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Silverlake Sprint Triathlon - Triathlon

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Pearland, Texas
United States
80F / 27C
Total Time = 55m 50s
Overall Rank = 6/176
Age Group = Female
Age Group Rank = 1/81
Pre-race routine:

Had a really bad race last weekend and learned some good lessons from it, so I wanted to take those and put them toward another race. I was feeling good, both physically and mentally, and I wanted to race for the overall female win at this race. I even let myself think and say that I thought I could take the female win, so that's kind of cool :)

The day before the race had a 20' TT on the bike (to really prove to myself that last weekend's result was not a reflection of my current fitness), but otherwise laid pretty low all day. Had an early dinner and drank my pre-race beer (Smashed, Grabbed, and Hop Dusted by Jolly Pumpkin) and got to bed early. Interestingly enough, I slept worse the night before this race than I have before most of my other recent races!

Up at 4am to pack the last of my stuff, eat breakfast (steel cut oats with some protein powder and almonds), and hit the road for the 40 minute drive to the race site. I got my race wheels put on and started the walk over to the race site (about 10 minutes from the parking area).....and pretty quickly decided it was silly to walk my bike when I could just ride it :)

I haven't done a sprint in nearly two years, and can't remember the last time there was open racking. I wasn't overly concerned with it and didn't bother to try to get there right as transition opened. I found a decent rack and got my stuff set up, and then walked around the transition area to make sure I knew what the flow path would be.

Event warmup:

Really didn't do any kind of warm-up. They did let people into the water about 30 minutes before the race start, but I figured by the time I actually started, that warm-up would have been kind of moot, so I just stood around and chatted with a few people.

  • 07m 50s
  • 400 meters
  • 01m 58s / 100 meters

I've been doing a decent amount of OWS'ing recently, practicing drafting and surging, so I was hoping to see some improvement. Though the time looks slow, I don't think it was actually that bad....the timing mat was a bit of a run from the exit, and the exit was slow since it was up some awkward stairs. Also, it was a non-wetsuit swim and since it was only 400m, I didn't bother to wear a swim skin or anything.

I knew a couple of the ladies in the race and was hoping to get on one of their feet because they're each a bit faster than me, but I figured I could hold on. We didn't end up starting next to one another, but I found another set of feet that were pretty perfect for me.....I felt like I was working hard to stay on and her sighting seemed right on, so I was pretty happy with where I was. Turned out, we were a few seconds slower than one of the ladies I was wanting to draft and a couple seconds faster than the other, so I was pretty happy with it.

I did feel a little bad because I kept hitting her feet. The lake was so murky you couldn't really see anything in front of you, so I could feel her draft and sighted her every ten or so strokes, but couldn't see her feet (or my hand!), so I touched her feet a number of times. Sorry about that! But thanks for the ride :)

What would you do differently?:

I was pretty happy with how this went. I told myself I would push this whole race hard right from the start, and I did. This would be too aggressive for a HIM (obviously!), but I'm hoping the swim improvements / confidence come through

Transition 1
  • 01m 13s

Reasonably clean transition....if I did sprints more, I would probably try to learn a flying mount (and race without socks). I must have passed two women in transition and the third one right at the mount line. At this point, I didn't realize it, but there was only one person in front of me.

  • 23m 47s
  • 9 miles
  • 22.70 mile/hr

In my 20' TT the day before the race, I held 205W. I told Marc I thought I should try to hold somewhere in the 180-190W range for this race and he told me he thought it was a little low and I should shoot more for 190W. I started the ride and was feeling really good holding just over 190. Within a couple minutes, I came up on the one lady in front of me and I made the pass. At this point, I thought there was a good chance I was leading the women's race, but I wasn't completely sure.

By the time we made it to the u-turn, I saw that I'd already put in a sizable gap on the women behind me and I was feeling pretty confident that I was in the lead....and because of the way the waves were set up, I was actually leading the whole race at this point! To be honest, I was hoping that the turns were well-marked because I don't know the area, and even though I did look at the race map, I could easily have gone off course. This is an issue I've never faced before, so kind of cool....but kind of dangerous!

Continued to push the pace and the power while making my way around the course. I was still feeling really good and noticed that my HR was pretty high for me, but that's what I wanted since I said I was going to push hard from the first moment until I was done.

As I made the last turn to head back into transition, I pulled my feet out of my shoes to get ready to dismount. Up to that point, my NP was 194W and I was really pleased with the fact that I pushed myself and was feeling good!

