Bonelli Olympic Distance Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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San Dimas, California
United States
93F / 34C
Total Time = 4h 00m 20s
Overall Rank = 1/4
Age Group = Athena
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I have a 100-point checklist that I follow (no, I'm not kidding). The interesting parts (food): ate a PB & J and a Starbucks Vanilla Frappucino for breakfast.
Event warmup:

At Ralph's checkout with water, balloons, and Immodium (PLEASE don't ask), the lady in front of me felt it necessary to buy a gas canister for her barbecue ... AT FIVE THIRTY A.M. Instead of the cashier checking the other four of us in line while someone else figured out how to read the bar code on a gas canister, everybody had to wait fifteen minutes while every employee in the store was consulted on whether they could scan the item. The guy behind me pointed out you don't scan canisters; you replace them. She gives you the old canister; you just give her a new one and charge her a set price for the gas. Brilliant. It took another five minutes for the cashier to figure out what that charge would be.

So instead of a warmup, DoloresM2 and I got an Ernie balloon and a Mickey Mouse balloon. We felt kinda stupid (not as stupid as I'd feel not being able to find my spot in trans., which is likely), but everyone on our trans. rack was delighted, and they were great conversation openers.

Oh, and the directions to the race were wrong, very wrong (everyone else had the wrong directions, too), so there was a pileup at the wrong gate while everyone had to turn around, and then a pileup at the other gate to get in.

I think putting on the wetsuit and walking to the swim start counts as a warmup.

Oh, all right, I did get in the water. Does evading angry geese count as a warmup, too?

  • 28m
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 43s / 100 yards

Again, one of first in (in wave) and one of first out. Tried drafting off a fast swimmer in front of me, but she zigzagged. I finally swam over her. I don't get superfast swimmers who can't sight. Somebody, explain! I mean, it's sad. What a waste. Another lady was "pacing" me to the right, but kept crashing into me, so I finally elbowed her. She kept way to the right after that, which is good 'cause I saved her from drifting off course.

I'm mean. I know. But whatever. If you want to play FOP on a swim start, you better be prepared for scrum.

Also, I wasted a lot of time and kept breaking up my rhythm by doing head-up free to sight. Doesn't matter. I never drift off course. I need to just keep my head down and go for it. It was good to practice drafting in a race situation, but I'm probably better off just aggressively maintaining a front position.

I know all of this makes me sound like a slowtwitch barsted--compared to whom my swimming is laughable--but in an age group setting, especially a female wave, my swim times are good enough to keep me up front.

The Oly swim length was great fun. Yeah, I could have shaved some minutes here, there ... my pacing and rhythm weren't great ... and given that I felt fine on the bike and run I really should have slammed the swim more--but so what? It was a perfect swim for a first Oly. I loved it!
What would you do differently?:

-not draft. Just go for it.
-be even more aggressive about losing people who crash into me
Transition 1
  • 00m

T1 was fine, a little slow. I get very confused in transition--I am a true ADD child, and add swim dizziness and triathlon excitement to it and you can see why I need a Mickey Mouse balloon to find my transition spot. I have printed T1 instrux taped to the rack, but I waste a lot of time reading the list and doing each item one by one. My layout is excellent, but T1 tasks need to become second nature.
What would you do differently?:

Practice running and pulling off a wetsuit more. Practice transitions more, generally.
  • 1h 58m
  • 24.85 miles
  • 12.64 mile/hr

I BROKE 43 MPH ON THIS COURSE. :) I called it before I rode it, but I didn't believe it when I did it!!! Yay!!!

That said ... I *suck* at cycling--mainly a TITS issue (I'm so juvenile--I had to put those two in the same sentence), and partially, an equipment issue (I am still using cruiser bars--embarrassing, I know). I'm afraid to transition to drop bars, then aerobars (or should I just get a complete aerobar setup?).

That said, it was a great ride and about as long as I expected. Nothing about it was bad and I didn't feel like I was dying--I probably held back too much (not sore today), but I was just feeling this distance out and didn't want to blow my legs for the run. My loop splits were nearly dead even on :39.

Given that I have downtube shifters, I didn't want to have to lean down a lot to be grabbing slippery water bottles, too, so I used a Camelbak. BEST DECISION OF THE RACE! I can't say how great it is. I had underplanned a little for hydration considering the weather, but I think no-one was prepared for that. Just in case--next Oly, need a Camelbak plus TWO bottles. Nutrition was pretty good--1 1/2 bags of Bloks, excellent decision to go with Margarita, as I would desperately need the salt on the run.
What would you do differently?:

TITS + more hill repeats in training. Get used to real bars and use them. Downtube shifting is a b!+ch no matter what, but keep practicing until I get a tri bike (possibly never--this bike is an absolute dream, light as a feather, smooth as butter even at 43 mph, and it keeps the sweet piglets at the bike store interested ...).
Transition 2
  • 00m

T2 was fine, actually, I just need to practice trans. more. We weren't allowed to run with the bikes in the transition area, but I'm pretty good at that when I do it.
What would you do differently?:

I was slow. Try and keep a handle on the orientation so I know which way to go (as I said in T1--I get confused).
  • 1h 20m
  • 6.21 miles
  • 12m 53s  min/mile

Considering the pretty extreme conditions, I did great on the run. Thank God for all the bricks and running off the bike, 'cause my legs felt just fine, even turning over fast, as I headed out of transition.

