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Clear Lake Triathlon - Triathlon

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Clear Lake, Washington
United States
Skagit County Parks and Recreation
65F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 30m 58s
Overall Rank = 27/110
Age Group = 50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/
Pre-race routine:

Left the house at about 7:45 for the 35 minute drive to the race which started at 9:00. Had a cup of coffee before I left and one for the road. Just ate a powerbar and about 10 ounces of G2 for breakfast. Setup my transition area and chatted with a few friends before the start.

My son was doing the kids race at 11:00 so my wife drove him down later which was great because they would have been waiting around for a few hours. I had racked his bike on her car and packed all his gear before I left so they just had to get up and get there. He has been excited about this race for months and I was just as excited for him.
Event warmup:

The weather was ideal at about 65 degrees, overcast, and just a slight breeze. We have had very warm weather so I decided to wear my lava pants instead of a full wetsuit. I didn't do any real warm up since I was going to ease into each leg and stay well within myself so as to have a very elusive for me good run. I have not had a good run in a tri for quite a while and wanted to get that monkey off my back. I also decide to go without electronics so as to really focus on how I was feeling without pressure to hit a specific goal or pace.
  • 10m 18s
  • 600 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

The start was in the water at about chest depth and all in the race started in one mass wave though at 110 participants I figured I'd be able to get ahead of most within the first 100 yards and did not anticipate much contact. I felt like I was swimming fairly hard but comfortable. My form felt good and made good turns at the buoys with almost no contact except for one person that was swimming next to me at precisely my pace. Just before the last buoy he drifted in front of me at almost a 45 degree angle causing me to slow and make a slight course adjustment. About 30 seconds later he cuts right across me again though I just swam over his legs this time. Then one more time he comes into me but this time as he starts across I just held my line and sped up a little and pushed him off.

The last 100 yards I slowed a little to get my breathing relaxed so I could hit the beach ready to have a good run up to transition. I did not want to stagger out of the water huffing and puffing like some of my past races. Again my thinking for the day was ease into each leg and build comfortably. I've failed so many prior races by digging myself into a hole and gasped my way to the finish hanging by a thread.

The timing mat for the swim was after the run up the beach to the entrance of T1. Lead to a great T1 time but added some to the swim time.
What would you do differently?:

I was very happy with my swim. I was 16th overall and swam well within my ability. I felt strong throughout and my form was good. I burned no matches on the swim and succeeded in setting myself up for a good transition and bike. If anything I probably could have pushed a little harder without any ill effects but so far my plan was going great.
Transition 1
  • 01m 5s

I was really happy with my T1 time. I had a spot just inside the entrance so had to run a little further with my bike and I got caught behind someone a little slower jogging through the relatively narrow area on the way out. The lava pants are so quick to step out off and all else was smooth.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. If I got to the race site earlier I could have gotten a much better spot but I wasn't too concerned.
  • 45m 54s
  • 14.8 miles
  • 19.35 mile/hr

The first part of the bike course is pretty flat and I was cruising along pretty fast. I had a few people pass me but I did not want to press. There are a few miles of climbing before the turn around and I wanted to take those first miles as a gradual warm up and hit the climbing with my heart rate and breathing under control.

The climb went ok but I think I could have hit it a little harder in retrospect. I felt like I gave up some time here. The descent back down felt great. I passed a few people even though I was not pressing. My disc sounds like a garbage can lid every time I hit a bump which is kind of annoying. It is a Flo disc which has spokes covered by carbon fiber. One guy as I passed him said it sounded like thunder was chasing him. I liked that and will now think of thunder coming down instead of a garbage can lid crashing.

