Thursday, November 6, 2014

2 Race Recaps

I have a few minutes to breathe (read: blog) because I have the day off for election day. Did you all vote? I did not register after I moved here, so I'm not going to today :/ I am cosy-ed up on this rainy day with some laundry going, about to cook some soup and watching the third season of Luther.

Well, now that its fall, I might as well recap some of my races from this summer! Sprint Tri - In June I did a Sprint Tri in a super cute picturesque little town. It was my first tri of the year and I needed it under my belt to get my confidence up before my Olympic Tri in August.

 I signed up for the Athena (165+ lbs) category. I was able to run some of the course a few weeks beforehand after my open water swim at a nearby lake (the town is actually nicknamed "lake city" as there are so many in a small area).  I tried to mimic my outfit as closely as possible during that run.  Going into this tri I felt pretty good!   The morning of, the usual nerves set in and I was running late, so I just brought my peanut butter and rice cakes with me (I had a pb and rice cakes phase over the summer!).  I didn't get there early enough to park close, so I hauled all of my stuff the 3/4 mile to transition.  I saw my friend's dad on my way to check in (sidenote:  totally got beat by him!)  and as I am a USAT member this year, I got to skip the long line and pick my things up just by showing id.  It was nice! 

I racked my bike on the far end of my row, which was set up in a parking lot and sat down to eat my pb and rice cakes.  I am shy, but I did end up talking to a guy who put his bike next to mine.  I asked how many triathlons he had done - he had a very nice bike with aero bars and his tri suit looked to be of good quality too.  He told me it was his first ever - which I didn't believe until he asked how he was supposed to pin his bib to his tri top if it was going to get wet during the swim (answer:  don't wear your tri top during the swim or use a race belt and put it on before the run).  There was only a flimsy orange fence in between the transition area and the spectators.  I went to the bathroom and came back to my spot right by the fence.  A rather aloof spectator had his dog with him.  And, of course, that dog had it's head under the fence licking the pb off of the knife i had brought and the jar.  I am NOT an animal person, so I was extremely grossed out.  I actually threw the pb away :)

They called all of our waves to the beach for the start.  I got ready to go, but then I realized that the Athena group was starting with the 60+ women.  One of the last waves - womp, womp!  I probably waited a half hour before I got to start.  I lined up in the water with my group and put my goggles on.  Did I grab the old ones from my bag?  These were awfully foggy.  Oh well, I started off strong when they blew the whistle.  I couldn't really see anything, and something else was wrong - very wrong.  I had on my usual triathlon sports bra with my swimsuit over it. was the same one as last year.  As in, the same size as last year.  I am not the same size as I was last year!  "The girls" felt like nothing was holding them back and I had to stop swimming so I could make sure I didn't flash anyone, but I can't be 100% sure I didn't!  Near the turnaround point it was getting really congested and not only was I running into/very close to my wave, but also the 60+ male age group that went right before us (sidenote:  hello 60+ males! there are some in shape older dudes!).  One the way back to shore, I could not see a darn thing. I had to stop and tread water a couple of times in order to lift my goggles up and look for the beach.  I had a very bad feeling at this point.  Swimming is my best sport of the three and I was bombing the swim!

Please note the age of this man who came in 1 spot ahead of me...
I am pretty embarrassed at that swim time!  In transition, I got to my bike and the gentleman I had been next to must have accidentally hit my bike while taking his off because my helmet, gloves, shot blocks and sunglasses were on the ground.  Transition took a good chunk of time, but I was off and ready for this 13 mile bike ride.  There is a decent hill on the way out of the small town we were in, then it was country roads until I hit the turn around at the next little town over.  The ride was very interesting.  The smells were definitely not what I smell here while biking on the city trails!  A few people were cheering in their yards.  The kids are always cute, but the lady who was apathetically yelling "better you than me!" was probably my favorite.  The ride felt decently hard on the way out and was a little more comfortable on the way back.  I really wanted to be under an hour on the bike, but I was just barely over.  Probably would have been under, but there were some technical areas on the way back - downhill through a bank parking lot?  Strange!

I got back to transition and the guy next to me was finished - as were plenty of other people.  The majority of the run was what I had done when I visited after the open water swim earlier in the month.  Through the paved trails, into and around a subdivision, back on the trails and a bit through town.  I can't remember exactly how far the run was, but I think it was around 3.5 miles or so.  I was getting closer to the finish and could hear the crowd so I started to kick it in.  Unfortunately, it was a loud crowd and I was going way much faster than was comfortable, haha!  My run time was a minute a mile faster than any of my tris last year.  Very happy with that progress!

A cold washcloth at the finish line was wonderful!  I entered the post race food area and was overwhelmed!  I was asked what kind of pizza I would like - as in from which company.  They had pizzas from 3 different places, and chicken, pasta, cookies, veggies, fruit, drinks, etc.  wow!  I got a plate and talked to some women I had started with in the athena category and had some laughs.  The course is on the edge of a college campus, so I took a stroll afterwards and found a really creepy statue!

I headed for home and when I walked in the door, my sister asked when I would be ready to go to the lake with our family.  No rest for me!  I dropped off my bike and other triathlon stuff and headed out for the boat to spend the rest of the day with my family.  I really, really liked this tri and will hopefully be back next year.  I have some obvious areas of improvement, but it was a fun race despite my screw ups!

The next week I had a 4.5 mile  race on the 4th of July.  Luckily, this one was close to my house!  Before the race, I had my pb and rice cakes, naturally and hung around the library until it was time to start.  I lined up near the back and we were off!  I don't usually think of my (old) town as hilly, but geez the little bit of rolling hills were not making me happy!

 I started out at a good pace and tried to maintain the run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute ratio I had been doing all summer (in preparation for my Olympic tri).  Soon enough, the crowd thinned out and I was leap frogging people on the main trail in town that is shaded.  My first mile was about 12:30 and my second 13 something.  Miles 3-4 were mainly uphill and I wanted to walk badly, but there was a parade soon after the race so there were a ton of people watching so I had to be accountable!  Plus there were several kids running at my pace, I had to keep up what I had started!

We turned onto the home stretch with a quarter mile left.  My main goal was to finish in under an hour.  I ran that last stretch as hard as a could (this time passing a 70 year old man) and I saw the clock was over an hour, but I knew I hadn't crossed the starting line right away.  I hit my watch as I crossed and there was the answer!

 Yay!  Mission Accomplished.  Post-race, I grabbed as many freebies as I could.  I love keeping a full "snack box" in my car if I need something before/after a workout and races usually keep it updated!  I went home, grabbed my swim stuff and headed to the pool to get a swim in!  Unfortunately, I had misplaced my swim cap and had to swim the entire thing without one, womp womp.  The rest of the fourth of july found me with a carry out salad and a pint of ice cream.  :) 

Later that day, I was looking at the race results online and I saw that one of my good friends who lives HOURS out of town, and whom I had plans with later, had actually run the race with her family and had finished 59 seconds before me, but I NEVER saw her.  How crazy is that?  I guess it's a where's waldo situation when you have 950 running at the same time!

I can't wait to update my blog about my Olympic triathlon - it was quite an experience and I trained really hard for it.  Since then, I have not been as active (let's be honest, the 6-7 workouts a week kind of took over my life!), but still maintaining the same weight as late August. 

My precioussssss :)
Can't take me anywhere
Ah, cold wash cloth! 
"running" down this hill verified that I am a weeny - so scary!
Ah, so picturesque.  Oh, an interesting statue...
Post tri treat, yum!