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Bandits Challenge Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Wilkesboro, North Carolina
United States
Set Up, Inc.
Total Time = 3h 01m 27s
Overall Rank = 23/57
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/6
Pre-race routine:

Spent the night at Red Carpet Inn in Wilkesboro. Low budget place, but clean enough and quiet, so it was good. Stayed with Alice (love2tri), and a twitter friend, Nicole (@nicoleunc) . That was alot of fun. Went out for pasta.

My goal for this race was to try and get "even all three" as Stacey Richardson advised. That mean I had to swim harder, bike alot easier, and run harder. I also wanted to beat my last year's time of 3:06.

Alice and I drove parts of the bike and run course the night before. OMG, it looked very scary and difficult. I didn't remember it being so hilly. Alice kept telling me it was like childbirth: you block out the pain. LOL! I went to bed very skeptical that I'd even be able to beat my last year's time.
Event warmup:

Rode bike for about 10 minutes, including some sprints. Was much harder getting up that steep hill out of parking lot on tri bike, as compared to road bike last year. Doable, tho! Made sure my tri bike was in lowest gear when I racked it. Then ran around doing last minute things. Did a few strides, but really no time left.
  • 33m 27s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 14s / 100 meters

I got to swim start just in time and got in the water. Was fiddling with my stopwatch and forget to position myself in front. That was a mistake, because I got behind some slower swimmers. I was stuck there for a while, until I was finally clear to go around them.

I was swimming strong and sighting well. Felt good. Tried lots of times to draft off other people. Was swimming side by side with a girl for a while, and decided to pull in behind her. Drafted for a few minutes successfully. Then she started doing breaststroke and slowed way down. damn!

After that, some pink caps in the wave behind me (which included 45+ guys) started passing me. I kept trying to get on their feet, but they were going too fast.

I felt like I was wasting more time and energy trying to draft, so just decided to swim solo the rest of the way. Exited the water and was pleased to see 33 min.

What would you do differently?:

Make sure to get in front at swim start!!!!
Transition 1
  • 00m

T times are included in Bike split
  • 1h 33m 10s
  • 30 miles
  • 19.32 mile/hr

I saw 'Speedracer girl' as I headed to the mount line. I did not chase her. My Garmin 50 lost connection to the HR monitor during the swim. Only way to get it back was to stop, save, restart. What a pain. I think I'll use my old Polar for races. (I still love the Garmin 50 for training tho - great hr data!).

I saw 'Strawberry girl' (from last year's race) very soon after, on the park exit road. I waited until she was distracted with water bottles to pass, hoping she wouldn't notice me. I don't think she did.

A few minutes into the bike course, I got a splitting headache again. It got worse and worse with each mile, to the point of excruciating pain. There were moments that I started crying, and wanted to just get off my bike and sit by the roadside. I HTFU'd and kept going, trying to shut the pain out and focus on good riding.

Bandit's has the most picturesque bike ride, and last year I loved it. This year, I saw mountains covered with mist. Fields of horses and cows. Beautiful countryside. I did not enjoy one moment of it because of the pain in my head.

About half way, I decided to risk stomach upset and take a Goody's orange headache powder. Mark (markymapo) gave me one once on a ride, and I put it in my bento box for future use. I had a very hard time biting open the pouch. I slowed way down trying, and a girl with '48' on her leg passed. I put the Goody's pouch away and started chasing her.

Then I remembered that Stacey told me I was a good runner, and I needed to trust that. So, I let '48' go, hoping Stacey was right, hoping I could pass '48' on the run. I planned on keeping her in my sights, tho.

I got out the Goody's powder again, and again tried biting it open. Once open, I had a hard time tilting my head to dump the powder in. Would have been easier to chew baby aspirin or swallow a real aspirin. And, it did nothing for my splitting head.

By the time I was done with the Goody's, I no longer saw '48'. Crap, I hope she wasn't too far ahead.

Aside from trying to deal with the pain in my head, I watched my HR. Tried to make sure it was 155 on the flats. Mostly, I saw 140's on the flats. I'd look at my speed then, and as long as it was 19-20, I was okay with the lower HR.

I let my HR get up higher on the climbs. I tried to rest on the downs. As we neared the final stretch, I did pick up the pace. I was trying to beat my bike split from last year, and I was again thinking about how far ahead '48' was.

I took a Gu at the beginning of the bike, and one every 30 min. I miscalculated how many Gu's I would need, and realized I would be one short. I hoped to find one on the road leading out of T2.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out headache problem!
Transition 2
  • 00m

T times are included in bike split.

As soon as I dismounted the bike, I tore my helmet off with such force that I dropped it. The headache subsided almost immediately. What a relief. I don't think I could have run with that awful pain.
  • 54m 46s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 49s  min/mile

I started running with fast feet. The first part of the run is around the parking lot on a little trail. Then you go up that same steep hill that you had to ride up out of the parking lot. People always drop gels at the first part of a bike course, so as I ran up that hill, I spotted a hammer gel pouch. Damn, it was empty. Then I spotted a Gu pouch. Lucky me, it was full, and yum, lime flavor! I downed that. As soon as I got to the top of the hill, I started going hard.

