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Storm Challenge - Triathlon

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Sarasota, Florida
United States
Total Time = 1h 25m 17s
Overall Rank = 75/186
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 7/11
Pre-race routine:

Normal. Up at 5:30 and ate half a bagel and started drinking a bottle of water. Headed out and got to Benderson park at about 6:45. Checked in and set up quickly. Surveyed the transition area, ins and outs, and the course entrance to the bike portion. Visualized the bike portion. Important note to self, this is a measuring stick race, used to figure out where I stand at this point.
Event warmup:

A bit of swimming, just to loosen up, and the aforementioned visualization.
  • 10m 57s
  • 400 meters
  • 02m 44s / 100 meters

Seeded myself back near the end, given my swim speeds and lack of training lately. That was problem 1, as I got caught up behind a few people. After the first turn, I finally got past them and was in open water for the most part from then on.
What would you do differently?:

Oh, the list is long. Seed better, swim better, train more, etc. But, given where I am right now, this is only a bit slower than I expected.
Transition 1
  • 01m 20s

Transition was soaked from rain the night before. So, I opted for shoes since I am a sock wearing rider, in transition(I didn't want soaked socks in my bike shoes). This was issue 2, as I have been working on a rolling mount. I could have used those additional 3 seconds ;)

Actually, I am quite happy with this, as I was through the sunglasses/helmet/socks/shoes pretty quickly.
What would you do differently?:

Shoes on bike for the rolling mount. Don't question myself at the last minute and begin changing the setup.
  • 36m 35s
  • 12 miles
  • 19.68 mile/hr

I mounted quickly, got up to speed on the inner loop and found that I was closely behind a Cervelo P2 which looked like it was ridden by a guy of my speed. I dropped a bit behind him and settled in against the wind. Well, "settled in" is generous, given the amount of speeding up and slowing down that was done for traffic and turns and such. I jumped in front of him in lap 2, then he passed me again near the end of the lap. I knew that lap 3 would be it, and I could use the wind on the second half of the loop to my advantage. I got a bit screwed up behind some traffic at the far end of the lake loop. So, I came out of there with the hammer down, passed the pack of 4 that was holding me up, passed the Cervelo, and took what the wind was giving me as we headed back towards transition. This is the part where I knew that my bike handling skills were coming in handy as the road weaved a bit and made two or three curves. The others were out of aero for much of this on the previous laps, so I knew I had an advantage here. I stayed low on the bars and kept steady on the pedals. Through the last course turn in aero, over the 2 bridges and finally sat up as I made the turn into the Inner Loop to transition. I made the final turn, slid my feet out of my shoes and rolled in for my rolling dismount. Ran into transition and noted that there were not too many bikes. No doubt I made up time on the bike. I would pay later for this.
What would you do differently?:

The real issue with the course is that there were multiple abilities of rider on it. I am very comfortable on the bike and found myself working way too hard in traffic to insure I was safe. Given the fact that there were laps, I wasn't going to ever be in a spot to ride in my own space for very long.
Transition 2
  • 01m

Helmet off as I moved through transition, bobbled on racking my bike a bit. Socks were now soaked from the water. Slid them into my Noosa's, grabbed my visor and belt and headed out.
What would you do differently?:

Not bobble the bike? Really, nothing here was bad.
  • 35m 28s
  • 5 kms
  • 07m 05s  min/km

As I came out of transition, I knew it was getting warmer. I hadn't hit the water on the bike enough, so I paused at the station there, grabbed a cup, splashed myself, splashed my throat and headed out. Warm is an understatement. Issue 3 was the pace of the bike, especially the ending pace combined with the lack of water. It killed me, and I knew it. I slowed to a snail's pace and just did the best I could. I saw Kimmi before the end of the bridge. She was cheering her fool head off. I hit the hill(?), paused for water, found the path and headed back that way. Continued trudging along to the end. Found nothing left in the tank at the end and lost a sprint finish to a 15-19 year old.
What would you do differently?:

Bric train more. Not overcook the bike. Swim train to set myself up better at the beginning. The list is nearly endless.
Post race
Warm down:

Wander around and go to the food line for an orange and banana.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weight. Lack of training in the water. A myriad of issues, too numerous to enumerate :)

Event comments:

I am around where I thought I would be at this point. Swim and bric training will be upped a bit, as will intensity of the run and bike where appropriate. The bike is in a good place, but the rest can use attention. And that is always the case, something could always use more attention. The next day I noticed that I was not nearly in the pain I had been in for previous races. Aches were minimal. Obviously, I didn't push enough. That is another good sign, given that this race was a measuring stick for later races.

