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Optimist Triathlon - Triathlon

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Winona Lake, Indiana
United States
Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club
64F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 07m 34s
Overall Rank = 6/505
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/34
Pre-race routine:

I had a little bit better than normal rest before the race. At least in a manner of speaking. I had been trying to hydrate little better than I had been doing in the past couple of race and that got me out of bed in the middle of the night to take a leak.
Once up in the morning I got a cup of coffee and a small breakfast sandwich, took my vitamins and took care of the rest of my normal race morning business, checking my gear once more and checking my tires. After this Lis and I mounted our bikes and rode the 2 miles to the venue.
Event warmup:

I took my bike out for a quick 2.5 miles to spin out the stiffness in my legs. I did some spin ups and rode the big hill out of transition to get some blood moving and feel some power that I would need for that first quarter of a mile on the bike. I also wanted to work the 2 heavy, hard 90 degree turns on the narrow stretch toward the end of the bike. This proved very important because I had forgotten just how narrow this turn is, If I had been moving at what I would have been doing during the race I would have been out of the race and in the hospital.
  • 07m 13s
  • 440 yards
  • 01m 38s / 100 yards

I started the race in the front line of the race, lining up with the fastest people in the group. This was the first time I actually felt comfortable starting up front.
Patrick and I were side by side to start the race and we were stroke for stroke for the first hundred yards. Then he (at least I think it was him) climbed over the top of me because I had sighted poorly and was beginning to get slightly off course. When I noticed this I took an extra second to check myself and get back on track.
As I got about 2/3 to the turn around I began to try to control my stroke a little more. I had begun to feel slightly heavy and I backed my arm speed down slightly to help bring things under control.
The rest of the way to the turn around I encountered a few people from the earlier wave but was able to navigate through them easily. I was able to feel their kicking and turbulence as I approached and would take a brief second to determine which side I should pass based on the closest angle.
As I got to the turn around I noticed only one person to navigate through as I rounded the pontoon boat and headed to the beach.
On the way back I took a little better route to the beach by sliding up next to the rope to allow a better navigation and a smoother swim with better form for the final leg. I also knew this would likely put me into more traffic from the other waves but I thought they might be scattered out and allow me to get through without giving up much time.
As I pushed through some of these athletes I was kicked in the side and nearly kicked in the face once. At one point I came along side another swimmer so fast that I grabbed his hip as I had just begin my pull. This seemed an odd timing kind of thing. I simply continued my pull but I am sure the other swimmer thought I was pulling him backward. This occurred about 2/3 of the way back to the beach.
As I was finishing the swim I encountered more swimmers in small groups and found it harder to navigate through them. They had begum to walk or attempt to run toward the beach far to early, in my opinion, and I had to stop swimming sooner than i would have liked because they were side by side. When I stopped swimming I was just above waist deep water. I could have been a few seconds faster had I been able to get those last few strokes in.
What would you do differently?:

I believe I could have worked a little harder in the latter portion of the swim. I think when I relaxed my stroke in the first half of the race I dialed back a little more than I should have.
I did set a new PR for this course but only by 1 second so I'm not really counting it much.
Transition 1
  • 00m 54s

I am not certain what caused me to be as slow as I was. Everything seemed to go well. Something just felt off for some reason. One thing that might be the reason for the lack of speed is just not hurrying enough.
As I was unracking my bike I turned to look for Patrick at his rack, just across the isle and down one. He wasn't there yet!?!? I looked toward the swim in and he was just coming into the transition area.
What would you do differently?:

I might be a little more decisive and pointed about my tasks. The reality, however, is that I might only gain 2 or 3 seconds at the most.
  • 34m 19s
  • 13.8 miles
  • 23.95 mile/hr

