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Tri for Life - TriathlonSprint

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Landisville, Pennsylvania
United States
Hempfield Triathlon Club
50F / 10C
Total Time = 1h 20m 34s
Overall Rank = 19/145
Age Group = M 40-49
Age Group Rank = 2/29
Pre-race routine:

I ate a Quaker oat square and drank a cup of black coffee on the ride to the race.

I arrived a few minutes after 6:00, and saw one of my clients, Steve P had arrived a minute before me. I greeted Steve, and confirmed that he was pumped up for a good race. I Checked in, got body marked, and was able to snag a prime location in the front row of transition right in line with the swim in and bike in entrances and directly between swim in and bike out.

Once my spot was set up, I spent some time with Steve reviewing his race plan again, and discussing some additional tips for dealing with the serpentine swim, because his swimming had improved a lot since he submitted his seed time, so we knew he would be faced with slower swimmers in front.

After making sure Steve was all set, I talked to a bunch of other athletes I know from the area and from Team in Training.

I ate a Gu with 2x caffeine about 45 minutes before we were scheduled to start.
Event warmup:

Steve and I did an easy 10 minute out-and-back run on the course, and I did arm circles while waiting in line to start the swim.
  • 05m 9s
  • 328 yards
  • 01m 31s / 100 yards

This was a solid swim. I was smooth and relaxed. Nobody every caught me from behind, and I caught 2 swimmers in front of me, who each pulled up at the next wall after I tapped their feet a few times.
What would you do differently?:

Transition 1
  • 00m 40s

I blazed this transition! This was the fastest in my AG by 25 seconds, and it was 5th fastest overall.

Everything went like clockwork.
What would you do differently?:

  • 50m 50s
  • 16 miles
  • 18.89 mile/hr

I felt good after the swim, and know T1 went well. My mount was good, and I got up to speed quickly, but here's where my race flew off the rails.

As soon as I was up to speed, I tried to shift into the big ring, but nothing happened! I looked down as I shifted back and forth, and the front deraileur definitely wasn't moving. &^%$#^&@!

I was stuck in the small ring.

Thoughts flew through my head as I weighed my options...winning my age group again seemed to no longer be an I stop and try to fix it?...Maybe I should just turn around and take a DNF...No, I'm here to race the best I can today, regardless of what hand I'm dealt!

I decided to push harder on the hills than I normally would, recover on the descents, and spin at a higher cadence on the flats. I'd have to guess how hard I could push on the hills and still save some legs for the run. It wasn't optimum, but it was the best plan I could come up with on the fly.

I found myself spinning out on every flat and had difficulty keeping power to the ground. It felt like I was coasting constantly, but there wasn't anything else I could do.

Because of the cool temperature (high 40's), I drank very little of my 50-50 Gatorade and water mixture during this ride. I think I still had about 3/4 of the bottle left after the race.

As the ride went on, my Garmin confirmed what I already knew: my pace was off considerably from what I'm capable of on this course. I just hung in there and kept fighting away, holding out hope that I'd still be able to put up a respectable run, and not finish too far down in the rankings.

The only consulation was that it was windy, so there were several stretches with fairly strong headwinds. This helped diminish the disadvantage that I had with my low gearing.

I have no idea how, but in the end, I managed to ride only a little more than 1 mph slower than last year, and post the second fastest time in my AG. Of course, I didn't know this at the time, because of the time trial start.

I came off the bike feeling a little less defeated, and a little more determined to finish the race well despite the mechanical issue.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I handled the situation as best I could. I had gone over my bike the night before, and there wasn't any indication that the cable was likely to slip out.
Transition 2
  • 00m 41s

This was a good transition. The dismount was good, and I was able to run fairly well even though my feet were a bit cold and achey.

My left quad started to cramp when I leaned over to adjust the tongue of one of my running shoes, making me worry that I'd cooked my legs on the bike, but it relaxed as soon as I stood up again.

This was good enough to be the fastest in my AG, and 14th fastest overall.
What would you do differently?:

  • 23m 14s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 28s  min/mile

Now it was time to find out whether I'd fried my legs too much whenever I was actually able to maintain the power to the ground during the bike.

