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Tri the Ridge - TriathlonSprint

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Pickens, South Carolina
United States
Pickens County YMCA
Total Time = 58m 30s
Overall Rank = 1/82
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/6
Pre-race routine:

I didn't get to bed until 11:30 because I discovered -- all too late -- that my front race wheel doesn't fit between the brakes on the new bike. Fixing this problem is not just a matter of turning a handscrew on the SC, so I downloaded the manual and went to work... I got it done but it took a while to figure it all out.

Anyway, I woke up at 3:30, got ready, and was out the door by 4am. The drive was uneventful, and I got there with plenty of time (for a change). Packet pickup took a while (they had just one copy of the list -- make a another copy!), then I spent some time in the restroom, then set up.
Event warmup:

I ran a couple of miles, went to the pre-race meeting, then got into the pool and did just 25yd of 'warmup' before it was time to start.
  • 05m 22s
  • 300 yards
  • 01m 47s / 100 yards

I'm not real happy with my decision-making here. We were supposed to self-seed, so having done 4:25 the other day, I decided to claim 4:30. Two people in front of me were talking a big game, saying 'at worst 4:30 and that's if we run into traffic'. One was a young girl, but I didn't question it -- there are plenty of tween girls who could swim circles around me. So, I started off 7th in line for the swim. Mistake.

The start was a little unusual in that we had to go across a mat, starting our time, then hop in the pool and start. I went across the mat when they told me, and didn't do a great job of getting started quickly, but there it is.

Anyway, after 50 yards I was already on the feet of the guy in front of me, and after 25 more we were both on the feet of the girl. This happened in spite of a roughly 10 second gap in our start times. Ugh. When will I learn to seed myself higher??? I put up with it for about 150 yards then couldn't take it any more and swam over the top/to the side of them. I'm sorry, but saying you're going to swim 3:15/100 and swimming actually 3:30/100 is one thing. Saying you are going to swim 1:30/100 and actually swimming 1:45/100 is something else entirely, in my book. I'm not interested in hurting anybody, but if I made them feel uncomfortable as I went by, I don't feel bad about doing so.

Anyway, the coast was clear after passing those two, and the last 100 was solid. There was a longish (maybe a bit more than 30 seconds?) run to the mat outside, and I forgot to wear a watch, so I'm going to say time in the water was around 4:45, which is still my best swim result ever. I'm confident that I would have gone <4:30 without the backup. I need to work on extending that pace to longer distances. A lot.
What would you do differently?:

Enhanced interrogation techniques about others' predicted swim times.
Transition 1
  • 00m 22s

Fine, except after getting up to speed, getting into the new shoes proved to be a bit of a challenge. It was downhill, so I was holding speed just fine, but I did struggle a bit with the shoes. I just need to get used to them. My muscle memory is conditioned by 3 years of riding with the old shoes.
What would you do differently?:

I pride myself on quick transitions, but one person was quicker. Grrr.! My spot on the racks wasn't good, but still I'm sure I could have shaved a few seconds.
  • 32m 34s
  • 12.4 miles
  • 22.85 mile/hr

The course was hillier than I expected it to be, though I had been warned... I forgot to count how many people were in front of me on the swim, but I knew it must be less than 5, so I was a bit surprised when I passed more like 7-8 people in the early stages. Then I remembered that the duathletes went ahead of us, and their initial run was just a mile, so some of them would have gotten on the bike before me.

After a few miles I caught a glimpse of a guy who was clearly going closer to my speed, so that became my mission. I caught and passed him around mile 6 or 7 and looked up to see...the lead car! (Well, it was a YMCA truck.) OMG! I'M ACTUALLY AT THE FRONT OF THE RACE!! How cool was that? Very. So I got my own escort for the second half of the ride. I was red-lining the whole way and it felt great.

This was the maiden (outdoor) voyage for the new SC. I'm going to call it a fitting first outing!
What would you do differently?:

I'm happy with this ride. Fastest split on the day and from what I see, 3rd fastest ever on this course.
Transition 2
  • 00m 18s

No problems. In and out. I didn't have the best spot on the rack, but that cost me only 2-3s.
What would you do differently?:

Still, that same guy beat me by a few seconds! We were far ahead of everyone else, but still -- how does he do it? The rack position cannot account for all of the difference.
  • 19m 55s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 06m 24s  min/mile

I knew the guy behind me because as I was hitting the road, he passed me on the bike. This was a guy who had easily beaten me in the past, so I was happy to be in front of him, but scared of what would happen on the run. I have done some hard running this week, and my legs felt sluggish. Not to mention that I had just truly hammered the bike. I put thoughts of tomorrow's long run out of my mind and just tried to focus, and do a little mental arithmetic -- I started the race around 40s behind him, and I was probably 60s in front of him now, maybe a little more. So, he could definitely catch me. But then again, supposing he catches me at mile 1 (surely not before then!), he still had to run more than 15s/mile faster than me to actually win. But let's not let it come to that. Run!

The hills on the second half of the run were tough. My legs did not feel good. I think I'm going to need a good long run taper before Worlds or it could get ugly out there. Holding it together for some semblance of running for 3.1 is one thing. 18 is another story.

There were no mile markers, I don't know the course, and I had no watch, so I had little idea where I was in the race. I did, however, have the coolness of the race vehicle leading the way! So I just ran in hopes that it would be good enough.
What would you do differently?:

I still think I could push harder.
Post race
Warm down:

I chatted with the second place finisher for a while -- turns out he is also going to Worlds in November -- then ran a couple of miles to try to loosen up. I also saw Peter and chatted with him a while. My quads were sore so I did a lot of stretching after that, which seemed to help. The awards were a long time in coming, but I got a pretty nice gift certificate to a tri shop in Greenville, which I immediately used before the drive home.

Event comments:

This was a nice local race. The course is tough, which creates nice separation amongst the athletes. The finishers were straggling in rather than coming in clumps. So athletes got to finish on their own, which is kind of nice. And of course I won't forget it because it is likely the only time in my 'career' that I'll take 1st overall.

Of course, even in a small race like this, I had to wonder whether winning was a fluke. I looked up results from the previous four years, and I got the second fastest time on the course ever. So I'm going to claim not a fluke!

Last updated: 2011-09-22 12:00 AM
00:05:22 | 300 yards | 01m 47s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 7/82
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:22
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:32:34 | 12.4 miles | 22.85 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 1/82
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly!
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:18
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:19:55 | 03.11 miles | 06m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/6
Overall: 1/82
Course: Down, and then up.
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2011-09-24 4:53 PM

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: Tri the Ridge

2011-09-25 12:59 PM
in reply to: #3699040

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Tri the Ridge

Very, very nice! Big congrats on the OA win.

You seem to be slacking a little on those transitions, though.

2011-09-26 7:19 AM
in reply to: #3699040

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Newark, OH
Subject: RE: Tri the Ridge
Congrats on the win. I did the race as well and really enjoyed it. Wasn't anywhere near your time though... Great job!
2011-09-26 6:47 PM
in reply to: #3699040

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Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Tri the Ridge

I was going to say 'nice race', but your transitions were so slow ...  Nice job!

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