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Washington DC Triathlon - Olympic - TriathlonOlympic

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Washington, Washington, D.C.
United States
85+F / 29C
Total Time = 3h 49m 29s
Overall Rank = 808/828
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 29/30
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3 am, arrived to my parking spot by 4am, and transition by 0415. Had a travel mug of coffee, sipped water. At 0515 when transition closed, more water and a PB muff. Got marked and got my chip. They didn't have my number on the board, so they had to make one up for me. I wondered if my timing would get messed up as a result, and it must have. Surely I am not that slow!
Event warmup:

Chilled on the grass waiting for the swim. Listened to the reports that the roads werent's ready and that there would be a 15 minute delay, then 30 minute delay, and a shortened swim wave time from 5 to 3 minutes.
  • 45m 38s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 47s / 100 yards

After a horrible swim experience at Columbia, spent the past few weeks swimming in the pool with my wetsuit. I was talking to the Xterra rep about suits, and he mentioned that wetsuit wearers would be the last wave. Checked the temps, and to my surprise, the water was near 80 degrees. When I swam Nation's the previous September, it was only 70. Decided to forego the wetsuit, and race morning, the river was a very comfortable 81.1 degrees. It was interesting to watch the groups waiting in the pen. I was in the wave 13 with the purple caps. All of us older farts were mostly sitting on the curb just shooting the breeze while it seemed all the waves were standing and raring to go. Talked to a guy in my age group that's been doing this since 1982. Very interesting to hear about the old days. When we got up and moved to the dock, I realized we were a pretty large mixed age group, and being a slow swimmer, I hung back, and hung off the dock to be out of everyone's way as well as rest before the start. Off we went, and I swam to the right side to minimize the effect of any current as well keep clear of other swimmers. After Columbia, my focus was on breathing and a good relaxed efficient stroke. I wasn't really paying any attention to sighting figuring I would gage my relative distance to the shoreline. I wasn't very far off the bank, as I could see people pretty clearly. Came across one of the kayakers and he said I was really too far to the right. Sure enough I was since I did not take into account the difference in the course and the shoreline. 1st "Doh!" swim moment.

So, I corrected myself to port, and swam on, getting more comfortable with my stroke and breathing and the relative lack of other swimmers. Got back into the crowd, and before long, things thinned out again. Again, I was approached by a kayaker, and he asked if I was swimming the sprint wave. I looked up, and realized I was in the no-man's land between the outbound and return legs near the sprint turnaround. 2nd "Doh!' swim moment.

My sight seeing swimming excursions probably added at least 200 meters. Ok - I'm comfortable with the swim now. It's time to really begin sighting and swim this thing. The bouys were great. Large, and marking every 100 meters. Things were a little congested under the bridge outbound and inbound and around the turn, but not too bad, despite being caught by a few waves. Got punched in the side on the way back, but no biggie. The final turn towards the dock got a little interesting with the other swimmers, but I managed to swim it in without too much harm.
What would you do differently?:

Sight more often. Do the swimming drills during training.
Transition 1
  • 04m 23s

Slow jogged into transition. I cannot run barefoot in my tender feet. Took a minute or two to get my bearings. Wore my top for the swim, and this saved a lot of time, but I struggled with putting my gels in my back pocket. Ate a banana and drank a little more water. Otherwise, socks, shoes and helmet on quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to run after the swim and barefoot
  • 1h 28m 31s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 16.84 mile/hr

I have not done nearly enough biking this year, so my goal was to conserve energy on the bike and average above 16mph. The beginning stretch while flat, was slightly more of an upgrade than I was expecting, so a little slow going. My plan was to consume my accelerade and water, with a gel. I could tell it was warming up, but I didn't feel overheated. Saw lots of flat tires out on one stretch of Rock Creek Parkway. I later heard someone had dropped glass from a bridge and it was along a stretch of the course. A guy on my rack told me he had 4 flats and wasn't able to finish the bike portion. That sucks. I hope the glass wasn't intentional like the tack incident in the Tour of California.

