Saturday, July 26, 2014

Spudman Triathlon 2014 - Return to the Potato Race!

What a fun weekend!  This is the first race I have had in over 3 months (I know, I did the Triple Bypass, but that was a ride, not a race)!  Man, was I ready for this and excited!  I went into it excited and nervous, really needing a good race.  I did this one before so I knew what to expect, and I was excited to be doing it with many good friends!


I was heading up to Burley by myself as Ken had family obligations for the weekend.  I was completely okay with this as I knew that my friend Kim, who I met on BT would share my hotel room with me and we could make a mini girl's weekend out of it.  We met up and can I just say, she ROCKS!! It is a little scary how much we are alike!  Anyhow, we had a blast!  We went and checked our bikes into T1 prior to heading to dinner.  Here we are with Ruby and Belle racked and ready to race the next day!!

We also headed to packet pick up which was pretty uneventful.  We decided to skip their pre-race dinner and head to Perkins with the rest of the group.  At packet pick up a couple of things held true: 1)Butt ugly race shirt  2) A potato in the race packet

After dinner we headed back to our hotel, visited for a bit and attempted (HA!) to get some sleep for the next day.  We both like to get to transition pathetically early the morning of a race, so our alarm went off at 4:30 am to be able to eat and head over to transition.  They have two transition areas for this race, so we dropped of our stuff for T1 with our bikes then headed to the race start and T2 to set up our run stuff.

My wave was starting at 7:30, so I really didn't have a ton of time to mingle around and wait before I had to zip up and get in the water!


I decided at the last minute to try something new with this swim.  Last year I seeded myself towards the front, but off to the far side to essentially hug the shore the whole swim.  I was thinking that the current would be stronger more towards the center, so I decided to put on my Big Girl Panties and try it.  I knew that it would involve more of the washing machine effect that goes into a typical triathlon swim start, but I decided to try it.  The gun went off and so did I!  For the first 30-45 seconds I was ahead of the group!  I had clear water and not hardly any other contact with other swimmers.  I was thinking that my crazy last minute strategy change may be working.  Well, I had other fast swimmers catch up to me and try to pass me and I got hit, kicked, etc as they did.  One of them really ticked me off as he swam right over me then proceeded to start doing the breast stroke!  When he did this with his wide kicks, he kicked me in the head!  What a moron!  You don't swim ahead of someone then go with a slower stroke!  When I tried to pass him, he immediately went back to freestyle and sped up again.  GGRRRR.  Well, I had it and decided to be more aggressive.  I put on the gas and passed him again, but not before I kicked him.  (I didn't mean to, really!  But I wasn't terribly sorry it happened either)   The rest of the swim went well, and here is my swim course as gathered by my Garmin 310XT!  I had NO idea this watch would get this kind of data in open water swimming, so when I uploaded it to my computer, I was THRILLED to see it can do and measure open water!  I stayed fairly straight.....

I came out of the water, according to my watch (the official race results have no swim time recorded for me) in 18:04, for the one mile swim.  No idea what the rank is for my age group as they don't have it recorded for me. So, this was about 30 seconds slower than last year.  Not sure that the last minute change in plans for the swim helped, but at the very least it gave me more of the open water combat I am guaranteed to see at IMTX.
I can't tell you how happy this image makes me.  The possibilities for this new watch are ENDLESS!


Pretty uneventful.  I ran right to my spot, ripped off the wetsuit, threw all my wet gear into the bag for the volunteers, threw on the bike gear and headed on my merry way.  Total time for T1, again, going by my watch since the official results also left off a T1 time for me, was 3:05. Though that is NOT impressive, it is a 12 second improvement from last year.


My goal was to HAMMER this bike.  I really like to think that with all my training and then completing the Triple Bypass that my bike fitness is really good, so I intended to hammer this ride.  I made sure that I wasn't comfortable at any time.  I wanted to be in race mode and going as comfortably hard as I could the entire time.  This course is very flat, and almost a complete square.  I would say 80% of it is chip seal roads, which are crap!  I hate the rattling on the bike that much!  However, I did feel strong on the bike, I stayed very hydrated and I passed a ton of people on this ride.  Nutrition wise I decided to try some Gu Roctane drink mix that has been sitting in my pantry for apparently way too long because the first sip of it and it tasted like battery acid.  Nope, not doing that.  I knew that I had plenty of Shot Blocks and even a couple of Gu gels in the bento box, so I was fine calorie wise with out it.  Nasty!

This ride went fast and I couldn't tell how fast I was going (more on this later, my watch is amazing, but this was the first time I had used it in a multisport race, so I didn't customize the screens, and the info there was did NOT include pace or speed).  I felt strong, was well hydrated, and was ready to move on to the run.

I should include that this race is run by the local Lyons club and though it is USAT sanctioned, the rules are NOT enforced hardly at all.  The last 6-7 miles you finally hit some good smooth roads, and the pelotons form pretty quick.  Yes, this is cheating in the triathlon world.  Though they were bad the entire bike course, they really got bad here.  I would come up on these groups and they wouldn't move even when I would yell ON YOUR LEFT.  I would yell it a couple of times, and most of them would finally move somewhat over, but I came up on one that actually looked at me, and still didn't move!  I was so irritated!  I finally yelled for the third time ON YOUR LEFT!  MOVE THE CRAP OVER!  The group of women finally moved over, but not before one of them yelled back B*TCH!  Seriously!?!?  As much as I love this race, they really need to get some race officials out on this course to break up these groups of morons.

Anyhow, all cheating, and nastiness aside, I finished the bike in 1:17:14 (23/77 in my Division) this is a 40 second improvement from last year and an average of almost 20 MPH. Not the huge improvement I was hoping for, but I'll take it.


Again, pretty quick and uneventful.  Last year in T2, I lost my things and wandered around looking for them.  Luckily Kim and I were able to get a good place and I went right to it.  The change from bike to run stuff was pretty quick and seemless.  Total T2 time was 2:13 (again 23/77 in my division), but somehow 30 seconds slower than last year!?!


My running lately has been crap.  No way of sugar coating it, it has been dismal at best.  So, knowing and fully acknowledging that my goal for today as I was telling myself the whole week before was to "Kill the swim, hammer the bike, survive the run".  I had run out of T2 really hoping to find a porta potty quick.  Unfortunately that didn't happen till almost a mile and half into this 6.2 mile run.  Then I had to wait behind a few others for my turn.  I debated keep going, but I knew that it would be a really uncomfortable run if I didn't.  So, I easily lost 3-4 minutes on that dang potty stop.  Anyhow, I ran at what was comfortable to maintain.  Again, though I knew my watch was collecting data, I couldn't see my pace due to me not customizing the screen to see it, so I had no idea what my pace or even HR were for this run.  I ran at what I thought I could maintain, and that was how the whole thing would go.  That being said, this was the best that I have felt on a run in a very long time.  No side cramps, no really high heart rate, no labored breathing, etc.  I dare say I actually enjoyed it?!?  I will say that I did recognize that I was feeling better than I have in a long time and appreciated that.  I passed some people on the run but there were more that passed me.  Shocker, I know.  But, I could feel the heat setting in (it was 25 degrees  hotter this year than last) and but the run did seem to go by quickly and I felt good.  I was excited to get to the final mile and I sprinted down the hill to the finish line and was greeted by all my friends.

Final run time was 1:04:27 (47/77 in my division)  I am not happy with this at all, but I am not surprised.  I need to fix my run.  Not sure how to do that, but it is one of my main goals in the off season as I get ready for IMTX.


I was  happy to be done!  I had so many fun friends from my tri group that greeted and cheered me in!  Here are all of us with our medals feeling pretty cool :)  These people are the best! My final overall time for this race was 2:45:04 (28/77 in my division).  I am overall okay with this.  I was really hoping to beat last year's time, but it just wasnt' my day for it.
Photo: Spudman - My first Triathlon with some great friends. Special thanks to Amy Roestenburg Capps who came up to watch this fun event and was a great support crew for me.

And finally, a pic of Kim and I at the end.  She KILLED it today!

Final Thoughts:

This is a good race, however, I don't think that I will be doing it next year.  Due to the triathlon budget being mostly directed at IMTX, any other racing that I do next year will be local ones that don't require a hotel stay :)  I do like this race, but the rule enforcement is incredibly frustrating, or should I say lack of?  I had fun, it is a great time, etc.  I am beating myself up in some aspects of this race, but that is a topic for another day, as I have had many thoughts lately on it.  Now, it is just two weeks till Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee!  

Happy Training and Racing all!

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