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Titanium Man Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Kennewick, Washington
United States
3 Rivers Road Runners
90?F / 0C
Total Time = 3h 09m 25s
Overall Rank = 126/143
Age Group = 40-44 W
Age Group Rank = 6/6
Pre-race routine:

Got up at 3:40, sunscreened, dressed and mixed oatmeal with peanut butter and honey in travel mug (you can drink it if it's runny enough, right? Wrong.) Backed the pre-loaded car out of the garage and waited for the tri-brother (racinmason) who was doing his second-ever tri today and his first-ever Olympic distance. Got his stuff loaded up and about 1/4 mile down the road and realized I didn't have directions so drove back home and spent about 15 minutes trying to find and print directions to the race site.

Finally got on the road about 4:15, met the couple who were going with us (another friend doing her first-ever Oly) and headed on down the highway. Drank/ate oatmeal about 6 - I need a bigger cup or less oatmeal if I'm going to try to drink it, but this worked better than the smaller thermos and spoon that I tried last time. Sipped diluted HEED until the start. The drive was almost 2 and a half hours, so we got there just in time for check-in after only 2 wrong turns...that's a personal best for me right there! We got checked in, drove to T1 to set up the bikes, drove back up to T2 to leave our run stuff and made it to the start in time to hear the pre-race meeting and suit up. At T1, my buddy headed off to the bushes for her regular pre-race puke...what's up with that? Do most people puke before racing? I was so impressed, she just handed off her bike, headed off to the bushes and came back to race. I have this whole puke-phobia thing going on where if it was me, I'd be running around in circles waving my arms in the air like a Scooby Doo monster then end up curled in the fetal position for an hour or so afterwards. Anyway, back to the race...
Event warmup:

Well, getting the wetsuit on is always a bit of a warmup for me, but managed that, ate a gel about 15 minutes before the race, and hobbled over the rocks into the COLD water. Whoa...brrrr... Was in just long enough to get some cold water down my wetsuit and get over that 'gasp when my face goes in the water' reaction. Hobbled back out over the ouchie rocks... owowowow... and stood waiting for the horn. The entrance was really narrow and rocky and they didn't want us all running in,so they gave us a 5-minute warning and a 1-minute warning. Felt my spirits rise when I watched the good swimmers out in the current working hard to stay behind the start line...L-O-V-E that current. Like they say on the race website, "Fast Times, Baby."
  • 21m
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 17s / 100 yards

Wow, did I mention the ouchie rocks and cold water?!? I wanted to go in last with my tri-brother and make sure he got off to a good start (repaying the good deed someone did for me last year when this was my longest distance to date!) So we stood on the sharp rocks and waded when the horn blew. Ouch. I started swimming and looked over to my brother to give him one last thumbs-up, but he was already swimming so it was time to go. The farther out you go, the faster the current, so I headed out at an angle following the pack. I got way out there and started sighting off the point but got a little nervous when I realized just how far away from shore I was - the bank curves in just there, so while I was swimming fairly straight, the bank was moving away from me...yikes!

My neck started to hurt very soon after the start - it felt like my wetsuit was pressing my head forward but I think it was really that I was trying to lift my head out of the cold water. Did I mention the cold water? After I noticed what I was doing, I tried really hard to keep my form, but the damage was already done. I stopped to try to adjust the neck of my wetsuit and found that I float just below nose level when my arms are out of the water...good info. The adjustment didn't work. My head and ears started to hurt, too... what a wuss.

After rounding the point, I started to get all paranoid about missing the exit, so I kept stopping to try to find it. It was hard to get going again after being vertical but I just couldn't get a good view doing my regular sighting. I did find it and lose it a couple of times before I remembered to look for something big like that great big tree next to the clearing that was right behind it...duh. I did NOT want to miss the exit because I don't think I'm a strong enough swimmer to swim upstream any distance at all. AND I didn't want to cut in too early because of the warning the helpful guys had given us...big eddy and lots of milfoil (sp?) Ack! WEEDS!

