So we arrived in Wisconsin Dells Friday night about 10PM. Waterpark capital of the world! This trip would be my husband, Joey, and training partner, Eddie.
Eddie drove to this race and despite a few rumble strips almost going off the road and almost running out of gas in Chicago traffic (eeks), we made it! The drive was about 9 hours, 10 with stops from Cleveland and luckily with the extra hour time zone change, we got in about 10 PM friday night.
Saturday, we hit the open water swim. GREAT SWIM VENUE. It was gorgeous and nice and calm. Of course I cannonballed the practice swim to splash Eddie as usual! :-) It is becoming my swim highlight. The rest of the day consisted of not 1 but 2, go cart races (I lost them all and Eddie even spun me stopping me out on the wall on one), hitting the meeting, hitting a pizza pasta lunch buffet, hitting some stores, chilling in the hotel room and the best part was having dinner with my old college roommate, Trisaratops and some of her friends and teammates! I will forever love this girl. It was also nice to get to meet and talk to her coach and pro female racer, Emily.
Race day came and for once, it was nice to watch the start since I was racing the oly and the half went first. Unfortunately the rain started. Yet, my husband donned it best swim venue yet! Concession stand with doughnuts and coffee, nice restrooms, a ski show stand to watch much of the swim and an overhang to stay dry in.
As it was about race time, I stood shivering under the overhang with some of the other pro women. Shortly before the race, got in the water to get warmed up and swam over to the start. I was excited to have the in the water start as I tend to feel much more comfortable then. With the start, I tried to get into a nice steady swim pace. It did not take long before the ladies swam away which was frustrating, but at least I felt like I was swimming decent after the Williamsburg debacle!
Before exiting the water, two guys passed me from the wave behind, so I thought I must have still had a pretty decent swim. Out of the water, and it was up a nice hill to transition. This was the hill where the husband and ole college roomie chose to heckle people in the waves behind me. Apparently several people were walking the hill and the husband entertained himself and some racers to a degree as he cheered them on giving out dollar bills for them to start running! As a side note when we were leaving, the two guys in front of us saw him and were laughing that he was the dollar bill guy! :-)
As I hopped onto the bike, everything was now just soaking wet. The first stretch winded through some twisty turns getting out of town and I took things conservatively to be safe. The one thing I was not prepared for was the insane fog on the visor of my aerohelmet and I felt like I was riding in a cloud for the first several miles until I started using my windshield wiper (my finger) over and over again for the rest of the race. So not ideal!!! At some points, the rain was coming down so hard, it was hurting at speed. Definitely not the funnest weather, but the bike course seemed pretty nice with the majority of the roads in nice condition and decent scenery.
In terms of the bike, with being in the fog and the sketchier roads, I was not watching the garmin. Plus being on a hillier course, it was harder to judge my speed. I was leapfrogging a couple guys and thought it was a pretty respectable pace given the conditions. As I look back at the bike results afterwards, I think it is key for me to pay better attention of where I am at during the race as it appears I should have been working harder!
While I always enjoy the bike I was quite happy for it to come to an end with no issues. I just have had waaaay too many wet rides and flat tires due to them this year!
Back into transition to grab the running shoes. I had thought ahead to put them in a plastic bag so that they would be dry but just out of transition, the entire road had a couple of inches of standing water and right away the shoes were soaking wet! On the bright side the rain seemed to start to end as I ran. I was feeling pretty good out on the run. I had screwed up my garmin so I was just running on feel and I thought it was going rather well. Again, the take away is if I feel pretty good, I am probably not running hard enough! Yet, I was passing a few people and I really liked the run course. After all the switchbacks on the Giant Eagle course, it was nice to just be moving forward and only have one Uturn. As I cruised into the finish, I was pretty happy that I thought I raced decent and felt good.
Looking at the results after, I was definitely a little disappointed. I obviously felt good because I did not push hard enough and was slower than I thought. Nonetheless, a good training day I guess and a few lessons learned. Definitely will pay more attention to my pacing. All and all though, everything went and felt smooth, so no complaints. Definitely liked the venue and as usual, REV3 did a terrific job! Olympic tris have never been my strong suit as the swim is proportionately too long so I am glad to move on to a distance more to my liking next….bring on the half!
Swim- 32:00 (including quarter mile run uphill)
Bike- 1:12:45 (20.5 avg)
Run-44:57 (7:15 avg)
Transitions- 1:12, 1:10
Total – 2:31:45