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Life in general, Triathlon

Philly Tri: Final Thoughts

I just checked the race results and saw that my time and splits had been posted. After I lost my timing chip, they had to take my times manually and it took a while for them to get up there. The good news is that the time I recorded with my cheesy watch was exactly the time that TImberline Timing got 1:37:54 So no surprises there. Seeing the splits, does leave me with some thoughts and questions. You can see my results here.

You can read the Full Race Report Here 

Swim 1/2 mile/ Goal- 14:00/ Actual- 18:04   I’m pretty disappointed with this time. I’m not exactly sure what happened. I know that the 14 minute time was fairly ambitious, but I didn’t think it was 4 minutes ambitious. Furthermore, I had been dealing with a tremendous amount of open water anxiety and had hoped for a smooth relaxed swim…. and that’s what I got, I felt great the whole way and thought my time was fairly good. Oh well, I’ll be down at the beach for this week and have already logged two open water swims and will be doing 1.2 miles in the ocean everyday for the next four.

T1: My transition time was slow (2:41). But really I can get so much faster everywhere else, I’m not letting transition get me upset.

Bike 15.6 miles: Goal- 49:00/ Actual- 49:14  I wanted to hold 19.1 MPH which is what I held during my first tri which was 1/2 the distance and I managed to do that. The part that bothers me here is how low my bike place was. Overall, I placed 197 out of 1005 athletes, but my bike place was 271. I may have hit my goal, but 19.1 MPH is not going to cut it. I need to get faster on the bike. Up until this point, I’ve been averaging about 30-40 miles per week on the bike and I think I need to bring that up a bit— to around 100. Also, I ride an entry level Trek road bike with no aero bars or cycling shoes and am competing against people with $3000 TT bikes with $900 wheels and aero helmets. I can’t help but wonder to what extent my gear or lack there of is slowing me down. Comments directed to this question would be appreciated.

T2: A bit faster, mostly because I didn’t have to change my shoes. This is transition, when I’m actually fast I’ll start worrying about this stuff.

Run 5K Goal- 25:00/ Actual 26:18  By the time I was about 1/2 a mile into the run, I knew I was in for it. With the bike being twice as long as my last tri, my legs just weren’t prepared and I didn’t feel like I had much left. I struggled throughout the run, and the heat was getting to me badly. Considering how badly I was feeling, I have to admit that I’m fairly pleased with this time. I had been doing some speed work and apparently it paid off.

There was one other issue that I want to get off my chest before I finish. When I finished my race, I had a little trouble finding my family. Eventually I called my wife and found her with my mom, my son Luke and my daughter Molly. Conspicuous by his absence was my father. The next day, I let him know that I was really disappointed that he hadn’t come and basically it came down to the fact that he had a doctors appointment, yard work to do at his mother’s oh and a Phillies game to go to that night that precluded him from going to his mom’s any later to do yard work. I’m not totally devastated that he wasn’t there. Despite the fact that I’ve blogged positively about my dad in the past, our relationship is lacking. What bothers me is that he acts as though there is nothing wrong with our relationship, does nothing to make it better and acts like he’s a great father all the time. While certainly a model for hard work, my father leaves plenty to be desired as a dad. There, it’s off my chest and I’m sorry if I sounded like a spoiled little kid, but I’m tired of pretending that nothing is wrong and everything is ok.

All in all, the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon was a great racing experience. The even was put on with outstanding expertise. Next year I’m thinking about doing the Olympic Event but still might consider the sprint again in order to race with some friends. I did miss my goal time by about 8 minutes, but at least I know that I challenged myself and that I didn’t set a goal that was too achievable. I know I left it all out there. I was in pretty bad shape for about 36 hours following the race. I can get faster, but I’m not sure that I’m any faster now than I showed in the race. I have an increased dedication to this sport and am going to get faster, but I will admit to eating a slice of humble pie. I went into this thing thinking that I could place in the top 10%, and I barely cracked the top 20%. Not that this is a bad placing for your second tri, but I view myself as competitive, or as someone who will be one day. Thanks for reading and for listening to me workout my issues via the bloggy waters. As always, I totally appreciate and relish any comments and feedback and will make sure to respond to each and every one of them. It kind of makes me feel popular and like I’m a big deal if you comment. Talk to you soon I hope!



