Sunday, July 17, 2011

Race Review - Lakefront Days Sprint Triathlon (2009)

In two weeks I will re-run the triathlon that started it all. So here's the race report for that race - to the best of my memory.

The Training
I spent most of the summer using Couch To 5k so I felt confident I could finish a 5k at the end of the race. I'm not sure I can actually run 3 straight miles yet, but I'm close. I have also done a fair amount of bike training. I have a 7 mile loop I do most of the time, an 11 mile course I do when I have some extra time, and I've done the race bike course a couple of times. I'm feeling really good in this area, my average pace is consistently in the 15mph range. I haven't done any swimming, I'm pretty sure I can do 1/4 mile without any training.

Packet Pickup
My wife picked up our packets the day before - I didn't have to be there. I guess in that respect it was pretty uneventful.

Race Morning
The morning of the race we dropped off our kids with the neighbors, and rode our bikes the 3 miles to the race. We got set up in transition, and put on our chips. I had a speedo on and my wife had her one piece on. My plan was to just toss on a t-shirt and shorts after the swim and head out. It was freaking freezing, people were walking around in sweatshirts, and I was standing there in my speedo. So we sort of stood around wondering what to do and hoping to get it started soon so we could put our clothes back on.

The Swim
When it was time for my swim group to start I got in the water with the rest of them. We chatted it up, I noticed some people wearing wetsuits, which seemed like overkill to me, but whatever. Some guy said "I'll let you know how it goes in an hour" to which I responded - "you will have to wait  a bit for me, I don't plan on being done quite that fast,", I figured the bike alone would take almost an hour.

The swim was quite a bit harder than I figured it would be. It's an out and back course, so you swim out for 200 meters and then back. I just went out too fast and didn't realize it until it was too late. I ended up flipping over on my back and kicking for a bit in the second half of the return trip. I also took a minute to compose myself in transition.

The Bike
When the bike started I actually felt alright, but I was very surprised how fast people were cruising up the hills. My plan had been to take it easy on the hills and just try to maintain speed, hopefully average 15 mph over the entire 13.5 miles.

There were people passing me, but I was also passing some people so I felt alright. And then disaster - I hit this mondo hill which totally destroyed me. I cruised up it at a good pace, passed this girl on a mountain bike, and when I hit the top I swear I thought I was going to die. It is probably not an exaggeration that I coasted the next mile. Let's try to remember, I had done this course a few times before during training and this had not happened. The swim had more of an effect on me than I thought I guess.

So after the feeling of death passed I picked up the pace and finished out the bike.

The Run
I was tired, there was no doubt about that. But off I went, I took several walk breaks, and for sure I knew that I could have done better, but the combo of swim/bike then run was just more than I had expected. At one point I was actually running next to a woman who was walking. She was nice enough, but she did sort of chuckle as she jogged off after her break.

The Finish
I knew I wanted to run in - so I mustered all the energy I could and ran into the finish. It's suprising to me how good it feels to hear someone, even a stranger, encouraging you to the end. I saw the neighbors, and guess who else I saw? My wife, she had started after me, but was there waiting for me at the finish line.

Now it had occurred to me during the rolling dead-person impersonation on the bike that she might pass me, about everyone did, but I did not see her go by, plus if she had passed me I would have hoped she would have at least said hi. It was very confusing for me.  It turns out that she done the bike and called it quits. Seriously, had I known she was going to quit I would have quit after the bike too, but I kept going thinking "I do not want to hear about quitting from my recently pregnant wife who went on to finish." Oh well, I am proud to have finished, it made me feel good to do the whole thing.

The Results
Swim .25 miles 8:37
Bike 13.5 miles59:24
Run 3.3 miles35:49

So - I'm happy I finished. I know now that the swim portion that I took for granted destroyed me. I'm pretty disappointed with the results though.

Out of 269 finishers
Swim: 52 - not too shabby for no training if you ask me
Bike: 225 - if you haven't done the math, that time puts my average at 13.6 mph
Run: 232 - The run really didn't feel that bad, but apparently it was

Overall - 232. I know that I am not in the best shape of my life, but seriously. Next time I'll just have to try harder, train harder, something...

No comments: