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Spring Fall Classic Sprint Triathlon - Fall Race - TriathlonSprint

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Lake Tawakoni State Park, Texas
United States
Big Earth Racing
95F / 35C
Total Time = 1h 51m 50s
Overall Rank = 19/108
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 2/31
Pre-race routine:

(Note: AG rank is actually my rank among all females since I placed in the overall and not in my AG).

I thought I would do just a quick race report since this is a new race and wanted those who might be interested in doing it in the future to have a description of the event.
Event warmup:

This race was at Lake Tawakoni State Park which is just north of Wills Point, which is a 2 hour drive for us coming from Longview, but really only about an hour drive or so for those coming from the Metroplex.

We got up at 4 am and hit the road by 4:30 am. Arrived at the site right around 6:30 am. Racers had to park in a field just outside of the park and walk in. I'd say it was about a half mile or so trek to transition. By the time we arrived, unloaded, and walked to transition, we had just enough time to set up, grab timing chips, potty break and then head down to the beach. The first wave went off at 7:30 am so it was a little earlier start than what we are used to, but was a good thing with the heat we've had lately.
  • 15m 22s
  • 875 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

My last race was 5 weeks before this one. I only swam ONE time since that race. I'm confident in my ability to swim the distance, etc., but it was going to be slow. They had four waves: men 34 and under, women 34 and under, men over 35, and women over 35. Each wave was separated by 5 minutes. Hopefully the race will grow, but there were only around 110 racers so 4 waves separated by 5 min. was a bit much in my opinion. They could have easily let all the men go and then all the women. For my wave (34 and uner females) we only had 14 people!

And so of course, even with only 14 people, I managed to keep knocking around with this other chick on the out leg portion of the swim. I tried going right, then left, but no matter what, we just kept ending up on top of each other. Once we made the turn at the buoy though, she was gone. Perhaps she was trying a little too hard on the first section because I never saw her again. I could see 2-3 green caps a ways up in front of me, but then I was the leader of the rest of us. I felt like I was swimming all by myself! My race 5 weeks ago I felt like I just weaved so much, but today I felt like I was doing better to hold a straight line at least. I made the turn at the far buoy to head in and I see orange way to the right. I was worried that I was missing buoys, but then realized that those were guys from the previous wave and they were swimming WAY to the right. So, ignored them and headed straight for the ramp. As I was swimming, I felt my hands start hitting land. I know you can swim faster than you can trudge through water so I kept going, but then I couldn't hardly make a down stroke because it was so shallow. I stood up and was like, I'm running all the way in! I was still a good 100-150 yds from shore. For some reason I ripped off my goggles and I am running for the shore. Well, apparently I was just on a little shallow peninsula out there because I all of a sudden went 'bloop' under the water, lol! I had already ripped my goggles off and I was too close to shore so I just swam with them in my hand and closed my eyes. I swam towards the ramp and when I thought I should be able to touch I stood up and again 'bloop' under the water. Nope, not there yet. Finally made it to the ramp and it was really slippery! Managed to claw my way out and off to transition I went!
What would you do differently?:

Swimming wise, it was probably the best I could do considering my lack of swimming. I would have avoided the whole circus act in the end though. I can only imagine what those on shore must have thought about me flailing around out there. Next time, I'll make sure to keep my goggles on until I am running into transition!

The course had to be WAY short since I was 3 min. faster than my race of the same distance 5 weeks prior. A storm had rolled through the night before carrying away their buoys. They had to drag them back and reset them so I'm sure they probably just didn't get them back exaclty where they needed to be.
Transition 1
  • 00m 52s

I haven't done much racing, and of course, haven't worked on transitions, but t1 went fine. As slow as I felt, I still had the fastest t1 of the overall females.
What would you do differently?:

I'm still not brave enough to do the whole, shoes on bike thing. Maybe someday. Otherwise, I really don't dilly-dally in transition.
  • 1h 09m 25s
  • 24 miles
  • 20.74 mile/hr

As I was running out of the water, Chris (camy) told me I was the fourth female out of the water. However, I was really 5th out of the water. That REALLY surprised me since I'm so bad at swimming. Anyway, so I was on the hunt to catch the other girls in front of me. I passed two before I even got out of the park. The third one took some time though. I had plenty of male rabbits from the previous wave to pass. I am always surprised at how some of the fittest looking, priciest bike people can't ride a bike! Just goes to show you can't judge a book by its cover! I was still riding my trusty road bike (w/ clip-on aerobars), but a friend let me borrow his Zipps! That was fun, but I probably aired them up a little too much considering the chipseal surface. It was a bouncy ride. A ways after I had passed girl number three, I found girl number 4! I passed her shortly before the turn around and then I was in the lead! I can't really think of anything too memorable on the ride, just grinded away. Coming back into the park, it was a little confusing about what direction I needed to go since there wasn't much marking or volunteers until right back at transition.
What would you do differently?:

Ride more! Cycling is what I have gotten in the most over the past few weeks, but that's still not saying much. Plus, I've been riding in a group and not in my aerobars very much. My new fit has my saddle up higher and me leaning over more, so my lower back was pretty tight by the end of the bike section.
Transition 2
  • 01m 4s

This transition was slightly longer than what it would have been normally because I was trying to bandage my feet! Earlier in the week, the skin on the back of my heels got ripped off (work stuff). I bandaged them before the swim hoping that it might stay on. Nope! So, I had more bandages ready to go in T2. Well, I got them on, but as soon as I pulled my shoes on, off it went! Fabulous!
What would you do differently?:

