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Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Angola, Indiana
United States
TRI FORT Triathletes
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 11m 32s
Overall Rank = 3/71
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/7
Pre-race routine:

As much as I hate to admit that it's a routine, my wake up well before the alarm goes off is part of the race. The alarm was set for 5:30 and 4:45 I was awake lying in bed staring at the ceiling.
I grabbed a little bit of coffee and a muffin and sat down with Michael (up for the weekend again) and talked about the day's upcoming activities. Once he left I was out the door for the 1 hour drive the venue.
I met up with Brenda and Barb and talked about expectations for the day, ran into Mike Mosier again and talked to various athletes and provided support for them in the form of shampoo and cautions, suggestions and other general talk.
Event warmup:

I ran a half mile about 30 minutes from the start. I was feeling sluggish and felt I needed to do something to get my blood moving. A running WU and ride seems to have little positive effect on my races so I kind of get one when I feel I have time and don't worry if I don't.
As I was getting ready to head to the pre-race meeting I realized I hadn't checked the tire pressure in my tires. I had gotten side tracked when I removed my bike from the truck and never checked. So, I ran, with my wetsuit on, to the truck, grabbed my tire pump and ran back for the fill up. It's a good thing I did I was around 90PSI in both the front and rear. Brought it up to race pressure (115PSI) and headed to the meeting.
I left the meeting about 5 minutes early to head to the beach and get some kind of WU for the swim in. This seemed to be a great idea because the water temp was really cold. I filled my suit with the cold liquid and began about a 200 yard WU.
  • 18m 24s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 07s / 100 yards

My plan was to try to swim faster for an Oly swim than I have done for any other race. My past couple of Oly's were not showing any signs of improvement and I needed to move to better swim!

I began at the front of the wave but I did have a few people that worked their way ahead of me as we were getting ready to start. At the start I had to run about 20 feet before feeling I had enough room to get my arms extended for a proper stroke.
The first 150 yards of the swim was pretty packed and there was a lot of grabbing and slapping. It was nothing major and really didn't seem to cause any stress for me but this was likely because I was getting most of the pulling to my legs. I also did a few of my own smacking and slappings during this first 150-200 yards.
Rounding the first buoy was very congested! It seemed that nearly everyone got there close to the same time. But rounding the buoy was pretty much uneventful or similar to the first 150 yards.
Once around the first buoy things quickly got thinned out. Most everyone at this point had lost their initial adrenaline surge that happens at the beginning of the race and began to fade or recognize they were out swimming themselves.
Nearly all of this first loop was without any kind of rhythm. I was unable to establish my form and breathing very well. My sighting was off and I wasn't able to see the yellow rope as well as last year. I found myself drifting around far too much. My lines were out of place but as I recognized that I was doing this I slowed a bit and began to control things more.
Once I rounded the second buoy and was headed toward the beach before the second loop something just seemed to fall into place. I felt a very smooth rhythm develop and I felt fast and crisp. The rest of this loop felt this way and I took note of how I was feeling and planned to recreate it for the second loop.
As I climbed out of the water to the beach and ran along the water's edge to the swim entry again I took note that about 8-10 people were ahead of me. I reentered the water and navigated the rocky bottom as fast as I could but it was difficult with the numbers of large stones along the route in. Once I was slightly less than waist deep I made the dolphin dive and began to stroke as smoothly as I felt I was moving in the second half of the first loop.
This loop felt really great. I kept my stroke smooth as I could and didn't have the distractions of all of the other swimmers jockeying for position. I found a guy that was just ahead of me, pulled just to his right at his feet and drafted for what I would suppose was 100-150 yards and then I launched. I went by him almost as if he were doggy paddling (or so it seemed) and I kept the hammer down.
The rest of the second loop was pretty uneventful in it's entirety. I stayed close to the rope for all of this loop and saved a lot of energy for the rest of the race.
As I exited the water I tried to take note of how many people were ahead of me but I wasn't able to get a good feel for the number because of the way the transition run up is.
What would you do differently?:

I would have settled into the race sooner and not gotten caught up into all of the craziness of the initial adrenaline surge.
I cannot say I would have drafted more because I took almost every opportunity to draft and was able to recover a few times, if only for a few seconds each time.
Transition 1
  • 00m 46s