It all worked out though, I made it straight to the exit, missed the eddy and weeds and heard someone yell out "21 Minutes!" as I took the proffered hand and stood up. Last year's swim was 30 minutes. I just about knocked the helpful volunteer into the water as I stood on some more pointy rocks and sat back down, but he managed to remain standing.
What would you do differently?:

Next year it's the long-sleeved wetsuit for sure. Brrr... And maybe a second cap and earplugs, too. Also, I should have started farther in the water so I didn't have to wade over those darn rocks.
Transition 1
  • 03m 27s

Oooh, that cold water got to me. I was really dizzy and just wobble-walked up the bank to the grass. I managed to get my wetsuit unzipped and down around my waist and tried to jog a bit to the bikes. My route to the bikes was with all the weaving around. When I finally got there, I took off my wetsuit but was so dizzy that I started to fall over every time I lifted a foot. I held on to my bike and managed to step out of the legs by stepping on the suit for the first time. There was a lot of loose dry grass all around so I squirted off my feet with water before putting on my shoes. Still very wobbly putting on the shoes, but once that was done the rest was easy. I struggled a bit with my gloves, got glasses and helmet on and had to carry my bike to the road because of some nasty nasty thorny things...something-vines and goatshead?
What would you do differently?:

Hopefully staying warmer on the swim will help the dizzyness. Maybe I should have sat down in T1 like so many others - I certainly saw enough butts pass me on the bike with grass stuck to their shorts. I need gloves because of my paranoia about my hands - I don't expect to fall but if/when I do I want that extra layer of leather.
  • 1h 29m 15s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 16.71 mile/hr

OMG, can you say "Chipseal?" I had to keep checking my fillings to make sure they were still there...and I ride a carbon bike!

This was a fun ride. I definitely have a disadvantage going uphill (dragging that extra 25 pounds) but I take full advantage of it on the downhills. I did this race last year on a new bike as my first-ever Oly, and the hills just killed me. What a difference a year of riding makes. While they were still not easy, I couldn't believe how much better I felt climbing. I kept a good cadence and (for me) a good speed.

BUT where did all those people come from who passed me? Surely there weren't that many people behind me?!? This ride was one giant pass-fest. At least two guys even passed me twice - once before their flats and again after. What, once isn't enough? I saw a lot of people fixing flats - those darn goatshead things I guess. Luckily I wasn't one of them but one of our club members flatted right at the turnaround and didn't bring tools.

I made it to the turnaround thinking that my tri-brother would pass me any minute (he's an awesome cyclist...when he learns to swim a little faster I'm toast!) and sure enough, I saw him shortly after I'd turned around. Still behind, but not by very far! I figured I'd better pick it up a bit to keep him from catching me, and this was where my hill advantage came into play. I made the most of every downhill.

When we were almost back, there was a long gentle uphill. Usually those are kind of a drag for me, but this was the best I'd felt all day, so I spun up it singing to myself. Passed one of only two people here...what's this?, I NEVER pass anyone on an uphill...maybe she was having mechanical trouble. Stopped singing as I passed her - I'm enough of a freak without broadcasting it...except to BT, of course.

I drank my Perpetuem/HEED/endurolyte mix every 15 minutes and sipped water every 5-10 minutes. Seemed to work well. My neck never stopped hurting, and it started to radiate to my shoulders, AND it was giving me a headache, so I took a couple of Advil about 2/3 of the way through.

The finish kind of snuck up on me, before I knew it I was riding into the crowd directly at the bike catchers.
What would you do differently?:

Ride lots. I would love to NOT get passed quite as much on the bike at this level. Ride more hills - maybe do two loops of my weekly hilly ride instead of only one. Lose that 25 pounds - any advantage I lost on the downhills would be more than made up everywhere else without having to lug all that around.
Transition 2
  • 01m 52s

Well, this could have gone better. I stopped, swung my leg over my bike and my lower back seized up. While this is fairly normal for me after a good ride, today was much worse than usual. I hobbled up the stairs like my 90-year-old grandmother (not the one who rode pillion on motorcycles behind her grandsons) wincing and groaning. How embarrasing... people were asking if I was ok, I wanted to sink into the ground knowing what a dork I look like. Of course, looking dorky is also fairly common for me, I just didn't want to look like an Italian soccer player when it finally loosened up and I ran off.

When I finally got to the top of the stairs, a lovely volunteer handed me my run bag and directed me to a line of chairs. I sat down and another lovely volunteer grabbed my bag, dumped it out and packed up all my bike stuff for me. It was very luxurious. I creaked down to change shoes, grabbed my hat and race belt, thanked the v-teers and hobbled off.

My back was still tight and sore but I knew it would loosen up, so I just kept moving. The downhill out of T2 to the road was brutal even though it was only about 15 feet long, and then I was off on the run.
What would you do differently?:

Realize that the finish was close and stretch out my back! Not look like such a dork. Stop and stretch instead of trying to do it on the way up the stairs...
  • 1h 14m
  • 6.21 miles
  • 11m 55s  min/mile

Well, I'm slow, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the calculated pace. I ran the whole run except for walking all five aid stations. It was a hot day and I wanted to be sure I drank enough, especially with the Advil.

