Desert Triathlon Race Report 2014

La Quinta, California
70F / 21C
Total Time = 1h 56m 50s
Overall Rank = 11/590
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 2/57
Pre-race routine:

Ahhh…Desert Tri SoCal National World Championship Olympic Qualifier for Control of The Universe! Pretty much the best race ever for some weird and extremely strange reason. I think it might be because this race ultimately has the biggest build up of any races we do. You sit there at the end of October and the ONLY thing that matters is Desert Tri four months down the road. After this race, it’s just a barrage of races that go by in a blur. It is the first real expression of fitness after coming off the “winter” or whatever you want to call what we get here. Basically, it’s a little colder and the days are slightly shorter…that’s our “winter”

In all seriousness, I love this race. Low key and so many friends to chat with and socialize before and after the race makes for just a wonderful atmosphere. I was literally joking around with friend Scott Chaney as the starter was counting down from 10. It’s just that kind of race. From a data standpoint, it’s wonderful to establish some early season markers to see if what you did over the past few months was worth all the cold dark mornings.

Headed out to La Quinta on Saturday afternoon to pick up packets and get checked in to our hotel. Immediately after checking in, I set up a small dinner party with fellow Wattie Ink teammates and some good friends. (Karin, Tyler, Erin, Cortney, Adam, Dan+wife, James). Got to bed early as I had some plans for an unusual warm up the next morning.

Event warmup:

I woke up around 4:45am and went for a light jog. First time I’ve done this and really liked it. It’s not so much to warm up, obviously, but more so to just get the system moving so I can eat and poop and stuff. It worked great. I felt so much more awake and alert so much earlier and it made the morning so much easier. Just a 10 minute run….turned out to be a good idea. Once we got to the race site, Karin and I went for about a 30 min ride. Everything was working fine (as in my power meter was working FINE). I racked my bike and headed to the swim.

  • 17m 39s
  • 1550 yards
  • 01m 08s / 100 yards
  • Swimming
    00:17:39 | 1550 yards | 01m 08s / 100yards
    Age Group: 3/57
    Overall: 24/590
    Performance: Good
    Suit: blueseventy Wattie Ink helix
    Course: Very simple out and back basically

Karin and I at swim start


As I mentioned, I was screwing around right up until the proverbial gun went off. Then I made a dash to the front. I came out of the swim in first last year even though my goggles washed around my neck on the first dive. I thought maybe I could repeat this year. Well, a few dudes had some other ideas. I was immediately in a lock battling for the lead to the first little turn buoy. After we rounded the buoy, a couple guys started to swim back towards shore which was way offline. Another guy, we’ll call him Mr. Annoying, attaches to my left side….and keeps…on….hitting me. Now, normally, I would retaliate and drowned him or grab his wetsuit and drag him to the bottom of the lake…but I have a new, gentler outlook on racing. I don’t let things like this bother me. I simply stopped, swam over his feet to the left and problem was swiftly solved. I was alone for the rest of the swim. I saw him now since I breath to the right and he too, after I got out of the way, started to veer towards shore. Thus, why he was bumping into me. During all this BS with Mr Annoying, two guys were able to slip away undetected. I had an idea by the start that they were out there but wasn’t sure because I lost sight of them as we began to take over the previous waves.

Exiting the swim.

Swim was solid but not great. Much better than swims towards the end of last year when I was totally burned out. But the same as last year…which I guess is fine. I’ve let my swim slip a little (as in not continuing to improve) while I work on my run. I exited the water with two ahead and 1 dude right next to me.

Turns out, looking at results, that Mr. Annoying lives in Westlake Village!!! I gotta find this guy and meet him.

What would you do differently?:

Solid swim….no records broken but solid.

Transition 1
  • 01m 15s

Trying to work on my transitions and I did a good job at this race. I made up a lot of time during T1 and T2.

What would you do differently?:


  • 59m 42s
  • 24 miles
  • 24.12 mile/hr
  • Biking
    00:59:42 | 24 miles | 24.12 mile/hr
    Age Group: 1/57
    Overall: 22/590
    Performance: Below average
    Wind: None
    Course: As flat as it gets…in a big square

Just got on the bike

Took off and everything started out great with the nice flying mount I haven’t done in a few months. Whew!…can’t wait for the day when I mess that up and eat shit in front of everyone. I know it’s coming. Get down the road a bit, get the shoes on, and look down….NO POWER. DAMMIT. WTF. Yup…no power being displayed. Shit. So I spent the next half minute or so trying to see if there was anything I could do. Now, I certainly don’t ride by power in a race like this. I go almost completely by feel. BUT, I wanted the data for later. I spent some time aero testing back in January and really wanted to see if the improvements would show. I also wanted the early season data. Well, after doing everything I knew how, I gave up and put my head down. Obviously this cost me some time but whatever.

After I decided to go on racing with no data (which is lame and like it never happened 😉 I came upon a couple guys and then a couple more. Funny though, because every one I passed would not get dropped. I’d come up on them super fast but then suddenly they had the power to keep up with me. I’m no smarty pants but my inclination would be that the sudden loss of wind resistance made it easier for these guys to hold the pace….if you get my draft…I mean drift.

