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Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate - TriathlonOlympic

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Cazenovia, New York
United States
CNY Triathlon Club
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 39m 34s
Overall Rank = 40/178
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 5/21
Pre-race routine:

This was my first olympic tri of the year after doing a sprint in June and the musselman half iron aquabike in July. Cazenovia is a lovely small town on one of the Finger Lakes. Very peaceful and tranquil from what I saw.

I got a preview of the bike course on Friday when I rode the sprint course and some of the run course. So I had an idea of what was in store for me. The most challenging tri course I've ever done.

I went to bed early and set the alarm for 4:05 AM. I only woke up twice in the night, which is pretty good for a race day. I put on my tri outfit and some clothes over it. Breakfast of a large bowl of rice crispies in almond and some blue berries. I had this same breakfast at mussel and it seemed to work well for me.

I filled my water bottle and gatorade bottle, grabbed a large cup of coffee, and hit the road at about 4:35. Almost a 2 hour drive. The Thruway was largely clear and I made good time to Syracuse. The sky started getting light about that time. I got through Syracuse with no problem and got on the road to Caz. I stopped for some more coffee and hit the restroom. I got to the race site about 6:30 and was able to get a good parking spot.

Walked down to chip pickup and body mark. Get that done. Get bike and stuff out of car and find a pretty good bike spot. Get that ready to go. Took a gel about 6:50. I had some extra time so I went back to the car and listened to some music. I ate my second banana here with my first being on the drive.

At 7:30 the pre-race meeting was going on. They said they found a timing chip on the grass and asked the owner to come claim it. I looked down at my ankle and saw that I had no chip. I went and claimed it, but another guy lost his too. So I went back to the chip dispensing area and got one re-assigned.

New chip on, back to the rest of the meeting. Get on wetsuit and down to the water.
Event warmup:

I went for a few minute jog. Got in the water for a couple minute swim.
  • 28m 10s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 53s / 100 meters

I was in the 2nd wave, men 40-59. I had heard that this can be a very rough start. I figured with this group, however, it would not be too bad. And I was right about this. I lined myself up on the front line about 2/3 to the left.

The horn sounded and we all pushed off. I got out strong. With the significant wind coming up the length of the lake from the south, there was some good chop coming from my left. So I breathed mostly to my right. And after a short while, I could see that there were a couple guys on the far side pulling ahead with me even with them. A couple breaths to my left let me know I was ahead on that side. So back to breathing on my right where I could see my fellow leaders.

We more or less converged shortly before the turn. I dropped in behind with the thought of drafting. The 3 of us made the turn and we were all kind of checking each other out, seeing who wanted to lead and who wanted to draft. I moved ahead for a bit.

Then I don't know what happened. I blew up. No other way to describe it. I could not get my breath under control. We were going down wind so the chop was no issue on this leg. I just could not get under control. I was so out of control that I considered finding a kayak to hang onto. But I could not do that. So I did something that I havent done in a race since my first year of doing tris back in 2005. I flipped over and started backstroking.

I ended up backstroking much of the long backstretch. I was trying hard to settle down and relax. Breathe. I have the realization that the wetsuit makes a huge difference in flotation. I was sooooo much higher in the water than when I backstroke in the pool. We sometimes forget just how much of an advantage they are.

I used the sun to navigate this stretch. I stayed pretty well on line despite not seeing ahead for a good while. I eventually rolled back over to freestyle and to sight the next buoy. But it didnt take much freestyle before I wanted to get backstroking some more as I could not breathe well. But I had to be on my stomach to see the buoy and navigate. I just tried to suck it up and deal.

Around the buoy and head back towards to start. And back into the chop. When I tried backstroking again, the waves were rolling over my face and interrupting my breathing. I had no real choice but to roll back over and freestyle it. I really struggled on this leg. Eventually i made my way near the turn buoy and saw that another wave was starting.

The first lap was finally over. I turned back towards the first buoy, along with the crowd from the new wave. But I finally started getting under control. The first buoy came fairly quickly. The long backstretch went calmly and uneventfully. Such a dramatic contrast to the first lap. Hit the turn buoy towards home.

I got a touch off in my navigation here, going a bit too left. I didnt see the true exit spot very well from the turn buoy. So I targeted the wrong spot. Once I saw the actual exit spot, I realized that I was a bit off course. Nothing to do but go straight to the exit. I actually had to go almost parallel to shore to get to the right spot. Oh well.

Get to the boat ramp, stand up, and start the steep uphill run to transition. I was able to get my wetsuit top off well on the run, as well as my goggles and cap.

A quick glance at the garmin had my swim time about 27:05 or thereabouts. My slowest oly swim ever.
What would you do differently?:

This started out as the best swim I've had in a race. I was leading and in perfect position to draft at the front. Then I blew up and ended up with the slowest Oly swim I've ever had. Why?

