I raced the Deer Creek Olympic Triathlon yesterday! Here’s my recap of the race.
We woke up bright and early at 4:45am and were out the door by 5:30am. We arrived at the park by 6:30am which was plenty of time. We started to get the bikes off the car, and John immediately noticed that one of his pads on his aero bars had blown off while driving! To top that off, after we got our packets, he was tightening his bike seat after taking the bike off the car, the clamp on the seat broke! This made it impossible for the seat to raise, or stay still! I felt so bad His first triathlon, and already off to a VERY bad start! I sent him over to the bike mechanic booth to see if they could fix it, while I set up our stuff at transition. Thankfully the bike racks weren’t assigned in transition, so I found one that had two spots empty-and put both our bikes there. Unfortunately, John wasn’t able to get parts for his bike, but we were able to use a roll of athletic tape to hold the seat on and make it slightly functional… John was a tropper and was willing to make the best of it!
After all that, I didn’t have time to do a warm-up run before transition closed, so we put on our wet suits and headed down to the water for a warm up swim. It seemed like it took forever for our race to be called (there was a mini and a sprint before us), but finally it came time! John’s wave was before mine, so I got to watch him go off, and he looked great! My wave was a few minutes later. I went with the elite group, and the women 29 and under. For some reason, I had it in my head that I would be one of the fastest swimmers in that group……I don’t know why. As soon as we ran in the water, most of them were immediately in front of me. I got so frustrated right away that I had to spend a few seconds treading water to calm myself down! Once I accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to be with the lead pack, I started swimming my own race. It was a two loop course, which I originally thought was great, but I hated it! The buoy markers were really confusing for me, and difficult to see in the rising sun (shoulda worn my dark goggles). I finally made it out-not a great swim time (30 minutes), but I was putting it behind me.
I started the bike feeling pretty good, but my legs were a tad tired from my long ride on Friday. The course was decent at the start, but it quickly turned into wash-board roads, which then turned into HILLS! Two very steep hills toward the end of the first loop! I made it over them still feeling somewhat fresh, but knew I couldn’t go any faster on my second lap. I made it to the turn around, and after almost missing the turn, (poor traffic control at that spot) I was headed out for my second loop. I actually felt like I was beginning to warm up more on this loop and thought I could pull out some higher watts….then I hit the washboard road again and that slowed me down. It still wasn’t too bad though, and I survived the hills toward the end. I came into transition ready to get off the bike and start running! When I arrived, I saw John’s bike was gone, so that encouraged me that he had survived the swim!
I started running, and though my legs were tired, they were feeling pretty strong. My only complaint was I was hot…..very very hot. I should have brought spray-on sunscreen to put on before the bike dumped water on me at every aid station though, and kept plugging forward. I probably could have gone faster, but since I’d started the run feeling so hot, I didn’t want to overheat. I took a glance at my heart rate and saw that it was in zone 5 while I was running in zone 3. That meant my heart was working way too hard for the pace I was going. I made the decision not to pick up the pace, but just hold steady at about 6:50. I was in 6th place for females at this point, and I was confident I would still pass a few on the run. It was a nice, flat out and back route (though sunny!) I didn’t catch any girls on the way out, but on the way back, I passed two. That put me in 4th overall, and I was pretty sure the ones in front of me weren’t in my age group. I finally came into the finish line in about 2:37. Not a great time, but I was happy given I hadn’t rested AT ALL for this race. I was even more pleased to find out that I’d gotten 1st in my age group!
I went back to transition, but John’s bike wasn’t back yet. I was sad because that meant he was still on the bike course! I was concerned that something had gone wrong. Several minutes later, my fear was confirmed. In rode John, slowly…complaining of a hamstring cramp that he’d been suffering from for the last 10 miles! He decided it wasn’t worth it to attempt the run, especially in the heat, so he called it a day. He wasn’t too upset though-he actually had fun during the swim and bike until he cramped up! We left the race smiling and happy with our “practice” race. We both have things we now know we need to tweak before our IM Syracuse 70.3 race in 3 weeks! I’m most excited about my taper starting TODAY! Wohoo!
How was your weekend?
Did you do any races?