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Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Corpus Christi, Texas
United States
High Five Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 3h 12m 24s
Overall Rank = 40/85
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 1/3
Pre-race routine:

Been dealing with an undiagnosed knee injury for what feels like forever (since July, 2012), but have been trying to run through it. My run training is currenty very low volume, though I have been getting out and walking for the amount of time I'd like to be running, and running what I can. Leading up to the race, my hamstring freaked out on me and wouldn't allow me to do any on Friday, I went to my ART chiropractor and had him work through it. It loosened up pretty well, but was still sore. Regardless, going into the race, I knew I didn't have the run volume to actually race it, so I had no intentions of even trying to do so.

I chose this race as I'd read a lot of positive race reports from people who had done the High Five Events / Jack & Adams races -- plus, we'd heard Corpus Christi was nice and wanted to check it out. We drove in to Corpus Saturday morning. Honestly, Corpus was a bit of a let-down....we probably had set our expectations too high, as we were expecting it to be practically Caribbean -- turns out the water is still brown all the way down in Corpus!

We stopped in and picked up our packets, then headed over to T1 to rack our bikes, and finally to T2 to drop off our run bags. After that, we checked into the hotel, and decided to go for a short run to a) see how my hamstring was going to treat me, and b) wake our legs up after a long drive. My hamstring was still bugging me a little bit, but it was much better after an ART session. And again, I had no expectations of racing the run leg of the race.

Found a pho restaurant for our traditional salty noodle soup pre-race meal -- it was decent, not great, but not bad. Headed back to the hotel room to read / watch tv / goof around online for a couple hours, and then off to bed around 9pm. I normally sleep terribly the night before a race, but I slept surprisingly well. Got up at 5am (the joys of being a five minute walk from the race start!!). Ate an English muffin with peanut butter and a banana for breakfast. Got geared up and grabbed our remaining bags, then headed over to T1 to set everything up.
Event warmup:

We weren't allowed in the water before the start, so minimal warm-up of some stretching and making sure my wetsuit was the least constrictive it could be.
  • 17m 28s
  • 1094 yards
  • 01m 36s / 100 yards

I was one of the last in our wave to jump into the water, but the way the swim start was oriented, it actually let me get to the front left of the group, which set me up pretty nicely. The gun went off and there was a little contact at the start (certainly nothing major), but within a couple minutes, I had clear (well, brown) water. I sighted and noticed there were only two white caps in front of me....unfortunatley, they were too far in front of me to catch up and take advantage of the draft. Eventually, the first girl pulled away from the second, so we were all on our own.

My sighting was decent. At one point, I noticed myself taking a bit of a wide line, but then I pulled it back in tight and was able to keep myself there throughout the race. Not too long after rounding the second buoy, I started catching green caps -- didn't have any issues staying on my line without running up on any of them, so that worked out nicely.

Rounded the last buoy and hit the final stretch to the floating dock. When I came up to it, I was fortunate enough to get to one of the ladders without having to wait for anyone. Popped out quickly and headed up toward the wetsuit strippers.

The swim was pretty uneventful. I didn't notice my wetsuit constricting my shoulders, which was good -- I'm not sure if that's because I've done a couple recent open water swims, or if it was the race mentality. That said, I did reign myself in and not push too hard....I figured it'd be a long day, so I might as well not wear myself out early on.
What would you do differently?:

Definitely should have pushed hard enough to go four seconds faster Stephen beat me in this swim! I kick his ass every day in the pool, but the moment we do OWS (or pull sets in the pool), he's got the advantage. Not fair!! Honestly, though, I'm happy with the way the swim went, but I know I can keep working on my swim and continue improving. Other than that, I should just find non-wetsuit legal races!
Transition 1
  • 02m 31s

Got out of the water and up onto the pier, quickly found the line to pull my zipper down and ran over to the wetsuit strippers. I pulled the face off my Garmin, gripped it in my teeth and let the wetsuit strippers do their thing.

Quickly ran to my transition spot and shoved my wetsuit (with cap and goggles in the sleeve) into the bag. I decided that I'd put my shoes on in transition rather than leave them clipped into the pedals as I've only done that a couple times and am not particularly efficient at it -- good call for this race. Sat down to put shoes and socks on....stood up and got my sunglasses and helmet on, then quickly ran out of transition feeling pretty good.

