Jwolf crosses over....

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Jwolf
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Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Jwolf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Race: UBC triathlon, short distance, March 10, 2013

[I apologize in advance for the ridiculously long report on this short event. Being my first triathlon I wanted to remember every detail. :) ]

Yesterday I did my first triathlon: UBC Triathlon, short distance (400m swim, 11K bike, 5K run). I had a blast, and I definitely want to do this again. This event is well-organized and executed.; thank you very much to UBC Rec for putting on a great event. Finish time was about 1:20, but no times are listed in this report (see explanation below).

UDPATE! Results are corrected. :)

56/80 overall short course
33/46 F
2/4 in F45-49
Swim: 15:55 (includes changing and part of run to bike trans, I estimate my actual swim was about 11 minutes)
T1: 0:37
Bike: 33:55 (includes T2, there was only a timing mat on the way out to the run)
Run: 29:12
Total: 1:19:36

Preamble:
I only decided to enter this race on Friday. I had thought about it for a while, but for various reasons I had decided against it for this year. But on Friday I started to regret not entering, and realized I could still enter on site. UBC is really the only local triathlon that offers the “short” distance, and I thought it would be a good introduction to triathlon for me. I had been making excuses for too long, and just wanted to give this a try. To quote a friend: "Don't wait till you're ready; just do it." My swimming was going pretty well, and my Achilles has been behaving well even with some short tempo runs. I haven't been on a bike since the summer, and haven’t even been using the spin bikes at the gym for a while, but how hard can 11K be? Slight problem: I don’t actually have my own bike. I decided I would borrow my son’s mountain bike. It needed some adjustments, but I decided it would do. Saturday’s “workout” was a short test ride and then a very short run off the bike. My legs felt like the proverbial bricks; this would be an interesting race. My race plan: Relax and enjoy the swim, survive the bike, autopilot the run.

Race day:
I got on the bus to UBC with my bike, arriving at just before 10:00 to register and get my bike inspected. My swim heat was set to start at 12:50, so I still had lots of time before I had to be there. I was able to watch some of the earlier racers in transition, and chatted with my swim coach for a while. He gave me a few last minute bits of advice about the swim and the bike. At about 11 I checked my bike into transition, but didn’t leave anything with it except my helmet.
At about noon I went to the pool to change and get ready. We could check a wetbag which we would get when exiting the pool; in the bag I put my towel and all the clothes I would wear for the bike and run, including my running shoes. Everything else went into a locker in the aquatic centre. We were lucky that the temperatures were pretty mild and there was no rain, despite a soggy forecast.

The swim:
When I went to check in at the pool, they didn’t have the timing chip to match my bib number. They told me not to worry, that many chips were missing. I was given a different chip and was told that they would work this out in the results. I still got “branded” with my original registration and bib number. All of us in the 12:50 heat assembled in the area outside the outdoor pool, in rough order of expected swim times.
They sent us off in time-trial format. I started off pretty slowly, and was passed in the second lane by a girl who started behind me. I kept right with her the rest of the time, wanting to pass but knowing that I probably couldn’t swim faster. We caught some other people and ended up swimming in a bit of a pack—the guys would stop at each end and I wasn’t sure if I should wait for them to go sometimes. It was a bit crazy, but I guess easier than an open water swim. Overall it went well; I think I was swimming faster than I expected, but would get slowed down and held up in the traffic. I was surprised that they had us going under the rope after each 50m instead of each 100m, and I wasn’t able to do this with any efficiency because of the congestion. But I just relaxed and figured it was a good chance to save some energy.

T1
In the change tent I took off my swim suit, put on my shirt and long tights, and shoes. This wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be, although I wasn’t fast. We then had to run about 400m to the transition zone, where I quickly clipped on my helmet and ran with my bike to the bike exit.

The bike:
First problem on the bike- my chain had fallen off the front derailleur, probably when I was lifting it onto the rack in transition. I had had this problem when practicing on Saturday, but I thought we had adjusted it properly. It was pretty easy to get back on (thanks to one of the officials for help), and only took few seconds. Less than a kilometre down the road I heard a rubbing sound on the back tire, which turned out to be a loose fender (which I should have taken off before the race!). It probably had gotten loose when the bus driver was helping me put my bike on the bus bike rack; now I decided to just take it off and leave it with the bike marshal. He did bring it to lost and found later on.

Thankfully, I had no other issues on the bike. I was going faster on the slight downhill grade on the way out on Marine Drive, and then slower on the way back. There were cyclists from all of the distances out at the same time; the duathletes and sprint triathletes were doing two laps and the Olympic distance did four, so I was passed many times by faster cyclists. I can’t wait to do this again when I have trained on the bike and with a better road bike.

T2 and the run:
I saw Rob filming me as I as was coming into transition. Racked my bike, took off the helmet, and I was off on the run. My legs felt like piles of lead. I was definitely tired out from the bike and slowed down by my poor bike conditioning, but the run felt fine. I just could not move very fast. My legs sort of felt like they do at the end of a marathon, but my body was not as tired. The route was an out-and-back loop, and I was enjoying watching for people I knew and the other participants. I was holding about 6:00/km according to my watch and the kilometer markers, and I could not have gone any faster.

Rob got some video of me finishing as well. I was ecstatic to have finished, and knew this would not be the last. Best guess of my finish time was about 1:20-1:25.

I wish I had a proper official time to report; I am listed in the results as finishing at 1:39 (at least I'm listed!). I am not usually one to complain about chip times, but the results have me listed as finishing several minutes after two people I know I passed. And all my times look too slow. I am assuming that the substitute chip was not matched properly to my name, and perhaps someone else actually had my missing chip. I was wearing my Timex, but stopped it by mistake somewhere after the swim and restarted it a few minutes into the bike. I know for sure my run time was about 30 minutes. Rob’s videos have time stamps and he was also watching the time so he could follow me; from those we were able to figure out that my swim time was about 17 minutes (including changing and the 400m run to bike transition), and bike and run were both about 30 minutes. That’s good enough for me.

Thanks for reading and thanks for all your endless support.

ETA: Link to the videos:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dz090pc0lzam6ox/qcdwDDJwXS

I think I figured out the chip time mystery. There is another girl listed with a bib number that matches the chip number that they gave me. It seems they didn't make the correction. I hope they do. If I'm right, my offical times would be: 15:55 (swim + change + run to T1) 0:37 (rest of T1) 33:55 (bike) 29:12 (run) 1:19:35.94 (total). That makes much more sense. :)
Last edited by Jwolf on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Joe Dwarf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:28 pm

Way to throw yourself headlong into it, Jen!

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby purdy65 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:31 pm

Very cool!

Sounds like the perfect event for a first time triathelete!

Congrats!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby La » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:36 pm

Congrats, and WELCOME to the Dark Side! :twisted:
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby carm » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:36 pm

Congrats again Jen and thanks for a such a nice detailed RR. I really enjoyed reading it. The pool congestion sounds pretty typical of pool tris (our local Early Bird one has swimmers switching lanes under lane ropes every 50m too) but it sounds like you had a successful first tri experience in the water. The bike stuff happens but as you said, you will have your chance to race again with better bike training and hopefully a new bike. That's a nice solid run to finish it off. Yep, you're definitely a triathlete now - venturing over to the Dark Side. :D :lol:

That's a bummer about the chip issues. :(
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Jwolf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:38 pm

Updated the post with a link to the videos and a possible explanation for my whacky chip times. I have emailed Winning Time to see if they can fix it. If not, whatever. :)
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:40 pm

Congratulations. Very cool that you were still able to get in at the last minute, after a spur of the moment decision. The most important thing is that you had fun. And now you know you can do it.

So, have you signed up for an IronMan yet?

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby La » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:42 pm

Jwolf wrote:I think I figured out the chip time mystery. There is another girl listed with a bib number that matches the chip number that they gave me. It seems they didn't make the correction. I hope they do. If I'm right, my offical times would be: 15:55 (swim + change + run to T1) 0:37 (rest of T1) 33:55 (bike) 29:12 (run) 1:19:35.94 (total). That makes much more sense. :)

They usually will, especially if the other person e-mails them asking them to correct it (assuming she cares). Often time discrepancies are due to them assigning you the wrong swim start time. But if ALL your times are wrong, then obviously something else went wrong.
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Robinandamelia » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:54 pm

Congratulations! Sounds like a pretty good first experience, on that hopefully, makes you go back for more! Well done.

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Jwolf » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:57 pm

La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:I think I figured out the chip time mystery. There is another girl listed with a bib number that matches the chip number that they gave me. It seems they didn't make the correction. I hope they do. If I'm right, my offical times would be: 15:55 (swim + change + run to T1) 0:37 (rest of T1) 33:55 (bike) 29:12 (run) 1:19:35.94 (total). That makes much more sense. :)

They usually will, especially if the other person e-mails them asking them to correct it (assuming she cares). Often time discrepancies are due to them assigning you the wrong swim start time. But if ALL your times are wrong, then obviously something else went wrong.


