Monday, July 12, 2010

Trek Women's Triathlon Race Report

I almost crashed. I walked a few times during the run. And let's not forget the fact that I've been slacking in the pool this year. But I ended up being unstoppable, just like Sally Edwards told me I was.

I headed down to Pleasant Prairie to the site of my first triathlon three years ago. Even though it's switched from a Danskin event to the Trek Women's Triathlon, it still holds a special place in my heart - same weekend, good cause that it supports and it's always nice to go back to the location where your first happened.

Waiting on the beach for my wave to start, I did have a moment where I freaked out a bit. But realizing you've spent limited time in the pool and seeing exactly how far it is across Lake Andrea will do that to you. Next thing I knew it was time for me and the other women in my wave who were wearing yellow swim caps to go.

After some high fives, words of encouragement and Sally Edwards, the Chief Inspiration Officer, telling us we were going to be unstoppable triathletes the gun was sounding and we were off.

The Swim - 1/2 mile
I mentioned it before, but I was most worried about the swim. I haven't been in the water since High Cliff a month ago. And my preparation for High Cliff? Minimal. So suddenly having to swim a half mile across a spring fed lake (which gets really deep really fast) was a bit daunting. But I took a breath, positioned myself near the back and outside of the pack and prepared to swim.

Of course the beginning was chaos. Always is. But I just found a somewhat less chaotic place in the water and started to swim. About a 100 yards or so into the swim I flipped to my back for a moment or two, but that was the only time I really paused. The rest of the swim I just kept a fairly relaxed, steady pace. Not really having any expectations, I wasn't worried about the time. So let's just say I was surprised when I got out of the water, glanced at my watch and saw the time.

Transition 1: Swim to Bike
Nothing too exciting in transition. Biggest chunk of time is spent running from the swim exit to where my bike is racked. And from there to the bike out. It's a huge transition area.

The Bike - 12.4 miles
I found out moments before my wave started that they had changed the bike course this year. And since I didn't realize it, I had no idea what to expect. The bike course in previous years has been fairly flat, with the only real hills being a highway overpass over railroad tracks. But this bike course? Not flat. Full of rolling hills along country roads.

Granted I almost didn't see a good chunk of the bike course since my bike and I got into a fight about 2 miles into the ride. Maybe my bike was mad at me for having to stay outside in a pretty hefty downpour Saturday night, but I was riding along and all of a sudden I'm not quite sure what happened, but I was almost falling off my bike. I didn't actually fall off the bike, but I did end up bloodied and bruised on my calf where my pedal gouged me.

I kept riding though. Had a little bit of a headwind to contend with early on, but at least it was early. Tackled the rolling hills (and highway overpasses) and soon it was back to the race site.

Transition 2: Bike to Run
Again, nothing exciting to report. I momentarily considered grabbing my iPod for the run, but decided to go sans tunes for my second triathlon in a row. And you know what? I think I like going without music every once and awhile.

The Run - 3.1 miles
When I glanced down at my watch at the beginning of the run, I knew it was possible to hit my goal time. But it was going to be close. So I started running.

Mom kind of cut my head off, but I like this one.

I ran through the first mile and when I got to the first water station, I decided to walk through it. It was sunny - not a cloud in the sky - and temps were near 80 at the time. It was starting to get warm. So I grabbed two glasses of water - one to drink and one to dump - and started running again when I was done.

Took advantage of the firefighters around Mile 1.25 who had their hoses acting as a sprinkler. I hit the turn around and started to head back, knowing the end was near. Took another short walk break, took advantage of another firefighter's hose and walked through the second water station. At this point I've got just under a mile to go. I glance at my watch. It's getting awfully close to my goal time. And at this point I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it. But I decide regardless of how hot it's getting, I'm running the rest of the way.

I start to run. I make the last curve and it's just one, really long straightaway to the finish line. The crowds start to line the course, they're so close and cheering the athletes on. It feels like what I expect the riders in the Tour de France experience when they're riding the mountain stages. Amazing. I kick it into a higher gear. Run a bit faster. Almost there. Get my second high of the day from Sally Edwards and then I'm crossing the finish line.

Make a quick stop in medical just to clean up my battle wound, grab some water and my medal before meeting up with my Mom. Even though I was wearing my watch, I managed to hit the wrong button and didn''t have an exact finishing line until I waited around and get my official race results.

1 hour, 47 minutes, 23 seconds

Not quite the 1 hour, 45 minutes I was shooting for, but it's still a PR over 2 minutes, 14 seconds over last year's time. I'll take it. Especially given my preparation. And my swim time? Totally not expecting to pull that kind of number.

2010 Trek Women's Triathlon
Swim: 19 minutes, 8 seconds
Transition 1: 4 minutes, 36 seconds
Bike: 49 minutes, 11 seconds
Transition 2: 2 minutes, 2 seconds
Run: 32 minutes, 25 seconds
Total: 1 hour, 47 minutes, 23 seconds

Just for giggles, let's compare that to 2009 and 2008 (when it was a Danskin event).

2009 Trek Women's Triathlon
Swim: 20:35
T1: 5:20
Bike: 45:41
T2: 2:32
Run: 35:26
Total: 1 hour, 49 minutes, 37 seconds

2008 Danskin Triathlon
Swim: 20:42
T1: 6:29
Bike: 54:06
T2: 4:00
Run: 40:59
Total: 2 hours, 6 minutes, 19 seconds

So another year down. Looking forward to seeing what 2011 brings.


Havs said...

Excellent race time, especially on that swim! They host a great race there at Rec Plex, I raced there in 2008. Nice job!

abbi said...

Great job!

P said...

Awesome job - congrats on a terrific race and a new PR! I'm so jealous of your swim time, especially with no prep. Well done!

Marlene said...

Congrats on another tri! What a great tradition to go back to your first every year. A god way to compare your stats too... bummer on the bike course change, though. Way to rock the swim!

Suzy said...

Congrats on the tri! Your times keep getting better each year.

J said...

Congrats on a great Tri! You really improved from the past two years!!