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Imperial Beach Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Imperial Beach, California
United States
KOZ Enterprises
Total Time = 1h 29m 2s
Overall Rank = 377/424
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 37/40
Pre-race routine:

Eat Apple Jacks cereal, half a bananna and an Iced Starbucks Mocha.
Event warmup:

Jog a little, a dip in the cold water.
  • 20m 56s
  • 500 meters
  • 04m 11s / 100 meters
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure. I'm still in a daze about the whole thing.
Transition 1
  • 04m 19s

I felt wobbly. It was a good distance from the shore to timing chip pad to the transition area. I was a little dazed BUT EXTREMELY HAPPY I WAS OUT OF THE WATER!
What would you do differently?:

Get more experience?
  • 31m 9s
  • 9.56 miles
  • 18.41 mile/hr

I was more fatigued than expected as I got into the bike. With a better swim, I feel my ride would have been faster and stronger.
What would you do differently?:

Pedal faster, harder, etc.
Transition 2
  • 01m 50s

I had to squeeze my bike in between two others that came in before me. Took a little more time than it should but I was quick to get my shoes, hat and my water bottle on.
  • 30m 48s
  • 3.3 miles
  • 09m 20s  min/mile

Run wasn't bad considering. I was pretty much right on the average for a 3 mile run for me with a 9:20 min/mile pace. I had a solid finish.
What would you do differently?:

I don't know. Push it a little bit more.
Post race
Warm down:

A short walk.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

I can't wait to do it again next year!

Last updated: 2006-08-28 12:00 AM
00:20:56 | 500 meters | 04m 11s / 100meters
Age Group: 39/40
Overall: 414/424
Performance: Average
Suit: Full Wetsuit
Course: Dark, cold, scary.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 58F / 14C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Below average Drafting:
Waves: Below average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:19
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:31:09 | 9.56 miles | 18.41 mile/hr
Age Group: 35/40
Overall: 329/424
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Course: Flat, fast and fun.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 85
Turns: Good Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:50
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:30:48 | 03.3 miles | 09m 20s  min/mile
Age Group: 38/40
Overall: 350/424
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
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] 5

2006-08-28 2:21 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Los Angeles
Subject: Imperial Beach Triathlon
Imperial Beach Tri - Thank God for Swim Buddies!

I tried the open water swim for the very first time on Saturday. I talked to a lifeguard prior for testing the water and they gave me some helpful tips. There was a S-N current so I made my way to the next lifeguard station south of the pier and informed her that I would be out there and to be watching me. She was very cool and encouraging.

I swam out, did some diving under the white water as told, and got past the break and did some open water swimming. I didn’t get that far out, maybe 100 meters (or less), then made my way back in to the applause of Donna, Jake, Bella, James and Jenny. What an audience!

I figured that the swim was doeable - yet scary and uncomfortable. I don’t think I would have signed up if my family weren’t there to encourage and support me. That was a huge plus. I don’t think they realize it.

At 7:00 AM they closed the transition area and I rushed to the beach. I had 15 minutes before the first wave would start. I tested the waters once again.

But it WAS NOT like it was on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It was colder, it seemed rougher, and it was darker. The report is that the temp went from 63 degrees on Saturday to 58 degrees on Sunday morning.

I swear, I stood there feeling like I’ve never felt before - like a failure. I was going to quit. I couldn’t do it. I just could NOT do it.

I looked out to the first booey. Then to the second. They were far. FAR!!! They didn’t look that far from the beach, but when I was in the water they looked miles and miles away.

I panicked and headed to the start line trying to convince myself to do this thing that I’ve been training for.

The sun started to peek in the east and I figured by the time I head out into the water, at least there would be the comfort of more light.

But the brightest light shined when…

They announced SWIM BUDDIES!

I immediately shouted, “I NEED ONE!” causing some laughter by some athletes and their support groups - my support group wasn’t there. I believe my Swim Buddy was named TOM. I was in a daze but that’s what I think he told me. I was scared. I was nervous. But at least I had a new friend, a new buddy! A Swim Buddy!

Four minutes before my Wave started my beloved family showed! And I believe this is what motivated me even more! I had a boost of self-confidence. A few moments ago I was going to tell them NOT to come. And now, they were here, and I was moments away from the dark open waters they call… THE PACIFIC OCEAN!

And at 7:30 AM my SWIM BUDDY and I walked into the cold, dark, open water of Imperial Beach.

Getting out past the waves was a struggle. I stressed, I tensed up, I tried to relax.

But Tom talked me through it. We dove under two or three waves and then he told me to swim. I managed about 20 or so strokes before gasping for air.

Every time I looked up, the booey was getting closer! And I managed maybe 10 strokes for every break to relax and catch my breath. Every time I popped my head out of the water, TOM was encouraging me.

Tom talked to me as I took time to relax, to get on my back, to catch my breath, and finally… I made it to the first booey.

The current helped me move toward the next booey and we got there in what seemed no time at all. The sun was now shining in our eyes and it was really hard to see the shore. But he pointed it out to me, “See that yellow thing? That’s the finish line.” I struggled to get a look and sure enough, I saw it. The shore was visible.

The swim back to shore seemed harder. It felt like I wasn’t moving at all as I used the pier as a distance marker of some sort. The next thing I know Tom is yelling for me to swim hard - to catch a wave.

Then I heard the lifeguards and Tom yelling to look out!!! “Wave-wave-wave!!!” I looked back and saw a big one and I tried to get ahead of it and ride it in. It caught me and tossed me. I flipped, held my breath and finally broke the top of the water. Tom asked, HOW WAS THAT?!? I was like, that was scary BUT MY FEET WERE ON THE SAND!!! We walked the rest of the way. I was fatigued. I had expended A LOT more energy than I ever expected - although Tom kept reminding me to forget the legs. GET SOME LONG STROKES! KEEP YOUR ELBOWS UP AND STAY PARALLEL!!! All through the swim my SWIM BUDDY talked to me, assured me everything was okay, and kept telling me what a good job I was doing.