Quick response from Winning Time, but all they did was change my bib number to the other person's bib number (the one that matched my replacement chip) and left the times as they were. Gah! Do you think I'd have complained if only the bib number was wrong and not the times?

I'm assuming the other girl didn't actually race, and that's why her chip was still there. They didn't seem to have a system for which replacement chip to use. Oh well, at least I know my times and have a few witnesses to support me. ;)
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Miss*Smiles » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:13 pm

YAY!! Way to go!! Congratulations!!!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby 5km » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:21 pm

Congratulations. Way to go!

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby La » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Jwolf wrote:
La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:I think I figured out the chip time mystery. There is another girl listed with a bib number that matches the chip number that they gave me. It seems they didn't make the correction. I hope they do. If I'm right, my offical times would be: 15:55 (swim + change + run to T1) 0:37 (rest of T1) 33:55 (bike) 29:12 (run) 1:19:35.94 (total). That makes much more sense. :)

They usually will, especially if the other person e-mails them asking them to correct it (assuming she cares). Often time discrepancies are due to them assigning you the wrong swim start time. But if ALL your times are wrong, then obviously something else went wrong.


Quick response from Winning Time, but all they did was change my bib number to the other person's bib number (the one that matched my replacement chip) and left the times as they were. Gah! Do you think I'd have complained if only the bib number was wrong and not the times?

I'm assuming the other girl didn't actually race, and that's why her chip was still there. They didn't seem to have a system for which replacement chip to use. Oh well, at least I know my times and have a few witnesses to support me. ;)

Seriously, e-mail them back and ask them to correct it properly. Maybe jgore can give you tips as to how to word your e-mail so that they'll understand you. ;)
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby trixiee » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:26 pm

He-e-eyyyy Good Job!! Happy to read this report! :D :dance:
And happier to read you want to do more!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Jo-Jo » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:29 pm

Well done Jen....I am impressed!!! :D
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby jgore » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:32 pm

La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:
La wrote:
Jwolf wrote:I think I figured out the chip time mystery. There is another girl listed with a bib number that matches the chip number that they gave me. It seems they didn't make the correction. I hope they do. If I'm right, my offical times would be: 15:55 (swim + change + run to T1) 0:37 (rest of T1) 33:55 (bike) 29:12 (run) 1:19:35.94 (total). That makes much more sense. :)

They usually will, especially if the other person e-mails them asking them to correct it (assuming she cares). Often time discrepancies are due to them assigning you the wrong swim start time. But if ALL your times are wrong, then obviously something else went wrong.


Quick response from Winning Time, but all they did was change my bib number to the other person's bib number (the one that matched my replacement chip) and left the times as they were. Gah! Do you think I'd have complained if only the bib number was wrong and not the times?

I'm assuming the other girl didn't actually race, and that's why her chip was still there. They didn't seem to have a system for which replacement chip to use. Oh well, at least I know my times and have a few witnesses to support me. ;)

Seriously, e-mail them back and ask them to correct it properly. Maybe jgore can give you tips as to how to word your e-mail so that they'll understand you. ;)


I would call, rather than email. Whoever handled it should have at least contacted both you and the other person to straighten out both the bib numbers and the times. If they don't have sense enough to do that, it's best to actually talk to someone to make sure your point is understood. Otherwise, get ready for a never-ending stream of emails.

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby carm » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:45 pm

You pay good money for a chip time. I would make a fuss.
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby turd ferguson » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:56 pm

Awesome job!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby orleansrunner1962 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:05 pm

So happy for you, AND proud of you -- well done on tackling this and doing so well!! Loved the report :D
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby CinC » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:10 pm

Congrats Jenn.

Triathlon is fun. Don't overthink it and just enjoy the experience!

(the lane switching in the swim sounds painful though - the pool swim tris I have done are set up so you stay in your one lane the whole swim and there are lap counters!)
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Jwolf crosses over....

Postby marymac442 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:11 pm

Good job!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby Avis » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:12 pm

Congrats, Jenn. Firsts are always memorable!
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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby ian » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:15 pm

Fantastic -- nothing gets an athlete out of the rut of trying to live up to past achievements like doing something completely different.

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby RobW » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:50 pm

Congrats on your triathlon debut! I think maybe the most useful video would have been of your swim. What the heck was your videographer thinking?

It’s too bad we didn’t know which pool you’d be in and I didn’t know the color of your swim cap. Turns out, I guessed the right pool and out of the 2 women that I thought was you, indeed was. You looked strong in the swim!

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Re: Jwolf crosses over....

Postby MikeM » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:55 pm

Congrats on your trip to the darkside!


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