This was a pretty good transition. I don't recall having any issues with anything.
After coming out of the water in 9th position I believe I passed at least one or two people in transition. I cannot make a solid check of this until I see the overall race results listing rather than the AG listing.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I was the second fastest T1 time for the day. I was behind the race winner by one second. I am happy with that!
  • 1h 05m 19s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 22.91 mile/hr

I remembered how hard I had hit this bike course last year and knew how badly I hurt in the beginning, so I wasn't excited to feel that pain again. But I had also put a lot of pressure on myself to perform close the the same level after last year's 2nd overall placement.....
  • ....As I began the ride that now always familiar suffering that begins early hit me hard. As I began to pedal and get ready to get my feet into my shoes my HR began to skyrocket to just above my MLSS HR. My lungs began to burn from the pain and the thought of the painful length of this ride began to pierce my mind early.
  • I got up to speed and into my shoes pretty well despite having a very short hill to climb right out of transition. And then I began to sight in some people to assess to pick off. My only concern about beginning to pick people off was that it seemed I was out of the water further behind many of the other athletes. It seemed like there were some much faster swimmers in this season's race.
    I quickly began to hammer the race and try to gain control of my HR and effort. I knew I would likely experience the same things that Jeff had been pointing out last year for HR at the beginning of the ride, so I continued to hammer and waited for my HR to moderate itself. With the hills on this course it took some time for that moderation to occur. It took 7 miles for my HR to come below 160 and even then it was in the high 150's or at 160 for the large part of the remainder of the ride.
    I passed the first rider late into the second mile on a short climb. He said "good job" as I rode by but I didn't have the wind to say anything back to him. I was out of the saddle and pumping my legs by then as we were nearing the top of the roller. After I passed him I began a very long dry spell of passing people. Most of the other riders were within site for the first 5-6 miles, or at least when I could see that far ahead. As the race continued to unfold this became less of an occurrence.
    I was passed by the man that would end up taking second place at about 5-6 miles in. I was able to keep him in sight for many of the rest of the miles but by mile 20 he was too far ahead to catch a glimpse of him.
    From here on out I set my sites on another rider that I had spoken to prior to the race and seemed to indicate that he wouldn't be very fast today but he came out of the water ahead of me and was doing very well on the bike. I passed him about 1 mile or so before the turn around and gapped him a bit. A little later in the race I peaked over my shoulder on a corner and saw him about 100 yards behind me. It seems he had caught his second wind and was attempting to catch me. We were near the top of a longer hill when I was able to take notice of him and I turned on the jets for the descent and opened the gap on him again. In another mile he was barely within sight. Following the race he told me he was trying to keep up with me but was unable to do so. My guess was he trashed himself trying to stay with me on the climbs and faded.
    For the last 5-6 miles I was chasing another rider that I had been keeping within site for nearly the entire race. He appeared to have been in second position early in the race hen I was able to see the entire leaders group and I never thought I would get that close to him then. Now, with these last 5-6 miles to go it appeared I was catching him ever so slowly. I continued to apply pressure to the throttle as I watched him move from the aero bars to the horns. I think he had gassed himself! We were about 1 mile out and I knew I was unlikely to pass him but I was hoping he had cooked himself and i wold catch him on the run somewhere.
    As we neared transition I was gaining ground on him very quickly. I felt I might, if he were slow in T2, catch him and pass him in transition. I came out of my shoes and recovered slightly as I stopped pedaling, got close to the dismount line and noticed he wasn't at his rack yet..................
    What would you do differently?:

    I am beginning to wonder if I am riding to hard for these races. I am attempting to figure out if I'm allowing my run to suffer because of the intensity I am hitting on the bike.........
    .........So, I'm not sure if I would have done anything differently just yet. I need more time to consider this.
    Transition 2
    • 00m 40s

    Another pretty good transition. I don't recall having any issues with anything.
    What would you do differently?:

    Nothing at all. I as in a 3 way tie for number 1 fastest T2 for the day with the race winner and the 20-24 AG winner. Even if you take the relay team's T times the tie took me to 2nd fastest.
    • 46m 26s
    • 6.21 miles
    • 07m 32s  min/mile

