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Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course - Triathlon

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Cottage Grove, Oregon
United States
Rolf Prima
62F / 17C
Total Time = 2h 34m 37s
Overall Rank = 38/114
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 2/7
Pre-race routine:

Up at 5:15. Kashi and Kefir and one piece of toast for breakfast; coffee on way to race. Set up transition and did body marking.
Event warmup:

Jogged about ten minutes with strides. Got in water and swam for last 5-10 minutes before start as water was a lot warmer than air temp.
  • 29m 26s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

Really bad split. No better than last year when I was injured. No idea why. I felt strong and relaxed and never had any issues with swallowing water, etc. All I can think of was that either the course was a bit different (due to much lower lake levels this year) or I swam further than the race distance--the current seemed to be pushing me toward shore and I was following the shoreline a bit closer than I should have coming back. My overall placing was also worse than it usually is, so not just a matter of course being long. Really no idea! (I'm smiling in the picture below, because I think I just had an awesome swim. I hadn't looked down at my watch yet.)
What would you do differently?:

Concentrate more on swimming straight on the return leg, maybe.
Transition 1
  • 02m 3s

Transition better than last year but still a bit slower than it needed to be due to dithering--thought about putting on a long-sleeved jersey but it wouldn't go over my head; realized I hadn't unzipped it. Abandoned the effort as just at that moment the sun came out. (Weather was unstable throughout the race--alternately blustery, overcast and sunny.) Then I started to run out with the bike and noticed most people had their race belts on. Worried that I needed to get mine so stopped to ask a course official if I needed it and was told I did not, so continued. Probably wasted about 30 seconds.
What would you do differently?:


2. Clarify rules about race number prior to start.
  • 1h 16m 37s
  • 40.8 kms
  • 31.95 km/hr

An okay bike leg for me. My goal was 32-33 kph. The headwind and climb on the way out made me work really hard; tried to take advantage of the net descent and tailwind on the way back to really push the pace.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I think pushing the bike any harder might have negatively impacted my run today. I think I'm still learning to use appropriate gearing on the tri bike in windy conditions and on hills, and I could probably improve in that area.

Plus....Just give up on chocolate-cherry gu. I got it down, but it almost came back up about five minutes later. Either stick with thinner gu (Hammer Apple Cinnamon, or the Powerbar Tangerine I use for running), or my old standby dark chocolate. At Oly intensity the thinner gu would be safer. I may not be a strong biker, but I am absolutely world-class at gagging!
Transition 2
  • 00m 58s

For me, a good transition, I think tied for my fastest ever.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. I did a good job of finding my spot and getting my running stuff on.
  • 45m 32s
  • 10 kms
  • 04m 33s  min/km

I felt pretty good from the get-go, at least my legs. Ironically, the swim was the segment of the race I was least worried about (because I doubted it would be affected by the HIM 13 days ago), but it was crappy. The run was the part I wondered about the most, as it was most likely to show any remaining fatigue, and I'd had only one good run, two days ago, since the HIM, but it went the best! I got into a good stride relatively quickly. I didn't think I was running that fast and was surprised with my split at the half and particularly with the negative split finish.

I did struggle somewhat with allergy/asthma symptoms--some farmers were mowing hay along the bike route, and inhaling that stuff started to affect me on the run. My breathing felt very tight and I was coughing a lot, especially starting out. It never really resolved but never got to the point where I couldn't run. (I didn't have my inhaler as I don't normally need it unless I have or just got over a cold.) Really could have used a hit of inhaler but I have never used it during a race and anyway, didn't have it with me.
What would you do differently?:

Not sure. Maybe use the inhaler preventively before the race. I felt a bit wheezy the night before but the exposure on the bike (thankfully well into the bike leg) made it a lot worse. I really hesitate to use it in a race--not only because it tends to elevate my heart rate uncomfortably, but because some people might think it was "doping". (Sad but true.) That was my best Oly run split by over a minute, and the second best one was four years ago! Think I might have managed a minute or two faster if I could breathe better!
Post race
Warm down:

Not much, just walked around a while. Later on, about a two mile walk with Mom.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Crappy swim for unknown reasons. I was really surprised when I stood up that my time wasn't at least 1-2 minutes faster. There was absolutely no indication for me that it was a sub-par swim until I saw my watch.

Possibly incomplete recovery from the HIM. Maybe would have been able to push a slightly harder pace on the bike if I hadn't done the HIM, but hard to say as due to work commitments and coursework, I didn't do any Olys or sprints this season (just two HIM), or much road biking specific to Oly pace/effort, so I'm not sure what my current fitness level for shorter races is when well-rested. I'd hoped I would be able to hold closer to 33 than 32 kph, but that wasn't in the cards today. Since I've done 36 minutes plus for a sprint on a too-small road bike with aerobars, I'm confident that I should be capable of 1:13-1:14 on the tri bike in better conditions (flatter course, less wind, more rested).

Definitely some impact of asthma/allergies on the run; other athletes also were complaining about similar symptoms after the race, so I wasn't the only one affected. I did the best I could with what I had today.

Event comments:

For a fairly small race (about 300 total in sprint and Oly tri and du), this event is really well-organized and has awesome competition. There were several pros, who compete in their own category and some really strong age-groupers. The woman who won my AG did 2:31; a 50 year old woman did just under that. Crazy stuff. But I like to be pushed, and it's a beautiful race and so close to home!

Profile Album

Last updated: 2015-07-25 12:00 AM
00:29:26 | 1500 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/7
Overall: 46/114
Performance: Below average
Suit: ProMotion Sleeveless Shortie
Course: Basically a long rectangle. We swam clockwise, so I could always breathe to the right.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 02:03
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Average
01:16:37 | 40.8 kms | 31.95 km/hr
Age Group: 0/7
Overall: 51/114
Performance: Good
Didn't notice splits. I did check my time at 40 km and I (just barely) broke 1:15, which probably matters to no one but me! Minor change to last section before dismount made course about 800m longer than last year.
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: Same as last year except for slight change at end. Rolling hills halfway around lake (with moderate headwind), then out and back on rural road (false flat up/down) at end of lake, then rolling hills back the rest of the way around the lake. Net elevation gain plus moderate headwind outbound, net elevation loss and moderate tailwind inbound.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: ?
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:58
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:45:32 | 10 kms | 04m 33s  min/km
Age Group: 0/7
Overall: 28/114
Performance: Good
Only got my time at the turnaround,--23 minutes and change at the 5K and about 22 flat for the return, so I managed to do a negative split.
Course: Simple out and back, mix of paved and dirt/gravel Forest Service road. Flat, as far as I could tell. Nice and shady.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %?
Overall: Average
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

2015-07-25 10:01 PM

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove - Olympic Course
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