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LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125 - Triathlon

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Tempe, Arizona
United States
Life Time Fitness
80F / 27C
Total Time = 5h 05m 52s
Overall Rank = 72/439
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 19/72
Pre-race routine:

My last race was in Oct. at SOMA and I had a good result of 4:44. I did El Tour de Tucson 111 miler at 4:47 in Nov. For winter training, I engaged in a leg strengthening program and have added more size to my legs for cycling strength and running endurance. I also started a new training plan. Going into this event, my cycling FTP had gone up 15% and my running threshold had improved by 10 seconds / mile since last Oct. I felt that I was coming into this race in grand shape... I also planned to use this race as a test bed for St. George.
Event warmup:

I had to rack the bike in the early morning b/c of the cluster fuck on Saturday. My family had a commitmant on Saturday afternoon, so we had to go.

I did a breakfast of oatmeal, banana and peanut butter... I went to the event and got there about 5:45am, setup my area, I found that there was a lot of space, no crowding. I set up transition, chatted with athletes, met fellow Valdora rider and BTer, Patrick Bliss. I did some stridings, stretching, put on wetsuit and waited for the start.
  • 47m 33s
  • 2734 yards
  • 01m 44s / 100 yards

What can I say? Since I live in fucking Ajo. There is one public pool that is available from Memorial day to Labor day. My last OWS swim was at SOMA and I had no pool time from Labor day last year till about 1 month ago when I figured out that there where stationary cords that I could buy and use to do stationary swimming in a friends hotel pool. My swimming practice consisted of nothing except dryland cords and stationary bullshit swimming.

I did a 32 minute swim at SOMA with a sleevelss wetsuit, and I didn't expect to come in at peak swim performance, but I had bought the full wetsuit about 1 month ago and had never used it before. I also preprogrammed my mind that this would be a 2.5km swim exactly and that I would be in the 39 to 40 minute range. I have decent swim form when rehearsed and can swim in a 50m LCM pool at cruise at 1:40/100, so I expected to be around 1:35/100 during this swim with the suit.

I got into lake with our wave, settled at the front line and waited for the gun... and that's where it got ugly. After just a few 100 meters I was gasping for air... the sensation of having a tight HR monitor around my chest and a tight, brand new Desoto trisuit and a tight, brand new suit; left me with the feeling that my chest couldn't expand to let in air. I had to stop and settle, but my nerves, and enxiety that my swim was fucked led to a little bit of panic... as I watched everyone going by. I got down to swimming again and the same thing... over and over for the first leg out. I would stop, doggy paddle side swim, back stroke... all in an effort to have air, but move forward.

Another thing that screwed up my senses was the wetsuit... I swim by feel, I feel the pressure in my hands or arms and legs, this fucking suit made me feel nothing, I was completely numb, like Pink Floyd, my mechanics were shot, my swim stroke pacing was shot... I struggled for the entire swim. There was a few moments on the back leg were maybe things were recovering, but that lasted about 50m each time, then struggling again... it was an aweful experience, and makes me question the value of a full suit... I may just stick with the sleevelss since I have feeling with my catch and pull.

So when I got done, I wasn't tired... just tired of struggling and just wanted to get on the bike and move on... I looked at my watch and thought that I was 7.5 minutes off of my goal time, of course not realizing that the swim was 230 meters longer.

This swim has made me question my fitness, put a bad taste in my mouth for full suits.
What would you do differently?:

I can't do much at the moment until Memorial day, but it seems that I would need some time in the pool with a full suit to get comfortable in it, or just not use one at all. Otherwise, I know that I am a 30 to 32 min. HIM swimmer, and with more practice this summer, could work down to a sub 30 min... assuming a true 2km course.
Transition 1
  • 03m 32s

After I had gotten out of the water... I ran up to the strippers, we struggled with the suit, it was glued to my skin, furthermore, I had to take off my watch and ankle thing, then she finally got it off, put my watch and ankle thing back on.

And, dang, this transition are is big and long... I finally got to my bike with a light jog, threw my suit on the fence, put on the helmet glasses, and put my cliff bars and gels in my pockets, wiped my feet of grass, put on my right shoe (as my left was on the pedals), and ran out to the mount area, got on and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

Obviously, I took my time in the regard, but my time is different than event time sine I'm using the autosport on my watch and clicked to transition at the top of the stairs from the water.
  • 3h 03m 26s
  • 68.7 miles
  • 22.47 mile/hr

Cycling performance is important for me, since it is my favorite of the three, followed by swimming, then running. So, to hit or be close to my goal time means a lot to me.

Well, I again preprogrammed in my mind just under a 68 mile course and planed to be somewhere about 2:55 to 3:00, as breaking 3 hours was important for me. I also wanted to stay about about 80% FTP (250-260w of 325w). I don't pay that much attention to HR, but use it as a backup to watts... I didn't want to spend too much time above 150bpm and no time above 160 bpm. My avg. was 149 bpm.

