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USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance - Triathlon


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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
USA Triathlon
70F / 21C
Sunny
Total Time = 2h 30m 3s
Overall Rank = 1411/2677
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 60/158
Pre-race routine:

I drove into Milwaukee Friday afternoon--a 5 hour drive from my place. I went straight to packet-pick up and bike check in. Super slick set-up in Milwaukee--lots of easy parking down by the event, and really easy to navigate. Packet-pickup was quick, and getting everything done with bike drop in transition took maybe 20 minutes.

When I saw transition I realized that finding my bike the next day was going to be no easy task. Dang. That's a lottta bikes. A lot of expensive bikes too. Spent some time just bike oggling.

When I went to check out the swim, I saw some people standing around a really steep ramp. I nearly chit myself when I found out that was the swim exit. I was waiting for the candid camera guys to pop out and tell me it was a joke. Nope.

Walked the swim course, and decided that 1500 meters always looks so freakin long. Walked the swim exit to transition, decided that it looked freakin long (do you see a pattern here?). Decided I wasn't doing myself any favors by hanging out at the course and called Salty to see if she was ready to get beers.

The weekend highlight reel:

Meeting Salty for drinks at the old PBR brewery. The building was really cool (should have stayed there). We might have had a few more beers than I should have the night before AGN. Salty is the absolute CHIT. Was great to meet her, and have some good get-to-know-you time.

Nachos at above brewery. Not because they were good, I would give them a 3/10 on the nacho scale (10 being perfect), but they were so big they created a scene. People coming by to take pics of the food the two women had ordered. Real nice. It's not everyday you get high-fived for your food order, and the night before Nationals, well that's at least four different kinds of awesome.

Meeting Monica! Again, super cool, and I had been a little worried that I was gonna miss out on that. So glad I didn't. I got the how she hooked up with Tony story, which, let me tell you, is a good freakin story, and we all got to have a cheers and a drink. Hugs, Mon.

Didn't sleep for chit the night before my race. For my HIM I had set two alarms and neither went off (cell phone ran out of charge and hotel alarm was jacked) so I think I was worried about that all night. Really I was up every 10-15 minutes. Fach.

Hangin out with my teammates prerace was fun. Go HEAT. A couple of them absolutely SMOKED that course, including a woman in my age group who I am lucky enough to get training advice and general encouragement from. She is an absolute STUD and has a lot of experience that she is totally happy to share. She rocked a 2:12 on that course, 5th in our AG and 27th OA for women. Daniella, you are my idol, girl :) SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

The race itself. Cool to race against so many fast women. I'll touch on my race realizations in the post race section.

Post race La Perla celebration with Artemis and Salty. Again, meeting Jen was completely awesome and I'm so glad it worked out. Margs and chili riding, nough said. p.s. Salty--I may have to send you a personal thank you for that ride;)

Hanging out with LB and his family on Sunday. Very cool, nice people (don't let his internet persona fool you). Watching his son, and his son's teammates race is like watching a different sport. When you see these kids race, it is like watching art. They are so strong, confident and smooth--it is really something to see, and so exciting to cheer for someone who is freakin ROCKING race day. If you ever get a chance to go see a race that LB's son is in, you should do it; one day you'll be able to say, I met him. He also happens to be extremely handsome, huge, smart, kind, and has some of the best social skills I've seen in a human lately, let alone a teenager. So, so awesome, LB. So happy for you and your family. Hugs.


Event warmup:

I woke up thirsty and tired. Ruh-roh. This is gonna sound realy dumb, but we have the best tasting drinking water at home, and I need to take more with me when I travel for races. Lol. I'm princess and the pea about more things than I care to admit, and my water is one. Uh, suck it up princess, starting a race dehydrated is really dumb. (mistake 1)

I just felt flat in the morning (possibly to much pre-race festivities the day before). Some race days you wake up feeling great, some, not so great. Unfortunately, I just had a not-so-great feeling. (mistake/realization #2)

I decided to not race with my watch, as I forgot my HR strap, and I didn't want to be looking at my mph without having my HR there to keep me in check. (mistake #3)