Once I got rolling, I felt ok. Not great, but ok. At this point, I was willing to settle for that.

I settled into a rhythmn at about a 7:45 pace. It was a little slower than I'd have liked, but it felt like I would be able to maintain it.

My HR held pretty steady, only climbing slightly throughout the run along with my RPE, but I was able to maintain pace.

Mentally, I was still a little off from recent family matters and the disappointment of the mechanical on the bike, so I don't feel that this was my best effort.

I didn't drink anything during this run.

Once I reached the 2.5 mile mark, I started digging a little deeper to try to pick up the pace, knowing that my friend Troy wasn't too far behind me, and he only started :30 to 1:00 behind me. I kept waiting to hear him come up behind me. He never did. He finished about 2 minutes after me.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Walk around talking to other competitors and cheered for others as they finished.

I was shocked when someone came up to me and said I was listed as 2nd in the AG. After the way the race went, I really didn't think it was possible for me to be on the podium!

The best part was that the race had new awards for winners this year instead of the medals they had issued in the past: Pint Glasses!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mechanical issues, 5-10 pounds of weight gain in recent months, and missing a total of about 1 month of training since the first of the year because of two illnesses and a family issue.

Event comments:

This is one of the best small local races in the area. The organizers do an excellent job!

Last updated: 2013-04-07 12:00 AM
00:05:09 | 328 yards | 01m 31s / 100yards
Age Group: 1/29
Overall: 17/145
Performance: Good
Time includes about a 50 meter run to the timing mat at the transition area.
Suit: One piece tri suit
Course: Serpentine swim in 6 lane 25 meter pool.
Start type: Inside Pool Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current:
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:40
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
00:50:50 | 16 miles | 18.89 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/29
Overall: 19/145
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 162. Avg power 197 watts.
Wind: Strong
Course: Flat-to-rolling with a couple technical turns.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 95
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:41
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:23:14 | 03.11 miles | 07m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 7/29
Overall: 41/145
Performance: Below average
Avg HR 165
Course: Mostly flat out-and-back on asphalt roads with some slight inclines and declines. No hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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] 4

2013-04-15 1:40 PM

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: Tri for Life

2013-04-16 10:43 AM
in reply to: #4701068

Subject: RE: Tri for Life
Way to hang in there and get it done. Congrats onvthe podium.
2013-04-16 11:58 AM
in reply to: #4702563

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Tri for Life


I believe the learning process never stops, and this race definitely taught me some things.  It was a reminder about the importance of good decision making, especially when things go awry.  It was also a reminder about the importance of never giving up, even when things seem impossible.  Sometimes we can surprise ourselves with what we are capable of.


2013-04-17 10:34 AM
in reply to: #4701068

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Subject: RE: Tri for Life
Great job, and if those are your bike times/speeds with malfunctioning gear, you must really shred it when fully operational!  Way to keep your head and pull out a good race and a podium spot!
2013-04-18 6:37 AM
in reply to: #4703966

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Tri for Life

melbo55 - 2013-04-17 11:34 AM Great job, and if those are your bike times/speeds with malfunctioning gear, you must really shred it when fully operational!  Way to keep your head and pull out a good race and a podium spot!

Thanks!  It's the new bike, not the engine.  Innocent


2013-04-18 3:39 PM
in reply to: #4701068

Subject: RE: Tri for Life

Congrads,  just curious what the problem was with the derailer and in hindsight could you have resolved it quickly?




2013-04-18 4:44 PM
in reply to: #4706191

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Tri for Life
The cable slipped out from the derailleur. It would have taken tools to reconnect and adjust. Continuing to ride was the right choice in this situation. In a longer race that was flat I probably would have stopped to try to fix it.
2013-04-19 9:46 AM
in reply to: #4706318

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Subject: RE: Tri for Life
Congrats on the event.  I was in your same age group.  
2013-04-20 11:11 AM
in reply to: #4706923

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Harrisburg, PA
Subject: RE: Tri for Life

kjbuck2 - 2013-04-19 10:46 AM Congrats on the event.  I was in your same age group.  

This was your first race in a few years, right?  Congratulations!


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