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West Plains Wunder Woman Sprint Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Medical Lake, Washington
United States
Emde Sports, LLC
55F / 13C
Total Time = 1h 14m 53s
Overall Rank = 74/374
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 11/56
Pre-race routine:

It was nice to be able to sleep in for this race. I didn't have to get up until 5:15, and that was with a very leisurely morning plan. Got the dogs up with me this time and put them O-U-T to avoid any last-minute cleanups. Listened to the rain on the roof. Hmmm. Fixed my bottles, zeroed my computer, and loaded up the car. I threw my raincoat in at the last minute - which turned out to be a good idea! I didn't leave until about 6:15 and still got there in time to get one of the good parking spots. There were about 500 women signed up for this race, and only about 150 spots at the park...Score! I ate my breakfast of a PB sandwich on yummy Great Harvest honey wheat bread in the car. Since I was fairly early, I also scored a perfect spot on the end of the bike rack. I got everything set up and covered my shoes and pack with a garbage bag - some more good foresight!
Event warmup:

There weren't very many wetsuits in evidence today, but it was so cold and I like my flotation so much that I wore mine anyway. I wasn't in contention for any medals today, so I figured it was well worth it. Besides, standing around wrapped in neoprene was warmer than standing in wet spandex. As usual, putting it on was part of my warmup. I stuffed my pre-race gel in the top and headed to the water with some more TeamBlaze members. I can't wait until my club tri-top gets here - everyone but me is so recognizable! I swam maybe 200-250 yards, which is farther than normal for me. I wanted to be well warmed up since it was a short race. During slow training swims, it takes me 400 yards or so just to start feeling good in the water. Besides, I was warmer swimming than standing or floating, so it seemed like a good idea. Remembered my gel at the last minute and couldn't find it - then found an odd gel-shaped bump above my belly button. Managed to get it in time to get it down before my wave started.
  • 09m 5s
  • 440 yards
  • 02m 04s / 100 yards

Woot! Look at my swim placing! 20th overall! Now, this WAS a lot of people's first race, but this is a HUGE improvement for me! I realize it was still over 2 minutes per hundred, but it felt a lot faster. I heard someone say the swim course was long, but I don't know if they were right or not. Anyway, I'm very happy with this swim.

I got right up front and just went for it. I was in the second line that went into the water - by that I mean that the pack was only one person deep in front of me when I dove in. I NEVER run, and I NEVER dive in, but this time I tried it. What a rush! This was a last minute decision, and I only did it because my buddies were up front. I tried to stay on one of their feet and did ok for a while, but kind of got pushed off them by someone beside me and didn't know what to do.

My swims are usually very calm and pretty peaceful and I usually just chuckle knowingly when our coach talks about the HR spiking during the first 200 yards. Who knew? He was right!

This swim was pretty physical and I had to 'talk myself down' a couple of times during when I'd miss breaths or get breaths of water. We immediately swam through some long weeds that had grown all the way to the surface - each stroke was against a handful of weeds and they were stringing across my shoulders and wrapping around my ankles. And during the weeds, it was a free-for-all - people all around with all of us moving the weeds around. I was glad to get out of the weeds. Then I found myself very close to someone on my breathing side and was getting splashed every breath and was starting to get a little freaked out by it, so I switched breathing sides and even though we were still bumping into each other it wasn't a problem after I switched. I got swam over and drafted off, and felt hands coming down on my back and around my head, and still managed to pretty much keep it together. I tried not to kick much so I wouldn't hurt anyone. At the first buoy, I did the fancy turn and was headed about in the right direction immediatly after the turn without having to swim in a semi-circle. It cleared out a bit and I was worried that I swam wide, but the buoy was right where it should be every time I sighted. I started to catch swimmers from previous waves and was careful to watch for sidestroke or breaststroke kicks, and mostly avoided them. There were only a few caps from my wave in front of me but it got more crowded near the exit. I ended this swim feeling like I gave it my all.
What would you do differently?:

Figure out how to keep the drafting feet I claimed. :) Practice more swims like this so I can get through the chaos without getting panicked at all.
Transition 1
  • 02m 33s

66/372 overall. There was an uphill run from the lake to T1. I was feeling a bit dizzy and walked part of it. My wetsuit came off easy, no socks to worry about, shoes went on ok (I may be in the market for new shoes at some point.) Helmet on and glasses on. Glasses were wet with raindrops and fogged up right away...darn. I didn't wear gloves for this ride and it worked fine - I'll probably do this more often. I DID put on my wind vest - a great idea since it was cold and rainy - I think I was probably a whole lot more comfortable with it on. Ran to the mount line (which I didn't see marked). Once again I couldn't get my foot clipped into the first pedal...sigh. And I almost got hit by someone who clipped in behind me then wobbled all over trying to get up-to-speed.
What would you do differently?:

New shoes. Run up the hill and catch my breath while putting on my shoes.
  • 33m 18s
  • 11 miles
  • 19.82 mile/hr

