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Maine Sport Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Camden, Maine
United States
Maine Sport Outfitters
68F / 20C
Total Time = 3h 12m 32s
Overall Rank = 71/75
Age Group = W40-49
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

>Warning - lots of exposition, feel free to skip<

In June, I developed a debilitating ankle injury - later diagnosed as a soft tissue injury that was on the way to becoming a stress fracture. At the time, I was ramping up my training for the Pumpkinman HIM in September. I immediately stopped running for 6 weeks in the hopes that it would heal and I could possibly get back to running in time to properly prepare for the race. Alas - no. At the six week mark, I went out for my first run - 25 minutes - and was immediately in pain. I limped back to my room and realized that my entire season was over. There was no way I could properly prepare for a HIM, much less the local sprint in mid July, a half marathon at the end of August with a friend or the local oly over Labor Day. I was crushed.

I continued to rest, take A.L.O.T. of ibuprophen (as a friend calls it "Vitamin I") and tried to workout on swim and bike as able. Without a race, I removed my training plan from the logs and started to just noodle around.

At the beginning of August, I started to feel better (at least my ankle did) and decided I would slow start ramping up my training. I did a modified "Couch to 5K program" - alternating running and walking and was able to run okay - but not entirely pain free.

Last weekend, I realized that 1) the Maine Sport Olympic was going to be run September 4 {the venue is about 4 miles from my house), 2) I could run 4 miles pretty consistently, 3) I had kept up my swim and bike fitness and 4) I really didn't want to go the entire season without a race. So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to bike and run the route to see if I could handle it. The bike went fine. I was tired but I finished at about the same time as I did during last year's race. Then I started the run. It was ugly. There was a lot of walking. About halfway through, I told myself I had no business racing in a week, I was not properly conditioned, I would just re-injure myself, etc. At the finish, I looked at my time - only 4 minutes slower than last year's race. WTF?

By the time I drove home, I had convinced myself I could do the race. I showered off, drove over Maine Sport and slapped my $$ down (honestly - for $40 - it is a very good value for the money).

I spent the next week diddling around, running a couple of times (very slowly I might add) and thinking about preparing for the race.

Sunday morning rolls around, I wake up fairly early, go downstairs, make a cup of coffee and make my breakfast (bagel, pb). I read a little, prepare my Infinit, load up the car and wake up my husband so he can drop me off at the race start. I get there a little after 8am (the race starts at 9am), find a spot for my bike, unpack my things and start to mill around a bit.

This is a small local race, so there are a lot of people here that I know. My daughter's swim coach is doing the whole thing. A friend's mom is doing the swim for a relay team, the girl's sailing instructor was doing the run for another relay team - you get the idea.

Ate a banana and sipped on water until 8:30. Struggled into my wetsuit at 8:45. Headed down to the water for the pre-race meeting.
Event warmup:

Struggling into the wetsuit.
  • 18m 37s
  • 984 yards
  • 01m 53s / 100 yards

Started on the left in the middle. Looked at the first buoy and decided to just follow the pack for a while. Big mistake. About halfway to the buoy, I decided to sight a bit and was swimming fairly off course. Blerg! Began to sight on the buoys, straightened right out and decided to ignore the other swimmers (for navigation). Looking back at last year's race report I did exactly the same thing. You'd think I'd learn.

Swam next to a breast-stroker for a while, and I kept getting kicked. Once I started sighting correctly - got away from her and kept moving.

As I mentioned - the lake level is really low this year. I'm swimming back to shore and my hand touches the bottom, I pop up (and notice a about 6 people infront of me walking to shore) and start to run to shore which is at least 75 yards away!. I use the time to peel off the swim cap, goggles and top of my wetsuit. I run into transition and find my bike. Hey...there must be at least 20 bikes still on the racks. I'm not last! Woot!
What would you do differently?:

Swim better. Stop trusting other swimmers to do my navigation for me.
Transition 1
  • 02m 50s

Transition was fine. Dropped wetsuit and sat down to put socks on (really hard to put socks on wet feet...I need to find a better method for this), put on bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses on, out the door! Faster than last year by about a minute (so I'm learning something).
What would you do differently?:

Figure out how to get socks on wet feet.
  • 1h 34m 30s
  • 27 miles
  • 17.14 mile/hr

Started plan of drinking a couple of sips of Infinit every 15 minutes or so. This seems to work for me as I'm not thirsty during the ride and feel pretty good. For the first 5 miles, I hurt. My legs were tired, I was struggling up the hills, not able to get comfortable on the downhills and actually told myself that I could stop after the first loop, call Matt to come pick me up and call it a day. I was really concerned that if my legs were already tired at the beginning of the bike, I wouldn't be able to make it through the end of the run - much less the rest of the bike.

After 5 miles of whining, I realized that I needed to press on. I signed up for the race. I was able to finish the distance a week before. What was the worst that would happen? I would walk the run route. BFD. So, I pressed on. The upper backs of my legs were really getting grumpy (something that has happened once before, but once I got off the bike, it would go away), but I pressed on. There are three pretty good hills on this route, one right past Matt's family's camp that you hit twice and the other right past the turn off at the start of the second loop. Once I got to the top of the hill at the start of the second loop, I let out a whoop! During the entire bike ride, I was passed by two guys and one girl - otherwise, I held my own. I did get to pass a couple of people, but didn't get too excited about that.

