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Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance - Triathlon


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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
USA Triathlon
63F / 17C
Sunny
Total Time = 2h 33m 56s
Overall Rank = 1627/2677
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 167/211
Pre-race routine:

This road trip was one for the ages. I was driving up with another Clevelander named Billy, who had hopes of qualifying for World's. Billy got to my house on Friday morning at 6:30am, and we were loaded into my car and headed out on the highway by 7am to start what would be - hopefully - a 7 hour drive. Everything was moving along like clockwork for the first several hours, but just before reaching Gary, Indiana we were run off the road at 80mph as a truck that was in the slow lane decided that he needed to be in ours and just started moving over without looking... which pushed us into the berm to avoid an accident! He quickly moved back into his lane a few seconds later and we were able to get back onto the road without incident. I gestured my "thanks" and we continued on. Unfortunately, it wasn't long after that that the car started to make some seriously horrific grinding noises and the steering got REALLY scary. After first pulling over to inspect the wheels for a flat and moving along, the issue got worse and so we pulled off at an exit and pulled into the parking lot of an Auto Zone where we discovered that my wheel bearing was shot. Long story short (too late?), 2 hours later, I had the bearing assembly changed and a new rotor on there and we were back on the road. Unfortunately, the delay put us sitting right in the meat of Chicago traffic on I-94 where we started to get legitimately worried that we'd run out of gas before we could get to a gas station. We finally got gassed up without running out, got on the road and made it to Milwaukee with just under an hour to spare before Packet Pick-up closed. We took care of that, checked in our bikes (after doing some quick checks of them) and headed of to my friend's house where we were spending the night to get cleaned up and go grab some dinner. Whew!!! That only took about 13 hours. At dinner, we met up with switch, Adrienne, Monica, and Tony. So great to finally meet y'all - a fine bunch of folks, for sure :) Great conversation and kick-azz food, but then an early bedtime because I was Wave 1 in the morning, and it was already late.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 5:45am and got ready and packed the car; drove to the race. Got there a wee bit after 6:30am, rushed through setting up transition, then gear drop, then went immediately to swim start. Stood about for about 5 minutes while I put on the wetsuit, and then I was down the ramp and jumping into the water to try to get in a quick warmup. The water was a lot colder than I expected; I could feel it in my teeth. A "quick" warmup turned into an extended treading water drill as we waited for clearance from the highway. After about 10 minutes of waiting, they pulled us from the water, and then pretty much as soon as the last guy was out of the water we heard "everyone in a red cap, get back in the water!" as they'd gotten clearance from the highway. Minutes later we were all lined up, and then we were off!
Swim
  • 25m 52s
  • 1650 yards
  • 01m 34s / 100 yards
Comments:

I started toward the back of the middle, expecting that there was little chance of me being a front runner in this race. I started off just trying to find a comfortable pace and was quickly surprised that I felt like I was flying! So this is what it feels like to find a draft?? I like it :) I spent the rest of the race practicing finding people's feet and trying to draft. I did fairly well for the most part, but it seems like every time I found a nice draft, I'd take some heavier contact and lose the draft.

The contact was constant in this swim, and the entire thing was really close proximity to others, but the contact wasn't as rough as a couple of other races I've done... though, I did pretty much get bear-hugged at one point. That was disconcerting.

For about the first 400m, through the bridge and halfway to the turn, I felt really good and felt like I was doing a solid job of keeping pace with the pack. Then, I started having trouble holding onto drafts and I began to slip. I got caught up in a pack at each of the turn buoys which put the brakes on briefly, and then I was on my way down the home stretch... but I suddenly couldn't sight for anything and I began to swim crooked. I think I may have just been getting tired, and that wouldn't be surprising, at all. The last few hundred meters was just me doing course corrections and trying to hang onto drafts while trying to remain conscious of making sure I maintained good form because it was really falling apart as I tired.

Finally, I was at the exit ramp. I missed the ramp with my feet the first two times I tried to get up on it, then finally got a foot on it and a hand on the handrail and I was on my way up it and running to T1.
What would you do differently?:

Same ol', same ol'... this block will ALWAYS say training, because I just haven't been doing it. Life happens and gets in the way a lot, but I'm blessed to be able to still finish races without training. I'm content with how things are, but training would definitely improve things :)
Transition 1
  • 02m 38s
Comments:

As soon as I had my feet under me and I was stable, I got my goggles and cap off and began working the zipper of the suit as I ran. It was a moderately long run to T1, especially with how massive the transition area was. It took a little work, but I got unzipped and had the suit around my waist long before I got to my bike.

I dropped the goggle and cap and picked up the helmet and tried to put it on while trying to step out of the wetsuit, but the wetsuit got hung up badly on my heels and I had to abort that. I set down the helmet, focused on getting the suit off, then put on the helmet, then the shoes, grabbed the bike and ran out to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Probably a lot. I need to practice my transitions with someone. I see guys with crazy fast transition times and I'm just not sure what they're doing differently.... so I need to be taught :)
Bike
  • 1h 08m 47s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 21.88 mile/hr
Comments:

At the mount line, I did a running jump onto the bike, got one foot clipped, then a few seconds later the other.

