Tag Archives: PowerBar

2014 Smithfield Sprint Triathlon…Race Report

It was a beautiful day for a triathlon, 70 degrees and sunny. Once again Setup Events put on an awesome and very well organized event held at The Luter Family YMCA in Smithfield, VA…300m pool swim, 10-mile bike, and 5k run.

Pre-race

It was a late start race, 10am, so we drove down the morning of from Stafford. For 569 participants to embark upon a small town YMCA, you would think that the parking and traffic would be a nightmare, but not-at-all. We arrived at 9:00am and parked right across the street from the Y. Seriously… Setup Events has event organization down to a tee. I met up with my Training Partner, Jesse Mastrom (TriFitJesse), picked up my packet, and setup my transition area all within 30 minutes. My swim time was at 11:05am, so I had just over an hour before my start. Tossed down a pack of Power Bar Energy Blasts about 15-minutes before the swim.

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Swim

For those who have not done a pool swim before, here’s how it’s done. During registration you’ll enter your estimated 100m-swim time, which, for this event, will place you into 1 of the 5 categories listed below:

0:50 – 1:20 : Super Fast: In contention to win the race and you swim competitively.
1:21 – 1:45 : Fast Enough: Still starting in the first 1/3 of the event. (my group)
1:46 – 2:10 : Average Swimmer: Swim well enough and don’t need to stop at the end of each lane.
2:11 – 2:44 : Novice: Still getting used to this thing called triathlon.
2:45 – 4:59 : Complete beginner: I want to start at the back.

Swimmers enter the water one-by-one, in order of bib #, and begin swimming every 10-15 seconds. After each set of 40 swimmers there is a break to clear the lanes. The swim is done in a snake pattern through the lanes and passing is allowed but can be tricky. If you are fast enough to catch the person in front of you, gently tap their feet to communicate that you want to pass. You’ll need to pass on left, but being cautious of the swimmer coming the other way.

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My dislike about a pool swim is that there are those that believe they swim much faster than they actually do. I was #224. The person in front of me and behind me chose wisely, however I found myself having to pass two people during the swim and catching up with the feet of a third at the end. Your swim order, and the swim time selected by those around you can greatly affect your swim time, which in-turn affects your overall swim time. Swim Time: 05:32.

Transition

Hopped out of the pool and ran to the transition area, on the wrong side of the racks, went under the bar, shoes, sunglasses, helmet, out. That was it. T1 Time: 01:12.

Bike

Ran out of transition, hit lap on my Garmin 910xt, jumped on the bike, and then realized that my Garmin was in swim mode…WHAT?!?! For a girl who needs to know what her numbers are, this was not going to work. It definitely hurt my time on the bike when I slowed a bit to switch to bike mode. This was a quick 10-mile course with small rollers.

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During the pre-race meeting, the event organizers note a steep incline after the sharp left turn onto Bethany Church, which is not quite as steep as made out to be. I pushed through the course, averaging around 20mph. A BIG mistake, however, was underestimating the need for water on the bike since it was only 10 miles. The air was dry and so was I. I took a Power Bar Energy Gel at mile 5 which also helped to soothe my dry throat. Bike time: 30:58.

Transition

My T2 was not as smooth as T1, which was not smooth either. I had too much going on. Normally it would be shoes, visor, and run out of transition with race belt in hand. However, I needed to drink some water and adjust the mode on my Garmin, adding about 15-30 seconds. Not to mention that my bib ripped on one side, so I ran the course with my number hanging. T1 time: 1:34.

Run

The run was good, not great, but good. My legs felt loose, which I’m attributing to keeping a higher cadence on the bike (90-95), so that was good, but I really believe that I could’ve pushed harder. I wouldn’t call the course hilly, I would say rolling since there aren’t really any big climbs. The run was an out and back 5k, closed to traffic, and through a few neighborhoods. The locals are awesome and cheered as we ran past. Run time: 24:41.

