Sunday, June 8, 2008

NEOsprint triathlon - Clay's Park

Alright, I did it! And I think I did it in 1:38 or 1:39, but times aren't up yet. And unfortunately you only get your overall time :( So I won't know my splits, which really stinks, I wish I had thought about that and kept track.

Yesterday Beth was kind enough to let me come out to her parents house and swim in Aurora Lake so I could try out my wetsuit and swim in the open water, both for the first time!!! I must say that the wetsuit is great and it is neat how much cleaner you slice through the water, but swimming in the open water was tough for me and it made me really nervous for Sunday's race. So, pretty much all Saturday night I was second guessing myself and dreading that I decided to give Tris a Try this year.

Gary and I got up at 5 am today, so I could get to Clay's Park in plenty of time, mapquest said it should take 1 hour and a few mins. So, we left the house at 5:30 and got to Clay's Park at about 6:45 since there was one potty stop. I had plenty of time to get checked in (which consisted of grabbing your own bag) and get my transition set up. I had no clue what to do in transition. I think at most tris they have numbers up for where to put your bike, but this was a free for all. I thought I had done something wrong b/c one girl in my row kept giving me the stink eye. But I figured since there was a hybrid next to me, surely I was okay in my spot. I hit the bathroom a few times, chatting with Beth, Adam and Brandon and stood staring at the water for awhile. I was scared, but I was glad to know the lake was pretty shallow.

The swim was in a shallow man made lake. The water was pleasantly warm, but

not too warm and clear, although it had a blue dye in it. You basically had to swim across the lake to the opposite shore, turn at a buoy, go down to the next buoy and then head into shore. There were 2 men's waves before us and then all the women. I'd say there were about 80 women total. I didn't know where I wanted to place myself, but I decided to get on the far outside. If you look at the pic, go all the way to the right, I'm the person at the front in the sleeveless wetsuit. Waiting as the guy counted down was the worst, I could just feel my heart beating out of my chest. They blew the horn and off I went. I managed to swim freestyle for maybe about 30 strokes, then I came up to sight and realized I was off quite a bit and did some breast stroke and side stroke back towards the buoy. At this point I started to freak out a bit. Every time I put my face in the water I would choke. But it was fine, I didn't necessarily feel too tired or like I was going to drown, just like I couldn't breathe. So, I just did breast stroke for awhile until I got to the other side of the lake, then I managed to swim freestyle the bottom of the rectangle, but also stopped and put my feet down a few times to get my bearings. On the way back I was better and was able to swim free most of the way, but was just way off course. I have no sense of direction when my face is in the water. I am a fine swimmer, speed and stroke wise, but would have been over back on the other shore if I hadn't brought my face out of the water every few strokes. Maybe I'll do better at an out and back swim where I have the shore on one side to look at. Coming out of the water was fine, I was able to get out of my wetsuit just fine and had it down to my waist by the time I got back to the transition area, which was about 200 feet away. I just walked it and used the time to get my breathing in check. I don't know how long the swim took me, either 12 mins or 17 mins. Gary told me 17, but the guy next to him was telling the girl beside me it took her 12 and she was right behind me. Gary just knew it was 8:27 and we were supposed to start at 8:10, but I don't know if we started on time or not. I'm going to go with 12 mins :)
Transtion 1

I had laid every thing out before hand and didn't have any issues getting my stuff together. Only bad thing is I forgot my Garmin and I was pretty pissed about that. I really would have like to have known my speed on the bike. You had to walk/run your bike out of transition which was on grass to the concrete path.

The Bike

You start off in the camp grounds and there is a lot of gravel, which is a bit unnerving. But after that you get out onto some country roads. The bike was 13 miles. There were some rolling hills to start with and one really large hill at mile 3 you got to go down, but oh man you knew you had to come back up it. I did really well on the descents, I didn't feather my brakes and tried to go with it. When we got to flat areas, I really hammered. I wish I knew how fast I was going. I honestly passed a lot of people and only remember getting passed once by a guy. Then there were 2 women I played leapfrog with the whole time. When the bike started,I felt really bad. My legs hurt horribly. I have never really felt like this before, it was physical pain in my inner thighs/quads. I think it was lactic acid buildup? I just tried to ride in a semi low gear and shake them out. By the time we got to the turnaround I was feeling better. The ride back was a gentle descent and I really picked up speed and passed some more folks. Then we got to the 3 hills and those were tough, but after Lake Placid it was nothing. I think the bike took me about 45 mins, not quite sure. I ate one pack of luna moons and drank one water bottle. I was sweating like a maniac though, it was so hot and there was no shade on the bike course. I wish I had brought 2 water bottles. I also know that I really need to work on taking turns, I basically stop and make the turn and I lose a lot of time that way.