    .......As I left transition I could see the guy I had been chasing on the bike was suffering and moving rather slow. I decided to take the wind away from him a little more from a mental perspective. I cruised by him in the first 200-300 yards of the run and commented that he had a great bike. I tried to do this without showing any signs of being winded or tired, but I was suffering pretty badly myself. I have no idea if my tactic worked or not but I finished exactly 1 minute ahead of him for the run split.
    As I began the run I was already suffering and into the hurt box early. My lungs were still burning and I knew the course this year, so I began to mentally wonder how I well would perform without having the luxury of ignorance this year.
    The first couple of hundred yards I pinned my ears back a little more than last year so I could attempt to mentally put Sam out of the race. I could tell he was into the hurt box pretty deep when I passed but I was at least hoping to take the wind out of his sales a little bit. Last year I didn't try to pin my ears back so soon and I think it worked better for me but I don't regret my tactic really. I don't guess I'll know if it worked better for me since I didn't ask Sam about it during our post race discussion. Besides it's not something I would bring up to another athlete anyway.
    Following the initial 200 yards or so I tried to keep the effort strong to try to ensure a bigger gap between me and, what was now, the race for third place. I was allowing myself to hurt a little more through the first 2 miles or so of the run and then maybe recover slightly later when I felt a little more confident where I was at placement wise.
    The course continued to roll, up and down and around the wooded hills and the opened meadows. If I hadn't been suffering so much it would have been a really pretty place. But this is a race so suffering is a part of it and I accepted it as part of the experience.
    Mile 4 seemed to be the "most flat" mile of the race. It was not flat but it seemed to allow some recovery of sorts. I am not sure if I just allowed myself to slow to a recovery level or not but I felt a little more fresh after this mile. Most of this mile was in the meadow too, out in the open air and sunshine. There were pretty persistent short hills here but a longer section that was easier to run.
    Once back into the wooded section adn the return trip on the same trail I was back deep into hurting again. I tried to change the field on my watch to see my HR and pace info but as I was leaving T2 I somehow missed my lap button and it didn't change the field. I began to get frustrated as I attempted to change the filed and couldn't figure out why it wasn't performing what I wanted. After messing around for another quarter mile, on and off, I gave up and just allowed my sufferfest to continue.
    When I passed the 5 mile makrer I had to keep saying to myself I had one more mile to go. "I cold do anything for 1 mile." I pressed on, in pain.
    The mile 6 marker came and I was ready to be done!! I began to hear the music and cheering from the sprint finishers and the announcer calling out people as they crossed near the finishing line. I was ready to be done!!
    What would you do differently?:

    I am not sure. The first thing I would make sure my I pressed the lap button so I could see some splits. I hate not seeing data to compare to last year's race!!
    I may have been able to press a little harder throughout the course too. Although this point is rather questionable since I am not sure if I hit the bike too hard. I will have to further examine the bike effort.
    No matter though. If I hadn't hit the bike so hard I might not have been n the position I was in for the final finishing placement. With Sam Switzer finishing 1:14 behind me it's a tough call to make. Frankly, I am probably over analyzing the effort on the bike ad I was fine in both cases.
    Post race
    Warm down:

    Heaving lungs and sucking wind was another warm down description.

    What limited your ability to perform faster:

    My foot was in trouble early on the run. I was feeling the downhills pretty severely at times as the pounding through the steep hills abused my PF seemingly each stride. I hadn't had this kind of pain on a run for a very long time. I suppose the lack of cushioning in my shoes compounded the issue. After getting home I took some Aleve and still suffered much of the night from the pain.
    I definitely wonder if my run split was slower because of the incessant pain I was dealing with. It seems it would have had to have provided some negative mental and physical feedback through my performance as bad as it hurt at times.

    Event comments:

    I believe they should try to make sure they get a better starting marker for the swim. I feel this swim is short and then they allow athletes to wade out into the water too far prior to starting the race. That said, it would be hard to do because of the large numbers of rocks on the bottom of the swim course. A beach/running start would be horrible and possibly unsafe for the athletes. This is not a complaint but an observation. Simply marking the start and making some slight course length adjustments would avoid a short swim course.


