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Defiance Optimist - Triathlon

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Defiance, Ohio
United States
73F / 23C
Total Time = 1h 02m 2s
Overall Rank = 9/50
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/3
Pre-race routine:

I had a great nights sleep for a change. I went to bed a little later than normal and this may explain the solid sleep I experienced. I slept all the way through to the alarm for the first time in a very long time.
After the week of missing sleep again I set the alarm for a little bit later than normal. Once up a cup of coffee became my best friend for a while and a breakfast of an amazing cinnamon roll was just right to elevate my blood sugars to the right level........Okay, that's a horrible breakfast for a race day hey, but it was only a sprint.
Lis ans I hit the road a few minutes later than usual but I had actually planned for that today but Lis didn't know of my deceptive plan. We arrived at the venue before any other athletes other than the asst. RD (Sam). Once we arrived I examined the radar and decided to wait to set up my transition until later because we were expecting some rain. As it turns out we only had light drizzle prior to the race.
Event warmup:

I was able to get a quick ride of only about 3 miles to get my legs out bed. I tried to get my HR up into a racing gear slowly but I felt really sluggish for this brief ride. I hoped I wasn't going feel this poorly during the race.
I was also able to get a short swim set in to get my arms ans shoulders ready. I noticed during the swim WU that I was going to have trouble sighting. The marker balls were a darker shade of red, making them rather hard to spot from a low angle.
  • 12m 3s
  • 880 yards
  • 01m 22s / 100 yards

I placed myself in the front of the line again as I have become used to but today I didn't allow my mind to get in the way of my swimming abilities. There were what appeared to be a lot of fast swimmers at this race as I listened to many of the athletes discuss their plans in the moments before the cannon. I kind of thought there might be a lot of interest in this race since since there was such a great payout for placement, so it was of no surprise that fasties were here.
At the cannon shot we took off like a shot. There was all kinds of abuse going on this race. Immediately I began getting pummeled by the athletes around me. The first 200 yards were filled with kicks, smacks and grabs. I think I may have several bruises come tomorrow morning. After the first 200 yards things calmed slightly as the field scatter and separated but that wasn't the end of the flogging.
As I was noticing the field thinning out I found a pair of feet to drag me for a while and hoped I could hang on for a little bit. As I picked up on Sam's draft I noticed someone else coming along my right side. At first he was at my feet but he was moving fast enough that he was beside me before I knew it. As I was pulling my head up to sight I caught his left arm/elbow to the left side of my head knocking my goggles from my left eye, the right eye virtually un-phased. I stayed with the quick rhythm of my stroke for a while but the goggle being completely full of water was too much of a distraction to deal with for the remainder of the swim. Besides, it would have been much more hard to sight with one eye being the buoys not having been a brighter color. I chose to briefly slow and clear the water and get moving again.
During this process, and the few moments prior, I had been breathing mostly to my right, because I am more comfortable on that side of my body, and I had been getting mouths full of water from the swimmer next to me. I had switched to breathing to my left a few times but I had another swimmer over there filling my mouth as well. It just wasn't a good place to be at that time! It seemed everyone wanted on Sam's feet. I have a pic of a group of us trying to let Sam do the pulling while we tried to keep our effort low.
Once I slowed to clear my goggles I was left behind by a few yards and had to go the rest of the course alone. I cut more toward the center of the course and began to set up my own rhythm and bilaterally breathing.
For the remainder of the way out to the first turn I sighted more frequently than I would normally spend sighting but lack of visibility seemed to dictate this frequency. I was sighting every 2nd or 3rd stroke cycle to make sure I was on course.
I made it to the turn and tried to stay close to the bouys but the first turn wasn't as good as the second. I was approximately 6-8 feet past the buoy as I made my turn. The second turn, being only 100 yards away from the first was a much better turn, almost brushing it on the way by.
After the second turn and headed to the beach I continued the abnormally high sighting pattern. I thought, as I made the second turn I might be able to sight less but this wasn't the case. The overcast skies seemed to be contributing to poor sighting abilities as well.
As I kept the harder pace of a sprint race up and headed for the swim out I was only about 25 yards behind the feet I had been trying to hang onto for the first 300 yards. I kept him in sight to assist with sighting in case I couldn't see the markers. As the boat ramp we had used as an entry approached I began to feel someone on my heels. It turned out it was a super fast woman. She ended up passing me about 25 yards before I hit the ramp, finishing the swim about 5 yards in front of me. We were close enough to each other that I blew by her on the way down to T1 and officially wasn't chicked by her, but, well, I was chicked on the swim. She was pretty dang fast!
What would you do differently?:

I am not sure I would have done anything differently. Sometimes things happen in a race and getting kicked and goggles knocked off is part of it occasionally and after all of the races I've done this is the first time I've had my goggles kicked off.
I had kept a harder pace than I normally have done and seem to have finished ahead of my expectations.
Transition 1
  • 00m 28s

