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Thread: Two Triathlons

  1. #1

    Default Two Triathlons

    I've been gone and busy.
    I did two triathlons in 7 days. My first two ever. There's more about them on my website. It has all the pics and a blog about my races. The site is here: www.umich.edu/~dolfo

    Here's an official recap of my the first tri I did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCfh7MdGYwY
    They interview Matt West, the winner of the race, whom I coach in Masters Swimming. They might've gotten me in part of the swim. I was in the "green cap" wave in the beginning.

    Quote first race recap
    was nervous, like I always am, and to top it off, I arrive LATE. So late, that I was the last one to get my stuff from registration. The transition was all crowded, and I barely had space.

    I made my way to the water, and I arrived as the first wave was started by CANNON. It was 4 minutes per wave, and I was in wave #6.

    I bumped into Matt West, a triathlete I coach in the pool and part of my impetus for this race, as well as Stephen McKenna, another swimmer who I race at meets (but who has yet to beat me in the pool). I tell them I'm worried about the run, and ask for advice on the swim.

    In just a few minutes, my wave (including Matt and Stephen) line up. I decide, "fuck it, might as well start in the front and middle..." and I stand right behind this random guy who swims in and out just as I get ready.

    The cannon starts, and we're off! Or more like a slew of arms and legs are off. I can't make heads or tails of it, but soon, I find Stephen and I draft off of him. I don't know the course, and I know he does. That goes well until there's more of my group up on my right and they push me over, and Stephen goes gone off to the left. So I speed up, and pass the people on my right, and pretty soon, I'm in open water. So I try to navigate and keep it all up.

    Soon, I start passing people from the wave ahead of me (the collegiate Olympic distance) left and right. It gets a bit harry with the waviness, and I get lost a bit, but I keep on keepin' on. I round the last few bouys, and I don't feel tired, but I can't keep a straight line so that my energy is used well. No damn line on the bottom. Regardless, I start heading towards shore, as some folks in boats tell me that I'm going the wrong way, and then as suddenly as I started, I'm on the beach again. I have to run about 200yards to get to the "beep" where my time on the swim stops. I figure, that I must've swam an 18 high, but with the run at the end, it was a 19:52. I was first in my age group (behind eventual winner, Matt West). It felt good.

    I was TOTALLY confused at my transition. I got passed by at least two or three person from the collegians, and some folks from my group got a bit closer.

    The bike was FREEZING. I really should've worn socks. My feet FROZE. I wasn't going nearly as fast as I'd gone in training bricks. I was stuck at 22.2 mph. Of course, that didn't count the slow ass start (15mph for several miles), and the shitty dismount/transition where I fell. But the ride itself was nice. I passed a ton of people, and only 4 people from my age passed me. The last guy from my group passed me as I fell on the "transition line". I couldn't decide wether to unclip my feet, or to unlace my shoes, all as I was tired, on the line, and at a dead stop. Bad planning.

    My second transition felt like an eternity. I was tired, and my shoes didn't want to go on, and my insole slipped. But I was off none the less. After T2, I was 5th out of 20 in my age group.

    Then the run.

    HOLY SHIT. I'm not yet a runner. At all. I tried some advice from a runner about running on the balls of my feet, and trying to land so that my feet are at the center of gravity. Well, my feet barely moved, and I must've been taking 3 feet long strides. Immediately, I was being passed. In the beginning, there was hope. I passed one person who was doing a Duathlon. But that was it. I got passed by 30 to 40 people. Perhaps more. Including one 62yo lady who ran me down like a dog, and a 57 year old man with a hunchback. It felt like EVERYONE passed me. I saw people that I left way back on my swim.

    The worst of it was that my heart wasn't even beating fast. I was talking and chatting with the volunteers like the Sunday morning it was. However, my knees were in excruciating pain. It felt like what I imagine arthritis to feel like. It felt like my ligaments were being pulled and torn and my joints were rubbing and swelling. My muscles weren't even working. It was ALL PAIN. I was actually going the SLOWEST of everyone in my age group. I was 20 out of 20 on running speed.

    Regardless, I keep it up. I didn't stop running, in spite of the pain. I shuffled all the way to the finish, and ended up 11th out of 20 in my age group with a time of 2:39, nine minutes off the time I thought I would do.

