Sunday, August 19, 2012

Celle Triathlon Race Report (3rd tri)

I would not call it fun but it was not too bad. I do not train to race and therefore I am just not sharp enough to race right now and that makes for a slightly pathetic results and miserable experience.

Swim: 600m. That was pretty uneventful. Everyone was wearing wetsuits and so did I because I knew I need all help I could get. Although it not help me that much because I did it in around 9:30 and (spoil alert!!!) an eventual female winner gave me around 90sec here.

T1: Running like a headless chicken looking for my bike. I mean, I knew where it was but apparently I have not used it for so long that I forgot what it looks like so I overlooked it eventhough I ran right to it, did not see it, ran to another rack, ran back... I eventually found it, put socks on, put my bike shoes on and run to mount line. There are no transitions time so I cannot show you just how pathetic it was.

Bike: 27km. I did not wipe up doing flying mount but it was not perfect. But the ride was great!!! It is surprising considering my lack of bike training. I do not want to brag but I went by people as if they were standing still. But I worked hard, really hard. Except for the part when I caught up to a tractor right in a bend on a road and had to break and wait until we were at on a straight road again so I could see and pass. Of course I passed it as if it was standing still:) I drank exactly 5 sips on a bike. 2 around km 15 and 3 around km 23. Not that I was not thirsty, it was almost 100F, I just cannot drink and breath hard at the same time. I took a sip, than held the bottle until I caught my breath again, took another sip. Drinking is stupid, makes me go slower. And of course I did not even bother opening up a gel I was carrying with me. I caught (spoiler alert!!!) an eventual female winner with around 1k to go, blasted by her but then I had to came to almost a stop at an intersection because two people decided to cross the street exactly as I was coming (both me and the person directing traffic who clearly told them to stop and let me pass yelled at them) so she caught me and we dismounted together. I did it in around 43min.

T2: We dismounted and she was away as if I was standing still this time. She dropped me as a bad habit as we were running to our racks. I know that part of it is that I was running in my biking shoes and she was barefoot but another part is that I just have not trained bike-to-run transition. And then, I repeated my headless chicken run looking for my rack. I was wearing contacts so I saw where I was going, so all this is because I am such an idiot. And then my timing chip that we were carrying on wrists and had to place close to a machine to get our splits did not give a peep, so I stopped, ran back, one of the organizers told me to forget it so I stopped again, turned and finally got out of transition. By the time I got out of there, I did not even see that other girl.

Run: 7k. I have only one word to describe this: misery. I started running and felt like going backwards. It felt like jogging, which I was indeed doing. For the first 5min I was thinking how much this sucks and there is no way I am doing Hannover Triathlon in two weeks because it is a 10k run. But I decided to try to shut the brain off because I would become only more and more negative and just plugged along. I was wearing a watch (to be able to check how much longer I need to continue with this torture) and I told myself that it will take me around 30min. I looked at my watch and thought, shit I still have 29min 50sec to run. Then I looked again and thought shit shit, I still have 29min 40sec to run. Then I looked again, shit shit shit still 29min 30min to run. And it went like this for the next 30min. Legs did not feel great, although they woke up a little bit after around 20min. I did not run fast but it still did not feel comfortable. I did the run right around 30min (29:55, or 30:05, somewhere around there and so did (spoil alert!!!!) an eventual winner), so truly pathetic. 

At the end, phew, I hardly made the race under 1:30. 1:29.30 something. The splits mentioned above do not add up close to1:30 because transitions were very long. Not only my headless chicken runs caused me a lot of precious seconds, it took me over 2min to run from swim end to transition and then add a few minutes for T/bike/T/run transitions and it adds nicely. 

So I did not win (but does not matter, awards were the same for all three top women:). 
I was second and the first female gave me around 40sec, basically all of those 40sec happened between a bike dismount and my run start. Maybe it should bother me but it does not. I know I need to practice transitions and get triathlon shoes to wear on pedals and stop wearing socks. It is all a work in progress.

