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Pittsford Triathlon - Triathlon

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Pittsford, New York
United States
Yellow Jacket Racing
60F / 16C
Total Time = 1h 19m 42s
Overall Rank = 38/313
Age Group = M40-49
Age Group Rank = 11/61
Pre-race routine:

This is my "home race". Its the first tri I ever did, back in 2005. Its close enough to my house that I biked to the event, not drive. My in-laws' house is inside the run course.

In 2005, my time was 1:32. I improved to 1:25 in 2006. I volunteered in 2007 and followed up with a 1:22 in 2008. Entering the event, I had some concern that I might not be as fast as previous. That thought was decidedly quieted.

I packed my bag the night before and had everything ready. Up at 5:15, ate a bowl of cereal, pumped up my tires, and left the house about 5:40. I got to the race site about 6:05. Got a good transition spot, got body marked, and picked up my chip.

My supposed start time was to be 8:15. I had 2 hours to kill. I chatted with folks for a bit and then decided to do a warmup swim. I swam a couple of laps and then decided to do a trial run. I did the swim in 4:24, with a good effort, nothing too hard.

It was about 6:40, and we were supposed to be out of transition by 6:45. So I went back and laid out a few things. But no way was I going to be totally ready, wearing only my tri shorts, and hang around for 90 minutes in 60 degree temps. So I dried off, got dressed, and left my chip in the bag. I did get a banana while getting all this stuff ready.

Back to the pool to cheer on everyone! Lauren from swimming went first. Jackie next. I bumped into Kameron. Also saw Martie, the Naz swim coach. A few other folks.

After a bit, nature called, and I waited in line for the mens room. About 7:30, I headed back out to transition. I went for a run around the field. About 2/3 of a mile. Made my last restrooom break and went back to transition to set up for real. Took a Gu shot, ate a banana.

About this time, Erik Grimm, the eventual winner in 1:02 and change, was coming off the bike.

Back to the pool area. Cooled my heels a bit. Got in line. Swam a couple of mini laps in the diving well. And got ready to swim.

I had mapped out a guestimate of my splits and time beforehand. I estimated about 1:21 with a 5:15 swim, 1:00 TI, 46:00 bike, :45 T2, and 28 run. I thought with a 45:30 bike and 27:30 run, I could break 1:20:00, my real goal for this race.
Event warmup:

20 minute bike ride from home to the race. About 5-6 minutes of swimming. And about a 8 minute jog.
  • 05m 15s
  • 300 yards
  • 01m 45s / 100 yards

I submitted a seed swim time of 4:30. That was my in-water time last year. Jackjack submitted the same time and was positioned at #37. I was 302. I was with those who put the slowest swim times. A swimmer last year made a youtube video of his swim. This gives a good idea of what I faced.

In the line before me were a father and son team. This was the son's first race. Ahead of them were 4 women, one rather overweight and another pregnant. This gives a flavor.

Swimmer 301 went off and I got in Lane 1. I looked up and the clock read 1:15:05. I counted down to 1:15:14, started my watch, and ducked underwater for the push off. A few dolphin kicks. Before even reaching the far wall, I passed my first swimmer. By the time I returned at the end of the first 50, I caught up to 2 and 3. I realized I had to cut under the lane early to get around 2. So I ducked under, swam a couple yards to the wall, and pushed off for the second 50. I passed one or two on the way down. At the far wall, another woman was pushing off. I just went underneath her, dolphin kicking underwater. All in all, I passed 5 or 6 in the first 100 yards.

I had some clear sailing for at least 25 yards. But I was very anaerobic clearing through all that traffic. I tried very hard this next 50 yards to settle down and get back under control. I was 2 stroke breathing and sucking lots of air. I know my stroke was breaking down some.

I passed a couple more as I started the 3rd 100. I got hit in the head by a swinging arm at one point as I passed between people. I overtook #9 in the last 25 and caught up to 10. She was very slow to climb the ladder, so I tried to get out at the end. It was a lot tougher than expected. I was able to get my butt on the side. I checked my watch and saw my swim time at 4:34, about 4 seconds slower than last year.

I pulled my legs over, stood up, and grabbed the hand towel that I had left poolside. Entering the hallway, I was behind #10 and her lug nut boyfriend who was cheering her on. They were blocking the hallway and going very slow. I yelled, "MOVE!" and pushed my way past. They seemed startled that this was a race.

I ran quickly out of the gym, across the parking lot, and down the stairs. Hit the mat and entered transition.

