Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

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Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Doonst » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:38 pm

Ithaca Triathlon Club puts on the Cayuga Lake Triathlon in and around Taughannock Falls State Park, nearest to Trumansburg, NY. This year, on August 01, I did my first real* triathlon there.
Heather (aka Doonst SO, aka the instigator) found this one because it was halfway between where we live and New York City where my brother Barry lives. To get me to do a tri, she started a little challenge. I said from the start, if we were to do the sprint distance we could race it, or the Olympic distance where the challenge would be to complete it. She and 2 friends signed up for the sprint and bro and I for the Olympic, or as they call it in Ithaca, the intermediate distance.
So in the winter I asked a few questions here, got a wetsuit, set up the bike trainer in the living room, and did a few swims in the local pool. Then for whatever reason, on Feb 05, after I got my breathing sorted out enough that I knew I could finish 1500 M, I stopped. Didn't swim a stroke for over 5 months, until July on vacation. I got in 5 open water swims, with one being 2.1 K. I did better on the bike, logging outdoor rides in May and June totalling ~150 K each, and 330 in July. To complete, and have a fun and pleasant day, was my greatest hope. Barry took it a little more earnestly, with pooltime, a coach, and a new Cervelo included. He also did a sprint tri in preparation.
We made a camping long weekend of it, the 3 women doing the sprint, 2 friends, 2 kids, and 2 dogs. Barry swooped in for just Saturday night.

There sure are a lot of details to a triathlon. Goggles for swimming, glasses for running, wetsuit, socks, 2 pairs shoes, towel, gatorade, fuel, shirt for bike/run, bib for run, wrist band for transition access, ankle band for chip timing. All in the proper order. Oh and the bike too, and a Garmin, and a running hat, and a helmet. Lots to stress over for a newby, surely I will forget something and make myself a fool. Of course that's half the fun.

There were 231 people in the intermediate distance, split into 3 waves. Barry went off at 8 AM and I went at 8 :10. Sprint distance waves were from 9 to 9:40. About 80 in my wave.

My goal for the swim was to survive it, as stress free as possible. I've heard the stories of crowds and feet to the face. The course went straight out from the beach, yet parallel to the shore. See map for clarity. It actually went pretty well. I stayed back where I belonged, and just plugged away. Eventually I got to the turnaround and allowed myself to look back, but there didn't seem to be many behind me, maybe a few stragglers in the distance. Surely I couldn't be last? Coming back I saw 2 silver caps like mine right ahead, There was a woman swimming steady and calmly. Then there was a guy just thrashing around, zig-zagging from left to right. I wondered which I most resembled, and how I could be going at the same speed after 20 minutes as thrasher guy. Soon the leaders of the next wave were flying past us, so if anything the second half was more crowded than the first. Eventually I could see the last buoy in the distance. Feeling fine, strong even, I passed 2 people in the last couple minutes.

Running up the exit ramp, I saw my friends still waiting for the sprint start. I asked a stranger what time it was, and found out that ~43 minutes had passed. A little more than I had hoped for, but overall it went well. I finished and was ready for more. 42:36 chip time. 204/231.

Transition 1 was a bit of a joke. I knew I was slow in the swim but happy. I stripped my wetsuit off and went to the outhouse. I came back to my bike, and Heather and friends were there to chat. Pulling on my bike/run shirt, I ripped off all 4 pins of my bib. That took at least a minute or two to fix. Chatted for a while and then off, 6:06. 226/231.

The bike started off with a 3 k climb, over 100 M up. Luckily for my confidence I passed someone before I in turn was passed. A long hill but not too steep, over soon enough. Then it was long rolling hills for a while. Always up or down, but I trained on ground like that and worse. After peaking around 130 M above lake level, we do a loop that takes us back down to it. Coming back is so much long slight uphill. We are now mixed with sprint bikers who have turned around halfway. I felt strong enough on the bike, humbled at times early by some who just cruised by, but I got past more I thought. Of course it was so mixed up by now you had no idea who you were passing or when they started. Yes there was a big 3 k downhill to finish, bringing my average pace back up to 27.6 K. Final time for 24.3 mile course was 1:25:12, 153/231. Even here 66% of the finishers beat me, but I didn't know that at the time.

On to the run. First about 1 K around the lakeside grounds, then 1.5 up a fine gravel and stone trail to the base of a waterfall. I started off sub 5 pace, then hit the incline. Slowed down but still I was passing 10 for every 1 that passed me. It did get rough, it was getting hot. The weather had been ideal up until now, pretty calm in the water and a slight breeze on the bike. The sun was out now. Coming back down helped a bit then it was loop 2. Slowed to 5:41 pace for the slowest split, now it felt like hour 3 of a hot trail race, in some ways that's what it was. It did get crowded and hard to pass, there were 2 bridges with steps to get up to them, and curving grass paths to finish. Very happy to be done and completed. Run time for 10 k was 52:33, slower than I had planned. At least I was in the top 42%, 98/231.

Final time 3:08:31. That's actually in the 3 hour-3:15 that I had guestimated, but of course what do I know. Placement was 163/231, which means I was behind 71% of the crowd. Humbling in some respects but as good as I had any right to expect. The main thing was that I pulled it off, without incident, embarrassment, or accident. I was quite pleased, mostly to be done. Barry did quite well, 36/1:13/54. for a total of 2:47. At least I sneaked by him in the run.

