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Katy Triathlon at Firethorne - Triathlon

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Katy, Texas
United States
78F / 26C
Total Time = 1h 17m 33s
Overall Rank = 83/344
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 6/19
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 4am, ate a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter, packed the car up, got changed, and was out the door by 4:45am. About 20 minutes from home, the entire freeway was shut down. WTF? It wasn't moving and a ton of people started going through the ditch to the feeder road. I thought, "Hey, I drive an AWD car, I bet I can make it too!" After a bit of consideration and sitting for a few minutes with no sign of movement, I went. They had about a half mile stretch of freeway closed in both directions, but the feeder was open. Glad to have made that decision.

Continued the drive up to Katy (that's a long haul!) and pulled into the parking lot just after 6am. Grabbed my stuff and rode the half mile to transition. Transition set-up was pretty uneventful and I eventually found Cathy and Dana (didn't know Dana was racing).

Thought about taking a Gu before the race, but it wasn't appealing. Transition had already closed and I didn't have water to wash it down. Decided against it in the end.
Event warmup:

We weren't allowed in the water before the race started (other than in the four minutes between waves). I did some light shoulder stretching as my shoulders tend to like a warm-up followed by stretching, followed by real swimming. Was hoping the stretching would be good enough.
  • 09m 18s
  • 500 meters
  • 01m 52s / 100 meters

Lined up toward the front, on the inside line. When the gun went off, I took off at a strong pace and maintained that for a few minutes before settling into a pace I could hold for the rest of the distance. There was very little contact through the whole race. I did come up through a number of people who were in the wave before me, but managed to continue with the minimal contact.

Coming into the swim exit, I saw people standing up and trying to walk out early. I kept swimming until my fingers dragged on the ground, then stood up quickly and ran out. It was muddy and footing wasn't super stable, so I'm very glad I didn't get up any earlier.

Actual swimming time was almost a minute less than the total time for the leg.
What would you do differently?:

Swim was pretty good. There was no one who was swimming my pace, or I would have tried for a draft. Navigation was probably among the best I've done, so overall pretty happy with the swim.
Transition 1
  • 01m 33s

Non-wetsuit swim yields pretty quick transition time. Ran to transition and was devastated to see very few bikes left on my rack. I was confused as I didn't see any blue cap swimmers ahead of me in the swim. I tried to rationalize with myself that they probably didn't have bikes racked by age group (turned out that was the case, and being in one of the last waves to start, it's not too surprising that almost all the bikes were gone).

Told myself to race my own race and get moving. Briefly wiped off the mud and grass from my feet before putting sock and shoes on. Put sunglasses and helmet on quickly, unracked the bike, and ran to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Still not ready to commit to the flying mount, but I am starting to consider getting some tri-specific shoes that I could have clipped in and still be able to slide my feet in quickly. Not worry about how many bikes are (or aren't) left on the rack. Fastest transition in the AG was 0:51, so clearly room for improvement.
  • 37m 18s
  • 13.7 miles
  • 22.04 mile/hr

After seeing the empty racks, I figured I needed to make up some time on the bike (because everyone knows I'm just going to lose it on the run!). I wasn't too much worried about catching others, but I did want to push it pretty hard on the bike, so thinking I was behind was just a little extra motivation.

I haven't raced a sprint in over a year. My last sprint pace was just shy of 19mph (on a similarly flat course), and I was hoping to prove my fitness had increased since then. I was also hoping to hold something around (maybe slightly higher than) FTP to prove to myself that I won't die if I try to do 20 minutes of it! NP was 2W higher than FTP :)

I spent much of the course passing people -- there definitely are some positives to starting in a late wave and being a fairly strong cyclist. There were a couple times that I'd get stuck behind people going into some turns, so I held back until I could safely make the pass. At about 10 miles in, I realized no one had passed me yet....and one of the 40-something men came blowing by me (and all was right in the world again!). I came up on a 38 year old female who appeared to be a fairly strong cyclist, but she was going just a little slower than I wanted, so I committed to making the pass. She stayed back for about five minutes, but then came past me again. I stayed back at draft-legal distance as it looked like it was going to be hard to re-pass her -- we were going roughly the same pace. We did get caught up in some traffic at the end, but oh well.
What would you do differently?:

Very pleased with how this ride went. The only thing I really feel could have gone better today would have been to push through the corners, rather than soft pedal.

Of course, I hope to continue to improve my power output and make more gains on the bike. This is the only event I ever feel like I'm somewhat competitive at....makes me want to try a TT at some point.
Transition 2
  • 01m 5s

I looked down at my computer and saw 13.5 miles and realized I needed to pull my feet out of my shoes quickly (as opposed to Vineman, when I did it with at least a half mile to go). Feet came out fine. The people in front of me all kind of scattered in every which direction, so I had to be careful picking my line to dismount, but got it done well enough.

