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Lake Logan Half - Triathlon

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Canton, North Carolina
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 7h 40m 52s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This race is my 8-week check-in race leading up to IM Chattanooga. I had a lot of friends, from both Atlanta Tri Club and BT, doing this race so I knew it was going to be a good time!

Drove 3.5 hours to North Carolina and as soon as I hit the state line, the skies opened up and I drove through some bad thunderstorms. People were pulling off to the side of the road, it was quite scary. Still raining at packet pickup but I ran into Michele and Tish from the tri club. Listened to the RD talk about all of the things EVERYONE was telling me about this race that just made me unnecessarily anxious: The cold water temp, the debris field in the lake, the water temp dropping significantly the last 200 yards of the swim, the two 9%+ grade hills on the bike, etc. So much talk about all this.

After that, I headed to the adorable AirBnB I had rented. It was a studio loft above a huge garage up in the mountains. It was the most perfect place, and the owners were so nice. Went into town for some carryout Mexican and ate it back at the loft before getting in bed by 9 p.m. Did not sleep much, estimating 4-5 hours.

Event warmup:

I was up at 4 a.m. and on the road by 4:30 a.m. - at the race site just before 5 a.m. and was one of the first 10 cars in the parking lot. Definitely too early, but again there was so much TALK about how traffic backs up that I didn't want to risk getting stuck and having to rush. I sat in my car for a long time, ate my overnight oats, drank my coffee, pumped my tires and finally headed into transition but was still one of the first ~10 people to set up. Early bird gets... to wait? My friends trickled in and I met Janyne from BT and some new folks from the tri club before getting into my wetsuit and walking over to the swim start. Ate a Honey Stinger waffle about 15 minutes before starting.

One of the tri club girls who had gotten in the water loudly exclaimed that she could not IMAGINE swimming in any colder water (remember the water temp was going to drop significantly before the swim exit) and I just wanted people to stop talking LOL.
  • 44m 34s
  • 2317 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

I got in the water about 30 seconds before my wave's gun went off and this water was legit cold. // EDIT: found out the water was 63 degrees, and that is BEFORE the temperature drop at the end. Everything makes more sense now. // I put my face in to test my goggle seal and did not enjoy it. I immeditaely wished I had a sleeved wetsuit (which I have at home, but it's horrible to swim in, so this was a wash... have cold arms with sleeveless or warmer warms but restricted shoulder motion). But here I am and I gotta swim in this.

The gun went off and I started moving. My hands, feet, arms and face were overwhelmingly cold. I've never swam in water this cold. In my life. I now know the feeling I've read about when people talk about the "shock" of the cold water. I kept it a bit easy in the beginning becuase I didn't want my heart rate or breathing to skyrocket from the shock. Good call.

After about 10 minutes, I either started to warm up or go numb... I honetsly couldn't tell. But it started to become more enjoyable and I was like you know, I really do love to swim. I always think this in a race because it's true.

Another thing everyone wouldn't shut up about was a "debris field" in the lake from all the recent rains and whatnot. I kept thinking "I've encountered a LAKE MONSTER before... no biggie with some sticks and leaves." I ran into a few things here and there and thought that's it? That's what all the talk was about? But then about 1500 yards in, I found it.

THE DEBRIS FIELD. OK this was not only a wall of "matter" like sticks, leaves, who knows what, but it was SWIRLING around and around. I would hit it with every stroke, the debris pelted my face left and right. It was the stuff your nightmares are made of. It lasted maybe 200 yards and it was kind of crazy.

Right after that, here was the temperature drop and it was well before everyone said it would be. But I knew I was nearing the end at this point. Here I could see the bottom of the river and it made me kind of dizzy. Just wanted to be out at this point. Got to the dock, stood up and couldn't decide if I wanted the volunteer to pull me out or if my arms had enough strength to pull myself out. I stood there for a good 30 seconds before I pulled myself out.
What would you do differently?:

If I had a full sleeved wetsuit that was comfortable, I'd definitely have worn that.
Transition 1
  • 06m 38s

It felt so good to be out of the cold water. I looked down to see if my feet were blue - they weren't. I ran almost the whole way around transiton while pulling my wetsuit down and taking off my cap and goggles. Got to my spot and sat down to get my wetsuit legs off, struggled good, and a racer across the rack from me came over and pulled the suit off of me - thanks, random racer!