    Last updated: 2013-02-23 12:00 AM
    00:18:24 | 1640 yards | 01m 07s / 100yards
    Age Group: 1/7
    Overall: 9/71
    Performance: Average
    Suit: Neosport
    Course: Clockwise 2 loops with a wade and wave start. The second loop required a run along the waters edge before running through the stony bottom before dolphin diving to begin the second loop.
    Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
    Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Low
    200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
    Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
    Waves: Navigation: Average
    Rounding: Good
    Time: 00:46
    Performance: Good
    Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
    Suit off:
    Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
    Jump on bike: No
    Getting up to speed: Average
    01:05:19 | 24.85 miles | 22.91 mile/hr
    Age Group: 1/7
    Overall: 8/71
    Performance: Good
    Split Time Avg Speed Max Speed Avg HR Max HR 1 02:52.8 20.8 33.3 165 169 2 02:50.7 21.1 32.5 165 166 3 02:30.9 23.8 30.2 161 166 4 03:03.5 19.6 29.5 161 166 5 02:53.8 20.7 29.3 161 163 6 02:41.8 22.2 29.8 161 164 7 02:58.1 20.2 22.7 159 162 8 02:32.4 23.6 27.6 158 161 9 02:44.0 21.9 24.3 159 161 10 02:37.8 22.8 28.3 158 161 11 02:28.6 24.2 29.8 159 163 12 02:50.1 21.2 31.5 161 163 13 02:47.5 21.5 24.7 160 161 14 02:38.7 22.7 28.5 159 162 15 02:36.6 23 26.6 158 161 16 02:21.9 25.4 27.3 156 158 17 02:19.3 25.8 28.6 156 159 18 02:30.2 24 27.6 157 160 19 02:15.0 26.7 29.9 156 158 20 02:29.7 24 33.7 157 159 21 02:30.1 24 31.4 156 157 22 02:22.1 25.3 34.7 157 158 23 02:45.7 21.7 28.2 158 162 24 02:35.6 23.1 31.2 156 160 25 02:20.5 17.6 30 156 159 Summary 05:37.4 22.6 34.7 159 169
    Wind: Some
    Course: The same course as last year. It is a lollipop route that is predominately east and west. There are a lot of rolling hills throughout this course with a couple of sharper, short climbs.
    Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
    Turns: Average Cornering: Average
    Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
    Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
    Time: 00:40
    Overall: Good
    Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
    Jumping off bike Good
    Running with bike Good
    Racking bike Average
    Shoe and helmet removal Good
    00:46:26 | 06.21 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
    Age Group: 2/7
    Overall: 8/71
    Performance: Average
    Avg.HR 160 Max HR 170 I don't have any other data because I didn't actually hit my lap button like I thought I did. This entire run was recorded as T2
    Course: Constant rolling!!! The course seems never to have any flats. It is a very challenging course
    Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
    Post race
    Weight change: %
    Overall: Average
    Mental exertion [1-5] 4
    Physical exertion [1-5] 4
    Good race? Yes
    Course challenge Just right
    Organized? Yes
    Events on-time?
    Lots of volunteers? Yes
    Plenty of drinks? No
    Post race activities: Average
    Race evaluation [1-5] 4

    2013-05-19 7:50 AM

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    Fort Wayne
    Subject: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course

    2013-05-22 12:49 PM
    in reply to: #4748408

    User image

    Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
    Your race reports are things of beauty, Dirk!   Details,'s all in the details.   You're quite the competitor.   Congratulations on your podium spot - again!    Great idea to forego the prerace talk and get a swim warmup in.    I wondered where you went.  I shouted "Good Luck, Dirk" even though I couldn't find you when the RD did your swim start count down and I'm sure it was my shout out that gave you the win.  Wink   Congrats on your PR!  You did SUPER, my friend!
    2013-05-24 1:16 PM
    in reply to: #4748408

    User image

    Fort Wayne, IN
    Subject: RE: Pokagon Triathlon - Olympic Course
    Great race. Very impressive time. I agree that they could do something better on the swim. It would be nice if the first buoy was farther from the start or there was a wider section of beach at the start. Starting to the right of the roped off area may have helped.

    The stones on the run were not fun. I still have a sore metatarsal on my left foot.

    As i put in my report, backing off on the swim and bike a bit may help your run. I was amazed at how much more fresh my legs were after not trying to kill myself on the bike.

    I like you profile picture. I'm 4th generation U of M. I hope to run into you again and we can discuss M football.
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