I was particularly happy with this transition as all other races I've done have had me huffing and puffing after the better swim fitness yielded a much better swim pace and allowed me to not feel like my heart was going to come exploding out of my chest in transition!
What would you do differently?:

For this transition, nothing....for future transitions, get to the point where I'm comfortable with leaving my shoes clipped in to start.
  • 1h 45m 59s
  • 36 miles
  • 20.38 mile/hr

Plan for the bike was to go reasonably hard, as I knew my run was going to be slow anyways....might as well minimize my time on the course and see how my legs feel after a hard ride. I spent the majority of the ride passing people, which was fairly surprising as I don't generally think of myself as a very strong cyclist. Only one woman doing the intermediate distance passed me, but she was 44, so not in my age, she was fast, so I couldn't have hung on if I wanted to!

I practiced my "draft legal sling shot" as I passed most people. I'm not sure I really feel any benefit from it, but I figured I'd give it a try since I've read that it's beneficial.

Nutrition-wise, I planned to have a Gu at mile 5, a Honey Stinger Waffle at mile 20, and another Gu at mile 33ish -- all went as planned. I had an aero bottle (36 oz) full of Skratch mix and one 16 oz bottle full of Skratch -- I drank the aero bottle, refilled with the smaller bottle, and drank some of that along the bike leg. I felt like the nutrition treated me well, as I had plenty left in me if I were going to really run. Also good to know that a hard ride didn't leave my legs feeling trashed for the run (for future reference).
What would you do differently?:

I'm pretty pleased with how this went....obviously I still have a lot of room for improvement, but breaking into the 20's was pretty cool :)
Transition 2
  • 01m 3s

As I neared T2, I loosened my shoes and pedaled for a few moments, then pulled my feet out and pedaled toward the mount line, finally pulling my right leg over the top tube and dismounting. The dismount line was a bit of a cluster, but I managed to navigate it with no real issues and only minor slowing versus what I could have done if no one else had come in at the same time as me.

When I was inside the T2 area, I got stuck behind a girl who was going slowly and acting sort of confused. Eventually I let her know that I was behind her and was coming around on her left. Racked my bike by the nose of the seat and yanked my helmet off. Sat down to put my shoes on....grabbed my hat and race belt and ran out while putting them on.
What would you do differently?:

Might consider racking the bike by the back of the seat, rather than the nose. It wouldn't save much time, but it might be easier for these low racks (bottles in the back stick up just a little too high).
  • 1h 05m 21s
  • 6.43 miles
  • 10m 10s  min/mile

Again, wasn't expecting anything here....I don't currently have the run volume to actually race any distance in running. I planned to treat it as a hard training run, but a training run nonetheless. I even had my Garmin set to alert me at the top of Z2, which it did rather frequently toward the end.

The run was far more eventful than I would ever like! Right at mile 2, there was a hotel parking lot on my left, with a police officer standing out controlling traffic. I saw him there with his hand out, as I saw a cyclist coming down the road toward transition (it's a slight downhill section and the guy, a half iron distance racer with a nice bike and rear disk, was cooking). I sorta spaced for a moment, but then I heard someone (the police officer) yell something right before I heard a heart-dropping crash. I looked up and saw that an SUV had pulled out of that parking lot, the officer yelled at him, the cyclist t-boned him....and it was a fucking mess. That poor cyclist was in bad bad shape. His head broke the SUV's driver side window, he was then face down on the ground (bike frame busted) in a pool of blood. I didn't know what to do....I knew I couldn't offer any help (I have no medical background), but I couldn't just leave. One other runner and I ran over, and all I could say over and over again was "Holy shit!!" Race volunteers were quickly on their way over and an ambulance was called. I knew I couldn't do anything, so I continued on my way replaying the whole thing over and over in my mind. Having been hit by a driver myself, I really hope the guy comes through alright and is able to get back to racing (assuming he wants to). It's really scary to think that something like that can happen in a race....I know that they have people out controlling traffic, but without the course truly being closed, it's a sobering reminder to keep my situational awareness up.

