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Black Squirrel Triathlon - Triathlon

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Council Bluffs, Iowa
United States
Race Omaha
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 29m 21s
Overall Rank = 76/178
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 7/12
Pre-race routine:

Used the night before to get all my stuff around, laid out my clothes and shoes and everything the night before so all I had to do was eat and putz around before leaving. Race started at 8 AM in Council Bluffs so I got up at 6AM, made a couple of scrambled eggs, sipped on a Powerade, got my clothes on and headed out the door. Got to the venue a few minutes before 7AM and parked by my friend Scott who I had cajoled into doing this race a few weeks prior. We went over and got our packets and body markings, then got all our stuff around and got some awesome spots in transition right by the bike exit.
Event warmup:

Really just stood around talking to people. Got in the water and swam maybe 150 yards just to get the blood flowing. Water was cool but not cold, air temp was great.
  • 13m 10s
  • 750 yards
  • 01m 46s / 100 yards

I got behind someone early and held onto him pretty well for the first few hundred yards or so. I had forgotten how much you can feel the wake of someone swimming in front of you (hey it's been a while) and I knew that he was going faster than I could go without the draft, so I was thankful I was able to hold on as long as I did! Rounded the buoy swimmingly ;) and brought it back in really well. Every time I came up to sight I was swimming in a straight line. Crazy! Normally I veer left because of my form but I was dead on this time.

Looking at the splits and my own split, it is clear that the swim was very short. The time included a long run from the shore to the transition area (200 yards thereabouts) and I still averaged a 1:45/100 pace... yeah I can't even keep that up in the pool!
What would you do differently?:

Well, including this swim I'm at 12,275 yards for 2018 sooo... maybe swim more? haha
Transition 1
  • 01m 55s

I have not practiced many quick mounts/dismounts and with my bottle setup the way it was I probably couldn't have done it very well anyway. Put on my bike shoes in transition and walked the bike out--it was seriously like 10 feet. Mounted and rode away!
What would you do differently?:

eh, practice moving faster maybe? Idk I felt like I had a fairly efficient transition but 1:55 is kinda slow.
  • 40m 37s
  • 13 miles
  • 19.20 mile/hr

My plan for the bike was to take a Salt Stick Caps PLUS at the start of the bike and after 5 and 10 miles, then see how I was doing for the run. Took one in transition and then as scheduled. As I took the second one I realized that with the cool weather I wasn't drinking at all. Tried to intentionally take more sips of water but just wasn't thirsty. Had done a great job of hydrating the day before and morning of, so my body was like, nah fam, we good. But that wasn't great with such a high electrolyte plan. After the 2nd and 3rd salt stick cap I had kind of a heartburn/acid reflux feeling that culminated in a painful burp and then I felt great after each one. I had been taking no caffeine in the week or so leading up to the race in hopes that some caffeine during the event would help, and I feel like it did. Not quite a full lap in I got caught by a group of about 8 people who were working in a loose group, so I grabbed on to the back of them for free speed. I'm assuming the race is draft legal because there was nothing about it in the race material or in the pre-race speech. I could have hung on with them the rest of the way but I was working harder than I wanted to (HR was getting to 170 and higher which is pretty high for me on the bike) so I backed off and raced my own race the second half. I did pick it up one gear on the second lap because I was feeling good (thanks caffeine!) and finished with a negative split by about a minute.
What would you do differently?:

I need to either get a fit on my tri bike or just ride lots and lots more. The outsides of my shoulders get achy when I'm in aero for too long, which I've never had a problem with before, so then I have to come out of aero and sacrifice speed for comfort. Overall I felt like I did well on the bike portion though. Counting this ride I'm at 696 miles for the year--not a ton.
Transition 2
  • 01m 22s

Still haven't put any crazy laces on my shoes to make tying them easier for T2. I decided the run was short enough I could go sockless without too much trouble. No real major hiccups here, though the run exit wasn't where I thought it was going to be so I didn't have as fast of a transition as I was expecting (thought we ran OUT the bike exit/entry but turns out it was out the swim entrance)
What would you do differently?:

Faster laces? Socks? Felt like I had another efficient transition here but it seems kinda slow (120th fastest T2 :( )
  • 32m 20s
  • 3.1 miles
  • 10m 26s  min/mile

A little after halfway some pain on the skin of my arch was enough for me to stop and try to get the rocks or sand out that I assumed was there--except there wasn't anything. Welp, that's gonna be a blister! 2/3 of the way in the other side started hurting in the exact same spot. Two blisters! Woohoo. lesson learned--try running sockless with any new brand/style of running shoe FIRST before doing it in a race!

