Tinman Long Course Race Report

Mr. Neon picked me up from work Friday afternoon, and we ate a picnic lunch in our laps on our way up to Topeka. Dave’s Killer Bread makes bagels now! YES! We drove straight to the lake, picked up our packets, drove the bike course, and hit up the grocery store for breakfast supplies. The bike course looked like fun. Lots of rolling hills…not very much flat.

We slept in my in-laws fifth-wheel trailer. Tiny Boy was smushed into a recliner. Runner Boy was on a camping mat under the fold out couch bed. Mr. Neon was on the couch bed. And I was on my beloved camping mat at the foot of the bed. I slept pretty well, with the exception of one wake-up due to the over night storm. The wind was rocking the camper!

Breakfast: Two slices Dave’s Killer Bread. The yellow label because Topeka Dillons was out of the green label. One tub of Natural Jif To Go. COFFEE.

One hour before the swim, I choked down an Untapped Coffee Waffle. If you haven’t tried them…you should. So yummy with a kick of caffeine. I don’t usually eat anything outside of breakfast before a race, but the more I read about race nutrition, the more I realized I was probably lacking in glycogen at the starting line. It’s hard to play catch-up with race nutrition once you are out of the swim.

The race was a bit disorganized. I felt for them. They had a lot stacked against them. They had to add the 70 distance, cancel the 100 distance due to lack of participation and heat advisory, and deal with the storm the night before.

They organized us into waves and explained the courses. I had a bit of a panic when I realized how far the 1000m course was. It looked so long compared to 40 laps of the pool. Not to mention that it was open water and there were no walls and you couldn’t see the bottom.

Mr. Neon was three waves ahead of me. Once he got in the water, my lifeline was gone. I tried to take deep breaths as my wave moved into the on deck position. Before I knew it, they were giving us the countdown. I barely had time to put my goggles on before the horn went off.

My goggles were brand new. My previous pair had started to leak during my last two swims. I got a larger pair that I had never worn before. They came while we were gone to NYC. Oops. Nothing new on race day…broken rule.

I doggy-paddled / breaststroke’d the first 200. I knew it would be a struggle to get myself calmed down, and I didn’t want to swallow a gallon of lake water. Once I got myself calmed down, my stroke settled in. I was able to relax. I told myself, “It’s just water. Put your face in it and swim.” And it worked! Before I knew it, I was heading toward shore. New goggles were perfect. No fogging up and no leaking.

SWIM 1000yd 27:43 (2:47)
Note: Course was between 150-200m long.

Transition was almost a quarter mile run up a hill. We had to run around transition and enter through the backside. I almost missed which row my bike was in. I quickly dried off my feet, shoved my socks and shoes on, and grabbed my helmet. First race with my new Rudy Boost helmet with the visor! No fighting with sunglasses.

T1 3:43

Wee! Bike! I decided to use my road bike. I’ve actually decided to sell my tri bike and get aero bars for my road bike. I love my Trek Madone 4.5. She’s the reason I felt in love with cycling, so I need to stick with her. Maintenance on one bike will be easier to deal with as well.

The first 5 miles were hilly and windy. I only averaged 13.5mph on that stretch, but the rest picked up. We had to deal with headwind, crosswind, and lots of hills. But it was fun! I was able to drink several times on the bike, which has been an issue in the past. I did really well once I learned that I needed to leave my right hand on the bike. I balanced better using my left hand to grab my bottle. I ate a whole package of GU chews on the bike. I averaged 18.5mph for the last 4 mile stretch! That was a blast!

BIKE 1:15:28 (15.1mph)


I racked my bike, cursing Mr. Neon because he racked Beast backwards and I had to squeeze Sexy in. I grabbed my race belt, my visor and sunglasses, and took one last big swig of BASE RocketFuel.

T2 1:07

They had a water station right out of transition. I took a cup and immediately took three hits from my BASE salt tube. The forecast was HOT with a heat index of 90 by 9am. I knew I’d need salt. I made a decision then and there to take two licks of salt instead of one every mile.

I tried to do math and figure out when I would run into Mr. Neon, but then I realized I needed to know his run pace. My first mile split was a 9:43 and I was hoping I could keep it up. But then the little hills started. Two of them were so steep that I was forced to walk. My legs would just not run up them.

I found Mr. Neon right after the sprint turn around. He stopped and hugged me. I LOVED that. I honestly don’t really remember if he said anything to me. I complained about my left ankle hurting and my hamstrings were achy. I think my ankle was hurting from the chip, because once I took it off, the pain went away. And it hasn’t hurt since.

I walked a bit. I ran a lot. I shuffled to keep myself moving forward. I ate a Huma lemonaid gel at mile 3.5. It was YUMMY. At every aid station, I grabbed a cup of water, took two big sips, and dumped the rest on my head, back, and chest.

Mile 2: 10:34
Mile 3: 10:28
Mile 4: 10:24
Mile 5: 11:12 (It started to get hot!)
Mile 6: 10:35

I was actually able to pick it up in the last mile and sprinted the stretch. First time I’ve been able to do that in a triathlon in a LONG time. BASE salt for the win!

RUN 1:04:18 (10:23)


I finished strong and felt great! Mr. Neon met me at the finish line and took my medal challenge coin from the volunteer because he wanted to give it to me! I love my guy! He’s the reason I made the decision to do a long course and having him there waiting for me at the finish line was the cherry on top.


Overall time 2:52:16

My main goal was to finish feeling good and under 3 hours. Boom…goal achieved! I think getting my nutrition right really helped. I only had minimal soreness in my back and shoulders in the days following. My legs never really felt sore. I took four BASE Recovery Activators immediately after we finished. I’m so glad I remembered to put them in my transition bag this time.

I will definitely do another OLY distance again. And I’m really looking forward to training harder for any future sprint races. As far as anything longer than that…we’ll see.

Stay neon!

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