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Silverlake Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Pearland, Texas
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 1h 02m 44s
Overall Rank = 97/467
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 4/18
Pre-race routine:

Since this year's goals are so relaxed, I thought I'd have some fun with the bike...

To cheer things up, I mounted a ring-a-ling bell on my areobar and planned to ring it at opportune times.

Also, ditched the standard areo-bottle for a Bud Lite aluminum bottle. Sorta redneck looking, but functional. See pic below.

Done enough races now that the routine is so routine, I don't think about it much any more. Ate the routine race breakfast while driving the 75 miles to the site.

They had us old guys out in transition Siberia and I was on the end of the very last rack. It would be a long run out and in with the bike. It was the same for all of us, so it was fair.

It doesn't take long to set up when all you have is 2 pair of shoes and a helmet. (I put my number belt on, roll up the bib, and tuck it in my shorts; swim & bike with it, pull it out on the run.)

Got my chip, put my stuff in a plastic bag in case it rained, hit the porta-can, and was good to go.
Event warmup:

Walking the 3/4 mile from the parking to TA.

The weather forecasts had a cool front with a band of rain showers that had an excellent chance of hitting us at some point during the morning; it was just a matter of when, and how hard. As long as there was no lightning and we might get off the bike in time, it wouldn't be that bad.

Waited until the last minutes before the start to get in the water and swam 50 yards or so. Should've swum more; see below.
  • 11m 39s
  • 437 yards
  • 02m 40s / 100 yards

I did not swim any during the winter and only have had 6 swims since November, so I knew I was undertrained, but heck, it's only 400 meters, how bad can it be? Pretty bad.

At the start, everything was OK for about 25 meters and then the goggles started filling with water. Oh man, what a mess. Toughed it out for a bit and then had to stop, drain them, and re-seat them.

There was some sort of fit problem between the swim cap and the goggles, and the goggles just weren't tight enough to seal. Dang it!

This sequence was repeated a dozen or so times and I could not get into any kind of rhythym. Had to force myself to remain calm and just deal with it. Finally made it to the turn buoy and there's hope of finishing.

One time while stopped and clearing the water, my open mouth went into the water and I was spittin' & sputtering while a lifeguard 3 meters away was watching me very close. (She was probably wondering if she was going to have to haul this old guy's ass to the shore.)

100 meters, 50, 25 and thankfully I was done. That was the longest 400 meters of my life.
What would you do differently?:

Do a longer warm-up swim and confirm the fit of goggles and cap. This was the first time I had worn these goggles with a cap. It was a big-time rookie mistake and I know better than that.
Transition 1
  • 01m 4s

With the bad swim done with, it was time to race.

Once I hit the bank I never slowed down. It was a long run from the back of TA pushing the bike through the soft, deep grass.

Mounted cleanly and was off.
What would you do differently?:


Fastest in AG.
  • 28m 11s
  • 10 miles
  • 21.29 mile/hr

This was the same course as last year, so I knew what to expect with all the turns. I had put up a 22+mph split before and was ready to repeat it. Quickly got settled in and up to speed.

About 1.5 miles into the course, I came up on what I thought was a turn and saw 2 cyclists coming the other way like they had made a wrong turn and were getting back on track. Going 24mph I only had a second to make the decision to turn or follow them. I followed them.

It was the wrong decision and all 3 of us realized it at the same time. I was able to slow down and get turned around before them and get headed back in the right direction. I had missed the little pointer arrow, there was no volunteer, and 1 cone at the turn. It's still my fault, and the damage was done. Lost about 30 seconds, now it's time to get it back.

Had fun with my bell. Rang it a few times while passing cyclists. Rang it at almost all the volunteers along the course. Good for lots of laughs and smiles. The Bud bottle (with Gatorade) worked perfect; no rattles or noise at all, unlike the official aerobottle that costs $15-$20.

I was pushing and breathing so hard that it's a hassle to drink, but I managed to sip about 8 of the 12 ounces from the Bud bottle. As expected, got caught behind someone in the no-passing zone and just had to wait it out. Lost some time there, too. Had to buck some headwind at times, and was able to maintain the pace, but never did get those 30 seconds back.

Passed a bunch of guys from my swim wave and advanced up the AG. Got passed 1 time. It was a female who started in the wave behind us and she went on to win first place among females.

