Well, today was yet another great race! I need to start at the very beginning to sum it all up!
The kids, Ken and I got up at 4:15 to get down there by the time athlete check in and body marking started at 6:00 am. The kids and Ken are so great to go along with it! They are seriously the best! The drive is about an hour, and we got there in time for me to choose a sweet place to rack my bike and set up my transition area. I loved how this race didn't assign you spots, and we had way more room than Women of Steel. I did the typical visit with people around me in the transition area. Triathletes are like runners, so nice and no trash talking blow hards like my last race :). I love getting to know more people, hearing about the races they have done, their training, etc. It is so much fun! And the people watching is awesome, you seriously see a little of everything! We had the pre-race meeting where they go over the rules, no drafting, penalties, yada, yada, yada, then they told us to suit up and head over to the swim start area. Here are the kids and I as I headed over to the swim start. They are the best cheerleaders any mom or athlete could ask for!
This was my first open water swim in a race. I was nervous about it, but then again, not so much. The clinic I went to the other night at Bountiful Pond helped a ton, and I was more just curious and excited. The lake at Daybreak doesn't usually allow swimming, but made exceptions for this race, so the organizers were really trying to be sensitive to the environment around the lake making sure 500 athletes wouldn't destroy it. With that mindset, they decided there would be no mass swim start on a beach or anything like that. They started the Olympic distance swimmers 800 meters down from where the sprinters started and then they started them by age group, and then one a time with a swimmer leaving every 10 seconds, like a time trial start. There were many people that were griping about this, but for a first time open water racer, this was ideal. We all left off of a fishing dock, and it was very nice to just gradually merge into the swim with the others that had started. I was able to watch several people start ahead of me, see how it works, and devise my own plan. It was fun to watch the Oly's going ahead of us, then the male sprinters. It was really fun to spectate for awhile before they finally called my age group!
When they finally called my age group, I got into the water, lined up with one hand on the dock and before I knew it, they called my number and told me to go! The water was cool, but with the wetsuit, it was just nice and refreshing. I noticed that I could actually see the bottom of this lake, where at Bountiful you couldn't see the the end of your hand when it went under to stroke back! I could actually see fish on the bottom of this one! I counted strokes and looked up every 4-5th stroke to make sure that I was staying on course. I didn't do so hot on this the first half, but I did much better the second once the red buoy was there. I felt great the whole time, was passing people, but never really actually touched another swimmer due to how they started it all. Very nice! I also noticed that where I had trouble breathing at the clinic in the wetsuit due to the compressive nature of it, I didn't have that issue at all. The whole swim felt great, and I loved it! It was over too quick in many ways!
Total swim time: 17:39
Here are some other pics Ken got of the swim:
|Coming out of the water, and heading to T1! I was feeling really good!|
I was really hoping to cut time off of my transitions in this race with compared to WOS. I also had a wetsuit to deal with in this race though, so the second I was out of the water, I ripped off my goggles, my swim cap and reached to start getting the wetsuit unzipped. It went well, and it all seemed pretty smooth. I decided that I could ditch the cycling gloves to save a few seconds, and I debated ditching socks as well, but I wasn't so sure, so I didn't for this race anyhow.
Total T1 time: 2:26 (faster than WOS, even with the wetsuit!)
I almost fell trying to clip in at the mount area. Thank Heaven I didn't! That would have been so embarrassing! One of these days I will master the whole running start mounting thing you see the pros do in the YouTube videos, but for now, the regular click in for me! The course took off from the residential area and headed west towards the mountain. It was a gradual uphill, then there was a slight turn with a very steep climb! The whole time I swear I heard my Dad there telling me, "Keep a high cadence, switch to a lower gear, keep going!" Thank heaven for that ride where we did some wicked climbs like this. And the whole time, even though it was a brutal climb, I was in good spirits seeing as I could see the people that were already headed down the hill after hitting the top of the hill. They were flying! It made it easier to go as I knew the sweet downhill was awaiting me!
|Very end of the bike course riding into T2|
I finally did get to the top of the hill and the down hill didn't disappoint. It was fly time, baby! I hit 38 mph at one point and never got under 20 the remainder of the bike course. It was fun, and went really fast. The total course was 14.5 miles long according to the bike computer. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride!
