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Bridgeland Sprint Tri - TriathlonSprint

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Cypress, Texas
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 23m 2s
Overall Rank = 136/600
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 9/25
Pre-race routine:

A little pre-pre-race and this will explain everything...

On Saturday afternoon my wife had fixed a half-gallon jug of strongish green tea. I pretty much drank the whole thing while working outside and during the evening thinking I was "hydrating" before the race. Never thought much about it until I tried to go to sleep.

Between tossing & turning and getting up many times to pee, I didn't fall asleep until after 2:00 a.m. When the alarm went off at 4:45, I was not feeling good. Oh well, let's go.

Drove to the site while eating my standard race day breakfast and snagged a decent spot on the rack. Visited the portacans a couple of times and set up my stuff: Two pair of shoes, bike and helmet. I wear my number belt in my shorts and carried my goggles and cap.

I had checked out the competition from the registration list posted on the race website and I knew who all the fast guys were and who I should be able to beat. My soft goal was to snag a spot somewhere between 4th and 6th in the AG.
Event warmup:

Drank 12oz of Gatorade and 20oz of water trying to get some more fluids in me before the start.

Got in the water and swam ~150 yards easy to get loosened up and double-check the goggle fit.

A quick jog back over to the portacans for one more visit after the first wave had started.
  • 13m 36s
  • 527 yards
  • 02m 35s / 100 yards

The start line was to 5-10 yards away from and perpendicular to the lake edge, and you needed to tread water waiting for the start. No big deal, but I needed to conserve energy, so I stood near the lake edge waiting the 5 minutes for the wave start. We had a pretty good-sized wave with several age groups and relay folks mixed together and my plan was to get to the inside position next to the buoy line toward the lake center. I wanted to avoid getting squeezed in between the pack and the shoreline.

The announcer called 30 seconds to go and I just wasn’t paying enough attention. All of sudden the gun fired and I was caught flat-footed and in between the main pack and the shoreline; exactly what I wanted to avoid. I had to maneuver through the tangle of slower swimmers (slow as I am, there are people slower) to get to the clear water.

The contact was typical, but not bad and soon enough I was on my way; pretty much an uneventful swim from there on. I just sighted on the big high school buildings in the distance until I got to the turn buoy, so that part was easy.

Never really tired or had any issues; just an average slow swim for me and I stroked it on in to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Be focused at the start and not get caught out of position. This cost me some time and effort, but it wasn’t a race killer.

Lack of general swim skills and fitness during this year of reduced training.
Transition 1
  • 00m 46s

I had a decent rack position and I blew through.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, every move was perfect and smooth.

Fastest in AG.
  • 39m 37s
  • 14 miles
  • 21.20 mile/hr

Mounted cleanly and hit it hard. First few miles I was smoking and averaging 23-24. I need a good bike and run to make up for my slow swimming. The road and conditions were perfect and I was excited about putting up a good time.

But the lack of sleep and energy started to catch up with me and a guy in my AG passed me; this never happens. Normally, I can outbike the slower swimmers and catch half of the faster swimmers. Not today. I did pass two AG guys during the first part.

I started fading at the turnaround point and dropped to 20-21. I was still having an average ride and passed a couple more AG guys, but really had to work at it. At the second turnaround I managed to speed up some, but I knew I had a sub-par ride.

Got out of the shoes a 1/4 mile from TA and hit the dismount line fast and cleanly.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, rode as hard as I could given my condition. Should've been 22-23 mph, but wasn't.
Transition 2
  • 00m 35s

I had a decent rack position and I blew through.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, every move was perfect and smooth.

Fastest in AG.

(I transition well, too bad it's such a small portion of the race.)
  • 28m 27s
  • 3.3 miles
  • 08m 37s  min/mile

Well, OK, the bike is done, now I can put up a good run time and still try to salvage the race. I left T2 running hard and trying to establish my stride and breathing rhythym while getting up to race pace. Normally I can run 7:00 to 7:15 miles; not today.

Not only could I not get up to pace, I was starting to fade just a mile into the race. I had passed the guy in T2 who had caught me on the bike and now he came around me moving very well. I hung with him for a while, but he eventually pulled away. Shoot, there goes an AG spot.

