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Hansen Dam Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Lake View Terrace, California
United States
San Fernando Valley Partnership, Inc.
Total Time = 1h 20m 11s
Overall Rank = 284/562
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 58/82
Pre-race routine:

Woke up, drank some water, and waited for the digestive system to switch on. Then got dressed, put on the backpack I packed the night before, and hopped on my bike. I live about two miles away so I cycled to the race site, which was pretty cool.
Event warmup:

They did allow us into the lake beforehand, which was nice. Swam about 100 yards then waited for my wave to start.
  • 12m 2s
  • 500 yards
  • 02m 25s / 100 yards

This was my first real mass start where I mixed it up with a bunch of people. Having a water polo background, this didn't freak me out but I have to admit I didn't like it very much. Too much time worrying about people when I would rather be worrying about my swim.

After the first buoy things started thinning out a bit so I could spend more time thinking about the swim. I was hoping to pick up the pace after the second buoy but mixing it up in the first hundred yards took a lot out of me and, thanks to my shoulder layoff, I didn't have the fitness to swim faster. Oh well. I can't say I'm very pleased with my swim but I will learn from the experience.

I was pretty pleased with my sighting until I headed back to the ramp. I ended up veering way off course. I got lined back up again but misjudged where I could stand up at the ramp and really sucked at getting out of the water.
What would you do differently?:

Don't have a shoulder injury that makes me lose fitness.

Swim almost all the way into shore instead of trying to judge it.

I wish I could swim in that lake a few times a year for practice.
Transition 1
  • 00m 56s

Because my run sucks so much, I need to get speed where I can and one of the easiest places to do that is in transition. This is my place to shine so, even though this wasn't a transitalon, I wanna brag: I had the fastest T1 in my age group, 16th male, and 19th overall.

Though I would like to declare myself Master of T1, I did have a problem getting into my shoes on the bike: I forgot how to do it! I am so not kidding, I was trying to slip my feet into my shoes and instead of grabbing the shoes from the front, I was grabbing them from the back. This is the second race where my brain had a post-swim fog that affected getting into my shoes. Crazy! I am just going to have to keep practicing that over and over and over.
What would you do differently?:

Remember how to put my feet into my shoes. Oh, I also forgot to have the Garmin already on so I should turn it on as soon as I rack my bike instead of waiting for later. It's a sprint, the battery will last. Lost a couple of seconds there, like a dummy.
  • 34m 4s
  • 11 miles
  • 19.37 mile/hr

This is my home course (literally--my house is on the route). I know the hills, the bumps, where to change gears, and things pretty much went according to plan. See my T1 comments for a small amount of time I lost because of shoes. I knew I was pushing myself because when we got to the Wentworth hill and turn, something I do two or three times a week, I did my usual pop out of the saddle and hustle. This time, though, I had to get back on the saddle just before the top. That's okay, though, because it meant I was pushing.

Things were going well when I got to the top of the dam but then I saw that it wasn't coned off, there were pedestrians on it, and they didn't open that first gate. WTF? This caused a few anxious moments but no disasters. I flew through that small gate because I have done that several times on weekends.

My finest moment was when I was passed by a guy on his aero bars wearing an aero helmet. The plan was to just go hard on the first half of the dam, then upshift and push it on the second half. That's when I passed Mr. Aero and he didn't catch me until the run. Did I mention that I ride an 18-year-old 14-speed road bike?

My next finest moment was my family cheering me when I passed our house. They even wrote notes on the course in chalk.
What would you do differently?:

Lose weight, keep training, new bike next year. Going from not riding one year ago to how I did today, I'm very happy.
Transition 2
  • 01m 13s

I passed one guy at the dismount line and another guy while I was running to the racks. No Lock Laces this race so I was slowed down by tying my shoes. I think I did a better job of running while putting the race belt on. 35th in my AG so a pretty average T2.
What would you do differently?:

Lock Laces.
  • 31m 55s
  • 3 miles
  • 10m 38s  min/mile

My run is simply horrible. I know it and it is reflected in the results. It will get better the more I train (I've only been running since February) and the more weight I take off (230 but going down). For me, I was at a great pace so I am pleased with the run. I had shin problems that I had to work through after the first half but they did go away the last few hundred yards.

Funny (to me) story: towards the end there was a guy who had passed me but was walking before we hit the last hill. Looked like he was saving himself so he would have a strong finish in front of the crowd. Whatever. If I had anything left in the tank I would loved to have outrun him at the finish but I left it all on the course.

And I never stopped to walk.
What would you do differently?:

Train more. Lose weight. It takes time but I am making progress (if you think this pace is slow, you should have seen what it was a couple of months ago).
Post race
Warm down:

Luckily they still had fruit to nibble on when I finished (they did run out while there were quite a few people on the course). Just water, no sport drinks. I just wandered around eating oranges and catching my breath.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I weigh 230 and have been training on the bike for only a year, and on the run since February. ;-)

Event comments:

The race organizers had a lot of amateur hour moments. My swim cap wasn't in my registration bag so I had to go back and get one. When I did I saw that by that point they only had shirts for the bags and they had run out of caps in the right color.

The bag was also missing helmet and bike numbers, which meant we had to spend race morning in a line to get them.

Then there was the top of the dam with pedestrians (no cones) and closed gates. Lame and potentially dangerous.

I'd rather not focus on that, though, because the course itself is wonderful. The lake was the perfect temperature. I love the bike course. The run course was a blast. I had a friend who travelled from the San Joaquin Valley to try the race and she loved it so much she's coming back next year.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2009-05-07 12:00 AM
00:12:02 | 500 yards | 02m 25s / 100yards
Age Group: 34/82
Overall: 224/562
Performance: Average
Suit: Louis Garneau Tri Suit
Course: Down a ramp in a mass start (in waves that didn't necessarily correspond to your age group), then a simple rectangle around three buoys, then back to the ramp.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 00:56.1
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
00:34:04 | 11 miles | 19.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 32/82
Overall: 204/562
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: A loop around the Hansen Dam block, finishing over the dam and back into the park. Rollers and a couple of not-so-steep, short hills.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 01:12.7
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:31:55.3 | 03 miles | 10m 38s  min/mile
Age Group: 77/82
Overall: 461/562
Performance: Average
Course: Short run on asphalt and grass and then it's all trails and nice soft (but not too soft) dirt. Gentle hills (except for the last one at the end) and just a couple of patches with sand. A fun course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-08-18 12:35 AM

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The Beautiful San Fernando Valley in Sunny L.A.
Subject: Hansen Dam Triathlon

2009-08-18 1:18 AM
in reply to: #2354883

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Extreme Veteran
Sherman Oaks, CA
Subject: RE: Hansen Dam Triathlon

yay! nice job on your home course!  the race is always a bit disorganized and it grew by at least 200 people this year over last, so definitely some challenges for the organizers...

2009-08-18 9:18 AM
in reply to: #2354883

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Subject: RE: Hansen Dam Triathlon
Hey, you did great! And you still run faster than me and I don't have any weight to lose, no excuses, except that I just started running in March maybe? How fun to run past your own home during a tri. That must have been really cool. Too bad the lake is only open for swimming during the tri, though. But you're right, the water felt great.
2009-08-18 4:26 PM
in reply to: #2354883

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Ventura County, California
Subject: RE: Hansen Dam Triathlon

Great report!
Really cool that you rode your bike to the start!

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