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
I was excited to have the opportunity to head to a race that was within the home state and the best part was that we even had a free place to crash which included some bonus time hanging out with a friend.
We awoke Saturday morning to a constant downpour of rain. While it put a damper on the boys mountain bike plans, we still managed a short run before journeying out to the city for some food, shopping and the expo.
Sunday morning was a super early wake up call to get to the race. Pros were scheduled to hit the water just after 6:30. Training partner, EP, and I hit the water for a short warm-up. Again the pros were sans wetsuit at the water temp of 72.5. The nice thing about swimming at Alum Creek is that it is usually a mellow swim. While I was not able to stick with the fast ladies on the swim, I felt relaxed in the water. It seemed my swim pace was actually ok, but my sighting needed some more work. As I came around the first lap, I realized I was waaaay off course and had swam outside a couple of buoys that was not intentional….oh how I dislike stupid mistakes! One of these days I will get it right! The swim course by most accounts shown the swim was short, yet my garmin had me long. Swim time:26:47
Out onto the bike course and happy to be in my comfort zone, I tried to settle into a decent pace. Yet, my hamstrings were feeling quite tight and it took a solid 7 miles or so for them to loosen up a bit. While I was a little worried about being cold when I started the bike all wet, it turned out to be a picture perfect racing morning. We had a point to point bike which was all marked well and had lots of police presence and I was actually enjoying the morning.
As we got closer to the city, I increased my turnover a bit as I prepped for the run. Bike time: 1:03:29. After a 1:34 transition, I headed out onto the run course seeing a couple friend (BS and EP) early on. These guys got some speed so I just fell into my own pace.
The run course was very scenic down by the water but included a lot of turns and switchbacks which made it seem hard to stay at a steady pace and run tangents as well as I should have with the two way traffic and running around some walkers. I hit the finish line with a 43:27 10k time and total time of 2:16:45. My GPS had me at a 6:52 avg mile run pace which needs some work.
All and all, this was a great event put on by HFP. My bike was solid, swim was ok but sighting could have been stronger and definitely some room for improvement on the run. One more oly to go! Olys just are not my strong suit, but definitely good practice and I got to admit that it is nice to wrap up the race so quick!
The swim was what you might call close to a total disaster!
With the start of the pro men field, I should have realized that there was an issue as they were swimming way wide. The evening rain had kicked up quite the current in the river swim. It did not take long before I was totally solo in the water. The waves of swimmers started coming through and I while I tried to stay focused on the task at hand, it just seemed I was making no progress in getting to the first turn buoy. I would swim to the buoy, almost get there and then get pushed back away. I finally made it to the buoy, only to get tangled up in the ropes and as I tried to settle back down, again I floated back behind it again! Suffice it to say, it was a tiring swim and I was frustrated. I just felt like I was swimming on a treadmill and going nowhere. Never was a concerned about my safety, it was just getting to the point where I started wondering if I was ever going to get through the course. What an awful start!
Kicker was I took so long, I managed to worry a few others since the swim took nearly double the time it should have.
As my feet finally hit the ground, it was more than a little difficult to try to find the motivation to see what I could do to salvage a race that was so ugly already, yet I was not about to DNF my first pro race.
Onto the bike, I tried to settle down. It took a little time to get into a rhythm, but as I pedaled I just focused on the task at hand and started picking off riders. I don’t think I was passed once, but guess that is what happens when your 1/2 IM swim is 1:11. OUCH!
I came in off the bike with a 2:35 time which worked out to a 21.65 avg. Probably not my best bike, but after the swim, it was a decent effort.
Finally onto the run. It was hot and hilly and while I forged on, I think my sense of urgency was fading knowing this “race”was over soon after it began. Rolled into the finish line with a 1:45 half which put me in at 5:36 finish time.
It was not how I hoped to start my pro debut, but glad I sucked it up to finish after my worst swim ever. Only one way to go!
It was after this race that I decided it was time for something new with my swimming. I have since started swimming with Daniel of Liquid Lifestyles at Mentor Masters. I wish I would have done this along time ago! To be continued…..
The Prelude- Our wolfpack of 5 rolled out after work Friday departing Lifetime at 5PM. We had a small detour at the start to avoid some 271 traffic and then again hit a major traffic jam in DC to put us in Williamsburg at 4AM. This girl was tired!
Made it to bed and slept restlessly before waking up at 8AM as I wanted to hit the practice swim. We made it to the Jamestown River right around 9 AM. Everything seemed very mellow. It was the first time I used my new skin suit in open water and I swam out to the far red buoy effortlessly and felt very relaxed about the race that was coming.
Bedtime was around 9 and as tired as I was, I slept like a baby until the 4AM wake up call.
As if that early hour was not enough to make you cringe, we awoke to a heavy downpour of rain. Ughhh! Just went about the normal routine eating a couple hardboiled eggs, a bagel with PB and a banana. Everything was already packed so I just had to put on some number tattoos and actually try to remember my timing chip. Yes, I may have this one down after my two noteworthy timing chip whiffs.
The plan was to head out at 5 to catch the buses at T2 to get to the start. We waited a little bit but I was able to remain calm knowing we had plenty of time. As I arrived to the start, I hit the portopotty, popped a pepto as my stomach was a little upset and hit T1.
Speaking of the transition areas, the whole idea of racing as a pro seemed a little surreal. I felt like the fan getting backstage to a rockstar concert. The idea of seeing a poster of myself was a new one, so my friend, Elisa, had to make sure I commemorated it despite me feeling a little silly about it. I should have no issues with that considering some of my other embarrassing things I have pulled over the years. We will keep those on the DL for now!
So moving on after getting everything set up in T1, I headed down to the water, gave the husband a kiss and headed in for a short warm up. So far, so good.
Alas it was almost 6:25 and time to head to the start corral as the pro men were going off at 6:30 and the pro women were going in at 6:32. I felt pretty calm and I was just taking it all in keeping to myself as I did not personally know any of the other ladies.
As we are all standing there I hear the voice bellowing out of the sidelines I know so well. “I love you 124. I love you 124. 124, I love you ” At this point the crowd is erupting into laughter as am because this guy is clearly yelling for one of the pro ladies. At this point one of the pro women turns to the group and asks, who is 124? To which I respond, that would be me and that is my training partner (EP) who feels the need to heckle me since this is my first pro race. At this point, several of the girls all turned around saying congratulations and introducing themselves and shaking my hand saying they still remembered their first pro race. It was the highlight of my day. There was one other girl there doing her first pro race too. I did have to return the favor to my training partner Eddie and let all the ladies know that I was supposed to put in a good word for him with all of them.
A short delay and then it was go time….
Partnered up with training partner, Eddie Po for TTT. We ended up 2nd coed senior team. Fun weekend and a great way to build volume for early season.
Mohican- Rough day, a couple crashes, hot humid and slick. Not my day and lost 3rd by a few seconds to finish fourth overall female.
More on both of these later….hopefully!
Note fun mud to ride….
Well despite my good intentions for blogging more this year, it has just not happened….so far!
In March of 2012, I had changed jobs and between getting acclimated to new things at work and training, there was not very much blogging.
Then in August 2013, I started work on a designation for work which included a couple conferences, a ton of course work and a huge capstone project which encompassed about 8 months. Alas this past Friday, I got the great news that I now have my Certified Wealth Strategist designation. So hopefully when I hop on the computer outside the office, perhaps now every blue moon or more you may get an update out of me!!!