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Breath of Life Ventura Triathlon - Sprint Course - TriathlonSprint

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Ventura, California
United States
Renegade Racing
66F / 19C
Total Time = 1h 29m 9s
Overall Rank = 97/287
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 4/16
Pre-race routine:

The alarm went off at 3:30am. I got up, went to the bathroom, got changed, and made a smoothie (some frozen cherries, frozen strawberries, a banana, a scoop of almond butter, a scoop of protein, and some water). Left the house a little after 4am on our way up to Ventura (a little over an hour away). We got to the parking lot at the harbor and I desperately tried to find a restroom. The one by the Spectre (dive boat) was locked, so I walked over to the one by the Peace (dive boat), which was also locked....on my way back to the car, the restroom by the Spectre had been opened, so I ran in and took care of my nervous pee :)

Headed back to the car where Jen was getting ready and Chris and Stephen were chatting. After putting the front wheel on the bike, Jen and I were ready to head over to transition and the guys were going to go park before making their way back. I picked up my race packet and then headed into transition to set up.

My goal for this race was to just have a clean race. In the Kemah tri, I had serious issues with foggy goggles that completely killed the swim leg for me. In the Encinitas tri, my shoes came untied twice (once for each shoe). So my goal for this tri was to have a clean race and not have any little nuisance things slow me down.
Event warmup:

Jen and I went for a short jog before transition closed. I was pretty happy that we decided to go for a quick run as my body was feeling pretty crappy at that point! My ankles both felt really stiff and nothing felt good for the first couple minutes. After running for a few minutes, my body started to loosen up and feel decent.

The first wave for the swim started at 7:15 -- our wave (10) was not scheduled to go until about an hour later. We watched the entire (first) loop of the first wave to make sure we understood the course. Then we hopped in the water for some warm-up. We didn't do nearly enough at Encinitas (probably because the surf was more than I felt like dealing with!), so it felt good to get some decent swimming in before the start of the race.
  • 16m 2s
  • 820 yards
  • 01m 57s / 100 yards

The first 200m stretch was pretty brutal! Our wave was for females 39 and under racing the sprint tri. There were 77 people in our wave and many of the swimmers were actually really fast! I'm usually pretty okay for the swim, especially once the pack spreads out, but for the entire first stretch, I was constantly getting hit or hitting people....getting crawled over, or attempting to get out of the way without having to crawl over other swimmers.

Once I rounded the first buoy, the pack started to thin out and I was finally able to get into a nice groove with the swim. I felt like navigation was pretty solid and not having large swell to contend with was pretty nice.

My swimming is still not exactly a strength. I'm not making much in the way of improvements over my previous open water swim times (or pool training swims), so I think it's definitely time to consider getting some lessons and working on technique, rather than relying on my self-taught method!
What would you do differently?:

Possibly pushing harder in the first 200m to try to make some space for myself would have helped, but I think the big thing is going to be learning actual technique, instead of doing the same crap I've been doing!
Transition 1
  • 03m 6s

Of the three races I've done so far, this transition was definitely the shortest and the one with the least elevation gain. It was definitely a nice change! At the last tri, I told myself to remember that "slow is smooth and smooth is fast". I think I was able to keep that in mind and had the fastest transition of my age group!

When I got back to my transition spot, I pulled the wetsuit off, dumped some water on my feet, put my feet into my socks and shoes, put on my helmet and sunglasses, grabbed the bike, and took off. Running with my cleats has always felt awkward to me, but it felt actually pretty good in the race. I was happy with how transition went.
What would you do differently?:

I'm curious how much of a difference it would make if I sat down to put my socks and shoes on. I kind of hop around a little off-balance, which probably slows me down.

On the other hand, maybe I should grow a pair and learn how to do the flying mount ;)
  • 42m
  • 12.68 miles
  • 18.11 mile/hr

Coming off the swim and out of T1, my heart rate was high and I knew I'd have to pace myself to get it back to a comfortable level. I told myself to keep it at a cadence around 90 and just focus on breathing.

Working my way out of the harbor area, the road was quite narrow, but I was able to pass some people through this first section. Right before the u-turn, I saw Jen and knew she wasn't too far ahead of me -- my goal was to catch her :) Her goal was probably to not let me catch her!

My ride felt really good -- every time I looked down at my Garmin, my pace was in the 19mph range, which is about 1mph faster than I did at the Encinitas tri, and about 3mph faster than I did at the Kemah tri. The many rides I've been putting in over the past few months are really paying off, but I definitely still have some serious work to do (especially with body positioning) if I want to be able to do longer races.

