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Patriot's Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Bath, Pennsylvania
United States
Tri-State Multisport Association
Total Time = 1h 44m 40s
Overall Rank = 125/155
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 18/19
Pre-race routine:

I had orginally planned to camp out, with my 15yr old son Evan, the night before. Instead I booked a room in Bethlehem because of a combination of a forcast of rain and a very busy Saturday.

Spent Saturday rehabing the house and trying to avoid pulling my back, then photographing Cardinal Rigali who was visiting our parish and trying to avoid pulling my back while laden with cameras, then picked my family up at a friend's 40th birthday and just tried to avoid most of the food.

Got to the hotel in Bethlehem at 10:00pm, only to find that there was no room at the inn.

Passed the clerk my paper through the bullet proof glass, but he didn't seem impressed. I did my hulk immitation and grew a few feet taller and very red. (my hulk turns red instead of green)

He finally relented, musta been my shirt tearing as my muscles now started popping out all over, called another hotel down the street and found us a room.

Hotel number 2, the Microtel, is aptly named. Every square centimeter is utilized. They've managed to fit a bathroom, a bed, a recliner, a desk, a closet and a television into the space of an average closet. The architect must have worked designing the living area of the space station, only this time forgetting that on earth there actually is gravity, so it's not possible to float over to the bathroom.

Took a bath and read "Mother Angelica, the story of a nun, her nerve, and a network of miracles".

Mother Angelica started EWTN, the largest religious media organization in the world. It was actually a bit of a miracle that I was able to read it, since I had left my glasses at home.

I took this mini-miracle as a sign of a good race to come.

Went to bed while Evan was watching "Face Off". Drifted to sleep just as John Travolta was freaking out about having to get Nicolas Cage's face.

Woke up at 5:15. Started driking gu2o and water.

Ate a cliff bar and kept drinking on the drive up. The drive should have taken twenty minutes.

Managed to get lost about two miles from the race location. Drove around and around and around. By now, it was 7:00 and I was sure I was going to miss the race.

Finally saw someone with a bike worth more than his car and figured I'd follow him. That's a no brainer, right?

Got to the parking lot only to see the registration line snaking back a long way. Kinda like the opening of a Star Wars movie. Not enough volunteers. (note to self: volunteer at a race next year) Finally, some racers jumped in and started registering people and the line started moving.

The organizers made the decision to move the start time back to 8:30. I felt better about having spent over an hour on a drive that should have taken twenty minutes.

Racked my bike and set up the transition.
Event warmup:

Swam about 50 yards. Peed. Swam back.
  • 16m 56s
  • 710 yards
  • 02m 23s / 100 yards

I was in the forth and last wave of the race. We wore tie-dye caps. I figure it was because we were the only ones old enough to remember tie-dye.

I decided to take a more aggresive position at the start than I had during my first race.

So, I waded in to the front of the middle part of the line. That worked out well. A few people climbed over me, but it wasn't bad at all. Went out kinda of hard and then settled in.

I got off course right before the mid-point. Swam back toward the buoy, and then made a point of sighting more often through the rest of the race.

Half way through the swim I made a huge psychological breakthrough.

I struggle with some open water anxiety. Probably the result of some swimming trauma was I was a kid. Anyway, at the the mid-point I started getting some negative thoughts, "You can't do this... it'll be ok if you stop... if you keep going, you're going to drown...".

I knew I could do the distance. I did some open water swimming in the Adirondacks this summer, including one swim of over a mile. So I told myself, "look, this is just like runniing... just keep stroking... keep bilateral breathing, don't swim faster than that... keep sighting.. relax... you're reward will be a beautiful bike ride..."

It worked! I felt very relaxed the rest of the way. Unlike my first race, I got out of the water calm and without a soaring heart rate.

I know now that if if I train for the distance, I can do the distance.
What would you do differently?:

I would have sighted more consistently early in the race.

A little more relaxation would have kept my form better early and throughout the race. I'm not happy with my time. Got a lot of form work to do in the off season.
Transition 1
  • 02m 44s

Had a really hard time getting my wet suit off.

I have a little one foot high stool that I use for getting the suit off and putting socks and shoes on. I put a foot on the stool and then try to slide the suit off, raising my foot only to slide it over my heel.

Didn't work.

I ended up sitting on the stool and finally prying the suit off. Even with all the body glide, it was a stubborn critter.

Had trouble getting my socks on as well.
What would you do differently?:

I need to learn to take the wetsuit off faster. Guess I'll try the step on the suit and yank up technique. I think I've avoided it because the suit is new and I didn't want to take a chance on tearing it.
  • 54m 59s
  • 15 miles
  • 16.37 mile/hr

My plan was to ride at about 153 HR and a cadence between 90 and 105. That was 10 beats per minute faster than my last race. Basically stuck to the plan.

The course and the day were just beautiful.

I'm riding an old loaner with six gears in the back and shifters on the downtubes. Usually, on a flat, I ride using the large chainring. Last week, I decided to ride the race using the small chainring, because it would give me a ratio in between two ratios I was able to use with the big chainring. On a test ride, the in between ratio felt just right with my target HR and cadence.

The small chainring had been rubbing against the derailleur, so I made a adjustment to it. Got the rubbing to stop, but I found that the chain would now come off if I shifted too far back up to the large chainring.

Simple adjustment to make to correct that, but I ran out of "bike maintenace time" and needed to get back to other things. So I told myself, "just don't use the large chainring... don't use the large chainring... don't use the large chainring..."

Well as I said, it was a beautiful course and a beautiful day... and man it would be nice to go just a little bit faster on this downhill... oh, it won't hurt to use the large chainring on this one little bitsy downhill... oh, shootski!!!

