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Austin Cactus Challenge - TriathlonOlympic

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Austin, TX
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 44m 22s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 20-24
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

IHOP breakfast. It was kind of a dash to get there because our waitress was a bit slow and I missed our exit to the race site.

I kept thinking I was forgetting something.

My overall time as of 4/17/05 is correct, but the different segments could be off by seconds the splits aren't posted yet, and I didn't time the transitions, I just guessed.
Event warmup:

Didn't really get a chance to warmup. As I had to put on my wetsuit and I am not warming up beyond swimming in that.
  • 30m 35s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 02s / 100 meters

My swim sucked. And I mean sucked hard. I feel I'm a good swimmer. I'm pretty efficient and fast.... IN THE POOL.

I panicked. I freaked out. I've tested out my wetsuit and knew there was no way I was going to drown, but I've seen Titanic and for some reason Open water freaks me out. I get clausterphobic. You hear all those people talke about getting kicked and getting swam over and having issues with that. That doesn't bother me. Its the GREEN. I feel like I'm in a green envelope and going to be sufficated. And every time I took a breath of air and saw the light it didn't help.

So... I did backstroke for the first 500M, while deciding whether or not to continue. I love racing mind you. My brain just doesn't cope with the GREEN. Maybe I almost drown as a child. I don't know. Once my heart rate settled. I flipped back over to my stomach to do freestyle. I took it nice and easy at first not trying to pass anyone, just trying to stay calm. The next 500M I passed a few people, and the last 500M I brought it home. I was calmer, confident and brought it in. I took a breath every 3 stroke and sighted every six. I still raised my head too much which dropped my feet a bit, but I wouldn't necessarily change it not until I get more confident in open water.
What would you do differently?:

I think there is something about the adrenaline flowing from the excitement of the race that mixes in with my fear of open water swimming and completely freaks me out. I've got to get a handle on it or I am never going to be competitive. My goal was 22-24 minutes in the water. I easily passed people when I calmed down. Maybe I can find a group in Dallas that does open water swims once a week. You live you learn.
Transition 1
  • 06m

There was a 400-600M run from the water to T1. I ran barefoot until I got to the grass. Where I then put on my flipflops because of the trillions of burrs in the grass. Flipflops are not meant to run in and get slick when wet so lets just say I could walk faster in my running shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Have different shoes to run from lake to the transition area. I'd say it was average beyond that. Didn't have too many problems with the wetsuit, or getting my gear on. The run to transition took a lot of time.
  • 1h 12m
  • 24.8 miles
  • 20.67 mile/hr

I'm built for long gradual hills. Its the short steep ones that kill me. I don't know if its lack of training of them in the flatlands of Dallas or my physiology. Luckily there were only two. And after playing with my gears on the first loop the second loop was better. I am extremely happy about my time on the bike it was three minutes faster than my goal range. YEAH!!!

Gatorade/water mix in aero bar water bottle, and 1 PB gel straw-ban w/caffeine. Could have used a little more water. Thank God fore the aero bottle. With the hills it would have been a hard reach for my short arms.
What would you do differently?:

Work on my hills.
Transition 2
  • 01m

Grabbed a last drink of water from my bike put on my shoes and off I went. Took one Power Bar gel w/ me.
What would you do differently?:

  • 54m 18s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 08m 46s  min/mile

I drank enough, but not enough electrolytes. Luckily it was only 6.2 miles. Drank 1/2 the cup poured the rest over my neck. The course was hilly. The between miles 2 and 3 and again at 5-6 is an insane hill that seemed to last forever. I broke my no walking rule, and gave myself 20 steps of walking before I got going again. People on the course were awesome cheering each other on. Again I was VERY HAPPY with my run. I no longer think about going fast when I'm running. I think about keeping my legs moving, and for some reason it makes me go fast. I think its because of my change in pace from overstriding to shorter faster steps. And when I think keep moving what I'm really telling my body is it doesn't matter how fast you go as long is you cadence is 90+. Because sometimes my body revolts when I tell it to go faster and just laughs at me. So I am kind of tricking myself. May be one day I'll be in the 7:00 range, but for now I feel fast.

And I have to give credit to my cheering squad. They did awesome Christie and Scott had finished the Olympic and came to cheer me on. My brother Andy my Dad Walker and Abbie were there also. Its probably why my 9:13 first mile went down to make my average sub 9:00. I love having good friends. Plus they were right at the top of that dreadful hill where I needed motivation the most.
What would you do differently?:

Mix gatorade with water. Its just by that point the gatorade seemed so thick. Ill get over it though.
Post race
Warm down:

Uuugh does eating count.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My panic in the swim.

Event comments:

This was the innagural race so I don't want to rate it poorly, but my wave was 1.5 hours late due to a lack of life guards, so only so many people could be in the water at one time. The 2 sprint waves had to be out of the water before the Olympic could get in. The bike course was well marked and had plenty of volunteers and the state troopers did a fabulous job with the traffic. The run course was well marked and had water/gatorade at each station. The volunteers were awesome. But at mile two they ran out of water and only had gatorade. Probably a good thing because I needed it and wouldn't have taken it, so I thought that was petty. There was no aid station on the bike, but I had plenty on my bike. I think this race has some serious potential. I went to my first Tri-specific bike store and loved the experience to get my registration packet. There was a double endless pool in the store that you could try your wetsuit on in before you bought it. Is that cool or what. They are going to add a half iron distance to this venue in the next couple of years and that should be a lot of fun. I think they did an awesome job with what they had and kept a really good attitude about it through out.

Last updated: 2005-04-17 12:00 AM
00:30:35 | 1500 meters | 02m 02s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Suit: Quintana Roo
Course: Triangular course on in Walter E Long Resevior
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current:
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
01:12:00 | 24.8 miles | 20.67 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Some interesting hills. 2 loop course. Hilly Potholes, bumpy ride. Good scenery. There were two hills that almost killed me. First one was pretty steep, but you had to start it from almost a stop. You went into it from a 90degree right turn and a stop sign to straight up. The first time around I was in too high of a gear and almost fell over. The second loop was faster because I used my gears better.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:54:18 | 06.2 miles | 08m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
1st 9:13 each one after that was 9:15 or less. I felt like I got my legs back around mile 2.
Course: Mowed course through the park. 50M or so of road the rest was on the grass.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2005-04-17 5:08 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: Austin Cactus Challenge

2005-04-18 11:46 AM
in reply to: #143699

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Southwest Chicago 'burbs
Subject: RE: Austin Cactus Challenge
Looks like you had a pretty good race!  Great job getting through the swim despite the initial panic -- that shows a lot of determination!
2005-04-21 9:15 PM
in reply to: #143699

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Texas! & Ann Arbor, MI!
Subject: RE: Austin Cactus Challenge
Great race Jessi. I'm proud of you for sticking with the swim. Don't aero water bottles rock?
2005-04-22 11:29 AM
in reply to: #143699

, Alabama
Subject: RE: Austin Cactus Challenge

Great job.  It's hard to overcome that water panic.   Still a great swim even with that.  You know, I've raced in lakes that were so gross they were brown...maybe you should try that so it won't be green?!?(LOL)


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