I did a little stretching as my neck thing was still an issue, and swam about 300yds (we didn't have a lot of time) but no real warm up of any kind.
Swim
  • 27m 30s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 50s / 100 meters
Comments:

Overall rank is out of men and women--they didn't have the women broken out separately

I have never had a panicky feeling on a swim. I have had the "Oh, this is gonna be tough" feeling or "God, I really suck at swimming" feeling, but I've never had the "Oh, chit, this could go bad in a hurry--woah" feeling. Yeah, I had that on this swim. The course narrowed at the first buoy to the pier and I'm a very MOP swimmer in this group. It was a lot of jostling, pushing. dunking, really my first experience with a lot of that, and it threw me for a bit. Was able to kinda wrap my head around it after about 20 seconds, but lost some time, getting comfortable and figuring out my strategy for getting through that (ended up I just got OK with getting knocked and knocking back).

The swim always feels like a sufferfest to me, and every time I race, I spend a lot of time thinking about how much I need to improve my swim. Yeah, this was no exception :) I also tore my gastroc a few years ago, and had some visions of that exit going real bad, real fast. It was "fine" but of the whole course, that swim exit would be my only real complaint.
What would you do differently?:

Swim more consistently and with a Masters group? Seriously, I can't beotch about my swim because I don't practice enough. It is what it is. It will, hopefully, be different next year.
Transition 1
  • 02m 50s
Comments:

Totally missed my bike in transition and had to stop, walk back and forth and find it. I should have been looking at the numbers, but I was looking at the bikes themselves and there were just too many.

Never had my wetsuit get stuck on my ankles, but I forgot to lube them. (mistake #4)
What would you do differently?:

Lube ankles. Have a better bike finding system. I probably lost a solid :45-1:00 here. Really chitty transition for me. I can usually do these pretty well. Lesson learned.
Bike
  • 1h 11m 28s
  • 24.86 miles
  • 20.95 mile/hr
Comments:

Overall rank is out of men and women--they didn't have the women broken out separately.

OK, now I'm gonna beotch a bit. 20.9 for my faching bike split? UGH! What is going on? I was working so hard and felt like I was underwater on the bike. I just could not get moving. I could not figure it out, but I had never worked this hard on the bike and been going this slow. This was my bike split for my HIM, and I was honestly expecting at least 1mph faster, thought that 2mph faster was a real possibility. Chalked it up to just feeling flat on this day, but it was really demoralizing to be working that hard and going that slow.

I had rented race wheels for this race, Zipp 303s, so I didn't know what these wheels were supposed to sound like. They were pretty "hummy" on the course, but I thought that was probably just the extra points of engagement on the hub. After the race I went and checked the wheels to see if something was weird, and sure enough my back wheel was rubbing on the brake for about 1/3 of the revolution. FACH ME! Oh, that sucked. Not only did it tank my bike, but it really did a number on me mentally, as I was already feeling kinda flat before the race, and then I was working hard on the bike for nada. Legs were pretty meh going into the run. (mistake #5)
What would you do differently?:

Have my own wheels? Know how to do a brake adjustment? Really. I want my own stuff, so I don't have to mess around with this, and I also want to take a freakin bike class so that I can fix stuff when it goes wrong. Really, this bike sucked, and it just reinforced for me how much I need to learn so that I can be bike independent. Another lesson (or four) learned. :(
Transition 2
  • 01m 19s
Comments:

I need to work on being more fluid with my transitions, especially mounting and dismounting.
What would you do differently?:

I would like to learn flying mounts and dismounts for next year. I can certainly learn to take my feet out of the shoes on the bike. I'll start there :)
Run
  • 46m 59s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile
Comments:

Overall rank is out of men and women--they didn't have the women broken out separately.

The run was fine. I know I can run better than this, but after the bike I had, this was gonna be about as good as my run could get.
What would you do differently?:

I was a little dehydrated and should have taken one more goo for the run. Really was missing my watch here. I really needed more feedback about where I was in the run to pace myself well. I will not race without a watch again.
Post race
Warm down:

Chrissie Wellington giving me my finisher's medal! Oh. My. God. I may never wash my neck again.

