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Qualicum Beach Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Quality Foods and Qualicum Beach Triathlon Club
27C / 81F
Total Time = 1h 39m
Overall Rank = 154/167
Age Group = 20-24
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

Nothing spectacular. BF and I camped in his westfalia - the campsite was really nice but I (as usual) got sooooo cold and shivered the night away. I was tired when we got up at about 7:30 but I was starting to get excited. Had an apple, some juice, and a Fruit-To-Go thing for breakfast. We headed to the race a little later than I would have liked but got there on time. The volunteers weren't nearly as organized or helpful as the ones at UBC so I had some trouble getting to the transition area to rack my bike but once that was all done, I was only slightly late. Got to the pool deck where our lanes were posted (along with our predicted times) just in time to hear some women laughing about people putting 20 minutes down (my predicted time)! Excuse me? Who do you think you are exactly? So anyhow, I went and talked to some other nice ladies who were a bit (OK, a lot) older than me. Did I get put in an old person's heat because I was on the waitlist? Where are all the people my age? I digress. The group of ladies I was chatting with were super nice and nervous - two of them were like "I don't even know how to change gears on my bike!" Aww so cute! After a little reassurance about the bike (from me) and the swim (from them for me), it was time for the pre-race meeting...
Event warmup:

Allowed 2 minutes for a warmup lap but instead I spent my time stretching my shoulders and meeting the other non-warmer-uppers in my lane. Triathletes are such nice people! So supportive :) With the exception, of course, of the swim-time-laughing-ladies. Again, I repeat...WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE! Banished!
  • 12m 10s
  • 400 meters
  • 03m 02s / 100 meters

The swim was fantastic this time! Dispite all my worries, and (relativley few) pre-race nerves, I managed a best ever swim time! I had put 20 minutes down as my estimate because the swim WORKED me at UBC and that was my time there, but was hoping to hit a more reasonable 16 minutes (which I had done in training). Since I was dumb (AGAIN) and didn't start my watch, I had no idea how I was doing throughout. (Swimming is really my own personal hell) So imagine my SHOCK when I got out of the pool, looked at the clock and realized I had finished in just over 12 minutes! WHAT!? That can't be right. I wondered the entire bike and run if I had calculated that correctly. Um...what? I finished before other people? And set a PR by 4 minutes? Keep moving, Meg - the race isn't over!
What would you do differently?:

Not a whole heck of a lot! I should keep working on my front crawl and learn to flip turn, but I am SO happy with this swim I can't even describe it. YAY!!!

-Thanks to BT user jmcelroy for providing me with swim-support and my mantra for the day "just keep swimming..." :)
Transition 1
  • 03m

I actually don't have times for my transitions, so the 3 minutes listed is just a guess. It was good though. And there was still bikes there! Oh my god, I DID beat some people!! Sweet! Anyhow, back to actual transition stuff. I was organized before the race so that helped. Got shirt on, feet dried off and socks and shoes on A-OK, then helmet, gloves and ready to fly. The only thing I didn't do in T1 (which I should have) was put on sunscreen. I didn't get massivley burned but my fair skin in sensitive to everything. I need to remember to ask people about this - how do you manage sunscreen quickly? I want to be fast in transition but I also do not want skin cancer. Hmm, I will need to figure this out. Anyhow, not allowed to run with bike (seriously?) so I had to walk (not super excited about this) but I got through it. Out the gate (after yelling at a volunteer to please point me in the right direction instead of chatting up a pretty gal... "Dude where do I go??") and on to the ride.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out how to get sunscreen on. And finish the swim faster so I could pass get into transition earlier. Otherwise, it was a good one.
  • 50m 58s
  • 18 kms
  • 21.19 km/hr

Not a bad ride overall. I hit the time I had anticipated, but was a little disappointed when I looked at other riders' times. I need to go faster. I passed some people this time, though! At UBC, I saw no one on the bike. This time I passed 3 people! I also passed someone in transition, apparently. After the bike I had moved up 10 places on the overall ranking, which was great to see. Now all I need to do is swim faster so my starting rank is better! ;) I was passed by a bunch of guys as it got later in the bike segment - I'm pretty sure they were from the next heat. They all have fancy roadbikes. My hybrid does not look nearly as cool (or go nearly as fast). Anyhow, the bike was a nice little course and I think I did pretty well on it. More training is needed for speed and hills, though. I was really happy with my aero-ness though! (I have aero bars attached to my hybrid) Last time I used them for a bit but still found them hard to balance on. This time I was all over it. Go me!
What would you do differently?:

More training! Particularly on hills and speed work. I kept up my pace pretty well, although I think I could go faster. Like I said, some more practice and I'll be kicking butt.
Transition 2
  • 01m 30s

(again, no official time, just a guess) I love putting "good" for the "helmet off/running shoes on" question, because I ride in my running shoes and I am very familliar with taking my helmet off. I freaking kick ass at doing all that! WOO HOO! OK, anyhow, back on track. This transition was good, I was disappointed to see as many bikes already racked as I did, but bouyed when I noticed a few empty stalls and people taking their time getting shoes on. (Yay for already wearing runners!) I passed 2 in transition and headed for the run.
What would you do differently?:

Again, sunscreen of some sort. Maybe also a gel (if I ever get around to trying one). Otherwise I liked this transition!
  • 35m 53s
  • 5 kms
  • 07m 11s  min/km

It took me FOREVER to get my legs on this course because it was a little hilly and uneven. I seriously didn't hit a pace until I'd guess 3.5km in. That's WAY more than half the race. Not acceptable. I hated running on the chips because it was so soft and you never knew how the ground would react to your step. I felt like I was taking twice as many steps as I needed to (for the distance) so I could be sure I wasn't going to fall. I also had too much water at the water station and gave myself a cramp. HORRIBLE run. I was so disappointed after I had such a good swim and bike to finish so dismally. (My 5k training runs are usually complete in 27-28 minutes) Bummer. I did pass a few people but I also needed to walk quite a bit. At least my quad felt fine - no pain! I strained it not too long ago and was having trouble with the lower portion near my knee while running. I think the soft chips helped, and the AMPLE walking.
What would you do differently?:

Well next time I need to clarify where the run will be, because I'm sure some more training on trails would have made a difference. Also, I would have taken it easier on the water and trained more hills. (Hills are something I should do anyway, as much as I hate them). Also I think I would have pushed a little harder. I was cautious because I didn't want to hurt myself, but it also made me slow...maybe slower than I needed to be. Basically I would do almost everything differently. After such a strong run at UBC (for me at the time), I suppose I needed a crappy one to really evaluate my running. So here it is, under my belt. Now I just need to learn from it.
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the finish line and hugged Kirk :) Then we went for a little walk aroundthe parking lot and finish line area. I did some light stretching, and then had a shower :) ah, how nice to not be sweaty! We fired up the charcoal BBQ in the parking lot and I had a delicious hamburger for lunch. Then we watched the Tiny Tri (3-5 year olds with their funny! They swim across the pool, then bike around the transition area...with training wheels on their bikes! Then run to the finish line! They all got was the greatest thing ever). Then we headed over to the MC booth for the door prizes and awards. Still disappointed from my dismal run, I was SHOCKED to hear them announce my name as the second place finisher in my age group!! WHAT!? ME?! SECOND!? And then it became all to clear...there were only 2 of us in the age group! Hahaha, oh well, I still got a super fancy ribbon and now can tell everyone I came second in my second-ever triathlon. Whooot! No luck on the door prizes though. Maybe next time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Where to begin? There were a number of things. First, the heat, which is totally out of my control. But it did factor in. For the swim, I still needed to rest fairly often, though not for as long. So more training to do that distance without stopping is necessary. On the bike, I will ALWAYS feel that my bike holds me back a little. I need a racing bike to do better. Although, that being said, I suppose training on a hybrid as opposed to a road bike makes me work harder, and therefore get more aerobic and muscular benefit. So one day when I get a fancy-schmancy road bike I will kick MAJOR butt. Also on the bike leg, HILL TRAINING. I need to do more of it. As for the run of doom, I need to train more hills, and trails. I also need to do some speed work. Even a 27 minute 5k isn't that fast compared to a lot of the times posted. One guy did it in 15 minutes! I need to get a faster pace going. It will take some time, but I think it will help lots.

Event comments:

I haven't been to a ton of races (2), so it's hard to really compare. I thought before race day that it was SUPER disorganized. I mean, their website says it's the 7th annual Qualicum Beach was actually the 11th annual. Seriously, people, update that sucker! There was also no FAQ on the website, and the links were broken. Maybe they don't really know how to maintain it, or maybe they don't really care to maintain it all that much. Either way though, before race day I had no idea what was going on. Suffice to say, I was surprised at the organization when I arrived! They needed more volunteers though, and all the volunteers should wear the same t-shirt color. It was confusing. Also, better signage along the routes. Compared to UBC, this was more difficult to do just because the "help" wasn't there, but it wasn't a bad race to attend. I would recommend this race to other people who want to do a sprint tri, but like me, can't swim the full sprint-length swim yet :) Lots of kids and parents too, BTW - a real family race.

Last updated: 2006-06-26 12:00 AM
00:12:10 | 400 meters | 03m 02s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 161/167
Performance: Good
For the first time, I am attempting to swim on my front. CRAZY!
Suit: Black+Red speedo with Lulu tri shorts on
Course: The "course" was Ravensong pool in Qualicum beach. 16 lengths of a 25m pool. Each swimmer was assigned a lane with 4 other swimmers. We were then ranked by estimated swim time (fastest starting first) and swimcap colour-coded within the lanes. Green caps (fast swimmers) started first, followed every 5 seconds first by Red, then purple, then orange and then me - yellow :) It looked super scary before our meeting because all the greens go all the way across the pool and it looks like thrashing horror (which made my stomach drop) and then the reds did the same thing... ack! But when I actually got in the pool, it was a great way to start. Besides the initial noise and the thrashy water, it was super laid back. Extra nice because one girl in my land didn't show up so there were only 4 of us - lots of room :)
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:00
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
00:50:58 | 18 kms | 21.19 km/hr
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 151/167
Performance: Good
Not much to put here - I don't have a HR monitor. But the race format was 4 laps of the course, more hills than UBC but not too bad. So glad I was wet from swim still because the breeze was not that cool. Ewww hot weather.
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: 4 laps of a 4.5km route. Hills near the beginning and the end of the loops, none too steep though. Rode on the side of the streets which were really well kept so it was nice. Didn't see too many other riders for the first 3 laps, then saw the next heat. Police at all intersections directing traffic and keeping us safe. Yay police! Also a speed monitor thing which was cool :) It always made me go a bit faster so I could see my speed improve.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:30
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:35:53 | 05 kms | 07m 11s  min/km
Age Group: 2/2
Overall: 149/167
Performance: Below average
2 laps of a 2.5k trail. Mostly wooded with shade (sweet) but a few spots on the road with the sun beating down.
Course: The run, to my surprise, was on a hilly (for me) chip trail through the woods. Now, I like my shade. But I also like the pavement. It was hard! Like I said, there was nothing on my registration form or on the website to indicate the run was on trail so I was totally unprepared. Although the organizers had done a good job marking the trail and spray painting roots and rocks that might cause a runner to twist an ankle or fall, it was a new and very strange experience for me.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-06-26 3:17 PM

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Subject: Qualicum Beach Triathlon
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