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Singapore Aquathlon National Championships - Standard Course - Aquathlon

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32C / 90F
Total Time = 1h 12m 45s
Overall Rank = 9/26
Age Group = W Elite
Age Group Rank = 2/8
Pre-race routine:

Almost a repeat of last year's Singapore Biathlon. I've been sick all week with a head cold, took Tuesday off work. By Thursday felt well enough to drag through a short swim and run, but still tired and stuffy. Feeling a bit better but sinuses still stuffed and draining after flight. So....big mistake....took a decongestant last night at 10 PM. Dragged out of sound, drugged sleep by alarm at 5: 15 AM, head felt better but very dopey and sluggish. Assumed I'd wake up when starting horn went off so commenced getting ready for race. Gagged down (literally--the cold meds had upset my stomach) oatmeal and a granola bar, coffee, taxi to race. Got there in plenty of time to set up transition, etc.
Event warmup:

Plenty as I was trying to wake up. About 12 minutes of jogging including some strides, maybe five or ten minutes of swimming.
  • 00m
  • 0 kms
  •  min/km
Transition 1
  • 00m
  • 29m 55s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

I felt I was swimming hard and kept a steady pace, but the time was slow. I don't know if I was sluggish from the cold meds, or it was just the current or course was long. No chance to draft. The elite wave was small, 18 guys and 8 women, and no one seemed to be doing my pace. On the second lap I felt like I wasted a lot of time swimming around the back of the next wave, who had started10 minutes after the elite. Many were doing breaststroke and swimming very close to the course rope, so I had no choice but to swing wide to avoid them.
What would you do differently?:

Go out faster so I could draft off someone. One of the women I usually beat or finish close to in sprints was 50 seconds ahead of me, so I suspect she caught a good draft and I didn't. With the conditions today, drafting would have helped a lot, especially for someone my size!
Transition 2
  • 01m 4s

OK, about average for the top women. Could have been a bit faster but I felt a bit dizzy as usually, and my arms had cramped so a bit shaky.
What would you do differently?:

Start running with race belt, etc. I think I stood to it put it on.
  • 41m 45s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 10s  min/km

Um....Can I say running while stoned? I never really felt good--legs tight, hamstring a bit sore. Probably due to not really running all week. Breathing felt great, though, much better than past month in Vietnam (have really been struggling with asthma related to allergies and field burning). I had used my inhaler in the AM before heading to the race so maybe this helped. I didn't feel like I was going fast, actually felt like just lying down and going to sleep much of the way, plus my stomach hurt, but that was actually my over 40 PB. Every year, I run it here, sick or not. Really felt like I was running on autopilot.The woman who won passed me at about 3K and realized I had no hope, but no one else ever came along and the wheels never really fell off. Suspected I'd have been about a minute faster if I hadn't been sick. With about 2K to go I felt a bit better and tried to pick up the pace, Never had the presence of mind to check my splits so no idea what I was actually doing. Running solo much of the time, occasionally with a guy or a bike escort (I led from about 1 to 3 km). Kind of mellow race, more like a hard solo tempo run.
What would you do differently?:

Not get sick the week before a race. Not race when stoned. I probably could have pushed the pace a bit harder earlier in the race, had I had someone to pace off of or chase, and had the presence of mind to do so.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around, got stuff out of transition. Shopping--bought myself a proper transition bag at expo as present to self. Went back in ocean for about 15 minutes of leisurely swimming. Just felt like swimming. Did an IM in the ocean, just for the heck of it, watched some kids' races while paddling around. Then walked most of way back to hotel (about 2.5 miles) until I got to a place where I could catch a bus as getting extremely hot.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being sick the week before. My sinuses drip and it keeps me up at night and the throat irritation can trigger asthma attacks, so I have no choice but to take decongestants. Had this issue since childhood. Every med I've tried upsets my stomach and makes me groggy. I took the kids' dose and still I think it affected my race a bit.

