Tri-ing for Children's

This morning I did my first ever Olympic distance triathlon, and my first tri of the season. Steve also did the race, his first tri ever! We spent the night at my aunt and uncle’s house (who were also racing) because they live about 30 mins closer than us to the race site. 30 mins extra sleep = ok with me. I still got up at 4:25am, after not the greatest night’s sleep. I immediately had two cups of coffee to get me going. I got ready and had my standard toast with pb & banana. Here we are just before leaving. Note my enthusiasm at 5am:

We made it to the race area at Ottawa Lake right around 6am. We got our transitions set up, snapped a photo,

got body marked, made a port-o-potty stop, and headed to the beach. I struggled to get my wetsuit on per usual (I wish a little wetsuit fairy would come and bring me a new one 🙂 ). We waded into the water and found it to be very warm. I took a few warm up strokes and then it was time to wait for the start. Steve was in wave 2 and I was in wave 4. We wished each other luck and he headed out with his wave.

The swim: 1500 meters, 29:57

It’s no secret that swimming is my major weakness. I am not fast, and I normally hate the swim portion of races because of all the people and the jostling and the kicking in the head and the general disregard for others that many people display. I have to say however, that this race was totally different. It was by far the most non-violent tri swim I have ever experienced, and dare I say it was actually enjoyable. Ottawa Lake is very tiny, and our course was a two-loop rectangle that took up basically the whole lake. I got into a rhythm fairly quickly, and the swim went by fast. There was some slight congestion right at the end when the Olympic swimmers met up with the Sprint swimmers, but it wasn’t too bad. I was happy to see I was under 30 mins, and ran up to transition.

T1: 2:09

My biggest problem is usually wetsuit removal, but I am happy to say I got it off this time with only minimal struggling. I decided to go sockless today, so it was bike shoes on, helmet, sunglasses, and off I went.

The Bike: 40K, 1:15:48, 19.6 mph

I started off really hammering on the bike. I didn’t really know how to pace myself for this race because I am used to racing longer distances. I figured hard but not too hard would probably be good. The bike course was two loops, with loop one sharing the course with the sprint race. Throughout the entire first loop I was passing people left and right. Well actually only on the left, but it was a lot of people. The course was fast and flat. There was only one section on the back side of the loop that slowed me down both times. It was kind of a long gradual uphill incline, and the road texture was really gritty. I almost felt like it was grabbing on to my tires. I realized that I need to practice focusing on the bike. There were a couple of times that I found myself just cruising along, looking at the hay bails like I was out for a Sunday drive. Then it would click in my head that I was in fact in the middle of a race and I should probably pick up the pace! Overall I think I could have gone harder on the bike, and I would have liked to average over 20mph, but considering my lack of training on the bike this year, I am pretty happy with my time.

T2: 1:28

Bike shoes off, running shoes on, helmet off, hat on, done.

The Run: 10K, 47:57, 7:43/mile

I didn’t really know what to expect from this run. My running hasn’t been great in general lately, and I haven’t practiced running off the bike since last year. The Olympic course was a double out and back, again the first lap sharing with the sprint. As I started running, my legs felt fine, but I felt like I couldn’t get any real speed going. It was tough because I had no idea what my pace was the entire time. I didn’t wear my Garmin, and I was much too lazy to try and do the math, so I just kept running. At one point, I got confused by where a race official was directing me to go. I turned around and started running the other way, then realized it was wrong and got back on course. I was kind of peeved, but in reality the whole ordeal probably only cost me about 10 seconds or so. I was able to really pick it up the last 1/4 mile, so I know I should have been running faster. I guess I was just having a hard time really pushing myself.

Total time: 2:37:18

After I finished I went to grab  my camera and change shoes. Earlier this week I tried a sockless run in my Kinvaras, and it was great except for a little rubbing on my heels. I had a tiny scab on one heel but figured it would be fine for the race. When I went to take off my shoes, here’s what they looked like (warning, it’s not pretty):

Apparently my heels were a little bloody. I could feel them rubbing a bit during the run, but it really didn’t feel that bad, so this was a surprise.

I headed over to the finish line and waited for Steve to come in. Here is my hubby steps away from the finish line of his first ever tri!

So proud! Overall it was a great day. The weather was perfect and everyone had a good race. Here we are afterwards with a delicious post-race beer from Delafield Brewhaus:

And the whole group:

That’s my aunt and uncle on the left, and our friend James on the right.

Some thoughts:

I need to step it up. Though I really enjoyed this race, I should have been pushing harder. I raced in a new division today, which was much more competitive. USAT rules state that you race your age at the end of the year. This means that even though I am 29, I turn 30 later this year (gasp!) so I race in the 30-34 age group. I’m not sure I really agree with this, but whatever. Today I came in 8/16 in my age group. Had I still been in 25-29, I would have been 3rd. I’m not complaining about this, rather realizing that the competition just went up a notch and I need to plan accordingly. I am ready to train harder and get faster, especially on the bike. I am not entirely sure of my race plans for the rest of the year, but I am excited for whatever comes about!

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