Don't think I lost too much time putting the chain back on, maybe thirty seconds. Learned a lesson; stick with the plan!

Spent the rest of the race playing dog and rabbit with another old guy. First I'd chase him, then pass him and he'd chase me. Together, we kept passing youngins riding mnt bikes and commuters.

What would you do differently?:

Follow the plan!

Also, I think I could have gone out harder than I did. Need to start doing bike LTHR tests so I have a better idea of where to be with my HR.

Hopefully, I will have a bike upgrade by next spring.
Transition 2
  • 01m 37s

Oooff, ran to the wrong rack, which was kinda dumb since there weren't very many racks. Evan yelled out to me that I was heading in the wrong direction, and I quickly got to the correct rack.

Drank some gu2o according to plan.

What would you do differently?:

Put up a balloon, so I know where my stuff is.
  • 28m 25s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 09m 08s  min/mile

All of the brick work paid off. My back has been giving me trouble over the past month or so, but it worked perfectly during the race. Got up to speed very quickly.

My plan was to run at my LTHR of 168 the whole distance and not stop for water. I basically followed the plan. At about mile two I though, "wow this is easy". Looked down and saw that my HR was down to 160. So I picked it up and continued on and through the end at around 168.

I beat my 5k time from my first race by 2.5 minutes, and this was after a longer swim and bike and on a hillier course.

I'm really happy with the run. Can't wait to drop some more excess weight and do some speed work going into next season.

I love to run and look forward to this part of the race. It's great to finish this three part race with the event that I'm most comfortable with.
What would you do differently?:


I planned the race and raced the plan
Post race
Warm down:

Packed up with Evan. Drank 16oz of recovery drink. Ate some fruit and drank a coke while watching the awards ceremony.

My son Evan was really excited to watch this race, and is excited about the sport in general. He has great biking skills and is a decent swimmer. He's intimidated by competing, though. I suggested that we do a relay next year. My wife, Cornelia, agreed to do the swim if we do it. So the best part of the warm down, was thinking that Evan may embrace the tri life.

Drove back to philly and listened to the Eagels put the hurt on San Francisco.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Twenty pounds of excess weight, poor swimming technique, and a very ancient borrowed bike.

Event comments:

The course was beautiful, especially the bike section.

Plenty of volunteers on the bike and run made navigation a snap.

The only problem was the amount of time it took to register. (note to self: volunteer at a race next year)

Highlight of the race: Watched 73 year old triathlete Bud Scholsser come in. He won his division. :) Is that cool or what.

I hope I look as good as Bud when I'm 73. Heck, I wish I looked as good as him now!

Here's a photo of me an Bud.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2005-08-01 12:00 AM
00:16:56 | 710 yards | 02m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/19
Overall: 126/155
Performance: Average
Suit: Promotion sleeveless
Course: Counter clockwise course that hugged the edge of the lake/pond.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:44
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:54:59 | 15 miles | 16.37 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/19
Overall: 122/155
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Rolling hills
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:37
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:28:25 | 03.11 miles | 09m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/19
Overall: 118/155
Performance: Good
Course: Out with a slight downhill, back with a slight uphill
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-09-19 11:11 AM

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: Patriot's Triathlon

2005-09-19 11:45 AM
in reply to: #249263

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon

Way to go Don!!!!  Great race report!

Glad to see all your work over the past year pay off.

Oh, great post-race recovery too.

2005-09-19 11:57 AM
in reply to: #249263

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Malvern, PA
Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon

good race, don - looks like you've lost a few pounds since Lake Lenape, yes?

Lookin' GOOD!

2005-09-19 12:26 PM
in reply to: #249263

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New New York
Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon

Good job. I was driving the blue Subaru that was zipping around all over the bike and run course. I also was the idiot yelling "Right turn in 100 feet, right turn" before the hotel/bar/road house. The race organizers were a little overwhelmed, they had 110 pre-registered and another 100 showed up race morning!

That 73 year old guy was a stud. He wasn't fast be he was smiling the whole time and having a blast. From what I hear he didn't start racing until he was in his 60s and has done over 40 tris since then.

2005-09-19 2:11 PM
in reply to: #249263

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Extreme Veteran
Chicago, Il
Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon
I did this race with my sister in 2003 and had a BLAST. What a gorgeous course. We had great weather, as well. So glad you had a swim breakthrough and are happy with your race!
2005-09-19 5:09 PM
in reply to: #249263

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Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon

Great Race!!

You followed your plan which is huge in a race. You overcame a big swim issue and finished the swim strong, your bike was great, and you were way faster on this 5K run than last one. Great second tri!! You did fabulous! I really like how you worked your plan.

It is super your son came with and helped you plus sounds like you have infected him with the Tri bug. I read yours report earlier today about the idea of doing it as a relay and it got me thinking. One of my 16 year old sons is a good mountain bike rider and the tri my daughter did yesterday has an off road adult tri before....maybe I could convice Kyle to do the bike portion, Emily the run portion and I could swim next year for a relay. We'd probably be the relay with the greatest age differential...but it would be such a fun family event to do together. Thanks for the motivation and idea...I'll need to pursue it here...hope it works for your family too!

2005-09-19 11:51 PM
in reply to: #249263

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Patriot's Triathlon

Don you are just too cool.  GREAT race report, I loved every word!  The Microtel, tie dyed caps, and 73 y/o triathletes named Bud are the stuff great memories are made of! 

You had an AWESOME race!  Very impressive Don!  You've become FAST!

The EAGLES huge win was a nice touch too.   What a stellar day. 

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