What a guy.

I miss him already.

All through the day I kept imagining what it would have been like without someone there next to me. I would have had a serious panic attack. I would have… I may have… quit.

I never felt that scared before. I’ve said that before – but this is different. It keeps getting worse and worse and I only expect after it gets to the absolute scariest moment, things will and only can get better. I knew that I could get out there because of Saturday practice but when that water bit into my feet, hands and face I literally stood there frozen from both fear and the cold. I kept looking at the booey and telling myself “Come on! Just do it. Just do it!”

I decided to yes, do it no matter what, no matter if it took an hour. I also knew once I got to the first booey the current would help.

But imagining myself out there without a swim buddy after the fact, I just don’t know how I would have made it being alone in the dark water without encouraging words.

I’m still apprehensive about LA Tri but maybe it’ll be easier. I’ll check out the beach this weekend and maybe do the ride through Hollywood, etc.

The bike leg was fun. I clocked my best average speed of 18.33 mph (I’m usually under 18!). I was more fatigued than I expected to be as I got on the bike but the ride was flat and fun!!!

I started my run a little too fast and finally settled in. I was off my pace by quite a few seconds but did reasonably well considering everything else so I was very happy.

I dragged my family up so early in the morning to watch my race. It’s so funny how ALL of them (cousin, his wife, and my wife) said “I’m so tired.” I just looked at them and replied, “You’re so tired?!?” They realized how silly they sounded!

From the starting line to the timing mat after my swim, the approximate time I clocked was 21:25.

So here are my approximate times.
Swim: 21:25
T1: 4:51
Bike: 31:09
T2: 1:06
Run: 30:31

Final Time: 1:29:02

Are there Swim Buddies at the LA TRI!?? Because if there is… “I WANT ONE!”

If TOM is out there reading this, my family and I would like to thank you!!! THANKS TOM! You’re the best!

Edited by TriathleteNut 2006-08-28 2:29 PM

2006-08-28 3:39 PM
in reply to: #524534

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Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
Good job, you finished.  The next one will be better.  Just keep swimming.
2006-08-28 4:09 PM
in reply to: #524534

Chula Vista, Ca
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
Great report. I went out about 2-3 waves after you.  The water temp had dropped alot since Friday.  Way to fight through you fears. It only gets better after this.  BTW the swim buddy is aka Madcow on BT.  I hope to see you at the LA Tri, it should be fun. Also if you want to do a fun race which does not have any waves, try the Jamba Juice Mission Bay Sprint.  Its a huge event but it is in Mission Bay which is smooth as glass.  Plus its a swim start which means no running into the water.
2006-08-28 4:11 PM
in reply to: #524758

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Extreme Veteran
Los Angeles
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
Awesome! You were there! That's cool! So Tom (Madcow) is on this forum. I need to find him!

2006-08-28 4:39 PM
in reply to: #524761

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San Diego
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon

Wow! What incredibly nice things to say. Yes, that was me out there. What a small world.

I am so glad you didn't quit. That is why I started the swim buddy thing in the first place. I now know it is paying off

Take care and congrats on your race


2006-08-28 5:05 PM
in reply to: #524534

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Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon

Great report and congrats on facing the fear and doing it.

And way to go Madcow......

See ya in L.A.

2006-08-28 5:50 PM
in reply to: #524534

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
Excellent job!

Did Madcow pay you for that endorsement?

Edited by Happycow 2006-08-28 5:54 PM
2006-08-28 8:28 PM
in reply to: #524534

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Extreme Veteran
Los Angeles
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
I'm SO glad I found out madcow was my Swim Buddy. Right after the Tri I googled a bunch of things, Tom, Swim Buddy Imperial Beach, etc. I didn't come up with anything significant and suddenly CVSurf tells me he's here! WOW. My wife and I wanted to thank him personally after the race but no luck. I think she wanted to hug him as I had hugged him as we got to shore. She was overwhelmed with emotion.

Tom had a big effect in my life. It was huge. Life changing in fact. I've been walking around with such a buzz today about it. I've told the story to all my friends and family - about how if it weren't for this guy named TOM, I would have called it quits before I started. And I didn't even know Tom or was able to talk to him.

And to top it all off, I find out he's a BTer! WOW WOW WOW!!!

I have the LA Tri in two weeks. I haven't felt this level of confidence about it ever. I'm still apprehensive, but again, if it wasn't for Tom (and not just being there with me but all the words of encouragement EVERY TIME I came up for air), there's no way I would be having this, gung ho, bring it on attitude about the LA Tri.

Thanks again Tom! Continue to do the great work and change the life of others - even if you don't intend to.


Edited by TriathleteNut 2006-08-28 8:30 PM
2006-08-29 10:04 AM
in reply to: #525067

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Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon


Tom inspired me to volunteer as a Swim buddy. It was a GREAT experience for me - my favorite triathlon experience. I have Tom to thank for that.

2006-08-29 10:31 AM
in reply to: #524534

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Hurst, Texas
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon

Great job finishing the race, be proud of your accomplishment!  And great job to Tom as well...he is a good friend, and he has encouraged me since I first started here on BT.  Class act all the way, and one of the only reasons I finished my IM.  Just like he encouraged you on your swim, he encouraged me several times on the run at IMCDA.  One of the best people I've ever met in my life. 

Good luck at your next race....triathlete.

2006-08-29 1:31 PM
in reply to: #524534

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Imperial Beach Triathlon
What a great RR and great story!!  Just one more reason that I love BT and BTers!!

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