Was hot. Grabbed some water and went and sat in the fountain with my teammate who rocked the 2:12.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My bike issue? Bad sleep? Pre-race festivities? Neck issue? Hydration? Limited training the last four weeks because of neck issue? Some weight gain due to reduced training load over the last month (and, of course, lack of self-control).

Even though the race was pretty disappointing for me, it was a GREAT learning experience and it has turned into a real motivator. I know what I need to do to be where I want to be next year, and now I've got a year to work that out.

My friend who rocked that 2:12 has been racing for 8 years, the last four of which she has had a coach. It is very hard for me to not compare my time to hers, and not feel overwhelmingly frustrated, but I just can't do that. I have to remind myself that this is my first year, my second oly, and my fourth tri. It was still a PR. Ugh.

Perspective and patience, not always my strong suits.

I have very concrete goals for next year, one of which will be to qualify for worlds at this race. I will be aging up next year to 40-44, which would make that a little more doable, as the worlds spots roll down to ~20, and the 35-39 20th place had a 2:20:08 and the 40-44 20th had a 2:23:47. OK, so I need to train to go sub 2:20. there it is.

I'm writing this here really for my own reflection and motivation later (apologies for the crazy long RR). My plan for achieving this goal next year.

Start swimming with the Master's group 3x/week.
Add a track speedwork day ( I haven't done any speedwork this year as I was dealing with PF, but I think I have that licked now)
Be more consistent with all of my training.
Train with power (will have to be virtual for now) on the bike 3x/week. TR!
Learn how to do basic bike mechanic stuff.
I went into this race 5lbs up from my last oly which was just freakin stupid. To race well I should really be 10lbs down from here. That's gonna take some work, but is probably the single best thing I could do to be faster.
Decide what my plan of attack will be for my run training. I'm not convinced that Z2 is the best way to go for me, but I need to pick a strategy and stick to it. Really thinking about a fall marathon and possible BQ to do a run focus over the winter. My running just has not come back to where it was prekids, and I know where it can be, so I feel there's a lot of time I could drop there.
I need to come up with a training plan that has a better rationale to it than the one in my head. This is going to take some reading on my part, and maybe some type of coaching (would love to hire a coach, but need to wait on that for now) and I think reading up could get me a lot further than I am now.




Event comments:

I am really looking forward to doing this race next year with this experience under my belt. It will hopefully be a totally different kind of day.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2013-08-12 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:27:30 | 1500 meters | 01m 50s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/158
Overall: 1434/2677
Performance: Average
1:40/100yds. My brain doesn't work in meters, people.
Suit:
Course:
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 02:50
Performance: Bad
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
Biking
01:11:28 | 24.86 miles | 20.95 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/158
Overall: 1637/2677
Performance: Bad
Wind: Some with gusts
Course: I would not call this a fast bike course. There were a few hills, and the bridge was tough. As I didn't wear my watch, I would have liked to see some mile markers on the bike course, but, overall it was totally fair.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Average Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
T2
Time: 01:19
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
00:46:59 | 06.2 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/158
Overall: 1238/2677
Performance: Average
7:33/mile
Course: Fairly flat and some of it by the lake.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? No
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2013-08-12 9:26 AM

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Regular
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Subject: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance


2013-08-12 9:47 AM
in reply to: #4826788

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Master
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Paradise aka Englewood
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Rocking the learning experience! Great job in trying circumstances and a whole lot of stuff to add to the knowledge base. And you got to meet some truly cool people!

And you're one fast chick and I mean that in the nicest way possible!

2013-08-12 10:09 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Veteran
2127
200010025
Concord, MA
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

PR!

No matter what the day felt like or how you did relative to your hopes, you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that you PR'd - and at AGN.  Pretty frikkin' cool (and you got to hang with the BT glitteratti in the process - could there be a better weekend?)!

I love that you have taken these results and set both goals and plans for the whole year!  Just feels so pro.  Laughing

Oh, that and you have clearly figured out how to almost-swear like an almost-Marine.  No chit, very fachin' impresive.  Tongue out

Hey - congrats on a great day!  Can't wait to hear what next year's race is like for you (and though I couldn't logistically work it out this year with the HIM next week, we're already planning the trip for next year - Kim wants to visit the city - so beers and nachos all around before the race!).

