Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kokopelli Triathlon

St. George, Utah
United States
77F / 25C

Short Version:
I did my 2nd triathlon - only 2 weeks after my first:

Triathlon - Sprint
Total Time = 1h 59m 28s
Overall Rank = 217/238
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 8/8

swim (750m): 22:40
t1: 2:19
bike (20k): 53:14
t2: 1:23
run (5k): 39:54
Yep, I'm in the BOP, but I met my goal of sub-2 hours

Long Version:

Pre-race routine:

This was my first away-from-home triathlon, it was 2 hours away in St. George Utah. So, I left work early on Friday to do the drive and pick-up my packet and check-in to the Hotel. I also had a work-shop on Boundaries in relationships to go to on Friday night at 5-8:30 which was the exact times of the Pasta Party, so I didn't get to go to the Pasta Party, but the workshop was worth it!

After the work-shop, I went back to the hotel and bought a lean cuisine chicken fettuccine dinner and bottle of water... ate the lean cuisine and tried to get some sleep... pretty much tossed & turned all night, then the alarm finally rang, I woke up, ate an instant oatmeal, got dressed, packed up all my stuff and I was off to the races

I got to the race - it was still REAL dark! I got my bike out of the car and had trouble putting my front wheel on in the dark... someone offered me a flashlight and that helped bunches! Thanks! Then, I pumped up my tires and proceeded to the transition area and found my rack, they had us rack our bikes by our race number, so it made it easy... but, I was in the last rack from the bike exit, but closest to the run exit...

As I was setting up my transition, I realized that I had left my sun glasses in my car... so I had to walk all the way back to my car to retrieve them...I had plenty of time, so it wasn't that bad.

I put on sunscreen and had my neighbor spray my back - he didn't want to rub my sunscreen on and get his hands greasy before he put on his wetsuit... understandable..., then I put on my wetsuit - that I hadn't put on since March - it still fit whew - Then I started to head down to the lake, but it was real rocky, so I went back and got my sandals and went down to the lake. The Elite Olympic wave had just started.

Event warmup:

I did a short out and back in the lake... the water was perfect! And my wetsuit felt so buoyant in the water!

I waited til it was our turn to start and chatted with a few folks... one man was 70 years old, and he had been doing triathlons for about 7 years now - yep, he started at 63 years old... AWESOME!!!

It was a LONG time between my warm-up and when I got to go...

00:22:40 | 750 meters | 03m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 4/8
Overall: 188/238

Course: Swim straight to the first triangle buoy, turn left to the next buoy, then turn left and head back in.
Start type: Wade
Water temp: 72F / 22C


It was finally our turn to start, we walked over the timing matt to the doc and jumped into the water - it was rocky on that side, so I found a large smooth rock and stood on it til it was time to go... another short woman shared the rock with me, it was perfect! Then we were off...

Yes, I was in the middle of things... that's where the rock was - oops! I tried to find my place while swimming and soon enough, the faster swimmers passed me and I had space to move... but I couldn't move! It seemed SO far to the buoy... I did a lot of breast stroke... and tried to swim freestyle as much as I could... I finally made it to the buoy and was able to swim around it without a problem... I did breast stroke almost all the way to the next buoy... why can't I swim??? I made it around the next buoy, and finally felt like I could swim... I sighted on the Transition sign and pretty much swam freestyle all the way back in - I had FINALLY warmed up and was able to swim...

As I grabbed my sandals, I noticed that there were still swimmers in the water, YAY I wasn't last :)

As I jogged up the boat ramp to transition I unzipped my wetsuit and took off my cap & goggles and the top half of my wetsuit, then I crossed the timing matt... My watch says I did the swim in 22:08, so I guess it took about 32 seconds to get to transition.

What would you do differently?:

I need to take longer on my warm-up and do it closer to race time... It took at least 12 minutes of the 22 minute swim to warm-up... not good! I could do better!

Time: 02:19


I found my bike easily - as I was in the BOP on the final wave, my bike was just about the only one left on our rack. I quickly removed the rest of my wetsuit, took off my ironman watch (left it running) and put on my Garmin, put on socks and shoes, helmet, glasses and I was off...

What would you do differently?:

My T1 time was 94 out of 238, and that included jogging my bike all the way through transition with my bike shoes on... I think I did pretty good - I'm not sure what I could/would change...

now that I think about this more, I could get the new 310xt Garmin that I could wear in the water so I don't have to switch watches... some day...

00:53:14 | 12.43 miles | 14.01 mile/hr
Age Group: 7/8
Overall: 210/238

Course: As described on the race website: Exit T1 at the South end, ride to the main road and make a LEFT hand turn on the main road. (You will have accelerated quite a bit at this point, so please be safe making this tight turn.) About 3.3 miles down this road you will hit "The Hill". This will last approximately less than a mile and it is about a 6% grade. Go all the way to your turn around. You will have your own turn around chute in the middle of the road to keep you separated from the long course cyclists. (You cannot miss it) There will be volunteers and a wide mat at the bottom of "The Hill" going over the cattle guard. Make a RIGHT hand turn back into the park area and get ready for your run!


I started out on the bike okay...but forgot to start my Garmin til after the first turn... oh least I remembered now...

