Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Race Report 2014

It has been a busy year for racing already.   I have participated in several triathlons and a 10k race this winter and thought I would do a brief overview of each.   None of these were done to "race" and I had different reasons for doing each of them.   All of them have been a ton of fun and I have used them as training and not as actual racing. 

Delaware YMCA Tri
I signed up for this race because it was a fundraiser for some of my friend's kid's swim team.   It was a short indoor triathlon that consisted of 15 min pool swim, 15 min ride on a spinning bike and 15 min running around a track.    So each of these you just did what you could do in the time allotted.    The swim was nice, I had a lane to myself and at least for my heat, I think I had the fastest time.   I was just happy to beat my friend Kristen in this part of the race because I knew she was going to kick my ass during the rest of it.   And I was correct as she blew me away on the bike and the run.    The bike was done on a spinning bike,  I had a hard time with this as I couldn't seem to get the bike set up correctly for myself and I was uncomfortable the entire time I was on it.   I think I managed to average a 19mph pace but not sure how accurate it was as they were very basic spinning bikes. I thought this was pretty good until Kristen told me she averaged over 25 mph!      The run was done around a short little track (I believe 16 times around or something insane like that was a mile).   I made a game out of this as I knew Kristen could run circles around me.   So I challenged her to try to lap me 5 times.   She did this pretty easily,  so each time she passed me, I would tell her 7 times or 8 times to get her going.   I don't remember the final amount of times she passed me, but it was definitely a lot...she did awesome.   I was just happy to be running as I hadn't been back running too much since my injury last fall,  so really I had no goal other than to run without my ankle hurting...which I achieved.     All in all this was a fun little race and if they do it again next year, I will likely be there!

Kristen is the one in dark pink shirt and white hat out front,  I am behind her in blue, this was at the start of the run! 

 Instead of medals, we got finishers certificates!   Kristen almost placed first in the race, but actually got beat by an 11 year old girl!    I was not even in the top 10 finishers, but still a fun race!

Lifetime Indoor Triathlon
I originally wasn't going to sign up for this race as I am really trying to save money this year and keep a tight race schedule and at this point I had already figured out which races I wanted to do.   But, my friend Jessica begged me to sign up the day before as she had found out she was going to be the only girl in her wave and was freaking out about it.   So I caved and signed up for the race,  completely unprepared.   But once again, it ended up being a blast and I am glad Jessica talked me into it.    The Lifetime Tri has two different distances you can choose from:   1)  10 min pool swim, 30 min bike,  20 min run  or 2) 20 min pool swim, 60 min bike, 40 min run.    Of course Jessica had picked the longer of the two distances.   We shared lanes for the pool swim and Jessica and I shared a lane which was fun.   My goal was to swim 1,000m in 20 min.  I hadn't yet done this (most of my swims in the past were 30 sec to 90 sec slower than this) so thought I would challenge myself a little more here.   And I was able to do it with 15 sec to spare!   So very happy about the swim.    The bike was on a high tech spinning the resistance and cadence both changed the speed, which was nice and it measured watts as well.   I have no memory of how fast I was going.   They had the bikes out in the main area of the gym and I was too busy people watching and chatting with friends to notice my bike times.   And, my butt got really uncomfortable on this bike and I was out of the saddle quite a bit by the end.    The run was done on a treadmill and I did pretty well with it, fortunately I ended up next to Jessica for this one too and we chatted most of the time.   I did negative splits on the treadmill so last part of the run I wasn't chatting, but overall felt good.    I really didn't put alot of racing effort into this race (except the swim) and used it again for training and ended up having a blast!    I think if someone is new to triathlon and wants to get their feet wet prior to doing an outdoor event, this is definitely a good one and I would suggest it to others.  
Jessica and I on the treadmills! 

My friend Kim signed up to volunteer!  

