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Reston Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Reston, Virginia
United States
Reston Triathlon
75F / 24C
Total Time = 3h 55m 4s
Overall Rank = 368/396
Age Group = F 35-39
Age Group Rank = 23/24
Pre-race routine:

Tossing and turning is now part of the routine!
Chocolate Belvita breakfast biscuits (2 packs) plus peanut butter, a banana, and 2/3 of a bottle of nuun, followed by black tea with milk and sugar. I took a shower to help wake myself up, packed up the gear bags, did a first coat of sunscreen, and made sure J was up and moving. I also took a Dramamine and had a couple Gin Gins, to keep my stomach in check.
Reston has two transition areas, so we went to the high school and parked, and I set up T2. Since I don't have bike shoes, this basically meant weighing down my hat and race belt as much as possible so they didn't blow away.
Most people were riding their bikes to T1, which was about a mile away, but I was nervous about riding in the dark, so I walked.
Event warmup:

I guess walking for a mile in flip flops counts as a warm up. This is also where I gave myself really impressive ball of foot blisters. Sigh. I used to wear these to walk the dog for an hour, so I have no idea why they would give me blisters walking for 20 minutes. I set up my T1, got my chip, got marked, and chatted with some other athletes on my rack. I met a girl who was also doing her very first Olympic distance, so that was fun.
No warm up allowed in the lake, but the pool was open, so I hopped in and did a couple laps, just to get the arms going.
The national anthem was played by an athlete on his electric violin, which was cool. Then they started calling out cap colors, and we lined up. We started maybe 10 minutes late or so.
  • 41m 6s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 44s / 100 meters

I meant to take this swim easy, but I was really surprised at how slow my time was. I was never out of breath or working hard, but this was really slow and I don't know why.
Around the second and third buoys it was pretty intense. This was the point where I had caught up with the slow men from the wave before me, and was getting caught by the fast men from the wave behind. I got slugged in the head twice and kicked a few times, which was unpleasant. At one point I started kicking really hard to get some ham fisted dude out of my way. No harm, though. Sighting was much easier with my tinted goggles, so glad I had them. I never felt nervous, scared, or anything like that. I just felt like the shoreline was taking its sweet time to approach!
What would you do differently?:

Swim harder. While I'm glad I didn't over exert myself, I could have swum harder, found some bubbles, or just generally been working more.
Transition 1
  • 04m 3s

I took my sweet time, trotting my way to the far end of transition, wiping my feet clean, getting my shoes on, and situating the helmet and sunglasses. Knowing that my coordination is suspect, I also took this time to drink some of my double strength Skratch and have a gel.
What would you do differently?:

If my feet didn't have brand new blisters on them, I would have run. I wasn't feeling too winded from the swim, and could have made up more time. I also would have been quicker about wiping up my feet.
  • 1h 42m 4s
  • 24.8 miles
  • 14.58 mile/hr

This started off so well. My first loop I was feeling good, smiling big, and enjoying being on the bike. There were some hills, but nothing really bad. More just a case of working hard, either climbing or descending. Nothing really flat.
Then, somewhere during the second loop, my front derailleur stopped working. I couldn't shift at all, and was stuck for awhile in the granny gear. This was fine for climbing, but meant I was coasting a lot more than I wanted to. After some fiddling, I finally got shifted up....and promptly got stuck there! Sooo....lots of harder climbs than I wanted. And a terrible noise coming from my bike. I was so happy to be able to see my parents and brother so many times, along with J and even my friend K's mom! With all the mechanical issues, it was really nice to see smiling faces cheering just for me. It helped me keep a good attitude. I knew I was going to lose a lot of ground on the bike, but I wound up losing even more than I planned. It was super lonely out there on the course for the last loop, but the spectators made it worth it!
What would you do differently?:

Not race with a wonky derailleur? At least it sets me up for a massively improved time for next year!
Transition 2
  • 02m 46s

I got a little lost coming into transition. There were so many bikes, and I got confused about where I was going. Once I found my place, I racked my bike, grabbed my hat and number belt....then proceeded to stand there and eat half a pack of Skratch fruit drop and drink a few gulps from my bike bottle.
What would you do differently?:

Take the time during set up to walk transition, count racks, and find run out.
  • 1h 25m 7s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 13m 44s  min/mile

Once I gave myself permission to take walk breaks, I sort of lost my groove. I should have set up some specific run/walk intervals and that would have been more successful. I started feeling okay around the 2 mile mark, and miles 3-5 were actually pretty good. When I was moving, I was feeling good and getting it done. I would walk up some of the small hills, as my back and shoulders were very tight and getting a bit spasm-y if I tried to run them. My legs and even my blistered feet felt a-ok. Just like last time, it was my heart/breath that kept me from running more. I walked up the last monster hill to the stadium, then of course I had to run the whole lap of the stadium. What a beautiful finish line! I heard my family cheering, and smiled big. Whoop!
What would you do differently?:

Set run/walk intervals. Build a better bike/run base in general.
Post race
Warm down:

I was immediately handed an icy cold washcloth wrapped around a water bottle. So nice! I got my medal, and got a finisher hat, too. I wandered toward where I saw my family and wound up sitting in a camp chair for a few minutes. I tried to drink my beloved chocolate milk, but couldn't manage much before I thought I was going to throw up. I actually felt quite stupid, which was a weird sensation. My entire body was crusted over with salt.
That being said, once I felt good enough to move, we all headed out to Be Right Burger, and I had a hot dog, tater tots, and an orange soda. With that in me, I was feeling much more mentally "there."