As I was leaving transition I was trying to figure out just how soon Patrick was going to be on my tail. He's been a stronger cyclist than I have been and I just knew he was coming!!
I got the mount line and climbed on, started pedaling and got into my shoes. I was happy to have been able to get the on faster during the race than when I was doing my warm up. I had some difficulty getting them on then and had to climb the hill attempting to wriggle my left foot during the WU but now it was fairly smooth.
As I climbed the hill I was already beginning to pass some of the previous people waves. I was to busy trying to navigate between people to notice if there was anyone in my AG. I kept working up the hill and through the short, slow, uphill turns that are all over the first mile. Once out on the main course I was able to get some speed up and see what I had in the tank.
The first couple of miles seemed slow and hard but my average speed tells a different story. The first mile was 21.6 with the climbing and winding. After the first mile I was over I was above 24 MPH for all but 2 miles. Now, after the race and seeing the data, I have concluded that I was in a bit of an hypoxic state that comes after the swim.
During the first few miles I kept on the throttle hard trying to fend of the advances of Patrick for as long as possible. I was on the hammer pretty hard and was above MLSS for the first 7 miles. I kept the throttle on all the way out to the turn around. As I was approaching the tun around I began to think about the advantage of being in front and getting to see where my competition was after I made the turn.
As I neared the turn I made a couple of gear changes and to get ready to lean on the throttle after rounding the corner. With this corner being a long turn around it has the advantage of being able to carry some solid speed through it. I was carrying too much however. I hit the corner hard!! I hammered the brakes enough to slow very quickly but keep a skid from happening. I leaned into the turn and looked for any loose sand or gravel and judged the far end of the turn. I determined I was going to fast to get through the turn without going into the yards. I had to nail the brakes again but I still was carrying enough speed to have to go off the road. I hit the edge of the road where there is sand and loose stone. I got a little loose in the front because I was still in a bit of a lean but held firm and came out slower than I wanted to, but upright and still moving fine.
Now, out of the turn and headed home, I began to look for Patrick. It was another half mile before I saw him. I felt I was holding the gap but I wondered just how much it was going to cost me. I kept the hammer down and waited and waited and waited, but Patrick never pulled close.
I finished the route back toward transition through the road we had went out on. There was plenty of passing to do at the speeds I was carrying. I remember thinking how fat I as moving past some of these people and wondered if I was blowing myself up. As I continued to work my way through all of these athletes i noticed they became thinner and more sparse.
At the top of the course, where the slight downhills and curves are about to begin I began to pull up on another rider. He was riding in the middle or the road, staying on the left side of the road. This aggravated me because he is supposed to be on the right. He had passed a couple of people but never moved back in. I had to pass him on a turn. Luckily he moved toward the curb slightly at the turn and I had plenty of room.
I then began the descent into the lake area and through the hard 90 degree turns at the bottom. As I began the descent I picked up some speed but planned to downshift toward the bottom to get ready for turns and be ready to accelerate once through. I got to the bottom of the hill again carrying to much speed. There were 2 men directing riders through the area and one of them yelled to slow down. I was in the midst of nailing my brakes and was able to stay only bout 1-2 feet from the curb and then had to abruptly right the bike and turn left hard again. After this left turn there was another longer left run that more speed can be carried into. I grabbed the horns and pounded on the peddles and gained more speed. I made the final left run onto the main street in my aero's and mashed the gas for the final push.
I was carrying a lot of speed in the area but it was one of my slowest miles because of the hard cornering.
As I neared the transition area I came out of my shoes and got ready slow for the dismount area. And this is where it got interesting for the dismount judges! I was coming in so fast that the judge yelled to STOP!!! OR YOUR'RE GOING TO GET A PENALTY!!!" I narrowly escaped by getting my feet off the peddles as my front wheel crossed the line. My dismount was hard!! I didn't intend on making it as close as it was but if I had hit the brakes harder I would have been over the top. (See the pics)
What would you do differently?:

Nothing!! I hammered this one out and was able to hold a decent run afterward and that's the goal.
Transition 2
  • 00m 48s

I tried a different approach for the first time in T2. I put my shoes on first and then grabbed my visor and belt on the ay out. I don't feel confident saying this saved me time but it would seem logical to make that assumption.
What would you do differently?:

  • 24m 21s
  • 3.7 miles
  • 06m 35s  min/mile

This run began with a much better feeling than I usually begin these race runs. I didn't have the stiff back and lungs screaming to relent. That's not to say I was not suffering. I was indeed suffering within the first .25 mile!
As I ran out of transition I was still feeling like Patrick was on my heels. I know that our first meeting had him pass me late on the bike and I passed him early on the run. Then our second meeting he came out of the swim ahead of me and I couldn't keep up with him on the bike. This time I wanted to keep him at bay as long as possible, so I stayed on the pressure.
The first mile was tough. I really began to suffer about a half mile in. This was where the lungs began to scream for more air that was seemingly unavailable. Most of this section of the run is through a wooded trail that is paved and winds through some very small inclines. The shading makes for some relief when it's hot but today was great racing weather. This was some relief but the pressure to race well kept me from backing off.
It was a little past the first mile that a man came flying up behind me and said I had a great bike. It turned out it was the man I had passed late on the bike just before the turns. He was flying! (I actually remember him from last year too. He tried to keep me from passing him with about .25 miles left on the bike.) I tried to check his age from the marking on his legs but I was unable to see through the sweat burning my eyes and obscuring my glasses.
Even from the early point of the run I was passing people. I was only passed once on the entire run. I also noticed that I had not encountered any of the early runners headed toward the finish line yet. This allowed me a glimpse of just how close I was to the front of the pack. I had passed so many people on the bike and now passing people on the run with no one coming at me yet was kind of inspiring me to keep the intensity hard.
I was about 1.5 miles in when the first runner returning to the finish came up in front of me. He was cruising!! I was still in the wooded area but nearing the housing addition. As I came out of the woods I had only seen 3-4 people headed back, but now I was suffering enough that I didn't really think about how close I was to the actual front of the front. I actually began to want to slow down some to find some relief. I rounded the couple of turns through the housing addtion and back onto the road leading out and back to the wooded trail to return to the finish. It was after the las turn out of the addition that I saw Patrick. He was about a half mile behind me if that was him. The only thing is I am not sure it was him. If it was him he was absolutely flying if he was able to finish about 45 seconds behind me for the final finishing time.
I headed back into the woods and talked myself into believing I could finishing this race strong. I was struggling to breath well and was trying to suck as much wind into my lungs as possible. There were a couple of down hills that I allowed myself to slow slightly to recover in some way. I justified this because I knew I was coming into the hardest part of the run. There's a hill that is a long gradual climb that can suck the life right out of a person.
As I was getting ready to come out of the woods I passed a guy that commented after I passed him that I was the first 40's guy to pass him. I found my strength with this comment again. The timing was perfect!! Immediately after coming out of the woods the hill climb begins and I was now ready to attack it with more passion than I might have had without the previous mans comment.
I made it to the middle of the hill and saw Lis taking pictures. I glanced at her, smiled and waved and kept motoring. Once at the top, as always, the HR spike occurred, drawing the life from me but I knew I had only about .6 miles to suffer. Pressing on I moved toward the hard downhill. On the way down the hill I kept control as long as I felt I needed to keep from falling down the hill on my face. At a point where I thought I could sustain allowing gravity to take over I let go and began to "roll" down the hill. It was actually a narrow escape from falling, sort of. It wasn't like i was beginning to fall but if I had needed to run that fast for another 20 feet I might not have been able to control my legs any longer and I would have fallen flat and rolled to the bottom.
Once at the bottom I was able to recover slightly and began to head toward the finish. The rest of the course was flat. I made it past a few athletes I know that weren't racing and they helped push me mentally toward the finish. And today, for the first time ina very long time I was able to push slightly harder for the last 100 yards and finish harder.

What would you do differently?:

The last push seems to be an example that I had given in to the pain to much today. I relaxed out on the course a couple of times when I shouldn't have. This is the one disappointment I have for the day. I made a tactical error and submitted to pain and I am normally able to keep that pressure at bay.
Am I becoming more weak mentally? We'll see at my next race in Muncie for my "A" triathlon of the season.
Post race
Warm down:

None! I sucked some wind and ate some oranges and drank some water and Gatorade.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Foolishness! I should have pressed through the pain on the run!