The legs started to want to cramp and I got a side stitch. I never get side stitches! Grabbed a cup of water at the second aid station, but a few ounces of water weren't going to help me at this point.

I managed to hang on and not get any worse. I could see the finish line area and was just cruising on in. I passed the first mat that registers your name and town for the announcer and as I was nearing the finish line mat, a guy blazes on through at an all-out sprint. I glance down and see a "50" on his leg. Dang it! He'd had me lined up in his sights, nipped me right at the end and beat me by 2 seconds. One more AG spot lost!
What would you do differently?:

Given my physical state, there's nothing I could've done differently; just keep pounding away and get it done. Almost succumbed to the temptation to walk, but never did.

Slowest run in a sprint race in 4 years. Should've kicked at the end and finished 8th (but I had no idea he was on me).

Another thing: The fastest guy in our AG ran 7:47 miles and he normally runs a LOT faster. We all ran "slow" on this particular day.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, found some friends, looked for something to eat and drink.

Looked for the BT folks, but didn't find them because I don't know what they look like because all triathletes look pretty much the same; missed out on something cold to drink.

Chatted with a guy I met at other races while we waited for transition to re-open. Packed my stuff and left.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Losing 2 weeks of training during July with a badly cut thumb, oh and...

Drinking a half gallon of green tea the afternoon and evening on Saturday, getting jacked up on caffeine and 3 hours of sleep, peeing all night and going into the race dehydrated. Crap, what a huge mistake.

Note to self: This pre-race hydration plan sucks; never do that again!

This is not a "woe is me" report, I still had a fun race with an acceptable performance; I just had the potential to have been so much better. If I'd had my usual bike & run, I would've finished 4th or 5th. It happens.

Event comments:

It was a well-run race, especially for a first time event. Found out the story behind some issues that I thought were the fault of the race management, but were NOT...

1. The lack of ice and cold drinks (& beer) was the result of a medical emergency that caused a disruption in activities. (The person is OK, I've been told.)
2. There would've been plenty of pizza, but there were spectators stealing whole pizzas and not just 1 or 2, but as many as 10 and heading to their cars when volunteers were busy. WTH?

Everything else was fine.

Last updated: 2009-08-06 12:00 AM
00:13:36 | 527 yards | 02m 35s / 100yards
Age Group: 14/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Average
Suit: Black
Course: Point-to-point: Straight for 300 yards, turn right at the big yellow buoy, another 200 yards to the finish. Well marked and easy to follow. Water wasn't bad; I've been in a lot worse.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 87F / 31C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:39:37 | 14 miles | 21.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Basically, a straight out & back with a couple of turnarounds. Smooth roads, flat and fast. Had a whole traffic lane to bike in: awesome.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 88
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:35
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:28:27 | 03.3 miles | 08m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/25
Overall: 0/600
Performance: Below average
Course: Looping through a nearby park. Sidewalks and a little bit of gravel path, some shade in places. Flat, easy course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-08-11 11:15 PM

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Waller County, TX
Subject: Bridgeland Sprint Tri

2009-08-12 8:28 AM
in reply to: #2343057

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Subject: RE: Bridgeland Sprint Tri
Great job out there.  Yeah it was warm.   Are you going to be at Clear Lake?

Thanks for the tip too.. spidey, trin2bfast, and the others in my AG will be getting some green tea in the mail end of next week... get em' hydrated for Clear Lake. 
2009-08-14 2:37 PM
in reply to: #2343057

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Bridgeland Sprint Tri
Great race considering the green tea incident. I can't believe that guy passed you at the end! GGRRRR!

Better race next time when you are not all hopped up on green tea!
2009-08-22 6:32 AM
in reply to: #2343057

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Subject: RE: Bridgeland Sprint Tri
we have good days and bad days, but we live to race another day. i know the feeling of hitting cruise control too soon and then getting nipped at the line. i bet you dont let that happen again
2009-08-22 7:07 AM
in reply to: #2343057

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New Orleans
Subject: RE: Bridgeland Sprint Tri
Wow, I am glad I read this because I love to drink green tea. I will bw sure to hydrate well for my 1st tri in October.

Great summary of events.
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