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LBI Splash and Dash Race #1 - Biathlon (swim/run)

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Brant Beach, New Jersey
United States
DQ Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 40m 33s
Overall Rank = 27/34
Age Group = F 25-29
Age Group Rank = 3/4
Pre-race routine:

**edited to add official rankings/times**

This was my first multisport race! It was swim and run only (I don't even own a bike, otherwise I'd have signed up for a triathlon).

The race started at 6:30pm so I had the whole day basically. My husband and I drove down to LBI which took over an hour. We got there way early and had a late lunch/early dinner at Sonic and browsed a used book store for awhile to kill some time.

When I set up my transition area I was worried that the wind was going to blow my stuff away! I stuck as much as I could under my shoes and hoped for the best.
Event warmup:

None really...wouldn't have minded swimming a bit but no one else was.
  • 10m 29s
  • 440 yards
  • 02m 23s / 100 yards

The swim was on the bay side of Long Beach Island. Soo much seaweed in the water when we waded in, ugh. But the water temperature was GREAT. I'd guess around 75? It was cool but not cold.

I felt really great for the first few minutes; very in-control, my speed was comfortable, and there was plenty of room so I wasn't hitting anyone or being hit. Once we turned parallel to shore though...oh boy. First, I couldn't breathe to the right anymore because the setting sun was so bright. (Looking back, I should have just closed my eyes to that side, but I didn't think of it at the time). And the waves were far bigger than I was expecting. I had not practiced in open water, mainly because I don't live *that* close to any, but the unexpected up-and-down motion from the waves was making me feel nauseous (I've always had a somewhat weak stomach). Plus I started swallowing a lot of water around this time. I alternated breaststroke and freestyle for a bit, but I still felt bad. At one point I was gasping for air and started, not panicking, but feeling pretty uncomfortable. I decided to just tread water until I could get my heart rate back down. A few seconds of that and I realized...I could touch the bottom. So I admit I just stood there for like 30 seconds to catch my breath. Lame. I hope that wasn't cheating. :( But I felt better after that and finished out the swim. All things considered I thought my time would be worse. So I'd call it average overall since it was my first ever open water swim and the first 1/3 or so did go really well.
What would you do differently?:

Practice in choppy water! And possibly take some Dramamine beforehand.

It also might help to work more on sprints and practice swimming when out of breath. When I practiced for this event in the pool, I wasn't breathing hard at all by the end of the quarter mile. But coming out of this, I was exhausted.
Transition 1
  • 02m 9s

It was nice that transition was *right there* out of the water. I had the hardest time getting my shirt on, it just kept sticking on my back. And my feet were all sandy so I tried to brush off what I could but it wasn't much. The lady next to me and I joked about how tiring the swim was (we were both out of breath and among the last few out of the water).
What would you do differently?:

I guess get a race belt so I wouldn't have to wear a shirt, although I do like the extra protection against sunburn from a shirt, even on a short race like this. I'll have to think about this some more. Apparently my transition was really slow in and of itself; 31/34.
  • 27m 56s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 08m 59s  min/mile

Since I was still pretty winded from the swim I decided to take it easy for the start of the run; no sense in "bonking" later. I picked what felt like a sustainable jogging tempo. There was a water station right away and I decided to grab some to clear out the taste of salt water in my mouth :P. It was a bit windy on the course and I had to take my hat off and hold it for awhile because I was afraid it would blow off my head. I passed a couple of people right away. At the halfway point I was feeling pretty good so I sped up. I passed a few more people. No one passed me the whole time, but given that I was I think 4th to last out of the water, that's not really a surprise.

I *almost* passed another girl at the end but not quite. Still I was shocked to see that my time was 40:33. So my run was 27:56! My previous best 5k was 29:15 (and that was not after a tiring swim!) so I was totally excited about the PR. I *never* saw it coming as I felt that my pace at the beginning would have put me more towards 33-36 minutes, and I just didn't bother looking at my watch during the run. Guess I really misjudged that. Shoot, if I had known I might have picked up the pace even more!

The course itself was good; just quiet neighborhood streets mostly. There were volunteers directing us at all the turns. Some people were out walking their dogs and stuff and were asking the volunteers what the race was and seemed to think it was cool. :) A few even cheered from their front porches.
What would you do differently?:

Definitely be more aggressive; I thought before the event that I'd be faster on the swim and just hang on for the run. And like I said when I started I just settled into a comfortable pace. But hey, it's only a 5k so I really should have pushed harder; maybe not right at the beginning but sooner than the halfway point. Also, I'd probably skip the was nice to keep the setting sun out of my eyes, but hardly any of the course faced west so it wasn't worth the annoyance of having to hold it when it got too windy.
Post race
Warm down:

Just walked around a bit, nothing very formal. They had plenty of water and pizza and some door prizes. There were only 4 people in my age group and I got 3rd so I got a coffee mug. :) The awards announcer accidentally said "Honey Bangers" instead of "Honey Badgers" when announcing one of the relay group winners which was pretty damn funny. :)

My husband and I started driving back but met up with one of his friends for dinner along the way. I also found that I have a spectacularly gross blister under my big toe. Ugh.

This same race is being held twice more this summer. I would like to do it again but I would definitely have to figure out a way to work on my open water swimming first. Maybe a trip to the beach is in order.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

On the swim, the waves. On the run, nothing, it was flat and I had plenty of room...just my own fitness level holding me back. :)

Event comments:

This was the first time this race was held, and my own first race, but it seemed extremely well organized to me. We started on time and all the directions and routes were clear. I'm sure the folks running it have done other races before. And Bayview Park was a good location for the transitions; I seriously took maybe 10-20 steps from the "start" transition mat out of the water to my spot, and another 10-20 from my spot to the start of the run.

Last updated: 2012-06-14 12:00 AM
00:10:29 | 440 yards | 02m 23s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/4
Overall: 31/34
Performance: Average
Suit: plain old swimsuit :)
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time:  02:09
Overall: Average
Removing cap, goggles and wetsuit:
Getting into shoes:
00:27:56 | 03.11 miles | 08m 59s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 22/34
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
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] 5

2012-06-28 11:27 AM

Subject: LBI Splash and Dash Race #1
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