I passed a lot of people, both runners and walkers. All I wanted was to run my usual LSD training pace (13:00/mi, 3:1 run/walk) and I bettered that. About halfway through I knew I was bordering on heat exhaustion--it wasn't that my sweat was evaporating, I wasn't sweating anymore and felt clammy and dizzy. I knew I would be walking a very fine line if I sped up any more, and I just wanted to finish the race, so I kept the pace, drank at each water stop AND poured water on myself, and licked my arms for salt. However, I ran the last mile straight through after the guy at the water stop said it was only another mile.
What would you do differently?:

Pick up the pace from the beginning (not on this course, but any other). Actually sprint the last couple hundred yards. Carry a bottle of Gatorade. Sunblock every inch of my body with zinc?

I did wind up having heat fatigue--had waves of overwhelming nausea and a horrid-hangover-type headache all the way home. It got better with immersion in the ocean for a half hour.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked straight into the shade, poured a bunch of water on me, snorked a banana, oranges, and PB & J, walked around for half an hour taking my stuff out of transition, buying a Pepsi, piddling around. Oh--I peed fairly well after the race, not the usual toxic concentrated mini-squirts (dontcha love graphic race reports?), so hydration must have been okay. Fingers were not snausages, either.

As I walked back out on to the course to find DoloresM2, I vaguely noticed some awards being handed out for the Olympic distance, but it didn't even register mentally ... I didn't even think "how nice" or to stop*. Anyhow, I went back out on that bloody stinkin' hot course ... when I saw a steep uphill covered in gravel, I figured I'd just wait for her there instead of going any further. I found a nice shady tree and wound up falling asleep under it. I woke up burning hot, so figured I'd better get back to the finish area where I could drink some water and pour it on me, and I was very worried about Dolores, so I wanted to see if maybe a sweep vehicle had picked her up.

Hadn't gone thirty seconds when who should come up behind me but Dolores--what an amazing lady. You MUST read her race report, which is both humble and understated. That course was tough. She was tougher--did far more for the swim for getting lost, crashed TWICE on the bike (nasty, nasty gouges and bruises), survived that horrifying run--and kept going.

I walked her in, ran a ways with her, and then she ran over the finish line.

*That is some serious athleticoma. Unbeknownst to me I'd won my division and if I'd waited two minutes I would have figured it out and gotten a medal.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Unfamiliarity with distances (pacing too slow on all legs, but perfect for a first Oly), weather.

In conclusion: I am in love with the Oly distance. I expressed frustration after my sprint races, feeling like I could never really stretch out and go for it; I got cut off, so to speak. I thought maybe I was just making excuses for myself, but no ... the distances in an Oly were perfect. I am quite loth to move on to the half-Iron, but there aren't any good Olys nearby early in the new year, either ... and I sure could improve my bike and run. The training for it is worth it, which is the important thing, 'cause a race is just one day.

Event comments:

The race was phenomenally organized. Everything ran perfectly. Race staff and volunteers were plentiful, supportive, and super friendly. Cops were awesome and bike course was very secure. Lots of cheerers with cowbells! I'd never heard them on a course before! Tons of water stops on the run (badly needed), which was very well marked out (I frequently get lost on run courses). The schwag was good, and the sweetest woman saved a bunch of freebies to hand out to last-place finishers.

My only thoughts for improvement: if possible, a swim exit without mud, and a water station on the bike course; mile markers on the run (there were lots of signs, so it would have been easy to Sharpie a number on five or six of them); Gatorade on the run course (expensive, but the heat was really bad and ppl. were cramping--just plain salt packets OK, too).

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-09-30 12:00 AM
00:28:00 | 1640 yards | 01m 43s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/4
Performance: Good
Suit: O'Neill full sleeve tri wetsuit
Course: Triangular (kind of parabolic, actually) in a pretty murky lake with some very annoyed waterfowl, cutting some people's warmup short. Lake was fine except at the finish, where I saw people getting quicksanded trying to get out. I swam until my fingers hit duckweed and mud and I was choking on mud ... still it was nearly impossible to get up and move for my feet being sucked into the bottom mud. Finally I just leaned forward so I'd fall on shore.
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Average
Time: 00:00
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike:
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:58:00 | 24.85 miles | 12.64 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/4
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Three brutal hills (saw more than a few ppl. walking them), a few rolling hills, a couple of grades, two very fast downhills, some nice flats. I'd say your average bike course. One part of it was in pretty horrid condition, but it was a mercifully short stretch. Open to traffic in one or both lanes in parts.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Average Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Bad
Running with bike
Racking bike Below average
Shoe and helmet removal Below average
01:20:00 | 06.21 miles | 12m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/4
Performance: Good
Course: Aside from a 1/4 mi. gorgeous section through shaded bamboo and across a stream (seriously!) ... it was asphalt with rolling hills, not a lick of shade, in 90+ degree weather and 20% humidity, with blistering Santa Ana winds kicking up a bunch of dust and sucking the very life out of you. I've never run dry in my life--I sweat like a dying horse--and I was bone dry. The water at the stops had black grit floating around and a layer of dust on top. It was also frustrating to not have any mile markers on a baking, endless course.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5