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Toyota US Open Triathlon - TriathlonSprint

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Dallas, Texas
United States
Total Time = 1h 56m 53s
Overall Rank = 22/163
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 7/41
Pre-race routine:

Drove up to Dallas with Hack on Friday. I'd been dealing with a stomach bug since Thursday so I was trying to eat when I could and hydrate like crazy to be good to go on Sunday. This was a "C" priority race for me. Since Buffalo Springs in June I tried to hold it together in July, but I had to just stop swimming altogether due to a shoulder problem and I didn't bike much (4 hours total in Aug/Sep). I managed to run about an hour a week, so I kept at least some of my base. I had my shoulder injected with corticosteriods week before last, and that eased up the inflammation enough that I could swim without too much pain. So I decided since I was registered for the US Open I'd go ahead and show up and see what I could put together.

The race is point to point, so the Saturday logistics are a bit of a hassle compared to a normal race. Hack and I attended an OWS workshop put on by Texas Triple Threat on Saturday. It was very well done, and I picked up a few techniques. I swam maybe 800 or so total, and the shoulder felt good. I think the wetsuit helped it feel better too. Saw Tommy, David, and Beth. Funniest thing I've ever seen at a training/race event: The guy standing next to me in the water was shirtless, chest deep in water minding his own business, listening to the swim instruction. Out of nowhere a 10-12 inch fish swims up and bites him square on the nipple! It was flipping and flopping around and he threw his arms in the air and started screaming like an alligator had taken his leg. He was fine of course, but talk about clearing a group of swimmers... I was in my wetsuit, so I didn't have to sweat the fish. It was d*mn funny. If I wasn't already peeing in my wetsuit, I would have peed in my wetsuit.

Months ago when we signed up for this race, Chad (tri_hack_athl) and I made a bet on this race: Loser has to do a race next season wearing a pink Ironbabe trisuit. Since neither of us had really trained much in the past 3 months, and I didn't decide to actually do the race until last week, we didn't talk up the bet much before the race. In fact he said last week, "just come out and race, don't worry about the bet". This was just a day to get out and have fun. Sort of. :) I'll admit, the idea of racing in a pink Ironbabe trisuit gave me nightsweats for a while, but I think Hack could pull it off without difficulty. The man is comfortable in his skin.

We watched the IMLIVE feed from Kona for a while Saturday night. Our friend and training partner Peggy took 4th in her AG with a 10:36. IM World Championships podium time for her!! Sweet!
Event warmup:

We took busses from the host hotel to T2, dropped off T2 bags, and then took busses to the start. Our bus driver got lost momentarily right out of the hotel parking lot. WTF? Talk about tension. 20 triathletes on a bus with a driver who could potentially cause them to miss their swim wave (it was 2 hours before the start, but you know. Still.)

We set up our gear in T1 and then stood around for over 2 hours. The swim was a time trial start in waves of 4 swimmers. So the OLY waves had to go, the support crews had to move buoys, and then the sprint waves would go. Hack was in the first AG, I was in the second. So we started maybe 4 minutes apart.
  • 17m 49s
  • 875 yards
  • 02m 02s / 100 yards

Well, aside from one swim workout in August and 500 and 1000 yard swims last week, Saturday's OWS workshop was the only swimming I've done since July. The plan was to go very easy. I didn't have any problems actually swimming Sunday, and my shoulder felt pretty good. However, my navigation wasn't so hot. I normally sight off the pack, but there was no pack due to the time-trial start. I was sighting off what I thought was the first buoy, but it turns out it was the second buoy. I wasn't too far off course, and it didn't cost me much time. But still. I know better. I should have been more careful.

I drafted a little bit, but I was swimming faster than everyone I came upon, so I passed a lot of people believe it or not. The swim times overall we're very slow. I don't know if the course was long or if the chop was slowing us down. But to swim as slow as I did and come out 10th out of 41 in my AG, something was up.
What would you do differently?:

Make sure I was looking at the right buoy. :)
Transition 1
  • 03m 14s

My rack was close to the swim exit, but far from the bike out. No big deal. I looked for Hack but he was already gone. I took my time to make sure I had everything, and I had to pack my wetsuit into my transition bag since it was a point to point race and we wouldn't be coming back.
What would you do differently?:

This is the end of my 3rd season. I need to be practicing transitions. This off-season I'm going to learn to put my shoes on while riding and take them off before I stop. I probably lose nearly a minutes messing with my shoes.
  • 1h 12m 11s
  • 24.9 miles
  • 20.70 mile/hr

I can't complain about my performance here. I rode a total of 4 hours in August and September, and my last ride off the trainer was BSLT 70.3 in June. So the plan was to ride as hard as I could tolerate and still run 3 miles.

