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Singapore Biathlon - Biathlon (swim/run)

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Total Time = 1h 13m 7s
Overall Rank = 7/179
Age Group = Veterans (40+)
Age Group Rank = 2/37
Pre-race routine:

Hmm...not much of one! Was unable to leave Saigon until Friday at 4:30 PM, got into Singapore at about 7:30 and to hotel around 8:45. Airline dinner not sufficient so "carbo-loaded" on fishball noodles! Got up at 5:20, had two Cliff Mojo bars and cup of coffee, left for race at 6:00. Got there around 6:20. Definitely could have waited a bit longer as it was still dark and hard to set up transition.
Event warmup:

About 45 minutes before start, ran about 1 km easy plus strides and did swim and run stretches. About 30 minutes before, swam about 200-300m easy to warmup for swim and get familiar with conditions.
  • 28m 24s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 53s / 100 meters

Strong swim with one big mistake. I got out better than in previous races by starting more aggressively in all senses of the word! By the time I rounded the first buoy I was out of the slow-swimmer scrum and able to swim my own pace. But then I somehow drifted pretty seriously off-course amd zig-zagged way too far to the right. I normally don't do this in open water--seemed to be a combination of swimming right into the sunrise, my breathing pattern, maybe the current, and just not focusing on navigation. Finally realized I hadn't seen other swimmers in quite some time and realized I'd zig-zagged about 20m (estimate) to the right of the course rope. Corrected it and the adrenaline from that mishap kept me going for the rest of the swim. After the last buoy I had a "straight shot" to the finish and no large groups of people to get stuck in. Swam hard and passed lots of people in the last 350 or so. Happy with my final "sprint".
What would you do differently?:

Do a better job of navigation! Either learn to breathe to both sides better and actually do it in the race, and/or put my head up straight to sight at set intervals. I just got too into my own pace and was so glad to be out of the "washing machine" and swimming my own race that I didn't focus enough on navigation.
Transition 1
  • 00m

No separate time given for T1, and I pressed the wrong button at the start of the swim, so my watch didn't start. It was a rather long transition area to the run start, so just guessing the time was in the 1:15-1:30 range. Definitely more than 1, less than 2.
What would you do differently?:

I took a swallow of electrolyte drink as I felt a bit light-headed and didn't know where the first water stop on the course would be. Turned out to be unecessary as there was actually water and electrolyte every kilometer! Otherwise a pretty quick transition--lace locks rock!
  • 44m 43s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 28s  min/km

Note that "run" split includes transition. Did not actually notice my watch wasn't running until somewhere past 1K of the run. Then was too spacey to make sense of it. Just used it to estimate remaining time and try to pace out my energy. Mainly tried to keep passing people. I don't remember anyone passing me but no doubt I have a selective memory!I can't get the actual run-only split due to the problem with my watch and race timing set-up. Guessing that my actual run split was somewhere in the 43 minute range. "Felt like" 7-minute pace.

Really odd sensation of being below max effort but not being able to speed up. Maybe two reasons:

1. I wasn't warmed up in the normal sense. My legs felt very tight. In a run-only race, I finish the run warm-up (jog 1-2km, stretches, strides, more stretches) just before the run. But in this case, almost an hour of swim warmup, start hold, swim, and transition came between warmup and run.

2. Maybe training-related. I have a good base from HM training but haven't done much speedwork or other racing at/below 10K pace.

One more "where is my brain?" moment--managed to bypass the timing mat on the first lap (another runner said you were supposed to bypass it on lap 1 but apparently they didn't get it)--a course official called us back to step on the mat. Not a big deal--maybe 10 seconds lost.
What would you do differently?:

Hmm....start my watch, for starters! Do a better job of familiarizing myself with the course beforehand. (The map was online in an animated format, and I had trouble viewing it with my connection.) The rest of the issues I think were training-related--need to build up to stronger tempo and speed workouts.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, got a massage, stretched, walked around some more. Probably 10-12 miles total between walking back and "power shopping". Usually I do a long, easy bike ride, but had only one day to shop so.....

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. Navigation lapse when swimming.
2. Not starting my watch. Distracting and hurt pacing. Possibly my disorganization was due to lack of sleep the night before (nerves) and on several previous nights (Tet-related events made for several noisy nights in Saigon!)
3. Confusion about the run course.
4. Training stage--mostly base and beginning tempo in both swim and run. Endurance is good, speed just not there yet.

Event comments:

Very well-organized (though I wasn't!). My only suggestion is that km markers need to be clearer. It seemed that runners were supposed to use existing signs on the trail, but they were small and not obviously placed, nor did they correspond to km in the race. Would help to mark race km trailside on cones. Outstanding aid stations, safety and medical support, race T-shirts, and prizes. I almost keeled over in shock at the generous prize I got for being second master's (medal, cash, gift certficates and gear worth several hundred dollars). Highly recommended (unless you're in my AG and a good amphibian!)

Last updated: 2011-02-14 12:00 AM
00:28:24 | 1500 meters | 01m 53s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/37
Overall: 8/179
Performance: Good
Suit: tri suit
Course: Sort of a triangle--out at diagonal to right, long section parallel to shore, diagonal in to transition area. Fairly low surf but some currents running diagonal to shore--think I was swimming into them on the long section and with them heading back.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time:  00:00
Overall: Good
Removing cap, goggles and wetsuit: Good
Getting into shoes: Good
00:44:43 | 10 kms | 04m 28s  min/km
Age Group: 2/37
Overall: 5/179
Performance: Average
Course: Flat, mostly in partial shade, but getting hot even at 8 AM. Out 1 km, two 4 km loops, in one km. Km weren't really clearly marked (except for 1, 5, and 9) and no splits provided.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %-3
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-02-14 7:31 AM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Singapore Biathlon

2011-02-14 4:08 PM
in reply to: #3353649

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West Bend, WI
Subject: RE: Singapore Biathlon

I think you did a fabulous job!!!!!

2011-02-14 10:24 PM
in reply to: #3353649

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Gurnee, IL
Subject: RE: Singapore Biathlon
You are seriously FAST!   WOW!   what are your running Pr's?
2011-02-16 5:46 PM
in reply to: #3353649

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, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Singapore Biathlon
Excellent effort Karen!  Congrats
2011-03-07 3:42 PM
in reply to: #3353649

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Singapore Biathlon
CONGRATULATIONS! Super job in a race format you weren't familiar with ... that's a very good swim time and of course you're the ssssssssmokin' fast runner.
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