First, the studs: Nick took 3rd in his age group at 2:13, 9th place men's overall. I knew he had gotten a lot stronger than last year, and he beat last years time by 6 minutes. Great job Nick! And coach Katie ended up 8th in the women's overall with a 2:24 time. Awesome job Katie. I got to speak with Katie several times which was great, but I didn't get to shake hands with Nick which was really dissapointing. I was looking for him.
Saturday Night: There is actually a festival of flowers going on in Greenwood. After packet pickup we went into downtown for some dinner, and found a car show. and took pictures. we don't care about cars, much less enough to take pictures.
There were also huge statues of floral designs.
Kelley with a flower swan
I'm hanging out with a giant flower elephant.
We made it back to Leigh's house for a nice relaxing evening to be rested and ready to go early sunday morning.
Yea right, my nerves didn't let me sleep much at all Saturday night.
5:30 came early saturday morning, but I was already awake. At my last tri I felt underfueled coming out of the swim, so I had more breakfast than normal this time. It worked, I was not underfueled. We got out to the state park, racked the bike, got bodymarked, and got my chip strapped on. Quick stop at the mens room and I got the bag unpacked while talking to my old friend Ashlee. I knew she was running the race with her husband, but you never know if you will be able to find someone you're looking for. And I didn't leave myself enough time to get TA setup at all.
The day started out cool and foggy. The damn swim buoys were so far out there you can't even see them from shore. That's when I knew I was in trouble.
Unpacking the car before heading down to TA for setup.
You people are a bad influence. Kelley said that after I posted pics of my last race that she felt an obligation to the fans of her photography to take lots of pictures of the male hardbodies at the race. Whoever was bib #28 was by far her favorite. I'm sure there's a few pics of him in here. Man candy, eye candy, call it whatever you want. I just know Glaven is going to enjoy it.
This guy just had a cool tri suit on. He looks ripped, huh?
More eye candy. I love how every other girl in this pic is also checking out this guy. too funny!
Still more eye candy. Oh wait, that's me headed down to the starting line. Notice how the other girl in this pic is not checking me out. I broke the cardinal rule here and raced in a new swimsuit that I just bought friday night. Now I'm counting on you, the unbiased public to tell me if it's a bad idea for me to ever wear this suit around other people again. I'd hate to show up for the next race in something less than flattering. Is it too short?
This race was the first time I had a deep water start, and it was certainly different from anything else I had seen. We got corralled into the water.
1500 meter Swim: goal 35 minutes, actual 42:28 fail
I really felt like I blew it on the swim. It was TOUGH!!!1! Not only was this the longest swim I ever attempted, it was not wetsuit legal. I didn't bring a wetsuit anyway, but I have to think that I would have made a better time with a wetsuit. I didn't really get as aerobically fatigued as I expected, but there was definitely a lack of muscular endurance in my arms and shoulders. You went out 600 meters to a buoy, then turned left. Then it was 500 meters in the middle of the lake to another buoy, then turn left again. That 500 meter part was where I really started to lose it. I vomited twice, both small. I didn't lose my entire breakfast. I rolled into a backstroke a few times, breaststroked a lot, just to let my lungs catch up and freestyle muscles recover a little. I got way off course, and had trouble sighting the next buoy a lot in the segment. One time, I looked up to sight and saw people swimming towards me, not with me. Oops, got a little turned around. Nothing like swimming in the wrong direction.
Getting into the water. That's me on the steps with my arm raised.
Here I'm the one with a fist in the air next to the steps. A deep water start, I walked off the end of the steps into water over my head. Kind of took me by surprise. Still, a fist pump gets me pumped up and ready to swim.
My wave getting ready to start
Finally I made it to the last turn in the swim, and it was only 400 meters back to the shore. I know it's a lake and there are no currents. But the water was choppier here, and I did a lot of swimming without getting any closer to the shore. I had gotten into a nice pattern of 6 breaths (3 to the right and 3 to the left) then breaststroking to sight and recover, then back into freestyle stroke. I swear I went through 4 cycles like that without getting any closer to shore. Finally I made it to 200 meters, then 100 meters left. That's when I started to cry. My goggles might have been too tight or not a good fit, but they were really hurting my face. I was soooooo ready to take them off and I could not get to shore!! My arms were ready to fall off. My hands hurt very badly. I didn't expect my face and hands to hurt like that. And crying into swim goggles really fogged them up, so I couldn't see very well either.
More eye candy coming out of the swim.
Coach Katie coming out of the water. She started 8 minutes after I did and finished way before. but that's why she's the coach. Did I mention she also ran the Ironman world championships in Kona Hawaii once? she's awesome.
Almost a mile is a fucking long way to swim.
Placed 213 out of 231 men. At least I still beat some other guys.