Agoura Hills 10k
I had a score to settle with this race.   It is out in Santa Monica, CA and I had signed up for the same race 2 years ago, but ended up not being able to do it secondary to a stress fracture that year.   My sister lives in LA and does this race each year and has had a blast with it.   I wanted to do a race with my sister and it just so happened this race was happening the weekend we had picked for me to visit her this year.     I loved this race and would definitely do it again!   In fact, there is a half marathon that is also offered and I would consider that in the future as well.   The race is part of an entire race series offered...there are 2 different half marathons, a 10k, a 5k, and a fun kids run.   They all end in the same place and there is a mini-festival at the end.    This race is no joke is a beautiful but very hilly area!     I originally was going to try to run with my sister and her friend Jane but Lora hadn't really been able to train much and Jane had just done a marathon the week before, so they were going to walk at least part of it.   I was itching to get out there and run, so they told me to go ahead without them.    My goal was to try and do the race in 1:05...I knew I was not in top racing form and it was really hilly, so I had a conservative time in mind.   The course starts out on a downhill, which was nice as it gives your legs a little time to warm up prior to going up hill.   There were relatively few flat areas on this course, you were either going up or down and there were some pretty steep hills.   I did end up having to walk one of the last ones,   it was easily a 12-14% grade and my asthma kicked in half way up the hill.   It took me a few minutes to calm it back down, but was able to pick up the pace after that.   My finishing time was met my goal!    I also ran back out onto the course and found Lora and Jane and was able to finish with them as well (although I took off my timing chip so I wouldn't mess that part up).   Loved being able to do that as well!  
Jane, Lora, and I at the finish. 

Finisher selfie!    

Miami University Triathlon
I signed up for this race because my cousin goes to school at Miami U and I thought it would be fun to go down to visit him and do a race while I was there.   My Aunt Debbie signed up as well, so I was looking forward to a fun weekend get away with family.    This race is a pool swim (400m) , then outdoor ride (13 miles) and run (5k).   I had never done a race like this and it had me a little nervous.   The pool swim is in 50 m pool and serpentine style, which means you start at one end and then swim up and down the lanes until you get to the other side of the pool for a total of 400m swim.   Also, it was going to be in the mid 40's at the start of the race so we had to figure out what to wear in the water that would also be worn on the bike, as there isn't anywhere to stop and change clothing in between.    I was a little freaked out trying to figure this out because after my Lake Tahoe experience, I didn't ever want to be too cold on the bike again!   

We went down the night before to have dinner with my cousin Ben.   That was pretty fun and Oxford is a pretty cool little college town.   Debbie and I stayed out at Hueston Woods Lodge though as all the hotels in town had already sold out for a variety of reasons.   Unfortunately as we headed out to the lodge we came up on flashing lights and stopped traffic.   After sitting there several minutes, I got out to see what was going on and found that a tree had fallen down across the road and a car was trapped underneath the tree.   There were already emergency equipment and cop cars out there trying to help the person out, but after assessing the situation we realized quickly that we wouldn't be getting through this point on the road anytime soon.    Getting to Hueston Woods from Oxford is pretty easy, but there really is only one route,  so we turned around and were able to eventually able to find another route, but it took extra time that we weren't expecting.   So, we got to sleep much later than expected that night.     

Race morning came way too early, but fortunately the road had cleared and we got back into town pretty early for the race.   My stomach was a mess though.   I am not sure if it was from eating poorly the night before, nerves, or lack of sleep, but my gut wasn't feeling great.   I was in the bathroom with dry heaves and GI issues 10 minutes prior to the start of the race.  Somehow I managed to get out of the bathroom and into the pool on time, but I was flustered and my stomach was still really nauseated.    Not my best swim, but I was able to complete it without any unfortunate GI accidents.   And, I loved swimming in a 50 meter pool, just wished I had been able to enjoy it more!  

It was cold running to T1 but I was able to dress quickly enough and was surprised that even with all the layers I put on that I was able to do it in under 5 minutes.   I was cold for the first 10 min of the bike, but warmed up quickly after that.   Bike was hillier than I was expecting and windier.    The nausea went away finally during the bike, but I felt slow and the legs heavy this ride.   I wasn't surprised with my slow bike split after I saw the results, but was disappointed as I felt I had worked harder on my cycling skills over the winter, but it sure didn't show up on this ride.    But, I had dressed warmly enough and ended up stripping off multiple layers prior to the run. 

The run was decent and went through campus, which I thought was quite pretty.   Normally the run is the hardest part for me and the most difficult.   But in this race it was where I felt the best and I did what I could while keeping my breathing in check.   And despite how crappy I felt this race, I was able to run a 29:38 5k, which isn't my fastest, but is pretty good for me, especially given how I felt earlier in the race.   

All in all, I liked the course and the thought this race was very well run.   It wasn't my day, unfortunately but I still enjoyed being able to spend time with my family and experiencing a new type of triathlon race course.    I thought the medal we got was pretty cool too!

My Aunt Debbie and I with our finishers medals!   We did it! 

So what is up next for me?  
1)  New York Gran Fondo   May 18th
3) Mohican 70.3 June 22
4) Ironman Mont Tremblant August 17