I thought about that quite a bit on the long drive home. My best guess is a lack of real warmup. I know that to swim really well, I need a good 15 minutes in the water. Now this isnt feasible in many tris. And I've had many with little to no warmup. And no blow up in those. But I also didnt go all that hard at the start in those either. Not that I was going super hard today either though. My best guess though is that if I plan on getting to the front of a wave, then I need to warm up well. Otherwise take it easy, get into the race, then pick it up.

I was astounded to see the results with me having the 17th overall swim and 2nd in my age group. A total non-sequetor to how the actual race went.
Transition 1
  • 00m

T1 time was included with the swim in the official results.

Both transitions were ok. Not great. No real problems either.

It was a long uphill run from the water to my bike. I found it fine and sat down to remove my wetsuit. A touch of trouble getting it off, but nothing major. I stood up, put on helmet and sunglasses. Grabbed the bike and headed for the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 1h 17m 25s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 19.26 mile/hr

This is the toughest race course I've ridden. There are several material hills that force you to go anaerobic. You are either going up or down for the first 20+ miles. Only near the end do you get any real flats. Getting a good rhythm is very difficult.

I had my shoes on my bike. There is a rather steep hill upon mounting. So I didnt try to clip in. I just put my feet on top of my shoes and pedaled up to East Lake Road. There are some flats for a mile or so until a turn up away from the lake onto Hoffman. I used that time to get my feet into my shoes and get in a gel. I also finally started my bike computer here and hit my garmin to switch from T1 to bike.

Hoffman is a significant hill. They actually do a time trial for this climb as a secondary prize. No idea how my time compared. I wanted to keep my power down on this climb to save the legs. Left onto Ridge Road. And more uphills, though not as steep as Hoffman. A couple of miles of rollers that generally go up before a long extended downhill. The wind was behind us, and cruising at 30+ mph was easy. I actually coasted a fair amount of this as there was no real benefit of pedaling.

Then the huge downhill. At the top, there is a fantastic few looking for miles and miles to the north. Just gorgeous. But sightseeing when the bike is accelerating through 35 mph up to 45+ mph is not a good idea. After a small flat after this hill, there is a sharp left hand turn. I'm sure many people just blew through this stretch, carrying all their momentum. But with strong winds buffeting us, I was braking to maintain control. I still topped out at 46.5 mph.

We turn west and have the wind at a cross. Some rollers for a mile or so back to East Lake Road. I got in some heavy doses of Gatorade Endurance through here.

At the turn onto ELR, I let out an expletive when the wind hit me in the chest. Not from anger or frustration, but from disbelief at just how strong it was. We were heading south, dead into the teeth of it.

Not much time to whine and complain as there is a very steep hill. What went down a couple minutes ago, now must go up. The wind became minor compared to the hill. There were a lot of cute phrases written in chalk. "You PAID to do this!" "What would Lance do?" "Up, Up, Up!" You get the idea.

This climb was the first and steepest of 4 rises. Finally at that top. Significant rollers for a bit. Then the turn up Chard.

"Chard is Hard" is one of the chalked phrases on the road. No kidding. At its steepest, I was pushing about 420 watts and going 6.8 mph in a 28 sprocket rear gear. That one hurt a bit. Chard ends on Ridge. We are back on the course from the first loop. Now there are a lot of sprint riders too.

On the rollers here, I take in my 2nd gel. A good bit of gatorade too.

Then the long downhills. I enjoyed the lengthy period of time coasting here, letting the legs recover and rest. A lot of race left to go. The wind was picking up a bit too, so keeping good speeds was not a problem.

The steep downhill had me a bit more cautious than the first lap with the stronger winds. More GE on the rollers back to ELR.

About this time, I started realizing the worst of the hills was over. This helped my energy level some. I actually pushed more power on the second climb up the steep part on ELR on lap 2 than the first time. The 3 other climbs went ok. But quad fatigue was setting in.

I was very happy to pass the Chard turn. Some smaller rollers for a bit, then some general flats. I took in my 3rd and last gel in the couple miles before the end.

I also got my feet out of my shoes and pedaled the last bit with my feet on top. I was a touch early in doing this as I didnt know the course super well. But no big deal.

The turn to transition put us on a steep downhill. Very short. Ride the brakes until dismount.
What would you do differently?:

I really don't know what i'd do differently. I tried to keep my power in check on the hills, but you really aren't given a choice on 4 of them. Its go rather anaerobic or walk. I could have taken more advantage of the steep downhill by not braking. But I'm safety conscious when it comes to high speeds.

I perhaps could have pushed more in other spots. But my quads were already talking to me by the end.

