Saturday, March 21, 2015

Icebreaker 2015 Race Report

First race of the year!  What can I say?  I love this race!  It is a classic and it is one of the few on my yearly "must do" list.  This is my 4th year back and it didn't disappoint.  As I have said before, this is a great blow off the cobwebs race, and a great way to start the season.

Some of my new friends and team mates with Salt Lake Tri Club

I insisted on getting down to the race as early as possible even though my tri club had priority racking.  I got things all set up then touched base with my friend Alicia, who is back for her second year.  A year ago this was her first ever triathlon, so it was fun to have her back.  I set up my stuff, visited with team mates, and got to know some new people.  We then attended the pre-race meeting where the race director Aaron even gave me a shout out wishing me good luck in my first Ironman!  How cool is that??

Uh.  I hate the "fresh out of the pool" pics

This is a 300 meter pool swim, in an Olympic size pool.  It is time trial start with a serpentine style swim.  It works beautifully, especially when people seed themselves correctly, which for the most part, they do.  While I was waiting in line for my start a guy behind me asked me about my new watch.  I told him I had it a week and for the most part I like it.  He asked me if I had raced with it before and I told him no.  He looked at how I set it up and fixed a few things for me, that would have really thrown me off today!  So nice of him!  By the time I was done with the watch set up stuff, it was time for me to jump in the water.  It was a nice smooth start and I was off! I was able to keep a good pace, passed one person and got passed by one other.  That is a good sign I seeded myself just right.  My pool time was 6:28, a 2 second improvement from last year.  It is good to note that the swim time includes about a 100 yard run from the actual edge of the pool to the gate of T1.

I tried something new today in regards to racing, knowing that it may bite me in the butt, however, it was worth a try to me as I wanted to shave off any seconds I could from my race.  I decided to go sockless. It really was a snap to get my shoes on, my helmet and glasses and be on my way.  T1 final time was 1:06.  Not bad, but not as fast I was hoping.

I clipped in much easier than last year and was on my way.  I immediately noticed I could feel a breeze on me.  Funny the things you notice on the bike when you have been on your trainer all winter! I went down the hill and was passed by a kid, probably about 12 doing a flying mount then putting his shoes on.  WTH?  It was crazy and cool at the same time.  He buzzed off and I didn't see him again.  As soon as you round the corner at the edge of the cemetery, it is just straight up.  The hill is gradual at first, then more steep, then more gradual till its done. I geared down and just tried to find a good rythym.  I was glad to get to the top so I could get into aero and hit a good groove.  It felt good!  I passed many people on the second half of the loop, but also got passed by a certain team who shall remain nameless.  I have no problem with being passed, but 3-4 of these people were straight out classless.  They would speed up behind you, almost buzz you, never saying "ON YOUR LEFT" while they are supposed to, and then one had the nerve to spit after he passed.  Yeah, my shin really needed a bath, Jerk!  This happened with a few of them from the same team.  Way to keep it classy, folks.  I hope they get a penalty some day for it!  I have debated emailing the coach, but probably won't.

The second half of the bike course was much of the same.  I think that I probably did it faster, but who knows.  It was a ton of fun and I LOVED the second half the loop when  you are flying down the Alpine Highway.  Pure fun, especially for this trainer bound gal! I did come into the bike dismount area too fast and had an issue unclipping and fell.  Total rookie mistake.  I felt pretty stupid.  However, it was just a scrape and I recovered as fast as I could, but gladly handed Belle off to a volunteer and prepped for the run. Final Bike Time was 40:22. 

Totally uneventful.  Switched shoes and hats and was off.  I knew if my sockless experiment was going to backfire at any place, it was going to be the run.

I started off feeling pretty good, but I saw a friend who is in my age group leave T2 before I did and I wanted to at least keep her in my sights, so I ran harder than I may have normally. I skipped the aid station both at the T2 exit and the one mid course then even ran that nasty hill.  I won't lie, this run hurt.  I felt so winded because I knew I was pushing harder than I might have normally, but I wanted to see how hard I could push it.  The first half of the run was awful because of the hill.  The second half was more fun, and because it is a down hill as well, I really booked it.  When I turned the corner to the finish I did a full on sprint and finished the run in 28:08.  Meh.  Not thrilled with this at all!

My final race time was 1:17:11.  Dangit!  I missed a PR by 14 seconds.  Not sure what I could have done differently, other than not fall on the bike, but that is it. I really think that in the future I need to work on my run.  It is still my nemesis!!

This is Meagan!  Super cute friend I met at last year's Icebreaker. 


-Short course racing is painful.  I think I really am a distance gal.  I love this race, but sprints are hard!!
- There is some serious talent out there.  F35-39 was the biggest age group of the day.  Last year with my time of 1:16:59 I was on the podium in 3rd.  This year coming in just 17 seconds slower I was #15.  Dang!! 
-Going sockless for short distances is the bomb.  I seriously shaved at least 15-20 seconds off my T1 time. I always struggle with getting socks on wet feet.  It was seriously not an issue at all.

Now just 8 weeks till IMTX!  When you put that into reality, it is only 5-6 weeks of hard training then a taper.  I will be ready if things keep going as they are.  I am way excited to tackle the next few weeks and kick arse in Texas :)

In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!

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