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Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Sakata, Yamagata
19C / 66F
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = DNF/
Age Group = 50-59
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Normal routine: I didn't sleep all that well and was up by 4:30 or so. I ate breakfast between 5 & 5:30 and was out the door of the hotel by 6. I got a good parking spot and met my racing buddy. We rode our bikes to T2 to drop off our running stuff and check out the transition area which was different than the previous two years.
Event warmup:

They let us in the water at 8 for 20 minutes and the first wave starts at 8:30. I got in and did a very light warmup. The water was cold at first, but it was exactly the same temp last year. I guess my bike ride back and forth to T2 was a little warmup (about 3 km), but no run warm-up this year.
  • 00m
  • 1500 meters
  • / 100 meters

I situated myself about half way back in the pack of 40-59 year olds in my wave. I started out swimming with my face out of the water with the intent of swimming the entire race that way -- same as I did for all races last year. About 100 meters in I was getting clobbered by the guys around me and when I tried to swim away from them I felt like I had no power in my stroke. About 200 meters in I swam off to the side a little and started doing some sidestroke. It felt like something was wrong. I felt like my breathing was constrained, i.e., like my tri-suit or wet-suit or both were too tight. That feeling continued to build and at 300 meters I swam in towards the shore until I could stand up. On of the support crew came over and asked if I was alright and I told him my chest and wet suit felt tight. I talked him into taking the top half of my wet suit, thinking that might help. After another 200 meters, about half crawl and half sidestroke, I decided something was wrong and trying to force it was a bad idea. So I grabbed onto the buoy line and signaled to another one of the support staff. He came over quickly and got me up on the back of his water scooter. I was back to the start point in about 2 minutes. On the way back I asked if it would be possible to continue on with the bike and run legs. He explained this request to the guys he handed me off to and they said yes. So I ended up waiting in the area with the folks who are doing the race as part of a relay team. They told me I would be able to start at 40 minutes into the race. I'm also standing right next to the control station where a couple guys are talking on radios. The wind had picked up significantly and it turns out they were finalizing the decision to cut the bike leg to 20km. Shortly after that the swim leader came out of the water. So, I ended up standing around for about 20 minutes in the wind and light rain, shivering and trying to keep myself warm. Slowly, the group of DNF swimmers who wanted to continue built up to about 15 people.

Side note: I was wearing a new tri-suit for the race - a size small DeSoto bib and a small DeSoto top over that. These were very tight. I did try them both out on a couple of bike rides and they seemed fine. I did not swim or run in them.
What would you do differently?:

Start at the back of the pack like I did during last year's races. Continue to try to improve my swim stroke which still sucks and also spend more time on my swim endurance.
Transition 1
  • 03m

Just a swag at how much time I took in T1 after they let us out of the holding area. I took my time. I had worn a cycling jacket to stay warm prior to the race. I saw no reason for letting it get wet if it rained so I had wrapped it up in a plastic bag and left it in my basket in T1. I decided while I was standing around shivering that I was going to take my time and get that jacket on for the bike ride -- very smart move. I also took my time wiping off my feet as they were fairly coated with wet sand.

  • 41m 42s
  • 20 kms
  • 28.78 km/hr

Per the weather agency, the winds were averaging between 20 and 25 mph and the strongest recorded gust was 35 mph. There weren't that many gusts. The loop nature of the course made for an interesting ride. On half of the course I was hitting 40 kph fairly easily with the wind and being conservative because of the rain and turns. On the other half, it was just brutal and I was averaging 20-25 kph. I tried to keep the hammer down for most of the ride because it was only 20 km, but that wind sure made it tough to keep pushing. I did most of the course in the drops and some on my aerobars. I felt more comfortable in the drops because the breaks were closer. I did get moved around a few times by the gusts, but that happens when you weigh 130 pounds.
What would you do differently?:

Not a lot. I think I hit the right balance between speed and safety. I was purposely a little conservative.
Transition 2
  • 02m

Again, just a swag at the transition time. I had to peel the cycling jacket off and changed my shoes pretty quickly after that.

  • 54m 37s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 28s  min/km

I started out running at about a 5 min/km pace into the wind. My chest was feeling kind of tight so I opened up the tri-suit top and it felt a little better. During the course of the run, I felt like I didn't quite have the right level of energy, especially when going into the wind. My pace fluctuated some with the wind and I felt better (but still off) when running with the wind at my back.
Post race
Warm down:

I met my racing buddy right after finishing and we stood around watching the finish and eating watermelon for about 10 minutes. We then started walking back to T2 to pick up our bikes. This is where it gets a little weird. All of a sudden I have a coughing fit that lasts like 2 minutes and I end up spitting up some sputum with blood. That happens 2-3 more times on the way to the bikes and after that I'm fine. I drove the 2.5 hours home and then got all my gear cleaned up and put away. I had a nice dinner and a few drinks with my wife, brother-in-law and sister-in-law. But, stay is not the end of the story....

Event comments:

This is a well run race. They've been doing it for 27 years now and they have it down pat. Even with the crappy weather, they did a great job.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-06-19 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 1500 meters | / 100meters
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
Suit: De Soto
Course: two laps around a 750 meter course that sits behind a breakwater that keeps the swim area relatively calm.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 21C / 70F Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:00
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:41:42 | 20 kms | 28.78 km/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong with gusts
Course: Three laps on a fairly flat course. They must have had shortening the course as a contingency plan (or they've done it before) because they did a great job re-marking it with cones and they kept it at 3 laps.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 92
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:00
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:54:37 | 10 kms | 05m 28s  min/km
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: 3 laps on a fairly flat course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-06-19 3:40 AM

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Sendai, Japan
Subject: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon

2012-06-19 5:42 AM
in reply to: #4268508

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon

As someone who struggles with swim starts, I understand your situation.  I hope you can get it under control.  Please don't beat yourself up over it!  Diagnose and then get down to business.

2012-06-19 9:09 AM
in reply to: #4268508

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Silverton, Oregon
Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
Sorry about the race, but good for you for doing the bike and run anyway. That takes a lot of mental strength. Please get yourself to a Dr and make sure your lungs are OK.  Hope it's nothing serious and you feel better soon!
2012-06-19 9:53 AM
in reply to: #4268508

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Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
I'll echo Roni and say great job to finish the bike and run. I hope your lung illness gets sorted out. That must be worrisome.
2012-06-19 12:13 PM
in reply to: #4268508

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Subject: RE: Minato Sakata Oshin Triathlon
you made the right call... NO DOUBT.  no need to take a chance in open water.   next one! 
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