I don't know. I leave this bike ride a little frustrated. Like I could have done better. Should have done better. But I can't really identify what I could do to improve, other than the obvious of train more.
Transition 2
  • 01m 20s

T2 was much like T1. It went ok. Not great. Got bike racked ok. Helmet and glasses off. I then sat down. Now this step does take extra time. I put some body glide on spots of my feet. I get blisters wearing Vibrams and this would help with that. I got the Vibrams on ok. Grabbed my race belt and visor and headed for the long run to the exit.

Ranked 73 OA
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 52m 39s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 29s  min/mile

This would be my longest run to date in Vibrams. I started them about a year ago. Its been a slow transition with substantial adjustment to my calves, achilles, stride, and blister patterns.

We had to run downhill in transition to hit the run exit. So we had to run back up the steep hill to start the run. I could feel my hamstrings a touch here.

We turned on to East Lake Road again. And enjoyed the wind hitting us in the face. On the run, its cooling. A nice contrast to having to fight it on the bike.

I really like how my legs feel coming off the tri bike. They are so much fresher than they were on my road bike. While I fatigued them pretty well for biking, I felt pretty fresh for running.

We went maybe a 1/4 mile on ELR and turn left. Another 1/4 or so and turn onto Ridge. Then the hills start. This first hill is actually fairly steep, the steepest on the run course. Overall, its mostly up until the turnaround. A couple quick small downhills thrown in, but the first half is largely uphill.

I cruised along, felt the HR go up on the climbs. I did walk the 2nd water stop and got a quick drink. The rest, I poured on my head. Back at it. Up and up we go. Finally to the turn around. My pace noticeably improved going down.

I started picking it up with a couple miles left. Miles 3 and 4 saw me average an 8:43 pace. Mile 5 down to 8:16. At about the 1.5 mile mark, I started redlining. Mile 6 pace 7:38. The last .2 miles hurt a lot. 7:08 pace. We turn back into the park. Where is the finish line? What? We gotta run all the way down this hill on the heavy gravel and rocks? ARGH! Then go across the grass. Finally to the finish!
What would you do differently?:

This was my longest run in Vibrams. It went well. I did get blisters in a couple spots. My calves talked a little in a couple places. But it was a very good run for me. The only thing I'd do differently is pick up the pace earlier. I could have gone harder earlier.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around and settled down pretty quickly. My overall energy was fine. My leg muscles were quite fatigued though. I'm going to be sore for awhile.

Event comments:

A well run race. A very tough course. Sufficient volunteers to run this well.

Last updated: 2010-04-28 12:00 AM
00:28:10 | 1500 meters | 01m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/21
Overall: 17/178
Performance: Bad
Time includes T1
Course: 2 loop course. Out on a diagonal to a far buoy. Sharp right turn to go parallel to shore for the long back stretch. Round buoy and head back towards the start. Not s true triangle, but more of a rhombus.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
01:17:25 | 24.85 miles | 19.26 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/21
Overall: 45/178
Wind: Strong
Course: A 2 loop course, shaped generally like a rectangle. The 2nd loop is shorter than the first. Very hilly course. Many significant hills that require you to go anaerobic or walk.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:20
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:52:39 | 06.21 miles | 08m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 8/21
Overall: 78/178
Performance: Good
Course: An out and back course. Much of the out is uphill and back downhill.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2010-08-16 7:29 AM

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Rochester, NY
Subject: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate

2010-08-16 8:47 AM
in reply to: #3045339

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Malvern, England
Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate
Odd about the swim - I suspect you're thoughts are right though - that and pushing too hard to keep up with leaders maybe?
I reckon the navigation and waves is what affected your swim time not your backstroke - that's almost as fast as your freestyle
2010-08-16 11:12 AM
in reply to: #3045339

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate
Great job in less than ideal conditions!!
2010-08-16 1:34 PM
in reply to: #3045339

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Sunny Binghamton
Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate
Nice work on a tough day....don't beat yourself up too much. I'm still trying to figure out the whole going out fast on the swim vs. settling into a good pace early decision. I'm leaning towards a "medium" pace consistently applied throughout. I've shown I can swim fairly fast but I think when I back off a bit and keep the h.r. down I feel lots better on the bike and swim. Hopefully our next swims will be on glass and then we can really judge what we are capable of.
2010-08-17 1:46 PM
in reply to: #3045339

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Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate
nice race

dont over analyze that swim.

it was a slow swim for everyone....the chop was strong.....

2010-08-17 4:10 PM
in reply to: #3045339

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Canandaigua NY
Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate

Nice race, the chop is more exhausting than you probably recognized with the initial adreneline of the race beginning.

Considering your description of the bike course, that is a nice time!!

2010-08-19 5:41 PM
in reply to: #3045339

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Cazenovia Triathlon - Intermediate
Sounds like a tough course and you perservered!!!  Even your definition of an awful swim gave you second in your AG!! Not too shabby.
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