(500m Swim / 10M Bike / 3M Run)
August 16, 2014
Age Group: F30-34, 8/17
Swim: 12:40 Pace: Age Group: 9/17 Gender: 52/116 Overall: 251/396
T1: 2:20 Age Group: 9/17 Gender: 63/116 Overall: 262/396
Bike: 38:57 Pace: 15.4 Age Group: 11/17 Gender: 63/116 Overall: 336/396
T2: 2:26 Age Group: 12/17 Gender: 88/116 Overall: 333/396
Run: 24:05 Pace: 8:01 Age Group: 2/17 Gender: 9/116 Overall: 131/396
This race was bittersweet for me. It was my last triathlon for the 2014 season and I PR’ed! Normally I would be ecstatic to knock off 2 minutes on my sprint triathlon time, but I missed my goal time by exactly 30 seconds. I really wanted to finish just under 1:20, even if it was a 1:19:59. But I finished at 1:20:30. And I know exactly where I messed up. My fitness and speed were there. I totally effed up my second transition and when it happened, I knew it.
The evening before a race I usually go for a swim to loosen up and to get warmed up in the pool. This time I opted for hot yoga. My legs and hips have been feeling sore from marathon training and plus I was just missing hot yoga. Since my summer triathlon season had really culminated after my Olympic triathlon two weeks ago, I was kinda out of the triathlon zone. Not really feeling waking up early and getting in cold water. But I had already signed up and I’m not one to sign up for a race and not show. Plus, I needed to set my new PR.
The following morning, I was somewhat in a poopy mood. Tired and cranky. I’m not usually a morning person anyways. So I packed up my gear and ate my breakfast in the car. Once we arrived at the site and I set up my transition, I started to get in the zone and get a little excited. For some reason while setting up my transition, I didn’t really pay attention to where my bike rack was in relation to the transition area. I normally find a landmark so during the race I can easily spot my rack. I totally spaced it this time. I was able to get in a 10 minute warm-up in the water and it was wet-suit legal! Woohoo because the water was feeling extra chilly.
Feeling more confident of my swim, I jumped in line for the time trial start a little bit closer to the beginning than I usually do. I wanted to get it done and not get anxious by all the people in front of me. After swimming the Olympic distance, the sprint distance didn’t intimidate me one bit. When it was my time to go, I was off! I took the first 150m at a steady but strong pace. Just getting into a comfortable rhythm and then at the first buoy I picked it up a little. I only swam breast stroke for a few strokes just to get around the buoys where it bottlenecks. The last 150m seemed to go by super quick. I actually looked at my watch twice during the swim while going around the buoys (something I never do during the swim leg) but I wanted to gage where I was. The swim went by in a flash and when I crossed the timing pads, I had taken off a minute from my previous swim time!
I’m not really sure why I’m so bad at my transitions. I need to take advantage of this free time. I think I struggle with the wetsuit issue. Sometimes I get it off quick and other times not so much. I do take my time getting on the bike since the bike is the scariest part for me.
I really wanted to knock off 4 minutes on the bike and ride an average of 16mph. However the bike course is rather technical with lots of sharp turns and hills. So despite my efforts, I only managed to take off about 30 seconds from my previous time and averaged 15.4mph. It was rather windy during the bike leg because a storm was approaching. So I was riding into the wind for a good portion of the race. But no excuses, I just need to get stronger on the bike.
T2 is where it all went down. This should have been simple. Slide bike into rack, change shoes and go. There was a dude running his bike in rather slowly in front of me. It bottlenecked with a few of us and I couldn’t go around him. By the time I did bypass him, I had ran past my bike rack and kept running almost towards the end of the transition before I realized that I forgot where my transition spot was located. I started to panic and looked at the numbers on the racks, okay I passed it. So I had to turn around and run my bike back to my rack and awkwardly put my bike on the rack backwards. When I was changing my shoes, I knew that I blew it. Those precious 30 seconds of running past my rack and then having to run back cost me my goal time. I just had a feeling. I was cursing at myself in my head. How could I have made such an error?!
When I started the run, I calculated how fast I would have to run to finish in sub 1:20. It would be close. I knew that the course actually runs a little long. The past two times I raced here, my average pace on my watch is always about 8-10 seconds faster than my official pace time. So I would have to run about a 7:40 pace or so based on my watch and 7:50ish for official pace. Yikes. I’ve come close to this once during the Boston 5K in April where I averaged 7:46, but now I would have to run even faster and do this after swimming and biking. Part of me said don’t sweat it and it just enjoy the rest of the race. But the other part of me said, go for it. I’ve ran that pace for mile repeats. I wasn’t about to give up now and plus I could still PR.
The first half mile of this course is always a little hard because my legs are heavy from the bike and it starts going uphill. But after it flattens back out, I usually feel fine. My first mile was around 8:22 pace. Damn, too slow. I kept looking at my watch calculating my overall time with my pace to see if I would make it. I bypassed the water station at the beginning of the run and at mile 1. I didn’t even think about my gel. I didn’t want anything to slow me down. For the second mile I picked it up and ran an 8:00 minute mile. Again knowing it would come down to seconds, I kicked it up another notch and ran around a 7:40 pace. The last mile it started pouring down rain (I love rain runs ps) and with running fast it was exhilarating. Best run ever! the last half mile I was sprinting…this is gonna be close, this is gonna be close. My watch said 1:19. Almost there! My watch hit 1:20 just before I crossed the finish line, but I thought maybe, just maybe if I started my watch a few seconds late when I started the race, I would still make it. I clocked in at 1:20:30….two minute PR, but 30 seconds from goal time…whomp whomp.
Bryan and my sister were really excited for me and told me to not let it bother me. It wasn’t my fitness or lack of ability to make that goal time, it was my messing up T2 because I just wasn’t paying attention. I know I could have finished in sub 1:20, but I didn’t do it. Uggghhhh so frustrating, especially since it was my last tri of the season. A part of me wants to squeeze in another triathlon, but it wouldn’t be the same, it would be a different course since all the sprints are different depending on the location. This was my third time racing this course: June 1:28:28, July 1:22:30, August 1:20:30. I’ve come a long way this summer when comparing these three races. My run is as strong as ever and my swim continues to improve. My bike is improving at a snail’s pace, but I will eventually be up to par with some hard work. The Go Girl Triathlon is this Saturday at Eagle Creek – same course, but I’ll be in Louisville for Bryan’s Ironman, so next year I’ll get my redemption at Eagle Creek. Now it’s time to focus on marathon training. I already know I’m going to miss triathlons until next summer. I’ve come to enjoy my swim sessions and computrainer class. I’ll still get in a bike or swim session once a week during marathon training, but no racing, which is the best part! Next year will be a different story with some big races on the horizon: sprint PR (sub 1:20 – maybe push it to a 1:15 and place in my age group), Olympic PR (sub 3:00), and first Ironman 70.3! And you better believe my transitions will be on point next year.