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TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Farmwell, Virginia
United States
45F / 7C
Total Time = 1h 25m 36s
Overall Rank = 55/114
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 6/8
Pre-race routine:

Took the family down to Farmwell late last evening and stayed at the Days Inn. DON'T STAY HERE! Ended up in a smoking room and at 3 a.m. fire alarms were going off because someone was smoking in a non-smoking room.

Got up at 5:45 and had a bagel with some jelly as well as a bottle of G'ade. Was at packet pickup by 6:30 and prepped the bike. Got everything into the transition area and setup by 7:15. Went inside the fitness facility and stretched.
Event warmup:

  • 06m 44s
  • 328 yards
  • 02m 03s / 100 yards

Somehow the race organizers had me at 27 minutes to do 328 yards, not 7, so they had me starting 4th from LAST on the roster. I wasn't happy. Found the swim organizer and they ended up putting me in at slot 21. They started each swimmer on the 15-second mark so I was in the water within 5 minutes or so of the start.

Was feeling pretty good but just before I got in looked at my HR and from pure adrenaline it was at 112 BPM. I started strong but by the 3rd lane (150m) someone tapped me on the ankle to pass. Ths unnerved me. Let him pass me at the turn around and glanced at my HR -- 161. WAY TOO HIGH for me -- I knew it. Kept going the rest of the lanes and got lapped 3x times, which was really bumming me out. I was breathing hard on the last lap and taking shorter strokes, and thinking "DAMN, I better get my act together before Memphis" (my next event in 3 weeks, an open water Oly). I got out and my HR was 165 -- I need to figure out why I was so compelled to stay ahead of everybody and why I couldn't slow down enough to get my HR back to where I train -- normally in the upper 130's or lower 140's.
What would you do differently?:

1. Not let them seed me so high in the starting lines
2. Ensure that a few days before the race they have me at the right times for that type of distance
3. I've got to learn how to slow down and not let adrenaline take over or I'll not stand a chance.
4. I will be increasing my swim volume in the next couple of weeks to work on HR and endurance. I was really disappointed with my performance, even though my pace is roughly my average for the month.
Transition 1
  • 02m 41s

They didn't track T1/T2 times. The bike leg started the minute we got out of the pool, so this influenced the total time. The 2:41 is the difference between what my GPS provided versus what they listed as the total bike time.

I was pleased with what I had done in T1. Helmet went on first, then started GPS so it would get a lock before I did everything else. Had GPS lock within 30 secs or so. Got dried off (it was in the lower 40's) and got my jacket on without any problem. Got my socks and shoes on without any hassle. They would not let us run so walked fast to the exit and mounted and clipped in without any hassle.

What would you do differently?:

Nada. I had mentally walked through this several times and it went just as I had planned.
  • 40m 14s
  • 11.81 miles
  • 17.61 mile/hr

I had a good bike leg given the course - 41st place overall for the leg and 45th cumulative swim+bike. I've uploaded my HR and speed so that you can see the relative magnitude of the downhills and slowness of the up hills. I kept to my standard form -- keep cadence as close to 90 as possible and if it dropped below 80 to change gears until it was above 80. Worked well overall. I passed 4 people and was passed by 3 or 4, so held my ground fairly well. I was working hard on the up hills -- need to work on this more.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. Incorporate more hills into my bike training. Work on cadence. I held my own on the bike.
Transition 2
  • 00m 57s

They wouldn't let us run and we had to completely dismount and lift our bike up over a step, so the jumping off moving bike and running with bike wasn't an option.

Got my running shoes on fast and was off. My GPS said I was stationary only for 57 seconds, which is a BIG improvement off my duathlon T2 earlier is this month. Grabbed a banana and a Gu and was off.
What would you do differently?:

Nada. Again, had gone through this several times in my head and it went off ok. Possibly would get some zip laces, but that wouldn't save me more than a few seconds.
  • 35m
  • 3.4 miles
  • 10m 17s  min/mile

Lost some ground on the run leg -- went from a cumulative 45th place to 55th. Took a spill at 2.87 miles -- did the fall and roll to my shoulder and was back up in an instant. Scraped the heck out of my shoulder and leg but only wounded my ego.

Beautiful place to run, but vastly different from running on the WO&D in my local neck of the world. Guess that is why they call it "TRI on the Hill".

Definately makes sense to me now.
What would you do differently?:

I had failed to remove my biking shell and although it probably was in the upper 40's, overheated. Had to walk up one long grade -- just could NOT continue taking baby steps up so decided to take BIG steps at a walking pace upward.