The approaching cool front and rain had held off long enough to get the bike done in dry conditions. Great! Time to go run.
What would you do differently?:

Not make a wrong would be first item on the list. Next would be more cycling during the winter; only rode a minimal amount.

Other than that, I was pleased with the ride and I'd put all that I had into it.
Transition 2
  • 00m 45s

Got out of the shoes before the last turn and hit the line spot on. Another long run pushing the bike in the deep grass.

Rack bike, drop helmet, slip on shoes, leave.
What would you do differently?:


Fastest in AG.
  • 21m 6s
  • 3 miles
  • 07m 02s  min/mile

Hit the run hard and never let up. Took about a 1/2 mile for the legs to loosen up and establish the familiar stride and breathing cadence.

Fell in behind a guy (45-49 AG) and stayed on his heels. I felt bad about breathing down his neck (I'm loud when I really get cranked up), but he was running my pace perfectly and breaking the wind. After a mile, I stepped it up a notch and went on by.

Picked off 2 more AG guys and saw a 51 year-old up ahead. Kept my sights on him, but stayed back about 10 yards. We were matched stride for stride while passing other guys. I was in a groove, pushing hard, and feeling great.

Right before mile 2 it started sprinkling, then it got harder & harder until the flood gates opened up. It actually felt good at this point and it was fun running in the pouring rain. Jumped a few street gutters running with water, but once you're wet it really doesn't matter anymore.

I bypassed the mile 2 aid station (no need to drink in such a short race) and so did the guy I was tracking. As quickly as the rain started, it was beginning to end as we got close to the lake and the finish. It was time to make a move.

About a half mile to the finish; I stepped it up, caught him, went around, and never looked back. Heard some footsteps behind me and kept the pace. Turns out, it was a young guy, 33, sprinting on in. Really gave it all I had left to the line.

The other guy never caught me, I beat him by 5 seconds and it was good for 4th place, though I didn't know it at the time. After we caught our breath and could talk, he gave me props for the kick and said he tried to run me down, but couldn't.

Outstanding. That's what it's all about; competing and having fun.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, ran as hard as I was able.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, ate some pizza, fruit, and coke & Gatorade.

Put on my Jack's Generic race shirt that says "RACE SHIRT" and got lots of affirmative comments about it.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of swim fitness for sure, in addition to the goggle mess. The bike was OK despite the minimal training. Run was typical for me now. Transitions were perfect (when you suck at swimming, it helps to be good at something).

Last year I was 3rd in AG with a 1:00:08. This year, that time would've placed 2nd. I'm not surprised with my slower time, but still pleased with the outcome because this is the season of having fun; poor swim excluded.

Event comments:

I've done this race since its start 4 years ago. It has gotten bigger, but only somewhat better organized. I like it because it's an easy, early season race.

However, I don't like the 300 miles of driving between packet pick-up and race day. May pass next year and break my streak.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-04-28 12:00 AM
00:11:39 | 437 yards | 02m 40s / 100yards
Age Group: 15/18
Overall: 0/467
Performance: Bad
Suit: Tri shorts
Course: 200 meters out and back in a big "V". Easy navigation when you can sight on the big houses on the lakefront.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current:
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
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
00:28:11 | 10 miles | 21.29 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/18
Overall: 0/467
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Concrete roads in and around the local subdivision and neighborhood. Lots of turns, narrow streets with parked cars and some moving traffic. You ride fast and pray that no one pulls out of their driveway. Only a couple of longish, straight portions.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:45
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:21:06 | 03 miles | 07m 02s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/18
Overall: 0/467
Performance: Good
Course: Sidewalks in and around the surrounding neighborhood.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: 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?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2009-05-19 8:44 PM

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Waller County, TX
Subject: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon

2009-05-19 9:28 PM
in reply to: #2162115

New user
Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon
i like your style with the non-aero bottle.  redneck, too.  right up my alley!  nice race.

2009-05-20 7:19 AM
in reply to: #2162115

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New user
Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon
Great job...I think we started in the same wave. Love the Bud bottle that is great!
2009-05-20 2:46 PM
in reply to: #2162115

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Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon
So the secret to fast transitions is bud bottle and bell.  I will try this.  Great job!
2009-06-09 11:59 PM
in reply to: #2162115

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Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon
nice race. now get that swim up to speed with the bike and run so you can start winning your AG. you do too well to let the swim drag you down. and get some new goggles!!!!
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