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Esprit Triathlon - Triathlon

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Montreal, Quebec
Esprit Triathlon
70F / 21C
Total Time = 14h 16m 49s
Overall Rank = 61/77
Age Group = F 40-44
Age Group Rank = 2/2
Pre-race routine:

Transition opened at 5PM, and I had a half-hour drive to get there, so got up at 3:45, not that I slept much. Got dressed, ate a couple of mini-bagels and a couple of cheese sticks, started drinking Gatorade (which really is NOT a breakfast beverage, IMHO). Drove to the site, finally found the parking area (they had the place cordoned off a bit strangely), got to my designated spot (the race organizers give the full IM folk a special area with TONS of space and even storage boxes to put our stuff in!), and set everything up smoothly. Also helped a few people with the timing chips for our bikes-- they give IM and HIM athletes attachments to count off the laps on the bike course, and a good thing too, since after a while I just can't remember where I am! Ate half a Larabar, did a final portapotty break, then put the wetsuit on and headed down to the beach.
Event warmup:

Walked around to check entrances and exits, and got in the water briefly to test the temperature-- chilly, but fine in the suit.
  • 1h 46m 26s
  • 4156 yards
  • 02m 34s / 100 yards

While this looks awfully slow from a pacing perspective, I *loved* it-- the swim felt really smooth and consistent! Waited 5 seconds for the washing machine to clear, then had plenty of room to do my thing uninterrupted. Found it much easier to use the lane lines to sight with this year as well-- only downside was a misinformed lifeguard telling me to move left and thus getting me out of the proper lane for a while-- I eventually got myself back where I belonged, but the detour was briefly annoying.
What would you do differently?:

Given the anemia etc. this year, I was really pleased-- wasn't even terribly tired coming out of the water. Ideally, of course, I would have been able to train more and harder to improve my speed, but I'll take the comfortable margin here!
Transition 1
  • 08m 46s

The transitions went much quicker this time, probably because I knew exactly what I needed to do in the order I needed to do it! Grabbed a portapotty break, got my long-sleeve shirt on (no telling what the weather might do, as I found out last year!), got into my bike gear, and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing-- this went smoothly.
  • 6h 45m 23s
  • 111.85 miles
  • 16.55 mile/hr

This was the tough one for me, despite the gorgeous course. On the good side, I knew the loops pretty well and could therefore prepare to gear down, hammer, deal with cornering, etc. The organizers had done a MUCH better job of setting up the entrance and exit to the course, too-- considerably safer than last year, and thus the course didn't feel too crowded even though plenty of people still passed illegally on the left side (we were doing counter-clockwise loops, hence ride on the left, pass on the right was the rule). Saw far fewer accidents than last year, though apparently there were a couple of doozies by the hairpin turn at one end of the course. The downside was that the piriformis syndrome kicked in again after about 15 or so laps (out of 41), and stayed with me with a vengeance. Hard to pedal quickly when pain shot down my left leg with every downstroke, but I kept on (if rather grimly). As I found last year, the IMers cheered each other on by race number-- one guy, #69, was consistent in cheering me on every time he saw me. Dunno if he did that to everyone, but I was grateful for the support and returned it in kind. :) So this hurt, but I got it done...
What would you do differently?:

Umm...not have piriformis syndrome start up a couple of weeks before the race? Probably that means doing more strength and stretching work throughout training-- I meant to, but once again, they were the first to go, sigh. They're top of my list for the off-season for sure. One other thing: RIDE MORE OUTSIDE. More confidence in bike handling would have enabled me to go faster in some spots for sure, especially when things got crowded.
Transition 2
  • 09m 7s

OMG, was I glad to be off of what felt like a medieval torture device! Got my bike racked, another portapotty break, then onto the run course-- walked to the start of the course to get my legs under me, then started running.
What would you do differently?:

Not much, really-- maybe running through T2, but it was a bit of a maze to get through ALL the racks of bikes (they do all the distances on the same day at the Esprit) and I wanted to get my legs under me and make sure I didn't run into anyone else.
  • 5h 27m 6s
  • 26.22 miles
  • 12m 29s  min/mile

