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Sunset Sprint - TriathlonSprint

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Bridgeton, NJ
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 33m 23s
Overall Rank = 124/365
Age Group = F 50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/8
Pre-race routine:

Drove down the day before, because it's just way to far to travel down race day morning. I managed not to get lost this time, and was able to join friends for dinner. I ate way too much, and talked too much. :-)

Race day morning I got there a little later then normal, but since I know this race well I don't need as much time to sort out the transition area. Also I was in the last wave so I don't have to be quite as crazed about getting to the swim start.
Event warmup:

Rode my bike from the parking lot to the transition area, did a little stretching, and swam a bit before hand. I used to go out and ride 4 or 5 miles before hand, but I'm finding that doesn't make a lot of difference for me, and it just makes me have to rush around to squeeze that in. I'm finding as I get older I just want to not be making myself crazy and have to squeeze a million things in before race start.
  • 15m 55s
  • 880 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

I was in the last wave with 45-59 year olds of both genders. There didn't seem to be as much kicking and getting hit. I went out pretty hard to start, and had minimal contact. I saw one of the women in my age group take off, and I had tried to draft her, but she was a little faster then me, and I couldn't stay on her feet. I figured I'd chase her down on the bike. The waves were 3 minutes apart so it didn't take me much time to catch my first swimmer from the previous wave.

In some ways I prefer wetsuit free swims. I certainly breathe better, and don't tend to hyperventilate quite as much at the start. I'm not a good enough swimmer that I chuck the thing in a wetsuit legal race, but for a non-fishy I hold my own so I rather enjoy the races where no one can wear it.

On the way back we encountered a bunch of seaweed. I felt like I was swimming in a bowl of miso soup. All that was missing were the chunks of tofu. The water color and temperature were about the same as miso soup. It startled me at first since I wasn't expecting it in lake swim, but I don't get grossed out by that kind of stuff. I just swam through it and continued to catch swimmers from earlier waves. I managed to catch at least one swimmer from each wave including the 1st with its 12 minute headstart.
What would you do differently?:

It was a good swim and only 10 seconds slower then last year's swim on this same course that was wetsuit legal. I still need to work on my technique and strength.
Transition 1
  • 02m 19s

Aggravating transition because there was a lot of sand on my feet, and I was having trouble cleaning it off. Between the sand and my wet feet I was wrestling with the socks. I used a different pair then last week, but not a pair I've used in race before. In the meantime I'm watching the woman that I couldn't stay with on the swim sit down to do her transition. I'm also listening to the conversation between a girl and her father. "Is mommy going on her bike now?" "No honey she has to change first" A few second later "Has mommy left yet?" "No she's still changing." All I know is I wasn't going to hang around to see mommy go on her bike.
What would you do differently?:

Have a water bottle to rinse off my feet.

I think Sock Guy brand goes on better then De Feet. I'll go back to my Team USA socks that seem to work better for me. (I couldn't find them when I was packing.)

Transition was slower then last year despite not having to deal with a wetsuit. Maybe it was because I was in 1st wave last year and our racks were closer to bike exit, but this year we were closer to swim entrance. Go figure!
  • 46m 29s
  • 16 miles
  • 20.65 mile/hr

Unlike last week's race where I hate being in the last wave, in this race it's not so bad. In fact I kind of like it because I get to pass more people on the bike. After the mount line we immediately go up a little hill. It's a nothing hill, but when you're approaching it slowly after mounting you encounter wobbly riders that you want to pass ASAP. My first "On you left!" came within 25 yards of the mount line. The guy was apologetic for being so wobbly. I said "No problem!"

What I remember about this race last year was the incredible tailwinds where I was averaging over 23 mph followed by the totally deflating headwinds that drove my average speed down to 20.5. This year the wind seemed to be coming from the side so my early speed was a steady 20. This course is deceptive. It seems very flat but there are subtle little hills that cause the speed to drop.

Early on the course isn't particularly crowded. I'm doing lots of passing. I pass a few women in my age group. I guess there were a few fishies in my age group that I needed to reel in. What I really enjoy is passing younger people from earlier waves.

