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Sunfish Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Meridian, Mississippi
United States
Meridian Athletic Club
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 50m 52s
Overall Rank = 67/110
Age Group = F 30-35
Age Group Rank = 14/21
Pre-race routine:

The event site was about an hour and half drive from the house, so I was up at 3:00 and out the door at 3:25 headed north. Stopped at a gas station to pick up a nutritious breakfast of poptarts, powerade and water. Sipped on a bottle of water for the whole drive. Arrived at the site just after 5, registration didn't open until 5:45 so I sat in the truck and choked down one poptart. I'm not good at eating early in the morning, and really not good at eating before an event, so I did what I could. Once registration opened I got my number and checked my stuff into transition. My friends arrived shortly after and I hung out with them. It was nice to know someone and have something to get my mind off the nerves.
Event warmup:

Really nothing. I stretched a little bit, ate two chomps and finished my bottle of water. We were so bunched up in line for the TT start that swinging my arms to stretch was out of the picture. My turn came and I ran down the ramp and dove in.
  • 11m 36s
  • 586 yards
  • 01m 59s / 100 yards

I ran until I was knee deep then dove in and started my easy stroke. Almost immediately I wasn't sure I could make it. I didn't panic, but just didn't want to be there. I have swam TONS in open water so this was nothing new, just race day nerves. I settled into my stroke and just worked to find the first turn bouy. I passed a few people, and had someone clipping my toes for the first leg of the course. I guess they were drafting off me, which is odd cause I'm slow, but I had to be careful not to kick hard, didn't want to hurt anyone. The leg to the first turn was into the sun so sighting was tough but I worked it out. Made a tight turn to the bouy but was getting knocked around in traffic so I swam out a little wider. For the second leg I sighted a few times, then realized I was sighting off someone's red swim cap instead of the red bouy. Thankfully they were going pretty straight. Hit the second turn and headed for home. I got into a clump of people, not sure if I was passing them or they were passing me, but I finally got clear of them and my hand hit the clay at the finish. Hopped onto my feet and picked up someone's timing chip that had fallen off... oops. Handed it to the volunteer and headed for T1.
What would you do differently?:

Swim faster. I regularly swim 1500-2000 yards non stop so I should be able to swim this short distance pretty quickly. I just don't want to wear myself out on the first leg of the tri. Overall I'm happy with my swim and feel like I sighted really well and didn't panic when I got into a clump of people.
Transition 1
  • 01m 10s

Thankfully T1 was right at the swim out, so that was awesome. My bike was racked about halfway to the bike out. Everything went so much more smoothly than my last tri where my bike got stuck on the adjacent bikes. I put on my bike shoes and they are slick so no running with the bike. I hopped on and couldn't get clipped in, of course.
What would you do differently?:

I feel like this went very smoothly, the only way it could be faster if I learned a flying dismount and was able to run with the bike.
  • 1h 01m 39s
  • 17 miles
  • 16.55 mile/hr

For the first time I was actually happy to be on the bike. It was my 4th ride on my new Speed Concept and I felt great. Right out of transition is a quick but steep uphill onto the dam, I stood to climb that hill then settled into the aerobars. My main concern was that I have only ridden the bike on a paved, clean, straight rail trail, so I was weary of gravel and sharp corners. However, I did spend most of the time in the aerobars and felt really good. The seat is horribly uncomfortable though, so I was wiggling all over to find a position that didn't hurt the bum. The course was crazy hilly, with long, grinding uphills and short, fast downhills. I stayed seated for most of the hills and even passed several people on the uphills. At just past 5 miles in I dropped my chain at the top of a hill, thankfully it was the top of a hill so I didn't lose much time getting back up to speed, maybe 30-45 seconds lost total. About 14 miles into the bike I started feeling weird, I had been drinking some, but had not eaten. My mouth and tongue got tingly and I got a tiny bit nauseous. I realized I had probably used up that one poptart and two tiny chomps and needed some nutrition, so I ate my Gu and took a swig of water. I slowed down and spun easily up the last few uphills and by the time I got back to transition I was feeling good and ready to jog/wog. I didn't take my feet out of the shoes because the bike in is at the bottom of that quick, steep hill and I wanted to be in control. I did unclip and wasted no time in hopping off the bike and carefully making my way to the rack. One thing I did feel very proud of was on the last short, quick uphill I passed back 3 people on super light carbon bikes with aero helmets who had just passed me 50 yards before. I feel like I could be a decent climber if I put in the effort... so now I know what my goal is.
What would you do differently?:

I need to eat a better breakfast or take more nutrition so I don't start feeling weak on the bike. Other than that I feel good about my ride. I know I can push harder on the bike, I'll just have to make it hurt. I have a feeling this winter is going to be filled with intervals and hill climbs. I want to be the one passing everyone on the uphills. Channeling my inner Andy Shleck.
Transition 2
  • 01m 7s

I'm very pleased with this transition. Speed laces on the shoes are wonderful when they aren't too tight. I got my helmet unbuckled and off quickly and bike shoes off, running shoes on, grabbed my hat and race belt and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Get more confident in leaving the shoes on the bike, I've been practicing this, but with the steep downhill right at dismount I wasn't going to risk a faceplant on my 1 week old bike. Other than that I feel like I smoked this transition.
  • 35m 21s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 11m 24s  min/mile

Ugh... the run. I don't mind running, I'm just S L O W. I took off out of transition and felt great, the bricks I had been doing have paid off and my legs were ready to go. I did walk the first steep uphill right out of transition, why burn that match right at the start? Once at the top of the hill I settled into my wog/jog/trot. I felt good, while others were commenting about how hot it was, I felt fine, I've been running at noon when the temps are in the upper 90s with heat index over 100, so it being in the mid 80s was wonderful. I thanked the volunteers, joked with a few of them and the other runners. For the first time I experienced cold sponges in a tri. WOW that water is cold when it goes down my back. I wasn't even that hot, just took them so I didn't get too hot. The cold water was shocking but felt great. I actually passed one or two people who weren't walking. Booyah! About a quarter mile out I upped my pace then kicked it down the hill to the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to friggin run faster! Geez... I jogged all but the first little hill and my time is dreadfully slow. The funny thing is that I can hold a sub 10 minute mile for 3-4 miles on a treadmill, but when I get on the road it feels like a gargantuan effort... and I actually spelled gargantuan right the first time. Oh speed intervals... you and I are going to become great enemies.
Post race
Warm down:

They had plastic pools filled with bottles of water at the finish, I thought that was a hilariously great idea. I downed about 4 bottles of water and talked to my friends for a while. My buddy had finished 10 minutes ahead of me in his first tri, but he's a fast runner and biker. We all discussed why on earth a race would have greasy food for the post race meal and how none of us could stomach that after the effort. Then I, starving, decided to grab 2 slices of pizza and an oatmeal cream pie for the ride home... OMG that pizza was amazing. In my defense... this was about 45 minutes after I had finished... so it's ok, right? I drove home and took a nap, 3:00 is too early to wake up!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My own lack of confidence in my body's abilities. I don't push myself as hard as I know I could because I don't want to run out of energy. It's time to stop making excuses and just push myself to find those limits.

Event comments:

This was the 25th anniversary of this race and you could tell... these guys know how to organize a race. Volunteers everywhere, everything was perfectly organized, everyone was friendly and knew what they needed to do. There was an aid station every half mile on the run offering either cold sponges (that were COLD), cold water (also COLD), or both. At the last aid station I didn't need water but the guy asked if I wanted a shower, I said sure so he threw the cup of water on me... awesome. This is a popular event for the area and I see why... great venue, great people, great race. I'll be back next year ready to conquer those hills!

Last updated: 2011-06-20 12:00 AM
00:11:36 | 586 yards | 01m 59s / 100yards
Age Group: 10/21
Overall: 0/110
Performance: Good
Course: Triangular course with single red intermediate bouys and double red turn boys.
Start type: Run Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:10
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:01:39 | 17 miles | 16.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 12/21
Overall: 0/110
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Super hilly course on some county roads, one in particular that was SOO rough I kept getting vibrated forward in my aerobars.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:07
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:35:21 | 03.1 miles | 11m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/21
Overall: 0/110
Performance: Average
Course: Loop around the lower lake, mostly in the sun but they had cold sponges and water. Pretty flat except for one uphill right out of transition and another just before a half mile to go.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 5

2011-07-18 10:18 AM

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Subject: Sunfish Triathlon

2012-07-02 11:58 AM
in reply to: #3601587


Subject: RE: Sunfish Triathlon
Thanks for this report.  I'm registered for this year, and it helps to know what to expect from someone down to earth about it.  Much appreciated!!!
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