I'm definately incorporating more hills into my running routine, as much as I can find in my neck of Northern Virginia...
Post race
Warm down:

Was greeted by my two boys and my wife. Walked around, drank a couple bottles of water, ate a number of oranges and some pizza... sat on the ground and stretched.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hills. I need more hills, both biking and running. Psychologically, I really reacted poorly to being passed in the pool. I obviously think I am a better swimmer than I actually am (I only started swimming this past December) so I need to figure that out, and soon.

Event comments:

It was a challenging race for me given where I am today. Here at 12+ hours I'm tired and need a good sleep...

Profile Album

Last updated: 2005-12-04 12:00 AM
00:06:44 | 328 yards | 02m 03s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 78/114
Performance: Below average
Suit: DeSoto Tri Suit
Course: 6-lane indoor pool swim, serpentine up and down in each lane then cross-under of the ropes
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Shot
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:41
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
00:40:14 | 11.81 miles | 17.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 41/114
Time and distance is from my GPS until they get it listed. Was a 19K event. GPS confirmed this to the 0.01 mile, so the GPS time and speed are pretty accurate, even if they don't post times...
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Rolling hills with a couple long grades (up).
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 00:57
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:35:00 | 03.4 miles | 10m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 74/114
Performance: Below average
Estimated time for the distance since the trail is literally that -- a wooded trail, and I lost GPS under the tree cover.
Course: Think of running in a woods up and down the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Hills and you have a good idea of the course. Rutty, covered in sand, pine straw, mud, dirt, whatever... Was a TOUGH course -- lots of up and downs, long grades, loose footing, many ruts from trees and recent rain runoff.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2006-04-30 6:38 PM

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Vienna, VA
Subject: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon

2006-04-30 7:03 PM
in reply to: #410524

Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon

Nice race  Good times too, I am curious though how the race went with the weather issue and all?  It was awfully cold here in the Eastern shore of MD, how was it in VA?



definately congrats though, and nice pics 

2006-04-30 7:29 PM
in reply to: #410541

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Vienna, VA
Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon

CJ, it was pretty cold at the start, and to make matters worse, I forgot my flip-flops so was walking around barefoot between the transition area and the pool was a cold prospect.

HR was good overall, but the course was hilly, moreso than I had anticipated.  Here's my HR and speed for the bike and run portions.  It starts coming out of T1 for the bike leg.  3 good downhill runs (the blue peaks), then some long grades up (the blue valleys).  The length of the upslope is somewhat measured by the width of the blue valleys as well as the markers at the top of the picture... The transition T2 is right after the 40:00 min marker.  Speed on the run kept dropping because it was a really hilly trail, and I was paranoid about my footing (my "A" race is in 3 weeks).


Edited by grems8544 2006-04-30 7:42 PM


trionthehill_hr-speed_bike-run_800x600.jpg (92KB - 45 downloads)
2006-04-30 7:33 PM
in reply to: #410524

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DC Metro, slowly working my way to NC
Bronze member
Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon
Great job there!  Congrats!
2006-04-30 7:56 PM
in reply to: #410524

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Vienna, VA
Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon
Here's the picture that means the most!  Yes, that's an orange peel in my son's mouth... wouldn't take it out for the pic....

Edited by grems8544 2006-04-30 7:57 PM


dscn4239_640x480.jpg (47KB - 56 downloads)
2006-04-30 8:16 PM
in reply to: #410524

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Herndon VA
Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon

Hey Paul

Way to go with your first race.  I did the same thing as you in my first two sprints last year.  I had my HR at LT within the first 50 meters.  I think open water swims are easier for keeping your pace.  You don't have someone directly behind you.  I think the most important thing you can take from this race is that you raced to your plan, except for pace in the swim.  Next time you'll know what to expect.

Great pictures of your kids.  They must have been excited to see you race.  Congratulations.


2006-05-01 7:14 AM
in reply to: #410524

Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon
Nice work, Paul!

LOL! At least you didn't have to worry about a W/U--your HR was probably still high from the 3 a.m. alarms.

Man, I don't know how you can do a pool swim Tri. I'd be freakin' out the whole time, wondering how many people are going to pass/me. Credit to you for doin' it.

Nice work on the bike--some of those hills look pretty nasty.

Sorry to hear about the fall but glad no injury!

Keep up the good work buddy!

Thanks for a great report and the awesome pics.
2006-05-01 9:40 AM
in reply to: #410524

Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon
Congratulations on a great race Paul!
2006-05-01 10:23 AM
in reply to: #410524

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Chesapeake, VA
Subject: RE: TRI On the Hill Sprint Triathlon
Awesome job Paul!  Great pictures as well!  This was your first full Tri - right?  I know what you mean about hills - we don't have any down here so they would kill me in a race.  Good luck with your preparation for Memphis.  Remember as plenty of others have told me - the swim will come.  (I don't believe them either, but I keep telling myself this )
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