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Natchez Trace Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Wilderville, Tennessee
United States
Start 2 Finish Event Management
68F / 20C
Total Time = 1h 13m 56s
Overall Rank = 19/
Age Group = M 25-29
Age Group Rank = 2/9
Pre-race routine:

Transition opened at 0800, and we had a 2 hour drive to do, so I woke up at 4:30 to make sure I was awake enough to drive. I had a bowl of oatmeal and a couple of cups of coffee while I got my nutrition prepared and did a final checkover of my gear. We were on the road by 5:45, where I drank a couple more cups of coffee and a bottle of Infinit. Got to the race site at 7:45, so we were able to grab our gear and go right into the transition area where we got pretty good positions. I got everything setup, checked over my gear, and made a few bathroom pitstops. About 45 minutes before the start of the race I took a Gu.
Event warmup:

We were only able to fit in a short run as a warmup. About 45 minutes before race time, we went for a 15 minute jog. I was feeling pretty good. We had planned on doing a swim warm up as well, but after feeling the water and finding out the the official water temperature was 51 degrees, we decided that if we tried to swim before the start of the race, we would only get colder.
  • 05m 4s
  • 300 yards
  • 01m 41s / 100 yards

I wasn't looking forward to this swim. I knew the water would be cold, but I chickened out of testing it beforehand, so I didn't really know what to expect. This was also my first OWS since Oct. 07, so I was curious to see how it would go. Fortunately, with it being only 300yds, there wasn't much room for something to go wrong.

The start was a TT style start with each competitor starting 5 seconds after the other. I was near the end, so I had to wait a while. I got a running start, took a few high steps in the water and then dove forward. Oh My GOD!!!!! That first shock was horrible. Keeping my head under the water was painful. But, by the time the first leg was done, my feet, face and hands were numb and the wetsuit kept the rest of me warm. I was able to focus on just swimming.

My navigation was good and the swim went by very quickly. Normally I would have pushed hard on such a short swim, but while I kept a steady effort, I focused on regular breathing and good technique. I got to the end, ran out of the water and jogged up the hill to T1.
What would you do differently?:

I might invest in a neoprene swim cap and booties. My toes were completely numb. I don't think my technique was great, but better than my previous OWS'. I stood up too soon at the end, and should have done a couple of dives toward the shore.
Transition 1
  • 02m 14s

I lost a lot of time in T1. I had lubed up pretty well with Body Glide, but I couldn't seen to get my wetsuit off. I tried to do it standing, but I kept falling over and had nothing to grab for balance, so eventually I just had to sit down and get it off. Once I was finally free of the wetsuit, things went smoothly. Helmet, glasses, race belt and shoes on and I was off...
What would you do differently?:

Get the suit off quicker. It felt like I was there forever. I also need to practice having my shoes already on my pedals so that I can jump on instead of having to stop to get one foot clipped in.
  • 44m 25s
  • 15 miles
  • 20.26 mile/hr

I nailed the bike pretty well. I pushed hard and while my overall speed wasn't great, it's pretty good considering that I haven't had much bike training over the past few months and that it was a hilly course. I wasn't great on the climbs, but I was solid. On the flats and downhills I pushed hard and really did well. I was only passed by one person, and he went on to finish 4th overall. My new position is fairly aero, so by staying in by bars for the entire 15 miles, I think I made up some time from what my previous position would have done. I sipped through my aero bottle filled with Infinit throughout the ride and felt strong all the way to the end.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't drive the course, so I didn't push as hard on some of the downhill blind curves. Had I known the course I wouldn't have been as cautious. I also was a little slow on a couple of climbs, but with a 70mile ride just a couple of days ago, I didn't expect my legs to be super fresh.
Transition 2
  • 01m 6s

Not fast on this transition either, but it wasn't too bad. I decided to put on socks because the run was a trail run, but my toes were numb so I had a hard time getting the socks on.
What would you do differently?:

A few things:
-Unstrap my shoes earlier: By the time I went to ride with my feet out of my shoes, the course had a lot of curves at the end and I had to focus on weaving around instead of getting ready for T1.
-Stick to the plan #1: If I had planned on no socks, then don't put them on!
-Stick to the plan #2: Don't make the last second decision to take your Garmin with you on the run. There's a reason you decided it would be a bad idea and you were right. I dropped it, went back to pick it up, fumbled with the buttons, etc. Stupid...
  • 21m 8s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m 49s  min/mile

The run went pretty well. I ran hard the entire way and passed a lot of people. It was difficult to pass on the trails, so I definitely lost some time fighting through people, but it was still fun. The mud was tough because it almost took my shoe off a couple of times, but it's a level playing field so everyone had to deal with it. I finished very strong and pushed hard to the end.
What would you do differently?:

-Don't take the Garmin
-Be careful with footing. I stepped awkwardly on my food during one of the downhill portions and my foot is hurting a bit afterwards.
Post race
Warm down:

Analise and I went for a 20 minute cool down jog. My legs were tight from all the hills, but overall I felt pretty good.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Transitions have to get faster. I rehearsed in my head, but hadn't done any real practices. I also need to stick to the plan during my transitions and not have any "bright" ideas on the fly.

Swim was solid. Never fast, but I'll take it.

The bike and run were solid, but I think I could have taken a minute or two off had I pushed a little harder. I wasn't sure on pacing an event of this length with my current fitness, so while I raced hard, it wasn't full bore.

Event comments:

Fun race to start the season with....if you can handle the cold water. It isn't a flat course, and while I could handle that on the bike, I wasn't ready on the run. I still ran well, but I'm feeling it afterwards. It was a good turnout too, so there were lots of people for me to pass! I passed a lot of people on the bike and run, and only had one person pass me the entire race, which was a good feeling. The course is pretty and the lodge was very convenient. The biggest negative was that it's in the middle of nowhere, so it's a long drive for just about everybody.

Last updated: 2009-03-11 12:00 AM
00:05:04 | 300 yards | 01m 41s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/9
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Nineteen Frequency
Course: The course was cut down from 550 yards to 300 yards due to the water temperature. I wasn't complaining, but it was a very short swim.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 51F / 11C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:14
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:44:25 | 15 miles | 20.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/9
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Loop course through the state park. I'm sure it was pretty, but I didn't really take the time to notice. It was fairly hilly, some of which were rollers, a few of which were longer climbs. Overall, it started with a steep ascent for the first 2 miles, and then had a couple miles of rollers. Miles 4-9 were mostly uphill and from then on it was mostly downhill, with some rollers mixed in.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:06
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:21:08 | 03.1 miles | 06m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/9
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Very hilly trail course. It was muddy and the trail was so narrow that passing was very difficult. Not a fast course by any means, but fun to run.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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

2009-03-22 6:08 PM

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Spring, TX
Subject: Natchez Trace Triathlon

2009-03-23 2:21 PM
in reply to: #2033286

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Spring, TX
Subject: RE: Natchez Trace Triathlon

Race results can be found below:

2009-03-24 9:15 AM
in reply to: #2033286

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Boston, MA
Subject: RE: Natchez Trace Triathlon
Congrats Andrew! nice race and definitely a confidence builder to build upon for the prep for IM!
2009-03-26 1:20 PM
in reply to: #2033286

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Bartlett, TN
Subject: RE: Natchez Trace Triathlon
Nice race in dealing with the cold water!
2009-03-28 6:16 PM
in reply to: #2033286

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Subject: RE: Natchez Trace Triathlon

Impressive race...tough to swim when it is so cold..glad they made it shorter.

Enjoy your new PT~

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