Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Austin Tri Report

It was a great Labor Day weekend--went much too quickly, but that's typical. Friday I got in a good 14.5 mile run with some massive hills and headed to Austin with some friends for a little bit to help one get good running shoes, Saturday was a 2 hour/37 mile bike ride and I went and saw the Dark Knight with a friend at the movies (and bought a new Kitchen Aide Blender at the new Bed, Bath, and Beyond in town!), Sunday was church, drop off the bike at transition/packet pick up and early to bed, and Monday was the Austin Triathlon (Olympic distance).

This weekend I posted the following as my goals in my BT workout log:
Swim: 29 min or less would be GREAT...No more than 30 (1:55-2:00 pace)
T1: It's a LONG transition--I'm betting 2:30-3:00 just due to distances in/and out
Bike: 1:11 to 1:15 (20-21 mph would be awesome)
T2: 1:00-1:15 just due to distances, faster is great
Run: 47-49 mins...sub 8:00 min/miles is ideal
So, um, it could be anywhere between 2:40 max and 2:30 best. Anything 2:30 or less and I'd be ecstatic!! I really am just looking to run really solid after pushing a solid bike. So, we shall see how it goes out there!

As always, my full race report is posted on BT and you can see it by clicking RACE REPORT.

But, I'm SO HAPPY with it, I cut and pasted most of it and am posting some here too--bear with me, it's long, I like to capture details, my "race diary" if you will (typed quickly, ignore spelling and grammar--had to capture the essence of the day!:
(Transition in Downtown Austin, 0530 Race Day)

Triathlon - Olympic
Total Time = 2h 28m 49s
Overall Rank = 118/781
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 2/35

Pre-race routine:We had to do bike check in on Sunday, so I linked up with two friends and we loaded our bikes up and headed to Austin. We picked up our packets, browsed the expo, and then went and racked our bikes. My rack was on the far west side of transition--not bad for run out, but FAR from bike out and in. I then left my bike (Juan), for the first time, on his own....his first slumber party. I did leave instructions he was not to stay up TOO late playing with the other bikes...he had important work the next day. We then drove back. I got the gear together and was in bed before 9, and asleep before 10. The alarm went off at an EARLY 0300, but I felt good and did sleep. Ate a mini-Cliff bar. Got the pups situated, grabbed my stuff and headed to meet the girls. We met up on time and drove to Austin. I ate my PB&J waffle sandwich, a plum, a 0 cal energy drink, and had some water. We got to transition as it opened (we're all Type-A's...it's not an option). I had a good porta-potty visit, got body-marked, and set up my transition area. It was then chit chatting with friends prior to the start...along with a couple of other potty trips.

Event warmup:Umm, I didn't do much. They don't allow pre-race swim warmups, so I guess my warm-up was putting the wetsuit on. I debated using the wetsuit and was CLOSE to not using it cause I thought it might be too warm. But, a more experienced tri-friend said she was wearing it, I decided I needed all the help I could get in the swim, so wear it I would. One GU about 20 minutes before start.

Swim Comments (26:35, 1:46m/100m): GREAT swim for me, in fact, best ever. BSLT was "faster" but I had a long running start as part of it. This one was overall better. I started out in the front line, I'd rather have people swim past me than have to swim past people. There was some initial contact, but not too bad and it didn't take long to spread out. The first leg was long, I caught a couple of feet, but they were fast and I lost them, but then towards the first turn I picked up some more. The water was smooth, my strokes were smooth, I sighted really well, and I had a good first two turns. I then was able to consistently DRAFT! YAY ME! She would slow down a bit much for me, so then I would move to her left and catch a side draft but keep speed, then she'd speed up and I could hop on again. I successfully avoided the slower guys waves that we were passing, and as I made the last turn in I just felt strong. Got to the exit, and the volunteers were great in helping us out, and we needed it. My friend Blythe was volunteering there and cheering for me. As is my method, I immediately began the long run to transtion and got my wet suit down to the hips and goggles/cap off.

What would you do differently?:Nothing. I sighted great, I drafted successfully as I could. I was 5th out of the water for my AG...I would've regretted not wearing the wetsuit. The buoyancy helps me. I literally pull faster than I kick...I did kick, but the wetsuit helped. I was conscience of my form more than ever before, and just confident with sighting. GREAT swim for me, GREAT pace! Thank you for wet-suit legal! And, I didn't even get CLOSE to overheating. I did notice, the wetsuit is A LOT tighter over my calves than last time I wore it... :)

T1 Comments (3:09):This was the LONGEST distance for a transition EVER. It was at least 150-200m up stairs and to the transition spot. I overshot my transition initially, got back to it, took the suit off, which the transition area was in sand, so mud everywhere. But, I got it off, got my bike shoes on, some dirt in them, but no worries (need cleaning now...) and helmet, glasses. It was then time for the 1/4 mile, and I'm not exaggerating, run to the mount line. Even the open wave, the closest to the mount line, had a fastest T1 of 1:52...I was on the OTHER side, and had to run with my bike that far. LONG transition.

