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White Lake Spring International Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Elizabethtown, North Carolina
United States
Set Up Events
59F / 15C
Total Time = 3h 08m 31s
Overall Rank = 139/280
Age Group = F45-49
Age Group Rank = 10/16
Pre-race routine:

On Friday after work, I loaded up the car and then Kevin and I went to Mellow Mushroom for some pre event pizza.

I got up early to drive to White Lake on Saturday morning. Packet pickup started at 5 and the White Lake Half started at 7:00. I wanted to arrive before the HIM started. It's about a two hour drive. I decided to get up at 4:00 so I could eat a bagel with peanut butter at home at home and have plenty of time to stop and get coffee on the way. My goal was to be pulling out of Sheetz by 4:45 at the latest. It was 51 when I left the house.

Bagel with PB and water at home before leaving, coffee en route, banana after I parked (while unloading the bike). I had the bike racked in transition by 7:00 and then had to walk to the lake for packet pickup and then back to transition for transition set up.

After I set up transition, I had to leave because people there were complaining about the temperature (50s) and pretty much everything else. I didn't need to be by that negativity. Besides, the HIM was in the water and I wanted to watch them.

The swim area has two docks. The swim start is the imaginary line between the docks but the start is by the left most one and the swim is a clockwise triangle. I stood on the start dock and watch swimmers exit on the finish dock. I had been to White Lake before with Cycle NC and also on the Crazy Ride (and for a dog show when I thought Hannah and I would enjoy rally obedience, which we did not!) but I had never participated in a triathlon at the venue. I wanted to see how the swimmers were exiting -- up one of our ladders. The water was 4.5-5 feet deep at the ladders so people could touch down if necessary. There was never a backup at the ladders. Then they were running down the dock and on a grassy area behind some buildings to transition on the other side of the FFA center.

The lake itself is nine feet deep at the deepest point. That means that weather the week before the race really affects the water temperature. In fact, the water was 68 degrees on Thursday night and with an overcast day on Friday it was 66 degrees on Saturday morning.

While I was on the dock, I talked to a few people. One couple said that this was their first triathlon ever. I was going to say something about the wetsuit makes the swim a lot less scary. I asked them if they had wetsuits. They said no, they were under the impression that the water would be much warmer. Ugh!
Event warmup:

Drive to White Lake, unload car and set up transition, check in, one mile run, put on wetsuit, get wet.
  • 36m 40s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 26s / 100 meters

The International (it was explained to me early on that "international" means it's kinda sorta Olympic distance but there is something not quite right with the distances) started at 9:00, two hours after the Half. At about 8:45, they started to announce that we needed to get our act together and get to the lake. I put on my wetsuit and walked over. I got into the water and stayed in until about five minutes before the first wave would start and then I got on the dock to wait for my wave.

While I was on the dock, I was once again, surprised and how few people understand how wetsuits work. Many of the people in my wave said that they were not getting into the water because it was cold but that why you want to get into the water early if you are in a wetsuit. Wetsuits work by trapping a thin layer of water against your body. Your body warms it up and then you are more comfortable. If you don't allow time for this to happen, the first several minutes of your swim will be spent warming it up.

I was in wave three and they were starting waves every five minutes. After the first wave took off and just before the second wave did, I got back into the water. 66 is brisk on your face!

The air temp was 59 when the swim started.

I was super pleased when I saw my GPS track!
What would you do differently?:

Continue swimming. This is an improvement for me -- almost to the middle third of the (overall) pack! I just need to do a lot more swimming.
Transition 1
  • 04m 51s

Long run from swim out to the transition
What would you do differently?:

Figure out how to speed this up. I felt slightly dizzy/disoriented from the swim and run to transition. I had a hard time balancing to put my socks on. I use road bike shoes for triathlon because I do long course mostly and want comfy shoes. I expect that if I used tri shoes and then put on socks for the run, it might be faster overall?
  • 1h 26m 59s
  • 45 kms
  • 31.04 km/hr

The bike was good. I looked at the course ahead of time and confirmed that it's all right turns and only a few of those. Most of the roads were in good shape with only one pretty bumpy section.

For the first 30 minutes or so my heart rate was pretty high. It settled down then and I am wondering if maybe I should have pushed the pace more then? I really wanted a good run so didn't want to overbike. I may have left some time here.

I ate a sleeve of Clif Bloks (margarita) on the bike. Normally, I'd probably have consider going with half a sleeve but with breakfast five hours before the event, I went with the whole sleeve.

This is where the whole International versus Olympic distance comes into play. I knew it was an International and I had studied the course. I did NOT notice that it was 45k and not 40k so we got to mile 20 and I said to myself, five miles to go but no, there were eight miles to go. I just kept going and going and going and there was no transition. I was seeing runners from the Half and I was going and going. I was also passing a lot of people in here so I think that some others may have have thought 25 and done as well. My bad.
What would you do differently?:

Notice that it said 45k and not 40k for the bike.

Perhaps try to pick up the pace when my heart rate finally came back down.

Overall, though I'm pleased with this effort given the amount of cycling that I've done so far this year. I spent most of the year on run focus.
Transition 2
  • 02m 13s
  • 57m 50s
  • 10 kms
  • 05m 47s  min/km

The run went well. It was a new run course for 2015 and it was mismarked. Everyone got 6.7 miles instead of 6.2 miles. I got hot, there was no shade to speak of. I was happy to be running 6-point-something and not 13.1

I'm happy to report that I passed a Betty in the finisher chute right between the timing mats (the first one where they get your name and the second one where you finish).

