Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hannover Triathlon RR (#4)

First of all, it is not fun when your race starts at 2:30pm. I did not know what to do in the morning, I woke up at around 8 and was like what now? I did a 5min shake-out run, packed my stuff, ate my two chocolates and a banana with peanut butter, and then again. Now what? I watched TV (two episodes of Monk), pumped my tires, dressed and then thankfully it was time to go (I took metro).

Swim: I finally had a swim I wanted to. My time was low 26min (26:11), which of course means that the course was little short but nevertheless I finally swam strong without dilly-dallying and settling like before. At first I was swimming like whatever but then I remembered that I should keep a good form. I never settled, I was going at a good clip until around 300m before the finish when I started to feel tired and I probably slowed down significantly because a group of swimmers caught me. Although it might be also because I did not see at all where I was going. I was not able to find any feet so I swam alone for the most of the swim. By the time we reached a turn buoy my goggles were totally fogged, I did not see buoys and the first pack also was too far to see. So I swam what I thought was the right direction. And I guess that was also a reason why I slowed down. We all wore wetsuits. And my triceps are sore so yes, I finally swam!

T1: I found my bike, was not hard since my start number was 9 so all the way at the end of racks. I decided to go sockless to save a few seconds. I have never done that before but it worked out ok. Although I hate my biking shoes. It takes forever to put them on and “tie” them. I really need tri shoes. Flying mount was not perfect but better than guy’s next to me...

Bike: I felt like shit and did those 42.5k in 73min 1sec. I have always enjoyed a bike leg the most in tris (well, in those three that I have done so far) but not this time. I immediately felt that something was off. I tried and tried but I had hard time to keep watts above 200. I was being passed like I was standing still! Very soon I was passed by a women on P3 who looked great (I mean her physique, like a real athlete)! I told myself to keep her in sign and was doing pretty good until one guy passed me right when we were going though some intersections and I did not dropped back fast enough and at that moment a course marshal was passing us and I thought that I was going to get a penalty so I got distracted and completely forgot about that woman and I lost her. With every loop I saw that she was making more and more time on me. Two weeks ago I was working hard on bike, my quads were on fire and I was breathing hard. Today I wanted to work hard but I just was not able. I mean I still went pretty fast compared to other women but not as fast I should have been able to. Well, seems that I was able to fake the bike two weeks ago, but not today. That women went 71min. And I did not like the course. It is great for spectators since we did 5 loops but it involved cobble stones, several speed bumps, not so great pavement, sharp turns. Basically it was done for pro Bundesliga competition that was taking place before us, which was sprint distance draft-legal and featured 5 or 6 athletes that were racing in London.

T2: Easy-peasy. Drop off the helmet, put running shoes on and go.

Run: I felt pretty good. I have not checked my watch at all and I was not negative, for the most part. We did 4 out and back loops so I knew where I was and did not have to check my watch to know how far to go. I had no idea in which position I were until I completed the first loop and the announcer asked the crowd to cheer for Mmmonyka XXX (very bad pronounciation of my last name), the second woman chasing KJ (some kind of a badass triathlete in Hannover). The announcer cheered my name, people cheered, it was great! I can understand how crowds can help you go fast! I was running strong and gaining on her, although not fast enough. I would have run around 40min to actually pass her and I knew that was not going to happen. I was more concerned about the 3rd place but I was gaining on her too, so when I hit a low point little after a 5k mark (seriously, I was even contemplating walking, although it was not that tragic, it was just me starting to be slightly negative, and then on the way back I felt again good, so it was probably just that out was a slight uphill while back was slight downhill and I did not realize that until the legs started to fatique) I settled into a pace that would get me to the finish. I was just running strong and keeping a good form, still gaining on everyone but it was not all out. I run 41:47, just like I predicted I would and it was not because I said I would run 42, I did not check my watch at all so I did not know how fast (or rather slow) I was running. So I am just so good at predicting my times.