My official placement was 38 with a time of 5:30. Subtract 15 seconds and my time was 5:15, good for 30th. This exactly matched my goal time of 5:15.
What would you do differently?:

My official swim time was 5:30. I think that is exactly 15 seconds too long. I have 3 reasons to believe that.

First, by my watch, for the whole race, I was 13 seconds faster than the official time. I started it perhaps a second before I pushed off the wall so I could get into position. I stopped it perhaps a second after crossing the line. Subtract 15 seconds from my official time, and my watch is in complete agreement. FWIW, my watch was exactly even to this same race company's equipment a month previous.

Second. Last year, my water time was 4:30 and my total official swim time was 5:12. This year, my water time was 4:34. No way was I 18 seconds slower running from the gym, across the lot, etc. Instead, if my official swim time were 15 seconds faster, it would match very closely to my water time and official time from last year.

Third. My official start time was 8:15:00, or 1:15:00 after the race start. I actually left on 1:15:15. Here is the 15 seconds. I think someone moved ahead in line and threw off everyone's time who came afterwards. Until their real start time was to occur.

But regardless, I had a very tough swim. I was breathing very hard. I never felt comfortable. I had to dodge a bunch of people, and that did throw off my rythem. My water time was a full 10 seconds slower than my warmup a couple hours earlier. With much much higher level of effort.
Transition 1
  • 01m 7s

I thought I had a good T1. 45th fastest time. Got my shoes and socks on well. The shirt stuck a touch, but nothing major. Helmet and sunglasses on fine. Run with the bike was fine.
What would you do differently?:

  • 45m 3s
  • 15 miles
  • 19.98 mile/hr

I attacked the bike course. I had hoped to hit 20mph and I nailed it spot on. Last year, my bike time was 46:47. I guestimated a 0:46 bike split with a chance of doing a 45:30. I beat that goal as well as my time from last year by 1:44.

After T1, I got on the bike and started peddling without clipping in. Once moving, I did get the shoes on. Time to get into aero and start cranking.

I passed dozens on this route. I did not get passed once. I was surprised by that, as I knew there were some strong bikers behind me. But that was the case.

I did something this ride that I don't recall doing before. In some of the rolling hills, as I come uphill, I'd pop out of the saddle and stand for 5-10 seconds. Enough to get over the hill and go downhill again. These little bursts kept up my speed and didnt tax my system too much it seemed. These bursts seemed very, very effective on a number of occasions.

Overall, I kept up a strong effort throughout. I was breathing deeply on a number of occasions. I was going all out.

I did have one scary part. Almost at the end, I was coming down Thornell Road to the stoplight at 64. This is a downhill and I had good speed going. I saw that the light turned red when I was about 100 yards or so away. I sat up and signaled with my arm that I was turning left. As I approached the still red light, the course marshal yelled, "I'm not stopping traffic, you have to wait!" So I hit my breaks with my right hand, while still signalling with my left arm. This caused the bike to jerk, the front wheel swerving. My right foot popped out of its clete. My waterbottle was hanging upside down, barely staying in its cage. I almost lost it and crashed.

The light finally turned green and I slipped behind the car going straight. No one coming towards me. I was in a fast gear for going downhill, so I lost time regaining momentum and downshifting to an appropriate gear.

I have to say, I'm raelly annoyed at the course marshal. What's your purpose if you're not going to stop traffic? When I volunteered in 2007, I did stop traffic to let the bikers go unobstructed. That lady was just wasting her time sitting there.

But anyway, I am really, really pleased about my bike leg. Averaging 20 mph on that course is no trivial matter. A lot of that spinning work over the winter paid off here. Shaving 1:44 of last year's bike is very solid.
What would you do differently?:

I wonder if I need to carry 2 water bottles (1 water, 1 gatorade) in a sprint race. I drank only a few sips of gatorade on the bike and none on the run. Hydration and calories were no problem at all. I didnt touch the 20 ounce water bottle once the whole race. Probably an unneeded pound of extra weight. I know bikes cost about $1,000 extra for each pound below a certain threshold. All I gotta do is bring only 1 bottle. Something to consider.
Transition 2
  • 00m 36s

This went very smoothly. Bike racked. Shoes swapped. Run to the exit. Got the 28th fastest T2 time.
What would you do differently?:

  • 27m 41s
  • 3.4 miles
  • 08m 08s  min/mile

After many hard bike rides, my legs are really sore, especially my hamstrings. Not today. Yes, they felt the effort from the bike, but they were fine. I was breathing hard, but could keep it under control.

I passed 3 people in the first half mile. And got passed for the very first time the whole race by some guy who started about 15 minutes ahead of me. This guy could run like the wind.