I went out at what felt to me like a comfortably hard, I can hold this for 5k pace effort. At the first aid station about a half mile in or so I went for the colored fluid and immediately regretted not getting water too. It was mixed SO rich that it honestly tasted like cough medicine at first. Far cry from my last race (Disney Marathon) where they had mixed it so weak it was like drinking flat La Croix. Had to spit most of it out and do tiny sips to try and at least do some hydrating on the run. They had an aid station right before the turn-around so I grabbed water there though I wasn't thirsty enough to finish it off.

I walked the two aid stations and skipped walking the first one when I passed it on the way back in. Otherwise I ran the whole thing which for me is a HUGE deal. I don't normally run all of a run over about 2 miles. Especially not after swimming and biking. Run mileage this year (including this one): 124 mi.
What would you do differently?:

More run training! I feel like some of my marathon fitness had come back a little bit, especially in the week before the tri. I had two really good swims and two really good runs. But a hundred miles of run training is a long week for some people.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung around talking to Brynn, Scott's wife, and my friend Ron Dickinson who had come to spectate his first ever triathlon. Ate a white chip macadamia nut cookie and drank some of the (very thin) blue powerade (bleh).

I was shocked to learn my finish time was only 9 minutes off my sprint distance PR. That combined with other factors is why I think the swim was short, but even so, the fact that I came out and ran a nearly flawlessly executed race while being so rusty and under-trained, was a HUGE confidence boost. I'm considering signing up for the Lincoln Last Blast triathlon, though Scott and I are also considering doing a 100 mile bike ride the day before, so I don't think that will most likely be happening.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Really just minimal run training, and a fear of that on the bike (though really limited bike training at high intensity as well. Learned that a couple weeks prior during the FCA time trial when I just had a hard time going hard.) 696 total bike miles for the year, about 130 of which was over two days during RAGBRAI so hardly a difficult year cycling. Felt good to get back into the tri business though after a 6 (yes SIX) year hiatus.

Event comments:

Race Omaha has caught a lot of flack the past few years for running events pretty poorly. I'm sure some if not most of it was earned, and a certain portion just whiners. This event was solidly run, though I did witness a high-level female athlete go off course RIGHT BY a volunteer and a police officer who could have easily pointed the right direction had they not been doing whatever in the world it was they were doing. She didn't lose much time but certainly something like that can affect your race. It started raining pretty good when the race was getting over so I didn't stick around to watch awards or anything (not that I was gonna get any anyway! ha). Also they ran out of finishers towels, which is a little irritating considering the attendance for the race was pretty much what it had been the preceding several years, but they appear to be mailing them out to people who requested it. I did get one but my friend Scott who finished about 20 minutes after me did not.

Last updated: 2018-08-22 12:00 AM
00:13:10 | 750 yards | 01m 46s / 100yards
Age Group: 7/12
Overall: 41/178
Performance: Good
Suit: Pearl Izumi one piece tri suit
Course: out & back
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 77F / 25C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:55
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:40:37 | 13 miles | 19.20 mile/hr
Age Group: 9/12
Overall: 78/178
Performance: Good
Avg HR 162 Max HR 174
Wind: None
Course: 2 laps clockwise around Manawa
Road: Rough Dry Cadence: 89
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills:
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:22
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:32:20 | 03.1 miles | 10m 26s  min/mile
Age Group: 11/12
Overall: 117/178
Performance: Good
Avg HR 173 Max HR 187
Course: Out & back along the paved trail toward the power plant
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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

2018-08-22 1:58 PM

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Husker Nation
Subject: Black Squirrel Triathlon
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