Right from the start, my legs felt tired so I tried to conserve myself a little for the first couple of miles, which were all flat. Then we hit the first hill and turnaround and I decided to start pushing a bit more. I started to feel good, and then I got to the big azz bridge. Holy smokes, that thing sucked! I managed to stay big ring in front, but I bailed to the granny gear in the back and slowly spun my way up it. Once I crested it, I went through the gears as quickly as I could to the biggest to build as much speed as possible and then cruised. A couple of miles down, we got off the highway and took a left, went up about a mile, then a 90-degree right. I didn't slow down enough and was trying to take the corner without coming out of aero, but all I accomplished was hitting an orange cone and dragging myself to a stop. Fortunately, I didn't fall and I was able to get off the bike, pull the stuck cone free from the bike and put it back in place and get back on and ride :) For the next mile or so I was really conscious of the bike to see if anything got knocked out of whack, but it was all good, just the rider was whacked :) I pushed through the ride as best I could, and I got passed by what felt like a ton of riders - the most shameful being a guy on an identical bike with the stock wheels and a road helmet vs my FLO's and aero helmet, lol! I was really happy to see the turnaround, and I made a point to slow down and not hit another cone the second time through that corner. The return on the highway felt pretty good, but the return trip over that damned bridge hurt like Hell. I was sooo happy to crest it and have a downhill ride to T2. I tried to get my feet out of my shoes on the way in, but I waited to long and ended up only getting one out, so I unclipped the other at the dismount line and ran into T2 with one shoe on.


What would you do differently?:

Given everything, I'm really quite pleased with the bike split.
Transition 2
  • 01m 29s
Comments:

Ran in with only one shoe on, racked the bike, dropped the one shoe and the helmet and slipped on the running shoes and grabbed my little hand held water bottle and headed out on the run.
What would you do differently?:

At some point in here, I damaged a toe.... I would try to avoid that because it still freaking hurts.
Run
  • 55m 9s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 09m  min/mile
Comments:

This run sucked. I thought it would be better, but it sucked. I was more than a minute per mile slower than my last race which was just one week earlier.

Anyway, I headed out at a decent clip, but I used the Garmin to monitor my pace and help me hold myself back early on. At mile 1, I was feeling decent and just let my legs seek their natural pace, which lately seems to be about 8:00/mile, give or take 15 sec.
By mile 3, I was feeling it, and at mile 4 I was already talking to myself in terms of "almost there, just keep moving forward" and the pace had fallen to 9:00. Around there, some guy named Todd (I didn't get his bib # and lost him in the chute) came up along side me and we chatted. He was having calf issues and I was just having issues, lol. I wanted to walk, badly, but he kept me going. Mile 6 was done at a 10:00 pace, but then we were at the finish and I told him to go ahead. If not for him, I definitely would have walked and wouldn't even be there, yet. After he went in front, I found that I could stretch the legs a little and I had something left in them, afterall, and I finished down the most incredible looking chute I've ever seen.
What would you do differently?:

Ummm... anything, lol!
I need to practice running when the legs are shot. I also need to experiment with getting the legs to stretch out when they're hurting... I think I cave to the pain to easily and end up setting a false ceiling for myself.
Post race
Warm down:

Wandered through the chute, got some food and beverages, then went and hit bag check to get my flip flops so that I could get my feet out of the run shoes. When I did, I discovered that one toe was black, purple, and red. It was pretty funky, nasty. In the process of wandering around while waiting for Billy to finish (he was in the last wave of the day), Monica and Tony found me and I got to meet Whizz and Coredump. Then we sat in the grandstands where immediately after talking about Sister Madonna Buder, she appears out of nowhere and we got to see her cross the finish line. Thinking about that still gives me goosebumps!

After Billy finished, we were going to go see the magical mechanical chili pepper, but he felt like crap and we needed to hit the road, anyway, so we did. The drive home was a mostly uneventful drive where we must have set some kind of record by getting home in under 6.5 hours, and then I slipped into a coma just long enough to wake up and race the next morning :)


Profile Album


Last updated: 2013-05-01 12:00 AM
Swimming
00:25:52 | 1650 yards | 01m 34s / 100yards
Age Group: 87/211
Overall: 1058/2677
Performance: Good
Suit: Xterra Vector Pro full sleeve
Course: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/356770092
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
T1
Time: 02:38
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
No
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
Biking
01:08:47 | 24.85 miles | 21.88 mile/hr
Age Group: 149/211
Overall: 1258/2677
Performance: Average
Wind: Some
Course: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/356770095
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 76
Turns: Good Cornering: Below average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
T2
Time: 01:29
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Below average
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
Running
00:55:09 | 06.21 miles | 09m  min/mile
Age Group: 192/211
Overall: 2208/2677
Performance: Bad
Course: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/356770097
Keeping cool Average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
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] 5

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2013-08-16 3:43 PM

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Elite
5093
5000252525
Cleveland
Subject: Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance


2013-08-16 5:03 PM
in reply to: #4831333

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Royal(PITA)
14046
500050002000200025
over the rainbow
Silver member
Subject: RE: Age Group National Championship - Olympic Distance
Given all the issues you had getting there you pulled off a fantastic race!
Super speedy swim and bike!!  Nice looking run on dead legs! 
2013-08-16 5:05 PM
in reply to: QueenZipp

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

Great job, especially considering the day you had getting there!!

Great to meet you! Smile Sorry it was so brief but in my defense, Switch and I had been there for like 6 (and a huge plate of nachos) hours prior to your arrival

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