About paddyb76

Aspiring triathlete and endurance athlete. Husband, father and teacher. Always seeking a better life.


6 thoughts on “Philly Tri: Final Thoughts

  1. Alright dude, relish your accomplishments. You did the tri and that is awesome.

    Now, do not worry about aero helmets or wheels as you need to improve the engine. I am still fighting with this, but my engine needs to get stronger and I am pushing that (and posting about it tomorrow.) Once that is fixed then I can worry about aero wheels but not until then. I would spend the money on a bike, but look for used ones first. There are tons out there and a buddy of mine picked up a specialized transition comp that was 2 years old for $900 and it was a perfect bike in every sense of the word.

    Transitions matter and don’t fool yourself. A poor transition can lead to a disappointing bike or run b/c your mind falls back to that transition. This happen to me in the first few minutes of the run of CapTexTri because I lost my rack spot and probably spent 20-30 seconds looking for it.

    As for your Dad….great to get it off your chest here but you need to get it off your chest with him. Let him know how you feel and maybe that Phils game isn’t as important anymore.

    Either way man, keep being an inspiration and getting those 1.2 mi swims in. That is awesome.

    Posted by Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race | June 30, 2011, 8:56 pm
    • Thanks, I can always count on you for honest replies and I can’t tell you how much I value that. I know there is engine work to be done and in the same way that I pass people on $3000 bikes, I’ll keep getting passed until I fix what ain’t right.
      As for my dad, I did let him know how disappointed I was, but I gave up on the idea of getting a satisfying response from discussions a long time ago.
      Keep doing what you do: informing, motivating, inspiring and winning.

      Posted by paddyb76 | June 30, 2011, 10:04 pm
  2. Congrats on the finish. That is huge and you should be so proud of that for sure. You did great, you are kind of being really tough on yourself. We all learn things from each race.

    Try not to worry too much about dropping $$ about the aero helmet or the tri bike just now. Seriously, if you are going to invest some money – get the pedals and shoes first. You can get a clip-on aerobar for your road bike. Those two things right there will increase your efficiency and speed without breaking the bank. They are quick to install and you could use them this season. (if you want). THEN you can use those same pedals on your TT bike when/if you decide to get one. I think time spent on your current bike doing hill repeats and intervals will increase your speed (strengthen that motor).

    Also, I would kill for 19.1 MPH. I actually would kill for 17.1 avg.

    Transitions…I practice mine at home before the race. You can get that down pretty easily if you work on it and the thing is – placement is determined by seconds…not minutes – that is an easy place to shave time off.

    Keep up the great work.

    Posted by caratunkgirl | July 2, 2011, 9:37 pm
    • Mandy, thanks for the reality check. I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes. I need to remember to keep it simple for now. This is my first season. Please know the tremendous inspiration that you and other more accomplished athletes have been to me and keep doing everything you do.

      Posted by paddyb76 | July 3, 2011, 2:16 pm
  3. Hey I just read this. I am going to have to agree with the others…transitions are a part of the race. Don’t over look them! Some times it’s seconds that determine whether you podium or not!

    Also as mentioned, try pedals and cycling shoes before breaking the bank on a tri bike. They will help! You will notice the difference! I rocked an old road bike for two seasons before committing to a tri bike. And don’t buy an aero helmet!

    As for your dad, I feel for you. while you and I have different back stories, I know what its like to not have hime 100% in your corner. I can’t, nor would I, offer any advice there.

    So what’s on tap for next season? Am I really gonna have to wait until then for more reports!?


    Posted by Eddie | July 5, 2011, 10:04 pm
    • EE, thanks for your insight and the thought you put behind it. It’s not that I’m overlooking the trans, it’s just that I know there is more time to be made up out on the course. I’m definitely gonna get the shoes and pedals. The tri bike will have to wait. Until then I’m just gonna look at them in magazines (like a teenager with a Playboy)
      Not to worry about more reports. At least two more this season. A 5 transition race this weekend and then one towards the fall. Plus a 1/2 Mary in November.

      Posted by paddyb76 | July 5, 2011, 10:35 pm

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