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Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Bintan Island,
91F / 33C
Total Time = 2h 41m 49s
Overall Rank = 8/69
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 1/13
Pre-race routine:

Afternoon race so somewhat unfamiliar routine. (Have only done two others, both 3-4 years ago.) Up around 7 AM, had a decent-sized breakfast (eggs, cereal, noodles, toast) around 8 AM. Shuttle to race venue at 10. Set up bike, hung out and tried to keep cool until race briefing @ 11:30. Ate two granola bars (the kind I usually eat before a long run) during the briefing. After, went to get bike, set up transition.
Event warmup:

Bit of riding to set gears for (uphill) start. About 10 minutes total running--easy jog and then some accelerations. Later, about ten minutes of swimming.
  • 28m 40s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 55s / 100 meters

Once again I had a good swim here--higher place than my run for both overall and women (56/489 finishers, 5/69 women). The course is probably a bit long, and the offshore current seems to my advantage since I'm more of a distance specialist. Had a lousy start as somehow got a cramp running out to the water so ended up right in the middle of the washing machine. Swum over multiple times. whacked my way out and finally up with decent people to draft. Later lost them a few times owing to having to go around guys from the first wave (started 15 min before) and a bit of flailing around after getting stung twice in face by small jellyfish. Must have been baby jellies--quite painful at the time and some minor swelling afterwards but didn't actually hurt much past swim finish. Don't feel it affected my swim. I eventually caught the two women I was drafting again (we were kind of in a pack) and we pretty much finished together as no one really gained much on anyone else.
What would you do differently?:

Better stretching before start, keep moving more or something. We were held there almost 15 minutes, so tightened up too much. Start faster--I always say that, but my "fast" is just not that fast! Better navigation coming in on last lap. The current was washing me away from the course rope and I had lost contact with my draft pack at the beginning, so I was kind of weaving about in a wide lane till I caught them again..
Transition 1
  • 01m 14s

Split actually not that bad but would win no points for style. Vertigo/mental fog again--forgot to remove cap and goggles, grabbed at water cup but missed. Found bike in short order (good spot near bike exit on outside lane) but--seriously--my swim cap got stuck on my head. Pulled and pulled, had to stand there at bike. (Yes, goggles off at that point.) I finally got it off along with a big handful of hair. WTF?? Maybe my head swelled from the stings? Melted rubber? Ran bikey out, got on, then promptly weaved into a cone and almost hit a course official just past mount line. Med people asked if I was okay. Mumbled "vertigo" and went on my merry way.
What would you do differently?:

Remember to get cap and goggles off as I run into transition. Though in this case that might not have happened anyway. Maybe put powder in the cap or something? In 7 years of competitive swimming and 4 years of tri, that has never happened with a swim cap!

On the plus side, I sped up my transition by not wearing gloves. My hands actually felt better without them. They tend to swell in the heat, and except for cold weather or HIM, I think I won't bother anymore. Just one more thing I could screw up in transition.
  • 1h 19m 36s
  • 40 kms
  • 30.15 km/hr

Very unhappy with my split. Only two minutes faster than 3 years ago when I barely trained for the bike. I was riding hard and passed a lot of guys (they started 15 minutes before) but just didn't make much headway. Could never get into a rhythm due to the hills and winds that shifted with each turn. Not sure I was using the best gearing up the hills. Tried to keep cadence high and effort constant but I don't think it was very good. At one point I somehow got turned around--thought the outgoing riders were incoming, and lots of fat women on MTB's were ahead of me. Then saw a km marker and realized I was heading back and they were still heading out. The course isn't a straightforward out and back so it was confusing.--thought maybe it was jellyfish toxin or dehydration addling my brain, but a few others made the same comment after the race!
What would you do differently?:

Train on hills. I haven' all. Our only hill is a bridge, and I haven't ridden it since a woman was violently attacked on it more than a year ago. Probably drink more. I wasn't that thirsty, for some reason, and we always seemed to be climbing or descending so there weren't many easy places to drink.. Only drank most of one 750 ml bottle and my aerobottle. For these conditions, maybe not quite enough.
Transition 2
  • 00m 58s

For me, speedy. No undue incidents. My legs felt kind of wobbly, though.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. For me it was a good transition.
  • 51m 19s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 08s  min/km

Again, not happy with my run. On the plus side, I didn't cramp and nothing hurt/felt tight; on the minus, I just didn't feel strong. Felt kind of weak and tired the whole time. Thought it might be dehydration so deliberately slowed to drink at the aid stations, put sponges down my bra to cool; just succeeded in getting soggy shoes that made me really feel I was plodding. Legs just felt dead.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I was well-rested, tapered. Don't know whether to chalk it up to getting old, heat (really overheated by end; several runners collapsed), getting a bit dehydrated on the bike, or what. I cramped horribly three years ago (when it was hotter, though maybe not as humid) and still ran 2 minutes faster. Probably should have taken the gel near the beginning of the run, not at 5 km like I did--if it was a blood sugar or caffeine issue, 5 km was probably too late for anything to hit my system. I think if I did this race again, I'd carry my own hydration. Aid stations very crowded and lost time trying to get stuff; couldn't take gel when I wanted as I had no water.
Post race
Warm down:

Not much of one. Drank several cups of cold electrolyte drink. Walked over to the recovery station and lay down with a cold towel on me for awhile as felt a bit nauseous and dizzy. Felt better, went back to transition for goggles and went back to swim in ocean for about 15 minutes, keeping careful eye out for jellyfish!

