2015 0614 – Copper Creek Sprint Triathlon

Executive Summary:

Race Priority:        B
Race Execution:   B

.                     2009        2010          2015
.          Dist     Time         Time          Stats      Notes
Swim  750m   0:14:24    0:15:15      0:12:59   Link      Okay swim.
T1                   0:01:01    0:01:04      0:01:41               A little slow
Bike  12.5mi   0:35:52     0:35:42     0:33:55   Link      Okay ride, given the circumstances.
T2                   0:44:00     0:00:46     0:00:44                Ran the wrong way at first.
Run    3.1mi    0:24:38     0:23:22      0:27:47  Link       My slowest 5k ever.
Total                1:16:38     1:16:10     1:17:06


  • 1 Scoop of CarboPro in my water bottle, 100 cals.
  • Banana & 1 GU with caffeine 3 hours before the race.


  • What went well:  Pleased to get the age group win… 50 has been good to me.  Probably the biggest positive was dealing reasonable well with the multiple issues I had with this particular race and getting a decent result.  “TWIG” it.
  • What could have gone better:  A couple small issues again in transition and a terrible run.
Race Report Commentary:

     I read a race report from my former coach last week, where she used the term “TWIG” it.  Sometimes the day doesn’t go as planned, and you simply need to Take What It Gives and make the most of the situation.  That description fit my day perfectly.  The day before the race my daughter and I did a short pre-race brick to check out our equipment.

I found myself wondering if something like this was messing with my bike the night before the race...

I found myself wondering if something like this was messing with my bike the night before the race…

Everything was fine and I loaded our bikes into my truck.  Sometime during the night, an evil elf or gnome apparently decided to make my life difficult by hexing my morning.  When I tried to air my rear tire the morning of the race the valve stem broke.  After changing the tube and reinstalling on my bike, my tire rubbed on the frame.  I took the wheel off and let out the air, assuming my tire bead or tube had an issue.  My valve stem broke again. Airing with a rear cover is a bit tricky, but I’ve never had this problem before.  I installed another valve stem.  I decided not to chance breaking a 3rd valve stem so I removed my cassette and then removed my rear wheel cover.  I put my cassette back on, aired my tire and installed in on my bike.  It still rubbed the frame.  My set screw had moved so my wheel wasn’t aligned correctly.  I adjusted it with the skewer and checked out the rotation.  My rear brakes were really tight and now they rubbed.  I realized my cable was not seated in my brake lever and after getting it corrected, my rear brake was loose… but good enough to race.  Who needs brakes anyway, they just slow you down. 🙂  I went to transition much later than I wanted and quickly racked my bike, set my stuff and helped my daughter with her setup.  I really had no time to run through my typical pre-race routine in transition.

Cramming her in the wetsuit on a hot morning.

Cramming her in the wetsuit on a hot morning.

I helped my daughter get in her wetsuit and sent her out to lake to cool down.  It was getting hot quickly and standing around in a wetsuit was less than ideal (72 degrees by 8:00 am, 94% RH and no wind).  I got my wetsuit on and my wife left to put my swim bag in transition.  I realized I had left my race swim cap in my bag and ran to transition to find it.  No bag.  I ran frantically through the crowd looking for my wife with the bag.  She found me looking all wild-eyed and I grabbed by swim cap and ran back to the lake as they were getting everyone out out of the water.  I negotiated with the volunteers to briefly get in to cool off as I was really hot from running in my wetsuit.  (Note to self… running in a wetsuit on a warm day is stupid.)  The cool water was only a temporary fix and soon I started getting hot again.  Really hot.  Dizzy and nauseous hot.  I looked around for water to drink, but there wasn’t any near the swim start.  I didn’t want to run again, so I simply found some shade and waited it out feeling crappy until they called my wave.

    I got into the water quickly and pulled open the neck and sleeves of my wetsuit to get cool water around my body.  It made a big difference and I started feeling a bit better.   I’ve

Pleasantly surprised with my time.

Pleasantly surprised with my time.

never had so many issues to just get to the start line of a race before.  The gun went off and we were on our way.  Half-Olympics are not ideal for me as I lose time to stronger swimmers and have less opportunity to make gains on the shortened bike leg.  My swim goal was simply to minimize my loss to my competition.  Overall, my swim was okay.  I had brief periods where I felt pretty good and other times where I was swimming off-line or would catch myself daydreaming.  As I rounded the last buoy, I started getting what felt like a side ache which lasted for the rest of the swim… and thought “who gets side aches while swimming?”  In the end when I came out of the water still under 13 minutes and I was happy.  I had a couple of people tell me that Joe was about a minute in front of me.  I have to admit… I was really looking forward to racing with Joe R. on this event.  He’s a phenomenal athlete (Kona competitor), a great coach/mentor to the TriRacer team and I know he’ll give everything he has into every race he does.  Joe was the person who told me early in my Tri career that you want to push until your throw up in your mouth… and pull it back just a little.