First let me say there were in the neighborhood of 100 intersections on this course, all of them manned by police. The majority of them were fine. However... as I was coming down a 3 or 4% grade at full speed, I saw a police officer waving cars though out of a church parking lot. I was close enough to hear him say "C'mon, one more car. One more". Oh bullsh*t. I'm on a collision course with the broadside of a minivan with no where to go. I started yelling as loud as I could and the driver either heard me or just saw me bombing toward him and he hit the brakes, stopping smack in the middle of the bike lane. The cop is waving for him to keep going! I had about a two foot gap between the front bumper and the cones/oncoming traffic. The cop was standing in the gap waving his arms. So I headed for him hoping he wouldn't freeze and stay put. The odds of the van driver backing out of the way were slim so that was the only way to go. He managed to bail out of my way (how he didn't get hit by an oncoming car, I have no idea) and I skated along the front bumper of the van riding my brakes the whole time. Crazy. After the race I heard there were two crashes involving vehicles on the course, one serious. WTF? I know that kind of traffic control over 25 miles is probably a hard thing to pull off, but still. Some of the cops that were manning busy intersections were talking on cell phones or with spectators while they were controlling traffic. They aren't volunteering, and the odds are, they are getting overtime to be out there (that's how it works for stand-by events in my city). Tommy made a good point though. It may be hard to judge speed of bikes when some are passing at 15 mph and some are going 40 mph. And this is beyond the control of the RD, since they don't control the police on the course. I spoke to the RD afterward and he said "yeah those things happpen sometimes". He's right. They do. But that doesn't mean they should.

Other than that, I had a good bike for my current fitness. The course was bumpy in places. It was pretty funny that you could see the REALLY rough spots from a good ways off because there were dozens of yellow poofy things from the Profile Design aerobottle littering the street. (My gel flask took flight on one bump where there were about 6 poofy things).
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. I would have run race wheels if I had specifc goals though.
Transition 2
  • 01m 24s

What would you do differently?:

Need to learn how to take off shoes on bike and execute a dynamic dismount.
  • 22m 16s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 07m 10s  min/mile

The plan was to run the first mile and see how I felt, and then decide what to do from there. I thought Hack was out in front of me, so if I could catch him, I'd "win" the more-or-less defunct Pink Ironbabe bet because he started before me.

Like any race of any distance, the first 1/2 mile is the same. I start thinking "D*mn I bet walking would feel good right now. THOSE guys are walking. There's no SHAME in walking. I SHOULD walk just to catch my breath...". But I never walk, and I always feel better eventually. And with a 5k, I didn't really have time to mess around and try to feel better. Getting it over with as quickly as possible is the way to go. So when I found my rhythm, and I felt good, I picked it up at mile one and again at mile two. I was passing people the entire run, but a lot of them were running the 10k for the OLY so other than using people as targets to pass, there wasn't anything strategic about most of that. I did find one guy I know for sure was in my AG, so I got right up on him and ran at his shoulder at the 2 mile mark. Once I got a bit in front of him he fell off the back and I didn't see him again.

Mile 1: 8:01
Mile 2: 7:35
Mile 3 (1.1 miles): 6:40

I know if I can run 1.1 in 6:40 after biking 24.9, I had too much left in the tank. But since this wasn't a goal driven race, I'm not too worried. I am encouraged by it though. Taking a lot of time off to heal this season seems to agree with me.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

I crossed the line and started looking for Hack. I got an ice-towel, water, Accelerade, more water, another towel. No sign of him, until about three minutes later when I heard the race announcer call his name. Whew. No pink tri-suit for me. I passed him somewhere on the bike course. But I was so busy looking for cracks and holes in the road, I didn't pay attention to who I was passing. Since we didn't really train the second half of the year, I told Hack I wouldn't hold him to the bet. But being an honoarable stand-up guy, Hack says "a bets a bet". Sooo... yeah. D*mn glad I pulled this one out of my bag o' whatever. He also stated he'd be very disappointed in me if I didn't talk any smack. So that'll be fun for the next year or so, until the next installment of the Bill and hack Tri Throwdown. :)

I congratulated Hack (he took 3rd out of 30 in M30-34), and we hung out with Fleeb, Tommy, David, and Beth. Saw Gaarryy for a bit in transition too, so BT was represented pretty well. Good times.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Executing less than 10% of my planned training for the last 3 months. Stomach bug Thursday through Saturday. That about sums it up.

Event comments:

For a first-time, point to point course, this race was very well executed. Aside from the traffic issues that truly could happen anywhere people are involved, I have no complaint. The majority of the bike course is through high-traffic areas, so I understand why that's a tall order to have no issues. I'll do this race again next year.