Lap 1: avg. speed 23.3 / 275w
Lap 2: avg. speed 23 / 256w
Lap 3: avg. speed 22.6 / 240w
Lap 4: avg. speed 22.3 / 235w

I may have went a little too hard on the first lap as I was trying to make up lost swim time, it may have cost me a little on the 4th lap.

I stayed in my zones and the biking went alright, BUT where I had problems was with nutrition. I had two bottles of my calories on my xlab rear carrier, they got ejected at mill avenue during the first lap, so I didn't get in enough fluids off the bat.

I was cruising comfortably, grabbed a gatorade from the first aid station and took a few swigs, then hit another bump and lost my bottle again... then grabbed on college avenue, hit those fucking timing matts off papago hill (what the fuck are those doing there around a fast corner like that?), needless to say this was the pattern the whole way, I never got enough fluids.

I had 2 cliff bars, a gel shot and 3 salt tabs with me, well guess what. On the second lap, grabbing my a bar out of my back pocket and I hit a bump, the bar flew out of my hand, unbelievable!!! I went for the second bar, Then a little later, I went for the salt tabs in the little packet, they flew out of my hand too.

I had another SNAFU on the bike, at mile 43 on the 3rd lap... I hit a bump and then heard hissing, I thought, NOOOOO!!! not a blown tube... I stopped and got off the bike and felt the tires (full of air), looked at the bike, it was a gel wrapper caugth in between the frame and rear tire... PHEW!!! I lost a minute of time with this.

There was on the last lap about miles , that my HR dropped and I was struggling to keep it higher, further, I began to feel nauseous, slight headache, and fluids didn't settle well. I got up on the hoods for bit, to get "air", slowed down a little to get resettled... felt a little better, then went on, it happened again a little bit later. Dehydration was catching up on me...

Needless to say, I was way behind on hydration and nutrition and it probably bit my in the ass at the end of the 3rd lap and on the 4th... definately, bit me in the ass for the run. I was in total reactive mode instead of proactive for most of this race.

On a bike race that I'm suppose to consume about 80oz of fluids, I got probably about 1/2 that amount. I was in deficit.
What would you do differently?:

Either, not bike on any of Redrock's courses, or buy those expensive Xlab cages, and/or figure out a new hydration/nutrition combo.

Despite these issues on the bike, at least, I stayed in the zone.
Transition 2
  • 02m 39s

I was suprised that my back (usually it locks up), held up well... I got off the bike and was able to jog through the T area.

Again, I took my time, putting on socks, tossing my gear, putting on my number, taking in some fluids.
What would you do differently?:

  • 1h 08m 32s
  • 8.08 miles
  • 08m 29s  min/mile

I started with a jog and worked down my pace along the concrete path, after the first mile I was going at my goal pace of 7:00 min/mi. Then, whammo... the mountain... it all fell apart... what I discovered was that I couldn't keep my HR up, or if I did, say above 150, I would feel nauseous and get headaces or feel like I was having a heart attack, tingling in my left arm... so everytime that it got a above that point, I walked to get in back down to the low 140's, the flats were ok, some walking on the canal, eventhough my legs were holding up, I just couldn't... I had thoughts of having a heart attack and not seeing my family again... so I struggled in run/walk... run for a quarter of a mile, walk... repeat... My only savior was the end as we went downhill and I got some speed again...

I was alright on the flats and concrete, but I have never, ever done trail running, esp. not after 68 miles of biking and dehydrated... it sucked.
What would you do differently?:

See above above for cycling
Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the finish line, but there was no joy, I was cursing at myself... I grabbed some oranges, water, cookies, and walked around disappointed.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My nutrition / hydration plan went to crap.

Event comments:

The volunteers were great!!! let me say this first, THANK YOU!!!

OVerall, I have a bad taste in my mouth for the Leadman Tempe experience, the biking course was a complete failure, if this event continues at Tempe, they better change the course... I'm certainly not going to do it next year. The rest was fine.

There was a little bit of a cluster fuck on Saturday with the Collegate Nationals, but I'm not going to fault Redrock for that.

I had high expectations and goals for this event... I wanted to be around a 4:35 to 4:40, but anyways...

This event has demoralized me, I dropped it down my pants... and makes me question my ability to even go to St. George and vie for a Vegas slot. I know that I have it in me, but this has blown a big hole in my confidence.

Last updated: 2012-11-07 12:00 AM
00:47:33 | 2734 yards | 01m 44s / 100yards
Age Group: 33/72
Overall: 0/439
Performance: Bad
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro
Course: A 2.73km out and back in Tempe Town Lake.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 67F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Bad Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Bad Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Bad
Time: 03:32
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
03:03:26 | 68.7 miles | 22.47 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/72
Overall: 0/439
Performance: Good
Well, I again preprogrammed in my mind just under a 68 mile course and planed to be somewhere about 2:55 to 3:00, as breaking 3 hours was important for me. I also wanted to stay about about 80% FTP (250-260w of 325w). I don't pay that much attention to HR, but use it as a backup to watts... I didn't want to spend too much time above 150bpm and no time above 160 bpm. My avg. was 149 bpm.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 4 loops of the usual Redrock course... with 16 u-turns for the 4 laps and another 40 technical turns. SUCKS!!!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 80
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:39
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal
01:08:32 | 08.08 miles | 08m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 19/72
Overall: 99/439
Performance: Bad
HR was 148
Course: An 8.1 mile course up through Papago mountain and 4 miles along the canal.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %3
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
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 12:59 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