Woot!

Matt

2013-08-12 11:02 AM
in reply to: #4826788

Master
7403
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Nice going Elesa. Keep racing and you'll get the hang of things!
2013-08-12 11:19 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Seattle
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

HAHAHA I love that the nachos made it into your photos. I'm also glad some other things DIDN'T make it in there.

Anyway:

1. Dude, you faching killed it. Of course you have some things to work on but damn!! You should give yourself a little more credit.

2. I swear Jen told us beer was a good way to hydrate for a race. Did I get that wrong? Naaaah, I couldn't have.

3. My triceps are still sore from that chili ride. So, I should be thanking YOU. Don't worry about the lack of chivalry, it's preferred!

2013-08-12 11:36 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Champion
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Austin, Texas
Bronze member
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Are you kidding me???  You faching ROCKED that chit! 

I think it's awesome that you already have a training and racing goal for next year - there WILL be redemption on that course!!

And the plate of nachos?  Faching epic. 



2013-08-12 11:38 AM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Gold member
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Your friend has been racing for 8 years, 4 with a coach, and you are ONLY 18min behind her?  I think that qualifies for kicking !  Sorry you struggled so hard and had so many lessons (I had the break rubbing issue once...), but sounds like you are just going to use it all as motiviation!  Awesome job!

Oh yeah, that swim exit looks stoopid.  Like you might have to use the railing to pull yourself up the ramp because it is so steep!



Edited by bcraht 2013-08-12 11:42 AM
2013-08-12 11:49 AM
in reply to: bcraht

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Master
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Orlando
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Sorry you weren't feeling it for the race, but you stilled killed it!  Plus, you learned some great lessons and have a plan for next year.  I have to say though, those nachos look gross
2013-08-12 11:57 AM
in reply to: #4826788

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Regular
951
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Jenison, MI
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Great RR, Switch. Nice that you can see what you need to work on, but it sounds like a pretty darn successful weekend no matter what! Maybe I'll be able to join you guys at nationals next year!
2013-08-12 12:29 PM
in reply to: #4826788

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Expert
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Chicago
Bronze member
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Awesome race! Great job out there (you took me by :17). I'm jealous of your run!!
2013-08-12 12:32 PM
in reply to: #4826788

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Veteran
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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

A PR after a big night of festivities and brake rubbing the wheel for the entire ride?  That's pretty impressive!

Plus, learning from stupid mistakes and setting big goals for next year makes it sound like this race was a success.  Besides, I'd kill for times like those



2013-08-12 12:40 PM
in reply to: MSU_Brad

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Master
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Raleigh, NC area
Bronze member
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Great race!  Great race report!  Congrats on the PR!

2013-08-12 12:43 PM
in reply to: #4826788

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Royal(PITA)
13946
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over the rainbow
Silver member
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Holy Smoking FAST Times across the board!  You ROCK!!
2013-08-12 12:55 PM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Master
4134
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Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Great RR!

I agree with the others that you rocked it, but there is nothing wrong with having goals to improve! Your swim thoughts sound a lot like mine Laughing.

I'm jealous of you all getting to be there and meet each other (and the BT royalty) and, of course, Chrissie and other triathlon royalty!

Glad you had a good weekend (I watched the chili cam but never saw y'all ride Yell)

Nice job!

2013-08-12 1:19 PM
in reply to: bcraht

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Originally posted by bcraht

Your friend has been racing for 8 years, 4 with a coach, and you are ONLY 18min behind her?  I think that qualifies for kicking !  Sorry you struggled so hard and had so many lessons (I had the break rubbing issue once...), but sounds like you are just going to use it all as motiviation!  Awesome job!

Oh yeah, that swim exit looks stoopid.  Like you might have to use the railing to pull yourself up the ramp because it is so steep!