BUT….again, in my kinder gentler years, I refrained from yelling at people and went on with my race. I did actually point out two things; 1. when a guy passed me on the right. I don’t like that and if you knew the course and congestion, it really isn’t safe. 2. two guys sitting side by side….goes back to #1, especially on this course. But I didn’t really yell. I just politely pointed out their stupidity.

Made the turn for home now with an entire pack in tow. Most were younger age groupers so I didn’t really care. Of course they came around at the very end. LOL

Photo: Tyler Olson / Instagram by me…lol

Time was about a minute slower than last year. My bet is that had I not taken the time to screw with my Garmin, not dealt with the idiots, and not almost crashed into a cone (we won’t go into that), I would have been around the same time as last year. Again, as with swimming, bike has been maintenance while improving my running. So a basically wash is ok by me.

Later investigation turned out to be a dead battery in the PM.

What would you do differently?:

Replace the battery before a race.

Transition 2
  • 00m 51s

Really good T2 and picked up some more time. I had the fastest T1 and T2 in my AG.

  • 37m 21s
  • 5.8 miles
  • 06m 26s  min/mile
  • Running
    00:37:21 | 05.8 miles | 06m 26s  min/mile
    Age Group: 2/57
    Overall: 27/590
    Performance: Good
    Course: Some off road and some on around the lake

Took off and felt very sluggish. I felt like my turnover was super slow and I had zapped my legs. hmmmm….not a good feeling. Passed a bunch of people on the way out cheering and one in particular was Gerardo…my friend and head coach for Fortius Racing. He said simply, “run light”. I said in return, “how’s my hair?” (I hate it when my hair is all triathlon crazy in photos). He said it was fine and I kept going. But, his advice really helped in the soft sandy sections. I tried to stay light and not dig holes in the soft surfaces. First mile clicked off and I was afraid to look because it felt slow. (last year I averaged 6:40 pace) I looked down at 6:21…Yay! Very cool and I felt like it was going to be a bitch but I could probably sustain it till the end. First lap is always tough because you know there’s a 2nd lap coming. I tried to just focus on turnover and as Gerardo said, staying light. Second mile 6:21 again….nice.

Photo: Tyler Olson

Photo: Tyler Olson

At this point, I knew my nemesis would be coming. James “the dream crusher” Adams. He’s on my team and I just love him and his wonderful family so much. I knew I would beat him (even though I never have and he’s always crushed me) and we had several heated discussions on the fact that he was going to lose so bad. Problem is James runs about 6 minutes faster than me in a 10K. I only swim about 3-4 faster than him in a 1500 and we bike about the same in a 40k TT. So, yeah, ummm….you do the math. The math says he’s coming.

At the end of the first loop some dude named Lipke passed me. Running way faster than I could hope to sustain. I knew his name was Lipke because it was on his butt. Headed out for the second loop and passed Tyler who let me know that Carly was just up the road. I was like, “Ok, don’t care about Carly as she’s an Elite female and left in the first wave”. A few seconds later, I see Gerardo again and he too lets me know “Carly is just up the road.” “I DON’T CARE ABOUT CARLY!” I care about James “The dingleberry” Adams as I know he’s coming.

3rd mile was solid at 6:23 but the fourth was slipping a little at 6:29. At that point I was really holding on. A couple more guys passed me but only one did I not see the age on his leg. So I assumed the worst and that I was in 3rd. Cool still a podium. 6:31 for the 5th mile and by that time I was on the home stretch of the 5.8 mile course. I gave it all I had just praying James “the human turd” Adams wouldn’t run by me. Well, he didn’t. Managed a 6:22avg for the last .8 miles and a 1minute PR from last year. Very happy about that.

Turned out that I was 2nd as the guy who passed me was younger. So Lipke was the only one who was in my AG…..JERK….stupid Liipke! ***shakes fist in the air yelling LLLLIIIIPPPPKKKEEE!!!***

What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Happy with my run. More improvements are coming as I don’t think all the run training (which is really only ramping up seriously right now) has yet to take effect.

Post race
Warm down:

I don’t warm down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not being faster

Event comments:

It turns out Adams took in a bunch of water and started throwing up. You can read about his list of excuses here. Never the less, I beat him and am accordingly crowned World Champion (In my mind).

Karin did great as well and you can read about that here.

Another Desert Tri in the books. Can’t wait to race next year.

Sponsors: Buy these items: Wattie Ink, Herbalife 24, blueseventy, ISM, Power Bar, Speedfil, Reynolds Wheels, SpiderTech, Rudy Project, Hypoxico, 10 Barrel Brewing, 454 Tattoo, Tri Bike Transport

Also thanks to Blair Ferguson at Ventura Athletics , my coach Brian Stover of Accelerate 3, and swim group CVMM. (CVMM is putting on a swim meet in Simi Valley March 23rd…come out!)

Thanks to Buns….she’s the best!

Karin, Me, Carly Johann

About Dusty Nabor

I'm an Age Group triathlete out of Southern California...
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4 Responses to Desert Triathlon Race Report 2014

  1. Scott says:

    I know Mr. Annoying. He was the guy with the balloon on his bike in the transition area too.

  2. Jen says:

    Loved the read Dusty! Congrats on getting faster on the run!

  3. Jason Venema says:

    Hilarious report. Freaking awesome.

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