Event comments:

The race organizers do a wonderful job overall. If I had to point to one thing I would say they need to get the awards correct. It seems every year there is some kind of a problem with the awards. This year I was given 3rd overall before a correction needed to be made. I think something along these lines happens each year. Either way, this is a very well done race and likely why it draws so many people..
Race Results:

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-02-23 12:00 AM
00:07:13 | 440 yards | 01m 38s / 100yards
Age Group: 3/34
Overall: 14/505
Performance: Average
Suit: Neosport
Course: Out and back with a right hand 180 turn at the halfway point.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 00:54
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
00:34:19 | 13.8 miles | 23.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/34
Overall: 5/505
Performance: Good
1- 02:46.7 21.6 168 172 2- 02:19.0 25.9 168 177 3- 02:30.6 23.9 167 /174 4- 02:22.4 25.3 165 /168 5- 02:15.8 26.5 165 /168 6- 02:36.5 23 165 /168 7- 02:23.5 25.1 167 /169 8- 02:22.7 25.2 163 /167 9- 02:27.1 24.5 165 /171 10- 02:24.2 25 164 /167 11- 02:23.5 25.1 163 /164 12- 02:28.4 24.3 163 /165 13- 02:26.3 24.6 164 /166 14- 01:55.3 22.5 160 /162 Summary 33:42.0 24.4 165/ 177
Wind: Some
Course: Mostly an out and back with a slight detour through some winding curves for the last 2 miles
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 00:48
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:24:21 | 03.7 miles | 06m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/34
Overall: 26/505
Performance: Below average
Split Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR 1 6:43 165 /167 2 6:44 166 /168 3 6:52 165 /171 4 6:27 166 /171 Summary 6:43 165 /171
Course: Similar to the out and back of the bike but this was through a wooded trail on asphalt and then back onto the street. There was one larger hill with .75 mile remaining that seemed to knock the wind out of me.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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

2013-06-30 8:50 PM

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Fort Wayne
Subject: Optimist Triathlon

2013-06-30 9:26 PM
in reply to: #4792154

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Extreme Veteran
Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Optimist Triathlon
Dirk Congratulations on an awesome race! Sounds like you had a lot close calls. Way to push thru !
2013-07-01 6:28 AM
in reply to: Jo63

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Subject: RE: Optimist Triathlon
GREAT race Dirk! Very detailed report and made us all feel like we were there. Thanks for posting the report and pics!

Congrats on the GREAT finish!
2013-07-01 8:34 AM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Optimist Triathlon
Dirk excellent report I felt like I ran the race with you. I know I've said it already but I'll say it again just an awesome performance. Congrats on winning your AG and finishing 6th overall. Some close calls on the bike too! Also your comment on becoming weaker mentally, I don't think so. I think there are points in every race where you just have to let up a little so you can regroup so you can push through to the end. You pushed yourself hard throughout the race and finished strong.
2013-07-01 11:09 AM
in reply to: #4792154

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Columbia, TN
Subject: RE: Optimist Triathlon
You did great! don't give yourself grief over the run pacing. With your friend behind you, I don't think you slowed as much as you might think you did.
Solid cycling!

I think you will kill me in Indy!
2013-07-10 12:06 PM
in reply to: JeffY

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Subject: RE: Optimist Triathlon

I want to see the picture of you SMILING at Lisa going up Chestnut hill.   Where's the evidence that that even happened?!???

You're an amazing athlete, Dirk.    I know you wanted the top podium spot and you worked hard to get it.  Congratulations on making it there, my friend.  AND, congratulations on being one of the top 3 Indiana males in the race.   Impressive indeed!    Your race reports are always so detailed and interesting to read.    It was great to see you and Lisa and I appreciate your friendship very much.   Now go get Muncie!   Can't wait to read about it. 

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