I chanted "Fast Feet, butt running" in my head. The first couple miles are flat. I got to the first mile in 8 minutes. Woot. Soon after, I passed '48'. I tried to run with perfect form when I passed her, to send the vibe that I am a really strong runner, and you can't catch me. AFter that, I tried to pick up my pace just a notch. I had to make sure not to let her pass me back. Got to the second mile in 15 and change. Still flat. Then the hills hit. First you go down, down, down. Then up, then down some more. Then turn around and you go up, down, up, up, up. Very difficult part of the course.

I chanted @GoSonja in my head on the downs. Sonja is my Trakkers teammate who wrote in her blog how she "lets her body go" when running downhill. So that's what I was trying to do. I really flew down those hills.

On the uphills, I tried to just keep going. I experimented with Chi running, and Butt running. Not really sure what worked best, just kept on running up.

End of lap 1, out for lap 2. Took a 2x Espresso Gu here, thanks to @nicoleunc who lent me one last night to tuck into my palm holder water bottle.

Many turn-arounds on this run course let you see your competitors alot. I spotted Alice alot and gave her the thumbs up. I frequently spotted 'Speedracer girl', who was still ahead of me, and also gave her a thumbs up. I was keeping pace with her pretty well.

And I spotted '48' and tried to gauge whether I was far enough ahead of her. I was not, so each time I saw her, I'd dig deeper and chant 'fast feet, butt running' in my head. The 2nd lap was mentally difficult to keep up the hard pace. But I had to. I had to pull off passing a girl on the run and staying ahead.

At times I got emotional and choked up because I was doing well. I was in 2nd place. I was holding off '48'. I was running strong. But getting choked up makes it hard to breathe, so that's no good. None of that, get your emotions under control, Carol. Put that energy into your fast feet.

The final up, up, uphill, my quads were screaming at me. They wanted me to stop running. They wanted me to slack off. They were telling me that I was far enough ahead of '48', that I could afford to ease up my pace. I would have none of that, and kept going hard. Perhaps '48' was saving a big burst of energy for the final sprint, and I could not afford to ease up my pace.

It was so difficult, but I kept going hard all the way to the finish. I thought I'd break down crying, but I did not. Phew - I really hate when I am a blubber idiot! I did bend over in exhaustion tho, and a couple people, including Alice, asked me if I was okay. I always leave it all on the race course. Just as it should be.
What would you do differently?:

Great run. My run split was just 1 minute slower than Pinehurst. And this course is so much more difficult.
Post race
Warm down:

Talked with lots of peeps. Alice, Nicole, Stacey (who got #1 female of course), Speedracer, 48, Strawberry girl, and chatted with lots of people I didn't know. Such a fun day. Very tired and hungry all day long! Hard to drive home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Damn headache on the bike! Must figure this out.

Last updated: 2009-01-30 12:00 AM
00:33:27 | 1500 meters | 02m 14s / 100meters
Age Group: 3/6
Overall: 23/57
Performance: Good
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:33:10 | 30 miles | 19.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/6
Overall: 17/57
Performance: Average
Avg HR 146; Max HR 170.
Wind: None
Course: Very hilly!
Road:   Cadence: 85
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:54:46 | 06.21 miles | 08m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/6
Overall: 33/57
Avg HR 162; Max HR 171
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-08-09 6:55 AM

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Chapel Hill, NC
Subject: Bandits Challenge Triathlon

2009-08-09 8:31 AM
in reply to: #2336572

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon
Great race report on a solid race!  Congratulations!
2009-08-09 12:04 PM
in reply to: #2336572

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon
Great race Carol, I'm inspired by your ability to dissect every portion of your race and stay positive. I saw you a few times during the run (once on the bike when you passed me) and tried to give you a head nod, but I was so tired that I'm not sure if I actually made the gesture.

I was so tired after the race that I spent time in my van with the AC until they opened the road, at which point I made the 3 hour drive home.

Good luck at B2B.
2009-08-09 8:48 PM
in reply to: #2336572

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Johns Creek, Georgia
Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon
Very descriptive.  I felt like I was there via your report.  Simply awesome.  Now you've inspired me to go see a running coach.
2009-08-09 9:45 PM
in reply to: #2336572

Extreme Veteran
Randleman, NC
Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon

Way to hang in there keyone! Alice has a way of picking folks up with sayings like the childbirth/pain one she gave you. We all need to be as mentally tough as you were on that run.

2009-08-11 9:11 AM
in reply to: #2336572

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Apex, north carolina
Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon
Way to go Carol!  I hear that course is brutal.

2009-08-12 8:38 PM
in reply to: #2336572

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Subject: RE: Bandits Challenge Triathlon
Awesome job Carol!  Amazing bike split on a brutal course...  I might make it back next year...
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