Friday, August 19, 2016

2nd Olympic Triathlon - Part 1

I did this same Olympic tri 2 years ago and here were my results then (as I'll reference if I went faster or slower in each portion):

1500m swim: 29:57.3
T1: 2:48.5
40k bike: 1:42:47.3 (14.5mph)
T2: 2:27.5
10k run/walk: 1:22:59.4 (13:21/mi)
Total: 3hours 41minutes 0.00 seconds

2016

I had been training decently for this triathlon this time, as seen in my last post.  However, in the weeks leading up to the tri, I was having semi-regular hip pain.  (turns out it's my tensor fascia latae...close to the IT band, but not the IT band).  The pain was from overuse of my quads and lack of glute use. Need to do more squats!

Night before:
I worked until 8pm the night before at my side job, grabbed a sub from Jimmy Johns, and went home to go to bed early.  However, my roommate had rented a carpet cleaner for 24 hours and had to return it in the morning, so I had to suffer through that before I could go to sleep! :/

Morning of:
Tri started at 7:30am.  Knew I needed to get there closer to 6am, but 6;15am would be fine.  I decided to try something new on race day.  I've had problems with my hair not staying in my cap (my hair is thin, but reaches to my shoulder blades) and I thought it might be due to oils in my hair/on my face, so I took a shower the morning of.  Well, that put me behind and I ended up leaving my house 6:07am.  Miraculously, I made it there and parked in 20 mins.  I still had to get my cap, bib, bike number, , timing chip, get marked, rack my bike and put my stuff down!

During registration, they asked how good of a swimmer you are.  I must have been feeling particularly good about myself because I put "I swim like a fish" (yes, that was the fastest option).  So out of about 500 swimmers, I got #18.  18!!!  This meant I was with very speedy people!  The bikes on my rack were tri bikes with zip wheels!  And here I was with my red road bike :) haha!  When I got to my rack, it was FULL!  So I tried to find a place to squeeze in and as I was asking a few guys to scoot theirs one way or another, I counted and there were too many bikes on the rack.  One guy volunteered to see who was not supposed to be there and make him move.  Soon enough, the offender left to go to his proper rack and I got a spot!

Swim:
The swim is point to point, ending at the transition area.  So we have to walk a mile to the start line.  I wasn't thinking, but I did walk the whole thing barefoot, which didn't feel great on my hip.  I got down to the start line about 7:25 and went to put my hair into a braid and into the cap.  I put the cap on and IT DID NOT FIT MY HEAD.  Like I could have the back of my head covered with the front uncovered or have the cap on my forehead, but the back of my head was sticking out.  By this time, they were already starting (they started one by one).  I had jumped in line, but I kept moving back because I literally could not believe I could not fit this cap on my head!  No one else was having problems, but I just decided that was the way it was going to be, so I knew I would probably end up losing my cap somewhere along the way.

I jumped in and started swimming.  My legs felt a little stiff, but I told myself to keep pressing on and to use my arms as much as possible because they wouldn't be too much use in biking or running.  About 500m in, my cap was ONLY on the crown of my head.  I took it off my head while still swimming and shoved in my tri shirt.  I was being passed and passing a few people, but I just kept on.  Soon enough, I realized that my hair was coming out of the (loose) braid I had put it in.  Uh, yeah, that happened.  At about 1000m in, I had no cap and no hair tie.  Just goggles on my head.  Un-freaking-believable!!!  I decided to swim the best race I could, hair be damned, and kept on.  I was pretty embarrassed because there were spectators on both sides of the canal we were swimming in, most waiting for the sprint tri start.  I felt like they were all staring at me, but what could I do at that point?

I got to the stairs and made my way out and was walking to transition while I tried to rip my goggles out of the tangled mess that I called my hair.  I then realized two things.  1. Your swim time doesn't end until you cross the timing mats, and I had been walking :( and 2. There was a photographer taking pictures as people got out of the water.  Great! (sarcasm!)

Swim time:  30:09.7 (12 seconds slower)
Can't believe there was such a small difference with such a crazy swim.  Oh well, the race can only go up from here!

T1: 2:42.5 (6 seconds faster)

Bike:
I got to the rack and there were about half the bikes still left.  So I felt good that not everyone had passed me at that point!  I grabbed a few chews, but on my bike shoes, helmet, gloves and took my bike to exit transition.  Unlike 2 years ago, I DID NOT drop my chain out of transition, so things were already looking up.  I passed a few ladies in the first half mile and kept my pace to something that was challenging, but didn't hurt too much.  I'm faster at swimming than the other two sports, so I get passed the whole time.  And I'm okay with it.  If you're passing me, you're either a slower swimmer than I am, or you're doing a shorter race than I am (these were my justifications!).  The course is pretty flat and fast, but there's a few slight downhills where anyone would love to pick up speed, but the condition of the road is so bad, that you pretty much have to brake the whole time and ride single file in order to avoid a flat.  I got to the turn off of loop 1/sprint finish in 45 minutes.  The connection from the sprint turn off back to the start took 6 minutes, so I was about 51 minutes in starting the second loop.  I knew I probably wouldn't make it back to my "A" goal of 1:30 for biking.  The second loop had my groin muscle on my left side aching toward the end - so weird!  That never happened during any of my training!  But I just reminded myself that I put the work in and could accomplish more than I thought, so I kept pressing on.  That bike finish was such a sweet sight!  I still felt silly with my hair hanging all raggedy down my back,but I had a hat to wear for the run!

Bike time: 1:35:56.5 - 15.5 mph (7 mins 9 seconds faster)
I was VERY happy with my bike time.  I had wanted to be over 15mph and to surpass my time from 2 years ago.  This is probably the sport I trained the most/hardest for, so it felt good to take off over 7 minutes from my previous time.

To be continued...

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