Being an open water swim, there were plenty of times when I would get passed on both sides by folks swimming into each other. That means they crashed into me at the same time. Like swimming into the middle of a V. The highlight of the swim was a really hot chick swimming into my ass. I was freestyle, and got a big smack on the ass, and I turned to get out of the way and it turned out to be a smokin hot chick. I think you know what she was really going for.
Swimming in my last tri, I came out of the water completely disoriented and dizzy. I was so glad I didn't have any of those problems this time. I had the goggles and swim cap off going into T1. on went the bike shorts, race shirt, socks and bike shoes. I took a gel and some water, caught my breath a little bit and it was off on the bike.
Transition times really should not be more than one minute. I need to practice this more before my next race.
24 mile Bike: Goal 1:20, Actual 1:26:31 I'll take it
The bike course surprised me a little bit. There were four long ascents that were steep enough to make me go back to the small chainring. I thought it was going to be flat enough to leave Jenny in the big chainring for the whole ride. What I got was a 16.64 mph speed. I feel like I managed the distance much better in this race than I ever have in the past. My gearing was smooth, I maintained a consistent cadence. I passed a few people, and got passed a bunch of times. Finally I got passed by this one girl keeping a steady speed, and tried to make my speed match hers. It worked really well.
Most of the course was small rolling hills. There were a lot of long slow inclines, no really fast descents and the four mini-climbs. But this time I was able to recognize sprint zones, gear up before the zone, then come into more of a standing position to really push the speed through the zone. 10 - 15 seconds later I was able to sit down and maintain that new speed until the next uphill. That was really cool. I've never really considered course management something to study in biking like it is in golf, but I can really see the importance of it now. And (like in golf) the ability to anticipate actions and prepare before they are needed is something that comes with experience.
I know I pushed myself on the bike course to turn in a fast time. I know my effort was well managed and calculated. I had a gel taped to the bike (which I took around mile 22), and went through both bottles of Heed like I had planned. The sun was out, and it was getting hotter. My hydration strategy was great. I am very pleased with my effort on the bike.
226th place out of 231 men
Apparently, all of the attractive men finished biking before me.
Damn it, more man eye candy. You people have created a monster here.
Wrapping up the bike, headed into T2
Total transition time: Goal 10 minutes, actual 7:45 Success!
Coming off the bike, I stripped off the bike shoes and bike shorts, threw on the running shoes and grabbed some water. Strapped on the Camelbak and took off on the run.
Again, transition times should be less than a minute each. If my 7:45 would have been 4:45 I would have beaten out 2 other guys. But when you have to tie your running shoes intead of using Yanx or something like that, it just takes a little while longer.
Man candy anyone? this guy was done before I started running. I can see why.
At least these guys were still running. Geez!
10k run: Goal under 1 hour, Actual 1:06:10 Good enough
Plenty of people were already done with the race before I ever started running. The finish of the bike course ran alongside the majority of the run course, maybe the first/last 2.5 miles. So when I saw runners while I was on the bike, I was very happy.
I set goals for these races, not expectations. While I was out running, I could see ahead and plan a strategy for speeding up and to be able to take the next hill. I know my pacing and speeds and what kind of stride length and cadence will get me the speed I need. So I can tell myself along the run course if I make this pacing I will break an hour. If I can keep this stride length, I will break an hour. If my goal was 1:10 and I came in at 1:06 it would be a clear goal met. But I wouldn't have pushed myself as hard as I did. When I had to walk in here, I knew that's not how I'm going to break an hour and I could pick up the pace. So mentally setting these high goals keeps me going.
Again I came out of TA and was running uphill. It's tough to let your legs stride out off of the bike when you're running uphill. So I walked some until I could really get my form into a rhythm. but that's not how you break an hour. I kept a nice short stride and quick feet, and had a good speed. It was really hot out there now, and I was sweating like crazy. About half of the run course was in full sun with some small rolling hills. I had to walk most of the uphills, but paced out most of that time during the downhills and flats.
Most of the time when I was walking for the first part of the run course, it was because of my abs. You never know exactly how much you use your core strength on the bike until it smacks you on the run. I knew I had been slacking off of my tri power workouts a little lately, and boy I felt it there. More core work to come!
This was near the end of the run. there was a good photo placement right before the last push to the finish line.
The run ends inside of the state park, right next to the swim start area. It takes a turn and finishes with a huge uphill that is more steep than anything else seen on the bike or run courses. that was tough, but I was so glad to see that hill come into view. There was the finish line and my first oly is in the books.
Proudly hitting that finish line!
Run placed 213 out of 231 men
I actually sweat the numbers off from above my knees. They body mark with a permanaent marker, and that's all that was left. that pic makes my knees look horrible, though.
Kelley helped me pack up the transition area. This might be the closest she ever gets to running a triathlon. That's her choice, I always encorage her to tri with me.
My nipples took a beating on the run course. I didn't want to take the transition time to put band-aids on. I've got to find a tri suit to race in, those are either one piece or have a skin tight singlet to prevent chafing.
Yep, that's what happy looks like.