Transition 2

I was kind of out of it so I took the time to drink and eat a gu. I don't think I took much time in the transitions, but I did walk out of T2 as I ate my gu and I lost a little time there. I also had no issues getting my bike racked back up or remembering my garmin! But then the F-er wouldn't find a signal, so I didn't have it for most of the run either. So, next time I will be sure to mount it on my bike handlebars and turn it on as soon as I get to T1.

The Run

Woe is me. I was ready to be done. It was well into the 80s and I was tired. But I managed to start off at like an 8:30 pace, which was not on purpose, just what my legs were doing. But I was walking soon enough. I'd say I walked about 4 times and between the walk I maintained between at 9:30 -10 min mile. Which was fine. The run took me right around 30 mins. It went through a camp ground and a lot of folks were out on their RV porches checking us out, thinking we were crazy. Parts were shaded and there was one water stop. You just ran 1.5 miles out and back. I wish I had had a little more juice in me so I didn't have to walk. It is what it is.

What did I learn? I have a shit ton of work to do with open water swimming. The swim may be the shortest, but if you are scared and blow up in the water, it ruins the rest of your race. I need to learn to make corners faster on the bike and I need to do alot more bricks to ensure I don't need to walk in the last leg. If you ask me today if I think I will be able to do GTC HIM, I would say no. I think I over estimated my abilities and underestimated the distance. But I won't make that decision until I get through my first Olympic race in July. Maybe if I swim OW weekly, I will feel different come august. But I think I can always drop back to the Olympic if I need to in Aug. A big thanks to Beth, she has just been so supportive and she had an AWESOME race today. Her and Adam and Brandon and Alyson all rocked the course. I can only hope someday to be 5-10 mins behind them, instead of 30! And of course hubby gets a big smooch for getting up so early and being there to support me and take pics.


tracie said...

great job!!!!

i'm sure you will be ready for the HIM! determination is part of it too and i KNOW you've got that.

i'm planning OWS weekly, maybe we can get some time in together!

Tri to Be Funny said...

Awesome work! It sounds like you learned a ton of valuable lessons today (turn Garmin on BEFORE the race!!) and know where to make some corrections and improvements as the season progresses!

THanks to Gary for taking some great pics!!

cdnhollywood said...

Great stuff - congrats!

Those first ones are always great learning experiences. I found that each time I approached a new distance I learned a whole pile of new things that I needed to work on.

Just keep working the plan, and stay focused. After that, believe in yourself and aim your sites at that finish line.

And regarding your "hesitation" on the HIM distance, you're not alone in that. I'm on week 16 and I'm still thinking that!

Keep working that plan!

Trishie said...

Great race, Monica!! Sounds like you kicked some ass on the bike, too :)

allanjel said...

You were AWESOME today!

Adam says you are at a great starting point and with a little training you CAN accomplish anything, including the HIM!

GP said...

YEAH! I'm so proud of you! You ran an incredible race, and you got the big unknown out of the way. Whether you liked it or not, your swim sounds like it was actually pretty good (12 or 17:00) and you're well on your way toward whatever distance you choose in August. YEAH MONICA!

triguyjt said...

hey monica..I am soo Proud of you!!!!
congratulations on attacking your fears...getting through the swim in good fashion...
you did real well on the bike and you found your stride on the run...

Great debut in the insanity of triathlons...
isn't it just fantastic feeling to accomplish this and then set goals on whats next....

Way to go!!!

Dan Seifring said...

Great job Monica, I am very proud of you.

An idea for the Garmin (a friend does this). His wife holds it and starts it when his swim wave goes off. She then hands it to him when he is running to transition out of the water. I just gave Gary a new job. But then you know your time for the whole race.

Just Josh Funk said...

Well it all comes down to this! Congratulations on a job well done.

jessica said...

great report, great pics, and great work!

I'd bet you'll be OK for the HIM, especially if you think about how much progress you've already made, and how much you'll continue to make before August.

Keep it up!

ramblings of a runnner said...

nice job! I was thinking about you on Sunday. You should be so proud of yourself! and yes you will be able to do the HIM - you've got some more training to do - but you got a big hurdle out of the way by going out there and doing that first one! congratulations!

E-Speed said...

congrats! Looks like I missed out on a fun race!

CJ said...

Great job!

The open water swimming will get easier with practice.

I had fun running with you guys on Saturday and would love to do it again sometime!

Charlie said...

Just keep doing what your doing. It will all come together come Mentor.
Any distance is tough in triathlon. The races you do leading up to GCT will teach you what you can and can't get away with.

Lauren said...

Hey! i'm lauren k. i finished directly behind you at 1:41:00
crazy! can't believe i found your blog. nice job. i definitely remember leapfrogging with you in the bike portion. are you registered for any upcoming races?

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distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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