I am very happy to say that this race went ten times better than the Chicago Triathlon. I felt significantly more confident throughout the entire race and I feel much better about where I am at in my training. Without further ado, it’s race report time! (And don’t worry, I’ve already been yelled at by my friend Jessica for waiting until Wednesday to post a race report….sorry! Also, I’m a terrible blogger and forgot to take any pictures at all…whoops?)
The morning was freezing! Feels like 38*….what!?!?! While that might be good for running, that is too cold for me for swimming and biking. Fortunately for us, at least the water was still in the low 70s. My friend and I arrived at the race early to set up in transition. Much less stressful this time. We were in and out in five minutes and ready to rock! I had a lot more in transition compared to the last race due to the temperatures. I wanted to make sure that I had enough clothing to stay warm on the bike. We still had about an hour until the start of the race, so we went to watch the start of the olympic distance. Fella was supposed to meet me before the start with some additional food, but he was running late. This ended up being completely my fault since I accidentally hid the car keys from him and he had to tear the hotel room apart to find them. Whoops? Before I knew it, it was time to chow on my chomps and put my wet suit on. Game face on!
It was freezing, but at least it was pretty! Also, this is my only picture from the day. Blogger fail.
Swim – 0.5 mi in 17:26 (1:59/100 yd)
Redemption! The swim was very different than Chicago: beach entrance, warmer water, fewer waves, and a wet suit to boot. The best thing about the beach entrance was that we were able to get into the water before the start for a warm up. This made a HUGE difference. I was able to get into a solid freestyle groove during warm up which really helped build my confidence. During the actual swim, I did switch to backstroke a couple of times to catch my breath. What I didn’t expect is that the wet suit constricts your chest in a way that doesn’t work with short breaths. By the end of the swim though I was able to get into a good rhythm with lengthening and slowing my stroke. This let me take deep breaths and kept me from hyperventilating. One of the biggest surprises was that the course was about double the length that it was supposed to be. They put the markers out two days before the race which allowed the wind and waves to drift the buoys. This was okay for me since I am training for a longer distance, but a lot of people were very upset. Overall, VERY happy with my swim performance.
Stolen from the race organizers. Love the mass hysteria of a swim start!
T1 – 4:44
They put a big hill from the beach to transition. Thanks to them for that. Really. It took me a minute to gather myself and figure out what I did and did not want to put on clothing-wise because it was still about 40*. I decided to stick with just my tri top and bottom…which I regretted later on the bike once I cooled down a bit from the swim. There are a couple of things that I can do different to speed this up next time, but overall I am happy with this time. My goal going into the race was to be under 5 minutes. Having my watch actually really helped. I looked down and saw 3:40-something and high tailed my way out of there!
Bike – 13 mi in 49:49 (15.7 mph)
Started on an uphill. Yay! It was strange to start the bike and have tired legs. Did I mention that my coach had me do a killer 3 hour ride on the Saturday morning before the race? That workout certainly left its mark on my quads! The biggest thing that I remember about the bike was that I couldn’t feel my toes for three quarters of the ride. Not putting socks on and not putting on my long sleeve was a huge mistake! Overall I am pleased with how I did on the bike, especially since I was racing on tired legs. It was a strange sensation to tell my legs to go faster and for them to come back with, “Nah, I’m good.”
T2 – 1:47
Moved as fast as I could without forgetting anything. I may be able to get a little more off this, but really happy with this overall.
Run – 5K in 34:13 (11:02/mile)
So angry that I missed seeing a 10:XX by so little! Seriously. If I had known, I would have pushed just a bit harder. There were some rolling hills on this run and I took a lot of care in keeping my heart rate reasonable for the first two miles. The hills made this difficult at times and I did have to walk a bit on one or two of the steeper uphills. My legs were tired, but I pushed through knowing that this was good practice for my 70.3. After the first mile, I felt really solid. It generally takes my legs a mile or two after the bike for my legs to really wake up.
Not the Litchfield Triathlou. This is from the Chicago Triathlon. But I like this picture and I didn’t get to use it in my Chicago report, so now it’s here. My blog, my rules.
Overall Time: 1:48:01
I feel pretty confident going into these last weeks of training for my half Ironman. I’m not going to be fast, but I know that I can give it everything that I have and finish strong. This race was everything that I was hoping that the Chicago Triathlon would be, but wasn’t. I guess it’s true that practice makes perfect!