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Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon - Triathlon

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Bear, Delaware
United States
Pirahna Sports
72F / 22C
Total Time = 1h 48m 39s
Overall Rank = 65/154
Age Group = M 40-44
Age Group Rank = 9/12
Pre-race routine:

Finally I'm racing a triathlon. First major one in three years due to about a half dozen injuries. Oh, and it's going to be my first OWS since that last tri. This could get interesting.

This race combined the old "Lum's Pond Triathlon" with the "Diamondman Sprint Triathlon". There is a half-iron the next day at the same site. Disappointed field size..only about 150 or so with a crazy mix of pointy-end elite racers and beginners. And same day as Iron Girl in Maryland, so almost 70% guys.

Had usual pre-race dinner of pizza, wings, salad, and a couple of beers. We had decided the week before to bag the hotel close to the site and just get up early and drive the hour and change race morning. So, O' Dark Thirty wake up for us.

Went to bed early, slept pretty well and got up about 3:30. Ate breakfast of toast, a little cereal, coffee, and half a Zone bar. Packed the car (can't the night before...we live in Baltimore City...). Wheels rolling at 5 a.m....arrived in parking lot at 6:15.

There was no early packet pickup for the Kids or Sprint races, so we waited in line for a few minutes and got our stuff. Back to the car to set up the bikes and then dump all of our stuff in transition. CHILLY morning (about 55F), but clear sky and no wind.

Watched my 11YO daughter do the Kids Triathlon...awesome watching the kids race and some of them are pretty hard core about it. Flying dismounts and all!! Mickella finished 7/12 in her age group and like the rest of our tri family needs to work on her transitions. :-)

Event warmup:

Jogged around for about 10 minutes and stretched. Jumped into the water and did about 50-75 yards of swimming and practiced sighting, etc. Talked with a guy from MMTC about the course...he thought it looked a little long. Why must the swim courses always look long???
  • 20m 37s
  • 880 yards
  • 02m 20s / 100 yards

This was going to be my first OWS since my last full-on tri three years ago. However, given that I've been swimming seriously off an on since then I figured on at least a decent showing...maybe in the 2:00-2:05/100y range.

This race was wetsuit legal and I debated buying or renting one for the race. Melanie (melbo55) from my mentor group offered to lend me an extra she had but I was worried about the whole "nothing new on race day" mantra. This was probably a mistake, as probably only 15-20% of the field went without a wetsuit. On to the "race"!

The Plan was to warm up to the first buoy...maybe 200M or so away, then hammer the straightaway and slow down the last 200. Well...the "slow down the last 200" worked just fine, and that strategy seemed to take over my whole swim. I could never get into any kind of rhythm, and the few times I started to I found my self veering off-course. I couldn't get my breathing to calm down and I even got a little bit nauseous out there. Did some backstroke to get breathing under control. What a mess...felt like I was out there an hour. Also, coming out to an almost empty transition is a little deflating.

What would you do differently?:

OWS practice and wear a wetsuit when I'm permitted. I think I was kinda mentally intimidated so I gotta race more often to get used to it.
Transition 1
  • 01m 57s

81/154...solid MOP. Definite improvement over last time...ran out of water and took off cap, goggles, and watch. Jogged to my spot and turned on Garmin 800, put on Garmin run watch. Struggled a bit with my socks on wet feet so I sat down to get some leverage. That sped everything and had the benefit of a quick rest for the legs. Helmet, sunglasses, grab bike and go. Ran through timing mat, got on bike and off I went.

Using wool instead of a cotton blend of socks helped.
What would you do differently?:

Just be quicker at it. I still need socks at this point so I can't eliminate that step, and my bike shoes aren't tri-friendly so none of the "slipping into shoes on the bike" stuff.
  • 57m 7s
  • 19.5 miles
  • 20.48 mile/hr

Plan was to use the 1.5 access road to WU and CD, and then hammer the other 16 miles. Targeting about 55 minutes.