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Overall

Setup Events always puts on great events, I have never been disappointed. I was looking for a short and fast, early-season tri to work out the kinks, and I found it. It was a diverse group of participants too, including youth, collegiate, competitive age groupers, and first-timers. I placed 1st in my age group and I will definitely be back next year to PR the course.

IMG_0031Ripped my bib coming out of T2. Yep, I ran like that.

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My Pig Trophy!

2013 Rev3 Knoxville International Triathlon

May 5, 2013

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RAIN. The one word to define the Rev3 Knoxville weekend is RAIN. Once again Mother Nature has decided that race day will consist of 50-degree temps and rain.

This was my second race with Revolution3 Triathlon that I have taken part in; the first event was in Columbia, MD in October 2012, which I did not finish YET, but that’s another story.

Pre-race

I stayed at the Knoxville Marriott over the weekend, just a mile from the transition area, with two friends (T-Racer Girl & TriDixie) and my daughter. As always, impressed with the Marriott’s service, location, and rooms.  I can say with confidence that Marriott brand hotels are always my hotels of choice. We dined at Dazzo’s, an Italian pizzeria restaurant in downtown Knoxville. The food and service were fantastic, and I certainly got my fill of carbs for the next day’s race, but we ate after 8pm, which was definitely too late and too close to bedtime. I ended up not being able to fall asleep when I wanted to with the pasta sitting so heavily in my stomach and ended up with only a few hours of shut-eye.

Eating at Dazzo's with Samantha (my daughter)

Eating at Dazzo’s with Samantha (my daughter)

Pre-Race Meal at Dazzo's...Yum!

Pre-Race Meal at Dazzo’s…Yum!

Even after only a few hours of sleep, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:30am ready to go. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy my traditional English muffin and coffee breakfast, so I opted for a PowerBar (thank you Rev3 swag bag).

We headed over to the transition area…it was STILL raining. I was very happy that the transition area was setup in a parking garage so all of our gear stayed dry, at least for the moment.

Transition Area

Transition Area

Swim

Jumping into the 60° water took my breath away so bad that completing the swim was challenging. For the first part of the swim we were going against the current, so it was nice to hit that turnaround buoy to get the current behind me. My body was nice and toasty in my Xterra wetsuit, but putting my face in the water was difficult. This actually surprised me because Ironman Oceanside 70.3 water was only 58 °. Finished the swim with a not-so-good time, 00:30:05, but I finished. Very grateful to the Rev3 volunteers for pulling us up out of the water, as always you guys are awesome.

Transition

My T-1 time was a ridiculous 07:49, but it was also almost a ½ mile run from the swim finish to the transition area. Normal transition, nothing too exciting.

Bike

Riding in the rain always has its challenges, but riding in Knoxville in the rain also includes hills. The rain was nonstop and at times got heavier slowing down my pace. I did well cranking it up the hills which involved a lot of switchbacks, but took it easy on the way down. Fantastic bike course, could’ve done without the rain though. Course time 01:29:53.

Transition

My bike-to-run transition was much better at 02:36, but I took my time. I was soaking wet, cold, and just happy to be done with the bike and under the parking garage.

Run

And…out into the rain again. I should have taken off my jacket that I wore on the bike. It weighed down my run, and I got too warm on the run for comfort. I kept a smile on my face through the rain and cheered on my fellow triathletes as we crossed paths on the run. The run was mostly flat with a few slight, steady inclines. We ran mostly off-road on a running trail. Lots of puddles means soaking wet, squishy feet. I ended with a run time of 54:55. Slower than I would’ve liked, but I’m happy that I finished the race.

Overall

Wow, what a day! It was cold and rainy, but a lot of fun. This race presented a lot of challenges for everyone. Cold swim, slippery hills, non-stop rain, but a whole lot of fun. Regardless of the weather, the Rev3 volunteers were out there with smiles on their faces, motivating athletes from beginning to end. It wasn’t just a race, it was an adventure. I will be back next year.

Finisher Medal

Finisher Medal