I ran into transition, racked the bike (somewhat sloppily), put on my running shoes, then grabbed my hat and race belt as I was running out.
What would you do differently?:

Fairly uneventful transition, no real changes needed
  • 28m 18s
  • 3 miles
  • 09m 26s  min/mile

Oh, the nemesis. It seems that every other F30-34 has figured out how to! And I'm still plodding along slowly.

I know, I know, stupid knee injury has kept me from training for more than a year now. But it's so frustrating to know I have a decent-sized engine, based on my swim and bike abilities....but it just doesn't translate to being able to run worth a damn. I really hope this "run lots, mostly easy" will eventually translate into some respectable paces. First, though, I have to build up to the "run lots", as I'm currently at ~10 mpw (which is a victory, as I've been at 0 for about a year now, and have at least been consistently running five days a week for the past six weeks).

I made a very stupid mistake that probably cost me at least a minute (surely didn't affect my placing, but still annoying). I forgot to turn off the HR alarm that I have set at the top of Zone 2. Pretty much the moment I started the run leg, my computer was yelling at me. I knew there was no way I could handle hearing it beep at me for 30 minutes, so I tried to work through the menus to turn it off. I couldn't do it while it was on my wrist and I was running, so I thought maybe it would help to pull it off my wrist. As I did that, the clasp came flying off the band and the watch went to the ground. I think I probably cursed as I had to stop, reach down, and grab the stupid watch. At that point, I was like, "fuck it, just walk and get this damn alarm turned off."

After about a minute of walking (not because I couldn't physically run, but because I am an idiot and forgot to turn off the stupid alarm!), I got it turned off. Since the clasp was gone, I couldn't put it back on my wrist, so I shoved it in my back pocket. It was honestly kind of weird to run with no metrics -- no heart rate, no pace, no distance, nothing. Can't say I enjoyed that much.

I told Stephen that my only run goal was to finish in less than 30 minutes (oh, and not walk -- which I failed at), but I was secretly hoping that race day would bring around a better pace. It didn't. My run is abysmal. I sincerely hope that I can make some improvements in my run. My knee is absolutely not better, but since no one can figure out what's wrong with it, I guess I'll run on it until it really craps out on me. It didn't start bothering me till about two miles in, so maybe if I keep running, I'll prolong the distance before it starts bugging me.

It started to rain part way into the run. We also ran through the grass and mud some, so my feet ended up soaked by the end of the run. My sunglasses were fogged and irritating, so I eventually shoved them into my pocket with my Garmin. I got a little chilly while it was raining, but it was short lived and had stopped before I crossed the finish line.
What would you do differently?:

Learn how to run
Post race
Warm down:

Crossed the finish line, grabbed a bottle of water and drank it over the next few minutes, hamstring/quad/calf/glute stretching

Walked around to try to keep loose, find the results, grab a beer (not super impressed with the selection) -- found a banana, as I wasn't interested in the grinder subs or the pizza

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Minimal run training, inherently crap runner

Being 30 -- apparently even with my crap run, if I had been 29, I'd be sitting on top of the podium (turns out I'd be 1st or 2nd in any age group that was not mine....and was only 6th in mine). Freaking 30-34 women are FAST! At a minimum, they run like freaking gazelles!

Event comments:

Police support was great -- they were controlling all intersections and I thanked as many of them as I could. Aid stations on the run course had lots of volunteers (only warm water, which is fine with me, but I'm guessing not everyone like their water that way) and the event actually began on time.

When I crossed the finish line, there were only a handful of waters left; pretty sure they ran out and people who finished a few minutes later didn't get any. That's pretty poor planning.

Also, I know I'm super picky, but I don't care for grinder sandwiches or pizza after races. They did have some bananas, but that was the only decent option, imo. The beer was okay, but I know that's on me as well...I just haven't found any TX breweries that I care for.

Last updated: 2013-09-23 12:00 AM
00:09:18 | 500 meters | 01m 52s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/19
Overall: 0/344
Performance: Good
Suit: Soas top, DeSoto Forza Riviera shorts
Course: Rectangular course with small, orange buoys along the edges, and large, bright green buoys at the back corners
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 78F / 26C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting:
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:33
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:37:18 | 13.7 miles | 22.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/19
Overall: 0/344
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Flat, fast, smooth course around Katy -- really good police support out there at all intersections
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 94
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:05
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:28:18 | 03 miles | 09m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/19
Overall: 0/344
Performance: Bad
Course: Mostly on a sidewalk around a community lake, but some through mud/grass, and on a crushed granite path
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
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: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-09-29 5:36 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne

2013-09-29 5:53 PM
in reply to: #4866624

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne

Awesome race, super bike pace!

Stick with the run lots philosophy, it works and your run pace will come with it!  

2013-09-29 6:16 PM
in reply to: #4866624

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Subject: RE: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne
Nicole, great race. Your run may not be back - yet - but you've made real progress. recovery takes time. And that bike pace was terrific!
2013-09-30 7:08 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Katy Triathlon at Firethorne

Yowza - what a bike!

Agree with the above: the run is already on its way back, just takes more time than any of us want.  It WILL come, though.  Laughing

Great day!


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