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Patriot Half Triathlon-Aqua Bike - Aquabike

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East Freetown, Massachusetts
United States
Sun Multisport Events
63F / 17C
Total Time = 3h 35m 33s
Overall Rank = 11/49
Age Group = 44 and Under
Age Group Rank = 5/10
Pre-race routine:

I had been training and preparing to do the full Half-ironman event for over 7 months and my training was right on track up until end of March into April. Severe bilateral medial tibial stress syndrome (AKA--good old shin splint issue) had creeped up. My running at that point had really started to slow down and I had weeks of literally less then 10 miles of running total. Heading into May, I had had enough with the pain, and had bilateral tib/fib xrays to rule-out a stress fracture of both legs. Results were negative on stresss FX, but the verdict was severe stress syndrome of both lower legs, and no running for 5-6 weeks! There was no way I could take that much time off from running and then expect to run a half-marathon in a half-ironman event. I started physical therapy, and a heavier bike and swim routine. 5 weeks out from the race day, I had to make the decision to only do the Aqua bike event. Running during the Patriot event may have jeopredized the rest of the summer, by making things worse. So I had to make the decision to not run and heal. Having dealt with a positive Stress Fx 3 years ago, I knew this was the right call to make, even though is pained me to know I wouldn't be competing in the full event.

Up early to drive 45 minutes to race site. Ate light breakfast on drive over. Arrived about an hour and 15 before event. Checked in, set up transition. Listened to pre-race announcements, then headed over to swim start. Had no pre-race swim warmup.
Event warmup:

Light stretching, double check over equipment.
  • 40m 18s
  • 2112 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

Started off just fine, but the minor chop/waves immediately threw off my breathing. Gulped 3 or 4 mouthfulls of water! By the second buoy, I had to stop and side-stroke, because I almost barfed up a boatload of water! After that, my mental aspect went to the crapper pretty quickly. I would find a good rhythmn, for a few yards, and then bam, lungs full of water! After rounding the first turn buoy, I finally found a rhythm of literally breathing as the choppy water would raise me slightly up. Only after 1/3 into the swim did I finally get a smoother pattern going. A huge dissappointment on my time. Practice open water swims, were putting me at about a 34-35 minute swim time, but on this day, having to stop a couple of times to empty out my lungs and cough, a 40 minute swim is all I could salvage. Chop was only minor, I have swam in much worse conditions--today just turned out to be one of those bad swims I guess.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure if I could have done anything differently. Bilateral breathing, unilateral breathing, it didn't matter. I just happen to be swallowing the perfect amount of water with the choppy water. Maybe find some feet to draft off next time, in the hopes that the person in front of me would help breakup the water a little?
Transition 1
  • 02m 8s

Nothing eventful here. After exiting the water and seeing my swim time, I was somewhat mentally deflated. Walked a few feet, and then decided my only way to make up time at this point was on the bike, so I slowly jogged thru transition.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 53m 9s
  • 56 miles
  • 19.32 mile/hr

Started off good and held the pace I was expecting. Looking back I probably pushed a little to much initially, figuring I didn't have to run, only finish the bike segment and my day was done. Bike segment was pretty uneventful for the most part. I passed a lot of folks and was only passed by a few myself. Around the 45 mile mark of the second lap, I could feel my quads start to slightly cramp up when pushing up any type of incline in the road. I felt my fluid intake was fine, but some minor cramping started to creep in. Mentally wasn't all there today.

**Was curious if there were a couple of "bandit" cyclist out on the course? I kept seeing two guys on tri bikes, but with no race numbers on their bikes, or calves, ect. Riding along with others during the bike segment. I understand its not a closed course, but I watched as they were riding side by side with some folks actually registered racers, making it hard for others to pass. Interesting.**
What would you do differently?:

Cleared my mine about my swim time, and moved on. I think I started to push to fast on the bike intially hoping to make up some time due my slower swim debackle. I kept thinking of that swim segment and how much time I had lost. Looking back now, I think it mentally played a little havic with me.
Post race
Warm down:

Finished and changed into running shoes and along with another 2 aqua bike competitors, we walked over to the finishing arch/line and each took turns jogging across the finish line to get our photo taken and our finisher medals. Our time had already stoppped and been decided for the aquabike event, so it was totally pressure free. Stretching and alittle walking around. Packed up and headed home to spend rest of weekend with the family.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Very poor swim. Major amount of lake water swallowed. Mentally started off my race on the wrong foot. Minor cramping on the bike in last 10 miles?

Event comments:

Disappointed with my swim time. Since my ongoing injury won't allow me to run, I moved my registration over to the aquabike category. Time off from training along with a few hours of PT for my bilateral leg stress syndrome, I hoped I would have swam faster with less issues, and powered thru on the bike. Was hoping for at least a 2hr 35 min bike segment. I think mentally I wasn't all there today. Overall this group puts on very, very organized race events!
I still feel a slight void in this weekend, since I had planned on doing the full half-iron event, but had to opt to the aquabike event only due to a running injury. We all put a lot of hours into training for these types of events, so not being able to compete in the full race event has left me wanting to give it a go next year! Hopefully a little smarter training will help to get me there next year! Perfect weather on this day as well!

Last updated: 2013-03-20 12:00 AM
00:40:18 | 2112 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 0/49
Performance: Below average
Suit: Full Orca S4
Course: Rectangle, counter clockwise. Straight out, turn left for short stint, turn left again, back to shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 63F / 17C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:08
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Average
02:53:09 | 56 miles | 19.32 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/10
Overall: 0/49
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: Two loops of a 28 mile course. Slight uphills and gradual downhill sections. Moderately flat. Most shady. Only a couple for sharp turns.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
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] 5

2013-06-17 9:24 AM

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Subject: Patriot Half Triathlon-Aqua Bike
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