Last updated: 2007-10-04 12:00 AM
00:17:49 | 875 yards | 02m 02s / 100yards
Age Group: 11/41
Overall: 0/163
Performance: Below average
Suit: QR Hydrofull
Course: Rectangular with 2 right turns.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 76F / 24C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:14
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:12:11 | 24.9 miles | 20.70 mile/hr
Age Group: 8/41
Overall: 0/163
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Course: Point to point from Joe Pool lake to the Reunion Arena in Dallas. The first 8 miles were with a headwind, and then it was a mix of cross wind and some tailwind.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:24
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:22:16 | 03.11 miles | 07m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 6/41
Overall: 0/163
Performance: Good
Course: Nice course, mostly flat with short, gentle hills.
Keeping cool Average 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

2007-10-15 10:38 AM

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Subject: Toyota US Open Triathlon

2007-10-15 12:30 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Waller County, TX
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
Hey, great job on limited training.

Just think, with some free time and focus on training, you'd do pretty well in this sport.

Hack looks better in pink than you anyway.
2007-10-15 1:23 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

If I wasn't already peeing in my wetsuit, I would have peed in my wetsuit.

You have a way with words, Bill.

And with biking, by the way.  And running.  Fantastic job!

Sounds like Hack has secretly wanted to wear the pink trisuit all along.  So it all worked out. 

2007-10-15 1:56 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Dallas, TX
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
Looks like you had a great race considering you didn't even train! HA! Great job out there!

BTW- I can't WAIT to see Hack in a pink tri top.
2007-10-15 5:13 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Allen, TX
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
Wow, for someone who is hurt and not training, you kicked some serious butt out there. Great race!
2007-10-15 7:39 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Williamston, Michigan
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
Awesoem Job Bill..maybe you should not train and only race?

2007-10-15 7:47 PM
in reply to: #1009435

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Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

sue7013 - 2007-10-15 7:39 PM Awesoem Job Bill..maybe you should not train and only race?

You may be onto something.....

2007-10-15 7:54 PM
in reply to: #1009447

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the colony texas
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

way to come up with the no training, great racing time management plan. will this be in paperback also??

Thanks for attempting to help me find the tire's owner.. it ended up in lost and found. great talking with you and a really good race for ya 

2007-10-15 9:13 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Southeast Texas
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

Let's see... if I take the average race times of men over 35 years of age, and then run a progressive linear correlation to the bike and run times, factoring in years of competition, times the square root of an Army RANGER divided by the College Yuppy-Hippy, with an inverse parallel to garlic and a smashed finger... 

 I don't know Chriss~toPHER... I'm smelling a rematch.

2007-10-15 9:31 PM
in reply to: #1009560

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Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
tri_hack_athlete - 2007-10-15 9:13 PM

Let's see... if I take the average race times of men over 35 years of age, and then run a progressive linear correlation to the bike and run times, factoring in years of competition, times the square root of an Army RANGER divided by the College Yuppy-Hippy, with an inverse parallel to garlic and a smashed finger... 

 I don't know Chriss~toPHER... I'm smelling a rematch.

I smell what you're steppin' in. 2 out of 3?

2007-10-16 1:30 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Fort Worth, Texas
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon
Awesome race, not training definitely agrees with you! Keep it up, slack off some more, you may even win hardware with more slacking!

2007-10-20 2:46 PM
in reply to: #1008377

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Frisco, Texas
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

Nice race.  Glad your shoulder is feeling better.  7th on very little training is impressive.  It was great seeing you and Hack again. 


2007-10-21 7:21 AM
in reply to: #1009560

South Jersey
Subject: RE: Toyota US Open Triathlon

Yeah...I'm thinking Hack wants to wear the pink Ironbabe tri suit .

Great race, Bill. Isn't it awesome to know you've still got it, even after all that downtime this past summer? You had a very nice swim...10/41 is nothing to complain about. Overall, how did you like the TT start to the swim? I know it didn't give you the pack to site off, but was it okay? (Oh, and that story about the guy getting bit by the fish was HILARIOUS!)

You had a very strong bike. I am sorry to hear about the almost accident. Yeah, I guess that stuff "does happen," but it really shouldn't. It's a shame when volunteers or working police aren't paying attention 100%. I'm glad you made it out unharmed, and had a great ride to boot . Nice work.

And, great job on the run. I don't think that 6:40 at the end means you didn't bike hard enough, I think it means you didn't run the first two miles of the run hard enough . But, even so, it was a great run.

You had a very nice race out there. Awesome job!!!

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