A Tri In The Buff - Olympic Triathalon Race Recap


I am still alive, living it up in UT with friends and family... barely...  Note to self... 6 weeks is too long... this is the first year I have felt this way!  I have just a few days left until I get to be with my hubs again, then life will feel all hunky dory.  I do miss NY, I miss my house and friends and life!  We definitely make the most of the time we are here, though, because it has to keep us satiated for another year!

I am on to marathon training.  Ran 16 miles last weekend.  It feels harder here.  I feel like I'm slower, and it is much more hilly, but it is good for me.  It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the constant running mileage again.  Aerobically I'm fine, but tri training splits up the workouts and now I'm back to just running, so it has taken me a couple of weeks to feel like my legs are good to go.


Ok, it is time to get this down!

I had such busy days just before the tri.  It was good though, to keep me relaxed!  I also was getting us prepped to leave for UT the next day, which also occupied me!

I kept reading and getting anxious with anticipation as I printed off race stuff, got my race packet.  I had made a goal for myself, based on my training, and had to keep telling myself that this is my first time with this distance, whatever I accomplish is just fine!  As long as my effort is honest I will be happy with my performance.  I looked through the competitors and there were only 2 of us in my age group.  Since I'd get a first or second I then extended my goal to be one of the top 10 women finishers.

I wanted to swim around 30 minutes, bike around 1:30 and run around 45.  Add some transition times and I was hoping to finish around 2:50 - 2:55?

The 4th we went to see fireworks and M walked the kids though our morning schedule.  He is getting his own race supporter rhythm down!  He is awesome to come to my races and cheer me on with our kiddies.  The kids were so great, they agreed and prepared themselves for race morning!  We told them we'd be getting up at 6am.  We were all excited that I'd be going with the family, since the race was an hour away and I was racing by myself!  We packed up the car with all of my stuff.  I checked and re-checked.  I felt all calm, until I question whether or not I had everything!  Then I had to go through my list again to calm down!

I got up a little earlier race morning.  I think it was 5:45.  I drank chocolate milk, ate some bagel and made oatmeal to eat on the way.  I could only take a few bites of that.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I wish I'd been able to take more calories in, but I was anxious.  I had hydrated myself well the day prior, so by the time we got to Evangola State Park I seriously had to pee!  The kids got up w/ no trouble and were pretty quiet for the ride.  I had packed food and activities, but of course hoped to save those for during the race!

(These images are actually from 4th of July night, we watched the country club's show.  The car was ready for the morning.)

Matt dropped me right at the front when we got there.  I found the bathroom and waited and waited in line, doing the pee pee dance!  Finally I pushed ahead and looked under the stalls to find 3 empty ones!  C'mon ladies!  Since I saw the open ones I went ahead and used one!  M parked the car while I got my time band.  I met he and the kids then we all headed over to the transition area so I could get set up and listen to the meeting.  As I entered T they gave me a handlebar plug.  I was missing one and was so anxious they wouldn't let me race or something crazy like that.  They popped one in, and I asked why it was so important... 'if you crashed your handlebar could impail you.  Oh... ok!  Now we all know!  

Here is what my T area looked like.  I don't have a fancy bike.  I wear my running shoes to cycle, then just run!  Nice not to have to change shoes I guess.  Someday maybe I'll get a fancy bike.

I had Gatorade on my bike, 2 Gu's, some chews and another Gatorade just in case.  My plan was to have a Gu after the swim, drink while I biked, then take another Gu while running.  They had plenty of liquid on the run, no need to carry anything there.

They told me the row I could set up on and there weren't too many spots left.  Honestly, I don't really care about where my bike is.  I'm sure after I've raced for a while I would, but not yet!

 Next I got my body marked, then hit the bathroom one more time.  I don't know if I had a cold or allergies, but my nose had been running like the dickens.  I gave it one more good blow before we went down to the water.

I wanted to get in and swim for a minute to calm my nerves and see how the water felt.  Can you see the waves?  Um, yep!  They were pretty bad, not gonna lie!  I've not experienced swimming in that yet, ever, even in the open water swims I have done!  Oh well, what are you gonna do at this point?  Swim anyway!

