Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mill City Triathlon Olympic

Last week I sat thinking, "oh man I haven't done an Olympic in 2 years." I have done FOUR 70.3 distance events and this was going to be my SECOND Olympic! Cue the freak out- I looked up my results and was happy to see I had come in just over 3 hours, on the same course I was going to race on. I started thinking under 3 hours would be do-able. And as I started putting some idea of time in my head I started to stress more. How do I fuel for an Olympic? I know fueling for a half ironman. And to be honest in a sprint you just drink calories and maybe take A gel. But 3 hours that is enough time that if you don't eat you could BLOW up! After some talking down off the ledge by D, I started to get more calm about the race.

Race morning came and we got to the race site a little later than we usually do. Which to be honest was kind of nice- not tons of time to sit around and stress about is your transition just right. We had a few friends racing which is a nice change. All of us pulled on our wetsuits and hung out in the water for a little while. I have done this race 3 times now, once as an aquabike, once as an olympic and last year as a sprint, so to say I know the course and the race is a bit of an understatement. I knew the swim would be against the current on the way out and with the current on the way back. The bike has a couple hills but nothing too insane and the run is PANCAKE flat but can be hot on a sunny day.

The race was a little less organized than usual, the caps hadn't come in so it was a bit of a free for all with the waves. All women doing the olympic would be starting together first. That was a pretty big wave. The swim was tough- it took me over 19min to get to the turn around. I had to work hard against the current. And just to prove how tough the current was I swim just over 11 min back to the exit. I had hoped for a sub 30 swim but ended up with 31:56 Not super fast but fast enough to be in the top 10 swim splits.

The transition from water to bike here is always long. You run from the beach across 4 lanes of traffic to the transition area. And this year they made the swim entrance at the far end of transition. I moved as efficiently as I could to make up for the long run 2:20 eh not great but okay

Dear god look at that calf?!
I got on the bike and immediately started to settle in. My GPS didn't pick up but I knew I wanted to be sub 1:30 for the 26mi. giving me a 17mph+ bike split. First loop was 40ish. Awesome! Got time to spare on the second loop. As I started the second loop I went by D on his run of the sprint. Some words of encouragement as I went by and off to finish the bike. The roads were pretty messy with pot holes. It was a constant look ahead to be sure you didn't flat. I have done that on a similar bike course in the same area so I didn't want a repeat. Made sure to get in 3 sets of 2 salt tabs over the ride. And had a whole package of clif blocks. I kept thinking on the bike the words of wisdom of my friend who is going to Olympic Nationals, make sure you save some for the run. I came in at a 1:24:05. Who brought the girl averaging just under 19mph?! D was finished with the sprint and came over to give me a boost as I got ready for the run.

I threw on my shoes grabbed the number, the visor, the gel and salt tabs and was off and running. Okay lets settle on a pace. Still no GPS but I can keep doing this math thing. And to be honest it was nice to have something to think about. I knew I wanted to be around 9min miles. First one was under 9. Then I settled down to a little slower. Every aid station I grabbed a bag of ice and some water. I put the ice in my tri top and picked out pieces and chomped on them between aid stations. LIFE SAVER! The ice gives a little bit of hydration, little bit of cooling, and distraction. I was feeling good on the run. I honestly kept waiting for the wall. I kept waiting for the suck fest. The omg this hurts I can't keep up this pace. Mile 4 was an 8:30. I honestly think if I had my pace the whole time I could have kept a better track of it. I didn't push too hard b/c I was afraid of pushing the wheels off the bus! But I felt good. I hit mile 5 and I was like we can have a suck fest for the last mile just go! I switched the watch to multisport mode and tried to get a feel for if I was going to make it in under the 3 hours... I was 2:5-. Okay come on dig get it! It's gonna be close. Run time goal was 55 finished in 1:00:09. Not as fast as I wanted but one of my better 10k times in general.

As I got close to the finish I saw the clock- 2:59. You have to cross in this minute! And I focused. I heard D scream and my friends cheering. And I crossed in 2:59:46 . AWESOME! I had a sub3 hour Oly!!!

Honestly- I didn't think I would be anywhere near a time or place for an award. And being in a new age group made me even more skeptical. I was just happy with the time I put down. We stood around and they did the sprint awards- D took 3rd in his age group. I couldn't believe it when a friend came up and told me I had WON my age group. WHA?! I am still in shock! I had a good day! I ended up with sub 3 hours, won my new age group, finished 16th female overall (only losing 6 female spots on the bike and run- not bad for this swimmer), finished in the top 50 overall, and felt good throughout the race.

It was so much fun to race with friends. We haven't had a group at a race in a while. I enjoyed having people to hang with before and to see during and after. We even got to get some lunch after and talk tri. All in all a great day!

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