Tri for Fun #3 - TriathlonSprint

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Pleasanton, California
United States
Total Time = 1h 05m 20s
Overall Rank = /1000
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I just finished the third sprint tri in the Pleasanton Tri for Fun series. I had done the previous two in the series earlier in the summer and these were the first tris I had ever done. The distances were 400/11/3.1.

This time, DW and I stayed overnight in the Ramada Inn in Pleasanton (which was not a ton of pleasant) rather than driving all the way from home in the city. I'm not sure exactly what it was (the noise of people outside, upstairs, the bed, the clearly-not-1000-threadcount-sheets nor not-down pillow), but I did not sleep well at all (hmm, maybe someone stuck a pea under my mattress). I normally fall asleep 5 minutes after my head hits the pillow, but I barely slept at all last night. Oh well. Wasn't hard to wake up at 5AM since I wasn't sound asleep anyway. I had a banana, a perfect zone bar, and some coffee for breakfast.

It's obvious the days are getting shorter because this time the it was still dark out when we drove over to the park. The forecast was for a cooler, overcast morning with it warming as the clouds burned off. It was a bit chilly outside. Check-in started at 5:30 (race start at 7am) and we arrived at the park at about 5:50 or so. Still plenty of space on the racks and was able to choose a spot close to the bike/run start/finish area. I setup my transition area, checked in, got body marked, and picked up my shirt. Made the inveterate stop to the rest rooms; it's one of the rare times that the men's line is longer than the women's.
Event warmup:

I went for a quick warmup run (knees okay) although I felt a bit sluggish. At about 6:45, I decided to put on my wetsuit - my brand spanking new, never touched water, and my very first wetsuit. I know what everyone says about not using equipment in a race that you haven't tried in training, but it all worked out fine. I used the plastic grocery bag trick to slip the the suit easily over my feet/ankles and hands/forearm. I had also put bodyglide (also have never used that before) on my ankles, wrists, and neck. I went for a warmup/trial swim with my new wetsuit. Was different. I didn't like not being able to feel the water (my favorite thing as a kid was to swim underwater and just glide) as much, but the insulation was nice and the bouyancy was great. Swimming seemed easier and faster during the warmup.

  • 00m
  • 400 yards
  • / 100 yards

In any case, the race start ran about 15 minutes late. This time, I decided to start in the first wave with the "competitive" folks which they only recommended if you had done "hundreds of triathlons" or "played waterpolo." Well, in the previous 2 sprint tris, I started in wave two and was totally comfortable and started in the first row, so I figured what the heck - I swim pretty well and I'm not afraid of the jostling. So, I lined up in the second row (was a little too chicken to start in the very front) and we finally start. There's definitely more jostling. I kicked a couple of others who swam up behind me and I also received a couple kicks to the goggles myself as I saw up on others- that was a new experience. My line was very good and cut around the first buoy only one body length away. Definitely a lot more contact in this group than in the previous tris. My line was good to the second buoy and I hit a good rhythm. I started passing a few folks as we made the turn to the shoreline. My wife said I was in the top 25% of the first wave out of the water which was great. I think that makes swimming my strongest discipline since I felt like I was getting passed a lot in the other two (then again, it's a little harder to see passing during the swim).
Transition 1
  • 00m

So, I strip the wetsuit off my upper half no problem and run to my transition area. DW is cheering me on and taking pictures.

  • 00m
  • 11 miles
  • 0.00 mile/hr

I wasn't quite coordinated enough to put on my helmet and finish stepping out of my wetsuit. The wetsuit definitely slowed me a bit in T1, but not bad. I felt pretty good on the bike. This group was definitely a faster group of cyclists. I was getting passed and passing some - maybe 60% I was being passed and 40% I was passing. One strange thing that happened to me about a third the way into the ride was that my calves started cramping up. I kept getting twinges and it made it a little difficult to cycle at moments. I don't know what this was since it's never happened to me (if anyone knows, I'd appreciate hearing more).

I had a couple close calls on the bike. First, I was heads down cranking and I look up and I am RIGHT NEXT (i.e. inches away) to a bunch of those orange plastic posts that they mount in the road for road construction, but I"M ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THEM. I quickly swerve over and hit two of the posts, but no problem. So, the road is now a construction zone. There are parts of the road torn up so that the road has 2-inch vertical drops where they tore up the road and then on the other side 2-inch vertical rises. Drop, no problem. Rise, uh-oh. The guy in front of my bunny hops the first rise, but I don't know how to do that but I do lift the front wheel and the rear slams, but the rim seems okay (last weekend on a training ride with my wife, I hit a rise just like this at the bottom of a hill going 35mph and I ended up damaging my rims, but fortunately, that was on my commuter). Then it became a little bit of an obstacle course trying to find lines on those drops/rises that had little asphalt ramps on them to avoid slamming my rims. Had to swerve around a bit. I pulled up to a guy on a tri bike and we chatted briefly about how crazy this was and that they didn't have anyone around to call out these obstacles. He says "did you see that woman standing on the side of the road with her bike? She had Zipp rims and broke one of them." That's a really crappy thing to happen on a Tri for Fun event.

The last close call I had was on the very last turn. I leaned into the turn and and as I was coming through I started pedaling...a little too soon. My inside pedal clipped the ground, but fortunately I didn't go down. So, I finished the bike (DW cheering and taking more pictures) and come in for T2.
Transition 2
  • 00m

I overshot my row and had to back track slightly. I start on the run and DW is positioned to take more pictures and cheer me on.
  • 00m
  • 3.1 miles
  •  min/mile

It takes me about a mile to get my legs settled after the bike. I'm not sure if this is because I need to do bricks or if that's semi-normal (anyone?). I felt kinda slow, but part of that was because it seemed like a fair number of people passed me. I think I was passed 80% of the time and passed others 20% of the time at best. This group is definitely faster on the run too. I eventually find my rhythm and am okay that I'm being passed because I'm only racing myself and I'm comfortable with that. After my other two sprint tris, I always said to myself that they were relatively easy (hence the internal need to do longer events...), but everytime I'm doing them and especially when I'm on the run, I think they are frickin' hard! In any case, I finish up the run, DW cheering and taking more pictures. I finish and see the clock at 1:05:20, a new PR by about a minute. Sweet!

Post race
Warm down:

In case you're interested, the pix that DW took are posted on my website here have to say that it sure is great having my own personal photographer (equipped with a 70-200 IS zoom lens) at each of these events. Of course, if she ever takes those swimming lessons, I'm sure to lose that perk.

Event comments:

Biggest issue was the poor road conditions and not having these called out.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2006-09-06 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 400 yards | / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Helix
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
00:00:00 | 11 miles | 0.00 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Good
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 00:00
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
00:00:00 | 03.1 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/1000
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3