We took a photo before race time, then the first 2 waves headed out.  As I was heading over for my wave I spotted this cute girl!  I see her at the JCC.  She is a personal trainer.  I've never met her, but introduced myself.  Had no idea she does the tri!  We chatted, commented that it was nice someone else wasn't in a wetsuit! :)  The water really wasn't that cold and I'd rather not mess with getting one off, plus I just feel like I can't move as well.  Again, maybe it's one of those things I decided to do with more experience under my belt.

We headed out on the rocky beach, good golly it's not smooth!  I was cold because I was wet, but I was ready to get going!  

Our horn went off and out we went.  I let some ladies out then attempted to swim freestyle.  It was hard!  I kept coming up to breath just as a wave would crash over my head!  Fun!  I tried to relax and swam breast stroke for a minute, but I don't move very fast when I do that!  I tried free again and just couldn't find my comfort.  Seriously, 2 white caps got boated in right in front of me and I sort of felt like I wanted to quit too!  I felt like it was going to take me FOREVER to get this swim done at this rate and that felt a little overwhelming!  I hate to feel my goal time slip away.  However, I put way too much training into this to just quit so I kept truckin' and did what I could to make it to the first turn.  As I did I was able to get into my stroke and find my pace.  The waves didn't feel as bad coming from the side that felt much more encouraging!

As I approached the beach I saw my cute family.  Swimmers were using this turn to recover a little, I did too, but it may have been quicker to swim.  Then, one more time into the waves.  This time, since I'd been swimming well, I felt a little better, I was doing the body wave while stroking, that is a new feeling, and I still got slammed in the face with water, swallowed some, coughed it out, but overall it was much better, I felt confident.  I swam the rest freestyle. 

Matt told me it was funny watching people come out of the water, you could tell they were tired, aware of everyone watching them, yet still tried to look both graceful and pain free as they walked over all of the rocks to exit the water.  I was no different!  I loved hearing my cute kids cheer for me!  G said he'd spotted me first clear back while I was still swimming.  Love that boy!

I finished the swim 10 minutes slower than I wanted to, but I'm pretty ok with that.  I felt like my effort, although not always efficient, was honest.  I was doing what I could.  I am happy that I felt comfortable in the water.  I've felt the panic of putting my face in before, but really didn't at all this time.  The waves were the only thing really hindering me.  I felt comfortable in the water besides that.  

SWIM TIME: 37:57 (2:27)

As I caught up to the woman who exited in front of me I heard her tell her friends she felt like she'd been through the wash cycle.  I felt the same!  

I ran to transition, brushed off my feet and put my shoes and Garmin on.  I opened my Gu as I jogged my bike out.  Here is what M caught of me.  It was a pretty quick transition and I was off on my bike.

T1 TIME: 2:55

The info said this course was flat, and it mostly was, but there were some pretty good hills in there.  I didn't anticipate that, but still, I am most pleased with my bike performance.  There were more hills than I expected, but I still kept the time I'd hoped for despite that.  I always get nervous about how many people will be on the course, but again it was fine.  I drank a few times while out on the bike.  Near the end of my ride I was feeling thirsty so I went ahead and chugged the rest of my bottle. 

I wondered how the ride would feel all by myself, no company for that long.  It was fine and went by pretty quick.  My second time around I was on my own and wasn't sure I was still on course, but I was!  I found the turn eventually!  The first time around I was just watching the people around me (sprinters) and the second there were few people.  

BIKE TIME 1:27:20 (17:24)

Here is what was provided by twellottphotography at the race.

I was going to save this for another post, but since they are far between I'll go ahead and write it now... regarding cycling and my bike.  

1- I am so thankful to have my bike, when I got it I hadn't been on a bike for so many years!  It has taken me a while to feel comfortable on it, and I don't think I'm 100% there yet.  But, like all things, the more you get into it, the more you appreciate good gear for what you are doing!  That brings me to...

2 - I won't race any farther than this distance on this bike.  It is frustrating to put in the same amount of effort and not get the same results because of efficiency of equipment.  It's just the nature of things, my bike is not the most efficient.  It is great, but not efficient for racing!  I will keep it, I love being able to ride it, but I may just want a better bike someday!

