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Desert Grande - Triathlon

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Coolidge, Arizona
United States
Total Time = 1h 20m 27s
Overall Rank = 96/215
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 7/28
Pre-race routine:

Only had to drive 10min to race, so alarm was set at a fabulously late 5:30. Yay!! Had a little coffee and a cinnamon waffle and grabbed a banana for later (NOT happening at 5:45) Made it to CAC a little before 6:30 and grabbed packets before setting up transition. Noticed that a lot of bikes were set up along the parking blocks instead of the racks, so we thought we'd try that approach. (more on that later)
Event warmup:

Warm-up? Hmmm...two jogs to the bathroom and one to find a "lost" husband? Mostly, warm up was simply staying warm. Unlike last year I kept my sweatshirt and pants on until right before getting in the pool. Chatted with the couple standing in the swim line with me. It was their first tri, and they looked nervous...and cold. I filled them in on a couple of things I wish people had told me last year and generally tried to stay occupied. As we waited for our turn, we noticed a camera crew filming a lady and her coach (more on that later as well). Another thing I commented about to husband was the number of kids participating. Pretty cool to see family teams for the relay.
  • 11m 20s
  • 400 meters
  • 02m 50s / 100 meters

Wow...I've got to be more aggressive (don't know a better word for it). This swim should've been close to a minute shorter. I had no issues breathing or swimming...I simply didn't push by people. At the 150m wall, I caught up to a lady who didn't know what to do with both of us going under the line...and I said "Oh, you go ahead." Dumb. I lost time AND I had to get past her as another lady was coming up behind me. As I was passing the slower lady, the one behind me was going by tight on my left. We had a 3-wide for a few seconds. Around 250m I came up on another lady swimming in the middle of the lane. Instead of pushing by her on the left, I tailed her til she moved over a bit. Losing time...again. I had the last 100m basically to myself. The "get out" wasn't at the ladder so we had to jump out. Messed up my first try, so lost a few more seconds.
What would you do differently?:

I HAVE to be more confident and aggressive. And maybe seed myself a little better.
Transition 1
  • 02m 14s

Pretty decent considering how far my bike was from the pool. Goggles and cap off as I left pool...ran to bike, wiped off feet, socks on, shoes on, glasses/helmet on, GO! Run out was dicey since transition was in a parking lot and we had to run two corners before mounting.
  • 35m 51s
  • 10.2 miles
  • 17.07 mile/hr

As usual, bike was my strength. Leaving transition I was alone for about 1/2mi. Then I caught my first group of 4-5 riders...passed them. Next group of 3...passed them. This went on for most of the ride. One guy passed me about a mile in and he was cruising! I recognized him from the pool deck where he was really friendly and chatty with people. Now I realized why he was all relaxed and IM gear and pretty tri bike at this race that's advertised as "the best tri/du STARTER race in the state". I kept him in sight for the first two turns then he was gone.
At the first corner I saw a minivan with a camera crew go by and wondered where I'd find the lady and her coach. Passed a few more people...road bikes, mtn bikes, even a cruiser. One girl was riding with earbuds in which I thought was a little crazy on an open-to-traffic course.
The second turn was tricky. They've been doing resurfacing and the corner wasn't swept. I took it really wide to avoid that loose asphalt. Down the road a bit more I saw the minivan ahead of and lady side by side with van just to the front left of them. They took up the entire lane. There's no shoulder on the right, and the van was driving down the mid-line. I came up behind them and slowed from 18+ to 14ish. "Passing on the left" wouldn't have done any good since the van was filming, and the camera guy saw me stuck there. I followed for a minute then pulled out left into the other lane...passed the van and 5 seconds later a cop jumped into the nearing intersection to yell STOP!!!! at an oblivious oncoming truck. HR spike!
Had about 2.5mi til next turn. Picked up my pace and cruised by a few more people. Made the next corner and saw the "rescue crew" helping out a girl with her bike. Found out later from my husband who had been right behind her that she made the turn and lost her pedal. Guess she ate it pretty bad. He checked on her and made sure the volunteer had called for help. Yikes!
Passed a few more on this section then made the last turn...right into the wind. UGH. The last section also happens to be the windy/slightly hilly part. I got as low as I could and just kept pedaling as consistently as I could. Saw some 13mphs so I was really only chugging along.
What would you do differently?:

Not have a camera crew filming? Get rid of wind.
Transition 2
  • 01m 47s

Got off at speed bump and ran bike in. Here's where I got slowed down with "racking" my bike. As I tried to lean it back onto the curb, it didn't want to balance. I didn't want to drop it, so had to take time to lay it down nicely without messing up my all the things on my towel. So I traded not having to be near other people for that. Oh well...know for next time. Shoes and helmet off. Nikes on and grabbed race belt on way out.
What would you do differently?:

Think about where we put bikes.
  • 29m 55s
  • 5 kms
  • 05m 59s  min/km

Legs felt bad the first 1/4 mi up to the trail. Caught a tired guy as I got to the start of the dirt. Then I heard someone coming up behind me...a lady in an orange shirt (keep that color in mind) that I had passed on the bike. We laughed and said hi as she went by. I caught up to another guy and then one more as I went along the top of the trail. Just before I made the turn to go down the far side, a guy went speeding by me. A couple of people had slowed/stopped at the only water station at the top of the hill, but I didn't want to.
I was pretty alone most of the way down to the next turn. I started thinking about walking for a minute when I turned the corner and saw the loooooong (all of a mile lol) stretch ahead of me. But two women went by me in quick succession, and then I saw two more guys walking and the lady in the orange shirt. "OK, don't need to walk" I told myself. As I caught up to one of the walking guys, he looked like he was having a rough day so I told him "Hey man, there's only a mile left." He said "Really? I can do a mile, right?"...I know he did because I saw him afterwards ;) When I caught up to the orange lady I hear her pep talking a teenage boy next to her...I guessed it was her son since she was saying she'd let him finish in front of her. hahaha! Motherly encouragement.
At the end of the looooong stretch, the trail turns up a hill to the college. It sucks and lots of people start walking when they get there. I passed two more walking guys along here. One of them in orange (seeing a theme?) board shorts started running again as soon as I passed him, but went back to walking within a minute.
As I got to the last turn at the top of the hill, I saw a guy and a girl ahead of me. He was getting ready to pass her, but I figured I could close the gap on her at least. After crossing a rather steep, muddy ditch, I had pulled about 20ft behind her, but I heard pounding feet behind me. 40ft from finish the orange board shorts guy sprinted past me...ugh. 20ft from finish orange mom/son duo sprinted past...double ugh. DARN YOU, ORANGE PEOPLE!!! DARN YOU, TIRED LEGS!! Came in 5ft behind the girl.
What would you do differently?:

Not let three people by me at the end. :D
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around for a few minutes. Got race shirt and some water. We met up with a few friends and then walked up to get food...only to find out they had run out and were scrambling to find more fruit/bagels. We waited about 10min for a plain bagel and two strawberries. lol Oh well, knew we were headed for Starbucks and then home.
I heard that the lady/coach/crew were from the Extreme Weight Loss show. It will be interesting to see if that's true.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

At 2 1/2 weeks post pneumonia I couldn't be too disappointed with this race. Beat last year's time by the second. heehee

Oh! And keep orange people BEHIND ME!

Event comments:

This really is a good race for beginners. It's not expensive. It's not overwhelming and "scary" like some venues can be. It's quite relaxed.
The "downside" to those things are that it isn't super supported with volunteers or businesses, hit/miss on number of participants, and some of the safety "rules" people don't follow.
Next year, please make sure there's enough food for ALL racers plus the volunteers, not just 250 of them.

Last updated: 2013-11-02 12:00 AM
00:11:20 | 400 meters | 02m 50s / 100meters
Age Group: 20/28
Overall: 173/215
Performance: Average
Course: serpentine
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 02:14
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:35:51 | 10.2 miles | 17.07 mile/hr
Age Group: 2/28
Overall: 58/215
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: big rectangle with some winding small hills after the last turn
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 01:47
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:29:55 | 05 kms | 05m 59s  min/km
Age Group: 14/28
Overall: 127/215
Performance: Good
Course: basically a trail run in a rectangle around the college
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2013-11-04 8:40 PM

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Subject: Desert Grande

2013-11-04 10:32 PM
in reply to: #4892373

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Subject: RE: Desert Grande

Darn those orange people!  Great race, Erin.  I love that you encourage people, I think it really helps both the giver and the receiver!  Way to PR despite just getting over pneumonia!

2013-11-04 11:34 PM
in reply to: bcraht

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Western Australia
Subject: RE: Desert Grande
Great job getting out there Erin considering how sick you have all been. Great PR too!
2013-11-05 12:42 PM
in reply to: StaceyK

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Desert Grande

Not bad post illness ! Not bad for ANYONE!
2013-11-05 12:48 PM
in reply to: #4892373

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Desert Grande

Congrats on the PR!!!!!! Especially since you and the fam were sick for so long!!!

Nice job dealing with the coach/camera crew. Surely they could have figured out a better way to do that. I'm sure many people had to figure out how to get around them.

Those pool swims can be just as challenging as OWS in their own special way. I hear ya on being more aggressive but sometimes it's just really hard to get around people. I think you handled it as best you could.

2013-11-05 2:26 PM
in reply to: #4892373

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Desert Grande


Geez lady, you had a bad case of pneumonia, then the rest of your family got it, and you STILL came out of that race with a PR??  I'd say that's pretty freakin' awesome!!  


2013-11-06 6:25 AM
in reply to: #4892373

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Subject: RE: Desert Grande

OK, that was a funny RR. :)

I can just see you in the pool, being all polite, Chip and Dale chipmunks style "No you go ahead" "No I insist, after you!" (I hope you get this reference).  It's very sweet.  And the mom motivating her teenage son?  Bwahaha.

Sounds like a nice strong bike and some good self talk on the run. 

Glad you're feeling better and getting back int o your SBR with a bang. 

2013-11-06 10:02 AM
in reply to: switch

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Subject: RE: Desert Grande
Great race! And damn those orange people!
2013-11-06 11:22 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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over the rainbow
Subject: RE: Desert Grande

Super job!!
Those darn orange people!!  THEY NEED TO KEEP THEIR PLACES!


I hate pool swims and jostling around mis-seeded people.

2013-11-06 1:42 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Desert Grande

Great job!  Congratulations on the PR!  I wonder what your second year of triathlon has in store for you?

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