Later on the course gets a little more crowded. I look up the road and see a bunch of cyclists. I see the motorcycle go by. I make sure I'm staying right while not passing. I'm not sure if people are drafting up there, but I'm not concerned. The great thing about this race is the bike course is on rural roads and it's one big loop. There's not a lot of traffic, and the field tends to be strung out. I had a few nerve racking moments with cars, but no biggie.

I miss getting into the little sorties with the guys on hills, but this course doesn't lend itself to that. I put the hammer down, and no one even tried to repass me.

The new helmet worked out well. I dodn't feel like I was catching wind with it. Maybe that was the extra 10 seconds that I improved with over last year.
What would you do differently?:

I still need to work on post hill recovery. Even the little rinky dink hills were beating me up a bit.
Transition 2
  • 01m 4s

I'm not sure if running with no shoes was such a good idea. My heels were hurting a bit running on the asphalt back to my rack. The last wave racks were way in the back and they had fencing up so you couldn't cut through other racks to get back.

I liked what I saw when I got back. There was 1 or 2 bikes on the 45-49 racks, and no bikes on the 50+ racks. Now comes the tough part.
What would you do differently?:

Clean T2, but I may have rethink leaving shoes on bike if the transition area is on asphalt or concrete.

  • 27m 9s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 08m 46s  min/mile

When I see empty racks in my area that gets me pumped up when I start the run. I passed a number of people at the start of the run, but that changes fairly quickly. All those people I blew off on the bike came back and passed me on the run. Fortunately it was the younger people who were passing me, or the guys in my wave. Every time a woman went by I'd take a peek at her calf to check out the age. Fortunately most of the numbers began with a 2 or a 3.

It wasn't as hot as I thought it was going to be. The humidity had dropped even since the early morning. I wasn't uncomfortable no having a zipper to pull down on the front. With these wetsuit free swims I've decided to use the Speedo fastskin trisuit. It's actually very comfortable. I took water at most of the water stations. I'd typically drink 1/2 and dump the other 1/2. Later I found myself pouring more water and drinking less.

They had 1 mile marker at 2 miles. I looked at my watch and knew the elusive sub 1:30 wasn't going to happen. Not only that I knew I'd proably not match last year's time. I seem to get slower every year I do this race. In this last mile I get passed by a 49 year old woman. Somebody I'll have to worry about next year. *Sigh*

The last 1.1 mile was tough. It took me close to 10 minutes. Either it's long or I slowed down big time. This is one race I feel like the 5K is either right on the mark or on the long side. I was glad to make across the finish line with no 50 year olds blazing down my butt.
What would you do differently?:

I do what I can with my limitations. Heels were hurting a little, so I really couldn't push harder. The soft surfaces are nice, but there are some sections were I have to really watch my footing.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around for a bit, and rode my bike back to the parking lot.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Running. So what else is new?

Event comments:

A nice small town feel to this race. The local Exchange Club does a great job with volunteers and post race food. The local cops are at the intersections. Small town feel, but comptetitive USAT sanctioned race.

Excel is a cool program because I can dump all the results in it, and play around with the data. One of the interesting things Lin-Mark includes is an intermediate time after the bike. I was in 15th place among the women, but ended out 30th among the women. I drop 15 places on the run. *sigh* In the overall I drop from 88th after the bike to 124th.

Last updated: 2005-07-11 12:00 AM
00:15:55 | 880 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/8
Overall: 138/365
Performance: Good
Suit: No wetsuits allowed.
Course: Counter clockwise rectangle lake swim.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:19
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:46:29 | 16 miles | 20.65 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/8
Overall: 79/365
Performance: Good
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Loop. Mostly flat but some small rolling hills.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:04
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:27:09 | 03.1 miles | 08m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/8
Overall: 224/365
Performance: Average
Course: Trail run through park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-07-24 8:36 PM

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Westchester County NY
Subject: Sunset Sprint
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