    Of course, Stephen barely passed me on the bike, and finished 2nd in our age group, and Matt West finished first overall. But I was happy.

    If I get my run on, and with a bit of experience, I hope to beat Stephen. And with some time, perhaps challenge Matt. I know I can beat them both in the pool, and with some more training, perhaps on the bike. My run has A LOT to improve, but from 10 minute miles, there's quite a lot to go.

    It was fun.
    Here's a video of me on my bike entering a turn on my second tri:
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dolfo...ition=download

    And a pic of my smiling during the bike:


    Me starting my run in my second tri:
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dolfo...ition=download

    You can compare that to the run on my first tri halfway down my blog here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dolfo...iathlons!.html

    Here I am all done after my 1st tri with Melissa.

    Quote second race recap
    So in BBI, I try to walk a bit more like John Wayne. I do few runs, and nothing hurts. Then again, Iím on soft ground, but I feel a lot better.

    Then, exactly a week later, Iím off to my second ever triathlon at Island Lake. This time, though, itís a sprint, and that plays even less to my strength, since swimming is an even smaller portion of the race compared to the other events which have also been shortened.

    Iím late again that morning, but this time, I have to start in the first wave, and thereís a bus to take, and there NO SPACE at all in the transition area to set up. Iím so annoyed. And whatís worst, is that cocky me knows that Iím going to be one of the first out of the lake, and that my stuff will be out of everyoneís way quickly. I set up, and luckily, the meet is backed up 15 minutes, just enough for me to go to bathroom and change.

    I see Matt West again, and a few other familiar faces, most notably person in charge of the pool I coach at through the city; my ďbossĒ Dan McGuire. Heís a great guy, with kids the same age as my kids, and he lives in Canton, and I see him at the pool with his bike on occasion. His bike is a sweet piece of metal I do covet quite badly. At least in my size. I also see Tom Phillips, who Iíve raced and lost to in the pool, and he seems just happy to be there, and my good friend James DíAmour (who did the 1.5 mile open water swim). Itís nice to see Dan, Tom, Matt, and James again. This time, I stick with Matt, and he introduces me to his dad and sister who are also doing the event. WOW. I just hope my mom and dad come watch, let alone participate.

    Soon, weíre all at the ready, and weíre off! A melee again, but this time I really watch Matt. Heís off to the side, taking it easy, out of the melee, and soon heís in front again. I stick behind the melee, until they canít keep up their own pace, and soon Iím off too, but behind Matt. I pass Tom quickly, and soon itís clear water except for Mattís kick in the near distance. I inch up closer to Matt every few meters, but then, just as quickly, I loose track of where I am, and Mattís in front by 30 seconds. I try to keep straight, and finish off the swim just as theyíre starting another wave. It feels good to be one of the firsts out.

    My transition is slow as I put on socks on my wet feet, but Iím off on bike. I try my damnedest to pedal pedal pedal, but I keep hitting a wall. I get passed only twice, and I feel good. Mental note: I can still go harder, I just have to learn how.

    Then comes the part I dread. The run. Iím off to confront my fears. Immediately, I feel different. No more knee pain. I feel like my heart is going to come off itís frame, but no knee pain. I immediately get passed, but Iím no open sieve like the last time. I feel stronger, but not strong yet. I finish strong, not beat up like last time.

    Once I check the results, I see Iím only 28 seconds off a third place TROPHY, but Iím quite happy with 4th out of 17 in my age group. A much better placing! Again, Iím fastest in my swim, but Iím also 3rd fastest of all swimmers that day, and my bike split is a bit faster by speed, but my run has improved by 2 minutes per mile! Iím greatly impressed. I know that I can go faster. Oh my, Iím hooked.
    You can read more, see the results, videos, and more pics here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dolfo...iathlons!.html
    context is everything

  2. #2

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    bump.
    Any other vegans doing multi sports?
    context is everything

  3. #3
    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    well done, rodolfo!

    i'm not involved in anything like that, but i admire your determination and fitness.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

  4. #4

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    thanks!

