Saturday, July 10, 2010

TRI for FUN Race Report

The short version:  WOOOO HOOOOOOOO!

The long version:
I realized yesterday that I was feeling really good, really confident and really excited about today's race.  I had a nice pasta dinner, I pre-hydrated, and I got to bed at a reasonable hour.  But when the alarm went off at 5, the nerves hit hard.  Honestly, I wonder why celebrities pay all that money for a "cleanse" when all you really need is a good dose of race-day nerves!

I was packed and ready to go by 6:15, so off we went.  The race venue is about 30 - 40 minutes away from my house and we saw lots of cars with bikes along the highway - fellow triathletes, how exciting!  We arrived early enough to get decent parking and I scored a great transition spot:  almost straight out of the water, and very close to the run start, but sort of far from the bike start. 

Setting up my transition stuff next to Mr. Bike

Body marking

That's my nervous smile.  Do you see how far out that first buoy is????

Here were my goals for this race:
  • Don't panic in the water
  • Don't be the last person out of the water (I was in the last wave start, this was a very real possibility)
  • Be out of the water - .5 mile - and on the bike in less than 30 minutes (yes, 30 minutes for a .5 mile swim!  It was intended as a cushion, since I can do that distance in about 20 minutes in a pool)
  • Be off the bike - 16 miles - and on the run in less than an hour (again, a little built-in cushion as I usually ride faster than this, but this is a pretty hilly course)
  • Be done with the run - 3 miles - in less than 30 minutes (not only is the run course hilly, it's very dusty and hot.  I'm not a fan of the hot)
  • Finish the race in under 2 hours
"I'm swimming off to my doom now!"

Let's just get this out of the way:  the swim was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  I had high hopes for conquering my swim demons, but today was not that day.  I didn't panic, exactly, but I could never catch my breath or get into any kind of rhythm.  I grabbed onto a kayak before I even got to the first buoy and met my new best friend Richard.  He was very kind and chatted with me for a few seconds while my heartrate came down from outer space.  I made it past the first buoy and sort of swam-slash-floundered for another hundred more yards before I flagged him down again.  Yikes!  Two kayak stops, not the day I had in mind.  But I gritted my teeth and got myself back to shore eventually.  Swim Time:  26:00, T1:  2:36, not great, but I'm ahead of my goal!
Out of the water with a smile on my face.  Please note that there are people behind me!

The bike leg completely ROCKED!  As soon as I got wheels underneath me, I was en fuego.  I passed so many people I couldn't keep count.  I passed people on the uphills, I passed people on the downhills, I passed two and three people at a time.  Even better than all that passing of other people?  Nobody passed me!  I'm thinking of getting a shirt made that says, "Yes, I'm a bad swimmer" on the back, because I know that's what everyone was thinking as I blew by them.  Bike Time:  53:24, T2:  1:13
Sadly, I have no bike pics to share.  The Hubs was trying to take pics and time my splits for me (isn't he awesome?) and the bike pics are all of my butt.  Umm, not blog-worthy.

Here I go, just three miles left in this race!
By the time I got off the bike and onto the run course, it was over 75 degrees and I was drooping like a day-old flower.  I had brought a bottle of Nuun (having learned my thirsty lesson at last week's hot 10K), but it had warmed up a lot from sitting out, blech.  Note to self, freeze the bottle next time.  This run course is particularly unpleasant:  it's a short stretch of grass, then loose gravel and then almost all rocky dirt.  Only the very beginning and the very end are paved.  I ended up walking a lot of the uphills, but I never felt defeated or unhappy.  I knew my bike time had given me a boost on meeting my overall goal time, so I just kept plugging along.  Even in the heat, I knew I could do better than the 10-minute miles I set as the goal.  Run Time:  28:45, Total Time:
I beat my goal time by EIGHT MINUTES!!  w00t!!
(BTW, this is not my arm, it's The Hubs')

I didn't stick around for official results, thinking they would be online by this afternoon, but so far there's nothing posted.  Obviously, my time wasn't AG award worthy, but I'm still curious where I came in the standings.

Overall, I feel absolutely FANTASTIC about the day.  There's definitely room for improvement on my swim and run, but I felt like my training was good and my performance was pretty on par with my expectations.  I am so happy that I did this race and I'm already planning my next one!
Feeling like a ROCK STAR!


Char said...

I can feel your excitement. Great race!

Kerrie T. said...

Nice race! You really made it look like fun. Someday, someday...

ajh said...

Congrats! Great smile! Glad you weren't last in the swim. Do you get penalized for holding onto the kayak? I am guessing not. I didn't get pics of my daughter on the bike either. It is hard. I was also the sherpa! Good race report. I'm off to run in my race@

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Great job! You did awesome. Loved reading your recap. Hope you have a great Sunday!

Java Joggers said...

Wow! You should be really proud of yourself! Way to race :)

Julie said...

Awesome job there Lady! Oh my goodness, you did so good! It sounds like you just rocked the bike ride:) You look fantastic and I love all of your pictures! COngrats to you!

Average A said...

WOOOOOOO!!! You are amazing!! GREAT JOB!!! I love the idea of you getting a shirt that says "I suck at swimming" -- hilarious! I bet everyone would chuckle. :)

What a great report -- this makes me almost want to do a tri! Congrats!!

Tortuga_Runner said...

Jealous! Nice ride, I was also waiting for results to blog about my race report. Loved reading yours. Great job!

Middle Name Marie said...

Congrats on a great race! Even though you think your swim might have been a rough start--you overcame it and made up for it in the bike and run portions. Good job!

misszippy said...

Way to go! So glad you had a good day and enjoyed it all. Way to cruise on the bike too--feels so good to pass and not be passed!

Whitney said...

Great job on your race!

Heather said...

Congrats on your tri - awesome job! Looks like so much fun. :)

Johann said...

Love your short version! Well done! You did fantastic! Great report and pics as well. Funny how we always worry we'll be last but somehow there's always someone behind.

Rad Runner said...

Let me start off by saying that you look fabulous and end by saying that you look amazing! You were in the water (to me that is terrifying?) so even though you were not over enthusiastic, I am totally psyched for you! You totally rock!

Teamarcia said...

Rockstar indeed! Congrats on an AWESOME race! WTG!

Jeanette said...

Let me first say, I am so impressed and inspired by you. You look totally in control and did such an awesome job.