Race Recap: Rookie Tri (Nutrition is important even on a sprint)

So I was really hoping to smash last years record by at least a minute, but as it turns out I only PR’d by 18 seconds. But, hey, its still a PR!

Lets get to the good stuff…

We got there nice and early, and it was COLD, way colder than the weather the night before had said it was going to be. I took my bike up and got body marked and into transition. I was one of the first for my age group to arrive so I was able to get exactly the spot in transition I wanted. Instead of my normal pre-race sun butter bar, I had half a white chocolate macadamia nut cliff bar, and instead of a orange or grape rockstar recover I had a rock-star Xdurance energy drink about 1 hour before race start. The Xdurrance was carbonated and had about twice the caffeine I was expecting. It got to me quick. I had also made up my water bottle for the bike with a kona cola nuun, not the best choice when I am already having all that Xdurrance caffeine, since it has some too.

I got to see Manu and Jacob out side of transition and we said hi, then all went back to our respective vehicles to attempt to warm up or stay warm. I thought about going to get a warm up run in and a quick bathroom, but while walking by the section of porta-pottys, the line was super long, so instead of getting in my warm up run, I instead got in line and started mentally going over the race.

Just before the national anthem, we saw Brian, he forgot to bring any sort of jacket, and I felt bad for him, but not bad enough to give him mine. I was freezing too! We chatted for a bit, got some pre race pictures, sang the national anthem, then got ready to get in the water. Like I told Brian, I am so glad I am not in his age group, he is way too fast this year to compete against. I think we will be in the same age group someday (80+ is all the same age group, right), just not this season!

Ok, so that gets us caught all the way up until its time to step in the water.

It was Capital C Cold in the morning, as in like 46 degrees, it warmed up to about 50 I think by the time I got in the water. They had reported that earlier in the week the water temp was 74, so I was looking forward to getting in the lake and warming up. But not so much, the water was frigid also.


00:07:33 | 328.07999 yards | 02m 18s / 100yards

I really wasn’t ready for the water to be that cold mentally, but I was feeling strong about my swimming this season. There was some decent chop in the water and while we were waiting in the waist deep water I was just psyching myself up to get in the middle of the pack and stay there.  I finished the swim feeling winded and I was having issues feeling my toes at the end (from the cold, did I mention it was cold). I stayed in the middle of the pack, with 20/31 placing out of the water. So I will call that a success. It was a few seconds slower than last years swim, but last year there was no chop and I also stayed on an edge last year instead of getting in the grinder.

I could use some more open water swimming before the next race. This was the 3rd OWS in a lake for the year that was really swimming. As much as I would like to count scuba diving as OWS, I just can’t.


Time: 03:28

Had a good t1, nothing spectacular stands out. I was a bit winded leaving the water, I didn’t really get going up the hill until after I got my sandals on, and I had momentarily forgot where I had put them once I was out of the water. Once going I got my wet walk/jog on and got up the hill,  passed 2 people got passed by a few more. Got into t1, got to the bike. Gloves, Garmin, sunglasses, helmet, sock, shoe, sock shoe. Pick up the bike and run out. I was still a bit winded here. I think 1 thing I need to work on soon is breathing while running out of the water to T1. Using that time to calm and center while still trying to push.

I got to the mount line and Leah was there with the camera. I had no clue how my swim had gone at that point, but thought it was really slow from all the chop. She said it was 7 something, so that encouraged me a little. It felt more like 8 or 9.