    Now I've got to get myself a "vegan" tattoo so that the folks whom I pass know that they got beat by a vegan. (just one of many many reasons I want a new tattoo)
    context is everything

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    xrodolfox - you are a complete inspiration, but you're also stark staring bonkers - two in a week??!! Well done though, mate.

  6. #6
    hydrophilic tipsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    wow!!!

    that's bloody excellent!

    strong work!
    the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, dunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
    -henry miller

  7. #7

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Quote Ruby Rose View Post
    xrodolfox - you are a complete inspiration, but you're also stark staring bonkers - two in a week??!! Well done though, mate.
    I have to say, it wasn't that bad at all.

    If I had the cash (and my family afforded me the time), I'd do another this weekend too. I keep improving! With a few tweeks, I think I can hit top 3 in my age group and get a trophy or something on my third or fourth try (tri).

    Quote tipsy View Post
    wow!!!

    that's bloody excellent!

    strong work!
    Thanks!

    More vegan athletes need to represent locally.

    It's easy to participate, and that's 9/10's of the race.
    context is everything

  8. #8
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Bravo, rodolfo!

    I need to lie down after reading about that

  9. #9
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    i'm with you harpy! - phew - bravo rodolfo!

    are you sure you are smiling on the bike - or grimacing???

  10. #10
    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Quote xrodolfox View Post
    bump.
    Any other vegans doing multi sports?

    2 1/2 mile swim - couldn't do!

    112 mile cycle - hmmm.......maybe if it was on the flat

    26 mile run - be more of a walk by the end!

    All 3 together, c'mon, i'd pass out, lol!

    And 2 in a week , hat off to you m8!
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Tell me about training - do you train for the swimming in open water, or doing lengths of a pool? I know that you ride your bike a lot - but do you train in the gym too, or do the running and cycling 'live'? How much training do you do in a week?

    Part of my project this year is to make a change to my level of activity. I've spent 40 years avoiding anything in the least strenuous, only to discover now what a great buzz doing some exercise is. I can't imagine I would ever be able to achieve what you have already achieved, but I'm really inspired by reading what you are doing.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Quote gogs67 View Post
    2 1/2 mile swim - couldn't do!

    112 mile cycle - hmmm.......maybe if it was on the flat

    26 mile run - be more of a walk by the end!

    All 3 together, c'mon, i'd pass out, lol!

    And 2 in a week , hat off to you m8!
    I wish that was me. Well, I don't. That's an "Iron Distance" or "Full" triathlon.

    I've only done an Olympic distance: 1.5k swim + 40k bike + 10k run in one go. That's about 0.93 mi swim + 24.8 mi bike + 6.2 run. It's not short, but it isn't an Ironman. I've got friends who've done those, and I don't WANT to do those.

    It was my first two races. Now... with some birthday money, I might be able to sign up for another race. I really want to do another.

    Thanks for the "hats off".

    Quote Ruby Rose View Post
    Tell me about training - do you train for the swimming in open water, or doing lengths of a pool? I know that you ride your bike a lot - but do you train in the gym too, or do the running and cycling 'live'? How much training do you do in a week?
    I train as often as I can during the week. That means I try and commute by bike to work as often as I can. I don't must make it an easy commute, I find the hilliest (and safest) way to work, and I try to beat my old speed times.

    My main training in sports has been as a swimmer, and I moonlight as a Masters Swim Coach. That means I have free access to a nice local pool, and to swim with lots of local swimmers. I compete in swimming during the year, so I try to get in the pool at least three times a week for at least 3k of swimming. Sometimes, I get in for 5k, but that's rare. In practice, I'm lucky to get in the pool twice a week for 90 minutes a week. I do all my swimming in a pool, and those two tri races last week were my very first open water swimming experiences... and both were the fastest in my age group. My key is that I'm already a swimmer. Once I learn to navigate better, I'll drop even more time.

    As a swim coach, if you want to get better at swimming, and get a better workout in the pool, there's no substitute for a good coach and a team of people who are about your ability. I saw the vast majority of folks out in the open water swims of the tri's as suffering not from effort, but from bad technique. What the weirdest thing is that they probably worked harder than me, but went slower, and got a lesser workout. 30 minutes spent with a good coach is better than 4 hours spent without.