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Not sure.T I was healthy, well-rested, taper went well. Just felt weak and sluggish most of the way on bike and run. Only possibilities I can think of--

Poor sleep for several nights. It can be an issue for me during taper. Wed, PM I was a bit stressed as was unsure whether I'd be able to get to the airport due to local security situation. Hotel rooms Thursday and Friday night were very damp and AC too cold, even after I turned it off, kind of musty. Kept waking up cold and/or with blocked sinuses. Woke up every hour or two. Very annoying.

Nutrition- Felt "flat" before the race. Maybe I should have had some coffee, or different food? Couldn't find anywhere to get coffee for a reasonable price. Should have just made instant, cooled it off, and brought it in a spare water bottle. I always have my caffeine fix before AM workouts/races, sometimes but not always before PM ones, and maybe that matters??

Low iron? Just felt like I was on low power today, and have struggled with some workouts recently. . Guess that could be a sign but it hasn't been an issue for me for years and some workouts, esp. swim and indoor cycling, have gone well. Just very inconsistent. And finally--

Heat-related--I have struggled with a few continuous hard runs lately, including in my last race, but thought it was mostly due to heat. It's been unusually hot even by local standards, for a longer time than normal, and I feel like it's been wearing me down physically and mentally, and my physical tolerance for it has somehow diminished rather than increased in recent weeks. Not sure if it's possible to have chronic heat exhaustion but I think I'm getting close.

Wonder about PMS as quite nauseous in the morning after breakfast. (Pre-race nerves can do that but PMS takes it to a new level.) Pregnancy not possible LOL!

Really don't think it was the jellyfish--stings quite small and didn't bother me much more than the first 10 km on the bike--more itchy than painful.

Just don't get it--since my HIM almost two years ago, have seen very little correlation between training and performance, in any event,

Event comments:

Very well-organized; much easier logistics than last time I did it as I used a package through the event organizers. Lots of events for kids and families. Pricey, though. High entry fees and really only convenient to stay on the island. Plus a bit of nickel-and-diming. They make you pay 57 Sing. dollars extra for the award dinner, and then drinks (even water) are not included. It seemed a bit cheap given the cost of the event and the many families participating, At least they could include water/soft drinks, particularly considering what the athletes have just gone through. Post-race food also sad--a few overripe bananas and slices of dry cake. At any rate was too hot to eat at that point.

I wouldn't recommend the Oly for beginners as it's a brutal bike and run course, esp. as it starts in afternoon heat at 1:45/2 PM and features 2 laps of the infamous run course. But easily one of the most beautiful swims on the SEA scene. I'll even forgive the jellyfish.

Last updated: 2014-05-18 12:00 AM
00:28:40 | 1500 meters | 01m 55s / 100meters
Age Group: 1/13
Overall: 5/69
Performance: Good
Suit: 2XU Comp
Course: Two loops--outer triangle to the left and then inner triangle to the right. About 300m out, left, 200m, 300m in, then retrace to the right (clockwise) but not quite as far out. Guessing this course is a little longer than advertised as times have seemed slow for everyone both years I did it..
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 86F / 30C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:14
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Bad Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
01:19:36 | 40 kms | 30.15 km/hr
Age Group: 3/13
Overall: 12/69
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Very complicated course. Basically a big loop with lots of turns, some out and back parts. Big hill right off mount line. Constant rolling hills plus some false flats that seemed mostly uphill. Tailwind going out, crosswinds and headwind coming back. Some very technical parts in last few km--cobblestones, sharp descent, 180 turn, sharp ascent, sharp downhill to finish.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:58
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:51:19 | 10 kms | 05m 08s  min/km
Age Group: 1/13
Overall: 7/69
Performance: Below average
First loop 4:57/km pace. Second loop 5:07/km pace.
Course: Very hilly and complex--some paved, some trails.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
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

2014-05-18 8:02 AM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

2014-05-21 12:05 PM
in reply to: #4997690

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Subject: RE: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

Finally found this!  I have been looking for your race report.  Hmmm...I'll second all the question marks about what to do differently!  It sounds like everything was fine during taper, nutrition was good, but like you describe a somewhat 'flat' race.  However, I'd still take your run time anyday! Lol!  Didn't sound like the race was horrible, but not awesome either.  I'm perplexed as well!

2014-07-12 7:14 PM
in reply to: #4997690

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Subject: RE: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

i saw your report only now Awesomeness!!!!

2014-07-16 10:02 AM
in reply to: 0

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

Well, even if you felt a bit off, that was one VERY good performance!

As for feeling off, FWIW a couple of the things you mentioned have a strong effect on me (although one only by association).  The night before a race I can deal with poor sleep, but 2 and 3 nights before need to be pretty solid for me to be fresh on race day.  I HAVE to have my caffeine in the morning or I feel just plain old flat (especially on a race morning).  I take those Starbucks packets in my race bag and mix even with warm water from the hotel tap if I have to (the only time I really use those).  Lastly, PMS (the one that affects me by association only, thankfully) can be a real physiological stress if it's a bad one and timed just so - not a throw away reason at all, as we're talking about a combination of things at the margin that can make you feel "off" on race day.

So….. I'd say you killed it, given all the above! 



ETA - congrats specifically on the PODIUM, too!!!  (that's part of the "killing it" above).  

Edited by mcmanusclan5 2014-07-16 10:03 AM
2014-07-17 4:53 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Bintan Triathlon - Olympic Course

Pretty awesome performance for an "off" day!!  Bummer that you felt so lousy, but heck, you made it through feeling rotten, jelly fish stings, and other issues to top the podium.  Super job!!

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