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Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic - TriathlonOlympic

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Philadelphia Triathlon, LLC
Total Time = 3h 16m 3s
Overall Rank = 1193/1544
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 108/135
Pre-race routine:

OK first off, does anybody know who the guy was that had the body guards?

I first noticed him walking down from the parking lot, right before starting down the hill. He was noodling around with his bike, right behind a big black Suburban type truck with tinted windows. He had three or four very large men in dark blue suits and shined shoes, with ear phones that had those coiled wires coming down, big sun glasses.

The guy was riding a Cervelo P3, I think, and looked like he stepped out of a scene of Prison Break.

Saw him and his guards at the swim start. As luck would have it, he was in my wave. So I made a point of staying away from him in case something blew up in his vicinity.

I was also a bit concerned that their might be scuba assassins in the Schuylkill waiting with spearguns. Thankfully, the guy had a wet suit that was much more expensive and much nicer than mine, so I don't think they would have mixed us up.

Saw the body guards again inside the transition area during the race. Who was this guy?
Event warmup:

I've had a bad summer cold for a week now. It's been spreading through our family. Felt better on Thursday, but then felt worse on Friday and Saturday. Really wasn't sure how I'd do.

Because of injury, this was my first race since last year's Philly Oly, which got turned into a Du, so I was pretty nervous and just wanted to stay calm.

So my warmup consited of keeping my heartrate down, talking with JohnnyKay, and wondering who the mystery guy was.

Also wondering who all these 1500 people came from. I thought all triathletes hang out in BT, yet here were some who didn't.

  • 35m 54s
  • 1640 yards
  • 02m 11s / 100 yards

Settled in and found some feet in front. Followed him down maybe a third of the way before I lost hime. Found another set and follwed him down to the bridge.

Navigating was easy, and I managed to stay calm the whole way. I've worked really hard on my swim over the past six months and it paid off. My problem before was not having enough endurance and not feeling like I could finish the swim.

I finished strong and felt like I could have kept going. Really please about that.

I actually enjoyed the swim. Go figure.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really. Just need to keep working on the swim and improving techinique.
Transition 1
  • 04m 5s

What a stupid mistake I made.

We had designated places to rack our bikes. In my pre-race anxiety, I managed to misread the number range for my rack lane and managed to rack the bike one lane over from where I should have.

Came running up from the swim, read my numer on the end of the rack lane, run in, and couldn't find my bike! Thought for a second that someone stole it, which was a really dumb thought but afterall I live in Phlly, then realized that my backpack and other transition stuff wasnt' there. Realized that I was in the wrong lane, and finally found my bike in the next one.

Probably lost at least a half minute.
What would you do differently?:

Have a bit more presence of mind and set up transition properly.
  • 1h 28m
  • 24.85 miles
  • 16.94 mile/hr

I was concerned about gumming up the cleats in my speedplays, so I carried my shoes out of T1 and put them on after crossing the timing mat.

Saw Karen Smyers on the run as I started my ride. That's what's so cool about tris and running races. You're out there with the best. It's like playing softball with Mickey Mantle, only here Mickey would be trying to win a world series again. (and if anyone has a problem with the Yankees, take it to CoJ)

Just rode my plan. Stayed in z3-z4.

I'm really please with my bike handling. This is the first time I rode my new K-Factor after upgrading from an illfitting borrowed road bike. Whole new level of confidence out there. Gearing, cornering, staying aero, it's all starting to feel like second nature.

So I was able to ride in congestion with much more confidence, and was able to be more agressive on the downhills.

Drank gatorade and water. Took two gels, and maybe four enduralytes.

On the second loop, I started feeling the effect of my cold. My stomach started feeling bloated. I didn't want to drink anymore. That's really unusual for me. I was feeling a little dizzy. I knew something was up.

So I decided to enjoy the rest of the race rather than pushing myself too hard.

Came down the final hill and saw Cornelia and the boys. Stopped and gave them kisses and high fives.

Took of my shoes and then ran into T2
What would you do differently?:

I have a lot of upside to my riding.

Wouldn't have done anything different in this ride, given how lousy I was feeling.

Just need to ride more.
Transition 2
  • 03m 1s

OK, so when I had the problem in T1, I really didn't know why. I thought maybe I misread the lane numbers.

So I was really careful about reading the numbers this time, and of course I ended up in the wrong lane again.

Finally found my backpack and transition stuff one lane over, ran around and started changing.

Decided to use my amphipod during the run. Turned out to be a good call.

Saw my family again and stopped to wave at the kids.
What would you do differently?:

Same as T1, just set up transition properly before the race starts.
  • 1h 05m 2s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 10m 28s  min/mile

I love to run. I'm not fast, but I love it.


Not during this race.

I was feeling really bad at this point. Even briefly considered stopping. Instead, I decided to just run it out at a lower effort than I had planned.

So I ran at mostly low z3 and some high z2.

Felt terrible the whole time. Forced myself to take a gel at the start. Then I just sipped on water the rest of the way. The amphipod helped a lot, since I didn't have to do the pinched cup gulping thing at the aid stations.

Then I did something I've never done at any triathlon or road race I've ever done in my long life.

I walked.