    My pool training consists mostly of sets I write for my swimmers and that I do myself. Yesterday, for example, I did this set in a 50m long course pool:

    200m warmup
    400m IM drill/swim

    100m Free Swim HARD 1:30
    200m Free Pull active recovery 3:00
    100m Free Swim HARD 1:30
    200m Free Pull active recovery
    100m Free Swim HARD 1:30
    200m Free Pull active recovery
    100m Free Swim HARD 1:30

    400m IM drill Swim
    200m kick

    400m Free Swim <35 strokes per 50m

    5 X 100m on 1:25

    2 X 50m SPRINT on 2:00

    100 easy cooldown

    Then I got changed, and ran 2 miles. But I suck at running, so I walked about 1/3 of it.

    That whole thing took me 1.5 hours from 4p to 5:30p so that I could commute home (by car this time). Today I'm going to go for a (hopefully) longer run in a few hours, and follow that up with a short (less than 1.5k swim).

    I do make sure to take days off. I did nothing but rest on Monday.

    Oh, and do lift weights at home, and I try to run every few nights from home once the kids are asleep. But it seems that it never happens these days.

    The trick from other folks who've succeeded (even more than I) seems to be to schedule training into every day, in little ways. Thus Matt West, who won the entire Triathlons I was at (and whom I coach in swimming), bikes every day to work, then runs ever lunch break, and makes it to the pool to be coached by me and Bethany (the other Masters Coach) three times a week for a 1.5 hour workout. That's part of the reason Matt's so fast. Hard work every day.

    With only half of that planning, you can still see a lot of results. Heck, I do about half of that load, and I see results. If working out is accessible, and part of a routine, it can yield results. There's no magic bullet like taking a little bite at a time.

    Quote Ruby Rose View Post
    Part of my project this year is to make a change to my level of activity. I've spent 40 years avoiding anything in the least strenuous, only to discover now what a great buzz doing some exercise is. I can't imagine I would ever be able to achieve what you have already achieved, but I'm really inspired by reading what you are doing.
    OMG. Exercise rocks. I love it. I'd do it full time if someone paid me.

    I've only joined up so far. I've yet to win anything at a tri. My posts are all about a beginner. Anyone can begin, just as I did. All it takes is showing up.
    context is everything

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Well done you - I'm very impressed I'd love to do a triathlon but hate cycling... does that make sense?

    Good luck on what I'm sure will be many more to come

  14. #14
    fresquinho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    I used to do triathlon (well, for just a year and a half.. and stopped when I was 15) but had a row with my club and it was the only one in my city, but maybe I'll go back to it this year (despite the fact that I probably can't swim 500 meters anymore).. I did a sprint off-road duathlon in February with 1:28 (yes, it's crap).

  15. #15

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    A report from a few weeks back:
    Quote me
    I just finished my third Tri this weekend at Michigan State University's campus.

    I won my age group, and was 30+ seconds off getting third overall!!

    I've improved! I'm so excited.

    The report:

    It was an unseasonally warm Fall Sunday morning. I got to the compus early, which is rare, and I got set up changed, etc, then got nervous for 45 minutes waiting for the start. There were about 150+ people there, with about half in the "collegiate division". There were 55 people in the OPEN division.

    So my swim rocked again. It was a 400m pool swim, and I should've had more confidence. My shoulder was in profound pain since my workout on Friday morning. I'm switching my stroke, and after that workout, I couldn't even lift my left arm above my head. I was sure I wasnt' going to swim well race day. So we were supposed to self-seed, and I didn't have the guts to take was due and say I should go first. So I self seeded third. I started approximately 10 seconds after the second guy (who was about 10 seconds after the first guy). Well, I caught up to the guy in front of me in about 60m, and passed him at the 100m turn. Then I had clear swimming and caught up to #1 by the 300m and passed him on the last lap. That passing slowed me down A LOT, since I had to stop at the wall once and I crashed all over the lane lines in that swim. I had the top time out of the entire "public", but it was a personally slow 1:26 per 100m pace for a 5:41 total time. The next faster (guy #1 whom I passed) did a 6:12 and the next guy did a 6:39. I wish the swim was longer and that I'd gone first. I'm sure I could've done faster, and that's always frustrating.

