Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hillapalooza Triathlon - Race report!

Numero dos? Check!

From the beginning: Nick and I woke up about 4:15 this morning...way earlier than makes either of us very happy. I had some cereal and made a protein fruit smoothie and we were off! The tri was about 45 minutes from where I live, so it took us a bit to get there, and then we had traffic getting into the park. We made out way over to the transition area, I got marked, and I started unpacking. The whole tri was fairly disorganized, but much smaller than the one I did first, so I was able to unpack and get back out to hang out with Nick. I wasn't really nervous...maybe that was a bad thing. This is how I look when I have to wake up before the sun...hours before the sun:

Ready to go! As I said, the whole thing was disorganized, so the race started a good 15-20 minutes late, but finally, we were off! I'm somewhere in there among the yellow caps...
The swim was very humbling. I thought surely it would be no problem. I'd been training at more than 1000m, so what's 400 anyway? Boy, I struggled. I felt out of breath the whole time and I couldn't really control it. My stroke was good, except when I was hitting or kicking or being hit or kicked by other competitiors. I thought I'd struggled more, but as it turns out, I actually did quite well in the swim. I came out 38 of 89 women! I guess swim is still my strongest! When I got out, I heard some guy say we were at 9:30 minutes, but the time to get to transition doesn't necessarily reflect that.
Swim: 400m, 10:26

Out of the water I go! A smile on my face, theoretically ready to take all those hills! We had to run up the beach and into the transition area. My bike was right at the bike entrance/exit, but on the other end of the swim entrance/run exit. T1 went fairly smoothly. I just had to put on my socks, shoes, shirt and helmet...My goal was to cut down some time on transitions. (Just a reminder, T1 in the King Tut was 5:32...)
T1: 1:53 - Hell ya!

(I'm the one in the helmet.) On to the bike. Wow. It was tough. Very hilly. Windy. It was either 11 or 10 miles, depending on which portion of the Web site you look at. The first few miles were hilly and tough, but then we turned into the wind...and the hills got worse! There were some hills where I was literally in the lowest gear possible and I was just halfway up the hill! I was just hoping not to start rolling backward! I made it up all the hills without having to walk (and I did see some having to do that). Basically, I couldn't wait to turn around...just because I knew we'd be mostly downhill, with the wind at our backs, and I couldn't wait. Those three or so miles were fabulous! Then we headed back east and tackled a pretty big hill. Obviously, my legs are tired and all by now. I decided to grab a drink of water, even though I was only halfway up the hill, which was probably a bad idea anyway. When I was trying to put the bottle back, I fumbled and it fell. I stopped and tired to grab it while holding onto my bike, but that didn't work. This was my "good" water bottle, and I didn't want to lose it. The hill started taking control and it started to roll, so I dropped by bike to get it, bending the handle bars in the process. The part that sticks out where the brakes are, it's turned inward a bit. I got back on, finished the hill and made sure my gears and brakes worked just fine. They do, and I'm hoping it will be an inexpensive fix. Maybe next time, I should put my bike in front of my "good" water bottle. The rest of the bike wasn't too bad, except we were combined in one lane with runners coming in both directions, so it was a tight fit!

It turns out that I struggled on the bike even more than I thought. I came in 85 of 89, which really just shows me that I have a new activity to focus on...
Bike: 10.5 miles, 58:03

It's not a great picture of the bike, but Nick said I went by too fast. Moving on, my T2 was awesome. I pushed my bike up quickly (it was right there!), changed hats (helmet to Bob Stoops visor) and out I went. At 34 seconds, I was the second fastest of all the girls!
T2: 0:34

Then the run. The first half mile or so my legs were completely useless. I didn't really do any bricks leading up to the tri, and my legs showed it. I struggled, but I didn't want to walk. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill, though, I was feeling pretty good...of course, we had to then go UP the hill. My run was about like it always is. Slow and steady. During the triathlon, I felt much more balanced than I did in my first. I was starting to feel really hungry and a little sick at the top of the hill, ie, the turn around, and I wanted some gatorade. I was about to take water from the nice volunteer when another yelled she had gatorade. I said, 'I'd rather have gatorade,' and the nice volunteer warned me it wasn't very good. I grabbed it anyway. I think it was vitamin water stuff...and it wasn't very good. I did walk for a few steps when consuming my ade, but I don't really think that counts considering I haven't mastered the "running while drinking" thing yet. As I passed nice volunteer, I told her she was right and she offered me some water again, but I told her I'd be fine. As I got closer to the end of the run, I realized how bad of an idea that gatorade crap was. I had a bad taste in my mouth and my stomach started to feel nauseated. I kept running, until finally, the finish was in sight! This time, I didn't have my mom there to tell me if I was close to my goal time, and my kick wasn't particularly strong, but I finished! Another triathlon down!
Run: 2 miles, 24:55
Total: 1:35:53, just over my goal time.

It felt fast. I remember thinking at the end of the run that, although I knew it wasn't true, I felt like it had only been about 45 minutes or so. Guess I enjoy it, huh? Post race was a mess, too. The glasses for beer and the water were near the finish, the keg was by the portapotties and the food and pop was way over past the massage place...? It was windy, and chips and paper plates just didn't work. They were serving hot dogs, and I just wasn't interested. I had a little fruit, although they were almost out when I got in (Olympics hadn't started to come in yet!). I did grab some beer, mostly because I've heard about triathlons with beer and I wanted to partake, and I wanted one of the glasses! I only made myself half a glass anyway. It was before 10 a.m.

Overall, I'd say the experience was enjoyable. It wasn't as exciting as my first. I don't know if it's because it wasn't my first, because I didn't have a friend competing with me or because it wasn't the race I had my eyes set on and working toward...but either way, I still enjoyed it. Nice little race, killer hills.

I beat my goal of running the whole thing and my bonus of speeding up my transition times. I was close to my second goal (1:35:00), and I'll take that!

Special thanks to Nicholas, for the photos and for the support! Love you babe!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats, I knew it would be a better race for you.

Anonymous said...

sounds like you had a great race! So happy for you. It gives me hope. My next race is in 4 weeks and I don't feel anywhere near ready. But I'll be doing it anyway. :-) Thanks for the boost!