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Laguna Lang Co Triathlon - Triathlon

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Lang Co, Thua Thien-Hue
Laguna Lang Co
91F / 33C
Total Time = 3h 51m 59s
Overall Rank = 35/88
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/?
Pre-race routine:

Up at 4 AM, breakfast (oatmeal, banana, granola bar, coffee). Headed to transition to check in bike and set up. Fun scene with bike when we were asked to put an event sticker on--my bike is so covered with stickers for various causes that the official and I really had to search for a spot to put it!
Event warmup:

About eight minutes of very easy jogging. Later, five uncomfortably cold minutes of swim "warmup". I wore.a wetsuit top for the warmup and got lots of evil looks from competitors (race not wetsuit legal) but of course I took it off before the start--just didn't want to start freezing in advance.
  • 32m 49s
  • 1800 meters
  • 01m 49s / 100 meters

Took the start easy as I've been quite wretchedly sick since Tuesday PM and just starting to feel better. My breathing wasn't quite right and in this situation I need to take my time to get going and avoid contact. Not a big field so it went fine and I was able to pick up pace later. Just cold.....kept hoping I'd hit a pocket of warm water but we were 500m out on very deep, turbulent water and all the incoming swells were super cold. Supposedly 24 but felt colder and probably was out 500m as we were much of race. Wished I had my mini wetsuit. I'd planned on taking the swim easy but it was so cold I had to swim at race effort to stay warm. My lungs weren't up to it so I stopped four or five times to do breaststroke or tread water and catch my breath for maybe 15 seconds. Just seemed to go on forever.
What would you do differently?:

Not get sick the week before the race. Given my ability to breathe today, I did everything I could and managed to finish the race safely--happy with that.
Transition 1
  • 05m 46s

Very long run into the transition zone. I had a bit of vertigo and was so chilled that I was cramping, so it was kind of a jog- walk-stumble. I think I drove the people behind me nuts. Mentally in a fog. Ran to wrong row in transition, didn't want to run around, so just went under the rack and over to my bike. Transition not that fast but the best I could do given how hard I was shivering. This was a very long transition area and most times were in the 3 to 3:30 range, but 5:46 is pretty bad!
What would you do differently?:

Enter a race with warmer water? Get fatter? I did what I could given my physical condition today. I think still being a bit sick made me more sensitive to the cold water. I lost my AG mainly due to this transition. But I was really in bad shape--pretty close to hypothermia if not already there-- and don't think I could have gone faster under the circumstances. I was aware I was losing lots of time but couldn't do anything about it--hands numb and muscles just wouldn't obey me.
  • 2h 07m 24s
  • 62 kms
  • 29.20 km/hr

More than six minutes faster than last year on exactly the same course, so pretty happy with my bike leg. Biking more seems to have paid off! This leg was less affected by conditions (cold on swim, heat on run) as temps were still moderate and I started deeply chilled from the swim anyhow. I was able to keep a steady pace most of the time and except for hills and going into headwinds about 30-31 kph average. I was shivering hard for almost the first 15 km until the second climb, then finally got warm!
What would you do differently?:

Maybe take in more calories. I had two gels and a banana. Had an energy bar on board but just didn't feel like eating it. Afraid I might start coughing if it scratched my throat. I had another gel for the run but didn't take it due to heat--two gels and a banana was a bit minimal for a race that took almost four hours!
Transition 2
  • 01m 28s

Honestly can't remember it much. Felt very wobbly running in with the bike but felt better running out. Definitely better than T1, average time for race.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure.
  • 1h 04m 32s
  • 12 kms
  • 05m 23s  min/km

Just really, really, really hot. Legs felt okay but I couldn't get breathing right for most of first lap, so not as aggressive with pace as I would have been otherwise. By the second lap my breathing felt better but the heat (91 at end, high humidity) really started to wear on me (and, clearly, everyone else--no one passed me, lots of people walking). By the last 2 km just felt like I would melt if this race didn't finish pretty soon. Did all I could with drinks, sponges, etc. but it was still a trial,
What would you do differently?:

Not get sick before races. Thought about using my inhaler but I didn't want to stop-- afraid I wouldn't be able to get started again! Probably should have taken the gel at km 6 but by then it was miserably hot and the thought of it made me nauseous. I did have sports drink with some calories, though, at almost every water stop.
Post race
Warm down:

Absolutely nothing. I was exhausted and overheated and the finish area was blazing hot sand. Flopped down for a few minutes and checked in with buddies who'd done the relay, got a short massage, looked at the offered food (hot buffet), felt like I was going to puke, rescued bikey from transition and wheeled him back across what seemed to be the Sahara desert (the soles of my bare feet actually got burned!) and decided what I really wanted was to go eat inside. Breakfast had ended about 20 minutes before but sweet-talked the staff into letting me hit the cereal, fruit, and cold cuts, which were still out on the buffet. Pros were there, already showered and changed, finishing up breakfast! Admired male pros. That plus tropical fruit hit the spot! Later, about 20 minutes of leisurely swimming in the resort's lazy river.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Definitely, being sick. Cold with both sinus and chest symptoms, strictly speaking should not have raced, but felt I was over the worst of it. Due to asthma, had to be very cautious on the swim and not able to run as aggressively as usual. By the last lap of the run I simply had no juice left! I did what I could given the body I had today.