Then I see the Hill... Holy Crap!!! The RD's never published the elevation profile for the bike portion, only described the course... I was told it was a 6% grade, it looked more like 10%, and felt like 15%!!! I tried to ride up the hill... there was a woman walking her bike, I thought no, I can do this, but my muscles started shaking with fatigue, my breathing was heavy... so I did the only thing I could do, I got off my bike and started walking it up the hill - grrrrrrr... I was about 1/3rd up the hill when I started walking... I got to about 2/3rds up the hill, and got back on the bike and rode the rest of the way to the top... passing the 2 walkers... one of the walkers said she was impressed with me, I said, "No, I walked some of it too"... when I got back on my bike, somehow it felt a little easier - although still hard... I was glad when I got to the top!

Then on the downhill and flats, I passed a few people who had passed me on the hill - that's always fun... there was one woman who kept passing me and I would pass her, this happened about 2 to 3 times - that was fun! Then we came to the turn around - a tight u-turn and back we went...

I got to the BIG downhill and tried to let loose, but it was a bit scary! There was a cattle guard that they put a matt over while coming down the hill... there was a lady in front of me, but I was afraid to pass her and wipe out on the cattle guard, so I slowed WAY down and let her go over it first... then I passed her wheeeeeeee - I love going fast!

When I got to the bottom of the hill, you could see a nice view of the lake, it was such a beautiful day! I took some time to just enjoy the day and the ride - at that point I wished I had my camera with me... it was beautiful!

I rode towards the transition area, and there were runners going this way, there were riders going that way, and I got confused on where to go... I almost came to a complete stop and yelled to a volunteer - which way??? She pointed straight - DUH... so I kept going straight and got to transition... dismounted and crossed the timing matt...

What would you do differently?:

more Hill work!

Time: 01:23

Jogged with my bike - with my bike shoes on, all the way through the transition area to my rack, and someone racked their bike right in my spot... oh well, I racked my bike next to it... I removed my helmet and bike shoes, slipped on my running shoes - those Yanks are GREAT, I grabbed my water bottle and off I went... the timing matt was REAL close this time :)

What would you do differently?:

My T1 time was 126 out of 238, and that included jogging my bike all the way through transition with my bike shoes on... I think I did pretty good - I'm not sure what I could/would change...

00:39:54 | 03.1099 miles | 12m 50s min/mile
Age Group: 8/8
Overall: 229/238
Performance: Below average

Course: As described on the website: Exit the NORTH end of the transition area (where you ran in FROM the swim) Cross parking lot and run the length of the parking lot to the desert. You will be running the SGTRI run course in reverse. ( No huge hill to run up on this one!) Aid stations will be at every mile out on the course, you will have HEED, Water and Hammer Gels at each aid station.

As described by me: They are full of CRAP!!! What do they call that HUGE incline if not a HILL??? Not only did we go out into the desert, but it was soft sand! Did they mention that? NOoooooo...


After my disaster run 2 weeks ago, I had a new strategy... I was going to walk the first 3 minutes, then run 1 min/walk 30 seconds til I got to the 10 minute mark, then go to run 1 mile/walk 1 minute... I was hoping to do this run in 40 minutes, as my BEST 5k is 34:23 and I knew I couldn't come close to that after swimming & cycling...

So, I started out with a 3 minute walk... and lots of folks passed me... I was surprised at how many people were behind me... but, lots of them were doing the olympic distance... okay... so, I get to the run portion and right away, pain in my shins... grrrrrrrrr... but I thought I could run for a minute!! so I did... when I got to the HUGE uphill, I walked the thing and went back to timing a 1 minute run/30 sec walk... I continued this for longer than 10 minutes as my shins were KILLING me! I felt like crying... ok, I did a few "oooohhh, ouch," whines out loud when I was by myself... I still ran for a full minute when I could... after about 22 minutes, I could finally run! I took 2 more short walk breaks after that, but mostly ran it in... at the last water stop, I tossed my water bottle away - it was almost empty, and I knew I would get water at the finish... it was uphill on pavement after the water stop... I ran up the hill and asked myself if I had any kick left... not much...but I tried to kick it in anyway - and finally crossed the finishing matt - tried to smile for the camera...

They had a clock at the finish, but it was WAY wrong as it was started for the Elite Wave, so I wasn't sure of my finish time... secretly, I wanted a sub-2 hour finish...

What would you do differently?:

I'm at a loss... this shin pain has got to stop!

More Bricks!

Post Race:

Warm down:

As I crossed the finish line, someone removed my chip, and I was handed a bottle of water and a medal - it's a nice medal :)

I ate a couple of orange wedges and mini bagels, and chatted with a couple of people as I cooled down in the shaded tent. Then I went over to transition to pack up my stuff. I picked up my ironman watch and noticed that the time was 2:07... It was nice to see that I got close to my 2 hour time goal... I didn't know the final results til the next day!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I sooooo want to blame the elevation in St. George... but it's not THAT much higher than Las Vegas... the weather was soooo nice, unlike Vegas, it more than made up for the elevation... so, I guess I'm just slow... get over it!

Seriously, I need to lose weight and train more...

Thanks for reading