Through the loop a second time, I started to feel much better - the backs of my legs were messed up, but I felt okay and knew what to expect. I ate a gu about 2 miles out preparing for the run. Rolling into transition, I saw that there were A.L.O.T. of bikes there. . I also saw that my time from this year was exactly the same as last.
What would you do differently?:

Train more on the bike. Get a professional bike fit on the new bike. Practice the water bottle zip-tied to the aero bars (the aero bottle makes a huge sticky mess, sloshes like crazy and I end up covered in sticky Infinit for far too long).
Transition 2
  • 01m 30s

Stuck the bike under the rack, undid the helmet, pulled the gu out of my shoes and put into the clevage cavern, drank a swallow or two of water, bike shoes off, running shoes on (wait - my feet are really socks are really wet...hmmm), running skirt on (you've gotta look good) and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Not much.
  • 1h 14m
  • 6.6 miles
  • 11m 13s  min/mile

I started the run and right away the backs of my legs were yelling at me. At least it wasn't the ankle - right? I kept going and right as I got to the first hill, the overall winner ran past me going to the finish line.

As I said - this race is filled with locals - so I got to see a lot of friendly faces on the run - which is really nice.

I felt like crap. I hurt, I had nothing left in my legs and really didn't know if I could make it. I did (however) know that Matt and Lillian (my youngest) were waiting for me at the top of the last hill and once I got to them, it was all downhill from there. I decided I would run as much as I could - but when I needed to walk, I would walk.

I did a lot of walking the first half. The backs of my legs wouldn't loosen up and my legs felt like lead. About halfway up the last hill, I was ready to tell Matt and Lillian to take me home, go get my bike...I was done for the day. Then I realized that it didn't matter *when* I finished. It just mattered *that* I finished. If I took the easy way out, what would stop me from doing that any other time in any other challenging scenario?

So, I sucked it up Buttercup and kept going. I made it to the turn around (amidst lots of cowbell and yelling), dropped off my sunglasses (which were driving me crazy) and decided I could walk the last two aid stations, but otherwise, I needed to run. Half a mile into this "new" mindset, I realized I was getting a blister on my instep of both feet - something that has not happened to me in all my months of running). I pulled off the shoes and socks, tried running without socks (that didn't work), put the socks and shoes back on, loosened the laces and then decided to just suck it up.

At the bottom of the first hill (the 2/3 mile long grind up), another runner caught up with me and started to chat. She was pleasant - but was more focused on the negative than the positive (I'm out of fuel, I need to eat - but when I offered her a Gu, she declined, I can't believe I paid $$ to do this, etc.). I decided I didn't really want to run all the way back with her - it would have been too hard for me mentally.

I walked through the next aid station, and she ran and I slowed my pace a bit to be sure I could run without her. She dropped me like a bad penny. Back across one of the main streets I had to go through four times during the race that was blocked by a policeman and a race course volunteer. I said, "Sorry to say gentlemen, but I hope this is the last time I see you!" Ran the rest of the way in.

It is a little demoralizing that as I am running the final half mile (which is right along the edge of the lake - you can see the finish line, and hear the finish just aren't *at* the finish line) to run past people that are packing up their equipment and leaving. I know I'm slow (I always have been), but I would like to be a little more middle of the pack than I am.

I make it to where I am within about 50 yards of the finish line and I see my family and friends cheering me in. Woot! Across the finish line and back to the family.

What would you do differently?:

Train more on the run. Better socks (I wore really thin cycling socks), check the lacing on my shoes for fit, figure out the back of the leg issue that started on the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

I almost immediately took off my shoes because the blisters were really painful. Got hugs from friend and family, hobbled over to the bike to change into my flip flops, told Matt he could take me crap back to the car if he wanted, and hobbled down to the lake with the girls so they could swim for a bit.

The backs of my legs were messed up until the next day. I had difficulty walking up stairs, I couldn't transition from sitting to standing or visa versa. Really painful.

The good news is while my ankle hurt at the end of the race, it hasn't bothered me since.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of consistent training.

Event comments:

Again - and excellent low cost race. Nice, challenging course, not too crowded. Plenty of course volunteers helping with traffic, timely and well run. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low-key introduction into triathlon.

Last updated: 2011-09-05 12:00 AM
00:18:37 | 984 yards | 01m 53s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/75
Performance: Average
Suit: Full Wetsuit
Course: Out on left side of Barret's Cove - up to first buoy, counterclockwise turn to second buoy, another counterclockwise turn and back to shore. The water level was pretty far down - so the course was changed a bit from last year. All agreed that it seemed a bit long this year.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:50
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:34:30 | 27 miles | 17.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/75
Performance: Good
Course: Up Washington Street (last year, it desparately needed to be paved - it was paved the weekend after the race and is MUCH nicer), right turn onto 235, right onto 73, past Barret's Cove, up 52 and right onto Molyneaux for a second loop
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:30
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
01:14:00 | 06.6 miles | 11m 13s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/75
Performance: Below average
Course: Out the bike route, across Washington, up East Fork, down Melvyn Heights, back to Barret's Cove. The course is pretty much uphill for the first 3 miles, and (obviously) downhill back. The final hill is about 2/3 of a mile and can be quite a grind.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-09-05 11:21 AM

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Midcoast Maine
Subject: Maine Sport Triathlon

2011-09-07 7:47 AM
in reply to: #3673465

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Subject: RE: Maine Sport Triathlon

Now that's the report of a TRIATHLETE! 

After the year you've had, this race has to be characterized as an unqualified success.  Thanks for such a detailed report, I felt like I was following you around the course.  Great job gutting through and just finishing the damn thing.  I loved your warm-up, the repeated mistake sighting the swim (fix this next year!), decisions on the bike and run, and that your ankle was ok so shortly after the race.  It's fun seeing that even without much run training your overall fitness is obviously still very good.  Great job, and here's to a healthy 2012.

2011-09-20 8:22 PM
in reply to: #3673465

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Subject: RE: Maine Sport Triathlon
I agree with Warren, great race report, as usual, and great job gutting it out to the end.  Super bike and transitions times.
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