She gave me 90sec in a 600m swim but that does not bother me neither! Work in progress. 

And a run. Ok, this one bothers me, but just slightly. I know I could have run faster but I just could not push it harder. I have not trained to be pushed out of my comfort zone and I do not know how to do it just like that, out of nowhere like some people can do it (who I admire a lot). I need to train myself to do it. I also think that 7k is too long and I am not ready for it. I do not think that I train for 7k or 10k. It feels to me that I train for max 5k. I am not saying here that my training is bad, what I mean is that I cannot train for anything longer than a 5k because of my ITB. I cannot do longer intervals and higher mileage that I think I need if I want to feel comfortable over anything longer than a 5k. I do not think that this is only psychological and it has anything to do with my being a former middle distance runner. I honestly think that the problem is the lack of adequate training. Could I run faster had I not killed me on a bike? Probably, but not by much.
Ok, maybe it should bother me that my swim is pathetic and I am a major wimp on a run, but it does not. Because neither this race, not the next one, or not even the one afterwards are my focus. I have a long-term goals and I am concentrating on those. I need to improve my swim, therefore I put my biking on hold. And since I have not been able to do a consistent running training in the last 3 years I am concentrating on building my running fitness but being very conservative this time. I am ok with the fact that it will take time before I get to a running level that can be called “decent”. Everything is work in progress. 

It seems that a pasta manuf company and beer manuf company (duh, we are in Germany) were the main sponsors because I won a lot of pasta and pasta sauce (and I mean a lot) and beer (I gave that to my friend).

I have learnt a few lessons today, there is a couple things that I need to change (need to practice transitions, buy tri shoes, go sock-less, drop a few pounds and of course continue training training training but that goes without saying). So all is good.
The only problem is that now I am really not sure whether I should do Hannover tri on Sept 2. I can deal with a 1500m swim, survive a 40k bike but I am super scared for a 10k run. It will be a long painful deathmarch. But maybe I forget all about today in a few days and will sign up.

Other random facts:
Around 550 participants. 150 women, 400 men.

I was the only one not decent enough to wear a swimsuit and not tri suit. And it was a two piece suit.

Was carrying a gel in my cleveage (if you can call it like that) on a bike.

The announcer announced me as a woman in swimsuit with a right leg all taped up (because he could not see my number so could not look up my name). 

I have not seen a single bike that was not a tri bike or a road bike. Not many mountain or cruiser bikes as I saw in the US. These Germans are for real.

I ate one banana and a whole chocolate (although only a small 100g one) for breakfast.

I missed awards ceremony so they gave me my pasta and beer afterwards.

I was wearing a brand new running shoes (because 7k is so short that nothing bad can happen even when you try something new in a race). Nike somethingGlide something. They are racers and I like them.

I do not understand how I could have been so stupid and signed up for a half-ironman for next year. 

Today is IM Mt Tremblant that I have been signed up for.


  1. okay so I don't know much about this triathlon stuff and i certanly don't want to pretend to be a triathlon coach but... it seems to me that if you want to keep doing it which clearly you do... we are going to have to schedule some brick work-outs. perhaps we should schedule some of your easy runs as part of brick work-outs? i don't want to increase your mileage (see previous discussions) but we can probably get more triathlon benefit out of the mileage you are doing.
    Anyway good job at busting off the rust.

  2. Mt Tremblant is turning out to be an awesome race! I am watching it online now. :) Good conditions and beautiful course... can't ask for much more than that. And PPC is right- you need to do brick sessions. Running well off the bike has more to do with bike fitness than run fitness, so while you can fake it on the bike and end up with a good split, if that was a costly effort, it'll show up on the run. The more fit you are on the bike, the closer you can run to your potential.

    Short races are almost always won and lost in transition. There is no room for error in short races! That said, nicely done this morning!