This year I haven't been getting the dead/rubberlegs of last year out of T2, but rather have been feeling really brittle (for lack of a better word). Feels like my joints aren't working right - not bending and definitely not cushioning each step. I notice my steps are a lot louder when I begin the run than normal, so I really have to concentrate on trying to be smooth and land softly. This race was no different. But after a while, my back and legs loosened up and I felt amazingly good. Woo-hoo!

Knowing what to expect from the run really helped. Last year my longest run in my whole life had been 6 miles two weeks before the race just to prove to myself that I could travel that far. This year my longest was a half-mary in a HIM four weeks prior - and this run was only a little longer than my twice-weekly training run. Also, I knew what the turnaround looked like so I knew not to expect it too soon. Very nice.

After the turnaround, I saw my brother (go bro!). He had forgotten his bike pump in his jersey and was carrying it in his hand. Since I was feeling good and was on my way back, I offered to carry it back for him.

I ate one gel about 2.5 miles from the finish and was surprised at what a difference it DIDN'T make. I was expecting a big rush of energy, but didn't really notice anything.

About a mile and a half from the finish, our club coach was waiting with his son in the stroller. He ran all the way back with me - it was a very nice distraction. I could still talk so maybe I should have been running a little harder. I guess I should say I ran all the way back while he was doing a very very slow jog. He did go just a little faster than I had been going, so I guess I sped up a bit.

The last .2 is uphill to the finish. The other clubbies who had already finished were at the bottom of the hill and gave a big cheer as I went by, and the coach looked at the clock and asked if I could get there in under 3hr 10min, so I gave a final kick up the hill. Felt great and they even pronounced my name right as I finished. I think this is a PB for this distance.
What would you do differently?:

Well, lose the 25 pounds of course. Or at least some of them. Maybe I could have run a little harder, but I felt pretty good the whole time.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked a little to get my breath back, then got some ice-cold water. Walked back down the hill to where the rest of the club was to cheer on the rest of our finishers. Ran back up the hill with my brother, then back down to run up again with another club buddy. Probably should have stretched out a bit more. Ate a Snicker's marathon bar - whoa, those things are sticky and jaws hurt - not sure what that's about? - and I had to take little bites and chew slowly. (My mom would be proud - she used to tell me to do that as a child.)

I don't know why it took so long to pack up, but about a month later we finally got on the road to come home. Ate PB&J in the car, then stopped at a rest area to change - one stall and about a million people...PR for change time...but definitely a necessary stop. Stopped again at Starbuck's about an hour away from home - Hooray for frappacinos!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Hmmm. Training of course. I saw tremendous improvement (for me) from last year to this year, and would like to see even more by next year after another year of training. Hopefully I'll be starting next season several pounds lighter than I ended this one - that'll help.

This was a PR for me so I'm actually pretty darn happy with the times.

Event comments:

I love this race! I will be back next year, and recommend it to anyone, but especially those who are making the jump to Oly distance with some reservations about the swim.

Last year they had a great t-shirt, but this year there wasn't a shirt option at all. Last year's shirt was really weird and as such is one of my favorite race shirts - not the standard swim/bike/run icons - this year they chose to sell DeSoto tri shorts with the Titanium man logo and sponsors printed on them.

If you do this race, remember that they have NO FOOD. Bring your own. The do have water and cans of soda, but nothing else.

Overall, though, it was a well-run, fun race.

Last updated: 2006-05-18 12:00 AM
00:21:00 | 1640 yards | 01m 17s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless Blue Seventy Reaction
Course: Point to point downstream. The shore curves around a point, you swim into the sun, and it's really hard to spot the exit.
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 03:27
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:29:15 | 24.85 miles | 16.71 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Out and back - mostly uphill on the way out and downhill on the way back.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 90?
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:52
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:14:00 | 06.21 miles | 11m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/6
Overall: 0/143
Performance: Good
Course: Flat out and back along a nice paved trail in the park. Had to run on the road between pieces of the park. The road had a pretty serious slant (camber?)
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %unk
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: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-09-11 2:08 PM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: Titanium Man Triathlon

2006-09-12 6:37 PM
in reply to: #536684

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Subject: RE: Titanium Man Triathlon
I can tell you had fun on this one.  You go Tri sis!!!
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