Sunday, May 15, 2011

La Printaniere Race Report!

So, I have recently made a vow that I would never again write a race report on the same day as a race.  Well, that has been nixed for this race.  and, I guess the reason is because... I know it is going to be a race report that has no potential to be anything but good :) 

so, I woke up 15 minutes later than planned, because  I set my main alarm for the PM, rather than the AM.  SO glad I had my cell phone on as a backup...  I woke up, looked outside, and it was still pouring rain... UGH!   I was rushed in the morning, but got the regular pre-race breakfast of whey, bagel, banana and apple sauce.  Drank a big cup of why bother of coffee.* Rushed around a bit, realized i wasn't as prepared as previously planned, causing me to get to the metro somewhat late.  Got to the race site (way out in la la land) by about 6:45, for my race being at 7:30.

this was my first ever pool triathlon, and first ever sprint triathlon.  Didn't have all that much planned out.  and, i kinda like it that way.

Set up my transition, and loved what i was seeing.  I was seeing Kids.  I was seeing old steel framed 10 speeds.  I was seeing hybrids.  I was talking to people that this was their first triathlon ever.  What FUN! i LOVE small, local races. Setting up transition was a little strange, because I was really unsure as too what I would wear.  If you live in the NE USA, or eastern Canada, you will know that we have crappy crappy weather right now.  and, it will stay like this for a while.  Cold and rainy.   Set it up and go to put my stuff in a locker, and go for a warm up swim (and, also to test out my ability to swim with my tri kit on!)  I was a little worried about time (again) getting out of the pool at about 7:20, and only had about 300m of Warm up.  even practiced a flip turn under a rope.  seemed manageable.

the anxiety. stress. adrenaline excitement in the room was palpable.  I don't know if it is because it was indoors and the roof holds it in, or just what.   All I know, is that it was obvious.

we line up, beside the pool, beside little "pancartes" with times.  1:10. 1:20. 1:30.  I go to the front of the 1:30 section, hovering at the back of the 1:20 area.  there were only about 10-15ppl ahead of me.  all boys, except for about 2-3 girls.  and, off we go.  it was like lemmings.  one person jumping off a cliff into water every 5 seconds.  swim was pretty much uneventful.  I could feel that I didn't have a good warmup, and felt like i was kicking too much (but... it's a sprint!  you can kick!).

three silly things:

  • girl a bit in front of me... 250 meters in, starts doing BACKSTROKE! WHAT?!?!?!  i mean, it is better than breastsroke.  but, really?! if you are in the 1:20-1:30 groups... you should be able to do free style for more than 250m.
  • flip turns were a bit hectic, to not run into people.  and, you know... i am decent at them.  I never look up at the wall, when i do a turn.  but, sure enough, on my first flip turn under a lane-rope, there was someone very close in front of me.  so.... i cruise towards the wall, take a huge head forward peek ahead of me, and.... WHAMO.  photographer.  click.  photo of my bad skills.
  • at one point, i was worried I was going to get a penalty.  I was passing someone, and, i look forward, seeing that there 3 people coming towards me.  one person passing another, who was passing another.  and, i don't know about you... but, those lanes don't fit 5 people side by side.  i had to stop, and i stood off the bottom.  apparently, that is not allowed (no dolphining). but, nothing happened.
exited the water 3rd (maybe 4th) female, i think.  Swim: about 10 mins (a bit slower than i would swim if it was just me... my T time should give me close to 9 mins)

i think it was fast!  I got out there and bam bam bam: sun glasses. helmet. gu stuffed in shorts. no socks. RUN!  i jump on my bike (ever wish that cervelo's had a step through frame, like bixi's? would be WAY easier to do flying mounts).  Take a bit more time than normal to do up my shoes.  and get rolling.  and... DAMN! i forgot EVERYTHING that i was going to wear.  no arm warmers. no jacket.  no little gloves.

oh well.  it's going to be cold.  I left transition 2nd woman.

the 20 km was on a back and forth course, up and down a blvd.  it was about a 3.5km lap, which means a turn every 1.75km.  that is a lot of slowing down, and speeding up again.  I don't train for that.  But, whatever.  it got a bit congested at the turns, but, i quickly past the girl who was in first (i don't know what place she finished at the end).

The bike was fun. in one direction, there was a HEAVY head wind.  but, that translates into a HEAVY tail on the way back (LOVE!).  I grew better and better at the gearing in and out of the turns, as the race went on.  Span high into the wind (averaging about 28km/hr or so), and a little lower with higher power with the wind (averaging about 35-36km/hr).  i was LOVING my bike.  and, i was LOVING that i was in first.  all of a sudden, i started thinking "you can win your groceries!!!!"**  with the turns, and my run into and out of transitions, the avg speed ended up being 30.5 km/hr, or so.  took about 40minutes, which i had guesstimated.

the only thing that I would have changed, is that I think in the middle of the ride, i probably could have pushed it a bit harder.  other than that... i loved it.  drank almost a full 24oz water bottle, had one Java Gu.