Well, I have to give myself a 'poor' in the decision-making category for this ride, at least for the start. My friend who was racked by me was right behind me, and after I got up on the road and got started, I heard her yell something that was "something something Colleen something Dropped something something" What she really said was, " #$%@)$#&*@$! Go Colleen! I dropped my chain, @#&($! GO!" but what I heard was that I had dropped something. I couldn't figure it out and was thinking abandonment of equipment, so I TURNED AROUND and rode back to her. She felt terrible, I just felt stupid. Oh well, these things happen. I've no idea how much time I lost. Once I got turned back around, I had to go re-pass a bunch of people. It was raining harder by this point, and was truly not the most comfortable ride I've had all year. I was wishing for a fender. I played leapfrog with one girl and when I looked back she was drafting me! I didn't know what to do about that either, but she eventually passed me and disappeared - maybe she got a good breather behind this Athena! There were a couple of corners where they slowed us way down because it was slippery, but overall it was a pretty good ride.
What would you do differently?:

Not turn around and go back. Duh. Hit the brakes when someone is drafting? (where's that little evil smiley?) Keep practicing clipping in or figure out a better way to get on my bike. Maybe this is good incentive to learn how to keep my shoes on my bike?
Transition 2
  • 01m 22s

Stopped at the dismount line and dismounted. As soon as my foot touched the ground, someone ran their handlebars into my big ol' lycra-clad butt. That was a bit of a surprise. Made it to my spot, and racked my bike by the handlebars - went easy. Bike shoes off - ok. Dry run socks on wet feet = time, but at least I'd rolled them up. Left my vest on, grabbed hat, number belt and carry flask. Had to put my glasses on top of my head since they fogged up as soon as I stopped. Forgot they were there and tried to put my hat over them, and ended up juggling my stuff through the transition. Number belt didn't feel right over my vest so it took some time time to get it adjusted. My friend with the dropped chain made up her time and followed me into transition - her transition was really fast and she beat me out.
What would you do differently?:

Ummm. Not sure. I could have left my carry flask there - I probably didn't need it for a short run in the rain.
  • 28m 33s
  • 3 miles
  • 09m 31s  min/mile

Right out of transition there was a steep uphill. I walked part of that. The ride and the rain had kind of taken it out of me and I didn't feel like I had that hill in me. At the top I decided it was stupid to be walking, so I trotted off.

I could see my 'rabbit' up ahead, but she was so far ahead that it seemed impossible to catch her so I didn't really try. She told me later that she kept looking back for me - didn't want me to sneak up on her like at Valley Girl. No chance of that today!

Looking at my average pace, I guess I ran harder than I thought I did. I like to gauge my run off HR, and my HRM wasn't reading right. It does that periodically - I was working at what I thought was Z3 or Z4, and it read 74. I pretty much ignored the reading for the rest of the run.

I played leapfrog with a lady from my age group for most of the run - she would pass me then I'd catch her when she walked, rinse, repeat. We talked a bit - turned out she was the other person interviewed for the article in the paper! Small world! I talked to a 16 year-old for a bit (wish I had started when I was 16!) Remembering all this, it is obvious I wasn't racing hard enough. It rained for the whole run, but at least it was just a drizzle. I caught the lady from the paper just a bit before the finish and said we should sprint in together, and we did. It was a fun finish to the race. Overall the run for me felt more like an easy training run. I just wasn't into it today.
What would you do differently?:

Duh. Race the race!
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit - probably should have stretched. Watched the later finishers. Qdoba had chips but had run out of salsa so I at a plate of chips. The person giving out the ribbons had disappeared and no one was handing out ribbons, so I did that for the last bit of the race. The director had collected the remaining ribbons before the last finishers came through, so I took three separate runs through the park to get more. I was feeling good - again I obviously hadn't raced hard enough. I was able change into blessedly warm dry clothes (and my raincoat!) before all the ribbon work, so at least I was relatively warm.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My mind was the biggest limiter today. I wasn't too excited about this race - I kind of lost focus after my "A" race two weeks ago. I am feeling better about the next one though.

Event comments:

This was the first year for this race, so it didn't run as smoothly as some that have been going on for years. I expect next year will be better. I was really disappointed at the lack of support for the last runners. The weather played a big part as it was pretty miserable out at the finish line, but it seemed kind of anticlimactic.

The course was well marked and easy to follow. It was also well staffed with volunteers. They had medical staff on bikes all over the bike and run courses. There were a lot of kayaks in the water - overall the race felt well-organized.

The race supported research for osteoporosis, and they had a division for those with the disease. They also had free screenings at the finish.

It was a fun race and would be good for someone doing their first triathlon, but was challenging enough for anyone.

Last updated: 2007-08-20 12:00 AM
00:09:05 | 440 yards | 02m 04s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/56
Overall: 20/374
Performance: Good
Suit: Sleeveless BlueSeventy Reaction
Course: One counter-clockwise triangle - very well marked.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:33
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Below average
00:33:18 | 11 miles | 19.82 mile/hr
Age Group: 10/56
Overall: 65/374
Performance: Average
Course: Take a right out of Waterfront park, then counter clockwise around Clear Lake. The website says 11 miles, but I think it was shorter than that. My bike 'puter says 10.22 which includes getting back to my T2 spot. The start is on an uphill out of the park.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence: 83
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:22
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Average
00:28:33 | 03 miles | 09m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 23/56
Overall: 156/374
Performance: Average
Course: Counter-clockwise loop around Medical Lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2007-08-20 1:57 PM

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Spokane, Washington
Subject: West Plains Wunder Woman Sprint Triathlon
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