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Utsukushima Triathlon in Aizu - TriathlonOlympic

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Inawashiro, Fukushima
The Fukushima Minyu Newspaper (JTU sanctioned)
16C / 61F
Total Time = 2h 35m 59s
Overall Rank = 118/403
Age Group = 50-59
Age Group Rank = 11/59
Pre-race routine:

I got up at 3:30, got all my stuff in the car and grabbed a quick coffee. I then did the 2 hour drive to the race location, eating my normal pre-race bfast while driving. I don't think I will do this again - better to stay in a local hotel. It rained the whole 2 hours I drove and it was dark for at least an hour of the drive.

It continued to rain until we were allowed into the lake to warm up. The temp was a chilly 16 C (60 F) at the start of the race and warmed up to a high of 18 C (65F).
Event warmup:

I spent 15-20 minutes in the water warming up and then stood around in the water for 10-15 minutes waiting for the start. My warmup was about right to keep me from getting cold before the start. There were some folks without a wetsuit and they were visibly shivering by start time.
  • 31m 7s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 04s / 100 meters

I tried to take it nice and easy in the beginning, but was frustrated by some of the swimmers nearby because they kept running into me. I swam with my face out of the water for the whole race - very comfortable for me, but not very fast. I cranked up my pace for the second lap and ended up passing 15-20 people. I did get in some good drafting, but also shied away during the 2nd lap after getting my sore finger kicked a couple times.
What would you do differently?:

Swim a lot more. This year has not been good for swim practice due to the earthquake and my finger injury.
Transition 1
  • 04m 14s

I did the jog up from the beach nice and easy and basically took my time in T1. My wetsuit came off really quickly, but I putzed around a little tucking it into my basket to get it out of the way. I had put my shoes/socks into a plastic bag to keep them dry and that took a little longer. I also wore bike gloves (first time for a race) to give me a little more protection around my right ring finger which was taped.
What would you do differently?:

Actually, not a lot. I could move a little faster, but I will take the extra time for the comfort of dry shoes/socks. I will probably also wear the gloves for my HIM, but only because of my finger.
  • 1h 11m 35s
  • 40 kms
  • 33.53 km/hr

I was happy with my ride. I handled the u turns well and usually passed a couple other riders at those points by coming out of the saddle and quickly ramping back up to speed . The course ran through some rice fields and there were a few places where the headwind and/or cross wind were intense. It did drizzle a little every now and then, but that was about it.

Nutrition/hydration: I put 2 gels into a normal size water bottle with about the same amount of water. I took half about 15 minutes in and the other half an hour in. I also had one bottle with 50% diluted sports drink and drank all of it over the course of the ride. This combination has worked really well for me at the Oly distance and I only end up taking in a little water on the run.

I had some new toys for this race and I think they all helped a little: Rudy Project aero helmet, SRAM S60 front wheel, aerodisc cover on the rear wheel (a new DT Swiss rim with powertap).
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. I think I hit a pace that was optimal for my run given my current endurance level. I know I have lots or room to improve on the bike and another year of consistent training should knock off at least 5 more minutes.
Transition 2
  • 02m 52s

Slow again. I had my running shoes/hat in a plastic bag and that cost me a few seconds. I think I was also a little slow getting the bike racked because the bike next to me was pretty tight. Anyway, I did take my helmet off this time :-)
What would you do differently?:

Just move a little faster.
  • 46m 11s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 37s  min/km

I screwed up something on the garmin again trying to use multisport because I wore it on the bike too (and I really did not need it on the bike). Anyway, I did not end up resetting the garmin until about 4 km into the course.

I started out at a pretty good pace and pushed until my breathing was rhythmic (two breaths out, 2 breaths in). 3-4 minutes out of T2 and a younger guy and his wife came past me at a slightly faster pace so I followed and tried to hold on. I struggled a little, but settled in and was hanging with them for about a kilometer. His wife dropped off and after another km or so I passed him. About 4 km in I decided to try and reset my garmin - it worked and I could see that I was holding a really nice pace ranging from 4:35-4:50 depending on the slope (never very steep, but even a gentle incline would push me towards 4:50). To make a long story short, I concentrated on keeping an even pace and held on wondering all the time what my pace was for those first 4 km.

I know that the weather was the single biggest factor in setting a 10k PR, but I also think that the advice from Birdy to "run right on the edge of being crushed" helped a lot. I think I was pretty close to the edge and the cool temps allowed me to stay there.

Nutrition/hydration: I drank about half a cup of water at aid stations 3 and 6. I walked about 15 steps or so while taking those drinks. No sports drink or gels.
What would you do differently?:

nada for that race. I am pretty sure that another year of consistent running will knock off a couple more minutes under those same conditions and will also enable me to run harder under hotter temps.
Post race
Warm down:

Drank some water, ate some watermelon and peaches (fantastic local produce) and watched the rest of the runners come in. It started to drizzle again shortly after I finished and continued on through the end. The parking lots were blocked by the course, so nobody escaped until the last finisher came in.

Event comments:

They did a great job on the race organization. If they had used the previous course, I would have given them a 4 or 5 this year.

Last updated: 2011-08-26 12:00 AM
00:31:07 | 1500 meters | 02m 04s / 100meters
Age Group: 14/59
Overall: 152/403
Performance: Average
Suit: De Soto 2 piece
Course: Triangle shaped course: 350 meters out, 50 meters across, 350 meters back. Repeat a second time. Once you hit the beach, it is about 50 meters to the timing station. From the timing station, it is another 150 meters or so to T1.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 57F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:14
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:11:35 | 40 kms | 33.53 km/hr
Age Group: 15/59
Overall: 127/403
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: They called the course "technical". It was two laps arounds a fairly flat, narrow course that included 5 tight u-turns (10 feet wide and twice around for a total of 10 u-turns) and 2 railway crossings (twice around means 4 crossings). At the crossings you had to dismount about 10 feet away, run/walk your bike across, and then remount.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:52
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:46:11 | 10 kms | 04m 37s  min/km
Age Group: 13/59
Overall: 145/403
Performance: Good
Course: Two laps on a mostly flat course. This included a couple kilometers on fairly rough grass/dirt/stone roads running through the rice fields. There was also one place where the course went under a railway - you had to go down and up about 10 stairs (we hit this once on the way out and once on the way back). I could do without the rice field paths.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 3

2011-08-27 1:17 AM

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: Utsukushima Triathlon in Aizu

2011-08-27 6:01 AM
in reply to: #3661661

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Utsukushima Triathlon in Aizu
Great job Dan!!!  I don't know how the heck you can swim an entire 1500m with your head out of the water, but your time looks pretty good to me!
2011-08-27 9:23 AM
in reply to: #3661708

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Subject: RE: Utsukushima Triathlon in Aizu
Great job Dan!  sounds like a crazy swim.
2011-08-27 9:55 AM
in reply to: #3661661

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Wherever the trail takes me, WA.
Subject: RE: Utsukushima Triathlon in Aizu
Great job.  You are a "seasoned triathlete" now.  Race based on how you feel.  I bet if you used your watch for the entire run and tried to run a specific pace, you may have even gone a bit slower because the watch told you so!?  Again good race!
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