the ever lingering question: do i wear socks?  once again, i chose NO!  i was a little panicky, because i knew that i was in first... could i hold it?  any time counts!  stuffed some shot blocks into my shorts, visor on, and off I went.  No big deal.  glad i went with no socks.  no blisters, no nothing. bike: 42 mins (includes at least one Transition, I think. maybe 2)

so, here it was.  the place that if i am going to lose a race, it is here.  I went off, and my legs certainly had that brick feeling.  Numb.  floppy.  weird.   I started, and my HR was racing.  OK...  get into it.  calm down.  find a (fast) pace.  I mean.  it is a sprint.  it's not far.  and, you have NO idea how far behind 2nd place is.  and, MAN.  did it feel amazing to be in first.  nerve racking.  but, amazing.  for a while i was "that woman."  i can see how pro's get so addicted.  it is fun to be fast. it is is like "wow.  everything, right now, is clicking."

the run was flat, with some "false flats."  and, these guys came out from the grass.

it is a little too bad, that they were coming out onto the pavement, where the runners were not thinking about them at all.  because, when walking back from the race to the metro, i literally saw HUNDREDS of these guys looking a little like road pizza.
At the turn around, was the first time i got to see my competition.  She was about 250m back, but, one of those tiny little things. and, gazelle like.  Later, after stalking looking a bit more into who she is, i found this page.  of COURSE she is a XC runner.  and, get this.  her last name even translates into "the chaser"  ironic, right?  she was chasing me, that is for sure.  She passed me with 1.5 km to go, ran a bit ahead, but, then, she didn't gain much distance on me in the last 3/4 km. I was happy with that.

and... other than feeling like I was going to puke in the last 50 meters, i kept on picking it up.  I was happy with my run.  it felt strong.  and.  i was still not 100% sure i got 2nd place.  Just because what if there was someone who was a really slow swimmer (starting way behind me), but, a super fast cyclist and runner?  Because that is not quite accounted for at the finish line, just with chip times. run time: 24 mins.

why am i such a giant compared to other women?  I wish the first place girl was there.  I would have still been taller than her, with her on the first step, and me on the second...

but... i was.  i got second OVER ALL WOMAN (out of 32)!!!!  And, first in my age group*** AND! i won 200$** 
final times:
TOTAL: 1:15:06 
Swim (with the run out): 11:05
T1: 1:51
Bike (with run in/out): 37:57
T2: 31.6
Run (with run out): 26:03 (Split: 5:13)

and, a big shout out to my friend who ran her first 5km race ever.  and, she ran the WHOLE thing, in a time of about 40mins.  Not too shabby.  They didn't give out finisher medals.  but, i got two (one for the AG, one for overall), so, I gave her one of mine so that she can have a memento of her first race.

what an amazing day, despite the hectic start.  BIG thanks to my coach, Mary Eggers, and, my Train-This teammates (especially Donna, Alexa, Kelly, and Kirsten, who deal with my emotional athlete up and downs, as teammates and friends).  To the boy that I like.  And, my roommates who put up with me training in the wee hours of the morning.  And, my friends who are ok with me leaving events at 9pm, and choosing to not drink alcohol or eating the food they cook. you ALL play a part into this.

and now.  IT IS TIME.  it is time for HONU!  

*have i mentioned, that I am not on caffeine these days?  I want to save it for races, as a stimulant.  saving it for race day doesn't work so well, when all you have is decaf beans in your house.
** which is true.  I have won money for my food.  but, instead, i am going to use the 200$ prize money to purchase a Garmin 310xt.  i have been lusting for a long time.  Triathlon bought me this money, so back to triathlon it shall go.  (OH this sport.  how you make me broke.)
*** OK. so, there were only 3 in my age group.  not that impressive.


Alexa said...

I am proud of you!! Great job! (we have billions of snails here too)

Damie said...

hilarious race report- I am liking the blog layout too! You sound like me...i always notice the little animals in races. these days we have baby turtles in the road when I am riding my bike. Frickin' awesome job with 2nd OA. I love those small, classic races as well. It is great to see all kinds of people out there. thx, too, for the comment earlier. hearing from bloggers like you make this sport even better for me!!!!!

Kristin said...

Awesome job!!! Sprints are a fight to the finish that is for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

Angela said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Awesome job on the race!!! Great to hear that all your hard work is paying off nicely! Go buy that Garmin... the 310xt is supposed to be pretty good, but the strap has been known to pop off in the swim. If you buy it, MEC sells it for $400 and Running Room for $419. The 305 with HRM is $179 as well at either. I have the 305 with HRM, and it's awesome. If you know someone with a costco membership, you can buy the 305HRM for $159.99. Go spoil yourself, you deserve it!!!! :-)

Laura said...

Congratulations! Glad you had a fun, rewarding day. And I agree with Anonymous - grab that garmin. ;)

Kelly said...

AWESOME!!! What a great race report. And so nice of you to share your medals with A.!! I think I'm just as excited for Honu as you, and i'm not even going!!

Kalinda said...

I'm a little late to the game here, but congratulations!

I'm only a humble runner as my swimming skills suck and I literally don't know how to ride a bike. (But I dream.)

I can't even imagine the training that went into this. Awesome job. :)