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Newbie status at its finest. In retrospect, I probably should have improved at Sprint distance this year, and moved up to Oly next. Ah well....if I'd signed up for Nation's I wouldn't have gotten to do a full tri (they cancelled the swim....again) so I'm glad for the way things turned out. I want to spend the winter building better bike and run fitness.

Event comments:

Looking at numbers, you would think this was a terrible race for me. But somehow it was the best day ever! Reston puts on a nice event, and with it so close, I can certainly see myself coming back to it year after year to gauge my improvement.
And can we talk about the swag?! All told, I got a New Balance long sleeve tech shirt, tech socks, Scattante Bliss sunglasses, a multitool, a washcloth, and a finisher hat. And a really pretty medal!
Yes, having two transitions is a bit annoying, and its lame that we can't swim in the lake except exactly during the event. But all told, this was a well run race with really nice volunteers. I will be back, and I will crush it!

Last updated: 2016-07-15 12:00 AM
00:41:06 | 1500 meters | 02m 44s / 100meters
Age Group: 21/24
Overall: 24/396
Performance: Below average
Suit: Coeur Lakota Kit
Course: Single loop, heading right for a little bit, then back toward the middle of the lake, then a turnaround back to the boat ramp.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 84F / 29C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Average
Time: 04:03
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:42:04 | 24.8 miles | 14.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 22/24
Overall: 24/396
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: Three loops on moderately hilly roadways
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Bad Hills: Average
Race pace: Too hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 02:46
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal
01:25:07 | 06.2 miles | 13m 44s  min/mile
Age Group: 22/24
Overall: 24/396
Course: Mostly out and back, with one extra stick. Shaded paved pathways.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2016-09-14 2:49 PM

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Falls Church, Virginia
Subject: Reston Triathlon

2016-09-14 3:03 PM
in reply to: #5198823

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Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

 Great job Laura  - you did great! You've made so much progress and as you said what you got out of it and having your own best day ever is what is important!! You rock! 

2016-09-14 5:57 PM
in reply to: juniperjen

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Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Woo Hoo, congratulations on your first oly!!  Really great job, especially with a broken bike! 

2016-09-15 4:32 AM
in reply to: amd723

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Western Australia
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon
Well done Laura, great job on finishing with your broken bike
2016-09-15 9:39 AM
in reply to: #5198823

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Bronze member
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon
Way to have a good time with lots of stuff happening. It sounds like you had fun... And that Swag!!!
2016-09-15 11:58 AM
in reply to: ceilidh

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Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Awesome job and congrats on your first OLY!

2016-09-15 1:18 PM
in reply to: #5198823

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Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Wow, that is some major swag!  I saw someone else post a pic of all the goodies on FB and was impressed.

Could much else have gone wrong with your day, geez!  I think you took a season or two worth of issues and threw them all into one race!  Way to persevere, the blisters and bike issues sound like the toughest to deal with.  Look how much you've learned, though!  We truly do learn much, much more from our mistakes or a 'bad' race (not that yours was bad, it just had a lot of pitfalls) than we do a completely flawless one.  Watch out next year, you are going to set fire to your time!  Great job and congrats on finishing your first Olympic distance!

2016-09-16 9:23 AM
in reply to: melbo55

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Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon
Nice work there young lady! Mechanical issues on the bike are a real drag but you pushed through!
2016-09-16 10:24 AM
in reply to: reecealan

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Congratulations on your race!  Mechanical issues suck.  It sounds like your swim was long too (you got over 2500 meters from your watch! Even if you split the difference between the supposed 1500 and your watch's 2500 that's still 2000!).

Nice job pushing through!

2016-09-16 12:43 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Ugh, bad bike luck there!  Congratulations on finishing it out and not letting that ruin your race.  The Olympic distance is a big jump and its nice to have the first one done. 

2016-09-16 2:53 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Excellent job Laura!  A messed up derailleur is enough to kill anybody's day--you rose and overcame!

First Oly in the books and that is awesomeness!!

2016-09-22 11:24 AM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Such cool swag! Sounds like you'll get some use out of the multi-tool for your derailleur. 

Super solid effort and you know you race hard when it takes a bit to come back mentally  

2016-09-27 11:06 AM
in reply to: #5198823

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Reston Triathlon

Laura congrats on a good day! Or even a great day. I say that given the attitude and education that you took away from the course. You see future improvement, you have the desire and the ability to return next year. I am really impressed with all that you have in your favor as you go forward.


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