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The Good, The Bad, and The Unaware

Posted Oct 14 2009 10:03pm
Finally, the NJ State Tri is a thing of the past. I'm sort of happy with the outcome, sort of mad at myself, and all over relieved that the first Olympic of the season (my second one ever) is finally over with so I can focus on what I need to fix for the next race, Steelman, in 2 weeks.

Overall, I was 3rd in my age group and in the top 20 women overall, with a time of 2:29. Am I pleased with that? Not really. I made some dumb mistakes, which I'll list, but considering a year ago my time was 2:47:50, I've come a long way. And since I haven't raced an Olympic race in a year, I guess my expectations were a little too high. But not next time!

My biggest mistakes:
Swim (29 min)
1. Wearing really old gross goggles because I lost my great new ones, and not realizing how crusted over they were. So my sighting was less than stellar. I ended up way off course a few times, but the biggest thing was that I couldn't see people around me very well, and it was almost impossible to keep up because of that.
2. Feeling TOO good on the swim: I couldn't sight well, and the people I did notice had been in the two waves ahead of me, and I wasn't seeing any of the caps from my wave. So I figured I was doing well and was pretty out in front. Not the case.
3. Not going hard enough in the beginning. I definitely screwed myself there- I was nervous about running out of steam, since I haven't raced that distance in a long time, and I wasn't giving it my all.
Fix: I need a new pair of goggles and a watch I can wear in the water so if I can't see people in my wave, I can kind of check my time. Also, I need to start stronger and really push! The swim rarely tired me out like the bike or run does, so I really need to focus on going all out for it.

Bike (1:07)
1. Not pushing as hard as I could have- I wish I had gunned it more in the middle
2. Not having a good way of timing- I need that watch! And I need to set my odometer.
3. Not being in aero as much as possible. And it was windy!!
Fix: watch, once again. Also, get a Profile Design aerobar water bottle- since the bike is my strong point, I'd like to be able to stay aero most of the time.

Run (0:49)
1. Running out of steam- I was feeling pretty complacent, since I knew my chances for overall were shot unless I ran sub 5 min miles, which will never happen. I also was in the first female wave, and I was already 3rd in my age group, and other than that, only about 3 women were ahead of me or passed me (from waves behind mine) so there weren't many people to run down... and given my poor swim, I wasn't catching any of the girls in my age group easily. I tried to keep a brisk pace though.
2. I hadn't done a 6 mile run in months- I've been running super short or 5 mile runs with Pete, so that extra mile was tough.
Fix: more 6 mile runs in the next week.

Transitions:
I had some of the fastest times in the bunch, and beat my old ones by quite a bit. I'm 100% psyched about them!

Overall:
I needed to take in more calories before the race- my stomach growled right before the start and I knew that was a bad sign. I had half a bagel and some Gatorade pre-race but it wasn't enough.

In general, it went ok. I just wish it hadn't gotten off to such a bad start- nothing worse than coming out of the swim 5 minutes slower than you expected to your dad shouting that you need an amazing bike ride to do well. No pressure, right? Him yelling really did boost my bike though- I almost want him to lie to me from nwo on and always say that! I just never expected to have such a bad swim, and I think if I had been able to see better, I would have fought my way up- like I said, I felt really good and relaxed, so I think I could have pulled it off.

Anyway, back to training for August 9th- the pressure is sort of more "on" but also having the first longer race under my belt as a legitimate competitor is pretty relaxing. And even if I didn't do as well as I wanted, considering it's only my 5th triathlon and 2nd Olympic distance ever, I think I did well- and I learned a lot about what I am capable of.

Best of all, the awesome men on the run- so many guys I passed were so encouraging and nice and they just made the whole race better. And the volunteers were awesome! After the finish line, there was this amazing cool down tent that sprayed water, and while I was in it, this one guy came in and said how amazing I was on the bike. That felt great!

Next year, I seriously want to do the Uberman- it looked like so much fun, and I'm usually pretty good at short bike time trials. That's one race that really was won on the bike, which means that it is certainly my kind of race!

Steelman Goals:
23 min swim (1500 meters)
1:07 bike (24.3 miles)
46 run (6 miles)
I think I can do it, knowing what I need nutrition, training, and gear-wise.
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