Total bike time: 53:56...
I knew that there was no excuse to have this be a long transition, as I already had socks on, there was no wetsuit to deal with, and it was a matter of racking the bike, changing shoes, snapping on my race number and switching from the helmet to the hat. Not hard. Well, I even managed to drink some water and do a Gu, as pictured below and do it pretty quick, relatively anyway when compared with WOS.
Total T2 time: 1:48
|FINALLY getting to the finish line!|
I took off on the run out of T2 feeling pretty good. I noticed right away that I didn't have that lead leg feeling that is so common for me right off the bike. I attribute that to the fact that I didn't have to do that much pedaling on the second half of the bike course due to the downhill. Either way, it was nice. I tried to keep a steady pace, but it didn't take long to feel tired and have that "Are we there yet?" feeling. About half way through I got side cramps that I know were due to not being properly hydrated, and I couldn't get to the aid station fast enough. When there I took two cups of water, and probably could have used a third. I had many people pass me on the run, and I knew that this was not going to be stellar time. I just did my best to get through it and do my best. I had another gal pass me and said, "Why are we doing this again?" At this point I couldn't help but agree with her. I was pretty beat and really ready to be done with the whole thing. I just kept telling myself to dig deep and do my best. Well, obviously, it wasn't my best, maybe for that day it was.
Total run time: 33:47
Not happy with this run for many reasons. One, I AM A RUNNER, so it should be better. It was also a race, where I almost ALWAYS do better for a race time. And, well, I am just not happy with it, but I know where to improve.
After the race, I immediately headed over and grabbed a water. Or two, and then refilled them. I was happy to see that they had Great Harvest bread there and helped myself to that and fruit. The kids ran over and gave me hugs. My sister Jenny came and had cheered me on. It was so fun to see her at the transitions and the finish line. I love that girl! She is a hoot, and so fun to have a cheering section!
My total race time for the Daybreak Sprint Tri was 1:49:33. I can't compare this to the Women of Steel tri for many reasons. One, all of the distances were longer. The swim was 750 m instead of 300. The bike portion was 2.5 miles longer. The run, according to several people's Garmins was actually 3.4, not 3.1. So, I am not getting hung up on that at all. But, what completely blew me away were my results! I finished #25 out of overall female. I was #113 for total overall. And the REAL kicker?!? I finished #9 for my age group! What?!? I was only 6 people from a podium position! I have NEVER EVER EVER even been close to finishing like that in any of the running races I am done. Heck, I am pleased to get to the aid stations before they run out of Gu in running events! And this is only my second tri! To say that I am thrilled is an understatement. I know there are areas to improve on, but this just made me so happy!
When you look at my times compared to those of others, my swim time was only 39 seconds slower than the first place female! Yeah for a great swim! My transition times need more practice, but they weren't far off what the other F30-34 age groupers were. Where I totally lost it was the run :(.
Venue and Organization:
US Trisports put on a good race. I really like the venue of Daybreak, the bike course was great, I liked the swim, and the run course being exclusively on trails around the lake was awesome. The whole course was very family and spectator friendly. Loved that. The only gripes I have with the organization was 1) No finishers medal. Seriously? No race bling? Not cool US Trisports! And the results took FOREVER to get. So long in fact, that we didn't wait around for them at the race, and even having them posted online that evening took til 6:30. But other than those quips, they did great. I would totally do this event again, and other races by them.
Lessons Learned from this race:
1) Work on my run. I have always focused my run on distance. My first organized race ever was a half marathon for Pete's sake. I need to start doing more short runs that do speed intervals and focus on speed.
2) Do more bricks. I will no longer ever get off my bike and think that I am done. I will be following every bike ride with at least a 15-20 minute run. I have to get used to running when tired on bike legs if I want that run time to improve.
3) Hydrate more on the bike portion. I felt really good on the bike portion, but the run I was dehydrated. The little swig and Gu I got on T2 didn't cut it. I think that I could have avoided the cramps and the fatigue that I felt during the run with more hydration on the bike portion.
I am kind of sad that my next event isn't for over 8 weeks! I will definitely space my events next season better. But, I do have the bulk of the summer to train hard for those that are at the end of the season, and I am grateful and excited about that. In the meantime...
Happy Training All!