Monday, July 20, 2009

Evergreen Olympic Triathlon

I admit it, I was dreading this race. I really didn't feel comfortable with my physical abilities right now. So I took a good friend's (Waddler) advice....she told me not to worry about the "race" aspect ...just think of it as another training day.

Waddler and I got up early and arrived at the race site. For a mid-July day, the temperature was quite cool (mid 60's). We set up our transition spots and to Waddler's dismay, she discovered that she had forgotten her bike shoes. Oh man....I felt bad for her. I got to say, she handled it extremely well; she never once thought about quitting. She's a trooper!

We listened to the pre-race talk and met TriHardChick. She was cheerful and ready to race. I sooooooo wanted her enthusiasm. I couldn't muster it though. It was just another race remember.

So in the "training day" spirit, I broke the golden rule of completing a triathlon: I did things that were new to my routine. Such as:

• Breakfast was a half a bagel and peanut butter (I don't have a routine breakfast): thumbs up (but probably could have had the whole thing or added a banana).
• I wore tri shorts and top (never swam in before): thumbs up on the shorts, thumbs down on the shirt. The top was not "tri specific" and was completely water logged after coming out of the water.
• I downed a Gu right before race with no water to wash it down: thumbs down. I had minor stomach cramps during the swim. What the heck was I thinking?
• I didn't test my goggles before starting the swim: thumbs down. Water leaked in right away and I had to adjust them within 50 feet of the start.
• I didn't test my bike before the race: thumbs down. Nothing went wrong, but I get a bad mark for just being lazy and stoopid.
• I tried Infinit for the whole race: thumbs up. Seemed like it worked well...need to keep using it for longer distances.

Other things I did right or wrong:

• I was straight as an arrow during the swim. I'm so proud of my sighting....I hit every frickin' buoy right on target. I could have touch every single one them.
• My transitions were a mess. I was disorganized and scatterbrained not to mention it took me forever to take off my wetsuit. During T2, I had noticed I had one bike shoe on and one running shoe on while I was taking off my helmet. Can't I just focus on one thing here? Plus, I forgot my race number and had to run back over the timing mat to go back into transition. I got yelled at but was allowed back in when they discovered my mistake.
• I walked through the transitions, I could tell I was the last in my age group but I didn't care, I just wanted to keep my heart rate down. I think it might have helped a tiny bit.
• I wasted time putting on and taking off bike gloves to bike only 24.6 miles...I could have lived with out the hassle.
• My bike went well and there was plenty of wind to cut through and a few hills to deal with. I did ok. I would have liked to have been faster but my breathing was labored for at least the first 13 miles.
• Fueling myself on the bike seems to be a reoccurring problem. I did not drink enough water and Infinit. I should have been done with both by the time I was done. I had too much left. That bad habit won't work with an endurance race.
• I carried a bottle of Infinit during the run. At this distance (6.3 miles), I was fine carrying it and drank at every aid station. It worked well but I will have to get a fuel belt for longer distances.
• I ran without walking; that in itself is a major accomplishment for me right now. I might have been slow but I didn't stop or walk. I felt pretty crappy in that I had shortness of breath and it felt as if I had a 20 lb weight on my chest. When will these iron pills start kicking in?

Even though I didn't feel great and was struggling, this race helped me to learn that I've got a lot of things to tweak.

My results:

Swim: 36:13 (2.13/100 split)
T1: 5:09
Bike: 1:25:29 (17.4 mph)
T2: 2:43
Run: 1:08:52 (11:05/mile)
Total: 3:18:28
Age group: 11 out of 11

(My mom always said, "Well someone has to bring up the rear".)


IronSnoopy said...

You did great! It's really hard to compare an Olympic to an Ironman. They're like apples and oranges!

But you learned a lot and it sounds like you had a great day to me. :)

I have a brand new fuel belt with bottles you can try and if you like it, you can have it. I don't like it. (I've seriously worn it once for a 5-mile run and I'm too lazy to return it. Your gift if you'd like it.)


Congratulations! Glad to hear you learned so much--what a great accomplishment. Snoopy's right about the differences in races. I consider the olympic distance the longest of the short races, the half the shortest of the long races, and then of course the full.

Keep practicing. Transitions just take practice--and in an iron distance race, it won't make much difference for you. You'll have lots of help and one or two minutes will not make or break your race.

It was great meeting you--if only briefly. Hope to see you again sometime!

Calyx Meredith said...

Those are great numbers! Sounds like you learned some good bits to tweak in future races too. I'm so impressed with you and Waddler!