They had volunteers lined along the rails grabbing your arms to pull you up the ramp.  I think I got laddered up by four different volunteers.  It was stoopid.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words.  I posted in SBR Utopia about my exchange with the LBS about my brake clearance.  It was "totally rubbing" (according to LBS dude) and it makes me mad at them, but really mad at myself for not checking it, as it is ultimately my responsibility.  In a weird way it makes me feel better about my race, as the RPE on the bike and my actual speed were so disparate. 

It should mean it will be "easier" for me to hit my goals next year :)

2013-08-12 2:23 PM
in reply to: switch

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Expert
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Canton, Bawlmer City
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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Awesome race!! A PR with all those issues??  Wow.  Im.press.ive.

I think you should train with the brake engaged, and then fix it for your next race.  Cool



2013-08-12 2:43 PM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

That swim exit looks evil (shudder), congrats on navigating it safely!

What, no Mylar balloon marking your transition spot?! I KID, I KID!!!

Oh, and holy fastness!!  This is your first year, 2nd Oly, and you faching rocked in a crowd of other very fast, talented racers!  So awesome you received your medal from Chrissie and got to meet and hang with so many of the Manatees!  Girl, I can't wait to see what next year brings for you!

2013-08-12 2:48 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Elite
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Awesome race!  Great PR with a rubbing brake!!!  

Swim exit looks evil.

2013-08-14 8:52 AM
in reply to: #4826788

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Pro
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Omaha, NE
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Nice job and great PR.  Heck, you even beat my PR by 5 minutes.  lol

2013-08-14 9:20 AM
in reply to: tuwood

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Regular
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Caerphilly, Wales, uk.
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
I think you're too hard on yourself, that's a great Oly time, and a PR to boot. I'd be happy.
2013-08-15 12:11 PM
in reply to: #4826788

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Expert
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Fort Wayne, IN
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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Nice race, but too bad about the brake rubbing. I would still have been happy to have your bike split! I can really relate to your comments on the swim ramp. I had the added insult of one of the ramp helpers holler out to the others that heavier people were now coming in as I got to the ramp I had a half Mary a few years ago where I had ribs and drank too much beer the night before, without re-hydrating well before the race. Not a good pre-race approach!


2013-08-15 2:57 PM
in reply to: nickster

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

Nice race switch!  We already talked about it.....you'll go 2:20 next year....and that's on the high end.

Thanks for the comments about my family.  Grif really enjoyed having you there on Sunday cheering as only you can. Laughing  We may have to make you part of the team and drag you to Edmonton next year.

We tried to find you in your race on Saturday when he was looking at the course, but never got locked in on where you were on the course.  Again, strong work for your first year.

2013-08-19 5:20 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance

I just love that this race report had FACH ME in it

Stellar, stellar, stellar job given snafus (wetsuit, brake) ... awesome in its own right but now also a great foundation experience to build on.

2013-09-16 8:22 AM
in reply to: #4826788

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Extreme Veteran
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Frederick, Maryland
Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
From your RR - "I have to remind myself that this is my first year, my second oly, and my fourth tri. It was still a PR. Ugh. " WHOA!! Heck this is my 7th year and my numbers look like yours! Definitely don't beat yourself up about your times, especially with the issue on the bike. No doubt that if you stick with it, learn from your experiences (what worked, what didn't), you'll be up there in no time and probably going to Worlds a lot sooner than me (heck, probably next year!).

As I wrote in my RR ( and mine's longer than yours as I write a good deal about the entire experience), it was a humbling experience since I have taken a few AG podium places over the years (most recently a 2nd place about 4 weeks prior too). But, just will push me a bit more and attempt to be one of those faster folks.

Nice RR, good luck in the rest of your season! I foresee Worlds in your future soon!

2014-03-28 2:54 AM
in reply to: sbrdave

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Subject: RE: USAT Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Great race! I have always wanted to do this one. Qualified two years ago and didn't have time to get there. Did not qualify last year because I didn't do any Olympics except for the 5150 Nationals and didn't place high enough. You are amazing on your bike! I would pay serious cash for those bike splits. ) That is my weakness so you can see why I may not be "racing" at Accel if something doesn't change. Great job!
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author : Team BT
comments : 0
The start of the race I had the jitters. I was watching the other age groups start as they seeded the swim with over 1000 participants.