This race was one of the hardest I've done, mentally speaking, not knowing how my body would react to each event and also got quite miserably hypothermic on the swim--another few degrees colder and I might have had to drop out as would have been too cold to control the bike.

I was surprised that my swim was actually quite strong--one of the fastest non-pro women and well up in a fast field. Bike was measurably faster than last year, which was what I wanted to see. And run was what it was. I know I can run faster when healthy!

Event comments:

It's only the second year of this race (I did the du last year) but it has definitely improved since last year. Tough swim in cold, rough water--Definitely not for beginners. The bike course was very scenic and much better marked than last year. Run course well designed--you can't do anything about the heat! It's still a fairly small event but hopefully will attract more people in the future. At this point it's one of only two tris in country (the other is X Terra style) so would like to see it grow. More locals this year and even a couple of relay teams from the nearby univisity, so maybe tri is taking off here!

Last updated: 2014-03-29 12:00 AM
00:32:49 | 1800 meters | 01m 49s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/?
Overall: 27/88
Performance: Average
Includes a rather long run (actually, more like walk) to the mat. 31:54 when I stood up--a friend verified this as well.
Suit: 2XU Compression
Course: 500m straight out to sea through pretty substantial break, 800m parallel to shore with high, gentle swells, 500m back to shore through some choppy surf again. Miserably cold but not wetsuit legal as apparently it's usually above 25 and most people in SE Asia don't have a wetsuit anyway.
Start type: Run Plus: Shot
Water temp: 23C / 73F Current: High
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Below average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 05:46
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
02:07:24 | 62 kms | 29.20 km/hr
Age Group: 0/?
Overall: 46/88
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Very complicated route with quite a few tight turns. Mostly rural roads, a bit on National Highway One. Mainly flat plus some longer false flats, mostly uphill, and three major climbs and descents of a 1-2 km each. Some head and tail winds at various points but nothing extreme.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:28
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:04:32 | 12 kms | 05m 23s  min/km
Age Group: 0/?
Overall: 22/88
Performance: Below average
No idea. There were two laps but never had the presence of mind to check splits.
Course: Two loops, about 4 km of each loop on mix of grass, paved paths, and sand on golf course and along path by canal, 2 km on grass, paths, and roads around the resort. About a mile total on soft sand--ugh. Different course from last year with maybe 20% overlap. NO shade!
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %1.5kg
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-03-30 8:06 AM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Laguna Lang Co Triathlon

2014-03-31 9:10 AM
in reply to: #4973492

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Subject: RE: Laguna Lang Co Triathlon

Great RR and great race HR :)

That sounds like a TOUGH swim!  The more I read about ocean swims like that the less likely I feel it is that I will ever do one.  It really sounds like that was totally grim.  Why weren't wetsuits allowed if it was so cold?  Really, that just sounds brutal.  I'm glad you were (eventually) OK.

Great job on improving your bike. That's a considerable improvement, even with the wind.  Nice job!

And though I know you can run faster, that was still a very solid run for being sick and dealing with heat like that.

Way to HTFU and still finish strong :)

2014-03-31 6:07 PM
in reply to: switch

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Laguna Lang Co Triathlon

Wow - that's a great race - period.  Considering how you felt and the heat (withering!), it's a-ma-zing!

Well done!

Can't wait to see what the balance of the season brings with you feeling up to snuff and the heat dissapating…  What else is on the race docket?


2014-04-09 7:52 AM
in reply to: #4973492

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Laguna Lang Co Triathlon


This is on my to-do for next year--we WILL do one together! Someday!

Super job on the improvement, although I frown on following in my footsteps racing after sickness tough tri ... tougher girl.

2014-04-09 8:29 AM
in reply to: IndoIronYanti

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Laguna Lang Co Triathlon
Not sure if it's good news in my case, but I will still be here in Vietnam next year. Gave up on finding a better job when not much came through, plus needed to take care of some logistical issues this year. I'll probably do the race, but someone needs to heat up that water! I kept thinking of your various "hypothermia" race reports--it was pretty much like that until about km 15 of the bike. I'm surprised I didn't ride straight into a water buffalo--probably would have if one had been dumb enough to get in front of a frozen biker in aero at 20 mph.

You know it sucks when Belinda Granger says that the water's cold and she's surprised it's not wetsuit legal! She and her husband actually didn't go in the day before because they were surprised how cold the ocean was--they did their pre-race swim in the hotel pool instead.
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