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Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Rock Hall, Maryland
United States
Kinetic Multisport
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 41m 9s
Overall Rank = 149/381
Age Group = M 55- 59
Age Group Rank = 9/15
Pre-race routine:

"The Five Week Taper"

This was my A race for the first half of the season after finishing off a successful 2023. I focused pretty hard on my run as that was the weak link this year, so I averaged like 10-12 miles a week and was expecting a decent run result. This is the Maryland state qualifier for Age Group Nationals and I aged up this year so I was trying to make it...needed top third in age group to do it which based on last year's results would have needed a sub-1:30.

Training went well the first four months of the year, including a great April. Then on April 30th as I went to bed I started having heart palpitations that wouldn't stop, so went to the ER. Blood pressure was 180/95 so not good, but they couldn't find anything wrong with chest X-ray and blood work. Saw a cardiologist and did some additional tests. Nothing to find. Ugh. So I waited a few days and resumed reduced training for a couple of weeks - still not feeling quite right but better. Finally felt normal about two weeks out so had one decent week of training, then we went on vacation to the beach and let's just say I tapered a lot.

Definitely felt undertrained going into the race, especially on the bike and I hadn't been outside on my bike in a while other than a few minutes making sure stuff worked. This was to be my first race on my new race wheels, a FLO 64 front and custom-built FLO 90 rear so hoping that would give me a few seconds.

Training Peaks had me at around 52 fitness, the lowest I've been for a race in quite a while, but I thought I could power through with all of the training I've done over the years and just might not quite it an all-time performance.

This race sets up well for me, flat bike, flat run, harbor swim. Target was 15 out of the water, 44 on the bike, 26:30 on the run, 3:30 total transitions so in the 1:28/1:29 range. Daughter is racing again with me which is cool.
Event warmup:

"No Sleep 'Till Rock Hall"

As noted, super tapered and bouncing off the walls a bit by the end of the week. Night before the race went to bed early and couldn't fall asleep. Just full-on adrenaline surge, ready to race at 11:00 PM. Finally got myself asleep around 1 PM and woke up at the prescribed 4:30. Didn't feel great. Had a bagel, apple and coffee and on the road at 5:45 for the 90+ minute ride to Rock Hall. We get there and check-in, set up transition and do a light warm up. Walked the 600 yards or so to the swim start and noted the wind was picking up pretty good off the Bay, and the water was getting really choppy especially out by the opening in the breakwater. This should be interesting, but I've become a pretty confident swimmer if not particularly fast so not worried or anything.

Anthem, get wetsuit on, then the wait starts. This is the Maryland high school championships so they all went out in a wave by themselves, then the OA win hopefuls, then us mere mortals. Almost 400 people total in the race going in TT-style so it was like 12 minutes or so before I jumped in.

Off we go!!
  • 18m 22s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 27s / 100 meters

"Rough Seas in the Harbor"

Jumped in and the water felt cold to my face, and based on my last race in the fall I decided to ease into my swim form, using Tarzan swimming and then slowly introducing my face into the water so I don't get that panic, which worked perfectly. After about a hundred yards or so I'm swimming normally without getting hyper-ventilated. Tons of people in the water but unlike Lums Pond last year it's not aggressive. Saw some people immediately doing rudimentary backstroke and breaststroke as was hoping they'd be OK.

The water is really choppy going out and we're also swimming into the wind and what are now waves, but it's just kind of choppy and I'm doing OK. Sighting fairly well though I got a little wide going into the first turn. Now we're parallel to wind/waves and right by the breakwater gap and it's getting pretty rough. Still feeling good though this is taking some effort and I gulped a mouthful of brackish water probably 3-4 times. Got really wide here so that didn't help either. Made the second turn just fine.

Going sort with the wind now and I get into a good rhythm, even found some feet and worked on sighting. Clipped my foot on the mooring rope for one of the buoys which startled me a bit LOL. Got to the ladder and climbed out slowly to keep my HR down, which was a bit elevated after fighting that swim..

About 17:10 looking down at my watch - I knew this was going to be a slow swim so that was fine in my mind. 7/15 AG, 129/381 OA. Solid performance.
What would you do differently?:

This was probably my best executed swim, other than sighting and adding another 100 yards or so. I felt confident out there, didn't have any water-panic on the start.

I need to practice OWS more as this was my first since October, but scheduling and our crappy spring weather here in Maryland didn't help.
Transition 1
  • 02m 25s

"Get Some Tri Shoes You Idiot"

About a 100 yard run to transition, got cap/goggles off and wetsuit down while jogging. HR is spiking pretty good and my legs don't feel great. Got to my bike and got the wetsuit off pretty quickly thanks to my stealing BDAS Nat's hack of cutting off the wetsuit ankles. I took my time a little and had some trouble getting my stupid boa shoe fasteners tight enough.

9/15 AG, 167/381 OA - meh
What would you do differently?:

Get new triathlon shoes.
  • 45m 43s
  • 14.6 miles
  • 19.16 mile/hr

"Wind, Wuthering, and We Don't Want You Here"

The Plan was to hold around 210-220 watts as much as I could and stay in aero. I didn't carry any liquid or nutrition as I was planning to drink during the run. I think this was a mistake, and it got warmer out quicker than I thought.