I was glad to be finishing the bike and sort of felt like I was the last person out on the course!  My nose was running so bad!  My gloves were covered in snot and sweat!  I couldn't wait to get to transition and blow all my boogers out!!!  My hubs was there to greet me and asked how I felt.  I told him it was hilly, my legs were tired, but I felt good!  Time to run!

T2 TIME: 1:32

I reset my Garmin, blew my nose, grabbed my Gu and race belt then headed out for the 6 miles.

The course was a little crazy.  When I saw the runners... on the grass... as I was coming in from the bike, I groaned to myself... really?  Grass running?  Don't love that.

I actually felt strong as I started my run.  I wanted to stay around a 7:30 mile.  I had a bit of GU and just kept it with me.

I told myself that I could drink and rest for a second at mile 3.  I ran the first mile and felt pretty good.  The course seemed wierd to me, but I went with it.  There was heed and water like every mile, so plenty of opportunities to hydrate.  I passed the first couple opportunities.

Here is what my #'s looked like off my Garmin.  I am utterly confused because it tells me I ran much farther than a normal 10k, but the race results obviously don't!  I'm pretty sure I ran the same course as everyone else, but one can never be too sure!  

I think it was mile 2 that I decided to stop and drink, then I proceeded to run again, my legs started to yell at me soon thereafter!  I hated running across the grass.  I always slow down because I'm afraid of twisting an ankle.

Yeah, look at these times.  Boy do they slow down!  And if my average were really an 8:43 that wouldn't be so bad, but race results are...

RUN TIME 59:14 (9:33 PACE)!  

My marathon pace is better than that!  Whatever... it is what it is, here is one area I can improve!  

Here I am at mile 3, doing the loop 2x.  I stopped to drink again shortly after this, then again at the next water stop!  Here is where I started to mentally break down.  Of course I was tired, I knew it would be hard, but I wish I'd have pushed through better than I did.  I stopped to walk way more than I should have and there at the end felt like I didn't really care what my time was!  

I loved seeing my kids and hubs cheering me on.  G was there and ran with me for a minute, he told me I could do it.  At this point M knew my time was slower than I wanted it to be so he cheered for me too.

Don't you love the random people all over the course?  It's tough enough to complete w/o having to dodge people's toddlers!  C'mon!

I'd feel a wave of push in me, then feel the strength leave my legs, then I'd try again!

Again, my body did it, I know I can do it, but when it hurts sometimes we just want it to stop, so it really becomes a mental game.  One I didn't do as well at this time.

As I ran down the field for the final time, I passed a few people, always good!  Near the finish I saw Molly, she started screaming, then ran with me for a minute, in her swim suit (we were hitting the beach after)!  I needed that, wish she'd have been there mile 4!  I rounded another corner to the big finish balloon!

I was so glad to be finished!  I felt like I was the very last person to finish, but I wasn't, and I finished in the top 10 women as I'd hoped.  

I sometimes wonder why the crap I sign myself up for these things, mostly during the last part of any race!  Then when it's over I'm all excited to do it again!  It was the same for this experience!  In fact before training I thought there would be no way I could do any distance greater than this, then I started training and thought I could probably do a half, then during the Oly I told myself I was crazy to think about any distance greater than this!!!  Who knows?  We'll wait and see.  

I did totally enjoy my experince.   It was managabe as far as trianing goes, being the mother of 4.  It was challenging, doing more than just running.  It was totally rewarding, increasing my abilities in new disciplines.  I loved the Oly Tri and will totally do it again! 

FINISH TIME: 3:08:58


- My kids had plenty to do while I raced, with the beach and a playground and plenty of spectators to keep them occupied.

- Seeing the kid triatheletes who raced later that morning.  Awesome to see these little kids starting this so early!  Q saw a girl from school.  I don't think my kids would do a kid tri, but maybe someday.  I hope they learn to love these sports too!

- Meeting people from the JCC

- I could see my cheerleaders plenty with this course.  That was really great.

- My free handlebar plug.

- Talking to my hubs during T2.

- Blowing my nose into my washcloth.

Didn't Love:

- People all over the course during the run.  

- Running on grass for a bunch of the time.

- The 'meeting' that really wasn't a meeting.  The Sprint I did in Rochester was well organized and I appreciated the meeting.  I didn't know where our announcer was and coudln't really hear what he was saying.  I had to ask fellow racers after the fact.

- The waves.

- My run time.