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I Love the Tavern - TriathlonSprint

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Midlothian, Virginia
United States
Richmond Multisports
80F / 27C
Total Time = 2h 24m 15s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 9/11
Pre-race routine:

Up early to eat and dive over to the's about 30 minutes from the house. Closest of any of the local races to my house which is nice.

My plan was eat a decent breakfast, have a gel before the swim and another one early on the bike with a third gel at bike turn around. Had gatorade in the aero bottle to sip from on the bike. That worked well on this course--especially given how ong the swim took.
Event warmup:

Not much. Had some Mama Drama involving a teenager and certain personal issues so I was later getting out of the house than I wanted....Rode my bike from the car down to transition area. I had put the bike number on which helped cause I grabbed the timing chip on my way into transition.

Squeezing my bike in the rack I knocked over someone else's Cervelo. Dumped her aero drink. I felt really bad. She came back into transition area and I told her I had done that...she was pretty cool about it. Kept telling me "no worries, I'm good" What a relief, I would feel horrible messing up someone else's race nutrition and day becuse of my rush.
  • 42m 19s
  • 500 meters
  • 08m 28s / 100 meters

I have had a tremendous anxiety about this swim for the past few weeks. My OW swims are rarely good and we have had such a rainy spring that tri club has had to cancel almost all the OW practices.

A week ago I did a preride at the course and the river was still really high and nasty looking with strong current. Posted at over 7 feet--flood stage is 12 feet and they require life jackets over 5 feet for most people. I debated about withdrawing from the race because of the river conditions but decided to take a wait and see approach with the weather. If we had no more rain the river could fall. Plus there was discussion about shortening the swim in a variety of ways.

All this to say that I made up my mind on Friday to stick with the race no matter what. Finally had an OW practice which wasn't perfect, but I was able to swim without freaking out and kept a comfortable pace. Yeah, I know my swim is SLOW...but I'm working on conquering the demons of OWS and just getting in there is a major victory for me.

So the discussions all week were how is she (RD) going to handle the swim? We did a preswim Friday night and things were looking good to do the full distance. Then it stormed like hell Friday night and the river was up another 6 or 8 inches from the preswim level. Race was delayed so they could pull out a couple bouys and shorten the course.

I'm on the shore with my friend Lesa and we're watching the early waves head out. She is getting into panic mode watching them. Lots of folks having problems. The kayaks were sagging with all the people hanging on them. My husband said the kayaks were coming back in with 5 or more people hanging off them at a time.

I kept trying to calm Lesa down. ME, the CHICKEN SH*T of OWS trying to calm someone else down preswim!! "Just get in and swim, doesn't have to be fast...just get in and find your rhythm" She evidently chickened out, got wet and waited until the rest of the wave got out of the water to head to the bike.

I was doing okay, knew I was slow and not making a lot of headway in the current but I knew if I hung in there I would feel better about my race and swimming in general. Somewhere along the line I started to tangle with a man from wave 1 who kept breast stroking. This man kept kicking me or I'd grab him...It was freaking ridiculous. I'd try to move away and we'd still be entangled!

Hit a bouy and there were about 8 of us trying to get around. Ummmm, a whole lot of a$$ grabbing going on. They got around. I think that was the area when I sighted that I got pushed back about 7 feet by the current (my husband told me after the race that I did that) Next thing I knew I was chasing the last bouy to turn. Literally. I would sight for it, think I was there and sonfab*tch if it was the same distance away from me next time I looked. Finally realized the canoe guy was taking the stupid thing OUT. Made my turn towards the final bouy and got entangled in the freaking rope. I was so glad to hit that dock!!!

Nope, it wasn't pretty, not in the least....BUT I SWAM THE WHOLE THING and NEVER PANICKED!! My husband estimated 25-30% of people got out of the river without fiishing it. WOW, I am really proud of finishing that swim!

