This race report is extremely over due and I apologize. My work has blocked access to Blogger and let's face it, who wants to come home after 9 hours in front of a computer and get back on the computer?! It's summer. I have better things to do.
Even so, here it is The summaryLiberty Triathlon - Independence, MN - June 12, 2010 Olympic Distance (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run) Goal - See what I can do Results - Set a new PR by almost 2 minutes!! 2:28:19, 5th in my AG, 9th overall female
The race reportI wasn't ready to race. Not even close. My tri bike had made it out of my basement exactly 3 times this year. My last brick workout was sometime last August. The last time I did any sort of transition was in my last race... last September. I had done zero open water swims. As of two nights before my race, my race wheels were still sitting in my basement, untouched since last summer. My carbon brake pads were packed away in a box. My running shoes did not have elastic shoelaces in them.
I wasn't ready to race. Not even close.
Due to my severe undertraining, I figured this would be a good "see where I'm at" race. Of course, that didn't change any of my pre-race rituals. My obligatory "night before the race" alcoholic beverage turned out to be a double-dose: a Peche Lambic with dinner and a Coors Light I had down at my brother and sister-in-law's place. (I still swear alcohol is the key to my triathlon success!)
Pre-RaceI invited my husband to come along to this race. I'm never sure if that is a good idea. Combining his horrific road rage, my non-existent sense of direction, and a few unexpected areas of road construction made for an interesting car ride to the race site. Needless to say, by the time we reached Baker Park, we were no longer speaking to each other.
I still managed to arrive with plenty of time to get body marked and set up my transition area. Unfortunately, body marking was my first reminder that I have moved up age groups this year. I've always enjoyed getting older and actually look forward to my birthdays. That is, until now. There it was. In black permanent marker, prominently displayed on my left calf. That number that represents not my current age, but the age I will be at the end of the year. That number that did not start with the number 2 and that I was not happy to see written on my body. I am not 30! I will pretend that I am 30 for triathlon races, but let's be clear... I am not yet 30!
Thankfully I was immediately distracted from my body-marking pity party by my fellow Birchwood Betty's (Jen J. and Courtney). We chatted for awhile and before I knew it, it was time to head to the beach for the pre-race announcements.
The RaceSwim - I had plenty of time to warm up in the lake and was feeling ready to go. The water was kind of cool - 68 degrees. However, the air was even colder (low to mid-60's). Everyone was hanging out in the water to try to keep warm. Once my wave took off, I found myself in the middle of the pack. NOT an ideal spot! I was getting kicked and hit all over! To top that off, my googles had leaked in my right eye. I wondered what kind of diseases and infections I could get from having disgusting lake water splashing back and forth across my eyeball for that long. I wondered if my contact lense would eventually fall out and then wondered how I would complete a 40K bike ride and 10K run while only being able to see out of one eye. Finally I decided that a half-blind race and inevitable eye infection was not worth the few seconds it would take me to stop and re-adjust my goggles. After doing that, I was good to go. The rest of the swim was uneventful.
T1 - I got out of the water and tried my best to run up the hill to transition, while trying to remove my wetsuit. I struggled a little with the wetsuit, but was still able to get on my bike fairly quickly.
Bike - The bike was uneventful too. I had a lot of people around me, so I had to be careful to stay 3 bike-lengths away from everyone so as not to be penalized for drafting. I spent the entire 24.8 miles playing leap frog with a shirtless guy on a Raleigh. I would pass him. He would pass me. I would pass him back. He would pass me back.... for the entire bike leg. It started raining lightly while I was on the bike, but it was barely noticeable.
T2 - In the last couple miles of the bike, I got passed by the first female Olympic competitor I had seen all day. (Most people were doing the long-course race.) Coming in to T2, she had dropped a shoe and had to go back for it. I figured I could pass her in T2 and maybe get a good lead on her for the run. I racked my bike, switched into running shoes and took off running.... except when I looked up, that girl was already ahead of me!! She must have had one awesome T2!
Run - That girl had about a 50 yard lead on me. I tried to keep her in my sight, but I also didn't want to go out too hard on the run. I climbed the giant hill and finished my first mile 30 seconds faster than I did last year! Despite the fact that I had a grand total of zero brick workouts under my belt this year, my legs were feeling fine.
By mile 3, I knew I was on pace for a PR. I concentrated on reeling in and passing as many girls as I could. I passed that girl I had been chasing off the bike and picked off a couple more girls too. I was able to finish the run with a great kick and finished with nearly a 2 minute PR!
Even with a good PR and a 3 1/2 minute improvement from this race last year, I did not make the podium for my age group. The 30-34 age group is MUCH more competitive than the 25-29. My time would have won the 25-29 age group, but I came in 5th for the 30-34 year olds. I've got some serious work to do if I want to compete against these girls!
Overall, the race was a huge confidence booster for me. I have not been training as hard as I should or could. I was feeling frustrated for awhile, but I am realizing now that it doesn't really matter. I don't need to be a practice hero. I can still pull off a PR race when I need to.
Now it's time to really focus in on the last few weeks of half-iron training.