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USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance - TriathlonOlympic

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
USA Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 19m 39s
Overall Rank = 896/3061
Age Group = M45-49
Age Group Rank = 94/215
Pre-race routine:

In December 2012 I did my first Oly as a non -Clydesdale, and came in 5 out of 30. I was happy about that. But then I got an email from USAT saying in essence... "ooooh, you were so close to qualifying. Maybe if you try a little harder you can qualify next year!" I thought that was pretty funny, but didn't give it another thought, and didn't do anything to try to qualify. I was always a MOPer, I'm not really gonna qualify for much.

As a result, this race was not on my radar at all for 2014. So when the email came that I qualified on the "bubble" at a sprint (i.e., top 10.5% ad they round up), at first I dismissed it as it seemed an expensive weekend (although I was happy to finally have qualified for something). The more I thought about it though, the more I came to decide that since 2014 was for me about the race experience and doing all different kinds of races, and that who knows when I would qualify again, if ever, I decided to go for it.

My wife and I are traveling a lot for races this year- New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Vegas- so I decided to just do this as a quick solo trip. I knew a few folks doing it so hoped I'd hook up with someone for social hour.

I felt a bit of a poser, having qualified at a small local super sprint - .5 mile swim, 6 mile bike,2 mile run- but I've done a few Olympics. I knew I wasn't going to qualify for worlds but still wanted to do the best I cold and frankly not get embarrassed, as I was taking another slot from someone that may have qualified and have a shot at worlds. But them's the breaks I guess (for that guy, I mean).

I knew from prior results that I would be mid pack at best, and that this year would be even faster as 2015 worlds is close by in Chicago. Also, I had a medical issue that kept me from training for a week about two weeks before the race, so I wasn't going in fully trained as I'd like. And frankly I had other longer races later in the year that I wanted to focus on. This wasn't a lark, but it certainly wasn't anything I'd targeted as an "A" race.

Arrived late Thursday evening, stayed at the Super 8 at the airport. And when I say at the airport, I mean, almost in the airport. I waited nearly an hour for a shuttle to take me, what I would later find out, is about .25 mile..... I also decided not to rent a car and rely on Lyft, which was new to Milwaukee. It worked great.

Friday headed to the race site with all my gear to get a swim, bike and run in. Met Rusty/Tankboy there for a swim. The bag policy however meant that we couldn't leave or bags on the grass while we swam, and all my shit would not fit into their plastic bag. I was going to bag the swim (and bike ad run), until I realized that tri bike transport would allow us to leave bag there for safekeeping. Swam and reconned the course, got a couple miles in.

Back to the motel 3 ish to relax for the evening. Dinner at Milwaukee's finest Denny's a mile from the hotel.
Event warmup:

Nothing. We had to ext transition at 7:30 and the wave was not until 9:40. Thought I'd see Rusty in the morning, but did not so just hung out on the grass, watched the carnage at the M35-39 bike mount, then dropped the bag at bag check and suited up. Got a few minutes in the water but not much
  • 22m 32s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 30s / 100 meters

Biggest impression from the swim was that it just didn't ever really break up until the far turnaround. We all had to squeeze under a bridge about 100 yards in which didn't help the matter. Wasn't a ton of contact, but enough to take notice. By the time we started, the very first waves had already finished, so I think they did a god job clearing the course, evn though it sucked waiting that long.

Water felt great jumping in as it was getting warm.

Coming back from the turn to the swim exit, I thought for a second that the last buoy was actually pulled up on the beach, looked so far left.... and a lot of folks were really far right of me. Hit that last buoy and aimed for the white swim exit. A little slippery, especially at the top. Lots of volunteers to help in the exit.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Typical swim for me.
Transition 1
  • 03m 36s

Horrible slow transition. As always, passed by a lot of folks on the long long run to T1. When I got to the bike, there were a lot of bikes gone. I'm not used to that. I really need to step this up.
  • 1h 02m 36s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 23.82 mile/hr

I had no idea what the course was going to be like. I knew there was a bridge, and my Lyft driver that got lost yesterday drove me over it, but other than that it was a mystery. So when it tipped up a little on the first out and back, I was a bit surprised. Plan was to hold 260 ish until the turn back home then pick it up a bit.

Course was not too crowded. People were riding cleanly for the most part.

I have not had power for technical issues all summer so it was really like my first time back with it again. I wasn't that adept at holding a steady power, and had a couple surges required to get around some riders and out of the draft zone.

I also didn't have mileage on the computer, and there were no mile markers. My dream goal would have been sub 1, but had no idea where I was in relation to that until the far turn.

Bryan Dunn passed me about 10-12 miles in. I was happy that it took him so long. :) And only ended up a couple minutes behind him

On the bridge out and back there were a lot of folks climbing in aero, but I sat up and just held my power. I was keeping up with guys fine, and passing a lot. But on the descents - such as they were - I'd get passed, then have to re-pass on the flats or climbs. It's weird, I climb well and descend like crap - not at all what you'd think from a 195 pounder.

