomposing yourself and carrying on after the crash. Hope the aerobar is not too much of a mess, and I'm sure the shop won't have any problems getting your derailleurs back into place.

Hope you heal up soon.

Edited by squishybelly 2008-07-22 3:32 PM
2008-07-22 3:51 PM
in reply to: #1548150

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Pittsburgh Triathlon

Dude - entertaining race report. Don't blame you for throwing your bottle at the Corolla I had one at college and it was a piece of rubbish.

Hope the bike and body are ok now?  Good job continuing and finishing despite the pain that will serve you well in future races.

Bob considering you have done so little training this year breaking 3hrs is a good result. I think you have a sub 2.40 in you with a bit more consistency in training. Good job!




General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Pittsburgh Triathlon Rss Feed