I doddled with my watch for a couple of seconds because forgot to hit the lap button. It seems I have been forgetting to do this over the course of this season. I really need to figure out whats going on inside my brain that keeps me from remembering this small thing. I hit the lap button as I was standing at my bike. The time above is the official race T time.
What would you do differently?:

Have my head on straight and hit the button as I come across the timing mat.
  • 29m 25s
  • 12 miles
  • 24.42 mile/hr

As I came out of T1 I was already feeling like this bike was going to suck! I just wasn't feeling it today. I lloked at my watch as I was coming up to speed, before I was in my shoes and thought "Oh, I'll never keep pace with anyone at this speed." As I looked down I saw 19+MPH and was becoming disgruntled with myself for not being in better condition. Once at about 20 MPH I began to get into my shoes and this went pretty smoothly. I normally don't have a lot of trouble with this anyway but I always seem to feel I could do better.
S I headed south along the course I checked on who was ahead of me that I could see. Sam was directly in front of me but about 100 yards in front but I didn't seem to be closing on him at all. After competing against him the past couple of years at Pokagon I knew he was a strong rider and I hoped I could catch him. So I began to try to accelerate and become more uncomfortable with my hard effort.
At the first turn, about 1 mile from the mounting line, I was noticing I was reeling Sam in little by little but he was still out in front of me. I kept the hammer down and felt I was dying a slow death on. As I approached Sam I could hear the familiar sounds of a disk getting closer and closer to me. It was Anthony Klingler, winner of Winona Lake and this event last year. He rocketed by me as I was approximately 10 yards from Sam. It wasn't long before i was able to pull along side Sam and pass him but I wasn't sure I would be able to hold him back there at my level of effort. (I wondered if I might blow up on the run and he would pass me there.)
After I pulled past Sam I began to survey who lied ahead. There was one athlete that was well out in front of me. I went through the same mental trauma of wondering if I would be able to pick him off on the bike or if I would have to wait for the run and hope I could grab him there. He wasn't moving nearly as fast as Sam and I overtook him within another mile.
From here the field was very fast! I was able to see another rider in the distance ahead and again thought there was no way I was catching him. He was further ahead than the others had been and I simply wanted to reel him in and try to catch him on the run. This guys name is Derek. While a fairly new member to the sport of triathlon he is really strong! We raced at Pokagon this year and he stayed with me on the bike for a long time before he began to blow up and I dropped him. give him another year and some proper training and he'll probably crush me.
I was able to pass Derek just short of the 9 mile mark and I never looked back. Once past him it was one more person ahead but, yet again, I thought there would be no way I would catch this one! Only this tie I was correct. Had there been another mile on the bike I would have had him in my rear view and he would not have caught me on the run. As it were, I was able to get within 100 yards of him and I was closing fast. We entered T2 only a few seconds apart and he was racked right next to me.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing! I was killing myself over this distance! I had no idea how fast I was going until about mile 9 or 10 when I changed a field on my watch and observed my avg. speed. I was over 24 MPH and climbing. Loved it!!
Transition 2
  • 00m 27s

As I was running into the transition I had to shout to the guy that was in front of me on the bike. He was encroaching on my area where I need to rack my bike. Had I not said anything I would have been unable to rack and would have been standing there waiting on him. Being I said something he moved out of my way and didn't cost me any time.
As he was standing there performing his transition I was in my shoes and had my visor and bib in my hand an was moving! I left him as he was almost ready to head out but I beat him out by a couple of seconds. He had spent 11 more seconds in T2 than I, giving me somewhat of an advantage heading to the run.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing this was a pretty smooth and fast transition but still only 10th across the field.
  • 20m 27s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 06m 34s  min/mile

