Monday, August 1, 2011

Spokane Triathlon: First Olympic Triathlon & Rookie Mistakes

Just the Numbers
Swim .43 miles:  0:08:16
T1: 1:11
Bike 25 miles: 1:09:26 pace: 21.6 mph
T2: 47 sec
Run 6.2 miles: 44:58 pace: 7:15
Total Time: 2:04:53
4th Age Group

Pre-Race Thoughts
I was undecided if I was going to do this race.  I was thinking of doing Troika (70.3 distance) and didn’t want this race to affect that one.  I was actually still undecided if I was going to do Troika as I thought my body would need more recuperation time from doing IM.  On Saturday (the day before the race), I watched Lily Anderson, a 10 year old who is battling cancer, sing the National Anthem on the web and that gave me all the inspiration and motivation I needed to sign up for this Oly.  Hours after signing up for this Oly I found out one of our local professional athletes and friend, Derek Garcia, was in the middle of doing the Vineman (IM distance race) and he passed out!  He was in third place OVERALL and one minute behind second place on mile 16 of the run when it happened.  His wife posted this on FB:   
“Derek is in the ER now. He passed out on the run. He was disoriented and could hardly speak. The Dr. is going to call me (Shannon) when they know more. Please keep him in your prayers.”   
I was spooked!   Later he checked out of the hospital and he was fine, *gasp*.  I was glad to hear that news!

This was supposed to be an Olympic distance race, but because of a crack in the dam (or something like that) the water was flowing pretty fast so they decided to shorten the swim (.43 miles)  and make it one way instead of out and back.   I raced this course as a relay a few years ago (bike portion) but I have never done a solo Olympic distance triathlon.  I didn’t register for this race till the day before.

The Swim
Once I got in the water I could see the reasoning of shortening the swim.  It would have been pretty much impossible for some people to swim upstream because the water was flowing so fast.  When I was up to my waist I was fine in the water.  Once I got to my chest or chin I started to be pulled by the water.  I put my goggles on and submerged myself.   The race director said “One minute till the start!”, then shortly after he yelled “Go!”   I started swimming, after a few strokes I looked up and was blinded by the sunlight!  I had the regular collisions with other swimmers. The sun was bright and it was reflecting off the lake which was making it very hard to sight.  The first buoy I got past fine,  shortly after I noticed I was swimming all by myself and looked up and noticed  I was off course ( I was off to the left).  I cut right to get back into the flow.  I used other swimmers for direction then before I knew it I could see the dock and last buoy! 

The Bike

Here is where problems start to surface.  I have a double water bottle cage behind my seat and I have one bottle in there.  As I am coming out of T1 I see Adam Little jump on his bike in front of me,  I throw my leg over my bike as to jump on my seat and hit the water bottle which falls to the ground. Opps!  I knew I needed that bottle for this 25 mile ride.  I get off my bike and turn around with bike in hand and pick up the bottle and put it back in the cage.  I turn around, get back on my bike and I am off!  I went aero down all the hills.  I have ridden this in the past but didn’t stay aero down all the hills.  I was flying.  The only way I might have gone faster was if I pedaled more on the down hills and pushed the up hills more.  Beside my two water bottles I had three gels in a flask and one broken up z-bar.  I have never raced this distance so I didn’t have my nutrition down.  For future races I will have one or two more gels, no granola bar and maybe a bigger (full) second water bottle, the one in the cage was ¾ bottle.  Maybe even a third bottle half full.

After putting on my running shoes I pick up my GPS and realized I forgot to turn it on before the race!!  I have waited as long as thirty minutes for it to try find a satellite before turning it off.  I started to run and my left shoe feels VERY uncomfortable.  It felt like there was something in there…maybe an ankle sock?!  I quickly realize I wasn’t going to run 6 miles with this discomfort.  Before getting out of transition I take off my shoe and I find my chapstick in there!!  Arg!  It must have fell in there while being transported from my house to the race.  I throw it aside and run out of T1.

The Run
My GPS was on the whole run but never found a satellite.  I didn’t know what pace I was running. I wanted to go sub 7 miles, but looking at the results I ended up going 7:15’s.  A quarter mile into the run Hailey passes me and someone from my age group was right behind her.  The trail run consisted of four loops and each time you enter the loop you get a rubber band.  While I was getting a rubber band on one of the loops the band fell to the ground.  I had to stop and pick it up and continue running.  It was great to see Ryan on the course, he cheered and told me where to go after the four loops. 

In Closing
It was great to see so many friends and familiar faces at the race! I thought I would only see three or for Tri-Fusion folks and I saw about 14 some racing some not.  Saw lots of racing regulars out there like Chris and Joy.  Even though I was hoping to get third place or better Derek’s mishap the day before put things in perspective.  I was thankful to be healthy enough to do this race and was glad I had a safe race.  I plan to give my body a break and skip Troika next Sunday.  I may go down there and cheer friends on and take pics!  A big thanks to Jayne, Greg and Mike for the pics!
Rene, Adam, Jenn, Gary, Natalie, Mike

1 comment:

  1. congrats on a solid race! For Olys, I take in 1-2 gels on the bike, carry one bottle of water (with base salts for electrolytes) and thats it, your body has more than enough fuel to help you get through the race..Sounds like a smart call on Troika, there is still Lots of races and in the NW we have 1.5 months of tri's left :)