Our friend Francois, the nationally ranked duathlete got to he site. Set up transition. Walked over to the river and headed back to pack up his gear to go home.
What would you do differently?:

Not much I could do given the conditions we have had this year.
I do need to work on sighting more and finding a way to deal with breastrokeer from hell dude....
Transition 1
  • 01m 24s

Uneventful. I had kind of a tunnel vision thing from one eye coming out from the river, thought I had lost a contact lens with goggle leakage and figured it would be a challenge but I had to keep moving. Thankfully it slipped back into place and I had full vision...
  • 1h 08m 26s
  • 18.8 miles
  • 16.48 mile/hr

This is a challenging course. Some false flats heading out of the park and relatively flat along Hugenot Trail, one roller that I don't like but it's nothing compared to what's heading along the remainder of the course.

Once you make the left turn onto Mannakin Ferry there's very little traffic but it's pure rollers. Not too bad until just before the turn around point. THE MONSTER of all hills....usually referred to as Hill MOFO....

Last year I could not ride this hill at all. I had to walk it every time I did the loop. I faced this ride a couple times in practice and beat it both times. Mentally that is a huge victory. I know I can take Hill MOFO and keep moving. I just have to watch my mouth cause I usually refer to it as the Mother F*ker it is and I don't want to get penalties for cursing like that....

NO ONE PASSED ME HERE. I got out onto Hugenot Trail and started picking off riders. Loved saying "on your left" all day. Passed one guy on a mountain bike and commented to him that I gave him credit for doing this course on that bike. He was cool, said "it sucks but I do this for fun"

Just before the MOFO hill I started to give myself the mental pep talk that I knew I had ridden this hill twice this year and could do it. I did have to get out of the saddle to climb up the hill but I got up (and NO CURSING) I was wheezing at the crest of MOFO. Kind of scary, especially since I didn't even have a rescue inhaler back in transition.... (OOPS!) Breathing settled down when I got done climbing though, no worries.

Loved the down hill....AWESOME zooming down :) Was glad to hit the park.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, this was the highlight of the race for me.
Transition 2
  • 01m 48s

Uneventful. I let my daughter throw water on me on the way out of transition.
  • 30m 20s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 09m 45s  min/mile

The run couse on this race is always a blast. It's kind of a warped figure 8 thing through the woods so it's a trail run and really well shaded. My daughter and her best friend were volunteering on the run course with Jen (Artemis) so it was nice to have a few freindly faces out there.

Headed out of transition and my daughter is stationed with her best friend at that water stop right there. She cheere me on and I let her throw a cup of water on me. Should have gotten something to drink but didn't.

My back was tight for the first 1/4-1/2 mile but I kept running. The trail winds down along the river edge, very shady and a pretty run. It's a challenge to run trails after running roads so much. The subtle things like roots, rocks and litle elevation changes make it difficult . Started picking off runners here and there.

The trail ends into a neighbohood and you have to go through the neighborhood to the turnaround, in all it's less than a mile on pavement but it's not fun after the coolness of the trail. Got through that area--still picking off runners, cheered Lesa on--she was still headed to the turn and I was going home....

Hit the woods again. Just picking runners off here and there. Jen was out on the course cheering me on, that was nice. Picked off the last 2 runners about 1/4 mile from the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to run faster
Post race
Warm down:

My husband handed me a bottle of gatorade when they were cutting off my chip. Had some of that and an orange. Chatted with Mark and Scott from swim class. Mark opted out of the swim, he was bummed. Scott had done Bumpass with me and could tell I was a lot happier after this race than Bumpass.

Grabbed some bbq pork and rested...

I found the RD and thanked her. I think given all the weather conditions she did an excellent job communicating decisions about the swim and course. She ususlly gets a lot of flack for poor communication so I wanted to make sure she got some positive feedback for a change.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of OWS due to the rainy season we've had. River had a strong current.

Event comments:

This is a local race, usually a good race too--challenging for a sprint but not impossible.

Last updated: 2009-02-20 12:00 AM
00:42:19 | 500 meters | 08m 28s / 100meters
Age Group: 10/11
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: multiple adjustments to the course due to all the rain we've had and he river conditions.....UPSTREAM against the current 450 meters then cross current to the dock.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: High
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:24
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:08:26 | 18.8 miles | 16.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/11
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: rolling hills with a monster right before the turnaround
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 01:48
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:30:20 | 03.11 miles | 09m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/11
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Crazy 8 through the woods along the river bank up to a neighborhood, run a couple streets then back into the woods.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2009-06-29 11:12 AM

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: I Love the Tavern

2009-06-29 11:25 AM
in reply to: #2250150

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Quebec, Canada
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Awesome job on a really tough course from how you describe it. 