The air temperature was near 70F when the run finished.
Post race
Warm down:

They had pizza and beverages and other snacks in a covered shelter for the participants. I had some pizza and a soda and a water and loaded up my stuff in the car. I was parked about a block off site. I walked back to make sure that I had grabbed everything and was returning to my car. There were a bunch of athletes walking on a side street (away from the course, runners were still out) walking to their cars. I saw a man and a woman pushing a stroller. The man was in his tri gear and he said something like, "let me get the car" to the woman and left. She continued the same way that I did. Then a pickup truck with a huge trailer started to back up. We watched to make sure all of the athletes and families steered clear. I hear a small voice say, "Asshole." The woman jerked, looked own at the stoller occupant and said, firmly but not loudly, "Marie Brynn! You don't say that." The truck continue to back up. Kids in scooters scattered. The small voice said, "Asshold." Woman scolded again. I made a comment to lighten the mood (training to be a cyclist?) and the mom said, "Her dad's a Marine. I'm sure that she's heard worse."


What limited your ability to perform faster:

Honestly, I was disappointed to see my time when I finished. Then I did some math, the extra 3 miles on the bike equates to an extra 12 minutes @20mph so I actually feel OK with it. I think that this was a good first triathlon post-surgery. It forced me to get out my wetsuit and use it and get all of my tri gear together, decide on and figure out new hydration setup, etc. in preparation for Vineman.

Event comments:

"Back in the day," this event sold out on January 1 when it opened. It was so popular that the had weekend 1 the first weekend of May and weekend 2, the following weekend and both sold out. This year, there were 400 slots and 280 participants. This is not a comment on the event so much as a comment on the state of triathlon.

This is a great venue!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-12-02 12:00 AM
00:36:40 | 1500 meters | 02m 26s / 100meters
Age Group: 12/16
Overall: 217/280
Performance: Average
Suit: sleeveless wetsuite
Course: Triangular, clockwise leaving from the FFA’s left-side pier
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 66F / 19C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:51
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:26:59 | 45 kms | 31.04 km/hr
Age Group: 8/16
Overall: 126/280
Performance: Good
24th of 102 women
Course: From the FFA Center onto Hwy 53, north on Hwy 701, east onto Hwy 210, south on Hwy 41 past Bay Tree Lake and finishes with a loop around the lake back to the FFA Center. A water bottle handoff station will be located at mile was located at about 13.6. At the intersection of White Lake Drive and Hwy 53, International athletes merge with Half athletes.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:13
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
00:57:50 | 10 kms | 05m 47s  min/km
Age Group: 3/16
Overall: 110/280
Performance: Good
Course: Athletes leave the FFA Center onto HWY 53, take a right onto HWY 701 and take a right into the Turtle Cove neighborhood. The first turnaround is at MILE THREE in Turtle Cove. Runners then return to 701, take a right, run to the second turnaround at MILE FOUR and return to the FFA Center. (The course was closer to 6.7 miles than 6.2 miles.)
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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

2015-05-05 7:19 PM

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

2015-05-06 3:22 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Welcome back to triathlon!  Sounds like overall you are pleased with your race, and rightly so.  Nice work improving your swim, yeah!  Big congrats, and keep up the solid work.  I have no doubt race season will continue to be good to you - you are very consistent with training and the extra stuff that keeps you limber and strong and it pays off.

Out of the mouths of babes...azzhole...that was funny!

Edited by melbo55 2015-05-06 3:22 PM
2015-05-07 11:44 AM
in reply to: #5113309

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Great job! I think it is really cool that you were able to roll with the distance punches on the the bike and just keep going.

Sometimes the smallest among us is the most honest  

2015-05-07 4:46 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

An excellent first trip back after your shoulder surgery!! Nicely done!


Lower participation has a lot of possible reason--costs in an age when people don't have the extra money for race fees....historically sold out so maybe they didn't try to register? ....early season races are a crap shoot and maybe people just weren't feeling it for the cold water swim?   Plus the competition of other race venues and organizations draw people from one race venue to another....

2015-05-08 11:08 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Congrats on being back to racing in tri!  Glad the shoulder is back (or certainly seems to be - nice swim).

That does look like a gorgeous venue from your photos.  Maybe it was just an off year?

Great job on the race!

2015-05-08 11:32 AM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon
YAY! Welcome back!!

Sounds like a great day - and congrats on your swim improvements

Yeah I've done an international before - kind of odd but hey - whatever. Bummer about bike length. You handled it like a champ - KEEP PEDALING!


2015-05-08 3:17 PM
in reply to: #5113309

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Well done!


2015-05-11 2:03 PM
in reply to: #5113309

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon
Awesome race Janyne!!! Congrats!!
2015-05-11 2:11 PM
in reply to: Jet Black

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Thanks all!  I enjoyed it!

2015-05-11 2:58 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon

Well-planned and executed....except for that little bike distance hiccup. lol 

Glad you're back into the tri game!

2015-05-11 7:31 PM
in reply to: 4agoodlife

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Subject: RE: White Lake Spring International Triathlon






Great race Janyne. Maybe the 40-45K thing was a good trick?

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