This, like the swim, felt really consistent-- I did a solid run/walk as I'd planned, and after a while did the walk breaks by how my muscles felt, since as time went on my legs got tired more quickly than my HR could spike. But I also ended up passing several people who'd gone out running quickly and ended up trudging-- my "smooth and strong, all day long" mantra definitely worked! :) Like last year, my sister and brother met me at the earliest part of the spectator area and walked with me for a while, which was always something to look forward to. Plus, it was great fun to RUN through the loop/finishing area every time and hear the amazing spectators cheer-- they really were fabulous. :) Walked much of the last loop, not all, and ran the final stretch, of course... And who should I find there, after the medal-giving and congratulations? #69-- a lovely fellow named Larry, clearly a good friend of the organizers, who was standing there chatting to them when I ran in. Really fantastic to finish strong rather than injured this time. :)
What would you do differently?:

Honestly, given the anemia and all that jazz, nothing-- I was really pleased with how strong and consistent this felt. My siblings kept track of splits and said that I was rock-solid in my consistency going around, which I'll happily take at the end of a long day.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a bit through the finishing area, then walked with my sister back to the car to claim my bike-- they had someone watching over transition who'd happily let people pack up race stuff, but no bikes left without a racer's number being shown! So I assured him that this one was mine, and was amazed to see the number of bikes still in transition while we finished packing the car. Happily, this time I could help pack-- last year that wasn't happening with the injuries.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Anemia, for sure, though it affected me less on the day than I thought it would-- but it certainly shaped my training. Piriformis syndrome was a serious pain on the day.

Event comments:

I'm a huge fan of this race, particularly at the IM distance: small, local, hugely friendly, and really ideal for spectator participation. The weather was perfect-- a mix of sun, mostly cloudy, and a few sprinkles, but nice and cool throughout. Very glad to be taking a break from the IM training for a while, but equally happy to be doing so on the heels of a performance I was pleased with!

Last updated: 2013-01-03 12:00 AM
01:46:26 | 4156 yards | 02m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/77
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops of the Olympic rowing basin-- at the end of the first, get out, run across to the starting beach, and do the second.
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 08:46
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
06:45:23 | 111.85 miles | 16.55 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/77
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: 41 laps of the Montreal F1 course: the sweetest piece of tarmac a cyclist could want! :)
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 09:07
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:27:06 | 26.22 miles | 12m 29s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/2
Overall: 0/77
Performance: Good
Course: 9 loops of the rowing basin. Utterly flat.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
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] 5

2013-09-16 5:33 PM

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Subject: Esprit Triathlon

2013-09-17 4:41 AM
in reply to: #4857052

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Temple, TX
Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon
Sounds like a perfectly comfortable race for you , Alex!  Other than the bike pain, which probably seemed endless with that many miles to complete...  and a fantastic finish for someone who has been anemic!!!!  You planned, you executed, you conquered!!!
2013-09-17 7:47 AM
in reply to: Hildebeast

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon

Wow - great job with racing after anemia, with piriformis syndrome and on a repetitive course!

I can't tell if the course sounds great or terrible.  Laughing

The overall race sounds great, though, and you did a terrific job with it.



2013-09-17 9:01 AM
in reply to: #4857052

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Roll Tide!!
Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon

Wow! What an awesome accomplishment Alex.

Those distances are mindbogglingly to me. I think your consistent paces and feeling good while doing the swim and run was great. AND good for you for having the mental strength to push through the pain of the bike and keep going.

I have not made time for strength & stretching like I planned either- wish I had though. I hope I can follow your example and wait a few seconds on my swim, if I don't I believe I will be sorry.

2013-09-17 12:03 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon
Way to go Alex!! You did it and did it quite well too! I tried to look up your results but got lost trying to find your race results. Congrats!!

Edited by joes 2013-09-17 12:06 PM
2013-09-18 2:41 PM
in reply to: joes

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Falls Church
Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon

Way to go!

I think I remember from last year that you had a crash.  So this year no 'events' on the bike.  You had a very solid bike time IMHO given the pain in your leg.

Great race!

2013-09-21 10:31 AM
in reply to: hoffsquared

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Middle Tennessee
Subject: RE: Esprit Triathlon
Great race report! You did an AWESOME job, especially with fighting anemia prior to the race and having piriformis syndrome kick in while on the bike! YOU are ONE TOUGH BEASTIE! Good consistency across all 3 disciplines and your "can do" attitude is inspiring! Way go girl! SO proud of you!!
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