Great job to stay in the swim and finish it! And going up Hill MOFO too.

HUGE Grats  
2009-06-29 11:39 AM
in reply to: #2250150

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Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Great RR!  I really did laugh out loud!  Awesome job taking on MOFO!  I curse plenty when I race, you and i would make quite a team

Congrats on tackling the OWS, you rock!
2009-06-29 12:15 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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the alamo city, Texas
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
yay!  awesome work judi!!
2009-06-29 12:22 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern

That is awesome that you got in and swam in those conditions when those around you bailed out!  Great job!

Super job on the bike and run as well!!!  Way to go!!!1

2009-06-29 12:40 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Congratulations on conquering the swim demons!!!  I think it's really funny that Francois decided not to race.  Not all that surprising, but still funny. 

2009-06-29 1:39 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Gold member
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Good job on the swim and the whole thing.  No we have to decide the bet for Cayug OLy.  Good RR. 
2009-06-29 1:40 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
What a great feeling to know that you finished this swim.  If you did this, you can do any lake swim without issue.  YEAH!! Way to go.

2009-06-29 3:16 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Williamsburg, VA
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern

Judy,looks like you beat the swim demon!!!  Way to go., Good job getting up MOFO and having a killer race.

2009-06-29 6:03 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Judi! I'm so thrilled with your swim -- really nice job just getting out there and doing it. That takes huge guts and demonstrates just how far you've come. Congratulations!

Great race overall, too. That's so cool the way you charged up Mofo and picked off folks on the bike and run. Go you!!
2009-06-29 7:38 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Ames, IA
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
I can't even imagine what an upstream swim like that would be like.  Way to not just conquer your OWS demons, but beat the living snot out of them in the process!

Great race!

2009-06-29 8:39 PM
in reply to: #2250150

Iron Donkey
, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern

If you allow me to, great job with this tri.

It sounds like the swim was quite a brutal start.  Currents are killers.

2009-06-29 9:42 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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East Side of the Bay
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Strong work Judi! You can cross tame the OWS demon off your list, in fact I think he was seen leaving with his tail between his legs.  It must have felt great to finish your swim and then start picking off bikers and runners!  Congrats.
2009-06-30 6:07 AM
in reply to: #2250150

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Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
I can't believe they even let people in the water in those conditions.  I'm glad you killed it though! 
2009-06-30 7:03 AM
in reply to: #2250150

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Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Wow you did awesome!

Congratulations on well executed race and huge on breaking that ows issue you have had. I wonder if helping your friend and having to work hard kept your mind in a different place.

Tough course...nasty hilly you made it up on Blue and then picking off people on the run..all very good!

Congrats Judi!
2009-06-30 7:14 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Liverpool, New York
Gold member
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Awesome race Judi!

Congratulations on tackling that swim!!!!

2009-06-30 7:20 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Rochester, NY
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Hell of a race!!  That's is so freaking awesome that you swam in that river when so many others were bailing.  You are such a studette!!  Cool 

You should be flying on cloud nine after that race!  You rocked it!  WTG!!!
2009-06-30 7:39 PM
in reply to: #2250150

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Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Again, awesome job on Sunday, Judi! I thought about you when I was getting in the water and I really hoped you would give it a go and conquer your demons. I am so proud of you!!! And you rocked the bike and the run! Sounds like you had fun, and that's the important part!
2009-06-30 8:23 PM
in reply to: #2254454

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Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern

Swimming - UPSTREAM against the current 450 meters then cross current to the dock.
Current: High
Breathing: Good

And that ^^^ shows how far your swimming has come....

You did an OWS, in tough conditions -- and you didn't panic and your breathing was "good."

I know you've worked really hard on your swimming. Sounds like all that hard work has paid off!


2009-07-01 10:25 AM
in reply to: #2250150

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: I Love the Tavern
Definitely not a race you will forget anytime soon!
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