Got to the mount line and pushed off, took a few seconds to get fully clipped in but not too bad. Spun up to speed and started passing people. Like tons of people. Over the almost 15 miles I passed probably 50-60 people and only was passed by guys on serious tri rigs. The first half was with the wind so that felt easier but my HR was probably 8-10 beats higher than it should have been Legs didn't have their usual snap, and I can't get into any kind of a rhythm. I averaged a little over 21 mph the first half, then we turn back and get the brunt of the wind the rest of the way, plus the road is more rough and it became a big effort to hold 20 mph on the flats.

Then about 10 miles in I'm approaching a car going really slowly as he waits to pass some cyclists. I need to pass him and there's more room on the right than left as he's hugging the yellow line. I think this doesn't look right, and it'd be stupid dangerous to pass on the right. I then go around him with an illegal center-line cross (someone ahead of me also just did this) and as I overtake him he yells out "next year go somewhere else!!!". Ah, rural America for you. I suppressed my desire to tell him to go f@#$K himself and kept going. We race down here four days a year, dude, get over it.

Anyway now I'm starting to fatigue, I'm barely holding 190 watts and my HR is still in high Z3 so this is not going well. I think my aero wheels are helping a little, but my average speed is dropping and I'm not looking like I'm going to break 45 now. It gets a little technical coming in but I managed. Crossed the line just under 46 minutes, which is super slow for me. Still OK relative to the field but not a great bike.

7/15 AG, 105/381 OA
182 average watts, 189 NP, IF 0.71, average HR 133 (those last two numbers don't agree with each other normally)
What would you do differently?:

I executed correctly, just didn't have anything in the tank. Probably should have gone with some fluid as I was getting a little dehydrated going into T2.
Transition 2
  • 01m 27s

"This Isn't Looking Good"

Meh, just a little slow. HR was still up there so took it easy.
5/15 AG, 149/381 OA

  • 33m 41s
  • 5 kms
  • 06m 44s  min/km

"End of the Road'

Came out of T2 trying to get up to speed and my HR just spikes, legs and my will are toast. I need to walk a little calm it down. I repeated this process the next 5K, plus I have a headache, it's getting pretty hot, and I'm a little bit nauseous . At least I didn't mail it in like Lums last year, and I ran the final half mile kicked the final 1/4 mile or so. I definitely needed more liquid and my Gatorade wasn't settling well. Gotta figure this nutrition/hydration thing out.

Someone had their own aid station set up with beer. It couldn't have hurt!

12/15 AG, 262/381 OA, average HR 133 which is quite high for basically running my E pace
What would you do differently?:

No idea - just had nothing in the tank physically or mentally on the entire run. I did enjoy it as much as possible.
Post race
Warm down:


Did the normal bent over, scare the EMTs for a bit then had one of the awesome volunteers take my timing chip off for me. Walked around and found the girls and my daughter WON HER AGE GROUP!! and beat me by about 4 minutes. Nicely done. Post-race spread was nice with a local pizza joint grub...I can't eat anything immediately post-race but it looked great.

We walked around for a bit and then drove about an hour up to Cheaspeake City for lunch. Absolutely trashed the rest of the day and the next day as I type this I'm beaten down pretty good, but did sleep like a cat last night.

I have another sprint in six weeks so I have some training to make up. One more shot at AGN at this upcoming race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The aforementioned lack of training for basically three weeks, plus I gained about five pounds during the down time AND had vacation right before AND slept horribly the last few days and especially the night before. Frustrating outcome but I gave it a good go so a B- effort.

Event comments:

As always, Kinetic puts on a great race. Loved the tech T and socks and they had pizza post-race. It's a great venue and most of the locals are really supportive.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2024-02-20 12:00 AM
00:18:22 | 750 meters | 02m 27s / 100meters
Age Group: 7/15
Overall: 129/381
Performance: Good
Suit: Promotion Sleeveless
Course: three-fourths of a rectangle point-to-point
Start type: Dive Plus: Time Trial
Water temp: 73F / 23C Current: High
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Time: 02:25
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:45:43 | 14.6 miles | 19.16 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/15
Overall: 108/381
Performance: Below average
Wind: Strong
Course: out and back
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:27
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:33:41 | 05 kms | 06m 44s  min/km
Age Group: 12/15
Overall: 262/381
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
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] 5

2024-06-03 12:14 PM

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon

2024-06-03 8:27 PM
in reply to: #5288819

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Auckland, North Island
Subject: RE: Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon
Nice read Mike. You've had a pretty terrible lead in to this one so good work fighting through and getting a tough day done. A decent training block for the next one and Nationals is still on the cards for you.

So cool that you can race with the offspring. Less cool that she beat you though.
2024-06-04 12:40 AM
in reply to: bulfrog

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, Kronobergs lan
Subject: RE: Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon
Great report, as usual! Sounds like you had a good day anyway. Love the pic of you and your daughter together, nice colourful kits!

Oh and, glad my T1 tip paid off!
2024-06-05 12:01 PM
in reply to: #5288819

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon
Looks like an awful lot of great execution..well done! Nowadays, 400+ people in the field is a big race anyplace other than an IM; probably lots of fasties in every AG so chapeau to your daughter for an AG win. Truly hoping the cardio scare is a random/non-recurring thing..last thing anyone wants is being told they can't train/race anymore.

Congrats on your race!
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