Everything else was normal and smooth. I walked my bike out of transition and up to the mount line. Here we freaking go.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. There is a lot of ground to cover in this transition, plus get a wetsuit off, so I knew T1 would be long.
  • 3h 48m 21s
  • 55.49 miles
  • 14.58 mile/hr

I had a lot of anxiety about the bike course because of all the chatter about the hills - plus, this was the first triathlon I'd done since crashing on the bike and breaking my leg at IMLOU in 2015. I had a lot mentally riding on this bike ride.

Immediately, I could tell that my recently-installed aerobottle was not going to work. Even though I'd tested it on the trainer a few days ago, it was completely not in the right position for me to be able to drink out of it. And the most annoying part was that the mount didn't really fit my aerobars. I had zip-tied them tight, but it was rattling louder than anything I'd ever heard rattle on my bike before. One of the most annoying things I'd ever heard, and I couldn't imaging riding 56 miles like this. More on this later.

Felt good otherwise, but knowing the first half of the course was net downhill. At mile 12, I dropped my chain and panicked when at first it looked like what happened last weekend, it was kind of stuck. But I stopped and wiggled it around and only lost about 30 seconds before I had it fixed right up. But, because of this, I was really nervous every time I shifted into my small gear that it would drop and get stuck. Ugh. Going to take it in to get looked at this week.

At the mile 19 aid station, I stopped and asked the volunteer if anyone had scissors or a knife. He produced a knife and helped me cut the zip ties off my aero bottle mount - I took it off and said "throw the whole thing away!" and filled up the water bottle on my downtube. Waste of money on that set up, but it was so awful.

Janyne passed me at mile 20, and Anne Marie passed me at mile 30! So fun to have friends on the course. Stopped at the mile 36 aid station to fill up my water bottle again.

Ticking off the miles up to mile 40, I got more and more anxious about the hills. Gave myself a little pep talk, it's going to be fine. It's going to be fine. I hit the first 9%+ grade hill - and about 1/3 of the way up there is a small drop and I thought, this is it? THAT WAS NOT IT. Back up up up for another... mile? Grinding grinding grinding. I passed two women who were off their bikes and walking up the hill. I put my head down and chanted out loud... Go... Go... Go Lisa Go. It hurt. I was going 3 mph. But I was in my saddle and moving. When I was sure I was finished with the hill, flying down the other side, I was so happy. I yelled "I DID IT! I FREAKING DID IT!" and was so proud of myself.

I really, really enjoyed the course after the first big hill and until the last big hill. I actually improved my average speed on this section and it was just really fun. Then at mile 53 was the other 9%+ grade hill and it was so brutal. Again, I put my head down and chanted. And again, I somehow made it. Just a few more miles back into transition and my emotions came flooding out.
What would you do differently?:

For this course, maybe train on mountain passes. LOL!
Transition 2
  • 04m 15s

Took my bike shoes off to run into transition. Racked quickly, changed out of my tri top and into my ATL Tri Club top. Yep, something I normally wouldn't do, but I had this intense desire to be part of this group today. And I'm so new that only a couple of people know who I am, so the branded top helps.
What would you do differently?:

  • 2h 57m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 13m 31s  min/mile

I wasn't sure how I'd feel off the bike, but I started running and didn't feel too bad. The first 3 miles of this course is a solid incline uphill, then you turn around for 3 miles downhill, then repeat. On my first loop, I saw lots of tri club friends so lots of high fives, encouragement, cheering for each other. THIS is why I wanted to wear the top!! I struggled on the long uphill here, but once I hit the turnaround I felt amazing and ran most of the way back to transition. Here I saw Nicole walking, and I asked if she had seen Michele since I had been looking and hadn't seen her yet. She told me that they didn't make the bike cutoff and were DNF'd but walking a loop of the run course. Ooooof.

The sun was out now, and while it wasn't overwhelmingly hot, it was definitely warm. I was carrying my handheld bottle with water, and taking sports drink at every aid station. Around mile 8 I got hungry, so ate my Honey Stinger Waffle I'd been carrying - perfect. I was doing a run/walk the 2nd time up the hill with the promise to myself I'd run on the way down. On the way down, I saw Michele and walked with her for a minute. She was disapointed, but not angry. I felt bad for her.

Finally back in transition I did the last little gravel loop before getting to turn into the finish line. Very ready to stop moving, and proud of myself for finishing this very challenging race.
What would you do differently?:

Not much. I managed some things like heat, pinky toe rubbing, and 6 miles of incline. I feel good about this.
Post race
Warm down:

I almost started crying at the finish line, but my buddy Chuck saw me come in and was rushing to give me a high five. He walked me over to where Nicole and everyone were sitting and I went to get some food. I spent a few extra minutes alone and let myself cry for a minute. Good, happy tears.

