Saturday, May 28, 2011

Island Lake triathlon RR (1st tri ever!)

It went pretty well. Not as well as planned but well enough to be somehow satisfied. It just shows me that I still have a lot of work to do!

Final time: 2:27.28 (2 OA female out of 35, 23rd OA/135)
Swim: 00:29.44 (11th female, grrrr. First girl swam 22something. I passed her on a run though:))
T1: 2:25 (69th OA, grrrr. My fault, I am an idiot.)
Bike: 1:11:48 (fastest female bike split of the day!!! Sweet! And I used to be a fast runner....29th OA)
T2: 0:48 (well, fastest female split but that's because I did not have to change shoes:)
Run: 00:42.45 (2nd female, 15 OA)

1st female went 2:18.54. She gave me 6min on a swim! 2min on a run and I gave her around 15sec on a bike:) She is 33, has 2 kids and works as a triathlon coach but I do not know whether it is her full-time job. We talked, that's why I know all this:)

I won bottle of California wine and gift certificate for $100 NB running shoes.
Actually, I did not win those running shoes but 1st female husband owns the NB running stores in Michigan that have provided shoes to OA winners so obviously she did not take them and she gave certificate to me:) (I guess I will go return those that I bought yesterday:) I have already gone to the store and got them. They are nice. $115, so I paid $15.) As we talked I told her that I am planning on doing this race in summer as well, they have "series" and she said that was training for HIM so she would not do the summer race but that I should definitely come and that it is very likely that I will win another pair:)

I have mixed feeling about the race. I am very satisfied with bike and with run but swim....NOT AT ALL. And I am happy with sneakers obviously:)

Morning went ok, it took me around 7min to put contacts in, I realized that I do not have any food at home so I ate 1 banana with peanut butter and off I went. It was raining on my way there and I was not thrilled about it.

I got there, got my bib, chip and set up transition, put my wetsuit on and then it was 15min till my wave start. They let all Olympic distance women start at the same time and we were the last wave.

Swim: It was weird. I warmed up a bit but obviously it was not enough because when we started I immediately found myself at the back of the pack. WTH?
I thought I was going fast enough but apparently I was not. I am too dependent on knowing my pace because I settle easily and I did not know how to spread my energy for 1500m. I think that I need practice that. And I also need to become a faster swimmer, much faster!
I was zigzagging like crazy. Lifeguards were like "Miss, course is that way" because at times I was way out of course. My right arm is stronger so I always went to the left and when I tried to concentrate on it I worked too hard with left arm (or as a matter of fact I wasn't working hard enough with my right arm) and then went way too right.
Water was 64degrees, I was not cold at all.

T1: I screwed up big time.
At first I had a small problem to get my wetsuit off through my wrists. Weird because I used bodyglide.
And then...There were two exits (excluding swim in) from transition and only one of them was bike out and it had sign and timing mat. But I did not see that one, it was completely on the other side from my transition space and I kinda assumed that the other exit was bike out. So I ran there and well, it was not an exit. So I did not know where to go. I am an idiot, I know. It took me couple second to find the right exit and then I ran there. I lost time there.
Bu those speedlaces worked like magic!

Bike: It was great! I was flying past people, both men and women. We did two loops and theoretically I could see where my opponents were but I did not really because you cannot really recognize a woman from a man when riding past and I did not know whether they were Oly or Sprint because by that time slowest Sprints were mingled with us. So I just went! But everytime I passed a girl I was wondering whether she is in Oly or not.
4 miles before the bike finish I passed a girl on a tri bike, in aerohelmet and disk wheel! She must have been surprised seeing ME on my crapy bike in running shoes flying by her. I knew that I might be in for trouble on a run because I might have been hammering little too much. But I am not gonna lie, it was a nice confidence booster for me:) Man, I wish I had such equipment. I would be a bike beast!
I went fast on bike and sometimes I was panting but not too often, mostly on uphills. I kept it somehow controlled. I loved it.
I was wearing arm warmers because it was chilly out but I was not cold at all. Not once.

T2: Rack bike, helmet on and off. I realized that I forgot my Garmin still inside the T2 area but decided to let it be. Not worth it.

Run: Run was brutal.Although, now after a few hours I think it was ok.
I am happy with it. I missed my goal by 45sec but I still kind of exceeded my expectations:) But I surely could have run faster. You know how I said I was prepared for hurt. Well, I might be prepared for hurting for 5min, but not for 40. But I just powered through it controlled passing people. I have received a lot of encouragements from men I passed!
Course was out and back and twice. I did not know which position I was but I saw a girl (eventual 1st female) as she was going back and she was like 1 mile ahead of me and she was running fast! So lost cause. I also saw other women but did not know whether they were in Oly or not. I kind of thought that maybe 1-2 girls looked like that. The others looked like very slow Sprint.
As I was finishing the 1st loop I saw one girl starting her second loop and I knew I was gaining on her fast because I saw her ahead of me in our first loop. As I was approaching her some guy yelled at me that 2nd place is ahead of me and 1st is way ahead but that I should go get the 2nd. So I did:) I again received a lot of encouragements. It is very nice to see men who cheer on you when you are beating them!
I did not run fast enough to the point of a lot of pain but it was painful just to run. Heck, I have not done any real real runs in 3 months. I think that I would have run little faster if I had my Garmin with me though. I am bad at running at perceived effort, I think that I might have already mentioned that:) Honestly, at points I felt like shuffling forward but apparently I was running pretty fast. At the beginning I wished I could just stop and sit down and I was thinking that this is not fun, it hurts. But then after I passed girl and went to second place I felt much better:)
PPC was right, I might not have running sharpness but all the biking and swimming helped me to somehow keep running fitness.
I did not see any difference between running immediately after I got off the bike and let's say 20 minutes later. It seems that my legs were not beaten up too much from bike.

My ITB did not hurt at all. And it did not hurt at all afterwards. But I can feel it now. We will see how it feels tomorrow.

It was fun though. Although it might be more fun if they scratched swim and run :) Just kidding.
Biking hurts, a lot!
I liked it and I think that I might do this again.



  1. Loved reading this!! Well done! You will get better at OW swimming... have to practice it though. Do you have easy access to a lake this summer? If so we can work on that a lot more. The more you do it the better you get at it (like anything). You are NOT a bad swimmer based on your times in the pool... just have to work on the translation to OW. And knowing where you're going in transition. That is a rookie mistake that you will not make again. ;)

    I bet that was indeed satisfying to pass the gal with the aero helmet and disc wheel... LOVE IT. She was definitely thinking WTF?!? when you went by... guarantee it.

  2. Loved reading too! You should be so proud. Now you are hooked :)

  3. CONGRATS for sure!!!!! FUN FUN FUN and the swim will come along!

  4. Michelle, it was very satisfying, indeed! :)
    I have access to lake but it takes me 50min to bike there. But it is definitely worth it!!!

    Thank you guys!

  5. YES! That is what it is about, girl. So happy for you. And I agree with Michelle that swimming requires technique practice, but more than that - to get good at open water you need to train regularly in open water. The best female triathlete I know personally is normally a fast swimmer, but then I was in a tri with her where she swam in open water - for the first time- and she nearly drowned! Okay, not quite that bad, but wow - just goes to show, you can be fast and strong, but you also need to be at least a little used to the environment.

  6. wow. I know you don't care about place much but really, 2nd in your first triathlon? wow. also i knew you were training hard on the bike but holy crap, that is flying. and of course, that run was really solid given the givens. i am really excited for you to be back to running already, this reaffirms how much potential you have if we can keep you uninjured for a year!! anyway well done. sounds like an excellent day. p.s. you have to promise me to try one duathlon at some point, you'd wipe up the floor with everyone.

  7. Thank SLG! Yeah, I will work on my open water swimming skills.

    PPC, yeah, if only we can keep me uninjured for at least a year and preferably beyond. ITB bothered me last night but not today. I will give it 1-2 days off and then start with some easy running.
    I was told that triathlons are all about placing and time does not matter so it is little exciting. But I would still prefer having the time I originally wanted to but it is ok, I got new sneakers:)
    I think that I would die at duathlon because biking after running is hard. Harder than runnig after biking. But sure, I can try it at some point. For you:)

  8. CONGRATS on your first tri!! AMAZING!

  9. OMG, AMAZING!!!! yay mon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is great!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Thanks Mad! Seems like both of us are ready for a comeback!