General Discussion Race Reports! » Lake Tahoe Triathlon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

Lake Tahoe Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

View Member's Race Log View other race reports
Kings Beach, Nevada
United States
Global Events Management
30F / -1C
Total Time = 3h 42m 20s
Overall Rank = 51/79
Age Group = 40-49
Age Group Rank = 4/9
Pre-race routine:

We drove up on Friday afteroon from Chico, it started snowing as we went over Donner Summit, and it snowed on and off all the way into Kings Beach. We scoped out the bike route, and found a section of the roadway that had an active construction site - with K rail on one site, and 2-10 foot lanes (no shoulders at all). Did a quick mental rundown on whether I still wanted to do this race - it's snowing, on one of the busiest highways in the Tahoe Valley, and oh, by the way, you have about a 1/4 mile of the roadway where you are a sitting duck for every vehicle that comes by. After running through the pro's and con's of DNS vs. Triathlete killed during local race headline, I opted to continue, and just try somehow to not get tangled up with a vehicle in that section. We found a cheap hotel about 1000 yards from the race site, nothing fancy but it had two beds and was reasonably clean. Friday afternoon the wind was blowing about 20 miles per hour, and the white caps were crashing into the dock - and it was snowing!!! It made for a pretty ominus picture of what tomorrow might bring. I stuck my arm down in the water, and thankfully, it did not feel too cold - not as bad as last year anyway. We went to Garwoods (a beautiful restaurant on the water) and had a Fat Tire (the only one I allowed myself) and sat on the deck and enjoyed the view - Tahoe is without a doubt the most beautiful lake I have ever seen.

After a pasta dinner at a great little Italian eatery, we came back to the hotel and I fussed around for an hour or so, getting organinzed, putting my numbers on, and such.
Event warmup:

I woke up at 3:00 AM - freezing cold. Put on my sweats and socks, hoping that would help me get back to sleep - no such luck. Finally got up and had 1/2 a bagel with peanut butter, went back to bed, still no luck. Tossed and turned till 5:00, said the heck with it and got up. We went out to Safeway to get some coffee, and the sign at the bank said 24 degrees!!! My pickup was registering around 30 degrees, but it usually runs warm unless you are out on the highway. It was plenty cold.
We came back, I had another 1/2 bagel, and a bananna. Loaded my stuff up, and moved the pickup next to the race area. Setting up the transition area went well, and we had enough time to go back to the pickup and warm up for about 30 minutes.

I waited until 30 minutes before race time to put on my wetsuit, as I did not want to have to stand out in the sub-freezing weather a moment longer than necessary.
I really didn't do much of a warm up - walked around quite a bit, and did a couple of short jogs. Then I put on my wetsuit, my swimsocks (love those things), my latex gloves (they didn't work out so well) and my double swim cap (that worked well) and my brand new googles and headed down to the start. The sand was literally freezing cold - and the people that were not prepared (with bare feet) were suffering badly. Many were sitting down, just so they could hold their feet in the air, to keep from putting them on the sand and getting colder. My swim socks did a great job of keeping my feet comfortable while waiting for my wave to begin.

  • 38m 29s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 34s / 100 meters

Swim went really well for me. I believe that I sighted well, kept a very consistent pace, and did about the best I could have hoped to do. Gloves did not work, as they started to fill with water - I ended up ditching them at the first Kayak I passed. This was my best improvement over last year - I was able to trim about 13 minutes off my swim time from last year.
What would you do differently?:

No gloves - everything else went according to plan. A couple of times on the last leg I went to sight and take a breath - and got a big mouthful of lake water instead. There was just enough waves to suprise you if you were not careful. Training wise, I really kind of fell of the wagon with respect to open water swims - my last one was in July. Getting a few more in my last training weeks would probably have helped me.
Transition 1
  • 04m 36s

T1 actually took a little longer than I expected - but there is a pretty good run (both into and out of) that adds some time. Everything went well, suit down, earplugs out, and goggles/caps off by the time I got to my bike. Pulled the suit off, put on my top and arm warmers, snapped on my fuel belt, slipped on my socks, shoes, sunglasses, windbreaker and helmet, and off I went.
What would you do differently?:

I had to keep telling myself - stick to the plan!!! It was so cold, that I knew I would be tempted to add more clothes - which I would hate about a mile into the hillclimb. I stuck to the plan, which worked really well - a little chilly on the fast downhills, but overall it worked good.
Last years T-1 was a disaster - over 8 minutes due to hypothermia and my inability to do anything quickly.
  • 1h 58m 3s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 12.63 mile/hr

Took off well from T1, put my gloves on while riding, dealt with a couple of goof-ball motorists on Hwy 28 (oblivious to the fact there was a race going on), then headed up Hwy 267. The northbound route up is not incredibly difficult - just a long stinking climb. Passed a few people, felt pretty good with my pace, then two guys blew past me like I was standing still - so much for my ego.

Made it up to the summit, slammed a gel and quick drink of water and headed down. The downhill leg probably averaged 10% grade, so even without pedeling you were doing 35 or 40 mph. Road surface was very rough, and it was a constant death grip on the bars, trying to keep your tires on the smoothest piece of road. I was about a mile into the downhill, when all of a sudden I slammed into two potholes that were hidden in the shade. I didn't even know what I had hit, as I never even saw them coming. Immediately afterwards, I heard this awfull grinding sound - I thought for sure I had either broke something on my bike, or the chain had flew off and was grinding along the highway. Once I got back under control, I realized that the sound was my water bottle flying out of its cage, and then sliding along the highway behind me.

While I was glad it wasn't my bike, that little incident raised hell with my hydration/nutrition plan for the ride - as that was my only electrolyte drink.

The next challenge was the K-rail section - My plan was to try to listen very carefully, if I didn't hear any cars coming, gradually move over, and take a quarter of the lane - I figured that would work OK as long as we didn't have any opposing traffic. Made it though uneventfully, then just cranked up the speed - passed three people doing 33 mph on the downhill section.

Made it to the turn around, lost a little time stopping and getting a new water bottle - it wasn't electroyte, but at least it was wet. I pulled my power bar out in the flat section, thinking this would be a good time to have some of it - I got it opened and tried chewing a piece off - it was nearly frozen solid. I kinda chewed the corners off of it, and was able to gradually warm it up enough so that I could eat some of it. I briefly thought about putting it inside my shorts to warm it up, but couldn't bring myself to do it - that just seemed wrong!!!

Climbing back up, I kept telling myself to keep a good easy pace - as the climb back up was really tough. Last year I had to walk on three separate occasions because my quads just gave up. My goal this race was to not have to stop. About 1/2 way up the demons started pestering me, saying "it's getting hard now, and it would feel real good to stop and walk a bit". Once I realized they were getting in my head, I quickly tried to put them back out of my mind, and just told myself to focus on a good cadence, and to get out of the saddle once in a while to switch the muscle groups.

I saw one gal going thru the same struggle - and she would spin for a while, then get off and walk - then repeat. I tried to encourge her as I went by.

The K rail section on the uphill portion was a little scarier. I was going 5.7 mph, and the cars were probably doing 40 - and there was not enough room for both of us. One truck came by that had to be within a foot of my bike - that was a little too close for confort.

Finally made it to the top, slammed another gel and a quick drink, then down the other side.

This downhill was every bit a rough as the other direction. As I rounded the last little curve, coming into Kings Beach, all of a sudden the shoulder disappeared, and all you were left to right on was an incredibly alligatored roadway surface. All I could do was again put a death grip on the bars, and scream outload at the caltrans maintenance guys for not spending a couple of hours with an asphalt patch truck before this race.

I made it down to the bottom, and was greeted by a line of about 30 cars lined up at the signal. I swung to the inside, and scooted past all the cars, and as I approached the intersection, the CHP stopped everyone, so that I could go through. How sweet is that!!!

My ride this year was really good - I cut almost 9 minutes off of my time from last year.