What would you do differently?: Need work on wetsuit removal. Wasn't bad, wasn't good. Not miss my row initially (just went one up)...first time that has happened. Nothing to use as a land mark.

Bike Comments (1:10:48, 21.06 mph): I just really had fun on this course. I wanted to push the downhills and flats, properly gear the uphills to spin them, and watch to keep a 91-97 cadence. The first loop the course didn't have too many racers on it. The open/elite wave was already on their 2nd/3rd loops and getting passed by them made for some nice views. ;) I passed several guys, a couple of girls, but wasn't really paying attention. I pushed the first loop pretty hard. The second loop I played the hills a little bit better, pushed the downhills well. The third loop I did about the same. Once the course got crowded the scariest places was the great S.Congress downhill and the turn arounds cause there were just too many people on the course, and too many who did not understand the concept of staying to the right unless passing. So, as I could legally, I ended up staying left a lot on some of those spots as I was passing the sprinters. It wasn't hot at all, the grit in the shoes didn't bother me, I took in 1.5 bottles of fluid and two GUs--one half-way through, and then one at 22 miles before I got to dismount to propel me on the run. Once I came down the turn to go to the dismount line I got my feet of my shoes and did probably the last 300m with my feet on top of shoes.
What would you do differently?:Nothing...couldn't be happier with my ride here. Best gear shifting, good drinking/nutrition, good passing...just so much fun to go FAST!

T2 Comments (1:17):Pretty good transition...got to my rack without issues this time, got the bike on it, helmet off, my feet were WAY sandy due to running in the sand from dismount to my rack, so quickly wiped them on the towel I had sticking out just for that. Slipped my feet into my well body-glided shoes, grabbed my garmin, hat, and water bottle and took off. I had started the swim with my race belt already on, number rolled up underneath my tri-shorts, so one less thing to do. I will do this again!

What would you do differently?: Nothing much, this was good considering the distance. This is the only place I gained any time on #1 in my age group...I had one of the faster times out there compared to everyone.

Run Comments (47:00, 7:34min/mile): I started off and was seeing 7:10 pace, so I slowed it down, got my HR at about 170 (bottom of Z3) and my pace around 7:35 and just went from there. The first loop took a bit for me to get in the groove. I carried my own bottle (hate stopping to drink) of Nuun, and sipped as needed. I tossed water on my head at every drink station, took advantage of the spray hose lady at Jack and Adams, the sponges when they handed them out, and the kids with the water guns spraying people. This kept me cool and kept me trucking. Had some friends cheering me on at a couple of spots, and that encouraged me. I passed at least 2 girls that were ahead of me and in my age group in the first loop. I had no idea how many were ahead as the course was mixed sprint/oly racers at this point. I kept looking for the girl that won #1 cause I knew she was ahead of me (bike gone when I got to my bike, bike back when I got to my bike) but hadn't seen her, finally, after I started loop 2, I saw her and knew she was a good near mile ahead of me, so I just encouraged her to "go get it", she was trucking! I pushed it on, felt great on the 2nd loop, picked up speed on the last downhill, and the last 200m I got my "sprint in" kick that I don't know where it comes from, and I did sprint it all the way in hard. I knew, within the last two miles I might make sub 2:30 and that was what I was pushing to do! Looked at my watch after I was done, saw 2:28 and was ECSTATIC!

What would you do differently?: Maybe push harder a little earlier, I still had some kick...but at the same time, it took me the first loop to feel comfortable, I kept a steady pace throughout really, but actually felt "comfortable" the 2nd loop. I was afraid I may have pushed too hard on the bike, but looks like I did okay. #1 ran about 20secs/mile faster...so I guess just run faster! :)
Post race
Warm down:
Grabbed water, cool towel, went to watch for friends to come in and chatted with other racers. Grabbed some fruit, and a little sample Cliff MOJO bar (I can't do the post-race pizza...ugh). Got changed, waited for awards ceremony.

What limited your ability to perform faster: One-day taper...I am training for the Longhorn 70.3 so I've been training through races. I am SO looking forward to tapering fully for a race to see what I can do. BUT I am thrilled to have done what I did here today. Very very very happy.

Event comments:Well organized, great volunteers, great organization, great post race food/drinks available, U2 cover band, friendliness, etc. My only complaints were the FOREVER long run with the bike to the mount line (dimsount in wasn't as bad), and how crowded the course became. Otherwise, awesome race and I'd love to do it again!
(On the Podium getting my 2nd Place, Congrats Julia on 1st!)
(With my trophy--but it's a clear guitar thing on base...hard to see!)
BRING ON LONGHORN 70.3! ONE MONTH! The only bad thing is the girl that beat will be there too...but the good thing is that she is an awesome athlete, great competition, and very friendly. Kudos to her for a great race!