The ride went well for the most part, but there was one stretch where some asshat passed me on the right and then proceeded to slow down right in front of me. So I passed him (on the left). I don't think he was happy about being passed by a girl, so he passed me again (and again on the right even though I was riding on the shoulder and we had an entire lane). Again, he slowed down, I passed him....and this continued four or five times. Finally, the last time he passed me on the right, I told him, "You need to be passing on the effing left." At that point, he took off (either he was sick of being passed by a girl or he was unhappy about being told off) and I didn't have to deal with it again.
What would you do differently?:

The ride went well, so there's not much I would change about it. I do, however, think it would be worth hooking up with someone who knows what they're doing (a mentor, a coach, whatever) to help me figure out body positioning type issues that I'm having. I'm not sure it would make me any faster, but it would probably make me more comfortable....and I'll continue putting in the hours and hope to continue to make good progress.

I do wonder if it might be worth taking the last half mile a little easier and getting my heart rate down a bit prior to the run. Running is definitely my weakness, so maybe it would make sense to take a (small) hit in my bike time and hope to make up for it in the run??
Transition 2
  • 01m

Coming into the end of the ride, I pulled my feet out of my shoes and pedaled on top of the shoes. Right before this race, I re-read my previous race report where I mentioned that I was a little too conservative in slowing down and stepping off my bike -- I was glad I had read that because it meant I could push it a little more. I did and it seemed to pay off, as I was again the fastest in my age group through the transition.

When I got to my transition area, I racked the bike (possibly not as cleanly as I could have, but it doesn't seems to have slowed me down too much) and then sat down to pull my shoes on. I straightened out the tongue, stood up, grabbed my visor and race belt and took off toward the run out area of the transition.
What would you do differently?:

Really would not have done much differently. Racking the bike, I should make sure it's clear before trying to turn it around -- or maybe just rack it by the brake levers??
  • 26m 59s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 08m 41s  min/mile

Running continues to be a weakness. Even though rank-wise within my age group, it doesn't seem to be too bad, it was slower than I had really wanted. I just ran a stand-alone 5k at 25.5 minutes and the run portion of the Encinitas tri was 26.5 minutes, so I was hoping for low 26 minute range.

Coming back in, I started thinking about what it was that's limiting my run speed. To be honest, I can't pinpoint what it is that makes it so I can't go faster -- my heart rate was high, my lungs were burning, my legs felt like basically everything about me hurt and it just felt impossible to go any faster, but I could have kept going at my pace for quite a bit longer. This seems to be a theme with me....I feel like I could hold my swim/run paces for longer than sprint distances, but I have a really hard time going faster than where I am. Maybe it's mental and I need to just push through the discomfort.
What would you do differently?:

I need to keep working on running....keep adding miles. I've only been running since February, so I can't expect leaps and bounds in this short of time, but hopefully my run won't feel like a big limiter for me at some point in the future.

I'm going to start working on a run-focused Olympic training plan, so we'll see what that does for my next sprint tri (scheduled for August).
Post race
Warm down:

After finishing the race, I drank a bottle of water, took some pics with Jen, Chris, and Stephen, and then did some stretching. I ate some fruit and later went for some ice cream :)

After leaving the race area, we went for massages and out to lunch

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need to get some actual swim technique and continue on establishing my run base.

I did meet my goal of having a clean race and not having some stupid little nuisance item limit my performance (unfortunately, even though my shoes stayed tied in this race, my run time was better in my last race -- not really sure if I hammered it too hard on the bike, or if it was just an off day on the run). At this point, it's just about continuing my training and improving along the way.

Event comments:

The only "negatives" about this race were the lack of communication prior to the race (Kemah, and all of the Onurmark series triathlons have, by far, the best communication prior to the race -- Encinitas was pretty good in the couple weeks leading up to the race -- this tri, the communication was really quite poor, but the event itself was organized pretty well on the day of the race) and that it didn't seem quite as competitive as some of the other races....though I guess I don't mind placing reasonably high :)

Last updated: 2012-05-22 12:00 AM
00:16:02 | 820 yards | 01m 57s / 100yards
Age Group: 6/16
Overall: 0/287
Performance: Average
Suit: Xterra Fullsuit
Course: Triangular course -- first (yellow) triangular buoy was ~200m from the entry, hang a right and swim another ~200m to the second (yellow) triangular buoy, hang a right and swim between two sets of cylindrical buoys and exit right near where we entered
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 03:06
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
00:42:00 | 12.68 miles | 18.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/16
Overall: 0/287
Performance: Good
My Garmin said that the course was actually 13.51 miles (Jen's said the same thing), so my average pace was actually 19.3mph. I'm guessing I couldn't possibly have taken such wide turns to have added nearly a mile....who knows! Average heart rate was 169 bpm
Wind: Some
Course: Out of the harbor area, south on Harbor until the specified u-turn area, then one loop around Gonzales/Victoria/5th/Harbor, and back to the harbor to transition
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 91
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:26:59 | 03.11 miles | 08m 41s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/16
Overall: 0/287
Performance: Average
Average heart rate was 170 bpm Average cadence was 95
Course: Out 2.5km and back
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2012-06-25 10:32 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: Breath of Life Ventura Triathlon - Sprint Course
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