I continued to pick off more runners. (What??? Me pick off runners?) Yes, I did. I picked off people throughout the entire run. Might be the first time in my life for that. I did get passed by a few. Including a couple of people who started after me. I knew that would happen. I was just surprised it took them this long. It wasnt until the 2nd leg of the run triangle, near Mendon Center school.

Just past the Mendon Center elementary school, my wife was waiting to cheer me on. She had dropped off the kids at her parents, whose house is inside the run course. It was nice to see a smiling, cheering face.

I kept plugging along on the run. Working hard, but in control. Up the hill. I looked at my watch and saw 1:08. "DUDE! You're going under 1:20! GO!!!!!!!!!!"

We turned onto Barker road. Flat to the finish. I worked up my pace here and was really breathing hard. I pushed and pushed. "GOOOOOO!!!!!!" Onto the pathway. "KEEP IT UP!!!!"

I crossed 64 and to the final shute. Jackie, Kam, and Ken were there cheering me. I thought I heard someone yell to sprint. But I was going for all was worth.

I crossed the finish line and hit the stop button on my watch. It read 1:19:44. I broke my 1:20 goal and beat my time from last year by about 3 minutes.

I walked to the chip return and the woman was commenting on how huge my calves are. I was breathing too hard to respond. I kept walking, grabbed a cup of water.
What would you do differently?:

I ran a very good race. This is my best pace for a tri run and darn close to a PR pace for any run race.
Post race
Warm down:

It took me a minute or two to get my breathing under control. I talked with Jackie, Ken, Kam, and a few non-BT folks.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I had a really good race. PR paces for the bike and run. Beat last year's time by 3 minutes. Tough to complain about that!

Event comments:

I really enjoy this course. Its a fun race and it will always be special to me as my first triathlon.

I have some definite bones to pick with the organizers though. 1) I got screwed on my swim seed. I called them twice before the seeds were announced to get it straight and they still messed it up. So I had to pass 9 freaking people on a 300 yard swim.

2) My swim and overall time are overstated by 15 seconds. Somehow, I started 15 seconds after I was supposed to and this was never adjusted for in the official time.

3) Many of the volunteers were really helpful. I know its a thankless job. But if you're going to course marshall, do everyone a favor and direct traffic to keep bikers safe. IF you're going to sit off to the side and let the stoplight control things, you're wasting everyone's time.

Last updated: 2009-05-13 12:00 AM
00:05:15 | 300 yards | 01m 45s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 30/313
Performance: Below average
Course: In the Pittsford Mendon High School Pool. Start in Lane 1. Swim down and back, go under the lane rope. Down and back in Lane 2. Repeat through Lane 6. Get out, run through the hallway, down some steps, out of the gym, across a parking lot, down some steps, then hit the timing mat.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:07
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:45:03 | 15 miles | 19.98 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 34/313
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Roughly a large rectangle, going mostly north/south. It is a very hilly course. Nothing long or steep, but almost constant slope changes. Tough to get into a rhythm.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:36
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:27:41 | 03.4 miles | 08m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/61
Overall: 104/313
Performance: Good
Course: The course is approximately triangle shaped. Some hills. A good long flat for the last mile or so to the finish.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-06-07 10:16 PM

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Rochester, NY
Subject: Pittsford Triathlon

2009-06-08 6:12 AM
in reply to: #2201036

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Malvern, England
Subject: RE: Pittsford Triathlon
Congratulations on a great race.  It must be really nice psychologically to pick off runners towards the end of a race
2009-06-08 6:51 AM
in reply to: #2201036

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Pittsford Triathlon

Great race Rob!!! Nice job beating your goal time and setting a PR for the course!!!

2009-06-08 4:56 PM
in reply to: #2201036

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Extreme Veteran
New Joisy
Subject: RE: Pittsford Triathlon
Nice Race Rob!  Even with all the stuff going on with the swim, you didn't seem to get flustered and stayed focused on the whole race.  Swim time may not have been what you wanted, but the bike and the run were awesome!

I can't believe they weren't stopping traffic on the bike course; I understand the need to have an open course but to not stop it at intersections is very dangerous.  Better to stop the cars I think than have the athletes at risk.
2009-06-10 12:43 PM
in reply to: #2201036

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Horseheads, NY
Subject: RE: Pittsford Triathlon

Way to go Rob.  Another PR!  Can't believe you had to stop for a traffic light during the bike.  If that's the case, why even bother with course marshals?  Great job.

2009-06-11 8:35 PM
in reply to: #2201036

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Rochester, NY
Subject: RE: Pittsford Triathlon
Took me a few days to get here, but great RR!  You had a fantastic race!

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