I am always amazed how fast time goes when you do three disciplines. It does not feel like you have been racing for 2+ hours when it is split like this.
I am ok with the race. I think that even if I ran my current fitness all-out 10k I would not have caught her. I do not think that I can run 41min 10k off the bike right now and she would have probably run faster if she saw that I was approaching faster. Of course, if I had a bike I should have had I would have won, but it is a race and the fastest win. 

Other facts:
The only reason why I could be not happy with the race is because the winner won one of those huge Erdinger Alkoholfrei glasses filled with beer. And I want one of those badly!!! If you do not know what I am talking about google pictures from some big tri races in Germany and you will see winners with those glasses. I want one of those!

After I was done with the race I took one Erdinger Alkoholfrei beer. I do not drink alcohol and the last time I tried beer was when I was maybe 14 and found it disgusting but everyone talks about how this beer is full of minerals etc, basically like a sport drink so I decided to give it a try. It was disgusting. But it is supposed to be good for me so I was forcing it down. And suddenly a guy standing next to me turned to me and offered me a bottle of water. He said that he sees faces I am making trying to drink that beer and that I am clearly not enjoying it so I should just take his water. And I did:) And then he asked me whether he can take a picture of me because I might be a famous triathlete one day and then he will have my picture to show to people. So funny! 

So basically I do not want that big Erdinger Alkoholfrei glass filled with beer because I want to drink it. I would pour the beer into sewage and probably even throw that glass out but I want my picture with that enormous glass! Badly! And it would not count if I did not win it myself. I am tempted to sign up for a low-key running race while I am still here just to try to win one.

I do not want to sounds unthankful, but I won some stuff (flowers, medal, trophy, beer, towel (ok, that towel is actually great. Although now I really look like a walking Erdinger Alkoholfrei advertisement. Well, maybe it is not even a towel. I cannot decide whether it is towel or a bed spread.) and I took metro to get to race and had only one small backpack so it was hard to take that stuff home with me. And of course I am not taking anything with me once I move so everything will go to garbage. But I did not want to be a jerk and throw it out right there so I somehow stuffed everything into my backpack and one plastic bag and dragged everything to metro. There I threw the flowers into garbage because it was just too inconvenient to carry flowers, bike, bag, helmet, beer. I still have that trophy but it going to garbage too:(

One little girl came up to me after the race and asked me whether I was Russian (because of my last name). Then she came back again later and asked me whether I won. I said that I was second from all women and she asked whether it means that I was third including men and woman:) I regret that I did not give her my finisher’s medal, I totally forgot that it was hanging on my neck. I am sure she would be thrilled. This is my only regret from today’s race. So stupid.

Going sockless was ok, but I would not do it for anything longer than a 10k. Some blood on my left foot. Right foot was ok because it was covered with kinesiotape (as was my ITB and part of my calf) which prevented sliding in a shoe.

No problem with ITB. Hope it stays that way!!!

Nutrition update (to be able to come back in a year or so and laught at me):
Breakfast: little bit of pasta with veggies and chicken (left-over from Saturday), 2 100g chocolates and 1 banana with peanut butter
Then until it was time to go: 2 Powerbar gels and 1 bottle of sport drink and maybe one more banana, I do not remember anymore
Pre-race: 1 gel right before swim start
Race: on a bike: 3 sips from my water/sport drink water and 1 gel - I still do not understand how some people can drink/eat when racing short-course, it is imposible without slowing down.


  1. Haha! Congrats! Sounds like you kicked ass as usual. That is so cool about the little girl. And I am so glad your ITB is not giving you problems. If you can go a whole 10k without pain, you should even be able to do a marathon if you want. I can't believe you ran without socks. Wildness.

  2. Thanks!
    And I too think that my ITB can handle a marathon. The only problem is that it cannot handle training for a marathon:) And it would be able to handle only one marathon. And then I would not be able to walk for a few months. So I prefer to stay away from marathons.
    Going sockless was ok, although I would not do it for anything longer.