Lots of fun after, watching the sprint finish and hanging out in the sun. Heather and friends did fine and had fun too. The event seemed very well run for such a complicated endeavor. It is a great place too, I would recommend it highly. Not an easy course on the bike and run, but I sense that is common in triathlons. We continued to have a pleasant weekend, with wineries to visit, and dogs to play with. Fine restaurants in Ithaca and Trumansburg. Some rain but well timed. Coming home we hiked in Watkins Glen.

So i did it! Now I can get back to running, I definitely feel like a runner who dabbled. Ever do another, I'm going to wait until my "year of spreading myself thin" is over before I even consider the idea. There is lots of room for improvement I know.
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Last edited by Doonst on Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
next up:


This broken wing will fly again
One fine day
This blackbird's mute gonna sing again
One fine day

So all you sinners come out
And all you drunkards crawl out
Come into the light of one fine day

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby CinC » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:55 pm

Well done dabbler!!

Come back and visit again sometime...anytime!!
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby VDoT » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:10 pm

Way to get it done! There is a lot of logistics to Tri, but thats half the fun!

Good job, and good report.
Dan

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby QuickChick » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:50 am

Nice work Sheldon!! I am impressed you went for the Olympic distance right off. That looks pretty scary to me! You were not far behind Barry either- was he happy with his time, or did he think with the fancy bike and coaching he should've been faster? I am very impressed you were able to run such a strong 10K at the end too.
Good job to Heather too!!
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Doonst » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:01 am

QuickChick wrote:Nice work Sheldon!! I am impressed you went for the Olympic distance right off. That looks pretty scary to me! You were not far behind Barry either- was he happy with his time, or did he think with the fancy bike and coaching he should've been faster? I am very impressed you were able to run such a strong 10K at the end too.
Good job to Heather too!!

I think he was okay with his overall time, but hoped for a stronger run. In his first sprint tri, he had a slow swim, strong bike and okay run. This time he had a strong swim, okay bike, and sucky run. Its quite a balancing act. I was planning on a sub 50 run, but I think I would have to give up too much on the bike to be able to do that, for a net loss. The worse thing about the oly distance (other than the scary swim) was that it was a much tougher, faster, more experienced crowd. My bike pace would have placed me at the 33 percentile in the sprint, vs 66 in the oly.
next up:


This broken wing will fly again
One fine day
This blackbird's mute gonna sing again
One fine day

So all you sinners come out
And all you drunkards crawl out
Come into the light of one fine day

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Mid_Packer » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:09 am

A couple of atta boys for you !

Whats next you wanna do the IM in some exotic location?

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby HCcD » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:13 am

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:lol: :lol: :lol:

Congratulations, Sheldon ... well done ... :P
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Jwolf » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:19 am

Wow, that was a tough one to take on for your entry to triathlon. Congratulations-- good race!!!
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Robbie-T » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:57 am

I had no doubt that you would do a fine job Doonst, now come back home we miss you.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Strider » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:34 am

Come back to the Trails - Please.

Nice job - especially that not drowning thing.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby IronGoddess » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:53 am

Great job. An Olympic distance on your first go is very impressive.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Sandra » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:37 am

Way To Go!!! Congrats on completing your first Tri.

I've got the itch to do a DU ......
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby JSmitty » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:33 am

Very nicely done, Sheldon. Your report was very entertaining and descriptive to me in the world of triathalon.
It was nice that you kept everything in perspective and were able to spend time with your family.
Cheers,
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby ultraslacker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:51 am

Well done, Sheldon!

Now that you've got that out of your system, you can continue on your quest to become a rock kisser. ;)
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby ian » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:27 pm

On behalf of runners everywhere who would have to be drugged to be coerced into a triathlon, well done.

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby b_squared » Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:29 pm

Very impressive Doonst! Did you feel the power of the dark side?

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby La » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:35 pm

You're welcome back to the Dark Side any time you want. We have cookies! 8)

That's a great result for your first tri - especially at the Olympic distance (which is tougher than the individual 1500m / 40K / 10K would suggest).
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby ultraslacker » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:20 pm

Strider wrote:Come back to the Trails - Please.


yeah! we have cookies too!
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby CinC » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:24 pm

ultraslacker wrote:
Strider wrote:Come back to the Trails - Please.


yeah! we have cookies too!


our cookies are better!
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby richie-rich » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:20 pm

WOW. I'm totally impressed. I think there are many more tri's in your future......

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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby DougG » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:30 pm

Well done Sheldon, and what a great report!
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Rest of the year a write off because of injury.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby Habs4ever » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:50 pm

Great report & congratulations on your first tri.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby FishHog » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:51 am

Habs4ever wrote:Great report & congratulations on your first tri.


ditto.....and you know you want to do another. No point in letting that wetsuit rot.
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby AirForceRunner » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:21 pm

Triathlons are just plain wrong on so many levels....and the participants...WACKOS I tell you!!
Now...hock that wetsuit, admit you were wrong for ever considering this, and get thyself to a muddy, rooty trail to redeem yourself...ASAP!!

But really....nice work Sheldon. I know I'd have never had the guts to try this (nor will I ever). You never cease to impress.
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Sulphur Springs 50 miler
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Re: Doonst attempts to attempt a tri- Cayuga Lake Olympic length

Postby trixiee » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:20 pm

Welcome to the world of the darksiders, where we not only have cookies, but complete meals in our Bento Boxes! :D

Good job Sheldon! Hope to see you at an event somewhere near me soon! :D
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