First thing I noticed was that there were A LOT of people ahead of me. Headed out the access road even at a WU pace (18 mph or so) I was passing people constantly. Got out of the park onto Howell School Road and bike felt rattly and the bumps were pretty hard. I immediately through I was flatting (I've had some flatting issues lately, so that's my first reaction to everything right now). Rode about two miles and pulled over right before the first sharp turn to make sure everything was OK. Tires were fine...cost myself probably 30 seconds. Got passed by one guy (the only time anyone passed me on the bike...which makes sense since they all started before ). Got back up to speed and dropped into aero down Red Lion road. Passed probably another dozen people over the next five miles. Worked on just gaining and passing. At about mile 15 my legs started lose their snap and my left hamstring got tight, so I had to just keep pace and couldn't hammer the end like I wanted to. Also got behind an idiot driving 15 mph trying to figure out how to pass bikes in a no-passing zone. I probably needed the breather anyway.

Got to the park entrance road and a car was blocking the easy way in, so I had to go past it and execute a 90-degree turn in. Cruised in and saw Melanie right before T2. Slowed down and dismounted fine.

Kept HR right below threshold and spiked it on the uphills, so executed that part perfectly. I think I passed 40-50 people in the 20 miles.

What would you do differently?:

The 20.5 mph was a little disappointing given my focus on bike training the past year, but considering that I just have a roadie with stock wheels and my legs tightened up during the last 5 miles I guess I'll take it.
Transition 2
  • 01m 27s

ran into T2, and the transition area was a mess. There were bikes just thrown on the ground in my area, so I had to struggle to get my bike racked. Shoes, etc. went fine, and then I took off without my race belt. Crap!! Turned around and off I went.

96/154...not awful but not great. Given my history of having picnics, A-OK.
What would you do differently?:

Just drop my bike on top of the $5K Cervelos thrown on the ground like their owners don't care about them. :-)
  • 27m 30s
  • 3.3 miles
  • 08m 20s  min/mile

I've only been running again for a few months now and I've maxed at about 15 miles/week. My last 5K standalone and tri run were both just over 24 min, so I was hoping for low 26:xx here.

Left hamstring is still really tight coming out of T2...fought with it for the first 1/2 mile and then stopped 10 seconds to stretch it out a bit. Got passed by one guy shortly after, and that was the last time anyone passed me.

After about a mile I finally felt like I had some of my legs back. HR was in the mid-140s...which is too high but I just pushed through it. Course was brutal. About 2.5 miles of it was full-on trail run...up, down, left, right, roots, rocks, thick grass, running through a corn field. Garmin pace indicator was about useless because of all of the turns and woods. Passed at least 20 more people on the run.

I really struggled through this run...I was in the Pain Cave early and often without the pace it usually takes to put me here. Came out of the woods and kicked the final 400 without a sprint. No one finished within a minute of before or after me. I really didn't have sprint in me anyway.

What would you do differently?:

Given the course and my lack of run training, this was fine. Only two people broke 21 minutes out of the whole field, and there were some pretty decent racers here today.

Hydrate a little more on the bike maybe.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around just feeling crushed. Not nauseous or sick or anything, just beat down. Drank a little water, then jogged around for a CD. Stretched a ton. Spondy was acting up...probably from spending 10 miles in aero and was probably the source of the tight hammy.

After 20 minutes of this, got in the car and drove home. Nibbled on some junk food on the way, and then ate like crazy the rest of the day.

Spent an hour in the hot tub to loosen up and then iced down my knees and neck before I went to bed. At 8:45. :-)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

In order of importance:

1) OWS ability. I can swim 2:00/100y forever in a pool, and my top-end speed is sub 1:30/100, so there's no reason for me to take 20 minutes to swim a half mile. This will be a point of focus for me next year.

2) Bike execution (i.e. translating fitness to speed). Once you get into the 20s mph-wise, every little thing starts to matter. I've gotta work on positioning and upgrade equipment subject to budget-limitations ( P5 for me!) while continuing to improve the engine.

3) Get my run legs back! I've only run about 200 miles in the past 2+ years, so right now I'm just going on CV fitness and muscle memory. I gotta get my run volume up without aggravating my chronic maladies...not sure how to do that yet.

4) Continue to improve transitions. At least I didn't cost myself a podium spot this time.