Got the the dismount area, and headed to T2.
What would you do differently?:

Still need more big hills in my training routine - and this winter, I need to start a weight program to build my leg strength.
Transition 2
  • 00m

Everything here went really well - there were only about 4 people that had faster times than me.
What would you do differently?:

  • 00m
  • 6.21 miles
  •  min/mile

Run went OK. Last year I walked the steep hills, to keep my heartrate in check - so I went with that strategy again this year. Worked well, I just had to be a little careful with the downhills, and I could feel those trying to hurt my quads. Ran with a gentleman from Reno, for a couple of miles, and we had a great converstation. It really helped the miles click by. They had Red Bull at the 1/2 way point, I had one to help push me to the end. The finish was along the beach, right near where we started. There were a few people cheering, but a pretty small crowd overall.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really - I just can not seem to run very fast, after swimming and biking... I think what really hurt me here (I was 4.5 minutes slower than last year) is that there was no-one to race. It almost started to feel like a training run, with no other competitors around (with only 79 total racers, we got pretty well scattered out, pretty quick). I was almost just "going through the motions" of running, rather that really competing at this point. Seems that perhaps I need a little more mental preparation next year. Had I ran this part of the race well, I could have made my big goal of cutting 30 minutes off my total race time.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit, had a few bites of apple and orange, and some water. Picked up my transition area stuff, and then had a chocolate milk.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Same thing that always limits me - life, family and work obligations that seem to come in front of my training obligations.

Overall I was pretty happy with my time - I trimmed 22 minutes off my time from last year. This still wasn't quite fast enough to put me on the podium - but there is always next year....

Last year, I felt that this course was incredibly difficult. At the finish line, it was all I could do to still walk. This year, I sailed through the finish, and it was no big deal - I remember thinking - I could easily run further... Maybe even push it to do 13.1, rather than 6.2. Hmm, if only they had a race that a guy could run 13.1 miles after warming up with a little swim and a bike ride..........

Event comments:

Post Race was great - FREE tri-tip sandwiches, FREE beer, lots of salads, and a live band to entertain us while the last finishers came in - then a nice but quick awards ceremony.

Only complaint about the Post Race - at the finish line they did not have any type of recover drink or electrolyte. I had brought my own, but it was a 1000 yards away in my pickup, it would have been nice to have something as soon as we crossed the finish line.

Last updated: 2006-08-13 12:00 AM
00:38:29 | 1500 meters | 02m 34s / 100meters
Age Group: 5/9
Overall: 41/79
Performance: Good
Suit: Promotion Full
Course: Triangular course, out from Kings Beach, clockwise around two bouys.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 64F / 18C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Average Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:36
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:58:03 | 24.85 miles | 12.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/79
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: From Kings Beach Launch Ramp area, up Hwy 267, over the Brockway summit (about a 1300 foot elevation gain, to a maximum of 7300 feet), back down the other side to the Truckee airport, then back Brockway summit again. Total elevation gain of around 2600 vertical feet.
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:00:00 | 06.21 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/9
Overall: 0/79
Performance: Average
Course: Up surface streets, then up 267, turnaround then back.
Keeping cool Good 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: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-09-18 10:20 PM

User image

Durham, CA
Subject: Lake Tahoe Triathlon

2006-09-18 10:38 PM
in reply to: #545284

User image

Truckee, CA
Subject: RE: Lake Tahoe Triathlon
Good job!

I live here in Truckee, and there was NO WAY I was going to do this race. 267, in the best of conditions, is sketchy. Especially with the construction. I'd love to do this as a swim-run duathlon.

I did say a little prayer for everyone once I saw the snow falling - I knew it was going to be a rough day. I'm glad you finished safe and sound.
2006-09-19 8:43 AM
in reply to: #545297

User image

Durham, CA
Subject: RE: Lake Tahoe Triathlon


Thanks for the comments - yes, 267 is a nutty place to hold a race like this - I made that point to both the Caltrans rep and the race director - hopefully they will find a little better route for the bike next year.

Other that the start being cold, the weather actually turned out to be pretty nice once we thawed out. 


General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » Lake Tahoe Triathlon Rss Feed