Around the course, managed to maintain over a 16.5 average around the course. Into the dismount after the second loop, the line came up quickly, and I popped the right foot out of the cleat, and forgot the left since this is not my usual un-cleating maneuver. Felt the bike starting to lean over to the left, and was thinking, "This is going to be embarrassing." Last minute, popped the left foot out for a save! Whew!
What would you do differently?:

Bike a lot more.
Transition 2
  • 06m 23s

After dismounting, I was feeling the effects of the bike ride, and the rubber leg syndrome. Walked the fastest I could, and tried jogging a little.

Decided to switch to try socks, and happy that I did. I was surprised how wet they were from biking. I struggled with my shoes, since I had backed the laces out of the last hole to make it easier to get them on. Minor mistake here. It took me a couple of minutes to get the laces back and adjusted properly, and about 2 miles into the run, had to readjust them as well. My transition water was boiling by this point, so I couldn't drink it or use it to cool my body.
What would you do differently?:

Shade my water, and leave my shoes alone.
  • 1h 24m 36s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 13m 37s  min/mile

Getting off the bike, I knew I was already very hot and my heartrate wasn't coming down as usual. I knew the strategy would have to be run/walk, or as it ended up walk/run. I ran from shade to shade, water to water, and cone to cone. More walking than I would have liked. I probably spent a good minute or 2 drinking at the first station, drenching my head and hat. I repeated this at every water station. The volunteers were really great. The motorcyclist in the tunnel playing tunes on his stereo was much appreciated. The last 2 miles was brutal - no shade, but lots of encouragement. Played tag with a M30 year age-grouper and we pulled each other through the last 2 miles.

On the last mile, a support cart came up behind me and asked, "You want a ride to the finish?"

"No effing way!! I'm finishing this thing!"

They gave me a funny look. I don't think I looked that bad. But then, they spotted a runner down on the other side of the road. The immediately attended to him with oxygen, but I don't understand why they weren't trying to move him into the shade. It looked like he was pretty out of it and his hand was sort of twitching. Made me realize my discretion rather than valor was probably a good one.

And suddenly, there was the finish line and ran it on in.
What would you do differently?:

I think not enough long rides during my training affected my ability to pull off a better run, but I'm very satisfied I was able to finish.
Post race
Warm down:

water, water water. tried to eat something, but too soon. More water and cooling down. The Pom fruit smoothies were awsome!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Off-season injury leading to reduced training, significant weight gain, and a lesser amount of training discipline compared to last fall.

Event comments:

Being one of the last ones to finish, I was very happy to see post-race support going strong. Lots of water stations, and that was greatly needed and appreciated. I really liked the course and the support, and even though it's one of the highest priced Olympics, I'll be back next year. I've got a lot of room for improvement for next year's race, so I am really looking forward to keeping it together and doing much better next year.

Final note: Kind of funny, but you'd think the bus driver from the finish line to the transition area would know the way after umpteen trips. We had a very long scenic tour of downtown, Virginia, and back to transition from the opposite direction. I didn't mind. I was enjoying the AC and the other athletes stories of the race.

Last updated: 2010-02-04 12:00 AM
00:45:38 | 1640 yards | 02m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 0/828
Performance: Below average
Suit: None
Course: Regtangular off a dock into deep water start. Under the Memorial Bridge and back.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 81F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:23
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:28:31 | 24.85 miles | 16.84 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 0/828
Performance: Below average
Wind: None
Course: 2 Loop around the lower portion of Rock Creek Parkway, Whitestone Freeway, Memorial Bridge.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 87
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 06:23
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike Bad
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:24:36 | 06.21 miles | 13m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/30
Overall: 0/828
Performance: Bad
Course: Scenic course around the DC sites
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2010-06-21 4:01 PM

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Subject: Washington DC Triathlon - Olympic
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