What would you do differently?:

Should probably make an effort to know the course better, but it wasn't really an issue

Transition 2
  • 01m 9s

The same thing that happened at Galveston 70.3 happened again today....ever since putting the 11 speed free hub on the race wheel, the crank turns when it free wheels. This isn't an issue when my shoes aren't still on the pedals, as the pedals clear the ground fine....but when my shoes are on there, they hit the ground and almost act as a "brake", but since I'm running with the bike, the back end "jumps" and then comes crashing back to the ground. I really do need to figure out if this is "normal" (and if so, how to manage it) or if I screwed up somehow.

The rest of transition was pretty uneventful. I changed into my running shoes and ditched my helmet, and then worked on putting on my race belt and hat as I was running out of transition.

What would you do differently?:

Figure out this wheel thing....

  • 21m 50s
  • 3 miles
  • 07m 17s  min/mile

Running out of transition, I was pretty sure that I was leading the race....and was also sure that there were going to be many fast women chasing me down! I confirmed that I was at the front of the race when the motorcycle marshal was leading me out.....I was pretty excited about this! But I was also running scared....I was not about to let up and give up my lead without a fight. I was super proud of myself for having the confidence to think I could win this race and really executing it.

I had asked Marc about a pacing strategy and he said "don't pace the run, just give it what you have", so I only looked at my Garmin when I wanted to see what my HR was (it was high, as planned!), when it beeped at my for my mile splits, and at 2.6 miles when I was hoping I was close to the finish as I was beat!

About a mile in, I heard footsteps behind me. I was pretty sure the footsteps and breathing sounded like a guy, but I wasn't was a guy and he came flying past me. Based on the results, it looks like he was running about 2 min/mile faster than me! Turns out, he has a full ride scholarship to Rice University for running, so certainly not surprising that he's crazy fast!

As I was turning the corner just after the two mile point, there was a volunteer who was cheering and saying to watch the mud on the sidewalk just ahead....and then about five seconds later, I heard her say it again, so I knew someone else was closing in on me, but I was not about to look back. I continued to run as hard as I could because I did NOT want to lose it in the last mile!

About three quarters of a mile later, the person finally made the pass....but it was a guy with an "R" on his leg....whew! I continued running scared and the finish line finally came into other women caught me, so I crossed the line as the first female, completely spent, and incredibly happy! Turns out, I actually had the fastest female run split, which is crazy because I've never been a strong runner. Of course, there are many women who are much stronger runners than I am, but none of them raced the sprint today, so it was my victory :)

The race course was slightly short, so I didn't actually run a 7:17 mile was more like 7:40, which is still pretty good for the heat, humidity, and hard bike.

What would you do differently?:

Really not a whole lot....keep running like someone is chasing you :)

Post race
Warm down:

I stood around and chatted with some people after finishing the race. I eventually saw the second female (first masters female) come in behind me, so we congratulated each other and talked for a bit. I decided to go for another loop on the run course as a warm down (my schedule should have included an 80 minute run today, so I figured getting another three miles in would be good enough)....amazing how much "shorter" the course felt when I was running at a comfortable pace instead of redlining!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The bike course is simply not a fast course with all of the turns, but I was fast enough for the day. The heat and humidity (thankfully the sun stayed behind the clouds for the entire race!) made keeping cool, and thus running fast, a difficult task. I made the best of it and executed a good run for the day.

Event comments:

My only "complaint" is that some of the volunteers did not seem ready when I showed up on the bike. I had to slow down and confirm where to go on a number of occasions, but I guess they weren't expecting anyone for another few minutes.

Last updated: 2017-05-29 12:00 AM
00:07:50 | 400 meters | 01m 58s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/81
Overall: 0/176
Performance: Good
Course: Rectangular course
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 80F / 27C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:13
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:23:47 | 09 miles | 22.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 1/81
Overall: 4/176
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Quite a few turns on this course, including one u-turn, so not a particularly fast course, but it was pretty fun
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:09
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:21:50 | 03 miles | 07m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/81
Overall: 0/176
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Average 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

2017-05-29 2:54 PM

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Houston, Texas
Subject: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon

2017-05-30 10:58 AM
in reply to: #5221347

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon

Awesome race and a great execution of your strategy.

2017-06-01 8:47 AM
in reply to: #5221347

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DeLand, Florida
Subject: RE: Silverlake Sprint Triathlon

Fantastic race Nicole and congrats!!!


Actually did a little fist pump while reading and seeing you were the first woman across the line.  Even though I knew you won the overall Female spot, it was so well written it kept me in suspense anyway



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