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Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Angola, Indiana
United States
TRI FORT Triathletes
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 56m 39s
Overall Rank = 59/82
Age Group = F 50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/1
Pre-race routine:

Arrived at the campground on Friday and took a quick swim to determine that sleeveless wetsuit would be perfect for the water temp. Realized that I'd forgotten my one box of food back home so had to go to campstore. They didn't have bagels. :( Thankfully I had steel cut oats in fridge, banana and a granola bar. I slept great in the camper and woke up relaxed and refreshed after spending Friday at the beach, taking a nap, watching some raccoons come right up to my camper and reading at the campsite.
Event warmup:

Walked from my campsite to transition in about 3 minutes so I got a prime end spot for racking my bike. First tri with my baby Cervelo so had to rack it by the seat and not the handlebars like my road Ruby. Practiced getting it on and off the bar. I wimped out and brought my old Giro helmet instead of my new aero helmet because I was concerned about the heat which bit me last year at this race. After talking to one of my BT mentors, Dirk, he told me to use the aero so I jumped on Three (Cervelo's name) and rode her back to the campground and switched helmets. Made sure shoes were properly in the clips, water was added to my aero drink and computer was working properly. Time flew by as I chatted with some other folks I knew. Verified a couple times that transition was set up with everything I needed, got on my wetsuit and they called the pre-race meeting.
  • 24m 55s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

Unbelievably clear water. Used my new Aqua Spheres and I just hadn't pushed them enough to make a good suction (although I'd tested them by dunking under before the gun went off) so within the first 150 yards I had to stop and shake the water out and push them on harder. I was able to stand up in the "deep" part of the water and it only came to my neck (I'm 5'2")so I knew there wasn't much to worry about with this swim since I could see and touch the bottom. I kept to the rope which connected the bouys and didn't need to sight much because I could see it clearly when I turned my head to breathe. I found someone to draft off of on both loops which was sweet. Unfortunately, they started the sprint distance swimmers (doing one loop of the same swim course) about 30 seconds after I started my second loop so it got rough with some big guys trying to swim over me. Got hit and jostled pretty good for most of this loop but goggles stayed in place and I finished happily. Based on my swim time the swim course was shorter than it had been in the past. Average time for the past two years was 32.5 minutes and there's no way I've made any kind of improvement that significant.
What would you do differently?:

DOUBLE check the goggles before the gun goes off to make sure they're securely suctioned on.
Transition 1
  • 01m 35s

The chip they gave us was huge (at least I've never seen them this big) and they told us to leave it outside our wetsuit so it would record properly. That made it extremely difficult for me to get my wetsuit over and off my ankle. I had to sit down and use both hands to pry around the thing. Aero helmet has a built in visor so didn't need sunglasses. The helmet went on smoothly for it's first race. Grabbed the bike and away I ran.
What would you do differently?:

Spend a little time with the wetsuit figuring a way to get around the timing chip better. Also cut some length from the legs on the wetsuit since it's a bit too long and tight.
  • 1h 19m 25s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 18.77 mile/hr

Felt the HR spiking at first so slowed it down around the construction area which also has the most traffic. Turned onto the county road and started nailing it. Since this was my first race with my tri bike I wasn't sure how she'd respond but I finally felt like a real triathlete on her. :) So glad Dirk talked me into the aero helmet because I had no heat issues. I hydrated well and took in a gel. My throat was dry from allergies and I brought some lozenges and they helped. I passed several people throughout the ride and was passed by a couple others at the end. I realized I'd been lulled into a comfortable pace and hadn't been pushing it the last 1/4 of the course. Still thrilled with my avg pace of 18.8 because last year it was 17.7. I know I can get that even higher as I get more time in the saddle.
What would you do differently?:

Stay more focused through the whole race on keeping a competitive pace.
Transition 2
  • 01m

Official results don't show a time for this so I just took a minute from my run time to guestimate. Aero helmet was a little trickier to take off but thankfully I'd practiced it and had no problems. With the heat on the run I decided to wear a fuel belt with two waters. Grabbed that after throwing on my shoes and was able to go.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 09m 45s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 11m 14s  min/mile

Getting off the bike and doing a strong run has alluded me at every tri since last year and it alluded me again at this one. I've not figured out how to manage the heat really well and it's only MAY. I think I'm in trouble for the rest of the summer but I'm determined to keep trying. I hadn't been on trails since my DNF from knee pain at the 60K last month so maybe I was tentative and not sure how it would hold up? I don't know other than I walked up the hills and poured about 3 cups of water on me at the aid stations. I'd only brought one gel which I took at the beginning and that should have been sufficient but I realized I could have used another since it was taking me longer. I was pleasantly surprised and knew it was a God-send when I found an unopened gel on the trail that I assume someone dropped. Strawberry/Banana..yum! :) Nothing like manna from heaven to see me to the finish line joyfully. Realizing that I did the whole trail run without an iota of pain in my knee gave me even more joy.
What would you do differently?:

Do more bike/run brick WOs. Do more, do more, do more. Keep tweeking hydration and nutrition. My body is just not managing the beating sun as I'm getting older so I need to research some options.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the finish line and poured a bottle of water over my head/body. Chatted with Dirk who was eating pasta but I couldn't stomach anything right away. Packed up my transition area and stretched. Got a bite to eat while they were doing awards for the Sprint. Then they did some door prizes and I won a $50 gift certificate from Summit City Bike. Sweet! Found Dirk again and chatted some more. Then they started the Oly awards and called a friends name as 3rd overall male which made me shout out to him and I missed when they called Dirk's name as 2nd overall. That made me laugh and I was smiling from ear to ear for them both. I checked the posted results and saw I was the oldest female and the only one in my AG so I stuck around to get a really nice plaque.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Heat, tentative with my knee and plain older age. However, this was my third year at this event and I bested my first year by 3 minutes and last year by 22 minutes - getting in under 3 hours - so I was happy.

Event comments:

I love the state park setting for this race. Camping and racing just plain make me happy. It's a very well organized race (started a bit late due to the pre-race talk going a bit long). However, it's not a well-attended race. They added the sprint distance and a 5K to add options. They've only had pancakes and strawberries for post race food in the past but this year they added pasta, bread, cookies and fruit which was nice. The RD came and sat with me at the beach on Friday and said he's hoping to turn the race over to someone else because he's done it for so long and is burning out. I sure hope someone steps up to the plate because this is a great tri season opening event.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-03-24 12:00 AM
00:24:55 | 1640 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 57/82
Performance: Good
Suit: Rocket Science Sports Sleeveless full
Course: Two lap course in very shallow water. When I was at the beach on Friday the RD and helpers were setting the bouys and they talked about changing the course a bit to take it into deeper waters but we've just not had the springs rains so there wasn't much they could do.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:35
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
01:19:25 | 24.85 miles | 18.77 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 49/82
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: There was construction on the first part of the road leading out of the state park which they've been working on for three years now. The rest of the course was on county roads which had a relatively smooth surface with rolling hills and no traffic.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:09:45 | 06.21 miles | 11m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/1
Overall: 69/82
Performance: Below average
Course: Beautiful trails but hilly. The first couple and last couple miles were in the woods under the cover of trees. Around mile marker 2.5 through 4 you're in an open field with the beating sun and steeper hills.
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? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-05-21 8:16 AM

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Subject: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course

2012-05-21 11:14 AM
in reply to: #4220044

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Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course

Congrats on a great race and another PR for a really tough course!

But I have one concern about your swim comment: What are you talking about you haven't improved that much on the swim?  You got to spend a couple of hours with me coaching you, that should give you enough positive training to have a trial for the olympics.Wink

A very nice improvement on the bike too.  I imagine if you had stayed focused on the last 1/4 of the course you would have been around 19 MPH.  Either way you had a great bike leg too.

The run was just plain hard!!!  There is no other way to put it.  The rolling nature of the course was dificult to say the least.  Dealing with the heat isn't something you can do much about aother than doing training runs in the heat too.  Over time your body adjusts to heat a little bit but you can never get totally used to it.

I think you did a fanstastic job at the race.  I loved being able to spend a little time getting to know you better and it is most certain we will be seeing each other around at least one more time this season on the race course at Warsaw.

2012-05-21 12:51 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Way to go on your improvement, Brenda!
2012-05-21 3:47 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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far northern CA
Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Nice race Brenda!!!  I'm hoping to go under 3 hours at my tri in a couple weeks.  I know that time must feel amazing! Tongue out  I don't do very well in the heat either.  Wish I could help you.
2012-05-21 8:16 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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Extreme Veteran
Sidney, Ohio
Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Nice race Brenda! I'm jealous of the sub-3hr time!
2012-05-22 12:38 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Brenda - congratulations on such a nice race - sounds like a great  location (camping) and the lake sounds like a good course.

2012-05-23 7:57 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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Huntertown, IN
Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Congratulations, Brenda!  Awesome race! 
2012-06-03 6:21 PM
in reply to: #4220044

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Seacoast, NH!
Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
Although I'm late to the party, I want to congratulate you on an awesome race Brenda.  We are in a very similar boat with a good swim/bike and a slower run.  Keep up your awesome work and keep that smile on.  It's very encouraging to know you're having a blast out there.
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