When I hit the flats there was a slight tailwind and I felt so fast. A few people passed me and I wanted to put the hammer down and fly back by them but I resisted the urge. I had so much left in the tank but I wanted to be able to hop off the bike and run well.
What would you do differently?:

Like the swim, I stayed well within my threshold and kept it comfortable. It was a major act of discipline to not give chase in the latter miles when I was feeling so good. And in retrospect, I probably played it too safe. Overall, the plan was going great though.
Transition 2
  • 00m 43s

Had another transition that I was very happy with. I think I could have been even faster but was smooth and deliberate. I had another long run in through T2 with my bike that a better spot would have saved me a little of time.
What would you do differently?:

Not much
  • 32m 57s
  • 4 miles
  • 08m 14s  min/mile

This is where it all came together for me and it was the run I've been waiting a long time for. I started out gradually building as my legs got warmed up and felt strong and well within myself throughout the run. I did not wear my Garmin so I do not know what my mile times were but I am pretty sure that each mile including the last were progressively faster.

What would you do differently?:

As with most of this race, I played it very safe and stayed at a pace where my heart rate and breathing were very much under control. I wasn't thinking about specific paces or times instead focusing on exactly how I was feeling. I know I could have run faster but did not want to blow up. In that I succeeded and had one of the most enjoyable races in a long time. My tendency has been to push to hard and I've almost always come up short. I think I needed to step back and build on a platform where I knew I'd stay strong until the end. With this under my belt I will push just a bit harder next race and hopefully enjoy that one as much as this.
Post race
Warm down:

Watched my son's race which was so wonderful. He did great and was so proud of his race. He paced himself really well and finished strong. We can't wait for our next race which is in about three weeks.

Last updated: 2015-07-12 12:00 AM
00:10:18 | 600 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 16/110
Performance: Average
Suit: Lava Pants
Course: A triangular out and back. 275 yards out to first buoy, 50 yards over, and 275 yards back.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation:
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:05
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:45:54 | 14.8 miles | 19.35 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 28/110
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back with first and last four miles flat. A bit of climbing to the turn around and then back down before the flats again. Pretty good road surface on small country road through farm land and some forested areas. Very pretty course.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:43
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:32:57 | 04 miles | 08m 14s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 42/110
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back on a fairly flat country road.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
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] 4

2015-07-13 2:28 AM

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Bellingham, WA
Subject: Clear Lake Triathlon

2015-07-13 9:56 AM
in reply to: #5128310

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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon
Awesome stuff Steve!!! Way to go sticking to your plan and nailing the execution!!! Also congrats to your son on a great race, that had to be fun to watch as a parent.
2015-07-13 12:29 PM
in reply to: #5128310

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Simsbury, Connecticut
Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon
Great race! So happy the run came together for you!
2015-07-13 12:56 PM
in reply to: #5128310

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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon

You say you could have pushed more but I think your plan was well executed and you reached the goal you were looking for. I guess going nekkid worked out as you thought it would. Congrats on a great race! And congrats to your son!

I don't like when transition is set up in such a way that some spots have an advantage over others. I prefer those that equalize the distance.


2015-07-13 1:13 PM
in reply to: #5128310

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Extreme Veteran
Langley, BC, 'Wet Coast' Canada
Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon
Nicely done, and congrats to you and your son!

re: your disk sounding like thunder to the other competitor.... here is a line from a song I have listened to lately - Lightning Crashes by ...Live??

" Like a rollin', thunder chasing the wind .. "

2015-07-13 1:34 PM
in reply to: #5128310

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Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon

Very good race, Steve!  AG podium, wooo!  Congrats on racing by feel, gradually building and having success with the plan.  A big congrats to your son, too!  Very special that you can do races 'together'.

2015-07-13 3:42 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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South Windsor, CT
Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon
It sure is a great feeling to put a solid race together-start to finish. You deserve big praise for getting to this point and figuring it out after a bit of a struggle.

Congratulations to you, Steve! Very nice race.
And better coming still...
2015-07-13 9:28 PM
in reply to: #5128310

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Subject: RE: Clear Lake Triathlon
Great race, Steve! You had a great swim! My coach would love your transition times. He's asked me to stop ordering pizza during transitions.

Love that your son got to race as well and that you got to watch him!
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