Also not drafting on the swim. Usually with elite there are guys I can draft. Maybe the guys in a swim/run race are stronger swimmers than in a tri, or I didn't start aggressively enough. I was by myself much of the time, until I hit the back of the next wave in the second lap. I was 13/26 in the elite wave (second for women) so I must have just gotten into a gap.

Event comments:

Very well-organized, in particular the two-lap swim course and later start seems to have solved the difficulties with the swim at last year's biathlon. Miss the old biathlon though--they had generous prize money' and vouchers even for masters. All I won for my troubles today was a pair of bike glasses (though I could use them).

Note: I don't know where else to put this, but the "ranks" here are just for the elite wave, OA means men plus women, AG means women's elite. There were actually a lot more than 18 women and 8 men, they just weren't in the "elite" wave. My time was faster than any of the AG women, including 40+ AG athletes, who did the standard course. As results were done separately, I can't do my AG and overall rank compared to those in the standard race for each leg.

Also, the format for this report is incorrect. There was already a listing for the race when I enter it several hours later (I guess one of the Singapore members) and it shows the race as run/swim/run. It's not, just swim-run, like an Oly with no bike leg.

Last updated: 2013-06-01 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 00 kms |  min/km
Age Group: 0/8
Overall: 0/26
Keeping cool Drinking
Time:  00:00
Putting on cap, goggles and wetsuit:
Getting out of shoes:
00:29:55 | 1500 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/8
Overall: 13/26
Performance: Average
Guessing course was long as all times were slow. Some current--diagonal to shore, same as last year. Swimming against it when parallel to shore; it was pushing me away from the rope outbound, a little push in to the shore. but the majority of time we were swimming against it.
Suit: 2XU Comp
Course: Two 750m loops, basically a big triangle. Short run on beach in between. Essentially the sprint course from Sing Biathlon in previous years.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time:  01:04
Overall: Average
Removing cap, goggles and wetsuit: Good
Getting into shoes: Good
00:41:45 | 10 kms | 04m 10s  min/km
Age Group: 2/8
Overall: 10/26
Performance: Good
Didn't think to check at 5K, or in fact at any but random times. Think I was kind of running stoned or something.
Course: Two loops of essentially flat multi-use path. About half of it in the shade.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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

2013-06-01 5:04 AM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Singapore Aquathlon National Championships - Standard Course

2013-06-02 7:41 PM
in reply to: #4763284

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Central Kansas
Subject: RE: Singapore Aquathlon National Championships - Standard Course

Great job, even though you felt horrible. Fantastic job considering all of that.

(I need a proper transition bag, too.)

2013-06-04 4:51 AM
in reply to: #4763284

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University Park, MD
Subject: RE: Singapore Aquathlon National Championships - Standard Course
Good job on toughing it out through that race, and still coming in 2nd! Sounds like a hard day at the office. (When you said that you did an IM in the ocean, I first thought - wow, she then went out and swam 2.4 miles in the ocean!)

I was thinking of you this week. I've read many of your posts about training and racing in the tropics, but didn't really appreciate what it was like. I spent the past week running (and racing!) in different parts of Taiwan, and kept thinking "ok, so now I get what HotRunner is talking about".
2013-06-04 7:56 AM
in reply to: colinphillips

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Singapore Aquathlon National Championships - Standard Course
IM, ha ha, no! (Though I would like to do an IM-length swim sometime. In fact, it's the only part of an Ironman that really sounds immediately doable, or appealing!) Individual medley-- about 50m each of fly, back, breast, free, between two buoys in the warm-up area. Fly's much easier in salt water because of all the buoyancy. Swam fly in HS and still love to do it in the ocean and with fins to stretch out.

Yep, it takes time to get used to the tropics. When I first started I'd make it 2-3 miles before having to walk/feeling like puking. I think the body adapts, though. Now I rarely notice unless it's a really hard run/ride. I often don't even process it until later; I'll wonder why I'm so wiped out and realize how dehydrated I am. Races are actually better than workouts due to adrenaline, starting wet (for tris and aquathlons), and having aid stations. I've done workouts that felt worse than that race!
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