    My T1 was a lot quicker, because there was no wetsuit to deal with. Either way, I've gotten better at it with practice. I would love to learn how to do a T1 where I didn't spend 30 seconds getting socks on and then putting on my biking shoes... then finally flopping on my bike and slipping.

    The bike was almost my best bike ever. It was a 20k three loop "criterion" style course. I did it in 29:38. However, I GOT LOST AGAIN!!! I was in the lead, but I was so out of it, I didn't think to look at my bike computer to see how far I'd gone and STOPPED at the end of my 2nd lap and started on my way to T2. !!!!!!!! ARHGGHG!!!!!!! I lost AT LEAST 1 minute on that mistake. The lead truck that I was behind honked loud and drove back to tell me of my mistake. So I got back on, but I wasn't in the lead any more, and I lost enthusiasm... and I was still confused as hell. Regardless, I averaged 25.1 MPH or (40.39 KMH) !!!! OMFG. I felt fast as hell even on the turns. No drafting was employed either. But the guy who beat me on the bad turn did 28:22 for the 20k or a 26.2 MPH (or 42.16 KMH). I was going that fast!!! That should've been my speed. Dammit. It was fun fun fun being in the lead and passing people left and right as if they were standing still. I remember passing friends who were clipping along at 20mph+. I finally figured out how to just mash mash hard and just deal with the felling that my heart was going to pop. After a while I stopped feeling that and I just went. I ended up with the 2nd fastest bike split.

    My T2 was OK. I've gotten better at that too. I was just dealing with the frustration of the getting lost on my bike ride.

    The run itself was really nice. It went through campus and was really sublime. What was weird is that the collegiate kids had started 30 minutes ahead of the "public" group which I was a part of. Well, somehow, I started catching up to them on the bike, and even passed a few on the run. I was quite happy! I suck at the run, but my run wasn't a feeble 10:30 per mile or even the 8:30 per mile improvement. I went 7:40 miles! I still wasn't pushing hard, though. I could talk the whole damn time. My legs just hurt (skeletal, since my muscles didn't ache yet), and my form is still so sloppy that I hurt. Apparently I run like I'm running up stairs... I land on my heel. I feel clumsy. But I kept at it. I finised a respectable 18th out of 55 in the open division and 4th in my 30 to 39 men age group. (!) So my time for that 5k was a 23:48. I need to focus on efforts on that run.

    My final time of 1:01.46 was enough for 4th overall, missing a 3rd place (large) trophy by 44 seconds! Dammit. That was the mistake on my bike, at least.

    That time still got me 1st in my age group by over 6 minutes, and I still got a 1st place age group plaque. My first! I am so happy. Now I work on my run. This time next year I want a full out overall win in a local race.

    I'm totally hooked.

    I'm learning how to race a bike, and getting better. Now I need to transfer those skills to running. I'm open to all suggestions, but mostly, I'd rather have a good running partner or two.
    This thread should be renamed "several races for a vegan"
    context is everything

  16. #16
    pfft! saycheezly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    wow well done!
    "It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" Jiddu Krisnamurti

  17. #17

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    These are my latest exploits:
    More pics from this season!

    Kensington Triathlon 7-27-2009

    I was #2 at T1


    Biking down a hill:


    Close up:


    Finishing 1st in 30-34 AG:


    And from even earlier:
    context is everything

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Wow... you ROCK!!! Brilliant result, Rodolfo! And what beautiful little girls - are they your daughters? You must be a really proud dad

  19. #19

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    yep. my boy and my little girl. I love 'em.
    vegan kids are always cute, you know.
    context is everything

  20. #20
    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Well done..............but surely the wind resistance from the facial hair takes a good few seconds off your time?
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    Hehe.
    Actually, the hair helps me go faster the same way dimples on a golf ball create a bubble of air to increase overall aerodynamics. Same with the goatee and sideburns.
    I have thought of everything.
    context is everything

  22. #22
    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    ^ Hahahaha, this could be the start of something.
    Next space shuttle flight could see a 40ft pair of sideburns attached to the hull! lol
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    I don't ever want to see a picture of a hairy space shuttle. :shudder:

    context is everything

  24. #24

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    Default Re: Two Triathlons

    great job, rodolfo.

    another multisport person here, but i can't say i've ever won anything.

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