Last updated: 2015-05-13 12:00 AM
00:10:57 | 400 meters | 02m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 6/11
Overall: 0/186
Performance: Average
Suit: None
Course: Simple three turn square, then into the finish. It was definitely long, not just from my GPS, but given the times of the fish in the race.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 01:20
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
00:36:35 | 12 miles | 19.68 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/11
Overall: 0/186
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: 3 lap circle of the Nathan Benderson Park lake, each preceded by a lap of the parking lot(which I nicknamed the Inner Loop). This was somewhat windy in parts and caused some issues from a speed consistency aspect. At no point did I ever get truly settled into a groove. It was speed up out of the corner, ride for a mile or 1.5, slow down to get into the curves or avoid other riders, repeat multiple times.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:35:28 | 05 kms | 07m 05s  min/km
Age Group: 10/11
Overall: 0/186
Performance: Below average
Course: Run out across the lake on the cement bridge for 1+ miles, up the far side (Challenge Hill?!?!) then follow the walking path back around the lake, over the foot bridge, then over the car bridge, then up the final bridge to the turn into the parking lot for the finish.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2015-05-21 11:30 AM

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: Storm Challenge

2015-05-21 1:25 PM
in reply to: #5117236

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Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Although you weren't happy with your swim and bike, the overall mission was accomplished: find out where you are, training-wise.  Don't beat yourself up over the run too much, heat can really be an energy and speed sapper.  Good job, Chris, your new steed treated you well on the bike for sure!

2015-05-21 3:15 PM
in reply to: #5117236

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Nice job Chris. I was pretty excited reading your description of the end of the bike... until you said you paid for it later.

Nice job overall. Hope the wet socks didn't cause blisters on the run.

That's a lot of work for a banana.


2015-05-24 6:19 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Heat and humidity - the joys of racing in Florida!! I'm sure by your next race you will be more acclimated to it and won't even notice it   Sounds like the race did exactly what you wanted it to do - give you a barometer for where you are and a plan for moving forward.  Great job!!

2015-05-24 9:14 PM
in reply to: #5117236

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Subject: RE: Storm Challenge
Good job, Chris!

I hate wet socks. Hate them. I actually thought about changing my wet socks after the bike in a race but decided that wet socks were better than the wrath of my coach.

As Melanie said, the race shows where you are. The heat and humidity don't play fair. You did good!
2015-05-25 7:18 AM
in reply to: fortissimo

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Storm Challenge
Great job Chris!

Honestly I don't know how you people race in Florida! (and Texas too for that matter )

2015-05-25 9:46 AM
in reply to: mtnbikerchk

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Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Good work getting the info you wanted...without any deathiness.  Way to start the season!

2015-05-27 1:15 PM
in reply to: 4agoodlife

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Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Well hey, it's a good place to start the season! Now, what is the plan going forward? Because that is the most important part

2015-05-27 1:43 PM
in reply to: 4agoodlife

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Storm Challenge

Way to go! Nice start to the tri season!  :-D

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date : January 14, 2008
author : dr_forbush
comments : 0
In addition to writing your race number on each upper arm, they also wrote your age on your calf. This allowed me to see who was passing me by in the bike section of this race.
date : November 28, 2007
author : Tri Swim Coach
comments : 0
Question and answers on swimming strength challenges, is kicking important, 'runners kick' with ankle inflexibility and the usefulness of fins, pool buoys and paddles.
date : October 9, 2007
author : dr_forbush
comments : 9
The boat was being tossed around. Someone noted that there were whitecaps on the waves. Another guy said, “This is going to be challenging.” I began to wonder what he meant by 'challenging'.
date : July 10, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 0
Having three seasons under my belt I thought I knew what I was doing. That all changed with a few new challenges and a bunch of new friends.
date : January 7, 2007
author : Ontherun
comments : 4
We were all there once, a beginner. Time to take the challenge and help a beginner triathlete!
date : January 29, 2006
author : lv2teach
comments : 1
It’s a challenge to push yourself a little harder and a little further. Be proud of every workout that is accomplished and every step-even the baby ones-that you take on this course to the finishline.
date : November 27, 2005
author : AMSSM
comments : 0
Try to view your injury as another athletic challenge and an opportunity for personal learning and growth. Identify the skills that help you succeed as an athlete.
date : September 3, 2005
author : infosteward
comments : 0
The Boulder Peak bike course is legendary. It is, literally and named as such, one of the toughest bike legs in the country.