Race Report: Tri-shark

Lynne Kiesling

We had a sporty weekend here in KP land … on Saturday I participated in the Tri-Shark sprint triathlon outside of Bloomington, Illinois. Here’s an action shot:


The race is well-organized and the course is beautiful; Dawson Lake in Moraine View State Park is great for swimming, the bike course has some lovely rolling hills, and the run is similarly lovely. What interested me compared to the other sprint tris I’ve done is that the participants here are more experienced and more competitive than I’m used to (although everyone was nice and friendly). This is a high-demand event, with registration usually closing within a few days.

More comments on the race below the cut …

My bike time was right on target with my expectation, and this was the hilliest course I’ve raced on since getting back into triathlon two years ago, so I’m pretty happy with that.

I’m less happy with the swim and the run. For the first time I wore a wetsuit in the swim, which was only 600 yards. The water temperature was about 72 degrees, which is right on the edge of where I’m cold, so I decided to wear the suit. About a quarter of the way into the swim, I felt like my suit was suffocating me, so I slowed down and did some breaststroke while the suffocation feeling went away. I ended up doing breaststroke for about 1/3 of the swim, which is much more breaststroke than I intended.

On the run I felt strong and didn’t have a brick feeling in the bike-run transition, so I was pretty excited. I paced myself by heartrate. Sadly, I missed my 30-minute target, and I ended up with some gas still in the tank, so it’s pretty clear that I hold back too much in the run. When I run a 5K on its own I can do 27 minutes, but doing the 5K after the swim and bike, I slowed down by almost 6 minutes. Have to improve that.

But the most important thing is that I got out there and I did it, and I had fun. The KP Spouse was a wonderful race team, as usual.

Official times:
Swim 600 yd 11:43
T1 2:46
Bike 13 mile 42.11
T2 2:19
Run 3.1 mile 32:50
Total 1:31:49

Age rank 21/28 (25th percentile)
Gender rank 97/141 (32nd percentile)

This is what I mean about the level of this race: these times are almost exactly what I did at Accenture in Chicago last August (the swim and bike were a little longer then, but the per yard/per mile rates are about the same), and there I finished in much higher age and gender percentiles. This is a very competitive race, and yet it’s still fun, so it’s a good, healthy challenge.

Training goals: get used to wetsuit, reduce those transitions, get 5K race time under 30 minutes.

10 thoughts on “Race Report: Tri-shark

  1. Lynne,

    I hope you don’t think that this question is too personal, but here it goes:

    What’s your BMI?

    I’m just thinking in terms of Michael’s confession that he’s going to do the Shang-Ri-La diet, and my recent reading of “Rethinking Thin”.

    You’re probably not doing triathalons for weight control. I imagine that maintaining weight and building muscle are actually the problem for Ironman triathalon athletes (one of my buddies does half-Ironmans, and gaining muscle is his focus, not losing weight. But he is an endomorph to begin with)

    I’d imagine that you’re in pretty good shape, have good vital statistics, whatever. Is your BMI in the normal or underweight range? Just confirming my bias that BMI is a crappy statistic, and that media hysteria about rising BMIs is bunk.

  2. My BMI ranges between 20.5 and 21.5, depending on diet, hormones, hydration, etc. So I’m in the low range of normal, which I think makes sense for my body type. I agree that BMI is a crap statistic once you get beyond it as a first approximation for obesity (and a pretty crude first approximation at that). In part it’s crude because it fails to account for the fact that muscle weighs twice as much as fat; my body fat percentage is in the high teens, which is below normal for my age, but that high muscle percentage is why I weigh as much as I do.

    I’m a combination ectomorph/mesomorph; I’m small-boned but muscular. As long as I keep up a regular training regimen I don’t have to worry about weight, but I am very careful about what I eat too. I find it easy to build muscle, and I’m a fast twitch person, so the sprint tri distances are great for me. My challenge is building the endurance and slow twitch capacity, and associated mental discipline, to do longer duration stuff.

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