2013-04-15 1:27 PM
in reply to: #4700984

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Queen Creek, AZ
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

Yeah, bike check in was a joke...they finally let us all in at 3:41, after they panicked everybody and said it wouldn't be until 4:30 when they would let us in.  Then they said they'd re-rack the bikes according to our numbers on the rack, but that never happened.  Oh, then you had to step over all the leftover hamburger plates and gel packs thrown all over the place by the college kids (pigs).  Not that we are all cleaner as a group, but geez...kinda left a bad taste in my mouth for having the collegiate kids here when the ones we saw were really messy and left their crap everywhere.  Clemson appeared to be the worst offenders that I saw.  But I digress.

If you did SOMA, you knew that the course would have those horrid bumps in them...but I agree, who would put those TWO timing mats at that turn around?  That's just plain stupid.  Maybe on an uphill out there before the turn where you're slower, but not on that turn where you can carry decent speed around it and have 3 or 4 lanes to work with.  Those bumps in the road scare the crap outta me and make me feel like I'm playing roulette with a flat every time I fly over one of them. 

I'm sure you'll do fine in St. George as you'll not have ejector bottles and too many crazy bumps to worry about.  And maybe no hills that are all rocky and dusty.  Besides...I'm thinking of doing that in 2014, so you'll have to write up a decent report on St. George.

Well done, all things considered. 

2013-04-15 2:17 PM
in reply to: #4700984

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Mesa, AZ
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

We have all been there man!  I just had coach Frank talk me off the ledge a couple days ago after a horrible swim at the splash and dash.  Sounds like there were many things out of your control.  I wasn't there but have heard a few interesting stories from the race yesterday.  I could tell right away from the times that the swim course was long.  That or Joszef Major took a nap on a kayak during the swim.  Sounds like it was a mess.  

I wouldn't even worry about St. George based on this race.  Its like comparing apples to burritos.  Totally different race.  Sand Hollow and the area around there is beautiful.  The roads are nice and no winding through the Tempe city streets.  Yeah, there is some climbing but with your bike strength this is an advantage and you'll be passing many up those hills.  Chalk this up to the course and get ready to kill St. George.

You've mentioned you have a restaurant in Ajo.  What's the name of your place?  Heading to the Rocky Point tri next week and it would be great to have a good place to stop for lunch on the way down.  Fight on bro!

2013-04-15 6:10 PM
in reply to: #4700984

Scottsdale, AZ
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125
This experience will make St. George seem like the best place on Earth! Those bumps in Tempe are insane and since every tri I've ever done has been in Tempe, I know them by heart. I was wondering where all those Clif Bars on the road came from??

Honestly, it's hard to have such high expectations for an event and see them all vanish, but you learned a lot of mental preservation and fought hard to finish, and THAT makes you stronger! We grow from every experience, good or bad and the bad ones make us appreciate the good ones that much more!
You learned that the full suit needs some breaking in OR you prefer the you know!
You learned that on bumpy courses to be careful about your back water bottles - why I use a front aero drink...seen too many flying water bottles.
The heat and hills on the run were killer! You listened to your body regardless of what your mind wanted to do...and that is smart racing!

YOU know what you are capable of so don't let this bad experience change that!!!
Awesome job and can't wait to read your race report from St. George, because you KNOW you will go and smash it!!
2013-04-15 8:23 PM
in reply to: #4700984

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Extreme Veteran
Casa Grande, Az.
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125
WOW! Al those lil issues and still a smokin' time!!!
2013-04-16 11:53 AM
in reply to: #4700984

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

Tom - great seeing you out there pre-race!  Every time I came into transition, you were already long gone, so I knew you were holding up well.

As for St George and a LV Champs spot, I would not be too concerned with that.  Your time, with all your issues, was only a few minutes longer than another close friend of mine, who is now 50 and qualified for LV last year in 45-49 with similar skills and time as yours.  Now, St George is going to be tough as it is popular this year, but if you manage your swim as you expect and do not have to dismount to check your bike, you should be fine (as I think the run will be much more like what you are used to).

Congrats on cranking it out this weekend!

2013-04-16 1:51 PM
in reply to: #4700984

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

Thanks to everyone for the support... I got a few concerned emails and calls... I'm not going to jump off Mill Ave anytime soon... I'm disappointed, but moving on to the next race.


2013-04-17 8:50 AM
in reply to: #4701797

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Surprise, Arizona
Bronze member
Subject: RE: LeadmanTri Marquee Epic 125

todds - 2013-04-15 6:23 PM WOW! Al those lil issues and still a smokin' time!!!

Seriously - you overcame a lot and still turned in a great race.  You have all of the little mishaps out of the way now and it will be smooth sailing in St. George!!

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