00:43:57 | 11.2 miles | 15.29 mile/hr

I was feeling winded still from the swim and a little shaky from all the caffeine getting out on the bike, but I started out strong. I mounted and clipped in quickly, then took off. I knew I could just go all out for the first section until the hard right turn, then I should conserve for the rollers until the next turn then go all out until the turn before Carnage. I was doing well. About 2 miles in I decided I wanted to eat a block, it felt like my stomach needed something. So I tore it open with my teeth (remember for next race to pre-open any nutrition) I start chomping on a chomp and as they do they kinda stick to the teeth, but that’s ok, I’m used to that. At this point I am on the rollers and am getting passed on the down hills but passing people on the up hills, It probably takes me about a mile to get in a spot where I can reach for my water bottle. I go to wash it down with some water. I take a big old swim then it hits me that its the cola flavored nuun with caffeine. My stomach starts to revolt a little bit, and it slows me down just a little. Miles 2 to 4 had a decent head wind, I didn’t like it much then, but it was nice to have a tail wind going up quad-buster later.
I started feeling better about 5 minutes before we get to carnage and I know this is a good flat-ish area to get some distance in, so I push harder and build up some speed to get to that terrible turn. Here it is! I slow down take the turn and then do my best to blast up the hill. Its working, but I am feeling terrible, then I throw up, right into my mouth cause there is a guy on the side where I went to spit. So I end up swallowing it and then finishing up carnage. It was terrible.  Ugg, body does not like the amount of caffeine in me, but hey I am at the top of carnage its now time to power down this hill and try to keep my pace up. I need to wash my mouth out too, so I swish with the nuun and its just making me feel worse. I never get back up to speed on the bike. The hills I was taking at 12 to 13 before are 9s and 10s now. The down hills I was taking in the 22 to 27s, were more of 18 to 20.
I think at the down hill just before quad-buster I hit something like 27 miles an hour. Not so shabby. I never got out of the saddle on this last big hill, but I only got passed twice. My stomach just couldn’t handle getting up.
At the end of the ride there is a sharp right turn into the parking area just before transition, I forgot there was a hill there as usual, and had already put myself in a super easy gear and had taken 1 foot out. So in other words I hit that hill with less than optimal performance. This is the 3rd time I have ridden this exact bike course, you would think I would remember.
Lets get to the next part, because the bike was sub par….

Time: 02:14

I dismounted ok, ran/ trotted the bike to my spot in transition, racked it, took off the helmet, then shoes, then attempted to put my running shoes on. FAIL…. I had replaced the laces just the night before since I had a speed lace break on me. That means that they were not broken in yet to be easy to put on… and, my goodness, I ended up dropping my right shoe twice while attempting to put it on, and ended up sitting on the ground to put the shoe on. The last time I had to sit on the ground to change my shoes in transition was the first rookie I ever did 3 years ago. I was not too happy.
Once the shoes were on, I grabbed my race belt and my visor then took off. On the way out I grabbed a water from a volunteer and attempted to wash my mouth out to get the bad flavors to go away.


00:20:15 | 02 miles | 10m 07s  min/mile

Time to swish water to get the nasty flavor out, and go for the run down the grassy hill. Its only the second or third brick style run of the year, but we can do this noooo problem. It really wasn’t bad, this was my 10th triathlon and I have done lots and lots of bricks so I’m no stranger to the feeling. I honestly had a good speed starting out for the legs. I was doing good at the first u turn, and then Brian shouted at me coming down the hill as I was going up. This made me pick it up again! Thanks BRIAN!!!!

So, OK, I’m running up the hill passing some, getting passed some. I hit the top and its the start of the sticks and twigs part of the run. I gag a little, had some remnants of the upset stomach come back, so I slowed down to as fast as I could go without feeling like I was going to puke again. Brian passed me right about the 1 mile mark, and he was looking fast. I hit the water stop just after 1 mile and tried to get some water in to hopefully make my stomach settle down. It did OK. The second mile winds through a cactus and woods area and I was passing people consistently here. That made me feel good, but I was also getting passed consistently, so I’ll call it a wash. Once we got out of the cactus and woods section of the run its a nice paved uphill for probably a full 1k. No problem, I can see the finish line now, I hear them calling out names, and I just ran it out. I started to slow down right before the dirt area, but then I saw Leah there cheering me on so I picked up my feet as much as I could and crossed the finish line!!

Best part of the run was I had a negative split and I felt at the end like I had a lot more in me. It would have been easier to run another mile than to stop right then.

Post race

Got the finisher medal, got my water bottle, then proceeded back to transition so we could cheer Manu on when she came in from the bike and out on the run!

Overall, I have a great time and Rookie is a blast every year. The water might have been cold and my nutrition was poor, but overall, I ended up getting a personal record by 18 seconds on a less than optimal day, and it made me again realize I need to get out and get some more open water swims in.

Thank you to Leah for coming out even though you were not able to race. You did a great job cheering and taking pictures.

Thanks to Manu for participating in her first tri. I really hope you get the bug to do more.

Thanks to Jacob for coming out to support Manu and I, and also taking lots of great pictures.

And thanks to Brian for not being in my age group… You are just way too fast after your winter of speed work! Great job, and I can’t wait until our next race.

 Thanks to all of you readers for taking the time to read this and look at the pictures.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Go out there and train hard everyone!

BTW. This took me way way longer to write than the race took me to complete.


One thought on “Race Recap: Rookie Tri (Nutrition is important even on a sprint)”

  1. Ha – I can relate on the bike w/the food/hydration but mine was a gel I had never tried before and it was so nasty. Good write up! I will not be publishing my times haha — let’s just say I have lots to improve upon next year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.