Coming back over the bridge I watched the hour goal tick away, but I was still pretty happy with the ride. And it turns out I did better AG wise on the bike than the swim. that's been happening more often, at some point I'd like to get my run up there.

My one or two surges- like in the 500 watt range - worried me that I'd screwed the pooch on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Go faster
Transition 2
  • 02m 2s

slow slow slow
  • 48m 51s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 07m 53s  min/mile

I was running in zoot ultra TTs 6,0 for the first time in a race and going sockless, in prep for a later race. Still didn't help T2, but the run was great for me.

Goal was to start at 8:10 pace for two miles, then start descending a bit. I knew I had to stay in that range and no faster, or I'd blow up. Started pacing behind a guy running 8, and it felt good, so I just kept with it. He slowly pulled away but I held 8s for the first 4 miles to the turn. From there to the finish is a straight flat shot. I ran the last two at 7:53 and 7:47. And I was finally able to do what my coach has written for me in race plans - see someone ahead and run them down. Was able to do that with several folks, including the guy that paced me out of T2 at 8 minutes miles.

48:XX for me is a 10k PR, in or out of a race, but when I see the AG placing i realize how much more work I have to do.

I was a little wary of picking up too soon, but think I waited about a mile too long. I had something left in the tank I could have used.
What would you do differently?:

run faster

Although it's a slow run fr many, it's a great run for me. The best 800M and 1K splits were the last ones. And they were the same that coach has had me running those splits on the track. And as I was running that last mile or so, I just focused on running an interval, just as I had been doing.
Post race
Event comments:

Dream goal was 2:15. As it was, it was a 5 minute bike PR, a 3 minute (I think run PR), and a 10 minute Oly PR, all on the bike and run. I was in the top half, so I achieved my goal of not embarrassing myself or "wasting" a Nationals slot.

After the race BTer scoobysdad/Rich came down and shared some of Milwaukee's finest brews. Between getting up at 5 am - or 3 am my time - and racing an Oly, they went straight to my head. But it was a great way to spend a post-race afternoon as we sorta watched the super sprint relay, and just shot the shit.

Hung out downtown and met Rusty and his wife for dinner. As much fun as the race was, the afternoon with Rich and dinner with Rusty and Jen were the highlights.

Headed back to the Super 8 with Darla the Lyft driver, and packed for a 4:30 am wake up call (or.... 2:30 my time....).

Nationals are going to be back in Milwaukee in 2015. I'd definitely go back again, and am going to try to qualify at an honest to god Olympic race. :) And this time I'd bring Wendy too....

I have to thank coach Shane at Scotia Multisports. He's taken me from a MOP biker to a FOP(ish) biker, and he's trying to do the same with my run. It's getting there, slowly but surely.

Last updated: 2014-08-04 12:00 AM
00:22:32 | 1500 meters | 01m 30s / 100meters
Age Group: 59/215
Overall: 560/3061
Performance: Average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 03:36
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:02:36 | 24.85 miles | 23.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 57/215
Overall: 450/3061
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 02:02
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:48:51 | 06.2 miles | 07m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 158/215
Overall: 1699/3061
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2014-08-17 9:27 PM

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Subject: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

2014-08-18 1:43 AM
in reply to: #5040437

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Nice job with the write up. Thanks for taking the time. Looks like you had a great time and a good race. Definitely didn't embarrass yourself at all.
2014-08-18 7:33 AM
in reply to: #5040437

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Knoxville area
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
great job! Well executed all around.
2014-08-18 7:46 AM
in reply to: #5040437

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Chris - nice RR, and great race report.  AG Nationals are clearly no joke when I look at your times (whcih were great), and how competitive the field is as a whole.  Congrats on a solid day.

2014-08-18 7:56 AM
in reply to: GoFaster

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Great job Chris, well executed race all the way around. You and me both need to work on that run. It was nice meeting you and good luck at your upcoming races. Hope to see you in Milwaukee next year.
2014-08-18 10:56 AM
in reply to: reecealan

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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Great job Chris!  Gotta love a strong finish on the run like that.

2014-08-18 11:21 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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South Alabama
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Nice race. Long time to wait for the start. I actually met up with Rusty while he was warming up. Maybe will catch up with you at some point down the road.

2014-08-18 1:07 PM
in reply to: #5040437

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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Great race and report, Chris!  Your run has come a long way since you started working with keep yourself healthy and keep up all the hard work -- it's paying off!

2014-08-18 1:51 PM
in reply to: #5040437

Subject: ...
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2014-08-20 5:37 AM
in reply to: Fred D

2000500100100100100 home in The ATL
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Chris - great job in Milwaukee! It really is a testament to your focus, training and execution that you were able to pull off such a huge PR run in a race like Milwaukee. All those late-season intervals at the track really paid off, and next year will only be better! It was a blast to meet and spend time together - I'll betcha there is a good chance we see each other there again next year, if not sooner! Good luck at SOS - that is going to be one crazy-fun race.
2014-08-21 1:50 PM
in reply to: #5040437

Santa Clarita
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Well done Chris and Nice RR .

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