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Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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36C / 97F
Total Time = 2h 44m 36s
Overall Rank = 4/75
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/14
Pre-race routine:

Ugh....very hard to have one. Left Saigon at 5:30 PM; one school sandwich, chocolate croissant, and cappucino for dinner at airport. Got to hotel at 10 PM Sing time and went to bed; tried to sleep despite nerves and bad air-con. Got up at 5:30, choked down instant oatmeal and coffee; taxi to ferry terminal. Curry puff and more coffee at ferry terminal. Ferry to island, shuttle to race HQ. Assembled bike. Went to "lunch" with buddies @ 11:30; they had nasi lemak (baaaaad idea;both had GI issues in/after race); I had my PBJ sandwich and iced tea. Nauseous from lethal combo of nerves, heat, PMS, and smelling nasi lemak. Almost puked at pre-race briefing! Picked up bike, set up transition. Didn't stop feeling nauseous until I got in the water for swim warmup.
Event warmup:

Jogged about 8 minutes with some strides and stretches. Getting really hot so just hung out in the ocean for a while. A little swimming, mostly just keeping cool and diving looking for sand dollars.
  • 30m 46s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 03s / 100 meters

Didn't feel like I was swimming hard but well ahead of all but the #1 woman (who DNF'd due to bike issues). Offshore current; when I tried to breathe to left to navigate, kept getting water in the face so I generally lifted my head to sight on the buoys and this probably cost a little time. But nobody else was close. Great swim with clear water!
What would you do differently?:

Can't think of anything.
Transition 1
  • 01m 42s

Okay transition; found bike quickly but time still mediocre compared to other top finishers. Maybe because I had to stop at the mount line to tighten the straps on my bike shoes.
What would you do differently?:

Properly fasten bike shoes when putting them on; in retrospect (see below) tape energy bars to bike or put in bento box rather than tri-suit pocket!
  • 1h 21m 28s
  • 40 kms
  • 29.46 km/hr

Just an unrelenting suffer-fest, even to get that very mediocre time. My legs hurt the entire time. Troubles began straight away with steep uphill start--almost came to a complete stop. Maybe I needed to start in an easier gear! Then at about 3 km, something fell off my bike and got caught in the spokes; lots of clattering before it fell to the ground. Unclipped and got off (on a hill) to check; fallen object turned out to be one of my energy bars. Didn't even bother to go after it, just cussed and went on. At that point about six of the top women passed me. Had real difficulty with the hills. Realized I've never ridden my road bike on rolling hills and had no clue about what gears were best; some gears didn't want to shift--maybe need lubricating or fixing due to lack of use (no hills in Saigon). Very thirsty despite drinking both 500ml bottles. Managed to swallow part of fruit bar and small banana but felt like tongue was stuck to mouth by end. Discovered a new gear (literally) on the way back and this increased my speed. 11th overall at end. Never been so glad to get off a bike!
What would you do differently?:

Ride a road bike on rolling hills and learn to use the gears effectively. Minor problem--our only hill in Saigon is a bridge with a steep, about 1 km up and down slope. Tape nutrition to bike or use bento box or similar. Pre-open energy bars. Develop better overall bike fitness to ride with the "big girls". Take bikey for checkup--maybe something needs lubricating and/or adjusting. Drink more--see if I can find 750 ml bottles that fit in the cages.
Transition 2
  • 01m 32s

I felt I had a good transition but my time was slow compared to other top athletes. Maybe just need more practice.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Needed to drink more on the bike. I took some electrolyte from my "parked" bottle as my mouth was totally cotton at end of bike.
  • 49m 8s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 55s  min/km

Not as strong a run as I was hoping for, but it was good enough to move me from 11th to 4th, and doubt I could have done much more. Didn't feel that great off the bike, but nobody passed me and I just worked on passing people one at a time. Was getting into a rhythm when I suddenly got really bad "lockdown" type cramps in both quads just past 3 km. Maybe a combo of poor bike fitness and dehydration. Tried to find an accupressure point and suceeded in hitting something that triggered spasms so excruciating I screamed a four-letter word.Impressive bruise later. This resulted in being followed by one of the medical team for a while. He advised me to drink more electrolyte (it didn't work); slow down and walk (no way!), finally I tried eating the remainder of my fruit roll and this, oddly, seemed to help a bit. First time I have ever eaten anything on a run. All the while kept running and passing people, albeit much more painfully and less gracefully. Got cramp under control but not able to pick up the pace, esp. on the hill. But still passed people. Cramp pretty much resolved itself by km.8 so I attemped to pick up pace. Just then a "female issue" began. At that point I started to giggle like a nut--everything that could have happened had, except for maybe a bike crash. Remaining two km. felt pretty good and went well, considering. Very glad to see the finish line!
What would you do differently?:

Better hydration on bike. Better bike fitness and use of gears so legs don't lock up on run. Maybe don't try accupressure while running after biking (but I do it a lot in training and usually can get rid of cramps with it).
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, got a massage (which didn't help). Walked around some more. Went into ocean for a bit to splash/stretch (helped). Walked out to find a slower buddy, jogged her in (painful for both of us). Walked what seemed like a half-marathon back to bike depot and hotel. Next time, I will just go back and swim in the ocean!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Total lack of experience with road biking on a hilly course; how to use gears effectively. Possibly some mechanical issues with the gears. Weak bike fitness in general. This affected both bike and run.

Event comments:

The actual race was very well-organized; beautiful, challenging course, though the bike leg was a bit much for me. Loved the long swim in clear blue water. But logistics of transport, etc, were very difficult, very poor response from associated travel agencies and race organizers. Logistics of getting to/from Bintan from Saigon are challenging anyway (not a long weekend, not possible to get Friday off, end of school year), so I would probably give it a miss next time.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-05-23 12:00 AM
00:30:46 | 1500 meters | 02m 03s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/14
Overall: 2/75
Performance: Good
Suit: tri suit (blue zoot top, Pearl Izumi shorts)
Course: Swim course probably a bit long as most times were about 5 minutes off last year's. Top men's time was 23:44, only one guy under 26. Odd outer and inner U arrangement with run through sizable section of low water and around post on beach in between.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 30C / 86F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:42
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:21:28 | 40 kms | 29.46 km/hr
Age Group: 5/14
Overall: 22/75
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some
Course: One loop. Rolling hills most of way. Seemed to be net uphill on the way out and net downhill on the way back. Some sections in the shade but I recall being out in the sun a lot.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Bad
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:32
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:49:08 | 10 kms | 04m 55s  min/km
Age Group: 2/14
Overall: 6/75
Performance: Average
First lap about 24 minutes; second lap about 25 minutes. Horrid time, but nobody else was very fast, either.
Course: First kilometer flat along beach, 2 km mostly uphill to 3 km mark, about 2.5 to 4 km was unpaved, rocky dirt road, 4-5 km flat. Two loops of 5 km course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-05-24 6:25 AM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

2011-05-24 12:50 PM
in reply to: #3515278

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

SUB 3 for your first Oly and as a newbie triathlete ... I don't care how good a runner you already were,

THAT'S INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enormous congratulations are in order for all your hard work and super race effort despite crappy logistics (oh, and don't eat ferry terminal food ... ha ha ... )

Awards most deserved and it looks like you're in it for the long haul, which is great, because not only are you superbly diligent, seriously hard core, and talented ... you're also very generous and in turn have frequented the boards to give advice and your experience to others. Thanks. It's a privilege to know you.

I say we do a deathmatch in Bali next year. I should at least be walking again by then hahaha ...

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