Event comments:

Given my injury history, lack of OWS experience, bike adventures, and tough run course, I can't not be happy with this result. I beat my time from 3 years ago by almost 12 minutes and that's with an extra 0.3 miles added to the run course. I wouldn't say I had any split I'm thrilled with, but all-in-all a solid return to big-boy triathlons.

Very proud of Mickella's performance, too...solid MOP and she barely trains on the bike or run.

Top-notch race as always with Piranha Sports...race went off a few minutes late because of some tech difficulties with the kids' award ceremony but who cares. OK swag, post-race food was good.

Good showing by MMTC (2nd overall was on of our guys).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-12-10 12:00 AM
00:20:37 | 880 yards | 02m 20s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 121/154
Performance: Below average
Suit: none
Course: counter-clockwise triangle...course seemed to be about right distance-wise
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 75F / 24C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Bad
Breathing: Bad Drafting: Bad
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Below average
Time: 01:57
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:57:07 | 19.5 miles | 20.48 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 55/154
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Fairly flat. Out the park access road and then through the countryside. Shared course with vehicular traffic but intersections were monitored by State Police and volunteers. One decent hill over a bridge.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:27
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:27:30 | 03.3 miles | 08m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 50/154
Performance: Good
Course: Basically a trail run, and nobody was ready for it.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-09-08 9:44 AM

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon

2013-09-08 10:28 AM
in reply to: #4849957

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon
Awesome return to triathlon!  Well managed throughout!
2013-09-08 2:50 PM
in reply to: #4849957

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon
Good Job! I love the mentions of your  daughter in here, cool stuff.
2013-09-08 9:07 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Subject: RE: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon

A race weekend with your baby--how awesome is that?  Mickella sure is a cutie too :)

Mike, I know you feel beat up, but this is a very solid first "real" foray back into triathlon, especially with your recent health history.  Really well done.  Welcome back!

Talk to me about the sock thing.  What is it that prevents you from going sockless? 

P.S. There will be no sitting in transition! *whipcrack* ;)

2013-09-09 12:24 PM
in reply to: switch

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon

Nice race!

Congrats to both you and your daughter!

2013-09-09 2:09 PM
in reply to: #4849957

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Subject: RE: Diamondman Challenge Sprint Triathlon

Nicely done considering your little 3 year vacation from triathlon!!  And yes, the corn field aka heat tunnel was brutal.  Very cool that your daughter did the kids race, did well, and had fun.  I love hearing about family getting to share the race experience. 

So sorry we couldn't find each other before the race or even afterwards, but at least I got to yell at you on the bike!   I did see you in the water before the swim but didn't want to distract you if you were in your 'race place'.  I looked for you after I finished but I guess you were gone or else changed clothes, making it tougher to spot you.  Oh well, next time!  Again, congrats on a good race overall.

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2006-04-10 7:34 PM marmadaddy
date : September 8, 2008
author : pjwalzphd
comments : 2
When I told my husband that I planned to work toward completing a sprint triathlon, he smiled and was supportive, but a bit disbelieving.
date : February 12, 2008
author : mikericci
comments : 0
This plan is designed to make you go faster. 3 workouts per week in each sport, 2 days of strength training and core work. The maximum volume is around 10 hours toward the end of the 12 weeks.
date : January 14, 2008
author : dr_forbush
comments : 0
In addition to writing your race number on each upper arm, they also wrote your age on your calf. This allowed me to see who was passing me by in the bike section of this race.
date : October 9, 2007
author : dr_forbush
comments : 9
The boat was being tossed around. Someone noted that there were whitecaps on the waves. Another guy said, “This is going to be challenging.” I began to wonder what he meant by 'challenging'.
date : July 10, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
date : September 3, 2006
author : acbadger
comments : 1
Since your “A” race is your marathon, which you stated in your question, this should be your main focus. I encourage you to taper a bit for the sprint distance triathlon.
date : September 3, 2005
author : infosteward
comments : 0
The Boulder Peak bike course is legendary. It is, literally and named as such, one of the toughest bike legs in the country.
date : August 30, 2004
author : Ron
comments : 1
Couch-to-sprint triathlon training programs to get you over the finish-line of your first triathlon.