Forget the bandages, I had a sneaky idea that they wouldn't work anyway.
  • 25m 5s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 08m 04s  min/mile

I've only ran a handful of times over the past 5 weeks as well and none this week due to the heels. As I ran out of transition my heels were killing me, but they quickly numbed up. The trail section was fun! Can't wait to trail running season. Anyway, passed a guy on the trails, but then quickly got passed by a guy and a girl! I knew she was gone! Once to the road, I expected the hill to be a lot worse than it was. And it didn't seem too hot to me either. But of course, I was slow and plodded along. I knew first place was out of reach and when I was coming back in, I saw third place, while she was running hard, she was too far back to catch me so I was really in coast mode. Good thing I didn't slack too much, because a female from the last wave actually came in third (as opposed to the other female I saw behind me) and was only about 45 sec. behind me.
What would you do differently?:

Train! Not have my heels ripped off...although, really they didn't bother me too much on the run. Now when I crossed the line, they hurt and I couldn't wait to get my shoes off and into flip-flops!
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out with my husbnad and cheered on other racers. Went to find some food and finally grabbed our stuff out of transition. Trekked our stuff back to the car and then all the way back for the awards (and then of course back out to go home. LOTS o' walking!).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My lack of training and huge girth, lol.

Event comments:

Overall I had a really good time and enjoyed the course. I would definitely do it again and would like to see the race get bigger. Here's my pro's and cons list:

1. Super nice race directors. They were extremely accomodating and even held packet pick-up a week early in our neck of the woods, which was great.
2. I'm not a packet person, could care less about all the junk. I just want to race. However, I loved the t-shirts they gave out (one technical and one cotton). They both actually fit! And the design isn't bad either.
3. Loved the venue. You can't hold it against them that the lake was low, but really that wasn't an issue. I liked the longer bike course as cycling is my strongest of the three. I didn't think the chipseal was bad, but others had different opinions. Again, road surface is largely out of the RD's hands and you are at the mercy of TxDot.
4. LOTS of police on the bike course, definitely felt safe. There was also very limited traffic on the course.

1. The swim exit was on a deeply grooved, slimy ramp. They had carpet on the ramp, but it only went to the water's edge. They need to somehow take that carpet further and anchor it because you obviously have to stand up before the water's edge and many of us struggled to get out.
2. There needed to be either more markings and signage or more volunteers coming in and out of the park. State Parks have several little roads taking off from the main road. I struggled (and heard complaints from others) that they were unsure of which direction to go once in the park. Same issue with coming out of T2 and on the run. There were some flags up, but it was difficult to tell if those were simply roping off a section or if we were supposed to follow them. There was no one there to tell us.
3. Again, I race to do the race, not for the hoopla. However, I guess I have been somewhat spoiled by the East Texas events in that it is a fun party, hangout atmosphere after the event. I didn't realize how much I've come to enjoy hanging out with friends and competitors alike after the race. Dallas events have always lacked in the post race and this was no different. But like I said, this is probably more the norm, I'm just not used to it.

Last updated: 2011-08-22 12:00 AM
00:15:22 | 875 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 3/108
Performance: Below average
Suit: Tri shorts and team tri top
Course: The swim had you swimming in a rectangle around a peninsula. Due to the drought lately, the lake level was low and you could see where the beach area typically is, but we were well below that in the gooey mud. Water was cooler than I expected...not that it was cool in any way, but not quite bathtub quality.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 00:52
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:09:25 | 24 miles | 20.74 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 1/108
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: Originally, the course was supposed to be a 23.8 mile loop course. Thanks to TxDOT and their chip-sealing ways, some fresh chip seal was laid down on the original route. So they revised it to a 24 mile out and back course. The course is all chipseal still, but it was of the tolerable variety. I really didn't think it was that bad at all, but there was lots of moaning from the metroplex crowd. They apparently need to come visit East Texas! We'll show you something to complain about! The course is an out and back from the State Park. You head out of the park along FM 2475 for about 4 miles and then head left on to FM 47 until the turn around. The course is pretty flat with just some gentle rise and falls here and there. The turn around was at an intersection that gave us a failry wide space to make the U-turn which was nice. We also looked out with not too much wind. I bet this course (especially at the April event) could be much more painful if the wind kicked up since there is nothing to block it out there.
Road:  Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:04
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:25:05 | 03.11 miles | 08m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/31
Overall: 0/108
Performance: Below average
Course: Mostly an out and back, except when you run out of transition you run on some single track trail for a quarter mile before hitting the road. On the way back in to the finish, you stay on the road. The course has a couple of 'bumps' on the way out and then mainly downhill on the way back. Normally, the uphill section shouldn't be bad, but of course, it felt that way. No shade (other than the short trail section) on the course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-08-22 10:29 AM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Spring Fall Classic Sprint Triathlon - Fall Race

2011-08-22 11:53 AM
in reply to: #3653575

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: Spring Fall Classic Sprint Triathlon - Fall Race
Great race babe!  You always impress me with your speed on limited training!
2011-08-22 9:13 PM
in reply to: #3653575

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, Texas
Subject: RE: Spring Fall Classic Sprint Triathlon - Fall Race
Great race and WTG on the overall podium! Sorry for missing one through T1. I don't know how she slipped by me. Excellent RR and I agree with all your points. I think this race has great potential.
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