T1 was a little slow.  I was pretty cautious running as my knee wasn’t felling great that morning.  I also struggled a bit getting my wetsuit off, getting my left leg out took a couple of tries.

    My “gliding” mount went fine, I got my shoes on without issue and started hammering the bike to try to make up time.   With only 12.5 miles on the bike, I knew I had to push the pace aggressively.  In retrospect, I pushed my bike a little too aggressively in the first half.  My threshold HR on the bike is around 163-165, and I was running upper 160’s for most of the first half.  Once again my power was down from what I expected, but my HR was confirming how I felt… I was giving it what I had on that day.  I managed to catch Joe at the 2nd RR crossing (the rough one) which I took at 22.9 mph… jerking up on my front wheel and trying to bunny hop/fly across the tracks the best I could. My overall plan was to focus on maintaining steady power on the flats, pushing the hills more aggressively and staying moderate (not easy) on power on the downhill sections.   This worked well overall with my climbs averaging 10 – 13 mph at the slowest points and my downhills peaking around 36 – 41 mph.  I only had two small issues.  The first was that my side ache or stomach cramp continued throughout the ride.  Not a big deal at this point, just an aggravation.  The second was when coming back after making the U-turn, I saw my daughter off her bike at the top of a hill.  I yelled to ask her what was wrong and she told me her chain had come off.  I unclipped, stopped, threw my bike in the ditch and ran across the road.  By the time I got to her, she had it back on and was hopping back on her bike.  I ran back across the road, retrieved my bike, clipped in and started pushing hard again.  I lost about 30 seconds and was sure that Joe was right behind me as I had about 1 minute on him at the U-turn.  I was riding scared from there on out… as I knew Joe would outrun me once we got on our feet.
T2 was fine other than one error that cost me time.  I racked my bike, had no problem with my helmet strap.  My glasses came off so I just left them.  I wore my Zoots so I wouldn’t have an lace or tongue issues.  I grabbed my race belt and started running out of transition.  As I got half way to the bike-in, I realized I was running the wrong way… nice.  Looking at my data it cost me 6 seconds and was I was cursing not getting a chance to go through my morning routine.

     Worst sprint run ever.  Literally.  My run was about 27 minutes of agony.  My time was bad and the suck factor was high.  As I was leaving transition, my knee was really bothering me (probably the 350w stand & stomp up the last hill on the bike.

Let the Pain begin

Let the Pain begin.  Knee starting to collapse inward.

Every step was like a nail being driven into my joint and I could feel my knee collapsing inward as I ran.  My mild side ache on my left side turned into a massive “side” ache across my entire abdomen.  Good times.  So I was hot, couldn’t get a full breath of air and was limp-shuffling the 5k.  I actually considered walking at one point to see if I could get my stomach cramps to settle down.  But, I knew Joe was behind me so I “ran scared” the best I could.  With about 2/10ths of a mile to go, my body finally started to settle down a bit.  My knee pain started to fade a little and my stomach issue backed off a bit.  It seemed to be a great time to get in a sprint finish with a 13 year-old (Connor B)…. which I promptly lost.


Yep... feeling pretty bad.

Yep… feeling as bad as I looked.

After finishing up the race I picked up my race ticket which showed me in 4th place in my age group.  I was a bit disappointed, as I didn’t think that many people had passed me on the run (well… a lot passed me, just not with grey hair). Joe finished just behind me, but won his age group by a big margin.  He had made up time on me on the run and looked much better than I did crossing the finish line.  He’s truly an inspiration to me and all the TriRacers.  I was able to see my daughter come in to the finish, looking strong.  She battled some injuries and illness this year and lost a lot of fitness, so it was great to see her have a good race and finished 2nd in her age group.  Two of the women I coach had solid races, with one winning her age group by a 1 second sprint finish and qualifying for the USAT National Championship.  We stayed for the awards and it was great to see the TriRacers taking a lot of the top 3 spots in each age group.  I was caught off guard (and pleasantly surprised) when they announced that I had won the 50-54 year old age group, and later discovered that they had me in the wrong group on the race ticket originally.

A pleasant surprise.  Great to share the podium with other TriRacers.

A pleasant surprise. Great to share the podium with other TriRacers.

Putting everything together I finished 45/216 overall and 1/13 in my age group.  Once again it wasn’t my best performance, but it as a decent “TWIG” day… dealing with obstacles and making the most of circumstances. The race overall was very well run and the volunteers were great.  As always, I really enjoyed the company of the local triathlon community as well as our TriRacer group.


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