As I exited T2 I could hear the athlete that had finished the bike just ahead of me on my heels. The time I had spent in T2 catching him needed to be capitalized on if I were going to hold my placement. The small pea gravel that was our footing as we ran up the hill was letting me know he wasn't far behind. Feeling like I needed to make a move early and try to mentally break him quickly was what I was shooting for as I headed up the hill at a quicker pace than I would normally run. Having not been able to set up a rhythm at all, because the run out was at the bottom of the hill, I bounded upward. As we got to the top I continued to listen for the sounds of his footsteps. They seemed to be fading slowly. I continued to pound out this very hard pace to try to gap him further before pulling back into a safer zone myself.
We ran along the top of the reservoir for about a quarter of a mile before we descended to the street. On this descent I allowed my feet to carry me and open the gap a little more. I was able to hear his footstep grow a little more distant but unwilling to allow him to see me waver I kept my pain threshold higher than I felt I cold sustain. Once on the street I was beginning to feel I couldn't keep the pace and I slowed slightly. This guy had been holding on very well and was not far back. Once we were on the street only about a quarter of a mile, and about .75 into the run, I could hear him closing on me. As much as I tried I could not hold him off. He passed me just before the 1 mile mark.
The suffering still in full force and my HR at a level I hadn't seen at a race for a very long time, I pressed on, trying not to let him pull ahead to far. Then I saw it! His AG on his right calf! Stupid Kids!!! He was 20 years old and had been a runner in HS, I would find out later.
As I approached the turn around at 1.25 miles I was able to catch my first glimpse of who was ahead of me. According to my count I was in 5th position and closing on at least one other man. He was visibly not as strong a runner as myself. He was heavier and ran with a slight limp appearing to come from his hip. I actually remember seeing him more closely later and wondered how he had been so far ahead of me at all. Once able to look at the results he was out of the water 22 seconds ahead of me and had put another 40 seconds into me on the bike, these combined with 5 more seconds in T1 he had me by more than 1 minute.
There were 3 athletes that I knew I was never going to catch! The race winner and the second and third place takers. There were running very strongly.
After I turned around I was able to observe another runner I had put 2:16 into on the bike but I knew he was a super fast runner. Thinking I was further into the run that I actually was I thought I would be able to hold him off and beat him.
As I continued to head toward the finish I kept the young athlete as close s possible but he was hurting me very badly. As I tried to hold on I was pushing the pace harder than I thought I could. My HR was still well outside of where I have normally raced (which brings other things into question) and my discomfort was continuing to grow.
We paced toward the short uphill at the reservoir and I was dreading that climb! When we arrived I planned to pace properly on climb by running upward by effort and not pace. This is where the younger athlete pushed ahead of me further than I could keep up with. Once at the top I tried not to relax and recover but my mental effort was futile. I was unable to hold the pace and I broke.
As I watched this younger man run away from me I wondered if I were going to be able to hold my position. The answer came soon enough when I heard footsteps from behind. It was the fast pace of what would be the fourth place finisher. He cruised by me so quickly I could almost feel his draft.
I was never able to pull any closer to the 20 year old and the fourth place finisher blasted by him too. I was losing momentum but thankfully the finish line was within sight. The only problem was a sharp downhill on wet grass that had me nervous about slipping and falling. I made down the hill and into the finish taking note of my HR for this final push, recorded at 177. The only time I remember having a HR higher than this was at the end of the Giest HM a couple of years ago when immediately after the finish I had a spike at 182.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing!! I cannot believe I was able to push this hard for this long! I don't think I could have done anything harder. I PR'd a 5k at a triathlon. My previous triathlon PR was 20:35
Post race
Warm down:

Grabbed some water and chatted with the winners of the race. There was some super stiff competition at this race because of the pay out. This would be a great race for a lot of really fast people to go after it. It was great to be able to race against these guys, even if I was out of the money.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Abilities! I cannot compete with this level of athleticism. These are true athletes!

Event comments:

After winning a free entry to this race a month ago I had been thinking about getting to win some money just once in my triathlon racing endeavors.

Last updated: 2013-07-09 12:00 AM
00:12:03 | 880 yards | 01m 22s / 100yards
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 9/50
Performance: Good
Suit: None
Course: This course was swan in a clockwise direction with 4 buoys to the first turn then past a second turn before turning back to the same entry point
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 00:27.5
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:29:25 | 12 miles | 24.42 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/3
Overall: 3/50
Performance: Good
Split Time Avg Speed Max Speed Avg HR Max HR 1 02:49.0 21.3 /25.2 159 /169 2 02:25.1 24.8 /25.6 153 /163 3 02:29.7 24 /25.1 153 /164 4 02:29.3 24.1 /25.2 160 /183 5 02:32.0 23.7 /24 168 /190 6 02:32.7 23.6 /24.6 166 /174 7 02:22.6 25.2 /25.6 180 /206 8 02:20.8 25.6 /26 175 /190 9 02:13.7 26.9 /29.1 170 /181 10 02:18.6 26 /26.5 164 /177 11 02:20.5 25.6 /26.2 172 /183 12 02:34.8 22.7 /26 169 /183 Summary 29:28.9 24.4 /29.1 166 /206
Wind: Some
Course: A jagged lollypop heading west and south for the way out and back north and east. The roads were very smooth and pancake flat!
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks:
Time: 00:26.9
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:20:27 | 03.1 miles | 06m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/3
Overall: 11/50
Performance: Good
Split Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR 1 6:31 172 /175 2 6:39 174 /179 3 6:46 174 /179 4 5:56 175 /177 Summary 6:37 173 /179
Course: Out of transition and up to the top of the reservoir and into the streets on the west side of Defiance to a turn around and then back along the dame path until we made a turn to stretch the run along the top of the reservoir and into the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-07-20 9:00 PM

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Fort Wayne
Subject: Defiance Optimist

2013-07-21 4:40 AM
in reply to: #4809746

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Subject: RE: Defiance Optimist
Dirk, you had a GREAT race... I love the detailed report and you had my heart racing just reading your report. GREAT job and thanks for posting!
2013-07-22 12:00 PM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Defiance Optimist
Dirk congrats on the 6th place overall finish. I know you hoped for more but man you killed it and really hung in there with some great competition. What a great effort all around and a smokin fast swim, bike and run and an overall awesome race!
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