Hung out with the tri club group while we watched the awards ceremony (SO many ATC people placed and got awards!). We waited for our last person, Tish, to come in and cheered her across the finish line. Then I packed up and walked out with Tish and Michele.

A bunch of ATC people had talked about heading to Asheville for dinner and drinks (including Michele), but didn't extend an invitation to me, which I thought was a little... exclusive. But in all actuality, but the time I got back to my AirBnB and showered, I didn't want to be around anyone or go anywhere. I found a place a few miles away that had GF pizza, so I ordered some take out and brought it back. It was probably the best pizza I've ever had - no joke.

Slept really good and took my time getting ready the next morning. Headed out around 10:30 a.m. but had to stop and close my eyes 2 hours into the drive. Finally got home around 2:30 p.m.

Event comments:

Lake Logan is a wonderful, well-organized race. But it's one of the more challenging events I've ever done. Cold swim, incredibly hilly bike and hilly run. Great volunteer support and in a beautiful area of the country.

Last updated: 2018-02-20 12:00 AM
00:44:34 | 2317 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Suit: Sleeveless wetsuit
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 68F / 20C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 06:38
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
03:48:21 | 55.49 miles | 14.58 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Wind: None
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 04:15
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
02:57:02 | 13.1 miles | 13m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Course: 2 laps
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2018-08-05 2:46 PM

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: Lake Logan Half

2018-08-06 9:36 AM
in reply to: #5247481

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, Minnesota
Gold member
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

Great job!  You always impress me with your "it might be hard, but I am just going to get this done" attitude.   That debris field sounded awful - can you imagine what a person who is scared of open water swimming would think?  Yikes.   

2018-08-06 10:19 AM
in reply to: #5247481

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Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

So much good in this report!  Overcoming the cold water and the weird, swirling debris field; dealing with the challenges of chain mishaps, rattly water bottle and 9% hills (yuck!) on the bike.  I love how you yelled in victory after conquering the first hill!   Congratulations on a very successful return to tri.  By all means, tears are OK.   Great job!

2018-08-06 11:35 AM
in reply to: #5247481

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Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

Good job!!! Congrats on a successful return to IM racing.

2018-08-06 12:25 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

Great job Lisa! I was so glad to finally meet you. I'm sorry that the lake was so cold! Last year it was 73 and the year before that 72.

I'm so glad to hear that you conquered those hills! The one one Stamey Cove is brutal on a tri bike (I've done it on a road bike and found it to be much easier, then again, I didn't swim before that ride!). There is nothing like that in Chattanooga! (BTW, the Oly course is flat compare to the HIM so if you want a little Lake Logan love next year and don't want so many hills, keep that in mind.)

I really hope that you had a decent time this weekend!

2018-08-06 12:27 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half
Congrats on overcoming all the difficulties and getting it done! That swim sounds cold and awful. I don't recommend CDA 70.3 for you--I think water last year was 60 or 62. It was pretty cold..... I don't know about aero bottles. I pretty much had the same thing happen to me at Calgary last weekend. Profile Design mount just totally failed the day before the race; my zip tie and rubber band solution came completely undone in the first 10-12 miles; ended up just swigging all the water down and chucking the thing at at first aid station. Glad everything worked out in the end!

2018-08-06 2:02 PM
in reply to: #5247481

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half
Wow, that sounds incredibly difficult and quite a challenge for your first race after the leg. Awesome job and I hope training for Chattanooga is going well.
2018-08-06 2:04 PM
in reply to: #5247481

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

Nice job out there! Sounds like this was a really good warm-up for Chattanooga. BTW, when I looked over the Chattanooga bike course, there was nothing more than 6%... so it will seem like a piece of cake in comparison to this!

I enjoyed reading your race report. It made me wish I'd been there too. (Well, except for the cold water and DEBRIS!) lol

2018-08-07 8:26 AM
in reply to: LindaKC

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Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half
Congrats on a great race! I know the feeling of buying gear that doesn't work as advertised. Hopefully your LBS can get you fixed up and some fun new toys before your IM.
2018-08-08 3:32 PM
in reply to: #5247481

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Subject: RE: Lake Logan Half

Way to go! You and Janyne put me to shame, I don't know how you did that swim!!  Sorry our meeting was only a quick 'hi" on the bike course. 

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