Really didn't want to do it. . My legs felf absolutely fine, but I had nothing in the engine. Walked maybe thirty seconds each time. It helped a lot.

Came down the home stretch. Saw my family again.

And then I was really happy to reach the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Given how I felt, nothing really.

I figure it's better to live to train and race another day then have something seriously wrong happen.

Post race
Warm down:

Got some water, found Cornelia and the kids.

Loaded up on tomatoe pie and cookies for everyone. Then I realized that I wasn't hungry at all. That is definitely not my usual self. I never met a meal I didn't like, especially after working out.

So I brought back the food to wife and kids. Tried to eat, but I couldn't get anything down.

I figured it was just this virus and nothing worse. Just to be sure, I went to the medical tent and had them check me out. Thankfully, everything was ok.

Finally had something to eat toward the evening.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I weigh over ten pounds more than I did last year. Put a lot of weight on while I recovered from my injury.

Need to get my nutrition under control. Yesterday, I raced at 208. With some discipline, I really should be able to get that down to the mid 180s with no difficulty.

Lost weight equals free speed.

The other thing is that my running volume and intensity was way down from last year. I wanted it that way because I didn't want to injure my foot again.

The foot feels fine right now, so I feel confident about turning up the volume and intensity now. I'm deciding which Oly to do in September, so we'll see how it goes.

Event comments:

Despite feeling ill, I had a great time, starting with the expo on Friday.

This is a great race. The weak link will always be the water conditions for the swim. Thankfully, everything lined up for yesterday.

Last updated: 2007-02-07 12:00 AM
00:35:54 | 1640 yards | 02m 11s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/135
Overall: 1185/1544
Performance: Good
Suit: Promotion sleeveless
Course: Straight down the river, then a little hook back up to the beach
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 04:05
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
01:28:00 | 24.85 miles | 16.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/135
Overall: 1136/1544
Performance: Good
Wind: None
Course: Beautiful.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 97
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Too much
Time: 03:01
Overall: Bad
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Bad
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:05:02 | 06.21 miles | 10m 28s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/135
Overall: 1252/1544
Performance: Bad
Course: Flat
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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

2007-06-25 11:08 AM

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

2007-06-25 11:32 AM
in reply to: #858754

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Not a Coach
Media, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Great race Don!  Sorry you weren't feeling 100% and didn't enjoy the run as much as you might have otherwise.  But still, really nice job throughout.

I saw that "mystery man" at the top of the hill leading down to transition too.  Everyone of the people with him seemed to be checking their Blackberries when I walked past them, the driver included.  No idea who it was.

Oh, and I guess only the cool triathletes hang out on BT. 

2007-06-25 12:47 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Malvern, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

great job, don...

 there's nothing wrong with walking... just worry about average speed... sometimes you just gotta do it...

2007-06-25 1:56 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Hilarious.  Loved the part about avoiding the guy with the bodyguards in case something blew up.  Has to be in the mafia, don't you think? biggie, and heck if it helps, then do it!  Great race Don!

2007-06-25 2:11 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Cinnaminson, NJ
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Don, nice job!!!   Way to hang tough..... 


2007-06-25 2:12 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Finally north of the Mason-Dixon Line
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Great race Don!  Glad you've been able to remain injury free and healthy to compete. 



2007-06-25 2:13 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Finally north of the Mason-Dixon Line
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Great race Don!  Glad you've been able to remain injury free and healthy to compete. 



2007-06-25 3:55 PM
in reply to: #859213

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Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Thanks everyone...

OldAndInTheWay cleared up the mystery man problem.  It was D.C. mayor Fenty

Gosh, couple of weeks ago I was photographing at a Phillies game and Governor Rendell was sitting in the bleachers alone eating chicken wings.  Why would a mayor need a body guard at a triathlon? 

OK, I feel better now.  

2007-06-26 12:09 AM
in reply to: #859487

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Lansdale, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic
Ok, that solves that mystery. I was wondering who the mystery racer was.... I saw 2 girls go up to a bodyguard in the food tent but I couldn't hear what they were saying. My eavesdropping skills obviously need tweaking. By the way, you passed me on the run, I saw the headphones...
2007-06-26 5:49 AM
in reply to: #858754

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Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic

Great job Don -- so nice to hear that your sweet bike was a joy to race.  Sorry to hear that the run you would usually enjoy turned it to a bit of "hanging in there"... but you hung in there!  Way to get it done.

You write a very funny RR.  I saw one of the bodyguard guys when I was cheering near the entrance to T1 - didn't even occur to me that he was a bodyguard, which tells you I just don't watch nearly enough movies.  I just thought, "why would somebody wear a suit to a triathlon?  and why is that guy in the chute?" then went back to cheering for triathletes.  I am SO going to get caught in crossfire one of these days. 

Congratulations on your race! 

2007-06-26 7:31 PM
in reply to: #858754

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Lansdale, PA
Subject: RE: Philadelphia Triathlon in Fairmount Park - Olympic
Ok, Don, I guess I'm showing my inexperience here. When you said you grabbed amphipod, I thought that was an MP3 player, like an Ipod. I saw one guy pass me (although lots of people passed me) wearing earphones, and I was kinda ticked off. Lars was very specific in saying no music players. So, I thought that was you..... sorry

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