Moving on from hamstring bothered me for maybe the first mile and then let up. Somewhere around 2.5 miles in, I felt a really uncomfortable spot on one of my toes....I thought I had developed a blister and it was really bothering me, but I welcomed the distraction from thinking of the accident / my lack of run fitness / my hamstring / my knee. About mile 5, my knee started bugging me, but I figured I only had a bit to go, so I might as well push through it and get it finished up sooner rather than later. After the race, I pulled my shoe off to examine my gnarly blister....turned out it was one of those pokey burrs (or whatever they're called) that I must have picked up running in my socks in transition. What a pain! If I'd known that, I probably would have stopped and pulled it out during the race, rather than pushing through the pain!

Course was a bit long, but the support along it was great! I finished strong (well, as strong as I could). It's definitely noticeable how much better my fitness is than it was at any of the races last year, despite my slow run....but at all of the other races, even a 5k was feeling pretty daunting after swimming and cycling!
What would you do differently?:

Obviously would like to be able to get my run fitness order to do that, I really need to find a new doctor, one who can diagnose my knee pain and actually do something about it. This has gone on long enough (too long!!) and needs to be put to rest. I'm hopeful that someone will be able to figure it out eventually, but not optimistic that I actually have the patience to deal with it in the meantime!!
Post race
Warm down:

As I crossed the finish line, I got a cold bottle of water and my medal....walked around for a few minutes to try to find Stephen. I stretched a little, but not enough (am feeling it today for sure). We saw the race results and I laughed that I got first in my age group with my pathetic swim and bike were respectable, but my run certainly doesn't deserve a podium spot. But it wasn't an extremely competitive race, so I'll take a podium spot where I get it! We actually didn't want to wait around till 3pm for awards, so I talked with the RD and explained that we had a four hour drive ahead of us and asked if I could either get my award now or if they'd mail it to me. They were nice enough to give it to me, and then we were on our way.

During our drive home, there was a bad accident that shut the freeway down. I took that opportunity to get out of the car and get some stretching done. As of today (day after the race), my knee is certainly not thrilled with me, my right Achilles is tight (I don't think it's injured, just not used to running that much), and my right inner thigh is also sore.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Feeling like a broken record....undiagnosed knee injury resulting in minimal run volume

Event comments:

As expected based on other race reports, High Five / Jack & Adams puts on a good race. I love when things are on time and run smoothly.

I was a little disappointed with Corpus Christi, but I think that was due to unfair expectations. I would consider doing this race again as it would be nice to gauge improvements, but we'll see. I would definitely race with this RD again!

Last updated: 2013-03-11 12:00 AM
00:17:28 | 1094 yards | 01m 36s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 17/85
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vortex Full
Course: Rectangular course -- counterclockwise
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 71F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:31
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:45:59 | 36 miles | 20.38 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 31/85
Performance: Good
Average heart rate was 154 bpm overall 0-5 miles -- 15:08, 147 bpm 5-10 -- 15:04, 160 bpm 10-15 -- 13:50, 156 bpm 15-20 -- 14:32, 156 bpm 20-25 -- 15:33, 154 bpm 25-30 -- 15:05, 154 bpm 30-35 -- 13:58, 153 bpm
Wind: Cross-winds
Course: Out and back twice, lots of rough areas (stretch coming back toward transition had lots of jarring bumps that I nicknamed the "crotch buster" section)
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:03
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:05:21 | 06.43 miles | 10m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 58/85
Performance: Below average
Mile breakdowns: 0-1 -- 9:35, 157 bpm 1-2 -- 10:23, 157 bpm 2-3 -- 10:06, 158 bpm 3-4 -- 10:13, 159 bpm 4-5 -- 10:43, 158 bpm 5-6 -- 10:05, 161 bpm 6-6.43 -- 8:59 pace, 165 bpm
Course: Out along the bike course, loop around Cole Park, back along bike course to finish
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] 4

2013-04-15 12:12 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course

2013-04-15 1:18 PM
in reply to: #4700869

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course

Well done!!!  That's pretty impressive for someone with a knee injury Nicole!

Seeing that crash would mess me up, I hope the guy is ok.

2013-04-15 1:45 PM
in reply to: #4700869

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Subject: RE: Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course
Congrats on your great race Nicole. I hope your achilles feels better soon. 
2013-04-15 1:54 PM
in reply to: #4700869

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Subject: RE: Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course
Congrats Nicole.  Hope that guy's injuries are not permanent...sounded really bad.
2013-04-15 2:18 PM
in reply to: #4700869

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Subject: RE: Republic of Texas Triathlon - Intermediate Course
Nice job out there. You've managed to keep a great view of things in spite of injuries.
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